Isabel

Isabel
by
Karen

Chapter One

“Hey Daniel, are you ready for four days of the fresh air and fishing?” Jack asked his friend who was engrossed in new translations from their latest off world adventure.

“Oh, um about that, Jack. I’ll have to take a rain check. General Hammond finally okayed my request for another archaeologist so I’m going to Philadelphia this weekend,” Doctor Daniel Jackson replied as he shuffled his papers, looking for a specific phrase he swore he had only minutes ago.

“Another archaeologist? This isn’t just another excuse to get out of going fishing?”

“Honest, Doctor Miller has an impressive record and we need all the help we can get,” Daniel explained.

“Are you sure? The fish are this big,” Jack said as he motioned his idea of how large the fish were in the lake by his house, though he had never actually caught one.

“My flight leaves tomorrow morning.”

“Ok, but this one better be good looking. You don’t know what you’re missing,” Jack said as he exited the lab, looking for Teal’c to see if he had any plans for the extended weekend.

Daniel took a breath, sat back in his chair and removed his glasses. His eyes were tired, so was the rest of his body. Under three layers of the translations he had been working on was Doctor Isabel Miller’s file. A name he hadn’t thought about in years, a face he hadn’t seen in just as long. The last time he saw her she had dropped off the handouts at his last lecture at the University of Chicago. It was the lecture that had started him down the road to the SGC.

Isabel stood at the lectern, looking upon the board faces of her students. Two hours of lecturing about the grains used in ancient Mesopotamia wasn’t exactly her idea of a good time either. She knew that the class was punishment for not producing enough grant money last semester. She would much rather be working on the translations for some of the artifacts that had come in from the school’s dig in Egypt that waited for her in her office.

As she flipped to the next page in her notes, she heard one of the doors in the back of the auditorium and hoped it wasn’t another student leaving her lecture or even worse, Doctor Evens, the department head coming in to check on her. Isabel glanced at her watch that she placed next to her notes and realized she still had another twenty minutes to go in class.

“This mortar and pestle was discovered at a dig site by the University of Cairo in 1912. Unlike the other grinding tools that were found, this one was unique. The markings on the base are not like the others. Does anyone know why this could be?” she asked the class after changing slides, hoping someone would have some kind of answer.

“Is it newer than the others found?” one student asked.

“No, in fact it is much older,” she replied.

“Is it ceremonial?” another student asked.

“We think so, since it was found in what we think is the chief priest’s living quarters,” she told them. While she was looking for other questions or comments from her students, she saw an unfamiliar face in the rear of the auditorium. That was not Doctor Evens’ style to sit in the shadows in the rear of the room. He would sit down right next to a student and look over their shoulder at the notes they had taken. The figure was more slender than Doctor Evens too. Through the rest of the lecture, Isabel couldn’t help but monitor the unknown visitor.

She reminded her students of the reading assignment for the next class and of the paper that was due in two weeks before dismissing them at the end of the hour. As the students filed out, Isabel gathered her notes while keeping an eye on her unknown visitor. Last time she had a non-University visitor was a reporter wanting an exclusive from her.

“Doctor Miller?” the voice said from the shadows as she clicked her briefcase shut and put her suit jacket back on. She knew the voice right away, a voice she thought she would never hear again nor forget.

“Yes?” she replied, wanting to keep her cool.

The figure rose from his seat and began walking towards her. “I don’t know if you remember me. I’m Doctor Daniel…”

“I know who you are Doctor Jackson,” she replied a little too curt.

“Is there somewhere we can go and talk?” he asked, not sure why she seemed to be in such a fowl mood. Daniel was shocked that she looked even better than the last time he saw her, looking so professional in her pants suit and her beautiful blond hair pulled in an elegant French twist. He was surprised that her students were not hanging around her after class but he was sure her office hour’s appointments were booked solid for weeks.

“I have office hours now. You can call my office if you want to schedule an appointment.”

“I’m only in town for a short period of time.”

“Then I’m sorry to disappoint you Doctor, but I have students waiting for me across campus,” she said as she started walking towards the door, her heals clicking with each step. He followed her.

“How about dinner?” he asked.

Isabel froze.

“I’m sure you have to eat,” he said.

“I… I have research to get done,” she replied as she started walking again.

“I read you paper.”

“You came all the way from… God knows where, to discuss my paper?”

“Yes and to offer you a job.”

“I have a job Dr. Jackson.”

“Hear me out before you make any decisions.”

“Fine, meet me at The Tortilla Press at eight and you can tell me about this job that I’m not going to take.”

“Great, and Isabel, don’t make up your mind until you’ve heard what I have to tell you,” he said much quieter as he looked into her famous green eyes.

It took her a second to break the eye contact but finally stiffened and said, “Regardless of what I did before I entered school, I am a scientist and I deal in facts.” With that, she turned on her dangerously high heal and left him in the classroom.

Daniel sat at The Tortilla Press, a small gourmet Mexican restaurant waiting for Isabel to show. He had waited over twenty minutes for her to arrive but was worth the wait. She made her entrance like she did years ago, all eyes in the restaurant were on Doctor Isabel Miller in her blue cotton sundress as if she was on the catwalks again, her blond hair bouncing with each step as she walked towards him. Daniel wished that he was not offering her a job but were on a date. He had not had much of a social life since he had returned. He could not remember, literally remember, the last time he was on a date.

As Isabel walked to Daniel’s table, she masked her nervousness with her supermodel smile. Once again, she felt like it was eight years ago in her graduate school days. She could see him watching her and the butterflies in her stomach tripled. He looked so good in his sports coat as he waited for her. His hair was much shorter than the last time she had seen him and looked to be in better shape than she could imagine.

“Doctor Miller, thank you for coming,” Daniel said as he stood as she approached the table and shook her hand.

“You did pique my curiosity, not that I am looking to move. I’m up for a major grant.”

“I know. Let me explain,” Daniel told her as he pulled a piece of paper form his jacket. “But before I can, I need you to sign this.”

Isabel looked at the document. “What does the Department of Defense have to do with ancient Egypt?”

“If you sign this, I can explain,” he said as he pushed a pen in her direction.

Isabel carefully read the document. It seemed to be a standard confidentiality agreement. As she read it, two large margaritas were delivered and they placed their dinner orders. After she read it twice, Isabel finally signed it.

“I haven’t joined the Army or anything, have I?” she asked.

Daniel laughed. “No, not exactly,” he said as he put the signed document and his pen back in his jacket pocket. “Now, the reason I have come here is to offer you a job.”

“And I already told you I have a job. Get to the parts you couldn’t tell me earlier and it had better be good. I really should be in the lab.”

“I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t important,” he said as he lowered his voice and leaned towards her, smelling her perfume and driving him crazy. Daniel was glad that she had chosen such a noisy restaurant in the middle of Center City Philadelphia.

“Okay, Dr. Miller. Since I was asked to leave the University, I have been a consultant for the Air Force. I was originally brought in to work on a translation from a relic found in Giza. What I deciphered was the coordinates to a place called Abydos.”

“So, my Egypt 101 class knows about Abydos,” she told him less than impressed. “What does a city from thousands of years ago have to do with you falling off the face of the world for the past eight years?”

“I’m getting to that. I spent a year living on Abydos.”

“What?” She said cutting him off. “You mean to tell me that you went back in time?”

“No, not at all. The coordinates I discovered was for the Stargate. The Stargate took me to a desert planet called Abydos. The Abydonians were descendants of Earth, taken by aliens thousands of years ago.”

“Wait. Not that “aliens built the pyramids” theory again. That got you laughed out of the academic community,” she said sitting back in her chair and taking a large gulp of her drink. “My reputation is precarious enough without bringing in ‘little green men’ into the mix.”

“Actually, they’re gray,” he told her with a smile on his lips. If she weren’t so annoyed with him to try to bring her into his crazy theories, she would be aroused by his presence. All she could think about in graduate school was how she wanted to be with him like this, sharing dinner together, like on a date. But this was not a date, and probably on his expense account too. But back then; he was consumed with his work and his girlfriend at the time, a Doctor Sarah Gardner, who worked with him.

“You’re not making sense Doctor. If you don’t tell me what kind of job you are talking about, I’m out of here,” she said firmly.

“Okay, okay, I’m getting ahead of myself.” Daniel took a drink, knowing the suspense and curiosity was bugging her. “This Stargate that I told you about, creates a wormhole between the point of origin, Earth in our case, and another Stargate on a planet hundreds or thousands of light-years away. The Air Force has sent me to offer you a position in the archeology department at Stargate Command.”

Isabel couldn’t take it any longer and cracked up laughing. “Doctor Peters put you up to this, didn’t he?”

“I know it sounds crazy. It did to me at first too. Come with me to Colorado and let me show you. If after you see that all that I have said is true, then make up your mind.”

“Before I leave this table, I need to see some hard proof that you did not just escape from a mental hospital or are setting me up for some practical joke.”

“What do you need?” he said as he pulled his wallet from his pants. “I’ve got my government contractor’s identification, my pass to Cheyenne Mountain, um, my pass key to the elevator,” Daniel said as he pulled cards out of his wallet like they were playing cards.

Isabel looked at each of the cards under close scrutiny, checking to see if they were fakes. It was Daniel’s turn to sit back and sip his drink. He was intrigued with her examination of the cards, her slim fingers running over the edges, handling them as if they were delicate artifacts. He wondered how her fingers would feel as they ran over his body. With that thought popping into his head, he almost choked on his drink. She looked up at him to make sure he was okay, her mossy green eyes meeting his icy blue ones.

“Does everything seem to be in order?” he asked her as he reached for his cards, still in her hands. Accidentally touching her hands, he could feel an electricity hum between them. The spell was broken with the waiter delivering their food.

“Everything look legitimate. But like I said before, I have a job,” she told him.

“Come to the SGC and let me show you the amazing wonders the galaxy has revealed to us. If you still aren’t interested, then you can come back and teach here, no questions asked as long as you keep what you see confidential. You could be back in time for your Tuesday class.”

“Fine, I could use a break, courtesy of the government,” she resolved as she picked at her food, nervous of what she could be getting herself into accepting his offer.

Chapter Two

Isabel sat in an Air Force staff car as it drove her onto the military base. She was scared and prayed that it didn’t show. Here she was in a car with a man she had not head a word about in over eight years and what he had told her sounded like pure science fiction. Colorado was beautiful this time of the year, early spring. Things were either beginning to turn green or still covered in several inches of white snow, until she reached a highly secured gate inside the base.

“Good afternoon, Doctor Jackson,” the gate guard said as Daniel handed over his passes to the Sergeant with a very large weapon slung over his shoulder.

“Good afternoon, Sergeant,” he replied.

“I need you to sign your guest in, sir,” he said as he handed Daniel a clip board though the window. Daniel quickly filled it out with all the information about Isabel he had committed to memory. “Thank you, and welcome to the mountain Doctor Miller,” the Sergeant said and then paused for a second as he connected the name with her face but before he could say anything, Daniel tapped the driver on the shoulder and the car drove though the gate.

The place was huge. Isabel had seen the Cheyenne Mountain complex on television before but never realized the sheer size of the place.

“Just wait, this is nothing,” Daniel told her as he saw her impressed with the complex.

The car stopped and the driver got out and opened the door for the two doctors. Daniel led her to the huge front door and signed her in at the next guard station. “You need to wear these for the length of your visit. If you decide to stay, we can get you permanent identification, but this will do for now,” he told her as he handed three tags on a lanyard. Isabel instantly put them over her head and flipped her hair over them. Daniel could see the jaw of the airman at the guard station practically drop when he realized who she was.

“Isabel Miller?” the Airman asked, practically drooling over her.

“Doctor Isabel Miller,” she told him firmly, turned her back to him, and let Daniel lead her into the structure.

