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Whispers in the Dark
It was decided that the Phoenix would stay in deep space while they waited for the Tok’ra ship to return with the Zatarc detector. The chance of the guilty party making it to the surface of Alpha was just to great to risk. General Hammond and General Monroe, as well as Duncan, had been notified of the problem. There would be scrutiny of the SG teams and staff on all three planets until the mystery of the early detonations was solved .
SG-1 was in the dining hall eating their dinner. Casey was giving her teammates a blow by blow description of what had happened to her. "So there I was, flopping around on the floor like a freakin’ fish, hoping that there wouldn’t be any Jaffa come by…although I suppose I could have just grabbed onto their legs and shook ‘em to death," she said matter-of-factly.
Daniel nearly choked on his coffee as he laughed. Jack and Teal'c were laughing as well. People at nearby tables looked over at the group.
"I didn’t take time to look at my watch, which got fried in that little episode, by the way. I was going to try to get to the rings and get back, but the corridor I needed was already on fire," she continued. "I have to admit that for a few seconds I thought it was all over. Then I heard Daniel order me to the life pods. I'd never even thought about them, I was that panicked at the time. I ran into three Jaffa, and managed to zat them, although they really didn’t seem to give a hoot about me being there. I got to the pod, and I think the ship was already exploding when I hit the escape button. All I know is that I got knocked around pretty good. I don’t know how long I was in it before I realized that I was low on oxygen, and it was getting colder. I thought I was going to die, and I remembered what Daniel said, about calling him whenever I needed him, so, I decided to give it a try. Nearly jumped out of my skin when he answered…although I thought I was just imagining the whole thing. Until he started asking dumb questions and teasing me."
Again the men were laughing.
"I knew it was for real when you started giving me attitude," Daniel teased. His fingers were laced through hers. Neither of them seemed able to let go of the other, not just yet. Death, permanent death, had come too close to them. It would not be something soon forgotten.
Jack didn’t think that Daniel would ever forgive, either. He remembered just how devastated the man had been when that ship had exploded. He shuddered inwardly as he recalled the look of utter desolation, the emptiness, in Daniel’s eyes. He had feared that they had lost him as well as Casey. When, or if, the guilty party was found, it would be best to keep him or her away from Daniel. And visa versa.
"Once again, SG-1 has managed to pull a rabbit out of the hat and all come back alive," Jacob said, joining them.
"Let’s hope our run of luck continues," Jack said softly.
"Amen to that," Jacob replied. "How’s my daughter and granddaughter?"
"Both are doing great. Sam’s getting antsy to get back to work, although she’s contemplating just working in the lab. She could keep Evvie with her then."
Jacob nodded. "That’s a very good idea."
Casey lowered her eyes, felt a flush come to her cheeks.
Daniel noticed and squeezed her fingers gently. "No guilt, babe. You’re doing what you were created to do," he said softly.
Jack and Jacob looked over at her, both chagrined. "Case, I don’t think Sam will be happy until she’s back on the team full time. This is just for now," Jack said.
"Yeah, just until the first milestones are passed," she murmured. She pulled her hand from Daniel’s. "Excuse me." She nearly ran from the room.
"Shit!" Daniel muttered.
"Aw, hell, Danny, I’m really sorry…"
"Not your fault, Jack. She’s feeling torn as hell right now, and she’s convinced herself that because she wants to be working she’s a terrible mother," Daniel replied.
"I was under the impression that my discussion with her had settled that incorrect assumption," Teal'c said.
"So was I, Teal'c. Apparently not. Excuse me." Daniel stood and went after his wife.
A A A A A A
She was standing near the window, watching the stars twinkle in the distance when he came into the room. He said nothing, merely crossed the room to stand behind her, wrapped his arms tightly around her. She leaned back against him.
"I just can’t help it. Did she learn to talk today? Will I miss her first word, her first step…"
"Stop it, Casey. Stop it right now. You already know that you’d go stir crazy trying to stay at home. And babe, I need you with me. I need your strength, and your love. I don’t work well without you. After what happened today, I’m convinced that we need to work together. I’m not trying to make you feel any more torn than you already are. It’s just the way I feel."
"You really need me with you?" she asked softly.
"More than you know."
She stood quietly, digesting this information. "I was created to protect the Innocents. I can’t just sit by. I love her, Daniel, so much it hurts."
"I know that."
"Do you think she’ll resent me not being there for her?"
"You’ll always be there for her. It’s only a gate trip to get home. She has her grandparents, she has Duncan and Tessa, and Gina and Robert. We’re there most of the time, babe. We don’t go on long missions back to back. She’ll never resent you, Case, you’re her mother."
"Being a mother doesn’t guarantee that your child will love you, or not resent you," Casey told him, her voice unsteady.
"Casey, you’re tearing yourself up over this. You have to stop it, or you’re not going to be any good to the team. If you’re here, and your heart is there, you’re a danger to all of us. If you’re there, and wanting to be here, you’re not giving your attention to Emmie. Babe, you’re a terrific mother. You’re not the first working mom to go through this, either. Don’t be afraid to let yourself enjoy your work just because there are other women who choose not to work. And if you’d rather stay home with her for awhile, don’t let being a child of the Ancients make you feel guilty for doing that."
She turned around, put her arms around his neck and hugged him tightly. "Love you," she whispered.
"Love you, too, Angel." He stood, holding her, until she was ready to let go.
"I think Emmie will understand. After all, she’s Immortal, too. I do love her so very much. I do love this job, Daniel. I love working with you. You’re not just saying you need me with you to make me feel better about working, are you?"
He shook his head. "I haven’t said anything before, because I didn’t want to put pressure on you. You give me strength, you can calm me down when I need it, you help me, guide me. No, babe, I’m not just saying it. I really do need you with me."
She nodded. "Then you have me, my love. My daughter has grandparents and aunts and uncles, as well as two totally devoted parents. She’ll be just fine."
"That’s my girl," Daniel smiled. "Better now?"
"Much," she replied. She kissed him to prove it.
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