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Where Love Resides
The day dawned bright and warm. Casey opened the double French doors, as well as the single doors on either side of the fireplace. She decided she wanted her hair braided and took her hairbrush and a tie to the den, where Daniel was finishing up some notes.
"Please?" she asked holding the brush out to him. "I need to keep it out of my way today."
He smiled as he stood up. "Your wish is my command, My Star."
She closed her eyes as Daniel braided her hair. His touch always made her tremble, yearn for more. When he was finished, he kissed her neck, just behind her ear. She shivered.
"Love you, babe," he said, then patted her hip.
"Love you, My Heart." She trailed her fingers along his jaw, then hurried into the kitchen. She had potato salad to make, and cookies to finish before their guests began arriving. Daniel was already making patties out of the hamburger they had bought. They worked in companionable silence, moving around each other with the ease of familiarity. Green beans were already boiling, to be made into a green bean salad, a new recipe that Casey had discovered.
The doorbell rang, and she went to let Sam and Jack in. Sam had a casserole dish, and Jack was carrying two grocery bags. They greeted her warmly, wished her a happy anniversary.
Teal'c had passed his driver’s examination, and Jack and Daniel had gone with him to find a vehicle the prior weekend. He would be arriving later, driving his new Tacoma pickup. He was bringing Carlotta Sanchez with him. Casey hoped that he would find companionship with the Immortal.
When Daniel and Jack went outside to start the grill and put on the chicken, Sam moved closer to Casey.
"We did it," she said softly.
"Did what?" Casey asked. She looked up at the tall colonel, then her eyes widened. "You went to PX3 695! When?"
Sam nodded. "Two days ago. How do you do it? How do you manage to look so calm, so in control?"
Casey giggled. "I don’t know! I’m always on the verge of not being in control."
"It burns so hot! For a few minutes during the ceremony, I thought we would explode, it was so…" she trailed off.
"I know," Casey replied softly. "Does great things for the sex, doesn’t it?"
Sam blushed and nodded. "The first time after…I…uh…"
"You what?" Casey urged.
"I screamed. Loudly."
Casey giggled. "What did Jack say?"
"He just started moaning."
"Sam, you will never regret it. The sex is intense, but the love, the love gets even better as well."
Sam smiled. "I know."
"Know what?" a soft voice asked, the French accent still noticeable.
Casey grinned. "Sam and Jack just went through the Ceremony of Fire."
Tessa crossed the floor and took Sam’s hands into her own. "How wonderful!"
"You know, I'm thinking that the Ancient who came up with the whole ceremony thing had to be a man," Casey said, finishing up the huge bowl of potato salad.
"Why do you say that?" Sam asked.
"Think about it. Intense sex, the need to touch and taste him every chance you get, to the point you make the opportunity, no worries about any wandering spouse…"
Sam and Tessa giggled.
"Although, I guess it could have just as easily been created by a woman," Casey admitted.
"Actually, my darling daughter, it was created by a loving, married couple," Erin said from the doorway.
"Hi, Mom," Casey grinned. "Why was it created, besides just making Ancient couples fertile?" She accepted and returned her mother’s embrace.
Erin shook her head. "It’s been so very long ago. I haven’t thought about it in…a very long time. It was created so that the hearts that burned for one another remained in bodies that did the same." The older woman looked around. "Your home is so charming, Casey. I notice it every time I’m here. It’s so warm, so…inviting. So filled with love." She nodded as she walked toward the living room. "Yes, that’s it. It’s the love. No one who enters here can help but notice that love resides in this place."
"Thanks, Mom," Casey said.
"Where’s my daughter?" A familiar voice boomed.
Casey giggled. "I’m in the kitchen, Dad."
The man strode through the house, smiled at both Sam and Tessa, then grabbed Casey in a strong hug. He managed to snitch a warm cookie just before he let her go.
"You’re as bad as Daniel," Casey said, shaking her head. "Just when I think he’s hugging me because he loves me, I find out it’s because he really wants to sneak a cookie."
"I love you, cookies or not. But these are very good cookies." With a wink, Aaron went back outside. He wanted to hear from his son-in-law what had happened with Framone. He had already learned that his daughter had a tendency to be less than forthcoming when unpleasant details were involved.
It wasn’t long until the yard and the house were full of friends and family. Emma sat at the counter, sipping beer, watching Daniel and Casey as they moved among their friends. They were on opposite sides of the room, but their eyes never missed the movement of the other. The old woman smiled. She'd seen a lot of happily married couples. She'd been a part of a very happily married couple with Henry. She'd never seen a love so strong as what this young couple shared.
The sun was just beginning to set when Daniel called everyone to the yard, then stood on the deck, Casey beside him. "Thanks for coming to help us celebrate our fifth anniversary. Everybody who knows Case is aware that she's convinced that there's a perfect song for every occasion. Well, I think she’s right. I found a song that says exactly what I feel, exactly what I want to say to her." He turned to look at Tony Sabotti, and nodded.
Music filled the air as Lonestar began to play. He pulled Casey into his arms, and sang softly in her ear as they danced.
"Every time our eyes meet
Her eyes shining with unshed tears of joy, Casey pushed her fingers through his hair, pulled him close and kissed him, conveying with her touch…her lips…her tongue, the love that she felt.
"Come up for air, would you? Sheesh!" Jack’s voice called out, bringing laughter from those around him.
