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Out of the Blue
Damn it was cold! She shivered, pulled her parka tighter around her frame. She gave a nervous glance at the heavy, dark clouds that rolled across the sky. Better to get this done and get home before bad weather hit. She took a few seconds to reach out. A couple of hours at the most. She reached toward the cave. Smiled when she felt it. That mystical…something…that she'd totally missed the first time the team had stepped foot on the planet.
The cave was at least a quarter mile from the Stargate. She started out jogging. It would keep her warm, and she could always take a break if she got too winded. She caught a flash of black out of the corner of her eye, but when she turned, she could see nothing. She tightened her grip on the P90 in her hand. Remembered the huge cat that had leapt at Sam. Maybe she should have had Sam come with her. Or Teal'c. He would have accompanied her, and not asked questions about her need to talk to that woman…Being.
She was delighted to discover the huge frame, covered with animal furs, still barring the entrance of the cave. The inside of the large cavern wasn't any warmer than the outside, but at least there wasn't a wind blowing. She flashed her spotlight around. Located the pile of wood. Built a nice big fire.
When the flames were crackling nicely, and she could feel the heat that they put out, she settled onto the dirt floor. "Okay, I don't know the language that you and Daniel spoke, but I figure if you're Ascended, you can understand me. I know that you changed my Quickening," she said softly, her voice echoing around her. "And I have to admit that I'm glad you did. I wanted another baby. One more, anyway. And…I'm…um…pregnant. So I guess I should say thank you. But I need to know that it's not going to happen again."
Silence. Shit! She thought, looking around her. The corner where the 'ceremony' had taken place was still marked with red and blue paint. She concentrated on that area. "I don't have a lot of time, the weather is about to turn bad, and I have to get back through the 'gate…uh…Chappa'ai before that happens," she said.
Still nothing. She reached out. The 'presence' was nearby. She could feel it. Damn it! She didn't have time for games!
A A A A A A
"What's up?" Jack asked, walking into the control room with Sam. Daniel and Teal'c were mere seconds behind them.
"Where's Casey?" Sam asked, glancing around.
Duncan glared, then pointed to the Stargate. "She made a little unscheduled trip to R5X 395."
"Where?" Daniel asked, frowning.
"Ice planet. Cave. Grandma Moses," Duncan replied drolly.
"Sonovabitch!" Daniel said, much louder than he had intended.
"She needs to know," Sam said, nodding slowly. She understood exactly what the young seer was after. Mostly because the two women had talked a bit in the locker room while donning the obligatory BDU's.
The archaeologist glared at the blonde. What the hell was with the women on this base today? Were they all out to drive him nuts? Or was it just those he worked with? "Mind sharing the insight?"
Sam couldn't help but grin at the anger that was flashing in those blue eyes. "She just wants to make sure that she's not going to wind up pregnant again. She said she can handle this surprise, but the idea of having to use birth control for the rest of her 'unnaturally long life', as she put it, is too much, and she doesn't want to have to deal with it."
Birth control? She was Immortal, he doubted seriously that most of the available forms of birth control would even work for them. Which left condoms, and…oh, hell! He really didn't want to have to use a condom every time they made love! He hated condoms, hated the way they felt. Hated that the damned things prevented him from being…naked…with the woman he loved. Certainly he didn't want to wear them with Casey! Besides, as often as they made love, he'd spend a small fortune on them. The fleeting thought that he could buy stock in a condom factory didn't amuse him. "Shit!"
Duncan heaved a sigh. "Get geared up. You'll leave as soon as you're ready."
A A A A A A
Casey was glad she'd had the foresight to bring along a small pan for heating water. She dug around in her pack, located her instant coffee bags, and the creamer and sugar. Set the water on to boil. "Come on, you changed my Quickening without even telling me! The least you can do is answer my question…is this a one time deal or not? Because I really don't want to have to start using rubbers every time I boff my husband!"
There was still no response. Maybe the dark haired bitch…er…woman…would only speak to drop dead gorgeous, sandy-blond haired, blue-eyed archaeologists. In which case, she could take a flying…She shook herself. There had to be a reason why the Being was refusing to speak to her.
She closed her eyes. Slowly, gently reached out. Could find nothing…specific. Just that… feeling. Mystical. Powerful. "Please," she whispered. "I have to know!"
