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A Taste of Things to Come
Daniel sat back, wiped his mouth with the napkin. "That was incredible, Angel," he said softly. He shifted so he could lean back against the side of the Blazer.
"I'm glad you liked it," Casey said softly. "I thought this would be a nice change of pace."
"It's perfect," he replied. "C'mere you," he said softly, pulling her back to recline against him. She had surprised him, arriving at the SGC just before he was ready to leave. Telling him that it was his birthday, he wasn't supposed to be working. He had known she was up to something when she wouldn't let him drive home.
He hadn't said a word when they drove past the lake, followed the path he had taken the night she had been fighting the darkness within her. He had obeyed her and stayed out of the way while she spread out a large blanket, and then a tablecloth. He'd watched as she sat out pillar candles and lit them, then unpacked a picnic basket he didn't remember having. Grinned when she admitted buying it especially for this occasion. Two china plates, and crystal wine glasses, heavy silver flatware, and a bottle of wine had come out of that basket first. A ball of gouda cheese, a small cutting board and knife, a small box of crackers, a bowl of grapes and apples came next. He hadn't argued when she insisted on him lying back and relaxing, being fed from her fingers. Then she had taken out a container, and presented him with a Tuscan tart. It was full of beef and Italian sausage and spinach and mushrooms and had been absolutely mouthwatering.
"Happy birthday, Daniel," she said softly.
"Let's see, you're…forty seven now."
"Getting close to the big Five-Oh."
"I’m in my prime, baby," he grinned.
"Only because you're Immortal. You'd be a broken down old man if you weren't," she teased.
"Smartass. And I would not!"
"Sure you would. Because you have led a very hard life, my heart."
He couldn't argue with that. Being on an SG team had to be one of the hardest jobs in existence. Right up there with police work and firefighting. Because seven times out of ten, they were in the middle of a battle, running like hell, being wounded, being held prisoner, being beaten. Yeah, he'd be a broken down old man. "Thank goodness for Immortality."
"Thank goodness," she smiled. "Ready for your dessert?"
The look in her eyes sent shivers up and down his spine. "Oh, yeah," he replied. Felt his breath catch in his throat when she pulled away and stripped. She opened the basket again, took out a can of whipped topping and a box of strawberries.
She had put a lot of thought into exactly what she wanted to do. "You're a bit overdressed, Doctor Jackson."
"Forgive my rudeness," he said, using the diplomatic tone of voice that had charmed dozens of alien leaders, pulling off his clothes and tossing them to the side.
"Much better." She knelt down beside him. Put a strawberry to his lips, waited until he was holding it with his teeth, the leaned over to kiss him, taking half of the berry into her mouth.
His eyes blazing with love, with lust, he took a berry, ran it between her slender thighs, then popped it into his mouth. Sweet Jesus! Couldn't get any better than that! He did the same thing again, and again, making her giggle each time.
When she grabbed the can of whipped topping, he grinned from ear to ear. She sprayed a bit on each nipple, let him lick the sweet creamy dessert from her body. "Hmm…where else can we use this?"
Daniel took the can from her hand. "Lay back, Angel," he said softly. Watched as she stretched out on the blanket. He pushed the can between her legs, filled her well, then proceeded to lick her clean, her soft moans and whimpers making his aching cock all the harder.
Not to be outdone, Casey covered his magnificent erection, and took him all the way to paradise, not stopping until the last throbs had ceased. He spent another forty minutes making love to her with his hands and mouth, sending her on her own flight of pleasure, before he settled behind her, slipped into her warm, waiting well.
"Love you, Angel," he whispered, just before she cried out her pleasure.
"Love you, Daniel," she replied breathlessly. She worked the muscles deep inside, pushing back against him until her name echoed around them. She so missed laying on his chest. She cuddled as close as her baby-filled belly would allow.
It was after eleven when they dressed and repacked the baskets. Neither of them noticed the small car that was sitting alone beside the lake as they passed, too wrapped up in each other to see anything else.
A A A A A A
Two days after Daniel's birthday, Penatil's ship had appeared. No one believed that the Goa'uld would be stupid enough to try and attack Gamma with one ship, especially with Thor's ship still in orbit. However, it was either stupidity, or desperation that drove him. And he attacked. The Phoenix didn't even get off a shot before Thor had destroyed the ha'tak. Following Casey's intuition and Jack's advice, Jordan and five other Goa'uld were the recipients of a few naquadah tipped bombs, and threats of further retaliation if any other Goa'uld were to try to attack. Through Methos' spy network, word came back to the SGC Gamma that for now, the home of the Immortals was safe.
