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Title: To Be, part one
Author: Artifuss
Email: arti@rogers.com

Summary: Earth is in a lot of trouble, and Daniel feels that Jack needs to come back home.
Rating: R
Spoilers: It's a tag to Season Seven "Lost City 2", so pretty much anything prior should be considered spoiled. Particularly: "Enemy Mine", "Meridian" and "Thor's Hammer"
Category: Action/Angst Pairing: J/D

Archive: Um... well it's not done yet...
Warning: None so far. Next installment(s) will deal with a very temporary character death.
Author’s Note: Huge thanks and kudos to QuinGem for betaing. Any and all mistakes are mine.

To Be
part three


“A what, Doctor?” Dr. Weir had been in charge of the SGC for less than a week and she already felt herself changed from the woman she once was. She was still pouring through mission reports and was, in fact, less than a quarter of the way through the pile. Every written word had changed her outlook on life. Suddenly, her greatest achievements while working within the UN felt minor in comparison to what these men and women, who were now required to follow her lead, had been witness to for the past eight years. Though the SGC was technically out of commission, some teams were still on various assignments. Such as SG-13, who were currently in the Antarctic, performing both guard duty for Colonel O’Neill’s well-being and deciphering certain texts that were found at the site. They appeared to be written in the Ancient’s language. Only a few moments ago, an excited Dr. Balinsky phoned to report that there was an “intruder” to their base command.

“An ascended … uh, being, Dr. Weir. They’re kind of glowy looking, bunch of tentacles, and can burn toast in a matter of seconds. They’re a very powerful race that.--”

“Yes, thank you, I remember now.” There was a curt knock at her office door, and she had half the mind not to answer it. Unfortunately, she was required to keep an “open door” policy, because you never knew what type of problem was hiding behind it. She couldn’t keep a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the handle either, much to her discontent.

“Come in,” she watched a very distraught Major Carter open her door. She waved the major to come inside, and made hand signals while pointing to her phone to let the major know that she was currently occupied.

“So what is your team’s position, Doctor?”

“We’re powerless against them, Ma’am. There’s literally nothing that we can do here but watch.”

“Can you get the SatCom working? I’d like to see this for myself if possible.”

“Yes, of course,” she could hear Balinsky call out to Airman Wells to set up the satellite video phone. In less than a minute Balinsky confirmed, “It’s connected, Dr. Weir.”

“Great. Just give me a moment to transfer to the briefing room.” And with that, she stood up while hanging up her phone. She looked at the major, taking in the red puffy eyes and slightly damp hair. Gesturing that they should walk towards the briefing room, she decided to find out what was upsetting SG-1’s second in command.

“Is there something wrong, Major?”

“Dr. Weir, could you tell me what’s happening in the Antarctic?”

Both women took a seat in the briefing room and directed their attention to the ViewScreen, as Elizabeth took the remote and turned it on. “Apparently, SG-13 and Colonel O’Neill have a visitor. One of the Ancients appeared at the site just a few minutes ago. There’s nothing that the team can do, but watch. I figured it would be a good idea to see what one looks like.” Elizabeth pressed a few more buttons on the remote to connect to the SatCom link. The picture before them was of a white glowing creature obstructing the view of Colonel O’Neill’s stasis chamber.

“Dr. Weir … That would be Daniel.”

“Daniel?” Elizabeth turned her full attention to the major sitting beside her, “I didn’t believe that he could just revert back to this state. From what I understood, the Ancients sent him back in human form.”

“Yes, that’s true. But …” Sam felt as if she still hadn’t fully regained her bearings yet, but she was required to report what happened. “Daniel found a way to change himself back. Just before he fully ascended, he told me that he was going after the Colonel.”

How? How did he manage to ascend?” The story of the Ancients was a particular one that had immediately grabbed and held Elizabeth’s attention. She thought that she had read everything in the reports and databases that there was about these beings. She hadn’t been able to talk with Dr. Jackson about his limited knowledge of his experience yet, but she thought that he would have made some sort of indication that transforming back was possible.

“He … he attempted to kill himself.” The major was fighting to keep her emotions in check; she was a military officer and a role model for many of the new recruits. And she had cried enough about this damn it!

Dr. Weir didn’t know what to say, she stared at the major in horror. The idea that someone would want to take their own life was something that she had a hard time comprehending in its theory. But, the fact that someone tried most likely right here on this base scared her.

