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When Two Hearts Collide
A coat rack had been placed in the corridor, and Daniel carefully put their coats onto hangers. It was damned near impossible not to puff his chest out with sheer animal pride as he walked into the large room that had been converted into a banquet hall for the party, Casey clinging to his arm. Most of the conversations came to halt when they walked in, making the loud music seem all the louder.
"Holy shit!" someone muttered, just as the song that had been playing ended, plunging the room into silence. Several men from various SG teams stood watching, open-mouthed as the woman walked through the room beside the archaeologist..
"Ms. Webster, Doctor Jackson!" General Hammond beamed at them as they walked toward him. "Casey, you look lovely."
She blushed slightly, having noticed several of the women were wearing velvet gowns. Next year, she thought briefly…next year she'd have a nice dress for the party. "Thank you."
"Doctor Jackson, we will expect you to recite 'The Night Before Christmas' again," the general informed the young archaeologist.
Casey giggled when she realized that the general was just a bit drunk.
"I always do, sir," Daniel replied with a grin.
"Good, good. Plenty of food, and the punch is very good this year," General Hammond informed them, holding up his glass of the bright red beverage.
"Let's go see what they have," Daniel said. "Nice talking to you, sir."
The general grinned, raised his glass again, and nodded at them.
There wasn't a man in the room who wasn't watching as she walked toward the buffet table with him. Not that she was aware of the attention. But Daniel was. And he wanted to stand on the nearest table and shout that 'yes, she belongs to me'! "Hungry?"
"Not really. I had pizza with Janet and Sam. Maybe later," she replied.
"Let's get something to drink." He led her to the bar.
Connie Chambers was standing near the table that was serving as the bar for the party. She'd been talking to the men from the newest SG team. Watched as Daniel put his hand on the blonde bitch's back while waiting for Sergeant Siler, who was playing bartender for the night, to pour two glasses of Merlot. When the bitch reached for the plastic glass she could barely hold back her gasp. The diamond that winked on her left hand was huge! Just when the hell had that happened? Her anger spurring her, she moved toward the object of her obsession. "Hi, Daniel!" she said buoyantly, putting her hand on his arm.
Daniel turned, paled slightly at the sight of the nurse who had instigated what amounted to his near rape at the last Christmas party. He stepped back, jerking his arm away from her unwanted touch. What the hell is her name? You'd think I could remember that, after what she did! "Um…"
"Connie, Connie Chambers," she said through gritted teeth, forcing herself to keep smiling.
"Oh, yeah. Casey, this is Lieutenant Chambers. One of the nurses in the infirmary. Lieutenant Chambers, this is Casey Webster. My fiancée." His eyes never once met Connie's, or even moved to her face. He looked at the table, then at Casey.
'One of the nurses in the infirmary'. The lieutenant didn't miss the fact that to Daniel, that's all she was. Nor did she miss the fact that he wouldn't even look at her.
Casey was immediately aware that the woman didn't like her. And that she was very much in love with Daniel. She cocked her head sideways. Images moved through her mind…this woman and two others…all of them mostly undressed… a very drunk Daniel…on a…bed, aroused and in just his boxers…Teal'c in the doorway. Daniel's almost debilitating embarrassment after learning what had happened. She frowned slightly. "Lieutenant Chambers," she said softly.
Connie looked at her, then with a toss of her blonde head, dismissed her, focusing on Daniel. "So are you going to dance with me tonight?" she asked, smiling up at him.
Daniel took note that the woman seemed determined to ignore Casey, and the fact that she was his betrothed. "The only woman I'll be dancing with is Casey."
"You should probably dance with Janet and Sam," Casey said quietly. "They are good friends."
He smiled at her. "Okay, I'll dance with them. But nobody else."
"Jack will be heart broken," she teased lightly.
"Don't bet on it," he chuckled.
Connie was not at all pleased to find herself suddenly outside of the conversation. "So what brings you to the SGC?" she asked the beautiful blonde, deciding to change her approach.
Blue eyes narrowed slightly. "It's a shame he didn’t bother to tell you he was already involved with someone before you showed up," she spat. Okay, they weren't exactly involved, but given just a little more time, they would have been, she just knew it!
Casey paled slightly, looked up at Daniel.
"I haven't been 'involved' with anyone since I started working here," Daniel said, his voice as cold as his blue eyes.
She'd already heard about his search for Sha're, how he had mourned for her after her death, both from him, and from Janet and Sam. She was well aware that the woman was lying through her teeth. "Well, it seems he did mention some tramp who was chasing him."
