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Settled Down 7

wormhole x-tempore

Summary: How the hell should I know? I'm making it up as I go along. Oh, and I should have put this before - THANK YOU JACK, my lovely, without whom I'd have been stuffed (and it's not what you think, you filthy, filthy people you). Contains Danny-whumping (I'm sorry, okay? I didn't want to do it but the voices in my head made me)

Oh. My. God.

What a way to wake up. Jack's just come up with a coffee, then, as I finished it, he made some of the filthiest, most disgusting and in fact the most downright depraved suggestions I have ever heard. I love him so much.

"So Spacemonkey, you wanna get down and dirty with me?"


How long have we got? An hour. Is that all? No, no fair. That's just enough time for one each. Huh. And he's got me all worked up, I won't last long.

Jack, oh my Jack, ooh please. No, don't tease me baby, we don't have time. And yes, I know I called you baby. Drop it. NO! NOT THAT! Don't you dare drop that. If you move your tongue I'll chop it off. Yes, you can push it further. Don't take it out. Not unless you're going to-o-o-o... oh yes you are. Hmm, no, I like this. Yes. Please. Now Jack. Now. NOW JACK! If you don't I'm gonna harm you, severely. Ohmy... ohboyohboyohboyohboyohboy YES. Thank you. Yes Jack, I liked that a lot. Interesting trick with your finger and the piece of banana. No, I'd never heard of that. When did you think of that? You read it? In a book? My God. You do love me. Hmm yes babe, I love you too. What do you want to do now? That? You sure? Do we have time? No, I mean to do it properly. Oh, okay, the shortened version could be just as good. You like? Hmm, I thought you would. No, you just lie there flyboy and let me take care of this for you. J'k n't n'w. C't sp'k w'v m' m'f fu'. Look, do you want me to do this or not? If you want me to talk then I can't. You know I don't like to speak with my mouth full, it's bad manners. Can I get back to what I was doing? Thanks. Hmm, 's be''er.

Whoo boy, you been saving it up or something? Come on, time for a shower.

Amazing, we're not late for work. We say goodbye at the elevator and head off to our respective offices. I get in mine, take one look at my in-tray, which is doing a reasonable impersonation of K2 and sigh. Am I ever going to get through it? Probably not. I call one of the clerks in and we go through it together. She's very good, getting rid of a lot of the stuff that I don't really need to see. Hey, we're down to the tree line now. Damn, phone. Yes General? Okay. I'll be there straight away. Wonder what this is about?

I head up to the briefing room and find that I can't really look at Jack. It would help if he wasn't eating a banana.

"Thank you for coming, people, we have a situation. You know that ridiculous TV programme based on us, um, Wormhole X-Treme?" He gets dumb nods from us all. Only Teal'c watches it, the rest of us have much more taste. Well, Sam and I do, Jack just doesn't like sci-fi. Hammond's continuing, "It would seem that some of the up-and-coming episodes are very close in likeness to some of your recent missions." Well, that got a reaction.

"How Sir?" Sam's asking.

"That, Major, is what we want you to find out. After careful consideration, the Pentagon have decided to send you all in as advisors. They're using the cover of advisor and the desire for authenticity so that you can investigate more thoroughly. Major, you will be their scientific advisor; Colonel, of course you will resume your previous role as military advisor. Dr. Jackson, using the excuse that the Air Force would like complete accuracy in all of the show's scientific and academic areas, you are going in as an Air Force linguist. You will have to assume the role of an Air Force major for this. We can't send you in as a colonel, your youth would be a bit of a giveaway."

Nuts, only recently drafted and I'm demoted already. Hang on, Jack was a colonel at my age or not very much older. I'm gonna have to have words with him about that. Just how did he get the promotions? And people say that Paul was young being promoted to major. Colonel's two ranks higher.

"What about Teal'c, Sir? Will he be our alien advisor?" Jack laughs.

"Of course not, Colonel." Whoops, Hammond's not laughing. "Teal'c, assuming his human persona, will be your extra eyes and ears. He will get a job as a stage hand, giving him access to behind the scenes activities. He will be able to advise you of any goings-on that you should be aware of. I know you don't want a mission such as this, people, but we need to find out just who our mole is. It's very important."

Oh boy - I hate this sort of thing. I mean, who do they think I am? I'm a freakin' archaeologist not a spy. I wouldn't mind if I had some sort of training for it. Fuck that, I had precious little training to become leader of a rebellion. I did that, I can do this. I can. IcanIcanIcan. So there. With knobs on.

We ship out when? Today? Aw hell, and I had something planned for tonight, involving a crème caramel, a bottle of Southern Comfort and a hairy colonel. All together. I'll have to shelve that.

*snigger* Teal'c's asking if we can stay in a motel with magic fingers beds. I'm gonna be staying in bed with magic fingers but they sure as hell won't be costing me rolls of dimes. I look at Jack and he's giving me one of his filthiest looks. Oh yeah, magic fingers indeed.

"Dr. Jackson?"

Wha'ssa? Um. Oh, I 'eeped' did I? Sorry, Sir, my mind was wandering, you know how I get. Go off on a tangent and you could lose me for a month. Yes Sir, I'll concentrate harder. And I'll get you back later Jack. I'll get you on your back too if you're a lucky boy.

What the fuck is the matter with me? I can't get my mind out of the gutter. Come on Jackson, concentrate. You can do this, you're an academic. Concentrating is what you do. Concentrating your energies too. Hmm concentrating your energies into... NO! I'm not going there.

Thank God for that, we're out of here. Of course, we can't tell anyone where we're going because then the mole would find out. Damn. I have no idea how we're going to pull this off.

"Daniel, barber."


"Come on, you've let your hair grow since the time you met your twin, it's not very military. You're supposed to be a major after all."


"And you can shut up, Jack."

"Me? What have I done now?"

"Nothing yet. But I know you. Where am I going to get a uniform that fits at such short notice? And in secret? I'm not wearing the wrong size. And it's going to have to be blues and not cammies. We could've fiddled with cammies."

"I'd love to fiddle with you in cammies," he's murmuring.

"Behave. Oh yes, I've got an idea. You got the key to the mirror's cupboard?"

"I can get it," he says warily.

"Good. Well, what are you waiting for? Go get it. I'm gonna get me a uniform that fits. After what we did for them I'm sure they won't mind."

"You're going to go to an alternate universe just to pick up a uniform?"

"A uniform that fits Jack. Fits being the operative word. There are only three majors I can tell about this and I know would lend me their uniform. Paul is too small - as is Sam, besides, the skirt and heels are not my thing. And as for Janet - just don't go there flyboy. So, I visit me, other me, Major me and get me the perfect uniform. I'll head off and get my hair cut. Will a buzz cut suffice?"

The look on his face it to die for. What does he think I am? I know I've got the marine tattoo but even I wouldn't go that far. Well, not while sober. That last bender did take a trip to a marine barber. It took ages to get my hair back to a reasonable length. Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to shave I go...

I don't know what's got into Daniel this morning, he's being very silly. Ah well, at least he's in a good mood. I'd like to think that I had something to do with putting that stupid grin on his face. That was so good. Hmm. That trick with the banana piece was a neat thing to do, even if I say so myself. Mind, after what he was saying he'd like to do to me when we were in the shower afterwards, damn, I nearly spontaneously combusted. Just as well we were under water. Jeez, and I thought that I was the one with the disgusting mind. I didn't think you could even do that with a crème caramel. That boy is so perverted it's unbelievable. I wonder how quickly we can wrap this up?

I've checked with Hammond that we can do this and he's made me promise that we come straight back without getting into trouble/starting a fight/starting an inter-dimensional war/getting married - delete as appropriate.

