Book 2: Resurgences.

Series: Light, Water and Muses. An alternate universe for a variety of television series. See disclaimers below.

Rating: PG-13.

Category: Yet another mirror universe for the SGC. Sorta…

Pairings: Darya/Karen.

Disclaimer: Stargate SG1 and all their characters belong to MGM, Showtime and Gekko Productions.

Disclaimer: “ER”, the characters and situations depicted are the property of Warner Bros. Television, Amblin Entertainment, Constant C Productions, NBC, etc. They are borrowed without permission, but without the intent of infringement. This site is in no way affiliated with “ER”, NBC, or any representatives of any cast members. This site contains relationship stories between mature, consenting adult females.

Notes: All words in italics are phonetic foreign words, mostly Greek.

Spoilers: Nope!

Summary: Let the emotional rollercoaster begin!

Chapter 4 Smell the… Scent of Fire

++ Anastasia ++


The morning had dawned cold and clear, and I found myself shivering despite the down comforters. A small pang of regret eased across my mind as I glanced down to see Tessa sprawled undignified at the foot of the bed. Before retiring to the RV last night, Janet had pulled me aside with a knowing twinkle in her eye and mentioned that the room was soundproofed and the floors heated. Even now Tessa lay on her stomach, and in my mind's eye, I could see each strategically placed welt on her backside. She'd taken the punishment silently, never once begging for mercy despite the tears slipping down her cheeks. Nor did she question her sleeping arrangements, gratefully thanking me for the pillow and duvet.

“Tessa?” I called softly. “Time to get up, Pet. We've a long day ahead of us.”

Tessa was instantly on her feet, grimacing slightly, and moved to warm up the shower for me. She then began to bustle about the room, finding and setting out our clothes and toiletries. I lost myself in watching her lithe body, muscles moving with a graceful ease despite the lingering pain of my wrath. There was a reason Tessa had been my favored pet for nearly twenty years now.

“Go turn the shower off, Pet,” I said gently, interrupting her routine. “It's still early and I'm lonely.”

She moved quickly to do as I'd asked before crawling under the covers with me. She still hadn't spoken, and tentatively nuzzled at my cheek. I ran my fingers through her long hair for a long moment, losing myself in her familiarity. My fingers tightened in her hair, causing her to gasp, and I tugged her head back to gaze at her demandingly.

“You know I love you, Pet,” I said in a low, level tone. “And you know how I feel when you're disobedient.” She nodded to both questions, mutely weathering my grip. “And yet you still acted out yesterday, didn't you?”

“Yes, my Lady,” she barely murmured, voice thick with emotion. “I'm sorry, my Lady.”

“As you should be. Tessa, I expect you to behave at all times. Do not disappoint me again while we're here or you'll feel the full force of my wrath. Am I understood?”

“Yes, my Lady.” The words were followed by a soft sob, her eyes closing in pain.

“And you will make reparations to Karen and to Darya.”

“Yes, my Lady.”

I held her there a moment longer, making sure she truly did understand. Satisfied she did, I released my grip on her hair and pulled her close in a warm embrace. She clung to me with a shuddering breath, and I tightened my grip instinctively. Angry with her or not, Tessa held the closest place in my heart: protégé, assistant, slave, and dearest lover, all rolled up in a tall, willowy, passionate package.

I stroked her back gently; consciously aware of each tender welt I'd placed on her skin. “Shh,” I crooned. “I may be angry, but I do still love you, Tessa. That hasn't changed, nor will it ever.”

“Thank you, Anastasia,” she murmured. “I won't let you down again.”

She leaned back to meet my gaze again, a grateful smile lighting up her face. Noticing the tears, I cupped her face in my hands and kissed away the moist tracks, finally brushing my lips across hers in adoration and benediction. I decided to indulge in her sweet kisses for a little longer, pulling her down to the pillows with me. The early morning quiet was punctuated only by the soft sounds of our lovemaking.

