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Fanfiction: Good Days and Bad Days

Fandom: Stargate SG1
Series: Aftershocks
TAG to Episode: S6 Forsaken
Rating: PG-13
Author's Note: Sam/Jack UST. Jonas & Team friendship. Teal'c & Team friendship.
Disclaimer: No copyright infringement intended. Written for entertainment purposes only.

Good Days and Bad Days


It was turning into a spectacularly good day, Jonas Quinn mused as he walked with a small bounce in his step through the corridors of the SGC towards his office, even better than the previous day. Not that the day before had been bad. The routine mission to examine a nebula had been usurped by discovering a space-ship and foiling a band of thieves, which constituted more than a good day’s work in Jonas’s book, especially since it had been his plan that had been used to trap them.

He had half-expected that the current day would turn out to be anti-climatic in comparison but Jonas had loved the day so far. Working with Major Samantha Carter to help the alien Warrick complete the repairs to the ship had been great both in terms of what they had learned about the technology and the planet Hebridan. Warrick’s race the Serrakin had liberated the transplanted humans there from the Goa’uld some centuries before and the two species co-existed in apparent harmony. It was fascinating. More than that, seeing Warrick depart for his planet with the ship airborne and containing the three prisoners who’d tried to con SG1 the day before had given Jonas huge satisfaction.

He hadn’t stopped grinning since their return which had included a debriefing where the praise he’d received from all of his team-mates had been even more satisfying than anything that had preceded it. Importantly to Jonas, it hadn’t just been Sam or Teal’c who had said nice things – his team leader had been equally quick to give Jonas credit.

Credit where credit was due had been the Colonel’s exact phrase, Jonas remembered as he waved at Nyan who was disappearing down one the end of one corridor as he took another. Along with; ‘good thing Jonas worked the whole thing out.’ Maybe it was wrong to be so happy about what constituted no more than a couple of dozen words but Jonas was ecstatic. They were from the Colonel; the man that he had been trying to impress for the better part of a year. Jack O’Neill didn’t give praise lightly or often, and Jonas was savouring it.

Of course, General Hammond’s praise had been nice too as had the General’s trust in allowing him to execute his sting in the first place.

Jonas tapped the wall as he swerved around another junction and into the home stretch. The best part of the day had happened in the infirmary though when they’d been dismissed for their post-mission checks. Namely, he’d run into Stacey Rush. She had teased him a little over the thief Raynard kissing him – something he had not anticipated – and Stacey had suggested that he make it up to her by taking her out to dinner for their third date that evening. Their first had been rescued from total disaster by Cassie Fraiser; their second had gone very well even if Jonas said so himself and he was looking forward to their third. But the meeting had delayed him and both Teal’c and the Colonel had left the locker room by the time Jonas had reached it.

He bounded into his office and stopped abruptly in the doorway at the sight of his three team-mates. They were spaced out around the central workbench. The Colonel sat on his stool on the left apparently fascinated; Sam stood in the middle reading the book upside down, and Teal’c was calmly staring into space.

Jonas frowned, a crease appearing between his brows as he tried to recall if he’d forgotten a team meeting.

Jack suddenly looked up and speared Jonas with dark, guarded eyes. ‘There you are.’

Teal’c didn’t move but Sam turned round and smiled at him brightly.

‘Hey,’ Jonas took another step inside, ‘did I forget we were meeting?’

‘Nope.’ Jack shook his head and gestured wildly with an artefact in Jonas’s direction, narrowly missing Sam. ‘We were just...waiting for you.’

Sam rolled her eyes and plucked the artefact from the Colonel’s hands. ‘This is probably fragile, sir.’

‘Hey.’ Jack protested.

‘Actually, I’m not sure what it is.’ Jonas admitted as he walked over to stand beside Teal’c. ‘I think it was once used as a fertility symbol...’ he watched as Jack grabbed the artefact back from Sam and held it beyond her grasp, ‘passed between the man and a woman during a marriage ceremony.’ He nodded at them. ‘Kind of like what the two of you have just being doing.’

Jack and Sam both regarded him with identical expressions of horror. Jonas didn’t let any of his own amusement show.

Sam immediately subsided, ending up standing beside Jack on the opposite side of the table to the alien members of SG1.

Jack set the artefact down hastily. ‘So.’

Jonas looked at him expectantly. Jack looked back at him.

‘You were waiting for me?’ Jonas prompted.