He almost choked on the sip of wine he had taken.
Connie's blue eyes went wide, then narrowed farther. "Don't think you've won just yet, honey."
"Game, set, match," Casey said, amazed that her voice sounded as calm as it did. She was shaking with anger…what this woman had done to Daniel, against his will - at least, it would have been had he been sober - was unforgivable. "The ring on my finger says I walk away the winner."
"Let's go find Jack," Daniel said. He figured he needed to get her away from the nurse before the situation could escalate into an honest-to-goodness catfight. Even though the man inside him was doing the happy dance that she'd be willing to fight over him.
Casey slipped her arm through his, looked up at him and smiled. "Lead on, Sweetheart."
He couldn't help it. He lifted her hand to his lips, tasted those sweet fingertips, then slid his arm around her slender waist. And hoped like hell that EZ CC got the freaking message!
"Oh, crash and burn," one of the Airmen standing near by snickered.
"Get fucked!" Connie hissed.
"You offering…again?" The men around him began to laugh.
She had been with every one of them in one supply closet or an another, or even one of the infirmary beds, hidden by the privacy curtain. For the first time since her arrival at the SGC, her reputation hit her fully in the face. Her cheeks red, she put down her cup, turned on her heel, and left the room. She never looked back as she walked out of the SGC. For the first time she also understood that it was not only what she had done to Daniel last year, it was her reputation that had kept him from ever noticing her at all. Because men like Daniel Jackson weren't attracted to outrageous flirts, to…sluts. She'd never had a chance with him. She never would have. She knew enough about the man to know that if he'd asked that blonde bitch to marry him, he was in love. The real thing. And when men like Daniel Jackson married, it was forever. First thing Monday morning, she was putting in for a transfer. To anywhere that wasn't Cheyenne Mountain!
Andrea Walker and Terry Keeler watched as EZ CC left the room. "I think EZ just figured it out," Andrea said softly.
Terry nodded, took a sip of her drink. "Yep. Too bad it took her so long."
"Yeah it is. Do you think Major Reynolds would dance with me if I asked him?"
"Only one way to find out."
"Yeah, unfortunately. Okay, wish me luck. Here goes nothing!"
Janet and Sam had watched the blonde nurse leaving as well. "That woman has no sense of self worth," Janet said, shaking her head.
"Amazing how two women can suffer from the same thing, yet deal with it in such diametrically different ways. Casey is so shy as to be afraid of people, men especially. You can see that in her eyes. That nurse…" Sam said.
"Connie Chambers," Janet supplied.
"Connie Chambers was the biggest…well, rumor has it that she was the base pump," Sam finished.
"EZ CC. And you know that she knew about the rumors," Janet said.
"Unless she was totally stupid," Sam replied.
"She wasn't. Something tells me she finally understands, though." Janet suspected that the lieutenant wouldn't be at the SGC much longer.
One of the young men from SG-6 was doing duty as the deejay for the evening. "Okay gents, this is your chance to hold that special lady!" Tony Sabotti said with a grin. Savage Garden's 'Truly Madly Deeply' began to play, and Daniel pulled Casey to the middle of the room, which had been designated as the dance floor.
Casey felt tears prick her eyes as Daniel softly sang along with the song, his lips against her ear, each word of the song sounding as if it had been meant just for her, coming only from him. She sighed softly, tightened her arms around his neck.
"Have I told you today that I love you?" he asked when the song ended.
"I think it was mentioned this morning, and then in the shower earlier this evening," she replied with a shy smile.
He shook his head and smiled. "Not enough, then. I love you, Casey," he whispered.
"I love you, Daniel," she whispered in reply.
"Okay you two, no mushy stuff here," Jack's voice said from somewhere behind them.
Daniel turned around to see a very happily drunk Jack standing with his arm around Sam's shoulders. Too bad the only time they could get by with touching each other like that was during the SGC parties when everyone was totally wasted and hanging onto everyone else. "Jack, you're drunk."
"Like I need you to tell me this?" Jack asked, grinning broadly.
"Somebody needs to," Daniel teased.
"Well, down a few, Danny boy, and catch up!"
Daniel shook his head. "I think I'll just pass this year, thanks."
Jack frowned. Remembered what had happened last year. "No worries, Danny, EZ CC left the party. You're safe. Besides, Casey'll protect you."
Casey smiled. "Absolutely."
