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Love to the Rescue
"...If the sun, should refuse to rise
And the moon, doesn't hang in the night
The tides won't change, seasons rearrange
When the world is through
I will still love you..."
by 98 Degrees
Duncan read the message twice, then sighed. He picked up the phone, called Jack and Daniel into his office. Better to give the guys a heads-up on what was going on, before alerting the entire team. Two hours later, the CIC called all of SG-1 to the conference room for a briefing.
Daniel tossed the folder onto the conference table. Ten months. Almost a full year without going on a mission. Well, there had been one; when he, Jack, and Teal'c had gone after Ba’al, but it hadn’t lasted more than forty hours. The downtime had been great. No one chasing them, or shooting at them. No Goa’uld to deal with, or pretend romantic interest in. No insane Immortals to cope with, or crazy women with delusions of Hathor-type grandeur. No ‘gate mishaps, no nightmares. Just peace and quiet and a normal routine. He sighed. He didn’t think Casey was going to be happy about this, especially when she heard the part about her and Sam being explicitly told to stay away.
He dropped down into the chair he always occupied at briefings, rubbed his hand over his face. To be honest, he wasn’t happy about going, but he and Jack had been specifically requested. He'd rather stay home with his wife, two-year-old daughter and three-month-old son. As it always did, the thought of his family brought a smile to his face. His family. A gorgeous wife. Two beautiful, healthy children. A son and a daughter. There was more than enough research, more than enough artifacts in the Archaeological Center to keep him busy for the next few years. He and Casey had already discussed retiring from SG-1, for a few years, anyway. Just until Emily and Nicholas were older. Out of high school older, perhaps.
Jack entered the room and dropped down into his usual seat. "Daniel, does it seem weird to you that this…Silicone-"
"Seleconne," Daniel corrected.
"Whatever. Does it seem weird that he asked for you and me? By name?"
The younger man frowned. "I guess. But we do sort of have a reputation. SG-1 has been requested to negotiate treaties before."
"Still seems weird to me."
Casey came in, smiled at Daniel, then immediately came to a halt. The look on his face caused the smile to fade quickly, and her heart to begin hammering. "Where, when, and who is she?"
Jack looked down at his hands. And bit back the bile that churned every time the wife of his best friend was haunted by that damnable mission.
Daniel stood up, walked to where Casey stood with her arms protectively around her waist. Frowned when she backed away from him when he tried to put his arms around her. "His name is Seleconne, he’s an emissary for a group of people known as the Dracians. Jack and I are leaving in six hours to meet with him on a ‘neutral’ planet, uh…" he walked back to the table, opened the folder, "Arconia. We’d already designated it as PX9 869. Duncan sent the MALP through, there doesn’t seem to be anything more than a few birds and lots of trees."
"And Sam and I aren’t going because…?"
Daniel glanced at Jack. "Women aren’t allowed to serve as warriors, or advisors on Dracia. It would be…offensive…to Seleconne if the two of you were to be there," he said quickly.
She studied him for a minute, her head cocked sideways. Her eyes flashed with anger; then she turned and left the room.
Duncan was walking towards her. He smiled, put his hand out to touch her shoulder. She brushed past him without a word. He turned to watch her retreating figure, a frown on his handsome face. He went into the conference room. "I take it she just found out about this mission?"
Daniel nodded, still staring down the now empty corridor. "Yeah."
"Go, Daniel. The meeting we had earlier today was all the briefing you need. This brief was just to let Sam and Casey know what was going on."
With a nod the young archaeologist went after his wife. She wasn’t in his office. She hadn’t gone to the Center, either. A quick call to the front gate confirmed that the jeep was still in the parking lot. He dropped down onto the chair behind his desk. ‘Angel, where are you?’
He could feel her, but she refused to answer. She wasn’t able to keep the anger, and the fear, from coming through to him, however.
‘Casey, the leaders of the Dracians asked for Jack and me, by name. Guess they’ve had some dealings with the Oeterians,’ he said, referring to the people whom SG-1 had freed from Mordred’s rule nearly two years prior.
There was still no response.
He slammed his hand down on his desk in frustration. ‘Damn it, Casey! It’s not like I asked to go on this mission!’
‘I never said you did.’ Her voice was soft as it echoed through his head.
‘Talk to me, babe,’ he pleaded.
