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In Your Own Backyard

Chapter 16

She woke up with a start. What was it that had brought her from such contented slumber? There…that sound! She raised her head. There was someone on the balcony! She was about to reach for Daniel, wake him up, when she saw her. Casey slipped from the bed, pulled her robe over her naked body. With a glance back at the sleeping form that snored softly, she hurried to the wide patio door, slid it open, stepped out into the coolness of the night.

"You wished to speak with me," the young woman said softly.

"I did?" Casey asked. Then smiled. "I guess I did." She had managed to call out to her adoptive father without realizing it, or even knowing how she had done so. Apparently she had just done it again. "I’m Casey."

The young woman smiled. "I know. I am Sha're."

Even in the moonlight she could see that the young Abydonian woman was lovely. She had seen the sketches Daniel had of her, knew of her dark eyes, long dark hair. "This is…awkward."

"There is no need to be uncomfortable, Ca'see."

"Easy for you to say," Casey replied.

Sha're smiled.

"Were you really in my dream…the one I had when the darkness almost took me?"

"In a way."

"Daniel said good-bye to you then."

"Yes, he did." Sha're moved to stand by the railing, leaned against it, looked down at the dark, silent park below them. "He needed to do so, for himself as much as for you."

"He still loves you," Casey said.

"Part of him does. I think the part of him that was all I ever had of his heart."

She frowned. "What do you mean?"

"Dan'yel was always wandering off, exploring the ruins, the temples. When he found that…room, with all of the…writing, he spent hours, days there. I would take him food and water, knew that he slept little. He wrote in his book. He was excited, but I did not understand what was so important about those hieroglyphs." She said the word slowly, obviously not quite sure what it meant.

"The Abydonian Cartouche. It's what really made the Stargate Program a reality. Well, that and the fact that he had translated the cover stone and figured out what the glyphs on the 'gate meant."

Sha're nodded. "He would try to talk to me, tried to explain to me. I…I did not care. I wanted him to be my husband, to work with the other men in the village. I was afraid that he would take what he had learned, return to his homeland, and leave me."

Casey's heart jumped in her chest. To know that the woman, the first woman that Daniel had truly loved, suffered from insecurity made her feel closer, somehow. "He loved you very much, Sha're."

"Yes, he did," the young woman admitted. "But I was not always…pleasant…to him. When he would come to me after spending days in one of the temples, I would…I would turn away from him."

"Your feelings were hurt," Casey said softly.

"I was angry. He loved his…work…more than he did me."

"No, he didn't. Daniel's work has always been important to him. He still gets lost in it from time to time. But it never lessened what he felt for you," Casey replied.

"When the people from his world came back, I knew that he would return with them. I did not want him to go. I had made up my mind-" she broke off, looked away. Brushed a tear from her cheek.

"You were going to give him an ultimatum," Casey said instinctively. Fairly certain that if she had been in that particular situation, she would have done the same thing.

Sha're nodded. "I would make him choose. I thought that if I…did what he wanted, even though I did not…like it…he would stay with me."

"Why? Why didn't you like it?" Casey asked, knowing exactly what Sha're was talking about.

"I was raised the daughter of a tribal leader. I was taught that only…harlots…were willing to do such things. I did not understand that what a man and a woman did within their marriage bed was only between them," Sha're explained. "I was… embarrassed for him to see me, touch me in that way."

Casey couldn’t help herself. She reached out and put her arm around the young woman's shoulders. "Did you ever try to talk to Daniel about it?"

The dark head moved back and forth. "Speaking of such things was not…it was not done. Dan'yel was always gentle with me…kind…loving. But I knew that he was…frustrated…as well. When we made love…I know that there were times that he was not…satisfied."

"Why wasn’t he satisfied?"

Sha're looked over at the young blonde. Tears rolled down her cheeks. "We did not make love often. Only on the first night of the new week. Because my grandmother had told me that only on those nights would I be able to conceive. I wanted to give Dan'yel many strong sons. I loved my grandmother, but her ways were old ways, and not always…correct. For many weeks I could not…I-" she stopped, shook her head.

"You couldn't take him all the way," Casey said softly.

"Yes," Sha're said softly. "Never did my Dan'yel complain. Always was he tender, concerned for my well being. I felt…great sadness."

She could certainly understand that feeling! Knew that under the same circumstances, she would have felt the same way. Realized that she and Sha're were alike in many ways. She tried to fight down the feeling of elation that from the very first time they had made love, she had been able to take every magnificent inch of his impressive manhood.

"When I was taken from Abydos, and had the demon placed inside me, a part of me was relieved."

There was no way to hide the shock that filled her eyes, reflected on her face. "Relieved? Why?"

"Because my Dan'yel would no longer be tied to me. He would be able to find the one who would be able to please him."

Never would she have thought that this young woman could have harbored such thoughts of inadequacy. Her heartbreak must have been tangible! "Oh, Sha're," she said softly. She pulled the young woman into a hug, felt strong arms go around her slowly, shyly. "You poor thing!" The two women stood holding one another, comfort given and received in the soft embrace.

