<<Previous | Story Intro | Return to Stories | Next >>
In Your Own Backyard
"Are you all right?" he asked softly. He remembered each and every attempt that the beings had made to break him.
"I'm fine," she replied. "You?"
"Now that I know you're okay, I’m all right," he told her. He noticed the guarded look in her eye when she glanced up at him. "Case?"
"It's nothing," she said softly, pushing down the memory of the love in his eyes when he approached Sha're. "Don't worry about it."
"If it concerns you, hurts or bothers you, I'm always going to worry," he said.
She smiled. "It's nothing," she repeated.
It wasn't, he could see that. There was pain in her eyes, pain that she was trying desperately to hide from him. "Let's take a walk," he suggested.
"Later," she said, shaking her head. "You have to defeat them here, Daniel."
He watched her for a few seconds, then nodded. "I take it that P90s aren't going to be much use?"
"Probably not," she admitted.
"So what do we do?" Jack asked, brushing the sand from his arms and legs.
"Nothing. Daniel has to do this," Casey replied softly. "All I can do is send him my Fire, if he needs it."
He looked hard at her. What the hell was going on? Of course he would need her Fire! The two of them together would be needed to take out these demons, he was damned sure of that! "I'll need it," he said quietly.
She smiled. "I dunno, Stud Muffin. You're a pretty hot package on your own."
Daniel couldn't help but laugh. "You are such a wiseass!"
"Heads up," Jack murmured.
Four of the tall, pasty-white skinned beings appeared in the opening of the seventh cave.
"I thought there were five," Daniel said.
"I think I rendered one a bit useless," Casey replied. "Sort of messed with his head."
"I want to hear all about it, Angel," he said, sparing a glance at her.
The beings disappeared back into the cavern.
"You know, I wouldn't think that demons would need an elevator," Jack mused. He walked over to where the P90s lay in a pile. "Seems to me that we can at least slow them down a bit."
Daniel studied the empty cave entrance for a few minutes, then nodded. "Good point."
The roar of an ATV filled the air. Duncan grinned when he saw the team standing beside the huge pit. "Is it over?" he asked when he had turned off the engine.
"Not yet," Daniel replied.
Seeing all of SG-1 with P90s in their hands, he filled his hands with his own weapon. "We're waiting for what?"
"That," Casey replied as the four beings made their way down the cliff from the second cave.
"They are some kind of ugly," Jack remarked. He shifted his position. Felt his team close ranks around him. Shoulder to shoulder to shoulder to shoulder to shoulder they stood. Proud. Defiant. Confident.
The beings hesitated. Without the guidance of their leader, they were not as sure of their victory as they had been. All efforts to reach him had failed. They weren't even sure where his body was. "You will tell us what we wish to know," one of them said.
"And that would be?" Jack asked.
"Tell us of this place called Hope."
Jack glanced sideways at Casey. "Why are they so interested in Hope?"
She frowned. Cocked her head to one side. "Fear! They feed on fear! They would sweep through town, killing, raping, causing panic and…fear!"
"Well, now, it's lucky for us that we're not afraid of them," the older man replied.
"It pisses me off that these freaks would even dare to contemplate attacking our town," Daniel said calmly.
"It doesn't sit well with me, either," Duncan said.
"What say we just end this right here and now," Jack said. "Give 'em hell, team."
The blistering sound of six P90s opening fire filled the air. The creatures hesitated, but didn't fall.
"Now that pisses me off," Jack grumbled.
Daniel let the P90 swing from the clip that held it to the strap around his shoulder. He lifted one hand, and a blue fireball impacted on the closest creature. With a scream, it dropped to its knees.
Casey let her weapon fall as well, stepped just behind him and put both hands on his back. She sent her Fire to him, letting him take as much as he needed.
The extra heat filled his limbs. Only together was the Fire this hot, he thought briefly. He lifted both hands. Two more fireballs flew from his fingertips. Two more creatures fell. The fourth began to run toward him, fangs bared, yellow eyes gleaming with rage. The creature didn’t make four feet before he, too, was on the ground, a gaping hole in his chest.
Cocking her head to one side, she listened to the whisper that filled her mind. "You have to totally destroy them, Daniel, or they'll just…" she broke off when the first creature struggled back onto his feet. "Get up," she finished softly.
"Not on my watch they won't," he growled. Letting his anger fuel the fire that raged inside him, Daniel began to hurl fireballs as quickly as he could push the heat into his fingertips. He moved forward, felt Casey move along with him, her hands remaining firm on his back. "More, Angel," he gasped, the effort of continual fire tiring him quickly.
