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The Power of Love
Daniel slowly sliced into his palm. The silence in the room was deafening as Jack, Sam, and Teal'c watched him heal, a sight they had witnessed many times before with Casey.
Sam quickly took the knife from his hand and cut her own palm, stared as the flesh became whole again. Jack and Teal'c repeated the ritual, always with the same results. They all stared at one another for a few stunned minutes.
"Casey, tell us again what Oma said," Jack demanded.
She was in the middle of repeating her tale when an airman knocked on the door and apologetically poked her head into the room. "General O’Neill, sir, this just came from General Hammond. He said he wants it signed and returned to him ASAP, so that it can be implemented by the end of the week."
Jack waved her in, a look of annoyance on his face. His eyes grew wide as he read the faxed document.
"What is it, sir?" Sam asked anxiously.
He didn’t answer, he simply shoved the paper towards her. Daniel and Casey got up and stood behind Sam so that they could read over her shoulder.
"Way to go, Oma," Casey said softly.
General Hammond had succeeded in lifting the ban on fraternization between officers of the SGC and any of its affiliates. According to the document, the nature of the SGC and the work done within it were not conducive to healthy relationships outside of the confines of the base. Due to the extreme secrecy, the intense working conditions, and the close bonds that formed between the personnel as a result, relationships were only to be expected. Therefore, any said relationships that developed between members of the SGC teams or staff would be summarily ignored.
Jack and Sam exchanged a glance. She dropped her eyes, a blush spreading up her neck and across her cheeks.
"Now do you believe me?" Casey asked, a grin on her face.
A A A A A A
The mission brief had brought to light one fact in Casey’s new life. Any clear, distinct memories of all the missions she had been on were gone. She had a few impressions about certain things, but no details. All she could offer were the 'feelings' that had steered the team on the right course time and again.
The MALP had shown nothing hostile, only the edges of a temperate forest, and what looked like a path through tall grass. Everyone grinned at Jack’s comment about the ever-present trees. Jack warned the team not to become foolhardy just because they were now Immortal. In fact, capture was now more a threat than ever. Nobody wanted a Goa’uld in possession of an Immortal body. No one had any idea whether or not a Goa’uld could infest an Immortal, and Sam had theories about it, and also a theory about the added strength that an Immortal could give a Goa’uld, but none of them were willing to test those theories.
It had been thirty-three years since she had walked through the Stargate on a mission. Her heart was racing with excitement as they walked up the ramp. She exchanged smiles with Daniel. He gave her a quick kiss, then with a wicked grin pushed her through the event horizon.
"That was not funny!" she grumbled as she pulled herself off the ground. The trip through the wormhole always left her slightly disoriented.
Daniel offered his hand. She took it, not looking up at him, a grin on her face. Within seconds he was on the ground, flat on his back, her knees on his chest.
Sam grinned and shook her head. "Okay you two, down to business."
Teal'c pulled Casey to her feet, then offered his hand to Daniel. "It appears that you require practice on your hand-to-hand combat techniques, Daniel Jackson," he said, a slight smile on his face.
"Yeah, just wait ‘til I get her home tonight. I’ll show her some hand-to-hand techniques," Daniel retorted.
"Ooh, I’m scared," she taunted. She turned to follow Sam, her senses alert, looking around her with interest.
Daniel just grinned at her. "You will be, you will be!"
"Is that not a quotation from Star Wars, Return of the Jedi, Daniel Jackson?" Teal'c asked, his eyes scanning the area as they walked down a narrow dirt path.
"It is, Teal'c," Daniel confirmed. He also watched the surrounding area carefully.
Sam, who had been on point, pulled up and signaled. They all dropped to their knees, eyes moving, listening intently.
Daniel inched up to where Sam was kneeling. "What is it?" he asked in a whisper.
Sam shook her head. "I’m not sure. I thought I saw something over there, among the trees." With a hand signal, she sent Teal'c to investigate, leaving Casey to guard their six. Casey put her back to her teammates, one foot in contact with Daniel’s. She needed the reassurance of his presence. She saw nothing, but wouldn’t lower her defenses until it had been proven that there was nothing of the enemy out there.
She glanced at Teal'c every few seconds, following his progress.
"Colonel Carter!" Teal'c called. When they arrived at his position, they discovered what had caught Sam’s attention. It was an animal hide. It had been stretched between two of the trees, but one corner had come loose, and the breeze caused the skin to flutter.
Daniel was examining the skin carefully. "This hide has been tanned. Look at the marks here and here," he pointed.
"Swell," Casey said softly. "Cavemen."
"Not necessarily," Daniel responded.
"Well, whoever it is could still be out here. Keep sharp, people," Sam said, not realizing how much like Jack she sounded.
They worked their way slowly through the woods, weapons ready. Suddenly the bushes near Casey began to shake, and she aimed her P90, ready to fire. A child, not more than five or six, appeared in front of her. She jerked the weapon up, a hiss of surprise escaping her lips. She smiled down at the child. "Hello, there," she said.
