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Treatise and Treaties
The skeleton found near the scepter had been brought back, and Susan Whitman was going over it carefully. The remains of a Goa'uld were still wrapped around the spinal column. It was her theory that whoever this nameless person had been, she, for the skeleton was definitely female, had tried to stop what was happening to the villagers.
Casey was with Daniel in Sam's lab. Jack and Duncan were there as well. After carefully returning the top of the scepter to its original shape, the ruby had been put back in the 'web'. It glowed brightly, but so far, that was all that happened.
Daniel picked the gold staff up, and it began to hum loudly.
Sam looked at him. "I have an idea, but we need to go up to the shooting range," she said, still watching her friend. No one argued. A few minutes later, they stood on the firing line. "Daniel, aim that thing at the target out there."
He obeyed. Nothing happened.
"Maybe it's like the Fire, Daniel," Casey said softly. "Think about…whatever…hitting the target."
He nodded, tried again. Again, nothing happened.
"If this belonged to a Goa'uld, maybe it takes one to use it," Jack said. "Sam, you can use Goa'uld technology. Give it a try."
The tall blonde took the scepter. She aimed it, and disintegrated the wooden target.
"Now that's what I'm talking about!" Jack said excitedly. "Daniel has that Fire thing happening, Sam can use this thing, maybe we have a chance after all!"
Back in the lab, the leather pouch was carefully opened. Inside, a Goa'uld ribbon device, a healing device and a small communication orb were carefully wrapped in animal skins.
"Whoever this was, she didn't flaunt that she was Goa'uld," Daniel said.
"Could she have been Tok'ra?" Jack asked.
"I don't think so," Sam replied. "A Tok'ra wouldn't have a ribbon device. The other two items, maybe. They aren't fond of using Goa'uld technology."
"Well, these things belong to us now," Jack said. "Finders keepers."
"Sam, didn't you say that your father and Selmak had a device, a collar, that would allow whoever wore it to sound like a Goa'uld when they spoke?" Casey asked.
The blonde colonel nodded. "Yes, they do. Why?"
"You have naquadah in your blood. You can use the ribbon device. I'm thinking another Goa'uld, a friend of Methos', could help us get the System Lords around here organized," Casey replied.
"If these Goa'uld are not aware of the fall of Osiris or Neferteri, or even Hathor, Sam could assume their identity," Daniel added.
"Not Neferteri," Casey said softly.
Daniel reached out and rubbed his hand over her shoulders. "Sorry, babe."
She smiled, but said nothing.
"You know," Sam said, her eyes dancing, "We do still have the Hathor drug."
"Oh, my god!" Casey exclaimed. "I have the most twisted idea! Sam, do you think that Nergal could sense the naquadah in you?"
"I'm sure he could, why?"
Casey began to giggle. "Remember how he said that I was the one in control, because you would look over at me, and you didn't say much?"
Sam shivered. "I remember."
"Well, a Goa'uld pretending to be something else would behave much the same way, don't you think? Couldn't Methos 'leak' information that a Goa'uld has been 'hiding'? You could be an old friend or ally or lover or something, and you've been in hiding for whatever reason…"
"From the Tau'ri," Jack interjected, a grin on his face.
"Hey, that works," Casey agreed. "We could let it out the 'Lady Xena' is really a Goa'uld!"
"What about the whole glowy eye thing?" Daniel asked.
"Contact lens!" Sam said excitedly. "I'm sure we could come up with something. Doria Olmstead had contact lens that put out an electrical pulse. I'm sure that we could find a way to get them to glow. We could put the power source in the same collar as the voice enhancer is in!"
The team grinned at one another. The beginning of a plan was coming together. And it promised to be a good one.
A A A A A A
Duncan and Methos listened carefully as SG-1 outlined their plan.
"Master Bra'tac will allow us the use of the Hak'tyl, as Samantha Carter's ship," Teal'c assured them.
"Ashnan wasn't familiar with any of the System Lords I mentioned, from Ra to Anubis to Ba'al. So I think it would be easy enough to pass Colonel Carter off as either Osiris, or Hathor," Methos said.