‘What’s there to talk about, Daniel? You’re going on a mission. I’m not invited. I guess every time you said we’d never work apart was just a line to keep me happy, right?’
He let his head drop back, rubbed his hands over his face. ‘That’s not fair, Case. We’re simply trying to respect the customs of the Dracians.’
‘Why is it that we always have to be so concerned about the customs and sensibilities of other cultures, but they can treat us like shit and we take it?’
‘We’re trying to make friends…become allies…with these people. To start off by insulting them-’
‘Heaven forbid that we do that!’ Her anger rang through loud and clear.
‘I’ll tell Duncan I can’t go.’
‘Oh, no! You’re not going to play the poor pussy-whipped husband too damn scared to stand on his own to feet! You go, Daniel. And you better hope like hell you don’t run into any trouble. Because Sam and I won’t be there to back you up!’
‘Is that your way of saying that Jack and I can’t cope without the two of you?’ Now he was angry. He hadn’t asked for this mission, even though it was flattering that he had been asked for by name. It wasn’t going to be anything dangerous. Just meetings…on an uninhabited planet! He certainly didn’t think that he and Jack would need their wives to provide protection for them!
‘No, that’s my way of saying we’re a team!’
‘I’m not going to argue with you about this,’ he said, exasperated. ‘And you don’t have to worry. SG-6 is going with us. As our ‘protection’. Since you seem to think we need it!’
She was sitting on top of one of the lookout towers for the shooting range. She shook her head. ‘That’s not what I meant.’
‘What did you mean, exactly?’ She could feel his anger, his frustration.
‘We’re a team. The five of us…well, four of us until Teal'c comes home. We…it just…oh, hell, just forget it!’
‘No, you started this, you’re not going to stop now. Finish it! What is wrong?’
Every mission they had been on since her return to duty after Emily’s birth flashed through her mind. Nearly all of the missions had resulted in pain and anguish for both of them, several had nearly torn them apart. Daniel had been the one to decide that they needed time off the roster after the mission she had gone on with SG-6, when she had wound up in an alternate universe, and almost hadn't made it back. He had been the one to tell her he didn’t want them going on missions after she had nearly been killed fighting the Percuese for the Asgard. He had been the one to tell her that he had more than enough work to keep him busy for years, work that he wanted to do. She shook her head. ‘There’s nothing to say, Daniel. You’re going. I’m staying here…and…just forget it.’
He felt the shiver of fear that accompanied her words. ‘Babe, where are you?’
‘I need some time alone,’ she replied. If she saw him, if he held her in his arms, the tears would start, and she was afraid she wouldn’t be able to stop them.
He shuddered at her choice of words. The last time she had used them, she had been under the influence of an alien device, convinced that he was Goa’uld. ‘Casey-’
‘Daniel, I’ll see you at home…later.’ She climbed down from the tower, and struggled to keep her feelings from getting through to him, to keep from answering him; fought to keep from caving in to the love he was sending. She had a really bad feeling about this mission. She was going to tell Duncan that, and then…then she was going to go to Rinaldi’s. Maybe a drink or two or ten would help her deal with the fear that seemed to have sunk its claws into her very soul.
A A A A A A
Duncan looked up at her when she knocked on his office door. "What’s up, Case?" he asked softly.
"I just wanted to tell you I have a really bad feeling about this mission. But don’t let it stop you from sending them," she said, unable to keep the sarcasm from her voice. "Wouldn’t want to offend the…whoever the hell they are." She started to turn around.
He jumped to his feet. "Hey! Wait a minute! You can’t just come in here and drop that on me and leave!"
She looked at him. "Why not? You…and Daniel…just dropped the whole thing on me, and he’s leaving in less than six hours."
He studied her, noted the fear deep in her eyes. "How bad?"
She shrugged. "I’m not a fortune teller. I only get…feelings. Hell, I could even be wrong, couldn’t I? It has been awhile since I was on a mission." She dropped her eyes at the look of hurt that filled his. "I’m sorry, that was just…I’m sorry. Duncan, I can’t give you specifics. I wish I could. All I know is that it’s bad. As in scares me to death bad. What makes it worse is that these…people…asked specifically for Jack and Daniel. Neither of them will refuse. No matter what I say, what I feel, the three of you will convince yourselves and each other that it’s a perfectly simple diplomatic mission."