Ah, there he is. Yeah, I approve of the hair cut, nice. Can't twist my fingers in his hair though, I love to do that, especially when he starts to go dow... Oh hi Daniel, ready?

"Hmm, yeah, come on, let's go visit."

We've got the weirdest job in the universe. Completely barmy. I mean, how many other people not only get to travel to other planets but pop into alternate realities to visit their other selves and borrow some clothes? How many people would want to?

He's dialling up, we get to a room similar to the one we're in and Daniel cracks up. There's some Arabic writing on the other side. Daniel reads it to me.

"Daniel, if you can read this you've found the right place. Signed, Major D. Jackson."

Yep, I'd say we've found it.

We step through and set an alarm off. Fair enough, our cupboard is alarmed too. So am I - there's a bunch of hulking great SFs coming towards us.

"Hands where we can see them!"

Time to play the colonel, I can see.

"Don't worry gentlemen, we're not armed. We're here to see Major Jackson. Is he here?"

I'm using my calm, controlled voice, the one that says - I'm a colonel, listen to me. Daniel's raised one eyebrow. He's not impressed. The SF, however, does send someone to go and get Dan.

"So, Jack, did you give any thought as to how we'd get back if Dan and the General are not here?"

"Um, no. I thought you were doing the planning."

"Tactical stuff is your job. I get the ideas, you figure out the details. That's the way we work, isn't it? I don't think we're going to be let anywhere near the mirror if they're not here."

Oh shit. Hadn't thought of that.

Thank God, he's here. Smiles all round, the wonder boys hug each other and Dan finally remembers to tell the troops to stand down.

"So, why are you here?"

"Um, I know it sounds strange but I need a major's uniform in a hurry. Blues - not the Class A stuff, just day-to-day blues. Got to go undercover."

Ya know, the other Dan doesn't even blink. He's just had an alternate him come and ask to borrow his uniform and he doesn't blink. You'd think it would register wildly on the weird-shit-o-meter or something but no, this sort of thing is so commonplace these days that it doesn't even cause a tremor in the needle. He's agreed, as long as Hammond gives the okay.

We're going up in the elevator to the briefing room.

"So, how's Paul?" Daniel's asking, getting a huge grin in return.

"Thanks to you two everything's perfect. The President was so grateful for the alliance with the Asgard and the weapon specs that he came down to see us. There he was, praising the General to the skies when Hammond turns around and says that it was thanks to the teams. Our SG-1 and you lot. Anyway, he then tells the President that Thor would only deal with me or Paul. Paul was in the briefing room with me at the time and we decided to take the chance. The President was saying something about medals or some such, anyway to cut a long story short, we quit, there in front of him. He wanted to know why, we told him and we said that we weren't coming back unless they changed the law. It's going to take ages to get the space weapons built and up and there are rumours that Ra is going to come back. Without the Asgard we were fucked, not to put too fine a point on it. He went white, we left and a couple of weeks later they'd changed the law and we were reinstated. And, even though Paul's still in Washington and I'm down here, we can actually live together - at last! When we have time off we're at one or other place and nobody can say a damned thing about it. I don't know how to thank you for that, I really don't."

"Just lend me your uniform and we'll call it quits," Daniel says, grinning like an idiot. Yeah, I call that a result too.

That went a lot better than I expected. The other Hammond was pleased to see us and asked Dan to give one of his uniforms to Daniel, telling him to keep it. Pity it's not dress blues but it'll do. I can see some fun in our near future. Daniel's not in the best of moods though. He keeps questioning me as to just how I got promoted to colonel so young. I'm not sayin' a word. It's innocent - field promotions and the like, but I'm keeping him guessing. And he has to wear the silly major's cap. Heh, heh, heh.

Teal'c's packed his hats and some bandanas to hide his tattoo, the rest of us are packed too and we all pile into the car that's picked us up from home to take us to the airport.

Daniel's freaking a bit. He didn't have time to take his happy pills - well, he could have but by the time they'd take effect we'd have landed. And he's supposed to be a pilot? How's he ever going to pull this off? If anyone asks him about flying while we're there our cover's going to be blown. I just hope that living with me for so long is going to help him bluff his way out of any trouble.

Poor guy, he's sitting in-between us in the transport plane. Hammond wouldn't spring for a seat on a commercial; we had to hitch a lift with a transport that was heading in the right direction. We're getting funny looks from the crew. Teal'c's sitting there, as impassive as ever, and Daniel's in-between Carter and myself and we're holding his hands. Well, tough titties. If this is the only way to calm him down we'll do it. Carter's virtually crooning in his ear and stroking his hand. I'm going to have to watch her, I think. After that kiss she gave him in the alternate universe. Nah, she and Ed are inseparable. Apart from when she wants to be with Daniel that is... Coming to think of it, he'll leave me to go and see her. Stop it, O'Neill, he's just her little brother, that's all. Isn't he?

They are holding hands though.

Aw come on, so are we. What the fuck has got into you? Daniel loves you. Hell, he turned down the chance to go back to Abydos with Shau're, and if that doesn't tell you he loves you what the fuck will? Damn, I have got to watch this jealousy thing, it could really backfire on me. Daniel told me from the start that he wouldn't be separated from his big sister, and he's never given me cause to doubt him. I really have to watch the green-eyed monster. And I'm not talking about Paul.

Thank God for that. We're down and Daniel hasn't freaked once. He's getting better at this. I think the alternate, pilot him, got to him and he's been trying to overcome his fear. Shit, he's really brave. We all have fears, some more irrational than others. Daniel's got three fears. One, fear of really bad heights. Given how he got it, it's understandable and logical. I mean, heights don't hurt, but falling from them really can do you some serious damage. So, healthy respect combined with nervousness is not necessarily a bad thing. Two, flying. Well, again, given why he's scared of flying it's again understandable and it's tied in with the heights thing. It's not flying per se that he's scared of, it's crashing. Again, perfectly reasonable. The biggest fear he's got is of losing me. So why the fuck am I so jealous of his best friends?

Hammond at least arranged a driver and an hotel. We're going up in the world. Last time it was a motel. Oh fucking great, Teal'c's complaining about the lack of magic fingers. Is that guy never satisfied? I calm him down with a promise that we'll go and stay in a motel soon just to make him happy. Good, he's nearly smiling.

Ooh, we've got a suite. A penthouse suite. Three bedrooms. Oh crap, penthouse. On the top. Hang on, it's only as high as the loft, Daniel should be able to cope with that. I've never figured out how he could live there. He said it was because he loved the layout so he put up with the balcony. I hated that balcony. Especially after finding him out there and threatening to jump that time. I have never been so shit scared in my life. He needed me and I had no idea what to do or say. I never want to feel that helpless again.

Daniel and I take over the big room, well, there are two of us. The bed is HUGE. I'm just glad it doesn't have satin sheets - that would be too tacky.

"Look guys, you get to sleep alone," Carter's teasing as she looks in on our room. She's not wrong. I could lose Daniel in there if I'm not careful. I've lost him in smaller places than this, what with his tendency to get side-tracked and all.

Time to get changed. We're all going out to dinner, where we're going to discuss our tactics for tomorrow. The General's managed to arrange a job for 'Murray Hammond' backstage. It's going to be great. He doesn't say much but he misses nothing. If there's any information to be had he'll get it. The three of us are going to turn up in a separate car and do the military thing, as much a distraction for Teal'c to do his job as anything. I know that Daniel's worried about getting it wrong, but he shouldn't be. He's lived and worked among the Air Force for so long that this should be second nature to him. Even if he does fight us all the way.

