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When Two Hearts Collide

Chapter 20

It was nearly impossible to find a 'good' parking space at the Colorado Springs Mall. Christmas shoppers were out in force that afternoon. Daniel had already informed his not-so-eager friends that they would be required to make several trips to back to the jeep with the purchases he intended to make.

"Just what are you planning to buy?" Jack asked, side-stepping to avoid a gaggle of teenaged girls, who should be in school, he thought.

Daniel produced the list, that Casey had so carefully written out the night, before from his pocket.

"You're kidding, right?" Jack said, his eyes going wide. He grabbed the list from the unsuspecting archaeologist's hand. Groaned slightly. "Damn, Daniel! This is going to cost you a small fortune!"

"I don't care. Casey says these are things we need. So, I'm going to get them for her," he replied stubbornly. "I have the money in my savings account."

For a moment Jack was taken back in time by his memory of an eager young archaeologist, whose main concern about working at the newly created SGC was getting paid. He knew that Daniel made a decent wage as a civilian consultant. He also knew that Daniel wasn't an extravagant spender. He spent only what was required for basic necessities. Of course, being gone so much, missions that lasted days, a couple of times had lasted weeks, kept a lot of those needs at a minimum. No doubt the younger man had managed to save a considerable chunk of change. He examined the list a bit closer. "Daniel, do you mean you don't have anything but a coffee maker?" he said. "You're just sad!"

"I never needed anything before," Daniel replied softly. "Never home much."

No doubt that was about to change, Jack thought. Maybe now he wouldn't come to work to find the young man asleep at his desk...or working on something that he had struggled with all night. No more having to order his best friend to go get sleep. Maybe now that pain, the loneliness that filled those blue eyes when Daniel thought no one was looking, would be a thing of the past. He was already smiling and laughing more than Jack could ever remember seeing him do.

Teal'c studied the sandy-blond haired man. Casey Webster was already making great changes in Daniel Jackson. No longer did the archaeologist seem to be merely existing. For the first time since meeting him, Teal'c could see the reflection of love and happiness in his eyes, on his face. Whatever made the slender blonde happy, Daniel Jackson would do. No matter what anyone else thought, or said. "Perhaps we should begin?"

Daniel grinned. "Good idea. I checked online, and Macy's has a nice selection of china and stoneware, I can probably find flatware and glasses there as well. I'll look at what small appliances they have, although I'm thinking that the Kitchen Cupboard would probably be better for that. I don't have a clue about some of this stuff," he admitted, pointing to several of the items, "but somebody somewhere in here will."

With a grin, Jack clapped Daniel on the back. "Let's go. Geez, not even a week, and she's got you domesticated!"

Daniel laughed. "Yeah, amazing isn't it?"

A regular miracle, Jack thought silently. "That's one word for it. Next thing you know, she'll have a 'honey-do' list for you every weekend."

"A what?" Daniel asked, frowning slightly, pushing his glasses higher on his nose.

"A 'honey-do' list," Jack repeated. "As in, 'honey, do this', or 'honey, do that'."

The grin returned. "Works for me."

Yep, Daniel was head over heels in love. With luck, the nightmares that plagued him would be a thing of the past as well, Jack thought hopefully. Especially the one about that bitch, Hathor. He'd taken great pleasure in killing that particular snake. Payback for what she'd done to Daniel was a large part of that feeling.

The men wandered into the Macy's department store. Daniel headed directly toward the displays of china and crystal. And within minutes was discussing with the clerk, an attractive women in her mid-forties, just exactly what he needed. Jack and Teal'c stood back and watched as Daniel debated over several patterns of 'every day' stoneware. Before long, the two were offering their opinions, much to Daniel's surprise.

"What about this one?" Jack asked...straight faced.

Daniel looked over at the large, geometrically shaped plates, with their bright, garish colors. "Those are hideous."

"But Casey might like them," Jack argued. "You said she likes color."

"Yes, she likes color. But not like...that," Daniel replied, waving a hand toward the plates. "She has better taste than that."