"Case, say the word, and I’ll try to get them to meet here…or on a planet of our choosing," he said softly.
She looked up at him. Wished she could tell him to do just that. "They won’t go for it. You know that. I know that. Daniel will insist that we abide by their laws and customs. That’s just the way he is. I admire that in him, as much as I sometimes hate it." She shrugged again. "I just hope that when the shit hits the fan, they’re ready for it." This time she did turn around and leave the office.
Duncan stared at the empty doorway, then reached for the phone. "Jack, I just talked to Casey. Grab Daniel and come down here, would you?"
The three men sat frowning, re-reading the contact request, and all the information they had about the Dracians. Which admittedly, wasn’t much. What they did have was from third parties who had dealt with the Dracians, nothing first, or even second hand.
Daniel shook his head. "I just can’t see that there’s anything to worry about. They aren’t technologically advanced, they’re farmers, and there's nothing to indicate that they're the violent sort."
"I agree, with Daniel. The planet they’ve asked to meet us on hasn’t shown any kind of life other than plants and birds for the past twelve hours. If they’re willing to meet with us there, they must feel it’s safe enough. Hell, we’re not even going to be gone that long!" Jack said.
"What bothers me is that Casey’s feelings have never been wrong. Never," Duncan said quietly.
"Maybe she’s so pissed about not going, that she’s sensing something that isn’t there," Jack suggested.
"Possibly," Duncan said.
"Look, if we know that something could happen, we’ll be ready for it," Jack insisted.
Daniel nodded. "SG-6 will be right there with us, backing us up. She’s had bad feelings before that we were able to use to our advantage."
Duncan nodded. "Okay. But if she comes back in here with more, I’m keeping the two of you here."
Both of the men nodded their agreement. Daniel went back to his office to do a bit more research on the Dracians, but wasn’t able to find anything. At four-thirty he decided to go home for a few hours, have dinner with his family before leaving for PX9 869…Arconia.
A A A A A A
He was surprised to see his mother-in-law sitting in the rocking chair feeding Nicholas, Emily playing happily at her feet. "Hi, Erin. Where’s Case?"
Erin looked up at him in surprise. "Why, with you, or so I thought."
He frowned. "She and I had a…disagreement…earlier this afternoon." He headed for the telephone. Neither Sam nor Tessa had heard from her.
"Daniel, what happened?" Erin asked softly, when Daniel had hung up the phone.
"Jack and I are going on a mission…we’re leaving in about three hours, as a matter of fact. Sam and Casey aren’t going, because of the customs of the people we’re meeting with. We’re meeting a diplomat on a neutral planet. We’re not exactly sure what these people want, only that they seem eager to establish communication with us."
"She’s upset that you’re leaving without her," her mother said.
"Something like that," Daniel admitted. "You wouldn’t have any ideas on where she might go, would you?"
Erin thought for a minute. "If it were earlier, I’d say try Carly’s studio. She sometimes goes there to dance. But Vicky has already locked the doors by now."
He nodded. "Well, Hope isn’t that big. I’ll find her," he said. He hugged and kissed Emily, kissed his son, and left again.
He had driven every street, a couple of them twice. He decided to go down the main street one more time. He glanced at the sign for the bar at the far end of town. Rinaldi’s. Wasn’t that where she said she had gone to spend an afternoon trying to stop the voices that tormented her, when she had been implanted with that alien device? He found a parking place, and walked in.
It wasn’t an upscale type of club like Esteban’s. No, Rinaldi’s was a small, dark bar. No one asked questions there, and no one gave answers either. He looked around in the dim light. She was sitting alone in the corner. He watched her for a minute, realized she was doing Tequila shots. He sat down in front of her.
She looked at him, licked the salt from her hand, downed the shot, and sucked on a lime wedge from a plate of them in front of her. Then reached for the bottle to do it all again.
He was surprised to see her drinking. She'd never had more than a beer or two with pizza, or a glass of wine with dinner. Other than one memorable night with Sam, well, memorable for him, anyway, several years ago, he had never known her to drink. "So this is how you deal with your problems, huh? Hide in a bottle?"
He stared at her. In all the years he had known her, she had never used that word. "What in the hell has gotten into you? When did you start behaving like…like this?"
