Disclaimer: I don't own Supernatural or Stargate SG1 or the other show that I'll disclaim at the end of this story. In fact, when it comes to Supernatural, I can't even get any plushies of them.
And I really want a plushie Impala.
Summery: If you ever wondered, what Loki/Gabriel did in It's All in the Details to make Castiel's safe house cabin in Colorado not so safe, well, here it is. Messing with the neighbours doesn't turn out so well, especially when they're named Jack O'Neill. Of course, the same could be said for the reverse.
Author's note: Probably won't make much sense if you haven't read 'It's All in the Details'. Also, if you didn't like the small run by crossover with SG1 in said story, then you probably won't like this. However, I hope it will entertain.
Supernatural is in an AU season four. Stargate is time mushed, not certain of the season. Latish, but before O'Neill becomes a General.
This is a one shot tie in.
March 3/13 Author's Note: Some editing done as of March 3/13. Also, this story is more AU than I thought, as I've unintentionally moved Jack's cabin from Minnesota to Colorado (head meet desk, repeat). Oops.
Off on a Tangent: An 'It's All in the Details' Side Story
One thing that Castiel should have realised about denying Gabriel the chance to create mischief, was that the Archangel (or any Archangel for that matter) didn't really take 'no, you can't do that' as an answer. Instead, he saw it as something of a challenge. So, as soon as a hole opened up in their busy 'pranking the apocalypse' schedule, the archangel turned pagan trickster god was back in Colorado to bug Castiel's neighbour, Jack.
Hmmm, bugs? No, too common. You'd expect to find them at a lake cabin. No, this guy was more a slow dancing with grey aliens type.
He was also, as it turned out, gone.
"Son of a bi…" Gabriel slapped a hand over his mouth. The last thing he needed was to start sounding like old Dean'o.
A not so discrete search of nosy neighbour's cabin later had Gabe frustrated and close to quitting, when he found an old pay stub stuffed down into the back of a sofa. It was a few years old, but with any luck, the guy hadn't changed jobs.
"Jack O'Neill. Colonel. Air Force." He grinned. "NORAD."
With a snap of his fingers, he sent himself there.
He didn't expect to bounce.
Flailing madly, he managed to redirect himself, landing with an 'omf' on the well-padded leather couch in Castiel's cabin/safe house.
"Ow." Curling up on himself, he waited for the distinctly unusual feeling of being flayed alive with a cheese grater to fade away.
It only took a few seconds before he was able to uncurl and sit up, but that was long enough, thanks.
"One of my less than bright ideas."
He'd spent way to much time in this cabin and around the lake. He'd forgotten that Cas was shielding the area from whatever it was that was keeping the supernatural population away from this part of Colorado. And now it was obvious that the effect got worse the closer one got to NORAD.
It wasn't just a matter of pranking anymore; he needed to find out what was doing that.
Or at least, that's what he'd tell Castiel.
First things first though, extra warding was needed.
Rummaging through Cas' supplies, Gabriel found a piece of turquoise, spring water, sea salt, two items that were mentioned in a well known Christmas Carol and a couple of useful herbs.
He dropped the turquoise in a bowl and added the other items. Then he wrapped his hands around the bowl and carefully poured a small amount of his own power into the mix.
There was an odd slurping noise and Gabriel watched as the liquid pulled into the stone. In a few short moments the only thing left in the bowl was the piece of turquoise. With another flash of power he fixed the stone onto a chain and hung it around his neck.
"Alright then, let's try this again." And with a snap of his fingers he was gone.
The problem with places built under mountains, Gabriel decided, was that they were so damn big. Especially when whatever it was that kept trying to get past the shielding he'd put up was also futzing with him being able to sense exactly were it was.
So, for the moment, he was walking through NORAD dressed as an Air Force Captain. He's already travelled six levels down, taken an invisible troll through personnel's computers and had managed to add some much better footage of a sleigh and eight tiny reindeer pacing a jet to their Santa tracking website.
However, he still hadn't found Cas' neighbour.
Obviously, he needed to go deeper.
Level nine was where the security changed. Faking his way through that wasn't out of the question, but this was already taking up more of his time than he'd intended to give it. Even with his senses being futzed, he decided to risk a little teleporting. He found a bathroom, locked himself into an empty stall, and less than a second later was coming out of a different stall in a bathroom three levels down from where he started. It was as far as he was willing to risk moving with the interference.
A quick wash of his hands and a look in the mirror for appearances sake and he wandered out to see what made these levels any different from the ones above them.
The further down he went the more obvious it became that people were noticing he was a new guy. Once again, he could fake his way through that; had already a couple of time, but really, why bother. This was all about finding Cas' neighbour Jack so he could give him a wedgie and plan further embarrassments for him, as well as checking in on what the heck they were doing to make the place so unliveable for those of a supernatural bent. Sure, creating an identity down here might help with the first, but it was something he'd work on later.
So, after checking the cameras, Gabriel stepped into a blind spot and simply disappeared.
