1. "Here's to Sarah, a classy woman."
Sarah used to pick up his glasses from wherever he'd set them down and polish them on the hem of her diaphanous shirts or a fold of her sleeveless sundresses. It'd be either irritating or ignored in turns, depending on what he was working on when she showed up.
"I think I might have made a breakthrough yesterday evening. Want to compare notes?" she'd ask, teasing him, making him defensive and curt.
It was months later before he finally discovered the point of her eccentric invasions. She'd been trying to get his attention the only way she knew how -- the only way that a confident but consciously foreign woman had hopes of drawing out an absentminded, socially awkward workaholic.
Her accent and distinguished manner became no longer signs of haughtiness to him, but marks of beauty. She started taking his glasses directly from his face, and instead of sitting on the fringe of his vision and making uncertain chit-chat, she would sweep into his touch and teach him how to love.
2. "We'll find her, Daniel. Hang in there."
Sha're had been fascinated with what seemed the most ordinary things: his glasses, the elastic in his clothing, the screw top of his canteen, and his ballpoint pens. She liked to watch him write. She liked to help him undress. She liked to put his glasses on for him, settling them over his ears ever so gently, like they were made of crystal.
One morning, early in their marriage, he woke up to catch one of the boys sneaking the curious, exotic object away from his and Sha're's tent. He called out, and the frightened mischief-maker dropped them, allowing an unknowing heel to trod on them, unluckily smashing the right lens.
Daniel had a spare pair, fortunately, but the moment seemed sharply symbolic somehow. This wasn't a dig, he realized, with a prearranged escape plan and a telephone at the post office. He was light years from Earth, and if he lost his glasses, or his pens, or his canteen here, there would be no getting new ones.
In that moment just before realization and the beginnings of wistfulness could swell into panic, Sha're appeared, sleep in her mussed hair but not in her perceptive almond eyes. She saw in a moment what had happened, and she demanded who had committed the crime. A minute later, she not only had the culprit, but she had him in tears asking for forgiveness. It was utterly mesmerizing.
"You never steal things from family," she repeated, ferociously, causing the trembling boy to nod in earnest agreement.
Daniel started to laugh, and he never did tell Sha're exactly why he pulled her into a hug then, smothering his chuckles into her earth-sweet neck.
3. "Don't worry about it. A couple of weeks of exercise -- back-breaking, ceaseless, dirty, oxygen- and food- and water-deprived exercise -- is always good for you. Right?"
Shyla never really understood him. He was too different in background, whether station in life, occupation, or temperament. But that was okay. In him she saw her Prince Charming, and that was quite enough for her. And with the endless parties and entertainments to share, and an entire city that loved him, as well as a fascinating artifact to study, that was enough for him as well.
He was a bit disappointed when she couldn't properly share his excitement at how the sarcophagus had healed even his astigmatism. He rushed down to the mines to tell his teammates the news, and they were repressively undelighted as well. He couldn't understand it. He'd thought he was part of the team, that they would care.
Perfect vision! A gift he had lost before finishing elementary school. He smashed his already cracked glasses with a heavy mallet like a slave does his chains, delirious with giddy joy (and with the addiction that he hadn't realized was burning through him). Shyla laughed along with him, amused by his antics. He could tell that she was truly happy for him.
Testing his newfound strength, he picked her up and twirled her around, going faster and faster as she squealed fetchingly in mock-fear. Her voluptuous body was tingly and warm in his arms, and her golden dress flared and fluttered like a flag.
Daniel was inundated in pure happiness from morning to night, a feeling not felt since his first days on Abydos, and he had reveled in it -- until it all crashed down around him.
4. "So, that could have gone better. I guess."
Ke'ra had been a lot of things. A miracle, a wild card, a mistake. For them both.
"Don't go," she said, her voice calm but her open, youthful face imploring. Viciously tempting.
"I think I have to," he said. A slight click sounded from outside, the SF shifting in his place of guard beyond the door. "I've got to, uh..."
He reached out for his glasses, which she had slipped off his face sometime in the last few minutes. She jerked them closer to herself in response, unconsciously, he thought, withholding power from him. Changing the trajectory of his hand, he touched her face instead, and she sighed.
He was on the verge of kissing her again, when she pushed his folded glasses at his chest and turned away. "Thank you for the tour," she said. "I'm sure we'll be able to make a lot of progress together."
"You're welcome," he said, blushing hot before slipping gracelessly from the room.
But probably even then, in the back of his mind, he had known clearly that no matter how pretty, how brilliant, and how giving of heart she was, she had never been, and would never be, his wife.
5. "Morning, Sleepyhead."
Jack's voice was an unwelcome harbinger of daylight and headaches, but the coffee he bore was an irresistible siren to Daniel's senses. He struggled to a sitting position, throwing off the blanket entangling him and peering around Jack's living room. "Ow."
"I think you're making progress. That was what, two beers?"
Daniel scowled, resisting the urge to start a catfight pre-caffeine. It'd been more than two, he was sure of that. He made a grab for the coffee, hoping to catch Jack off guard, but as always, Jack drew the mug out of reach.
"Uh-uh. Here." He pushed a tall glass of water into Daniel's hands instead. Daniel downed it quickly, then held it up to be refilled.
"I need to take a piss," he said later, still surly after his third glass of water and -- finally -- his first cup of coffee. Jack waved him away.
"Sausage omelets in five."
"Jaaack," Daniel couldn't help whining. He hated sausages, so of course Jack found every opportunity to feed them to him.
"In five," Jack repeated. Scooping up Daniel's glasses from where someone had tucked them away on the coffee table the night before, he tossed them underhand.
"Hey!" Daniel snatched his eyewear out of the air. "This is my only pair until Monday."
Jack whistled unconcernedly. Sometimes, Daniel truly questioned how he had come to this sad point in his life, where he couldn't imagine anymore not having the annoyingly sarcastic and stubbornly pragmatic presence in his life that was Jack O'Neill.
Sometimes -- like when Jack yanks his glasses off his face to polish the waterspots off with a corner of worn flannel, before placing a painstakingly disgusting breakfast in front of him with an evil flourish -- Daniel wondered what it might feel like to wake up in Jack's house every day for the rest of his life.