Daniel couldn’t blame the Airman for drooling over Isabel. And it wasn’t her fault that she looked so incredible in her charcoal suit dress and matching stiletto heals. Earlier in the car, he had to work at not looking her legs or anywhere else on her body.

“So far, it’s just a bunch of gray walls and guys in camouflage uniforms,” she told him as they exited the elevator on level 28.

“Just wait,” he told her as they headed down the hall. “Before we go any further, you need to meet with General Hammond. He will give you final clearance to view the rest of the facility.”

They walked the rest of the way in silence, the click of her heals echoing off the hard walls.

Approaching the General’s door, Daniel knocked on the frame and waited for a response.

“Daniel, how was your trip?” the large, bald Air Force General asked as they entered the office.

“Very good, sir. I would like you to meet Doctor Isabel Miller from the University of Pennsylvania,” Daniel said as he started to do the introductions. “Doctor Miller this is General George Hammond, the commander of Stargate Command.”

“Nice to meet you, Dr. Miller,” the older man said as they shook hands. “Has Dr. Jackson shown you around?”

“No, not yet. But so far, I haven’t seen the big reason for me to leave UPenn yet,” she said with her trademark smile, charming the General.

The General opened his mouth to say something when loud klaxon began to go off and a voice over the PA system said, “Incoming wormhole.”

“I think this is the best way to show you,” the General said as he lead her out of the office to a control room with a large windows overlooking a big gray room with a ramp leading up to a circle that was spinning. Before she could ask what was going on, a large swoosh came out of the center. When things calmed down, in the center of the circle had a pool of shimmering water. Isabel couldn’t take her eyes off it.

“What… what is it?” she asked. Her question was answered when she saw four soldiers emerge from the shimmering water.

“Welcome home SG-8,” General Hammond said into a microphone. The soldiers looked up at the window and the lead man, looked like the leader, saluted him.

Isabel didn’t know what to say as the wormhole disengaged and all went back to normal.

“So what do you think of Stargate Command now, Doctor?” the General said, almost smugly.

“Where…how… where did they come from?” she stammered.

“Basically, they crossed the universe in one step, but we have much more qualified people to explain it,” he told her. “If you want the job here with us, it is yours. Doctor Jackson has recommended you very highly.”

“I…I need to think about this a little,” she said, trying to get herself in control.

“I understand. But because of what we do here, I will need your answer before you leave today.”

“Okay, General,” she said finally getting herself pulled together. “You will have the answer by the end of the day.”

“Very good,” he said as he smiled warmly. “Doctor Jackson, why don’t you show Dr. Miller the rest of the facility.” The shook hands again and Daniel showed Isabel out of the office.

He showed her the gym and locker room, the infirmary and the research offices, glanced by the armory and other scientific labs and finished up in the commissary. Isabel hated cafeteria food but chose a relatively safe sandwich and a cup of coffee while Daniel looked as if he hadn’t eaten all day.

“Why didn’t you tell me all of this before?” she asked.

“Would you have believed me?” he replied from across the table.

“Okay, well I believe you now and I am interested, but it’s got to be more than just that… circle thing to persuade me to change jobs.”

“Fine, you would be a government contractor, making more money than you do at the University. Full benefits, all the standard stuff. We even have an on site medical care.”

“Sounds standard, what about research facilities?” she asked.

“Top notch, you saw that. And here you don’t need to worry about grants and publishing.”

“Because I can’t publish to the outside world,” she said over the top of her coffee cup.

“There is that,” he said smiling. “Hey Teal’c, come join us,” he said to the large jaffa. Teal’c took a seat next to Daniel and looked at the woman across the table.

“Teal’c, this is Doctor Isabel Miller, our newest archaeologist,” he told his friend. “Dr. Miller, this is Teal’c.”

“Very nice to meet you Teal’c,” she said as she extended her hand to the large man.

“Indeed, DoctorMiller. It is always nice to meet the new additions to the personnel here. But if you are new to here, why does O’Neill have your photograph in his locker?” Teal’c asked.

Daniel almost snarffed his coffee out his nose. “Who’s O’Neill?” she asked very intrigued with the large black man with a golden seal on his forehead.

“He is the commander of SG-1,” Teal’c responded.

“Okay, well, the picture is from a past life,” she explained not sure by what he meant by SG-1.

Teal’c raised his eyebrow at her, as if he did not understand.

“Do you want the job?” Daniel asked, trying to distract her.

“I have until the end of today, don’t I?” she asked.

“Yes, but there is a lot of work to be done and I’m sure General Hammond doesn’t want you to know all of our secrets if you don’t plan on staying with us,” Daniel told her.

“If you put it that way, then I guess I’ll stay,” she said. “Where do I sign up? When do I get to go through the gate thing?”

“You have not been assigned to an SG team?” Teal’c asked.

“I haven’t even signed any contracts and I still trying to figure out exactly why I’m here.”

“Why would you not want to assist the Tauri?”

“The what?” she asked.

“Teal’c, I haven’t fully briefed Dr. Miller yet on the whole situation here,” Daniel told him.

“There’s more?” she asked, miffed that he had not been completely forthright with her but amazed that there could possibly be more to the fantastic tale.

“There’s a lot to tell and until you sign your contracts, we have to keep some things quiet for international security.”

“What a way to bate the hook, Dr. Jackson,” she said smiling. “Lets get the paperwork done so I can get up to speed.”

Daniel smiled, knowing that she would be a welcomed addition to the department. She was a brilliant scientist. But when she smiled at Teal’c an odd feeling came across him. He didn’t want her to smile at his friend, or anyone else for that matter, the way she smiled at him.

Isabel spent the majority of the day filling out paperwork. There was no more talk about the secrets that had been hinted at and her curiosity was driving her insane. After Daniel had deposited her in the administrative office, much like the civilian human resources office, he had disappeared for several hours. Swearing that her hand was about to fall off due to all the forms that had to be filled out, she followed a very young blond airman who if she was ten years younger would be perfect for her, to her temporary quarters. The way the administrative officer, a Captain, told her about the temporary housing sounded like they were doing a favor but now that she thought about it, it sounded more like they wanted to keep an eye on her for a while to make sure she wasn’t a security threat.

Her room was pretty nice, despite the gray walls and hard floor. The bed looked fairly comfortable and her bags that she had left in the staff car had been delivered. Isabel wondered how she was going to get back to her apartment in Philadelphia to get the rest of her things. She had only planned to stay the weekend, not expecting that she was going to stay longer than a few days. Up until she had seen the Stargate, Isabel thought that she was just going to have a little trip on the government’s bill. But after she saw four people emerge from it, her curiosity changed her mind. The way Daniel had spoken about it, the ‘gate’ led to other worlds, many with descendants of Earthlings. There were so many words and terms used, in addition to the military terms, that she was thoroughly confused. Now she had more questions than answers. Like, who are the Tauri, why did that Teal’c guy have that gold thing on his forehead and did he have a last name.

“Hey Daniel, you missed a great trip,” Jack said has he strolled into his friend’s lab.

“Catch any fish?” Daniel teased back.

“Uh, no, almost. How was Philadelphia?”

“Not bad. Doctor Miller has joined us and once she is up to speed, I think she’ll be very useful. Her specialty is reconstructing cultures, figuring out how they lived and why they did things.”

“Cool, so when do I meet this new ‘scientist’?” he asked.

“How about right now,” a voice said from the door. “Doctor Jackson, I was wondering if you could help me translate this one phrase?” she asked, walking into his office carrying several photographs in one hand, not wearing a military uniform but a very sharp suit with a skirt that showed off her longer than life legs.

“Sure, uh, Doctor Miller, meet Colonel Jack O’Neill, Jack this is Doctor…”

“Isabel Miller,” Jack finished as his jaw dropped when he saw her.

“Very nice to meet you Colonel,” she said as she dropped her photographs on the nearby workbench and went to shake his hand.

“I know Daniel said he was getting a new archaeologist, but he never said it would be you. How do you know Daniel?”

“I was a grad student when he was at Chicago. I was one of the slave interns for the department,” she told him as they shook hands, flashing her famous smile.

“Welcome to Stargate Command,” he said, smiling at her.

“Thanks. I feel so out of the loop here. I’ve never even been on a military base before but I’m catching on fast.”

Daniel didn’t like the way Jack was looking at her, practically drooling over her. She was gorgeous, probably more so now. His body responded to her every time she walked into the room but fought against it because she seemed so completely unapproachable, even more so now that her beauty had aged her like a fine wine. She hadn’t even called him Daniel in the four days since he went to see her, it was always Doctor Jackson.

“Well, I’ll let you two kids get back to work,” Jack said, not sure what exactly was going on between the two of them.

“Very nice to meet you… uh, should I call you Colonel?” she asked.

“Jack is fine,” he replied as he winked at her.

“Then I’ll see you around, Jack,” she replied, flirting back.

“Don’t let Danny work you too hard.”

“I won’t,” she replied, beginning to realize that Daniel wasn’t really liking the exchange going on between the two of them.

Jack winked at her again and turned on his heal, leaving the office with Isabel smiling after him.

“You said that you needed help with a translation?” Daniel asked.

“Oh, yes, here,” she said as she brought over the photographs she had with her. “So that was the Colonel O’Neill that Tea’c was talking about.”

“Yeah, but it’s Teal’c,” he said, correcting her as if she was a student again.

“Cut me some slack, Doctor. I’ve been here not even twenty-four hours. Not only do I have to learn what the military structure is, but all these aliens. I’ve gotten this entire survey translated except for this one passage. I was hoping that you could help. The last anthropologist who worked on this spent three weeks and accomplished nothing.”

Daniel took the sheets from her and began to look at the passage. “It looks like a derivation of ancient Sumerian.”

“Yes, that’s what I thought at first. But look here,” she said pointing to two groupings of symbols. “If this phrase before this one says, peace and prosperity was destroyed by the visitors from the chappi. The only thing I recognize in this part is the words slavery and conquest. What else was found on this site with these ‘documents’?”

“I really haven’t seen anything like this before but the story sounds all to familiar. The chappi is what others call the Stargate. And it sounds like the goul’d came and conquered the planet, enslaving the local inhabitants as incubators of their young or serving as hosts.”

“Okay, I read your reports on the Goul’d. The parasitic race that seem to be the bane of everyone else’s existence, including ours now.”

“Exactly,” Daniel said smiling, knowing that she was catching on very quickly.

“Have you seen any of these goul’d?” she asked, leaning closer to him.

“Yes,” he said flatly.

“It sounds too amazing to be true.”

“It is all true. We’ve fought against them and have been lucky most of the time. We have allies and friends that are all trying to destroy them.”

“Like who, these guys?” she asked, pointing at the photographs she had brought in.

“No, the civilization that left these behind has been gone for centuries. I’m sure you’ll hear the names Asguard and Tokra before too long, plus the rebel jaffa.”

“Rebel jaffa?”

“On your first day here, in the cafeteria, you met Teal’c?”

“Big guy, gold thing on his head?”

“Yes, he is one of them. Left his family to come over to our side.”

“Wow, is his family… okay?” she asked with concern.

“His son is training with Master Bra’tac and his wife died a while back.”

“Because of his defection?”

“Not really. More of a casualty of war.”

“So sad. And you, an archaeologist fits in how? I mean, you said you were on the SG-1 team with an alien who defected and a military man. Its quite an odd pairing.”

“There’s also Major Sam Carter. I would have to say I am the diplomat of the team, we all have are parts to play.”

“Do you go…through the…”

“Stargate, and yes we go off world often,” Daniel replied.

Isabel shook her head, trying to understand it all. “It’s just so different here. Somedays I think my head is going to explode and I’ve only been here a day.”

“I know the feeling,” he said smiling at her. “I think you’ll fit in quickly though.”