Oh boy, he's changed. I'm in my black chinos, grey shirt and leather jacket. He loves that combo. Daniel is in his black chinos too and the flying jacket, but the polo shirt he's wearing is pale-blue and is bringing out the blue of his eyes. I know how much he hates people going on about his eyes but hell - they're the bluest eyes you've ever seen. And if you haven't seen them then tough. You don't get to look. He's mine. And fucking edible. Whoo momma.

"Cut it out guys, I'm hungry," Carter's calling as she walks in on us kissing.


"Jack?" Oh yeah, we're off duty.

"Knock next time, will ya?"

I don't know how I'm going to pull this off tomorrow. I think I'm going to have to imagine myself as Dan but it's not going to be easy. Anyway, I'm going to put that out of my mind now. The four of us are together, we're in a restaurant having a nice dinner and enjoying each other's company. Oh, oh, Jack's in colonel mode.

"So, er, Murray. When you're at work I want you to listen out, find out whatever you can. See if any military people have been visiting on the quiet, that sort of thing. Sam, talk to their scientific advisor. See if you can baffle them with science and lead them away from any actual alien science that they've been writing about."

"Um, how am I going to do that Jack?" she asks.

Jack looks at me, looks at Teal'c, looks back at me. I'm trying not to laugh, honestly.

"Just talk to them, Carter. Trust me on this one."

"What about me, Jack?"

"Oh yes. First thing, Daniel, you're going to have to remember who you are. A major in the Air Force. So no saying how much you hate flying for a start. And, eh hem, you have to call me 'sir'."

Sam and Teal'c are sniggering.

"Sir? Maybe 'colonel', Colonel, but 'sir'? I think I'd have a hard time remembering that."

Oh dear, he's a bit put out.

"You call Hammond 'sir', you can call me it too."

"That's because he's the General and old enough to be my dad, Jack. In all the years we've known each other how often have I called you 'sir'?"

"Never," he sighs. Hmm, this could be interesting. I wonder how this will play out if I call him 'sir' in bed? I love it when he gets all masterful on me. I'm grinning like an idiot and getting funny looks from the others. Oops, better keep my fantasies to myself.

"I'll try, Jack. I think you'd better think of a cover story though, just in case I slip up."

"Okay, but please Daniel, behave yourself tomorrow."

"Of course, Jack. Hell, if I can play at being a slave I can play at being a major. Trust me?"

"Implicitly." Yeah - right. I'll believe that when I see it.

"I think the script writers will be the best people to hang out with. I'm going to have to try to avoid Martin that's for sure."

"Oh Christ!" Jack shouts, getting looks from the other diners. "We hadn't thought of that. Damn. You're right Daniel, keep out of his way. If you can. Yeah, go and find the script writers, use the linguist thing as your cover."

I hope to God I can pull this off. We're going to be relying on the fact that Martin knows Jack the best so hopefully he'll be able to keep him out of the way. Hang on, I've got an idea.



"How about Martin gets the flu or something? You know, to keep him off the set. Do you think it could be arranged overnight? Nothing permanent, just feeling sick that's all."

Jack thinks for a moment and then goes off to make a phone call. He's gone for about ten minutes. I'm beginning to think he's going to leave me with the bill - again - when he turns up.

"Good thinking Daniel. I didn't know you were so devious."

"Yes you did Jack."

Bedtime. Hmm, I've still got plans for him. Damn, there's no lock on the bedroom door. Jack barks a warning to the others not to walk in without knocking - or else - and we get ready for bed.

"Better wear something Daniel, just in case Major Disaster and the Laughing Jaffa ignore me and decide to call in."

We have to share the bathroom too, so I figure he's probably right. I sling some boxers back on, grab my wash bag and head to the bathroom.

Pity this is a suite. It means that Jack and I can't make out in the shower in the morning. Bummer. Okay, back to bed. I'm slipping those boxers right off though and hiding them under my pillow along with the lube. I'll give Jack a surprise when he gets in.



Jeez. You're in a grouch aren't you? It's not my fault, Jack, you offered to pick up the tab. I said I'd go halves. I didn't book the place, I was just as happy to go get some takeout as you well know. C'mon babe, let's take our minds off things, huh? Huh. He's not in the mood. No, I don't only love you for your body. I can snuggle and go straight to sleep too. I just thought you might want to cheer up a little. Okay. You don't have to. Be a grump, see if I care. Night, hun.

Yeah, I still love you too.

Oh God, morning. I hate mornings. There's a knock on the door. Or is that in my head? I don't know. Can't open my eyes. Ah, there's a pillow over my head, that's why it's still dark.

"Coffee Daniel."

Great, thanks Sam. Love you too.

Gotta get up. Don't want to but I gotta. Jack? Help?

"What Daniel?"

"Help me get up? I'm tired."

Aw, that's sweet, he's pulling me up. Oh fuck, Sam's still in here and I forgot to put my boxers back on. She's laughing. Witch

Great, Jack's got a towel and he's wrapping it around me. What do they expect? I haven't had my requisite caffeine intake yet. They can't expect me to be coherent, can they?

Okay. Showered, more coffee inside me and I'm getting dressed. Jack's got that funny hat on. I always think they look too big. Love the rest of his uniform though. Hmm, got to get into mine. Okay, I can do this. This feels so weird. Why couldn't I have gone as a civilian consultant? No fair. Anyway done, even remembered to put my shoes on and my contacts in so here goes.

"Don't laugh," I call as I step out of the bedroom.

Well, that's good. They're not laughing. However, they're all staring at me.

"What now? Have I put it on wrong or something? Is my tie on upside down? Is the jacket on back to front? WHAT?"

"N.n.nothing Daniel, you look fine, really good." Jack's voice is cracking.

"You're going to laugh at me, aren't you? Well, I did bring a suit, I can pretend to be one of those military-types that don't wear uniform all the time, like Simmons." Jack and the others physically shudder when I mention his name. I'm just turning to go back into the bedroom when I hear Sam.

"No Daniel, you really do look good. Great in fact. It's just we're only used to seeing you in cammies, we've never seen you in blues before. They suit you. Honestly."

I look at Teal'c.

"You won't lie to me, will you Teal'c?"

"You have my word, Daniel. You look very smart in the uniform."

One more look at Jack and I realise the reason for his cracked voice. His eyes are black. Whoo boy, he likes me in this. I can see some serious fun in my near future. However, I'm gonna make him work for it.

"Jack? Do you approve? You'd better not be shitting me because if you are I'm cutting you off for sex, I mean six months." Damn, fucked that up. Fortunately he seems to have missed my faux pas. Sam and Teal'c haven't though, they're sniggering.

"Honestly Daniel, I wouldn't do that to you. You've gotta know you'd look gorgeous in a bin liner, but this... wow. Yeah. Really, really, um, eep."

I couldn't believe it when Daniel walked out in that uniform. And he was unsure of himself? What is it with that guy? It took all of my not inconsiderable powers of self-control not to rip it back off him. If we didn't have to go I probably would have. Audience not withstanding. And he says I look hot in my blues? Shit. If I have the same effect on him that he's having on me I have no idea how he even walks.

He's really nervous though, he has no idea just how much he looks the part. A quick kiss from me and we have to head down. A rental car has been arranged for Teal'c so that he can drive to work. I'm feeling a bit nervous myself, I don't want Teal'c to come to any harm, and he is - to all intents and purposes - on his own for this one. We have a driver coming to pick us up any moment.

We got through security quickly enough and we're heading for the set. I have to find the director and Carter and Daniel have to do their thing. I track down the director quickly enough and he points me in the direction of the advisors. Carter and Daniel are on.

I can see them looking at the scripts. Carter's doing her best not to laugh.

"Who wrote this?" her voice is cutting across the room.