He had just hit level 28 and was walking invisibly through the soldier and scientists that thronged the area, when a loud speaker came to life.
"Unscheduled off-world activation!"
"Wormhole X-treme?" He shook his head and followed the armed soldiers that appeared to be jogging off somewhere important. Wormhole X-treme was a TV show about people travelling across the galaxy by way of an alien device that created a temporary wormhole. The guy he'd dropped into a wormhole back at the Mystery Spot had bitched about the show as an example as to why wormholes couldn't exist.
Gabriel had only looked at a couple of episodes after, because the premise reminded him of some yahoos that had been wandering around the galaxy well before humans had even sprouted on this planet. He tended to avoid them even today and not just because without warding their waveforms and an angel's waveform tried to cancel each other out. Simple truth, when it came to having a stick up their asses most of them had it worse than some of his siblings did.
And they'd never learned to clean up after themselves. It was their old tech that had caused problems in the pagan community back when such gods were pretty much the only game in town.
So when he stepped into the gate room and saw the Astria Porta there was only one thing he could say.
"Son of a bitch."
Well, now he knew why this area of Colorado had become so inhospitable to the supernatural community. The gate wouldn't bother humans, much, but anything supernatural, hoo boy. These things leaked negative vibes like nobody's business and even demons wouldn't mess with them. Not after they'd found out that a possessed human travelling through one of the gates was a fast and dirty way of getting the human un-possessed. Fast, because they'd come out the other end without their passenger, dirty, because no one had ever found out what happened to the rider.
Even as he started backing out of the room, Gabriel observed that this gate didn't have its original activation system, although thankfully they had at least put a lid on it. A good thing too, because even with it covered he could feel the active artificial wormhole pushing against the warding he'd thrown on in Cas' cabin.
"IDC verified. Open the Iris."
Gabriel looked up, searching for the voice that gave the last order and noticed a glassed in command station, complete with observers, above the space he was in. Swearing, he continued back peddling out of the area, trying to get away before the iris opened. The warding he was using was already bending and would not hold up against full exposure to the event horizon if he stayed in the same room with it. Normally he could ward himself with his own power on short notice, but like the ascended idiots themselves, their old tech tended to play havoc with an angel's grace.
Even an Archangel's.
With an ominous sound that only he heard, the stone he'd been using as a focus for his wards cracked. He took wing, expecting to be on the other side of the planet two seconds later.
And crash-landed two levels above, fully visible.
Unfortunately, he had at least ten witnesses to him dropping out of thin air and landing on the floor.
"Gargle splotch." Staggering to his feet, he tried again, aiming for anywhere but here. When he thought about it later, he suspected that the only reason it worked was because the gate had powered down by that time.
Not knowing that at the time, he'd thrown a little more power into the jump than he'd intended.
The woman sat on a stone bench in a magnificent garden. A slight breeze brought her the smell of growing things and the sound of a distant waterfall. All was peaceful and serene.
Until a man in a United States Air Force Uniform landed in the grass at her feet.
Sighing, she shook her head. "Hello Loki."
"Heh, hey Kali, how's tricks?"
Gabriel then did something no Archangel would ever admit to.
He passed out.
Daniel focused on the report in his hands and ignored Jack as he sat beside him at the conference table and grumbled. Jack grumbling through a debriefing was standard, although he was maybe overdoing it as the base had gone on lock down the moment they came back and no one they'd talked so far knew why.
"Good to see you back SG1." The general said as he entered the room. "Normally I'd want to discuss in-depth just why you're back early."
"Angry mob, pitchforks, torches." Jack said, summing it all up.
"Ah, and the reason for that?"
Major Carter held up her hand. "My fault I'm afraid. I helped someone start a fire with some matches." She shrugged. "I thought they were a little more technologically advanced than they were."
Daniel winced. "Yeah, about that. Just about the time you were starting that fire, I found out that anything they have that's more advanced was brought to them by a 'celestial being' that visits about twice a year and trades tech for produce and other goods."
"Probably a travelling merchant from one of the nearby planets doing a god shtick." Jack added.
"Probably," Daniel agreed. "It didn't sound like whoever it was, was using the gate. Anyway, anything they get from him belongs to and is lent out from the church. Having something 'magic' that didn't belong to the church was, well, probably worse than blasphemy. Especially since we were so adamant about us just being normal, human travelers."
"I hate being mistaken for gods." Jack grumbled. "So, now that that's over, how come we're on lockdown?"
"An intruder was spotted on level 26 at about the same time you came back through the gate. He appeared out of nowhere and then disappeared into thin air."
The general cued up the video footage from level 26's hallway cameras.
Jack was still staring at the screen, hard, after the short piece had ended.
"You get a clear shot of his face from that?"
"Yes, we did." The general slid a photo he'd had printed out from the video across the table to the colonel. He picked up the picture and gave it another hard look.
"I know him. His brother owns the cabin across the lake from mine."
Castiel frowned and set down the items he'd stopped by the cabin to pick up. Several people had crossed the wards on the property (he'd put in extra alarms after Jack's first visit had surprised them.) Too many people. Far more than resided in this area, even at the height of summer.