“Thanks,” she smiled back at him. “I’d better get back to work. Thanks for your help, Doctor Jackson,” she said as she picked up her photos. “See ya’ around campus Doc,” Isabel said over her shoulder as she left the office, the sound of her heals getting more and more distant.

Chapter Three

“Goodness, what happened to you?” Isabel asked when she saw Daniel enter her office several weeks later.

“Nice to see you too. Long story,” he replied sounding tired and his left arm in a sling. “I’ve got something for you.”

Isabel’s eyes lit up as she saw the thick manila folder and several cd’s in his good hand and placed it on her workbench.

“Take a look at this stuff that I brought back from P3-X34,” he said.

She stood next to him as he began to show her the photographs from his recent adventure. They were both immersed in the findings that time slipped away from them.

Isabel took a step back from the table as she stretched her back before she looked at her watch. “Oh, my, I didn’t realize that it was so late.”

“What time is it?” Daniel asked as he removed his glasses and rubbed his eyes with the back of his hand.

“Three a.m. I have a briefing in five hours with the General and SG-12. I haven’t finished the presentation yet.”

“Do you need some help?” he asked feeling a little bad distracting her.

“Na, just a few gallons of coffee. I’ll crash after the presentation. Luckily I don’t have far to go.”

“You found a place?”

“No, still in the temporary quarters here. Level 24. I don’t know when I’ll get a chance to look. I can count on one hand how many times I’ve seen daylight since I came here. Not that I’m complaining, everything I need is right here.”

“It feels like I rarely get out of here too,” he said. “I’d better let you get to work.”

“Thanks,” she said as he started to leave the office. “Doctor Jackson?” she called after him. Daniel turned to face her. “You never told me how you hurt your arm.”

“Another time, Doctor Miller, another time,” he said smiling. He looked at her for a second and then left her office. Isabel smiled after him and then turned back to her work.

“Isabel,” Jack called as he saw her walking out of the briefing room later that day. “Hey, what ch’ up to?”

“Oh, Jack. Uh, not much. Just got done briefing SG-12. They’re doing some really interesting preliminary work on ruins for me.”

“So they’re doing recon for you?” he asked.

“Yes, recon. It’s going to take me forever to learn all these military terms.” She laughed. “For someone who is supposedly an expert in foreign cultures, you would think I would understand more of the military culture by now.”

“I’d be happy to help you out,” Jack said, eyes twinkling.

“That would be nice, but right now I need to get to some sleep. I spent most of the night with Doctor Jackson and the goodies he brought back with him.”

“How about dinner, later tonight?”

“Sure, Jack, anything but cafeteria food,” she said lightly as she reached the elevator.

“I’ll pick you up at the surface around nineteen hundred… oops, sorry, seven o’clock.”

“Sounds good, Jack. Thanks, I’ll see you then,” she said as she stepped into the elevator.

Jack watched the doors close and walked away with a definite spring in his step.

“Jack, wait up,” Daniel said as he picked up his step to meet up his friend. “You seem to be in a good mood.”

“Yeah, I guess I am. How’s the arm?”

“Still hurts, but glad to be out of the infirmary.”

“Heard you spent the night with Isabel?” Jack teased.

Daniel faltered a little. “I showed her what we brought back from P3-X34. How did you know I showed them to Doctor Miller?”

“She told me right after I asked her to dinner,” Jack chuckled.

“You asked her out on a date?”

“Don’t sound so surprised. I guess not all archaeologists stay late every night at work.” Jack laughed and clapped his friend on his good shoulder. “Don’t worry, I’ll have her home before curfew, Dad.”

Daniel laughed a little, hoping it hid his jealousy. Over the past few weeks since her arrival, he had gotten to know Isabel much better than when they were in Chicago. Back then he thought of her as a celebrity trying to play at being smart, trying to prove to the world that she was more than a pretty face. Ever since he read her most recent published paper, he was enlightened to how brilliant she really was and thought she would be a valuable member to the archaeological team. But ever since he saw her, Daniel wasn’t acting completely like an archaeologist, he was acting like a man.

“So why all the abbreviations? DHD, ETA, SP, HFMIC, all that stuff?” she asked as she sipped the last of her wine.

“It makes things easier,” Jack told her from across the table.

“For who?”

“Don’t worry about it. You’ll catch on.”

“I guess. It’s just so new. All the regulations and rules you guys have to follow. I don’t know how you career guys do it.”

“We just do. I don’t know how but we just do.”

“I’m just glad to be a civilian.”

“So what’s going with you and Daniel? Why so formal?”

“What do you mean?”

“You always call him Doctor. I’m not even that formal with Hammond.”

“He was on staff while I was doing my Masters, that’s where we met,” she said avoiding his eyes.

“But there’s more to that, isn’t there?”

“He didn’t take me seriously. I had just finished my contracts with Sports Illustrated, so my face was all over the place. The SI swimsuit issue had been out for about three weeks. Okay, so picture this. I walk into my first day of interning in a trendy, tailored suit, and I mistake Doctor Jackson for one of the under-grads.”

Jack started to laugh. “Oh, I bet he loved that.”

“Wait there’s more. He was so mad at me and he got all flustered… and then the rest of the interns walked in… and thought I was faculty and he was one of the interns.”

They were both laughing so hard that it took a few minutes for them to calm down.

“But you like him,” he said.

“Since we’ve been on equal ground, I have enjoyed working with Doctor Jackson.”

“That sounds like a very practiced answer. Listen, you don’t need to keep it from me. I see how you look at him.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m still expecting him to snap on me like…” she said, dropping off in mid sentence.

“Like what?” he asked.

“Like the last time I saw him.”

“What happened? It usually takes a lot for him to snap.”

“It doesn’t matter, now does it. And I believe you have an early meeting with General Hammond,” she said, wanting to stop the line of conversation.

Back at the surface entrance to “the Mountain”, Jack walked Isabel inside, away from prying eyes.

“I had fun tonight. This was the first night off I had since I got here, thanks,” she said as she got closer to Jack.

“Well, I hope that I helped you with the foreign culture you have been submerged in.”

“Oh, most defiantly. Thanks, Jack, for everything,” she said and placed a kiss on his lips. He placed on hand on her hip and one on her cheek as he deepened the kiss. When they pulled back, they looked into each other’s eyes and started laughing.

“I don’t mean to be blunt,” he started, still laughing.

“Yes, you do,” she replied, laughing just as hard.

“But that kiss, well it felt like I was kissing my sister.”

“Yeah, I felt like I was kissing my brother. And I don’t even have a brother.”

“And I don’t have a sister,” he said just beginning to calm down.

“I had fun tonight, Jack, I really did.”

“Me too. Say, I have hockey tickets, next time I’m on world, you should come.”

“Sure, let me know.” Isabel reached up and gave Jack a hug and a kiss on the cheek. “And thanks again.”

“I’m always happy to help a retired supermodel acclimate to her new surroundings,” he said with a grin.

Isabel giggled and said, “Good night.”

“Good night,” he responded and kissed her on the forehead. Isabel smiled and the two new friends parted ways.

“You wanted to see me General?” Isabel said as she entered his office.

“Yes, Doctor Miller. Please have a seat,” he instructed. Once seated he continued. “I hate to do this to you, but we have a little problem.”

“Is it something I did, sir?” she asked, feeling as if she was sitting in the Principal’s office.

“No, not at all. It’s just that I was just informed that SG-9 is bringing three hundred refugees here and we are running out of room.”

“What do you need me to do?” she asked concerned for both herself and the refugees.

“Well, I hate to do this to you, but we need the space. I can arrange other housing for you, but we need your room.”

“No problem, sir. I’ll get the things I have here. Most of my things are still in storage anyway. I have been meaning to find something a little less ‘institutional’ anyway,” she said smiling, hoping to hide her nervousness.

“Thank you for understanding, Isabel. Please make sure personnel knows where we can reach you off base. Take a few days off to get settled.”

“Sure, now if you will excuse me…” Isabel rose and shook hands with the General before striding out of the office.

Isabel had no clue where she was going when she was done with her shift as she quickly packed her belongings and brought her bags down to her office so she could get back to work.

“Doctor Miller?” Daniel asked as he gently touched Isabel’s silk covered shoulder, her head resting on the workbench, asleep.

She quickly sat up, trying to gather her bearings. “Oh, I’m sorry, Doctor Jackson. I didn’t mean to fall asleep. What time is it anyway?”

“Just after midnight. You should head off to your quarters,” he suggested.

“No can do, Doctor,” she said as she stood and stretched her back.

“What do you mean?” he asked as he watched her body move under the silk blouse and linen skirt.

“Got bumped from base housing by three hundred refugees. Do you know a hotel in the area?”

“No hotels worth staying in around here and you look too tired to drive anyway. If you want, you can stay at my place until you find something.”

“I couldn’t put you to that kind of trouble.”

“I’ve got a guest room and I’m never home anyway.”

“I couldn’t.”

“Why not?”

“Because, I don’t want you to go to any trouble.”

“I already said that it wouldn’t be. You’re exhausted.”

“Fine, but only one night. I’m off tomorrow and I’ll find a place then,” she said with resolve, shocked that she was agreeing to go with him.

As they walked out to his car, Isabel still couldn’t believe what she was doing.

Isabel stretched before she opened her eyes. The feel of the Egyptian cotton sheets felt almost like silk against her skin. It took her a second to realize where she was and felt embarrassed by how good she felt. The events from the previous day ran through her head and now she was in the guest bed of Doctor Jackson.

As she sat up in bed, she could smell the coffee from the kitchen and hear noises of activity on the floor below her. Isabel pulled back the covers and put her silk robe over her pajama pants and tank top before she quickly made her bed. After visiting the bathroom, she headed downstairs to face the music.

She entered the kitchen to see Daniel sitting at the kitchen table, switching between writing in a journal and reading in a larger book. He looked so enticing in a t-shirt and sweat pants.

“Morning,” she said as she stepped into the kitchen.

Daniel looked startled, almost as if he had forgotten she had stayed the night. “Oh, morning. I hope you slept well. There’s coffee there, help yourself.”

“Yes, thank you,” Isabel said as she crossed the room to the coffee pot. “Thank you again for the place to crash.”

“No problem,” he said as his attention turned back to the books in front of him.

“What are you working on?” she asked after her first sip of liquid energy.

“A translation, a very old language.”

“Cool, may I?” she asked as she approached the table and leaned over his shoulder. Her long, blond hair falling over her shoulder and tickled his bare arm.

As he began to explain the translation of the table, he couldn’t help but enjoy how close she was to him. Traces of her perfume mixed with the aroma of coffee seemed to heighten all of his senses.

“So you said the Goul’d were also after this. What is it?”

“We think it’s the location to the Ancient’s Lost City.”

“And the key to defeating the Goul’d once and for all.”

“Exactly,” he told her, smiling up at her and realizing how close she was to him. It would just take him leaning over just a bit if he wanted to kiss her, not that his body could move with the knowledge that just her thin tank top separated him from her bare skin, wondering if she was still had the perfect body he had seen in the magazines.

“Any idea where it could be?” she said as she put her cup down so that she didn’t spill it.

“Not yet. We initially thought it pointed to this one planet, Vis Uban.”

“What was found there? Another tablet, like a scavenger hunt?” she asked as she placed her hand on his shoulder blade as she glanced over his notes.

“No, they found… me.”

“What? I thought you’ve been working at the SGC all this time. How did you get there?” she asked pulling back from him.

“It’s a very long story and I can’t remember too much about it, but I was found on the planet with no memory of how I got there or who I was.”

“Sounds like a fantastic story.”

“Sometimes fact is stranger than fiction.”

“So you got your memory back?”

“Most of it. Everything from the time I disappeared until I turned up on Vis Uban is very hazy at best.”