“I don’t believe I’m going to enjoy hearing how this happened, Major. But if you could write up a report on the incident soon …”

“Yes, Ma’am. I would like to inform Teal’c about what has occurred first though, if you don’t mind.”

“Of course. You’re due to embark for the Prometheus soon. Are you ready for departure?”

“Mostly. I just need to finish packing an over-night bag, and then I’ll be set.”

“I understand that this must be hard for you, Major.” Elizabeth decided to ignore the sound that she was sure was a snort coming from the major, “You have half an hour to finish before you’re on your way to the Alpha site and the Prometheus. When you come back, I would like that report.” Something had just occurred to her, and she couldn’t believe that she hadn’t thought of it before, “Where did Daniel … ascend?”

“In SG-1’s locker room … in the shower stalls to be exact.”

“I’ll have a team down there to clean up the mess.”

Sam had an insane urge to smack SGC’s newest commander. She sounded so cold and indifferent. Sam knew that this probably wasn’t the case, but to try to get rid of any evidence of Daniel’s life was eating at her heart. “There’s nothing to clean, Dr. Weir. Daniel was very thorough.”

“Yes, well … I still want a cleaning crew there soon, just to make sure. Why don’t you go finish your packing, Major? If there’s any news,” Elizabeth pointed towards the screen, at the immobile, omnipotent being hovering in front of Colonel O’Neill’s chamber, “I’ll make sure that a message will be sent to notify you and Teal’c immediately. Okay?” She looked at the major, straight in the eye, trying to convey what little of understanding she did have in the matter and her compassion for what the woman beside her must be going through.

Sam nodded, and took her leave, while Dr. Weir turned back to the ViewScreen. She didn’t have any other pressing engagements at the moment, and she was determined to see this through.


“Dr. Weir?” Cameron turned his screen on to see if they had a connection yet. It was confirmed by seeing the briefing room that was deep within the depths of the SGC all the way in Colorado Springs. “Are you receiving the feed?”

“Yes, Doctor, I am. There is reason to believe that the Ascended being that you are watching is Dr. Jackson.”

“What? He died again?” asked Colonel Dixon, incredulously. He heard Wells connecting the SatCom just moments before and decided that it would be a good time to make his report on their situation. “So that Glow-Brite is one of our own?” He could peripherally see Balinsky rolling his eyes on the small crack to Dr. Jackson’s current state.

He fully turned to face his team’s anthro-geek and said, “I guess that means we’ll just sit and watch … just like we were doing before.”


Jack was sitting on a lawn chair situated on his back porch enjoying the lightning show that, at the moment, was far off in the distance. He sat there for what felt like a very long time, but there wasn’t anything else he wanted to do. He could cut the grass, go for a walk, make his way up to Minnesota and do some fishing. But none of those things were appealing to him right now. So he continued to sit and watch. The storm was very powerful, but it didn’t look like it was moving towards his position, so he continued to watch.

“Hey, Jack.”

He turned towards the voice. What was he doing here? No one was supposed to be here. This was supposed to be his show; he didn't want to be sharing it.


“What do you say we get out of here Jack? Go do some exploring. Go home. Save our world from destruction and all that.” Daniel had taken it upon himself to grab the other chair and sit as close to Jack as was possible, without actually sitting in his lap.

“What are you doing here, Daniel?”

“Trying to save your ass, Jack. So, come on. Follow me and we’ll be outta here in no time.”

“I’m not going anywhere, Daniel.” Jack took a long swig from his Guinness. He never offered one to Daniel, and he wasn’t going to. He really didn’t feel like sharing right now.

“We don’t have much time for this Jack, we have to go now.”

“Why not?”

“I ascended on my own Jack. Any time now, they could find me and drag me away. So, let’s get this done before that happens.”

“They can’t stop you from being part of their little clique this time.”

“What? Why not? How do you know this?”

Jack held his index finger up to stop Daniel’s tirade of questions. Then he pointed to his own head, as if that was the answer to everything.

“It was part of the download? How to ascend was part of the download and yet you didn’t?” Daniel’s eyes went wide, and he continued to move his lips as if he had a lot more questions to ask but couldn’t figure which one should be asked first. Jack wondered if Daniel would have throttled him right then if he said that he looked kinda cute when flustered.

Daniel brought Jack back from his musings. “Why didn’t you ascend then? Instead of locking yourself in that pod?”

