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Ehestu Yano watched with angry eyes as Daniel carried Casey carefully down the side of the hill. Resentment burned in him, that this pale man would come and claim what rightfully belonged to him. Had he not found her, dead from the attack of the wesa? Had he not brought her back to the village, so that she could be made ready for the journey to the Peaceful Hunting Ground? If she had belonged to this man before, her death had dissolved that bond. The Great Spirit had sent her back, so that she could be with him!
Itu Godado watched, his old eyes seeing, and understanding. There were legends about Spirit People, those who could not die, who walked among The People. Ehestu Yano knew the legends. He accepted that this woman had walked with the Spirits, and then returned. He would not accept that she did not belong to him. Itu sighed. There would be trouble. He watched the strangers that led the way back to the camp. They were dangerous, and he had no desire to bring their wrath down on The People. He had seen the depths of love in the eyes of the one called Daniel. He would kill to keep Ca’see by his side. He didn’t want Ehestu to die. The young man was brave, an excellent hunter, and would someday make a good Elder. Their numbers were too few after the last encounter with the Devil-Eyed Ones to risk losing anyone, especially a man as good as Ehestu.
He had noticed the mark of the Devil Eyes on the large dark skinned man. But he had fought along side these pale ones against the others. Something inside Itu told him that he could trust these people. If they trusted the Marked One, then he would not complain about his presence.
When the villagers had arrived at their camp, Daniel had transferred his sleeping wife to Teal'c’s arms. The Jaffa was the only man that he trusted to keep Casey safe while he did his job. Doing his job had him seeking Itu.
Teal'c watched Ehestu Yano. He had observed the young man’s angry glances at Daniel, the look of desire in his eyes when he looked at Casey. He could sense that this man would not willingly let Daniel take his wife back. He shifted the unconscious woman in his arms. Her weight was nothing to him. He frowned. She had not been eating well, he could feel the bones of her body too easily. Once she was back where she belonged, Daniel Jackson would see to it that she ate better. The young man was edging ever closer to his position. Teal'c did not believe that the young man would be foolish enough to attack him. However, if it became necessary to lay Casey down, he would spring to try to take her back.
"Colonel Carter," Teal'c said softly.
"What is it, Teal'c?" Sam asked.
He nodded to where Ehestu stood, watching them, his dark eyes smoldering with hatred. "I do not trust that man. I do not like the way he looks at Casey Jackson. I believe it would be best if I were not to lay her down. She should remain with Daniel Jackson or myself."
Sam glanced over at the man. "I think you’re right, T. You just stand there and keep guard on her. We don’t want to lose her again. If that happened, we’d lose Daniel as well."
Teal'c nodded. He took a stance, shifted the young woman in his arms slightly, so that if need be, he could raise and fire his staff weapon.
Daniel had approached Itu Godado. "There is danger here for your people. We can help you to go to a place where there will be no danger. Where the hunting will be good. Where the people will be happy."
Itu Godado nodded. His dreams had told him that they would be saved from the Devil-Eyed Ones. He had not known how…until this moment. The Great Spirit had brought these pale ones to save The People. "We will do as you say." He turned and ordered that the camp be dismantled and the people ready to move out. These pale ones might be threatening, but they were willing to help The People. It was confusing, but the ways of the Great Spirit often were. By late afternoon the group was at the Stargate.
Sam dialed the DHD and set up the remote camera. "Sir, we need a gate address for a planet that's safe from Goa’uld, and will provide food for a group of about fifty people; they’ll need a place with abundant animal life," Sam said, after briefly explaining where they were, and why...and most importantly, that Casey had been found.
"Okay, Carter, hang on. Shouldn’t take too long. Call back in an hour."
"Roger that, sir. Call home in one hour." She 'closed' the 'gate, and hurried to find Daniel.
A A A A A A
Ehestu Yano moved ever closer to the giant dark skinned man. The man was large, but a knife in the ribs would still bring him down. Then Ca’see would be his. He would take her and they would go away from The People, because he knew that Itu Godado would not allow him to stay if he took an innocent life. The young man paused when he realized that the giant man was watching him.
Otsvstu Owui put a hand on his friend’s shoulder. Ehestu jumped, he hadn’t heard the other man approach. "What you plan is written clearly on your face," he said softly.
