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When Two Hearts Collide
Daniel stepped back and let the Marines lead the blonde down the hallway to the elevator. He felt as if he'd been sucker punched. He had never seen such amazing green eyes. Everything she thought, that she felt, was reflected there. He was confused by what he'd seen in those emerald depths; her own confusion, the fear, and not a little curiosity. He looked down at the letters in his hand. "We'd better let the general know about this," he said softly.
"Indeed," Teal'c replied.
General Hammond listened to Daniel's report, then immediately called SG-1 to the briefing room. He handed each of them the sealed envelope that bore their names. In their own handwriting.
"What the hell is this?" Jack demanded to know.
"We just caught a woman in the storage room on level eighteen," Daniel replied. "She totally destroyed the Quantum Mirror. And she had these on her."
"How did she get in here?" the colonel asked.
"I have no idea. She had a letter as well, an unopened envelope with her name on it. At least, I'm assuming it was her name. She begged me not to take it, said she hadn't had a chance to read it yet," Daniel said softly, remembering the fear that had flashed through those heart-stealing green eyes.
"I suggest we see what these contain," General Hammond said. He carefully tore open the letter addressed to him. The others followed suit.
He took a deep breath, opened the envelope, pulled out several sheets of notepaper...
He examined the enclosed pages. What appeared to be a last minute breakdown of personal information. And nearly two hundred Stargate addresses, with short, succinct notes on each one. His heart pounding, he looked up at his teammates. Their faces were pale; he wondered briefly if his was also.
For forty-five minutes they discussed and compared the contents of their letters. All of them agreed that there were things that left no doubt that…they…had written them. Or at least their alternative selves. Each letter discussed The Horde, and the danger from this particular group of aliens.
"Damn," Jack muttered.
"I agree, Colonel," the general said. "I believe that we owe the people of this…alternate reality…a debt of gratitude."
"If not for the young woman in the holding cell, we would know nothing of this, the mirror would still be intact, and a threat," Teal'c pointed out calmly.
"Yes, Teal'c you're right." The general turned to signal the airman who stood guard just outside the door. "Bring the…uh… prisoner here."
"Yes, sir," the young man replied, saluting smartly.
Daniel was staring at his hands. Looked up to see Sam smiling at him. "What?"
"Don't doubt yourself," she said softly.
He jerked. Remembered the dream he'd had. Looked at Sam again, and wondered if she actually had spoken just then.
A A A A A A
Her hands had been freed just before she was put into the cell. She sat down on the bunk, pulled the letter from her jacket pocket, stared at it for a minute. Trembling fingers tore open the flap. Her own handwriting stared at her from the pages...
She stared at the paper in her hands. "I'll be damned," she murmured.
"Ma'am?" the guard asked.
Casey shook her head. "Sorry. Just talking to myself. One of the first sure signs I'm cracking up."
The guard smiled. Damned if she wasn't the prettiest thing he'd ever seen! If it weren't for the security cameras, he'd be over there chatting her up. But he knew what would happen if he did. Maybe, just maybe he'd get a chance to talk to her later. There hadn't been any alarms to alert them to her arrival. So she'd either had help getting into the facility, or she had walked in. If she had walked in, it was because she had the credentials to get the ID tags that were needed. They hadn't found anything like that on her. Just a compass, a penlight, a set of car keys, and those letters.
The door to the detention room opened. "General Hammond wants her in the briefing room," the airman said.
The guard nodded. He walked toward the cell. "Turn around, face the wall. On your knees, ankles crossed, hands on your head," he said. His voice was firm, but not unkind.
She obeyed, her heart beating so fast from fear that she was afraid she'd faint. She had often tried to get into trouble at school, just to get detention; to remain out of that house just an hour or so longer. But she'd never been in any kind of serious trouble. Until now. The man helped her to her feet.
She was led down a corridor, onto an elevator. Into another corridor, twisting and turning until she was completely lost. Then into a large room. One wall had a huge window that spanned the width of the room. She couldn't see what was beyond it, because there was a large sheet of metal on the other side of the glass.
