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It's Hard to Say Goodbye
hard to say goodbye, to yesterday
I don't know where the road is going to lead,
All I know is where we've been and what we been through, oooh,
If we get to see tomorrow,
I hope it's worth all the wait,
It's so hard to say goodbye to yesterday..."
"It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday"
by Boyz 2 Men
The team was already waiting in the conference room when Duncan walked in. He took one look at Casey and knew that something was wrong. He settled into his chair. "Talk to me, Case," he said softly.
"It's Steven…I mean Dagon. He's on his way here," she said softly.
"Sonuvabitch," Jack hissed. "How close?"
"I'm not sure…yet," she admitted.
"Find out, honey," Duncan said.
With a quick smile at her husband…one, Daniel noted, that didn't reach her eyes…she laced her fingers with his and held tightly.
As she almost always did, she caressed him gently, softly before reaching out. There was something…different…about the way things looked. She could 'see' in all directions clearly, except one. That raven-haired priestess! She concentrated, searched all around the 'dark' spot that seemed to hang among the stars. Yep, the bitch was blocking her all right. Anger flared in her veins. This was life and death, could mean real trouble for Gamma, and that bitch wanted to play games! All right, she thought, taking a deep breath, let's play, cupcake!
Daniel frowned as he stood holding her in the meadow. He could feel her body trembling, held her closer, tighter. Felt more than heard her ask for his Fire. Unsure as to her need for his help, Daniel nonetheless began to send the Fire to her. He sent it as slowly and gently as he could, felt the tremors increase up and down her slender frame.
She moved around the area where she knew Dagon's ship was hidden. There had to be a way in, just long enough to get a quick look around. She paced back and forth, felt the Fire that burned, could feel the much hotter, stronger Fire that Daniel sent her. Frustrated, she gave in to the impulse. She held up her hands, focused her mind on her fingertips. And completely blew away the shield of darkness with arcs of blue flame. Three ships. Three motherships. Armed to the teeth. At least a five thousand Jaffa. He wasn't just going to take Gamma, he was going to take Alpha and Beta as well! Oh, I don't think so, cupcake! she thought angrily. She lifted her hands again, and shook all three of the ships with her anger, and the blue flames that danced from her fingertips. She watched for a few more minutes. She hadn't done any damage, but that priestess bitch was certainly doing some looking around. Time to get the hell out of dodge, she thought, as she moved quickly away. She hovered for just a few more seconds, making sure that the woman hadn't been able to follow her back; she didn't have time to deal with the bitch intruding into her mind. She looked up at Daniel, caressed him one more time, felt him gently withdrawing that white-hot Fire that filled his veins, then watched him to move away from her.
"What in the hell did you just do?" Daniel demanded, as soon as she opened her eyes.
She looked at him, lowered her eyes, pulled her lip between her teeth. Her cheeks were the slightest bit pink. She wasn't eager to admit that her temper had gotten the better of her.
"Casey?" His voice was soft, gentle.
"I guess…I sort of…I guess I threw a temper tantrum," she admitted.
"You what?" Jack asked, a frown of confusion on her face.
She shook her head slightly. "I…when I started looking, I could 'see' everywhere, except for one…spot. It was…black…hidden. So I moved close enough to see if it was Dagon. That priestess of his has…had…him cloaked. She knows that someone has been 'looking', she probably told him, and he most likely wanted to keep me from seeing anything. Anyway…well…I mean if they get all the way here…and my babies, and Sam's babies, and Richie and Tessa, and Carly…and well, it pissed me off. So…I…well, I asked Daniel to send me his Fire, which, by the way," she said, looking over at him, "is hotter than hell and hard to control."
Daniel grinned. He was well aware of how hot the Fire that flowed through him could become. And just how hard it could be to control. Although he was sure it was much easier for him to handle.
"Anyway," she continued, "I…well…I sort of tore the hell out of her…shield…cover, whatever you want to call it…and he has three freakin' motherships heading this way, with at least five thousand Jaffa, and he thinks he's going to take the entire Stargate Command Colony, and it…well, I was so damned mad…I sort of…I didn't do any damage…unfortunately…but I managed to shake them up a bit."
