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July 4th dawned bright and warm. Casey had Emily in her little bouncer, sitting on the counter beside her as she worked on the potato salad for their anniversary barbecue. She had the stereo on, and was singing along with the Eagles, Emily cooing with her. "That’s right, Baby," Casey smiled. "Sing with me. ‘Living it up at the Hotel California, what a nice surprise, bring your alibis…’."
Emily smiled and cooed, watching her mother’s face.
Daniel was on the phone in the den. When he came into the kitchen, he didn’t look happy. "Casey Renee Jackson, I told you to stay out of it," he said.
"Stay out of what, honey?" She asked innocently.
"You’ve invited both Methos and Oma to the picnic."
Casey looked at him, her eyes wide. "Hel-lo? Oma is my cousin, of course she’s invited! Mom and Dad and Oma and Methos are the Immortal Council, and since three of them will already be here it just seemed rude not to invite…" she trailed off. "Oma?"
Daniel looked in her eyes, saw the surprise, realized she hadn’t known. "Babe, I’m sorry. I thought you were in on this," he said softly. He walked around the island and put his arms around her, nuzzled her neck.
"Honey, you said to stay out of it, so I have. Carly told me that she made her phone call, that the news was received with… interest is the word I think she used…and that’s the last I’ve heard of it."
"Jack says that Tessa is bound and determined to see the two of them together, and has enlisted Sam’s help."
She couldn’t help but smile. She’d get the details as soon as Tessa arrived. As for staying out of it, well, this was her house, she was hostess, so she had to make sure everyone was having a good time, right?
Emily was looking at her father, arching her back, and making the little noises she made when she wanted to be picked up.
"Hey, Princess," Daniel said, smiling. He picked his daughter up, held her close. The short top she was wearing exposed her little round tummy, he held her close to his mouth and blew against her, vibrating her skin. He nearly dropped her when she let out a squeal of baby laughter.
"Daniel! Do that again! She’s laughing!" Casey gasped.
He obeyed, and again the infant gurgled with laughter. He looked down at Casey, saw the wide smile and the tears in her eyes. He had tears in his own eyes. He repeated the procedure, rewarded when his daughter laughed again.
"She’s laughing!" a voice called from the door. Duncan walked over to look up into the round, cherub face as she laughed.
"Isn’t that the most beautiful sound?" Tessa asked softly.
"It certainly is," Casey agreed.
Daniel had settled the baby into the crook of his arm. "Rates right up there with my all time favorite sounds," he said with a grin. He looked at Casey and winked. He almost laughed out loud as she blushed.
Jack and Sam came in, disappointed to learn that they had missed hearing Emily’s first laugh. Jack took the baby. "Couldn’t wait for Uncle Jack to get here, huh? I’ll remember that come Christmas time," he said, making the others in the room chuckle.
Sam sat down at the counter. She was six months pregnant now, her belly resembled a soccer ball under her shirt. She took one of the fresh chocolate walnut cookies that Casey had baked earlier in the day and put a generous spoonful of potato salad on it. She closed her eyes when she took a bite.
"I swear, it gets worse every day," Jack complained. "She’s eating ketchup on her ice cream now."
"Hey, Casey dipped olives into chocolate sauce," Daniel countered.
Duncan shuddered. "Let’s hope that when Tessa gets pregnant, she won’t go through that."
Casey looked over at him. "When? When? Okay, spill it Highlander…and I want details."
The Scot looked at her. "Details? I think not!"
Tessa smiled. "Doctor Montigue believes that he has found a way to counter the Quickening. I’ll be going in for shots. The serum was developed using what they learned from the blood samples you two provided. With luck, I’ll get pregnant."
Letting out a squeal of delight, Casey hurried over and hugged the French woman. "That is so fantastic!" She looked over at Duncan. "If you need any pointers on how to get the job done, I’m sure Daniel won’t mind giving you one or two." She stuck her tongue out at him and went back to finish cleaning up the island.
Daniel shook his head, glanced at Duncan and laughed out loud. The man was looking at Casey with utter shock on his face.
"I don’t believe that will be necessary," the Highlander said finally. "I know what goes where. I have had a few years of experience."
"Yeah, but at your age, the mind starts going. You might forget an important step or something," Casey said, continuing to tease.
Duncan bit back his smile. "At your age, you don’t know enough to come in out of the rain to keep from getting wet."
"I do too know to come in out of the rain," she said, her eyes dancing.
"You’re such a brat."
"You’re such a grump."
They all looked up to see Erin standing in the doorway, a smile on her face. "Casey, stop teasing Duncan."
The Scot hooted with laughter.
"Mom! Why are you picking on me?" Casey asked, a pained look on her face.
Erin had walked over to Daniel, took Emily into her arms. "I know that you tease the poor man mercilessly."
"Yeah, take that," Duncan crowed.
Casey scrunched her nose up at him. "I do not tease him mercilessly. I have lots of mercy when I do it. Otherwise I’d be worse," she admitted with a grin. Tessa and Sam broke into giggles. "Besides, he picks on me."