Sitting at a large conference table were three military people…two men and a woman. The tattooed black giant, and…him.
The bald man at the head of the table, wearing some type of uniform, stood to his feet. "I'm General Hammond. I'd like to know who you are, and how you came to be on my base."
She swallowed nervously. "I'm Casey Webster, and if I told you, I don't think you'd believe me."
The man smiled. "Ms. Webster, I rather imagine that we'd believe more than you'd think."
"Are the cuffs necessary?" Daniel asked softly.
Hammond glanced at the young man. Noted that the young archaeologist couldn't seem to take his eyes off their…guest. His letter had also stated that she was Dr. Jackson's wife in every reality that had been encountered so far, and that there had been a great deal of concern that she wasn't already working at the SGC of this particular reality. Because her gift of sight was enough to save lives, and help in the fight against the Goa'uld. He pointed to the chair beside the young archaeologist. "Remove the handcuffs. Ms. Webster, if you would care to be seated?"
When her hands were freed, she automatically rubbed her slender wrists. She hesitantly sat down in the indicated chair. Oh, god, she could smell him, and he smelled so damned good!
Flowers…spring flowers…and…vanilla. She smelled like spring flowers and vanilla. He could see that her hands were trembling, he longed to reach out and comfort her. Locked his fingers together in order to keep both hands on the table.
"Saturday night I had a visit…from the seer who taught me about my gift," she said, her voice soft, just a touch of fear in the quaver that they all heard. "Which wouldn't be so unusual, except that she's been dead for ten years."
Glances were exchanged around the table. The general's eyes never left her face. "Go on," he said gently.
"We talked…well, no, that's not exactly true. She talked. I argued. She never did listen to me when she was alive, I don't know why I thought the old bat would listen now," Casey grumped, her eyes dropping down to stare at her hands. She missed the smile that flickered across the general's face. She looked back up at the man sitting at the head of the table. "Anyway, she insisted that I had a Destiny to fulfill, and that it was time to get started. I-" She broke off, shook her head. She could smell coffee. Her stomach rumbled, loudly. She licked her lips, hoping that her cheeks weren't as pink as the heat in them suggested they were. "I emptied my checking account for gas money, and…well, here I am." She lowered her head. She was so damned tired! Hungry…tired…and scared out of her wits…
"How did you get inside the SGC?" Jack asked. He'd heard her stomach growl. He'd suggest that she be fed…as soon as she answered their questions.
Daniel had heard the rumble as well. Had seen her eyes go to the coffee cups on the table several times. "Would you like a cup of coffee?" he asked softly.
Her head came up; she turned to look at him. "Oh, yes! Please!"
Smiles flittered around the table. Daniel stood and walked to the cart that sat in one corner of the room, not certain how he had managed to do so. When those green eyes had focused on him, he'd felt as if every ounce of air had been sucked out of the room…and his lungs. He filled a mug, then carried it back. Watched as she frowned slightly at the black brew. "Cream or sugar?"
"Three creams, one sugar?" she asked softly.
"I can do that," he replied. Nearly blinded by the smile that she flashed at him. Damn, a smile like that should be a registered as a lethal weapon, he thought, bringing the requested items to the table.
She stirred the cream and sugar into the cup, then took a sip, and sighed. "Oh, yeah. Sanity in a cup."
"Now, how did you get inside?" Jack asked again, biting back his grin.
Slender shoulders moved up and then back down. "Miss Eloise told me how to get over the fence, there was a tree I climbed, and where to find that tunnel thingy with the ladder. And the code to open it."
Again, glances were exchanged. "Then what?" Sam asked.
"Long climb down. Then…I met…there was a woman…" Casey looked around her. "There was a woman who looked…she looked like me. She was pacing in front of that mirror. Told me I had to break it. Gave me the letters. Then she touched it…and suddenly she was…well it was like she was inside the mirror, and then it went black. Then I broke it."