She opened herself completely, felt him take the Fire from her. Watched as he turned each of the creatures into nothing more than smoldering heaps of ash.
Daniel sank to the ground, trying to pull oxygen into his lungs as quickly as possible. He leaned gratefully against her when she dropped down beside him.
Teal'c walked toward what was left of the enemy, nudged each smoking pile with the toe of his boot. "They are dead," he said firmly.
Jack grinned. "Glad to hear that, T."
"We have to find the other one," Daniel said, when he had caught his breath.
"I know where he is," Casey replied.
"Corridor off of that cave where all the equipment is. Which I smashed, by the way."
"Oh, Casey! I wanted to study it!" Sam moaned.
The young blonde Immortal grinned. "Why study pieces when you can have the whole ship?"
"Ship? You mean that one?" Sam asked, pointing at the pit that the Jackson's and Duncan had dug.
"Yep. Without these guys, it's not a threat," Casey replied. "And, um…I managed to find a few things that will help you."
The sapphire blue eyes lit up. "Where?"
"It will come to you, when you need it," Casey replied.
Sam frowned. "I don’t understand."
"Let's just say that I was able to do a…download…of sorts for you. Into you," Casey said, her green eyes dancing.
Realization dawned. "How much?" Sam asked excitedly. She was already searching her mind for any 'new' information.
"I don't know. I know there were schematics. I didn't understand them, but I…sent…it all to you," Casey said. "You probably won't be able to access it until you need it…or something in that thing 'triggers' the information…the…memory."
Sam nodded. "As long as it's there."
"Let's go, we have one more to take care of," Daniel said.
Casey pulled her lip between her teeth. "Can I just send my Fire to you? Do I have to get on that elevator again?"
He smiled. "As soon as he's gone, you won't have to ride it again," he promised.
"Yeah, famous last words," she grumped, allowing him to lead her toward the cliff-face. "The damn thing will break, and kill us, and then we'll have to be dug out…that could take weeks…not to mention ruining a perfectly good pair of jeans-"
Daniel stopped, put both hands on her shoulders, turned her and planted his lips on hers. When she was leaning against him, her hands in his hair, he slowly pulled away. "Think that will help you get through this?"
She smiled up at him. "It's a start."
Jack grinned, pushed past the couple. "Yeah, you can finish when the job is done," he said.
"Details," she complained. Her teammates laughed, and they continued toward the caves.
Duncan watched with fascination as the team worked together. This was what SG-1 looked like, sounded like, 'in action'. A thing of beauty, Jack said. It was certainly impressive!
When the team was standing in the seventh cave, Casey pointed to the door. "We don’t dare let that door close behind us. I found the key once, but I don't know if it will work again. I'm also not sure what kind of alarms or traps would be triggered if we use the wrong one."
"I'll stand by the door," Duncan said immediately. "I'll keep it open."
"With luck, he'll be standing where I left him," Casey said, pulling the heavy door open.
Luck was not with them. The corridor was empty. Jack assessed the situation. "Suggestions?"
"Since Casey destroyed all of the equipment, none of which was working anyway, there is the possibility that any alarms are inoperable," Sam said.
"The doors appear to be made of wood," Teal'c said. "I believe it would be possible to use our weapons to remove the locks."
Daniel stepped up to the first door, tried the handle. It opened easily. "Or maybe we can just walk in."
"Teal'c keep this door open," Jack said. The large man nodded, pushed his bulk against the wooden door.
Casey had followed Daniel into the room, her P90 ready. Sam was behind her, and Jack behind both of them. "Wish I had remembered a flashlight," she said softly.
Light began to glow softly around them.
"Okay, that's just spooky," Jack said, his eyes moving carefully around the room.
"This cavern, these rooms and corridors remind me of the SGC," Daniel mused as he moved from one side of the room to the other.
"See anything, Danny?" Jack asked.
"Okay. Let's move on," the older man said.
The next room was just as empty. The third room was full of dark black containers.
Casey ran her hand over one of them. "I think it's best if we just leave these alone," she said softly.
"Dangerous?" Daniel asked.
"Not exactly. But if we…win…I don't think they'll remain here," she replied.
"I'm not even gonna ask," Jack mumbled.
The fourth, fifth, and sixth rooms were empty. The rock walls of the seventh room were covered with pictographs. Daniel was bemoaning the fact that his camera was down in the first cave. When Sam offered to retrieve it for him, he readily accepted. Jack and Casey exchanged bemused smiles. When their scientists were in 'working mode', the only thing they could do was sit by and let them work. Sam had informed Duncan of what was happening when she raced back through with the camera and two extra disks.
