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Standing in the Dark
"...Tell me how am I supposed to live
Now that I've been loving you so long
How am I supposed to live without you
How am I supposed to carry on
When all that I've been living for is gone..."
"How Am I Supposed to Live Without You"
by Michael Bolton
'Always yours, Beloved… I love you, Daniel. Goodbye, my heart.'
"Casey!" Daniel cried out, his heart shattering into a million pieces. The pain that he felt shut out all other senses, he was aware only that he was no longer able to 'feel' her. His sight narrowed, until all he could see was the console in front of him, blurred by the tears that filled his eyes. "Oh, god, no! He killed her! That son of a bitch just killed her! She…" he nearly collapsed. Only the fact that Teal'c, who was standing beside him, had put his arm around the young archaeologist's waist kept him from hitting the floor. "She said…goodbye…He…oh god…he…" his voice broke.
Jack didn't need to hear the words. He knew from Daniel's anguished cries that Nergal had just beheaded Casey. His own heart dropped. He looked over at his young friend. Daniel was leaning against the communications console, his eyes haunted, tears on his cheeks, his jaw working, his hands clenched tightly. His stomach lurched when he realized that they had not only lost Casey, but more than likely Daniel as well. He stood rooted to the floor, unable to move, until training took over, his body and mind responding intuitively.
"Get me there, Jack," Daniel said. "I'm going to kill him. Slowly."
Neither Jack nor Teal'c had ever heard his voice so bitter, so full of anger…hate. Not even when Apophis had taken Sha're had the young man sounded so…cold. The two warriors exchanged glances. "Not more than forty minutes Daniel," Jack said softly.
"Let me know when we arrive," Daniel said. He pulled himself to his full six-foot height, walked slowly from the bridge to the quarters he had been assigned. Once behind the closed door, he sank to his knees. The pain that gripped him was unbearable. He couldn't even cry. He knelt there on the floor; cold…empty. Alone. So damned alone! It had been so long since he had been on his own, without her. She had filled all those empty places…now…Oh, god, Casey! His sweet, beautiful Casey! So full of sunshine and laughter and love… gone! How could he live without her? How could he live without seeing her sweet face, that beautiful smile that greeted him every morning? How could he live without her teasing him…loving him…making love to him…oh god, to never hold her, never again feel her arms around him, pulling him close to her warm, sweet body…never again to have her there to listen to him rant when things weren't going well, never to work with her on a dig or in the Center… never again to hear her sweet voice singing to Emily and Nicholas during snuggle time…never to touch her…feel her soft, gentle touch against his mind…No! No! No! He couldn't live without her! Not now!
A A A A A A
Still standing on the bridge, Jack took a deep breath. "Put me through to Duncan. And get Methos and Sam on the line as well. I don't think I can do this more than once," he said, his voice flat.
The communication officer swallowed hard, fought back tears. She hadn't really known Mrs. Jackson, but her reputation, like every member of SG-1, was…legendary. "Yes, sir."
"Jack, what's up?" Duncan asked, his voice filling the room after a few minutes of waiting in silence.
"Uh…did you get the message that Casey had been taken hostage by Nergal?"
"Yes, Jack, we got it." The Highlander was instantly alerted by the tone…or rather lack of it…in the general's voice.
"Uh…" he stopped to clear his throat. Damned if his vision wasn't getting blurry! He wiped hastily at his eyes. "Uh…Nergal… uh…that bastard just beheaded her."
"Oh, Sweet Mary, Mother of God," Duncan whispered. "You're sure?"
"Yeah, pretty sure. She…uh…she said goodbye to Daniel." Jack's voice broke.
There was again strained silence on the bridge for several long seconds. "I…uh…understand." Duncan's voice was full of tears. "I'll let the Desala's know. Are you still heading there?"
He cleared his throat again. "Damn straight we are. We're taking this son of a bitch out. Daniel is going to kill him, slowly."
"Good. Let me know when it's…done. Bring her…uh…bring her body back, if you can. She deserves a decent burial."
"We don't leave our people behind, Duncan," Jack said softly.
"Jack?" It was Sam. It wasn't difficult to tell that she was crying. "Are you absolutely sure? I mean, we thought Daniel was dead a few times, and he really wasn't…and then when Zinder's ship blew she made it away...are you sure?"
The gray haired man let his chin drop to his chest. "I'm sorry, Sam. But yeah, we're sure."
Everyone heard the quiet sob of grief that Sam tried to silence.
Teal'c struck out, his fist going through a panel, sending sparks flying. Tears rolled down his ebony cheeks, his jaw worked, and his eyes were filled with fury.
A A A A A A
On the Phoenix, Wade stood motionless. No, this couldn't be! Not Casey! Not beautiful Casey! His eyes filled with tears. He would hunt this monster and kill him with his bare hands, if it were the last thing in this life he ever did! He thought about Daniel. His brother must be mad with grief! What about her children? No, this couldn't be happening! "Casey!" he whispered.
Methos sat stunned. He had lost many friends over the centuries. Several beheaded in front of him. Only one other death had affected him this much. She had been blonde as well. He rubbed his hand over his chest, where a slow, dull ache was beginning to form. Damn it to hell! He never should have let her leave the Phoenix! He should have had Wade deliver the message! She knew this was going to happen…why didn't she stay on the Phoenix?
A A A A A A
Texas had been on his way to the bridge to talk to the comtech for a little while. She was a sweet young thing, and with his own experience with the communication equipment that the SGC used, they had at least one thing to talk about, he was hoping that they would discover other shared interests. He backed away when he heard General O'Neill give the report. The rest of the team was in the gym. He ran all the way there. "That sorry mother-fucker killed Casey!" he said, when he burst into the room. His cheeks were already wet.
