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After Midnight

Chapter 3

Daniel opened his eyes. What had awakened him? He looked down at Casey. She was sleeping soundly, contentedly against his side. Nope, no nightmares. The curve of her lips made him wonder just what she was dreaming about. No time to peek right now. He frowned into the darkness. Something had brought him out of a sound sleep! He carefully moved away from her, grabbed his sweats from the chair and pulled them over his lean hips.

A check on the kids assured that both were sleeping peacefully. There! That was the sound he'd heard! Something…or someone…was outside the house! He slipped to the window in Nicholas' room. Could see two shadowy figures moving against the moonlit fence. One hand went to the lock, making certain that it was latched. He slipped back into Emily's room and did the same thing, before waking his Wife.



He put his fingers over her lips. 'Wake up, Case. There're two people out in the yard.'

She sat up, her eyes wide. 'What?' She watched him unlock the middle drawer of the nightstand, pull out the 9 millimeter Beretta that he'd purchased when they'd lived on Baldwin Street. Right after Framone had taken her the first time.

'We have to get the kids to the safe room.'

She nodded, grabbed her robe and followed him. They carefully picked up their sleeping children, hoping that neither would awaken and alert the intruders to the fact that the family was not asleep in their beds.

Within weeks after moving into the house, Daniel had discussed with Jack, Teal'c, and Duncan the idea of creating a safe room. The NID had been the biggest worry for all of them at that time. Experts had been contacted. And then the room had been constructed. Jack and Teal'c had added such rooms to their homes as well.

It wasn't large, measured only eight feet by eight feet. But it had a futon couch, a microwave, small refrigerator, and a cabinet filled with bottled water and MRE's. Blankets, extra clothes, first aid kits, flashlights, candles, games and books filled another cabinet. A tiny bathroomwhich had a toilet made specifically for basements, and a small sinkwas accessible through a pocket door near the foot of the futon. The NID had always been a concern for the team. And 'disappearing' for a few days might mean the difference between life and death…literally.

The room, including the tiny bathroom, had been 'double' soundproofed. So anyone wandering in the basement would never hear anything that might happen inside it. It was tucked neatly under the garage, a place that no one would think to look for it. And when the lock was engaged from the inside, a special 'shield' activated, preventing any type of scans from penetrating the concrete-and-steel walled space. The only thing that could penetrate the room were the special frequency cell phones that Sam had engineered for the team. The five of them could remain in contact with one another from anywhere on the planet, or from orbit above Gamma, through any of the shields that might be in place.

So far the basement had remained unfinished. Daniel had plans to finish off at least a family room, a couple of guest bedrooms, and a full bathroom. But he hadn't had the time to do so. So for now the hidden safe room was accessed by what looked like a loose piece of sheetrock. Unless someone was specifically looking for a safe room, they would never find it. And even if they were looking, chances were that they wouldn't locate this one.

Daniel flipped on the light, settled Nicholas onto the futon. Emily was gazing sleepily at him. "Call Jack," he said quietly, handing Casey his cell phone, knowing hers was upstairs in her purse. He kissed the tops of his children's heads, kissed his wife, and then slipped out of the room. Heard her lock the door behind him. Knowing that his family was safe, he allowed the anger he'd held in check to take control.

He could hear whispers as he slipped back up the stairs. They were in the house now. Probably had come in through the French doors. All three sets were open most of the time, to allow the cool night breezes to blow through, preventing the need to run the forced air cooling system at night. He'd thought that living in a gated neighborhood, in Hope, would prevent something like this. He'd been wrong.




Casey punched two. Jack answered on the fifth ring.

"What?" his sleepy voice asked grumpily.

"Trouble. Here. Daniel is upstairs right now."

Instantly awake, Jack understood exactly what Casey was telling him. "Stay put. I'm on my way." He disconnected, then dialed Teal'c's number. "Trouble. Jackson's. Danny needs backup." He dropped the phone, knowing that the Jaffa would also understand. He leaned over and kissed Sam, instructed her to get the girls into their safe room, then pulled his jeans on. He was out of the door, gun in hand, less than two minutes after Casey's call.




He caught sight of shadows moving through the living room. Moving too easily. Shit! Night vision! They have night vision goggles! He flattened himself against the wall, slid back into the kitchen. Into the laundry room, and out the back door. Hoped that they hadn't heard it open or close. Jack and Teal'c were just coming through the gate in the side yard fence.

"Night vision goggles," he hissed.