‘Right.’ Jack motioned at him. ‘We thought we’d take you out for the night.’

‘As a celebration for your achievement in capturing Aidan Corso and his accomplices.’ Teal’c said solemnly, although his dark eyes twinkled.

‘The Colonel’s paying.’ Sam added.

Jack shot her a pained look but nodded. ‘So what d’ya say? We’ll pick you up in an hour?’

Jonas grimaced. ‘I can’t.’

‘Can’t?’ Jack’s eyebrows rose up his forehead.

‘I, uh, already have plans.’ Jonas admitted, feeling a touch of heat burn across his cheeks. Damn it, he thought with chagrin. He was a grown man. He could admit to having romantic plans without blushing like a school boy.

‘Plans, you say.’ Jack waggled his eyebrows, a mischievous grin lighting his face which Jonas had come to recognise meant teasing.

‘With Stacey?’ Sam asked, smiling at him.

Jonas nodded and couldn’t help smiling back. ‘Third date.’

‘Third date, huh?’ Jack sighed and crossed his arms. ‘Getting serious.’

‘Cassie says that serious is more like the fifth or sixth.’ Jonas replied without thinking.

Jack’s brow lowered. ‘Cassie doesn’t date.’

‘Yes, she does.’ Jonas replied, bemused by the Colonel’s answer.

‘No,’ Jack said firmly, ‘she doesn’t.’

‘But doesn’t she have a boyfr...’ Jonas broke off as Jack put both his hands over his ears and began humming loudly.

Sam sighed. She took hold of the Colonel’s wrists and tugged his arms back down.

Jack made a face at her that Jonas translated as ‘traitor’. She sent the Colonel a chiding look which Jonas pretty much knew meant ‘stop being a baby.’ She’d given him the same look sometimes. Apparently it worked just as effectively on the Colonel as it did on Jonas because he huffed and looked away.

‘You have selected Cassandra Fraiser as your mentor in Tau’ri romantic situations.’ Teal’c stated, approvingly. ‘A wise choice.’

Jack shot the Jaffa the same ‘traitor’ expression he’d given to Sam a moment earlier. Teal’c looked impassively back at him.

‘So where are you going tonight?’ Sam asked, ignoring the interplay of their team-mates and motioning at Jonas across the table.

‘Dinner.’ Jonas explained. ‘Cassie recommended a Thai place on Sixth street?’

‘It is an excellent choice.’ Teal’c confirmed.

Jack sighed heavily. ‘OK. So, tomorrow?’

Teal’c raised an eyebrow. ‘It is movie night, O’Neill.’

Jonas clicked his fingers. ‘Right. We’re watching,’ he searched his memory for the film’s title, ‘Bravespirit?’

‘Braveheart.’ Teal’c corrected.

‘Oh for crying...’ Jack slapped a hand over his eyes.

‘You are more than welcome to join Nyan, Jonas Quinn and I.’ Teal’c continued as though Jack hadn’t said anything. ‘As are you Major Carter.’

Sam gestured weakly across the bench. ‘I, uh, I have plans.’ Her finger traced up and down the bench nervously.

Jonas glanced at the Colonel who for one brief moment was looking at Sam with shock written all over his face before his expression changed so totally and instantly to his usual guarded mask that Jonas wondered if he had seen it all.

‘I could do Friday.’ Jonas offered.

‘No can do.’ Jack said succinctly.

It was Sam’s turn to look surprised and although she didn’t hide it as quickly, she hid it just as well as the Colonel.

‘Saturday then?’ Jack asked caustically. ‘Or do we all need to check our diaries?’

‘I can do Saturday.’ Sam said immediately.

‘Me too.’ Jonas agreed.

‘I cannot.’ Teal’c inclined his head. ‘I will be departing the SGC to join Bra’tac for our meeting with the other Free Jaffa.’

Jack’s scarred eyebrow twitched. ‘Yes. How could I have forgotten?’

‘Are you sure it’s a good idea for so many of you to meet in one place?’ Sam asked, concern written all over her delicate features.

Teal’c’s sternness softened. ‘We must determine a way forward as a people if we are to fully play our part in destroying the Goa’uld.’

‘I think Carter’s point is that over a hundred rebel Jaffa in one place is like giving the Goa’uld a duck shoot.’ Jack said roughly.

‘We are not ducks.’ Teal’c replied. ‘Nor eggs.’

