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In Between the Lines
Casey refused to see Camulus until after she spoke with Methos. There was no way she could look at that Goa'uld, listen to him, without knowing the truth. It would be easy enough to let him believe that she thought he might be correct, as long as she knew the truth! She was pacing Duncan's office, waiting for the Old Man's arrival. Daniel and Teal'c were waiting with her, watching her. Exchanged concerned glances several times. Both men knew that if Camulus was right, Casey's pain would quickly turn to anger at being deceived by a Goa'uld. And that the sword that waited prominently on Duncan's desk could wind up in her hands. Neither man wanted her to have to live with the fact that she had killed Methos, nor were they particularly fond of the idea of all of his memories being there to haunt her. She had enough shit to deal with, Daniel thought worriedly, without throwing all of that on top of her.
When the klaxons began to wail, and the lights began to flash, her arms went around her waist. She had stopped pacing, stood in the corner of the room, the physical stance a reflection of her mental state. She was feeling cornered, and it terrified her.
When the three men, Duncan, Methos and Wade, walked into the room, she was still standing there. Her eyes were wide with fear, and she was trembling visibly.
The first thing Methos saw when he entered the room were those wide green eyes. Something was very wrong, he told himself. The second thing he noticed was that Duncan's Katana was lying on the desk. Ready for action, he mused. "What is this all about?"
Duncan looked at him. "We need to know for sure," he said softly.
"Need to know what?" Methos asked. Had a feeling he already knew the answer to that question.
"Whether or not you are who and what you say you are."
The young/old man began to laugh. "I see it didn't take him long!" He turned his brown eyes to Casey. "It's okay, Brat. Look all you want. All you need to." He dropped his lanky frame down onto a chair and closed his eyes.
Her heart pounded. That sounded so Methos! She couldn't help but smile. She waited for Daniel. Felt him hold her tightly, tenderly. She moved forward slowly. So much! So many memories! So much pain! she thought, moving as gently as possible. There! Nearly cried out from the anguish of Olmack's death. Could 'see' where Methos had 'hidden' the entire incident for so long. She caressed him gently, pushed away the worry that she felt there, then moved away. She kissed Daniel in that sunny meadow, smiled at him as he left her alone once again.
When she opened her eyes, they were blazing with anger. The men in the room blanched, all of them looking at Methos. She strode forward, grabbed the sword, and headed for the door.
"Casey?" Duncan said quietly. Obviously Methos was…Methos.
"Just a minute," she spat. "I have a snake to carve!"
Chuckles filled the air. Duncan managed to stop her, took the sword from her grip. "I promise, Casey, as soon as we're through with him. He's yours."
Methos looked her. "You never doubted me, did you?"
She looked into his brown eyes. "No. Well, maybe just a little."
The young/old man grinned. "Not in your heart, you didn't."
"Now who's psychic?" she asked, smiling warmly.
"We had to know," Duncan said, offering his hand to the man who was probably his best friend.
The lanky young man accepted the hand, shook it firmly. "I know. I understand. In your place, I would have done the same thing."
"Now what?" Daniel asked.
Casey giggled. "Now I go pretend to be scared to death that Methos really is a Goa'uld. You know, I think I'm going to quit working at the SGC."
Gasps went up from every male throat in the room. "Case?" Daniel said softly.
Her giggle turned into a full-throated laugh, the soft sound filling the air around her. "I'm going on stage. I'll be sensational! I'll have those little trophies lined up on the mantel!"
The laughter that filled the room and spilled into the hallway had those passing by glancing at the door in curiosity, smiling in response to the sound.
Methos' eyes were dancing. "You should have seen the look in Ba'al's eyes when he thought he had caught us in an - intimate - moment."
Wade cracked up. "Oh, that was priceless!"
"I didn't actually get to see it," Casey grumped. "I was too busy trying to look embarrassed and pissed off."
Methos launched into a description of the event, telling the men around him exactly how he and Casey were sitting on that throne, the way the Goa'uld's eyes had flashed, and then how Ba'al had tried to goad him into killing her, or at least turning her over to him. The men laughed when he told them how Ba'al had stood there, hands clenched tightly into fists.
"We need to decide exactly what it is we want from Camulus, and how we're going to get it," Methos said, once the laughter had died down again.
"To be honest, at this point, do we even need him?" Daniel asked.
"I too question the need to keep this Goa'uld alive," Teal'c said. "If Methos continues to impersonate a Goa'uld, one who has taken Camulus prisoner, it will increase his acceptance among the other System Lords. He will be able to gather support to move against Penatil with greater ease."
