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Man and Machine

Chapter 2

Casey was indeed in Daniel's office. Filling out SRFs. And filling out the Mission Requisition Form, making sure that all of the equipment needed for the dig would be in the crates that would be taken through the 'gate as soon as they were assembled. She looked up when he walked in.

Daniel hesitated at the door. Checked to make sure she didn't have any weapons within reach before entering the room. He shoved his hands into his pockets. "Hey, gorgeous."

"Hey, handsome." She turned back to her work.

Good. She didn't sound pissed off. Maybe shooting him had cooled her temper. "I…uh… guess I should have asked first, huh?"

"Would have been nice," she replied, her eyes still on the monitor beside her. She bit the inside of her lip to keep from smiling. The look of caution in his eyes let her know that he had figured out that she had not been amused by his little…demonstration… for the grad students.

"Am I forgiven?"

"You're still here aren't you? Believe me, it was tempting to fire again."

Had he not seen the hint of a smile on those pink lips, he would have been worried. "At least they know what to do, now."

"Yep." She had been surprised…no…shocked, when he had pointed the zat at her and pulled the trigger. Her temper had cooled the instant she had zatted him. No need to drag it out. She wasn't angry, and she wasn't going to pretend she was, just to watch him squirm. Not that he didn't deserve that…just a little bit. If he ever pulled a stunt like that again, however, she'd make him miserable for a week!

"Ready for lunch?" She was letting him off easy. Hmm…maybe too easily? Chances were, he was benefiting from the fact that she hadn't been home long…and she was still feeling guilty…wrongly so, but nevertheless those feelings were there. Well, he wasn't going to argue about it right now. Not if it kept him out of the doghouse!

"Yep." She stood up, stretched, knowing that her cropped tee shirt would move higher on her frame when she did so, exposing her bellybutton and the tiny platinum ring that he always found so fascinating. Glanced at him, satisfied to see the look of lust that had filled his eyes. She tugged at her shirt, walked around the desk and wrapped her arms around his neck. "If you ever do that again, I will fire three times," she whispered in his ear.

"I swear, it will never happen again. It seemed like a good idea at the time," he admitted, shrugging slightly, sliding his hands into the hip pockets of her jeans.

"You are unbelievably stupid sometimes. Must be the man thing," she said, shaking her head.

"What do you mean…'the man thing'?" He wouldn't argue that what he'd done hadn't been stupid. It had been. No reason to admit anything, though.

She giggled. "Only a man would be stupid enough to do something like that. If you had talked to me about it first," she said, tapping his temple gently with her index finger, "I would have been prepared."

He grinned. "Yeah, but then they would have missed the look on your face."

"You are just so…so…oooh!" She hit his shoulder with her fist.

"Ow!" His grin broadened, he pulled her closer, his hands cupping that firm ass. "So now do we get to make up?"

"If I found out you did all of this just to get into my pants, I'll smack you again!"

Daniel laughed out loud. "I hadn't thought of that. Yeah, that's a good idea…I like making up after an argument," he told her, his blue eyes dancing. "It gets me into your pants." He pulled his hands from her pockets, locked his arms around her waist.

Casey could fight the giggles no longer. "Just warn me the next time you're going to shoot me!"

"I promise," he said. He lowered his head, nuzzled her cheek, then moved his lips to hers. His tongue worked the combination to her mouth, pushed inside when she opened to him. He stroked her, tasted her, touched her. His arms pulled her tighter, holding her body against his, feeling the response in his own body all the way to his toes.

She melted against him, let him support her when her knees became too weak to do so. Oh, goddess, can this man kiss, she thought for the millionth time. Her hands were in his hair, holding him close, preventing him from moving away before she was ready to let him go. Her tongue moved into his mouth, tasting, touching, arousing him. She could feel his erection pressing against her belly. Any minute now he would be suggesting a jaunt to the Conference Room in the Center…

"Ahem," a quiet voice said, from the doorway.

