"You did good, Carter," Jack said as the team made their way back to the gate.
"Thank you, sir."
"What's wrong?" he asked as he saw the set of her jaw.
"Oh nothing," she said, gesturing sharply around her. "I've only just found out how little I mean to my teammates."
"What?" Daniel asked as the hairs rose on the back of Jack's neck.
"That's not fair, Carter."
"Excuse me, sir, but it is. My rank and gender were conveniently dismissed just so you three could go play 'hide the yurt.'"
"What?" Jack and Daniel barked in surprise.
"What is a yurt?" Teal'c asked.
"A tent, Teal’c," Sam snapped glumly.
"Okay, okay,” Jack said, raising his hand. “We screwed up. And we're sorry. It won't happen again."
"You're right, sir," she answered as she reached the DHD and began dialing. “It won’t.”
Jack sighed. "How long are you going to stay mad?"
"However long it takes for you three to realize that none of us should be placed in a position of weakness simply because Mister When-in-Rome here wants to play with the natives."
"Hey!" Daniel objected.
"Don't get pissed off at me, Daniel," she snapped, trying not to yell. "You need to modify your anthropological eagerness just so this thing won't happen again." She turned to him, scowling. “’When in Rome’ doesn’t apply to offworld missions, Daniel, because we have no idea what’s going on. Going along with the natives puts people in danger, especially after it’s determined that those natives are a threat to one or more team members. Do you understand what I’m saying?”
Daniel blinked at her, mouth open. Then he shut it with a snap and nodded. “You’re right. I’m sorry. I didn’t expect—“
"Stop right there!” She said, whirling not just on him but on all of them. “Why the hell aren’t you pissed off? I had my juice spiked! My weapons stolen! I was kidnapped and nearly raped! And it was up to me to save myself! And you guys expect me to just shrug it off? Fuck that.” She paused, then added, “No disrespect intended, sir."
Jack cleared his throat. "None taken, Carter."
"Sam, I really didn't think--"
"You got that right. What happened wasn't just wrong, it's against regulations. If this were any other command, I could actually get court-martialed. As an officer who lost her weapon—“
"Wouldn’t happen, Carter,” Jack began.
Sam growled. “Don’t talk to me.” After sending the code, she went on ahead of her teammates, not bothering to look back.
Daniel sighed. “Shit,” he said, and entered the wormhole.
“I believe we are in trouble, O’Neill,” Teal’c said. “She will write this in her report.”
“Yes, she will,” Jack nodded. “And it serves us right.” He touched Teal’c’s arm as he headed toward the event horizon. “C’mon, Teal’c. Let’s go face the firing squad.”
“Never mind, Teal’c. It’s a metaphor. Thankfully.”
"How's the wound?" Jack asked Sam as they walked back to the gate.
"Healing just fine, sir. Won't be much of a scar. Why?"
"Just be a shame if you didn't get to wear that tank top again."
She stopped. "You did not just say that, sir."
Jack grinned at her and waved at his head. "No, Carter, I didn't. Forget I said anything."
Devising immediate payback, Sam let Jack catch the smirk on her face.
"What?" he asked.
She pointed her chin in Daniel's direction. "Have you noticed his tank top, sir?"
Falling for it, Jack looked around swiftly, then gave her a glare as he stopped. "Funny."
"Seriously, sir. It's the one he had on the other day when you two were working out."
Jack didn't know what she was getting at. "Okay, you lost me, Carter."
"The last time I saw it, sir ..."
She cleared her throat. "You were wearing it."
Jack slowed down, letting her and Teal'c move ahead of him a few yards. He heard her snickering while he waited for Daniel to catch up. He lowered his voice and asked him, "What happened the other night, after the gym?"
Daniel gave him a puzzled look. "You don't remember?"
"No, I mean, yes, just ... after that."
Daniel tried not to find this funny. "You left my quarters and went to your own. Why?"
"I was wearing my own clothes, wasn't I?"
Daniel tried to remember. "Um, I think so." Shrugging, he added, "But we were pretty drunk, Jack. You could've been wearing a fundoshi for all I know."
"What is a fundoshi?" Teal'c asked, easily overhearing Daniel's reply.
Sam started giggling when images of Jack wearing a Japanese loincloth filled her head, properly replacing that incident in the locker room. Daniel tried to explain the word to Teal'c, but it only made her laugh even more.
Jack decided then and there that for the next few days, none of his teammates could be trusted.
Jack, Daniel, and Teal'c followed Hammond into the Physical Therapy room. Inside, Sam was helping Janet scoop up the remains of the french-fried symbiotes.
Daniel grimaced at the black goo. "What the hell is--"
Janet and Sam looked up. "It's you, most likely," Janet said dryly.
Daniel blinked. "I'm sorry?"
Teal'c cleared his throat. "You were the Queen's chosen one, Daniel Jackson. Do you not remember?"
"I'm trying to forget."
Hammond nodded, agreeing with him. "We are all trying to forget we ever compromised ourselves, Doctor."
"Yeah, but I think the knowledge of my ... participation is something that should be locked away, sir. Some place dark. Forever. With cement placed over it."
"Agreed," Jack said. He and Daniel exchanged cringes.
"But," Daniel went on, speaking to Janet. "How is that mine, exactly?"
"DNA?" Janet said, as if he'd just had a mental lapse. "Chosen one?"
"She needed your DNA to produce her offspring, Daniel," Sam clarified.
Daniel threaded a hand through his hair and turned away. "I need a drink."
"I..." Jack began, horrified. "Your …” He looked at Daniel. “I had those inside ... me."
"Oh god," was all Daniel could come up with and Jack couldn't find the words. They both stared at each other, getting a little warm, and freaking out more than just a little bit.