"I know now that if I had only spoken with Dan'yel…" She sighed. "Even when I returned to Abydos with the child of the demon within my belly, Dan'yel loved me. He tried to take me back with him. But Apophis returned, and the demon within me awoke before he could do so. I know that my child is safe with The Others because of Dan'yel."

"You told him about the child when Amaunet was trying to kill him," Casey said.

Sha're nodded. "The demon could sense what I was doing. She was trying to kill him, but at the same time she was searching for me. That prevented her from being able to kill my Dan'yel before Teal'c arrived."

"You were protecting him."

"As much as I could, yes. I welcomed death, Ca'see. I was so ashamed of what I had become, the things I had done because of the demon inside me. Dan'yel told me that there was a way to remove the demon. But even if he had taken me to the Tok'ra-" she broke off, shook her head again. "I loved him, but I could not have lived with him."

"Because of Apophis?"

"Yes. Amaunet loved him deeply. He loved her. He was very good to her…very…gentle."

Casey shivered. The thought of Goa'uld actually loving one another was still a bit unbelievable. Even after what Camulus had done. She looked at the young woman. "You fell in love with Apophis. Or at least the host," she said, suddenly understanding the depth of the woman's shame, the reason for it.

The tears that had been falling came faster now. "I did not mean to! I thought that it was only Amaunet's thoughts and feelings that moved inside me. But when the demon was asleep, as I carried his child, I would think of him. Wish that he would come for me. When I saw Dan'yel, part of me wanted to shout at him to go away. I loved Dan'yel, but I did not deserve him."

Casey reached out and brushed the tears away. "He never believed that. He never stopped loving you, never stopped looking for you."

"I know. When I…died…I was finally free of the demon. And Dan'yel was free of his obligation to me."

"He never thought of it as an obligation, Sha're. You were his wife. He loved you. That's all that he knew, all that he cared about."

Sha're looked out at the park again. "When I had…crossed over, I was able to see, to understand. I saw you, knew that you were the one who was his Destiny. Knew that he was your Destiny. Even if he had taken me to his homeworld, even if the Tok'ra had removed the Goa'uld from me, you would have entered his life. The love that surged in his heart the first time he saw you would have been there."

She frowned. What Sha're was telling her was exactly what Daniel had told her earlier. "I doubt that you would have let him go so easily."

The young woman smiled. "I would have tried to hold his heart. But it would not have done any good. He would have become…frustrated…angry. His love for you would have continued to grow, even as his love for me died."

"I'm not so sure that's true," she said softly.

"Ca'see, Daniel and I were never meant to marry. My father and the tribal elders were too hasty to try and appease those they thought were gods. Had they waited, Dan'yel would have become my friend, but nothing more. I would have married Rabine, and been very happy. Dan'yel would have stayed on Abydos, for a time. When his friends arrived, believing that Ra had somehow returned, he would have left with them, worked with them. He would not have suffered as he did," Sha're said slowly, softly. "You have always been his Destiny."

She didn't say anything. She was staring down at the park now.

"His love is strong for you. Stronger than the love he had for me. That is as it should be. You are his Destiny. He was fated to be The Chosen from the time of his birth. You were fated to be His Chosen from the time of yours."

"I was created in a laboratory by the First Immortals," Casey replied dryly.

"Nevertheless, your heart was created for him, just as his heart was created for you. Very few are lucky enough have such a gift. Even fewer ever find that heart that is the other part of their own," Sha're insisted. "You must not feel that I am a threat to you. The love that Dan'yel had for me…has for me…pales in comparison to what he feels for you. Dan'yel has a good heart. He chooses to remember only the good things, the good times. He does not remember the arguments. The times I threw things at him."

"I take it that you didn't do that until after you were married."

Sha're smiled. "Until we were married, I did not know that I would be…unable…to please him in our bed. I laughed at him though. He was so funny, trying to learn everything about our ways."

Casey giggled. "He does throw himself into a culture heart first. He's always eager to learn," she said.

The young woman looked around. "I must go now. But do not fret, Ca'see. You are the only woman that Dan'yel will ever love with all of his heart, with his soul."

"Thank you," she whispered.

"You are welcome," Sha're said, hugging the young blonde once again.

"Don't stop watching out for him," Casey said.

"I will not," Sha're promised. "I love him, even if I did not behave that way in life."

"I don't think Daniel ever doubted your love for a second," Casey replied.

"Because he is Dan'yel. Go, Ca'see. Before he awakes and finds you missing from his side."

Casey nodded, hugged the young woman one more time, then slipped back into the room. When she turned to close the door, the balcony was empty. She slid beneath the blankets, cuddled close to the warmth of his body.

He felt her move closer. She was cold. And for just a few seconds he was sure that he smelled the soft scent of the cleansing oil that Sha're had used. He pulled her close, the familiar floral and vanilla scent filling his nose, his mouth. He drifted back into deep sleep.

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