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Leap of Faith
"…I know you have the strength in you
The love to make that leap of faith
The time is right to let it go
Make that simple leap of faith…"
"Leap of Faith"
by Big Country
Casey watched Daniel walk down the hallway, his eyes barely open. She had let him sleep in; he had still been hard at work at his desk when she got up to check on the kids at nearly two a.m. She smiled when she thought about the fact that for her and Daniel, sleeping in meant sleeping until eight or nine. It was five after nine right now.
Daniel poured a cup of coffee, scratched his bare chest, and headed for his office. He hadn't intended to bring any of the notes for his book home, but things were going well, and he didn't want to have to go to the base on his day off. Besides, he wasn't planning on working very long. Maybe a couple of hours. Then he was taking Casey and the kids to the lake. It had been hot the past few days, and playing in the water sounded like a great way to beat the heat. He stepped into the room. Stopped and stared. "Casey!"
He had told her last night that he was taking her and the kids to the lake today. If he got involved with his notes again, it wouldn't be happening. She hadn't said anything to Emily or Nicholas, better for it to be a wonderful surprise than for them to be disappointed if Daddy became too absorbed in his work. She jumped when she heard him shout her name. She hurried to his office. Stopped…and stared. "Oh, no!"
The floor was littered with tiny pieces of paper. From the amount of scraps, she was sure that Nicholas must have found every page that Daniel had written the night before.
Daniel glared at her. "Just when the hell did this happen?"
"How should I know?" she demanded. She walked into the room and knelt down on the area rug, already picking pieces up.
"You should know! You've been here! Was he awake and out of bed before you got up?"
"Of course not!"
"Then why weren't you keeping an eye on him?" Daniel squatted down, grabbed a handful of the torn pieces. Goddamn it! Six hours of work! Shot to hell! "Where is he?"
She wasn't even going to bother dignifying his comments with a response. She couldn't be everywhere at once, and as far as she knew, Nicholas had been in the kitchen the entire time she was fixing breakfast…waffles, of course. "He's outside, and don't you dare go near him until you've calmed down!" she replied.
Daniel gave his wife a hard look. "And just what is that supposed to mean?"
"You don't speak English? It means stay away from my baby until you've calmed down!" She knew that Daniel would never strike Nicholas, neither of them believed in hitting a child for any reason. But as angry as Daniel was right now, he might say something that would break the tot's heart, and she couldn't bear to think that Nicholas might develop a fear of his father.
"You think…you…that I'd…!" He threw his hands in the air. "What am I, some sort of an ogre that you'd say something like that?"
"Of course not," she spat. "I think you're pissed off, and that you'll go storming out there breathing fire, and scare the bejeezus out of him, and then he'll be terrified of you!"
That stopped Daniel cold. His eyes narrowed. "You don't think that I can control my temper around my children? Thanks heaps for the vote of confidence in my abilities as a father!"
Casey was gathering pieces of paper off of the floor, putting each handful carefully on the desk. There was the chance that they could be put back together.
"What are you doing?" he asked, his voice icily calm.
She heaved a sigh. "I was going to try and put this back together for you. You'll have to rewrite them, but at least you wouldn't have lost anything. I don’t understand why you can't just use the computer and keep it all on disc to begin with! Then you wouldn't have these problems!"
"I prefer to write things out, you know that," he grumped. He watched her for a few minutes. "You're never going to get all this back together. I'm going to the base. At least there I can have some peace and quiet!"
"Excuse me? Peace and quiet? When have we ever bothered you when you're working? Daniel Melburn Jackson, you can be such an ass!" Casey tossed the last bits of paper onto the desk, turned on her heel and stomped out of the room.
Daniel ran his hand over his face. They were only notes. He could even remember what most of them said. It wouldn't take long to get them rewritten. And it would be easier to work at the base. He sighed. One of the new rules in the new house was that Daddy's office was off limits to Emily and Nicholas, unless he had told them they could come in. So, they would stand at the doorway, waiting for him to turn and invite them in, sighing and singing and doing everything they could think of, short of calling to him, which Casey had said wasn't allowed, to get his attention. Once they were in the room, it was impossible to do anything. That wasn't such a bad thing, he admitted to himself. It was great to have them climb into his lap and hug him, fun to watch them looking through his books, Emily picking out the words she already recognized. It was fun to get down on the floor with the coloring books and crayons and color with them. He sighed again, walked over to the desk, grabbed the wastepaper basket, and scooped the scraps of paper into it. He dropped down onto his chair, picked up his legal pad and pen, and started writing. Looked into the wastepaper basket again.