‘Eggs?’ mouthed Jonas at Sam; she shook her head dismissively.

Jack sighed. ‘Well, how about a late afternoon snack to celebrate?’

‘Sounds good to me.’ Jonas placed a hand over his stomach. ‘I’m starved.’

‘I’m in.’ Sam said.

Teal’c acquiesced, inclining his head, the light glancing off his dark skin.

The Colonel brightened immediately. He clapped his hands. ‘Let’s go.’

Jonas fell into step beside Sam as Jack and Teal’c fell to discussing the merits of cake versus pie. A strange contentment drifted over Jonas.

Yep.

It was turning out to be a very good day.

o-O-o

Jack nodded absently to the security guard as he signed in and headed for the elevator. He rubbed the back of his neck and yawned, stretching his mouth wide, as he waited for it to arrive. He had the beginnings of a dull headache behind his sore eyes. He hadn’t been to a poker night in a while and was regretting his spontaneous decision to attend one; he’d forgotten how the sting of cigar smoke and the taste of bad whiskey lingered.

He grimaced. He needed coffee; lots of coffee. The day had all the signs of being an incredibly bad day.

He heard the reaction of the guard – a much friendlier good morning, Jack noted, than had been given to him – before he heard her melodic reply. He didn’t have to look to know it was Carter. He still didn’t look as he tracked her steps from the desk to the elevator. His ears catalogued every soft footfall despite the fact that he was sure she was wearing motorcycle boots – he could hear the brief rub of leather with every stride she made.

‘Sir.’

‘Carter.’ Jack risked a glance as he nodded a hello at her. His eyes swiftly cased her; he’d been right about the boots, and right about the leather; she was head to toe in it – leather pants, tight leather jacket. She looked so damn sexy he forgot to breathe for a moment. His lips twitched; no wonder the security guard had been so happy to see her. Jack shot him a stern look, unsurprised to catch the young guy staring at Carter’s ass. The SF flushed bright red and returned his gaze to the desk.

The elevator arrived and Jack gestured for Carter to enter. He followed after her and let her push the buttons. He stared up at the ceiling and tried to muffle a second yawn. He saw Carter glance at him before looking away. She didn’t ask him the question he knew was hovering on her lips – how had his night out gone – and he didn’t answer her.

Jack glared at the floor indicator.

He wanted her to assume that he’d had a wild Friday night with some young wild thing. Better that than the truth that he’d spent the evening with a crowd of middle-aged men – and when had the poker buddies he’d acquired in his last retirement all turned into middle aged men anyway? Jack had been given an open invitation to the game when he’d been recalled and had stopped making the regular weekly event. He’d turned up maybe a handful of times since he’d been going through the Stargate and he hadn’t played for a while but he had a good poker face and if his hadn’t been the largest pile of chips on the table at the end of the night, it had been respectfully sized.

He sneaked another glance at her. It was petty really. He just wanted Carter to think that he’d gotten laid because she’d mentioned she’d had plans for Thursday night when Teal’c had invited them to the movie night. Not that she’d explained further than that even when Jonas had asked her during their snack. All Jack knew was that the plans didn’t include any of her team-mates. It had probably been a date. With some young non-middle-aged guy. Someone who didn’t have Jack’s kind of baggage. Someone who would be able to hold her, touch her...

He yanked his thoughts away from that path. He should be happy she had found someone; happy she was moving on and finding happiness off the base and getting a life beyond the Stargate programme. But jealousy churned uneasily in his gut and he knew he was being an ass. He’d ignored her the day before rather than simply ask her how her date – or whatever – had gone. It wasn’t exactly in the spirit of his decision to be a better friend to her given they couldn’t be anything more regardless of the fact that he hadn’t moved on from being head over heels in love with her.

Jack cleared his throat as they exited the elevator and made for the locker rooms. ‘Teal’c’s leaving at oh-eight-hundred, right?’

‘Right, sir.’ Sam looked about as pleased about it as he did.

‘Think he’ll be pissed if we follow him?’ Jack commented as they neared the female locker room.

Sam smiled at him; not one of her full blown smiles but a small one as though she couldn’t help herself. ‘Probably, sir.’ She agreed.

‘Breakfast?’ Jack asked aiming for an ‘as usual’ note to the word. He’d missed breakfast the previous day, not wanting to torture himself with guessing games about her night out.

Something flitted through her eyes – hurt, unease, surprise – he wasn’t sure, but she nodded, and it occurred to him that maybe she had wanted to avoid guessing games about his night out.