"I did." Whoo momma. I'm not sure who the woman is but she is a babe. She is hot with a capital F. Shit. And she's storming over to Carter now who does not look very impressed.

"Who are you?" the vamp is demanding.

"Major Samantha Carter. The Air Force were particularly concerned about the level of scientific accuracy imparted in your scripts. Or more to the point, inaccuracy. We're here to ensure that what is seen on screen is of a sufficiently high level of, um, preparedness to represent the Air Force in the highest possible light."

Not bad, Major. Let's see how this pans out. I quietly make my way to stand behind the woman. She has no idea that I am even there.

"I do my research," she replies, "and considering most of what we talk about is fictional Major, I'm sure that the Air Force will be happy to grant us certain artistic license."

"Artistic license is one thing," Sam snaps. "Complete fabrication and nonsensical physics is another. Look here, where your gadget," she says that with an amazing level of distaste in her voice - sweet - "is supposed to be able to disintegrate matter. That is just patently impossible. At least not without giving off extraordinary levels of energetic displacement. You see all matter is composed of..."

Yadda, yadda. Carter's doing her thing and completely baffling the writer with science. I haven't got a clue what she's on about, I'm not sure it's even real, but it sounds impressive. I can see the woman's shoulders drooping. Oh God. Daniel's laughing. He's now looking at something on one of the props.

"Daniel? What's up?" Sam asks.

"Who wrote this crap? It's gobbledegook. Complete and utter rubbish. If you have anyone watching this that can read the Ugaritic script, they'll be falling about laughing. My God, I don't know what this is supposed to say but I don't think you really want it to say, 'my wife is a donkey that likes committing adultery with chickens'."

"Who the fuck are you?" Oh my God, the woman's about to explode, I think.

"Doc, er, Major Daniel Jackson. I'm a linguist with the Air Force."

"And what would the Air Force want with a linguist that can read this, er, writing?"

Whoo, he's a cool one.

"Exactly the same as they want with one who can speak twenty modern languages, especially Middle Eastern ones. I'm sure I don't have to explain what that means," and he goes back to laughing himself sick over the badly written script, and I'm not talking about the one in Carter's hand.

"I'm not sure the Air Force would approve of your, um, Colonel Danning's behaviour, either," Carter adds. "That is a court martial offence, I'm sure. Perhaps I'd better check with Colonel O'Neill."

"You do that," the woman's grinding her teeth.

"Thank you Carter," I say, putting my hand out to take the script off her. I think I just frightened the crap out of the writer. She had no idea I was standing behind her. That scream was impressive. I wonder how many glasses were shattered?

I briefly look at the script and find that it bears a resemblance to an SG-1 trip a month back. And yes, that was a court martial offence. However, they never proved it so I got away with that one.

"You are correct Major. No Air Force officer would ever stoop so low as to behave in such a manner as that."

Don't you dare fucking laugh, Sam. I'm watching you. The script is snatched out of my hand and she marches off, yelling that she'll be making some changes. I grab Carter and we head off to pick up Daniel who's close to wetting himself.

"Major," I call. Of course, he doesn't recognise the appellation.

"Daniel," Sam hisses.

"Oh hi guys, have you seen this? Look. It says, 'Your mother is a six-breasted whore and she loves to eat sand and is married to a dog.' Complete crap."

"Major, time for a break, I think." I grab him and march him out of there before he does something we'll regret.

"I'm sorry," he snorts, grabbing hold of Carter for support before he collapses. "I think that either someone's been looking up words in books and just throwing them together or they've got someone who can write cuneiform and is having a laugh at their expense. Given the grammatical errors, let alone the complete nonsense that's written, my guess is it's the first option."

We discuss what we need to do. Carter's going to track down the scientific advisor, find out who he or she is and then wipe the floor with them. Daniel's going to see if they even have an archaeological/linguistic advisor and do the same. I'm about to play merry hell over military matters. This should be fun.

I see Teal'c in the background and he gives me the nod. He's finding stuff out then. I head off to a dark corner and wait for him to track me down.

"O'Neill." Crap. Even knowing he was coming didn't prepare me for that. My heart will calm down in a minute.

"So big guy, found anything out?"

"I have indeed been listening. The woman that you were all talking to was on the telephone and shouting at someone about inaccuracies. She was demanding that this person should come and meet with her because she did not like being made a fool of. This could be a lead."

A lead? I think he's cracked it already. She's the one we have to concentrate on. And I'm cooking up a little plan which Daniel is not going to like one little bit.

"Absolutely not Jack. Not no way, not no how. She's a bitch of the highest order. Besides, after laughing so hard earlier I doubt she'd even want to be in the same room as me. And you get jealous if I even go out with Sam and Janet, so if I took her to dinner you'd be awful. Unbearable. No, I can't do it."

We're sitting in a café-type place, the three of us huddling over a table and Daniel's hissing at me. Damn. I'm gonna have to bring out the big guns.

"Daniel, you're always saying that you can do things, that I should trust you. Well, this is me proving that I do trust you. It's either that or I'll have to ask her out."

Heh, heh, that gets the expected result. He's scowling at me in a way that means he's going to agree whether he wants to or not. Talk about green-eyed monster. He's very possessive. Hmm. Mine.

"Look, take her to dinner, try to get whatever you can out of her and then shake her hand and put her in her car. Come straight back to the hotel and we'll get stinkin' drunk. How does that sound?"

Slightly less of a scowl. I'm getting through to him. Oh crap. There's those actors. Ya know, the one that's supposed to be me isn't anything like as handsome. Neither is the one that plays Daniel. Mind, that, what's her name? Yolanda Reese, that's it, she's quite a looker. I could go for her. If I wasn't with Daniel of course.

"I don't believe this," aw hell, what's his name again? Plays the archaeologist. It'll come. Something like Gun or whatever. Anyway, he's mouthing off about some script thing.

"I'm not playing a soldier, you don't think that anyone could believe that I could take out those aliens single-handed. I'm only supposed to be a freaking archaeologist. This is getting more ridiculous by the week."

Oh dear. Daniel's mad.

"Excuse me?" he says out loud. The actor's looking at him as if he's something he trod in.

"Who are you?" he's demanding.

"Major Doctor Daniel Jackson. Freaking archaeologist."

You can hear the gulp as Daniel stands up and stares him down.

"W.w.w.well, I'm not supposed to be military..." he's trying to explain.

"And that means what, exactly?"

"How am I supposed to know how to kill?"

"Your character is attached to the Air Force, is he not?" A dumb nod. "I can assure you, he would be well trained and more than capable of killing before he was even let anywhere near any action. The Air Force would insist on it."

Just how he got through that pack of bullshit I do not know.

The actor is backing off, saying he'll rethink his position. Good. You do that. Mind, he did have a very good point. More complaints? What now? Whoo, that Yolanda babe is coming over to us.

"You're that Colonel O'Neill, aren't you?" she's asking.

"I would be that colonel, yes," I reply with a smile, ignoring the kick in the shins I just got from Daniel.

"Good. Perhaps you could confirm that there are fraternisation rules? Ones stopping team members from getting involved with each other."

I don't look at the others. I don't dare look at them.

"I can indeed confirm that. It is a strictly enforced rule. Any relationship between two members of a military team would be looked at as a very bad thing indeed."

"Thank you Colonel. See? See?" she's shouting at some guy. "I told you. This supposed relationship between Monroe and Danning. It's ludicrous." She looks at Carter.

"Are you on a team?" she's asking.

"I am. With Colonel O'Neill and, er, Major Jackson here. And I agree. It would be ludicrous. I could never and would never enter a relationship with either of these two gentlemen. And neither of them would be willing to do so with me."