An hour later the team was ready to move on. The creature was standing in the eighth room. His eyes were vacant, he stood in the middle of the large cavern room, swaying slightly back and forth.
Daniel studied the alien being for a minute.
"Uh, Danny? Cool fireballs, remember?" Jack said nervously.
"Yeah, I know," the young man said softly. "I just can't help but wonder if they escaped because they were tired of living in hell. Literally."
"It doesn't matter," Casey said softly. "These creatures know only torture…pain…chaos. If we leave this one, there's the chance that he could escape. Find Hope. And even move on from there. We have no way of knowing if he can communicate with others of his…race. We certainly don't need them running around loose."
"You, Chosen, must defeat those who still roam free. When you do so, the threat of the Ti-hem will no longer haunt the universe."
The warning echoed in his head. Daniel nodded. This one was the last of those who had roamed free of the place to which they had been bound. He waited until he felt her hands on his back. Gently pulled the Fire from her. And left this creature as he had left the others.
Jack shuddered when he looked at the pile of ashes. "What say let's get the hell out of here."
"Good idea," Sam said.
"We're gonna seal these caves up," Jack said, once the team was standing beside the partially excavated ship. "I don't want to take any chances." Duncan readily agreed when he shared the sentiment with the Scot.
"We still have a ship to examine," Sam said as they stood beside the gaping pit that had been dug.
"I'll have a team sent down here," Duncan promised. "I need SG-1 taking care of Penatil right now."
The blonde colonel sighed. "I understand. If there's a way to get it to the SGC, I'd really like for that to happen. So we can study it. There might be something that could help us fight the Goa'uld."
The Highlander nodded. "I'll do my best, Sam."
Daniel looked over at Casey. She was sitting at the edge of the pit, her legs drawn up, her cheek resting against her knee. He settled himself beside her. "Penny for them," he said softly.
"I was just wondering about Sabni. I hope that he can find peace now," she said softly.
"Me, too, Angel." He reached over and brushed a lock of long blonde silk behind her shoulder. "What else is bothering you?"
Casey glanced at her husband. "Nothing," she replied quickly.
He watched her for a minute. "You saw, didn't you?" he asked quietly.
"You…witnessed…what the rest of us suffered through. That was your test," he replied.
She gave him a small smile. "Not really." She paused. She hadn't suffered through any sort of test...was what had happened her 'test'? "I…it was when I was in…his…mind that I-" she broke off, shook her head.
"Look at me," he said.
She continued to examine her bootlaces.
"Casey, look at me, please?"
Her green eyes met his. He could see the hurt that she tried so hard to hide. "Sha're is gone, Case. Yes, I still love her, a part of me will always love her," he said gently.
"I know. I understand," she replied.
"You are my Destiny, Casey. You're my Wife. My Beloved. My Chosen. You are the woman I want beside me forever."
"I know," she admitted. "It's just that…"
He waited. "What, babe?" he asked when she remained silent.
"She had your love first," she whispered.
"Yes, she did," he acknowledged. "But you're the one who has it now. Forever."
"Do you ever miss her?"
The question surprised him. He smiled. "I don't think I actually miss her. At least, not since you've been in my life, to fill all of the empty places with your love, your sunshine. Sometimes I think about her, remember my time on Abydos. It was a very…special…time for me."
She turned this over in her mind. "She still loves you, watches out for you, as much as she can from…there."
He smiled. "I know. Sha're told me that you are my Destiny. That you always were. That even if she had lived, if we had been able to free her from Amaunet, you and I would have found one another, fallen in love."
"That had to have hurt her," Casey said softly.
He had often wondered if the knowledge hurt the woman that he had first fallen in love with. "Probably."
"I hope that wherever she is, she can find…comfort. And that she knows how much I love you." And Casey hoped that she could find comfort of her own, against the memory of his eyes, and the love he had for the dark haired Abydonian woman.
He smiled. "I think that's a given, babe." He looked around. Duncan, Jack, Sam and Teal'c were heading back into the cave where their camp was still set up. "Let's go eat, and get some sleep." He stood up, held his hand out to her.
She wrapped her fingers around his, relished the feeling of his skin against hers. "Sounds good." Her arm went around his waist when his dropped onto her shoulders. Smiled when he pulled her close.
"Love you, Angel."
"Love you, Stud Muffin."
<<Previous | Story Intro | Return to Stories | Next >>