"Hang on, I have an idea," Daniel whispered. 'Case?'

'Daniel? What's going on? What-'

'No time. Call the base. We need night vision goggles. Tell Toby to meet us at the main gate with them.'

'Got it. Be careful.'

'Always. Love you.'

'Love you, too.'



Shaking fingers dialed the phone again. "Toby? Casey Jackson. Grab three pairs of night vision goggles; take them to the main gate. Daniel should be there in just a few minutes."

One of the best things about SGC Gamma was the fact that the personnel who worked there didn't stop to ask questions in the middle of a crisis. Especially when SG-1 was involved. Toby repeated the request, and then broke the connection. He barked an order to the third shift tech who was sitting beside him, and called for the Marines to stand alert. He was half way out of the control room before Casey Jackson had even had time to put the phone down.

"Mommy?" Emily's eyes were wide with fright.

"It's okay, Baby. We're just going to sleep here for now," Casey said soothingly. She settled onto the futon, pulled her children close.

"Where Daddy is?"

"Daddy's upstairs, Baby."

Emily remembered when this 'special room' had been added. She'd watched the men carry buckets of dirt up and dump them into a big truck. Lots of interesting things had happened, although she hadn't been allowed to watch often. Mommy didn't want her or Nicholas getting in the way. Daddy had explained that it was a 'special room', and that it was for hiding from bad people. "Is there bad mens?"

She was well aware that her daughter understood the concept of 'bad men' being after them. Such an event had cut short a family vacation on Langara. "Yes, Baby, there are," she sighed.

"Daddy will make them go away," Emily said confidently.

She kissed the top of her daughter's blonde head. "Yes, he will."




"They're not here!"

"That's not possible! We woulda seen 'em leave! They're hiding somewhere, we just have to find 'em!"

"You don't suppose they used that flashy light thing do you?"

"You mean the beaming device?"


"Nah, we woulda seen the flash. Where the hell would they have beamed? There aren't any Asgard nearby!"

"Well, they're not here!"

"Let's keep looking. Maybe they managed to sneak out to the garage."

"We woulda seen 'em."

"Let's check it out anyway!"

"Well, whaddya know! A basement! Let's go. They're down there somewhere."


A  A  A  A  A  A


The three men had raced for Jack's truck and had left the neighborhood as quietly as possible. It was nearly three in the morning; there wasn't any traffic on the streets. Jack ignored the speed limit and the signal lights. He'd explain later to any of the Hope police who might want to ticket him.

Toby was waiting at the main gate. He had three pair of night vision goggles. As well as more rounds for the 9 millimeter's...knowing that the three men had those particular caliber weapons at home...handcuffs, and three cans of MACE.

"You're a good man, Tobias," Jack grinned.

"If you need more back up, just call," Toby replied, returning the grin. "I'll get accommodations ready."

With a nod, Jack turned the truck around and drove like a bat out of hell. If those bastards were in the Jackson house, there was always the chance that there could be someone after Sam and the girls. Thank god Daniel'd had that idea about safe rooms!


A  A  A  A  A  A


"This is totally fucked! Where could they be?"

"Don't ask me! And keep your voice down! We don't want 'em to know we're here!"

"I'd say they already know we are!" A hand grabbed a radio, frustration in every move. "Yeah. It's me. Are you sure you have verification on body heat signatures?"

"Confirmed. As of your insertion, four body heat signatures. One in each of the front bedrooms, two in the back bedroom."

"Better check again, 'cause they ain't there!"

"Hold on. Shit! No signatures! Repeat, no body heat signatures. Get the hell outa there!"




Jack turned off the engine and let the truck coast to a stop in front of the gray brick and clapboard house. "Let's go."

Night vision goggles in place, the three men of SG-1 raced into the house. Within seconds it was clear that the intruders were gone. Before they could relax, the sound of booted feet on the basement steps was heard. The intruders weren't even trying to be quiet now.

"I'm not leaving empty handed," a voice hissed angrily.

"Yeah, so what are you going to do?"

"They have to have something around here worth selling!"

Daniel, Jack, and Teal'c silently followed the men into the den. There were only two of them. Dressed completely in black.

"Move, and I'll blow your fucking brains out," Daniel growled, shoving the barrel of his gun against the temple of the first man. He could feel the man's body shudder.

"Give me a reason," Jack hissed, his weapon against the second intruder's head. "Tie 'em down, T-man."

