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This Thing Called Love
Thor had contacted Duncan about the Appreciation Ceremony during which the grateful Asgard would honor the members of SG-1 and the three Marine teams as heroes. As the President of Gamma, he had also been invited to attend the ceremony. Dressed in their best, SG-1, the Marines, who were now permanently assigned to Gamma, and President and Mrs. MacLeod walked through the ‘gate.
Thor took them through the city in an Asgard version of an open car. Small gray aliens lined the sidewalks around them, watched them as they made their way slowly to what appeared to be parade grounds.
There were seats for all of them on a large platform. Thor addressed the throng of gathered aliens; Casey was unable to follow most of the speech. He always spoke in English when talking to them. Daniel, of course, understood Asgard, and had taught her some of the language.
Thor motioned SG-1 forward, and quiet applause went up around them. They all had to bend forward in order for Penegal, the highest-ranking member of the Asgard High Council, to put a ribbon around their necks. On each brightly colored ribbon was a large, round medal.
"We thank these Tau’ri," Thor said in English, waiting for the translation to finish before speaking again, "for their willingness to come to our world, and risk their lives in order to protect ours. Truly they are an amazing species, worthy of our respect and friendship. It is an honor to bestow upon them the Medal of the Highest Military Order for their bravery and success in protecting us from the Percuese."
Again quiet applause erupted. Thor led them from the platform into a nearby building where a reception would be held. The members of the Immortal Council were there, Erin holding Emily in her arms. Lya of the Nox, Terril of the Tollan, and Selmak of the Tok’ra were also in attendance. They were surprised to see General Hammond and General Monroe, as well as President Taylor from Earth, and three of the members of the Earth Defense Alliance.
Jack looked around, noting all of the delegates and politicians. "I hate these things. Have to be nice to people I’d rather hit in the mouth," he grumbled.
"A few of them would like to hit you, too," Jacob teased as he approached the group. "Hi, kid," he said to Sam, hugging her. He looked at the two of them, dressed in civilian attire rather than dress uniforms.
Sam glanced down at her blue dress. "Yeah, it feels a little weird for me, too," she said, knowing what he was thinking. "But we didn’t have a choice."
"I know, Sammy." He turned to the rest of SG-1. "Hey there, heroes," he smiled. He hugged Casey. "I hear you nearly got yourself killed this time."
"Came close," she admitted.
"It was with great relief that we learned that Doctor Jackson was able to save you," Selmak said.
"I was relieved, myself," Casey said. She looked up at her husband, the love and awe and faith burned in her eyes for all to see.
"Thor is quite impressed with your abilities as The Chosen," the Tok'ra said to Daniel.
Daniel's cheeks turned red; he looked around the room, obviously uncomfortable. "Yeah, well, I just did what I had to do to keep Case safe," he mumbled.
Jack thumped him on the back. "Modest, our hero is," he grinned.
"Darned handsome, too," Casey teased. She slipped her fingers around his, felt him squeeze her hand.
Her words made his blush brighter. "Yeah, whatever." He rolled his eyes.
Lya approached, Aaron and Erin by her side. "Greetings, Daniel. And to you Casey," she said, nodding regally at them. She turned to the other team members. "Greetings to you, and our thanks for your heroism."
"You’re welcome, Lya," Jack replied, smiling at the small woman.
She returned her attention to Daniel. "You are finding your way along the path of The Chosen. We are pleased that you are finding it with such ease. Perhaps we should not be surprised, you of all Tau’ri were the quickest to learn. Your time among the Ascended only serves to help you as well, I’m sure."
Daniel smiled. "Thanks. I…uh…I just do what seems to be the right thing to do," he admitted.
The small woman nodded. "You follow your heart, and that is as it should be. You have a good, kind heart, Daniel, as well as wisdom. You are indeed a most excellent choice to be The Chosen." She turned to look at Emily, who was staring at her, fascinated. "Your daughter is beautiful, and grows quickly. We can only hope that she will be like her parents, in all ways."
"Thanks," Daniel murmured again.
She dipped her head slightly. "I will take my leave of you now." She hesitated, looked carefully at Casey, then at Sam, and finally at Tessa, her gaze lingering each time…then, with a knowing smile, walked away.
"What was that about?" Tessa whispered.
Casey’s heart began to pound against her ribs. She had a feeling she knew the answer to that question. A few days at most would tell her for sure. She smiled at Tessa and shrugged.
Daniel and Sam were both cool towards President Taylor and the members of the EDA. They hadn't forgotten that they had nearly lost their spouses because of the NID, or at least, they suspected the NID; and neither the US president nor the members of the Alliance had taken steps to rid the planet of that insidious group.
Unseen by any of the guests, three beings hovered. "He is indeed the One," said the First one, a female.
"Yes. We did not expect him to learn to use his powers so quickly," replied the Second one, another female.
"Perhaps it is his great love for His Chosen that has sped the process," mused the First one.
"It will be to his benefit that her Fire added to his own makes him more powerful than his enemies realize," said the Third, a male.
"The Fire, and their love, will help them defeat those enemies," said the First.
"Thankfully they will not have to face that enemy just yet. She is in too delicate a condition to risk in battle at this time," remarked the Second, with excitement.
"As are those she calls her friends. Yes, this battle can, and must wait. When the time is right, we will stand aside," declared the First. "Come, let us leave now."
Only a soft breeze marked their exit. Casey turned and stared a spot near the far wall. She had felt the prickle of being watched, and then just the faintest touch of a breeze. She frowned slightly. She looked up at Daniel, saw the love in his eyes and smiled. The feelings left her, although the incident would remain in the far reaches of her mind.
A A A A A A
Daniel hung the medals on the wall in the den. It wasn’t everyday that Tau’ri were honored by the Asgard. He was admiring them, proud that they had been able to help a people who had been such good allies to his own when he heard Casey in the bathroom. It sounded as if she were being sick.
She was on her knees, her long hair in one hand, her other pressed against her abdomen.
"Babe, what’s wrong?" He gently took her hair, ran his hand up and down her back soothingly.
"Must have eaten something that didn’t agree with me," she replied. For now, and until she was sure, she wasn’t saying a thing to Daniel. As soon as she was certain, she'd call Tessa and Sam; if what she suspected was true, the three of them would need to make a little visit to Doctor Montigue. She stood up, flushed the toilet, then brushed her teeth, rinsing her mouth well.
"Are you sure you’re okay?" he asked, his brow furrowed with worry.
"I’m positive. Come to bed and I’ll prove it to you," she replied, smiling up at him.
Later, lying on top of him, his hands caressing her neck and back, she almost giggled out loud. What a Christmas they would have this year!
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