Clearing his throat, Hammond said to Sam, "Captain, you and Doctor Fraiser are up for special citation. You saved our asses."
"Indeed," Teal'c said.
Daniel and Jack just nodded ... and kept glancing at each other, swallowing.
As Sam and Janet stood up, Sam cleared her throat, looking worried. "Thank you, sir."
"Thank you, sir," Janet said, smiling at Sam.
As the men left the therapy room, Jack cleared his throat and took Daniel aside. "Listen ... um ..."
Daniel made a face as he nodded with agreement. "I know. I'm not much in the mood either."
"I could use that drink though. So could you."
"You're right," Daniel nodded. "Nothing should happen anyway."
"I'd be a miracle anyway if we were to... and I'm not saying we could..."
"You mean would."
"No, I mean could," Daniel answered, remodulating his voice when it started to rise. "Seriously, Jack. Do you think either one of us can..."
Jack pursed his lips and headed down the hall, Daniel at his side. "This is gonna suck for a while."
"And in a bad way."
Back in the Therapy Room, Janet sighed and stood up, calling her corpsmen over. “Take care of the rest of this, would you please?”
“Yes, Doctor,” the men replied.
“Sam,” Janet said, inviting her out of the room and she didn’t say another word until they were in Janet’s office.
“Is this where we talk about our ‘special citations’?” Sam asked, making quotes in the air.
“Jesus Christ,” Janet growled. “Everyone else gets medals but we get citations.”
“Special citations,” Sam said sarcastically as she sat down in front of the desk.
Janet took off her white coat, then took out a bottle of liquor and a single shot glass. “With or without lime?”
Jack, Sam, and Teal'c entered the briefing room with Bra'tac in tow, and introduced him to the General. The two shook hands and Bra'tac nodded at Jack.
"O'Neill tells me you are a worthy leader. Let us both hope we can be of mutual aid in the coming years."
"Agreed, Master Bra'tac. Is there anything you require. I can get you something to eat or--"
"No, thank you, General Hammond. I need to return to Chulak as soon as possible before the unrest begins to spread."
"Of course. Please give our airman the coordinates," Hammond replied.
Teal'c bowed to his mentor and they exchanged passionate forearm clasps, silently making a vow to the other. An airman appeared from the stairs and led Bra'tac back down that way.
"Seems like a remarkable man," Hammond commented, watching the Jaffa leader disappear.
"He is indeed a great warrior," Teal'c said.
"Definitely," Jack agreed.
Hammond looked at the members of his flagship team and he could see hurt behind their eyes. "Do me a favor. Go up to Doctor Jackson’s office and see who’s in there." He then left for his office and closed the door.
Jack frowned and gave Carter and Teal'c a worried look. "Is he kidding?"
"I dunno, sir," Sam answered, confused. With a sigh, the three of them left for Level 18.
With Jack in the lead, they entered Daniel’s office and abruptly stopped in their tracks. Daniel was bending over his desk, trying to get a book from the shelf. He heard bootsteps and turned to see his teammates. He broke out in a grin.
“Hey, guys! I’ve been waiting for Hammond to call me down to—“
Jack's face lit up and cut Daniel off with a big hug. Framing Daniel's head in his hands, he said, "You have nine lives, I swear to god."
"Lost one," Daniel said, grinning back like an idiot.
"Daniel!" Sam said, hugging him next.
“Hey, Sam,” Daniel said, grinning his head off. He turned to Teal’c and held out his hand. But Teal’c pulled him into a hug that damn near swallowed him. “Teal’c,” Daniel rasped. “I need to breathe,” he somehow managed.
Teal’c pulled away, a smile on his face.
“Holy shit,” Jack said, gesturing at their teammate.
Teal’c abruptly stopped smiling, but it was still in his eyes. “I am merely glad that Doctor Jackson—“
“Oh shut up, ya big softie,” Jack teased. He put an arm around Teal’c’s shoulders. "This calls for a celebration. Daniel’s back from the dead and Teal’c’s smiling. Who's buying?" He and Sam pointed at Daniel.
"Oh great,” Daniel smirked. “A new ritual? Dead man buys the drinks?"
"He does now," Jack said, squeezing another hug out of the man.
Daniel walked into the storage room and saw Sam standing there with the remote in her hand. "Is he still over there?" he asked, answering his own question when he looked into the mirror. Jack was clearly visible on the other side, talking to a weeping Samantha Carter. An icy chill ran down his back and he shuddered.
"What's wrong?" Sam asked.
"Nothing. Just that feeling that someone's walked over your grave."
Sam nodded and thumbed at the mirror. "It wasn't all that bad, but it's still weird to see ... that." She wrinkled her face when Jack hugged the other Carter.
"God, I hope he doesn't kiss her," Daniel growled, turning away so he didn't have to look.
Sam took in a slow breath and looked. Then let out one of huge relief. "No," she said, just as Jack materialized on their side, waving at her double. Before anything else could happen, she shut the goddamn thing off.
"Okay, let's get this damn thing back to the dungeon," Jack said as he walked out of the storage room.
Daniel followed and quickly moved to Jack's side. "You okay?"
"Fine, why wouldn't I be?"
"Oh, I don't know. Saying goodbye to a Sam you were married to."
Jack rolled his eyes. "Not me, Daniel. Him."
"Just could’ve been is all I'm saying--" Daniel started.
Jack stopped and held up his hand. "And I'm gonna cut you off right there, Daniel. I'm me. That other one's someone else. Or was, anyway."
"I just wondered if you ever thought about why your other alternates were--"
Jack suddenly grabbed Daniel's arm and propelled him into the latrine. "Listen, Daniel," he said, voice heavy with warning. "I'm not going to say this again. Carter and I will never hook up. Ever. Never mind that it violates regs. It's not going to happen because There Is Nothing There. Got it?"