Methos nodded. "I'm already hearing that my…exploits…have been noted. Neither Amaterasu nor Morganna seem too interested in talking to me, not face to face. Both have sent messages to me, congratulating me on taking Camulus out."
Duncan nodded, obviously pleased with the news. "How dangerous are those two?"
"Together, very," Methos admitted. "But the likelihood of them ever working together is rather small. Either one alone will be somewhat of a challenge for us, if we decide to turn our attention to them."
"Let me get Jack and Sam in here," Duncan said. He valued the input from both of these career military people. They had also been fighting the Goa'uld longer than anyone in the room, with the exception of Daniel and Teal'c.
Both O'Neill's had been aware of the meeting taking place, and the reason for it. Both were also busy with their own duties, and had assured Duncan that their presence wasn't absolutely necessary. So when the call went out over the intercom for them to report to Duncan's office, both hearts flooded with the fear that the worst case scenario had just come true. They met on the elevator, walked hand in hand into the office.
Jack looked around. "His head is still on his shoulders, so that's a good thing, right?"
Daniel grinned. "Yeah. We were barely able to keep Casey from making a Goa'uld shish-ka-bob out of Cammy!"
Sam searched her best friend's eyes. Saw laughter. Relief. She hugged her tightly. "I'm glad that's over," she whispered.
"Me, too," Casey replied, returning the hug.
"Okay, so what's up?" Jack asked, leaning against the wall beside the door.
Duncan looked around. The office was small, and now completely full of bodies. And only three chairs, four counting his, were available. "Let's go into the briefing room, we'll be more comfortable."
Casey stopped at the small table in that larger room, started a pot of coffee. There was still some left in the mug she was carrying, but if they were going to be planning, she knew that coffee was a major necessity. At least for this particular group of people. She slid into her chair beside Daniel, let him wrap his fingers around hers. The action always filled her heart with love, and always offered her silent support and comfort.
Duncan looked around. "Teal'c seems to think that Methos' move against Cammy has strengthened his stand among the other Goa'uld. With his experience, he should know."
Teal'c inclined his head in acceptance of the comment.
"What we need to decide is whether or not we should keep Cammy alive. If we kill him, then Lord Methos will have done exactly what any other Goa'uld would do. It will probably make it easier for him to gather the others against Penatil," Duncan continued.
"For now, why don't we just let Methos tell everyone that Cammy is dead," Jack said. "He will be sooner or later anyway." Heads nodded agreement around the table.
"If Case lets Cammy think that she believes what he says about Methos, or is at least doubting Methos, that might relax him enough for him to show his hand," Daniel said. "He's up to something."
"Duh!" Casey muttered under her breath.
"This from the woman who was so concerned about his broken heart?" Daniel teased.
She looked up at him. "I'm never going to live that down, am I?"
"Nope!" Jack grinned.
Casey sighed heavily. "That's what I was afraid of. What really, really, really pisses me off, is that for those first few hours, he was sincere about wanting to work with us, to kill Goa'uld! He really was wracked with grief!"
"We knew it wouldn't last, Case," Daniel said softly. "It just didn't last as long as you thought it would."
"One thing I do know for certain," she said. "Camulus admitted to me that never before has a Goa'uld…succumbed…to such love, at least not for a human, a free human."
"I still don't think it's possible for them to love, not like that," Daniel muttered.
"Well, we know for certain that he's over Cara. Or damned close to it," Jack said. "My guess is he's going to fixate on Casey."
"Shit!" Daniel said, shaking his head. "Just what we need! Another damned Goa'uld in love with my Wife!"
Jack grinned. "Gotta admit, though, Danny-boy, when they are, they are so much easier to kill!"
Chuckles filled the air. Even Daniel smiled.
'Always you, Beloved. Only you. Forever and ever. You are the only man my eyes will ever see.'
He squeezed her fingers gently. 'Love you, Angel.'
'Love you, too.' Casey looked around the table. "Even if Camulus does have…plans…he won't be able to carry them out. To be honest, I don't want to spend every day for however long having to deal with him."
"I can take him with me," Methos said quietly. Everyone in the room understood what was in-between the lines. He would take the Goa'uld, and kill him. No one would ever know where, or how. Only that the Goa'uld was dead.
A A A A A A
He had been lucky enough to be granted a 'day pass' to spend time on Gamma. He had ringed down fairly early in the morning. Had spent the day in the Linguistics Department, searching all of the mission records he could find dealing with Camulus. The one that intrigued him the most was the report that he had been a prisoner on Earth for nearly a year. That General O'Neill had used him as a bargaining chip against Ba'al.