Everyone stared at her. Jack was the first. He snickered. Duncan chuckled. Daniel chortled. Teal'c began to laugh. Sam burst into giggles.
Daniel raised her fingers to his lips. "I take it this isn't something you've ever done before?"
She shrugged. "Never knew I could do it before. And I couldn't do it without your Fire." That was the way of their…gifts. Neither of them were aware of what they were capable of until pressed into using that ever increasing power to do what was necessary.
"Can that priestess find you?" Duncan asked, a frown on his face.
"Dad has taught me how to…hide…my presence when I'm 'looking'. I've been doing that on every search, just in case," she said. "It's not infallible, and there's no guarantee that I won't be…noticed…but it helps."
The Highlander looked over at Sam. "I know that you'd like to wait until you have those satellites perfected, but I don't think we have the time. Can that force field offer us at least some protection?"
Sam nodded. "If we have the Phoenix II set ten of them in orbit around the equator, and two in orbit above each pole, we should be able to keep any ships from being able to land, and it will definitely prevent them from being able to ring down anywhere. It will also put out a dampening field that will cover all of the Immortal signatures on the planet. The satellites have shielding, and we've given each of them a dozen missiles so that we can defend Gamma and the satellites themselves."
"Good. I want those things up and operational ASAP," Duncan said. "Case, how soon?"
"Three hours, maybe longer if they decide to stop and try and figure out what just happened," she said.
"Okay, we have three hours to get the Persephone here, and to get those satellites up. I'll have Prometheus stay at Alpha, and I'll contact Master Bra'tac and see if he'll be willing to bring Hak'tyl to help the Phoenix II guard Gamma, and the Jaffa Ai'emain to keep an eye on Beta," Duncan said. He looked at Sam. "Can you do it?"
The blonde colonel shrugged. "Theoretically, I suppose so. Realistically, if everything goes right, it's going to be closer to twelve. That's the best we can do."
"We need to get on board those ships and take them out before they get here," Jack said. "Then we won't need to worry about protecting our homes, and kids, and everybody else's homes and kids from a direct attack."
"I agree," the dark haired Scot replied. "Take the Persephone, and get on those ships. You've done this before," he said quietly. "You stopped Apophis from taking out Earth."
Jack grinned. "Yeah, and we have more experience on the job this time."
"Get the mission planned. I want you leaving as soon as possible," Duncan said. He turned again to Sam. "Put your best people on this, colonel. We need it done quickly and right. You can't be two places at once, or I'd have you do it," he grinned.
Sam grinned in return. "We have the cream of the crop, Duncan. It'll be a piece of cake."
"Good. I'll wake up SG-6 and SGI-3. I'm going to put all of the Marines on alert as well," he said. He looked at his watch. "I'll give a heads up on the Persephone's arrival time. Case, I need coordinates."
She gripped Daniel's fingers a bit tighter. "You got it."
He pulled her close in that sunny meadow. 'You be damned careful, Angel. She knows you're out there. Don't let her see you, or follow you.'
'I have no intention of letting that bitch anywhere near me,' she assured him. Planting a soft kiss on his lips, she reached out, hiding herself as Aaron had taught her. She could 'see' the ships clearly now. Curiosity got the better of her. She moved just a bit closer. Could see the raven-haired priestess lying on a bed, several women tending to her. Casey pulled her lip between her teeth, watched as one of the attendants gave her something to drink, placed a cloth on the woman's forehead. With a grin, she pulled back quickly, quietly, then guided Daniel to the information she had, but could not understand.
"Got it," Daniel declared, hurriedly scribbling out the numbers that had flashed in his mind. He handed the paper to Jack.
Casey was grinning like the Cheshire cat.
"What's up, girlfriend?" Sam asked, smiling.
"She's not a very strong seer," she said. "She has to go into a trance, a drug induced trance to 'see' anything, or to put up a shield. When I…whatever it was I did, I think…I'm not sure, but I think I might have hurt her…just a little bit. I have the impression that she can sense me, or my presence, when I'm not hidden, but she can't do much more than that."
