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Happy Birthday, Darlin'
Daniel opened his eyes. Damn, that hurt! He held his hand up in front of his face, managed to sit up, his head spinning and making him nauseous. He staggered to the window, yanked the curtains closed. He stumbled against the desk, knocked a large envelope to the floor. Several black and white photographs fell out. He picked them up. He felt his world topple even farther out of control. It was her…his beautiful Casey. He couldn't tell who the man was, whoever he was, he had his face buried against that sexy neck. He closed his eyes. He could smell her…taste that sweet skin against his lips. He looked at the photo again. He had stopped reaching for her, because she was dead. Betsy told him she was dead. She had to be, or he would have felt her. Goddamn bitch! She's alive; just blocking me! Apparently she was doing all right, and she had obviously replaced him in her bed! Just like Betsy had said. Betsy…where was she? Had he seen her yesterday? He couldn't remember. The last time she had been there, she had wanted him to fuck her. She never wanted to make love…not like Casey. She wanted it hard, and she didn't want to waste time. He preferred making love. Couldn't get off with the redhead anyway…something about Fire, his brain kept telling him. Casey…his sweet Casey… now she was…he shook his head, looked at the picture again.
Feelings of rage…of pain…of disbelief welled up in him. Daniel cried out, wiped his arm across the desk in frustration, knocking everything to the floor. The little black pouch bounced and rolled toward the bed. He lunged for it, fell to his knees, grabbed it. If he stopped taking this shit, he could get his head clear, and figure out what was going on. His eyes fell on the pictures. If he took more, he wouldn't have to feel the hurt, the raw pain that was gnawing at his insides. He opened it, his hands trembling. How long had it been since his last…fix…dose? He couldn't remember, couldn't focus his mind long enough to make sense of what was happening to him, couldn't focus long enough to even know where he was. He opened the bag, found one of the vials and twisted the top off. His eyes rolling in his head, his hands and body shaking so badly that he could barely hold onto the tiny plastic tube, he put it to his nose and inhaled deeply. He closed his bloodshot eyes, let his head fall back against the bed. Yeah, there it was…sweet, blessed oblivion. He smiled at the room. Yeah, much better. He opened one eye and looked down at the bag. If one vial could make him feel this good… maybe a couple more could move him right up to feeling great. He'd probably be able to think more clearly as well. He opened two more vials, inhaled both deeply. Oh, hell yes! Now this was what he needed! There was no one near to notice when his body went into seizures. No one to watch as he died.
A A A A A A
Betsy walked into the room. She had purposely taken her time. He would be needing a fix badly by now. Just as she had hoped, had planned, he had awakened during the day. She had intentionally left the curtains open, knowing that the bright light would cause him pain; they were closed now. She smiled viciously when she saw the photos on the floor. The smile faded to a frown when she saw the black pouch. Damn! She had forgotten to put it away before she left the night before. She hugged herself, and giggled. She had good reason for forgetting…he had 'discovered' that Casey was alive…and with another man. That she didn't love him. Daniel had been devastated. He would have to love her now! She smiled again. She had taken him to bed, and she hadn't even had to tell him what to do! She was almost able to take all of him into her hot pussy now. It wouldn't be much longer and he would get off with her. She really didn't care if he got off or not…she considered it payback for all of those years without him. As long as she was happy, and he was with her…
She opened the bag…oh, no! There were three vials missing! She ran to where he lay on the floor. The empty vials were beside his body. She rolled him over, caught a whiff of feces and urine. Oh no! No, no, no, no, no! They were happy together! Sometimes he even talked to her…he was falling in love with her, she knew he was…he couldn't die now!
"Danny! Danny wake up!" In her blind panic, Betsy forgot that Daniel was Immortal. All she knew, all her brain could focus on, was the fact that he was dead. "Danny, darling, come on, wake up! Danny! Please, Danny! Daniel! Wake up!" She continued to slap his face, shake his shoulders roughly. He was stone cold dead.
The panic became worse. Get away…she had to get away…not enough time to clean her fingerprints off of everything…she knew he hadn't had a shower yet, so her bodily fluids were still on him…just go…leave the bag…wipe the prints off the bag…put it in his hand…there… that was good… yes, they'd believe these very illegal drugs were his…she looked around the room. This cabin had been home for three weeks. Three glorious, wonderful weeks she had been with the man she loved.
'Cheaters never win!'
"Shut up, Mama!" Betsy cried, tears running down her cheeks as she hurriedly packed her bag. She raced into the bathroom, gathered her shampoo and soap. She ran her fingers over his towel. "Oh, Danny, why? We were so good together!"
'You're a wicked child!'
"Mama, I said shut up!" Betsy whirled around. "Leave me alone, you old bitch!"
