Shadows in the Forest

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Re: Shadows in the Forest

Post by Jack(s) » Mon Aug 03, 2020 7:28 pm

thank you both. much appreciated 😀😀😀
"Dogs are my favorite people !!!"
"I've got to have fun or it's not worth it."

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Posts: 4744
Joined: Mon Mar 18, 2019 5:59 pm
Location: UK

Re: Shadows in the Forest

Post by Jack(s) » Thu Aug 06, 2020 12:21 am

because I am in a good mood and I am off, here is the next part. enjoy it...

About an hour later the door was propped open and a gurney with her friend on top was brought in. He had a white bandage around his head and his right wrist was in a splint. She watched him and how he had been transferred back to his bed.
Looking at the nurses and then back to him she was curious what he had done now. She waited till the whole staff had left his room before she went near him.

“Uncle Jack?” she called him softly.

“Cassie, hey,” he acknowledges her.

“What have you done? Are you in pain? Can I help you with something?” Cassie bombarded him with the first set of questions.

“Slow down, grasshopper. I had a fall and right now I am not in much pain. They have some good stuff here.” He whistled out a breath and tried to remember the last question she had for him but came up with nothing, “Sorry, what was your last question?”

“If I can help you with anything,” Cassie repeated the last one.

“Just water, please.” He tried to sit up but that already caused him a lot of effort. So, he ended up coughing.

“Have they told you what you have done for damage this time?” Cassie asked and if Jack didn’t know it better, he would have sworn there was a hint of blame in that voice.

“I was told I have a concussion, a sprained right wrist, a cracked rib and some bruises on my legs,” he explained, kicking himself mentally over his stupidity.

“Have they told you how far back it would bring you with your therapy? I am sure you have to take a longer break now,” Cassie stated, holding herself back to not shout at him. She was mad but felt like she was not in a position to give him a piece of her mind.
Jack looked at her and saw the hurt feeling in the kid’s eyes. How could he have been so stupid? Why did he always have to be so impatient? It was not fair to Cassie that she was the one who had found him. He should have known better.

“No, they didn’t tell me. But I assume it will knock me back a bit.” He took another sip from the water Cassie had given him earlier.

“Why?” Cassie had learned from her friend that the right words weighed more to get the point across than lots of words which said nothing.

“Because I am a stupid, impatient idiot.” Jack grinned and tried to change the subject with his next question. “How was school? What important stuff did you learn today?”

He never received an answer being Interrupted by a knock on the door and all his friends came strolling in: Carter, Daniel, his alien friend Teal`c and the good old Doc. Mentally he started to brace himself for the conversation what was sure to follow. It never came.

The whole time his friends had been with him in his room it was a light-hearted conversation with laughing and joking around. No remarks had been made about his incident and he felt uneasy with it. He knew that Daniel was the kind of character who always would question the stupidity of his actions. Teal`c would never say something and Carter was in the military as well. She would know better to question her CO. Then there was the Doc. She normally tells him a bit of a piece of her mind.

He wondered briefly what Cassie had told her mum already on the phone and what his team had come up with. But nevertheless, he also was happy not to answer any questions regarding his incident. He would get it off Lucas soon enough anyway.

After everybody was gone, he looked at his watch. It was around 7. He had his dinner while his friends had been with him. Now he felt tired and was thinking about calling it an early night. That sounded good to him. He snuggled himself into his bed and succumbed to a deep restful sleep.


The next morning came far too soon. The Doctor at the morning visit had told him that he could carry on with his therapy but with limited exercises and extreme caution. He had told him that he had to expect a setback from a minimum of one month but rather to two.

Jack didn’t feel hungry for his breakfast and only managed half of his omelette. He was still mad at himself for giving in to such a dumb idea and now he had to wait longer. He been told from the beginning it will take a very long time and that he must be patient.

Lucas would come any minute now and Jack was sure he would get another lecture about his impatience.
And there it was. The knock on the door that he was waiting for. His therapist came in with a big grin and greeted him with “Good morning, I just hope it was worth it. How did it feel to stand again?”

Jack watched him coming in and eyed him with suspicion before answering, “Very good.”

“Good. Don’t forget that feeling. You need to use it to overcome your setback. It will make things a bit easier. For the next few weeks, you are allowed only easy exercises. I was thinking about today we make it a rest day. It would do your body good after yesterday. Tomorrow we will see how you feel. When you are feeling better with your head, I heard it’s only a slight concussion, we will make more water exercises.” He watched his patient and waited a few seconds for him to take all the new information on board before he continued.

“But we have to listen to your body. You need to be honest with me when the exercises are too hard for you or you are struggling in any other way with them.” He explained further.

“Will do, Sir.” He looked at his therapist with a faint smile.

“Good, I will see you tomorrow at 10:00 then. Have a nice day, Jack.” He chose the name variation to let his patient know that he wasn’t upset. The Colonel needed to understand that he harmed himself more with stunts like that than he did himself a favour.

“See you, have a nice day yourself Lucas.” Jack gave him a sloppy salute and a deep breath too once he was alone again.
Taking Andy in his hand and facing the dog’s eyes, he asked her what a stupid dumbass her daddy was. In a mock voice she answered that he was a big one. Jack smiled and sat the dog back next to his pillow. His wrist hurt by now and he felt dizzy again. Time for another light snooze.


SGC, Hammonds Office

Hammond hung up the phone. He just had a talk with the police officer who handled the case regarding the Colonel’s abduction, abuse, and attempted manslaughter. The boys still had been in custody and the trial would start in about two weeks. He had to speak to his friend as he was asked if Jack would stand in court as the crowning witness.

The general wanted to pay him a visit anyway and this was a perfect excuse to make it not too obvious. He knew how Jack hated all this fuss around him.

Checking the time, he saw it was mid-afternoon already. He would call it an early day and on the way home, step in to see his 2IC. He nodded to himself for the plan and packed everything together. On the way out he told his aide where he would be able to be reached in case of an emergency and with that, he left his office, heading for the elevator.

The normal check out was easily done and he had been wished to have a good day. Throwing his bag on the passenger seat he was off to the hospital in no time. He had heard what happened yesterday. Not impressed at all but knowing his officer, he wasn’t surprised that he had tried. Can’t blame a guy for trying. At least now he knew that he had to listen and that his body wasn’t as ready as he had wished for. Taking the last corner, he saw the hospital in the distance. It was still a strange feeling for him to drive to an army hospital and not the air force hospital itself. He didn’t even understand why there are differences in the equipment between the two hospitals had been. But, nevertheless, they helped his Colonel to get better and for that he was grateful.

