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In Between the Lines
Camulus was pacing the small cell. He had demanded to see Casey three times now, and still she hadn't arrived! Were they keeping her from him? Was she not allowed to see him after all? Perhaps Dr. Jackson feared that she would believe him, perhaps aid his escape? Yes, that seemed the most plausible.
He dropped his large frame down onto the cot. Which was extremely uncomfortable to sleep on. Not at all like the large bed with the soft down mattress in his chambers - in his palace. Where Methos was more than likely sleeping. With one or more of his women! The Goa'uld growled with frustration. It had been a bad idea to come here. He had been more than capable of taking out Ptah on his own. He could have taken his ship, and done exactly what he did, without the Tau'ri tagging along, bringing their pet Jaffa with them. Why had he come here? Because, his mind told him, she was human. A free human. And the Tau'ri were as free as any group of humans could possibly be. He had been drawn here, because of Cara. Even thinking about her brought a twinge of pain to his chest.
The lock on the door activated. He jumped to his feet, stood near the back of the room. He could see out into the corridor from here. Yes, there was Dr. Jackson, not looking pleased at all. He almost gasped at the sight of two children. The little girl looked very much like her mother. The boy was without a doubt Jackson's child. Casey stepped into the room.
"I hear you've been raising nine kinds of hell wanting to talk to me. Does 'time off' mean anything to you?" she asked.
She was upset. Angry. It seemed quite obvious that she and Dr. Jackson had been at home with their children. "I apologize. I had no idea that your presence was not required here today. No one informed me of this," Camulus said, genuinely contrite.
"Well, I'm here now, what was so important that it couldn't wait until tomorrow?" She dropped down onto the chair. The gamble had been worth it. She had 'arranged' Daniel and the kids in the corridor…although Daniel wasn't aware of that fact…knowing exactly where Camulus would be standing when the door opened. He would see her family. Realize that she had been summoned strictly to deal with him.
"I merely wished to see you," he replied.
She sighed. "Cam, I'm sure that somewhere, probably in your harem, there are women who would be honored to hear that. I, however, am not." She looked over at the wall, then back at the Goa'uld.
He was grinning. "You are so like her! So full of fire!"
"And very happily married to The Chosen," she reminded him.
His grin faded quickly. "Tell me, Casey, does the compassion that you felt for me only a few days ago still exist, or has it passed?"
"You mean like your need to use the Tau'ri to do your dirty work for you? To retake what you should have been able to take on your own?" She stood, wrapped her arms around her waist. "Why did you come here, Camulus?"
He smiled, although it held no warmth. "I have been asking myself the same question. Because she was human. She was free. Like you."
Casey shook her head. "Maybe when the idea first crossed your mind. Why stick with it? Why go to the trouble that you did to get here?"
He shrugged lazily. "I have no idea. Perhaps it is the result of too much wine."
"As a symbiote, you can keep the alcohol from affecting the brain as much," she argued. "You know, it won't bother me a bit to take a look for myself."
His eyes narrowed. "Do not think that it would be so easy, Beautiful One."
She shivered. Nergal and called her that, 'Beautiful One'. "Don't think I can't leave you a slobbering idiot," she retorted. "I can bypass the host's brain and head straight for you, don't you ever forget that!"
He grinned again. "You are delightful. Quite entertaining."
"I’m just thrilled to the core," she replied sarcastically. "If there isn't anything of importance you wanted to tell me, I'd like to spend the rest of the day with my children."
"Why do you trust Methos?"
The question was abrupt. It surprised her. "Why would you ask that?"
"He was not a Tok'ra host. You and I both know that. He is Goa'uld! Just as I am!"
She struggled to keep her face straight. Methos, you dog! You really have the snakes fooled! "What makes you say that?"
"He behaves as a Goa'uld. He speaks with the voice of a god. Has the fire of the gods in his eyes."
She studied Camulus for a few seconds. He was seeking information. Wanted to know if it was possible for a Goa'uld to join with an Immortal. "I think you're crazy. If he were Goa'uld, we'd know it! Sam and Teal'c would be able to sense it."