Jack grinned at Teal'c. Oh, this was going to be fun. If he had to help his best friend hump this stuff around, he was going to find as much entertainment in the activity as possible.

Daniel watched the silent exchange, and chuckled to himself. No doubt he was in for an afternoon of horrible jokes and endless teasing. As long as the final result was the delivery of every item on the list to his apartment, before Casey got home, he'd endure damned near anything. He went back to the list. Couldn't wait to see the look on that beautiful face, in those amazing green eyes, when she saw what he'd done for her. Spoiling her was so damned fun!

 

A  A  A  A  A  A

 

Sam and Janet took Casey to the local hangout for lunch; a restaurant with a large bar, two pool tables, and half a dozen televisions that played sporting events. They'd insisted that they were buying her meal, telling her it was their way of thanking her for bringing a smile to Daniel's face.

"I never knew he had dimples," Janet teased, dipping a mozzarella stick into the bowl of ranch dressing.

"I heard him laughing yesterday," Sam said quietly. "I've never heard him laugh like that. So…free, so absolutely pain free. The first time I met Daniel was on Abydos," she explained to Casey. "We'd gone there thinking that somehow Ra had returned, not knowing that there was more than one Goa'uld, certainly not knowing there were more than just the two Stargates. Sha're was with him." She glanced at Casey. Noted that the young woman was listening intently. "He was happy, but…there wasn't the look of…I don't know how to describe what I see in his eyes since he's met you," she admitted.

"Daniel loved Sha're," Janet said softly. "But I don't think he was ever in love with her."

Casey started. Daniel had admitted as much to her. "What makes you say that?"

"Because when Teal'c was forced to kill her, because Amaunet was killing him with the ribbon device, in the infirmary just before he was completely conscious, he murmured how much he loved her, but then he murmured that 'I never gave my heart to you, I'm so sorry'."

She toyed with the napkin in her lap. "He…he told me that he had never fallen in love. That…" she blushed, shook her head slightly.

"He admitted to falling in love with you, right?" Janet asked gently.

The young blonde nodded.

"That's a good thing, Casey," Sam smiled. "I'm so happy for both of you! Daniel deserves to be happy. He's had so much sadness, suffered so much pain."

Janet lifted her glass of wine. "To Casey, for bringing a smile to a certain archaeologist's face."

She couldn't help but smile. Raised her glass and accepted the toast. "And to the best friends a man could have. You've both been a big part of his life, and I'm grateful that you've…accepted me."

The two military women exchanged a glance. "To our new best friend," Sam said softly.

"To my two new best friends."

 

 

 

"Thunder From Down Under is going to be in Denver in three weeks," Janet announced as soon as the pizza arrived.

"Oh, we are so there!" Sam giggled.

Janet glanced at Casey, noted that her lower lip was being tugged between her teeth. "It's okay, honey. You're engaged, not dead. And you're still a free individual. Daniel doesn't own you, and he'd be the first to point that out."

She smiled. "I'll still ask if he minds."

"I wouldn't expect anything less," Janet replied.

The giggle that overtook her had her new friends giggling with her. "I don't know that it will be as…exciting…for me this time."

Janet snorted, then giggled harder. "No doubt."

"Have you ever seen him at…um…full mast?" Casey asked.

"Yep," Janet said, her brown eyes twinkling. Most men awoke with what was commonly known as 'morning wood'. It was no different when they were in the infirmary, for whatever reason. She knew that Daniel would be horrified to know that she'd seen him in that...delicate...condition. Usually when it happened he was still asleep. A time or two he had been awake, and she had been careful to pretend that she hadn't noticed, and had said nothing as he shifted slightly to hide his very impressive erection.

Sam had seen Daniel naked. Not intentionally, but it had happened a time or two. But never aroused. What she had seen was...impressive. "Well?" she demanded.

"Stallion. Just think stallion," Casey grinned. "I call it his anaconda."

Sam laughed. "Anaconda?"

"Yeah, those things are huge!"