Being reminded of last year's party wasn't something he was comfortable with. He'd been reminded twice so far, and the evening was just getting started. "Come on, honey, I want you to meet the other archaeologists," Daniel said with a slight smile, already turning and heading toward one of the corners of the room.
An hour later, her mind swimming with names that she could hopefully put with the correct faces later, Daniel led her to the dance floor again. They danced through four songs, all of them fast…she even taught him a bit of Dirty Dancing, to the hoots and cheers of those around them. Soon several other couples were on the dance floor; watching and listening as Casey gave him instructions. As soon as she realized this fact, she smiled, and offered encouragement, and corrected any of the couples who hadn't quite caught on. Soon dozens of bodies were bumping and grinding on the floor. Jack and Sam included.
Winded, and a bit warm, in more ways than one, Casey begged for a chance to catch her breath. She excused herself to go to the restroom. When she came out of the stall, three other women were standing in front of the mirror, checking hair and makeup. She shyly stepped up to the mirror, tried not to stand too close to the women who seemed to be very good friends.
The tall black woman of the group smiled at her. "Hi! I'm Tiesha Taylor." She offered her hand.
Casey started, then gave a nervous smile, accepted the outstretched hand. "Hi. Casey Webster."
"Get a load of that rock!" a woman with thick, curly auburn hair gasped. She grabbed Casey's hand, then looked up at her apologetically. "Cathy Masterson," she grinned.
The third woman, tall, thin, and wearing her long dark hair in a French braid, smiled and took a closer look at the ring as well. "Gracie Williams."
"Welcome to the SGC," Tiesha said, taking her turn at looking at the ring. "And congratulations for landing the devastatingly adorable Doctor Jackson."
She examined each word carefully, listened to the tone of voice, searching to find the sarcasm, the thinly veiled dislike. Found none. "Thank you," she said softly.
Gracie giggled. "Congratulations on getting one over on EZ CC." Her companions laughed with her.
"She's a troubled woman, seeking attention in all of the wrong ways," Casey said softly.
Cathy cleared her throat. "You're probably right. But her behavior…let's just say she made a few enemies around here."
"And that ain't easy, girlfriend," Tiesha said. "We women stick together here. We have to."
"Hell, yes, we do," Cathy nodded. "Those men would ride roughshod over us if we didn't!"
The thin brunette sighed. "Don't think working in the control room is any easier to do than dealing with SG teams! The only man in there who doesn't treat me like nothing more than a rack for a set of tits is Sergeant Harriman."
Casey couldn't hold back her giggle. "I like that mental image…a rack for a set of tits. You realize if there was a place that sold them-"
"Racks of tits!" Cathy giggled.
"Men would have at least a dozen sets!" Casey finished with a grin.
"At least," Tiesha nodded in agreement. "And they'd have one in their mouth, and one in each hand all the time."
The women took a few seconds for the mental images to finish dancing through their heads before bursting into laughter.
Janet and Sam entered the room at that moment. "What's so funny?"
Casey smiled, and explained what she and the three women…could they really be new friends?…were talking about.
Janet's eyes danced. "From what you've said, Daniel is quite fond of yours," she teased.
She blushed, and nodded.
"I'll bet that's not all he's fond of," Cathy retorted, looking the young blonde over.
"I hear that," Tiesha said. "If I looked like you, honey, I'd be strutting around here naked!"
The blush deepened. "I'm too skinny," she murmured.
"No, you're not," Cathy insisted.
Three more women entered the restroom. There were only about two dozen or so women who worked in the SGC, including the nurses. It wouldn't take long until all of the women who were assigned to the mountain had left the party to join the conversation in the tiled restroom if they kept arriving in twos and threes as they had been. Which was exactly what happened. And the impromptu 'side party' was getting more boisterous and suggestive by the second.
Casey was laughing at something Tiesha had said about the men on the team she was attached to when loud banging on the door startled them all.
"What the hell is going on in there?" a male voice demanded to know.
The women looked at each other.
"We're plotting the take over of the world, using the secret of balding…go away," Casey called out. The women around her shrieked with laughter.
"We really should get back out there," Cathy sighed. "They'll all be pouting and pissed off because we took a little break."
"Oh, god, spare me from those egos," one of the other women, Debbie Hutchins, said.
"Hey, I have an idea," Tiesha said, pure devilment flashing in her black eyes. "Hey, Sally, open the door a crack, get Tony Sabotti in here."
"In here?" the woman named Sally squeaked.
