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No Matter the Time
"The problem," Sam was saying, "is that we can’t accurately predict solar flares. We can approximate, but it’s guessing at best. I haven’t been able to determine if there are any solar flares that are going to appear in the next twenty four hours."
Casey felt her heart drop. "Then there isn’t any way for me to get home?"
Sam shook her head. "I don’t know, Casey. I have the computers working on estimates, but it’s going to take time. Several days at least."
"And I don’t have days," she said, her voice dropping. "What if I go back to RZ4 329, and just keep trying to dial Gamma?"
"You could reach Gamma, whatever planet it is, but it would be the Gamma for this timeline, this reality."
Casey sat back, her lip between her teeth. "Look, no offense, but if I’m going to die anyway, I’d rather die trying to get home, rather than just sitting here."
"Do we know that you…or rather, your alternate self...even exists here? If she doesn’t, it’s possible for her to stay; right, Sam?" Daniel asked.
Jack glanced at the younger man, didn’t miss the quiet eagerness in his voice.
Sam frowned. "Theoretically, if she doesn’t have a ‘counterpart’ already in existence here, she should be able to stay."
The young blonde Immortal looked at the faces around the conference table. "So now what, I call to see if I’m home?"
Jack grinned. "Why not?"
"It would be better to check birth certificates first," Sam said.
"Adoption, I was adopted. Immortals aren’t…born…at least, not the first two races. Check records in Tacoma, Washington," Casey said softly.
General Hammond stood up. "All right people, let’s find out if Mrs. Jackson can stay here. Major Carter, I want you to keep working on the solar flare problem. I would prefer to get Mrs. Jackson where she belongs. I’m sure she would, too."
"Yes, sir," Sam said, standing to her feet. She saluted, and nearly ran back to her lab. General Hammond left the room as well, followed by Jack and Teal'c.
Jack glanced back at the two who remained sitting at the table. As much as he wanted to see Daniel happy, he knew that this woman wasn’t the answer…maybe if there was a Casey in their timeline….
Daniel watched her. He loved Sha’re, loved her very much, but he knew that he was falling in love with Casey. He also knew, deep in his heart, that Sha’re was lost to him; knew that a Goa’uld never willingly gave up a host. Knew deep in his heart that he would never have his wife back. Oh, he hoped. There was always hope. But…looking into those green eyes, he felt something he'd never felt before, not even with the woman to whom he was married. If she couldn’t go back, and was able to stay here, would she be able to love him as much as she loved the Daniel Jackson of her universe? He wasn’t Immortal, but she had been married to that Daniel for forty-three years before he became Immortal. Maybe, just maybe, she could find this Oma Desala, and convince her to make him Immortal.
Casey looked over at the man who looked like…could be…her Daniel. She closed her eyes, the need to hold him, to be held by him nearly unbearable.
"Would you like to get out of here for awhile? We could go topside if you’d like," he said softly.
She nodded. When he offered his hand to her, she hesitated only a second before putting her fingers against his. Long, strong, warm fingers wrapped around her hand. She shivered from the familiar contact.
He was looking at her, the blue of his eyes darkened with unmasked desire. Before he realized what he was doing, one hand had found its way to the nape of her neck, and he was pulling her close, his mouth watering to taste her lips.
"No," she murmured softly, her hands on his chest.
"I…I’m…I’m sorry," he stammered.
She smiled at him, put her hand against his cheek. "Don’t be. It’s…" she shrugged. "If…if I can’t have my Daniel, then…" she shrugged slightly.
The touch of her fingers against his face set him on fire. He wondered what kind of a bastard it made him to want her to stay with him, for her to be able to stay with him. He led her out of the conference room and to the elevators.
They walked along the path that circled the mountain. The sun was shining, the sky cloudless and a brilliant blue.
"It’s been a long time since I’ve seen Sol," she said. "Never thought I’d be standing on Earth again. Well, not for a very long time, anyway."
"There are too many people on Earth who would love to find out what makes an Immortal immortal. And they’ll do whatever it takes to find out. I went through that once, it’s not an experience I’d ever want to repeat."
The look in her eyes kept him from asking about that experience. He watched her as she looked around. Watched the emotions play over her beautiful face.
She looked out over the valley that held Colorado Springs. It looked quiet and peaceful. Her heart was far from that, however. She was worried about Daniel. And Emily.
"Tell me about Emily," Daniel said, wanting to find something that would make her smile again.
He succeeded. She smiled. "She’s beautiful. She has his eyes. They’re the same blue as his…shaped like his. She adores her Daddy." She giggled. "She’s just discovered how to flush the toilet, and thinks it’s the greatest of all toys. We have to keep an eye on her, she’ll flush anything she can get into it. She flushed his watch. Daniel was not happy about that!"
Daniel chuckled. He wondered what it would be like to have a child, a daughter. One who had his eyes. One who adored him. And a wife who loved him as much as Casey loved the Daniel of her timeline.
A A A A A A
Major Parker stared at the commander of Earth’s SGC. He was furious. Each of the team members had been interrogated as if they were an enemy. The report that he would write about this would not set well with the CIC or the OIC at Gamma. "Like I said, it was an emergency. We didn’t have a choice in coming here. It was the only gate that responded. Now, if you really want to piss of President MacLeod, and General O'Neill, and General Hammond, and General Monroe, just keep holding us here like prisoners. Otherwise, dial Gamma and let us go home."