This is true. Completely and utterly true. Missing out the bit that Daniel and I are still at the fucking like bunnies stage even after getting on for three years. He's not really military, is he?

However, not one of us can look any of the others in the eye.

"But Yolanda baby, you should read what's going on on the Internet. The Danning/Monroe relationship is being cried out for. They're begging us for it."

"I couldn't give a damn," she replies. "Besides, if you did proper research, Mr. Wight, you'll discover that it's only a very small proportion of the teenage girlie fan base that wants this. Our main demographic is actually made up of twenty-five to forty-five year-old professional women who'd much rather see a relationship between the good colonel and his darling archaeologist any day."

I can not look at the others. No way. Not and keep my job anyway.

I don't know how I got through today, I really don't. Lunchtime was hysterical. I thought I was going to have a heart attack from keeping it all in. I so wanted to laugh my ass off and not one of us could look at the other ones. We'd have cracked. It was worse than that time on P45-38T. We were taken to a performance of some alien opera. And it was bad. Not in the good bad sense but BAD. Painful. Even Teal'c was trying not to giggle. It was essential that we kept straight faces or else the treaty we'd just signed would have gone up in smoke. The opera was supposed to be a tragedy. It nearly was. I was close to needing a change of pants.

Talking of changes of pants, I somehow managed to persuade that scriptwriter, Josephine Mullet, that going to dinner with me would be a 'good thing'. I've booked dinner in a fairly well-lit place, not too far from the hotel and I'm meeting her in half an hour. I'm glad I brought my leathers. I think I'm going to dress in black tonight, if for no other reason than it turns Jack on like nothing else does - high praise from someone as horny as him. I should get a good time when I come back.

So, Daniel into the lion's den time again. I leave the bedroom and nearly drown in the sea of testosterone that hits me when Jack looks at me. Well, it's his fault I'm doing this.

"Just remember, Jack, this was your idea, not mine. You'd better make it up to me when I get back."

Sam and Teal'c are sniggering again. Tough.

He's across the room and pushing me back into the bedroom.

"Daniel, you're supposed to be taking her out to dinner, not making yourself the main course. She'll try to eat you alive."

"Jack, you said you trusted me. I have less than no interest in her, I promise. Even if we weren't together she really wouldn't be my type. She's all mouth, and not in a nice way. How about a kiss before I go, please? For the condemned man?"

At last, my first kiss in absolutely hours. Can't get through a day without this contact anymore, I've grown so used to him.

There's a knock on the door, Jack mumbles out an 'enter' and Sam comes in.

"It's time to go, Daniel. Jack, put him down. You can play when he comes back. Jack? Jack! Leave him alone. He can't go there looking thoroughly mussed up she'll twig straight away. Come on guys."

Damn. That was one of Jack's prize winners too. Hmm.

"I'll be back as soon as I can, babe, I promise."

He finally lets me go. I think I hear a whimper as I leave the room.

It is now an empirical fact. People seem to like me in my leather pants, black shirt and flying jacket. Good. I like wearing them. Miss Mullet looked like she was going to pounce the second I met up with her. Ok-ay, this could get interesting.

"I'm fascinated by the writing process," I lie. "Just how do you think of such out-of-this-world ideas?"

She's bluffing her way through it, not knowing that I am very good at spotting lies. I haven't told her that I'm an anthropologist as well and I study people - including body language. She's not looking me in the eye, fidgeting as she speaks, too. I have to push her into a corner.

"Do you get your ideas from other people?"

She blushes a little. Got you. She is definitely the one to watch. Teal'c was right, she's in contact with our mole. I skip dessert, making the excuse that I want to watch my figure. She makes some crack about watching it for me. Time to get out of this.

"My partner gets mad if I put too much weight on," I say as I drink my coffee. She chokes on hers.

"Your partner?"

"Yes. It was such a relief when they changed that excuse for a policy, I can tell you. I mean, we had to hide for so long, but we can live together in public now. It's good. He gets so demonstrative in public that I don't know where to put myself sometimes. We spent years hiding our feelings for each other from the rest of the world so now he likes to hold my hand wherever we go. Sweet really, but it's taking me a long time to get used to PDAs. I will though, he's such a darling that it's worth it."

"He?" she squeaks.

"Um yes. Oh, sorry, of course you didn't know. Silly me. Everyone at our base knows I'm gay now, I forget to mention it. I haven't been flirting again, have I? I'm so sorry if I have, it's force of habit, what with having to hide and all..."

"Oh Jack, you should have seen her face when I told her I was gay. She looked like she was sucking on a bucket load of lemons. It was so funny."

He's laughing out loud now, I think the relief of being able to has hit him hard. Sam and Teal'c too; even the big guy's laughing his head off as I tell them about my night. Sam's clinging on to me and holding her ribs at the same time. We've told Teal'c about what happened at lunchtime too and we're finally getting the chance to laugh at that. Ow, my ribs are aching.

Jack's force-feeding me champagne. I have no idea why. If he wants me he's got me, I don't need seducing.

Bedtime. I am not taking no for an answer tonight - no way.

"Daniel, the others are out there," he's murmuring in my ear as I nibble his neck.

"So? Tell them to stay away. Please Jack, I'm horny, really horny. Want you babe. Don't you want me anymore?"

That got him. He can't say no when I ask that. WOO HOO! Getting naked time.

"Shh Daniel, we've got to keep the noise down," he's hissing.

"Le soixante neuf merveilleux?" I suggest.

I'm taking the squeak followed by the whimper as a 'yes.' In fact, given how quickly he's got his clothes off and he's helping me get out of my leather pants I think it's a 'YES! YES! NOW!'



"Get your toe out of my ear."

"Hmm, 'kay. Ooh."

"Shh. D't t'lk."

"N't. Oh."

"Shh. Ah."


Morning. Ugh. Sam. Double Ugh.

"Aw, you two look so sweet when you're wrapped up in each other like that. Want some coffee?"

Do you know, that ranks up there as only the second most stupid question anyone can ask me. The first one is 'do you want sex?'. OF COURSE I DO! I'm a caffeine addicted MAN. I want coffee and I want sex. ALL THE FREAKIN' TIME!

Back at the studio. Huh. Been trying to avoid the Mullet. Instead they've got me 'correcting' the hieroglyphs for next week's shoot. Double huh. No fair. Been having a bit of fun though. Instead of saying, 'The Great Goddess Hathor, much beloved by all her people', I've written, 'For a great time call Hathor - fucked by everyone'. And what I did with the hieroglyphs for Osiris is nobody's business. Well, after what they put me through - I'm expected to be nice?

Teal'c collared me earlier, saying that he overheard her talking to her source again. They'll be meeting this evening at the same restaurant that we went to. She must like it there - either that or she's got shares in it. Whatever. I booked a table for Jack and me for the same time. Teal'c and Sam will do some snooping when they've seen whoever it is that she's talking to.

Oh crap, another argument between the 'stars' and the producer and the writers.

"We are supposed to be a team. T.E.A.M. The dictionary definition of a team is, and I quote; 'Two or more people working together.' What is it with these episodes where one goes off and does something? That's not teamwork, is it? There are four of us. Count - one, two, three, four. And we work as a group, a gang, a unit - a FUCKING TEAM. I did not sign up for this crap!"

Whoo boy, I'm not sure which one was yelling that but the other three aren't happy about it either. That Bubba Wight is backing into a corner, trying to explain why he wants it to go this way but they're not happy. The guy that plays the robot that's supposed to be Teal'c is grabbing the one of them by the collar and threatening, what? Ooh, that's inventive. I'll have to remember that one.

I don't think that all is quiet on the wormhole front.