As he knocked on the door, he heard his voice. Well at least he was sure and this time he did answer. Entering the room, he found his 2IC sitting on his bed.

“Hey Jack,” he greeted the man he loved like his own son.

“Hi George,” he watched his CO coming in and taking a chair.

“How is it going, son?” the General asked.

“Just peachy.” His face showed s light grimace.

“I heard about your little adventure yesterday. You already got bored here?” He smiled and signalled that he did not really want to get into it any further but could not hide a remark.

“Well, you know me.” With a boyish grin he let the subject drop. “What brings you here if I may ask?”

“Still straight down to business. Had it never occurred to you that I may just visit because you are here, and I wanted to see how you were doing?”
Hammond faked being insulted but ended up in a big grin.

“I know you better, you have more important stuff to do than to visit me in the hospital. Spit it out, what is it?” Jack did not take the bait.

“Ah well, I had a phone call. In two weeks, the trial is starting about those two jerks. I was asked if you would work as the crowning witness. Someone would get in touch with you in that case.” He offered this information.

“Why had nobody been around earlier? Just because I am still not able to walk doesn’t mean I’ve lost my marbles as well. Still clear up there.” He grumbled to himself.

“That’s a question I just can’t answer you. I am not a lawyer.” He confessed.

“Are you not?”

“What shell I tell them, dropping by or you will give them a call or what?”

“They can come here if they want to. I don’t think this is hardly a thematic to clear up over the telephone.”

“Ok. Will tell them.” George looked around in the room as if he were searching for something.

“Can I help you?” Jack asked in surprise.

“Just looking, I have seen your other room. There was a lot of decoration from Cassandra in it and here is hardly anything. Just wondered. Have you not asked her to do some stuff for you?”

“Nope, the decoration was her part to make her feel better in the other room. Obviously, she doesn’t need it here when we talk. I am not big on decorations anyway. If she wants to decorate, she can do it, but I will not ask her,” stated the Colonel.

“Makes sense. Does she still come every day after school?”

“Yep, no exception there. Normally we talk a bit then she does her homework and I snooze a bit. When she is finished, we talk a bit more. Occasionally we just talk or play some games. But she normally comes around 5 after school. Always something to look forward to.” He looked at the wall behind his CO as if there was something waiting for him.

“That’s nice of her. I know that Sam, Daniel and Teal’c would love to come more often but I put them back on the expedition rotation, so they are going off world with other teams. I am sorry for that.” He sounded apologetic.

“That’s ok, I was surprised you had them that long on stand down anyway. Don’t get me wrong. I do appreciate it.” he smiled.

“Well, Major Carter and Doctor Jackson used the time to catch up on the work they still had in their offices. Teal`c used the time to see his soon and fight some more on the front of the free Jaffa. He is back and the work is done so they’re all back on other teams to help out. But, nevertheless, I do hope you come back sooner rather than later. The SGC needs you as much as SG1 needs its Colonel.” He checked his watch. “And with that it’s time for me to go. I wish you a good day, get back on track and the mountain is waiting for you, Son.”

“Thank you, General. I will do my best. Send greetings to the team and the Doc if you see her. I`ll be back sooner than you think.” Smiling and forming a proper salute he greeted his CO as he left the room.

Sliding back down on his bed, he made himself comfortable and turned his music on. Till Cassie would come there was still more then 30 minutes left on the clock. He just hoped he would not fall asleep and scare her the second day in a row.

Closing his eyes, he started humming with the opera he was listening to. This music always calmed him down and made him feel like there were no problems on that planet which he could not face. A little smile crossed his face before he drifted off in a light sleep.


The next day came and he was looking forward to the exercises he would do today. Even the day off helped him to get his head around but he felt like he wasted a day. Enjoying his breakfast, he remembered last night. The fun he had with Cassie was exactly what he had needed. She cracked one joke after another and even if his head hurt like mad he was not going to stop her. She deserved the laughter as much as he did, and he missed her laughing so much. She had seen far too much for her age and he was partly responsible for that. She seemed not to bother at all.

Finishing his breakfast, he checked the weather outside. The sun was shining and from what he could see there were no clouds.

He manoeuvred himself with a great deal of struggle into his wheelchair and went outside. Sitting a bit in the sun would do him good. The splint had supported his wrist and still it was a painful feeling. He had tried to not put too much pressure on it but then he was not the lightest person on earth.

Watching two birds, he had to smile. What a feeling that must be. Just spread your wings and fly. He missed flying. When he was better, he had to go up to Petersons Air Base and ask for a jet. Just so he could be free once more.

Up there in the air, where the sky had no limits. That was freedom. Nobody was with him just the sound of the engine and himself. Feeling the heartbeat up his neck. He closed his eyes and enjoyed the sun before he had to go back and meet up with his therapist.


Two weeks later

Jack was sweating in the gym. He followed the instructions from Lucas to the letter. His splint was still supporting his wrist, but his head was feeling good again. The bruises on his thighs marbled into yellow and green.

He had two visits by now from the state attorney of Colorado himself and a normal lawyer. He had of course agreed to face the two criminals in court and stand as a witness. It was time someone would stand up to it. He remembered the trial he was facing last year and asked himself if this was happening now every year. If so, he would cancel the subscription order on that as he didn’t like it.

His appointment in court was in two days and he knew what would wait for him. This time there was no Major who would accompany him. No, he had to face it all alone. He had tried to leave Cassie out of it and after a long straining discussion, they agreed on leaving the teenager out of court and just using her statement.

Jack knew that it might not be enough to nail the guys, but he was more concerned about the mental health of the girl. His friend he needed to protect.

The water therapy had helped him a lot. His muscles had not been as stiff lately. He felt how the needles in his legs became less. First, he was not sure if this was a good sign. But after speaking with Lucas about it, who had assured him that he was in his healing process, he was calmer. He still could feel his legs but did not dare to risk it again and stand on them before someone told him to do so.

Now he was here, on the floor, pulling himself up to further strengthen his back muscles to support his spine. He had another test about a week ago where he was told that finally all the fluid had subsided and now the nerves would have no excuse anymore to not heal.

“Two more and then you are done for today, Colonel.” Lucas grinned in his patient’s face.

