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In the Arms of Love
"Chevron six, locked and encoded"
She adjusted her pack, tightened a strap, made sure that her sidearm was secure. She caressed the grip of the P90, and took a deep breath. She'd worked with SG-6 numerous times. This was the first time as a permanent member. She wondered what Daniel was doing, shook her head mentally. He was doing his job. She had her own to do. She’d see him day after tomorrow. At least she hoped she would. Sam’s report earlier that morning had indicated that they might be gone a day longer than planned. Something about very friendly locals, feasting customs, and naquadah.
"Chevron seven, locked and encoded."
She watched the event horizon open up, the sight always awe inspiring no matter how many times she witnessed it. With a sigh, she followed Major Parker and Tony and Texas through the gate.
"Great," Tony muttered. "Why is it we always get the dead rocks with lots of sand and nothing for freakin’ miles?"
"’Cause we’re 6, not 1," Major Parker replied. "Let’s go people. Keep sharp. UAV showed ruins in this direction."
Casey fell into step beside Tony and Texas. "So you guys always get the lousy planets, huh?"
Texas grinned at her. "Seems that way. You’ll get used to it."
"I suppose so," she said quietly.
Tony and Texas exchanged a glance. No one who worked at the SGC could believe that Casey had been so unceremoniously dumped from SG-1. No one thought it was fair, either. Not after all that she had done. There wasn’t a team in the entire command that had not benefited from her Immortality and her willingness to sacrifice her life to save others. But she had died more often, taken more risks, contributed as much to SG-1 as any of the original team members. Her increasingly acute 'feelings' were helping out as well. Whoever this new guy was, he shouldn’t have been able to replace her. Several of the teams had five members, two actually had six. SG-6 had had five members until Morris and Wilson had left. Everyone on the entire base was feeling the tension. If politicians were going to pull apart and reassemble SG teams at will, none of the teams would ever function properly again. Camaraderie and the ability to work together seamlessly took time to evolve, and that 'edge' would be lost if there was a constant shuffling of personnel. And that meant danger to everyone involved.
A A A A A A
The ruins weren’t much. Casey estimated three buildings. They took pictures, she recorded the site, and since there wasn’t any writing anywhere, they continued to move on. The UAV had shown several sites, and SG-6 was to investigate each one.
They walked for the rest of the afternoon to get to the second site. It was much the same as the first, although there were more buildings. By the time Casey was content that she had as much information as she could get, Major Parker ordered camp set up.
Casey pulled her CD player from her pack, and with a grin, Tony supplied the speakers. They shimmied and danced, lip-syncing when they knew the words to the songs, until it was too dark to see.
She curled up in her sleeping bag, the tee shirt Daniel had worn the day before clutched to her cheek. "Love you, Daniel," she whispered, as she closed her eyes. Sleep was long in coming, but eventually she drifted off, sleeping until Texas woke her to take her turn at sentry duty.
The next day was more of the same, the ruins far enough apart that it took most of the day to get to them. By the end of the third day, the members of SG-6 were hot, tired, dusty, and more than willing to head home.
Daniel was waiting at the bottom of the ramp when she walked through. She smiled at him, her heart pounding against her ribs. He smiled back, his eyes telling her how much he loved her, how much he had missed her. He grabbed her in a hug as soon as she was close enough. "Welcome back, babe," he said, just before he lowered his head and captured her lips in a kiss.
When finally she was forced to break the kiss or beg him to take her right where they stood, she smiled up at him. "When did you get here?"
"About two hours ago. Ready to go home?"
"As soon as Doctor Williams clears me. Let me take a shower. Could we just grab something to eat on the way home? I’m beat," she replied.
"Sure, babe. I’ll be in my office when you’re ready."
She nodded, then wearily made her way to the locker room.
A A A A A A
The first month of working on separate teams passed quickly. Of the six days off they each received, they were able to spend four of them together. They even managed to be home together at least two nights a week. The second month they barely saw one another.
It was nearly midnight when he slipped into the bed. She sensed his presence, and within minutes was wrapped around him, her head on his shoulder. He was almost asleep when he felt it. The wetness of tears. He reached over and turned on the lamp.
