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Where Love Resides
"…The beauty of a woman
Must be seen from her eyes,
Because that is the doorway to her heart,
The place where love resides…"
"The Beauty of a Woman"
by Ardem; Maya Angelou
They ducked behind a crumbling wall, which at one time had been part of a small cottage, staff blasts hitting the worn stones around them.
"Remind me again why we do this," Casey grumbled, just before she poked her head, and her P90, over the wall and opened fire. Two Jaffa fell. Her weapon empty, she dropped back down, her hand reaching for a new magazine.
"Cause it’s fun?" Daniel responded. He was firing from where he lay, also taking out two Jaffa.
"Right. You have a twisted sense of fun," she replied. Weapon reloaded, she opened fire again, bringing down another Jaffa. Daniel had fired again, bringing down two more of the metal clad enemy as well.
The sudden silence was as unnerving as the sound of weapons fire had been. They exchanged a glance and eased their bodies up in order to see around them. Except for the dead Jaffa, there was no one, nothing, to be seen.
The radio on Daniel’s shoulder crackled. "Daniel? Where the hell did they go?"
"I dunno, Sam. They were there, now they’re gone."
"I don’t like this," Sam’s voice said. They could hear the wariness in it.
Casey and Daniel slowly stood up. There was no living being in sight. The small village was still burning, the air was filled with acrid smoke. They met Sam and Teal'c in what had once been the village square. Bodies of villagers lay around them, along with the Jaffa that they had brought down. It was a war scene that was not easy to look at.
When SG-1 had walked through the gate, they had been immediately pulled into a battle. The villagers were still running, screaming, crying in terror. Jaffa were grabbing the women and children, and the men were being slaughtered. They had tried in vain to keep the Jaffa from going through the gate with their hostages, but the numbers were against them, and they had been forced to find protection from the staff blasts.
"I didn’t hear the gate activate," Sam said. "Did you?" She received three negative responses.
"We were kinda pinned down," Daniel admitted. "I only saw the Jaffa that we actually hit."
Sam nodded. "Same for us. They must have gotten the order to pull out." She turned around and surveyed the village. "Let’s make sure there isn’t anyone who can be helped."
The team searched in vain for survivors. After an hour, Sam ordered them back to the gate, and home.
A A A A A A
Casey stood in the shower and let the water flow over her tired body, gave in to the tears that had threatened to fall all day. She hated days like this, days when they arrived too late, days when they were unable to stop the enslavement of innocent people. She knew first hand what they faced. As an Immortal, it was doubly hard to take. She had been created to protect the Innocents. She heaved a sigh. She really hated days like today. But she had suffered through enough of them to know that sometimes they didn’t win. There was nothing that they could have done differently, nothing that would have changed the outcome. She shook her head. Tomorrow was a new day. And there was always the hope that they would be able to find and free those taken hostage from that village.
She was sitting on the bench, putting her boots on when Sam dropped down beside her. "You okay, Sam?"
"I will be. You?"
"I will be. It’s just so damned hard sometimes. The logical part of my brain understands that there was nothing we could have done. We were outnumbered from the start, and even if we had arrived sooner, we still would have been outgunned. Lose/lose scenario. The emotional part of my brain wants to just scream and cry," she said softly.
"I’m right there with you, girlfriend," Sam replied quietly. She stood up and closed her locker door. "So, still having your anniversary barbecue this year?"
Casey smiled. "Yep. It will be a bit different this year, with Mom and Dad coming." She shook her head. "That still sounds so weird!"
Sam smiled at her. "They certainly dote on you."
"It’s really a good thing they’re on Gamma and we’re here. I think they’d drive me crazy," Casey admitted.
Sam laughed. "You’re probably right. Although I don’t think they’d do it on purpose."
"They'd never do it on purpose, but they'd do it,’ Casey agreed. She stood up. "How about you and Jack and T come over for dinner?"
"Sounds good," Sam said softly.
"We’ll stop by the store. See you in about forty-five?"
"We’ll be there. We’ll bring Teal'c."
Casey nodded, then with a wiggle of her fingers, opened the door. Daniel was waiting for her, leaning against the wall. She hadn’t realized she had taken so long. She must have cried longer under the water than she thought.
His blue eyes searched her face. "Are you all right?"
"I will be," she replied softly, letting him pull her against his warm, hard body.
"I hate days like today," he said.
"Ready to go?"
"Yeah. We need to stop by the store. I invited Sam and Jack and T for dinner."