“Just when I start to get a grip on things here, something else throws me a curve ball. I’m just glad Jack helped me with some of the military lingo. He’s a real nice guy.”

“He can be,” Daniel said as he felt a twinge of jealousy.

Before he could complete his thought, Daniel’s phone began to ring. By the caller ID, he could tell it was Jack, speak of the devil.

“Daniel, you free tonight?” Jack asked.

“Uh, why?” Daniel asked cautiously.

“I’ve got hockey tickets to tonight’s game.”

“Oh, okay then.”

“Cool. By the way, do you know where Isabel is staying? Rumor is that she got booted out of her quarters because of the refugees.”

“Uh, yeah. She’s here.”

“Really? Knew it,” Jack said jokingly.

“Knew what?”

“Oh nothing. Can I talk to her then?”

Daniel handed over the phone to her.

“Why are you staying at Daniel’s?” Jack asked right away.

“Long story, but it hinges around me working too late.”

“Okay,” he said skeptically. “Anyway, I’ve got tickets to the hockey game tonight. Wanna come?”

“Sure.

“Cool, so tell Daniel we’ll pick you guys up at eighteen hundred.”

“That’s six, right?”

“Yup. Told you’d get it. See ya then and remind Danny to wear something warm.”

“Sure thing,” she said smiling into the phone at him.

They hung up and Isabel picked up her coffee, which had now turned cold.

“Well, I’d better get to looking for a new apartment or something. Where can you recommend?”

“Uh, it’s a bit hard to find a place, but down town is a Realtor that can help. I’ll get her name for you.”

“Thanks and thanks again for giving me a place to crash.”

“Stay as long as you need to. There’s more than enough room.”

“Thanks, Doctor Jackson,” she said as she placed a peck on his cheek and left the kitchen to get ready.

Daniel sat at the table for another second, the feel of her lips still on his cheek.

“How was house hunting?” Daniel asked when he saw Isabel enter the house through the back door. She looked tired, more tired than when she was working.

“The Realtor said she had nothing. I could have a six-bedroom mansion or a undeveloped plot of land, but there is nothing in between. She said she would call me if something came by her, but didn’t think that she would hear anything until late this month. Sorry to put you out, but if you don’t mind…”

“Not a problem, Doctor Miller. I’ll be going off world next week so it would be nice to have someone looking after the place while I’m away.”

“Um, okay. You do have a nice place. What’s the rent?”

“Spit the utilities and buy the food and I’ll take care of the rest,” he suggested.

“Uh, okay if you’re sure.”

“I wouldn’t had offered if I wasn’t sure.”

“Um, okay. Then I guess we have a deal, Doctor Jackson.”

“I guess we do, Doctor Miller.”

“Come on, Issy. The ice is going to melt if we have to wait any longer,” Jack yelled up the stairs and the three men waited for her.

“Keep your jersey on, Jack,” she called as she came down the stairs, wearing tight weathered boot cut jeans, a v-neck sweater that hugged her curves and spiky black boots.

“Finally,” he said in a mock-exasperated voice.

“And don’t call me Issy.”

“Sure thing… Issy,” he said. Isabel responded with a light swat on his arm.

The four of them left Daniel’s house and headed out to Jack’s big black Ford F-150. Teal’c and Isabel climbed in the back bucket seat, while Jack and Daniel sat in the front.

“So who’s playing tonight, Jack?” Daniel asked once they were all underway.

“Colorado Avalanche against the Lightning,” Jack replied.

“Philadelphia Lightning?” Isabel asked, making sure she heard things correctly.

“One in the same,” Jack told her.

“I used to date the captain, Connor McNutly, a few years back.”

Daniel, who had been fiddling with the vents, froze.

“Let me call him and maybe we can get into the locker room after the game.”

“Wait, you can really do that?” Jack asked, sounding like he was a kid who had just been told he was getting a private audience with Santa.

“Yeah, if I can get through,” she told him as she pulled a cell phone from her purse and pressed the auto dial.

“Connor?” she asked as someone picked up the phone on the other end.

“Yes,” the familiar voice said.

“It’s Isabel.”

“Iss, how are you. I’d love to talk but I’m just about to get dressed for the game.”

“I know and I’m sorry. If I had known earlier, I would have called then. I just so happen to be on my way to the game.”

“Iss, its not a home game.”

“I know.”

“What are you doing in Colorado? I thought you worked for U of P.”

“I did, but it’s a long story. I’m doing some independent contractor work out here. The reason I called was to see if my friends and I could come visit in the locker room after the game.”

“Sure, but with the new security measures I need names to go on the list.”

“No problem, well there’s me, Jack O’Neill, Doctor Daniel Jackson and… just a second,” she said as she covered the phone. “Uh, Teal’c, what’s your last name?”

“I do not have one but O’Neill has introduced me as Murry on several occasions,” he told her stoically.

She smiled at him and went back to her phone conversation. “and Murry Teal’c.”

“Okay Isabel. I’ll get you on the list.”

“Thanks Con. I’ll let you go. Kick butt tonight because I’m here with three Avalanche fans.”

“Don’t tell me you’re converting.”

“Never, you know where my heart always will be,” she teased back. “Give my best to Bobbi.”

“You bet, see ya then,” he said.

“Later Connor,” she replied and then hung up the phone. As she put her phone away, she turned to the guys in the cab. “Not a problem.”

“Cool,” Jack said, clearly excited.

“You dated Connor McNutly?” Daniel asked.

“For a few months. Nice guy. I dated him about a year before he met his wife.”

“She’s on the team too, right?” Jack asked.

“Yup, and she’s very good so you guys are probably going to loose tonight,” she laughed.

Daniel didn’t like the idea that he was going to meet one of her ex-boyfriends. Knowing from Jack that Connor had the reputation as a real ladies man, god knows how many times hat he got his hands on her perfect body. He didn’t know what had gotten into himself. They were work colleges and now he offered to become roommates, this was so unlike the normal, practical Daniel he thought he was.

Chapter Four

At the second intermission, Jack and Daniel left on a beer run, leaving Isabel alone with Teal’c for the first time.

“DoctorMiller, how is it that you know the Captain of a hockey team and never explained your former life fully.”

“Teal’c, before I went off to graduate school, I was a fashion model for a few years. I never intended to do it, but it helped pay the tuition bills.”

“That would explain why O’Neill has your picture in his locker.”

“Exactly. I haven’t done any work for many years and its gotten a bit easier to be taken seriously.”

“Why would people not take you seriously?”

“Because many people think that someone with a pretty face can think for themselves. Supermodel and archaeologist don’t exactly go hand in hand.”

“DoctorJackson would not have offered you employment if he did not think you were capable of the position.”

“I know, it’s just an image that is hard to shake,” she said as Jack and Daniel returned with their drinks, three beers and a water.

The game went down to the last seconds, tied 1-1 until Bobbi scored. Isabel jumped to her feet as she scored and threw her arms around Jack in celebration. She had fun rubbing in the win, but all was forgiven when they headed down to the locker room.

“Iss, how are you?” Connor said when he saw his old friend. “You look terrific.” He wrapped his sweaty arms around her in a huge bear hug, still wearing his hockey pants with pads and a very sweaty t-shirt that he had worn under his sweater and kissed her on her cheek and then wrapped his arm around her small waist.

“Very good, thanks. Con, I’d like you to meet my friends, Jack, Murry and Doc… Daniel. Guys, needless to say, this is Connor McNutly. Great game today.”

The men all exchanged handshakes with the professional athlete. Daniel couldn’t help but feel small in the presence of the man who probably knew Isabel intimately.

“Connor?” a female’s voice said from behind him. A huge smile came across his face as he turned to see his wife walking towards them in a perfectly tailored suit, much like what Isabel normally wore to work.

“Bobbi, you remember Isabel,” he said, quickly wrapping an arm around his wife’s waist, keeping her close to him.

“Great game, Bobbi,” Isabel said as the two women embraced.

“Glad you could make it. I was surprised when Connor told me you would be at tonight’s game.”

“I was glad to see you guys too. I’d like you to meet my friends, Jack, Murry and Daniel.”

“Very nice to meet you,” Bobbi said as she shook the men’s hands.

Daniel calmed down a bit, seeing Connor with his wife, but still felt uneasy. The two athletes gave their visitors a tour of the locker room, introduced them to some of the players and loaded them up with all kinds of Lightning equipment. Many of the players already seemed very friendly with her.

Due to their travel schedule, they could not go out for a meal or even a drink so Isabel said good-bye to her friends as they all departed the stadium and watched them climb onto the team bus.

“That was so cool,” Jack said as they walked back to his truck, playing with the game stick, autographed by several members of the team.

“Indeed. You have some interesting friends, DoctorMiller,” Teal’c told her.

“I’m glad you guys enjoyed yourselves. Now I hope you don’t go expecting this with every visiting team that rolls into town. Connor’s the only ‘active’ celebrity that I know.”

Jack laughed as they all climbed into the truck for the ride home.

Jack dropped Daniel and Isabel off at his house. Daniel had been quiet for most of the evening and Isabel had noticed.

“Is your shoulder bothering you?” she asked once they were inside.

“A little, why do you ask?”

“You were awfully quiet, that’s all.”

“Tired I guess. I’ve got some work to get done.”

“Okay, well, I’ll get settled in. Good night Doctor Jackson,” she said as she headed up to her room for the night.

Inside her room, Isabel sat down on the bed, trying to figure out Daniel. He seemed fine until she had mentioned Connor. She figured that he was still resentful of her previous employment. If only she could confront him on why he didn’t seem to approve of her being a model before coming back to school. If he didn’t like her, then why did he invite her to live under his roof. His offer seemed very innocent but it felt like he really tried to convince her to stay. She loved staying at his house, it was beautifully decorated with his ‘finds’ from his travels. Not wanting to gawk, she was waiting for Daniel to go ‘off world’ so she could truly study them.

“Doctor Jackson, Doctor Jackson,” Isabel said as she tried to wake him up. Daniel was having a nightmare, and a rather bad one at the sounds he was making. “Doctor,” she said as she gently shook his bare shoulder. “Daniel, Daniel, wake up, you’re have a nightmare.”

Suddenly his blue eyes popped open and he sat up.

Slightly relieved, she said, “Daniel, you were having a bad dream. Are you okay?”

He scrubbed his eyes and turned on the light before grabbing his glasses. He was truly shocked to see Isabel sitting on his bed in a white silk nightgown, her blond hair flowing over her shoulder and looking like an angel or an ancient as she hovered over him as she sat on his bed. “You… you called me Daniel.”

“I was worried and I didn’t know how else to reach you.”

“You were worried… about me?”

“Yes, it sounded like a real bad nightmare. Do you want to talk about it?” she said softly as she touched his bare arm. She realized that he was naked, at least from the waist up. Suddenly, the room seemed hotter and the bed smaller.

“Um, it wasn’t really a nightmare. More like reliving old horrors.”

“I know what that can be like.”

“The glamorous world of modeling? That can’t be the same.”

“I don’t know what you’ve been through, but I’ve seen some pretty bad things happen.”

“Anyone die?” he asked.

“Yes, one of my roommates starved herself to death, another one overdosed. That was when I told my agent no more contracts. I sent in my application to grad school and finished out the commitments that still needed to be honored,” she told him.

“Doesn’t sound so glamorous.”

“Yeah, it was all about the illusion,” she said as she thought about all her friends that she had lost or had been destroyed from the pressures. “Who’s that? She’s beautiful,” Isabel asked when she saw a photograph of a very exotic looking woman.

“Sha’re. She’s… my wife.”

“You’re married?” she asked, not sure she should be jealous, mad or happy for him.

“She died.”

“Oh… Was that what your nightmare was about?”

“Kind of.”

“Sometimes it helps to tell someone, Daniel.”