“How should I know?” Jack asked as he shrugged his shoulders in response and went to take another sip of his beer, only to find that the once bottomless bottle had suddenly dried up.

“Ok, fine. Then how do you know that the others won’t fly by at any minute now and force me back into human form?” Jack looked Daniel straight in the eye. This was something that would be very important to the younger man, and Jack didn’t want to mess up his answer.

“As you’ve said, you ascended on your own. The last time, Oma had to guide you. You were her student, and it was her right to punish you for any misdeeds. This time, you are your own teacher and your own student. This is the same reason why the Ancients couldn’t send Anubis back.”

“You know how Anubis ascended then. You know how he figured it out?” Daniel was looking more relaxed, so it seemed that he accepted Jack’s answer. He still had a lot of questions, but the edginess was no longer present in his voice.

“The Ancients were once human; they were a powerful force against the Goa’uld. But, as you already know, a plague was killing them off. An assembled team of mortal Ancients were sent out to infiltrate Anubis’ ship and once their mission was accomplished they were supposed to ascend. Even though their race was dying, they still fought hard against their enemy. I sometimes see images of those battles, Daniel.”

Jack had an idea. He suddenly wanted Daniel to see what he could see.

Jack said, “Come here.” He followed his order by grabbing Daniel by the back of his head and bringing him forth, so that their foreheads could touch.

Despite wanting to welcome the touch, Daniel was about to question what Jack thought he was doing, when pictures began to explode within his mind.

“Commander we must move!”

Daniel sucked in a breath as he started to watch something that had happened thousands of years ago.

They had planted their devices all over that vile creature’s ship. In a short amount of time, the vessel would cease to exist and her team would have moved on to a greater life. They were running down a corridor, trying to find the perfect spot to begin their travel to the next plane of existence. Her Second indicated what he felt would be the optimal place to perform their task. In agreement, they moved to the middle of the room and stood in a circular fashion. Looking at her three comrades, she smiled and nodded her head for each to proceed. Each held a small vial of liquid that would over-ride their systems, effectively fatal, but with enough time to move their souls onward. They were the last of their colony to be infected from a sickness that had plagued her species for millions of years. Only a few thousand people were still mortal, spread out across the galaxy, still trying desperately to find a cure.

No one had noticed the shadow in the far corner of the room.

Lifting the vials together, they each drank their potion. The result was almost instant and together they were moving on to a new chapter.

She was told that there wouldn’t be any pain involved. There was supposed to be something in the elixir to counteract any pain that the drug might induce. But, it hurt so much!

She realized quickly that she wasn’t alone anymore. Her mind wasn’t only hers any longer. She had been infiltrated. Anubis was going to rise with her to the next level!

“It was Oma, wasn’t it?” asked Daniel. He was somber, his head slightly turned down as he concentrated on what the images that Jack just gifted to him meant. “At the final moment, before she changed, Anubis entered her body and found out, among other things, the secret to ascending.”

“Yep.” Jack didn’t know what else to say to that. The person who helped Daniel ascend was, albeit inadvertently, the one who had also helped Anubis. And in the end, it was Daniel that Oma had stopped and punished. But that wasn’t the whole story, yet …

“Oma once had control over Anubis, Daniel, but not when the two of you were about to battle. You once told me that he mocked you with the idea of trying to stop him. That he was goading you on. That he somehow knew that the others wouldn’t challenge him and they wouldn’t let you either.” Daniel nodded to what Jack was saying, so he took a deep breath and continued his tale, “When she had fully ascended, and with help from Ancient … elders, she sent him back to our plane as the symbiote he was without a host. They all underestimated him though. He still carried the memories of how to ascend and tried to achieve it for a second time, this time on his own. Oma tried to stop him, but she didn’t have the right to do so, like she didn’t have the right to stop you this time. The others intervened and we ended up with the half ascended Goa’uld symbiote that terrorized our plane of existence for thousands of years more. By their own rules, the Ancients had interfered more than they were allowed to.”

Daniel was sickened by the disclosure, but he couldn’t dwell on this information right now. He needed Jack to come back with him. If only he knew how to get Jack to cooperate with him.

“Why won’t you ascend, Jack?”

“What right do I have, Daniel?”

“What?” Daniel was dumbfounded, what right did he have? “Jack! You have as much right as anyone to do this.”

“So, how’d you die?” He didn’t want to discuss the reasons why he didn’t want to turn into a glowing squid.