"Hathor, if we're going to use the drug," Sam interjected.
Duncan studied the report in front of him. "Okay, Methos, contact Ashnan. Tell her that an ally of yours has been hiding, and that she was finally able to make contact with you. You can tell her anything you want about Lady Xena and Gabrielle."
"Uh…problem here," Daniel said. "Case can't be Methos' Tau'ri consort, and Gabrielle."
"Damn," Jack swore. "Great plan shot to hell!"
"Not necessarily," Methos replied. "None of the System Lords around here know what the members of SG-1 look like. They do know that Casey was with them, they know that SG-1 escaped on one of Ba'al's shuttles. I'll contact Michaels to be my Lo'taur, so that Daniel can remain with SG-1. It might even be more believable if they're gunning for Lady Xena."
"We can say that Colonel Samantha Carter was killed by Methos when he took over the Phoenix," Casey suggested. "That leaves Sam clear to be Lady Xena, or Hathor." She tossed a grin at her friend, which was immediately returned.
"Which would give the men of SG-1 real reason to be gunning for the two of you," Duncan added. "The Persephone just returned from her shakedown cruise. You can use it to 'hunt' for Methos and 'Hathor'."
"Ashnan knows that Tau'ri freed her lover, so she knows how crafty we can be," Jack said. "She might be a bit more sympathetic to the two of you."
Duncan looked at Casey. "Okay, honey. Tell me what you feel."
Casey closed her eyes, and reached out. She concentrated on the plan in front of her. "Nothing bad. Ashnan is going to be a bit suspicious, but that's only expected. I think the other System Lords will accept Methos and Sam if she does."
The Highlander nodded. "Okay. Methos, let Ashnan know that you just found a long lost friend. Let her know that Sam…er… Hathor hid as a slave-trader until she could kill…who did she kill to get her ship and territory back?"
"Geb," Daniel said softly. "Let them think about that for awhile. If she could take out Geb, then she's obviously a Goa'uld they won't want to cross. We can say that Gabrielle was killed during that battle."
"Oh, I like that, good thinking Daniel!" Jack grinned.
Daniel grinned. "Thanks."
Casey sighed. "I am not taking his name off of the wall!"
Laughter filled the room.
"Okay, Methos, this is all hanging on you and that meeting," Duncan said.
"I suggest that I take the Phoenix and head out. I'll contact Wade Michaels, let him know that I need him."
Casey shivered slightly. Daniel wrapped his hand around hers.
'It's okay, Angel. You don't have to be afraid of him.'
'I cheated on you, with him!'
'No, Angel, you didn't. You were too out of it to know what was going on. So was he.'
She looked up at him, her eyes wide with surprise.
He shrugged slightly. 'I've had some time to think about it.'
'Maybe you should tell him that.'
He didn't reply. He lifted her fingers to his lips.
"Everything okay?" Duncan asked, a slight frown on his face.
"It's fine," Casey replied. She smiled. "Everything is going to be fine."
A A A A A A
Wade looked around the office. He didn’t know why he had agreed to play the part of Methos' lo'taur again. No, that wasn't true. He did know. It was so he could see her, be near her, if only for a little while. What he didn't know was why Jackson wanted to talk to him, privately he was told when the uniformed guard escorted him from the 'gate room to where he now stood. Was he going to be threatened, told to stay away from her?
He moved behind the desk to get a closer look at the photographs that covered the top of the credenza. They were mostly of her and their children. Three were of the children alone, and two were of her alone. On the desk were two photos of the four of them. The look of love, of happiness in her eyes, and his, was almost more than he could bear. He looked again at one of the photos of her alone. She was happy, laughing. He picked it up, smiled at the light that filled her eyes, light that even the camera could see.
"She was Christmas shopping in that one. We were on Langara," a voice said from the door.
He put the photo down, turned to look at his brother. "She's beautiful."