“Ok, I can do that,” Jack panted while concentrating on getting the last two pull ups done.

“Well done Sir. You made quite a progress. I think you did not set yourself a month back. It feels like something loosened up in your back. Maybe it just had to be that way. For tomorrow, we will have an off day. I advise you to do no exercises on your own. Collect your strength as the day after you have your testimony in court. I want you in your best possible health. Even if you don’t think so right now, it will cost you a great deal of strength to get through that day. It is not easy to face them again even though they can’t harm you anymore,” he explained.

“No kidding,” Jack remarked thinking back a year ago. He knew how much it will cost him. But just the thought of keeping his teenage friend out of it, he was prepared to take everything they might throw at him.

Back in his room, he cleaned himself up. Sweat was till dripping off of him. He needed time to think. The world around him was so loud. He felt like everybody was shouting at him and he was not sure how much longer he would be able to cope with it.

He was a soldier and he was trained to do the right thing at the right time. Still, there had been situations he felt just overwhelmed and did not know how to handle it. He was just a human being after all. Checking his watch, he realised that more time had passed than he was aware of, and his lunch would come in any minute.

Feeling not hungry at all, he moved himself to his bed. He knew if he were asleep the nurse just would leave his dinner at the side or would keep it warm for him. Looking at his legs, he cursed them for still not doing what he wanted them to do. Its been a few months now since he had this incident. He wished the healing progress would develop faster. Making little steps at the time and being patient were not really in the Colonel’s vocabulary.

He dozed off in a restless sleep. His dream brought him back to where everything began. Tossing and turning on his bed he tried to fight off the two men again and keep Cassie safe. He went through it over and over again. His dream came up with so many different scenarios and, still, the outcome was the same. He had hurt his back and could not walk. He was not able to fight off the sadistic torture on the porch. He felt the heat of the blow torch again and with that he woke up.

Confused over his whereabouts, he checked his side. The skin was healed by now just leaving him with more scars adding them to the endless list on his body. He scrubbed over his face and blew out a deep breath. “It was just a dream, Jack, just a dream,” he told himself and worked on breathing to calm down. His pulse was racing. He took a big sip of water to wet his mouth which was so dry by now it felt like he was in the desert.
A soft knock at the door brought him back to reality. His lunch was here, and he still did not feel hungry. Calling the nurse in, he told her to just leave it at the table by the window. He would eat it a bit later.

The Colonel just could not wait till everything was over. He was told that he only had one appointment at the court and if he wished they would tell him the outcome. But he was assured that the two criminals would go to prison for a very long time.

He smiled at that and the thought that they could join the other three men from last year and be able to form a Jack O’Neill club in his honour.
Sitting himself up, he moved from his bed into his wheelchair and moved over to where his lunch was waiting for him. Lifting up the lid, Jack discovered that he received his favourite fish today: tuna with peas and potatoes with a lemon herb butter rosette on top. He felt better now, knowing all would be fine. Even the cook seemed to care about him.

He did enjoy his lunch at the end and decided to go for a little stroll in the park. The weather was nice, and a bit of fresh air would do him good. Grabbing his music device and earplugs, he was on his way. Greeting the nurses on his way he soon was out of the building.
He found a nice little spot under a tree by a little lake. From here he could watch over the whole garden area. He could see other patients walking around with the visitors, wild animals who enjoyed a bit of a lazy afternoon sun and the outside gym area where other soldiers were working on different kind of weights. Jack plugged his music into his ears and closed his eyes. A light breeze blew on his face and the sun's rays caressed his skin.


Cassie’s school,

The last seconds been ticking slowly down. She started already to pack her stuff in her backpack to be even faster out of here. Briefly she wondered how her friend was doing today. He had told her that she didn’t need to come tomorrow as he had no idea how long he will be away. They had moved the trial to Colorado Springs, so it would be easier for him to attend.

She would have attended but her Uncle Jack didn’t want that, and she knew that her mum was ever so happy with this decision and she could not deny that she was happy about it.

There it was. The bell rang, the last items flew in her bag and she was out of the classroom. She started running again and timed her progress again. By now she was not as much out of breath as she had been previously. Arriving at the hospital, she slowed down and entered.

“He is outside in the garden area” the receptionist called her over as she had spotted her.

“Thanks” she grinned and went to his room. Placing her bag in there and walking outside, it took her a bit to find him. He had chosen as his place one that was far outside of any trouble. She called him from further away, but he did not react at all. Cassie didn’t want to startle him and as she came closer, she saw that he was listening to music. Trying to approach him from the front, she made as much noise and movements as possible without drawing too much attention to herself, hoping that he would pick up on it.

Her mum had told her that it was in her own best interest if she never tried to scare him. His training would kick in and Cassie knew by now that his reflexes had been exceptionally good. He would not harm her on purpose but being a soldier for so long it was just his second nature. By now, she was close to touching him when he finally opened his eyes and smiled at her. A sign of relief escaped her.

“Hey, how you are doing?” she beamed.

“Good, yourself?” He blinked a few times as the sunlight was a bit on the bright side for his eyes.

“Awesome, I am so happy to find you outside and not in your icky room.”

“Yeah, I was thinking the same. That`s why I am out here. I just have missed out a bit on the time. Glad you found me.” He smiled.

“Yeah, it was easy as the lady at the reception desk told me you were out here. How is the wrist?” She pointed at it while asking.

“Ok, I hope I can take the splint off sooner than later.” He looked at it. Sometimes it did hurt more than at other times.

“You like an ice cream or coffee?” She fished for her little purse.

“Nah but go on. Get yourself something. I am buying. You don’t have to use your own money on that,” he offered and held a few dollar bills out to

Cassie took the money and reassured herself that the Colonel didn’t want anything. Walking over to the cafeteria she got herself an ice cream and as she walked back, she saw that he was talking to two men. Standing still so as not to cause any distraction, she watched his body language. He seemed tense and in an argument. She was still too far away to make out what it was all about. As the men left, she approached him.

“Hey, I am back. Missed me?” she asked as casually as possible.

“Hey, Cass, of course I missed you. I always miss you when you are not here,” he smiled at her.

“Friends of yours?”


“The guys you have just been talking to, have they been friends of yours?” she pointed at the individuals who been now in quite a distance and they had been talking about.

“If you like to call them that…” He trailed off; his mind was already racing.