"Killed as in…" Tony motioned with his hand across his neck.
"Yeah," Texas replied. He felt as if suddenly there wasn't enough air in the room, he couldn't seem to pull enough oxygen into his lungs. As if a part of him had just…died.
Major Parker dropped the weights he had been using. He had lost friends during his years at the SGC. Had lost friends in Afghanistan, and Iraq. This loss would be one of the most difficult to bear. "That dirty rotten son of a bitch!"
"Yeah," Texas said again. He was shaking now, leaning against the treadmill.
Trenton stared from one face to the other. He had been with SG-6 long enough to see his friends wounded. Had been wounded twice now himself. He had never suffered the death of a teammate. And Casey was every bit as much a part of SG-6 as she was SG-1. "No way, this can't be happening!"
Tony was staring at Texas. Never again to see her smile…laugh at one of her always off-color jokes…never again to sing and dance and lip-sync…never again to smell the soft, sweet scent that filled every room she walked into…hear her soft voice… He was absolutely positive that every man in the room could hear the sound of his heart breaking.
A A A A A A
In his quarters, Daniel was nearly screaming in pain. Sobs tore at his throat, the tears that wouldn't come, now wouldn't stop. He couldn't breathe. He couldn't think. The only thing in his world was pain…raw, red-hot pain. He was on his feet, his fists pounding at anything they came near. His Angel - his Star - his Beloved - his Chosen - his sweet, beautiful Wife…taken from him …stolen from him!
Oh, god, how was he going to go on? How would he explain to Emily…how could he take care of their children alone? What about Nicholas? His son had never had a chance to know his mother…his beautiful, wonderful, loving mother…He thought about the day they had left. She had known, or at least suspected, that this was going to happen. He remembered how reluctant she'd been to leave, how she didn’t want to put Nicholas back in the playpen, how she kept hugging Emmie…she knew, and she went anyway. Because Nergal had to be stopped. Because her heart, her incredible, loving, giving heart had typically put everybody else's needs before her own safety.
He stood in the middle of the floor of the small room, his upturned face wet with tears, eyes closed, his hands in fists at his sides. "CASEY!"
A A A A A A
Ashnan had been monitoring the communications channels. The messages were encrypted, she had no idea what was being discussed. But Hathor and Methos had been contacted by the Tau'ri ship. The connections had not lasted long. She frowned. What were those two up to? Were they trying to make a deal with the Tau'ri in exclusion of the rest of the Goa'uld in this… Alliance? "Contact Methos. I wish to speak with him. Now!"
Methos was in no mood to talk to Ashnan, to put up with her petty jealousies or sexual appetites. But he didn't dare refuse to speak with her. "What is it, Ashnan?"
She immediately noticed how pale he was, how…haunted his dark eyes had become. "Methos, my love, what has happened? What did the Tau'ri have to say to you and Hathor?"
He bit back a curse. Nosy damned bitch anyway! Good thing the messages were encoded in white noise. An idea sprang up in his mind. He would tell Jack and Sam, as soon as he was finished speaking to Ashnan, with luck, she would be too busy spreading the word to notice that he was contacting them again. "The Tau'ri just received word from the Tok'ra spy in Nergal's palace. It seems that he killed Casey Jackson. They are…angry. And now debating whether or not this treaty will benefit them at all. Jackson is enraged, and he is urging them to strike at us while we are still weak, and then go after Nergal."
Ashnan hissed a breath. It seemed that the little slave meant more to Methos than he had claimed, she could see the grief in his eyes. She had seen with her own eyes that the Tau'ri had powerful weapons, and impressive shields; they were going to be difficult to… contain. To have this group of humans turn on them now would bring the end of almost a dozen Goa'uld. She had no doubt that Nergal would suffer greatly at their hands. "What did you say to them?"
"That we have nothing to do with this death, and that this only proves that Nergal must be stopped. And that they signed a treaty with us, and we expect them to honor it," he replied calmly.
She nodded. "Very good, my love. I will alert the others. They must know that we have even more reason to distrust the Tau'ri now."
Methos looked at her. He had been with Ashnan, and the others, long enough to know that if they felt they were being threatened, they would abandoned their 'brothers and sisters' to see to it that they remained in power. He decided to stir that pot. And hoped it wouldn't backfire on them. "Remind them that we are very vulnerable now. We must keep the Tau'ri in this treaty. I regret that I argued against making this…alliance…last longer than just the time it takes to destroy Nergal. Once he is gone, they will turn their sights on us."
"Perhaps we can negotiate again with them, keep them at bay until we have each had time to rebuild our armies." Her beautiful face was creased with worry.
"We can try."
"I must warn the others," she said. "I will speak with you again soon, my love."
Methos sent a message to Sam and Jack, letting them know what had just transpired. With luck, one of the Goa'uld would try to fire on the Persephone as soon as Nergal was taken out, and they could get rid of eight System Lords, nine including Nergal, in one fell swoop. His heart ached. Casey would have loved to have seen that happen. She would have done an 'SG-1 happy dance'.
A A A A A A
Daniel was sitting on the floor once again, his back against the frame of the bed. Out of habit he reached for her, tears falling anew when he was met only with silence…emptiness…darkness. He closed his eyes. He felt as if he were standing on the edge of a cliff, standing in the dark…standing completely, absolutely, heartbreakingly - alone.
A A A A A A
Nergal looked down at her body. Tossed the bloody sword aside. Pity. She was so beautiful. Her body was quite pleasing. He would have enjoyed training her. He was sure that she would have been quite enjoyable in bed. He called for Jaffa. "Take her away."
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