It was Wednesday before enough MALP information had been examined to arrange for six possible missions. Casey dropped down into the chair beside Jack. "I am so ready for this kid to be born," she groused.
Duncan grinned. "Daniel says you're not due for another two weeks."
Casey glared at the Highlander. "Fine, you carry him until the due date!"
"I'd pay money to see that," Jack said, his eyes on the report in front of him.
"Ha ha," Duncan replied. It felt good to be able to joke and laugh at work again. To feel a bit of the pressure ease off of them. Without a doubt something would happen that would send them all scurrying - hearts pounding, blood pressure rising, everyone in danger. But until then, he was going to enjoy sending teams on routine survey missions.
The first two missions were going to be easy. Boring, Casey said, and easy. Duncan opted to send two of the newer teams, to give them a bit more experience. Both were made up of mortals who had joined the GMF. Both teams were anxious to become part of the battle against the Goa'uld.
"These people could become allies, if we can just get passed their xenophobia," Casey said, reading the third folder.
"Let Daniel talk to them," she suggested.
Jack nodded. "They've indicated that they don't mind the MALP being there, as long as we don’t move it away from the 'gate. If they're willing to talk to us via the MALP, it might make it easier to get them to agree to a meeting. If anybody can convince them that their isolationist ways are going to get them killed or enslaved, it will be Daniel."
Duncan nodded his dark head, jotted down a note, and stuck it on the folder. "Okay, this one looks like a possible dig."
Casey sighed. Daniel still hadn't filled Stephanie's position, and he was still looking for at least two other archaeologists as well. There had only been a dozen or so applications to arrive on Gamma. Apparently the danger of life in the 'frontier' was too much of a drawback to those who studied archaeology on Earth. Terra and Langara had their own Stargate programs, neither anywhere near the scope of the SGC on Gamma, but enough that scientists there opted to stay at home. "Unless we go, I don't know who to send."
"SGI-4 or 7. Both have done numerous digs," Jack replied. "I'd like to send a trained archaeologist with them."
"See about Ramir or Todd," Casey suggested. "I'm sure Daniel would spare them for something like this."
Again the Highlander nodded, made his notations, and attached the note to the folder.
The fourth folder had Casey shuddering. "Send a UAV through. Get a good look around the 'gate first. And tell whoever goes to be prepared to need to fight as soon as they get there."
"Fight whom? This planet is supposed to be deserted," Jack pointed out.
"Not whom. What. I'm not sure exactly what they are. But they look mean. Sort of a cross between a grizzly bear and bigfoot," the blonde replied.
"Any signs of naquadah?" Duncan asked.
"Not large deposits," Jack said.
"Then let's just hold off on this one. Okay, last one…" the Scot looked up, frowned. "Case?"
"Um…give me a sec," she gasped. Closed her eyes.
"Don't you dare go into labor in my office," Duncan warned.
"Too late," she said. Continued to breath slowly. She reached for the folder. Carefully read the contents. Reached out, looked, listened. "Temperatures seem high on this planet. Unless there's a lot of naquadah, or something else equally interesting, I suggest a pass."
His eyes on the young blonde, Duncan nodded. Made his notations. "Casey?" he asked again, concern in his eyes.
"Maybe I should have Daniel paged," she said softly, just before the fourth contraction in ten minutes seized her.
Duncan grabbed the phone. "Kyle, get Daniel to my office now!"
Jack was holding her hand, helping her breath through yet another contraction. "They seem to be coming damned fast," he commented.
The Highlander had taken the initiative to call Dr. Montigue. The good doctor had told him to send Casey and Daniel to the hospital immediately.
Daniel slid into the room. "What?"
"Hospital, Danny," Jack replied, wincing slightly as Casey squeezed his hand. "Contractions are about a minute and a half apart."
"Let's go," the young archaeologist said, scooping his wife into his arms. "Let everyone know."
Jack and Duncan both nodded. Several SG team members and a couple of Marines grinned as he raced toward the elevator. The newest Jackson baby was about to arrive.
A A A A A A
Casey was in the hospital johnny, trying to get comfortable on the bed when it seemed that her entire family arrived all at once. Emily and Nicholas greeted their mother, then went with Erin to the waiting room. Jack, Duncan, Teal'c, and Aaron started a game of poker. Carly, Sam, and Tessa remained at her side, offering assistance to Daniel in any way that they could.
Two hours had passed before Dr. Montigue came in to check her again. He ran his hand over her belly, frowned deeply. "I'm going to have a sonogram done. I don't think this baby is fully engaged in the birth position."
Daniel's cheeks paled. "What does that mean?"