'You'll pay for your evilness, Betsy! You're a redheaded she-devil!'
"Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!" she screamed. The distraught woman carried her suitcase out to the Land Rover. She glanced at the cabin. It could be days…weeks…maybe even months before someone came here. By then…She shuddered, tossed the bag into the back and crawled behind the wheel. Her dream …her beautiful dream…shattered to pieces. She never looked back as she drove away, down the mountain and into Terra City. The little voice in her head told her it was a very good thing that she had never taken Danny shopping with her. No one would miss him, no one would wonder why he wasn't with her.
A A A A A A
Daniel arched his back and took a deep breath, moaned, opened his eyes. Jesus, his head hurt! He moved, felt cold…could smell…oh, hell…that was just wrong! He managed to get to his feet, although the room was still spinning. He pulled off the tattered, ruined jeans, headed for the bathroom. He took a shower, was almost finished before he noticed something different about the narrow, plastic compartment. Betsy's things were missing. He finished up, then checked the closet. It wasn't locked. He recognized the clothes that were hanging there. It was the shirt and jeans he had been wearing…the day…the day that the redheaded bitch had kidnapped him…she had killed Casey, threatened to kill his children…He put his fists to his head…what was going on? What was wrong with him? Why couldn't he think straight? He pulled the clothes on…wondered briefly where his boxers were.
He stumbled back into the main room of the cabin. The floor was littered with items, it appeared they had been on the desk. He picked up the photographs. Casey! Oh, god his sweet, beautiful Casey! Sobs tore at his throat as he looked at each picture. Someone had taken them while they were on Langara the last time. He recognized them. Tears streamed down his cheeks as he held each of them. His face was always hidden, either against her sweet neck, or in her hair. But he remembered every one of these moments that the camera had frozen in time…
Something poked at the back of his mind. Something about…he looked around…found a black pouch. He looked at the vials. Memories, blurry…vague…disjointed…"Oh, god, no!" he cried out. He had fucked that redheaded bitch…several times! She called him Danny… begged him to take her…and he had complied…urged on by the fact that Casey was dead… and the drugs…the goddamned drugs!
Where the hell was he? The front door was ajar. She had never left the door unlocked, and she always hid the key. He stood up, stepped out onto the small porch. Well, wherever he was, he was in the middle of freaking nowhere! He could see tire tracks…Oh, hell! Would she be back? She hadn't left him alone…he didn't think she'd ever left him alone…except for…yesterday? He shook his head. That didn't seem right. So how many days had he been dead? And how badly was he addicted to this stuff? Feeling lost, alone, he reached out for his beautiful Wife, needing to feel her…talk to her…forgetting for just a moment that she was dead.
"Casey? Oh, god, Angel! Are you all right?" He was shaking, his heart pounding against his ribs as her sweet presence filled his mind. She caressed him gently, wrapped him in her love. He reached for her, clung to her, felt her holding him just as tightly.
'I'm fine! Oh, Daniel…' For days she had been reaching out to him, the…difference…in the way he 'felt' unnerving, frightening …heartbreaking. She had continued to reach out anyway, sending her love to him as often as she could…hoping to feel his gentle touch in return. Then for three days she had felt nothing but darkness, emptiness. Knew that he was dead. Now…the tears that she had held in check for nearly a week would be denied no longer.
She was crying. "Don't cry, Case…please babe, don't cry!"
'We couldn't find you…she…Wade has been looking everywhere…Jack and Duncan and Teal'c too! I couldn't reach you! I could feel you…but it was…different…wrong…'
She broke off again, he knew she was sobbing. He ached to hold her, needed to feel her…needed to comfort her. "Angel, please don't cry! How long?"
'A little over three weeks. Daniel, where are you?'
"I have no idea. Somewhere in the wilderness." He turned to watch the sun go down. The view told him nothing. It looked the same as the sunsets on a dozen different planets he could think of. He could be on Chulak for all he knew!
'Daniel, we're on our way, I promise. I have to call Jack…' her voice faded again.
He could sense her…disquiet…apprehension…her fear. "What's wrong, Angel?"
'Do…do you still…'
"Love you, Angel, love you with all my heart." He smiled when he felt her send her love again. He sent his, as slowly as he could, he didn’t want to overwhelm her. "The kids…she threatened them…"
There was a pause. He could tell that she was struggling…either to find the words to tell him, or to keep something from him. He felt his heart drop.
"Casey…are Emily and Nicholas all right?"
'They…they're fine…now. Emily…well, when Betsy shot me…she shot me five times…she fired her weapon six times…one of the bullets grazed Emily's leg. She's fine, but she'll have a scar for the rest of her life.'