“I didn’t die.”

“Oh, but you did.”

“No I didn’t.”

“You did.”

“No …”

“Daniel. You had to at least come very close to dying, or else you wouldn’t be here speaking with me right now. If it really is you, that is.”

“It’s me. I’m really here, Jack.”

“Yeah, we’ve been through this before.”

“We have? When?”

Jack looked down at his bare feet, “How did you die?”

Daniel was getting frustrated, with every question he asked, Jack just turned around and asked a few of his own. “Does it really matter?”

Jack gave Daniel a hard stare, “Yes it does.”


“I want to know what you did to come and get me, Daniel.”

“You-” Daniel couldn’t believe what he was hearing. Was Jack that full of himself? He wanted to know what lengths Daniel would go to, to bring him back?

“Fuck you, Colonel.”

Jack grunted at that remark. “Did ya just proposition me, Dr. Jackson?”

“Why is it any concern of yours, on how--” Daniel was pissed and he was going to make sure that Jack knew it too.

“I’m always concerned about you Daniel. The fact that you are once again on the higher plane, indicates that you got yourself into trouble again. So what happened? When we parted last time, Anubis and his army were obliterated and Teal’c, Carter and yourself were all alive without even a scratch … ok, I think you might have had a bump or two on your head, which would have at most generated a headache, but it wasn’t anything close to life threatening. So. What. Happened?”

“I-” Like Daniel really wanted Jack to know that he tried to commit suicide. He had a feeling that it would come out sooner or later, especially since he was determined to get them both back home. Sam had seen his work, and he wouldn’t put it past her to report about it to Jack. “I found an opportunity to bring you back home and I took it.”

“So what you’re saying is that you hurt yourself enough to achieve ascension. You need to be nearly dead in order for that to happen, Daniel.”

“Well, it’s done and over with, Jack.”

“No it’s not. You are not to do such drastic things to keep me safe! What is it with you and Carter? My job is to keep both of you safe, not the other way around. The SGC requires your talent and expertise in order to survive …”

“And it needs you too Jack! Damn it! Stop this shit already! Your life is just as irreplaceable as mine, as Sam’s and Teal’c’s … there isn’t one life that is worth more than another. I know that we’ve had this discussion before.”

“And yet here you are, in complete contradiction to what you had argued over a year ago.”

“I’m going back.”

“Well, have a nice trip. Glad you stopped by. We should do this again someday.”

“You’re coming with me.” Daniel was determined to bring them back to the main issue at hand.

“I’m not ascending, Daniel.”

“Why not?”

“I don’t deserve to.” Jack wished that his bottle would fill itself up once again. He really needed a drink.

“Of course you do, you’re good-”

“I’m nearly fifty, Daniel. You’ve known me for less than a quarter of my life; you don’t know what I was made to do for the good of my country before the Stargate program. You just don’t know.”

“I’ve always thought that I did well at determining the character of others. You’re a good man, Jack.”

“And Charlie was a good boy.”


“My son.”

“I know that Charlie was your son, but what does this-” Oh, boy. Will Jack’s life always go back to the death of his son? Of course it would. “That was an accident. You weren’t responsible.”

“It was my gun.”

“And he was old enough to know not to touch it. But it wasn’t his fault and it wasn’t yours.”

“He was good, Daniel.”

“With you for a father, I’m sure he was.”

“No, that was mostly Sara’s doing. I wasn’t always home for him.”

“You know, Sam used to tell me stories about how often Jacob would be away, and miss her birthday parties and school recitals …”

“So? What’s your point?”

“Sam still loves her father. And if Charlie were alive, I know he would have loved you too.”

“That’s the point though, Daniel.”

“What is?”

“Charlie was a good child, so why hadn’t he ascended? Why isn’t he alive in some form? If he wasn’t worthy, then neither am I.”

“Jack. It doesn’t work that way. Oma didn’t know about us then. She knew about Shau’ri, but even she’s still buried on a dead planet that was once Abydos.”