He had also called up the blueprints for the SGC base. Wasn't surprised to find several levels 'missing'. Including the detention level. He smiled grimly. He knew where the armory was. Had no doubt that he would be able to get a zat'nik'tel and get to the prisoner. He wouldn't kill anyone; no, that was not something he could do. That…distasteful…task he would leave to others.
There was no way that using the Stargate, or the transport rings back to the ship, would be possible. That would be exactly what they would expect. He doubted that they would believe that an escape through the 'front door' as it were, would be possible either. But he was certain that it would be. His car was already parked as closely as he could get. It wouldn't take long to get to the spaceport.
He spent the next hour researching the ships that were due into the port, the types of ships and their destinations. He found three possibilities. Decided to let him make the final decision. He wrote down the pertinent information. Folded the slip of paper and put it into his pocket. Sat back in the chair and put his hands behind his head…imagining the riches, the women, the fine life he was about to be granted. No more jumping to the commands of others. No, he would let it be known immediately that he expected payment in full, and that part of that payment was the status of a full advisor. After all, who better than he to advise about, and against, the Tau'ri? He grinned. Yes, he would be the one giving the orders from now on!
A A A A A A
Casey kissed Daniel lightly. "Hold tight," she whispered, just before she closed her eyes.
The guard, familiar with the routine, only vaguely understanding what it was about, waited until she opened her eyes again before opening the door.
She stepped into the cell.
"Casey! I am so glad you have come to see me!" Camulus said, smiling at her. He pointed to the pot of coffee, cream, sugar and the mug sitting on the table. "I have been told that is a favorite beverage of yours. I asked if they would provide it for you for your visits."
She was taken aback at the kindness of the action. "Thank you, that was very sweet of you," she said, a genuine smile on her face. She poured a cup, added cream and sugar, and sipped it. "What about you, have you ever tried it?"
His smile had widened at her surprise, her thanks, the way her face lit up when she smiled. "I have. I do not care for it. It is too bitter."
She poured some into the cup that was sitting on his tray, obviously his lunch. She added a bit of sugar, some cream. Handed it to him. "Try it this way," she said
He took a tentative sip. It was better than it had been black, but still bitter. "I suppose I could grow to like it," he admitted.
She laughed. "By the time you realize you like it, you're already addicted."
He jerked slightly, stared at the cup. "This is a drug?"
Her eyes twinkled. "It's full of caffeine. Which is the only thing that keeps me going sometimes."
He frowned. "Then you work too hard."
"Not any harder than anyone else around here. Certainly not harder than my Husband."
In the hallway, Daniel grinned. She loved to throw that little detail up every chance she got; that she was married…happily married. That had to be driving that snake crazy!
The Goa'uld wisely decided to let the matter drop. "I hope you were able to spend a pleasant day with your children." He didn't want to think about Daniel. The fact that she belonged to that meddlesome Tau'ri. It was bad enough to lay on this damned cot at night, thinking about him holding her, making love to her. Which Camulus so wanted to do. Would she be as fiery - as wild - in bed as Cara had been?
Casey didn't miss the fact that he had not mentioned Daniel. Not talking about him won't make him go away, snakeface, she thought. "Yes, I did. Daniel took us in search of the perfect Christmas tree. Then we decorated it. Emmie and Nicholas love to decorate the tree," she said softly. The evening had been perfect. Daniel had put the tree up, strung the lights, then sat back and watched while his wife and children decorated it. He had taken several pictures, and then when the tree was finished, he and Nicholas had placed the Angel on top. Snuggle time had been full of excited talk about Santa Claus and his reindeer. Daniel had to reassure Emily that Santa most certainly could visit Gamma on Christmas Eve. It seemed that a little boy at school had told her that Santa Claus didn't come to Gamma. He had explained to his daughter that Christmas Eve was a different night than on Earth, giving Saint Nick plenty of time to get to Gamma, and Beta and Alpha as well. She had been content with the explanation.
"Christmas tree?" His brow puckered. He didn't miss the look of happiness that filled her eyes. She was, no doubt, thinking about the day and evening spent with her family.
"I'll have someone bring down information about Christmas, all of the customs of the celebration."
"I'm sure it will be most interesting," he said. He would learn every Tau'ri custom there was if it made her happy. A thought that poked annoyingly at him.
"It is. I think Christmas is probably my favorite of all holidays," she said. "I'm telling you right now, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day I spend with my family."
"I understand," he replied. Two days without seeing her beautiful face, sitting in her sweet presence? It would be torture, he was sure.
He watched her as she sipped her coffee. Waited until she had put the mug on the table. He didn't want her to burn herself with the hot liquid. "So, tell me, what did Duncan MacLeod have to say about Methos?"