He puffed out an annoyed breath. He didn't know how or why, but he suspected that he had Gabriel to blame for this. He moved to a window and looked out. His vessel's eyes couldn't see anyone, but the senses that belonged to his true form easily picked them out.
Fifty-eight of them. Some close, some further back. From his own experiences as a soldier and commander, the size was comparable to either two smallish squads or one very large one, with perhaps a few observers.
Ah, and speaking of being observed, he really didn't want to be.
With a wave of his hand, all the cabin's windows went dark.
"Whoa." One moment, Jack was using binoculars to watch tax accountant guy with a skin-painting fetish and the next he was looking at window glass that was so dark it seemed to suck light in rather than reflect it.
From the reports coming in the same thing had happened to every window in the place.
"Well, I'd say it's obvious that they know we're here." Daniel said, unnecessarily.
Cas paced. It was a very human thing to do, but sometimes he found it helped him to move when he was this angry.
He could, should in fact, just leave. The cabin was a safe house that was no longer safe. He should just grab everything and be gone.
With a pissed off expression on his face he paced some more. He knew it made no sense for an angel to form attachments to things, but of all the safe houses, this was the one that he cared for the most. He'd actually had to create an identity, buy the property and put a lot of extra work into the place.
Besides, he liked the lake and sitting on the dock with Dean.
He tilted his head at the thought and realized that was biggest problem. The cabin itself was well warded. Nothing short of an Archangel could get in without permission and they'd have to work at it. Humans could do little to it.
It was the outside space they'd no longer be able to use and travel to the cabin would only be possible by what Dean called Angel Air.
Which meant he'd better phone Dean and let him know that driving up to the cabin would be a bad idea. Not that he was expecting them here, but odd things happening was the norm in their lives, not the exception.
He pulled out his cell phone to do just that and almost dropped it when it went off in his hand.
He didn't recognize the number, which made him think that it may have been another telemarketer, but he answered it anyway.
"Hello. I don't know who this is, but I found this phone on a friend of mine and this was the only number programmed into it."
Even over a cell phone speaker, Cas could feel the power in the woman's voice.
"And, who is your friend?"
"Tell me who you are first."
"Didn't your friend tell you?"
She gave him a lady like snort of disdain. "He's unconscious."
Cas felt a spike of panic in his chest. He didn't know who the friend was, but if they were unconscious it was likely a human, and even more likely to be Dean or Sam. He was so preoccupied with the panic that he didn't notice the loud thump at his front door.
"Try it again." Jack ordered over the comms. The four men at the cabin's door holding a battering ram reared back and heaved it at the door a second time. The door didn't move an inch, but the vibration running through the ram cause all four of them to drop it. The men danced out of the way as it landed, so they wouldn't lose their toes to it.
"What the hell?"
"Perhaps the door is reinforced with some kind of metal." Teal'c suggested.
Jack shrugged. "Could be. Okay, second team, smoke grenades, through the windows. We'll make them come to us."
Three men, one on each of the two windows in the front and another on a window in the back, shot smoke canisters through the windows.
Well, they tried too.
"Wow, I didn't think those things could bounce that far." Daniel said, impressed.
"Fall back to a safe distance." Jack ordered as he glared at the unbroken windows and the smoke wreathed ground between them and the cabin.
"So, what was that? Reinforced glass?" He asked.
"It's not impossible." Sam suggested.
He gave her an incredulous look.
She shrugged. "You said they renovated the cabin. They may have put in bullet resistant glass."
"Not sure that explains the bouncing." Daniel interposed. "Or the boinging sound they made coming off the windows."
Castiel had discovered Bugs Bunny the week he fixed the windows.
"It sounds rather noisy where you are."
Cas agreed, but he didn't give the humans outside much thought. "Yes, there are a couple of squads of soldiers trying to break into my home at the moment."
"Hmm. Might that explain why my friend arrived wearing some sort of military outfit?"
And that was just too easy to put together with the men outside and who he was sure he had to blame for them.
"You said he's unconscious?"
Now the woman on the line sounded a little worried.
"Yes, and I've never seen that happen before, even when he was drunk out of his gourd." There was silence on the line for a moment. "Look, who are you?"
"My name is Kaseva." Cas said, the time for being cautious over. He just hoped he chose correctly. "Loki and I are brothers, of a sort. I'm a…"
"You're a trickster. I've been hearing about you lately."
That sounded like something to be worried about, but like the soldiers, it would have to be done later.
"Is he alright?"
"I think so." She sighed. "The things I do for him." He could practically hear the head shake over the phone. "I'll text you my location. Do not bring anyone else with you and… present casual, no full displays of power in my home or on my grounds or my guards will probably attack you."
"Of course. Thank you." He ended the call and made sure that his personal wards would show him to be Kaseva. He left as soon as he got the location.
Outside the soldiers continued to try to gain access to the cabin.