“Nope, I don’t want to call them that. It looked to me as they had not been nice to you and said some stuff you did not like. Right so far?” she watched him while licking on her ice cream.

Jack looked at her, “And you concluded this how?”

“Body language. You would be amazed if you knew how much the body gives away,” she explained.

“I know that. Just didn’t know that you knew about it. That’s all. How come?”

“Watched a TV series ones and we had it at school as well. Very interesting subject as far as I am concerned.”

“Ah.” Jack wished himself far away. He never backed down from a conversation but right now he was not feeling in the mood to go down that rout with Cassie. Silently he wished that his teenage friend had not seen the conversation. He knew she was smart but had no idea that that she had knowledge in such a specific area like body language.

To not concern her, he changed the subject. If he wanted to talk about the conversation, he would do it with Janet but not with Cassie as she was still a minor.

“Cassie, what do you say, when I am out of here and you come around and when the sky is clear, we do a bit of stargazing?” the Colonel offered and hoped the girl would get the hint to drop the subject.

“Sure.” Cassie did understand that her military friend had already shut down and she would not get anywhere with him. But she would speak with her mum about it and see if she could find something out. “You like to stay out or want to go back in?”

“Up to you, whatever suits you best,” Jack answered and gazed around the area. Stopped at two bunnies who had been chasing each other over the green.

“Let’s stay outside. You are in the room all day and I am at school.” She sat herself next to him finishing off her ice cream.



Janet Fraiser wanted it to be an early day. She had planned to pick her daughter up at the hospital and take her out for dinner.

“Doctor Warner, I have everything up to date. In room 3 is still our patient from the other night. Other than that, it is very quiet. Have a good evening, Sir.” Janet grabbed her jacked and bag and hurried to the elevator before something else could happen and she had to stay longer.
She knew she would cut the time short today for her daughter and the Colonel, but they saw each other every day. She was sure that neither of them would mind.

Reaching the top, she signed out and jumped into her car ready to have a nice evening with Cassie. They both deserved that. She arrived at the hospital about 20 minutes later, it was just a short search for them both. The receptionist had told her that the Colonel and Cassie went outside, and she hadn’t seen either of them coming back in. When she had found them, Cassie was sitting on the grass next to the wheelchair. Both with their backs to her.
As she came closer, she didn’t hear a conversation going. What was going on? Had they both fallen out with each other? Did they just enjoy the time in quiet solitude? She made a few noises so at least one of them would hear her coming and not be startled.

Cassie turned around and smiled at her mum, laid her left index finger on her lips to signal that she must be quiet. Jack had dozed of just a few minutes ago. Janet came nearer nearly silent, sat herself next to her daughter and both whispered while having a conversation.

“Mum, I need to ask you a favour.” Cassie started.

“What is it, hun?” the doctor looked at her in concern.

“Uncle Jack gave me some money for an ice cream. When I came back, he had a very lively conversation with two men. I asked him about it, but he wouldn’t tell me. I am just a bit concerned that he is in some kind of trouble. Would it be possible for you to ask him about it? He might talk to you, but he changed the conversation when I asked him.” Cassie looked at her with a worried face.

“I will see what I can do. But we all know how he keeps his stuff to himself. So, no promises.” She stroked her daughter over the cheek.
In that minute, Jack started to stir again. Opening his eyes, he looked around in confusion. Seeing Janet next to Cassie chatting, he wondered how long he was out and how deeply. He would have woken up in his younger years.

“Hey you both,” he mumbled and tried to readjust his position. While sleeping he was slightly slid down in his wheelchair. Getting more and more awake he asked Cassie, “Sorry about that. How long did I sleep?”

“Not long, maybe ten minutes. Mum isn’t that long here,” she smiled reassuringly.

“Hello Sir, how are you today?” Janet wanted to know.

“I was under the impression we agreed on names. We are not at work.” He started to complain in a whiny voice.

“Sorry Jack, Still. How are you?” Janet smiled.

“Good, the fresh air helps a lot.” he smiled back and scratched his head.

“Would it be possible to get Cassie out of your hands a bit earlier today? I want to take her out to dinner, just the two of us to have a bit of quality time together.”

“Sure, why have you asked me? You must ask Cassie if she wants to. But I hope so as the thought of you both having some good times together is quite appealing to me,” He assured her.

“Cass?” Janet now turned to her daughter.

“Of course, mum, I will go and get my bag out of the room. I will meet you by the car if that’s ok. Bye Uncle Jack.” With that she was off.
Both adults watched her till she was in the building. Janet cleared her throat. She didn’t know how to start the conversation with the Colonel.

“Jack, can I ask you something?”

“Course you can, always.” He looked at her with suspicion.

“A little birdy told me that you had some visitors today. That little birdy is concerned about you and so am I. Can at least I ask you what it was about?” Janet smiled at him.

“Sure.” he looked at her and saw her waiting. “Oh, you want an answer as well?”

“Only if you want to.” She reassured him that she would not pressure him.

“The visitors you are referring to are from the local District Attorney, Brad Pulliam and Stanley Walker,” he stated and looked over the green area in front of him as he could see them there standing again. “They came to talk to me.”


“About Cassie. They wanted her in the witness stand as it would look better and very convincing. They said the more information she could give in person before the jury the better their opinions to get those thugs behind bars.” His face changed to a grim mask.

“Cassie said already that she didn’t wanted it to do. And I was and still am standing behind her on that matter. I hope you said no.” Janet began to get agitated.


“No?” Janet looked at him with irritation, “You knew that Cassie doesn’t like to do that! Did you say that she will do it?”
Jack looked at her with a grin all over his face. “I only said no to your question if I have said no.”

“What did you say then?” she calmed down a bit. Faith in the Colonel was starting to grow again.

“After they would not really take no for an answer, i just told them what I think.” He tiptoed around in amusement.

“And what did you say?” Janet felt like she was pulling a stubborn tooth.

“I told there is only me coming and this has to be enough. She had given her statement, and all is on tape. She is grown up enough to make decisions like that on her own. They had been still insisting because she is a minor so I just told them where to stick their rules and that they can go with my blessing to hell.” He grinned like a little boy by now.

“You did what?” Janet could not hold it in anymore and broke out in laughter. She knew that when someone messes with him, he would not hold back.