"Ah, but by claiming to have joined with a Tok'ra, and that the symbiote died…horribly, he says…that explains away the naquadah they may sense in him," Camulus said.
"As long as he's working with us to kill snakes, I don't care," Casey replied.
"You will when he turns on you. Enslaves you. I do not wish to see the people of Gamma, of your Stargate Command Colonies, to become slaves to a Goa'uld."
Casey giggled. "Oh, please! You'd do it in a heartbeat if you thought you could!"
He shook his head. "There are those who defend their freedom so viciously that it is not worth the battle to take them."
"If that's true, why would Methos try?"
"Because he is a minor System Lord, who dreams of ruling the universe."
The look of surprise on her face was genuine. Methos had been very careful in setting up his Goa'uld 'persona'. She hadn't realized just how successful he had been! Methos had been so distraught over Olmack's death that he had refused to access the memories, or use the voice or glowy eyed thing. When they had been waiting for Nergal to make his move, he had talked to her, told her that Olmack's memories were those of a warrior who had spent centuries working, living among the enemy in an attempt to bring them down. Perhaps these memories were helping him in his successful impersonation of a Goa'uld. "I think you're delusional."
"Look into his mind, Casey. You will find I am not wrong," Camulus said softly. "Stop him before it is too late."
"I don't have to look. I know who and what he is."
"He is Immortal. He is Goa'uld. He is your enemy."
She shook her head. "You're wrong." She stood, rapped on the door. "I'll stop by for a few minutes tomorrow to make sure that you're getting all that you need."
"Within reason. I happen to like my head where it's at," she said softly. The door opened, and she slipped out. She closed her eyes, caressed Daniel gently before he moved away, then opened them and grinned at him. She knew that Camulus would be able to hear her. "We need to talk to Duncan. Now. About Methos."
Daniel raised an eyebrow. "What?"
"Come on, I'll explain on the way."
Camulus sat back down. Grinned. Now all he had to do was convince her that it was in the best interest of Gamma to return him to his palace. He would ally himself with the Tau'ri. After all, it was only with their help that Nergal had been destroyed. When he was strong enough, he would take Gamma. And he would allow her to live. As his Consort. She was so like Cara! So much fire!
A A A A A A
Duncan had both Emily and Nicholas on his lap. They were scribbling happily on several reports bound for the shredder. "He really said that?"
Casey grinned. "I don't know if he really believes that Methos is a Goa'uld, but he sure wants me to believe it."
The Highlander stared at the papers on his desk. "Casey, I want you to take a look. We only have his word that the symbiote died."
Her eyes went wide. "But Olmack was Tok'ra!"
"So he claimed. How many Goa'uld spies have we found now?"
She shivered. To think…no, it wasn't possible!
"I'll have him here tomorrow. It's not unusual for Goa'uld to be moving from planet to planet. He'll be doing that anyway, establishing his presence, claiming what was Cammy's."
"Duncan, you can't possibly suspect Methos! He's been working with you for eleven years! You knew him for nearly ten before that!" Casey exclaimed.
"When it comes to the Goa'uld, Case, I don't trust any of them. I want him checked out."
She nodded. "This will totally piss him off," she said.
Daniel frowned. "Not if he doesn't have anything to hide," he said quietly.
"Am I the only one who has any faith in the man who has worked damned hard to kill Goa'uld?" she demanded angrily.
"Case, Goa'uld kill each other all the time. It's how they become dominant," Daniel said quietly. "He could have been biding his time, building up his spy networks. Using our resources to find his own. There is the possibility, and Duncan is right, when dealing with Goa'uld, we have to know for sure." He reached over and took her hand. Raised it to his lips.
"And when I prove he's not?" she asked hotly.
Duncan grinned. "You tell Cammy he's right. And see what the bastard wants."
She crossed her arms over her chest. "I hate this, just so you know."
"Noted," Duncan replied. "Now, take these two paper-pushers home. Spend time with them. I'll see you here in the morning."
Goodbyes were said, Emily gave 'Unka' Duncan a zerbert, and the Jackson family left the base. Casey was quiet the entire ride home.
