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Blast from the Past
By four o'clock, word came in from Methos that he would be there as soon as possible. His best estimate was ten hours. Duncan scheduled a meeting for nine the next morning, then told the team to head home. Chances were, they were about to jump on a roller-coaster ride of missions that would leave them with little chance for downtime with their families. Daniel left word that Wade was to be brought directly to the house when he arrived, he could at least catch a couple of hours of sleep on the couch, and have breakfast with his brother, sister-in-law, and niece and nephew.
"I should stop and see Camulus," Casey said as they walked toward the elevator.
"Any particular reason?" Daniel asked.
"I told him that I would see him later. If I want him to trust me, I have to earn it."
He smiled, put his arm around her shoulders, and pressed his lips to the side of her head. "Good point."
"If you're going to tell me to wait outside, save your breath," he said.
"Daniel, I have to make sure that he…bonds…with me. I'm thinking Cara must have been blonde, he seemed to be attracted to me right away. He wasn't attracted to Sam because he already knew her," she said.
He smiled. "Angel, he was attracted to you right away because you're a beautiful woman. Breathtakingly beautiful. You have a very gentle way about you. That's as attractive as your sweet face. Then there are those pheromones of yours." His voice took on a teasing note.
She stopped, turned him to face her. "You are so good for my ego," she said, smiling up at him. "Daniel, you are the only man my eyes see, will ever see. The only man my body will respond to, the only man my heart loves, the only man my soul rejoices over. You, my Beloved. I feel sorry for him, yes. I won't lie to you and tell you that he and I won't become friends, because under the circumstances, that's a distinct possibility. But, Daniel, don't worry…there is nothing for you to be jealous about. Although, I have to admit, it would keep the tension high enough that it might make him more…cooperative."
He listened…carefully…the linguist in him quickly dissected what she had said. Grinned broadly. He pulled her close, hugged her tightly. "You're pretty damned good for my ego too, Angel," he whispered. "I'm not going to lie to you, the thought of you and that snake being friends makes me… uncomfortable. But I'll deal with it."
"I'll help you. And Daniel?"
"Stay with me, always, whenever I'm dealing with him?"
He pulled far enough away to look down into her green eyes. Did she have any idea how far her simple request went towards calming his fears concerning Camulus? Probably not. Casey wasn't the sneaky, conniving type. She was just being honest, and her desire to have him 'hold' her in that warm meadow revealed her own uneasiness about the situation. "Always, Angel."
They went up to the detention level. Two guards were standing duty, one on either side of the door. "I need to speak to our…guest," Casey said softly.
The guard checked the list of personnel allowed in the room, nodded, allowed her to swipe her ID card. He then swiped his, and the door unlocked.
She turned to look at Daniel. When he smiled, she knew that he was already on his way. She closed her eyes, met him in the meadow.
He pulled her into his embrace, kissed her lightly.
'Hold me,' she whispered.
'I have you, Angel,' he whispered in reply.
Casey took a deep breath, then opened her eyes and entered the room.
Camulus, dressed in a clean BDU, rose to his feet. "I am glad to see you," he said softly.
She noticed the tray from the commissary. "Did you get enough to eat?"
The Goa'uld smiled. "Yes, thank you."
"You know, if you're here long enough, I'll introduce you to nachos," she said, smiling at him.
"Yep. Food. They're great. You'll love 'em," she replied. She dropped down onto the chair beside the table. Watched as he lowered his tall frame back onto the cot. "I'm sorry about your loss."
Hazel eyes filled with tears for just a moment. "Thank you."
"Camulus, I…please don't misunderstand me, but…you have to realize we've never been in a situation like this before," she said softly.
The man laughed. "Neither have I!"
"She really did change your heart, didn't she?" Casey asked softly.
He nodded. "Even when my own…nature…argued, when I…wanted to strike out…I found that making Cara happy, seeing her smile, was more important. I…when I started looking at the Goa'uld, seeing them the way that she did-" He broke off, shook his head.
She studied him for a moment. "I need for you to know something."
"And that would be?"
"If I hadn't…seen…it for myself, I wouldn't believe that you can…or had…changed. Goa'uld are egomaniacal, evil, twisted parasites. Love just isn't something that I…we…ever associate with you…them," she said, watching him carefully.
He laughed, his eyes full of amusement. "You believe that I am going against my very nature?"
"Pretty much, yeah," she admitted.
"Why is it so difficult for you to believe that Goa'uld love as deeply as any other sentient creature?"
"For me, it's the whole ego thing. You're…well…Goa'uld are always so damned full of themselves. There isn't any room left for someone else in their…hearts…nothing other than their own ego, their own pride."
"Ba'al loved you deeply."
She started. In the meadow she jerked, her body began to shake. Daniel tightened his hold on her, whispered his love in her ear. "Right."
"He would have done anything you asked of him," Camulus said softly.
"Right," she said again, rolling her eyes.
"He went into hiding because of the information that you shared with the other System Lords. Which is what allowed me to move in on his territories and take them over. He left the sector without even trying to fight me," Camulus said.