"Possibly a caesarian, if he doesn't turn soon," the doctor replied. "Casey, you're fully dilated. It seems to have happened much sooner than your first two labors. Which is quite common for the third pregnancy. The urge to push may come at any time. You're going to have to avoid doing so. It won't be easy. But if you start pushing, things could become…difficult. In the position the baby is laying in right now, he'd be born hips first."
Casey shuddered. "Let's just forego all of that. Take him," she said.
The doctor studied her. "There is the chance that he'll turn, and be in the correct position."
She shook her head stubbornly. "If he hasn't turned by now, he's not going to."
Daniel studied his wife. Knew that she was probably more…aware…of what was happening than any of them. "Do it," he said quietly.
"I'll send a nurse for you," Dr. Montigue said. He looked at Daniel. "Let's go scrub up. She'll still need you."
"I'd be there even if she didn't," Daniel replied.
"What's wrong?" Jack asked softly, watching Daniel race out of the room behind the doctor.
"The baby is hips first. They're going to do a caesarian," Sam replied just as softly.
"It's okay, Jack," Casey said, smiling. "Everything will be okay."
Tessa held her hand. "Yes, it will be," she said, smiling. "I think that you are just doing this to avoid transition," she teased gently.
"Busted," Casey giggled. "Oh, hell!" She began to pant, concentrating on the picture of Emily and Nicholas that Carly held for her, the Spanish woman's hand moving gently over her hardening abdomen.
"That's it, Casey, breathe. No pushing," Sam said, rubbing her hand up and down a slender leg.
"Breathe, mon ami," Tessa encouraged.
Jack, Duncan, Aaron, and Teal'c stood nervously on one side of the room, watching as Casey struggled to overcome the overwhelming urge to push the baby from her body. Giving birth had never been easy for her. This was the ultimate test of her strength of will.
Two nurses hurried into the room, kindly but firmly requested that everyone leave. With quick wishes of love and good luck, Casey's friends - her family - left her, assuring her that they would all be in the waiting room. And that they would be there when it was all over.
An orderly brought a gurney into the room, and with the help of the three hospital workers, Casey was able to get onto the rolling table. She closed her eyes, continued to breathe through yet another contraction; fighting that mind-numbing urge to push.
Daniel stood out of the way, watching as the johnny was taken off of his wife. Drapes were placed over her chest and legs, her belly looking like a creamy white hill between two seas of blue. Her exposed skin was washed twice, then 'painted' with Betadine. Dr. Montigue came into the room, his carefully scrubbed hands and arms held up, away from anything that might contaminate them. One of the nurses pulled a gown over his scrubs, then helped him get his hands into gloves.
"Okay, Daniel, you're going to sit beside the anesthesiologist," the doctor said.
That particular specialist smiled and introduced himself. He carefully explained that Casey would be conscious during the procedure, but that she wouldn't feel anything.
As the worried young man settled on the stool beside his wife, he watched as IVs were inserted into her arms, a metal bar placed above her, just below her breasts, and a blue drape put over it, preventing her from seeing what was happening.
"Okay, let's get this baby out of there before he actually moves into the birth canal in this position," Dr. Montigue said calmly. "Casey, you'll feel a bit of pressure now."
Daniel had wrapped his fingers around the hand he could reach. Felt her squeeze them. "It's okay, Angel," he whispered, his face close to hers. "This won't take long, I promise."
She forced a smile, nodded slightly. She was feeling a bit disoriented…the drugs, she was certain. She could also feel something pushing and tugging at her stomach.
"Well, little fella, you certainly are turned all around, aren't you?" Dr. Montigue said softly. "Here we go…Welcome to the world, Ethan."
The quiet of the room was split with the sound of the baby's cry, letting all know that he was not happy about the turn of events.
Daniel grinned at the sound, leaned over and kissed his wife. "He's here, Angel. Ethan is here," he said softly.
"He's okay?" she asked, her eyelids drooping slightly.
"He's perfect," Daniel replied, able to see the baby.
"Do you want to cut the cord, Daniel?" the doctor asked.
With another quick kiss, Daniel moved from the stool and stood beside the doctor. He accepted the scissors, and cut the umbilical cord that connected his son to the placenta. Watched as one of the nurses took the baby to the bassinet that waited nearby, and began to clean him. Again Ethan let everyone in the room know his opinion on the matter.
"I want to see him," Casey said.
Sitting beside her once again, Daniel smoothed her hair from her face. "Just a second, babe. The nurse is cleaning him up."
"Here he is, Mrs. Jackson," the nurse said, laying the baby on the woman's chest.
