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No Matter the Time, II...an Alternate Love Story
Daniel had arranged for a limousine to drive the wedding party from the chapel to the Mountain, so that they would arrive before the rest of the guests for the receiving line. The ride was short, but not so short that the group couldn’t enjoy a quick champagne toast from the amply stocked bar in the back of the limo. The drink should help her relax a little bit. He had purposely not mentioned to Casey that several Tok’ra had attended the wedding. She would meet them for the first time in the secure area of the base in Officer’s Mess for the SGC.
Casey took Daniel’s hand, gazed at the wedding band on his finger. She nodded.
"Like it, huh?" he asked quietly, a smile on his face.
"Yep. Should help keep those women at bay," she said, smiling up at him.
"The ones that keep looking at you with longing in their eyes," she replied.
He glanced at Sam. She nodded. "No way," he said.
Casey and Sam shared a look and then giggled. "Oh, yes way. Trust me, sweetheart, I thought I was going to have to start carrying a baseball bat. And if that little red-headed nurse isn’t careful, she’s going to have a nasty accident and run into a door a time or two," Casey threatened.
Jack laughed at the look on Daniel’s face. "Daniel, you dog!"
Kelley watched them interact with one another. Casey had friends here now, good friends. It hurt a little to know that Casey had a new life, one that didn’t include her. But she was still happy for her friend, knew that the young blonde deserved all the happiness she had found.
A A A A A A
The receiving line had been…interesting. When the Tok’ra representatives had first spoken to her, she had been a bit overwhelmed. She managed to charm them, and the team and General Hammond watched with amusement as she explained several of the nuances of the ceremony to them.
The dinner had been a success, the menu simple but elegant. The cake cutting had been almost comical, Daniel almost dropped a piece down the front of her dress…leaving her backing away from him so quickly that she bumped into Jack.
Daniel picked up the crystal goblet, one of a pair that had belonged to her Grandma Rose, and raised it to her. "To my beautiful bride. The woman who completes me, and brings me more happiness than I ever dreamed possible." They drank their first toast to one another, arms entwined, eyes locked, their love so strong that it was tangible to all those gathered around them.
Jack stood up and smiled at the couple. "I’ve known Daniel for about three years now. If you had told me five minutes after I met him that he was going to be a very good friend of mine, I would have called you a liar. But he is a very good friend of mine. He’s a good man, he’s as courageous as any man I’ve worked with, or fought beside. He doesn’t think twice about putting himself in harm’s way to save a life. I’ve watched him go through some rough times. I’m glad to say that I think those rough times are behind him. When he first told me that he was going to Tacoma to find Casey, I was hoping that he’d at least find some closure from a certain visit." Nearly everyone in the room knew about the alternate universe Casey, and the results of her visit, although only the members of SG-1 knew about Daniel’s love for the woman. "I never expected him to come back totally knocked for a loop, and sporting some great hickeys!" The comment was met by laughter, and both Daniel and Casey blushed. "Daniel, I’m proud to call you my friend. And it’s with great joy that I wish you and Casey all the happiness and good things that life can bring you. Congratulations, Space Monkey!" Jack smiled and signaled Kelley to stand.
The young woman stood nervously, felt all the eyes in the room on her. "I met Casey for the first time when we were checking into our dorm room at Western U. I was so scared, and nervous, and then in walks this beautiful blonde, and I figured my life was going to be…interesting…" sympathetic laughter surrounded her. "I didn’t realize that she was going to be the best friend I’ve ever had. It didn’t take her long to have me laughing, and before I knew it, well, I wasn’t nervous or scared anymore. The more I got to know her, the more I learned about her, the more amazed I was at what a sweet, kind, generous woman she is. Everyone in that dorm building made at least one visit to our room to talk to Case, whether it was for help with a problem, or to share good news…or bad news. I watched her searching in the faces of every man she met, looking for ‘The One’, as she called him. She was getting kind of discouraged, so much so that she had decided she was going to start getting cats; because, she said, lonely, bitter old women always had hundreds of cats. Then this miracle happened, and this cute guy came and knocked on the door. I don’t pretend to understand everything that has happened, and I do understand that most of it is classified. And that’s okay. I do know that I have never seen Casey as happy as she’s been since Daniel walked into her life. Casey, you have suffered so much, and waited so patiently for so long…I’m really happy for you, and I know that you’re going to have a wonderful life. I wish all the best to you and Daniel."
Jack looked around the room. "Let’s all wish the best to Daniel and Casey. To Daniel and Casey!" The toast was echoed throughout the room.
When it came time for the first dance, Daniel led her to the area that had been set up to serve as the dance floor, and took her in his arms. "You are so beautiful," he whispered.
"Thank you. You’re looking pretty beautiful yourself," she whispered back.
"Oh, yes!" she replied, her eyes shining, her smile wide and bright. "Are you?"
"Babe, it’s not possible to get any happier than I am right now," he told her.
She danced with General Hammond, and Jack, and Teal'c, four SG team COs, and one of the Tok’ra representatives. She was having a wonderful time, and it showed on her face and in her eyes.