Daniel told me that we're going out to dinner tonight to keep an eye on the Mullet and her snitch. We'll have to find a darkened table though, I don't want the mole knowing that we're there. There were fun and games earlier. The guy that plays Danning, Nick Marlowe, came barging in complaining about something called slash fiction. Apparently it's fiction written by fans about the show. Only they're writing about the relationship between Danning and the archaeologist.

That is so funny. I'm guessing nobody at the base has clued into this because we haven't heard about it. Anyway, he was most upset and he came over to me, demanding to know what I thought of it. He'd printed off a story by some women called the Beavers or something. I read it and said that I thought it was very well researched and written and perhaps they should employ these ladies as scriptwriters. He wasn't impressed. So then he asks if I would have a problem being depicted as gay? As if. I just said no. After Daniel's revelation I wasn't going down that route, especially as we emphatically denied that relationships between team members could happen. I just pointed out that my own archaeologist was living with his very male partner and I had no problem with that whatsoever. Of course I don't. I just can't stand being separated from him, that's all. Marlowe still wasn't impressed. I'm just glad Daniel wasn't there at the time. After yesterday I doubt he would have been able to stop himself from laughing his ass off. Talking of whom, where is he now?

"Daniel, whacha doin'?"

"Writing hieroglyphs Jack. Look, see this set here?"

"Uh huh."

"They supposed to say 'Ra, the Great Lord, God of the Heaven', or 'Ra netjer-aa neb-pet', remember, like I introduced Qabil?"

"Uh huh. So, what do they say really?"

"Um, 'Ra, god whose bits float among the stars'. I somehow thought it appropriate."

"Why do I get the feeling that this is one of the milder things you've been up to?"

He looks at me and smiles sweetly. I'm getting nothing from him, I can tell.

That Mullet woman is storming around the place. She's been getting it in the neck from a number of quarters for introducing new characters apparently. It's not something that's going down very well with the fans, according to Teal'c. He's a huge fan of the show, follows the whole thing on the net too. Hang on, I wonder if he's heard of this slash fiction stuff - and if he has, why hasn't he told me about it before? Hmm.

Anyway, she doesn't look too happy, so I'm goin' fishing.

"Ms. Mullet. Good morning. How are you?"

"Colonel, I'm well, thank you. Yourself?" She's looking at me as if I'm something she just blew out of her nose.

"Peachy. Thanks for asking. Can I help you with any military procedures today?"

"Um, no, thanks, I think I've got it covered. I have an advisor who helps me with this sort of thing, he's usually reliable."

Double hmm. He, eh? Well, that discounts about a quarter of the suspects. It's a start.

Lunch passed without incident this time, thank goodness. The four of us met up in a bar away from the studio. Teal'c passed on what he'd found out and it was very interesting. The traitor sometimes comes on set. Teal'c didn't dare ask for a description of him, that would have been a little suspicious. Carter's been doing her thing too. Some of the gadgets that they've got planned for props are very reminiscent of alien tech that we've picked up recently. She's been doing her best to prove that they can't possibly exist and to point them in the 'right' direction. That's my girl. I knew I could rely on her to baffle people. She's good at that. Daniel's convinced that their linguistic advisor is a crock - no lead there at all. So we wait till tonight.

Or not. Mullet's just had a screaming fit into her cellphone. The snoop isn't meeting her for dinner after all but he's coming here tomorrow instead. Tomorrow it is then. Daniel called up the restaurant having heard from Teal'c that she'd cancelled her booking and added two to our table. The four of us will head out instead. It'll be nice. Much as we love to spend time together we don't always get the chance, so this trip out we're making the most of it. Team work - on and off duty. Sweet.

He had to bring the black suit, didn't he? And he had to insist that Carter and Teal'c come too, didn't he? Hnnggg. No fair.

"Jack?" Sam's asking. "If you were the mole, would you go to the studio knowing that people that could identify you were there?"

Great point. Wish I'd thought of it.

"Probably not, not unless I was stupid or something. Hmm. T, when you get in tomorrow, do you think you could track down the Mullet and keep an eye on her?"

"I shall endeavour to do that. However, if I was her I would meet the mole elsewhere. Perhaps covert surveillance would be a good idea."

Another good point. Why am I a team leader again? They don't really need me, do they. Sniff. I think I'll let them do the arrangements, it seems that I'm the one missing the point here.

"Jack? How do we best go about watching her? We don't have any spy equipment here. You're the expert on this after all."

Now I know why I brought Daniel, and it has nothing to do with the suit and everything to do with the fact that he reminds me of my purpose in life. And it's not to bury myself permanently in his as...

"Oh, good thinking, all of you. Leave that to me, okay? I'll keep an eye on her from early morning. Does anyone know where she lives?"

Blank looks. Just as well I have contacts, isn't it? If they don't come up with anything I'm sure that Carter the Unstoppable Surf Machine will be able to hack into some records or other.

Okay, time to go and phone again.

Jack has just got back from making his phone call with an unbearably smug look on his face.

"Carter, Teal'c, slight change of plan. How are you two up for doing the first shift? I've got her address. After we've eaten, drive there and just watch the house to see if she's there. Give me a ring to let me know whether she is or not. If she is, stay there till, uh, 0100 hours. We'll come and relieve you then. If she's not I'll let you know what I want you to do, okay?"

They both answer in the affirmative and book, leaving us to pick up the tab again. I'm getting it. No way in hell am I having him in a grouch again.

"It's okay, Daniel," he says, not very convincingly. He's not mean, not in the slightest, just, uh, careful. That blow-out to Maui was a one-off. Who cares, it was fun.

"It's all taken care of, Jack. Come on, let's head back to the hotel and get changed. If we're going to be up all night I want to be comfortable."

"If Carter and Teal'c say she's in, Daniel, we're going to bed till midnight."

"Oh, I fully intend being in bed, Jack," I tell him as I look back over my shoulder.

I get the hnnnggg noise from him again. Yes, message received and understood.

We had a call from Sam as we headed back to the hotel, the Mullet is in her house. They're going to stay and watch from the rental car we have. Jack and I will have to get a cab over there later. In the meantime...

"Nap time Daniel."

Nap time? He has got to be joking. I'm going to bed but no way am I going to be napping. Kissing, yes, touching, most definitely, screaming, it's a possibility, but I don't count sleeping in my plans, at least not at first. Jack's setting the alarm for 12:30. Good idea. It'll remind me when I have to stop.

"Daniel? Don't get undressed babe, we won't have time to get dressed when we wake up."

I'm not listening.

"No, Sir, Colonel, Sir. I have a different idea for passing the time. Would the Colonel like to tie me up?"

Whoo-ee. The 'hnggg' followed by a 'meep'.

"On your knees, soldier." Oh God, his huskiest, sexiest voice. What's a guy to do except get on his knees and, um, salute?

Freaking alarm. Huh. Got to get dressed again. Okay, untangle left leg from around Jack's waist and remove right leg from being hooked around the back of his neck. Ow, ow, fucking ow. Not sure how I got into that position let alone fell asleep like it. That hurts. That's nice, he's kissing it better.

As we get dressed he calls down to reception to order a cab. We'd better be quick. Jeans, T and sweater along with sneakers and leather jacket methinks. Clothes are on fast enough to have a quick smooch before the desk calls to tell us the cab is here. Ah well, duty calls.

We're at the rental car, Sam and Teal'c report no movement and they head back in the cab. Jack and I watch the house... and watch... and watch. God, could this get any more boring? Jack and I have run through the possible subjects for his PhD and come up blank. He wants to do this, as much for his own gratification as anything, and I support him a thousand percent. I think he'd get a huge kick out of it. I'm proud that he's even considering it. Still, we have to find him a subject that he wants to study. Not easy. So, given that it's late we've lowered the tone a bit and we're making lists of favourites.