"Do you know what this facility is used for?" General Hammond asked.
"Facility? I thought it was part of a military base. I have no idea what you people do here. I have no idea what happens on any military base," she replied. Hours without sleep, two days with nothing more to eat than a small hamburger, were catching up to her. "Please, I'm not a terrorist or anything. I just need to sleep, and then I promise to go back to Tacoma. You'll never see me again, I swear."
His heart lurched in his chest. Never see her again? God, he couldn't let that happen! He hadn't been as attracted to a woman since…hell, he'd never been this attracted to a woman before in his life! He glanced desperately at the general.
"I think we can arrange that," General Hammond replied kindly. He looked over at Sam. "Major Carter, if you'll escort our guest to a VIP room, please?"
"Yes, sir." Sam stood to her feet. Waited for Casey to join her at the door. "This way, Ms. Webster." She glanced over her shoulder. She'd never seen that look in Daniel's eyes before. Pure need. Pure want. Pure desire. Absolute hunger. She bit back her smile. According to the Sam from the alternate universe, Casey and Daniel belonged together. She and Jack did as well. Something she'd already figured out for herself. The letter didn't, however, give her a clue on how she was supposed to get together with the colonel. Only that it would happen.
He watched her walk away, the sway of those slender hips leaving him hard and needy. He had to force himself to pay attention to the discussion that ensued about one Ms. Casey Webster.
"Well, according to this," Jack said, holding up his letter, "that woman is a seer, and she makes sure that missions are relatively safe before anyone walks through the 'gate."
Hammond nodded. "My letter says the same thing. That in the reality that Ms. Webster was…contacted from, she has saved every team in their SGC numerous times. And that her gift has kept them at least one step ahead of The Horde since they were discovered."
"My letter has the planet designation where they were discovered," Daniel said. "Apparently The Horde didn't know what the Stargate was until that SG-1 walked through it. Once they understood how to use it, they began to spread out, taking over planet after planet, system after system. They kill indiscriminately, take what they want from a planet, then leave it stripped clean. They also seem to multiply rather rapidly."
"How do we keep someone else from…discovering them…if they exist in our reality?" Jack asked.
"Talk to Thor," Daniel suggested. "The Asgard understand about creatures bent on total domination."
The general nodded again. "I'll send a message to him right away. In the meantime, we'll let Ms. Webster rest. Then we'll see how she feels about working for the SGC. I'm willing to do whatever it takes to protect the people under my command."
Jack was re-reading a part of his letter. The part about Casey being instrumental in getting rules bent so that he and Carter…Sam…could be together. He glanced up at his best friend. Apparently that young blonde was the woman who was going to put a permanent smile on the archaeologist's face. That would be nice. God knew that Danny deserved to be happy. Too much shit in his life. Too much sadness. He shook his head mentally. Three simple lines in the letter had him believing it all. A man's private thoughts are known only to…himself. And those thoughts didn't get any more private than what had been written!
Teal'c was re-reading his letter as well. Hope was surging in his chest. It would happen, he had always known that someday, it would happen. To have proof…he could hardly wait to tell Bra'tac.
"Until Ms. Webster wakes up, let's just return to what we were doing," the general said. He stood, nodded at the men, and left the room.
Jack had jumped to his feet, remained standing after his commanding officer had closed the door of his office. He wondered briefly what the general's letter had contained that assured him its authenticity. Whatever it was, he was intent on having the young blonde working here.
Daniel was staring at his letter. His Destiny. She was his Destiny. The first time he'd looked at her, looked into those beautiful green eyes, he'd felt it. Had felt the pull, the attraction…the need. He shook his head. No. He couldn't. If something…bad…happened to her…something Goa'uld related…"I have some translations to work on," he mumbled. He hurried from the room without a backward glance.
"Daniel Jackson is afraid to believe," Teal'c said softly.
"I think you're right," Jack replied. "We'll just have to help him."
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