Daniel grumbled all the way to the cave. Sam, Jack, and Teal'c had exchanged amused glances several times. Inquiries into the reason for his current mood had been met with terse, cryptic replies about women on the base determined to make him crazy.
Teal'c pointed out the fresh tracks in the snow. Casey's…and something very, very big. With long claws. "I believe that this animal is stalking her," the Jaffa said, looking around warily.
"Shit!" Jack hissed. "Let's go. Double time. If she's doing that astral plane thing, she won't know that the damned thing is even there!"
She started when his voice shouted inside her head. He did not sound happy! 'Daniel?'
'Where are you?'
Okay, stall, she just needed another…a quick glance at her watch. Okay, another hour and a half…tops. 'Um…well…I'm a bit busy right now-'
'Are you in the cave?'
Oh, hell. He knew. 'Uh…yeah.'
'Stay there, and keep your eyes open. Something big and nasty is following your tracks.'
Her heart began to pound in her chest. She pulled her weapon back into her hands. 'I have a fire going, will that help?'
'I hope so.'
It dawned on her that if he knew that, he was on the planet. Which meant that Duncan knew… okay, she was in a world of trouble. But damn it, she needed to know, and he never would have given her permission, because he was a man and couldn't understand, it was really important for her peace of mind, and after all she had done for the SGC, they owed her anyway and what the hell was that noise? She slowly rose to her knees. Turned to look at the opening of the cave. Something very large was on the other side of that fur barrier. And that 'barrier' wasn't going to stay there long!
A low, rumbling growl filled the air. One huge paw managed to work its way around the skin and wooden frame. Began to tug at the pole.
'Daniel, now would be a very good time to get here!'
He could feel her fear…no…terror. "It's at the cave!" He began to run. Felt his heart stop beating when he slid down the icy path to see a huge bear like animal pulling at the skin covered frame that protected the front of the cave from the weather. He raised his P90 and began to fire.
The animal roared, turned to face the intruders. Raised up on back legs and growled menacingly.
"Holy Hannah!" Sam breathed.
"Open fire!" Jack shouted.
The sound of four P90's split the quiet of the late afternoon. The bear dropped onto all fours, and lumbered toward its attackers. Within ten feet it began to sway from the multiple wounds it had suffered. It lurched forward, then fell to the ground, gave one final growl as it died. Dark red stained the snow beneath it, the black fur wet with blood.
Daniel raced past the animal and into the cave. She was on her knees, wide-eyed and visibly trembling, but otherwise all right. He grabbed her, held her close. "It's okay, babe. We got it."
"G…go…go…good," she stammered, clinging to him.
He let go of her enough to look down at her face. "Just what in the hell were you thinking? Coming here alone was the most stupid thing…Damn it, what if we hadn't been here?"
"Then I guess I'd have found out if fifty, point-five-oh cartridges would take out a giant bear," she replied, still shivering.
He wanted to shake her! Did she have any idea how close to dying she'd just been? Immortality didn't protect one from being mauled and eaten by wild animals! "Goddamn it! Don't give me that attitude! You could have been killed!"
She stepped back, her eyes wide. "Calm down, Daniel! I’m okay!"
"Yeah, because we managed to get here in time!"
Her eyes narrowed. "Thank you so much! I'm perfectly capable of taking care of myself!''
"Bullshit! If you were, you wouldn't be here! You sure as hell wouldn't have been sitting with your back to the friggin' door!"
"I…how did you know…"
He pointed to the prints in the dirt, and the cup that had been sitting by her knee.
"Okay, maybe I should have been watching a bit closer, but I knew it was out there," she replied.
"Yes, really. I saw something when I was walking here. Well, jogging actually. There's a storm on the way, and I wanted to get here and do what I needed to do, and then get back before it hits."
"You saw that thing, and you came here anyway?" He rolled his eyes. "That's the most-" he broke off, shook his head.
"I didn't actually see it! Just a flash of black. I would have been fine," she insisted. Even though in her heart she wasn't quite as certain.
He grabbed her arm. "Let's go."
"Let go of me!" She jerked her arm free, stepped farther away from him. "Go back to Gamma, Daniel. I have something I need to do, and it's none of your business!"
"Like hell it's not!" he exploded. "Everything you do is my business, woman!"
"Oh, that was dumb, Space Monkey," Jack murmured, shaking his head. Preparing for the explosion that was about to occur.