"Favourite films, Daniel. Come on, top ten list. I'll bet it's gonna be full of your arty-farty foreign stuff."

As if.

"Okay, and not in any particular order - Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade."

"I'm beginning to see a pattern emerging here Daniel. I didn't know you had a thing for Harrison Ford."


"Sure. Don't you? And Carrie Fisher - whoo-ee! Besides, the Last Crusade has Sean Connery too. Hmm. Ow! What was that for?"

"Stop lusting after them. You're a dog Daniel."

"Woof. Besides, you know you obsess about the age thing between us?"

"I do not! Not much anyway."

"Well, they're both older than you, by a number of years and I fancy the pants off both of those guys. Anyway, I've got another six films to think of, and I've already heard yours."

And boy, were they predictable or what? Top Gun; Reach for the Sky. Need I go on?

"Men in Black - most definitely."

"Will Smith?"

"He's cute, but he's too young for me. Tommy Lee Jones I'm afraid. Hmm, five more. Life of Brian, Holy Grail and the Meaning of Life."

"Three freaking Monty Python films! Sheesh Daniel, don't tell me you've got a thing for John Cleese."

"Puh-lease, Jack. No, it's just for the laughs. Two more. This isn't easy, you know. I love loads of different films for different reasons. But I suppose we have to talk about the ones that I watch and watch again the most. So, Star Trek First Contact."

"Patrick Stewart?"

"Yeah, and the Borg queen, Alice Krige. I wouldn't mind fiddling with her circuitry."

That got a snort out of him.

"So, your last choice?"

What choice is there?

"The Full Monty, of course."

He's sleeping. I know he's going to be cross when he wakes up but he needs the rest. He's so sensitive about the age thing. He's forty-eight now, these days that's only middle-aged, quite literally. Given no accidents, Jack's family are pretty long-lived as a rule. His dad was the exception, but years of working on the streets of Chicago as a cop took its toll on his heart. Nobody would be surprised if Jack did live into his nineties. I hope he does. Anyway, this rambling aside, he's getting too old to be out in the field as often as he is. Sam's actually talking about quitting the field and she's only forty-one. At thirty-nine I'm the baby of the group, but there's no way I'm joining another team. I'm guessing that when Jack hits fifty it will be all over for SG-1. Of course, the fact that Teal'c is 105 just sort of rubs in our human inadequacies.

It's 5 a.m. and there's a light on in the house. I'd better wake him up. Come on Jack, open your eyes. That's a good colonel.


"You dozed off Jack, not for long. There's a light on, we're going into action soon."

I call Sam, they can both head off to the studio. Jack has given the order that she goes in civvies today. It'll help Sam blend in if the mole turns up there first.

Finally, she's leaving the house. Jack's driving, probably just as well, I'm too tired to drive. And she's heading for? The studio. Damn. I doubt he'll turn up there. He can't be that stupid, can he?

We're back at the studio and we're hiding out, watching the Mullet carefully. So far there's no sign of the mole, she's only been talking to people we recognise from the studio. Daniel's been loading himself up with caffeine so he's awake again. When this is over he's going to crash for a whole day, I just know it.

"Jack, I think I saw someone heading towards her office. I didn't get a look at who it was, his back was turned."

Daniel's crept up on me to impart this information. Somehow we seem to have gone virtually unnoticed here today. So, we're heading towards the room. I can only hope that Carter and Teal'c are watching us, we don't have any radios to contact each other.

Oh, oh, she's storming out of there, someone close on her heels.

"But Josephine, I'm telling you, this is actually happening. This whole thing, the show, it's a façade."

She stops, turns on one foot and spins to face him.

"That is the biggest load of crap I've ever heard, Nigel. And since those advisors have been here, ridiculing everything that I have been writing, my job is on the fucking line. Supplying me with stories is one thing, telling me this is actually happening is quite another. What sort of idiot do you take me for anyway?"

"Advisors? What advisors?"

"Some colonel, Irish name. He's got a woman scientist and a linguist. Jackson, Major Jackson."

"Major Jackson? No, uh, uh, he's no major, he's a civilian."

"Well, he's in uniform Nigel. Do you know him?"

"Oh God, yes. The colonel, is he called O'Neill?"


"Crap. Major Carter, she's the scientist?"

"YES! What the fuck are you wittering on about?"

"That's them - the team - the ones that do these things."

Time to call it a day, I think. I've just seen who our mole is. And after what he said to Daniel in the gear up room, I'm kinda happy it's him.

"Brinks. I'm relieved to find you here. You'd better come with me."

"Oh no, I'm not going with you."

Mullet's looking at me, trying to figure out who's telling the truth.

"Oh boy, missed your medication again, did you?" I turn to her and explain, "He's delusional. Ever since he went behind enemy lines during the Gulf War. Poor guy, drove him insane. He's been on the run for a while, it took us this long to track him down. It's for his own good."

"No, it's not true. I'm sane, I tell you, sane! This is all true! They've got an alien on their team. He's got to be around here somewhere, I can prove it to you."

Mullet shakes her head. Aliens indeed, whatever next? Oh fuck, he's making a run for it. Fortunately for me Daniel's onto him in a flash and he's the fastest runner at the SGC. Brinks is motivated but not enough and before he knows where he is, Daniel's sitting on him. The T man and Carter are right there with him by the time I stroll over. I give Daniel the nod and he stands up, allowing Brinks to stand too.

"See! This is the one, he's an alien."

Teal'c raises an eyebrow and shakes his head. We're surrounding him, he has no escape route.

"Just because he wasn't born in the US doesn't mean he's from a different planet. Major Jackson was born in Egypt, you don't call him an alien, do you?" I ask in my best 'daddy to five year-old' voice.

There's a flash of movement from Brinks towards Teal'c and Daniel's in-between the two men before I can blink. Carter dives on Brinks and as he hits the deck I see blood.

Daniel? NOOOO!


[You thought I was going to end it there, didn't you? Well, I'm not that evil, so read on.]


"Jack? Fuck, my sweater's ruined. Thank God he missed the jacket."

What? Fashion victim to the end. Get the boy out of plaid shirts and he starts worrying about his clothes. Where the fuck is that ambulance?

"T man, rearrange Brinks' face for me will ya? We need him unconscious, he's obviously dangerous." And my hands are full trying to stop Daniel's insides from becoming outsides.

Given the noise behind me I'd say that Teal'c is enjoying fulfilling these orders.

"He is rendered unconscious, O'Neill."

"Thanks big guy. Stay with him till the MPs get here, will you? Don't let him move or say another word. The guy's obviously flipped big time. Daniel? Don't you go to sleep on me. Stay awake, that's an order."

"Tryin' Jack. It hurts."

Aw crap, if he's complaining then it must be killing him. NO! I am not going there.

"Don't you give up on me, Daniel, don't you fucking dare give up on me. We haven't gone through all that crap just for some loony to do this. Come on, stay awake. I know it hurts, I know, but focus on the pain Daniel, it'll keep you awake. Please babe, do this for me, don't leave me."

"Not gonna leave you, love you."

"I know Daniel, love you too."

Without looking up I know we're getting funny looks after our denials of before but I can't deny him now. I won't.

"It's here, the ambulance is here. They're going to take care of you."

"Jack! Don't leave me. Please, come with me."

Daniel's scared. I've never known him be afraid of pain, he's so brave, but this time he's scared. Okay, I'll go in the ambulance with him.

"Carter, stay here with them till the MPs come. Bring the big guy to the hospital. Call Hammond, tell him what's going on."

"Will do, Sir. Daniel, you hold on, ya hear? We'll be with you as soon as we can. Don't you dare give up on us."

