by Graculus

From the first moment I saw it I knew. Even those initial flickering transmissions from the MALP had been enough to convince me that this mission was a worthwhile use of our time, and now it's up to me to persuade everyone else...

What is it this time?

I can feel the unspoken question from my team-mates as I start to speak, start to expound on exactly why we need to shunt this particular planet up the list of places to visit. There it is again, the look I've become so familiar with that flits across Jack's face and is gone almost before I can notice its existence.

Damned if I know what it is, though.

So, why go there? Well, I'm hoping this mission will provide some answers for the multitude of questions I still have about what Jack calls 'the meaning of life stuff'. That Rosetta Stone of information we'd been forced to leave behind on Ernest's planet, coming back with just our lives and what little video footage I'd been able to snatch to show for all our endeavours.

I'd always treasured the idea that we would find more evidence of the existence of the other races who seemed to have come together on what we had come to call Ernest's planet, but till now I've had only my suspicions to fall back on.

I can't help thinking back, during the briefing, to our visit to Ernest's world all those months ago.

I came so close to throwing everything away.

To say that it had seemed like a good idea at the time must surely be one of the understatements of the century. For the briefest of moments I had chosen to face death alone, rather than leave what I had discovered, in what I would like to think was a moment of madness.

It had only been the look in Jack's eyes, the unspoken communication between us, that had roused me from my fugue state, making me see that I would lose so much more than I stood to gain.

Jack had gripped my arm, begun to pull me forcibly towards the steps leading out of the chamber that held everything I had ever dreamed of. If I concentrate, I can almost feel the warmth of his hand still there, as if it burned it's way through what clothing I was wearing straight to my skin.

I pleaded with him, asking him to let me make this choice. Wisely, Jack took one look at me, and I could see him almost biting his lip to keep back the words he so obviously desperately wanted to say. There were so many things he knew he could have used against me - my promise to Sha're, my place as a member of SG-1. Instead he took a step backwards, letting me decide. Trusting me.

Damn. Why do I get the feeling that he knows me too well?

He knew that I had to choose for myself, that no amount of well-phrased argument or invective would be enough to make me change my mind.

And it was the fact that Jack knew that and went with that knowledge that sent a sudden burst of insight shooting through me, making me realise that suddenly I wanted to be alive far more than I wanted to discover the secrets of the universe, tempting as those secrets might be.

Even as I pause, thinking back, I am as conscious as ever of Jack's presence beside me at the conference table. All that energy condensed, beaten down by sheer force of will into stillness and concentration. Taking a deep breath, I force myself back to the here and now.

Jack's thinking about that mission too. A tiny frown appeared on his forehead when I started showing the video that I had taken in the 'United Nations' chamber, a tell-tale sign of his concern.

Jack looks as if he's somewhere else - not the slightly glazed expression that sometimes came into his eyes when I'm expounding my latest theory, but a far away look, as if watching events unfolding inside his head.

Still, Jack says nothing, not a word to indicate that he even recalls that mission, only indicating his agreement to this one going ahead with the slightest and tersest of nods.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

There's nothing like a puzzle to get Daniel's interest. Even when the rest of us are too slow to follow his leaps of logic, watching him present an argument for this particular destination with the identical bemused expressions, there's something about him. It's the energy, I guess - it fairly crackles from him.

And he's always been the same, no matter what's happened along the way - even in the darkest times we've experienced together, that same undercurrent is still there. The same thing I saw when we first met, back before all this craziness began, back when I was too numb to realise that I was falling in love.

Sometimes I wonder how Daniel hasn't figured it all out, figured me out, but other times I don't think he can see it. For someone who prides himself on being a flexible thinker, Daniel sometimes sure can't see the wood for the trees.

I know what he's thinking, know at least how he used to feel about me, so would it be so bad?

Can't do it. I'm not self-obsessed enough to believe that I could give Daniel everything he needs, or even a small portion of it. Him finding out how I feel about him, that the feeling is mutual, in other words, could only lead to trouble, so I spend my time pushing down that part of myself as ruthlessly as I can.

Just wish I had never found that damn letter...