Anger boiled in his veins. His baby girl, his precious baby girl had been shot by that redheaded bitch! He was going to tear her apart, limb from limb with his bare hands! He swayed slightly, began to feel lightheaded. He almost doubled over as his stomach began to cramp. "Casey, she did something to me…addicted me to some stuff…I don't know what it is…but…I think…I remember…injections…and then these vials of powder."
'Oh, god! It's okay, Daniel, we'll face this together. If you need to take whatever it is… then do it. Just try…try to stay with me.'
"I'll try, babe." He managed to get back into the cabin. If he had been away from Casey for three weeks, then he had surely suffered from withdrawal…he was addicted to his sweet, beautiful Wife and those special pheromones she put out. He frowned as he opened one of the vials. As much as he didn’t want to…he put the vial to his nose and inhaled. The tremors and the pain in his stomach began to ease. He tried to remember when he had started taking this…stuff. Found that he couldn't. His last clear memory, and it wasn't exactly the clearest in his mind, was watching that bitch aim her gun at his children, threatening their lives if he didn't get into her van. Then…he remembered seeing her inject Casey with the nanovirus. He had a vague memory of Betsy laughing, telling him that she had managed to take a syringe full of the virus with her when she had left Dr. Talbot's employ…that woman had secreted several vials from Gamma to her laboratory. Betsy had assured him that Casey was dead. And when he couldn't reach his Wife… probably because she was being kept unconscious…or dead…until the antidote was administered, he had believed her. Hadn't even tried to reach out for Casey. The drugs that the bitch had him on had prevented him from feeling or recognizing her sweet presence, her soft touch against his mind.
He leaned back against the bed. "Angel?"
'I'm right here, my Beloved.'
His smile was automatic. 'I love you, Casey.'
'I love you, Daniel. We're getting ready to ring up to the Phoenix II right now.' He could hear, and feel her excitement. His own heart was pounding with the anticipation of being with her soon, holding her, proving to his heart and mind that she was alive and well.
'Good.' He looked at the pouch, counted the vials. Frowned slightly. Hoped that there were enough to last until the team found him.
'Daniel, when was the last time you ate anything?'
His frown deepened. 'I'm not sure, why?'
'Doctor Montigue says you need to eat. Most probably you haven't wanted to eat…' she faded off, if 'felt' like she was talking to someone else. 'Daniel, Doctor Montigue wants a description of what you're taking.'
"The syringe is here…but I don't see anything that she could fill it with. There are some little tiny vials…" He took one and looked at it. He reached over and flipped on the lamp that sat on the bedside table. Was that writing on the end of that tube? Yep. "Okay, it looks like the letters are Terran…Ambryxodyle…it's a powder…kind of a purple color."
There was a pause. 'Daniel, do you know how much she's been giving you every day?'
He searched his mind. 'Couple of shots a day, at least at first…I think she was still giving them to me.'
'How many of those little vials?'
'Two, I think. One in the morning as soon as I woke up, and then one at night before…' he broke off. Images that he didn't want to see, a body that repulsed him, because of the person inside it, made him shudder.
'It's okay, My Heart, nothing she did can change my love for you, nothing she did to you can hurt us.' There was a pause. He could sense that she was talking to someone. Dr. Montigue, probably.
Daniel smiled at her words. The same words he had used to soothe her fears and worries many times. 'So, how bad is it?'
'Bad. Doctor Montigue says it will take about six months to wean you off of the stuff. Plus we have no idea what she was shooting you up with. He can figure that out when we get the syringe. Jack and Teal'c seem to think she was using something that made you susceptible to suggestion.'
'Yeah, I already figured that part out. It seems that she cleared out…I think…I can't remember for sure, it's all…blurry…but I think I OD'd, and if I don’t miss my guess, I died.'
'She must have panicked. I know that she's aware of your Immortality. When she remembers that, most likely she's going to be back. Is there anywhere you can go to hide from her?'
'Just out in the woods.'
'We're on our way, Daniel. I'm getting a sense of where you are. We'll be there as soon as we can. Find something to eat, Sweetheart.'
'I'll do that right now. Ask Doctor Montigue if dying will…cure…my addiction.'
There as a pause of a few minutes. 'Sweetheart, he says no, that your body is still full of the drugs. Your Quickening only dealt with the amount that killed you. There's a psychological dependency as well.'
He laughed out loud. He was well aware of psychological dependencies. He was dependent on Casey, as well as addicted to her. He wondered if this…stuff, was masking his withdrawal from her. He laughed again. That wouldn't be a problem. As soon as they were together, he was going to get a nice, good, long 'fix' of his Angel. Get that sweet addiction going again!
Daniel stood up and went into the kitchen. Which really was nothing more than a narrow alcove off of the main room of the cabin. He searched the cabinets, found a couple of cans of stew, one of chili, and a box of crackers. He opened the stew, found a pan, then managed to get the propane camp stove lit. He opened the small window beside the counter, hoped that the fumes from the propane bottle would be sucked out. He decided to open the front door as well; he would be able to hear better if Betsy came back.