"Babe, what’s wrong?"
"I just miss you so much. Do you realize this is the first time we’ve been in bed together in two weeks?" she moved closer, felt his arm tighten around her.
"I know, babe. This just isn’t working," he replied, kissing the top of her head.
"Daniel, Jack told me right after you left on the first mission with Ben, that if there's a way to change this, that you and Sam and Teal'c will figure it out. He also told me that you have to do it on your own. Don’t give up, not yet," she said softly. She moved her body until she was lying on him. "For now, make love to me, please?"
He groaned and began to kiss her, the need for her a raging inferno inside him. He rolled her over, lowered his head and began to suckle at her breasts, the taste of her skin making him hard as steel. When he finally slid down between her thighs, the taste of her, the smell of her nearly made him lose all control. It felt as if it had been ages since he had been able to make love to her. She was whimpering, her climax already rocking her body.
"Please, my heart, let me taste you," she begged.
He slid up on the bed, watched as she moved over him, gasped when her warm, sweet mouth took him in. She teased him until he could take no more. "Now, Angel, I have to be inside you now."
She moved up, straddled his hips, lowered herself on his engorged shaft. She moaned as he entered her, filled her. "Missed you," she whispered, rocking her hips against his. Her fingers were already between them, his hands on her hips, slowing her movements to match his needs.
"Missed you too, babe" He could feel his climax building. Suddenly he was there, much quicker than he thought he would be. She collapsed on his chest, the last waves of her second orgasm having washed over her. He pulled her close. Her words echoed in his head: "…if there's a way to change this, … you and Sam and Teal'c will figure it out…" He drifted to sleep, the problem poking at his mind.
A A A A A A
He knocked on the door to Jack’s office. "Got a minute?"
"Sure, Daniel. Come on in," Jack said, smiling up at the younger man.
Daniel laid a sheet of paper on the desk. "My resignation. I can’t work like this, can’t live like this; never getting to see her, never getting to spend time with her. Hell, last night was the first time we’ve slept in the same bed at the same time in two weeks. We’ve barely seen each other in the past month."
"If Daniel goes, I go too, sir," Sam said, walking in, laying a sheet of paper on the desk beside the one Daniel had laid down, then moving to stand next to him. "Ben is a nice guy, he’s adjusting well, but, well, sir, I’d sure like to have Casey and her feelings back on the team. She can sense danger before we smack our faces on it."
"I too, will leave the SGC if Casey Jackson is not allowed to return to her proper place on SG-1," Teal'c said from his place just inside the door.
Jack grinned. "Took you long enough. Sit down. I have a phone call to make." He picked up the red phone. "Mr. President? Jack O’Neill. We have a bit of a problem."
Fifteen minutes later, Casey was officially re-instated on SG-1. Jack knew that Major Parker would be disappointed, but he didn’t believe the man would be surprised.
"So, when does 6 get back?" Daniel asked, excitement in his voice.
"They should be back sometime tomorrow morning. Take the day off, Space Monkey. You’ve earned it. Hell, the whole team can take the rest of the week off."
"Tomorrow is Friday, sir," Sam replied, rolling her eyes.
"Yeah, so? You get Saturday and Sunday too," he grinned.
"Thanks, Jack," Daniel said, grinning. Two days. For the first time in a month they would have two entire days together. He doubted that he’d let her out of bed.
A A A A A A
Casey smiled at the village children that clamored around them, watching these strangers with wide-eyed excitement. She was drawn to a little girl with bright red hair. She smiled down into the deep brown eyes, was rewarded when the child smiled in return.
"Hi, there," Casey said. "What’s your name?"
"Miram," was the shy reply. The Gaelic accent was strong.
"What a lovely name. How old are you Miram?"
The little girl held up four fingers. "What’s your name?"
"How many are you?"
Casey grinned. "I’m thirty-three." Going on seventy-eight, she thought to herself. Duncan had told her that she shouldn’t count the forty-five years that she had lived before Oma had brought them back in time. But to not count them was the same as pretending they had never happened. And she wouldn’t do that. She had forty-three years of memories with Daniel that she would never let go. She had two years of memories with Duncan, as well.