Jack could see the hurt in Daniel’s eyes. They didn’t talk about Abydos very often, but he knew that his friend was still blaming himself for the decimation of the entire planet. Kasuf and Skaara were out there somewhere, doing whatever it was that Ascended beings do. But Shau’ri wasn’t out there with them. She would never be. He knew that Daniel sometimes regretted ever stepping onto the grounds of Abydos. If he never figured out how to open the 'gate, then in Daniel’s eyes, the inhabitants of that planet would still be alive today. He bet that Daniel refused to entertain the idea of Ra giving up on those people, since the planet was nearly void of Naquada when Jack’s team arrived. Ra had probably been one of the more sadistic snakes that they had ever come across, and Jack wouldn’t have put it past the bastard to destroying Abydos from above. Perhaps, not as thorough as Anubis’ job had done, but he would have at least left his mark by causing major damage. There was a good chance that Daniel’s adopted family would have died a long time ago. But Daniel never wanted to hear that argument. The man was stubborn, but Jack knew that he could be just as bad.

“What is there for me to go back to Daniel? Everything has changed, and I’m too tired to adapt again.”

“We need you, Jack.” Daniel’s voice was slightly tinged with desperation, just enough for Jack to hear it.

“You will move on, Daniel.”

“No I won’t.”

“You will, you can.”

“I don’t want too! Not without you.” Couldn’t Jack see? He had to have known why he gave the Ancient ones cause to punish him. It was because of Jack. Daniel had at least remembered that part from the last time he was in this state. If it wasn’t for Jack, he wouldn’t have fought Anubis. He would have ascended the people of Abydos himself instead.

“Daniel …”

“I need you there, Jack.”

“You can live on without …”

“But I’m not going to.” Daniel grabbed Jack by his shirt and pulled him into a forceful kiss. Off in the distance, the storm seemed to have grown stronger; the lightning crackled and clashed. It was in tune to the deep exploration that the two men were sharing, hot and explosive. Jack sat stunned when Daniel finally let him go, but in true Air Force fashion, he quickly regained his composure as best he could. Although, it was obvious that both were somewhat breathless.

“You’re needed, Jack. Whether you go back to retire and spend the rest of your days watching the Sports Network, or move up to your cabin, or even go back to continue the fight against the Goa’uld, I need you there.”

Jack had always known about Daniel’s affection for him, and that warmth and care would have easily been returned if it wouldn’t have compromised their team. SG-1 was a great team, and they always bounced back somehow, but they were all too close to each other. Way too close. Hammond saw this fact, but he didn’t do anything about it. Instead he reinforced it by becoming part of their close-knit dysfunctional family.

Jack couldn’t take the risk of voicing his feelings for Daniel before, and he paid for it dearly for over a year. He saw the looks other members of the SGC gave him when Daniel had first left; well from those who dared to walk in his path at least. The rest hid until they knew it was safe to avoid the miserable colonel. He would have gone to any length, traveled through any ‘gate coordinate, just to make Daniel safe once more, but in the end he was still a coward. Daniel was dying, and at the time Jack still couldn’t articulate what he had felt for the man. That was something he was prepared to take to his grave, but the Fates decided that they hadn’t finished taunting Jonathan 'Jack' O’Neill, yet. They brought Daniel back to him, just so he could feel like even more of a shit. He still couldn’t express his feelings, and in some ways he was even more apprehensive about it. And deep down inside, Daniel already knew.

“I’m not going to take a back seat anymore Jack. I did before, hoping that if we were both alive long enough to retire then we could have worked something out then. After the mess with Kelowna, I left because I couldn’t handle not getting closer to you, and that made you push me away even more. I understand why we couldn’t let our guards down and just be together, Jack. I do. But it was destroying us. I figured, either you would ascend at some point, or if you made it to retirement then I would have come back to you. Until then, from what Oma had told me, I thought that I could put the most distance as possible between us and still do something productive for our cause.”

“It didn’t work. You were watching me.”

Daniel chuckled, “Probably.”

Jack looked down at his still empty bottle, “I don’t deserve it Daniel, and I don’t deserve you.”

“That’s bullshit, Jack. We both know it.”

“If I knew that, we wouldn’t be arguing right now, now would we?”

“Of course we would be. The only difference would have been our location and subject.”

Jack conceded that fact with a nod of his head. They would always be arguing. Right down to what colour of thread was used to make the seats they were sitting on in his mind’s world.

“Jack if you won’t come back for me. There’s another reason for you to do so.”

“Daniel, I-” Daniel deserved more than what this old man could give him, but Jack had no idea how to tell him this. He didn’t want to; he admitted that he was selfish with this issue. He didn’t want the man to leave him, despite the fact that he had no right to love him. “You know how I feel for you.”