He nodded. Days like today always ended with the group spending a few hours together. Not so much to lick their wounds, but to simply draw comfort from each other.
The night checker at the Piggly-Wiggly called out a greeting to Casey as they walked through the door. Daniel shook his head and grinned. She knew people all over town. They were drawn to her, to the bright light that burned inside her, like moths to a flame. He followed her, letting himself get lost in the sway of her hips as she walked down the aisle in front of him.
He watched as she gathered ingredients for a salad, admiring that heart-shaped fanny as she leaned over the produce counter. She added chicken breasts from the meat counter to the cart, and then headed for the delicatessen.
She looked up at him. "Potato salad or macaroni salad, or some of that broccoli salad?"
"Potato and broccoli," he replied.
She selected two pre-packaged containers of each. "We have ice cream at home, think that will be okay?"
"We’re done then." She slipped her arm around his waist as he pushed the cart to the check-out.
Jack was just pulling his F-250 to the curb when Daniel pulled into the driveway. He hurried over to the Renegade and pulled one of the bags out of the back. "Bad day, huh?"
Daniel nodded. "Real bad day."
"Unfortunately, they happen," Jack replied.
"Too often for my liking."
Sam, Jack, and Teal'c sat at the breakfast bar of the island, watching while Daniel and Casey prepared dinner. It was fun to watch the couple move around each other as they worked. Daniel would occasionally bump his hip against Casey’s, or she would reach around him, pressing herself against his back. The smiles the two exchanged let the others know that for those few seconds, no one else existed.
"You two must do this a lot," Jack commented, watching as they worked together on the salad.
Casey grinned. "Every night we’re home. Most mornings for breakfast."
"Yeah, I’ve noticed you aren’t eating on base as much."
Daniel shrugged. "Why should I have to eat there when I’ve got the best damned cook in town right here?"
Casey blushed. "I’m not the best cook in town," she murmured.
"Are as far as I’m concerned," was her Husband’s grinning reply.
She put the chicken breasts in the skillet, sprinkled them with salt, pepper, fresh rosemary and a touch of parsley. Once the lid was on, she opened the cabinet and searched for a bottle of wine. The men were already drinking beer, but she wanted something a little more…soothing. She handed the bottle to Daniel to open, while she took two glasses from the cupboard. He poured the wine, and she handed one of the glasses to Sam.
Unable to control the need to hold her any longer, Daniel stepped behind his Wife and put his arms around her, pulled her close. "Love you," he whispered in her ear. He leaned back against the pantry cupboard, and held her tight against his chest.
She looked up at him and smiled. "Love you, too," she whispered in return, rising up on her toes to kiss him.
Jack shook his head. "You two are just ridiculous. How long have you been married? And you still carry on like…that!" he teased.
Daniel smiled. "It’s the Fire. Can’t help it."
"You should take Sam to PX3-695 and go through the Ceremony of Fire yourselves," Casey suggested, a wide smile on her face.
Sam looked at her sharply. "Do you think we could?"
"You’re Immortal. I don’t see why not. Daniel and I survived it," Casey replied.
Catching the look that his wife was giving him, Jack began to shake his head. "And wind up like these two? Disgusting!" He was grinning.
"Jack?" Sam said softly.
"Case says it makes the sex intense."
The older man jerked in his chair. "Really?"
Casey giggled. "Of course, to get the great sex, you have to put up with the Fire."
"Great, intense sex, huh?" Jack asked.
Daniel grinned. "Amazing, out-of-this-world intense sex."
"Although we prefer to call it 'making love'," Casey added, with another giggle.
Sam and Jack were looking at each other. "I’ll think about it," the general finally said.
Casey and Daniel smiled at one another. She pulled away from his embrace long enough to turn the chicken, then went back to stand where she had been, leaning against him.
"So Case, Mom and Dad gonna be at the barbecue?" Jack asked.
She nodded. "As far as I know. They’ll come with Duncan and Tessa. Duncan said Oma and Methos might show up, too, if they’re not at some meeting with the First Four. Gina and Robert de Valicourt will also be coming." Casey turned to Sam. "Gina and Robert have been married for over 370 years. They went through the Ceremony of Fire on their anniversary this year."
Sam glanced at Jack, then nodded. "I heard that Duncan and Tessa went through it as well."
"Babe, just how many people from Gamma are going to be here?" Daniel asked, a frown on his face.
"I’m not sure. Why?’
"Add in all our friends from the SGC, and we might have more than our yard can hold," he replied.