"You come-ded out of the Great Circle," the little girl continued.
"That’s right, I did. I live in a place far, far from here. I came to visit you," the blonde Immortal replied with a smile.
"And why, pray tell, would ya be doin’ that?" The speaker was a large man, his dark hair sprinkled liberally with gray. He was standing with his feet spread apart, his arms crossed over his wide chest.
"We’d like to become friends," Casey replied, smiling. Major Parker stepped up just behind her, Tony and Texas stopped off to the side.
The man looked at her. He bit back the smile that threatened to break across his face. This woman could charm the very Devil himself, he thought. "What for?"
"Because one can never have too many friends."
The man lost his battle, his smile was wide and welcoming. "Welcome then, traveler, to Glenncairn."
Casey’s heart nearly stopped beating. Glenncairn was the name of the village, the area in Scotland, where Duncan had been born and raised. "I’m Casey Jackson," she said, extending her hand.
The man took the small, pale hand, his own engulfing her fingers until they completely disappeared. "I am Angus MacLeod," he replied.
She stood, stunned. "Angus MacLeod?"
"Aye. What’s the matter, lass, you look as if you’ve seen a ghost," the man said, his eyes full of concern.
She couldn’t wait to tell Duncan about this. No doubt the Highlander would be here before he finished reading the message. "I may have. Mr. MacLeod-"
"Angus, lass, please," he insisted.
"Angus, how long have your people been here?"
The man began to scratch his long beard. "Stories say that we came here more than eleven hundred years ago. Why?"
Casey looked over at Major Parker. "Had to be Loki, right?" she asked, referring to the sometimes renegade Asgard who had a tendency to take humans from Earth to use in his experiments. He had probably taken three or four people from a village, and when he was finished, had dumped them here.
Parker nodded. "I don’t think that any Goa’uld brought these people here. Don’t see how they could have, with the ‘gate still buried in Egypt at the time. Unless there’s a gate there that we don’t know about, or they showed up in a ha'tak.."
"If that had happened, there would be some sort of record about it," Casey replied. Daniel would have fit when he heard about this, she thought. Jack and Duncan would, too. She smiled when she thought about how excited her husband would be, getting to know these people and their old, Celtic ways. She introduced the members of the team, then followed Angus into a long, low building that served as the village community center. It seemed that all work was done here: cooking, sewing, tanning hides, making weapons, and all of the other tasks that went on in support of everyday life. She looked around, noticed that they were greeted with open smiles.
"So, Case, any bad vibes here?" Major Parker asked quietly.
She shook her head. "No, none. This place seems to be just exactly as it appears…a village of very friendly people."
"Let’s see if they’ll be willing to let us mine those hills. We’re getting readings for naquadah. Go charm the man, Jackson."
Casey nodded. "Angus, we would like to talk about trade. And maybe make an agreement for us to do some mining."
"I see," Angus said. "And what would you be having that we would be interested in trading for?" He sat down on a chair flanked by two large logs in front of the fire that burned in a long pit in the middle of the room.
She settled herself on one of the logs. "Food, clothing, medical supplies, improved farming techniques."
The man studied her for a minute. "I think we have some talkin’ to do," he finally said, with a smile.
A A A A A A
It hadn’t taken long to convince Angus to let them mine, and his demands were very simple, really. She was sure that whoever was sent through now to finalize the deal, would be happily surprised. She sighed. It would probably be Daniel. He did a lot of diplomatic work and treaty negotiations at SGC. And she would be somewhere else. They shared a meal with the people of Glenncairn, and were ready to return home.
She watched as Texas started to dial the gate. She was anxious to get home, Daniel would be there, and with luck, they would at least get one day to spend together.
The DHD made a groaning noise, then went silent.
"Texas, dial us home," Major Parker said quietly.
"I’m trying sir. But the damned thing isn’t working," the young man said.
"I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear that," Casey said. "I want to get home!"
Tony looked over at her, knew the reason for her impatience. "We’ll get there, Case. You’ll get to see him."
Texas punched the keys again. Nothing. No sound, no response in the rings. He dropped down to his knees, and found the control panel. Casey didn’t know a thing about the crystals that were lined up in the slots, but even she could see in the glare of the flashlights that there was one that was completely burned.