Janet was laughing so hard by this time she had tears in her eyes. "Yeah, the boy is definitely blessed."

"And then some," Casey intoned. "And I'm awfully fonda that anaconda!"

Sam nearly spit a mouthful of wine across the table. "Casey, you are just bad. I love that about you!"

She giggled.

The petite doctor wiped her eyes. "I just have to ask…how much of him can you actually handle?"

She blushed. "Depends on…um…what we're…um…doing."

"Okay, let's start simple. Do you engage in oral sex?"

Casey thought that Janet was sounding a lot like the doctor that she was. "Yep. I have to use my hand on half of him, I can't take him all the way into my throat."

"Whoa!" Sam muttered.

"And then?" Janet asked.

"All of him, I guess. I mean, his hips are always against mine no matter what…um…what position or what we're…um…doing."

"Damn!" Janet said, surprise in her eyes. "You're so slender!"

"And made just for him," Casey said softly. "He…he's the first…the only man I've ever been with."

"The first?" Sam's eyebrows went up.

"I was a virgin when we met," the young blonde seer admitted.

"Wow," Sam said.

"I'll say. And he didn't scare you to death?" Janet asked.

Casey giggled. "My letter…it um…told me I didn't need to let him intimidate me, that I could handle him."

"That has to make him happy," Janet mused. "I doubt that very many women in his life have been that lucky."

"I want to know about this," Sam said, taking Casey's hand and examining the ring.  She didn't want to know about Daniel's love life...not when she didn't even have one!

With a smile, Casey began to tell them about the trip to the jewelry store. By the time the pizza was finished, her two friends knew all about the trip to Tacoma, and even a bit about her first time with a man in general, and with Daniel in particular.

 

A  A  A  A  A  A

 

Sam had arranged with Daniel that she would drive Casey back to the apartment. Where he would be waiting. With a myriad of purchases for her to sort through. She'd been able to talk Janet into riding to O'Malley's with her and Casey, wanting Janet to be able to witness what was sure to be an entertaining show, if what Daniel had told her was anything to go by. She'd always known that Daniel was a generous man. She was now being offered the opportunity to see him in action, happily…no… deliriously happily spoiling the woman he loved.

Daniel had given her his key to the apartment that morning, and promised her that he would have copies made of it and the jeep keys so that she'd have her own set. Casey carefully unlocked the door. Nearly tripped over a stack of boxes.

"Babe?" Daniel stepped out of the kitchen, a wide grin on his face. "Glad you're here. I have no clue where you want all this stuff."

"Hey, Casey," Jack said, standing with one shoulder against the wall in the entryway. Teal'c was standing directly behind him.

Casey looked around. Her heart started pounding against her ribs. "Daniel, what have you done?"

"What does it look like?" He couldn't stop grinning. Especially when those amazing green eyes started flashing with the temper he knew she had.

"What's your middle name?" she asked softly.

What kind of a question was that? Everything on her list was sitting at her feet…literally, and she wanted to know his middle name? "Melburn, after my dad," he replied.

She planted her fists on her hips, turned to face him. "Daniel Melburn Jackson, what have you done?"

"Just a little trip to the mall," he said smugly.

She began to examine the boxes. Found two boxes that contained the most beautiful dinnerware she'd ever seen. A box of glasses, eight each of four sizes. A blender. The Kitchenaid stand-mixer that she had been drooling over for nearly a year. Three boxes of baking dishes. Baking pans, including two cookie sheets. Was that a hint? Waffle iron. Electric skillet. Slow cooker. "You bought everything on that list!"

"Yep."

Janet, Sam, Jack, and Teal'c stood back, watching with unbridled interest. Each of them were having difficulty associating the man standing in the kitchen, the biggest grin they had ever seen on his face, with the usually serious, studious Daniel Jackson that they had all worked with for five years.

"Why?" she asked softly.

"Because I wanted to," he replied, just as softly.

"You didn't have to. We could have just picked up a few things at a time, when I had the extra cash."