“I like it when you call me Daniel,” he said as he briefly touched her hand and then lay back against the head of the bed, preparing himself to tell her the whole thing. “Remember I told you I went to Abydos? Well, Abydos was the first gate address that was successfully dialed. That was basically right after I was ousted from the academic community. I convinced General West that I had to go with the team, which was led by Jack. On the other side, we were greeted by the locals, who thought I was a God or at least his messenger and the chief of the tribe presented his only daughter to me.”

“She was a gift?” she said, not able to picture him accepting a gift like that.

“Yes, but I didn’t realized it until it was too late. She would have lost all her honor I had returned her to her father, so we pretended for a while. It didn’t take long for us to fall in love and when Jack and the rest of the team left, I stayed behind.”

“Sounds like a beautiful love story. But something tells me that all did not end up happily ever after.”

“Yeah, you could say that,” he said a bitterly. Isabel laid her hand on his arm as she moved closer to him so that she was right next to him, their legs touching through his blankets.

“So what happened? It must have been bad if you are here and not there with her.”

“About a year later, Aphophis came through the Stargate and took both her and her young brother. They took them to be hosts for the Goul’d. Ammonet took over Sha’re and Klorel was in Skaara.”

“Oh,” she relied, her heart breaking for his loss.

“I came back and joined SG-1 in the hopes that I would find her and discover a way to remove the Goul’d inside of her. We were successful with her brother, Skaara. But…”

“Not with her.”

“There’s more,” he continued, unable to stop telling his story to her. He could see her genuine concern for him and it made him feel a little better. “A year later, I got a message from Kusuf, my father in law, and I returned to Abydos. When I got there, Sha’re was there, pregnant.”

“Let me guess, the child was not yours.”

Daniel nodded. “Ammonet and Aphosis had, um, created a Harcesis child.”

“What kind of child is that?”

“A Harcesis is created when the hosts… mate. The result is the child retains all the genetic memory of their parents but without the Gou’ld inside. While she was pregnant, Ammonet was had gone into a kind of hibernation or else she would have killed the unborn child.”

“Okay, I think you’ve trumped my stories of drug abuse and deadly eating disorders,” she said with only a hint of levity.

“Sha’re went into labor. We were afraid that once the child was born, Ammonet would wake up. Sha’re begged me to take her child, to keep him safe. Many Goul’d, not just the parents, would be after him. I brought Shifu into the world and saw Ammonet wake up. Teal’c rendered her unconscious and told her that Heru-ur, another rival system lord, stole the child. I gave the baby to his grandfather, who promised to keep him safe. A year later, Ammonet came looking for Shifu but found me instead. She used her ribbon device on me, but before she killed me, Teal’c shot her with his staff weapon, killing both Ammonet and Sha’re.”

Isabel was moved by Daniel’s story as she couldn’t help but to let a tear fall from her eye. “I… I can’t even imagine how hard it was for you. What strength to survive all that and still continue.”

“After Sha’re died, I quit. Wanted to give up. But she did not let me,” Daniel said as he wiped away her tear gently with his thumb. She wanted to nuzzle his hand but was too scared to move.

“How could she? You said she died.”

“During the seconds I was affected by the ribbon device, Sha’re communicated through it and told me to keep her son safe and to forgive Teal’c for what he had to do.”

“Sha’re sounded like an incredible woman. She must have loved you very much,” she said as another pair of tears fell from her eyes.

“I have never seen anyone so moved by her story,” Daniel said as he wiped away her fresh tears.

“How could you not be,” Isabel replied as she reached up to his hand. The movement to hold him was so natural that she hadn’t realized that she had done it until she realized that everything felt so comforting. “What happened to her child?”

“I found him on another planet, being care for by an order of monks who worshiped a being called Osa Desala that could be translated to ‘Mother Nature’. He was well cared for and Osa Desala was able to protect him. It was only later that I realized that Osa Desala was one of the Ancients.”

“When did you realize that?”

“Right before I de-ascended.”

“De-ascended from what?” she asked, still holding his hand but now their intertwined hands rested on their thighs as they sat there facing each other.

“I was with the Ancients, on a higher plain of existence. Or at least I was until I turned up on Vis Uban.”

“That planet you told me about this morning.”

“Right.”

“How did you ascend in the first place?”

“I was on another planet where they were about to have a catastrophic naquadria reactor meltdown. It would have easily destroyed their continent and possibly their world.”

“What did you do? Don’t tell me you pulled a Spock?”

“A what?”

“In the second Star Trek movie, Spock sacrificed himself to keep the ship from blowing up by going into the reactor to prevent a melt…down,” she said slower, realized that’s exactly what he must have done.

“I guess so. I was exposed to enough radiation that my body did die, but Osa helped my spirit to ascend.”

Isabel was in complete disbelief as she turned from him and let go of his hand. She felt horrible for all the less than honorable thoughts she had of him over the years since their last meeting.

“Isabel, I know it’s a lot,” he said, and he came up behind her, his bare chest against her silk covered back, his fingers skimmed her bare arms. “Why are you trembling?”

She couldn’t keep her tears back, but wept silently. “I… I had no idea.”

“No one outside of the SGC knows.”

“All these years, I… I thought you were a coward, running from your academic failings. But now I know that you were saving worlds and mankind as we know it.”

“I can understand why you though that way. I treated you poorly when you were an intern and then literally fell off the face of the earth.”

“Still. I should had thought better of you.”

“Was that why you were so cold to me when I first came to you?” he asked.

“Yes, I was mad at you. Mostly for what you said the last time I saw you, right after your lecture when I handed you that letter from Doctor Gardner.”

“Do you know what that letter said?”

“No, it wasn’t any of my business. I was just the intern told to do something for one of the staff.”

“Sarah broke up with me in that letter. Between that and how the lecture went, well let’s just say that you were in the wrong place at the wrong time. That and you intimidated me.”

“I what?” she said turning to face him, tears still streaming down her face.

“You walked in and bowled me over. I had never met a supermodel before you and I didn’t know how to react.”

She looked at him with bewilderment. All he could do was gently wipe her tears away.

“I would be blind to not see how beautiful you were then, but a fool to not appreciate how you’ve become even more so during these few years.”

“Me, beautiful? I’ve been told that I’m ‘just another pretty face’ but not much more than that.”

“I’ve just never had enough confidence to tell you, but after telling you about Sha’re and everything else that has happened to me during the past eight years. Well, let just say that I’ve gotten a bit braver over the years.”

“Brave, that’s something I still need to work on.”

“You, need to work on being brave? I saw some of your work.”

“Like I said, its all an illusion. Wait, you saw my work?” she asked.

“It was kind of hard to avoid it especially around the labs in Chicago. And what I did saw, was good,” he said as his finger traced her jaw. “But the real thing always looks better than the picture.” Daniel tipped her chin up to his and slowly lowered his lips towards hers. Isabel couldn’t move even if she wanted to as she melted into his kiss.

Her head was swimming as Daniel’s lips mated with her’s as if he was a dying man, taking his last breath of life. Now that he had a taste of her, he couldn’t get enough.

Daniel turned Isabel so she faced him, his hands skimmed her body, electrifying her body. It was hard to tell where the silk of her nightgown ended and her skin began.

Isabel couldn’t believe that he was touching her, kissing her, she wanted more. When their lips finally parted, their eyes locked on the other as they panted for breath. She slowly, without loosing eye contact, pulled the hem of her nightgown over her head and tossing it on the floor.

“Isabel. You are so beautiful,” he said as his eyes feasted on her exposed body. Her slender waist, her picture perfect breasts tipped with her rosy pink nipples, and muscle tone that came from countless hours of sweating in the gym. He timidly touched her collarbone, as if she was to disappear in front of him if he applied too much pressure to her. “Am I still dreaming?”

“No, unless it’s my dream,” she replied as her hands touched his shoulders and around his neck. “Kiss me, Daniel,” she told him and he quickly honored her request.

Her breasts rubbed against his bare chest as heat soared though her, setting her body on fire. Together, they laid down on the bed, hands roving over skin, touching as much as they could.

“What about Jack?” he asked, breaking away in a moment of sanity.

“What about him?” she asked, confused by his concern.

“Rumor is that you are dating him.”

With a giggle, she said, “Jack and I are just friends. If I was interested in him that way, would I be in bed with you?”

“I guess not. I have to admit that since you came to work as the SGC, all I could feel was pure jealousy when I saw him look at you, knowing he had a picture of you in his locker. I don’t blame him, you’re beautiful.”

She smiled and pulled him into another searing kiss and the world melted away, leaving just the two of them in his bed. Her hands roved over his body, feeling the muscles that he had acquired over the years. A grown that sounded more animal than human came from Daniel as Isabel ran her fingers down the length of his stimulated manhood and then slipped under his pajamas and underwear to touch his hypersensitive skin. All he could do was to hook his finger around her panties and pull them down over her hips. With her hands against his flesh, she pulled the remainder of his clothing over his hips and down his legs.

“Are you sure?” he asked as he settled in between her legs.

“Daniel, has anyone ever told you that you talk too much?” she replied, smiling at him with a wicked grin.

He replied by assaulting her with another round of toe curling kisses as his body heat melded with hers. Daniel couldn’t think straight as he tried his best to slowly slip inside her moist heat but didn’t have enough control as she wrapped around him in an intimate embrace.

“Please, Daniel,” she moaned as he began to move his hips back and forth.

“It’s been a while…” he tried to explain as he felt Isabel begin to meet his thrusts, heightening the intensity of the moment and silenced him with another kiss.

Suddenly, Isabel breathed in sharply and arched her back has she began to climax. Tremors that began in her core, racked her entire body as she cried out his name. Daniel fought against himself to last as long as he could but came completely undone and exploded inside her, pulsing his seed deep into her before collapsing into the crook of her neck.

Once he was in control of his body again, Daniel slid out of her and rolled to lay next to her, pulling her close to him and placed several small kisses on her shoulder before he drifted off to sleep.

Isabel lay there, in Daniel’s arms, her head resting on his shoulder, unable to fall asleep. She had just had been made love to by a man she had been dreaming about for the past decade and it was more incredible than she could have ever imagined. Then why wasn’t she thrilled and falling asleep in his arms?

Chapter Five

Daniel woke the following morning and reached out for Isabel, feeling only the cold sheets. Immediately, he sat up, hoping that last night was not a dream, but it couldn’t be since he had gone to bed wearing pajamas and now he was naked under the covers.

He whipped the covers off him, threw his pajamas on, and went to see where Isabel was. He found her downstairs, dressed as if she had been running, her hair pulled back in a ponytail, wisps of hair framing her face from her exertion.

“Morning, everything okay?” he asked as he pulled a mug out of the cabinet and poured himself a cup of coffee.

“Yeah, took a run. Nice neighborhood,” she replied as if nothing had happened between them.

“I wondered where you had gotten to,” he said as he came behind her, placing a hand gently on her shoulder, his thumb drawing small circles on her neck.

Isabel fought everything not to flinch at his touch. She had snuck out of be after an hour of lying in his bed, unable to sleep next to him. “I usually run when I realize that it’s morning.”

“Know what that’s like. When are you due back at the mountain?”

“General Hammond wants me back in two days. You?”

“Five days and then I’m off world. I was wondering if you wanted to have dinner with me tonight?”

“Um, I guess,” she replied uncertain.

“Isabel, about last night.”

“Don’t worry about last night. No big deal,” she tried to say non-committed.

This surprised him that she was trying not to make a big deal over what they shared the night before. Every second of her time with him would be permanently etched in her memories.

“Well, thanks for helping with the nightmares. They can get a little intense sometimes. And what happened after, that was nice too.”

“Yes, it was, very nice,” she replied as she refilled her glass of water and took a sip. “This is awkward.”