He turned on his heel and left the room and Daniel stayed behind, thinking it over. Jack suddenly came back in. "You coming or what?"
"Right behind you," Daniel answered, a small grin appearing on his face.
"What?" Jack asked, scowling at him over his shoulder as they resumed their walk down the corridor.
"Nothing, Jack. Nothing at all."
(interrupting the fading shot, deleting the hug between Skaara and Sam because that made no sense whatsodamnever.)
After clasping arms with Teal'c, and feeling a bit overwhelmed, Skaara turned to Daniel, his bright, elated expression suddenly gone. Jack bit his lips and gestured to Carter and Teal'c that they give them some privacy.
Daniel looked at his teammates as they moved away, unsure that he wanted them to leave. Skaara was only going to give him another round of blame and while he deserved it, he honestly wasn't in the mood for--
"Daniel," Skaara began.
"It is good to see you well," the young man said solemnly.
Daniel made a face, his expression full of sorrow and he hugged himself protectively. "Skaara, Shau’ri’s—“
“I know, Daniel,” Skaara said, taking one of Daniel’s hands. He softened his features. “I know.”
They were silent for long seconds until Skaara said, "You must stop blaming yourself, husband of my sister."
Your dead sister, Daniel thought. He nodded in response and diverted the conversation away from forgiveness. He cast a quick glance in Teal'c's direction before meeting Skaara's gaze. "Thanks for not hating Teal'c. There was nothing he could have done and still remain alive."
"Perhaps," Skaara said, conflict on his face. "After what I have seen, I understand him better. Fear makes people do very bad things."
"So does belief," Daniel added, much too quickly.
Skaara tried one more time. "You must accept that there was nothing you could have done, either." When Daniel shook his head in obvious disagreement, he sighed and gently grasped his brother-in-law's shoulders. "Perhaps one day, we shall both forgive ourselves?"
"Perhaps," Daniel allowed, but they both knew they never would.
Jack walked past his team, heading toward Laira. He was mindful of his team's eyes on him, especially Daniel's, and he most especially didn't miss the possessive look from his 2IC. Man, she could be a real pain in the ass. Even if he owed her and Teal'c his life.
Laira looked up at him, trying not to cry. "Is that him?"
"Yep," Jack said, feeling his chest tighten as her eyes darkened with unfettered jealousy.
"You're sure about your decision?"
"I won't forget what you did for me." He wouldn’t, either.
"I wish it had worked."
Jack was glad it hadn't. He wasn't prepared to be a father again and he didn't much like the idea of being a baby machine, either. He could forgive her for everything but hiding her knowledge about the radio and rescue. Teal’c could have died. That he could never forgive.
"Sorry," he lied, and tried to keep the contempt from his eyes. Not giving her a chance to respond, he turned and headed back to his team. With a passing glance at Daniel, he said, "Let's go home."
As they walked, Daniel was quiet for a time, but finally asked, "Are you sure?"
"Positive," Jack said, and told himself that Daniel meant the non-existent pregnancy.
Jack came through the gate and called out, "Close the iris," as he walked past Carter and headed for General Hammond. A thud hit the iris just before the gate shut down and Jack visibly ignored it. Staring at his commander, he said, "The treaty was unviable, Sir. Those people were genocidal murderers."
"So Doctor Jackson has informed me," Hammond replied. "The Joint Chiefs won't be pleased."
"I think this is going to be the last time we help the Nazis, sir. What do you think?"
"I think you're right." He looked at his flagship team, sighed, and said, "Get yourselves cleaned up. Debrief in two hours."
"Thank you, sir," Jack said, leaving the gateroom by the C-door. Daniel, Teal'c and Sam quickly followed and Jack could just feel the eyes on the back of his head. Looking over his shoulder, specifically at Daniel, he asked, "What, no more moral or ethical comments?"
Daniel set his jaw. This wasn't over, obviously, but Jack had given him his apology, so he'd offer his own. "For what?"
Jack nodded and turned straight ahead. "Exactly."
(I liked the scene between Daniel and Jack in Jack's confinement room in "Divide and Conquer" so this alternate ending to "Upgrades" has much better continuity. Plus, I did not like that this episode ended with Anise in the gateroom—the episode was *not* about *her*.)
When Jack caught up with him in the corridor, Daniel lowered his voice and asked, "Did she just make a pass at you?"
"What? You heard that?"
"Obviously. I was standing here waiting."
"Oh, well, the answer is no, that was not a pass."
"Are you sure? Sounded like a pass to me."
"No, Daniel. A pass is telling me I have a nice ass. Or grabbing my nice ass."
Amused, Daniel said, "For you maybe. But that was a pass."
Jack sighed heavily. "Fine, it was a pass."
"No kidding. God knows what'll be next."
"There'd better not be a 'next.'"
"If there is, you'll be the first one I tell."
Daniel rolled his eyes. "Great, I can hardly wait."
Sitting down with his waffles, Daniel gave Jack a long look as his friend picked up his eggs-on-toast. "New breakfast?"
"Mmm-hmm," Jack replied.
Sam and Teal'c joined them a few seconds later and Sam slammed her tray onto the table. Jack paused, toast halfway to his mouth, and Daniel looked over, startled.
"Sam?" he asked.
“Nothing, Daniel. Leave it.”
Daniel sighed. When Jack started to talk to her, he shook his head in warning. Leave it alone, Jack.
Getting the message, Jack looked at Teal'c and found him wearing a smug, self-satisfied expression, the one Teal'c wore when he'd gotten payback for something. "What's with the look?"
"He's happy that I'm pissed off," Sam said, spilling her coffee as she set the mug down too hard.