‘I’ll meet you back here in fifteen.’ Jack said, tossing the instruction over his shoulder as he carried on walking towards the men’s locker rooms which were situated on the next corridor. He opened the door to the usual cacophony of sound.

Men walked in various states of undress through the bench area; beyond that the mirrors and washbasins were crowded with four returning SG teams. The showers were producing enough steam to power a locomotive.

Jack ignored it all and headed for his own locker. He stripped efficiently with no wasted motion. He grabbed a clean set of blue BDUs, tugging the pants on over his Simpsons boxers before grabbing a black t-shirt to go under the blue shirt. He pushed his feet into his boots, laced and tied them quickly. He tugged the cuffs into place. He briefly pushed his hands through his short hair and shut the locker, pocketing the key. He glanced at his watch. Ten minutes. He had five to spare. He shrugged and headed out anyway. The advantage of being a senior officer was that he could ignore strange looks when he loitered in corridors; not that he loitered that often.

He rounded the corner, stood a respectful distance away from the female locker room and leaned a shoulder on a wall as he waited.

The door opened and a woman spilled out into the corridor. She looked vaguely familiar. He tried to place her as she neared his position and slowed, evidently recognising him too.

‘Colonel O’Neill.’

‘Doctor Michaels?’ Jack asked, his memory supplying dim recollections of his last trip to Antarctica before the fever and the dying had blurred the rest. He straightened automatically, pushing his hands into his pants’ pockets.

‘I’m surprised you remember me.’ She said with a smile. ‘It’s good to see you looking so well, Colonel.’

Jack smiled back politely. ‘You too.’ He wondered what she was doing on the base. ‘And you’re here to...’

‘I’m joining the base staff.’ Michaels said, pushing her own hands into the deep pockets of her white lab coat. ‘I’m hoping it’s temporary until the decision on continuing the research in Antarctica is made.’

‘You really want to go back?’ Jack asked curious. Antarctica didn’t like him. He had no intention of ever setting foot on that particular continent again.

Michaels regarded him with amusement. ‘Aiyana was a fantastic discovery. There may be more Ancients buried beneath the ice and...’

He cut her off with a wave of his hand. ‘And you really think it’s wise digging them up?’ He had his doubts given the plague that defrosted with Aiyana; the one that had almost killed him; the one that had led him to taking a damn Tok’ra symbiote.

Michaels lips twisted. ‘The Pentagon shares your concerns, Colonel.’

Hence the freeze to her funding, Jack surmised. ‘Sorry.’

‘No,’ she said with a smile to soften her bluntness, ‘you’re not but at least you have a valid reason.’

Jack shrugged. His attention caught on the opening door of the female locker room and he was relieved to see Carter appear. Her gaze was on her cuff and when she looked up he caught the look of surprise at seeing him chatting to Michaels.

Sam hurried over. ‘Sir. Francine.’

‘Sam.’ Michaels smiled.

‘We were just about to get breakfast.’ Sam offered. Her invitation for Michaels to join them was silent and Jack hid his disappointment at having his time with Carter crashed.

Michaels shook her head. ‘I’d better report for duty.’ She smiled widely. ‘But thanks again for the welcome dinner the other night. Maybe I can return the favour and take you and Janet out sometime next week?’

Jack’s heart stuttered in his chest. Welcome dinner? Had he just discovered Carter’s plans? No hot date? Relief surged through him.

‘Sure.’ Sam said with an easy smile.

Michaels left and Jack barely remembered to acknowledge her goodbye with a wave. He walked alongside Carter as they headed back to the elevators. He shouldn’t be so relieved and happy about it, Jack berated himself. He bit down on the urge to tell her the truth about his own night. Maybe it was for the best if she continued to think he was seeing someone. He should be encouraging her to move on; to be happy. He was her friend after all. But he couldn’t deny that he was happy that she hadn’t moved on that particular day.

Maybe it would be a good day, after all.

o-O-o

Damn. It was turning into a really bad day.

Sam had only just resisted the urge to groan when Francine had revealed the welcome dinner she and Janet had arranged for her. She repressed the sigh of frustration that bubbled up as she entered the elevator.