Casey went into the bedroom and changed from her sweats into jeans and a tank top. The kids had already eaten breakfast, and right now she didn't care if Daniel ate or not. Nicholas wasn't even two yet. He just didn't understand that no matter how entertaining it was to tear up paper, he shouldn't do it. He would learn, just as Emily had learned not to flush anything into the toilet. Nicholas was a baby, for crying out loud! Her baby! The last baby she would ever have! She grabbed her straw Stetson, plopped it onto her head, slipped her feet into her sandals, jerked her purse over her shoulder and went to the back yard.
She stepped onto the deck. "Come on, kids, we're going to the park."
"Daddy go too?" Emily asked, running toward her, her face lit with a smile.
"Not this time, Baby. Daddy is working. Nicholas, did you go into Daddy's office?"
"Daddy oppice," the tot nodded, his blonde curls bouncing.
"Did you tear up paper that you found on his desk?" she asked softly.
"Funny! Paper funny!" Nicholas said with a grin.
She pulled him into her arms. "Nicholas, that was wrong. You know that you aren't allowed in there unless Daddy is with you, and he says you can come in. Why did you go in Daddy's office?"
"Wooking for Daddy," the little boy replied.
"You should have come to me, my sweet baby boy," she said. "You tore up Daddy's notes, and now he has to start all over again. He's very angry."
"Daddy angwy?" Nicholas repeated, a frown on his little face. It was a very rare occurrence for Daniel to ever be upset when he was at home.
"Daddy is very angry. Those were very important notes, Nicholas. You know that you're not supposed to tear up paper. What are things on Daddy's desk?"
"Daddy's tings," Nicholas replied.
"And who do they belong to?" Casey asked.
"So is Nicholas allowed to touch them?"
"Nik'was no touch," the little boy said, shaking his head.
"That's right. From now on you stay out of Daddy's office unless he's there, and tells you it's all right to go in." Casey hugged her baby boy, reached out and ran her hand over Emily's head. "Come on. We're going to give Daddy some peace and quiet so he can write. Shall we see if Richie, and Evvie and Amber can play?"
"Wichie!" Nicholas crowed. The two boys were best of friends. They loved to run and shout and play together.
Casey herded the kids through the kitchen and into the garage. She didn't even bother looking into the office. She knew he would be working. She also knew that she owed Daniel an apology. He had every right to be upset. She just wasn't…ready…to apologize yet.
Daniel heard the back door close. He frowned, stood up to see who was going into the garage. That was another place the kids were forbidden from playing. Casey was buckling Emily into her car seat. "Not going to say goodbye?"
She jumped slightly at the sound of his voice. "You were busy," she replied coolly.
He crossed his arms over his bare chest. "So…where're you going?"
"To the park."
"Gonna stay long?"
"I don't know. Why?"
"I thought we were going to the lake today," he said softly.
She turned to look at him. Damn it! Those puppy dog eyes got her every time! "You have work to do. Extra, since you have to redo what you did last night," she said. "I figured the lake deal was…cancelled."
"Give me a couple of hours. I can remember what I had. I know what I want to add. It shouldn't take long to get it down."
"We'll be back for lunch, and then we'll discuss it," she said noncommittally. She punched the button to open the garage door, climbed into the jeep and started it.
She looked at him, wanted to stay mad at him. "Love you." She backed out of the garage. Refused to look at him, standing there bare-chested and barefooted, watching them leave. He had work to do, damn it! And he was the one who had said he was going to the base so that he could have peace to work in! She was just arranging things so that he didn't have to leave the house on his day off, and he'd still have peace and quiet to work in. Besides, there was the chance that he would become so involved in what he was doing that he wouldn't want to quit later to go to the lake. So involved that he wouldn't even notice that they weren't there.