“Now you know why I wouldn’t have wanted to speak with the little birdy of yours over such a subject. It must end at some point. And that was a long time ago. She deserves better. If the court cannot put those guys behind bars with the evidence they have, then there is something seriously wrong with the system.” Jack was all somber again with the memories he tried to forget. Good knowing that he had a difficult day ahead.

“Thank you, Jack. This is much appreciated.” Looking at her watch, “I should go now. Cassie probably wonders what is taking me so long.”

“Nah, she did that early leaving thing so we could talk.” He smiled again and turned his wheelchair. Together they went to Jack’s room where the Doctor wished him a good evening and headed towards her daughter.

Cassie was waiting patiently at the car and smiled as she saw her mum come into view. She had so many questions now and was silently hoping that her mum had found out what was going on.

“Hey Mum,” she shouted.

Janet waited with the reply till she was nearer to the now impatient waiting teenager till she answered her.

“Hey, sorry for the long wait.” She smiled and unlocked the car.

“Not a problem. But did you talk to him?” Cassie was tapping from one foot to the other.

“Yes I did. Everything is fine. Nothing to worry about at all.” She sat herself on the driver seat and waited for her daughter to take her seat as well.

“Well, that’s it? Just fine? What did he say?”

“Nothing for your ears, hun.” Janet started the engine and slowly drove out of the carpark.

“Awwww, Mum,” Cassie started to whine.

“Cassandra Fraiser, that’s enough. There is a reason why he did not talk to you and I agree with him on that one. Leave it be.” Janet had chosen a tone in her voice which she knew her daughter would understand.

“Hmpf.” Cassie knew that she would not get anything out of her. Maybe she could try later on tomorrow.


Jack was back in his room. Checking his watch, his dinner would arrive soon. He freshened himself up a bit and took one of his books. Killing some time and reading a good novel was always good.

A few minuets later he heard a knock on the door and soon after, a nurse followed, placing the tray with his sandwiches and orange juice on the table.

“Is everything all right, Colonel O’Neill? Do you need anything?” she asked to make sure that her patient was well looked after.

“Sure, everything is fine and no, I don’t need anything. Thank you and have a nice evening, Susan.” He smiled at her as she left.
Looking at his tray, he would rather have loved a pizza or Chinese for a change washing it all down with a beer. Oh, he just could not wait till he was out of here and would have one of those lovely cool bottles in his hands.

The evening went along rather slowly. He had finished his sandwiches a long time ago and had watched a bit of news. Read a bit more and just tried under any circumstances to not remind himself of tomorrow. Thinking about that day, he wasn’t a happy camper whatsoever.

His watch showed him that it was around 9 pm when he called it a night. He knew he would not sleep right away anyway but he had to get up very early. Sam had brought him his dress blue uniform the other day from his home. He looked at it, hanging on a coat hanger at his cupboard.

The ribbons and badges hung on his jacket and been polished by Sam. What would he do without his 2IC? She was shy when she told him that, but he just smiled and thanked her. No big deal about it.

hope you liked that chapter... more still to come
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Re: Shadows in the Forest

Post by bftlovesRDA » Thu Aug 06, 2020 7:30 pm

Oh wow - fantastic section of Shadows!!!!!

Love, Love, Love all the details.

As usual - want more, please!!!!!!!!! :D :D :D

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Re: Shadows in the Forest

Post by Jack(s) » Thu Aug 06, 2020 8:14 pm

Just finished writing the end of this FF. There are two more parts to come. So stay tuned for the last two sections to come
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Re: Shadows in the Forest

Post by bftlovesRDA » Thu Aug 06, 2020 10:43 pm

Can't wait.

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Re: Shadows in the Forest

Post by Monika » Fri Aug 07, 2020 8:47 pm

Hi Jacky,
I´m looking forward to the continuation.
Even if it means that your FF will soon over :shock:
I hope you will surprise us with a new FF at some point.
But now we expect recovery from Jack.

From Monika with love
"As long as I always think of you and wish me somethings which I think is unattainable, there is no reason to be hurt by others."

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Re: Shadows in the Forest

Post by Jack(s) » Fri Aug 07, 2020 8:57 pm

hey Monika,

yep, worked already on two new ideas where I got some bullet points written down.

I will take a little break from 2 days to rest my brain and get that FF out of it so I can write a new one.

I am very lucky and fortunat to have so many readers who like my work. thank you for leaving always a comment.

next part comes over night or tomorrow.

Take care
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"I've got to have fun or it's not worth it."

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Re: Shadows in the Forest

Post by Jack(s) » Sat Aug 08, 2020 9:31 pm

Next part is flying in, have fun and I hope you enjoying it...

The alarm rang at 5. The fog around his brain seemed to be stuck and he needed a few minutes to know where he was. Getting his legs out of bed, Jack moved himself into his wheelchair. The bathroom was very roomy, and he had no struggles to reach everything.

A shave, a mouth and teeth wash later he looked in the mirror trying to sort his hair out. It was sticking up in all directions which made that task not any easier.

The arrangement was made that a nurse would come at 06.00 to help him to get dressed. Then he would have his breakfast and at 07:30 there would be a cap which would be waiting for him.

Silently Jack wished the day was over already. He would be back here and have his dinner, he would go early to bed and listen to the music he loved.
Finishing off in the bathroom, he wheeled into his main room and started to get dressed at the top. That’s when the soft knock came, and a Steward came in.

Soon, Jack was dressed and waited for his omelette and a coffee. He wasn’t hungry but was grateful to have something light in his stomach.
The time for him passed rather quickly and when he had gone outside to wait for his ride, a soft breeze fluffed over his face. Closing his eyes, he enjoyed the quiet morning before all the hustle and bustle of a busy day would start.

Some birds had been singing, and the sun was already getting up fighting with the morning fog to get through and warming up the planet.
The Transport arrived right on time and the Colonel had been assisted inside with the help of a nurse. The drive was short and as he showed up at the court, there had been a few local press people already. The trial had attracted more publicity than he had wished for. He took a deep breath and made his way in the building without commenting to anyone. Enough opportunities had been given to him by the number of microphones he had in his face.

A young officer was already waiting for him inside and guided him to the courtroom. There he met the two lawyers who had visited him yesterday. Jack’s face became stone cold in a second. He was still annoyed by their behaviour and rudeness.

“Colonel O`Neill, thank you for coming.” One of the two had spotted him. “Are you ready Sir?”

“Yes” Jack nearly spat the answer out but remembered his manners.