Daniel chuckled and replied, “Yeah, look Isabel, it was nice…”

“I think we’ve established that it was nice.”

“Yeah, well, it was just that I wanted you to know that I don’t normally rush that quickly. I mean, I was with Sha’re much longer before I was with Sha’re.” Daniel blushed with his admission.

“Like I said, it was nice and no big deal,” she said as she leaned her back up against the counter.

“But it was a big deal,” Daniel said as he put his mug down and approached her slowly. His blue eyes locked with her green eyes. “It is a big deal.”

Isabel couldn’t move as he closed the distance between them until he pinned her up against the counter.

“When I woke up, I first thought I had been dreaming but I know that we did was much better than any dream I ever had,” he said as he removed the glass of water out of her hand and placed it on the counter next to her. He slowly moved his head closer to hers until their lips met. Unlike the night before, Daniel took his time kissing her. His hands slid up her body, one hand lingering on her waist the other all the way up to her neck, pulling her closer to him, savoring the feel of the length of her body against his.

Isabel softened at his touch, just like she had remembered from the night before, but in the daylight and without the added emotions from his story of what he had been up to the last eight years. It was better.

Gradually, Daniel coxed her lips apart and his tongue slid into her mouth, tasting her, savoring her. He could hear her moan when her hands slid up to his shoulders to hold him close. Isabel’s tongue began to dance with Daniel’s. Their breaths became ragged as their bodies heated up, hands touched and caressed.

He was about to suggest that they move to a place more comfortable, like his bedroom when his phone began to ring.

“Aren’t you going to get that?” she asked in between kisses.

“Let the machine get it,” Daniel replied as the machine kicked on.

“Daniel, are you there Daniel? Its Cassie. Um, Mom forgot I had the day off and she’s stuck at work. Can I come over until she gets home and I was wondering if I could get some help on my Latin homework too,” a young woman’s voice said over the answering machine.

“Who’s Cassie?” Isabel asked as she tore her lips away from his, not sure who this girl was.

“A friend. Her mom is Doctor Frazier,” he told her. The mood was all but destroyed by now and Daniel moved away from her a bit, out of her personal space.

“How close are you with Doctor Frazier?” she asked, the sense of jealously creeping up her.

“We’re friends, nothing more,” he replied, detecting he had hit upon a sore spot with her.

“I’m going to get cleaned up. I’d like to unpack some of my personal things from storage,” she told him as she almost stormed out of the kitchen.

Daniel was perplexed with Isabel’s emotions, one minute she’s kissing him the next she’s storming out of the room.

“Thanks Daniel for the help with my homework,” Cassie said as she started to pack up her books.

“No problem, anytime,” he replied as he took off his glasses off and rubbed his eyes.

“I didn’t ruin any plans you had by coming over?” she asked, sensing something was off.

“No, not really.”

“Then why don’t I believe you?”

“Cassie, I…” he started to say but was interrupted by Isabel walking in with two boxes in her hands. “Isabel, let me help you,” he said to her as he took one of the boxes from her.

“Thanks, I don’t have many…” she stopped. “Uh, hi, I’m Isabel. You must be Cassie,” she said as she crossed the kitchen and shifted her box to shake the girl’s hand.

Cassie smiled up at the new woman in Daniel’s kitchen and stood to shake her hand. A smile grew across Isabel’s face as she instantly liked the teen and could see why Daniel was so fond of her too.

“Cassie, this is Doctor Isabel Miller. She’s uh, living here for a while,” Daniel explained as he began to blush as if he was caught doing something he shouldn’t be.

“Nice to meet you Doctor Miller. I have only heard a little about you from Mom,” Cassie told her.

“Call me Isabel, everyone does.”

“And you know Daniel from where?

“Uh, we work together. I had trouble finding a place to live and he was nice enough to let me stay here.”

“Cool,” Cassie replied.

“I’d better get the rest of my stuff out of my car.”

“Need a hand?” Cassie asked as she got up from the table.

“Sure, there isn’t too much. Books mostly,” Isabel said as they crossed the kitchen.

“I’ll put these in your room,” Daniel called as the two women left him alone and he wasn’t sure if he felt like he was forgotten about.

“Great car!” Cassie said as they got to her car in the driveway.

“Thanks, it’s the one thing I splurged on,” Isabel said as she looked at her black Porsche Boxter convertible.

“Most of the people that work at the mountain I’ve met either have boring cars like Daniel or trucks like Jack.”

“I wasn’t always an archaeologist. You probably are too young to remember, but I was a model for a few years.”

“Wow. Why did you quit?” Cassie asked as they loaded up with boxes.

“I wanted to go back to school and I was able to do so without student loans.” They started back towards the house.

“Do you have any of your pictures?”

“Yeah, in one of these boxes. What grade are you in?”

“Eleventh, why?”

“Just wondering, remembering what it was like when I was your age. You going to your prom?”

“Yes, but I haven’t found my dress yet.”

“If its okay with your mom, I still have some friends in the biz. I could make some calls if you would like.”

“What do you mean?”

“I’ll call my friend that works for Versace. They have all kinds of dresses lying around. That is as long as you don’t mind wearing a dress that was already worn.”

“By who?”

“Depends on the dress. All those dresses you see at the award shows, they usually are sent back. After that, they usually just sit on the racks.”

“Versace? Wow, I’m sure Mom wouldn’t mind.”

“I’d like to hear that from her first,” Isabel said as they reached her room and placed the boxes on the floor. She opened the first box Daniel had deposited while they were out. “Here’s my portfolio,” she said as she pulled out a thick black book. “My past life.”

“Cool, may I?” Cassie asked. Isabel handed her the book. The teen sat on the floor and began to slowly look at the pages while Isabel began to unpack. “Where’s this one from?”

Isabel put the books in her hand down and sat on the floor next to her. “Uh, that was my second major shoot for Vogue. They sent me to Australia for it.”

“Cool. Sounded like a lot of fun.”

“It was, but it was a lot of work and not everyone in the biz is a nice guy. I saw a lot of not nice things while I worked,” she told her hoping to not let Cassie think that the fashion industry was as glamorous and wonderful as many thought it was.

The two of them sat on the floor as Isabel told her about her adventures until Daniel knocked on the door.

“Cass, your mom is here.”

“Oh, thanks Daniel,” Cassie replied as she got up from the floor. “Thanks for sharing your photos with me, Isabel.” And hugged her.

After Cassie had gathered her backpack, Isabel and Daniel walked her to the door.

“Don’t forget to ask your mom for me,” Isabel reminded her.

“How could I forget?” she replied as she hugged her again before turning to Daniel and hugged him too. “Thanks for letting me come over today.” And she ran out to the car where her mom waited.

The two adults waited at the door as the car pulled away from the curb. Suddenly, Isabel realized that she was way too close to Daniel.

“You still up for dinner?” he finally asked.

“What do you have in mind?” she replied.

“You look tired. Would you like to just stay here?” he asked, realizing how tired she really looked.

“That sounds perfect,” she said with a relieved smile.

“Go and unpack. Dinner will be ready in about an hour.”

“Thanks,” she said softly and stepped closer to him. She placed a small kiss on his cheek and left him in the kitchen.

Up in her room, she looked over the mess that she had uncovered. Books and clothes were everywhere and she had no idea where to begin. Sighing, she began to hang up the clothes that lay on the bed, hoping she would find the bedspread sometime that evening. Most of her work clothes were already hanging in her closet that she knew was too small, a problem she always ran into, but it was only the tip of the iceberg when it came to her wardrobe.

Isabel had been working diligently at putting away her books and clothes for the better part of an hour and had been able to empty most of the boxes. All that was left to do was to put away her underwear and her personal journals.

With her back to the door, she began to fold and sort her panties, thongs, camisoles and bras. Hearing a knock on the door frame made Isabel jump. As she turned to the noise, she forgot that she was holding her hot pink lace demi-bra.

Daniel’s eyes were glued to the lacy garment that she held in her hands. He could just imagine how the scrap of lace would look on her body, restraining her beautiful breasts.

“Uh, dinner’s ready,” he told her as he tried to pry his eyes away from her.

“Ok,” she replied, realizing that she was holding her bra and quickly put it down on the bed.

“I’ll meet you downstairs,” he said, knowing that he had to get away from Isabel’s underwear and the bed that she stood next to.

“Just give me a second and I’ll be right down,” she said, hoping he wasn’t looking behind her to the tidy piles of satin, lace and silk that she had been organizing.

Chapter Six

“Oh good, you guys got here just in time,” Janet said to the members of SG-1 as they walked into her house.

“We couldn’t miss this, Janet,” Sam said as the four members were settled in the living room.

“Our little girl’s growing up,” Jack said as he nervously looked out the window for Cassie’s date to arrive. Ever since Cassie had come to Earth, she had been a major part in all of their lives.

Daniel fought the urge to pace the back of the room. All this prom stuff was way over his head. He never went to any of those kinds of things when he was a kid. And now as an adult, he really felt uncomfortable in these kinds of situations. To come back from P6-X92, a primitive planet with nothing but trees and more trees, and end up surrounded in gowns and tuxedos. He had seen Isabel’s Porsche parked in front of the house, so she had to be somewhere in the house, probably upstairs helping Cassie getting ready.

In the month that she had been living in his house, Daniel still had no idea what was going on between them. Professionally, things were practically perfect. They worked well together, bouncing theories off the other and able to collaborate in projects, but outside of work, he was nervous around her. He wanted more than just co-habitation with her but couldn’t get things started. The night they shared together was amazing and he was hoping that there would be more nights like that.

It felt great to come to someone after a long mission, someone to share a dinner that was prepared in his kitchen, fresh towels in the bathroom and knowing he wasn’t alone. She understood how consumed he got when working on a project and kept him on schedule when necessary. He looked forward to her smile and didn’t mind waiting an extra few minutes for the bathroom.

The doorbell rang and Jack opened the door to a very young, very intimidated young man in a rented tuxedo. Jack let him in and between himself and Sam; they began to interrogate him about his intentions for the evening, just like protective parents. Janet was snapping pictures of the whole event while Teal’c stood in the background, trying to understand the whole Taur’i tradition of youth dating rituals.

Janet took her camera upstairs to get Cassie and to move things along. Knocking on her daughter’s bedroom door Janet said, “Cass, you almost ready? Jack is interrogating Jason and I don’t know how much more he can take.”

“Almost Mom. What do you think?” Cassie asked as she turned to face her mother.

Janet almost dropped the camera in her hands, amazed how beautiful her daughter looked. “Cassandra, you look beautiful.”

“Thanks to Isabel,” Cassie said as she stood.

“Yes, thank you Isabel,” Janet said.

“Cassie, you don’t need the dress or the makeup to be beautiful, but I’m glad you like the dress,” Isabel said. “But you do have a young man waiting for you.”

Cassie gave Isabel a hug, trying not to wrinkle her soft blue dress. It only took minor alterations to make the slightly used dress look as if it was made just for her. Isabel held back in the room as Cassie and her mom left the room getting ready to make her grand entrance. She wanted to let Cassie have her own entrance.

From the top of the stairs, Isabel could hear the response to Cassie’s entrance. She felt so good that she played a small part in making a special night for a very nice girl.

An hour after Cassie and Jason had left for the prom, Janet was thanking Isabel again as she and Daniel left her house. Isabel was tired and wanted to go home. It only made sense that Daniel went home with her.

“That was a beautiful dress you got for Cassie,” Daniel said as they pulled away from the house in her car.

“Yes, I was glad that my friend found something for her,” Isabel told him as she shifted into third.

“Where does your friend work that has dresses just lying around?”

“Versace, Cassie’s wearing the dress that Jennifer Garner wore to the Oscars a few years ago.”

“Who?” Daniel asked, surprised.

“An actress, she’s got a TV show and was in Daredevil.”