He went back into the house, sat down at his desk and stared out the window. He owed Casey an apology. He knew that she was a good mother, and kept a close watch on her children. It just wasn't possible to watch both of them all the time. No doubt she had been busy with something else, Nicholas beside her, and he slipped away without her even realizing it. Certainly the same thing had happened to him often enough. And she had been right, as angry as he had been, it wouldn't have been the right time to talk to his son about the fact that he wasn't supposed to tear up paper. He picked up his pen. It shouldn't take more than a couple of hours. Casey had said they'd be back for lunch. He glanced at the clock. More than enough time.
A A A A A A
She pushed her hand through her hair. "So anyway, I left him standing there, giving me that sad little puppy dog look," she said, finishing her story on the state of things in the Jackson household.
Sam patted her hand. "You'll go home, make a nice lunch, and then spend the afternoon at the lake. You can apologize tonight."
Casey grinned. "Yeah, I suppose so. It's just that he said he wasn't going to bring any of that stuff home, but he did it anyway. I know how important this book is to him. He made the find of the century, has documentation, he's got hundreds of incredible images to choose from for illustrating, and then all the extrapolation he'll be able to do…this is just the thing to really make his mark, you know?"
"Deciphering the Stargate, and translating the language of the Ancients wasn't enough?" Tessa teased.
She smiled. "Yeah, those were important breakthroughs, but this is…this is archaeology," she replied.
"I understand," Sam said. "It won't take him long to get it written, and then things will calm down again."
"As much as they ever do for SG-1," Casey retorted with a giggle.
Sam giggled. "Well, you know what I mean."
"I know. What time is it?"
Tessa looked at her watch. "Not quite twelve."
"Shall we let them play on the swings one last time before we call it a day?" Casey asked.
"Sounds good to me," Sam replied. "I have to go to the grocery store this afternoon." Her friends groaned in sympathy.
The three women stood from the bench where they had been sitting, watching their children play in the sand box area, around and on the brightly colored playground equipment therein. The children were more than willing to take one last turn on the swings. The sun was high, and the temperature had risen enough to be uncomfortable.
It was just about twelve fifteen when Casey pulled into the garage. Nicholas was already complaining that he was hungry. "All right, my sweet boy. I'll fix us some lunch. What shall we have?"
"Apples!" Emily shouted. She loved apples as much as her father did. It was her new favorite food, although she still loved her peanut butter.
Casey smiled. "What do you want with that apple, Emmie? A peanut butter sandwich?"
The little girl nodded her blonde head. "And grape juice." Another favorite.
"I think we can do that," she replied. She unbuckled the car seat belts, lifted the kids out and let them run to the door. She paused when she walked into the kitchen. Three settings were already arranged on the breakfast bar. Daniel was standing at the island, mixing up what smelled, and looked like, tuna salad for sandwiches.
"Hey, gorgeous," he said, smiling at her. Nicholas and Emily were already wrapped around his legs.
"Hey, handsome," she replied softly. "I was going to make lunch. Shouldn't you be working?"
He shook his head. "I only had to rewrite about ten pages. I found the others wadded up in the wastepaper basket. I added about that many more." He wasn't going to question why his son hadn't torn them up as well. He was just going to be thankful that he hadn't. "I think I'm just about finished. So, I figured I'd make lunch, and then I'm taking my gorgeous wife and my two beautiful kids to the lake."
She walked up behind him, ran her hand over his shoulders. "Sounds like fun to me. Wow, you've got a fruit plate ready, too!"
"Yep. Sit down and eat. Okay you two little monkeys, time to eat." Emily ran to the barstool that was 'hers', and climbed up, while Daniel put Nicholas in his highchair. When he turned around, Casey was standing there, and she wrapped her arms around him.
"I'm really sorry, Daniel. I don't know when he managed to sneak in there. We had a talk about staying out of your office, and not tearing up paper," she said softly.
He wrapped his arms around her slender frame, pulled her close, kissed the tip of her nose. "I'm sorry too, Angel. I was upset, but I had no right to take it out on you."
Daniel grinned. "We're okay." He held the back of her stool while she sat down, managed to kiss that spot just behind her ear, and then began to serve up the lunch he had prepared.
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