“Sir, you will be the first witness we are calling so the day is not too long for you. I hope this will be in your interest.” Taken a bit back by the short answer of the officer in front of him he tried even harder to be nice.

“Thank you, I appreciate the effort.” Jack eased up a bit.

“Can you please wait outside then? The trial is about to start.”

“Sure.” Jack managed to wheel himself around and found a quiet corner outside the big room which was already filling up with more and more people.

Closing his eyes to rest a minute, he recapped the building from outside with his six steps and the four big columns at the main entrance. The building was in a light stone and the big windows allowed quite a fair bit of light in. Jack concluded that when the sun shone through, the whole lobby must be illuminated.

The sounds of talking people quieten down and he opened his eyes. By now he was alone, and the last person who tried to get a seat for the trial. It would not take long now for him to be called.


Sam looked at the clock on her wall. She knew today was the day for her CO and she wished she could have gone with him. She remembered how much he hated it last year and this year would be no different. She had seen him last about three days ago when she had brought him his uniform.
The Major found it hard to concentrate but the artefact in front of her on her table didn’t understand that and was surly in a hurry to be tested and probed.

Daniel had popped in earlier and they had breakfast together and she remembered him saying something from making the effort of a surprise for Jack when he was allowed out. She wondered what it was, but he wasn’t going to tell her. So, she decided to not push it.

She missed Teal’c but the Jaffa was on a mission with SG7. There had been a man short and her Alien friend loved to help out. Even if he never said anything, she knew that he missed his brother in arms. The talks they had and the sparring rounds in the gym. The missions they had together as a team. Sam was sure all of them missed the time and could not wait till the Colonel was back on his feet and well enough so they could go through the stargate together.

Signing deeply, she gave herself a pep talk in her head. Summoning the energy she needed, she started at last.


Daniel seemed to have the same problem. He was clock watching and even he told himself that the translation wouldl not do itself alone. He just couldn’t muster up the concentration he needed. Taking another sip of his large warm coffee, he also took a deep breath. Should he rather work on his surprise for his friend? `Daniel, pull yourself together. This behaviour doesn’t help anyone.’ He announced to himself.

Janet and Cassie, General Hammond and half the staff of the hospital been clock watching as well. It seemed like the Colonel had more people who cared about him then he would ever know.


3 hours later

Jack excited the building and shielded his eyes. The sunlight seemed to be even brighter now than it ever was. He was exhausted and wished he was already back. It wasn’t even lunchtime yet. The questioning took not as long as he had expected. The evidence was clear because CSI had done the job. The video from Cassie was played and he had answered questions for over two hours. Those questions had still been jumping around in his head. `Why have you been there, have you provoked the two accused men? Was there another way to prevent this?’ So many questions, how in the world should he know all the answers. They made him relive the whole two days. They wanted details of the torture. He felt naked and embarrassed, stripped of off his human rights. He even would go so far and call them all names under the sun. But at the end, that was just to put more weight into the balance scale and the deal he had taken to leave Cassie out of it. This wasn’t a game for a teenager. Cassie was safe and that was what counted for him. Now he just had to wait for the cab to arrive back and he was sure he even would make it till lunch. He wheeled himself the same way down as he came up. On the right side of the building.

Fishing for his sunglasses, he squinted his eyes. People seemed always in a hurry these days. Rushing by, running, and calling a cab. Shouting to each other as if there were no tomorrow.

He had to make a call. It was only fair to notify his CO over how it went. He was sure that the General would like to have an update. Punching the right buttons into his cell phone, Jack didn’t have to wait long

“General Hammond?” he heard him saying

“Good morning, George. Jack here. I am finished in court and just wanted to give you an update on how it went…” By now he sounded quite cheerful as he was talking to the voice on the phone.


SGC, Hammonds Office

Putting the receiver down, the General let out a deep breath. He was ever so pleased to hear that his friend and 2IC of the base had managed so well. Not that he ever had doubted him, but he knew how stressful court business can be.

He picked the phone up again and ordered Doctor Fraiser, Major Carter and Daniel Jackson in the meeting room. He needed to tell them the good news and as Jack’s closest friends they deserved to know.

A couple of minutes later he heard voices and stepped out from his office. Smiling at his staff he waited till they quieted down which did not even take a second. His presence and rank were enough.

“Good morning people. I just had a phone call from Colonel O`Neill. He informed me that all went well. He was waiting for the taxi to go back to the hospital.” He waited till the information sunk in. “He also wanted me to tell you all that he is grateful for such good friends who helped him over the last few months.”

“Thank you, General. Did the Colonel said anything about how he was feeling?” a concerned Doctor questioned.

“He didn’t say anything about that, but he sounded tired. That’s all. Dismissed.” With that he turned himself towards his office again.

“General, can you just wait a second? I have an idea. I was not sharing it, but it’s gotten too big and I need everybody’s help,” Daniel exclaimed.

“What is it, son?” Hammond turned around and looked Daniel straight in his blue eyes.

“Well, actually there are two ideas. One easy one and one not so easy. The first one, we could come together in the garden at Jack’s hospital and have a little cake party. I am sure he would love to see his friends around and have a bit of fun.” He looked around and saw faces full of surprise and curiosity.

“That sounds good. As we all know, the Colonel loves cake.” Sam acknowledged and smiled.

“How about tomorrow afternoon, I could call the hospital and ask them if it is possible. The weather for tomorrow is sunny. No worries on that front.” The suggestion came from the General himself.

“That would be great. I hope it is possible!” the archaeologist spoke out in excitement. After that, he explained his bigger idea to his friends and all of them were very thrilled about it.


Fort Carson

Jack was back by now and with a little help, managed to get changed into his sweatpants and jumper. Checking his watch, he realised that his nap had to wait as it was nearly lunchtime. Looking out the window he saw two rabbits again who chased each other. Smiling to himself, he felt his tummy rumble.

As if the nurse had listened at the door, the knock came, and his lunch was served. Jack lifted the lid and found a slice of pizza with a small bottle of beer under. Confused he looked at the waiting nurse for an explanation.

“We had a request from your base. The Caller asked if it would be possible. Because it is normally against the food regulations we have here in our hospital, you got a small slice with a small bottle. I hope you will enjoy your little treat Colonel.” The Nurse smiled and was on her way out.

“Thank you so much. You got a name who phoned?” Jack grinned from one ear to the other.

