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Happy Birthday, Darlin'
"Oh, my god!" Casey breathed as she looked at the earrings. She looked up at Daniel, her eyes sparkling brighter than the diamonds that lay on the black velvet. "They're beautiful!"
"Put them on, Angel. They'll look great with that dress," he said, smiling at her. The look of joy on her face made his heart beat faster. He loved giving her gifts, she was always so thrilled with whatever he bought her, and he loved the way she thanked him. She used her sweet body to thank him in a dozen mind blowing ways.
She wrapped her arms around his neck, hugged him tightly. He had always been generous, always given her nice gifts for Christmas and her birthday and for their anniversary. He always gave her lovely jewelry, especially when she left a trail of hints that led him to the pieces she wanted. This was the first time he'd ever given her such an extravagant…such an unexpected …gift. She lifted them from the box and carefully put them in her ears. She looked in the mirror, turning her head to watch the light catch the diamonds. "Thank you," she whispered.
He nuzzled her neck, kissed that favorite spot behind her ear. "You're welcome Angel. Happy birthday."
"Oh, Daniel, this is so…thank you," she whispered again.
His arms went around her automatically when she hugged him again, clinging to him so tightly that he almost couldn't breath. "Ready to go have dinner?"
She nodded happily. "You look so handsome…you're beautiful," she said softly. She ran her hands over his shoulders. The tux fit him perfectly, the lightweight black wool barely containing the well-defined body. He looked like a model for a GQ ad. Looking at him made her heart beat like a run-away train…knowing that he loved her made her lightheaded with happiness.
"You're breathtaking, Case," he replied. And she was. The black, beaded dress had been tailored to fit her slender frame like a glove. Every curve was accentuated, and her beautiful cleavage peeked at him from between the material of the halter. He glanced at her feet, the sight of those shoes making his body go hard. "Let's go, Birthday Girl."
He was so excited he could barely stand it as he drove to Curly's. She was holding his hand tightly, completely unaware of what was about to take place. He parked in the front, not wanting her to see familiar vehicles in the parking lot. He led her inside, hoping that the hostess wouldn't blow the whole deal. "Reservations for Jackson," he said quietly. He soon found he had no need to worry.
The hostess looked up at him and smiled. "Let me double check that your table is ready, Doctor Jackson," she replied. She grabbed two menus, and hurried to the back of the establishment. She slipped through the double doors, and announced to the waiting group that Dr. and Mrs. Jackson had arrived. She had to take a moment to compose herself as she watched the friends and family of the Jacksons arrange themselves in front of the doors. She went back to the front and smiled up at Daniel. "Everything is ready, Doctor Jackson. This way please."
Casey looked at Daniel. He was up to something. If he had a cake or balloons or something at the table, she was going to…she was going to kiss him until he couldn't breathe! He always took her to dinner, always bought her a cake…always celebrated her birthday with her. It wasn't until he had come into her life that she'd had anyone to celebrate with, before she met him, her birthday had been just another day. Oh, Kelley and Gretchen always tried to remember. But that wasn't the quite the same. Only with Daniel was it special, a true celebration.
The hostess opened the double doors.
"HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CASEY!"
She stood…stunned…completely speechless, her eyes as wide as Daniel had ever seen them, her mouth agape, as friends and family shouted out, and then stood grinning at her. "Happy Birthday, Angel," he whispered in her ear.
Jack walked up to her, put a finger under her chin and closed her mouth. "Surprised, huh?"
She could only nod. Jack laughed and hugged her and wished her a happy birthday. Sam had been right behind him and did the same. Duncan and Tessa hugged her and kissed her cheeks, giving her their brightest wishes. Teal'c hugged her, whispered happy birthday to her, Carly hugged her as well, laughing at the still shocked look on the young Immortal's face. She was still too dazed to speak.
Erin and Aaron came forward and hugged her tightly. "Happy Birthday, my darling daughter," Erin said.
Starting to recover a bit, she said the first thing to pop into her head. "So who's watching the kids?"
Aaron laughed. "Mrs. Peterson. She has the O'Neill girls and Richie as well. When we left, the woman was in her element, beaming like a search light."
Casey giggled at the description, then turned to Daniel. "I have no idea how you managed to do this, but…" she wrapped her arms around him and kissed him…hard. She could hear Jack, Duncan and Tony calling out their approval.
"Happy Birthday, little sister," Wade said, approaching them as soon as she had turned loose of Daniel. She was still wiping lip-gloss from Daniel's mouth with her thumb.
"Wade!" She hugged him tightly. "I thought you and Methos were still stuck at that big Goa'uld family reunion!"
He rolled his eyes and grinned. "Methos told them that when they decided to get serious about taking on Penatil, to let him know, and we left."
She giggled. "Well, he helped them bring down Nergal, they won't make a move without him," she replied.
"That makes me sound much more important to them than I am," a voice said dryly from beside her.
"Happy Birthday, Bra…Casey." His eyes flashed wickedly.
She giggled. "Thank you."