Cas landed on the edge of lush grounds. Grass, trees, waterfalls and ponds spread out across several acres of land, with buildings off in the distant that appeared to be a compound. It was far too large to be a single house, even if one would no doubt name the main part of it a mansion.
There were also several large men in ceremonial garb waiting for him. The guards she'd mentioned, no doubt.
One of them bowed and addressed him in Hindi.
"We are to escort you into our lady's presence."
"Thank you." Kaseva replied, in the same language.
From painful experience, Cas knew that impatience was a failing of his. Therefore, he clamped down on it hard during the walk to the compound. Human speeds were fine for contemplation, but hard on his system when he wanted to be somewhere now.
Eventually they lead him into a large room in the compound. A woman, lovely in form but disturbing in power, sat in a chair that sketched a reference to being a throne. The guards went down on one knee to her and bowed.
Ignoring them, she rose from the chair and spoke.
"I am Kali."
Mentally Cas choked, even while he gave her a small, gentlemanly bow and introduced himself as Kaseva. Sam had told him about Gabriel's death at Lucifer's hands when the older Archangel attacked the pagan convention that the brothers were attending against their will. He'd also mentioned that Gabriel had asked them to get Kali out of there.
He hadn't thought of what that might mean.
"Come." She said, leading the way out of the room.
And he didn't have time to figure it out now.
Loki lay on a bed. Kali must have had her servants change his clothes, as he was wearing pants and a tunic. The uniform he'd probably been wearing was neatly folded and sitting on a chair by the bed.
"Hey… pretty lady."
"Loki." Kali sounded both relieved and annoyed.
Gabriel blinked a few times, as if he were having trouble seeing.
"Ca…" He looked at Kali for a moment, then shook his head and focused again on Castiel. "Kas. How?"
Kali dropped Gabriel's cell phone onto the bed next to him. "Found this when we were cleaning you up and called him." She frowned at him. "Why are you using one of those anyway?"
Loki laughed, though it looked like it hurt him. "Kas keeps using them, so I got one as well."
Cas shrugged at her questioning look. "My chosen warrior is good at the warrior part, but is not so good at the chosen."
Loki laughed again. "Worst prayers you've ever heard. But funny, definitely funny."
Cas smiled slightly at the memory. "It simply became easier to speak with him by phone when I did not have the time to see him in person."
Kali appeared to want to ask several more questions, but Loki groaned and tried to sit up. Cas reached out to help him.
"Afraid I screwed up Kas."
"Yes. Does this by any chance explain why there are currently soldiers trying to break their way into my place in Colorado?"
Loki slumped. "Damn, hoped no one recognized me. Must have been the colonel."
"That didn't make any sense Loki."
"Your neighbour, Jack, he's a colonel. I went to check out where he works."
"I know, I know. I was supposed to leave them alone." He shook his head. "Sorry, not in my nature. Might be a good thing I did though." He gave Kali a searching look. "Have you been hearing anything about Colorado?"
"It isn't a place I'm likely to spend much time in Loki."
"Buuuuut?" He asked, knowing a deflection when he heard it.
"But, I have heard that some parts of it are best avoided by our kind."
"There's a…" He paused for a moment, to remember what those snake things used to call it. "A Chappa'ai in Cheyenne Mountain. An active one."
Cas thought it good that the guards had not followed them into the room; else the out lash of angry energy from Kali would no doubt have reduced them to ash. As it was, even he was feeling a little singed.
"If it's one of those impostors again I will spend the next hundred years flaying the flesh from their bones."
Cas gave his brother a disturbed look, but addressed the goddess. "I take it there is some history involved?"
"Aliens." Loki said, almost laughing at Cas' expression when he said it. To them, all of the peoples God had created across the universe were human )or the Enocian word equivalent of it). To an angel it didn't matter their age, power level, appearance, planet they lived on or name they called themselves. Thinking of them as different was hard for them to wrap their minds around.
"Tried to set themselves up as gods. Worked in some places, but not so much in places where there were already gods. Some of the gods ignored them. My people, the Norse pantheon, we were a little to busy carousing to bother with the ones pretending to be us." He shrugged. "And they had good stories. We borrowed a few of the better ones and added them to our biographies after they left. We were pretty lucky, ours were actually trying to help people, in their own screwed up way, and most of us didn't have any direct confrontations with them."
"Why do I feel that you were the exception?" Cas asked him.
Loki grinned, but neither denied nor admitted anything.
"Some pagan gods weren't so lucky. Several of them were killed and replaced by some of the nastier races that came visiting." He smiled and moved his attention to the goddess in the room. "Of course, some of the stronger gods took them out, with prejudice.
"Extreme prejudice. " Kali said, having gotten herself under control again.
Cas looked his brother over, now recognizing the damage to the Archangel's grace the gate must have caused. Damage that would heal, the worst of it in a few hours, but it was damage that should never have happened in the first place.
"You went in without warding?"
Loki shook his head. "No, but I wasn't using the best. It was just a quick toss together. I didn't expect to find that there and when I did, well, it was too late. Cracked my ward like an egg. Was lucky to get out. Unfortunately, I kind of made a spectacle of my self doing it." He looked at the two of them.
