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Shortly after Jack, Sam, Cam and Jessie had left for Nanda, Casey and Daniel returned to the office to continue the translation of the Ancient tablets. Pouring two cups of coffee, they had just gotten situated at the table. Daniel looked over at Casey, and saw she had cocked her head sideways.
"What?" Daniel asked.
She groaned softly. "That sneaky bastard!"
"What?" her husband repeated.
She shook her head. "Never mind. I have to go...this is important. Could you tell Walter we're going to need a couple of packages delivered to Nanda?"
"Daniel, you know twenty-six languages, and the best you can do is respond with one word?"
"What in the hell are you talking about?"
Casey sighed. "Brojorn has...plans for Cam and Jessie; Jack and Sam as well. Personally, I think it's the best thing that could happen, for both couples. But I need to...
"Whoa! Both 'couples'?"
"That's what I said. Couples."
"As in...Case, you know that Jack and Sam can't be together, not unless one of them retires."
She smiled. "Don't you believe it. Things are about to change around here, in a big way. And that's good, Stud Muffin," she said softly. "Now, I have to go pick up a few things. I'll be back in time for lunch."
He watched her as she ran out the door. He'd seen the 'signs' that indicated she'd had an 'information dump'. If it had been something of vital importance, he'd know, and they'd be on their way to Jack's office to talk to General Hammond. She was up to something...up to her sexy earlobes. Later, he was getting details. He had every intention of knowing just exactly what she was up to.
Casey made a quick stop in supply, a little wheedling and flirting to get the information she needed, and then she was racing topside. She looked through her key ring, finding the keys both Sam and Jessica had given her. She hoped that she wouldn't have to search too long at either home to find what she would be looking for.
Exactly one hour and forty minutes later, Casey was in the 'gear up' room. Wrapping two packages. She mumbled a bit under her breath while making certain that one had everything that the recipients would require. She cocked her head sideways. If it would help them relax, then they should be encouraged to take advantage. She knew her friends well. Knew that without a little 'outside' help, they would be too nervous, too angry, to see what was right in front of their eyes, being offered to them on a silver platter. Metaphorically speaking. She wrote out a hasty note. Sometimes Destiny needed help. Or at least stubborn girlfriends needed a good, swift kick in the fanny.
She stared at the contents of the second box. Grinned and grabbed the notepad a second time.
Casey sighed, wrapped the second package, and ran to the gate room. "These need to get to Nanda right away," she said. "This package to Sam and Jessie, this one to Jack and Cam."
General Hammond raised an eyebrow.
"Trust me, Sir," Casey said softly. Wondered how long it would take four very stubborn people to just give in to the inevitable. And if this Brojorn could really pull off what she had 'seen' him contemplating.
Just then the klaxons began to sound. General Hammond walked over to Harriman.
"Unscheduled off world activation, Sir," Harriman said. After a few seconds he continued. "It’s a transmission from General O’Neill."
"What does it say?"
"Apparently they’ve reached some kind of agreement, and they need Doctor Fraiser and her team to come and get the samples as soon as possible."
"Notify Doctor Fraiser and tell her to report as soon as she’s ready." Hammond turned to Casey. "Would it be all right for Janet to take the packages to them?"
Casey nodded, wrapping her arms around her slender waist. Okay, this would either work...or it wouldn't. She knew the results she was hoping for. Neither man would let anything, or anyone, stand in their way to make certain that the women they loved remained at their side, if things happened exactly the way she had seen them. She could hear Miss Eloise cackling. There would certainly be plenty to discuss on the next girl's night!
Jessie had headed back to the Stargate so she would be there when Janet arrived, and a while later Ileah found Mitchell and told him Brojorn wished to speak with him again. He had the feeling that this was going to be a day where he would end up doing a lot of things he would’ve swore he would’ve never done. Like sitting down with Brojorn to see what ‘insights’ he had to offer about Jessie. They made themselves comfortable out on the terrace, a servant brought refreshments, then left. In the distance Mitchell could see that Janet had arrived and they were headed into town. Taking a drink from his cup, he kept his focus on them as Brojorn began speaking.
"You know, when I said earlier I’d offer Jessica a position at my side, it was not something I said in jest. She’s a remarkable young woman. Highly intelligent. Extremely compassionate. Loyal. Yet, despite her beauty, there is an innocence about her."
That got Mitchell’s attention, and he turned to look at Brojorn.
"She has only had two lovers, and they were sadly lacking in skill, concerned only with their own pleasure." Brojorn’s brow furrowed, and he shook his head. "They didn’t mistreat her, but they didn’t do her any favors, either. Her capacity for passion is as great as her intelligence, yet it remains untapped. She’s put all of her attention into her work for quite a while now, so she wouldn’t have to focus on that aspect of her life."
Brojorn could sense Mitchell’s disbelief. Looking directly at him, Brojorn said, "She hasn’t had a lover in almost two years."
"There’s no way in hell she hasn’t…"
"I tell you the truth Mitchell. I will also tell you she would respond best to a firm, yet gentle hand. She has so much responsibility in her life, she would enjoy a man taking charge, at least occasionally, in lovemaking. She’s surrounded herself with distractions, so much so it’s become habit. Directing her attention to what you are going to do, making her focus on the actions will heighten her pleasure greatly. There’ll come a time when she’ll enjoy taking charge and guiding the encounter, but not now. She doesn’t have enough experience yet."
Mitchell turned his attention back to Jessie, who at the moment was kneeling down talking with one of the children gathered around her.
Brojorn began to grin as Mitchell’s thoughts took a more calculating approach. "You know, that’s what I like about you Mitchell. You pay attention to details, and you put the knowledge to good use. That reputation of yours is definitely well deserved."