“So Cassie is wearing a dress that was worn to the Oscars?”

“Yup.”

“Does she know this?”

“Yup.”

“Why? Why did you do that for a girl you barely know?” he asked, amazed with what she had done.

“Cassie seems like a great girl and it was nice to play a small part in a special night in her life. It was nice to live vicariously.”

“You never whet to your prom?”

“Nope, I was a bit of a late bloomer.”

“I don’t believe that, you were a model,” he said.

Isabel chuckled nervously. “I was a scrawny, stick of a girl with braces. I got my braces off right before I went off to college. I wasn’t approached by my agent until my last term of school.”

“I never went to any of my school dances either.”

There was silence in the car as they traveled to the house.

“So how was your mission?” she finally asked.

“Not bad, uneventful really. No scraps of any form of civilization at all.”

“I bet you were board out of your mind.”

“Not really. I helped Sam get soil samples for the biochemistry department.”

The two of them drove the rest of the way home in silence, both wanting to ask questions but not sure how to put it into words.

As Isabel cooked dinner, she couldn’t help think of Daniel as he took his shower. The hot, steamy water spraying his body, suds making his skin extra slippery, hands moving over his strong body, it was almost too much for her to take. It took much of her willpower to not join him. She knew the shower stall was big enough for the two of them, same with the sunken Jacuzzi. But those fantasies were just that. She was still amazed that she had the one night in his arms but wanted more and that scared her.

Daniel was a great guy and they had the beginnings of a very nice friendship, but if things were to go any further than that, she needed to know if he was thinking he was with Isabel the model or Isabel the woman and Doctor. He seemed not interested in finding out if there was a difference between the two.

Dinner was ready just as Daniel entered the kitchen, his hair still damp from his shower. He silently helped her set the table and pulled out a bottle of red wine for them. They moved in concert with the other in the kitchen, silently completing tasks together.

Seated at the table, Daniel asked, “So did anything interesting happen while I was off world?”

“Nothing too important. Some Senator is coming for a visit next week and General Hammond wants me to be there when he comes. How often do Senators come for visits? I thought all this was top secret.”

“It is top secret, but they like to come out once in a while to make sure that we are spending the budgeted money the right way. It can turn into a real power struggle, but Hammond has good connections with the President .”

“Sounds like a lot of political issues are wrapped up in the program. The Universities are almost as bad.”

Daniel nodded in agreement, as they ate the rest of their dinner, discussing the little things that had occurred in the week he was away. It was mostly gossip but he enjoyed talking with Isabel, he liked making her smile. Things felt so right between them and he wanted more with her. They shared a house together and he wanted to share his bed with her but he didn’t know how to take the step without making a complete fool of himself.

After dinner, they took their wine to into the living room. Even though it was May, the evenings got chilly and Daniel decided to make a fire for them. It felt nice to have things simple between them even though the relationship they did have hadn’t been defined yet.

Isabel sat on the couch and watched him build a fire. She couldn’t help but to watch his body as he moved, lifting split logs and placing them in the hearth. His shoulders were strong and she thought about the night that she had his shapely arms wrapped around her and how wonderful it felt. Daniel had defiantly ‘grown up’ in the years after he left school. Back then he was thin and wiry but now he could compete with some of the male models she used to work with.

With the fire burning, Daniel sat on the floor with his back against the couch in front of Isabel. He could feel the heat from her jean clad legs on the back of his neck.

“Good to be home?” Isabel finally asked.

“Running water, four walls and good company at home, yeah, I’m glad to be home,” he replied.

“It’s nice to have you home. I’m being temporally assigned to SG-15 when they get back from leave in a few weeks. Doctor Montgomery discovered she is pregnant.”

“That’s good news for her, right?”

“Yes, I had heard that her husband and she had been trying to start a family for a while. The assignment could turn permanent if she chooses to stay Earth-side after the baby.”

“Congratulations then. Just remember to be safe. I can’t remember how many times I’ve ended up in an extended stay in the infirmary after missions. Its easy to let things get out of hand, especially when there is something interesting to research.”

“I’ve seen. So I guess this was a boring mission for you since you came back unscathed.”

“Pretty much. Did something to my shoulder two days ago and I haven’t been able to work the kink out.”

Isabel placed her wineglass down and sat up, putting a leg on either side of him. She placed her hands on his shoulders and began to kneed his tired muscled, feeling the knots that populated his muscular shoulders.

“Ooh, that feels good,” Daniel said, almost purring from her ministrations. Touching him felt so good and she was glad that she could make him feel a little bit better.

“You’re really tight. How heavy was you pack this time?”

“It was pretty heavy, but I guess sleeping on the ground didn’t help.”

“Ya’ think?” she said, impersonating Jack, making both of them laugh.

Isabel continued to massage the knots out of his shoulders but couldn’t get the right angle. Daniel sensed her difficultly and pulled his shirt off, making Isabel wanting to gasp when she saw his bare back, highlighted by the firelight.

After she was able to compose herself, she instructed Daniel to sit on the couch, still nestled between her legs so she could work on the rest of his beautiful back. She was so glad that he couldn’t see her face as she took in every inch of his bared skin.

“Mmmm, you don’t know how good that feels,” he said almost purring and her hands moved lower down his back.

“I’m glad you’re enjoying. You’ve looked tight all night,” she said amazed how husky her voice sounded as she moved her hands up to work on his neck and scalp.

Daniel sighed in contentment, loving the feel of her fingers on his skin. When her fingers slipped through his hair, Daniel was lost. He leaned back against her, trapping her between the couch and his back.

“Daniel, what are you doing?” she giggled nervously.

He didn’t reply with words but instead snaked his arms around her neck. Twisting his neck around, he met her lips. He could taste traces of the wine on her lips as he teased her lips.

Isabel froze for a moment before she relaxed and surrendered to his kiss. Her hands ran from his shoulders down the front of him, caressing every inch of skin she could reach. Daniel twisted around and maneuvered her so they were both laying on the couch, their bodies lined up knee-to-knee, hip-to-hip, stomach-to-stomach.

He finally pulled his lips from her and touched her hair, amazed at the feel of the silken strands as they ran threw his fingers. Isabel looked into his blue eyes before pulling him back down to her lips for a deep, penetrating kiss.

Daniel was cast in a web of sensations as he pulled Isabel closer. His hands roved over her entire body, finally stopping at her waist to pull her blouse from her jeans and sliding his hands over the newly exposed skin. Isabel’s hands didn’t stay idle either, stroking his arms, feeling the definition of his limbs. Her hands wandered below his waistband to firmly grab his butt and heard him moan in response. Isabel felt like she was in a dream, making out on the couch with the man she had dreamed about for over ten years.

Hands roved and pulled at clothing, which were unceremoniously removed and tossed onto the floor. Seeing her naked again made Daniel’s blood heat to the point where he swore it was about to boil in his veins. He needed just a bit of space or else he would burst right there, so he picked Isabel up in his arms and carried her so that they were in front of the fire. He laid her down on the carpet and looked at her, amazed that this supermodel was laying there for him and only him.

“You are so beautiful Isabel,” he told her as he joined her on the floor, her skin glowing from the firelight and her eyes seemed darker as she watched him stretch out along side her.

“You’re not so bad yourself, Doctor,” she said as she reached for him, loving the feel of his skin on hers. Her fingers slid down his abdomen and gently caressed his hardening penis.

Daniel silenced her by kissing her deeply, tongues exploring their mouths. His fingers caressed the softness of her inner thigh, teasing her as he inched closer and closer to her wet, hot core. Reaching her moist folds, Daniel gently traced around her, feeling her squirm in pleasure, while he continued to kiss her. He could feel how wet she was and two of his fingers slipped inside of her easily. Setting a slow pace, she moaned in pleasure against his mouth.

Pulling his lips from her one more time, he watched her face for a moment. If at all possible, she was even more beautiful with the growing pleasure inside her. Instead of returning to kiss her, Daniel lowered his head to suck on one of her taunt nipples before moving to her twin.

Finally, Daniel came back to her face and withdrew his fingers. Hearing her whimper with her loss. “You know what you do to me, Beautiful,” he murmured to her.

“Then show me,” she replied with a smile as he teased her opening with the tip of his penis before pushing smoothly into her.

He loved watching her face as he set a slow pace, moving in and out of her. She felt so good wrapped around him, her arms, her legs, and her hot core. Isabel tightened around him as she met each thrust, hoping to speed up the pace. Daniel smiled as he realized that she was trying to speed his pace up but wouldn’t let her take control, not this time at least.

“Daniel, please,” she pleaded with him when she realized she was on the edge, wanting to fall into the waves of her climax and caressed his face. Hearing her say please was enough for him and Daniel picked up the pace, driving both of them over the edge.

Once he regained the strength to move, Daniel placed a tender kiss on her lips as he rolled off her. Instead of pulling her into his arms, like he had before, he got up. This puzzled Isabel, not sure what to do until she realized that he was getting a pillow and blanket for them and then rejoined her in front of the fire.

“You have magic fingers,” Daniel finally said once the were covered by the fleece throw.

“I hope you feel better,” she teased.

“You could say that. It’s good to be home,” he said as he placed a kiss on her forehead and laced his fingers threw hers.

“How long are you on stand-down?”

“Four days.”

“I have to be in on Monday but I brought work home with me.”

“Same here,” he said, pausing as he tried to formulate what he wanted to say. “It was nice, what you did for Cassie today,” he finally said.

“It was nice to be able to use my contacts like that. She looked beautiful tonight.”

“So you can just call up your friend and they send you a dress?”

“Usually, unless its for something important. Then I would call my agent.”

“You still talk with your agent? I thought you were done with that?”

“Steven was a great agent while I worked and would love it if I came back, not that I would. He calls now and then, just to make sure I haven’t changed my mind.”

“But he would just ‘get’ you a dress?” Daniel asked, amazed how her world worked.

“I made him enough money, it’s the least he could do,” she replied.

“Oh, are you going to the dining out?” he asked, trying not to hold his breath as he waited for her answer.

“I wasn’t invited.”

“Jack said that if I didn’t go he would send Teal’c after me to drag ‘my sorry butt’ there.”

“Sounds like Jack.”

“So, um, would you like to go with me?”

Isabel turned onto her elbows to look at him. “Would this be just to save you from Teal’c and Jack?”

“Kind of, but more like an evening with you, if you wanted.”

“Sounds like fun,” she said with a smile followed by a kiss on his lips.

Daniel returned the kiss and tried to deepen it but Isabel wouldn’t let him.

“Daniel, we need to talk about one thing,” she said.

“What would that be?” he asked, not sure if she was still talking about the dining in or not.

“We’ve, um, moved pretty fast here and…”

“You want to slow things down?”

“No, I just wanted to let you know that between all the blood work Janet has done on me and with what I know about myself. Well, I just wanted to let you know that you don’t have to worry about any surprises of any kind from me,” she said, feeling relieved for getting that off her chest.

“Oh, yeah, I was kind of thinking about that but I figured with all the vampires that Janet employs, things would be okay,” he said, obviously nervous about the topic.

“Yeah, same here, but I was talking about, additions. But don’t worry, that won’t happen either,” she said softly.

“Okay,” he said sounding a bit more relieved as he stroked her shoulder. She lowered her head and kissed his hand and rested her head on his chest as they watched the fire for a while.

“Who would have thought, us, like this after all these years,” she finally said, wanting to hear that he was enjoying this change between them.

“If it wasn’t for that paper, I don’t think I would have realized what a brilliant scientist you’d become.”

“You think I’m brilliant?” she asked, turning her head to face him.

“Of course you are. If you weren’t, I would have never gotten approval to offer you the job,” he said as he brushed a strand of her blond hair away from her face. “And I’m so glad you said yes.”

“I surprised myself by accepting. Who would have thought, me working for the government?”