It took several seconds for them to come down from the clouds. Daniel raised his head to see Tessa standing there smiling at them. "Hey, Tessa."

"Hello, Daniel. Hello, Casey."

"Hi, Tess. What's up? What brings you to the mountain?" Casey asked, still clinging to her husband, as she moved slowly from the heights where he had been so skillfully taking her.

"I came by to see if you and Sam wanted to go to lunch. I have something I need to discuss with both of you," the young French woman replied.

Daniel kept his arm around Casey, held her in front of him until he could regain control of his raging body. "Is there something wrong?"

Tessa smiled. "No, nothing is wrong. Actually, it has to do with the fund-raiser at the Museum in three weeks."

"Let me grab my purse," Casey replied, smiling. She kissed Daniel's chin. "Do you mind?"

"No, Babe, it's fine. Go have lunch with your friends," he said, smiling at her in return. He would just grab a sandwich, bring it back here and spend some time working on his book today, he decided. With luck, he'd have it done by the end of the year.

She walked to the closet, took her purse from the hook and followed Tessa to the elevator. "So what is this really about?" she asked, when there was no chance for Daniel to overhear.

Tessa looked over at her, worry in her blue eyes. "I…I've done something, and I'm afraid that you're going to be angry."


The young French woman shook her head. "I'll tell you…at Curly's. My treat."

Sam was waiting for them topside. "Okay, what's up?"

Casey shrugged. "Tess says we have to wait until we get to Curly's."


A  A  A  A  A  A


Sam and Casey were not surprised to find Carly waiting at a table for them. "Okay, give before I explode!" Casey demanded.

Tessa and Carly exchanged a glance. "You have heard about the fund-raiser for the Museum?" Tessa asked.

"You were serious about that being the subject?" Casey asked, looking at Tessa. "Yeah, sure. Daniel and I made a donation, and bought tickets for it."

"Well, there is going to be…entertainment," Tessa said.

"And this has to do with us…how?" Sam asked.

Again the two women exchanged a look. "I…I sort of volunteered the four of us to do an act," Tessa admitted.

The two Immortals of the SGC looked hard at their friend. "You what?" Sam asked, her sapphire blue eyes wide with disbelief.

"We…well, all of us have danced for our husbands, Casey several times, it seems," Carly said. "And…well, Tessa came to me…and we thought we could work up an act for the show that will be put on after the dinner is over."

"What kind of an act?" Sam wanted to know.

"Well, I saw something a few weeks back on channel 120, and it gave me an idea…" Carly began to explain. When she had finished, both Sam and Casey were staring at her.

"You really think we can do this? That I can do this?" Casey asked, her voice going up in pitch with every word.

"Yes, mon ami, we are certain that you can," Tessa said. "You will be wonderful."

"I'm not so sure. I mean…it's one thing to dance for Daniel, but…I mean…to dance in front of so many people! I have absolutely no experience for something like this," Casey pointed out.

"You will be wonderful, my young friend. And remember, you will not be alone. You and I will be down stage, Tessa and Sam will be upstage, and we will be magnificent. We will charm all of those tightfisted businessmen into making lovely donations to the Museum," Carly said.

Sam and Casey shared a look. "We're going off world tomorrow, I'm not sure for how long," Casey said. "But as soon as we get back…how long do you think it will take to learn this?"

Carly frowned for a moment. "We already know the basic steps of the dance. All we need to do is synchronize our movements. Teal'c told me that you danced for the people on that planet …where Zinder is," she said to Casey. "He said that you had the men mesmerized. He even suggested that having you dance for enemy Jaffa would render them powerless to move, and then they could be taken out quite easily."

Casey blushed. "He said that? Wow."

"He said that," Carly confirmed with a smile. "That is why, my dear, you will be the 'lead' dancer. Sam, Tessa and I will merely be echoes of what you do."

She shook her blonde head. "I don't know, Carly. I mean…I just…I've never done anything like this before. What if I get on stage…and freeze?"

"You won't. I promise. I will see to it that our husbands are in front, where we can see them. You will look at Daniel, and you will dance for him," Carly said softly.