He ate the stew, found he was famished and opened the other can, ate it as well, along with most of the crackers. He found coffee, made a pot and sat drinking a cup. He decided to see what he could find in the desk. He shouted with glee when he found a rental agreement, and the rules and instructions for maintaining the cabin. "Angel?"
'Right here, My Love.'
"Terra. I'm on Terra. I remember a spaceport now. That's in Terra City. I remember a long drive too. I don't know how far from the city I am, or what direction."
He could 'hear' her squeal with excitement. 'Jack says when we're close enough, that he's going to fly low and slow, and you tell us when you see us.'
Daniel laughed. "I'm sure the Terran government will love that!"
'Screw 'em if they can't take a joke!'
He laughed again. Stopped when he heard a noise outside. 'Angel, tell Jack to push it. I think Betsy is coming back.'
He looked around, decided to take his chances in the woods. He grabbed the black pouch, and after a moment's hesitation, one of the knives from the drawer in the kitchen, and slipped outside. Yep, that was the sound of a vehicle coming up the road. He found a nice spot between two trees that was well concealed.
Betsy jumped out of the vehicle and ran into the cabin. "Danny? Oh, Danny forgive me for leaving! I panicked-" she stopped and looked around the room. The jeans he had soiled were tossed in the corner, the photos arranged on the desk, all of the items picked up and returned to their proper place. He had eaten, two empty stew cans were on the sinkboard, as well as the pan he had used to warm it up in. The closet door was open, his clothes were gone. She searched the floor. So was the goodie bag. Her eyes narrowed. In his condition he couldn't have gotten far…
She stepped out onto the porch and looked around. She had spent three restless, lonely nights at the hotel in Terra City before the fact that Daniel was Immortal impacted on her brain. She had been frantic to get back to him, knowing that he would be worried about her, and lonely without her. "Danny? I know you're out there. Come back inside, darling. We'll be together again, just like we have been. You love me now, not her!"
Fat chance, you psychotic bitch! Daniel thought. He watched her carefully. She didn’t seem anxious to step off of the porch. Was she afraid of the great outdoors? Was that why she had kept the curtains closed most of the time?
"Danny? Please don't make me angry! I don't want to hurt you!" She was walking toward the land rover. She reached inside, pulled something from beneath the seat.
Shit! It was that damned gun! If she found him, she could shoot him, then fill him full of the drugs again. He knew that he was more…lucid…right now than he had been since she had first kidnapped him. He had to stay that way…had to be ready to signal when the Phoenix II showed up. Which he hoped would be really soon.
'Right here, Angel.'
'Is she there?'
'Yep. Look for a small clearing on a hill. Little cabin in the middle of it, land rover parked in front of the cabin.'
'Any idea on the direction?'
'What direction does the sun go down on Terra?'
'You're a lot of help.' He couldn't help but grin. 'Okay, facing the cabin, the side that the land rover is on, the sun is setting to the left.'
Betsy continued to pace in front of the cabin, running up to the porch every few minutes. She was muttering to herself, but he couldn't tell what she was saying.
'I'm right here, Beloved.'
'Tell Sam there will be two life signs…I'll be the one farthest from the cabin.' He could tell that she was relaying his message. He settled with his back more firmly against the tree. Betsy was sitting on the porch now. Probably thought he'd come strolling back any time. Now that she remembered he was Immortal, she probably had every intention of shooting him.
Something above the trees in the distance caught his eye. Was that…yep…it was! His heart raced with excitement. 'Babe, I can see you. You're to the right of the cabin. Keep coming straight!'
The ship loomed larger as it continued to approach. Betsy was on her feet now, watching it. She aimed her gun at it. Daniel almost laughed out loud. Did the woman seriously think that a handgun was going to stop a spaceship?
'Daniel, we have the cabin in sight. Is she pointing a gun at us?'
He chuckled mentally. 'Yep. She's one delusional bitch.'
'Sweetheart, Sam says to stand about ten feet behind the vehicle. Don't worry about her shooting you. I'll kill the bitch first.'
'On my way, Angel.'
He stayed in the brush as long as possible. When Betsy turned to look at him, he could see the surprise in her eyes.
"No! You belong to me now! She's dead! She doesn't love you any more! I showed you the pictures!" She was hysterical; desperate to keep him from leaving her. The gun wavered back and forth in her hand as she aimed it at him.
"Those pictures are of the two of us on Langara. The man she's with is me," Daniel replied calmly.
Betsy looked at him, trying to decide what to do. She raced to his side just seconds before the rings came down to get him.
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