The Moment Time Stood Still

++ Darya ++

A soft nuzzling at the nape of my neck slowly brought me out of the warmth of oblivion. “Wake up, sleepyhead,” came the soft murmur. “Today is the first day of the rest of our lives.” I grumbled softly, burrowing further into the soft hair, and pulled the covers up over my head. A low rumbling chuckle surrounded me. “Does this mean you don't want to get married today, Dare? 'Cause if that's the case, I'll just spend my morning ravishing you until you're so hoarse you can't breathe. Though I'm not sure our company would appreciate that…or all the guests who'd be waiting impatiently over at the Goldston place.”

“Five more minutes?” I whined, trying not to giggle. There was a very real part of me that didn't want to get out of that bed, that wanted to stay in that safe, warm little cocoon with Karen for the rest of my life. The part that was terrified to get married again.

“I'll give you five more minutes if you promise to let me comb through your hair after you shower.”

“Would you, honey?” I asked in that sweet, syrupy voice I could get away with murder with. “I'd be ever so grateful,” I purred softly, nuzzling into the crook of her neck, then squeaked as she tightened her grip on me.

“You'd better be grateful, you little minx,” she mock-growled, pulling me closer. “And I'll take my repayment later on tonight after we're officially hitched. Whether you like it or not.” And then she pressed a kiss to the top of my head before climbing out of bed.


“Yes, Dare?”

“Where are you going?”

She turned that dazzling smile on me that had melted me the first time I saw it. “I promised you five more minutes. I never promised it was a cuddling five minutes.” And before I could respond, she sashayed off to the bathroom to start getting ready.

++ Sam ++

The sudden chill against my skin woke me instantly. I peeled my eyes open to see Art's lips trail from Janet's mouth down along her jaw line to her earlobe. Janet's throaty moan began to wake up other parts of my anatomy, and I scooted closer, trapping Art between us with a needy whimper.

“Good morning, ehromenee,” Art chuckled, turning to adjust her position between us.

“Mornin',” I mumbled sheepishly as Janet pulled me into a tender kiss. Pulling back, I grinned impishly. “Is it wrong of me to want this weekend over?”

“Feeling jealous?” Art teased lightly and graced me with her own wake-up call of a kiss; the one that makes my toes curl.

I groaned as she released me with a smirk. “No, just want to be back in our bed. I miss the space.”

Janet caressed my cheek lovingly, a mischievous twinkle in her eyes. “You miss the space, eh? Or are you missing the soundproofing, oh Vocal One?”

I felt my face flushing hotly and pulled a pillow over my head. I held on tightly until Art's fingers dug into my sides. I squealed and tried to get away but found myself trapped.

Dea! (Thea, aunt) S'eepin'!” came Fawn's imperious little voice from the travel cribs in the other room. Her voice reduced the three of us adults into fits of giggles.

“Yes, Princess,” Art called back. “O yi-os, are you asleep, too?”

“Yes,” Cubby piped up happily. “Puppies, bahbas?”

Rolling her eyes, Janet crawled out of the bed to pick up Cubby. Sitting on the little couch, she let Cubby have his breakfast. Art and I watched her retreat into that 'Mom' space the twins evoked in her. I felt that pang of jealousy at the closeness she felt with them. Art must have known what I was feeling, because she pulled me closer, lips seeking out mine. I groaned into the kiss, shifting against her body, seeking her hot touch. And she was happy to indulge my needs, while Janet tugged the door closed with a smile.

++ Davie ++

It did my heart a world of good to see Karen and Dare had patched things up. But I also knew that the day was only beginning. I couldn't help my chuckling grin as I remembered Dare's first wedding. A sudden heavy arm around my shoulders quieted me for a bit.

“What's so funny, Davie?” Karen rumbled in my ear.

“Oh nothing much, Red,” I replied. “Just trying to determine when the next breakdown will occur.”

“Sadistic much, Farazell?” she asked and tugged lightly on my braid before getting herself a cup of coffee.

“Not lately. I just know my sister. And speaking of my sister, don't be using that sexy rumble with me. I don't play with my sister's toys,” I tossed back with a smirk.