Daniel grinned against her lips. "Have I ever mentioned Jack’s lousy timing?"
She giggled. "A time or two, I think."
Aaron raised his wine cooler. "A toast to my beautiful daughter and her husband."
When the toasting was done, Daniel and Casey once again began to mingle with their guests. Laughter filled the air, happiness surrounded all.
Emma sat down on a bench next to Erin. "I’m glad you could make it today," she said.
The older version of Casey turned and smiled. "So am I. She loves him deeply, doesn’t she?" Erin asked, watching her laughing at something Daniel had just said.
"As much as he loves her," Emma replied. "Don’t think I’ve ever seen a couple so much in love. It’s not just love…it’s more…something…special."
Erin nodded. "Yes, it is," she replied softly. "Something very special."
"Well, I’m going to say goodnight. These old bones just don’t like to party as long as the spirit wants." Emma pulled herself to her feet.
"I’m glad to have met you, Emma. And I’m glad that Casey has such a wonderful neighbor."
"That’s a sweet thing to say, thank you, Erin. I think the world of those two young people. They certainly have brightened up this neighborhood. Well, goodnight. I hope to see you again."
"Likewise. Good night, Emma." She watched the old woman make her way over to where Casey and Daniel stood, watched as both young people hugged her, watched as Daniel walked her to the gate, could see Emma protesting the need for him to walk her all the way to her door. She watched as he turned back to the party, his eyes searching, lighting up when he saw Casey, saw the smile that lit his face when his beautiful wife turned and smiled at him.
Duncan and Tessa were now standing on the deck, trying to get everyone’s attention. They were holding a large, cloth-covered frame. It was obviously a picture of some kind. Duncan put his fingers to his lips and whistled.
"We have a gift we’d like to present to Daniel and Casey," Tessa said, when everyone had quieted down enough to hear her. "Come up here, you two."
Casey and Daniel walked up on the deck hand in hand, smiles on their faces.
"We wanted to give you something special. Duncan made the frame. I did the sketch. I…we…hope you like it." She pulled back the cloth and revealed a charcoal sketch.
Everyone in the yard gasped at the detail. It could have been a photograph. In it, Daniel was sitting on a step, Casey one step lower. His arms were around her shoulders. Her arms were wrapped around his legs, her hands on his knees. She was looking up at him, he was looking down at her, the expression of love on each face unmistakable. The wood frame was plain, simple, except for the entwined hearts in each corner.
"Oh, Tessa!" Casey whispered. She remembered the night they had sat like this, when SG-1 had been looking for Methos.
"Wow," Daniel said softly.
"I want this over the fireplace," Casey said softly. "Oh, Tessa, it’s…it’s so beautiful! Thank you! Duncan, the frame is perfect, thank you!" She hugged and kissed each of them.
Daniel hugged Tessa, kissed her cheek, and shook Duncan’s hand. "Thanks, both of you." He took the frame, and walked into the living room. Everyone crowded in behind to see the incredible sketch hung on the wall. He carefully took down the mirror, then put the picture in its place.
Casey stood behind the couch. "It’s perfect. Absolutely perfect."
Daniel came to stand beside her, his arm went around her shoulders. "It’s great," he agreed.
Casey looked over at Tessa. "Do we really look like that?"
Tessa smiled. "Yes, you do."
The young Immortal turned back to look at the sketch again. "There’s so much love."
"I can only draw what I see, Casey. That is what I see," Tessa said softly.
"I’ve always been able to see the love in Daniel’s face, but I never realized I looked like…that," Casey said after a few minutes.
"Same for me," Daniel said softly. "I can always see the love in her eyes, on her face, but…wow."
"Now you know what the rest of the world sees when they look at you," Tessa said. "Everyone can see how special your love is."
Daniel had moved to stand behind Casey, his arms wrapped around her, she was leaning back against him, her hands on his arms. "Thanks, Tessa."
A single tear made it’s way down Casey’s cheek. "It’s so beautiful," she whispered.
Duncan reached out and wiped the tear away. "Yes, it is," he said softly.
Casey took a deep breath, then smiled. "I guess anybody who comes in here will be able to tell we’re in love, huh?" Everyone around her laughed. "Well, come on, people. There’s still food to be eaten, and I want to dance." She smiled up at Daniel. "Love you,’ she said softly.
"Love you, too, babe." He walked over to turn on the stereo, flicked it on, the followed her back outside.
Aaron and Erin stood looking at the sketch. "It captures them perfectly," Erin smiled.
"Yes, it does. Let’s go dance, my love. It’s been centuries upon centuries since we’ve done that," Aaron said.
Casey watched as her parents began to dance. "I think Mom and Dad are having a good time," she said, smiling.
"Looks like it. What about you, babe? Are you having a good time?" Daniel asked softly.
"Oh, yes," she replied, her eyes sparkling.
"Happy anniversary, My Star."
"Happy anniversary, My Heart." She leaned up and kissed him. She sighed when his arms tightened around her, her heart raced as he deepened the kiss. Right here was where she wanted to be, in his arms, forever.
He pulled her closer, drinking from her sweet lips. Holding her was what made him whole, made him alive. In her arms was the only place he ever wanted to be.
They held one another, swaying to the music, their love shining on their faces, there for the world to see. Theirs was a deep love. A special love. A love that was as bright as the sun. A love that would conquer all.
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