It wasn’t that she had originally intended hiding the exact nature of her plans from the others. It was just that she knew Antarctica was a sensitive subject both for the Colonel, given the events that had transpired afterwards and for Jonas, who had formed quite a bond with Aiyana, the Ancient who had died after healing them. But after the Colonel had revealed he had social plans too, she’d been quite happy to let him and everyone else think that her plans had involved a date with a guy rather than a girls’ night out.

She darted a look at Jack.

He looked tired. It had been her first thought when she had set eyes on him at the elevator that morning. Not that the tiredness made him look crap. He had just looked rumpled and utterly gorgeous especially in his brown cords and comfortable cream sweater teamed with a loose leather jacket. Gorgeous. Sexy. Hot.

Sam bit her lip. She so had to stop thinking about Jack in those terms. It was clear that he wasn’t interested in her that way anymore even if sometimes she thought there might still be something. But she was wrong about that. It was evident that he’d had a late night. The lines that bracketed his face and gave him character were just that little bit too deep; there was a faint hint of a purple shadow under his eyes. Obviously his date had gone well.

Pain fluttered in her chest as though someone was squeezing her heart. She ignored it, just as she had ignored it the last time the Colonel had dated someone. He had a right to date whomever he chose, Sam argued with herself. Just because she didn’t seem to be able to move on didn’t mean that he couldn’t.

Her mind drifted back to the last mission they’d had. Aidan Corso hadn’t been shy about making his interest in her known and she had enjoyed the spark of attraction between them. Of course, in hindsight, he’d probably been doing nothing more than buttering her up as a patsy but at the time, it had been nice to indulge in some harmless flirting.

More than nice.

She felt a twinge of longing for the days when she and Jack had done that kind of flirting; when they’d had the security of ignorance, each never believing that it would lead to real feelings; that sense of easy attraction based more on the physical than the emotional. Something that didn’t have all the fraught complications that had developed between her and Jack when they discovered they shared mutual feelings; mutual, inappropriate feelings that they couldn’t take any further.

Yes. Her flirtation with Corso had been nice. He had asked her about relationships back home and she had evaded. What could she have said? Well, I’m head over heels in love with my CO and I know that he loves me, I just don’t know if he loves me.

The elevator doors slid open and she followed the Colonel into the mess. She picked up a tray and absently selected waffles for her breakfast. She noticed that he stuck with cereal; fruit loops. He stopped by the coffee station and added a large mug of black coffee to his tray. He gestured with a mug and she nodded. He poured the same for her and set it on her tray.

Jack nudged her as they cleared the counters. Jonas sat at their usual table with Stacey Rush. They were so loved up it was a little disheartening. Jack sauntered over and took the seat next to Jonas leaving her to take the seat next to Stacey.

‘Good morning, kids.’ Jack greeted them cheerfully.

Stacey smiled tentatively back. ‘Colonel.’ Her eyes moved to Sam. ‘Major.’ She pushed her chair back. ‘I should be going.’ She smiled at Jonas. ‘Tonight?’

‘Eight.’ Jonas agreed.

Jack smiled mischievously. ‘Breakfast together, huh?’

Jonas nodded, taking the comment at face value. ‘She’s on the early shift today.’ He picked up his juice and took a large sip. ‘I love this juice.’

‘What is it?’ Sam asked, eager for them to get away from the subjects of dates and romances.

‘Pineapple.’ Jonas said. ‘But did you know that it has no relationship with the apple at all?’

Jack rolled his eyes and stirred his cereal. ‘So, you and the Lieutenant are going out again tonight?’

‘She’s never seen Braveheart.’ Jonas said. ‘It was a very good movie.’ He waved the glass toward the Colonel. ‘Teal’c’s letting me borrow his TV while he’s away. It has a much better sound system.’

Sam refrained from comment as she drizzled syrup on her waffles.

‘Where is Teal’c?’ Jack asked, around a mouthful of cereal.

‘He ate earlier.’ Jonas said. ‘He wanted to get an early start on the day.’

Jack nodded unhappily. He took a deep breath as though mentally pushing his worries about the Jaffa’s upcoming meeting into another box in his head and focused on his primary task; teasing Jonas. ‘Third date must have gone well.’

Jonas smiled smugly. ‘What about your date, Colonel?’ He gestured. ‘Didn’t you have something last night?’

Sam ducked her head. Oh, she so did not want to hear anything about the Colonel’s date. She wasn’t curious; she wasn’t.