“You don't wanna know the wild shit I did with my sister, then,” she retorted with an evil grin.

I stared incredulously at her for a long moment before wrinkling my face up in a classically disgusted look. “Ew! TMI, Red.”

“Oh, rope it in. we're not actually related,” she chuckled then grew silent as she stared at her cup for a moment. I'd felt the shift coming and let it go where it needed to. Moving to the chair across from me, she graced me with a grateful smile. “I hope you won't think less of me because of last night. I…”

“Nerves happen to the best of us, Karen,” I cut in smoothly, squeezing her hand. “I sensed the history between you and Tessa. And I did what I could last night with Dare. You've both got baggage that need to be dealt with.”

“Oh trust me, Tessa will be dealt with,” Karen growled the vow. “Or she'll be gone.” I blinked and watched her forcibly relax her body. “Sorry. I shouldn't be like this today.”

Dare's presence in the room halted our conversation. She smiled at us and brought a cup of tea to the table. Catching Karen's curious look, her smile turned sheepish. “I'm nervous enough today. I don't need the extra stimulation from caffeine.”

++ Kim ++

“Are you sure it's all right, Kim? I could easily stay here and work on…”

“No, Ker,” I said, taking the laptop from her. “I brought you here as my date and I intend to show up with my date.”

She frowned, glaring at me over the rim of her glasses. God, did she know just how sexy that look was? I fought the urge to take her back to bed, knowing full well that if I did we'd be more than fashionably late to Dare's wedding. I don't think I could live with myself if I did that. I was drawn to her lips, licking my own unconsciously.

“Kim, are you even listening to me?”

Her exasperated words brought me back to reality. “Sorry, Ker. What were you saying?”

She sighed heavily. “I was saying that I really don't know anyone at the wedding besides you and Xavier. Maybe this was a bad idea.”

I stroked her cheek, smiling softly. “Ker, they're family, just like X is. I want you to know them, want them to know you. Please, Ker?” I put on my most hopeful expression, the one she'd never resisted yet.

Kerry lowered her eyes with a shy smile. “Okay, Kim, I'll go.”

++ Tessa Samuels ++

I no more than finished Anastasia's hair than I was jolted by the high-pitched squeal of Bane's stepdaughter. “Kryn! Mommy! You here!”

Anastasia chuckled at the child's enthusiasm. I stiffened as Bane's voice drifted up through the slightly ajar door. Anastasia felt my posture change and nodded briefly. “Remember, Tessa, you've reparations to make.”

“Yes, my lady,” I murmured, mouth suddenly dry at the prospect of facing Bane again. In my state, she'd ceased being Karen, and was once again Bane Shidhe, the rough and kind woman I loved nearly as much as my Mistress.

“Gramma 'Stasia's here, Kryn.” The little girl's voice was right outside the door and I tensed further.

“You can come in, Emily my dear,” Anastasia called. She glanced at me briefly and squeezed my hand as the girl blurred past me to sit next to my Lady. “Good morning, Emily. Did you sleep well?”

“Yes, ma'am,” she replied soberly. It was obvious the girl was trying to behave. “You, too? Cooper slep' with me an' Cassa.”

A knocked sounded at the door before she could reply. “May we enter, My Lady?” Karen's voice floated in to surround me like ropes on my flesh.

“Of course you may, Karen.”

And then she was stepping into the room, which instantly felt far too small. I only prayed that the presence of fiancée and stepdaughter would keep her from showing her displeasure. And I knew she was displeased. She stopped a few feet in front of us and I had to fight the natural urge to grovel at her feet for forgiveness.

Her eyes barely flickered across me and she smiled at Anastasia. “Good morning, my lady,” she said brightly, sketching a brief, respectful bow.

“Good morning, Tiger,” she replied. “And to you as well, Darya.”

Darya responded in kind, respectfully lowering her gaze in deference to my lady. “I hope Emily hasn't been too much of a bother.”