“Yes, but I am not allowed to tell. Just enjoy it and be thankful for the friends you have.” With that she disappeared from the room and left a speechless Colonel behind.

“Oh, you wonderful pizza with such a wonderful beer. You have no idea how much I missed you both.” With that he opened his bottle and took a small sip.

The meal took extra long for him today. He was enjoying himself so much. After Jack was finally finished, he decided to have a little nap. He still felt very exhausted and the sleep was just very welcome to him.


Cassie could not wait today. She wanted to know everything. Her friend had his big day today and she was ever so grateful that she did not have to go to court. She even realised that she began to forget. The nightmares had stopped a while ago and it was a bad memory which faded away.
As the bell rang from her last hour she had already packed to get out of there as soon as possible in the quickest way.
She almost flew over the pathway today and as she reached the hospital; she had set a new record for herself.

Walking up to his room, she met a few patients she knew by name. Over time, she had become friends with some. Knocking on the Colonel’s door, she waited for his call. After a few seconds she knocked again and this time she heard him calling. Carefully stepping in, Cassie saw a sleepy drunken Colonel trying to get out of bed.

“Uncle Jack, you ok?” she asks concerned.

“Yep, sorry. I slept a bit too long,” he admitted.

“That’s not a problem at all. I was just concerned as you were not answering the first time I knocked. Take your time. I got plenty,” the teenager grinned over her whole face.

“Will do, just give me a minute.” By now he was sitting in his wheelchair and made his way to the bathroom

Cassie unpacked her homework on the table at the window. She knew once the Colonel was more awake, they would have a good time. But she didn’t know how long it would take him to really get awake as she never had seen him sleeping on a day for so long. It was different when he just had his snooze. Then he was right awake again. She concluded that he must have been very exhausted.

She was deep in her books when Jack came back into the room. Refreshed and way more awake than he had been a few minutes ago, he felt better.

“Whatcha having there Cass?” Jack wanted to show some interest.

“Just some homework I wanted to start on it till you were ready. You look ready now so I will put it away.” She looked at him from top to toe “There are far more imported events that happened today than my school. Far more.” She grinned over her whole face.

“Ah, says whom?” Jack faked his confusion in a playful mood.

“Me,” and Cassie pointed with a finger at herself. “Would you like to talk about it?” she offered.

“Nothing to talk about, Cass.” He looked at her, not sure what to make of her interest in his court appearance.

“Hmm, ok. What did you have for lunch then?” She asked. If her friend did not want to talk about it, she would not push him.

“Pizza and a beer” Jack smiled rubbing his tummy.

“Huh? Come again?” Cassie`s eyes became as big as a plate.

“Someone from work had phoned here apparently and asked if I could have a pizza and a beer. I don’t know who it was, but I am extremely grateful to that person.” He grinned and like so often changed the subject from himself to someone else. “Did you have a nice dinner with your mum last

“Yep, it was fantastic.” She beamed going in her memory back to the dinner with her mum.

“Like to tell me a few details?” He opened the door for a conversation and Cassie took the opportunity and went through.

They talked for a long time, Cassie not leaving one detail out of her report. She talked about what was for starters and the main course, that she had two desserts and a hot chocolate and the live music with piano, guitar and a violin was the best. The time passed very quickly. Jack had his dinner already as a knock on the door interrupted, they conversation. Jack checked the time and by 7:30 in the evening he could not think of anyone who would be coming. Cassie had told him already that no one would come from the SGC today.

“Come,” Jack shouted, being annoyed by the visitor at this time of the evening.

A man stepped through the door. Dressed in a grey trench coat, Jack recognized the man as one of the lawyers.

“Sir, what can I do for you?” the Colonel’s voice changed in a second to pure business. Cassie saw that as a signal to be quiet, no matter what.

“Colonel, I just wanted to thank you for your appearance today. You nailed it and I wanted to apologise for any inconvenience. I really did appreciate your effort. The jury has found them guilty in all points and they are going behind bars for a long time.” With that he already turned himself around to leave.

“It was a pleasure. Just don’t want to do it to often. It seems like it becomes a habit.” Jack replied and waved the leaving lawyer a silent goodbye.
Cassie looked at the Colonel with suspicion. She had learned more in that moment than he would ever have told her. Jack moved himself into a better position when he asked her what she wanted to do now.

“I need to go home now as well. Still have to do my homework. But I will come tomorrow afternoon again.” Smiling she stood up and grabbed her belongings giving the Colonel a hug as she left.

Jack was a bit surprised by her sudden leaving but didn’t pay too much attention to it. He got himself ready and into bed. A bit of reading and then he would sleep. He felt exhausted, even though he had a long nap in the afternoon.


Janet Fraiser`s Home

Cassie came home and saw her mum waiting already in the kitchen. “Hey Cassie, how was your day?” She heard her mum already calling for her.

“Good” she put her coat on the hanger behind the entrance and placed her shoes neatly on the shelf. “Mum, thanks for your phone call. He was so happy when he spoke of his pizza and beer. His eyes did have a sparkle I haven’t seen in them for quite some time.” She beamed. “And he did not have any idea who it was who tipped the hospital off. They would not say anything, but he said he is so grateful for that”

“No problem Hun. It was a very good idea from you last night. I am glad they could do it and it lifted his spirit a bit. Daniel came up with another idea. Tomorrow we want all to visit the Colonel and throw a little cake party. General Hammond wanted to call the hospital and asked them if they can arrange a little quiet area for seven people. I hope he got something done. Sam wanted to sort the cake out and Daniel had the idea. So, I think all of us have done something now to help him.” Janet watched her daughter getting herself a glass of orange juice out of the fridge.

“That would be fantastic. The weather should be fine. When do you all want to come?” Sipping on her juice she was excited and curious at the same

“I think around five. That is about the time when you are coming as well. You will not miss anything and if we are there a bit earlier, we will wait with the cake till you are coming. OK?” she offered with an amusing look.

“Sure, I will be there. I hope Sam gets some chocolate cake for Uncle Jack.” Grinning over her whole face she took another sip of her juice. “I have to do a bit of homework. If you like I will do that first and we can talk more after I am finished. I started already on it so it should not take too long.”

“Sure, I will read a bit. Just let me know when you are finished.” Janet smiled and got up from her stool.

“Won’t take long.” With that Cassie was gone, running upstairs to her room.