She looked from Tessa to Carly and back again. They had such hope in their eyes, such confidence that they would be able to pull off this…scheme. Carly had taught her to dance…if she was convinced that they could do this…"Okay, I'm in," Casey sighed.

"Um…up stage…that's in the back, right?" Sam asked. Having had a theater major for a roommate in college just might prove to be useful.

Carly smiled. "Yes."

"Okay, count me in."

Carly and Tessa exchanged victorious smiles, and reached for their menus.

Casey picked up the menu that was lying on the table in front of her. "Okay, now that we've settled that, you would not believe what Daniel did to me today…"


A  A  A  A  A  A


The briefing had been short, it seemed that there weren't many questions. The Marines and SG-6 had been on many such missions. The grad students were too overwhelmed to even speak during the meeting. Casey had done a search, and while she admitted that there was something…odd…about the city, something she described as 'machine-like', there wasn't anything that seemed serious enough to abort the mission. Duncan gave them a go, and the teams began working to gather the equipment and supplies they would need. MALP images showed nothing and no one near the gate, so FRED was sent through, along with a 'dummy' unit that carried the crates of supplies. The vehicles would be on site when the teams arrived the following morning.

Casey had decided a stop at Murphy's was in order, and had thrilled Daniel by picking up chicken breasts and the ingredients to her linguine and Alfredo sauce, and green beans and ham. One of his all-time favorite meals.

"So, what did Tessa want to talk about?" Daniel asked, snapping the green beans into pieces and tossing them into the saucepan.

She hesitated. Nothing had been said about keeping this a secret from husbands…"We discussed the fund-raiser for the Museum."

"Oh. Like what about it?"

She smiled. "There's going to be a show after the dinner."


"And Sam, Tessa, Carly and I will be performing."

He looked over at her. "Doing what?"

"Now that, my gorgeous hunk of an archaeologist, is confidential. I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you. Make sure you stayed dead until after the show," she teased.

He grinned, her endearment making his heart beat faster against his ribs. "Am I going to like it?"

"Oh yeah," she giggled. She poured the heavy cream into the now melted butter, cheese and flour paste, stirring rapidly to prevent it from sticking and clumping. "The water is boiling," she said softly.

Daniel added the linguine to the water, turned down the unit beneath the pan, then stepped behind her, wrapped his arms around her waist. "Have I told you today that I love you?"

She pretended to think. "Why, not since you zatted me," she replied.

"I love you," he said, kissing her neck. "I love you." Another kiss, slightly lower on her neck. "I love you." Moving around to her throat. "I love you." A kiss just behind her ear, making her shiver, that slight movement of her slender body against his starting the Fire, sending flames up and down his spine. "I love you." A kiss on her jaw. Her body shivered against his again, fanning the flames.

She had been leaning back against him, distracted by his attention. With a quiet yelp, she yanked the saucepan from the burner. The spoon clattered against the side of the pan when she let go of it. She turned in his arms. "I love you," she said softly, kissing his lips, letting her tongue move over them lightly. She caught that full lower lip between her teeth, holding it while she ran her tongue over it, felt him shiver slightly.

"You make love now?" a little voice asked.

Casey buried her face against Daniel's shoulder and hid her smile. They hadn't had a chance to sit down and read the books they had checked out from the library. With the mission they would be leaving on, first thing in the morning, it would be several more days before they had the chance to do so. She sighed at the thought of missing a 'Saturday Night'.

"No," Daniel replied bluntly. No, he wouldn't be taking his Wife to their room and making love to her until she begged for mercy. Not that the thought hadn't crossed his mind. Actually, it hadn't crossed his mind, it had jumped right out in front of his eyes and taunted him.

"Why not?" Emily asked.

"Because it's too close to dinner time," he replied. After dinner, after bath time, after snuggle time…oh yeah, he had plans to make love! Two or three times if he had his way.

Emily frowned. "Make love takes a long time?"