He shook his head stubbornly. "Didn't we have this conversation? Didn't I tell you that I'm taking care of you now? That you're my Wife?" He glanced out the French doors. Grinned to see the moon just starting to rise over the Rocky Mountains. He sorted through the boxes. Found the one special purchase he'd made. Opened it up, heard her gasp. He put his arm around her shoulders, led her to the balcony. Their audience was right behind them. He held the silver serving platter so that it appeared to be holding the moon. "I told you I'd get it for you," he whispered.

Obviously he hadn't been busy working in his office. It was just as obvious that Jack and Teal'c had gone with him. She knew without looking at another thing that every single item she had on that list was now sitting in the kitchen, or the dining room…or entryway. And he'd even planned…this! Never had anyone gone to so much trouble for her! She hiccuped a sob, tried to hold back the tears that would not be stemmed.

"Oh, Angel, don't cry," Daniel murmured, reaching for her. He held the platter behind him, knowing that his friends were standing there. Felt it gently leave his hand. He wrapped his arms around her, pulled her close. "Don't cry, babe," he repeated, when he felt her shaking in his arms. He pressed his lips to the side of her face.

"Casey?" Sam asked softly, stepping up beside the couple. "Let's go back inside, it's cold out here."

Daniel steered her back into the living room. "Case, what's wrong?" Shit! Had she wanted to be the one to shop for this stuff? Pick out her own dishes? Damn, he hadn't thought of that! He'd been so eager to give her everything that he hadn't stopped to consider that she might have an opinion or two about exactly what she wanted.

"It's too much," she managed to whisper.

"What's too much?" he asked, softly, holding her tightly again.

"Too much money," she replied shakily.

"I had a bonus check that's been sitting for three months, waiting for me to spend it," he replied.

She clung to those broad shoulders, pressed her face against his neck, taking comfort from the strength of his body, his familiar, masculine scent. "You shouldn't have."

"Yes, I should have. Look at me." He pulled away just far enough to see her face. Took her chin in his hand when it was clear that she wasn't going to look up at him. "Look at me, Angel."

Her eyes finally met his. So much love there! She'd never felt so loved. Never!

"I was going to wrap everything, put bows on the boxes, but I didn't have time," he said softly. Damn it! That had brought more tears to those beautiful eyes. "Aw, babe, don't cry," he begged.

"Why?" she whispered.

He smiled. "Because I love you. Because I can. Because I want to. Because I need to make sure that you're treated like the very special woman you are. You're the most precious thing in the world to me, and I want to make sure you know that."

"You didn't have to," she repeated. "Your love, Daniel, all I want is your love."

"It's yours, Case. All of it. All that I am; heart, mind, body and soul, belongs to you," he said softly.

She shivered, felt his arms tighten around her.

"Besides, Jared says your one hell of a good cook."

Her giggle ended with a hiccupped sob. "I'm just an average cook, nothing special. Just like everything else about me," she said. Her voice was low, but not so low that the others in the room couldn't hear her.

Glances were exchanged. Daniel had told Jack and Teal'c about what he knew of Casey's childhood. Sam and Janet already suspected, judging by simple statements she'd made during the course of their lunch.

"There is nothing average about you, Casey," Daniel replied. "You're the most incredible woman I've ever met."

"You're just saying that because you love me," she insisted. And that was a miracle she still had difficulty comprehending.

"I’m saying that because it's true." He glanced at the clock on the wall. "Feel like going to the Christmas party? If you'd rather stay home, we will," he said.

"I think I'd like to go," Casey replied. One of the topics of conversation over the long, leisurely lunch she had enjoyed with her two new friends was tonight's party. Both women had assured her that her black dress would be more than suitable.

"We'll just be going," Jack said softly. "See you two at the party. Oh, and Case? I tried to stop him. But he was insistent."

Casey giggled, looked over at the gray haired man. "Is he always this stubborn?"

Jack grinned. "Always. Regular pain-in-my-ass."

She giggled again. "Thank you. You too, Teal'c," she said softly.