"Because the other Snakes would have showed up and kicked his ass," she said. Something began poking in the back of her mind.
"No. Because he didn't care. Only one thing mattered to him."
Her eyes went wide. "Taking me."
Camulus shook his head. "No. Having you. Willingly at his side."
She thought back on the night she had seduced him, the night he had raped her. About their… discussion when he was in a holding cell on the Phoenix. The look of love in his eyes. "That's not true," she whispered.
Daniel had been listening over the intercom, which automatically came on when two IDs were swiped. The conversation was being recorded, as well. This was certainly a much different Camulus than the one who had insisted that he didn't want to know the name of the slaves he was forced to deal with, when he and the other System Lords had come to the SGC seeking a treaty. The Goa'uld had arrived in order to find out more about the Ancient weapon that was rumored to be on Earth. As soon as their own spy networks had determined that the weapon didn't exist, was not on the Tau'ri home world, the Goa'uld representatives demanded to leave. Camulus had asked General Hammond for asylum, because Anubis had rendered his own fleet history, and was already claiming his territories.
A year later, when SG-1 was supposedly held by Ba'al, during the time they were trapped in Anubis' secret base, narrowly escaping before that Goa'uld returned, Jack, in one of his first command decisions, agreed to a trade. Camulus for SG-1. When the team had returned home unharmed, although under fire from Anubis' Kull warriors, and totally oblivious to the fact that they were supposedly prisoners, it was too late. Jack had told him later that no more than what Camulus had offered in the way of information; not having to feed him was worth the loss. A smile crossed his face. That mission had been just before the one that brought Wepwawet into their lives…and Casey into his heart, and arms.
He frowned as he listened to the Goa'uld tell his wife how much Ba'al had loved her. She'd suffered enough over that mess. If this brought back the nightmares, he was going to plant his fist squarely in the snake bastard's face!
"You know, Ba'al may have loved me. As much as any snake can love. But the minute I pissed him off, and trust me, that wouldn't have taken long, he would have killed me. He had already threatened to destroy Earth if Jack didn't hand me over!" Casey said.
Camulus shook his head. "The threat was made only to have you at his side again."
"I suppose he told you this?"
The Goa'uld looked away. He had thought Ba'al a fool at the time. Had heard rumors of the beautiful blonde Tau'ri who had driven the System Lord to insanity. He frowned slightly. Certainly that was now being said of him. That a beautiful auburn-haired human…with the most beautiful brown eyes he had ever seen…had driven him to insanity. If loving her…being loved by her…was insane, then it was true. He would gladly remain insane, if he could just be with her again!
She could sense his sudden discomfort, the pain that he was suffering. "This hasn't happened before, has it?"
"To me? Never."
"No, I mean to any Goa'uld. None of you have ever…succumbed…to love before. Not like this."
He frowned slightly. Realized that Ba'al had indeed loved Casey. But not to the depths that he loved…had loved…Cara. "No, it has not."
She nodded. Glanced at her watch. "I…uh…I need to go. It's almost dinner time."
Camulus nodded. "I understand."
How far could she trust him? She'd seen the change, had seen his absolute devastation over the woman he had loved. But how long would it last? "Dinner is important for Daniel and me," she said softly.
She smiled. "Time alone…with our children."
He started. For years he had avoided certain sectors of space. Now he realized just out of touch he had become. Many things had changed since he had…slipped away. "I was not even aware that Doctor Jackson had married."
"Ten years, a little over ten years," she replied.
Two years longer than he'd had Cara in his life. "You have…children?"
"A girl and a boy."
He closed his eyes. Thought of the conversations he'd had with Cara, when she had asked him if he wanted a son. He fought the tears, the blinding pain that enveloped him. "He must be very proud…very happy," he said, his voice strained, hoarse.
"Yes, he is," she said softly. "I'll stop by tomorrow."
"I look forward to it. Perhaps you can bring some of those…nah-chose."
She grinned. "I'll try." She stood up, walked to the door and tapped on it with her knuckles. Glanced over her shoulder. "Goodnight, Camulus."
She stepped out of the room, closed her eyes. In the meadow Daniel caressed her face, held her until the tremors stopped. Then slowly, gently moved away. When she reopened her eyes, she looked up into beautiful blue ones filled with concern…with love.
"Don't you dare believe that shit about Ba'al," he said softly.
She shook her head. "I don't. I know that Ba'al loved me. Well, as much as possible for a snake. But nothing like Camulus loved Cara. And he said something…" she shook her head again. "It will come to me. Let's go home."
Arm in arm, they headed toward the elevator.
A A A A A A
Emily was busy putting the placemats, napkins and flatware on the breakfast bar, climbing onto her chair, leaning precariously to slide the setting in front of Daniel's chair.
Daniel glanced up at her, from his place in front of the island. He was busy stirring the gravy for the pot roast casserole that was still warming in the oven. "Be careful, Princess. You're going to fall if you lean too much farther."