"So, I may know how to fix this, if you're willing to play along. "
Jack looked at the cabin in disgust. Four hours they'd been at it now and nothing. Rams, chainsaws, shaped charges, tanks. Nothing worked. They'd even tried Zatting it and blasting it. Those were a little more hopeful, but only because whatever was protecting this place fought back when they used them. Problem was it fought back by somehow deactivating the devices. They'd usually be offline for about an hour, so they'd only been able to hit the place a few times and they still couldn't tell if it was doing anything.
He turned when he heard a flapping sound, a little surprised that any bird would come within a mile of this place with all the noise they were making.
Dark hair, blue eyes and a trench coat was all he managed to see before two fingers touch his forehead and the world dropped out from below his feet.
He staggered when he landed and looked around.
"Great, another spaceship."
Then he looked again.
"Oh, you have got to be kidding me."
The guy sitting in the captain's chair was their intruder. He was also dressed as Captain Kirk, original series. Beside him stood a beautiful woman, dressed as Lt. Uhura, who appeared to want to rip someone's face off, possibly the Kirk clone's but probably Jacks. The guy who brought him here was still in the trench coat.
With a sigh, the guy waved a hand across his body and was instantly dressed as Commander Spock.
"Better. Hey, you should bring your chosen here when we're done. The guy loves Trek and you two could play Captain and Commander." Eyebrows were waggled.
Not Spock glared at him, then wiped his face of all emotion. Captain guy just sighed and shook his head.
"Okay, you've got the no emotion part down just a little to well."
"Captain, perhaps we should get to the matter at hand." Fake Uhura said, looking as if she'd bit into a lemon.
The Captain pouted. "Nobody ever wants to have any fun."
Aaaand Jack had had enough.
"Okay, that's it. Why have you brought me here?"
"Well duh, you're trying to wreck C… Kas' place. We're just supposed to stand by and let you?"
"Don't know why not. It's not like we're getting anywhere with it."
"You destroyed the dock." Kas said.
Jack gave him a confused look.
"I liked the dock."
"Look," the guy in the Captain's chair said. "I'm sorry I went and snuck into your little clubhouse, but I was curious. I didn't mean any harm."
Not Spock coughed slightly and the Captain gave him an annoyed look.
"Hey, he was the guy who was spying on us. Turnabout was just fair play."
The woman made an annoyed sound. "Loki."
Jack moved back a step. "Loki?"
The guy gave him a piercing look, and then laughed. "Oh man, you ran into the other one, didn't you?"
"Yeah, the short grey spindly guys." He snorted. "I've been having fun with their images for decades now. Figured I owed it to them for borrowing my name."
"You're saying the Asgard stole your name?"
"I hadn't realized that they'd been on Earth." That was from Not Spock.
"Yeah, they made off with a few people and set them up on other planets. They seemed to be okay about it, so I let them. Figured that way someone would survive the end of the world bitch fest when it happened."
"What?" Jack nearly groaned the question. Not another end of the world, dammit.
"Never mind." Loki replied, in his best Gilda Radner. "Anyway, that's all by the way. The real question is; what do we do with you Yahoos and that gate?"
Jack stiffened, because really, he'd long ago had it with aliens deciding they could tell them what to do.
Daniel felt like tearing his hair out and Sam didn't look like she was doing much better. As usual, Teal'c appeared calm, but both of them knew him well enough to know he was worried as well.
"We should put a bungee on him. Then every time some one zaps him away, he could just bounce back on his own."
"I believe that O'Neill suggested a similar plan last week when you disappeared, Daniel Jackson."
The archaeologist spared a moment to throw Teal'c an annoyed look before focusing back on the cabin. He wanted nothing more than to go over to it and pound on the door until they gave Jack back. Assuming they were actually in there.
"Look, whatever tripe you're going to try to feed me about why we shouldn't have the gate, just stuff it. The Goa'uld are going to keep coming at us whether it's open or not and without it we have no way to fight them or to find help fighting them."
The woman was frowning at him. "You are fighting the impostors, the false gods?"
"Yes." What did they think they were doing, inviting them over for pizza and beer?
She gave the Captain an inquiring look.
"Hey babe, you're the one that wants snake flambé."
"Only if they return to this planet. Otherwise, I have more important things to do."
"True that. Kas?"
"I believe that the effects of the gate should be monitored, but I do not believe it is our place to interfere any further and as…." Hesitating a moment he looked at Kali, who nodded.
"…As Kali has said, we have more important things to do."
Loki, Kali… Heavy hitters. He wasn't sure who Not Spock was supposed to be though. And he wondered where those cousins he'd met the first time fit in. Still, Cas…Kas… However it was spelled, it sounded like a short form nickname. He really needed Daniel. He'd probably be able to figure it out just looking at him.
Jack jerked back, because suddenly the guy in question was right in his face.
"Leave my cabin alone. And fix the dock." Two fingers were on his forehead again and the world went sideways.