"Is that going to help you…us?" Jack asked.
"I think so. It's interesting that she's not on the same ship as Dagon. He's in the lead ship, she's in one of the others. I don't know why," Casey admitted.
"Are the ships still approaching, Casey Jackson?" Teal'c asked.
She nodded. "They didn't seem to be moving quite as fast. I…" she stopped, cocked her head sideways. "Oh, hell," she moaned, 'seeing' more clearly what she had 'dreamed' earlier in the night.
"What?" Jack asked.
"He…Raynor knows…knew…that I'm a seer. So Dagon knows that I'm a seer. He knows that Daniel is powerful. He wants that power, and he'll use me to get it. That's the entire reason he's coming," Casey said softly. This was part of the information she had already shared with her husband.
"Somehow I don't think that's what has you upset," Daniel said quietly.
"He knows that what just happened was…me. I think I just made things worse," she whispered.
'Don't you dare!'
She glanced at him, noted the frown in his face. 'Don't I dare what?'
'Don't you dare start thinking that you're responsible for what's going on! You are not the reason we're facing this!'
'I might not be the reason, but I just made him all the more anxious to get his hands on us.'
'You're sure, one-hundred percent positive that he knows that you're the one that just shook his ships?'
She pulled her lip between her teeth. 'Well, maybe not one-hundred percent positive.'
He lifted her fingers to his lips once again. "Then don't blame yourself. Chances are he might not have a clue who just shook things up," he said softly, his words giving the rest of the team an insight on what the private conversation had been about.
"His priestess is going to at least suspect."
Sam was frowning. "Case, Steven wasn't aware of the 'search' you did into that cavern, was he? I mean, he was already a prisoner there. Yeah, he sat here and watched when you did a search before the mission, and you told Daniel that something was going to happen, but did he really know how…strong…you are psychically?"
Casey shrugged. "He read all of the mission reports," she replied.
Jack shook his head. "No, he read certain mission reports. He only read the first two concerning Nergal, he didn't access the report that told how you and Danny took out those ships. He was more interested in the dig reports."
"Trying to figure out where else to go to locate the finds he was sure I missed," Daniel grumbled.
"So, if Steven didn't know, then Dagon doesn’t know. And that priestess of his might suspect it's you looking around, if Dagon has told her what Steven knew about you," Sam surmised.
"Even if Dagon shared this information with his Priestess, she would still not have knowledge of Casey Jackson's strength, only that she is a seer. The Priestess is a seer in her own right, and will not believe a Tau'ri to be more powerful," Teal'c reasoned. "Nor would she be willing to admit this to Dagon, if she did suspect it to be true. To do so could anger him enough to kill her."
Daniel gave her an 'I-told-you-so' look. "Okay, so we can assume that Steven…Dagon knows that Case is a seer and that I can toss around fireballs. He doesn't know any more than that…and I'm thinking that's more than enough to make him interested in us."
Teal'c nodded. "Indeed. Anyone who possesses a power that the Goa'uld do not are of interest to them. So that they might exploit that power for themselves."
"Dagon knows that we're SG-1. Surely he's aware of our…reputation…for taking out Goa'uld," Jack said.
"Not if Steven didn't believe the reports," Daniel replied. "Which he indicated to me that he didn't."
"So the snake is going to believe what's in Steven's head, because he'll think that the bastard was in a position to know," Jack said, nodding.
"I rather imagine that Steven's ego had him convinced that he knew exactly what was what," Sam said. "So Dagon will get a very warped view of us and what we can really do."
"Never thought I'd be glad that he was such an egotistical bastard," Daniel mused.
Duncan smiled. "We don't have much time, people. Let's get busy," he said, standing to his feet. "Sam, I want those satellites up there as soon as possible."
"We should have them up no later than tonight," she replied, also rising to her feet.
The Highlander nodded. "Okay, let's do this."