The Jaffa grabbed the wrists of the first man, pulled his arms roughly behind his back, and clamped the metal cuffs on him. He repeated the procedure on the second man.

"Lights," Daniel warned, taking off the night vision goggles. He flipped on the lamp, both intruders cried out, blinded by the bright white light that filled the lenses of their goggles. He grabbed the phone. Dialed…waited. "Duncan. Meet you at the base. We have two assholes who just broke into my house."

"Broke in my ass! The fucking door was open!" the first man spat.

"You weren't invited. That's still breaking and entering in Hope," Jack replied coldly.

Daniel made another call, then went to the basement. 'It's me, babe. Open the door.'

She unlocked the heavy metal door, watched it slide open. "Daniel?"

"It's okay, Angel, we have them. Get dressed. Your mom is on her way. You and Sam can meet us at the base." He leaned over to kiss her, winked at his children, then hurried back upstairs.

Teal'c and Jack made a quick sweep of the O'Neill house, found not a trace of any unwanted visitors. Daniel fought the urge to beat the shit out of the two men while he waited. Neither was saying a word, but the fact that they'd been after his family had been perfectly clear. In his mind, that was crime enough to warrant their slow deaths. The prisoners were unceremoniously tossed into the bed of the pickup. Jack made sure to take each corner as roughly as possible. Paybacks are a bitch.


A  A  A  A  A  A


Twenty minutes later the team and Duncan stood in the stockade cell, staring at the two men. Neither were saying anything.

Jack heaved a sigh. "Okay, Case. Dig it out."

She bit back a grin. This game was familiar. And very successful. A glance at Daniel told her that he was fighting a smile of his own. Sam had become very interested in her bootlaces, and had knelt down to deal with them…to hide her smile. Only Teal'c was able to remain his usual stoic self, although Casey caught the hint of amusement in his dark eyes. "Jack, you know that if I go into their minds…well, you remember what happened the last time!"

"Yeah," Jack sighed again. "Poor bastard. Wonder if his wife has decided to pull the plug yet?"

Duncan coughed, an attempt to cover up his laugh.

The eyes of the second man went wide with fear. "What are you talking about?"

Jack perched on the corner of the table in front of the still handcuffed men. "When prisoners won't talk, we let Casey do her mind thing. She can get every scrap of information we want. Hell, she can tell me how many times you jerked off last week, and what you were thinking about when you did it. Problem is, when she's finished…well, if you have any really important thoughts you'd like to share, do it now. You won't be any brighter than a carrot when she's done with you."

She almost swallowed her tongue trying not to laugh at the look of terror that crossed both faces.

"Give them another chance, Jack," Daniel said quietly.

"Okay, this is the last time," the older man replied. "Names."

"Harlan Gannon," the second man responded instantly.

The first man was obviously not pleased with the ease at which his partner had capitulated. Not that he was any more eager to have the blonde messing with his head! But there was safety in numbers, and if they held out together…he looked into the cold, angry eyes of Dr. Jackson, and shuddered. The slender blonde was his wife. No doubt she'd scramble their brains if he asked her to do so. "Rick Wakefield," he said.

"It's a start. Who do you work for?"

The nervous glance that was exchanged was all that was needed for the team to know exactly who employed these less than stellar citizens.

"NID," Casey said flatly.

Both men jerked, and looked at her. Each carefully examining their brains to make sure that nothing had been…damaged.


Another exchanged glance. "Grab Emily and Nicholas Jackson."

Rage, white-hot and painful, flooded his body. Daniel was across the room, and had grabbed the first man by the collar, jerking him to his feet, before anyone could even react. "You slimy bastards!" he hissed.

"Why?" Jack asked, his own eyes full of anger.

"Um…to uh…I guess to lure Doctor Jackson and his wife. They were going to offer the kids in exchange for him," the second man said, nodding at Daniel.

"Why not just take him and Casey? You were already in the house," Jack said.

Again the eyes of the second man went to those of the first.

Casey gasped. "Because the men that these two creeps work for weren't going to release my babies!" She swayed slightly as the information she pulled from the mind of the first man impacted on her. Teal'c's strong arm wrapped around her waist, held her steady. "They were going to…oh, god, they're going to experiment on my babies! They want to know if Nicholas and Emily are like Daniel and I! There's a group…doctors…genetic scientists! These two were supposed to take my babies to them…they have a lab on one of the freighters docked in the port!"

Jack's hand grabbed Daniel's wrist as soon as the younger man's hand came up. "No fireballs, Danny," he said, his voice low.