Oma, who had returned from meetings with the First Four specifically for the event, hugged her tightly. She could remember watching, her heart breaking, as Casey marked so many birthdays alone. She glanced at Daniel. He was a wonderful man. Much too good to be wasted on the Ascended. That thought made her smile wider. She had heard…rumors…from those who 'spoke' to her, lamenting the loss of both her, and Daniel Jackson. They were…learning.
The men from SG-6, and their significant others, were next to wish her happy birthday. Robert and Gina deValicort were next, followed by Duncan's parents. The entire 'crew' from the Center were there as well, the three grad students looking completely overwhelmed to be included in a party that boasted the Who's Who of Gamma in attendance.
Daniel managed to steer her to the head table, where flowers - yellow roses and white carnations, her favorites - and balloons were waiting. He gave the signal, and dinner was served. She had almost finished her salad when the main course was served. He watched her face as the plate of fresh Pacific salmon, brought in especially for this dinner, was put in front of her.
"Oh…this is…" she looked up at him, her green eyes wide, and so full of love that in nearly undid him completely.
"Salmon. Northwest wild salmon," he said, grinning.
She excitedly picked up her fork, took a bite, closed her eyes and smiled. "Oh, god, this is so good!" Laughter at her announcement filled the room. She reached over and took his hand. "Thank you just doesn't sound…good enough…for all of this. But thank you! I love you!"
He raised her fingers to his lips. "You're welcome, Angel. I love you, too." He watched as she ate every bit of the salmon. He smiled. If the potatoes and vegetables were barely touched, that was all right. He watched her face as she talked to her friends…family. Smiled as she showed off her earrings, flashing smiles at him that could light up all of Gamma and then some. Her eyes were so full of life…of light…of happiness, that every penny he had spent on this night, and it was no small amount, was worth it. Would have been worth it at twice the price.
A quick conference with his teammates and the MacLeod's resulted in the decision to let Casey know that they would all be going to Esteban's. The fact that Deliver the Goods would be playing especially for her wasn't mentioned. She'd find that out when the band took the stage.
As they walked to the jeep, she was clinging to him as if he were her only link to safety. She wondered briefly why there had been no cake, then thought that perhaps he was planning on having it with her folks at their normal Sunday lunch; after all, the following day was actually her birthday.
A A A A A A
Her eyes were wide again when Daniel led her to the specially cordoned off section directly in front of the stage. "What's all of this about?" she whispered.
"You'll see," he replied smugly.
The band wouldn't start playing until ten. The cake was being served at nine-thirty. Sam, Tessa, and Carly pulled Casey off to the side…it seemed that all of the women were moving to stand around them. Two waitresses, wide smiles on their faces, wheeled in a huge birthday cake, on top of which were half a dozen lit sparklers. Music began to blare, and the women began to laugh and shout. Curious, Daniel moved closer. Tessa and Sam had hold of Casey's arms, keeping her right in front of that hideous cake. The top flipped up, and a young man with long blonde hair, and from the looks of it, not much else covering him, began to dance. The 'cake' opened, and he stepped out, wearing torn jeans and leather boots, a wide leather belt, and a smile. He danced in front of Casey, put his hands on her hips and began to gyrate against her.
"I knew they were up to something!" Duncan declared, watching the man dancing with each of the women who surrounded him. The women were having a grand time. The men watched, a bit jealous at the attention the young blonde dancer was receiving.
Daniel watched Casey's face. She had been so surprised that once again she had stood mouth agape. He grinned, then laughed with sheer delight when he realized that he was going to be the one scratching the itch he knew she had to have by now. The young man looked at him and grinned, then motioned with his head. Daniel walked up behind his wife, put his hands on her waist, and began to dance behind her. The young man was dancing in front of her. "So this is what Tessa and Sam got you, huh?" he whispered in her ear.
She turned her head and gave him a smile that nearly melted his brain. "It's almost as good as the earrings," she replied, then winked brazenly.
He chuckled, gasped slightly when her hips pushed back against his. This was going to get him…them…into trouble. The music ended, and the young man, Dwayne, he informed them, hugged each of the women, thanked them, then grabbed Casey, dipped her, and gave her a kiss. When he had put her back on her feet, he shook Daniel's hand, waved at the other men gathered and watching, then went back toward the kitchen.
Casey glanced at Daniel. 'I'm sorry! I didn't know he'd do that!'
He could feel her unease…it was quickly moving toward panic. He put his arms around her, pulled her close. 'It was all part of the act, Angel. Don't worry about it.'
She snuggled into his embrace for just a few minutes. When the same two waitresses came back, carrying a real birthday cake, she giggled. She had announced at her thirty-fifth birthday that she was only going to celebrate her thirtieth birthday… indefinitely. Daniel had been amused, and had seen to it that every cake for subsequent birthdays had thirty candles; not one less, not one more. "If you put more than thirty candles on that cake, I'm going to hurt you," she told him.
He grinned. "Let's see, you're what, about forty now, if my math isn't wrong," he teased.
She glared at him. "Want a microphone? I don't think the people in the back corner heard you!"