"Who is picking on you?" Aaron asked as he walked in the door.
Casey walked around the island and hugged her father. "Dad, Duncan is picking on me."
Aaron looked over at the dark haired man. "She’s at it again, eh?"
With a huff, Casey folded her arms over her chest. "Doesn’t anybody care that he’s picking on me?"
"No." The answer was almost in complete unison from everyone in the room.
"Well if that’s how you all feel!" She turned on her heel and went into the bathroom, slamming the door for effect. She stood there grinning, then did what she had actually come into the room to do.
"Oh, dear," Tessa said. "Duncan, you were teasing her back."
Daniel watched the door, waiting for his wife to reappear. "I’ll be right back," he said softly after she failed to return after a moment. He tapped on the door, then opened it. "Babe?"
Casey was just putting the finishing touches on her makeup. She had started wearing it again during her pregnancy, and continued to do so, except on missions of course, and she hadn’t yet had the chance to apply it today. "What, honey?"
"Are you okay?"
The smile she gave him let him know that she was indeed all right. "I’m fine, my love. I wanted to get my makeup done, and slamming the door was just my way of winning…again."
Daniel laughed out loud. "You are something, you know that?"
"I know. And you love me for it."
He put his arms around her, kissed the spot on her neck that her braided hair left exposed, smiled when she shivered against him. "Very much. So, shall I go tell them you’re pouting and won’t come out without an apology?"
She giggled. "No, love. That won’t be necessary." She dug through her jewelry box, found a pair of dangly beaded earrings and put them in her ears. "Well?" she asked, turning to face her husband.
He looked at her, his heart thumping against his chest. "You look beautiful, babe. Like you always do." He kissed her, not giving a damn if he did mess up her makeup. She wore flavored lip-gloss, and the taste made him think of the flavored body oil, which sent the flames out of control, made him want more of her.
She wrapped her arms around his neck. "We really should get back out there."
He trailed kisses down her throat. "I know."
"You’re getting yourself all worked up," she said, her hand cupping him, feeling him quickly swell against her palm.
She reached down and unfastened his jeans. "Need a hand?"
"Absolutely," he whispered, unbuttoning her blouse and pushing it aside. His fingers twisted the clasp of her bra, exposed her breasts to him. He pulled her down to the floor, began to make love to her breasts while she caressed his ever growing erection.
"We shouldn’t be doing this," she said, her breath catching in her throat as he tugged on a nipple.
"Nope." He unfastened her jeans and pushed them from her hips. He pushed her thighs apart and lowered his head.
"Oh, god, Daniel, that feels so good!" she whispered as his mouth worked over her delicate flesh. "Turn around, my heart, let me taste you." He eagerly obeyed. The thought of what they were doing…with a room full of people on the other side of the wall…excited her. It wasn’t but a few moments and she began to quiver. Just as she began to come down from her climax, she took him deep as he thrust his hips gently against her, her hands working to caress what she could never take into her mouth. He gave a soft moan as he filled her throat.
They cleaned up as quietly as possible, giggling as they did so. She fixed her makeup, and they went back out to join their family and the other guests who had arrived while they had been preoccupied. Sam and Jack looked at them with knowing smiles.
"Case, you’re not mad at me, are you?" Duncan asked, concern in his voice. He was holding Emily now, had her over his shoulder, softly patting her back.
"Of course, not, Duncan. Even though you were picking on me," Casey replied, her smile bright and warm and full of affection.
"You started it."
"I didn’t start it, you did." She grinned.
"How did I start it?" he asked.
"You walked in here, didn’t you?" Her eyes were dancing.
He laughed. "I give up."
Casey raised her arms above her head. "Winner! And still the champ!" she declared with glee.
Everyone around them began to laugh. The yard, which was a bit larger than the house they had on Baldwin Street, began to fill with friends.
"Babe, I have a surprise for you," Daniel said, a grin on his face. He took her down the hallway and opened the front door. Standing there, matching grins on their faces, was SG-6.
Casey looked at the men standing on the porch, gave a squeal, then launched herself at them, hugging them all. Major Parker’s wife Anita was with him, and she received a hug as well.
The party was in full swing when Methos arrived, Oma at his side. He held her hand, and she was smiling brightly.
"Well, it looks as if your plan worked, Carly," Casey said, nodding at the couple.
Carlotta smiled. "It just seemed to me that whenever the two of them were in the same room, they tried too hard not to look at each other, argued just a bit too forcefully. He really does love you, my dear. Something that I think he never expected to happen. You broke down the walls he’s hidden behind for millennia. Enough that Oma could get through."
"I just hope they’ll be happy."
"That is entirely up to them."
Casey walked over and hugged her cousin. She looked at Methos, watched as his eyes finally met hers, then hugged him as well. "I’m glad you’re both here. Come get something to eat!"
Their sixth wedding anniversary passed, the day being as wonderful and full of love as the previous five had been. Casey sighed with happiness as she settled against Daniel’s side later that night. It just didn’t get any better than this, she thought, drifting to sleep.
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