She immediately looked at the floor. Could feel the rise of heat in her body, caused by the rush of temper that flared. "He says that if it's true, he'll kill Methos himself," she said softly.
"Do you believe it's true?" Camulus asked softly. She refused to look at him. She suspected, and that bothered her, hurt her, he realized. "I am sorry to have caused you pain over this," he said, his voice still soft.
Like hell you are, she thought. "Yeah, well I guess on the upside, at least we know to keep an eye on him."
Camulus couldn't hide the grin. If they suspected Methos, they would be more apt to put him back in his palace, believing that he would be subject to their scrutiny and control. He would let them believe that, until the time was right to move against them. The Tau'ri were formidable foes. To underestimate them was a fatal mistake. One that many Goa'uld had made. One that he would not. He would use them to get rid of those System Lords near him. Which would enable him to become stronger. Able to take down the Tau'ri. Yes, once he had Gamma, and her at his side, the universe would be his for the taking!
He was so lost in his thoughts that she was able to slip into his mind. She didn't dare stay, or look around too much. But it was enough to sense his duplicity, the fact that he intended to betray them. No doubt plotting to become their Master, she fumed silently. "I'll have reading material brought down to you. I'll make sure it's translated into Goa'uld."
"Thank you. I do find myself growing quite bored here."
"So what do you do to pass the time?" she asked, actually curious to know the answer.
He laughed. "I relive every glorious moment of my rule on Earth," he replied.
"Yeah, right up to the moment the people there tossed all of your snake asses out for good!" The comment was out before she could stop it.
Camulus glared at her, his eyes flashing. A few seconds later he was laughing. "And so proud are the progeny of those rebels. Reveling in that which the sacrifices of their ancestors afforded them."
"Damned straight. Those people, those humans fought and died so that their children and grandchildren, and great- grandchildren, and all who came after them would be free of the tyranny of the Goa'uld. To celebrate their victory is the least we can do!" She wouldn't admit to the fact that most of the people on Earth didn’t know about, understand, or care about the battle that had been waged so many millennia ago.
"We are not all such harsh task masters. Many of us are benevolent, caring gods," Camulus said softly.
"Please! You wouldn't know benevolent if it walked up, slapped you in the face and introduced itself!" she declared, her anger flaring.
In the hallway, Daniel and the guard were both chuckling.
Such fire! he thought. His body hardened. Surely this fire would be present when she made love. He let his eyes move over her, wondering what she looked like beneath that ridiculous uniform that she wore. He only smiled at her.
"You really believe your own PR, don't you?" she asked, somewhat surprised.
"PR? I do not know this term," he said, frowning slightly.
"You really believe that you're this great god, that all of humanity was created to serve you," she replied.
"I am a god!" he insisted. "And for what other reason would such an insignificant species be created, other than to serve their god?"
"Well, for one thing, if you're such a great god, why are you sitting in a locked cell? Why do you need a device on your hand to do what my husband can do with just a thought? If you're gods, why are we knocking your snake asses out, freeing people solar system by solar system?"
"Do not think that the insolence of your behavior will go unpunished," he threatened.
"Yeah, well, I'm not going to hold my breath worrying about that one!" She glanced at her watch. Downed her lukewarm coffee. "I'll be in tomorrow. I'll be sure that you get the information about Christmas sometime today." She stood up, tapped on the door.
"Have a pleasant day, Casey," he said softly.
She looked at him. Did not like the look in his eyes at all! He was looking at her as if she were the dessert on his meal tray. Nope, she didn't like it at all! She forced a smile. "Thank you. I hope your day isn't too bad." She slipped out the door.
She was stalking down the hall before Daniel had the time to get up from the chair where he sat next to the guard. He grinned. She was pissed. She was really pissed. He hurried after her. "Case?"
Casey was aware that Daniel and the guard were privy to everything being said in the room. She personally preferred it that way. She turned to face him. "How did I ever let myself be fooled by him? I am such an idiot!"
He pulled her into his arms, even as he moved away from that sunny meadow. "No you aren't, Angel. He was sincere, remember? It just didn't last long. Probably not as long as you thought it would."
"He was mourning her so deeply," she said softly. "What happened?"
He met you, Daniel thought. "I don't know, Angel. Maybe Goa'uld mourn faster."
She nodded. "Maybe. Is it too early for lunch?"
He smiled. "Nope. I'm hungry myself." He continued to pray that nothing would upset her at this point. She was eating. She was happy. There was no fear in her eyes. Please, God, let it last, he thought desperately. For as long as possible, let it last.
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