"No fireballs," he grunted. Just before his fist smashed into the face of the man in his grasp.

Teal'c, Jack, and Duncan stood back for a few seconds, letting Daniel pummel the bastard at will.

Casey crossed the room, put her hand on his arm. "Daniel," she said softly.

He focused on her voice, looked into her beautiful green eyes. Let her take and dissipate the rage that had flowed through him. He let the man drop, reached out and pulled her into his embrace.

"We aren't…we aren't the only team," the second man managed to gasp out, his fear making it nearly impossible to talk. He was faintly aware of the fact that he'd just pissed his pants. Literally.

"Oh, god!" Duncan hissed. He raced into the corridor, grabbed the phone.

Casey's face had paled. 'Dad?'

Her panicked cry brought Aaron Desala straight up from sleep. 'I am here, Casey. What's wrong?'

'My babies! They're after my babies! Oh, god, Daddy, help me!'


A  A  A  A  A  A


Aaron Desala flew from the bed, grabbed the denim trousers that were so comfortable. Erin had left nearly forty-five minutes ago to baby-sit their grandchildren. He knew that there'd been some sort of trouble…Daddy! She had called him Daddy! He closed his eyes. Opened them in the living room of his daughter's home. To find his wife and grandchildren being held at gunpoint.

"What the fuck?" one of the men gasped, seeing the blonde man suddenly standing near the entertainment center.

"Get away from them," Aaron growled. 'Casey, tell Duncan to get someone here now! Two of them, armed!'

"I don't think so," the other one said, pointing his gun directly at Emily's head. He leered at Erin. "Just take a seat here, by the kiddies. Beautiful Eyes and me, we're gonna go have us a little talk, in private."

"I could kill you with a thought," Aaron hissed.

"Yeah, right. Just sit down and shut up."

Aaron moved toward the sofa. Emily and Nicholas were whimpering softly, terrified, clinging to their grandmother.

'Daddy, can you get me there?'

He smiled. 'Yes, Daughter, I can.' He would go one better. He searched quickly. Good, they were standing together. The distance was slight, the effort taking little more strength than walking across the room.

Daniel felt his knees begin to buckle when he saw his children on the sofa, guns pointed at their blonde heads.

The two intruders were focused on Aaron, and didn't see the 'arrival' of the newcomers.

When it appeared that Emily was going to say something, Daniel quickly put a finger to his lips, and shook his head

Casey reached out mentally and caressed Nicholas, calming him, trying to keep him quiet as well.

"I don't think you're going to be doing anything," Aaron said, watching as Daniel slipped behind the second man. The older man moved slowly toward the first intruder. "You're a coward. You can point a weapon at defenseless women and children, but a man, well, that's a different story. Because a man could disarm you…just this…quickly," he said, reaching out with his mind, paralyzing the gunman. "Frightening, isn't it? You can hear me, you can see me, but you can't move. And you'll never move again, unless I allow it!"

The man's eyes were able to move back and forth. Wide with fright, not understanding what was happening, knowing only that his body refused to respond, he was unable to move a muscle. Tears born of sheer terror began to roll down his cheeks.

The second man gasped as an arm, a strong, muscular arm, closed around his neck.

"I should kill you!" Daniel hissed. He continued to apply pressure until the man slumped unconscious. He allowed the intruder to slide to the floor. He swept Emily and Nicholas into his arms, hugged them tightly.

Aaron allowed the first man to fall into unconsciousness as well. He looked at his daughter's wide eyes, pale cheeks. "Casey?"

"Daddy!" She ran into his outstretched arms. Sobs overtook her, shook her slender frame. "Thank you," she whispered, when she was able to speak.

He pressed a kiss to her forehead. "You're welcome, Little One."

She pulled away, smiled up at her father, then reached for her children. She held them tightly, nestled between her chest and Daniel's. She raised her face for his kiss, then buried her face against his neck.

Daniel wasn't sure how long he had knelt there, holding his family, so thankful that they were alive and safe that he was nearly ill with relief. He heard the front door open. Heard Jack's voice.

"Is everything okay?" Jack asked quietly.

"It is now, thanks to Aaron," Daniel replied.

"According to Gannon, there were three teams," Jack said, moving toward the French doors, gun in hand. "Evidently the Boss knew that you would catch the first team. Possibly the second. But he's counting on the third-"

The whisper of darts filled the air. And every adult in the room went down, unconscious, and unable to defend the now crying children.

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