He laughed. "You look damn good for forty, Angel."
She tried not to smile. "Almost as good as you look at forty-six."
"Ouch!" he chuckled. "Thirty candles, babe. The birthday that you had just after you became Immortal. Just before we got married." He reached out and cupped her cheek with his hand. "Just as beautiful as you were that night."
She smiled, remembering the night that SG-1 had taken her out for her birthday. Remembered that Daniel had sat beside her at the restaurant, then seemed to spend the rest of the night across the room from her, just watching, and how she ached to be with him, unsure of his true feelings about her.
"Come, mon ami, make a wish," Tessa said, smiling brightly.
Casey looked up at her husband, and for one brief second, pain…grief…loss…flashed through her green eyes.
Daniel didn’t miss that flash of emotions, knew the cause. 'I'm right here, Casey. I'm not going anywhere.'
She smiled, her lips trembling, then she closed her eyes, made her wish, and blew the candles out. Her friends and family clapped and cheered, and she forced those dark, terrifying feelings to the back of her mind. She cut the cake and began serving it.
Erin moved to stand beside Daniel. "Something is wrong," she said softly.
Daniel glanced at his mother-in-law. "Yeah, something is. The problem is, she doesn't know what. Only that it's bad, it's going to happen here on Gamma, and she says I'm leaving her."
The older woman's green eyes moved up to meet the blue eyes of her son-in-law. "You don't believe her?"
"I believe her. I mean, I believe that something is going to happen. But leave her? That's never going to happen," he said firmly.
"Leaving can take many forms, my dear son. And it is not always voluntary. Let us not speak of this any longer. She needs to be happy tonight." Erin had her own feelings, those that centered around her daughter. She was feeling the darkness that hovered near them as well.
He watched the older version of his Wife move away. Erin's comments had his heart dropping into his stomach.
A A A A A A
When Deliver The Goods was introduced by the emcee, the very first song they sang was the John Lennon/Paul McCartney Birthday Song. Mark Diamond, the lead singer, pulled Casey on stage with them as they sang. She blushed, but smiled and endured the number with the grace and class that was typical of her, dancing with the rock singer for two more numbers, her body making moves that had the entire band watching her. Daniel was sure that most of the men in the establishment were sporting erections now. He sure as hell was!
He was waiting for her when she came down from the stage, led her to the dance floor, and held her as the band played one of their love ballads, actually their version of an older one, that had helped make them one of the top bands of the year. Their remake of Bryan Adam's "Everything I Do (I Do For You)" had hit the top of the charts and was still there, seven months later.
Casey smiled when she looked up into his eyes. "Thank you. This has been…amazing."
"You're welcome, Angel. I'm glad you're enjoying it."
"These will be wonderful memories to hold on to-" she stopped, pulled her lip between her teeth, looked away from him.
He almost stopped dancing…afraid that he knew exactly what she was going to say. "When I'm gone," he finished. "That is what you were going to say, right?"
She tugged harder on her lip, dropped her eyes, and nodded. "I can feel it, Daniel. I don't know how, or why. But you're going to leave me. And it's going to be soon."
He tightened his arms around her. "I’m not going anywhere, Casey. Not by choice. And I'll always love you. If somehow I'm… taken…from you, I'll find a way to get home. I promise."
She shook her head sadly. "No, Daniel. You won't. After awhile, you'll think of me only with anger…hatred."
His heart clenched. "No! That won't happen!" He wrapped his fingers around her chin. "Casey, I will never have anything in my heart but love for you. You're everything to me…all I ever want, all I ever need. You're my soul, Angel. You fill my heart…I love you!"
Her fingers were clinging to the lapels of his jacket. "I love you, Daniel. But…I can feel-"
He shook his head. "Casey…how can I ever leave you when you're always with me? In my heart, and in my mind? No matter where I go, no matter what happens, I will always love you. I'll tell you that a hundred times every day, no matter what happens, and I'll send my love to you that often as well, so you can feel it, know that it's real, still in my heart," he insisted, nearly frantic for her to understand that he wouldn't allow anything to hurt her, that he would never stop loving her, wanting her, needing her.
"Let's not talk about this now," she whispered. "Just hold me."
He pulled her closer, pressed his face against her silky hair.
In a dark corner of the bar a pair of brown eyes watched, jealousy flashing in the depths. "Soon," she whispered.
A A A A A A
Her parents had picked up the kids from Mrs. Peterson's; Daniel and Casey would bring them home after their normal Sunday lunch, giving them the night alone.
Just as Daniel predicted, Casey wanted to make love when they returned home. She held tightly to him, whispered her love again and again as he took her Around the World. He whispered his love to her, vowed that he would never leave her voluntarily, and if forced from her side, would find his way home. She clung to him, tears wetting her lashes as they flew together through the clouds, spun side-by-side among the stars. And knew, in her heart, it was the last time he would hold her, the last time he would whisper his love in her ear. She refused to cry, lying there on top of him, safe in his arms. There would be more than enough time to cry when he was gone.
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