There was a pause so long that Sam began to wonder whether he would ever answer Jonas. Sam sneaked a look at the SG1 team leader. He was looking into his cereal and frowning. Presumably, Sam thought, he was considering whether to share his own dating experience maybe out of consideration for her feelings given their history – and didn’t that just make her feel awkward?

‘It wasn’t a date.’ Jack said suddenly. His eyes snapped to Jonas and he pointed his spoon at the Kelownan, dripping milk onto the table. ‘It was poker.’

Poker?

Sam’s mouth fell open a little and she swiftly stuffed a large piece of waffle into her mouth to cover for her shocked reaction.

‘Poker?’ Jonas smiled widely. ‘That’s a card game, right?’

‘Oh no, you don’t.’ Jack said brusquely. ‘I’m not falling for that.’ He waved the spoon at Jonas. ‘Don’t give me the ‘I’m just a poor innocent alien who doesn’t understand’ thing.’

Sam looked at Jonas’s bemused face and took pity on him. ‘Teal’c is very good at poker. The first night we taught him he cleaned us out.’ The Jaffa had the best poker face.

‘He hustled us.’ Jack accused lightly.

She looked at him finally and saw his brown eyes alight with nothing but amusement. She let herself smile back at him. ‘I don’t know what you mean, sir.’

‘Yeah.’ Jack said. ‘Right. Because you don’t hustle people at pool either.’ He smirked at her.

‘Pool?’ Jonas sent her another questioning look.

‘It’s a game played on a table with cues and balls.’ Sam explained. ‘It’s just a matter of physics. I’ll teach you.’

‘We can make it a team night.’ Jack said, scooping up more cereal. ‘When Teal’c gets back from his Jaffa party.’

Sam nodded her agreement. She focused on her breakfast as Jonas fell to debating Braveheart with Jack.

Was it wrong to feel so relieved and hopeful because he wasn’t dating; hadn’t gotten tired by having wild monkey sex with some twenty-something? Maybe even her suspicions that he felt something for her still weren’t completely wrong; maybe there was hope. Not that it changed anything. Nothing could happen between them even if they wanted it too. She should want him to be happy if they couldn’t be together.

Damn it.

First she was upset because he was dating and now she was feeling guilty because he wasn’t. What had she had thought earlier about things being complicated? She was so sick of complicated. She stabbed her waffle with more force than perhaps was required.

‘I think it’s already dead, Carter.’ Jack commented.

She put the waffle in her mouth rather than stick her tongue out at him but the way his lips twitched and the way he covered his smile by taking a gulp of his coffee, he’d read her intent even if she hadn’t gone through with it.

Sam glanced up at the clock and Jack followed her gaze.

‘Shall we?’ He asked.

They all got up, cleared their trays and headed for the gate room. Teal’c was already there, dressed in traditional Jaffa robes and carrying his staff weapon. His eyes alighted on them and he raised an eyebrow.

‘We just came to see you off.’ Jack said. He regarded his friend with a surprising amount of solemnity. ‘You sure you don’t want us along?’

‘I will be fine.’ Teal’c assured him.

‘Yeah.’ Jack didn’t sound convinced. He gestured up at the gate room and the Stargate began to spin.

Sam moved forward and hugged the Jaffa. She felt his hand come to rest lightly on her back. ‘Take care, Teal’c.’ She couldn’t help but worry over him. She had lost one team-mate; had come close to losing the Colonel. She couldn’t bear the idea that anything would happen to Teal’c. She wished like their team leader that they were going with him to provide him with some back up.

She moved away and Jonas stepped forward to give Teal’c an awkward man hug. He nodded sharply as he stepped back.

Jack sighed but he did the same. He grasped Teal’c’s shoulder as he stepped back and squeezed. ‘See you in three days.’

‘Three days, O’Neill.’ Teal’c confirmed.

The wormhole blossomed out and settled back into the usual puddle.

Teal’c hefted his staff weapon and strode away, disappearing into the blue. The wormhole winked out.

Sam couldn’t shake the sense of foreboding that crept over her. She glanced at Jack unsurprised to see a similar grimace of concern on his face.

‘He’ll be OK, right?’ Jonas asked, reading their worry easily and becoming anxious as a result.

Sam didn’t quite have it in her to reassure him.

‘Sure.’ Jack said with mock confidence. ‘It’s not like anything ever goes wrong when Teal’c goes off to these things.’ He met her incredulous gaze for a heartbeat. ‘Right?’