Before that, everything had been so simple. I was used to unrequited desire, spent my life suppressing thoughts and emotions that would only get me in a shitload of trouble in my chosen field. But then Daniel came along.

I guess you could say he snuck under the radar.

Unexpectedly, we became friends, and then I found my mind turning to him more and more after I left him behind on Abydos. I did a fine job of shoving that all down when we got him back, after the unholy mess that was SG-1's inaugural trip to Chulak, but it was there. Like a seed planted.

And finding out that he felt the same way about me...

He's never mentioned the letter, seemed never to notice its absence. Maybe it was something he wrote and then forgot about?

Can't believe he still feels that way about me, no matter how hard I watch him. I have to believe it was a moment's madness, something temporary, Daniel mixing up friendship and obligation with something far deeper than that.

Yeah, keep telling yourself that, O'Neill...

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

This time round we land in a chamber, with no way out as far as the MALP can tell. Our inspections seem to prove that the probe was right, but I have a feeling there are still mysteries here waiting to be uncovered, more than just the inscriptions on the floor that we already know about. Call it anthropologist's intuition, if you need a label.

I call out, needing to say something, as much for my own benefit as it was in the hope of making contact.

Travelling to these places, some of them looking long abandoned before the dawn of our history even broke, makes me feel so small sometimes. Take the feeling you get when you look into the night sky, that feeling of being a speck of dust so small that microscopic is an over-statement, then multiply it. Multiply it a lot - that's how it can feel.

My reward? Well, a strange look from Jack, the look that says 'Daniel, I've seen you do some strange things in your time, but...' - all spoken with the life of an eyebrow and the tilt of a head.

"It's worth a try," I say, shrugging to try and hide my embarassment.

It's no surprise to me any more, when that look comes in my direction, but it still has the same effect - haven't seen it so often recently, I must admit, but it still makes me squirm.

What next? Well, Jack wants us to go home - he's always the impatient one. If there's nothing obvious, he doesn't want to hang around and wait for trouble to bite us in the ass.... Not that this attitude isn't positive in some ways - though I hate to admit there's a plus side to it, I know Jack's main concern is the safety of the team. That's what drives him, and is maybe why, all this time down the line, we've all emerged more or less unscathed.

Then it all gets really strange.

This 'thing' appears, coming out of the wall in a silent rush, looking for all the world like some kind of viewer. Jack had triggered it, by walking through the circle of symbols inscribed on the floor, those same symbols that had motivated me to urge we visit this planet in the first place.

Teal'c gets to it first, though I'm not sure how he manages that. Anyway, he does what his instincts seem to be always telling him, to protect the rest of the team, and looks into the window-like space at the front of the 'thing'.

My heart stops for a moment as I experience a strange mix of envy and concern. Nothing happens.

I'm almost disappointed, though I had been afraid for Teal'c and his courage. Having lost so many important people in my life, I feel sometimes like one more will be all it takes for me to fall screaming over the edge. Still, Teal'c is okay, and the 'thing', the alien device, doesn't work.

So what is Jack doing? And he calls me impulsive....

Taking Teal'c's place, Jack lokks into the device - I have to bite down on the exclamation I make when the thing bursts out from the wall, wrapping itself around Jack's head, and holding him in place.

Then it's over. Releasing him, the device shrinks back, and Jack crumples bonelessly to the floor. I let out the breath I have been holding, too afraid at first to even move.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Is it catching, I wonder, Daniel's curiosity? Must be, or else why would I be looking into some strange alien thing, chancing what might happen to me?

As it is, I see lights, the same thing that Teal'c said he saw, before the thing I'm looking into changes, shifting with a suddenness that catches me completely unawares, wrapping itself around me with a grip like steel.

Now what?

I struggle, trying to pull myself free for the briefest of moments before the onslaught begins.

No! Do I scream that word or do I even speak at all?

What then? Blacknesss.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

We rush back through the 'Gate.

Sam's already sending the code as the last chevron locks and the wormhole forms. Teal'c is half-carrying Jack, whose head lolls in an alarming way - he's still unconscious, his face pale. I don't remember very much of our return, except Sam's voice calling for the medics as she emerged from the event horizon. Guess I'm in shock.

All that I know is what's going through my mind as my body works on auto-pilot, my mantra it seems to be:

He's got to be okay, he's got to...

