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Duncan read the message twice. He frowned. She had never talked about her childhood with him, he knew nothing about her parents…adoptive parents; and not much of her life before she had come to the SGC. He picked up the phone. Better to let him know first...
Daniel hung up, his hands shaking as he did so. It was too much. God, it was just too much! He finally had her back, the Fire and light were shining in her eyes, she wasn’t having nightmares…no, it just wasn’t right. How much more was she to endure?
The look on his face was enough to send up every warning flag in her head when she walked into the office. She stopped at the door. "Daniel?"
He looked up at her, tried to smile. "C’mere, babe," he said softly.
She crossed the room, let him pull her into his lap. "Daniel, what’s wrong?"
He sighed, caressed her cheek with one hand, raised her fingers to his lips.
"Daniel Jackson, you had better not be going on another one of…those…missions!" she said, her eyes shooting flames.
He couldn’t help but laugh. "No babe, I’m not. Neither are you, just so we’re clear on the subject."
She smiled. "What’s wrong, then?"
"Your…uh…adoptive mother and sister have filled out a request to visit you," he said, watching her eyes carefully.
She took a minute to absorb this news. "Why?" she asked, finally.
"I don’t know. All Duncan received was a request for permission. It’s up to you, babe. It can be denied."
She leaned her cheek against his forehead. "Why would they decide to bother me now? After all of these years?"
He shrugged. "What do you want to do?"
"Can I think about it for awhile?"
"Take all the time you need, Angel."
She nodded. "I was just coming in here to see if you’re done for the day. I need to stop by the store."
He watched her. He could tell that she was surprised by the news…shocked was more like it…and curious, but nothing more.
She felt his eyes on her. She leaned over and kissed his ear. "No demons, my heart. You’ve already defeated them. She has no power, no hold over me. I belong to you, and no one can hurt me," she whispered.
His arms tightened around her. She could make him feel invincible. "Love you, my star," he said softly.
"Love you, my heart." She pushed away from him and stood up. "Are you ready to go to the store?"
He grinned. "Yep." He stood up, put his arm around her and led her to the elevator, and up to the jeep.
A A A A A A
Chicken breasts were browning in the skillet, the green beans were ready, and the new potatoes were sizzling in butter.
Daniel was feeding Emily baby vegetables, squash tonight, and some plums for dessert. He watched his Wife cooking, smiling as he listened to her hum. "You sound happy," he said.
She smiled over at him. "And why wouldn’t I be? I’m with the man I adore, and my precious baby girl, I have a lovely home and wonderful friends and family. I couldn’t get any happier."
He grinned. "I know exactly how you feel, Angel."
"Coffee, tea, wine, lemonade…?"
"Coffee," he replied.
She poured two cups of coffee, sat them on the placemats. She filled two plates, carried them to the end of the counter and sat down. "Daniel, would you mind if I let them come?"
He jerked, scraped the plums off of Emily’s cheek, got them in her mouth. "It’s up to you, Case. If you want to see them, then you should."
"Oh, I don’t so much want to see them. I want them to see me, to see that…to see that I’m happy," she replied. "I know her. I know the kind of things she’ll say. So I want my friends and family to know about her before she gets here."
"I…I’ll need you, Daniel. I can’t do it without you. I can’t…I’m not sure I can even talk about…that time of my life…please help me? I know you’re constantly fighting my demons and my battles, I should do this on my own…"
He reached over and took her hand, raised it to her lips. "I did a little research on that white knight thing. I’m supposed to fight all the demons, and all the battles. It’s in the job description."
She smiled softly, her love bright in her eyes.. "I love you so much it hurts, Daniel Jackson."
"Right back at you, babe. Sometimes-" he stopped, wiped Emily’s face with a napkin.
He glanced at her, lowered his eyes. "Sometimes I’m terrified to go to sleep at night. Afraid that I’ll wake up and find that I’ve dreamed all of this, my life with you, Emmy…"
Her hand cupped his cheek. "Oh, my sweet Daniel," she murmured. "I’m real, my love. Emmy is real. Our life is real. Whenever you’re afraid, I’ll hold you until it passes."
Love, and a hint of tears, filled his eyes. "Love you, Angel."
"Love you, Sweetheart."
A A A A A A
Casey was nervous; she sat waiting in the bedroom, her fingers twisting around one another. Daniel put his arm around her, led her into the living room.
"You’re probably wondering why we called you to come over here tonight," Daniel started. He could feel the tremors begin in her body. He pulled her into his arms, held her close. "It’s okay, Angel, I’m right here," he whispered in her ear.
"Daniel, what’s wrong?" Erin asked, worry filling her voice. The look of concern on her face was mirrored on every face around the room.
He looked into his Wife’s eyes. She nodded, then buried her face against his neck. He continued to hold her tightly. "Casey’s adoptive mother and sister have requested permission to come here. She wants you to know a little bit about them before they arrive."
Duncan looked at her. He knew instinctively that this was not going to be an easy evening. "Want me to make some coffee?"
Daniel nodded. He waited until Duncan had rejoined them. "Casey was five when she was adopted, and the very first time she saw her new parents…" He told them about her life growing up - the names she had been called from the very beginning, the abuse she suffered; with Casey adding whispered facts and clarifications. When he had finished speaking, everyone in the room sat stunned.
Erin made a tiny sound in her throat, then began to weep. "Oh, my sweet, beautiful daughter! What you have endured!" She buried her face against Aaron’s chest and sobbed. Tears ran down his cheeks as well.
"Casey, I…I just don’t know what to say," Sam said softly, her cheeks wet.
"Goddamned bitch," Duncan muttered, his brown eyes burning with anger.
"That about covers it," Jack agreed, shifting Evvie slightly as she slept.
Teal'c remained silent, but his fists were clenched tightly on his lap.
Casey was sitting on the floor now, Daniel behind her, holding her close. "I know the kinds of things that she’ll say about me, and I just…I wanted you…I didn’t want you to think…"
Tessa raised her tear stained face. "We would never believe those things about you, Casey. We all know you much better than that."
"Why let her come, Case?" Jack asked.
"She wants something, I’m positive of that. I want…I need to know what that is. But I also need for her to see that she has no power over me…not any more. She thinks she’ll get here and start ordering me around, just like she did while I was growing up. I need to let her know …let her see for herself, that those chains are broken."
"Closure," Carlotta said softly. "You need closure."
"Okay, here’s what we’re going to do," Tessa said, folding her arms in front of her chest. "When that…person…arrives, we are going to be standing there with Casey. She will not face that vile, evil-" she broke off, muttered in French.
"Bitch," Sam provided
"Yes! Bitch! Casey will not face her alone," Tessa declared.
"We are your family, and she's gonna to know that," Sam added.
"We need to find a place for them to stay while they’re here," Daniel said. "I won’t have that woman in sleeping in my house. She can visit, but she’s not staying here."
"Bottom of a damned pit," Duncan said darkly. His heart ached at what Casey had suffered as an innocent child.
"I like the sound of that," Aaron agreed.
"We can give them a room in the barracks. Easier to keep track of what they’re doing," Jack said.
"When will they arrive?" Carlotta asked.
"I’ll send the message tomorrow. I should know by the end of the day," Duncan replied.
"I’ll say one thing for you, Case," Sam said softly. "You’ve been to hell and back a dozen times, it seems, but you stay the same, sweet person. A little stronger each time, but just as sweet and optimistic."
"Thanks," Casey replied, her voice a mere whisper. Wrapped the love of her friends around her heart like a warm blanket. "I…I…I love you all," she said softly.
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