"Like what? A woman scared out of her mind? Terrified that she’s going to watch her Husband go off on a mission and not return? I’m just trying to get a head start on the pain of losing you!" she said, her voice quavering.
"Casey? Angel, talk to me! Please?" He took her hand, could feel her trembling. He lifted her fingers to his lips.
"What am I supposed to say, Daniel? All I have is a feeling. A really, really bad feeling. For the first time ever, you and Jack and Duncan are going to disregard it!" She shook her head, pulled her hand from his, did another shot. "I thought if I could drink enough, I could stop the fear, stop the pain."
"Is it working?" he asked gently.
She dropped the piece of lime back onto the plate. "No. But then, I’m just getting started." She turned his wrist so she could see his watch. "Shouldn’t you be heading to the base to get ready to go?"
"Not until we’ve got this worked out," he replied. He'd never been much of a drinker. He copied what she'd done, nearly choked when the Tequila hit his throat.
She stared at him, then pulled the shot glass from his hand. "You’re not a drinker, Daniel. You need your wits about you on this mission."
He reached for her hand again. "What’s happening between us?"
"We’re having a little difference of opinion," she said, shrugging. "You don’t think this mission is dangerous, I’m terrified that I’ll never see you again."
"Casey, could it be that you’re picking up a bad feeling because you don’t want me to go?"
She gave him a hard look. "Sure, Daniel. I’m making it up to keep you home. How many times do you think I could cry wolf to keep you on Gamma before no one would ever listen to me again? How dare you suggest I’d even consider doing such a thing!"
"Damn it, Casey!" he said, raising his voice slightly. Several of the other patrons in the bar looked over at them. "I have never seen you behave this way!" he said, lowering his voice.
"I have never been as terrified as I am right now!" she hissed in reply.
He looked into her eyes. Saw the fear, the terror, that filled those green depths. "C’mere," he said, scooting his chair back. He tugged on her hand, until she stood and moved towards him. He pulled her onto his lap, held her close. "Babe, if you’re that scared, I’ll stay home. Duncan can send SG-6 with Jack; Major Parker has negotiated with aliens a time or two."
"They asked for you specifically," she argued.
"We’ll reschedule. Find a planet that we’re comfortable with," he replied. He could feel the tremors in her body. She was terrified! "Can you try and ‘see’ what's wrong?"
She shook her head. "I already did. Nothing. Just…blackness…emptiness." She didn’t tell him that it was the first time that it had ever happened to her. Always before she was able to get some sense of what kind of danger they were facing. Often she could pick up a few specifics. But not this time. It was as if someone had pulled a blanket of darkness over her. The only thing that she was certain about was that the three men were going to ignore her warning.
He looked at her. Realized that she was pushing him away. Did she know that was what she was doing? "Casey, you’ve been pulling away from me, physically and emotionally, all day. Why?"
She started, looked at him. Felt those damnable tears start to fill her eyes. "I’m not trying to pull away from you," she whispered. She put her hand on his cheek.
"Then you’re doing it subconsciously," he said softly, turning his face to kiss her palm.
She rested her cheek against his forehead. "I have never been this scared. Not even when Gargantua grabbed me in that parking lot."
"Babe, there’s nothing to be afraid of. The planet’s safe. Seleconne is coming with just one advisor. There will only be the four of us there, with SG-6 guarding the ‘gate. We’ll talk for a couple of hours, then come home," he insisted.
She shivered. For the first time all afternoon a sense of what was wrong filtered through to her. "It’s the planet, Daniel. I don’t know what’s wrong, but there’s something not right about it."
He frowned. "Like volcanoes, or earthquakes?"
She shook her head. "No…but it’s…" She closed her eyes, tried to focus on the thoughts that continued to dance at the edges of her consciousness. "Damn!"
"Take it easy, Tiger," he said soothingly, one hand moving slowly up and down her back. "Okay, there’s something wrong with the planet."
"No, not with it, on it," she said.
His frown deepened. "Duncan has been monitoring it for the past few hours with the MALP."
"I know." She shook her head again. She looked at him. The need to hold him, if just for a little while, engulfed her. "Can we…take a drive?"
He glanced at his watch. Two hours. "Yeah, babe, let’s do that."
Casey put money on the table, then allowed him to take her hand and lead her outside. Daniel called Erin on the cell phone, and told her that he had found Casey, and that she would be home after he left on his mission. She held his hand, but remained silent as they drove to the spot where they came at least twice a week at lunchtime.