“I love you too, Jack.” Jack probably would have had whiplash by the speed his head had turned to face Daniel. He was astounded to actually hear the words, though he’d always known them to be true. Daniel’s face turned to a slight shade of pink, but he smiled and nodded his head in acceptance of what he had just revealed. And Jack also knew that Daniel didn’t expect for the words to be returned in kind.

“I want to be there for you, Daniel. You have no idea how much I want that. But I don’t deserve another chance at life. Not this way at least. This is it, unless the Asgard could help me again. I could accept their help, since we had lent a hand or two to them in their need so many times. It’s a give and take relationship that has worked well so far. But, if they do succeed in extracting all this Ancient crap, I’ll have to go back to the SGC to continue our fight. But, I can’t force myself to believe that I deserve another chance, Daniel. Ascension just doesn’t work that way.”

“Well, maybe I can change your mind. Despite the fact that I want you to live, the Asgard are in trouble Jack. They need our help.”

“What do you mean? What’s going on out there?” Jack knew that the SGC couldn’t reach them, and the fact that Daniel was here, had suggested that this was still the case.

“Anubis had released the Replicators, the evolved Replicators. The Asgard are in for the fight of their lives, and so far it looks like they’re losing. We don’t know if anything has happened to Thor. The information is severely limited, but they are all in serious trouble. We could save them though. If you won’t ascend for yourself, or for me, then do it for our ally. You have to stop those bugs.”

“Why don’t you go and save their little grey butts yourself? You’re more than capable.”

“'Cause they named a ship after you.”

“Ah. You’re still upset that they like me better,” Jack said while grinning.

“Jack!” Daniel was exasperated. He just played his wild card, now if only Jack would take the bait. “Come home with me.”

Jack was thinking, his face always contorted in a particular way when he was thoughtful with ideas of deep significance. He suddenly stood up, and stuck out his hand for Daniel to take hold of. “Come with me.” Daniel stood, and held on, not knowing what Jack was up to. Jack led him down the steps of his back porch and into the middle of his backyard. “Look around you.” Jack swept his arms around the yard and finished by placing his hands on Daniel’s shoulders. “What do you see?”

Daniel took a good look around, “I see a well manicured lawn, beautiful flowers in bloom, the back of your house … and that storm.”

“This … all of this is me, Daniel. That storm over there? That’s the Ancient’s knowledge trying to claim me. If I go back, that knowledge will still be there and it’ll overcome the rest of my mind. I will no longer be me.”

“No! I can help! I’ll get rid of it for you Jack, I promise. It won’t hurt you anymore. I’ll help you ascend and take away what’s hurting you in the process.”

“You can do that?” This was something that the Ancient knowledge was telling him was false. But he knew that Daniel would never lie about such things.

“Yes! You don’t know how?”

“No, I don’t.”

“But you had healed Bra’tac on the Tel'tac. You used the power to cure.”

“I could heal him, but I can’t heal myself. I’m not sure how much, but mending his wounds did affect me. Last time we were up here by McMurdo, there was this girl, Ayiana … we assumed that she was part of the Ancient’s race …”

“Yeah, I remember reading that report.”

“She died from healing our wounds, as I would have eventually. The healed wounds and cancers are absorbed into me.”

“There’s a way around that, Jack. There’s a way to compress that effect and disperse it without harming yourself or others around you. I know how to do this, Jack. I’ll fix that for you.”

Absorbing what Daniel had just said, Jack wrapped his arms around the other man’s back, and brought him in close enough for another kiss. This one was much slower, as they took their time to further discover each other while they still could.


“Dr. Balinsky, has there been any change?” Dr. Weir had just seen off the engineering team that was headed for the Prometheus. When she came back to the briefing room, the picture on the ViewScreen seemed to be exactly as how she had left it.

“No, ma’am. If that really is Dr. Jackson, he’s been hovering there without much more movement the entire time.”

“They’re probably arguing over only God knows what.” Colonel Dixon had assumed he had muttered this low enough for Elizabeth not to hear, but loud enough for Balinsky to give him a dirty look as a reply. She decided she’d call him on it anyhow.

“Why do you say that, Colonel?”

Without looking repentant for his sarcastic remark, he expanded his opinion of Colonel O’Neill and Dr. Jackson by informing her, “It’s what they do, ma’am.” The audio feed from the SatCom was remarkable, that’s how she also heard Airman Bosworth mutter seconds later to the lieutenant, “Boy, as if that doesn’t sound familiar, eh?”