Repeat those phrases over and over for the next hour and you'll get an idea of the frame of mind I'm in.

I'd never tell Jack any of this, but I'm not sure I could keep doing this without him. When it's bad, really bad, I remember him promising me that we'd keep looking for Sha're and Skaara until we found them. Jack may be a lot of things, and I've thought some of them about him myself, when he won't listen to what I'm saying, but he is a man of his word.

But how could I ever drop that particular bombshell on him? The idea that I might feel more for Jack than he's able to deal with - the aftermath of that kind of discovery is one conversation I really don't want to have with him...

The next little while was the calm before the storm. Jack woke up. He was fine. Grumpy, but fine.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Next thing I recall I'm inspecting the infirmary ceiling. Same old, same old.

Doc Fraiser is leaning over me with a worried expression on her face, her voice soothing as she speaks to me.

How do I feel? I feel... detached. Like I don't quite connect with everything, like my body and brain aren't quite communicating the way they should. Not that I'd tell the lovely but persistent Janet that. No way. I'd still be here at the start of the new millenium if I made that mistake.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The first indication we get that anything's wrong is in the briefing room. We're all sitting there, just like nothing had happened, like Jack hadn't been flat on his back after staring into some alien device. The normality of it is almost terrifying.

Out of the corner of my eye, I can see Jack drawing something on his pad - whatever it was, it looks complicated, no simple scribble to keep his hand occupied while his mind is elsewhere.

And when the general asks him a question, Jack sounds like even being there to discuss the mission is too much trouble, then gets more and more snappy. Jack never loses his temper with the general like that.... even when he disagrees with Hammond's orders.

"Teal'c looked. I looked. It grabbed my head, I passed out, I came to, we're here, we're home, can we go?"

All said like Jack has somewhere better to be, like it's a waste of time even thinking about what had happened on P3R272, let alone discussing it at length. Understandably, General Hammond is concerned.

"Colonel? Are you sure you're okay?"

Then Jack says it, the words that turn my life upside down.

"I am absolutely fine. There is nothing cruvus with me."

It takes a moment for his words to register with me, so that by the time I turn to look at Jack, everyone else in the room is staring at him already.

"What?" Jack asked, a defensive look flitting across his face so briefly I almost think I've imagined it.

"You just said there's nothing cruvus with you," I reply, trying to keep my voice calm despite the panicked feeling fluttering inside me.

"I did not," Jack replies, sounding even more defensive, if that's possible.

Then we get into one of those little arguments that friends can sometimes have easier than the more verbose variety, with the words 'did' and 'didn't' flying back and forth between us until Jack suddenly tires of it. His voice changes, an unexpected and unfamiliar note of concern creeping in.

"Cruvus? What is that?"

"I don't know. Um, well, I'm guessing the context of what you were saying you were trying to say that there was nothing wrong with you."

I'm hedging, suddenly afraid for my friend, and he knows it - I can see that knowledge clearly written in Jack's eyes. He expects me to have an answer for him, some magic wand to make everything okay, and I've let him down.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I watch myself drawing, marvelling at the intricacy of whatever-it-is that my hand is creating on the paper. I can feel Daniel's attention focussed on me, that bright blue stare burning into me like he wants to know everything, but for once it doesn't leave me feeling uncomfortable and exposed.

No, today I could care less.

I'm relaxed, feeling good, a little tired maybe. Suddenly the universe seems to make sense again, but that might be because it's all distilled down to the action of my hand across the paper, the droning words of the briefing washing over me.

So, when Hammond speaks, the internal censor cuts out, and I say what I think.

I know, I've got a reputation for speaking my mind, but I don't really. I mean, who does? If we all said what we really think, the human race would die out real quick, what with the arguments it would cause and the relationships it would destroy. Talk about your basic communication problem...

And I admit, a lot of the time I don't give a damn what I say, but I've never been someone who aims to hurt other people when they speak. Not my way.

So when these words come blurting out, I guess I should be as stunned as everyone else, if my brain weren't so busy doing a thousand other things...