The look Mitchell gave Brojorn didn’t need translating. "You can think of me as a bastard all you want. But women like Jessie are few and far between. I respect her enough that I don’t want to cause her undue distress. But I will experience her, one way or another; that’s a given. You are skilled enough to ensure a very fulfilling encounter. It’s the only reason I would allow this compromise."
Janet had arrived with the supplies she needed for the antibody collection. Going through those supplies, she handed a package to Jack, a package to each of her assistants, and sure enough she had one for Jessica and Sam. Leaving the assistants talking with Jack and Mira, she took Sam and Jessie to one side.
Handing the box to Jessica, Janet said, "Casey gave this to me for you and Sam. She said there are notes for each of you inside." Janet looked at each of them closely. "Are you both okay?"
Jessica nodded. "We’re fine, Janet." Jessica had been relieved to find that Sam had calmed down from earlier. She was back to being levelheaded and focused, which was a good thing at the moment.
"Did everything get worked out? Janet knew about the prior difficulties they had had, but she didn’t know about the current situation, and Jessica really didn’t want to get into it at the moment.
"As good as it can get. We’ll talk about it later," she said as Mira came over to them. After a brief discussion, they walked with Mira back to the village to obtain the samples and document the medical history of the volunteers. When they arrived, Jessica saw a group of children to the side, and recognized Aylen as she started walking over.
"Hello," the little girl said.
Jessica knelt down. "Hi Aylen. How are you doing?"
"Okay. You came back."
Jessica nodded slowly. "Yes, I did."
"You were very upset when you left. I didn’t think you were coming back."
‘How in the world did this child know’, and then it dawned on Jessica that Aylen possibly had empathic abilities, too.
Jessica reached out and took Aylen’s hands in her own. "Yes, I was upset, but I came back because I want to try and help your momma find a way to stop a bad disease."
Aylen reached up and absently touched the scars on her face. "That would be good."
Jessica felt the tears well up in her eyes, and she blinked them back. She reached over and cupped her hand gently against Aylen’s cheek, feeling the roughness of the skin against her palm, compared with the baby softness against her fingertips at the child’s temple. "I’m going to do everything I possibly can to make it better." Glancing up, she saw Mitchell sitting up on the terrace, watching her, Brojorn sitting next to him. Thinking of what she was going to have to do that evening, she became even more determined. "I will make it better."
Jessica followed the group to Mira’s house, where there were about a dozen people waiting for them. Mira helped Janet set everything up, and then they methodically drew the samples, carefully recording each patient’s information and matching it to the sample. To Jessica’s surprise, most of the people did not have visible scars, and certainly nothing like Aylen had on her face. With Schoen’s disease, the scarring usually showed up in a patch or two on the trunk or back. Jessica had told Janet about Aylen when they first discussed the disease. Jessica was even more determined now to get approval from the brass to heal the child’s scars. If what she was going to have to do for this trade agreement wasn’t defined as going above and beyond the call of duty, she didn’t know what was, and she was definitely going to demand a favor in return.
Once the samples and records were secure, Janet sent her assistants back to the gate, and Jack accompanied them. Jessica was getting ready to leave, but Janet put a hand on her arm. "Stay," she said. Janet retrieved a case from her pack, and Sam went and locked the front door. Jessica watched as Janet opened the lid, revealing the Goa’uld healing device.
"This is not official," Janet said, "but I happen to agree with you on this one."
Janet quickly explained to Mira how the device worked. "We would like to use it to lessen the scars on your daughter’s face." She was actually hoping to heal them completely, but the scarring was so severe she wasn’t sure it was possible.
Mira covered her mouth with her hands, the tears spilling freely down her cheeks. "You would do that for my baby?"
"Will it hurt?
"No, not at all. She will just feel a sensation of warmth."
Nodding, Mira quickly wiped the tears from her face and went to get Aylen.
There was a murmur of voices, and then Mira brought her daughter into the room. Aylen looked at Sam and Janet shyly, then smiled when she saw Jessica. "You are going to make it better?" she asked, touching her cheek.
Jessica knelt down in front of her. "We’re going to try, if that’s okay with you."
The little girl nodded, then looked up at her momma expectantly.
"It would be best to have her lie down," Sam said.
Leading her over to the sofa, Aylen climbed up on it then stretched out. Sam sat down next to her and smiled, brushing the girl’s silky hair away from her face. Sam slid the device onto her hand, and then showed it to Aylen. "This isn’t going to hurt. There will be a light, and it’ll feel warm, but that’s all. Okay?" Aylen nodded. "Close your eyes now. Good girl." Sam focused her concentration, and soon the device activated. Ever so slowly she guided it over the scars.
Jessica stood there, barely breathing. She had Mira’s hand clasped in her own. ‘Please God, even if it doesn’t fix it completely, please let the scars fade.’
It took some time, but finally Sam finished. There wasn’t a dry eye among the four women as they looked down at Aylen, and the perfectly smooth, baby soft skin that now graced the left side of her face.
"Is it better?" the little girl asked, reaching up and touching her cheek.
Mira went and picked her up, hugging her closely. Jessica wiped her own tears away before reaching up and running a hand over Aylen’s head, tucking a stray strand of hair behind her ear. "Oh yes, sweetie, it’s all better."
Mira took her over to a mirror so she could see. Her little eyes grew wide as she looked at her reflection, her fingers touching the now smooth skin. Wiggling out of her mother’s arms, she ran to Sam and threw her arms around her neck, hugging her tight. She turned and hugged Janet, before running over to Jessica and hugging her, too. "Thank you," she said. "I’m so glad you came back, even though you were scared."
A movement out of the corner of her eye caught her attention, and Jessica turned to find Mitchell standing just inside the back door, watching them.
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