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Casey came out of the tent with the bag in her hand. It would soon be warming up, as the sun began its journey upward in the sky, and the day would only continue to get hotter. But the oatmeal would be welcome in the chill of the still early morning.
When Daniel was finally in total control of his body again, he emerged from the tent as well. Watched as his wife laughed and talked with their teammates, and...guest. He caught the angry looks the man tossed in his direction. Just what the hell did he have to be pissed about? She was his Wife, damn it! If anyone had the right to be pissed, it was him!
"Marcus, how far from the ruins did you travel?" Casey asked offhandedly.
He started, nearly spilled his coffee. "Two days."
Marcus studied the young woman. She already suspected that something lay beyond the walls of the ancient city. "Just an obelisk. I'm not a historian, so I have no idea what the writing on it said."
She looked at Daniel. "Could that be it?"
The archaeologist shrugged. "Good a place as any to start looking," he admitted.
"I'll contact Duncan, have him send more supplies through. I want a mining team as well," Sam said. "There's something here...something besides the Orrinite. I have a theory."
"And that theory is?" Jack asked, hoping that she would keep the explanation simple. Like Daniel, his wife had a tendency to go into great...and boring...detail when she was excited about something. The look in those sapphire blue eyes told him she was excited about something.
"I think Orrinite might be like naquadria, not something that actually occurs in nature, but is the result of man-made, or in this case, possibly Asgard interference. Well," she frowned, thinking about the veins of Orrinite in the mountains near Hope, "it could be a natural reaction, although I have no idea what would cause the change in properties. Anyway, I've taken more readings, and there's something else, another ore, and I think it might be to Orrinite what naquadah is to naquadria."
Jack nodded. "Do it. Let him know we're going to be too far from the 'gate for regular contact."
"If we leave a mining team here, we might be able to stay in contact by radio," Sam replied.
Another nod. "Go tell him what you found, Colonel Doctor," he grinned. "Have ATV's sent through as well. I'm not walking the desert if I don't have to!"
With a grin of her own, Sam stood up, brushed off the seat of her pants, and hurried toward the DHD.
Casey glanced at Marcus. Quietly explained what was happening.
"Uh, Case?" Jack said, a slight frown on his face.
"I'm not giving away state secrets, Jack," she replied stubbornly. "Marcus has been out there. He knows where the obelisk is. He can-"
"We don't need a damned guide," Daniel growled.
She stared at her Husband. "Since when? Haven't you always been the one to insist that if there is someone who knows the lay of the land, it makes sense to utilize that knowledge, and/or person?"
He hated it when she used his own words against him like that! A glance at Jack told him that he could expect no help from that quarter. He refused to reply, he simply finished off the coffee in the mug he was sharing with her, stood to his feet, and went to start taking down the tent.
With a sigh, and an apologetic smile at Marcus, Casey followed him.
Marcus watched carefully. He told himself it was to make certain that Dr. Jackson did nothing to hurt the slender blonde, even though his brain insisted that the man wouldn't be foolish enough to strike her in front of witnesses. His body reacted as he watched her work, kneeling on the dusty ground to roll the sleeping bags into tight bundles.
Jack carefully studied the Terran. He was already gone over Casey. Which happened quite often. Usually Daniel could see the humor in the situation...some guy totally gaga over Casey, who was always oblivious to that admiration, her eyes seeing her husband, and only her husband. And she was right, if this guy had been out there, he could lead them straight to that oblong disk thing. It also kept him under their surveillance. Sam was a darned good officer. She'd give Duncan the name of their guest, and let him do a search on the man. If there was anything to know about this guy, they'd know it. "Marcus, would you be willing to show us where that obeli...oblong thing is?"
He smiled. Knew instinctively that General O'Neill was much smarter than he tried to let on. Understood that this was just a way to keep tabs on him. "I would be willing, yes." He almost added, 'for a price', but stopped himself just in time. He didn't think that these people would be interested in bartering for his time, nor would they be at all amused by his...request.
"Good. We leave as soon as we break camp." Jack stood, stretched, and went to take down the tent he shared with his own wife.
Teal'c rose as well, the large man casting glances at the man beside the fire as he rolled his sleeping bag and took down his tent.