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Later, I'm working in my office, trying to use the translations I'm struggling with to block out the little voice in my mind that was telling me that everything is going to hell in a hand-basket and there's nothing I can do to stop it. Something is wrong with my best friend and there's nothing I can do about it. At least I can control my work.

Then a whirlwind blows the door open.

It's Jack, a strained expression on his face, not bothering with the usual pleasantries like knocking - I suppose, looking back, I may well be glad the door is still on it's hinges, the way he bursts in. He's closely followed by Teal'c, who also manages to radiate an air of concern, despite the fact that his face shows nothing out of the ordinary.

"Alright, what the hell is going on with me?" Jack almost shouts.

"What do you mean?" I ask, looking up from the manuscript I'm studying.

"Well, apparently I've lost the falatis to speak properly! That wasn't a joke. I didn't do that on purpose."

While I busy myself searching through old books, looking for clues as to the language Jack was speaking, I half-notice the way that Jack is looking intently at the computer screen, where the video we had made of the ill-fated trip to P3R272 was running. That in itself is unusual. Jack doesn't much like computers, and inscriptions make him run for the hills. And when he speaks....

"Nu ani aquinatus," Jack says, not taking his eyes from the images on the screen.

"What?" I ask, looking up at him from the book I had been poring over.

"Nu ani aquinatus, ic quabi de un...." Jack repeats, moving on to more of the script I've been unable to decipher so far.

"Jack, are you reading this?" I ask, a feeling beginning to creep over me. Am I... jealous? Something bizarre is happening to him, and suddenly I'm envious of Jack, because he had been able to translate an inscription I'd not even been able to make a start on?

"I don't know, you tell me!" he snaps, bringing me back to the present with a jolt.

"Well, I don't know. I haven't even been able to associate sounds to the symbols," I say, suddenly aware of how tired I am. "Do you know what this means?"

"No! I mean, I'm just looking at it and the words pop right into my fron! Does anybody think this is odd?!"

Jack's voice is getting more and more agitated as he speaks, glancing to myself and Teal'c with an expression full of entreaty to us both, desperate for some kind of explanantion. I have nothing to offer him, no words of assurance or comfort. Nothing except a hopeless feeling, a feeling that things are not going to get any better....

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Is this what going crazy feels like? I'm losing my grip on everything, it seems, which makes me damn glad that Daniel is there to hang onto. Anyway, whatever it is that's going on, it just strengthens my resolve not to tell how I feel. How could I burden him with that at a time like this?

Even if I could be completely sure that he still felt that way about me, what if I am losing it?

How fair would that be on either of us?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The next I hear, Jack is toiling away, building something. He's taken some kind of power source from Teal'c's staff weapon, Sam tells me, but we've no idea what he was up to.

I may be a scientist, but my understanding with machines extends as far as the on button and no further. Whatever it was he's building, it's complicated. That is another sad sign that the Jack I know is one we're losing fast - Jack's a tinkerer at best, quick able to spend hours playing with a car engine, but he's not someone who has the technical knowledge to actually build whatever it was he was building.

Jack is deteriorating all this time - his ability to understand what we're saying slipping away slowly but inexorably. I feel so helpless, watching someone I care about so much leave us like this. It was like we're all standing on the shore, watching him drift away from us, further and further, knowing soon he would be out of our reach completely.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Well, this is... strange. I'd always wondered what going crazy was like, having skirted the edges of madness way too many times already in my life. Never expected it to be like this, though.

It's like there are gaps. Holes in my memory. Whole sections lost.

Daniel would find it fascinating, I'm sure. If I had the words to describe it - hell, I barely have the words to tell myself what it's like.

I don't need to be able to talk well to see the fear in Daniel's eyes. It's been there for hours now, growing steadily.

I don't want to go, Danny, honest. But I think it's out of our hands now. All the book learning in the world isn't going to solve this one, no matter how hard you push yourself.

I guess this is 'goodbye'.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I'm in the control room with the general and Sam, and my patience is beginnning to wear a little thin. I'm making progress, I'm certain of that, but not enough to satisfy me, and barely enough to even tantalise us with a hope of helping Jack.

"Jack was able to read the alien language, both the inscription from the wall of the meeting place on Ernest's planet and the circle of symbols from 272 where this happened to him," I explain.