“I know, I still am amazed sometimes too. I took me a while to get the swing of things myself.”

“I’m amazed by all of this,” she said, gesturing to the two of them and the blanket that covered their naked bodies.

“Let me continue to amaze you then,” he said as he kissed her deeply.

Taking a quick break for air, Isabel replied, “You can amaze me any time, Daniel, any time.”

Chapter Seven

The afternoon of the dining out, Isabel had taken off to get ready for the event. From what it sounded like, the evening was going to be very formal. Daniel had pulled out his tuxedo and Jack had been complaining loudly about having to put on his ‘mess dress’, the Air Forces’ version of the tuxedo. She had to admit that she was excited about the whole thing and to be able to go with Daniel was even better.

Three days ago, she got her dress via Fed Ex from her agent and it was a perfect fit for her. Steven wanted her to have the press cover her at the event, but she refused flat out. They couldn’t have that kind of coverage in any form and she was glad that it was going to be held at a hotel, very close to the base and that there was going to be a high security presence.

She had no idea what was going on with Daniel, besides some amazing sex but had yet to spend the night together in the same bed, sleeping. In front of the fire was one thing but a real bed was way to serious for them at the moment. Isabel was hoping that tonight would be the night they would take that step.

“Isabel? Are you here?” Daniel called as he entered the house. He heard some noises from upstairs and assumed it was her. They were scheduled to leave in just over an hour and Daniel knew he had to get moving if they were going to make it. All he needed tonight was for Jack or Teal’c looking for the two of them before the party even started. He wished they could just blow off the night and spend it with her, but there was no way that would happen until late that evening.

An hour and a half later, Daniel paced the living room floor as he waited for Isabel. Now he knew how Cassie’s date felt as he waited for her last week. He heard her before he saw her coming down the stairs and his pulse picked up faster with every click of her heal until Daniel swore that his heart was going to jump out of his chest.

Finally, he saw her and his heart stopped dead. Seeing her in her slinky black dress with silver crystals made his mouth go dry. Somehow, his feet were able to help him cross the room to her.

“Wow,” was all he could say.

“Wow yourself. You clean up well Doctor Jackson,” she replied, looking like a model and not an archaeologist.

“Do we have to go? I’d rather spend the night here with you,” he said as he slipped his arms around her waist.

“If we don’t, I don’t think we would have a quiet minute if we did.”

“You look beautiful, Isabel. Simply beautiful.”

Isabel loved the way he looked at her, like he wanted to consume her. After another moment of taking her in, Daniel offered his arm to her and they set off for the evening.

The dining out was in full swing and Isabel was amazed how much fun she was actually having. Everyone looked amazing, when normally everyone was wearing bulky uniforms, it was a nice change to see everyone dressed in their finest.

Daniel had left her alone to get drinks when she was commandeered to talk to a small crowd of Generals that were in attendance. She had no clue what they were really talking about, but she had a good feeling that the only reason she was over with them was her old job and they wanted to meet her.

Utterly grateful, Jack rescued her from the gaggle of men with stars on their shoulders and pulled her onto the dance floor.

“Having fun?” he asked her.

Isabel laughed and replied, “Kind of. I’m glad that you excavated me from that mess.” And placed a kiss on his cheek. He pulled her tighter and twirled her around, bubbly laughter escaping from her.

“So how are things with you and Danny?”

“Nice, real nice. I’m glad he asked me to come with him. But Jack, were you really going to send Teal’c to drag him here if he didn’t come?”

“Yeah, probably. Danny needs to remember how to live life again and I think you are the right girl for the job.”

“I hope so,” she replied and rested her head on his shoulder, not wanting to get her hair caught in all of his medals that hung from his chest.

Daniel stood across the room, watching Isabel talking with the mob of Generals and then happily dancing with Jack. She looked so happy to be in his arms and that made his blood begin to boil with jealously. He watched her rest her head on him and couldn’t take it any more. Without even thinking, Daniel marched right over to the two of them and tapped Jack on the shoulder a bit harder than her normally would have.

“Danny, having fun?” Jack asked, all smiles.

“I’m cutting in,” he stated.

Before Jack released Isabel, she place one more kiss on his cheek and said, “Thanks again for the rescue.”

“Any time, Doc,” Jack said and winked at her.

“What was that all about?” Daniel almost demanded as he began to dance with her.

“What?” she asked not sure why he was so upset.

“Seem awfully chummy with Jack there. Maybe he should have brought you tonight.”

“Jack and I are friends, if that’s any business of yours.”

“What about this ‘rescue’.”

“Why should I explain myself to you?”

“I guess I’m not as knowledgeable as you about how models live their lifestyles, but honestly, kissing another man while she’s another’s date seems to be more hedonistic than I am used to.”

“How dare you. You have no idea what you are talking about,” she said, and then slapped him across his cheek before storming off the dance floor and out of the ballroom. The doorman hailed her a cab and Isabel headed home, too mad and too much of her heart was broken to deal with Daniel for another minute.

“Whoa, Daniel, what the hell did you say to Isabel?” Jack asked as Daniel finally found his feet and exited the dance floor.

“What do you care. She’s all yours. I guess I was just a pit stop for her,” he replied, uncharacteristically upset.

“What do you mean? Isabel is crazy for you.”

“That’s not what it looked like from across the room.”

“Damm it Daniel, you two aren’t even officially dating and your uncontrollably jealous of any man who gets near her.”

“I’m not jealous,” Daniel protested.

“Then why did she slap you when she has always been a class act. I was dancing with her because she looked uncomfortable surrounded by Generals she didn’t know.”

Daniel looked deflated, finding out the truth. “We’re friends, that’s all and if you can’t trust her around others, then maybe you don’t deserve her,” Jack continued. “She’s a great girl and for some reason, she seems crazy about you and has been for a long time. Do you think she would look as incredible as she did tonight for me? No, Danny, she did it for you and you’ve been too wrapped up in whatever to even notice.”

Daniel ran his hand threw his hair, seeing the truth in what his friend was saying. “I should go after her, shouldn’t I?” he asked.

“Ya think?” Jack replied sarcastically. “If you care about her at all, go after her and hopefully she’ll forgive you.”

“Thanks, Jack,” Daniel said and left him to go after Isabel.

Isabel got out of the cab in front of Daniel’s house, holding back the tears until she was in the safety of her room. On her way home from the hotel, she decided to call base housing first thing in the morning. After tonight, there was no way she could live under the same roof as Daniel. She hoped that she still had enough creditability to stay at the SGC or should she start looking at Universities. They would be hiring right now, getting ready for the summer and fall sessions, not that she needed to work.

Entering the house, she pulled off her shoes and went straight up to her room and closed the door. It was then that she finally that she finally let the tears fall. The last time she cried over a man was nine years ago when Daniel yelled at her back in graduate school. Back then, he just transferred his anger to her from Sara’s letter and the results of his lecture. Tonight he insulted her in front of their colleagues and basically called her a tramp.

She was in the middle of packing up a box of books when she heard the door downstairs open and close. Footsteps began to come upstairs and Isabel was getting ready for another battle with him over her virtues and professionalism. She knew who she was. She wasn’t the dumb blond that graced magazines and she had to stand her ground right here and now if she was ever going to have any respect in the field.

“Isabel?” Daniel asked from the other side of the door. “Isabel, can I come in?”

She did not answer him so he opened the door an inch and saw her with her back to him. “Isabel, I’m sorry.”

“Sorry for what?” she asked, hoping she did not sound like she had been crying.

“For what I said, for what I did and for not listening to you.”

“That’s all?” she said with her back still to him.

“What more do you want me to say?”

“I’ll be out by tomorrow afternoon.”

“Why?”

“Because Daniel, its obvious that I read you wrong for all these years. I’ll go before I ruin your good-guy image.”

“I don’t want you to go.”

“Why, you’ve already said that I’m easy. You not done with me yet?”

“Isabel, I’m sorry. I saw you with Jack, looking so happy and I got jealous.”

“So, that gives you the right to say what you said to me. I thought you were better than that,” she said, finally turning to face him.

Seeing the tears in her eyes tore his heart in two. He had made her cry and wanted to make things better. “I’m sorry Isabel,” he said softer as he crossed the room to her. She didn’t move and inch.

“Just because I was a model doesn’t mean that I slept around. I thought that you would have thought better of me by now. I guess I was wrong,” she said as she turned away from him again but he stopped her and pulled her close but not touching yet except on her arm.

“I’m sorry I got so jealous and I should have trusted you. It’s just that I’ve come to care about you very much, more than I thought I would.”

“But you don’t trust me.”

“I don’t trust myself.”

“How convenient,” she shot at him.

“Isabel, that’s not fair.”

“Who said this had to be fair,” she said, her voice sounding strong but a new wave of tears began to fall from her eyes. “We’ve had sex a few times, but that’s all it seems to be with us.”

“Is that all you want from me?” he asked, unsure of what her answer was going to be.

“No, but…”

“But what?”

“It doesn’t matter. What could you want from me?”

“For starters, your friendship but I was thought we were headed for much more than that.”

“I wish I could give you everything you deserve, Daniel.”

“What couldn’t you give me, Isabel? Don’t you have feelings for me?”

“Yes, I… I care for you very much but you’re dealing with… damaged goods.”

“What do you mean? You’re practically perfect.”

Isabel broke away from Daniel’s grasp and walked over to the window. “I got real sick as a child and the high fever fried everything that matters to a woman.”

Daniel walked over to her and wrapped his arms around her waist and placed his hands on her abdomen. He could feel the hiccup of a breath when he touched her.

“Remember when I said that you didn’t have to worry about any surprises from me?” she asked as she continued to look out the window at the night’s sky.

“Yeah, I assumed that meant you were on some sort of birth control.”

“The result of the fever from my childhood left me with so much scar tissue that it is impossible for me to… to reproduce.”

Daniel pulled her tightly against him and laid his head on her bareback. “Isabel, is that the reason you’ve kept me at arms length all this time?”

She nodded her head. “At first, I never imagined us getting closer than colleagues so it didn’t matter. But now, well, now things are different.”

“Why would it matter?”

“Because, I can not give you everything I should be able to.”

“Right now, all I care about is you, not what couldn’t be. If I was concerned about passing my genes along to another generation, it would have happened by now. I’ve been through so much over the years, that I have learned to be grateful for what I have now, not what I missed or can never have.”

“And, and what do you have now?” she asked, her body shaking as she waited for his answer.

“I have a beautiful woman in my arms, who is smart and knows how to have fun. What more could I ask for right now? The only thing I could ever ask of you is for your honesty.”

Isabel turned in his arms and buried her face in the crook of his neck as she let the rest of her tears fall.

Isabel and Daniel sat on the floor talking, still dressed in their formal wear in her bedroom as the sun began to peek through the windows.

“I want to show you something,” she finally said as she rose to her feet and pulled a large leather-bound book from the box she had been packing. Returning to his side, she sat on the floor and took a deep breath. “This is who I was.” She opened to the first page of the professional photo album.

“Wow, these are amazing,” he said as he looked at the photographs of Isabel from her modeling years. Some of the pictures were fairly boring, catalog layouts but others blew him away. Those were the ones that were from major advertising campaigns and her Sport Illustrated days. He could see the sadness behind her eyes in the last few photographs, at the end of her career. They sat there talking, on the floor for the rest of the night, bearing their souls to the other.

When dawn broke, both Daniel and Isabel where mentally exhausted. After stretching his body, Daniel silently led Isabel by the hand to his bedroom where they undressed each other. No words were said as they lied down together in his bed and made slow, passionate love. Finally, Isabel fell asleep in his arms in his bed, now their bed, for the first time with a smile of contentment and love on her lips. Daniel watched her for a few minutes before falling into a peaceful sleep himself.

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