Fort Carson

The next morning came and Jack felt good. He had a good night with a decent amount of sleep. Had his breakfast already and as he was waiting till his therapist would come, he played a bit on his Gameboy. The weather looked nice and sunny and very promising for a beautiful day.
When the expected knock came on the door, he put his toy to the side and greeted Lucas with a lot of enthusiasm.

“Morning Jack, you ready? I am sure the day yesterday was exhausting. For your muscles on the other hand the last two days of not doing your exercises was good. So, we will see how it is going this morning. OK?” he bubbled with a wide grin on his face.

“Sure, race to the elevator?” Jack grinned. He was glad to get out of this room and sure he would win this time around as he had set off without waiting for his friend.

The time passed very quickly today. Lucas was happy with the process his patient had made and the effort he put into today’s session.

“You will see, another few weeks and we will try to get you to walk. Just don’t get impatient again. It is looking really good. Don’t ruin it now. Ok?” Lucas tried to give hope but at the same time to tell his patient he had to slam the brakes on otherwise he would play with the future of ever walking again.

Jack agreed to it and promised not to do anything he had not discussed with him before. Happy and in a good spirit he went back to his room. He needed to freshen up and then he would get himself outside. The sun was just too nice to be ignored.


Fort Carson, several hours later

Sam had arranged the biggest chocolate cake with chocolate fudge and icing she could find. Janet had given her a lift. Daniel came with the General together. After checking the time, Janet was happy that it would not be long till Cassie would make an appearance.

“Jack doesn’t know a thing, right?” the Major asked again, nervous at how he would react.

“Nope, nobody said anything to him. Cassie should be here any time now as well. What do you say, Daniel can check out where he is? Maybe he is outside enjoying the sun already or in his room and having one of his many naps during the day. I think the physiotherapy takes a lot out of him. He lost so much of his stamina when he was in the coma. It will still take a while to get that built up again.” Janet explained.

“Sure, I will ask Daniel. You gonna wait here with the cake?” The Major smiled and headed off to where the General had parked his car.
Daniel had agreed to the suggestion of Sam and headed towards the hospital while George followed Sam to where Janet was.

“The hospital phoned me this morning and confirmed that they had space in a little area outside they could give us access to.” George told the good news to his two officers. In the same second Janet spotted her daughter.

“Cassie, we are here.” She waved with both arms over her head while shouting the information.
Hearing her mum, Cassie came running over and greeted her friends. Looking around she asked, “Where are Daniel and Teal`c? Are they not coming?”

“Daniel is checking out where the Colonel is and Teal`c is back on Chulak. Something with Ryac but I don’t know what exactly.” Sam explained and saw the disappointed look on Cassie’s face. “Don’t worry, there will be more opportunities to celebrate with cake.

“Hey guys, the nurse said she had seen Jack outside in the sun earlier and has not seen him coming back. We just have to get him then.” Daniel beamed as he came back with the new information.


Jack watched the hustle and bustle around him. He saw visitors coming and going, families reuniting and lovers falling in each other’s arms. He saw a nurse prepping a table with some plates and cutlery. `Lucky fella who gets a celebration going. There is probably cake too. Yum cake, would do something for a nice piece of it,’ he thought to himself and being so caught up in his thoughts he had not heard Cassie approaching.

“Hey, Uncle Jack,” Cassie greeted him and realised that he jumped ever so slightly but she still saw it.

“Hey Cass, beautiful day again, huh?” he greeted her but never saw the rest of his visitors as they had been waiting behind him.

“Whatcha doing?” Cassie asked full of interest and looked in the same direction as her friend did.

“Nothing special,” deciding he would keep the appetite for cake to himself.

“They’re having a party here?” Cassie pointed at the direction where the table was set, soft music was playing, and a few balloons had been hanging around to give the whole atmosphere some colour.

“By the looks of it.” Jack got his full attention now towards Cassie. “What would you like to do?”

“Having a party, come on. Maybe there is cake too!” Cassie urged him to the table.

“Cass, where are your manners. That’s someone else’s party. He deserves to have a good time. I am not gonna crash it and sit there and wait for the dude to arrive. Besides no one is there yet.” Jack stated, confused over the behaviour of the teenager.

“My manners are fine Uncle Jack, come on. No one is there yet. So, we can’t crash a party.” She started running to the table and Jack had to follow her, his temper rising with embarrassment over the attitude of his friend.

“Cass, please.” Jack pleaded, never hearing his friends coming up behind him.

“Colonel, she is right. If they are no people you can’t crash a party. And now there are people here, why we do not claim the table for ourselves and
have a little party for ourselves.” Janet stepped around so Jack could see her.

“Janet, hey. What ya doing here?” Jack got more confused now and Carter couldn’t hold it together anymore and started giggling.
The Colonel tried to turn himself around as far as possible. As he saw a giggling Major, a grinning Daniel, and a smiling General, he looked at Janet again.

“What are you guys all doing here?” he started in one of his whiney voices.

“Uncle Jack, you left your brain in your room?” Cassie came out with it and just realised after it was far too late what she said. “We are here for you to celebrate a little party.” By now she was blushing with embarrassment.

“I don’t get all my memos,” he grinned. “Come on then, sit around the table. Let’s have fun and cake.”

For Jack, it was the best afternoon in a long time. He felt so happy, that this time should never end. But it did eventually. His friends had to go, and he was back in his room. Laying on his bed, he stared at the ceiling. Remembering the afternoon, he would cherish those memories forever. Cake, lots of cake and his favourite one too. Sam knew him so well. Whoever had the idea in the first place was a genius. That was exactly what he had needed. When he had asked after the reason why, he had been told, “just because it felt right to do it and because he was their friend.”

that's for now, there is one more part to come...
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Re: Shadows in the Forest

Post by bftlovesRDA » Sat Aug 08, 2020 10:04 pm

Oh that was wonderful!

Loved the cake party! Jack would have been so pleased!!!!

Thanks so much and will be waiting for the last part.

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Re: Shadows in the Forest

Post by Monika » Sun Aug 09, 2020 9:43 pm

Thank you Jacky
Just wonderful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This FF as a Stargate episode on TV would have been awesome.
To see Richards (Jack´s) surprised and happy face at the cake party, just plain :D :D :D :lol: :lol: :lol: :oops: :oops: :oops: :P :P :P

From Monika with love
"As long as I always think of you and wish me somethings which I think is unattainable, there is no reason to be hurt by others."

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