Jack dropped back into reality quite literally and he said a few choice words as he allowed Daniel and Sam to help him stand.
"Happy to see guys too." He dusted himself off as he looked the over the mess they'd made of the area around the cabin, wincing slightly at the completely destroyed dock.
"What happened, Jack?"
"Let's post a team here, leave another team at my cabin to oversee and head back to base for a debrief, because I'm still trying to wrap my head around it."
"You'll have to go through medical first… sir." Sam reminded him.
Jack groaned. He hated medical, however it was standard procedure when someone disappeared suddenly. Had to make sure they were still who they said they were.
"Hey Thor, how are they no longer hanging?"
The Asgardian froze at his workstation. Eyes wide he turned to look at the intruder that even now his ships systems wouldn't admit was there. An intruder he hadn't seen in a very long time and had hoped never to see again.
The being he only knew of as Loki smiled at him. "We've got a few things to discuss, you and I.
Castiel was in his safe house in Fort Worth when Gabriel popped in, looking unusually depressed.
"Hey Cas… Do you know that the Asgard are dying? I mean, the entire race."
Cas thought that over for a moment. "I did not know, but it is not surprising."
"Yeah, thing is, I went and had a chat with their Supreme Commander." He shrugged at Castiel's surprised expression. "Played a few tricks on him back in the day. Made an impression on him."
"Of that I am certain."
Loki stuck his tongue out at his brother.
"Anyway, he told me they're hoping that when they're gone, that the Tau'ri will take over being the protectors of the Milky Way. They don't intend it to be real soon… but…"
Cas frowned. "Tau'ri… The people of Earth?"
"Yep. Didn't have the heart to tell him that the Asgard may outlive them, if the apocalypse ever gets off the ground." Both angels were quiet for a time.
"Do you ever get the feeling that there's more that just angels and demons trying to take this place out." Gabriel finally asked him. "And I don't mean other races, like the Goa'uld or even the Replicators. I'm talking about something that's finally figured out what Dad sees in this place and wants it squashed, fast
Castiel's brow furrowed in thought. The future he had seen, where he'd taken in the purgatory souls, well, he hadn't just seen it, he'd felt it as well. He had believed he was prepared for those souls, but the power was overwhelming. More than that, there had been something under it. Something hungrier than all those souls put together that wanted to eat until there was nothing left. However, whatever it was hadn't felt like the mastermind Gabriel was talking about. Instead, it felt like another piece of the puzzle.
"I hope with all that I am that you are wrong Gabriel. However, I think that we should not dismiss the idea. It is rare that the puppet ever knows that the puppeteer exists and I am tired of the feeling that something is pulling my strings.
"Amen brother, amen."
Jack was certain that the reason they had medical after every mission was because it made the actual debrief fun in comparison.
"Colonel, glad to see you're no worse for wear." General Hammond said as he walked into the briefing room.
"Glad of that my self sir."
The General sat. "So, I take it the assault did not go well."
Jack and Daniel both made a coughing sound that didn't quite hide the laugh.
"No sir, it didn't. I'd say comedy routine about sums it up. We tried everything we could think of to get into that cabin and nothing worked. I'm not even sure a nuclear strike would do us any good. Not that I'm suggesting one. Hate to have to find a new fishing spot."
"Jack." Daniel asked. "When he grabbed you, did he take you to the cabin?"
"No, or at least I don't think so. Not unless he redecorated in 60s Sci-Fi."
With a sigh, Jack recounted the entire surreal experience.
Daniel had been snickering for at least three minutes, which was two and a half minutes too long.
"Daniel, focus. We need facts. Loki, Kali… and whoever it is that actually owns the cabin. Loki called him Cas. Don't know if it's with a C or a K or if it has one S or two."
The linguist/archaeologist brought himself under control. "Okay Jack, I only saw him for a moment, back when he grabbed you. So I a need a description. Anything you noticed about him… or even around him."
Everyone in the briefing room jumped slightly and looked towards the small alien that appeared to be sitting in one of the chairs at the table. Appeared, as he was probably a hologram, because even preoccupied, Jack didn't think he'd have missed the bright white light that accompanied teleportation.
"Hey Thor, I'd like to think that this is a social call, but you've got suspiciously good timing."
"I too wish this communication was merely social, but I have recently been in contact with…" Thor's voice faded. Everyone looked at him, surprised. The Asgardian wasn't usually at a loss for words.
Thor sighed. "Actually, I've never quite been able to explain him, even to myself."
Sam slid the picture they had of Loki down to Thor.
"Yes, that is him. From what he said SG1 and he had a run in?"
"Guy snuck onto base."
"I am surprised. From what I know of him and a few others of his kind, they prefer to stay away from the gates and most of the other technology that the Ancients created. Some believe they are somehow incompatible with naquahdah and the zero point energy that is the power source for these items. However, it is only conjecture, as it was never proven."
"He said his name was Loki. Made it sound like he'd got here before you guys."