The older man, the current OIC of Earth's SGC, blanched when the names of the commanders of the independent SGC colonies were mentioned. He knew all of the generals personally, MacLeod by reputation only. He didn’t want to face any of them.
He picked up the red telephone on his desk. Five minutes later the members of SG-6 were led from the cells where they had been held to the ‘gate room. All of them were relieved to watch the glyphs for Gamma locked and encoded, and the ‘gate open with its customary splendor. They were mortal, and had no real reason to fear being on Earth. However, after the reception they had just received, not one of them would ever step foot on the planet again.
A A A A A A
Duncan hesitated outside of Daniel’s office. This wasn't going to be easy. He’d already called Jack and Sam, they were on their way in. When one member of SG-1 was in trouble, all the members wanted…needed…to help. That was just the way they were. Teal’c, he knew, would be here just as soon as he received the message. Duncan took a deep breath, then knocked.
"Yeah?" He sounded distracted.
"Daniel?" Duncan stepped just inside the room. "I…uh…thought you should know…we haven’t heard from SG-6 since they left this morning."
The archaeologist looked up from the table where he had a jumble of artifacts strewn out. His face paled. "I don’t think I want to hear this."
"I’m not going to panic yet. It could be that the gate is farther away from the ruins than we thought, and they haven’t made it back yet to make contact," Duncan said.
He shook his head. "Major Parker would have sent somebody to make contact on time."
"Daniel, I’m sorry."
Before Daniel could answer, he and Duncan were paged to the ‘gate room. They both began to run, hope surging in their hearts.
SG-6 stepped through the ‘gate. None of the men could meet the blue eyes that stared at them. When they had arrived on Earth and found that Casey wasn’t there, the first thought in each mind was that the bastards from the NID already had her. Gracie, one of the few original staff members of the SGC who had chosen not to leave, told them that Casey hadn’t arrived there, that the ‘gate hadn’t been activated in over a week, not until they had walked through it.
Duncan was relieved to see that Jack and Sam had arrived in the ‘gate room before he and Daniel walked in. The archaeologist would need the support of his teammates…his family.
"Where is my Wife?" Daniel demanded to know.
"Doctor Jackson, I don’t know what happened," Major Parker said softly. "We couldn’t get the ‘gate on the planet to dial out, none of the addresses for Alpha, Beta, or here worked. So I ordered Casey to dial Earth. She did, and the 'gate opened, just long enough for her to get through. Then the damned thing shut down again. Texas dialed Earth again, and we were able to get through. But she wasn’t there. Gracie said the 'gate there hadn’t been activated for a week before we came in."
Daniel felt his knees go weak. God, how many more times was he going to face losing her? How long would it be this time before she was back in his arms? Or was this going to be the end of their luck?
Sam put an arm around his shoulders. "I’m betting she made it through to somewhere. Try to reach her, Daniel," she said softly.
‘Casey? Angel, where are you?’ He waited, closed his eyes, concentrated on her, searched frantically for her. Nothing. "I can’t find her," he whispered. "Damn it! I never should have let her leave here without me! I didn’t want her to go!" He turned pain filled eyes on Duncan. "You never should had sent her. After all we’ve been through, you shouldn’t have let her leave here without me!"
Duncan winced. "I’m sorry Daniel. But none of us had any idea that this would happen."
"Explain that to Emily, when she asks where her Mommy is," Daniel said, his voice tight. "We’ve come so close to losing each other, so many times in the past year and however many months, and we just kept pressing our luck. What am I supposed to do if she’s gone?"
"If she’s in an alternate universe, the folks there will get her back, I’m sure of it," Jack said softly.
"If she hasn’t gone to one where the Goa’uld rule on Earth, or NID is in control of the SGC on Earth, or some other damned disaster hasn’t occurred," Daniel retorted. "I want her found. Now."
Sam looked at him. "Daniel, I’m not sure that’s possible. We don’t have a clue where to start!"
"Yes, you do. She dialed Earth. Start there."
"Even with a quantum mirror, the destinations are random. It’s not like we can just dial up a specific alternate universe. Since there wasn’t a mirror in the vicinity, it had to be solar flares. Those are even more random."
Sam’s words came crashing down on him, forcing him to his knees. He bit back the bile that bubbled up from his stomach as the reality of the situation filtered through to his pain-filled mind. Unless she could find a way back, she was lost to him. Gone, forever. He closed his eyes, ignored the tears that began to fall onto his cheeks. Too many times. They had pushed their luck too many times. "Casey," he whispered.
Jack and Duncan helped him to his feet, led him to the infirmary. Both men admitting to themselves that they would be feeling…reacting…the very same way if it were their wives who had disappeared through a Stargate into the unknown.
Daniel refused any of the sedatives that Dr. Montigue offered. He wanted his mind clear…as clear as it could be, considering the haze of pain that filled it. He wandered back to his office. He stared at the photos that crowded the credenza behind his desk. "Love you, Angel," he said softly. He closed his eyes, tried again to reach her. ‘Please, Casey, answer me. Talk to me, babe. I know you’re out there somewhere. Come home to me, Angel.’
A soft knock on the door turned him around. Aaron stood just inside the door. "Sam called me. Told me what happened. Daniel, I don’t have the…power…I once had. Erin and I…when we chose to come back, we were…stripped of our powers. But I do have some residual…talents…that remain intact." He crossed the floor. "Give me your hand."
Daniel reached across the desk and grasped his father-in-law’s hand.
"Call her, son." Aaron said softly.
"Casey? Angel? Can you hear me?"
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