Major Carter exited the wormhole and saw Teal’c right away in the crowd of those who had volunteered their service to help move the equipment over to the Prometheus. The Alpha site had two hover crafts on hand for transporting the heavy equipment, but the rest would require transport by foot.

Sam and Teal’c had met half way, and greeted each other by a warm, heartfelt hug.

“MajorCarter, it is good to see you, but you do not look well. Has something transpired to upset you?”

“We need to go talk … in private, Teal’c.” He was surprised to hear such a response from the major, but complied and led her to his tent where they could be alone. He directed her to the bench and table in the back of his abode and poured them both a glass of water from the ready pitcher.

“What has happened, Samantha?” Sam’s heart always skipped a beat whenever Teal’c called her by her first name. He had always called her “MajorCarter” out of respect, but at the right moments he would call her “Samantha” out of admiration.

“Teal’c … Daniel did something … pretty drastic.”

“What do you mean?”

“He tried to kill himself.” She never wanted to be so blunt about it, but her nerves were frayed. She was tired and wanted to get this off her chest in the quickest way possible.

Teal’c took a moment to digest the news, “He wanted to ascend, did he not?”

“How’d you know? Did he speak to you about this?”

“No, Samantha.” Sam had felt guilty for nearly accusing Teal’c of conspiring with Daniel for this asinine rescue attempt. But it was Teal’c’s Bon’ta that Daniel used to hurt himself with. He took her glass and put it and his down on the table beside them. He turned back and clasped her hands into his, which were so much larger in comparison. “Daniel is a brave man; why else would he commit such an act if not for a greater purpose? Did his plan succeed?” He made it sound like Daniel was a hero for what he did, but he wasn’t. Sam wouldn’t dare believe that such an act would be seen as heroic.

Sam nodded in the affirmative to his question, but she had more to get off her chest. “I don’t … I just don’t know anymore Teal’c. I don’t know how to react. I think I’m numb.” She collapsed in his arms, she had had enough. With Teal’c, she wasn’t alone anymore and she never wanted to be again. They spent a long time sitting there, holding each other. And no one made an attempt to retrieve Major Carter.


Jack and Daniel were on the grass, laying in each others arms, watching the storm still brewing in the distance. Every once in a while, they’d kiss or caress, but they were mainly satisfied by just being able to touch. It had been a long time since they had been even a fraction of this close to each other. Jack looked at Daniel, memorizing all the contours that made such a handsome face. “It’s time now, isn’t it?” The question made Daniel take a good look at him too, and replied, “Yeah, I guess it is.” He reached for Jack’s hand and placed it over his heart.

“Okay then.”


“Hey, Doc?” Bosworth was sure he just saw something change. Cameron looked in the direction of O’Neill and the Ancient “Formerly Known as Jackson” as Dave had put it. He realized that Bosworth was right. Something had changed. He looked towards the SatCom and saw that Dr. Weir was also watching, she probably would want him to explain what was going on soon. But he didn’t know and he had no idea of what answer he could give.

He felt Dave walk up beside him, “You think their argument just escalated? Would that be the look of an angry Ancient?”

“How should I know, Colonel?”

“Well you’re the Linguist-cum-Anthropologist, Balinsky. I’d expect you to have at least made an educated guess. You’re pretty good at them.”

He was nearly taken aback by the compliment, but had enough wits about him to reply, “Well, I missed the day that Anthropology 101 had discussed The Emotive and Mating Gesticulations of the Post-Human Glowing Squids.”

“Mating Gesticulations?” Leave it to Dave Dixon to want a clarification of the obvious. Balinsky shrugged his shoulders and did his best impression of an innocent boy.

“Ha! Very funny, Doctor. You think you can fool me, but you can’t. I know you only too well.”

He was going to retort when the pseudo-apparition in front of them had changed again … into a bright blinding light.

“What the hell!” He was sure that had come from Wells. Behind his closed eyes he could see the light moving. He tried cracking his eyes open a bit to see what was going on. What he saw didn’t surprise him much at all. “Colonel, look!”

Dixon opened his eyes as much as he could to see not only one glowing Ancient, but two. They were moving up and out of this complex and the stasis chamber that held Colonel O’Neill, was empty.

“Oh, great. This had better not leave a black mark on our records.”

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