Tiesha's grin went wider. "In here."
After issuing a…demand…for the young SF's presence to the men who loitered near the door, trying to figure out what was going on, and hear the conversation that seemed to be more interesting than the party outside of the restroom, Sally closed the door. "They're going nuts out there!"
Sam was giggling. "Serves them right…they were all out there posturing, talking about the wounds they've suffered, and how brave they were during the whole thing-"
Janet snorted. "Bullshit! They all whine and cry like babies until they get pain meds. Once they've proven to each other they're so tough, and get through the 'it's just a flesh wound' scenarios."
The women laughed again.
A hesitant tap on the door caught their attention. Sally opened the door a crack to see who was knocking, then opened it far enough to pull a totally shocked Tony into the room.
Daniel frowned. Casey had excused herself nearly twenty minutes ago. Where the hell was she? He looked around the room. It took a few seconds to realize that there wasn't a woman in sight. Granted, there weren't that many women in the SGC to begin with. But right now the SGC Christmas party consisted of…men. Very unhappy men.
Jack walked over to him, a frown on his face as well. "I think we're in trouble," he said, waving several of the men nearby toward him. "Edwards says all of the women are in the restroom, and they're laughing up a storm."
"Hey, Tony, c'mere," a voice called out. All of the men watched as the SF walked toward the man who had called for him. Followed him into the hallway when the word was passed that the women had requested him specifically. Frowns flickered over every male face when the door to the women's restroom opened and Tony was literally dragged inside.
Tony looked like the proverbial deer-in-the-headlights. He'd had dreams like this…fantasies where dozens of women wanted him…all at the same time. He was awake, and nobody's clothes were hitting the floor. He swallowed nervously. "Ladies."
"Tony, you have a pretty good selection of music out there, don't you?" Tiesha asked quietly.
"Uh huh." He wasn't saying anything. If he said nothing, it couldn't be misinterpreted. He was alone with twenty women. Twenty lovely women, but still, these were trained Special Forces members…he was dead meat if he so much as breathed wrong.
"We need you to find something for us. Do you have any Aretha Franklin?" Tiesha asked.
"R-E-S-P-E-C-T!" several of the women shouted in near unison.
"I think I have it," Tony said.
Tiesha looked around. "What do you say, ladies? A little…walking…music?"
Janet began to giggle. "Let Casey lead, that girl can move!"
Tony found himself shoved out of the door. With very implicit instructions. And there was no way in hell he was going to piss those women off. They were all drunk, they were all in a…god, he hoped it was a good mood…and they were all feeling full of piss and vinegar.
"Sergeant, what's going on?" General Hammond asked, having been informed of the 'goings-on' by Master Sergeant Siler when he'd made it to the 'bar' for a refill.
The young man cast a wary glance at that closed door. "The ladies requested a song," he replied.
"This should be good," Jack said, rolling his eyes.
Daniel couldn't help but grin. Every once in awhile the women in the mountain let the men they worked with know that they wouldn’t stand for being looked down upon, or 'protected'…or ignored. It seemed that this was going to be one of those times.
The first notes of the popular, time-defying Aretha Franklin anthem blared over the speakers. The door of the restroom flew open, and Casey stepped out. He shook his head. No, what she was doing wasn't walking. She was…Sweet Jesus the way she was dancing was enough to make him hard, ready, and damned needy!
As the men moved aside, the women danced…shimmied…dipped…turned…and sashayed back into the 'banquet' room. They formed a circle in the middle of the floor, facing outward, all of them singing with the record. Half a dozen chairs were grabbed and Casey, Sam, Janet, Tiesha, Sally, and Cathy stood on them, shouting out the words, demanding R-E-S-P-E-C-T!
He couldn't help but laugh. Her eyes were so bright, the smile on her face wide…she was having the time of her life! So was Sam. The two blonde heads moved together several times as they 'sang'.
When the song ended, the laughter that bubbled up from the women was infectious. The men began to laugh and clap and cheer. When Tony grinned and put on "It's Raining Men", he was certain that the shrieks of laughter had been picked up by the satellites that monitored the mountain.
Breathing heavily, Casey made her way to where Daniel stood, his hands in the pockets of his trousers, grinning broadly. "I don't think I've ever been to a more…interesting…Christmas party."
He chuckled. "You're having fun?"
Her eyes sparkled. "Oh, yes!"
His arm around her waist, he led her to the 'bar', and picked up two glasses of the very…potent...Christmas punch.
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