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Don't Pursue

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Jack couldn't see the point of DADT. He couldn't understand the furore over gays serving in the armed forces, mostly because they were already serving in practically all ranks and disciplines and that had made no difference to morale or unit cohesion. Serving openly wouldn't make them any less capable of doing their jobs. In fact, it would probably make them better as they wouldn't be expending valuable mental energy in having to deny their existence to those around them, constantly on guard for the intolerant in their midst. And, of course, all those rules against gays serving in the military tended to fly out the window when the country was in a crisis situation so that excuse of gays causing a lack of unit cohesion and trust was really a pile of bull shit.

Fortunately, the SGC tried to weed out the bigots when selecting military because there was no place for closed minds under Jack's command.

It didn't always work though. Just as gays managed to sneak in under the radar when enlisting, so did the bigots, pretending they were open-minded while hiding their repugnance deep inside where it festered. As usual, when that hatred finally bubbled to the surface, it was ugly, leaving a nasty mess for someone to clean up. This time it was his job. Keeping his expression open and almost welcoming, Jack gave the lieutenant standing to attention before him a tiny smile of encouragement, needing to hear what he had to say.

"And you have proof beyond a shadow of doubt that Lieutenant Colonel John Sheppard is conducting a homosexual affair with...McKay."

Personally, it was hard to believe that anyone would want an affair with McKay, but who was he to judge....though McKay had saved his life twice now so maybe it was time he cut him some slack over the whole abandoning Teal'c in the Stargate buffer fiasco.

"Yes, sir. I saw Colonel Sheppard leaving Doctor McKay's quarters in the early hours of the morning."

"And this wasn't just some late night official business, or maybe two colleagues watching a movie, having a few beers..."

"Doctor McKay pulled him back and..." The lieutenant's face screed up in disgust, "And kissed him, sir."

"He did?"

"Yes, sir. And the Colonel let him. I have video evidence to support--"

"And you were in the corridor because...?"

"I had my suspicions about the Colonel and I wanted to--"

"So you were spying on him."

Lieutenant Garret shifted slightly. "I had my suspicions and Section 654, Title 10 of--"

"Yeah, yeah." Jack waved off the recital of the Uniform Code. Instead he stared curiously at the man. "Why?"

"Sir?"

"Why? Why was it so important to confirm your suspicions?"

"I'm...Sir, I don't understand the question."

"You consider yourself a reliable witness bringing me credible information that will destroy the career of a highly decorated and well respected officer."

"He's gay, sir."

"Why bring it to my attention?"

"Because he's gay, sir!"

Jack fought to keep his expression neutral. "And you can't serve with him in case you catch his gay cooties. Is that it?"

Garret bristled but wisely kept his mouth shut.

"So let's take this from the top. You had your suspicion that Lt. Colonel Sheppard was gay. With McKay." Jack winced at the unintentional rhyming. "So you followed him around...with a video camera...until you caught him in a compromising position."

Garret remained silent but the slight, arrogant tilt of his head and the poorly concealed smirk confirmed that was the case to Jack. Jack let the affable expression drop from his face and gave Garret his most predatory smile, the one that Daniel had called his keep on digging so I can bury you deep smile.

"Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't Pursue, Don't Harass," Jack recited. "You didn't ask. He didn't tell... but you did pursue, and now you want me to pursue. Why?"

Garret looked uneasy but instead of backing down, he kept on digging his hole. "Gays have no place in the military, sir, especially when they take command positions away from honorable officers such as Colonel Caldwell...who should have been placed in charge of the military on Atlantis."

"And is this also Colonel Caldwell's opinion?"

"I have not spoken with Colonel Caldwell, sir."

Jack smiled tightly. "I see. Thank you for bringing this to my attention, Lieutenant. I'll take it from here."

Garret didn't bother to hide the smug grin this time. He dropped the damning video evidence on Jack's desk, aware that he was being dismissed. After saluting crisply, he left Jack's office with a definite bounce in his step that Jack hated immediately. Jack stared at the door, deep in thought, raising an eyebrow when Daniel stumbled in without taking his eyes off a document he was reading.

"Daniel?"

Daniel looked up in surprise. "Oh. There you are." He pulled a quizzical face when Jack raised the other eyebrow to join its partner. "Hmm? Oh! Um! I was just reading Section--"

"654, Title 10 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice."

"Oh." Daniel looked uncomfortable. "That means Lieutenant Garret has already been here."

"Just left." Jack wished he knew how Daniel had found out about this before him.

"And?" Daniel prompted.

"And I promised to deal with it."

Daniel gave him a slightly disapproving look. "I hope you don't intend to pursue this."

"Oh, I do."

****

Two weeks later:

Jack slipped into the seat opposite Sheppard and McKay, and smiled. He liked Atlantis. He liked being in a position where he could gate to Atlantis on the pretext of doing a command inspection when what he really wanted was a vacation. He picked up his knife and fork and started prodding at the unidentifiable stuff on his plate.

"So, what's the fishing like."

McKay rolled his eyes and even though a mouthful of food had never stopped him from talking in the past, this time he remained silent. Sheppard grinned and leaned back in his seat, one arm stretching over the back of McKay's chair. It was easy to see why someone like Garret would get suspicious because Sheppard seemed completely unaware of how possessive and intimate he appeared towards McKay.

"The marine biologists would recommend the inlet near the east pier. Apparently, that attracts some very trout-like creatures that taste like chicken when cooked." His fingers unconsciously grazed McKay's shoulder.

"Doesn't everything taste like chicken," McKay mumbled around a last mouthful of some purple dessert, not even noticing this invasion of his personal space. His eyes rolled again and he reached up and touched his radio. "Yes, what is it?" McKay exchanged a glance with Sheppard, giving him a tiny shake of his head before hauling out at speed. Sheppard watched him go for longer than most would consider seemly, then he sighed and placed his empty tray beneath the one McKay had abandoned.

"Problem?" Jack asked.

"Nah. He'd let me know if it was." Sheppard eyed him speculatively. "One of my lieutenants never returned to Atlantis after his leave. Apparently, you had him reassigned outside of the SGC. Any reason I should know about?"

"Nope. Just didn't fit in."

Originally Jack thought Sheppard was a square peg in a round hole, not really fitting in, but he quickly discovered that it was the hole and not the peg that was the wrong shape; Sheppard had fixed that problem. And he liked Sheppard. He liked the man's loyalty to the men under his command. He liked his commanding style, one that drew respect from most everyone in Atlantis--including the scientists--and that had to count for something. Jack didn't understand the attraction to McKay but if it kept Sheppard sane amidst the insanity of the Pegasus galaxy then who was he to complain. After all, he had Daniel, Sam and Teal'c as his anchors in an insane galaxy.

Sheppard looked perplexed and Jack hoped he wouldn't press the issue because this was one time when Don't Ask, Don't Tell would benefit all of them. Instead, Sheppard relaxed and shrugged, and Jack liked the way he trusted in his judgment.

"Okay."

Jack smiled. "Now. About this fishing."

END