“Not at all,” Anastasia reassured. “And I must compliment you on her manners. I wouldn't have expected it from a child of her tender years, particularly considering all of the events going on of late.”

“Thank you, Anastasia.”

“Em'ly,” Karen said suddenly, smiling broadly at the girl. I could see even more clearly just how much the two of them adored each other. It warmed my heart, and gave me a desperate reprieve from Karen's wrath as long as the little girl was in the room. “Why don't you go see if you can help Uncle Art with the puppies? Kryn needs to talk to Anastasia for a bit. Grown up stuff.”

Emily looked as if she might disobey, but she stared at Karen, then at Anastasia and myself. There was far too much wisdom in those blue eyes. “Okay, Kryn. But try not be too mean, 'kay? Bye, Gramma 'Stasia,” she said brightly, gave Anastasia a quick hug, then scampered out of the room before anyone could comment.

“Extraordinary child,” Anastasia mused quietly to herself.

“Karen, do you think she's okay alone?” Darya asked, then stopped as we hear the little girl excitedly calling for the Fraiser teen, and the older girl's happy reply. “Never mind, Cass has her.”

Karen was silent for a long moment, still not acknowledging me. “Dare, you can stay for this if you like. Either way, that door needs to close.” She paused a second. “My Lady? Do I have your permission to do what I must?”

My eyes darted to Anastasia, and I swallowed hard when she nodded. I took a deep breath, an attempt to steady my nerves, and waited to see if Bane's fiancée would stay or go. Part of me wasn't surprised when she closed the door and leaned against it. To be honest, I was glad she stayed. It meant she really did want to know all of Karen's facets, was willing to see us for who and what we all were. Bane moved closer to her, a murmured conversation followed, and then Bane was turning around to face me.

My vision narrowed to allow only Bane's movements to be seen. I felt my heart hammering in my chest and consciously forced air into my lungs.

“On your knees,” Bane commanded in that low, ominous tone.

Just the sound turned my knees to rubber and I sank to the floor, head automatically dropping in fearful respect. I felt her stare like a physical touch as she stalked around me. I trained my eyes on those well-loved boots of hers, and waited. The waiting seemed interminable and I began to tremble in anticipation.

Suddenly she had a painfully tight grip on my hair, yanking my head back viciously. My eyes closed at the pain, feeling hair being loosened from my scalp, and whimpered.

“No you don't,” she growled. “Open your eyes and face me, Tessa.”

My eyes snapped open and I blinked at the raw fury in her eyes. I was mesmerized, a mouse caught by the snake. I swallowed thickly and tried to mouth apologies.

“You crossed the line, Tessa,” she began in a low, even tone. “You showed a complete lack of respect for me and all that we've meant to each other over the years.”

“I'm sorry.” The words the barest of whispers.

“Oh no. That's not good enough, Tessa. You have no idea just how close to violence your behavior has brought me. You drove my fiancée to nearly calling off this wedding, and you upset the rest of the family I've created here. Last night, I was so angry at your selfishness, I snapped at Darya. Even when I've been upset, I've never done that…until last night.” Her voice dropped from near-shout to threatening hiss in a heartbeat. “Do you have any idea how badly I want to beat the shit out of you for that?”

I shook my head, wincing as more hairs were torn loose from my scalp, but I was completely numb with the fear coursing through my body at Bane's words. I'd never seen her this angry, and truly feared for my safety. I honestly wasn't sure if Darya's presence was a boon or not anymore. “I'm sorry, Bane.”

“For the rest of this trip, you may as well be a non-entity to me, Tessa, no more important that a piece of furniture. Perhaps in time you will regain my trust, but it won't be easy. One wrong move and I throw you out myself.”

The hard grip tightened in my hair, shook me roughly, then shoved me towards the floor. I wisely collapsed, watching her straighten up and visibly try to calm herself. Darya moved to her side, stroking hair, cheek, and arm, and murmured something that only Karen could hear. How I hated their bond, missing the easy adoration of my tall playmate. Tenderly, Darya coaxed the clenched fists to open, and Karen finally let her tension go with a sigh. Only then did I carefully get onto my knees, bowing until my forehead nearly touched the floor. This position was not about pain and pleasure, but apology and forgiveness. No matter how jealous I may have felt about this wedding, I couldn't imagine my life without her in it.