Her arms were tied down to the armrests. But she could see her son, and Daniel's strong hands held him safely against her body. "Oh, he's beautiful," she sighed.
"He looks like you, Angel," Daniel whispered. The baby opened his eyes and looked into the face of his mother. "See, he knows you, Case. He knows you're his Mommy."
She smiled. "Hi, baby! Welcome to the world!"
Dr. Montigue had finished stitching Casey closed. Her Quickening was already working to erase any traces of the incisions in her body. By the end of the day, there would be no way to tell that she'd ever been pregnant. Her belly would be as flat as it had been the day she became Immortal. Not one mark would remain that would mar the smooth, creamy flesh of her body.
A A A A A A
Casey was sitting in the bed in her room, cuddling Ethan close, giving him his first bottle. She'd been under so much stress during the proceeding days that any milk she might have had seemed to have dried up completely. With the work that she did, nursing wasn't an option anyway, she thought. She looked up and smiled when the door opened and her family spilled into the room.
Aaron and Erin brought Emily and Nicholas over to the bed, holding the children so that they could see their new brother.
"Baby!" Nicholas squealed, pointing at Ethan, then clapping his chubby little hands.
Emily studied the tiny baby in her mother's arms. "He's little," she announced.
Daniel laughed. "Not as small as you were when you were born," he replied.
"Stats?" Sam asked, raising one eyebrow.
"Eight pounds, three ounces, twenty one inches long," Daniel replied immediately.
"Geez, kid, you're half grown already," Jack said, shaking his head. There was no way that Casey's slender body could have withstood giving birth to a baby that big. It was just luck…or maybe the intervention of whatever gods there were...that things had happened the way they had!
Aaron watched his daughter. "Let's see. Your anniversary is on the fourth. Nicholas was born on the fifth. Daniel's birthday is the eighth. Today is the fifteenth. What else will you try to celebrate during July?"
Casey giggled. "With luck, we'll pick another month for anything else."
Daniel watched his wife. Unlike Emily and Nicholas, Ethan wouldn't get even a taste of his mother's milk. He knew that she had longed to nurse both of them, and she'd told him several times that she wished that the scientists had been able to find a way to keep milk in the breasts of Immortal mothers. It seemed that as soon as the baby was born, no longer a part of the mother's body, the Quickening reverted their physiology to their pre-natal condition. And that meant that their bodies no longer produced the hormones needed to trigger the production of milk. And so far any means to counter it hadn't been found. The fact that the Immortal women were thrilled to just be able to have children prevented any of them from being overly concerned about not being able to nurse.
His heart was beating normally again…full of love, full of pride…full of happiness. It had damned near stopped beating when he'd seen the look on Dr. Montigue's face when the man had examined Casey the last time. Knew in that instant that something was terribly wrong. Feared the worst, his heart racing with terror that something horrible was about to happen. His wife was Immortal. But the baby…his gaze drifted to his new son. When Casey had first told him that she was pregnant, he'd been furious. Believing that she had been taking the fertility shots without even discussing the matter with him had made him angrier than he could ever remember being with her. He'd felt as if she had…deceived…him. Then, upon learning that she hadn't…he shuddered mentally at the memories. His fear that the baby she carried wasn't his. He smiled as his friends…his family…pointed out that the baby had his forehead…his chin…even his ears, Sam said. Everyone agreed that Ethan had Casey's eyes and nose. Definitely his child…their child.
Casey looked up into the blue eyes she loved so much. Could see his happiness. The love. He had been so angry when he'd first learned she was pregnant…then worried…and hurt…thinking that the baby in her womb wasn't his. She looked back down at the baby in her arms. There was no way for him to deny this child. Oh, Ethan wasn't the carbon copy of his father that Nicholas was. But there was enough of Daniel in him that it was plain to see.
"Mommy, when you and Ethan come home?" Emily asked.
"In just a bit, I promise," Casey smiled. Unlike the mortal mothers, who waited twenty-four hours before leaving the hospital, two days or more if a c-section was performed, Immortal mothers were allowed to leave as soon as the baby was declared healthy, and the paperwork completed.
"Baby bwotha!" Nicholas said, pointing to the baby in his mother's arms.
Daniel picked his oldest son up, sat down beside Casey. "That's right, Nicholas. That's your baby brother."
Nicholas stared at the baby. Then looked at Casey. "Me baby, too?"
Casey smiled, reached out and caressed her son's cheek. "You're my baby, too," she replied softly.
Assured that this new baby was not supplanting him in his mother's heart, Nicholas leaned over and kissed the top of Ethan's head. Which elicited 'ahhhh's' from everyone in the room.
