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Daniel and Wade had not spoken, hadn't even seen one another, since being in the infirmary when they had learned they were brothers. They studiously ignored one another as they ringed to Gamma. Wade immediately requested, and received, permission to 'gate to Pangeria.
Casey watched Daniel's face as they received their post mission check-ups. He caught her looking at him, winked at her. She couldn't help but smile. Even if he was still struggling with the fact that Wade was his brother, their relationship was once again on track.
It was late afternoon when they walked through the door. Emily greeted them with squeals of excitement. Nicholas careened across the floor in his walker, intent on getting to his parents. Casey pulled her son into her arms and hugged him, planting kisses on his little cheeks, Daniel was hugging Emily, accepting 'zerbert' kisses from her. With matching grins, they 'traded' children, Casey hugged Emily, and Daniel cuddled his son. Erin hugged them both, and left the family alone for the evening.
Casey stood in the kitchen, staring into the freezer. She was going to have to take a couple of days off just to cook, she noted. She found a package of ground beef, and some tater tots. One tater tot casserole coming up, she decided. Emily loved the dish, and Daniel never seemed to mind it either. A bag of frozen blueberries meant a blueberry cobbler, one of Daniel's favorites. She smiled as she listened to the sounds of her husband playing with their children while she rinsed the blueberries. She opened the cabinet, pulled out her favorite mixing bowl. When she turned around, the bowl clattered to the floor, breaking into several pieces.
"Casey?" Daniel asked, looking up from the floor in the living room. He stopped short when he saw the woman standing in the dining room.
"I am Glenna," the woman said. Everything about the woman glowed, from her light blonde hair, to her white robe, to her golden skin.
"I guess you were Daniel's mother…um…Claire Jackson's Guardian?" Casey asked softly.
Casey nodded. "I need to clean this up, I have babies," she said, indicating the broken glass on the floor.
Daniel put Nicholas in the playpen. "Stay here, Emmie. I'm going to help Mommy."
Emily nodded, her little eyes wide as she looked at the visitor who stood by the dining room table.
He looked at Glenna, but said nothing as he walked past her to get the vacuum sweeper. Casey had already picked up the biggest pieces. She tried to hide the cut on her finger from him, but he took her hand gently and kissed it, watching as her Quickening healed the broken skin. When they had finished cleaning up the glass, he turned to face the Being that stood quietly watching them.
"You are much like your father," Glenna said, her voice like a soft breeze.
Daniel smiled. "Thank you. I loved him very much."
"And he you," the being replied. She turned her attention to Casey. "You are very different from Claire Ballard Jackson. But very much like her as well."
"Guess that proves the theory that a man marries a woman like his mother," Casey said.
Glenna smiled. She looked at Daniel. "The First Triad tells me that you have met your brother."
A frown crossed his face. "Yeah."
"You have many questions. I am, however, limited in what I am allowed to tell you."
He nodded. "Why? Why did you…?"
"Because the child needed to be saved. It was my fault that your mother was killed. I had left her, only for a short time, to give a report that was overdue. Had I waited until she was asleep, I would have been there, I could have saved her."
Daniel's frown became deeper. "Why did the child need to be saved?"
"I had allowed one life to be snuffed from its existence. I could not allow it to be two," Glenna replied softly. Her pain, and guilt, was written plainly on her angelic face.
"Do we all have…Guardians?" Daniel asked.
Glenna smiled. "There are many Guardians. Who watch over many lives. Some have one Guardian assigned to them. Your mother was one of those."
"Why?" he asked. Somewhere in the back of his mind it occurred to him that he was sounding like Emily.
"Because she was the mother of The Chosen."
"Wait a minute, are you saying that you knew when Daniel was a child that he would be The Chosen?" Casey asked.
Glenna smiled again. "I did not know, not then. But there were those who were aware that he was to be The Chosen, almost from his birth."
Daniel leaned against the counter, needing the support. His arms went automatically around Casey when she wrapped hers around his waist. "Did she know…about the baby?"
"I believe she suspected. But she did not know for certain," was the soft reply. "Her last thoughts were of you, and her husband."
He nodded, felt tears well up in his eyes.
"You should not have been witness to something so…horrible," Glenna continued. "Had I been there, as I should have been, I could have…would have…prevented such a disaster."
"How? That capstone weighed a couple of tons. When that chain broke, there wasn't anything that anyone could have done to have changed the outcome," Daniel replied. He forced down the memories of the planet where he and Jack and Sam and Teal'c had been forced to relive his, and Jack's, most painful moments. He had learned then that nothing, nothing would have made a difference that day.
"I could have prevented the chain from breaking," was the sad response.
"You were punished for what happened?" Casey asked, her eyes full of sympathy.
"As was only right," Glenna said.
"Did they know about the baby…Wade?" she inquired.
"Not until he was born. Whatever punishment I received, I bore lightly…because I had saved the child."
"Are you still a Guardian?"
Glenna smiled at Casey. "No. I watch, and I listen. I offer advice, to those who can see past my mistakes and seek a voice of experience."
Daniel studied the Being. "What will speaking to me, answering my questions, cost you?"
"Oh, my god!" Casey breathed.
He sucked in a breath. "That’s not right! Please, let me talk to whoever is…in charge! Let me explain to them that you shouldn't be held responsible!"
"You are a good man, Daniel Jackson. But do not worry about me. I have waited only for this moment. I knew it would come. Now I can go, knowing that I have done my best to set right that which I so carelessly destroyed. You were denied a life with your parents, with your brother, because of me. Wade was denied knowing his parents and you, because of me. Now that you have found one another, I may go in peace."
He looked at her. How could he tell this Being, one so obviously wracked with guilt and remorse over what had happened, that he really wanted nothing to do with Wade, and that the feeling was very mutual? "Yeah, well, we've…uh…found one another."
"Yes. Do not shut him out of your life. You will need time, both of you, but one day you will find your way to one another's hearts."
Daniel frowned. He doubted that that would happen anytime soon, and while he was Immortal, Wade wasn't. That thought began to poke at the back of his mind.
"You are The Chosen, Daniel Jackson. You will do what is right. I will tell you one last thing before I must go," Glenna said. "Your mother and father are very proud of you. They love you, both of their sons, very much. They are pleased that your Chosen is a woman of such strength, and beauty, and integrity. And they are delighted in their grandchildren."
He nearly collapsed. Casey tightened her grip around him, helped him remain on his feet. "Thank you," he whispered hoarsely.
The Being turned her head, as if listening to someone else speaking. She nodded slowly. "It is time for me to go."
"Thank you," Casey said softly.
Glenna nodded. "You are most welcome. I…I am very proud of you, Daniel." With that, she faded into nothingness.
Casey helped Daniel to the couch. "Are you all right?"
He nodded. "I think so."
"Do you want me to sit here with you?"
He shook his head. "It's okay, Angel. Finish what you were doing. We need to have dinner. I'll get you a new mixing bowl tomorrow."
She kissed his cheek. "I'm right here, if you need me," she whispered.
"Thank you, Angel." He smiled when he felt her gentle caress.
Emily climbed into Daniel's lap. Her little blue eyes were wide, and bright with unshed tears. "Daddy 'kay?"
Daniel smiled and hugged his daughter tightly. "I'm fine, Princess. How about we get all of these toys put away, and after Mommy and I get the kitchen cleaned up after dinner, we'll go to the park and play on the swings?"
"I wike that, Daddy!" the tyke exclaimed. She hugged his neck. "Wuv you, Daddy."
"Love you, too, Emmie."
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