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Casey dropped down into her chair in the conference room. Jack was sitting at the head of the table; Duncan and Daniel were still orbiting Earth. It had been seven days, and still the negotiations dragged on. Daniel had contacted her several times in their ‘special’ way. He had done so four times yesterday, seeking her calming influence as the frustration mounted. The newly elected members of the EDA were politicians to the core, and were making demands that not one of the free SGC colonies would ever meet.
Sam and Teal'c entered the room just seconds after she did. They all looked at Jack expectantly.
"Well, campers, we have once again located Ba’al. Which is cool, because the Phoenix has some…upgrades…that are going to help us finally get this bastard. The Immortal Council has come up with a plan to help us find out just what he’s been up to. He’s been dealing with this new bunch of System Lords we’ve discovered, and we need to know just exactly what kind of deals are being made, who is allied with whom, and which ones we need to take out first," Jack said.
"So what’s the plan?" Sam asked.
Jack grinned. "You’re gonna love this. Teal'c, I need for you to contact Master Bra’tac. We need twenty, maybe twenty-five Jaffa who are willing to help us out."
"I will do so as soon as this meeting is concluded, O’Neill," the Jaffa said.
"Methos is going to be a new System Lord. Ba’al probably hasn’t met all of them yet, and the ones here sure don’t know about all of the others out there, or so it seems. Anyway, Methos is going to ‘recapture’ the Phoenix. The regular crew is going to stay here, for this trip. Marine One and SG-6 are going with us, and we’re all going to be ‘prisoners’," Jack informed them.
Casey started giggling. "Oh, Ba’al is going to love this! He couldn’t kick our butts, but some minor System Lord could do it! I love it! It will add insult to injury!"
Jack chuckled. "Yeah, we kinda thought the same thing."
Methos hurried into the room. "Sorry to be late. Just had a bit of interesting news filter in," he said. He slid into the chair beside Casey. The one where Daniel always sat.
"And that would be?" Jack asked.
"Ba’al just met with Seleconne. Right now the bastard is sitting on…" he checked his notes, "a planet we designated PY3 477."
Jack’s face lost all expression at the mention of that name. For him, the objective of this mission had just changed.
"Why?" Sam asked. "What does he have that Ba’al wants?"
"Good question, colonel," Methos responded. "The Council has discussed the issue. We know of one person that might have knowledge about Seleconne." He refused to look at Casey.
Jack looked at him. "And this person is…?"
Casey felt as if she had been slapped. "You must be joking!" she whispered.
The young/old man shook his head. "No, I’m not. I’ll be playing the part of a System Lord. The Council thought it would be…advantageous…to have Casey play the part of my new…consort. That should help keep Ba’al…on edge. Michaels will be my lo’taur."
She closed her eyes. This was not happening! This could not be happening! She was still having nightmares about the man! Granted, they weren’t coming as often, but they were still happening! Daniel would be so pissed…she looked at Jack. Obviously the mission had already been discussed; although judging by his reaction, the news about Seleconne had been something the general hadn't been aware of,…and she could sense that he hadn't been informed about Wade Michael's involvement, either. "Daniel doesn’t know about this, does he?"
Jack looked at his hands. "Duncan thought it would be…easier…if he was part of the… ‘rescue’ effort," he admitted. That had only been because of Ba’al. Having Wade Michaels on the mission only added to the potential problem of one very angry archaeologist.
"Am I being ordered not to tell him?"
The general shook his head. "I can’t order that, Case. Personally, after all that you’ve been through, I think you should tell him."
She nodded. She planned to do exactly that! "Good. Because I’d hate to disobey an order."
Jack chuckled. "Since when?"
There was uneasy laughter around the table.
"When do we leave?" Sam asked.
"Four hours," was the reply. "So, go home, do what you need to do, then meet up in the armory at 1800 hours. Dismissed."
A A A A A A
Casey nearly ran to Daniel’s office. She sat down in his chair, folded her arms and rested her head on them. This just could not be happening! She reached out to touch his face in the new photograph of the four of them that sat proudly on his desk. ‘Daniel?’
‘Give me a second, Angel.’
She waited, welcoming the time to gather her thoughts, to try and find an easy way to break the news to him.
‘What’s wrong, Case? Are you all right? Are the kids okay?’
She smiled. He could pick up her emotions almost as quickly as they flowed through her. ‘We’re fine. Well, the kids are fine,’ she admitted.
‘Talk to me, Angel.’