“I'm sorry, Karen,” I forced myself to say hoarsely past the pain in my chest. “I was a jealous, petty fool and didn't want to let you go. I'll willingly take any punishment you wish to bestow.” I blinked back tears, raising up only far enough to seek her cold gaze. “You've been part of my life as long as Anastasia has. I don't want to lose you. Please give me another chance?”

She fixed me with that intense stare again, as if judging me. I swallowed audibly, but made no other move. Her eyes flickered to Anastasia and then back to Darya, before resettling on me.

“You will apologize to everyone that I care about who was affected by your little behavior problem. That includes Darya, Davie, Janet and Art, and especially Emily. Is that clear?”

“Yes, ma'am,” I replied, already mapping out my plan of action.

“I will assume you're already paying for your indiscretions with our Lady. This will happen before the wedding, Tessa. And I will know if you don't follow through. If you don't, pack up and get the fuck out of this house and my life.”

++ Art ++

Cooper barked heavily at some hugely heavy vehicle with a back-up beep. Yes! That was my surprise for the party, I'd bet. “Janet! Sam! C'mere!” Looking mildly taken aback by my demanding, jovial tone, my women appeared. “Grab your coats, there's someone I want you to meet.”


Ignoring Janet's protests, I threw open the door that led into the garage and raced out, nearly slipping on the icy snow.

“Cory!” I yelled and he sort of caught my running tackle-hug and stumbled back into the blue pickup truck. “It's been to damn long,” I whispered hoarsely and he nodded. Leaning back, I looked up into the soft smile of my eldest brother, the man who had been my father figure after we had lost our folks so long ago. He looked a little older, there were a few more lines around his pale eyes behind the thin glasses, and deeper grooves around his narrow mouth. But he was still Cory.

“Far to long,” he agreed with a wry grin. “Despite being asked here to work, good to see you, Art.” Two more figures stumbled from the truck, the taller one lighting up at seeing me.

“Alex!” I squealed, setting Cory aside to wrap the girl in a strong hug. “Good lord, girl, I hardly recognized you! Look how gorgeous you've gotten. Good thing you look like your mom, and not your dad over here, huh?”

Giggling, my twelve-year-old niece hugged me again, before getting embarrassed at her undignified enthusiasm. Rolling my eyes, I grinned at Chris, the spitting image of his dad, only with the slightly lighter coloring of his mother. To my shock, I got a hug from him too. “All this snow is so cool!” He enthused, much to my amusement. “Hey Cooper! I remember you.”

“Guys,” I said to get everyone's attention. “Come meet my wife, Janet.”

++ Janet ++

Sam gave me a sympathetic look as I flashed her a panicked look, and set both hands on my back to push me over. Both her brothers were here? And two kids I guessed were relatives as well.

“Cory,” Art enthused and threw an arm around me, oblivious or ignoring my nervous state. “This is Janet Fraiser and my best friend Sam Carter. Sam lives in the apartment over the garage, so she knows the house as well as me and Janet here. Tell you what. Alex, you be Janet's assistant, and Chris, you can hang out with Sam.” The sharp look Sam flashed Art made me chuckle internally. Poor Sam. “You can help out with food and puppies and your niece and nephew.”

That made the kids light up. “That's right, you've got puppies,” Chris enthused and shyly sidled up to Sam. Looks like tall, blonde and gorgeous had another conquest to add to her extensive collection. The girl, looking to be around twelve, just really coming into adolescence, smiled shyly at me and I offered a hand. “Pleased to meet you Alex. If I seem a little taken aback, it's only because your Aunt Art neglected to mention that you were all coming.”

