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In the Arms of Love
An hour later the phone rang in the gym. "Babe, Jack says it’s time."
"Let me shower, then I’ll be up."
She looked around when she entered the observation room forty minutes later. Sam had joined the men, all of them were sitting on chairs, drinking coffee.
Daniel stood up and hugged her. "Are you sure you want to do this alone?"
"I’m sure," she said.
"We’ll be right here, babe. If you need us, just say so."
She took a deep breath, then went to talk to her ex-husband. He was sitting on one of the chairs, had it leaned back against the wall. "What part of ‘nothing to say’ do you not understand?" she asked softly.
He let the front legs of the chair hit the floor with a thud. "Where the hell have you been? I’ve been waiting here for hours! And what the hell is this place?"
"I have been working. You wouldn’t be here if you hadn’t broken into my home. Daniel told you last night that I didn’t want to talk to you!"
Kenny grinned. "Yeah, well you’re talking to me now, aren’t you?"
Casey shook her head. "Say what ever it is that you’re dying to say, and then get the hell out of my life."
He looked at her, then stood up, walked to where she stood near the door. He reached out to touch her cheek. He didn’t know how she did it, but suddenly he was on his knees, his hand twisted backwards, her fingers digging into his wrist.
"Don’t you ever try to touch me again," she hissed.
"Damn! That hurts! Let go!"
"If I let you go, you will return to that chair. If you don’t, I’ll drop your sorry ass where you stand," she said softly, calmly. She released him, watching him carefully. He took one step away from her, then wheeled around to grab her. She blocked his arm and jabbed her fist into his side. He went to his knees. "I told you I’d drop you. I’m going to give you one last chance to sit your ass on that chair." She stepped back.
He looked up at her, the pain in his side making his breath come in gasps. Where the hell had she learned to do that? He crawled to the chair and pulled himself up on it.
In the other room, four people were grinning broadly.
"That’s my Tiger," Daniel said, his eyes dancing.
"He looks totally confused," Sam said. "And a little bit afraid."
"He should be scared," Jack said, "he pissed her off. Guys who do that usually wind up really dead!"
"Indeed," Teal'c agreed.
They all chuckled quietly.
"I just wanted to talk to you," Kenny said.
"So you keep saying," Casey responded. She leaned against the door, her arms crossed over her chest.
"Remember how good it used to be?" he asked finally, his voice low.
"It stopped being good the minute you decided to be the first one in my bed," Casey retorted. "What I remember are the nights alone, you coming home reeking of booze and perfume. I remember having to work two jobs to support us, while you were hanging out at the Blue Gull making time with anything in a skirt. I remember the drunken rages, being thrown against the walls. I remember you making me hate you a little more every day."
He sucked in a breath. "We had good times, babydoll."
She shook her head. "You’re as thick-headed as ever. Did you hear anything I just said?"
"I heard it. I just can’t believe that you don’t remember the good times."
Casey sighed. "Kenny, there were no 'good times'. You were cheating on me during our honeymoon! Didn’t you think I’d notice what you and that girl were doing in the swimming pool? I was a virgin when you married me, not stupid. Do you know that Kelley almost had me convinced not to go through with the wedding? Had Dad not come in and started going on about how much the whole thing was costing him, I wouldn’t have walked down that aisle."
He looked at her. "So the only reason you went through with our wedding, our marriage, was because Frank was bitching about the cost?"
She nodded. "Pretty pathetic, isn’t it? I guess I was still trying to win his love. Took a lot for me to realize that was a lost cause." She paused, took a deep breath. "I’m not the same woman you knew in Tacoma."
"I know," he said softly.
"I don’t think you do. You see, you never really knew me. Not like Daniel knows me. Every hurt, every demon that has haunted me from my childhood, he knows about. Not only that, he fought and defeated those demons when I was too scared to do it myself. He has healed every hurt my soul ever suffered. I’m a whole woman now, thanks to him. I love him. More than life."
"Did you ever love me?"
"I think I did, for a very short time. Before you started looking at me as nothing more than a challenge."
"I still love you."
She shook her head. "No, Kenny, you don’t. You don’t love anyone. You can’t, because you don’t even like yourself. Look at the way you live, the way you use people. I don’t think you even understand what love is. I feel sorry for you, Kenny, I really do. You should go someplace, find a job, and get some professional help. Maybe some day you’ll be able to love someone, and accept love in return."
"So, can we at least be friends?" His eyes were pleading with her.
"No. I don’t want you anywhere near me. You’re the past, Kenny. I’ve left it all behind. There's no room in my life for the past, or you."
"That’s damned cold!"
"It’s the truth, Kenny. Unlike you, I’ve always tried to tell the truth. I’m walking out of here now. Don’t ever bother me again. You won’t like what happens if you do." She turned, knocked on the door, and when the SF on the other side opened it, she left without a second glance.
She went back into the room where her friends, her family, and the man she adored, waited for her. She went straight into Daniel’s arms.
"Are you okay, babe?" He asked softly, his hand moving up and down her back.
She looked up at him and smiled. "I’m fine."
Sam giggled. "Did you see the look on his face when you dropped him to his knees?"
Casey grinned. "Never saw him so surprised!"
"So what do you want us to do with him, Case?" Jack asked.
"Take him back to his car. I doubt he’ll stay around, especially now that we can charge him with a real crime. I’m sure glad Emma saw him messing around with the door!"
"We need to go to the mall," Daniel said quietly.
She looked up at him. "How much?"
"Just the top drawer of your dresser."
She nodded. "I wanted a whole drawer full of new things anyway," she smiled.
"You two go on. Teal'c and I will drop him off. I already have a team replacing the handle on the door. Same type of handle," Jack said, when Casey started to object. "You’ll never be able to tell anything happened to it."
She nodded. "Thanks guys, for everything."
Jack and Teal'c nodded, Sam grinned.
"Let’s go babe. I want you out of here before they move him." Daniel said softly. "See you tomorrow, guys." He led her out of the room, his arm around her shoulders. He smiled when her arm went around his waist and pulled him close.
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