"Excuse me? You don't own me! I can do what I damn well please! And if you don't like it…you can…you can…" Casey shouted. She broke off, shook her head, turned her back to him.
His blue eyes narrowed. "I can what?"
"Kiss my ass!" she yelled.
"We are going home," he ground out, barely able to keep from grabbing her and carrying her back to the Stargate. Which he would do if she kept arguing with him!
"I am not going anywhere! Especially with you!"
"Daniel Jackson, I would be most willing to remain with Casey Jackson as she seeks to find the answers to her questions," Teal'c said calmly.
"She's coming home, right now," Daniel insisted.
"I'm standing right here, and I can make up my own mind on whether I want to stay or go!" she snapped.
Daniel threw his hands into the air. "Fine! Stay here! Freeze to death! Be dinner for some damned giant animal! What the fuck do I care? I'm just your goddamned husband!" He yanked his gloves over his hands, adjusted the woolen hat on his head, and stormed out of the cave.
"Jerk!" she hissed, before dropping back down to sit beside the fire.
"I'll make sure he gets back okay," Jack said quietly. He turned to his own wife. "You coming or staying?"
Sam smiled. "I think I'll stay."
"Keep an eye on those clouds. If they get any darker, pack it up and get to the 'gate," Jack instructed.
"Promise," Sam replied. She accepted his kiss, kissed him in return, and watched him hurry after their best friend…their very, very angry best friend.
A A A A A A
Daniel was pulling the cold weather gear from his body as soon as his feet hit the ramp. Damn that woman! What the hell did she think she was doing? No…she wasn't thinking! That was the problem! Neither of those damned, infuriating women were thinking! One was going to run off and become a Tok'ra host, and the other had pranced off to a planet in the throes of an ice age, populated with huge damned beasts without so much as a peep as to what she was up to! And then there was a certain blonde colonel who had known what his Wife was thinking, and hadn't seen fit to tell him about it!
Jack watched, bemused, as the archaeologist stomped out of the 'gate room and toward the elevator.
Duncan watched the young man walk by. He didn't think he'd ever seen Daniel so angry! "So, uh, where's the rest of the team?"
"Sam and Teal'c are staying with Casey. She almost had an unfortunate run-in with a bear. We got there in time, thanks to that SG-1 good luck. Daniel sort of lost it, and Casey wasn't amused," Jack replied, grinning. "He's really pissed!"
"Well, I don't think it's all aimed at Casey," the Highlander replied.
"Stephanie Miller met with him this morning. Julie told me he was madder than hell when the young woman left the office."
"She went in to tell him that she's decided to become a Tok'ra host."
Jack's eyes went wide. "She's what? Is she kidding?"
The dark haired man shook his head. "She's serious, Jack. And she's done a lot of research on the subject. Apparently she's been…interested…in the Tok'ra for some time. There's nothing I can do to stop her, this is her decision."
"We have to stop her!"
"We can't," Duncan insisted. "All we can do is hope that the Tok'ra won't accept her. I can understand the other two, hell, they'll die soon if something doesn't happen. This is their miracle. But Stephanie-" He shook his head. "It doesn't help that Daniel considers her to be his protégé. He's been giving her more and more responsibility at the Center. He was looking to hire two archaeologists, now he gets to hire three."
"And at the same time, or damned near, his wife is sneaking off and nearly gets herself killed." Jack shook his head. "I'd better make sure he doesn't do something stupid."
A A A A A A
By the time Jack had finished his conversation with Duncan, Daniel was already on his way out of the mountain. He threw himself behind the steering wheel, peeled at least five hundred miles worth of tread off of the tires as he squealed out of the parking stall and toward the main gate.
If those two wanted to ruin their lives, get themselves killed, they could just do it without him! When they came running to him for help…and they would!…well, they could just keep right on running!
He was nearly to Main Street when a glance in his rear view mirror had him moaning. Goddamn it! This was just not his day! He found a place to pull over, fished in the ashtray for his driver's license, registration card, and his insurance card.
"Good afternoon, sir," the police officer said politely as he flipped open his ticket pad. "Do you know why I stopped you?"
"I have no idea," Daniel snapped. He shook his head. "Sorry," he mumbled. "Really bad day at work."
The young officer nodded. "Sir, you were doing forty miles an hour in a twenty-five mile an hour zone. May I see your license, registration, and proof of insurance, please?"