Marcus watched the team preparing for their journey. When the Chappa'ai opened again, another machine lumbered through the event horizon, bounced down the steps. Four men wandered through, all of them heavily armed, and pushing vehicles of some sort,. Three more men followed, all carrying heavy looking boxes, each of them looking around excitedly. These people were setting up for quite an extended stay, it appeared. What had they found that was so damned interesting? Certainly simple ore wouldn't command this type of response! No, there was something else...something more important than the hidden rocks that this group was after. Their eagerness to see that obelisk confirmed that.
"Come with me," Casey said, smiling at him. "You'll need supplies as well."
With a smile that had charmed women all through the galaxy, Marcus stood and followed the slender woman. Why couldn't he keep his eyes off that fine fanny? He wondered what she looked like out of the uniform she was wearing. Wondered if she tasted as good as she smelled. Wondered if all of her was as soft as her hands. Wondered if she would be willing to meet him in the darkness of a desert night...He looked up, met the icy cold stare of Dr. Jackson. He held the gaze until his brain pointed out that the woman did belong to that man...regardless of how lousy the marriage might be.
If that damned Terran didn't keep his eyes off of her...who was he kidding? She was beautiful, she was sweet, and kind...and he was going to knock the shit out of that bastard! He watched as Casey gave the man water, explained what the MREs were, and began to fill his bag with those as well. The Terran was flirting with her, making her laugh. But... her eyes weren't filled with anything other than amusement. He took comfort from that.
"I believe that Marcus Tiberius is quite enamored of Casey Jackson," Teal'c said quietly, stopping beside Daniel.
"I believe you're right, Teal'c," he replied.
"Her eyes see no man but you," the Jaffa continued.
"But his attention toward your wife angers you."
"Wouldn't it piss you off if some guy was flirting with Carly that way?" Daniel asked sharply.
Teal'c watched Marcus and Casey for a moment. "Indeed," he replied.
Packs filled, Teal'c carrying extra water in his own bag; Sam left instructions for the three scientists who had arrived with Marine-2. Jack looked at Marcus. The four ATV's waited near the steps of the 'gate. He motioned for the man to follow him. Gave him a rundown on how to maneuver the vehicle.
Marcus was certain that it was like the scooters he had ridden as a child. He climbed onto the four-wheeled vehicle, watched as the giant of a man called Teal'c mounted one, realized when the general and the colonel shared one that they were a couple, something he berated himself for not noticing sooner. His gaze traveled back to Casey...watched as she settled her slender frame behind her husband. Caught the look that she gave the doctor. There was so much love in her green eyes for the sandy-blonde haired man that he gasped out loud. He ducked his head to cover his surprise. The soft laughter he had heard from their tent earlier had been genuine. Perhaps they had argued...it did not change their love for one another...he saw that...realized that now. That new knowledge did nothing to alter the fact that he was attracted to her. He had pursued married women before. Actually preferred married women...it was much easier to convince them that all he wanted to offer them was a good time, a few days or nights of forbidden pleasure. They were always the most willing... the wildest in his bed, taking all that they wanted, giving without restraint during the brief time that they could be with him.
Jack bit back his grin. The Terran had just figured it out. "Lead on," he said quietly.
With a nod, Marcus started the engine of the ATV. Jerked slightly as he put it into gear. Then slowly rode up the street of the ancient city. It was a good thing he was leading, he thought bitterly. No chance of being tormented by watching that beautiful woman with the heartbreaking green eyes, and a smile as bright as any sun.
Casey pressed herself against his back. Worked her hands into the pockets of his pants. She smiled when she felt him push back against her, when one long leg shifted slightly to give her easier access to his hip. Without a doubt she'd pay for this when they switched drivers...but she couldn't help herself. Her fingers caressed his hip and upper thigh as much as possible. When she tried to reach for the anaconda, he shifted again in order to prevent her from doing so. 'Problem, Doctor Jackson?'
She could hear the smile in his words. Resting her chin on his shoulder, she pulled one hand from his pocket, tightened her arm around his waist. 'Love you.'
'Love you, too, Angel.'
Sam had glanced over at her friends, took note of the grins she could barely see behind the tinted shields of their helmets. A second glance told her that Casey was tormenting Daniel, because she could. Something the young seer had admitted to doing on several occasions during rides on the ATV's. With a wide grin of her own, she began to bother her general. Giggled when his body jerked in surprise.
Teal'c was on the six, keeping an eye on his friends. There were times when he wished that Carlotta was also a member of SG-1. This however, he thought with a grin, was not one of them. He didn't have to worry about wayward hands tormenting him while he was helpless to respond.