She groaned. "This is not happening. The first time in a month that we’ll both be home on the same day, and I’m going to be stuck here!"
The villagers looked on with curiosity. Angus stepped forward. "You are most welcome to stay, since it seems that the Great Circle no longer works."
She groaned again. Tony put his arm around her, just before the tears began to fall from her eyes.
"What’s wrong, lass?" Angus asked gently.
"I was hoping to get home and spend some time with my Husband. I haven’t seen him much in the past month," Casey replied, wiping hastily, irritably at the wetness on her cheeks.
"Och, lass, tis a sad thing to be kept from the arms of your man. Come, sleep, things will look better in the morning."
"Casey, I’m pretty sure I can get it to work. It will just take a little time. I’ll have to work around the burned out crystal," Texas told her.
"Get to it, Texas," Major Parker said. "Tony, let’s give the man some light to work in."
An hour later, Texas shook his head. "I just don’t know enough about this to do any more than I already have." He looked up into Casey’s tear-filled eyes. "I’m really sorry Case."
She reached out and squeezed his shoulder. "You did your best, Texas. Let’s get some sleep. Maybe tomorrow we can figure something out."
"Within twenty-four hours, when we haven’t checked in, General O’Neill will send somebody through to check on us," Major Parker said.
"Then they’ll be as stuck as we are," Casey retorted.
"Not if it’s SG-1. Colonel Carter could probably fix that thing with a hairpin and a hickory stick," the major argued.
She giggled at the mental image. "True. If anybody can get us out of here, it will be her."
No one came through the next day. Nor the next. Casey spent her time learning the myths and stories of the people, recording and taking notes on everything.
Suddenly the gate came to life. She ran to the steps, watched as the MALP came through. She leaned down to look in the camera. "DHD broken…can’t dial home-" Before she could finish, the gate had closed. That wasn’t SOP. Walter would have kept the gate open as long as needed to get the information from the MALP. It seemed that now the gate itself was malfunctioning. She kicked the DHD with frustration.
A A A A A A
"Sir, Casey Jackson met the MALP. She said something about the DHD being broken before the gate shut on us. I think the entire gate there is down," Walter reported.
Jack nodded. "Location?"
"Nine by five by three. Prometheus could be there in about a week," the technician said.
"Okay. Re-call SG-1. If anybody can fix that thing, it will be Carter. Besides, Daniel will have a shit fit if he’s not on that ship when it heads out," Jack said. The man had been furious that his wife had not returned home, and that the three days of downtime given to SG-1 had been spent without her. Everyone on the base was giving him wide berth at the moment.
Daniel had kept busy on those days spent alone; doing laundry…mowing the yard…cleaning the garage…washing the Jeep…anything to try and keep himself from going crazy. He knew where she was, but Jack refused to let anyone go back through until the MALP had given them an idea of what was going on. The MALP itself had suffered a malfunction that required nearly two days of reprogramming. On Monday Jack had insisted that the team continue with their scheduled off-world missions.
When the call came, Daniel was the first through the gate. "Where is she?" he demanded gruffly.
"Stuck," Jack replied. He turned his attention to his wife. "Grab your doohickeys. The MALP got through, and Casey was able to tell us that the DHD was down before the gate itself went down. The Prometheus is standing by."
Sam nodded. She headed to her lab to pack anything and everything she could think of that might be needed.
Daniel was sitting on the bench in front of his locker when Ben sat down beside him. "I’m sorry about all of this," Ben said softly.
Daniel looked at him. "Yeah, well if she hadn’t been tossed off of SG-1 to begin with, she’d be here right now."
Ben looked down at the floor. "It was never my intention that anyone be kicked off of SG-1 to make room for me."
"But you did nothing to stop it when you found out it was happening," Daniel said accusingly. "Excuse me, I want to shower before we ring up to the ship." He moved away, his anger and frustration like a living thing that curled in his gut. He decided to stop by their quarters, to get her some clean clothes, a bottle of her shampoo, her soap and her body lotion. If she had packed only for an over night stay, she'd be thrilled to get the items.
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