Thor nodded. "It is possible. When we first started to look at Earth, we noticed a few stories with characters whose names were similar to our own. These tales had not spread far at the time and we thought it merely serendipitous. We knew that the humans of that age would not understand what we were, but allowing them to believe we were gods allowed us interact with them to some degree. It wasn't until later that we and the Goa'uld learned that some of these stories had fact behind them." He shifted uncomfortably. "Some of the Goa'uld didn't survive that lesson."
"And you never thought to mention them?" Jack asked.
"Given that humans no longer appeared to worship such beings, we thought that they, like us, were no longer visiting the Earth."
"So, Loki?" Daniel asked.
Thor shuddered slightly. "As I said, others did not survive such meetings. We were lucky. He tormented us with tricks for months, each of them worse than the last and allowed us to blame each other for the mishaps. It was the closest I have seen my people come to fighting with each other in a very long time. When he did reveal himself, it was almost as embarrassing as the original tricks, to realize that we had come so close to hurting each other over nothing. It was a hard lesson."
"So, where's he from?"
"That I do not know. I only know that he and the others like him pretending to be gods had designed their technology to appear to their worshipers as magic."
"You did similar."
"Yes, but they were better at it. At the time, we thought that Earth was not the first place they had visited, but we have never been able to find evidence of them elsewhere. Neither Loki, nor any others we met after him admitted to where they came from, other than to restate the origins we'd already heard about them in the stories the humans were telling."
"Huh." Daniel's forehead crinkled up in thought.
"So." Jack asked. "Is there anything we can do about him?"
"I cannot say. We never found anything effective. Even our current security systems cannot keep him out and we've never been able to track his teleportation system. The best I can suggest is avoidance."
"Which," The General said, "will be somewhat difficult, given we attacked his brother's home."
"Yeah." Jack looked contemplative. "Maybe we should fix the dock.
After Thor signed off, Daniel got Jack to write up what he'd noticed about all three of the 'gods' he'd been kidnapped by. Since they at least knew who Loki and Kali were pretending to be, he concentrated on the one that had grabbed Jack.
"Hmmm. Black hair, blue eyes. Had two men at cabin that were introduced as cousins, but Jack hasn't seen them since the first few days. Trench coat… Not sure if that means anything. Body Paint? Scantly clad women? What the… " He looked a little closer at the sheet of paper he was reading. "Thought he was a bird? Oh, flapping noise. Hmmm. The trench coat? Or something else?" He laughed slightly when he read the next bit. "Has a 'chosen' who likes Trek?"
He put the paper down and rubbed at his forehead. "Figuring this out would take a miracle." He looked at his computer and snorted before typing in some of the list's highlights. "Not like you can just stick this in a search engine and come up with an answer."
He pressed enter.
When Daniel got home that night, he went to his computer and pulled up the webpage he'd found earlier that day. He hadn't accepted the find at face value of course. He'd done more research, conversed with a couple of colleges and traced the history and recent purchase of Jack's neighbour's cabin.
He couldn't find anyone in the state who had worked on the renovations to the place, though to be truthful, he wasn't surprised about that.
In the end though, he came back to this pagan website.
He pulled out a sheath of papers that he'd brought home with him. The website explained how to worship the god in question. It also mentioned that it was possible to summon him, but it didn't recommend it and it didn't explain how.
However, one of his colleges had found descriptions of a ritual involving Kaseva on a dig a couple of years back. It had been a big find, because little had been know about this god. So little in fact that many thought an earlier amateur archaeologist had made him up.
The ritual wasn't even that difficult.
Castiel was tweaking the Kaseva costume Loki had originally helped him create. He hadn't actually used it with Kali or his neighbours, because with the first, her guards would have seen is as a display of power and would have attempted to attack him and with the second, his neighbour already knew what he looked like most of the time.
Still, he needed a casual version of the costume, one that wouldn't set off screaming but would still separate Kaseva from Castiel.
The summons wasn't particularly powerful. It was in Colorado, which meant he'd have to ward and from the feel of it, the petitioner wasn't even a believer. It would have been easy to ignore… but he did need someone to test the new look out on.
Well, Daniel thought when nothing happened, that's fifteen minutes of my life I'll never get back. He reminded himself to never, ever mention to the rest of SG1 that he'd even attempted something so…
"I will hear your petition."
Wide eyed, Daniel backed away from the walking piece of a night's sky that was now standing in his living room. The form was that of a man, but beyond that, all he could focus on was the trail of miniature stars and planets that wound their way through what he thought was a coat. Dizzy, he looked away, the sense of falling bringing a wave of nausea.
The being sighed. "Still too much. I thought adding something to look at within the darkness would make it less upsetting."
Daniel snuck another look, but only a brief one since the room seemed to lurch when he did.
"Yes." The being tilted his head and looked Daniel over. "I have seen you. You were one of those attempting entrance to my home."
"Uh, yeah, sorry about that."
"It was more Loki's fault than yours." Daniel heard an odd puff of noise. "I believe you may look now."