A A A A A A
The ruins had been left behind quickly, and the fine white sand that was all that could be seen for miles around was reflecting the ever rising sun. An hour into their ride and the team was sweating heavily. Jack called for a break, insisting that they all drink at least a full bottle of water.
Daniel tied a do-rag on his head. He watched Casey brush her hair over her head, then toss it back, catching it in a ponytail. "Want it braided?"
She smiled, nodded, pulled the band from the thick locks.
Marcus watched as the doctor braided that long, beautiful hair. His fingers worked quickly...expertly...this was something he did quite often, the Terran realized. He turned away when the man dropped a kiss on her nose, but not before seeing her scrunch her face with a smile. Deeply in love. Why hadn't he seen that before she had so captivated him?
Jack was studying the desert in front of them through his binoculars. "I think I can see it," he reported.
Daniel grabbed his own binoculars, looked in the direction Jack had been staring. "Looks like it," he agreed.
"Is that it?" Jack asked the Terran, handing the field glasses to him.
There was no mistaking the gleaming point of the obelisk. "That's it," Marcus confirmed.
With a nod, Jack turned toward Casey. "Take a look, Case. Tell me what you see."
She waited until Daniel was standing behind her, his arms wrapped around her waist, her hands holding firmly to his arms before she closed her eyes.
"I'm sorry," she said as soon as he moved close enough to hear her.
"For what, Angel?"
"I should have...I didn't know that it would...upset you. I should have told Teal'c where Marcus was, and let him go and fetch him."
Daniel smiled. "Love me?"
"Only, always, and forever."
"Then I don't have anything to worry about, do I?"
The smile widened. "Take a look, babe."
Taking a second to caress him gently, she moved up. Scanned the desert around them. Totally dead planet. Totally. Dead. She raced toward the obelisk. Scanned the glyphs that covered one side. Did the same to the cuneiform on the other three sides. On the side farthest from them a single red stone sat near the top. A man could probably reach it easily enough. She relayed what she was seeing to the man who held her so gently...so tightly.
"That's it!" Daniel said excitedly.
"Without a doubt. It's much like the pillar statue that we found on Cimmera. It had a red stone as well. When I touched it, we were transported to that cavern," he replied.
"Well, let's go find out if the stone on the obelisk is the magic doorway to the cavern beneath us."
"Beneath us right now?"
She smiled at his excitement. "No, generally speaking."
He grinned sheepishly. "Right."
"We'd better tell Jack," she replied. "Daniel?"
"Tonight...how about making love here? We only need the Wet Ones if we do," she said softly, her eyes focused on her hands as she toyed with the buttons on his shirt.
"I like that idea, Angel," he replied just as softly. "I like that idea very much."
She smiled up at him, her cheeks tinged with pink.
He kissed her, slowly released her from his embrace. "Tonight, Angel."
"Tonight," she whispered.
When they opened their eyes, they were both smiling. Jack grinned. It had to be good! "Well?" he asked.
"I think it's exactly like the pillar statue that Gairwyn led Sam and I to on Cimmera," Daniel said excitedly. "Case says there's a red stone on the far side of it, she was certain that one of us could reach it."
"Like the stone on that statue?" Sam asked, catching the excitement of her friends.
"Yep," Daniel grinned.
"So? Therefore? This means?" Jack asked impatiently.
"It's the 'press-here-if-you-want-to-be-transported-to-the-cavern' button," Casey intoned solemnly.
The older man rolled his eyes. "You are such a smartass!"
"Hey!" she protested. "You asked, I answered!"
Their teammates laughing around them, the two stood and glared at each other, each determined not to break down before the other. Her lips trembled. His cheek twitched. He snorted. She squeaked. They burst into laughter at almost the same moment, Jack catching her and giving her a one-armed hug. "Smartass," he repeated.
Marcus watched, couldn't help but smile. He didn't understand the words, but he could hear...feel...the love in the playfully toned banter. These people were very close. Had been together for a very long time. Something told him that none of them understood the word 'defeat'. He had been puzzled at first when Casey and the doctor had closed their eyes. He remembered watching a vid about the famous SG-1. Realized suddenly that he was with that very celebrated team. And that Casey Jackson was the renowned seer whose gift of sight protected her teammates. It didn't stop the ache in his groin, or his heart.