"What does it mean?"

"Oh, well, my translation is a little bit vague. Um, I think the circle means 'the place of our legacy'... or it could be 'a piece of our leg' but the first seems to make more sense."

I sound like the idiot I'm feeling. Here I am, the linguist, the expert, struggling to make a translation that made any sense. And feeling guilty.


Because, at the back of my mind, a small voice is screaming that it should have been me!

I'm the impulsive one, the risk-taker, the human target - yet it's Jack who ended up with this dubious gift from another race. A gift that makes me somehow obsolete. That he can't share with anyone, no matter how much they might want to experience the floods of information passing through his brain.

Jack is losing himself in a deluge of learning, and I envy him. How sick is that?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


Help me.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Jack's getting more and more frustrated as time goes on. His ability to speak English had gone first - he can still understand what we're saying, but now he's unable to communicate his thoughts, his feelings, his fears.

He's always said that if my hands were tied, I'd have trouble stringing a sentence together, but now it's Jack who is full of gestures. He has no choice. Words escape him, English ones anyway, and I feel so useless. I'm trying as hard as I can to understand him, to communicate with him, but every time it feels like I'm hitting a brick wall.

The gestures are enough to tell me Jack is coming to the end of his tether - I hope I'm imagining the looks I think he's giving me, looks full of desperation and disappointment, but somehow I know I'm not. It's only the extreme situation that Jack is in that drives him, my conscious mind argues, but my heart still sinks.

After all, aren't I supposed to be the expert linguist? The one who can translate anything? I know so many languages, yet the one I need the most was the one I am struggling to master. If Jack isn't disappointed in me, I'm disappointed with myself.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

We've found a planet, one of the ones from the new 'Gate list that Jack has somehow managed to re-program the computer system to include.

I can hardly believe it - Hammond expects me to go with Teal'c, Sam and another SG team, leaving Jack here at the SGC without any way of communicating with anyone.

I try to tell myself I'd be the same way if it weren't Jack, but I'm not sure if that's true. I hope it is, but I'm no longer certain I'd be that noble. I'm growing more sure as the minutes tick by that this is going to end badly for all of us, so I want to be with him. Maybe I can help him. I cling to that hope like the flimsiest of life-lines.

I have to protest, that it's important that I be allowed to carry on trying to translate the language that Jack was speaking. It is probably the language of the people who built the 'Gate system, I argue, knowing that holds some weight. And then I play my trump card, looking the general straight in the eye, glad for once that I'm a civilian.

"Bottom line, Sir, what about Jack? I mean, right now I'm possibly his only hope for communicating on any serious level. I can't leave him like this. And I won't."

A tense moment follows, before the general agrees, and suddenly I feel the weight of my guilt shift a little, as though I'm once again a little more actively involved in trying to help.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I'm desperate.

I've kept what's happening with Sam, Teal'c and the others who accompanied them to P9Q281 a secret from Jack. I figured that he had enough to worry about for himself, without the extra burden this will place on him.

After all, what could be more important to him than his self-appointed role as Protector to SG-1? If there is anything left of Jack O'Neill inside the uncommunicative man that currently wears his body, then this situation must call to him like a siren's song.

I play the video of the last message Sam had sent for Jack, praying that he still understands enough English to see what's wrong, to grasp what we are asking from him. If the alien race whose knowledge was in Jack's brain were one of the races we thought, then they might know how to fix things and help them to come back. Might.

Jack's face is expressionless as he watches the video. It's difficult to tell if he even recognises Sam's face on the playback! I try to explain, to get through to him, and have to wonder if he can even comprehend what I'm saying. For a moment, there's no response.

Suddenly, Jack starts collecting materials, pens and paper, from around the office. He's doing something, that much was clear.

Dr. Fraiser and I just stand there, watching, exchanging puzzled looks, as Jack begins drawing the most complicated schematics I've ever seen, hunched over the paper with extreme concentration. If I had marvelled at what he drew before, this surpasses that, outclassing that effort with ease.

It was as if Jack has forgotten that anyone else is here. He has a job to do, and that's all he can concentrate on.

As we stand there, Janet and I, Jack seems to suddenly realise we're watching him. Grabbing a spare piece of paper, he scribbles a few words, and then shoves the scrap of paper in my direction.