"Angel?" Daniel asked, after they had pulled into the garage.
"What if he's not?" she whispered. She looked at him, tears in her eyes. "You know Duncan will kill him. He'll do it himself. And then beat himself up for it."
"Don't borrow trouble, Angel."
She knew one thing for certain. She wasn't going to be sleeping tonight.
A A A A A A
There had always been a special bond, a special friendship, between Teal'c and Casey. Often when Casey was upset, especially if she and Daniel had been quarreling, it was to Teal'c she turned. Since their deaths together, and whatever they had endured at the hands of the Oannes, that friendship was even deeper. And so it was that in the middle of the night, when the dreams - or rather, the nightmares - that she had known would come finally arrived, woke her with their intensity and heartache, it was to the Jaffa she turned. She made sure that Daniel was sleeping soundly, then slipped to the kitchen for the phone. She took it to the deck, sat beneath the stars.
Carly understood the bond between her husband and the young blonde Immortal. Had no fear that there was anything other than friendship between them. In fact, she thought that Teal'c behaved like the overprotective older brother around the young woman. Casey could just as often behave like an overprotective little sister. So when the call came in the wee hours of the night, she only smiled when she handed the phone to him. "It's Casey, my love. She needs you."
Teal'c kissed her tenderly, then took the phone into the living room. "Casey? Why are you not sleeping?"
"Teal'c, is it possible for Methos to be Goa'uld?"
The questioned stunned him. "I do not believe so."
"Not even the tiniest bit possible?"
She was seeking reassurance. "Tell me what has happened," he said quietly, settling into the large, overstuffed chair that Carly had purchased especially for him and his large frame.
Casey repeated what Camulus had said, what had been discussed in Duncan's office. Her voice held the sound of tears by the time she was finished. "I just can't believe it, T, I won't believe it! Methos was with me when Framone captured me, kept me from losing my mind! We worked closely together against Nergal. I just can't believe that he could fool me. Not like that!"
"Casey, I agree with you. I do not believe that Methos is a Goa'uld. I also believe it would be unwise to totally dismiss the possibility, no matter how small it might be," Teal'c said softly.
"He's going to hate me," she whispered.
Teal'c could see her in his mind's eye. She was probably sitting on the deck, her legs pulled tightly against her body. A defensive posture. To protect herself from an idea that frightened her. "No, he will not. If he is not Goa'uld, he will certainly understand the need for Duncan MacLeod, and the rest of us, to be sure. If he is Goa'uld, then his anger will not matter."
"He can't be, Teal'c, he just can't be," Casey said softly.
"You love him," Teal'c said just as softly.
"He's like…not exactly a big brother…almost…almost like a father," she replied. She had to smile as she admitted her feelings for the Immortal. To think of the lanky young man as a father figure almost brought a giggle. "He's taught me so much about being Immortal," she continued. "He taught me as much about sword fighting as Duncan did. He was the one who told me how to deal with taking a Quickening. So yes, I do love him."
"Did not your Grandma Rose instruct you to follow your heart? That your heart would never lead you wrong?" Teal'c was as familiar with the stories of Casey's beloved grandmother as Daniel was.
"Yes, she did."
"Follow your heart, Casey. What does it tell you?"
For several long seconds he thought that perhaps she had fallen asleep. "It tells me that to be fair to him, to make sure that others know that he is innocent, I should do what Duncan has asked me to do," she finally admitted softly.
"Then this is what you must do."
"I am here, Casey."
"Would you be there with me?"
The man smiled into the darkness. "Undomesticated equines could not keep me from your side."
She began to giggle. "Thanks. For everything."
"You are most welcome. Sleep now, Casey. It will no doubt be a most trying day."
"Yeah, without a doubt. Goodnight."
"Goodnight, Casey." He put the phone back on the charger. Climbed back into bed with his wife, pulled her close. He smoothed Carly's hair, smiled when she snuggled closer. Hoped with all of his heart that Camulus was wrong. If he was not, and Methos was Goa'uld, Casey would be devastated. With a sigh, he closed his eyes and went back to sleep.
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