"Any time, Casey," Jack replied, smiling at the very overwhelmed young woman.

"It was my pleasure to assist Daniel Jackson in surprising you," Teal'c said, inclining his head slightly.

"See you in awhile," Sam said, waving at Casey.

"See you there," Janet added, following the others out of the apartment.

 

 

 

Jack shook his head as the group rode the elevator to the ground floor. "I have never in my life seen a woman so overwhelmed by a little kindness. Hell, she was doing him a favor, he didn't even have a toaster, for crying out loud!"

"Daniel Jackson indicated that her life as a child was one full of abuse," Teal'c said.

"I can see that. She's terrified that he's going to buy her things, and not love her," Janet said softly.

"From what he told us, getting gifts wasn't something that happened in Casey's life," Jack replied.

Sam shook her head. "Did you see the way her eyes lit up, just before she pushed all of that excitement down? She was overjoyed, but she's scared to death of feeling that way."

Jack nodded. "Daniel said that she told him that she had never 'felt this way'. He asked her, 'what way'. He said it nearly killed him when she said, 'loved'."

Janet moaned softly. "That woman has lived through hell on earth. It doesn't take a genius to figure that out."

"Nope," Jack agreed. "And Daniel is so in love with her that he can't see straight."

"I believe that they will heal all of the hurts in each other," Teal'c said in his quiet way. "Both have suffered greatly in the course of their lives. Now that they have one another, they will find much happiness together."

"I think you're right, Teal'c," Janet said. She leaned her head on the large man's shoulder. "I think you're very, very right."

 

A  A  A  A  A  A

 

Daniel discovered something new about Casey that night. A warm shower, holding her tightly in his arms and letting the water run over them, tended to calm her down. When she'd finally stopped trembling, they had washed, the gentle caresses serving to calm her all the more. He even managed to have her giggling by the time they were finished. When she'd seen his black suit hanging in the closet, she'd begged him to wear it. And she'd pulled on her black dress.

He was certain he was going to spend the night with an aching hard on, from watching her in that little black dress. It was short, showed off those great legs, the ones that wrapped around his waist when they made love. It had a high collar, long sleeves that accentuated those firm arms, the soft arms that held him so tightly. And there wasn't a blessed thing from the bottom of the collar to the top of the skirt in the back. Nothing. Those slender shoulder blades, and every inch of her back was revealed. It was so damned sexy, so…erotic, seeing her back bare like that, it was difficult to keep from taking her to bed right then and there.

She pulled on sheer black thigh-high stockings, the lace tops of which were barely hidden by her skirt. Slid her feet into the ankle-strap pumps with three-inch heels that she'd purchased specifically to wear with this dress. Hurried to the bathroom to put on her make up.

He leaned against the doorframe, tying his tie as he watched her. Apparently going to a party, or at least the SGC Christmas party, warranted wearing a bit more make up than she normally wore.

She smoothed the liquid makeup onto her face, making sure that it was fully blended, so that no 'lines' were visible. A touch of concealer under her eyes. She combed her eyebrows, accented them with a light brown pencil just a bit at the arch. A dusting of light gray eye shadow over the entire eyelid, and then a darker shade in the crease and outer corners of her eyes. Dark gray eyeliner. Mascara. A blush just a bit darker than the light pink she normally wore. Lip liner in a soft red, followed by matching lipstick.

He watched as her as she carefully curled her hair, pulled it back, and anchored it with glittering combs. Stared at her as she put tiny diamond stud earrings in her ears. She looked like an actress…or a model!

Casey glanced at him in the mirror. "Is something wrong?" she asked softly.

He shook himself mentally. "Wrong? No…Casey you're so damned beautiful," he sighed.

She smiled. "I'm glad you think so. You look pretty darned delicious yourself."

Daniel grinned, blushed a bit. "That's just love talking."

"Uh-uh. That's the truth, Stud Muffin."

His grin widened. "Ready to go?"

"I think so." She turned to the mirror, gave herself one last cursory glance.


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