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Love Conquers All

Chapter 9

Once again Casey rode on the camel safe in Daniel’s arms. Sam had chosen to ride with Jack as well. Now that they understood exactly what his nightmare had been about, both of the Jacksons were much more relaxed. Casey was leaning back against Daniel’s chest, his face was pressed against her hair.

"I was so afraid, Angel. I thought for sure that my nightmare would come true, and that I’d lose you," Daniel admitted softly, his mind on the last time they had ridden this way, on this very path, not more than thirty six hours earlier.

"I’m so sorry you had to endure all of that, my heart. But for some reason you were shown what happened to Darr’s daughter. Perhaps so that her death could be avenged, and so that he would help Ishmael’s people. We both knew there was a reason for all of this."

"You might be right. I’m just glad that you’re safe."

"Me, too. I…when I went into your nightmare…I was scared to death that it might really happen…I never want to be away from you, or Emily. I’ve always hoped that I would be strong enough to face whatever I had to…but that nightmare…"

"You’re a strong, brave woman, Casey. Even knowing what might happen you were willing to take the risk, just because you knew it had to happen. I wasn’t as brave," he said.

"Yes, you were. You knew, you had suffered for a week with what might happen to me, and yet you let me go. I think it was harder for you, took more courage for you. I’m just glad that you were right there for me all the way, and that you were at Darteen to save me. You’re always there, Daniel, always. You always save me. You always will."

"Always, Angel. I can’t live without you."

"I can’t live without you," she replied softly. Her hands caressed his arms. "Daniel…about the people on Darteen…the ones in the cages…do you think we could go back, free them?" she asked after a few moments of peaceful silence.

He frowned. "We could. I’m not sure that it will stop the slave trade."

"Maybe if we took out the traders?"

"I don’t know, Angel. We’ll try. We’ll do our best," he said softly.

She nodded, snuggled into his embrace. "You’re The Chosen, my love. If anyone can stop it, you can."

He smiled at her words. Her faith in him was unshakeable. And almost convinced him that he was able to do anything. He pressed his lips against her temple.

She smiled at the light kiss she felt. She glanced to her left, saw that Sam was snuggled into Jack’s embrace as well. "You know, this could almost be romantic."

Daniel chuckled. "You think so?"

"Mmmhmm. I hate riding camels, but when I ride with you, it’s not so bad."

"It’s not too bad at all," he agreed, pulling her tighter against his chest. The warmth of her body, the sweet smell of her skin, the scent of her shampoo filled his senses. He had to concentrate on the task at hand to keep from becoming aroused.

"I think we’ve been noticed," Jack said softly. In the distance, they could just make out the figures of Bedouin against the light color of the sand dunes . As promised, Darr’s men, who were heavily armed, held the nomads at bay with just their presence.

"Your men have tangled with those Bedouins before, haven’t they?" Jack asked the small man who rode just in front of them.

Darr turned to look at them, a smile on his face. "Yes, they have. When I was trying to rescue my Tatiana. We killed an entire group of them. They have kept their distance from us ever since."

"I take it that they didn’t die…easily?"

"No, they did not. I wanted information. I also wanted to make sure that the information I received was accurate."

Casey shuddered. The man who rode with them was just as ruthless as the Bedouins, as Zinder. His saving grace was that it had been his grief, the pain of losing his daughterhis desperation to save herthat had brought about such behavior.

It wasn’t long and they were cresting the hill above Zinder’s ship. They dismounted, left the camels with the handful of men from the village who had accompanied them. Darr stood next to Jack.

"You are a warrior, I will follow your directions, as will my men. All I ask is that Zinder be given to me. Alive."

Jack nodded. "Okay. Case, how many men did you see on his ship?"

She shook her head. "I only saw the same three. I don’t think he has many more than that."

"Not exactly the best intel, but we’ve worked with less," Jack said. "I don’t see any guards outside. No doubt Zinder thinks the Bedouin will keep any strangers from his front door. Let’s assume that at least one of them made it here in time to warn him."

The rest of the team nodded. They were adjusting their packs and weapons, picked up on a quick stop back at Gamma before ‘gating on to Alteria.

"Teal'c, Darr, and I will take point." Jack turned to the men who surrounded Darr. "You need to follow my team, stay out of sight."

Darr translated, and the men nodded gravely.

"Casey, as soon as we find Zinder, I want you and Daniel to confront him. Be careful, take him out if you have to. Use a zat. I want him turned over to Darr," Jack instructed. "But I want him to know that the two of you are safe, and together."

Daniel nodded. He glanced at his wife, barely suppressed a smile. He knew her well enough to know that she would goad the Immortal until they were forced to shoot him.

"Okay, let’s go."

The group made their way cautiously down the hill. There was still no sign of life around the ship. Jack, Teal'c, and their new ally slipped inside. Sam, Daniel, and Casey followed. They wandered through the corridors unchallenged.

Casey had been on the ship longer, knew it better, so Jack motioned for her to move ahead. She led them to the elegant salon where she had spent time with Zinder and his ‘guests’. He was sitting there, alone, a drink in his hand.

She lowered her weapon when she saw him. He was drunk as a skunk. "Really got screwed when Elta’an took me, didn’t you?" she asked softly. She felt Daniel step behind her, his body touching hers.

The dark haired Immortal looked up at her, his eyes widened when he watched the entire team enter the room. "How…?"

"Oh, I guess I forgot to tell you, Daniel is The Chosen. He knows where I am all the time…knew where to find me, how to save me," she said, her voice a soft purr.

"You’re a bitch, you know that, don’t you?" Zinder slurred. "Should have killed you all when I had the chance."

"Yeah, you should have. But you’re greedy. And stupid," she replied.

His eyes narrowed. "I should have let my men teach you a lesson before we ever left here!"

She shivered, felt Daniel’s body tense behind her. "Why didn’t you?"

He shrugged. "You said Ba’al wouldn’t want you if you were…damaged."

She couldn’t help but giggle. "The truth is, Ba’al wouldn’t want me at all, damaged or not."

"You fucking whore!" Zinder hissed.

Casey put a hand on Daniel's arm to restrain him.  Knew he was so angry that at the moment he couldn't speak coherently. "Hey, you were the one desperate for a way to maintain your…position. I just told you what you wanted to hear."

Darr stepped into the room. "We found only five men. They will bother no one again," he said softly. He looked at Zinder, hate filling his eyes.

Zinder looked at him. "You! What are you doing here?"

Jack grinned. "He’s here for a little payback."

Daniel translated, his voice little more than a growl of hatred.

"Come on, campers," Jack said quietly. "Let’s allow Darr to…take care of things."

The team silently followed their CO out of the ship. None of them were overly concerned when they heard Zinder’s screams. The sounds didn’t last long.

It was an hour later when Darr and his men rejoined them at the top of the hill. In the early light of dawn they could see his how pale his cheeks were. But his eyes were no longer filled with pain. No one asked about Zinder. They all jumped, however, when the ship exploded behind them.

Casey leaned back against Daniel. Once again SG-1, with the help of newly acquainted allies, had defeated the bad guy.

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