When they were parked, Daniel reached over and trailed a finger over her cheek. "Angel, I’ll have Duncan send a team of Marines with us. Will that help?"
She thought for a moment, closed her eyes, tried to ‘see’ if this was a solution to the problem. "Yeah, maybe that will do the trick. Between SG-6 and Marines and you and Jack, well, maybe…it should be okay." She grabbed onto the bit of comfort this idea gave her, and held tightly.
He nodded. "Need to hold you, babe," he whispered.
"Need to hold you, too," she whispered in reply. "Backseat?"
He smiled. His hand was caressing her breast. "However you want it, Angel."
She reached over, unzipped his Dockers, and released his already swelling member. She leaned over and took him into her mouth, bringing him to full, aching hardness. She teased the head, worked the shaft with both hands. When he was throbbing, she pulled away, and slipped into the backseat.
He followed, let her push his pants down to his knees. She stripped completely, then straddled him, guiding him into her warm well. He hissed a sigh, moved his hands to her breasts and suckled greedily as she massaged him with those muscles deep inside.
She tried to fight back the feelings of desperation that were poking at the back of her mind. The last time, they told her, this is the last time…enjoy it while you can…this is the last time you’ll touch him, taste him, feel him. She shoved the thoughts back, concentrated on the sensations he was giving her. She slid a hand down between them, began to caress herself, her other hand in his hair as he made love to her breasts.
"That’s it babe, make it good," he whispered when he felt her fingers. She was moving her hips back and forth now, and he slid his hands down to control her movements. His mouth was still moving back and forth on her breasts. He kissed his way up to her throat, her jaw.
She lowered her lips to his, kissed him, took comfort from him, gave back her love, her devotion, her passion. Her body was on fire, the flames raging, her skin burning where it came into contact with his. He was thrusting up into her now, she could feel him pushing deep and hard into her body. She loved how he filled her, sighed at how good he made her feel.
His mouth had returned to her breasts, and he smiled against her skin when he felt her thighs begin to quiver. His hands held her tightly against his body, he ground his hips up against hers. The result was her sweet whimper, then she dropped her head onto his shoulder, whispering his name as her body trembled, her sweet well began to convulse around his aching cock, the rush of heat and moisture bringing him closer to his own orgasm.
She had both hands in his hair now, holding him as he suckled, moving her hips back and forth. She could feel him throbbing, harder, faster…she pushed down against him, clamped onto him with her muscles. He cried out, shoved himself up into her, then pulled her close and held her tightly as he came. He held her for a few minutes, his hands caressing her back and hips gently.
It was heaven to hold him, to have his face pressed against her breasts, her hands moving through his hair. His touch was soothing, calming. She pulled away from him, started pulling her clothes on, smiled when she felt his lips against the back of her shoulder.
"Love you, Angel," he whispered.
"Love you, Sweetheart," she whispered in return.
"About a lot of things," she replied. "There is something definitely wrong on that planet. I haven’t got a clue what it is. But…I’ll be okay," she said, her heart shrinking away from the lie. She ignored the little voice that was telling her that she would never see him again. It was wrong! It was! It had to be. It had to be…because she couldn’t live without him!
A A A A A A
They drove to the base, took quick showers and met back in his office. He was gathering his notes, and the things he wanted to take with him for the meeting.
She watched him lock his wedding ring into his desk drawer. She took off one of her earrings, a dangly one with blue beads. "Take this with you," she said softly, putting it in his shirt pocket. "To remind you of me."
He looked at her. "Babe, I don’t need anything to remind me of you. You’re always in my heart, on my mind," he said.
She shook her head stubbornly. "Just in case…you might…need it." She refused to look up at him.
He put a finger under her chin, raised her face, waited until her green eyes finally met his blue ones. "Angel, what’s wrong?"
"If I knew, don’t you think I’d tell you?"
The look of pain in her eyes kept him from questioning her more. He held her tightly, kissed her again. "I’ll be okay, Angel." He had already called Duncan and requested the Marines. The Highlander had asked no questions, and readily agreed.
She stood in the ‘gate room thirty minutes later, Sam at her side, as they watched their husbands walk through the event horizon. She shivered again. And refused to let the fear that he was gone forever take purchase in her brain.
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