"I am not happy that you are pissed off, Major Carter," Teal'c argued apologetically. "I am merely waiting for the punishment to begin."
With an angry growl, Sam looked around and spotted Janet coming into the mess hall. "Excuse me," she said, then called out, "Janet!" and went over to an empty table and gestured for Janet to come sit with her.
Jack shot Teal'c a dirty look as Daniel asked, "Okay, what was that about?"
"I told Major Carter what O'Neill did during one of the time loops."
Daniel froze. Every instinct told him not to ask. "What'd you do, Jack?"
"Nothing," Jack said, trying to eat the rest of his breakfast and found it suddenly tasteless and dry.
"O'Neill pretended to resign from his position in order to kiss Major Carter just before one of our time loops ended."
Daniel dropped his fork on his plate and picked up his tray. "'Scuse me."
"Daniel, sit back down," Jack told him, but Daniel ignored him and moved over to join Janet and Sam. With an irritable sigh, Jack dropped his breakfast on his plate and wiped off his fingers. "Okay, Teal'c. I thought we'd talked about this and decided not to say anything?"
"You decided, O'Neill. I did not."
"Teal'c, there are some things people don't need to know."
“Then perhaps you should not do those things.”
"It was a fantasy, Teal'c. It wasn't real." Teal'c stared at him and Jack cringed. "Okay, I don't believe that, either, but I was ..." He pushed his tray away from him and picked up his coffee. "This is all Daniel's fault."
"He did not make you do anything, O'Neill."
"No, but he said that 'no consequences' thing. And by that time, I was restless and fed up. I know you were, too, Teal'c."
"I was," Teal'c agreed, still smug about hitting that corporal with the door a few hundred times.
"The next time this kind of thing happens..." he began, but the raised eyebrow put an end to the rest of that comment. "Never mind." Looking across the room, he noted the heavy furrow between Daniel's brows. "Carter's not the only one who's mad. Daniel's going to be pissed off at me for a while." Jack got up with his coffee, took his toast off the plate, and quickly made a b-line for the exit.
Teal'c began to go through the loops and remembered a few where he hadn't been able to find O'Neill. Or Daniel Jackson. A slow realization sunk in and he stared down at his plate, wondering how long that had been going on prior to the time trap. In the end, he decided it didn't matter. What mattered was healing the hurt feelings so the team could function properly again. Rising, he took his tray over to Sam's table. "May I sit down?"
She gestured. "Go ahead, Teal'c. You didn't do anything wrong."
"Perhaps," Teal'c said, taking the seat next to Daniel. No one spoke and he thought that it might be due to his presence. "Should I leave?" he asked.
"No," Sam said quickly.
Janet agreed with a nod, but Daniel was just a little too absorbed in poking at his food and Teal'c knew from experience that it meant he was disturbed by something. In this case, Jack. Sighing deeply, he said, "O'Neill did not intend you any harm." He said it without directing his comment to anyone in particular and hoped he wouldn't be asked to explain. Thankfully, he wasn't.
Soon after Daniel had dropped his bomb about the Enkaren homeworld, Jack said his goodbyes and took his leave to return home. Dreading what was likely to happen, he braced himself as he knocked on Hammond's door.
"Come," Hammond said.
Jack opened the door, but stood waiting. He'd either be invited in to stand at attention, or he'd be asked to sit down. He was assuming neither until Hammond made his intentions clear.
Hammond looked at Jack intently, then his shoulders sagged slightly and he gestured at the chair before his desk. "Close the door and sit down, Jack."
"Yes, sir," Jack said, but instead of his usual relaxed pose, he sat in the chair with his back straight and his hands folded on his lap. He waited for Hammond to say something first, and in truth, it's what he was hoping, but what he didn't expect was for Hammond to ignore him while he finished reading what looked like another team’s mission report.
Finally, Hammond closed the file and folded his hands over it, staring down for a long minute before looking at Jack and sighing with obvious disappointment. Jack couldn't help but cringe.
"Do you have any logical explanation for what you did, Colonel?"
"Wish I did, sir," Jack said, bypassing the number of arguments he'd prepared.
"Do you understand that this puts me in one hell of a bind?"
"I'm going to have to punish you for disobeying my orders, Colonel. You know that, don't you?"
"And you're going to have to stop walking that fine line you tread where regulations are concerned."
"Yes, sir," Jack answered, lifting his chin. He was fully prepared to be busted to Major. Or even Captain. Although, that wasn't the worst thing Hammond could do.
"Despite your... unorthodox approach as leader of SG-1, this incident has taken it one step too far."
"I know that, sir."
"It's been recommended that you be dismissed from your assignment and resubmitted for retirement."
Jack cringed again, unable to look his commander in the eye. "Yes, sir."
Hammond stared at the man, hating both his blatant disregard for authority and his seemingly contradictive loyalty. The one thing Jack was, above all else, was a man who'd do anything to save the lives of civilians and those under his command, even if it meant putting his own life at risk. Hammond couldn't help but draw parallels to Doctor Jackson. It was ironic, given what had almost happened.
"Fortunately, the decision has been left up to me."
Jack looked up, hope filling him. "Sir?"
Sighing sharply, Hammond leaned back, one hand drumming on the table. "You nearly got one member of your team killed, Colonel."
Jack clenched his jaw rather than argue the semantics of that one. Hammond was right in any case.
"You ordered Major Carter to disobey my orders, putting her career at risk. How can I reconcile the fact that your actions clearly stated that your teammates were worth sacrificing?"
Grimacing, Jack shook his head. "I just... didn't see another way out. I couldn't stand by and..."
Hammond stood up and walked around the table, sitting on the edge of it. "I know that, Jack. But you crossed the line this time. It can't happen again. Unfortunately, I know it will."
Jack shook his head vehemently. "No, sir. Not like that. I give you my word."