Daniel watched her, smiling when she looked over at him.
"I don’t think I’ve ever seen you with that look on your face," Sam said, smiling at him as she approached.
He grinned. "What look would that be?"
"Happiness. Real, honest-to-goodness happiness."
The grin grew wider. "Never been this happy before."
"I wish you and Casey all the best in the world," Sam said.
"Thanks, Sam. I appreciate it," he replied.
"So where are you taking her for your honeymoon? I asked Case, and she said you wouldn’t tell her."
"I rented a little place on Maui for a few days. Nice and secluded," he grinned.
"I think she’ll like it."
"I think she’ll like it a lot," Sam agreed. With a smile and a flutter of her fingers, the major walked over to where Kelley sat talking to Janet Fraiser, telling her everything she knew about Casey.
The music had ended, and the officer she had been dancing with was escorting her back to her groom’s side. She looked at him with such love in her eyes that for a fleeting moment he couldn’t breathe. He took her hand, lifted it to his lips. "So, are you ready to leave?"
Her eyes were sparkling when she looked up at him. "Whenever you are," she replied.
"Okay, let’s go." He found Jack, let the man know that they were leaving.
Jack quickly called everyone’s attention to the couple. "Okay, before Doctor and Mrs. Jackson can leave, which it seems they want to do, there are a couple of things that have to happen. First off, Casey, you have to toss that bouquet. I’ve been threatened with death if that doesn’t happen."
Laughter filled the room, and several nurses and two female SFs blushed brightly.
"And the one thing that we would be remiss if we didn’t do it, is to have Daniel toss that garter out here to let us know which one will be the next poor victim…er…lucky fellow…to get trapped…er…get married." More laughter. He led the couple to the middle of the room. The guests formed an excited circle around them.
"Okay, all you ladies who want to try and catch this thing, right here," Jack said, motioning to a place behind him. Several women…including Kelley, Sam, and Janet…moved to stand in place. Casey took the carefully wrapped penny from the bouquet and gave it back to him, then stood beside him. "Okay, no tackling, no pushing, no shoving, got it ladies?" Jack said, his grin wide.
"Okay, get ready," Casey said. With a wide grin, she tossed the bouquet over her head. And directly into Sam’s outstretched hands.
Jack grinned, shared a look with the major, sending a blush over her face. "Okay, Danny, let’s see you get that garter."
There were hoots and whistles when Casey lifted her dress to reveal the garter on her thigh. Daniel pulled it off, planting a kiss on her knee, bringing more laughter and cheering.
"Okay, guys, no running for the door," Jack grinned. He glanced again at Sam, then took his place with the group of young men who had gathered in front of Daniel.
With a wide grin, Daniel launched the garter into the air. One hand reached above all of the others. He almost laughed at loud when Jack began to twirl the captured garter around his finger.
With final wishes for good luck ringing in their ears, Daniel led Casey out of the mountain and to the waiting limousine.
Casey rested her head against his shoulder. "It was perfect," she sighed.
"Yeah, it was," he agreed.
"So now what?"
"Now we go home, get changed and head for Denver," he replied.
"Really? We’re going to honeymoon in Denver?"
"Nope. We’re going to honeymoon in Hawaii…Maui to be exact. We’re going to spend the night in Denver," he replied.
She sat up, turned in the seat to look at him. "Hawaii? We’re going to Hawaii?"
He grinned. "I told you I wanted to take you somewhere warm and secluded so you could run around naked."
She giggled. "I guess you did. That just means I get to see you running around naked, too."
"Like that idea, do you?"
"Very much," she replied.
The limousine dropped them off in front of the apartment building. Passers-by smiled at the couple, many calling out good wishes to the bride and groom. Once in the apartment they changed and packed for their trip.
Casey’s heart was beating a tattoo against her ribs as she climbed into the jeep. She stared at the wedding band that was nestled against the diamond engagement ring. Married! She was really married. She glanced over at Daniel, watched his hands on the steering wheel, the wedding band on his left hand glinting in the light from the setting sun. It was for real. Not a dream, not just a pleasant fantasy. She wasn’t going to wake up alone in her little twin bed in a tiny one-bedroom apartment, or sitting at her desk filling out inventory sheets. She was really, honestly married! Her gaze traveled to the face of the man she now called husband. Wow. Husband. What an incredible word! He was watching the traffic. He pushed his glasses up, clear glass lenses now, his new Immortality had rendered prescription glasses unnecessary. General Hammond wasn’t willing to let anyone outside of the SGC know about the two resident Immortals. Too many agencies would be willing, eager even, to dissect them to discover the secrets of their Immortality. She smiled at the slight frown on his face. He was tapping his fingers impatiently against the steering wheel. Her smile widened when he glanced over at her and bestowed one of his beautiful smiles on her.
"Penny for them, Mrs. Jackson," he said.
"Just thinking how lucky I am," she replied.
He reached over and took her hand, raised it to his lips. "I think I’m the lucky one here."
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