Picking it up, I read it out loud.

"Shut up and go away."

Some things never change. He may have the knowledge of an ancient race inside him, but somewhere there too is the Jack O'Neill I've come to know. Throwing him a sloppy salute, the kind I know he hates, Janet and I beat a hasty retreat, leaving him to his drawing.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

"He's already gone."

Jack's here, in the control room with us, but he's already far away, too far for any of us to reach him again. What's the point of compelling him to stay here? There's nothing anyone here can do for him. The way his brain is behaving, he'll soon be dead anyway, Dr. Fraiser reckons, so his only real hope is to take this leap of faith, and go wherever it is that he's being summoned.

I can hardly say I am surprised when the general refuses to let Jack take a transmitter with him. I can understand his reasoning. I don't agree with it, but I can understand where he was coming from.

I have to speak with Jack one last time before he leaves, warn him with words that I know are unnecessary, even if he understands what I'm saying, to warn him about the risks he's taking, as if he doesn't know.

It's as much or more for my benefit, I think, as his, a chance to somehow express to Jack what he means to me.

"You understand that if you do this, if you go, you might not be able to come back," I say, standing there at the top of the ramp.

The words I want to say stick inside, catching in my throat. How much would he understand them anyway? I tell myself it's that stopping me, not my fear of what his response might be, but I don't manage to convince myself.

All I get in return for my all-too-pointless words is a small smile from Jack, though I'm not sure how much he can understand of what I'm saying anymore. His eyes are eloquent though, the dark intelligence he tries so hard to hide shining out as he looks at me.

Is this the real Jack O'Neill, what I see now as he prepares to step into the unknown? There is something there, some emotion in his eyes that I grasp for, try to categorise, something as unfamiliar as it is elusive.

Then Jack steps through the event horizon and is gone.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Have I done the right thing? Have I argued for Jack to go somewhere that could be dangerous, possibly even fatal, because I wanted to go?

We don't even know if he reached his destination, wherever that was, because our tracking devices had lost him. All I know was that I had been one of the main players, that I had helped to persuade the general to let Jack go, hoping that whoever he would find when he reached wherever it was he was going, might be able to help him.

And I'll have to live with that decision, regardless of it's outcome, always knowing that my motives behind that persuasion were not pure.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

What a story I have to tell.

Even as I head back to the 'Gate, leaving the Asgard behind, I can almost see Daniel's face as I recount my adventures. I can visualise the way his mouth will hang open slightly as I speak, as if he wants to taste my words, pull them inside him and never let go.

I have to take a deep breath to calm myself when my wayward libido runs with that particular image.

Down, boy.

Still, of all the things that have happened in this crazy time, I can't help thinking about Daniel and the part he's played in all of this.

I could see it was driving him crazy not being able to help me, but he has no idea how much he did. After all, if it weren't for him, who would have tried to communicate with me? No-one else at the SGC had the same combination of expertise and longing.

Damn, there I go again. Using words like longing when I'm talking about Daniel.

Daniel has no idea how I feel about him, or that I know what he thinks he feels for me, and I want to keep it that way.

Better that he never knows. I'm bad news when it comes to relationships, and why should Daniel have to experience the O'Neill jinx? Best thing I can do is help him find Sha're again, let him turn those longing eyes on someone who can give him what he needs.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

"I'm back," Jack said simply, stopping where Teal'c and I were waiting for him at the bottom of the ramp.

"What happened?" I said, and I'm sure my face betrayed my concern, from the way Jack looked at me when I was speaking.

"Do you still possess the knowledge of the Ancients?" Teal'c said, abruptly.

"Nope. Don't remember a thing. But you know that meaning of life stuff?" Jack said, looking me straight in the eye. "I think we're going to be all right."

Then he smiles slightly, the emotions I thought I had seen before carefully shuttered away now, the mask firmly back in place once more.

~ The End ~

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Disclaimer : Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions. This story is written for entertainment purposes only - no money whatsoever has exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. The original characters, situations, and story-line are the property of the author - not to be archived elsewhere without permission.

This page created by Graculus - last changed 12/8/2000.