Words that Hammond rarely heard coming from his senior team leader. "You had better make damn sure, Colonel. There won't be another reprieve."
"Now, you can't escape completely. You know this."
"I need you where you are, but this can’t go unpunished."
In the end, it was an Article 15 and three months’ forfeiture of pay. No restricted duty, which was surprising, but not unexpected. One couldn't be on restricted duty and still be able to lead missions. It could have been worse, and if he'd been of a lower rank, it certainly would have been. He did have a sneaky suspicion that if the mission hadn't ended on a good note, he would have been court-martialed. Carter, too, probably.
Tapping on Daniel's office door, he walked in and found Daniel snoozing on his couch. Grinning, he sat down on the nearby stool and reached out to tweak Daniel's foot.
"What?" Daniel asked, startling awake, disoriented till he focused in on Jack's presence. "Oh," he said, sitting up. "How'd it go?"
"Were you waiting to see what happened?" Jack asked.
"Yeah, I did. So?" Daniel answered.
Jack nodded. "No pay for three months."
Daniel's eyes widened. "That's it?"
"Yeah, that's it."
"Wow. You got off light."
"Which I think I owe to you," Jack said, frowning.
Daniel shook his head quickly. "Nope, I didn't have anything to do with it."
While Daniel's tone revealed nothing, his body language told Jack everything. Daniel had a tendency to avoid eye contact when he lied--which was exactly what he was doing. Jack decided not to press. It would only make them both uncomfortable anyway. "Hungry?"
"Yeah, I could eat," Daniel said, standing up, and as he walked toward the door, Jack grabbed his glasses off the desk, handed them to him, then straightened out the back of his fatigue shirt. "You can dress 'im up, but you can't take him out."
“Shut up,” Daniel said, slapping Jack’s hands away. Shooting him a dirty look, he shoved Jack out the door. "You're one to talk with those baggy-assed pants you sometimes wear. So, what's for dinner?"
"It's taco day."
"Oh great. Tell me you brought your gas tablets?"
Jack sniggered. "I'll pass on the refried beans only if you do that thing with the taco shell."
"It's that or gas, take your pick."
"Jack," Daniel said, knowing he was going to lose. "Fine." Forty-five minutes later, all Daniel could think of was that if it weren't for the pleas of leniency by a few of the Enkarens, Jack might not be sitting there laughing at his silly taco shell smile.
"So," Jack said to Carter as he watched Daniel escort Brenna from the room.
"So," Sam echoed.
"I'm remembering more and more by the minute," he said, clearing his throat.
"Me, too, sir."
There was an awkward silence as they clenched their jaws, then abruptly, both tried to speak at the same time. Annoyed, Jack held up a hand and gestured that Sam go first.
"No, that's okay, sir, you go."
"Right. Um, do you think that maybe ..." she began, chewing at her lip. "Is it possible that the brain stamp did more than just install false memories?"
Jack lifted his chin, staring into her hopeful eyes. "It's possible. I can't come up with any other reason why we were ..." and he gestured between them.
Suddenly feeling as if she'd insulted him, Sam added, "Not that there isn't a reason to find you..."
"Or that you aren't..." Jack offered quickly.
"But it's just not..."
"Exactly. No offense."
"None taken, sir," she breathed, with a sigh of relief.
"Shall we go? I believe we have a bit more work to do."
Sam rolled her eyes. "The relocation should be fun, especially for Daniel."
"How's that, Carter?"
"Kegan will be all over him, asking forgiveness."
Jack grinned. "Which is why we are going home for a much deserved rest while SG-4 and 7 take over."
"And the work we have to do, sir?"
"Mission reports, medical tests, the usual. Then we can go home home."
Sam sighed indulgently. "Yes, sir. I can't wait to take a nice long bath, eat a good meal, and sleep for a week."
"Me, too, Carter. Me, too."
Osiris touched the transport ring on her ribbon device, but her self-satisfied smirk disappeared when movement to her left caught her attention.
A silver-haired human and a Jaffa? Where the hell had they come from? Gunshots blasted at her from two directions and Osiris' attention was refocused on Sam. Bullets ricocheted off the rings, but a few made it through just before she was whisked upward into the ship.
Leaving Teal'c to check on Carter and Fraiser, Jack hurried over to check Daniel, one hand on his back. "You okay?" he asked.
Daniel grimaced, pain exploding throughout his brain. He couldn't see, but didn't need to in order to recognize that voice. "No. Thought you were …" Pulling a hissy fit back at the cabin, he wanted to finish, but the effort was just too much and he was in no mood to argue.
"Sorry. We're a bit too late."
"Better late than never," Daniel replied.
Janet cut them off as she looked over Raynor's body. "He's stable for the time being but we need to get him to a hospital."
"You two okay?" Jack asked.
"Fine, sir," Janet answered.
"Yes, sir," Sam said. "What're we gonna tell him when he wakes up?"
"We'll think of something," Daniel mumbled as he sat and crossed his legs, putting his head down between them. Jack rubbed his back and though it didn't help the pain any, Daniel was nonetheless relieved to have him there.
"So who was that?" Jack asked, looking at Sam.
"Osiris," she answered.
"No, I mean her host."
"Oh, um, Sarah Gardner. Daniel's ... ex."
Jack stared at the back of Daniel’s bowed head. "Sonofabitch." There'd be major issues about this one. "I’m so sorry, Daniel."
With his migraine digging a foxhole, Daniel couldn't lift his head to respond. Instead, he just waved a few fingers to signify he'd heard. Forgiving Jack could come later.
(not that the ending was *bad* per se, but the writers have a horrible tendency to leave things unfinished)
Just as Daniel popped a few pills, the door to his office opened and Jack came in, his steps hesitant. "Can I come in?"