The child looked at her for a few seconds, then smiled shyly. He, or she, it was hard to tell which it was, pulled at his own dark hair, then pointed to Casey’s.
Casey grinned and knelt down, letting the child run dirty fingers through her long blonde ponytail.
"Well, Case, who’s your friend?" Daniel asked as he approached, a smile on his face.
"We haven’t quite gotten around to introductions yet," she answered.
Daniel knelt down beside her. The child looked at him, then back to Casey. One dirty little hand went back to Casey’s hair, the other into Daniel’s. "Well, light-colored hair is obviously unique here." He smiled at the child again. "Where are your parents?"
The only response was a wider smile.
Daniel tried again, in several different languages. Still the child said nothing.
By this time Sam and Teal'c were standing close-by, watching. "There must be a village or something near here," Sam said.
Daniel nodded. He stood up. Casey did the same. When they began to walk back towards the path, the child skipped to catch up, and caught Casey’s hand on one side, and Daniel’s on the other. The adults exchanged a smiling glance. When they neared a wide clearing, the child looked up at them, smiled, and then ran back into the woods.
Sam had brought out the naquadah detector. "There seems to be a deposit somewhere in those hills," she said, pointing to the rolling terrain to the left of them.
Suddenly the air was pierced with screams and shouts, and several spears landed in the dirt at their feet, the wooden shafts vibrating from the force of the impact.
"Daniel?" Sam said, glancing at him nervously.
"Everybody stay calm," Daniel said, raising both hands slowly. "Hello," he said, watching as four very hairy, animal fur clad men approached.
They looked at him, then began gesturing and grunting amongst themselves.
"Absolutely prehistoric. Homo Erectus I’m guessing, although they could be Homo Sapiens. No defined brow ridges. But the jaw does seem a bit wider than modern humans." Daniel mused. He kept his hands up. It was meant as a gesture to show that the team meant no harm, but it was anybody’s guess as to whether these men understood it.
More men came out from hiding, as well as a dozen or so women and at least as many children, including the little friend they had made earlier. They began moving towards the team, slowly, their liquid brown eyes ever watchful. The women in the group seemed to hang back, eyes darting back and forth between these pale skinned intruders and their men. The children seemed to run about at will, as though they understood there was no threat from these strangers. Daniel suddenly realized that he and Teal'c were being ‘herded’ in one direction, and Sam and Casey in another.
A group of six men surrounded the archaeologist and the Jaffa, sharply pointed spears aimed directly at their throats. Twenty feet away a larger group of men had surrounded the two female members of the team. Many of them were sniffing the air around the women. One came forward and boldly touched them, poking each of them in the breast. He turned to the others, and again communicated through gestures and grunts. The other men began to pull at the clothes the women wore.
"Uh, Daniel, a brilliant anthropologist-like idea right now would be a very good thing," Casey said nervously.
"I don’t think they mean any harm," Daniel replied. "They’re just curious. Just stay calm, don’t do anything aggressive."
"Don’t tell me, tell them," Casey retorted, backing away from the group of men. Three of the men were pulling her backpack, had it off of her shoulders. She had lowered her weapon, and soon it too was pulled from her hands. The men had little interest in her gear.
One of the men had managed to grab Casey’s tee shirt, and by dumb luck, her bra with it. He felt the resistance, and before she realized what he was doing, he had pulled a stone knife from a pouch in the animal hide robe he was wearing, and proceeded to cut at the material in his hand until he had completely slit open the shirt and severed the bra. Her firm breasts bounced free of their confinement; she was now fully exposed to the men. The group began to jump up and down, yelling and grunting. The man who had cut her clothes began to grab at her flesh, until she slapped his hands away. He looked at her, startled, and then went to join the others.
"Uh, Daniel?" Sam said, trying to back away as the men turned their attention to her.
Daniel tried to step forward, and was rewarded with a spear point in the base of his throat. The sharp point broke the skin, and it began to bleed. Within seconds tiny blue sparks covered it while it healed. The men who had been watching him reached forward to touch the spot where the wound had been, rubbing the blood away, becoming obviously agitated.
The male who had cut Casey’s clothes, apparently the leader, hurried over to where Daniel stood. He took his stone knife and poked Daniel in the neck again. His eyes widened as he watched the wound heal.
He turned around, gesturing wildly, his grunts and shouts frenzied, and the group of people began to scatter. Within seconds they were gone, having disappeared into the trees.
The team members met in the middle of the clearing, Casey’s arms folded over her breasts.
"Just curious, huh?" she asked, her voice shaking. Daniel took off his shirt and put it around her, standing directly in front of her so that she could put her arms through the sleeves and button it up.
"You noticed that they knew a good thing when they saw it," he grinned. "Or should I say a couple of good things?"
"Be very careful, Doctor Jackson," Casey said, her voice still unsteady. "You’re skating on thin ice. Keep it up and you won’t be seeing them for a very long time."