Emily tugged at Daniel's shirt. Smiled brightly when Daniel offered his arm and helped her climb onto the bed beside her mother. She too, kissed the baby, bringing forth those sounds of approval from the adults around her. Nicholas had not taken any of her parents love from her. So she knew that this baby was no threat, either. Although in the years to come she would find having two younger brothers annoying at times. Downright aggravating at others. But always worth the hassle they would give her. For her brothers would always stand at her side, always protect her, always love her, always be there for her. As she would be for them.
A A A A A A
The house was quiet again. Friends, family, neighbors…all had taken their leave. Emily and Nicholas had been bathed, snuggle time had been enjoyed, although by unanimous consent the story had been skipped in favor of discussing the new baby, and how the two older siblings were feeling about the situation. Both had held the baby, and Emily had given her youngest brother his bottle.
All three of the children were asleep, Ethan sleeping peacefully in the bassinet beside the bed. Daniel was watching him when Casey stepped out of the bathroom. He looked up at her; that slender, sexy body covered by a bit of dark blue satin and lace. His breath caught in his throat.
"You're so damned beautiful," he sighed.
She smiled. "I'm glad I please you," she replied softly.
"You more than please me, Angel."
Casey settled onto the bed beside him. "I need you, Daniel," she whispered, nuzzling his neck, her hands moving over his strong, hard body.
His heart soared at the declaration, as his body responded to her caresses. "I need you, Case," he whispered in return. He raised his chin when her lips went to his throat. "So much," he added.
"Please, love me," she begged softly.
"Done deal, babe," he told her, his hands pulling her close, moving up and down her back.
"Make love to me."
With a soft groan of pleasure, Daniel rolled to his side, put Casey on her back beside him. "It would be my honor," he said.
She closed her eyes as he kissed her, the first step of the trip that would send her spinning among the stars.
Two hours later, still breathing hard, she snuggled against his chest. She had so missed being able to do this!
He smiled into the darkness as she wiggled once more, trying to get closer to him. He tightened his arms around her. Pressed a kiss to the side of her face. "Love you, Angel."
"Love you, too," she replied sleepily.
He heard as well as felt her yawn. "Sleep, Angel." He determined to let her sleep when Ethan woke up to be fed, which should actually be any time, by his calculations. He knew that she was asleep when her body completely relaxed against his - her breathing slow and steady. This was another of the moments he tucked away in his heart; to hold, to enjoy in the days to come. When he needed the comfort of knowing that there were times that were damned near perfect. Three kids. He smiled again. Had anyone told him right after his return from ascension that he would be crazy in love with the most beautiful woman in the world, and have three beautiful kids, he would have called them insane. Here he was, crazy in love with the most beautiful woman in the world…married to her…no doubt in his heart that she was crazy in love with him, and three beautiful kids sleeping nearby. How freaking amazing was that? He drifted to sleep with that smile still on his face, his dreams filled with sunshine and laughter.
First gently touched the cheek of the sleeping baby. "Such strength," she whispered softly.
Second reached out and touched the baby as well. "It will be many years before he is willing to take the burden of being The Chosen from his father."
"Yes. But he will be as good a man as his father is," First replied.
"It would be a blessing if The Chosen and His Chosen were granted a bit of peace, even for a short time," Third said. He too, had reached a hand out to touch the sleeping baby.
"Yes, it would be," First said. She smiled. "Whatever awaits them, He will be able to face what he must do."
"Because of her," Third replied. He couldn't hold back his grin. "She knows exactly how to ignite the fire of his anger, his rage, in order to help him do what he must."
First smiled as well. "Yes, she does. And she knows exactly how to touch…how to heal…his heart when he has completed the task set before him."
"Two hearts that beat as one," Second sighed, looking at the couple that slept, their bodies entwined as closely as their hearts.
"One entity consisting of the two of them," First said. She gave an uncharacteristic sigh. "I have watched over many mortals. I have even observed Immortals. Never have I witnessed such love…such devotion."
"Stories of their love will be told for millennia to come," Third predicted.
"Of this I have no doubt. Come, let us go. We have other duties that must be attended to. We will return soon."
"He…they will need us?" Second asked worriedly.
"Perhaps. We will most certainly need to remain close at hand," First replied. In another uncharacteristic act, she reached out and gently caressed Daniel's face. Such a handsome man, she thought. Such a kind, gentle, wise, brilliant man. Part of her wished that he had remained among the Ascended. Then…She shook her head. Such thoughts were not worthy of the First of the First Triad. She smiled. He was happy. That was all that mattered.
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