"You're already in, Jack." Jack closed the door and Daniel gave it, and Jack, a long look. "I don't want to talk about it."
"I know you want to."
"No, you want me to."
"You are seriously freaked out about whatever you were dreaming about. Can't you talk about it?"
Daniel closed his eyes, ordering himself not to get mad. Or remember that he’d damn near killed Jack with a ribbon device. "The dream was about what happened to me after I'd been given the memories."
Daniel turned away from him. "Absolute power corrupts."
Jack appeared to wrestle with what he wanted to say, but in the end, he stuffed one hand in a pocket and opened the door. "If you wanna talk ..."
"I'll know where to find you," Daniel answered.
After Jack left, closing the door behind him, Daniel picked up his portrait of Shau'ri and stared at her, hand shaking slightly. With a sudden growl of disgust, he shoved the picture in the center drawer of his desk and slammed it shut.
(Yet again, a serious subject concerning Daniel and Jack is touched upon by the writers, then completely ignored and left unfinished.)
Leaving Loren's room, Jack watched the teen stroll quickly over to Sam and Teal'c, curious about the MALP. To his left, he found Daniel sitting on the steps again, writing away. Jack moved over and sat down next to him, peering to see what Daniel was writing. Annoyingly, it was all in Daniel's weird shorthand.
"Feeling better?" he asked.
Daniel stopped writing and gave Jack a sarcastic frown. "Under the circumstances, yes. You?"
Daniel nodded, started to write again, but paused. "I hear you saved my life. Um, thanks."
"Nothing you haven't done for me," Jack said, and at the disapproving wrinkle of Daniel's brow, added, "You're welcome."
Doodling a few squiggly lines, Daniel murmured, "I don't remember anything after I went home. All Hammond would tell me is that you found me 'out of it' and dragged me back to the SGC."
Jack shifted uncomfortably. "Yeah."
"You going to tell me what happened or do I need to go through weeks or months of suffering your weird silences?"
Jack sighed. “You were a bit ..."
"Suicidal?" Daniel asked, going by what had happened to the others.
"Um, that would describe it, yeah."
"Right," Daniel replied, realizing that Jack had stopped him. "Maybe I owe you twice."
"You don't owe me anything."
"Maybe. Thanks anyway."
Jack gave him a small nod, then tapped Daniel's notebook. "Did you remember to put ice cream on the list?"
Daniel stared at him in surprise. "How'd you know I was making a list?"
Jack threw him a lop-sided grin. "Your scribbles are in a column, not a paragraph."
Daniel looked down at his notes, then threw Jack a sarcastic smile. "You're guessing."
"I know you."
Grinning back, Daniel asked sarcastically, "Want me to add a grill?"
Jack looked around, then tapped the notebook again. "Add bricks and mortar."
"For?" Daniel asked, his brows rising.
"The grill, which could also serve as an oven and barbecue pit."
"We're gonna be here a while. May as well make the most of it."
"Multi-tasking is your specialty," Daniel said dryly, grinning when Jack shot him a dirty look. "And you are the one with the Engineering degree."
"Comes in handy from time to time," Jack said, giving Daniel an admiring look.
"Only when you're not pretending to be an idiot."
(not an alternate ending, but *Jack's* last scene)
Jack and Nirrti were in the gateroom.
"... if I had been in your position, I would not have done the same," Nirrti was saying.
Jack stared coldly at her, resisting the tremendous urge to throttle the bitch. "Here's a thought," he said, and stepped in close. "Next time, and I'm quite sure there will be one, it'll be our last."
"You cannot defeat me away from your ... sanctuary," she smirked.
"On your way, Natty. Before I change my mind."
She returned the hatred in his eyes, then strode up the ramp without a backward glance.
Jack let out a slow breath just as the gate deactivated and turned to leave. Entering the corridor, he found Daniel waiting.
"I didn't want to interrupt," Daniel said, joining Jack as he continued down the hall.
"The only interruption on your part would've been to stop me from killing the bitch."
"What makes you think I'd stop you?" Daniel replied seriously.
"I know I haven't said this in a while, but you never cease to amaze me, Doctor Jackson."
Sam hit the ramp and rolled down to the bottom, holding onto her shoulder. Daniel, Jack, and Teal'c rushed to her aid, holding her up as she held her arm.
“Dammit,” Jack scowled, settling beside her. “Where's Faxon?"
"I tried to wait for him, sir, but I couldn't. They were going to send a bomb through. I'm sorry, sir."
"Dammit,” he repeated. “At least you made it, Carter. Did they get the addressed?”
“Awesome. You did good."
"Thank you, sir," she said through gritted teeth as Daniel and Teal'c hunched in front of her. "Ow."
"You'll be fine, Carter."
"You say that now," she joked, making Jack grin.
As they saw to their friend, waiting for the medics, Kinsey started harping, wanting to know what the hell was going on. With Daniel and Teal'c helping Sam, Jack backed off and turned to the irate senator.
"We just sent those bastards a message, Senator."
Kinsey made some threats and stalked out of the room and Jack shook his head.
“Should’ve taken him along instead of Faxon,” he said, and was rewarded with a pained laugh from Sam.
(episode ends with the Goa'uld and Simmons, showing us where the snake was. The following is a correction of the scene before that.)
"May have?" Jack asked incredulously when Hammond stated that the local authorities 'may have' dropped the ball in covering the hospital owned by Adrian Conrad.
"Point is," Daniel said, "is that there is now a Goa'uld running around loose out there."
"And who knows where Maybourne is," Sam added.
"I'll see what I can come up with," Hammond said. "In the meantime, Colonel, get some rest."
"I'd like to go home, sir," Jack grumped.
Hammond gave him an understanding grin and left the room.