It was Casey’s turn to frown. "As far as I know, the only ones coming are the ones I’ve already mentioned. I’ve met all the others, but don’t really know them." She shrugged. "Guess we’ll just have to play it by ear." She turned the chicken, finished tossing the salad, and opened the containers of potato salad and broccoli salad and put each into serving bowls. Daniel was already getting out plates and flatware.
Sam and Casey exchanged a glance as they all moved to the table, not unnoticed by Jack. "Okay you two. You have that look in your eyes. What gives?" he asked.
Casey looked at Sam again, then giggled. She turned her attention to Teal'c. "T, I have a question for you."
"I shall do my best to give you a satisfactory answer," the Jaffa replied.
"There’s a certain lady on Gamma who, well…um…she’s interested in getting to know you," Casey said. "I’m just wondering if you would be interested in getting to know her."
Teal'c raised an eyebrow. "I welcome meeting anyone from Gamma."
The young blonde shook her head. "Teal'c, she’s interested in you. As in, romantically interested in you."
The eyebrow went higher. "Indeed?"
"Yep. She thinks you’re…how did she put that…the most interesting man she’s come across in over seven hundred years."
"Hey, Teal'c, an older woman!" Jack teased.
"Who is this woman?" Teal'c asked, ignoring Jack’s comment.
Neither woman missed the fact that for one brief second, the dark eyes of the Jaffa lit up. "I would be most interested in ‘getting to know’ Carlotta Sanchez," Teal'c replied.
"Cool. I’ll let her know," Casey said, a smile on her face.
The friends ate dinner, then watched a movie, opting for comedy to help dispel the unrest that still lurked in their hearts. Before the movie was over they were talking, the need to assure and reassure one another that every move they'd made had been the only choice they'd had. By the time that Jack, Sam, and Teal'c left, although their hearts were still heavy, their souls were once again whole.
A A A A A A
Casey sighed as she crawled into bed. She saw the light in the bathroom go out, watched as Daniel walked into the room. He pulled his sweats from his lean hips, dropped them on the floor.
"Hey, gorgeous, want some company over there?" he asked, a seductive smile on his face. He was already hard for her.
She tossed back the covers to expose her naked body. "Yes, I do, handsome. I’m lonely here all by myself," she replied, her own seductive smile urging him closer.
He lowered himself onto the bed, captured her lips in a kiss. "Can’t let a beautiful woman like you stay lonely, can I?" he asked playfully, barely pulling his lips away from hers.
She let her hands roam up and down his body, her hand caressing, stroking his hard, male flesh. "Not if you’re a gentleman," she replied, her voice light. She sighed with contentment, held his head close to her body as he began to make love to her breasts. Every kiss, every tug, every gentle caress with his tongue sent the fire higher, pulsed between her thighs. When he moved down, she opened her legs, her hips already rising to meet his eager mouth.
He slipped two fingers into her, stroking her slowly. "Like this?" he asked softly.
He lowered his mouth to her body once again, watched her as he worshipped her. He could feel every response that her body gave in his tongue. She was close, her eyes were half-closed, barely focused on his. He loved to watch her, loved the way her breasts rose and fell, loved the way her flat belly rippled when he teased her with his tongue, the flush of color that covered her from throat to navel as she neared the peak.
"Let me taste you, please, love," she begged.
He moved up on the bed, rolled to his back. "Do it, babe."
She leaned over and took him into her mouth. Moved up and down on him, her mouth and tongue working over his flesh until his chest was heaving, her hands moving on that part of him she could never take into her throat.
"In you, babe," he said, barely coherent. He pushed her up against the pillows, rolled over on top of her and entered her body in one thrust. He groaned as he began to move inside her. He could feel her thighs begin to quiver, that glorious sign that she was about to come. Her arms tightened around his shoulders.
"Oh, Daniel, "she whispered. "I’m so close…"
Her whispers always burned into his brain, fed the fire that raged in him. "Give it to me…come for me, Angel," he replied softly. He began to thrust harder into her willing body, felt the muscles clench him, hold him.
The whimper was soft at first, built up until she was crying out, his name on her lips. She pulled him closer still, her hips bucking against him. "Fill me, Daniel. Give me your love," she whispered.
He obeyed her command, hurtling over the edge, his body shaking with the power of his release. He rested his forehead against hers as he fought to catch his breath. "Love you, Angel," he said softly.
Her hands caressed his body. "Love you, my heart."
When he could move, he rolled them over, kept her body against his. They fell asleep, satiated.
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