Sam snickered beside her.
"Well, they were impressed. I could tell by how high they were leaping," he said, still grinning. Casey didn’t reply. She bent down to retrieve her weapon and backpack.
"Do you think there would be anyway to set up a mine here and not bother the natives?" Sam asked. "Any way to let them know that we don’t want to hurt them?"
Daniel shook his head. "I don’t know how long it would take to learn to communicate with them, if we could. I don’t know what would happen if we just ‘moved in’, either."
Sam nodded. "Okay. Well, let’s head back to the 'gate then."
The entire mission had taken little more than an hour. Jack and the others in the control room watched as SG-1 walked down the ramp.
"I said I was sorry," Daniel was saying, trying to put his arm around Casey’s shoulder.
"I heard you," she replied, shrugging his arm away, her anger apparent to everyone watching.
"Uh, trouble in paradise, kids?" he asked, a smirk on his face.
"Everything’s just peachy, general," Casey replied, stomping toward the door.
Jack raised an eyebrow at Sam.
"We ran into a little trouble, sir. Primitive people-"
"Prehistoric," Daniel corrected.
"-managed to separate Teal'c and Daniel from Casey and myself, and then, well sir, they got a little grabby. One of the males managed to cut through Casey’s shirt and bra and left her…uh…exposed," Sam reported. She would not laugh, she told herself, for the simple reason that she was a woman, and it could have been her instead of Casey who had been ‘examined’.
Jack turned to Daniel. "She’s blaming you for that?"
Daniel pushed his glasses further up on his nose. "Uh, not really. Well, maybe a little bit," he replied.
"Daniel Jackson told Casey Jackson and Colonel Carter that they need not be afraid, that the natives were merely curious. I believe Casey Jackson is angry at this misjudgment."
Sam couldn’t help it, she started laughing. "Sorry, big guy, but that is not what has Casey so upset."
Teal'c raised an eyebrow.
Jack was looking from one to the other. Daniel was definitely looking uncomfortable. "So, Carter, what is Casey upset about?"
"Well, sir, when those primitive-"
"Prehistoric," Daniel sighed.
"-men," Sam said, casting a sideways look at the archaeologist, "saw Casey’s …er…well, anyway, they all started jumping around and screeching and carrying on. I don’t know what would have happened if the men holding Daniel and Teal'c hadn’t poked Daniel with their spears and saw the wound heal. When that happened, they ran back into the forest."
"And that has Casey ticked off?" Jack asked incredulously.
"No sir. I believe it was Daniel’s comment about those…uh…men…knowing a couple of good things when they saw them, and then mentioning how high they all leaped at the sight of her…uh…" Sam managed to say before she began laughing again.
Jack snorted. "Oh, bad move, Space Monkey!"
Several of the SFs in the 'gate room and staffers in the control booth began to snicker.
Daniel threw a glare around the room, and went in search of his wife.
A A A A A A
He was leaning against the wall opposite the door of the women’s locker room, hands in his pockets, head down, waiting for Casey to come out. He knew her well enough to know that the comments he had made shouldn't have upset her so. In fact, it would have been more in keeping with her character for her to have ‘flashed’ him, or to have made a smart-ass comeback to his remark. He was still searching his memory for a clue when she opened the door. He looked up at her, hesitant to say anything. She had been crying, he was sure of that.
Casey looked at Daniel, her cheeks flushed, her eyes moist. She crossed the corridor and put her arms around his neck. "I’m sorry I over-reacted," she whispered.
Daniel pulled her against his body. "Case, something about what happened today spooked you. I didn’t realize it until just a little bit ago. What was it?" He felt the shudder that went through her.
"Gargantua…he had this knife...and he...cut...he...he cut my clothes…off…before he…before he…raped me…" she whispered. She had thought the memory of the night had been buried…forgotten. In a matter of seconds, seeing that stone knife, feeling it cut through her clothes, it had rushed forward in her mind, leaving her shaking with fear.
"Aw, hell!" Daniel said, burying his face in her neck. "Babe, I am so sorry! I never should have said what I did. I should have seen that you were upset."
"Do you two ever come up for air? Sheesh!"
The look that Daniel gave him let Jack know that something serious was going on. "What’s up, Daniel?"
Daniel shook his head. He pulled Casey tighter.
"It’s okay," she whispered against his neck. "You can tell him." Casey kept her face buried against his shoulder as Daniel explained the relevance of what had happened.
"Ah, damn, Case…damn!" Jack said. He lifted his hand to pat her back, dropped it, and then lifted it again, gently patted her shoulder.
Suddenly a giggle erupted from Casey, surprising both men.
"I was just thinking about the look on your face when you said what you did. Sort of like the cat who ate the canary, all smug and contented and proud."
Jack tried to bite back his laugh. He snorted. He chuckled. Then he laughed out loud. All was well in paradise. And he had paperwork to do. "Debrief in an hour," he said, walking back down the corridor.
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