"So you guys got nothing better to do?" Jack asked, becoming more irritable by the minute.
"I'll," Sam started, pointing behind her, "just go catch up with Janet, see if--"
"Your tests were clean, right?" Jack asked. He hadn’t forgotten that Sam had some nasty things happen to her. Amazing how a gunshot rewired the memory.
"Janet said I'm fine, sir, but I'd just like to double-check, in case I can't eat things like shellfish."
Jack frowned, watching her leave, then looked at Daniel and Teal'c. "I miss something?"
"Janet's cooking lobster at home," Daniel explained.
"Dammit," Jack growled, sinking back against his pillow, eyes closed. "Now I want steak."
"We could smuggle in something appropriate," Teal'c offered.
"No," Jack sighed. "Wouldn't be the same. We’re missing a grill, a kitchen, a living room, a few beers, a TV, maybe some—“
Fade to black.
(not an additional scene but a complete rewrite of the last one)
Jack lugged the heavy suitcases up the last flight of stairs and moved out of the way when two half-dressed young men ran past him, hurling threats at each other. With a sigh, he proceeded down the hall and into the dorm room, dropping the baggage on the floor.
John inspected Jack's annoyed expression, then the luggage. "Thanks."
"At least it’s college, not high school. How in the hell did you manage to acquire all this shit in the time you've been here?"
"Carter, Teal'c and Daniel," John said, as if it explained everything, and to Jack, it actually did.
"You gonna be okay here?"
"I'll be fine," John answered, awkwardly waiting for Jack to leave.
Screams from female voices came from down the hall and Jack gave his doppleganger a knowing look. "Are you sure?"
"I may be the youngest one here, but trust me, I'll be fine."
"Okay," Jack sing-songed. He turned to leave, then paused. "I never asked, but what are you planning on studying?"
John smiled at him. "Astro-physics and Bioengineering. I hear there may be a niche for it in the future."
Jack nodded and left the room, closing the door behind him. On the way down the stairs, his cell phone rang. Looking at the screen, he shook his head and said into the phone, "Yes, Daniel, I'm on my way ... yes, he's settled in and no, I'm not talking about it ... About an hour... no, just have the stuff ready when I get there ... No, I’m allergic, remember? Tell Carter that if she makes that batch of daiquiris with strawberries again, I’m gonna dump the damn thing on her head."
"Hey!" Jack yelled, knocking Felger out of his daydream and making the man fall out of his chair.
Felger looked up at Jack and in an adoring, worshipping tone, whispered, "Hi."
"Get up," Jack said, with disgust. When Felger hurriedly got to his feet, he abruptly lost his smile when he spied Daniel just behind Jack's right shoulder.
"Oh, uh, we're not alone."
"Excuse me?" Jack scowled.
"Nothing, sir, nothing, um, nothing at all."
"Carter's still waiting on that report. Get on it."
"Yes, sir, right away."
Jack left and as he and Daniel walked down the hall, he decided to poke fun at Daniel. Why not? Daniel had been having a good laugh at his expense. "Why don't you act like that?"
"Like what?" Daniel asked, returning Jack's wicked grin. "Like a mindless, adulating sex slave?"
"And I'm sure I could work up a 'sir' in there somewhere providing I was given the same motivation."
"I'm not motivating anything!" Jack snapped.
"Well, he's getting it from somewhere. Maybe you should ask Sam."
"He's not getting it from Carter, either," Jack answered, angrily swiping his card through the elevator's access port.
"Well, he's getting it from somewhere, Jack" Daniel said. Getting into the elevator, he stared back at Jack, who wasn't moving. "Getting in?"
Jack narrowed his eyes and stepped forward, pushing against Daniel in an effort at intimidation. "What the hell did you do, Daniel?"
The elevator doors closed as Daniel said, "You'll have to torture it out of me."
"Carter, what'd you do to your arm?"
"It's nothing, sir."
"Just a little run-in with one of Anubis' soldiers," Jacob added.
"Bummer. Well, Daniel got shot," Jack pointed.
"I did, yeah," Daniel replied, holding up one of his crutches.
"Y'okay, Daniel?" Sam asked.
"Fine." She turned to General Hammond and began to describe the result of their mission but the General held up his hand.
"Later, Major. I'll have Jacob fill me in. In the meantime, get yourself seen to."
"Yes, sir, and if you wouldn't mind, we would like to grab a bite after we ..." Her voice faded as she gestured between herself and Teal'c.
"I am indeed most hungry," Teal'c stated.
"Let them wind down, George," Jacob said, coming to her rescue. "I'm sure I can cover everything."
Hammonds sighed. "Very well. You’re dismissed, SG-1. Be back here at 0800."
"Great, so who's buying?" Jack asked, slapping his hands together.
"Didn't you just have lun--" Daniel started but Jack covered his mouth.
"I'm just bein' my usual sociable self," Jack clarified.
"Then you may buy us dinner later," Teal'c answered as he linked his arm in Sam's unbroken one and escorted her out of the gateroom.
Jack stared after them, growing annoyed that Carter's snickering could be heard down the corridor.
Daniel cleared his throat again and Jack gave him a frown. "What?"
"You were gonna give me a massage," Daniel reminded him as they were out of eavesdropping range.
"After your injury's healed, Daniel."
"Most of me isn’t injured, Jack."
Following Daniel down the corridor, Jack had a view of the man's backside. Even if he was on crutches, it was a pretty great view. "Right. Well, I’m hungry and you’re lame."
Daniel snorted. "Improvise. You're good at that."
Teal’c nodded at Daniel as he left the event horizon. “The medical team’s on the way,” Daniel said. “Where are they?”
“This way,” Teal’c said and he led them to Sam, who was being comforted by Jack.