Casey giggled. Daniel couldn't make love, not even just a 'quick' oral session, in less than thirty minutes! Making love with her adorable hornball took at least an hour, and according to him, that was a 'quickie'! When he wanted to 'do the job right', three hours was the average. 'When it's done right, it does!'

Daniel chuckled. 'Damned straight!' He turned loose of his wife, and looked down at his daughter, ran his hand over silky hair so much like her mother's. "Sometimes. Let's change the subject, shall we?"

"Why?" Emily asked, looking up at him.

"Because I want to," Daniel said.

"Okay, Daddy." She climbed onto 'her' barstool.

"What did you do in school today?" Casey asked her daughter, turning her attention back to the sauce. "Sweetheart, could you cut up the ham, please?"

"Sure." Daniel opened the package of ham slices. "Two or three?"


"Well? Emily? What did you learn in school today?"

The little girl shook her head sadly. "I didn't learn nuthin' today. I already knowed what they was talking about."

Daniel bit back his grin. His daughter was intelligent, and precocious, and several times she had complained that she already knew what was being discussed during class time. LouAnn Donovan, her teacher, had just suggested that Emily be considered for kindergarten when the next class started at the nearby elementary school in mid-September. She had turned four in April. She would be starting kindergarten at the same age that he had. "And just what were they talking about?"

"Snakes. There's lots of kinds of snakes. But I already knowed that. Most of them are long and skinny and crawl around on their tummies and some of them are pois'nus and some of them squeezes their prey and some of them lives in trees. But we didn't talk about the nasty snakes. Ms. Donovan said she didn't know about them. I told her they was ugly and mean and they wanted to hurts people," Emily explained in her very Casey-like manner.

"And just how did you get to be such an expert on snakes of any kind?" Casey asked.

"Peepaw has a book all about snakes. Meemaw said it would make me have bad dreams, but it didn't 'cause Peepaw let me look at it and he readed all the words that I didn't know," the little girl replied. "He knowed all about the nasty snakes too. He said they're ugly and mean and that they wants to hurt people. Peepaw says that you and Daddy fights them, and that they don't like you 'cause you're winning."

Casey smiled at her daughter. "We're trying to win, Baby. Now, where is Nicholas?"

"Outside. He's digging to China."

"He's what?" Daniel exclaimed, his eyebrows moving up in surprise, then back down into a frown.

"Miz' Murlow told Meemaw that Wilbur was digging in her flowers, and that she thought he was trying to dig to China. Nicholas wants to dig to China so he can keep Wilbur company," the child explained.

Daniel sat the cutting board with the now diced ham beside his wife with a decided 'whump', and strode out the open French door. "Daniel Nicholas!"

Casey was trying hard not to giggle out loud. Just last Thursday, during their anniversary barbecue, they had had to explain to the little boy that digging in the flowerbed was not acceptable, even if the dirt did stay in his dump truck better.

Daniel found his son near the fence on the Jackson/Murlow property line. Just as his daughter had said, the little boy was digging. He would not laugh, he warned himself sternly. Mainly because Casey was going to have a fit when she saw her son. He was covered, head to toe…in mud. He had no idea how Nicholas had come to the conclusion that digging in mud was easier than digging in hard packed dirt. But come to it, he had. The tot had pulled the hose from the faucet at the back of the house where it was connected, around the garage to this spot. The water was on, at least it wasn't full force, Daniel thought gratefully. His little face set in a look of sheer concentration, Nicholas was sitting in a hole nearly as deep as he was tall, just wide enough for him to sit in, and it was filled with water up to his waist, tossing mud…and water, over his shoulder with his little red plastic shovel. The mound of mud behind and beside him was impressive. Evidently this… excavation project…had been going on for some time.

"Daniel Nicholas Jackson, what are you doing?" Daniel asked quietly.

The tot jumped slightly, then grinned up at his father. "Dig, Daddy!"

"I can see that. Why?"

"Go to China. Wif Wilbur. He needs comp'ny," the little boy explained. He never missed a shovel full as he spoke.