"I be careful, Daddy," the little girl replied. She pulled until Casey's chair was far enough back for her to crawl onto. She continued with what she considered to be her 'job'.
Casey came back into the kitchen; the phone still tucked between her shoulder and ear, carrying an armful of clean and folded dishtowels. She shoved them into the drawer. "I know," she was saying. "I still think that the turkey, Mom's Beef Wellington and your ham are more than enough for the meat part of the dinner."
Daniel grinned. She was talking to Sam about Christmas dinner. That holiday had arrived quickly. They would spend the coming weekend searching for a tree. "Uh, Case…is this done?" he asked, nodding toward the saucepan.
She slipped in front of him, took the spoon from his fingers, turned the heat up on the unit and began to stir quickly. "No, I don't think so, I mean, we always have mashed white potatoes and mashed candied sweets, to add more would just be too much. We always have at least a dozen salads, and almost that many veggie dishes…Yeah, I agree. Maybe we should… Sounds like a plan… Maybe we can all have lunch this week and discuss it…I like that idea! Okay…right. Yep. Okay, talk to you tomorrow." Without even looking at him she turned the phone off and held it out in Daniel's direction.
With a shake of his head, amusement in his eyes, he took the instrument and replaced it on the charger/cradle. "Okay, what was all of that about?"
"Sam thought maybe this year we should sit down and come up with a reasonable menu for Christmas dinner."
He began to laugh. "Yeah, just like you did last year, and the year before. You all agree to certain things and then cook more anyway. Why bother?"
Casey looked over at him. "Are you complaining?"
He dropped a kiss on the tip of her nose. "Nope. I happen to enjoy gorging myself until I can't move on all that good food."
She giggled. "You and Jack and Teal'c and Dad and Duncan and Wade. Who, by the way, had better be here this year!"
Now it was his turn to chuckle. If Casey declared you a part of 'The Family'…as they were becoming known around the SGC, and Hope…not putting in an appearance during holidays was a capital offense in her book. "If he can, Angel. You know that."
She took the now thickened gravy from the heat, sat it on a trivet. She grabbed the pan of green beans, and drained them, tossed butter and salt and pepper with them, and sat it on a trivet at well. She sighed. She used to put everything in serving bowls or on platters. Of course, that was when they ate at the table every night. Eating at the breakfast bar was becoming too much of a habit, she decided. Starting tomorrow night, it was dinner at the dining room table!
Nicholas climbed into his highchair, and Daniel snapped the tray into place. While Casey took the casserole from the oven, he filled sipper cups with milk. He started chuckling again.
"What?" she asked, spooning food onto plates for the kids, setting them aside to cool slightly.
Milk poured. Lid on tight. One cup with lid on the highchair tray. The other in front of Emily. Two cups of coffee poured and put on placemats. "Just thinking."
"How happy I am." He sat down in the chair he always occupied at mealtime.
She looked up at him. Smiled at the look of glee in his eyes. "And what are you so happy about?"
"Look around, Case. I have it all. I have a beautiful Wife, two incredible kids - a daughter and a son, thank you; nice house, family, friends, a job I love, well, most of the time. I have it all," he repeated.
She put his plate in front of him. "I'm glad you're happy," she said softly. "Because I'm so happy it scares me, sometimes."
He caught her fingers, squeezed them gently. "We've earned it, Angel," he replied, just as softly.
"And then some," she said. Casey put her plate on the bar, made sure that the kids' food was cooled enough for them to eat, put their small plates in front of them, then walked around and sat down.
"You know, I can remember when my life at home, well, whatever apartment I happened to be living in…I don't think I ever considered them…'home'. Anyway, when I was there, I was usually working. The work kept me from thinking about how lonely I was. Dinner was either carry-out, delivery, or a microwaveable meal of some sort. I ate at my desk, alone."
"I had Kells. We usually ate together. But it wasn't…it didn't…" she shook her head slightly. "It didn't fill that empty place inside."
"I know what you mean," he said. He took a bite of the gravy-drenched casserole, closed his eyes in appreciation. "Now this is what food is supposed to taste like! And it's also why I have to follow such a rigid workout regimen!"
She smiled. "Glad you like it." She glanced at her children. Both were eating heartily, although Nicholas seemed to be contemplating doing something with that green bean…"Daniel Nicholas Jackson, don't you dare! Put it in your mouth or on your plate!"
Daniel looked at his son. Could see the wheels turning behind those blue eyes so much like his own. Couldn't help but laugh. "Drop it, Nicholas," he said, when he could speak again.
Nicholas grinned at him, shoved the bean into his mouth.
"What Nicholas was going to do, Mommy?" Emily asked, looking from her little brother to her parents and back again.
"He was going to see if it fit up his nose," Casey replied. She looked at her son. "Do not even think about it! I swear to god, they gave me Dennis the freaking Menace!" she muttered under her breath. Which sent Daniel into another round of laughter. She couldn't help but giggle as well.
"Yep," he said softly. "I have it all."
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