Well, that's just fucking great, isn't it? Ten dollars for every mile an hour over the speed limit. A hundred and fifty dollars! Plus it would be reported to the insurance company, who would more than likely raise his insurance rates. This was all her fault! He nodded. Handed the three cards to the man. Watched him write the ticket. Signed it. Accepted his copy and his cards back.
"Watch the speed, Doctor Jackson," the officer said. "Have a nice day."
He bit his tongue to keep from replying. He didn't need to be arrested for assaulting…or would it be insulting?…a police officer. He pulled back out into traffic. And headed for the one place that seemed to draw the Jacksons whenever there was trouble in their lives.
John looked up in surprise when Dr. Jackson slammed the door open. There was no mistaking the look of anger in the young man's eyes. "Doctor Jackson," he said amiably.
"John," Daniel said in way of a greeting. "Tequila. Limes. Salt."
The bartender had centuries of experience. He'd make a subtle call as soon as the archaeologist was busy drinking. Which he really shouldn't do, considering the fact that he couldn't hold his liquor. "Coming right up, doc."
With a nod, Daniel plopped down on the nearest barstool. This had been a hell of a day! He glanced at his watched, shocked to see that it was barely past noon. He grabbed one of the greasy menus that stood propped beside a bottle of bourbon. Glanced at it. "Give me a burger and fries, too."
"You got it," John replied. That should help considerably, he thought. He walked back to the grill, put the hamburger on, tossed two handfuls of fries into the fryer before taking the bottle of tequila and the other requested items to the man sitting at the bar.
Daniel sat and fumed about the obstinate, sneaky, infuriating women in his life. Tossed back the first shot. Felt it burn all the way to his empty belly. Poured another shot and did it. Didn't pay attention as the bartender discreetly made a phone call.
Fifteen minutes later Jack walked in the door. Daniel was dipping French fries into ketchup, shoving them into his mouth. "Hey, John," he called, greeting the bartender.
"Give me what he's having," Jack said, sitting down beside Daniel.
"They're doing it to drive me nuts," the young man muttered.
"Probably. Nothing you can do about Stephanie-"
Daniel grunted his response.
"-but Case…well, you know how she is when she's got a problem. She fixates on it until she can find the answer, a solution. And she's got a legitimate question, Danny. If she's gonna be… fertile…from now on, you guys need to know about it."
"She damned near got herself killed!" And his anger was fueled by the fear that had gripped him, locked him in its icy grasp when he'd seen that huge freaking bear trying to get into that cave. The cave where his Wife had been alone. His pregnant Wife! He couldn't live without her, didn't she understand that? Didn't she know that he panicked each and every time she was in danger, because he knew that he couldn't live without her…couldn't face one day without her soft smile, her gentle touch, her sweet love? It had nothing to do with his addiction to her…and everything to do with the fact that he was so head-over-heels in love with her, even after ten and a half years, that he couldn't even make it through a single day without her smile, her touch, her love.
"I know. But she didn’t."
"I got a fucking speeding ticket."
Jack bit back his reply…and his laugh. This was not a good day for Daniel! "Yeah, well, I've seen you drive. I'm surprised it hasn't happened before."
"I don't speed as much as Casey does!" He couldn't stop the grin that worked its way across his face. Casey had always been hell on wheels.
"Yeah, well she's got a great smile, big green eyes and attitude. Keeps her from getting caught…or at least ticketed."
He snorted. That sexy body of hers probably helped, too! "Probably." He took a bite of his hamburger. "It's been a hell of a day so far."
"I'm not apologizing." No fucking way. He had every right to be pissed off.
"Never suggested that you had to."
"Don't feel like going back to work."
"Probably best if you don't. You'll be barking at anybody who crosses your path."
"I do not bark."
"Jack, I do not bark!"
"Okay, you grunt and grumble a lot. Let's go fishing."
Daniel rolled his eyes. "I don't want to go fishing."
"Sure you do."
"Jack, I do not want to go fishing," he said, gritting his teeth.
The older man grinned. "Fine. I'll fish. You can sit there and hand me beers."
A A A A A A
An hour later the two men were sitting on the east side of the lake, away from those who were enjoying the water, using it to cool off. Daniel wasn't exactly certain how he'd come to be there. And he would never admit to feeling the tension in his neck and shoulders ease as he sat there sipping a beer, watching Jack holding a fishing pole. Fishing in a lake that had no fish.
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