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Memory May Be Paradise

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The planet is hot. It's bright and sunny, maybe a little pretty, but it's damned hot. Inside the buildings they have air conditioning, so when Carter suggests they take their little party into a museum he jumps, for probably the first time in his life, at the opportunity.

"Just don't... touch ...anything," Daniel warns when they walk into the blessedly cool yet still sunny, thanks to some incredibly energy efficient windows, building.

"I wasn't going to touch anything," Jack weasels just so he can get a smile out of...yep, there it is. Carter's half smile. He likes the full ones better, but he'll take what he can get and she's looking a little wilted around the edges, too.

"You think Teal'c's having a good time?" Daniel asks.

"He's off training with their military force," Jack points out. "He's in hog heaven."

"I wonder what the Jaffa equivalent of 'hog heaven' is," Carter says thoughtfully.

"Porcine afterlife?" Daniel offers and even Jack chuckles.

"Probably."

The trio stops in front of a tall, shiny, pointy looking object. It looks like a dangerous suppository. Jack keeps that observation to himself - it's not the sort of comment that makes Carter smile; it's the sort that turns her mouth into a little moue of irritation with the more ribald side of his humor. She likes most of his jokes, so he doesn't mind skipping the ruder ones. Most of the time. Sometimes he just can't help it.

Like when he sees another large, shiny silver object that looks alarmingly like a butt plug. When he says so, she raises a disapproving eyebrow and starts to wander off. "And just how familiar with butt plugs are you, sir?" she asks making his jaw drop. She doesn't normally go right to the suggestive jokes but he likes it when she does.

"Wouldn't you like to know?"

"Hmm, maybe not."

But he doesn't like when she shuts him down. Though he figures he didn't really want to walk down the road of the butt plug conversation anyway. But there's a little smile playing around her mouth, though, so the whole thing worked out in his favor. Two Carter smiles and he wasn't even really trying yet.

It's a fun game, on cakewalk missions, to find out how many times he can make her smile in one day. There were a few days during the time-loops when he got up into the high double digits - not too bad. And the smile on her face when he un-dipped her after that kiss, woo-boy, but he'd love to figure out how to get her to look like that without having to resign again to do it. Not that the thought hasn't crossed his mind a time or two in the intervening weeks since then.

Carter stops walking in front of an exhibit that looks like a small version of Earth's space shuttle. "It's a space museum!" she exclaims, suddenly delighted and smiling broadly. Yeah, now that's what he likes. "I wish we could read the placards."

"Yeah, you'd think that if they spoke English they could at least write in it," Jack commiserates.

"It's not their first language," Daniel points out, "Why would they bother when everyone speaks the native language?"

"We don't."

"We don't live here, Jack."

Jack just shrugs.

"It looks like they explored their moon, too," Carter breaks in and indicates something that vaguely resembles Earth's lunar lander. "It's interesting to see how we've done so many similar things."

"Well, they're not that more advanced than we are," Daniel points out. "Chances are they'd find the same things about their history fascinating that we do about ours."

"Except they've been traveling by Stargate, and have been visited by alien races, for a thousand years. You wouldn't think the moon would be so fascinating at that point."

"You think we wouldn't have wanted set foot on our moon just because we could travel to other planets? We're people. We want to explore everything."

"I'd still go to the moon," Jack says, "You know, if I had a chance."

"Even with everything you've seen?" Carter asks.

"It's the moon, Carter," he says as if it explains everything.

She cracks another small smile, "Yes, sir."

He's up to three. Four if he counts the one she gave him when he said yes to the museum.

They peruse the rest of the exhibits finding several things that look like their Earth counterparts and a few other things they can figure out but don't look anything like what they've used on Earth. It takes them just over an hour to look at everything, then they walk through a corridor into another exhibit hall and suddenly everything looks like it's from the future.

"Whoa," Jack says and whistles lowly, "I don't think we're in Kansas anymore."

"What do you think all this is?" Carter asks reverently.

"I have no idea," Daniel says and starts trying to read the placards with little luck. He's gotten okay with their spoken language, but he's only been looking at the symbols for a couple of days.

At one particularly interesting object, Jack forgets himself and reaches out to touch. He's knocked back on his ass with a jolt, "Christ on a crutch!"

Carter reaches down a hand to help him up, "Are you okay, sir?" He got to touch her, hell, he's on cloud nine!

"Yeah," he says, checking himself internally and externally, "yeah, I'm fine. What the hell was that, Daniel?"

"I don't know," Daniel says and starts peering at the placard as if that could make reading it easier. "You sure you're okay?"

"I'm fine," Jack grouses.

"I think it's time to meet Teal'c," Carter says with a glance at her watch.

So they all make their way back to the military training area in time to watch Teal'c put some poor soldier down in a hand-to-hand bout. When Teal'c's done and showered the four return to their accommodations in time to clean up for yet another fancy dinner during which Carter smiles at him four more times.

Afterwards, it's a walk under a starlit sky back to their rooms and Jack thinks it would almost be nice if it weren't for their two chaperones. Carter laughs for him once and that totally makes his day, even if they have passed well into evening.

Back in his — private — room, there are perks on this planet, he takes a shower and then stretches out on the bed. He's a little stiff through the back thanks to the way he hit the floor earlier, but he's still feeling all right. After watching the local version of the news — broadcast in a language he doesn't understand — he turns off his bedside lamp, rolls over and goes to sleep.