Daniel let out a sigh of relief as he looked up at the 'god' and found a human looking man in a trench coat. A relief that was short lived as the man was suddenly very close to him and studying him in a way that made him feel like a bug on a slide.
"You have walked on a higher plane."
Daniel swallowed. "Uh, what makes you say that?"
The being gave him a look that Daniel was fairly certain Jack would categorize as 'the stink-eye'.
"Okay, yes, but I don't really remember much about it."
Kaseva frowned. "However, the knowledge is still with you, it is merely sealed at the moment." He reached out to touch Daniel's forehead and the young man jerked away so hard he started to fall backwards over his coffee table. Strong hands grabbed him and set him aright.
Kaseva let him go and backed up a step. "Apologies, I did not realize that you do not wish to remember."
Daniel's laugh was strained. "I do want to, actually. I just don't think I should. I know my human mind can't truly understand most of it and I'm not very good at being an ascended being. Got kicked out because I kept trying to help."
"And you are not supposed to help?" Castiel wasn't sure what the young man meant, as he hadn't really had much contact with the races that decided to travel the higher planes without his Father's help. There was never much call for it, as both sides had to be heavily warded because their waveforms were not compatible.
"Well, no. Once you ascend, you're supposed to stay out of worldly matters. No interference with free will."
Cas frowned. Angels were agents of fate. They had been made so and until recently didn't interfere in the affairs of man, at least not without orders. An ascended being however had once been 'human'. Stepping away from that could hardly be done all at once and besides, just because they rose, didn't mean they gave up free will.
"It sounds as if they interfered with you when you attempted to exercise your own free will."
Daniel's mouth dropped open. "Huh, never really thought of it like that." He sighed. "Still, doesn't mean you can do anything you want."
"No, it does not. If there is anything do I know; it is the free will is hard. It has to be worked at, considered and debated with others."
Daniel grimaced. "Not big on debate. More like do this or splat!"
"Yes, I am familiar with the splat part."
That statement startled Daniel, making him wonder, but Kaseva was off looking at something else.
"What are these?" He held up the plate that Daniel had put the offering out on.
"Oh, uh… the website I looked up said that you looked fondly upon offerings of cherries and chocolate." He bit his bottom lip. "They've been in my freezer since Christmas. I think they're still good."
Cas picked up one of the mostly thawed out chocolate mounds and popped it in his mouth, his eyes lighting up as the candy broke open and the syrup and cherry added their flavours to the chocolate.
"Thank you. If you should need me, then pray to me. I will help if possible."
Before Daniel could ask anything else, he was gone. The now empty plate dropped to the floor with a thump, the carpet just thick enough to keep it from breaking.
Daniel rubbed at his forehead. "I really don't want to write this report."
"You invited a pagan god home and fed him cherry chocolates?"
Daniel's reply was somewhat muffled, as his forehead was touching the top of the table.
"And you thought this was a good idea because?"
Daniel sat up. "I didn't actually think it would work."
"When are we ever that lucky Danny?"
Okay, he had to give him that.
"In any case, it's been taken out of our hands." General Hammond said, not looking very happy about it. "Other agencies will deal with the problem. We are simply to report any further contact we may have with them."
"You mean the NID will deal with it." Jack said, looking pissed.
"Sir, they've cleaned up considerably."
"Doesn't mean I trust them."
No one could actually argue with that, they'd all been burned by that agency three or four times too many.
"I'm afraid they also want the ritual you used."
Now Daniel felt like swearing. What a completely perfect way to piss off a group of super powered beings. There was no way that the NID wouldn't try to use it to capture them.
Maybe he could change…
"Dr. Jackson, the complete ritual. I don't want them back here on our doorstep if it doesn't work."
He sighed. "Yes sir."
Later that afternoon, Daniel took a pleasant walk outside of Star Gate Command.
"Let's hope this works." Putting his hands together and closing his eyes, he prayed silently.
"You are much better at it than Dean is."
"Huh?" Blinking his eyes open, he found the 'god' standing next to him. He blinked again when he realized that the man was covered in black polka dots.
Yeah, he thought, that sounds like a good idea.
"You have need of my help?" Kaseva asked.
"Actually, I wanted to warn you. Another agency made off with the ritual I used last night. They might try to use it to trap you and the others."
Kaseva tilted his head as he thought that over. "Thank you for the warning; I will pass it on to my brother and Kali."
"Loki." Kaseva looked pensive for a moment, and then shrugged. "I will suggest to Loki that he deal with things if they do use that ritual. He's been bored enough that he'll probably do it."
At Daniel's worried look, he attempted to reassure him. "Do not be concerned. I will ask that he do no permanently harm to anyone."
"Uh… I was more worried about him."
The slight smile on Kaseva's face was disturbing and anyone who knew Loki would have immediately seen a family resemblance. "You shouldn't be."
Daniel blinked and the 'god' was gone.
"Oh, that's probably not good."
Maybe he should warn the NID about that ritual…...
Disclaimer: I don't own Star Trek either. Hmmm. Plushies, those are possible.
Author's note: If you're wondering, the polka dots were a costume malfunction.