‘Right.’ Sam said dryly. Teal’c had only been captured and tortured once; the Jaffa leader he had found had only turned out to be a minor Goa’uld masquerading as a Jaffa the last time. Nothing ever went wrong.

Jonas looked at her and she shook her head, unwilling to explain. He’d read the reports, he could figure it out. She followed Jack out of the gate room.

Despite finding out Jack’s date had been nothing but poker, she’d been right earlier; it was turning into a bad day.

o-O-o

It was turning out to be a very bad day.

Daniel Jackson frowned and tucked his robes closer to his body. It was cold in the Goa’uld temple but he couldn’t blame it on that as the physical temperature on a planet had no meaning on the Ascended plane. Maybe he was just chilled at how easy it had been for Osiris to return to Earth without being detected. The Goa’uld had avoided the satellites by using a ship with an improved cloak. She had ringed down to a temple on the outskirts of the Giza plateau before remotely sending the ship into an orbit that would keep it hidden behind the moon.

He sighed heavily. He supposed he should just be grateful that her mission to Earth didn’t include a big bomb and wiping out Earth’s population. He watched her hidden in his Ascended form as Osiris walked gracefully across the temple floor towards the wall at the far end. He felt his heart ache as his eyes travelled over her slim, elegant body.

Sarah Gardner had always been graceful; innately sexy even when covered head to toe in dirt and sweat on a dig dressed in old jeans and durable work-shirts. She had never needed the overt sexiness of the halter neck tops, bare midriffs and skin-tight gold satin pants that Osiris seemed to favour. The Goa’uld had teamed the outfit with a head to toe black hooded cloak. She wore a Goa’uld hand device and a zat was strapped to her right thigh.

Osiris was after something she had left behind. The temple wasn’t the same one where she had affected her escape a couple of years before. It was an undiscovered temple, free from the ravages of discovery and tourism. They were surrounded by sand above and below them.

He wrinkled his nose grateful that he didn’t actually need to breathe oxygen on the Ascended plane. The air stank of disuse and the decayed bodies of the guard that Osiris had buried with the temple to guard the treasure that she had left behind.

He watched as she pressed an intricate combination of symbols on the far wall. He had assumed they were decorative but apparently they had another purpose altogether. A section of wall slid open. It was a doorway.

Daniel followed Osiris and stopped when she did.

Osiris looked over her shoulder suspiciously as though she had detected him.

Daniel froze. He checked to ensure he was still hidden from her view and he knew he was. He couldn’t help but hold his breath as she dismissed whatever had disturbed her as being creeped out by the temple.

The treasure trove in the hidden chamber would have kept an archaeology team on Earth happy for years, Daniel considered as he took in some of the ancient artefacts and precious items. He let his gaze drift back to Osiris. With his Ascended form he could make out the conjoined energy of host and symbiote; the angry aura that surrounded them denoting the possession by the latter of the former. His jaw tightened. Sarah was suffering. He could see through all the physical to where she cowered, trapped in a corner of her own mind. A part of him exulted in the knowledge that she was still alive; another part of him chaffed against the boundaries placed on him as an Ascended being.

He could make her free with a single thought, Daniel considered tiredly, and yet he could not. He had promised Oma that he wouldn’t break the rules and interfere – no matter how much he might want to. It hurt him though to stay inactive; to watch from the sidelines.

He shook himself as he realised Osiris had found what she had been looking for – an ornate box. She opened it and pulled out two round metal objects studded with orange crystals. His gaze fell on the one in her right hand first; the Eye of Seth. Osiris must have stolen it or taken it from him when Seth was exiled, Daniel mused. The one in her left hand was Osiris’s own.

He wanted to believe that Osiris had simply acquired the Eyes for her own purposes but he knew it was a futile hope. Osiris was loyal to Anubis. She had travelled to Earth to obtain the Eyes for him. He would have four Eyes when she handed them over to Anubis, Daniel realised. The Goa’uld seemed to have a knowledge and mastery of Ancient technology that Daniel couldn’t understand. He had been told that the Eyes would form part of a weapon that Anubis could rebuild; a weapon capable of destroying a planet with a single shot. It would make Anubis too powerful; he would be unstoppable against the System Lords, against the Tok’ra who were already half-beaten, against the Tau’ri.

Daniel felt worry curl in his belly again and tried to think positively. Anubis needed six Eyes. Even with the one Osiris was about to give him, he would have only have four. He hadn’t achieved his goal. Yet. He continued to watch as Osiris had placed the Eyes back in the box. She held onto the box and picked up a few trinkets idly. She frowned at the pretty gems as she discarded them as though browsing through a department store.