Casey followed Daniel to his office. She still wasn't completely sure that Dagon was ignorant of all of the…skills…that she and Daniel possessed. All she could do was hope that those skills would be enough to help protect Gamma. She was starting to get a really bad feeling. She examined it, worried by the fact that it seemed different. She wondered if she would have to adjust her interpretations of what she saw on her searches…to take into consideration the fact that Daniel…and she…had subdued the darkness that had nearly controlled her for so long. Surely that black fear would have colored everything she looked at. She was certain of two things. Something very bad was going to happen. And it didn't directly involve SG-1.
Daniel was busy typing out an email that would give the crew in the Center their 'work orders' for the next week. No doubt he and Casey would be too busy fighting Dagon to worry about what the archaeologists were doing. But certain things needed to be done, requests filled and questions answered; for while they were off fighting the bad guys, life went on around them.
She watched him from the corner of her eye as she started a pot of coffee. Twelve hours ago he had been fighting yet another battle for her, saving her from certain madness. Now he was preparing to go into physical battle. He must be so damned tired of fighting! If he wasn't saving her, he was saving the universe! She shook her head slightly. Wondered again at the depth of the love that he felt…must feel…for her, that kept him at her side, in spite of all of her…frailties. She frowned when she thought about her 'Hathor' affect on him. Was that the only thing that kept him from just walking away? Another shake of her head. Surely not. After all, he could spend a few days in a hospital room with Teal'c and Jack, and be completely free of his…addiction. Or he could spend a few months taking Methadone shots.
"I love you, Angel." His voice was calm. Firm.
She jerked slightly, looked over at him. "What?"
"I know what you're thinking," Daniel replied quietly.
"You…do?" Oh hell, that's all she needed! For him to read her mind as easily as he read the tablets discovered on digs!
"It's in your eyes. C'mere," he said, holding his hand out.
She stepped forward, placed her fingers around his, giving only token resistance when he tugged her close, pulled her onto his lap.
"I thought we had all of this worked out last night," he said softly.
"Had what worked out? That I'm a basket case? That you spend half of your time fighting to protect me from the darkness in my mind…dealing with my…craziness?"
He shook his head. "That I love you. That I need you. That I want you to be at my side, I want to be with you, forever."
She frowned slightly. He needed her, yes. Because he was addicted to her…physically. "I know you need me…or at least… well, what I do for you…or because of what I've done to you," she said softly.
"Casey, I need you because I can't live without you. Doesn't have a damn thing to do with those incredibly wonderful, special pheromones that make me your slave forever. I need you because you fill all the empty places inside me with your love. You fill my life with your sunshine."
Her heart was racing as she listened to him. "Sweet talker."
"Just telling you like it is. Don't you ever doubt my love for you, Case. Never. If I haven't proven I love you, tell me what to do, what to say to show you, prove to you that I love you; that I'll never see any other woman, never love anyone else but you, never need anyone but you. Whatever you need, whatever proof you want, I'll find it, I'll do it," he vowed firmly. He watched her eyes. Wondered when he'd ever get through to her, if she would ever understand how much he loved her, needed her. After ten years, he thought, she should know! Ten years out of forty, his brain told him. Ten years of relative happiness, after thirty of neglect and abuse. And during that ten years, he'd battered her faith, and her heart a few times himself. Maybe it was a miracle that she had been able to forgive him for that. Maybe, he thought, it was a damned miracle that she had ever trusted him in the first place, ever allowed him near her, emotionally, mentally, as well as physically. After all she had suffered, it was a wonder she wasn't stark raving mad! He shivered slightly, realizing once again that she had nearly slipped into that madness, only a few hours ago. He unconsciously tightened his arms around her.
"I love you so much it hurts, Daniel Jackson," she whispered.
"Right back 'atcha, babe," he whispered. He slapped her fanny. "Get up woman, we have work to do."
"Hey, you're the one who wanted me here," she replied, starting to pull herself to her feet.
He held her close, kissed her gently. "Don't you forget it," he whispered. He let her stand up. His glance fell on the folder that held his now completed manuscript. Eventually, that damned book might even get published, he thought, with a mental shrug. When this latest…crisis…was dealt with, he would approach the publishers who were so anxious to see his work. For now…for now he would take his Wife to get some breakfast, and then they would plan the mission to take out Dagon's ships before they reached Gamma.
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