A A A A A A
Two hours later the team stopped again. It didn't seem that they were any closer to the obelisk than they had been the first time they had seen it. When Casey and Sam wandered off to one side of the parked ATVs, the men wandered toward the other, keeping their backs turned to allow the women privacy.
"Doesn't look like we'll get to that thing much before sundown," Jack groused as he began to empty his bladder..
"Distances can seem farther in the desert," Daniel reminded his friend. "We'll probably be there sometime this afternoon."
Jack grunted. Finished his business and zipped up. Groaned when he turned around to see Casey standing with her head cocked to one side. "I don't want to hear it," he growled.
She nodded slowly, indicating that he did indeed want to hear what she had sensed. "Someone else is interested in finding this laboratory."
Casey shook her head. "I don't know. I've never...felt...sensed...this before."
"Anything to see?"
Another shake of her head. "Not yet. Just a...feeling."
When Casey Jackson had a 'feeling', everyone associated with the SGC took what she said to heart. Especially two of the men standing in front of her, a lesson learned the hard way. "Good enough. Let's go, campers. We have to get there and find out what's so interesting before we get company. Sam, let the Marines at base camp know we might have visitors."
Casey smiled at Marcus, stepped closer to him, put her hand on his arm. "I apologize, we're being very rude," she said softly.
His return smile was automatic. He couldn't tear his eyes away from her delicately featured face. "I do not mind," he replied, his voice not much louder than a whisper.
"Things might get a bit...tense."
Marcus raised an eyebrow. "I see."
"I'm a seer," she said, trying to explain. "and I've just sensed that we're not the only ones looking for that cavern."
"What is in this...cavern?"
She pulled her lip between her teeth. "Nothing of value to anyone but the Asgard," she replied softly.
"What is of no value to one, might be worth much to another," Marcus replied just as softly.
"Marcus, please...this isn't...you can't...please," she pleaded.
Her eyes begged him to ignore anything he might find. And he was defenseless against those pleas. "I promise. I won't touch anything."
The relief in her eyes had him willing to promise her anything, just to bring a smile back into those amazing emerald depths. "Unless, of course, it's a crown or a box of jewels, or a chest of gold ingots, or..."
She giggled. "I doubt seriously that we'll find anything like that!"
"Pity. A crown of gold on your head, jewels around your throat..." he trailed his finger over her cheek.
Surprised, Casey took a step back. "Um...I...I don't think..."
He cursed himself mentally. "I'm sorry, forgive my impudence."
She smiled. "Forgiven."
Daniel had observed the entire exchange, barely held himself in check when the Terran had reached out to caress her face. The look of...fear...in her eyes when she turned to see him glaring at them stabbed at his heart.
'I'm sorry! I didn't know-'
'Shh...take it easy, Angel. It's okay.'
'I love you!'
'I know that.' He nearly dropped to his knees when the warmth of the love flooded over him. 'Hey, give a guy a little warning the next time!'
She smiled, rocked on her feet when he sent his love back to her. 'Who should warn whom?'
'You just wait, little girl. I will so get you!'
'Tonight, Stud Muffin. You. Me. Naked. In the grass.' His audible moan had her giggling.
"Would you two knock that off!" Jack groused, although the gleam in his eyes belied his gruff tone.
"And miss a chance to bug you? No way," Casey retorted. She pulled her helmet back on, settled onto the ATV, ready to take her turn at driving.
Daniel climbed on behind her. Grinned to himself. He had been waiting for this! As soon as Marcus had started out, Sam and Jack were right behind him. Teal'c was behind them, but off to the left a bit. His right hand snaked around her side, moved up to cup her breast.
Darn him! When his thumb rolled over her nipple, she couldn't help but gasp. 'Daniel!'
'What?' He couldn't stop grinning. Just as her soft hands had teased him, tormented him while he drove, his were doing the same to her. And just as she had, he was taking great delight in what he was doing.
With determination, she slid her hips back, pressed against him. Felt more than heard his gasp, as well as the hardening of the male flesh beneath the thick cotton of the BDU pants.
She giggled. 'Agreed.'
He gave one last squeeze to that perfect breast, then put both hands on her hips. And held her against his body. To prevent her from pushing and wiggling. Hoping that the vibration of the vehicle wouldn't make things worse for him. Knowing that she would be more than pleased if it did. And determined to make her beg when they made love in that sunny meadow.
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