“Sam,” Daniel called and rushed to her, startled by the cuts and blood. He withdrew his bandana and sat next to her, pressing it against the still-bleeding cut along her hairline. “They’re coming, Sam.”
“Thanks,” she said, and she closed her eyes as she rested against Jack’s shoulder.
“You get that fucker?” Daniel asked Jack, keeping his voice calm.
“She did,” Jack said, his expression haunted.
Daniel had a feeling he was experiencing a bit of PTSD from Iraq. “Good,” was all he could say.
In front of them, Teal’c stood guard, privately promising himself that if he could find Anubis, he’d take him apart, a small piece at a time.
(This episode required something silly in response to something stupid—namely, the episode.)
"You mean you've been having visions of Joe's life over the last seven years?" Daniel asked.
"You never mentioned it," Sam frowned, feeling creeped out.
"I must have at some point," Jack replied, looking at her, then Daniel and Teal'c. He loved the increasingly disturbed look on Daniel's face. When Teal'c's brow went up, Jack knew he had them. "Nah, just kidding."
Daniel coughed, once; it was a silent promise to kick Jack’s ass later. Sam and Teal'c sighed with long-suffering looks at the ceiling.
"Never?" Joe asked.
"Sorry, fella," Jack replied, not looking all that apologetic.
"So how'd this happen then?" Daniel asked Sam.
"There must be an additional trigger to set off the device so that he'd receive as well as send,” she posited.
"Unless Jack's altered genes somehow interfered with that," Daniel mused. “Maybe it started after he was infected by that device belonging to Pelops.”
“None of this makes any sense,” Sam said. “He’s never shown any symptoms.”
"Perhaps the Asgard know more about Loki's experiments than they are leading us to believe," Teal'c suggested.
"That's probably true," Sam allowed, "and maybe that would account for his--"
"Hello!" Jack interrupted. "He is still in the room."
"Sorry, sir," Sam said.
"You want us to leave so we can talk about this?" Daniel asked drily.
Jack narrowed his eyes at him, then gestured with a quick point of his finger. "Tell you what. I'll leave. You all do … whatever is you do … amongst yourselves while I take Joe home."
As Jack and Joe moved for the exit, Daniel said, "Gotta fix his family, Jack.”
“I'll think of something," Jack called back, disappearing from view. Joe waved goodbye, looking a little stunned, and was promptly pulled out of sight by Jack.
Sam chewed at her lip worriedly. "General O'Neill should have someone else do that for him."
"Jack’s a hands-on kind of guy," Daniel replied blandly and when Sam and Teal'c exchanged wide-eyed looks, he rolled his eyes. "You guys have dirty minds."
“Maybe you should stop banging him then,” Sam snarked.
Jack walked into the locker room, eyes immediately drawn to Daniel sitting on the bench in front of his locker. Walking over, he found his friend doing nothing but staring at a shoe in his hand.
Looking up, startled out of his thoughts, Daniel said, "Hey Jack."
"Hey. Having problems with your shoe?" Jack asked. The levity seemed appropriate.
Daniel shook his head and put on the shoe. "Everyone okay?"
Jack studied his face, looking for clues to how Daniel was really doing. "Carter's probably still snickering. Bra'tac and Teal'c find it amusing."
Daniel snorted, remembering how Sam covered her mouth when he appeared from Jack’s office. Naked. With a flag. “I still can’t believe she made me blush. It’s usually the other way around."
Jack gave him a little grin and sat down, straddling the end of the bench. "With what happened with Jacob, then Pete, Carter wants to work herself into a stupor so I ordered her to take some time off and go to San Diego."
"Ah. That’s why she was packing when I went to see her about Jacob." He’d held her for a long time, rubbing her back. She hadn’t been crying, but it’d been close.
They were silent for a moment, then Jack asked, "So, what're you planning on doing?"
"I mean, do you have plans?"
"Other than contemplating my almost-enlightenment?" Daniel asked, immediately wishing he hadn't placed the sarcasm in there.
Jack kept the grin on his face, but it was a little difficult; he'd been trying to forget that Daniel had died. Again. "Wanna go fishing?"
Daniel stared at him in amazement. "What? Last time you asked me--"
"You were recovering from surgery." Jack waved his hand up and down. "But you're fine now, more or less."
Daniel looked away, fiddling with his clothes. "I appreciate the offer but I think I’ll be fine without the pity invite."
Annoyed, Jack got up. His intention was to leave, but halfway to the door, he hesitated and turned around. "It isn't pity, Daniel. It’s sympathy."
Daniel turned around, studying Jack's carefully neutral expression. "Oh," he said, and paused. "Fishing?"
Weighing the possible problems involved in spending a few days (alone) with Jack against the possible entertainment value, and the fact that he really didn't want to spend the next few days at home, Daniel found the decision wasn't that hard to make. He stood up, grabbed his coat and closed his locker. "Okay, thanks. I'd love to."
A slow smile spread across Jack's face as Daniel reached him. "Cool. We'll have fun."
Daniel's mouth twitched in a smile as he opened the door, holding it for Jack. "Fun? Sitting there with your pole in your hand, contemplating the peaceful surroundings? I could do that at home."
Jack was startled, but highly pleased, and he struggled between several comebacks. "It's always better when you do that with someone else," he said, walking past Daniel and into the hall, silently cheering at the fact that Daniel was not blushing, but grinning his fool head off.
Afterward: I toyed with the idea of rewriting bits from seasons 9 and 10, but I really couldn’t be bothered. I tried to like Cameron and Vala, and the new General and doctor. But I just couldn’t. With RDA leaving, the show should have had a different episode after “Threads”, then merged with Stargate Atlantis. Daniel and Sam would have been wonderful there, with Teal’c as their occasional visitor.