"I don't think it's possible to dig to China, Nicholas," Daniel said, squatting beside the hole. That he would have to fill back up.

"Why?" Another shovel full of mud over his shoulder.

"Mainly because China is on Earth, not Gamma. I don't think Wilbur will be getting there, either." Daniel ducked yet another red shovel full of mud and water.

Nicholas frowned. "I wanna go to China wif Wilbur."

"If Wilbur ever goes to China, I'll make sure you get to go with him," Daniel promised. "You know that Mommy is going to be upset to see you all covered with mud."

"Mommy 'set?" Nicholas stopped and looked up at his father, a frown on his little face.

Daniel gave into his laughter. "Oh yeah. She's gonna be upset. Here, let's see how much of this mud we can rinse off of you." He helped his son out of the hole, and began to spray him down with the hose. The tot's clothes were caked with mud. "Okay, Little Man, let's just strip you down. I think it will be the easiest way to handle this."

"Stwip me down," Nicholas echoed, nodding his head.

It took a few minutes to get the sopping wet, muddy clothes off of his son. He had to take the tee shirt off over the tot's head, which resulted in more mud all through his blonde hair. Daniel gave up, held the hose over the Nicholas' head, and began to work the mud off of him. It took several minutes, but at last his son was clean. Reasonably. He picked him up, grimacing as he felt the water seep through his own clothes. Figuring there was no way to get all of that caked in mud and dirt out of the clothes Nicholas had been wearing, he dropped them into the garbage can. He took the time to turn off the faucet, and then carried the child into the house.

Casey looked up, saw Daniel carrying a very naked, very wet Nicholas in his arms. "Do I want to know?"

"Probably not. I'll get him dried and dressed," Daniel replied as he passed by the kitchen on his way to the child's bedroom. He put Nicholas down in the kid's bathroom, then went to find clothes for his very industrious son. He came back just in time to see Nicholas lift the lid and the seat of the toilet, using both hands and a lot of effort, and then stand on his tip toes, trying to pee into the toilet. Casey had told Daniel that potty training their son would be his job. After talking to several fathers on the base, seeking advice on the best way to tackle the job, he had started taking Nicholas into the bathroom with him when he had to go, explaining what he was doing, and why. When he was at home, he would take his son to the bathroom and encourage him to use the 'potty'. He had to grin. It seemed that his son had been paying attention. He stopped grinning when Nicholas peed all over the back of the toilet. And managed to completely miss the bowl altogether! Shit! Now I have to clean that up, too!

A giggle behind him told him that Casey had witnessed the entire event. "Oh, Nicholas, you're such a big boy! I think Daddy needs to get you a step stool, though, so you don't pee on the potty." She grabbed a wad of toilet paper, wiped up the mess, then pulled a sponge and cleaner from the cabinet. It only took her a few seconds to have the toilet clean again. At least Nicholas isn't flushing things, she thought.

"Me big boy. I pee like Daddy!" Nicholas said, grinning broadly.

"Yes, you do," Casey agreed.

"When do I get to stand up to peepee?"

She turned to see Emily standing at the open door. Her daughter had her arms folded across her chest, a look of pure frustration on her face. Casey glanced up at Daniel, relieved to see that he was as close to laughter as she was. "Oh, Baby, you and I can't stand up to pee. Our bodies are made differently."

"That's not fair!" Emily pouted.

"I know it feels that way, Baby. But I promise, someday you'll be very glad that you're different from boys."

'Viva le différence!' Daniel grinned.

That was all it took to send her into a fit of giggles. 'I so agree. I am rather fond of those dangly appendages.'

He cracked up. 'Dangly appendages? Any particular 'dangly appendage' you're fond of?'

'Oh yeah.' She looked up at him and winked. "I have to go check on dinner. Do you have everything under control?"

"In this house? No. Can I dress my son? Yes."

She giggled again, put her hand on her daughter's head. "Come help me, Emmie. It's time to set up for dinner."

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