"Yes, she is. Please, sit down," Daniel said. He moved toward his desk. Wade carefully circumvented the desk, and sat down on the chair beside the worktable.
"I was told you wished to see me."
Daniel dropped into his chair. "I do. I…Casey says I need to tell you…something…that I finally figured out."
Wade waited, watched the blonde man, but said nothing.
"On Dracia, when…" Daniel paused, closed his eyes and forced the image of Wade moving on top of Casey from his mind. "I realize that you had no more control over what…happened, than she did. You drank the same drugged wine, smoked the pot, were affected by the chemicals in the air…I…I guess I just needed to let you know that I understand that."
The dark haired man remained silent for a moment. "Do you still hold her responsible for her nightmares?"
Daniel jerked, looked over into blue eyes much like the ones he saw in the mirror everyday. "No!"
"Good. If I ever learn that you have mistreated her, or hurt her, I will kill you," Wade warned, his voice cold.
"You can try," Daniel responded. He looked at his brother for a moment. "I guess I thought you already knew about Casey and I. We're Immortal."
Wade hissed a breath. "How can that be?"
"Casey was born that way…created that way. Jack, Sam, Teal'c and I were granted Immortality by the Ascended."
"I do not understand," Wade said, a small frown on his face.
"The Ascended are a group of Beings that live on a different plane of existence. They have…powers…beyond what we as humans can understand. One of those powers is the ability to grant Immortality. They…decided…that we had…uh…earned it. So they made us Immortal."
He knew that Methos was Immortal. The man had explained Immortality to him. To learn that his brother, and the woman he loved…no…no!…his brother's wife were also Immortal, it was almost too much to comprehend. "I will still kill you, if you harm her," he said finally.
Daniel nodded. He wanted this man to know just how deep his love for her was. How much she loved him. "We went through the Ceremony of Fire. It's a rite created by the Ancients. Immortals are also allowed to perform the ritual. We're bound to one another, heart to heart, mind to mind, body to body, soul to soul, for eternity. She burns only for me. I burn only for her. The Fire burns in us, in our hearts, for each other."
Wade thought about this for a moment. "This Fire, it was what prevented you from finding…pleasure…with Ishtar?" The young auburn-haired beauty had understood that Daniel had not been satisfied when he left the tent that day, in Seleconne's camp. She hadn't understood why. In Wade's arms she had voiced her confusion.
His mind had already come to the realization. He just didn't want to admit it. "Then she felt…nothing…when…" he broke off.
"No. She felt nothing," Daniel replied.
The words cut like a knife. He knew that she would never see him, never love him, but he had held to the memory of that time with her, the whispers, the caresses. To know that she found no pleasure, no satisfaction from him…"I see," he said finally.
Daniel rearranged a stack of notes, pushed two books to the side, then back again. "It took a lot of courage to stand up to Drucilla Seleconne."
Wade had been looking at the floor. His eyes flew up to look at Daniel. "We should have done so long before we did."
"Maybe. But maybe if you had, you wouldn't have been successful."
The dark haired man nodded slowly. "My mother always said that all things happen when they were supposed to happen."
He couldn't help but smile. "My…uh…Mom used to say something very similar. That nothing happens by chance."
In the dark of the night, when sleep refused to come, thoughts of Daniel, and his…their… parents would creep into his mind. Often he had wondered about his…brother's…childhood. "You were young when your…when they were killed?"
"Not quite eight years old," Daniel replied.
"You were taken care of by family? By good people?"
Daniel lowered his eyes. It had never been easy to discuss his childhood. "I was put into the system." He shook his head, realized that Wade wouldn't understand. "Where I grew up, the government had…programs…to assist people who needed help. One of those programs was called Foster Care. It was for kids whose parents couldn't cope, or got into trouble with the law, or were orphaned. I lived with seven different families as I grew up."
"They were good to you, these families?" Wade watched as the blue eyes so much like his own became very guarded.
"They all treated me well enough, I guess. A couple homes were better than the others. I was never a…part …of any family I lived with. I was-" he broke off, toyed with one of the pencils on his desk.