‘Daniel, this isn’t easy…please don’t get upset,’ she pleaded
Thirty-two light years away, Daniel dropped into a chair. He was about to hear something he wasn’t going to like. ‘I can’t promise that, Angel. Just tell me.’
‘We’re getting ready to go on a mission. We’ve found Ba’al.’ She could ‘feel’ him tense up, waiting for the bad news.
‘Methos is going to pretend to be a System Lord. Ba’al doesn’t know all of the ones in that area of space yet, and they don’t know the ones from here…so…we’re hoping that nobody will get…suspicious.’
‘That part does.’
Here it comes, he thought. ‘Okay. So what am I not going to like?’
‘I…uh…Methos…recaptures the Phoenix, with SG-1 and 6, and Marine One on board. He…uh…makes me his…consort.’
He grinned. 'Now that should drive Ba’al out of his freaking snake-head!’
She couldn’t help but giggle at the feelings of delight that she sensed. The giggle died when she realized she had to tell him the rest.
Daniel heard her giggle, closed his eyes and held tightly to the sweet sound. Worried when it ended abruptly, and he could ‘feel’ the tension flood through her again. Dread, she was dreading what she had to tell him. Oh, god. They were going to sleep together.
‘Methos promised me that even though we’ll have to share a bed, nothing will happen. I think he knows I’d kill him if he tried anything,’ she said, sensing his sudden fear, sure that she knew what it was about.
‘If I didn’t kill him first,’ he admitted. ‘Babe, I understand. Good luck.’
‘Daniel…Sweetheart, there’s something else.’ Her heart turned over in her chest, her stomach was suddenly filled with hundreds of butterflies demanding release.
Her fear bothered him, worried him. ‘I’m listening.’
‘Ba’al has been meeting with Seleconne.’
He was sure that this wasn’t what had her so upset. ‘And?’
She paused. Struggled to find the best way to tell him. ‘One person…man…knows about Seleconne. Methos is going to have him pose as his lo’taur.’
‘Michaels.’ Daniel closed his eyes as icy pain gripped his heart. Was she ever going to get peace? She was still having nightmares about him and what had happened in that pleasure house!
‘I’m so sorry, Daniel! I love you! I won’t go! I’ll stay here!’ Casey could feel herself creeping ever closer to hysteria. She hated this plan! Wanted nothing to do with it!
He could feel her panic. ‘Shh…easy, babe. It’s okay. Angel, having you at his side will help Methos deal with Ba’al. It will keep that bastard off-center. It’s a great plan.’
‘I want you here!’ she said, her heart pounding with fear.
He smiled. ‘Love you, Angel.’
‘Love you, Sweetheart.’ She sent him the love she felt, all of it.
It was a good thing he was sitting down, or the passion she had sent through to him would have knocked him off his feet. ‘Yeah, I got that,’ he said, a smile on his face. He sent his love to her, just as quickly.
‘Oh, wow! What a rush,’ she giggled.
‘You would have knocked my butt to the floor if I hadn’t already been sitting down,’ he told her, still smiling.
‘Jack says that you’ll be part of the ‘rescue’ team sent in when it’s time.’
‘Good. I like the thought of rescuing you.’
‘Daniel…are we…are you…’
‘I hate it, babe, to be honest. But I love you. I trust you. If you need me, just call, Angel, and I’ll be there as fast as I can be.’
‘I miss you. I want you here!’ she repeated.
He smiled again. ‘I want you here with me, Angel. I miss you, too.’
‘I guess I should go get ready, we’re leaving at six tonight.’
‘Be careful, Angel.’
‘I will be. Love you.’
‘Love you too.’
‘Don’t let those politicians get to you.’
He laughed. ‘Needed that advice a few hours ago.’
She smiled. ‘You’re the politician tamer, remember? You can do it, Sweetheart. Nobody can be as charming as you. Just stay away from the women,’ she warned.
‘I will babe. You’re the only one, Case. The only one. My Chosen. My Beloved.’
‘You’re my Beloved,’ she replied softly.
‘I have to go, babe.’
‘Okay. Love you.’
‘Love you, too.’
She felt the ‘disconnect’, reached out just to make sure he was still ‘there’. Felt the caress returned. She smiled. She could do this. After all, her Beloved would be rescuing her! She went home, explained to Emily that she had to go to work. Without a spare bedroom now, Aaron and Erin took the kids to their home whenever Daniel and Casey were away overnight. She packed, optimistically, for three days, knowing that her mother could always come and get whatever she needed while she and Daniel were away.
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