"I will have her," Ehestu snarled. "She is mine. I found her, I brought her to The People, the Great Spirit sent her soul back so she could be with me. I will not be denied!"
"Itu Godado was right, Ehestu Yano, she was never yours. She belongs to the pale man. She loves the pale man, even you can see that. Would you have her with you, hating you every day? Waiting for her chance to escape you, or worse, kill you? What kind of honor is that?" the young man sighed.
"She will love me. I have seen how she smiles at me," Ehestu argued.
"Then you are blind. She smiles at you no differently than she smiles at any of us. Only for the pale man did her eyes shine with fire. She never sought your arms, yet she ran gladly to his. Come with me, my friend, we should be with the others."
"I will have her," Ehestu insisted.
"Tlo. No, you won’t," Daniel said softly. He had come upon the two young men, had heard what had been said. "She burns only for me. We have been through the Ceremony of Fire, a rite that binds us for eternity. I will kill you before I allow you to take her."
Ehestu Yano spun around, his knife in his hand. "Not if I kill you first, pale one!" He lunged at Daniel, intent on stabbing him.
Daniel leapt backwards, just barely avoiding the knife.
"Enough!" Itu Godado roared. "Do not make me banish you from The People," he said to Ehestu, his dark eyes imploring the young man. These strangers would help them only if they were not angered. The People had to get away from the Devil-Eyed ones, and these pale strangers were the only means to that end. He tried to impart this to the young warrior with his steady gaze.
"She is mine!"
Itu sighed, and shook his head. "Not even you are that dense, Ehestu Yano. Look in your heart. What do you see? Do you see her there? Has she sought you out, to let you know that you are her chosen?"
The young warrior curled his lip. "She had not yet time. But she smiles at me, with her mouth and with her eyes."
The old man began to laugh. "Foolish young man! She smiles that way at all of us! She is the wife of this man," he said nodding at Daniel. "You know the punishment for taking the wife of another man".
"But she died! I brought her to The People, to you, so that she could find her way to the Peaceful Hunting Ground! Her death ended any mating to this one! The Great Spirit returned her…so that she would be my mate!"
"She’s Immortal," Daniel said. "She has died many times. So have I. We are mated for life. For eternity. She is mine."
Itu Godado nodded. It was good that the pale man was standing up against Ehestu Yano. Not enough people did that. It was time that he was reminded that he could not, would not always have his way.
Daniel’s words had an effect on the young man. He looked from Daniel to Casey and back again. If he had died many times, and she had died many times, and still they were mated…He lowered his knife, his shoulders slumped in defeat.
The old man smiled. Ehestu Yano was brash, impulsive, and sometimes overbearing. But he wasn't stupid. Most of the time. He turned to the one called Daniel. "I would ask that you do not hold this foolish one’s actions against the rest of The People."
Daniel smiled. "I know how easily a man can fall to her beauty, her warmth, her smile. No harm was done."
Itu Godado nodded. "It cannot be easy to have a wife such as her. The Great Spirit has given you a great blessing. Great blessings can be as difficult to bear as curses."
Daniel only smiled. Having Casey as his Wife wasn’t as difficult as many people assumed. Because he knew how much she loved him, how she burned for him. She knew how much he loved and burned for her. For them, there was no one else. Ever.
Sam contacted the SGC again, received three different addresses, and began dialing the first one in.
It had taken a few minutes to explain to Itu that once the ‘gate was open, the people needed to move through quickly. SG-6 was going first, to make sure it was safe near the gate. Itu led The People through behind them, although most of them were terrified, they followed their old Shaman. SG-1 came last.
The planet was nearly identical to the one they had just left. Everyone looked around, some of the people unaware that they had left one planet and were on another. Itu began to chant, his arms raised to the sky. The people formed a circle around him, quietly chanting with him. After a few minutes, he stopped, and turned to Daniel.
"The Great Spirit is here. This is a good place."
Daniel smiled. "Good. We must go now. We will come back again, and visit you."
The old man nodded. "You will be welcomed. Go in peace, my friend." With that, he turned, and led the people away from the gate. They would explore this new land.
"Let’s go home, Sam," Daniel said wearily. He took Casey back into his arms, kissed her forehead, and waited for the event horizon to open up.
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