Daniel shifted.

Osiris’s eyes darted back to the doorway. She strode back into the temple and stared into the dark; the whirling clouds of dust motes.

‘Who’s there?’ She demanded autocratically.

Could she actually sense him, Daniel wondered. Or was it Sarah? They had once been lovers. If she could...

His decision was made in a heartbeat. He phased into being behind her and placed a hand on her shoulder. She jerked under his touch; Daniel trapped Osiris in a frozen moment of time and took Sarah’s spirit onto the Ascended plane.

They were still in the temple; still in the dark but there was only the two of them. He knew he and Sarah wouldn’t have long but he couldn’t just do nothing.

Sarah breathed out sharply. She looked down at her hands, at the way they moved at her bidding and gave a cry. She shook badly under his touch.

‘Sarah.’ Daniel called to her gently.

Sarah spun around. ‘Daniel?’

‘Yes.’ Daniel said strongly. ‘It’s me.’ He squeezed her shoulder lightly.

She moved instantly, wrapping herself around him as she cried. He held her for a while. Frustration bubbled up inside him again as he whispered meaningless words of comfort but he knew he was already pushing the boundaries simply talking with her.

‘Is this real?’ Sarah said eventually, shifting in his embrace to look at him with wet cheeks and damp eyes.

‘We’re on...’ he struggled to explain it to her, ‘another plane of existence.’

Sarah stared at him. ‘Your friend...she told Osiris you were dead.’

‘I Ascended.’ Daniel said with a small smile. He gave a shrug. ‘I was dying.’

‘Am I...am I dead?’ Sarah asked.

Daniel shook his head.

Her lips twisted. ‘Pity.’

‘Sarah.’ He chided her gently.

She pulled away from him, going to stand in another part of the temple. ‘You don’t know what it’s like.’

‘You can fight the Goa’uld.’ Daniel said.

‘No, Daniel.’ Sarah shook her head. ‘It’s too strong.’ She pushed a hand through her hair. ‘I opened the jar. I didn’t even realise...and there was this pain and...’ she shuddered, closing her eyes.

‘Sarah,’ Daniel crossed to her and took hold of her hands, ‘listen. I met a former host once called Kendra. She told me that she whispered to the demon inside; made the Goa’uld believe that it could travel to Cimmeria; made it want to take the risk. She escaped.’

He held on when Sarah went to pull away. ‘You can do this.’ He assured her. ‘You just need to think of something that will make Osiris risk herself; put herself in a position where others from Earth can find you. They’ll try to take you alive, Sarah. They know they can save the host.’ He brushed a strand of her curly hair back from her face.

‘How?’ Sarah asked. ‘How can I do this?’

‘Whisper to Osiris. Become the inner voice. Flatter the Goa’uld. Play on its arrogance.’ Daniel offered quickly. ‘It will work.’

‘Daniel...’ Sarah cupped his face with one hand. Her eyes searched his. ‘And what of you?’

‘I have to go.’ Daniel said. He could feel something else, some danger or event tugging at him. Something was happening.

He kissed her forehead gently. ‘Sleep a while, Sarah.’

The Ascended plane disappeared around them as he phased them back into normal space. He blinked and was hidden again just as Osiris’s eyes would have met his form.

Osiris stumbled back. She was breathing heavily. Her eyes were frantically looking around the temple. She clutched the box she held tighter and reached for a control on the hand device. She was recalling the ship, leaving.

Daniel smiled grimly. He had put Sarah into a deep sleep. She would rest and gain her strength back; she would begin whispering to Osiris. Hopefully, it would work. It had to work.

The something that had tugged at him during the last moments of his time with Sarah, tugged at him again.

He phased out of the temple and into the open air. The desert warmth surrounded him; the sun beat down on his head.

Daniel breathed in deeply and focused. What was tugging at him? What was so important?

He felt the anger first. Then, the pain. A sense of being bereft. A fear of loss.

Terror.

Daniel’s eyes widened in horror.

It was Teal’c.

He was in trouble.

fin.
 

Comments

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rachel500
Feb. 1st, 2010 09:52 am (UTC)
It is fun to play with them. I liked the idea of both of them thinking the other was dating but really neither of them is - yet! Of course they'll be Pete in the future :S
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