"You were?" Wade urged.
"I was always the outsider. I grew up pretty damned lonely," Daniel finally confessed softly.
The admission floored Wade. He had assumed that Daniel had been granted a good family, just as he had been. He thought about his mother, and his father, and his siblings. The urge to find them was suddenly overwhelming. "I am sorry to hear that," he said.
Daniel shrugged. "I was married before I met Casey; my first wife was taken by the Goa'uld, turned into a host. She was killed…Teal'c was forced to kill her to keep her from killing me. Not Sha're, my wife, but Amaunet, the Goa'uld, was the one trying to kill me. I was…it tore me up. But her spirit, Sha're's spirit, pointed me on the path to recovery. Then one day Casey fell into my arms. Literally."
"How did that happen?" Wade asked. He wasn't aware that he was leaning forward, his forearms on his thighs. Nor did Daniel realize he was leaning on the desk.
"Well, a Goa'uld got loose on Earth, and took her hostage, made her a slave. We were sent in to rescue her. At the same time we were coming through the gate, she was killing the bastard, and running away. She's quite a Tiger," Daniel grinned. Wade smiled as well. "We heard someone coming up the path so we hid. I dove down under a bush. Casey heard us, thought we were Jaffa come to take her back, and she dove under the same bush." He smiled again as the sweet memories filled his mind. "She looked down at me with those incredible green eyes, and smiled, and…" he looked over at Wade. "I fell in love with her in that moment. I knew in that instant that she was my Destiny. But at the same time, I didn't want to love her, didn't want to get involved with her."
"Why?" Wade couldn't imagine why Daniel wouldn't want to love Casey, wouldn't want her in his life, in his arms.
"I loved Sha're, she was taken by the Goa'uld and infested. I met up with a woman I had loved when I was younger, Sarah, and Osiris took her as a host. I was convinced that if I allowed myself to love Casey, the same thing would happen," Daniel admitted. "But I just couldn't stay away from her. Her heart called to me, her soul called to me. God knows every time I looked into her eyes I fell deeper in love with her. Every time she smiled I loved her more. I used to watch her, just sit in a corner and watch her. God, she's so beautiful, and the way she walked, moved…Sam finally convinced me that I was being an idiot, trying to protect her from something that I had no control over. Then, when she woke up after being killed for the first time, I kissed her. We've been together ever since. She took all the loneliness, all the hurt, the pain, and she healed it. Filled my heart, and my life with love and laughter and sunshine." Daniel looked up, amazed that he had revealed so much of himself to this man.
Wade studied the man in front of him. Knew that as much as he loved Casey, Daniel loved her more. Needed her more. That she was his Destiny. For a minute it was difficult to breathe. He wondered how long he would continue to love her…the wife of his…brother. "She is an incredible woman."
"Yes, she is," Daniel agreed. "Your family…you had a good childhood?"
The dark haired man smiled. "I was very happy. My mother, a very tiny woman, full of love and life and laughter…much like Casey, she always let me know that she loved me, was proud of me. My father made me the First Officer on his freighter when I was nineteen."
"He had faith in your abilities," Daniel said intuitively.
He shrugged. "I guess. We were on the second run where I filled that position when we were attacked. I was taken prisoner, and wound up in Drucilla Seleconne's pleasure house."
Daniel hissed a breath. "Jesus! You were a slave for-"
"Seventeen years," Wade replied softly.
"She never broke you."
Wade smiled. "No. She never did."
"Have you looked for your family?"
The dark haired man shook his head. "I believe that my father was killed when I was taken. It's been so many years, I don't know what I would say to them," he admitted.
"How about that you love them?" Daniel asked softly.
"I am not so sure that they would want to see me."
"I was a slave, in a pleasure house. Not something to be proud of," Wade said.
"The key here is that you were a slave. You had no choice in the matter," Daniel pointed out.
"I could have refused."
"And would have been killed."
Wade shrugged. "Perhaps death would have been the more honorable choice."
"I don't believe that," Daniel replied.
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