The mock glower earned a rolling chuckle, in stereo, as Cory joined into the merriment with his sister. “Hey! It was a surprise!” Art protested with a grin and plopped a kiss on me, despite our new audience. By the strange look on Cory's face, I gathered that Art's orientation was what had kept them distant for so long. After all, after the grenade, she had gone straight from recovery to the SGC and my arms. Hmmm…

There was a flurry of activity as we all pitched in to get the truck unloaded. It was mostly boxes and boxes of heavy food that Cory would only mysteriously say was food. It was enough to feed the whole of the SGC for a couple of days and I began to fear for my poor kitchen! Shoved back behind the boxes of food were several gas barbeques and I began to realize how all this was going to happen.

Sara and the boys showed up about then, and jumped right in after a quick round of introductions. I left the newcomers to set up and unpack the goodies, so that I could go to the fireplace and defrost. I'd been outside too long without a warm enough jacket. Sam and Art joined me and we stood shoulder to shoulder and watched our six hands outlined by the cheerful flames. Jack was cheerfully entertaining the new Goldstons, and Cory's strangely familiar voice directed traffic in my kitchen.

“Now I understand why you told me not to worry about food,” I told Art wryly and she grinned.

“I thought it would be a nice surprise. Weeks ago, I bugged Dare for her favorite Greek recipes, and sent a letter to Davie for the same info. However, I doubt the lady of honor has any clue that we're making such a production of it. Cory is an amazing cook, just wait and see.” Rotating her neck to loosen the tense muscles there, Art bounded away. “Off to work on the tent!”

“Too much energy,” Sam deadpanned and I just chuckled.

++ Cory ++

Fin had been chipping away at me for years. Watching Art with her… wife… I had to concede that it had mostly worked. As much as might… issues with this relationship, it really wasn't my business. My kids deserved to know their extraordinary aunt. I had to admit that I liked this Janet. She was smart, willing and a powerful presence. She'd been cheerfully chipping in until Sam stumbled in, heavily laden down with small children. Grunting and groaning like a gorilla, she dragged in leaden limbs, weighted down at the knee with two toddlers, and a slightly older girl with dusky orange curls clinging to her back.

The larger of the two toddlers turned a laughing face to me and I froze. It was eerie how much he looked like Art and Fin. Spotting the look, the boy froze and cringed away shyly. That made his smaller sister look over, meeting my gaze with a proud, fearless stare. That made me grin helplessly at her spunk.

“Hey guys,” Sam said brightly. “This is Uncle Cory. He's Uncle Art's brother. Cory, the ankle weights are Fawn and Cubby. And this is the bride's daughter, Emily, playing backpack. Kids, Cory came all the way from California to make us all yummy Greek food.”

I couldn't help but laugh at the chorus of 'yummy' that came up from the kids. In a flash, little Fawn imperiously toddled over and yanked at my pant leg. “Hun'ry,” she demanded and glowered as though it were my fault.

“Can't have that,” I feigned shock and scooped her up to have a better look at my niece. She was a gorgeous child, with inky curls, her mother's expressive dark eyes, and a cute little nose. After a moment of quiet study, she did what I should have expected her to do.

Went right for the glasses.

After four of my own, you'd think I'd have expected it. Nope. I reflexively flinched away and the frames landed in the lemon soup with a noisy splash. There was a moment of shocked silence before Fawn smiled prettily and I couldn't help but laugh. Sam was spluttering an apology and I waved her away. “No harm done, the soup's not boiling yet. Alex, hon, could you fish those out for me?”

“Sure, dad.”

“Sam, I have four kids. Far worse has been done to me than having my glasses pulled off. Though the soup is a new twist.” Cubby was in her arms now, and he stared at me in silent fascination. The blue-eyed stare over Sam's shoulder was more curious than shy. “Hi there, Emily. You know, I have a daughter that looks to be just your age. Since she's not here, maybe you'd like to help out?” That made the girl light up and scramble to get down.

It would slow things down to have the kids underfoot, but I'd happily indulge them until they got bored and dragged Sam off somewhere else. For now, I would indulge myself in their presence.

To Be Continued…