She bends over and kisses his cheek with more exhortations to pull through. Then she watches the comatose Brinks while Teal'c says goodbye to Daniel. He says something in his own language, Daniel replies but his voice is weak. Shit, we have got to get him to the hospital NOW!

I'm pacing, I know I'm pacing. He's been in the OR for four hours. Carter's with me, as is Teal'c. Hammond's on his way, should be here soon. I want Mom here too. Dammit, why Daniel again? He must have seen the knife that Brinks had. I didn't as I was standing behind him. I'm getting slow, getting old. Too freaking old for this game and it's getting my kids hurt. I'm retiring as of now. I can't allow them to get hurt - any of them. I'd be pacing and worrying myself sick if it was any of them in there. I should know, I've done it often enough. Why didn't I see it?

"O'Neill. Calm yourself. I also did not see the knife until Brinks pulled it from Daniel's stomach."

He didn't? The big guy missed it? Perhaps it's not just me then.

"I believe that Daniel acted on instinct as much as for any other reason. You say that Brinks wanted to prove my origin?"

"He did."

"Well, what better way would there have been but to have, as you say, skewered Junior."

I actually snigger at that. Teal'c is getting much better at using Earth expressions - especially mine. And he knows just when to use them to maximum effect.

"You're right, Teal'c, it would have been."

"I believe that Daniel worked this out, possibly before Brinks himself even knew what he was going to do."

He's right again. I can just hear Daniel's thought process. I need to prove Teal'c's an alien. The tattoo, while exotic, is no proof at all. Junior, it would have to be Junior. So, how to expose Junior without risk to myself? Bring it out on the end of a knife. A snake-kebab.

I nod at Teal'c. That's precisely how Daniel would have seen it.

"T, look, I don't want to think this way, but you've got to know this. If Daniel doesn't pull through, God help us I pray he does, but if he doesn't, he did the right thing. Personal feelings among us aside, no one can know about Junior. We only got away with the alien ship appearing by telling people that they had been the victims of mass hallucination. If Junior had come out we'd never have been able to cover it up. There'd have been mass panic on the planet as soon as the news spread. So, while I know you think that Daniel did this to save you, and that would have been part of the reason, I think that he did it to keep the knowledge safe. I know you'd miss him, but you mustn't feel bad or think that it was your fault, okay? If I know Daniel he'd already worked out the pros and cons before Brinks had even drawn the knife."

Teal'c nods at me, but I'm not sure he believes me. I think he also knows that if Daniel doesn't pull through, I won't be around to mourn him either.

Hammond's just come barging into the waiting room looking every inch the General in charge. I'm glad. I don't want to think at the moment, I want the decisions to be made by someone else. Childish, I know, but I'm tired, worried sick and scared. Who's that? Mom! Thank God. And Janet. This is better, Daniel's family is here. I can cope now, I think. I wish I could stop shaking. Five hours and counting, what the fuck is going on in there?

Janet's tracking someone down, trying to get me some information. Good. I need to know what's going on. I feel so freaking helpless.

"Jack? They're finishing up. He's going to make it, they're certain now. He scared them in there, lots of small injuries along with the big ones. They had to patch up a hell of a lot. Seems that when the knife went in it was at an angle and then it sliced him sideways as it came out. That would have killed a lot of people. You did all the right things, you saved his life."

He's okay? He's going to live? Crap, I'm crying again, shaking like a leaf. Mom's holding on to me, crying her eyes out too. Teal'c's got Janet and Hammond's holding on to Sam like his life depended on it. Daniel sometimes has to be reminded that I love him; he hasn't got a clue how much he's loved by the others.

"Dr. Frasier?" a voice is calling. "He's in recovery now, you can go and see him."

I think the nurse said that it was one at a time, but we all need to be in there, to see with our own eyes. He's hooked up to various machines, transfusions going in, waste coming out, monitors all over the place but the reassuring beeps tell me he's alive. What a fucking mess. I'm gonna kill that Brinks.

Janet's asking them medical questions and Hammond's insisting that she be given care of him as soon as possible.

"I'm sorry, General, this is a civilian hospital, you have no jurisdiction here. You can't tell us what to do."

"Doctor, I'm sure I don't have to point this out to you," his calm voice is cutting through the bustle and beeps. "A patient's recovery is often closely linked to how comfortable they are with the treatment they're given. Dr. Frasier is not just Dr. Jackson's physician, she's a close personal friend. He has complete trust in her and she knows him and his medical history. Dr. Jackson isn't like other people; he's tough, much tougher than you think. Her decisions may differ from yours but they will be the most appropriate for him. You don't know him, whereas she has brought him from the brink of death on a number of occasions over the last eight years. I am sure you understand why I'm making this request."

More complaints, more arguments.

"General," I call out. "As soon as he's awake can we take him back to the base?"

"Of course, son. Don't you worry about him now, we'll take the very best care of him."

It's been hours just waiting for him to wake. I'm not sure I can take much more of this. The others are crashed outside, only Janet and Mom are in here with me. I'm not leaving him though. The doctors tried to push me out but got Teal'c and Sam in their faces. I'll be here when he wakes up.


There's my baby.

"Hey you, 'bout time you woke up. You had me scared there for a bit."

"Me too. Hurts."

"I know, Janet's here, she'll make you feel better."


"Hey Daniel, I'm here. We all are. I'll get them to give you some painkillers, okay?"

"Good. Gimme the good stuff, huh?"

"You only ever get the best, you should know that."

"Teal'c? 'S he okay?"

"He's fine, thanks to you."

"Had to protect... Junior... ironic."

"I know. And when you wake up properly and you're feeling stronger, I'm gonna give you a big kiss for doing that, sugar."

"Oh God."

"Hey! I heard that."


"Yes, honey?"

"Take me home."

"We're going to, as soon as we can. It'll be back to the infirmary though."

"'Sokay. Wanna sleep now. Jack."

"Yes Daniel?"

"Go get some rest."

Never thought I'd be glad to see the strip lights of the infirmary, but I am. Thrilled to bits in fact. When I was on the floor of the studio I had a feeling I wasn't going to make it. Apparently I died, yet a-fucking-gain, on the operating table. That is getting so old. I've had a stream of visitors over the days all checking up on me. Teal'c's been the quietest one though. I keep telling him that it's okay, but he hates it when I get hurt, and I guess that doing that to protect him has cut him deep. Ouch, I could have picked a better turn of phrase. Jan's getting fed up of having to kick people out of the infirmary so Jack's off persuading her to let me go to our quarters on base. I think it would be a good idea. I've promised to stay in bed. To be frank I don't want to get up, it hurts too much. One concession though, I want to get up to go to the bathroom. I hate catheters, they make my dick sore.

Woo hoo, it's happening. I'm being wheeled there, and Jack's chattering about something or other. Nonsense really, I don't think even he knows what he's saying. Great, they've put me into bed, no drips needed, thank God. Jack's shooing them out, he's shut the door, kicked off his shoes and now he's lying next to me.

And crying. Crap. Me too. That was a close one. He's letting go now and all I can do is hold him close.

"Daniel, you did the right thing," he croaks.

"I had to, Jack, and not just for Teal'c's sake."

"I know. Teal'c suggested it and I figured out why you did it."

"Are you cross with me?"

"A little, but that's only because you scared the crap out of me again. I'm very proud of you."

Aw, that's sweet.

"You going sappy on me, O'Neill?"

"Me? Nah. I'm miffed that I'm gonna have to wait at least six weeks before you get to try out that thing with the crème caramel and the Southern Comfort, that's all."

We're okay. If we can say this, we're okay. Thank God. So, why am I suddenly concerned about Junior?