That’s What We Do

 

“You sure about this, Daniel?”

I look from the empty Gamekeeper chair to Teal’c strapped into the other chair, his body and facial muscles twitching as he endures a hell of his own making.  I look back at Jack, his dark eyes wary and questioning.

“I’m sure,” I say quietly.

I know Jack doesn’t like this one little bit.  I also know he would rather get into that chair than see either me or Sam do it.  His recent promotion to General has necessarily distanced himself from us physically, but emotionally we are still a team, and we are still his ‘kids’.  Although the prospect of facing Teal’c in combat, even if it is a game, doesn’t fill me with warm fuzzies, I smile confidently.

“I’ll be fine, Jack.”

He nods slowly and clasps my shoulder.  Words are not necessary; I understand his pride and his fear.  He squeezes my shoulder and only releases it as Dr. Bill Lee approaches.

“Daniel, are you ready?”

I look from one concerned face to another.  “I’m ready.”

I shrug my jacket off and hand it to Sam who’s been hovering anxiously.  She already has one friend trapped in the simulator, she doesn’t want another.

“We’ll come out together,” I vow.

“I know you will,” she replies, but her eyes betray her fears.

I settle myself into the chair, trying in vain not to think about my first experience in this contraption: the crash of a coverstone and the dying screams of my parents.  I watch Bill and concentrate on his hands as he connects me to the computer simulation.

“Remember, Daniel, if you get shot you’ll receive a nasty jolt,” he cautions.

“We’ve both had worse,” I smile.

“I try not to think about that,” he murmurs as I dredge up memories of our torture at the hands of Honduran rebels.

“This will be a piece of cake compared to that,” I insist.

“It still won’t be a walk in the park,” he warns.

“Hopefully, this will be one park I won’t see too much of,” I joke.

“Good luck, Daniel,” he says.

“Watch my back, Bill.”

“I’ll have to shove General O’Neill out of the way first,” he whispers.

I look over at Jack who looks like he’s on the verge of physically wrestling me out of the machine.  I wish I could allay his fears, but I know how I’d feel if our roles were reversed. 

“He’s all set, General,” I hear Bill say.

“Remember you’ve only got a two second advantage,” Jack says, coming over to check on me one more time.

“I know.  It’ll be enough.  Let’s do this, Jack.”

Our eyes meet, and I know Jack will stay with me until this is over.  It’s a good feeling.

“Watch your back,” Jack says softly.

I smile, take a deep breath and close my eyes.

                                                            **************

Crap, I can’t believe I’ve let Teal’c kill me three times already.  Jack is so going to kill me.  Okay, here we go again.

                                                            ************

I open my eyes and blink at the harsh lights.  I’m back.

“Is it over?” I grimace, feeling the ache of abused muscles.

“Yeah,” Sam grins.  “You did it.”

I nod and close my eyes.  I feel like shit.  I hear Teal’c’s voice and I turn wearily to see him and Jack.  Teal’c says, “We made it,” and Jack replies, “That’s what we do.”

I smile and close my eyes.  That’s what we do.  We are still a team; we are still a family.

“You planning on staying in there all day?”

I force my eyes open to see Jack’s smiling face.

“Hey,” I whisper.

“Hey yourself,” he answers softly.  “Good job, Daniel.”

“I had good help,” I reply.

“Come on, let’s get you out of there,” he says as he gently disconnects me from the chair.

I stumble out of the chair and grasp his arm.  “Easy,” he cautions, holding me firmly.   “You’ve gone through quite an ordeal.”

“I feel like crap,” I murmur as my knees buckle.

“What did you say?” Jack asks as he supports my weight.

 “Nothing,” I murmur.

“No, you said, ‘crap’.”

I look at him like he’s grown another head.  “I said no such thing.”

“Did too.”

“Did not.”

“I’m afraid you did, Daniel,” Sam announces.  “We all heard you.”

I glare at her, but I can’t hide the amusement in my eyes.

“Must be the company I keep,” I mutter.

“Well, at least some of me is rubbing off on you,” Jack teases, leading me to a chair, which I gratefully sink into. 

“I am most grateful to you, Daniel Jackson.”

I look up to see Teal’c looking extremely solemn.

“Couldn’t let you have all the fun,” I jest. 

“I am sorry I shot you,” he says.

“’s’okay,” I say, waving my hand.  “How many times was I shot anyhow?”

“Four times,” Sam replies.

“Ouch,” I wince and unconsciously rub my chest.

“Just like a cat,” Jack grins, handing me my glasses.

I scowl but take the glasses.  “Thanks.”

“Yeah, thanks,” Jack murmurs.

I look up and smile.  In spite of the discomfort, I feel good.  Teal’c is safe, and we’re still a team.  I miss Jack being with us.  Even though I know he’s always with us in spirit, his physical presence is sorely missed.  Maybe I should tell him that.

“Hey, did you know your video counterpart looks like Buddy Holly?”

Or not.

                                                *********
“Come in.”

“Hi,” I say, opening the door and closing it behind me.

“Daniel Jackson, I am pleased to see you,” Teal’c intones softly.  “How are you feeling?”

“I’m good, Teal’c.  I was, uh, wondering how you were feeling.”

“I am well, thank you.”

I nod and chew my bottom lip.

“Yeah, um, is there anything you’d like to talk about?  You know, about what happened?”

“I do not,” Teal’c said evenly.

‘O-okay,” I drawl, trying not to show my disappointment.  “I guess I’ll just leave —”

“But I will,” Teal’c announces, interrupting me.

“You-you will?” I stammer, surprised.

“If you will honour me by listening, Daniel Jackson.”

“Honour?” I murmur.  “Teal’c, I would very much like to listen.”

“Very well.”

I take my cue and sit down cross-legged in the comfortable familiarity of candlelight.  Even though Teal’c no longer has a symbiote and thus does not require kel’no’reem, he still finds solace in meditation.

We sit in easy silence, centering our breathing and our thoughts.  I know he will speak when he is ready.

“I ask for your forgiveness, Daniel Jackson.”

My eyes snap open.  “Forgiveness?”

“My selfish needs caused you great discomfort in the game,” Teal’c confesses.  “My stubborn refusal to give up cost you your life many times over.”

“You died as well, Teal’c,” I insist, ignoring the rest of his remark.

“My life is immaterial, Daniel Jackson.”

“What?  How can you say that?” I cry in dismay.

“I chose to play the game,” Teal’c explains simply.  “If I lost and died, I had no one to blame but myself.  Do you not agree it was my ego, my refusal to give up that put my life and yours in danger?”

“It’s not that simple, Teal’c,” I argue.  “That machine used your strength and your honour against you.  It cheated.  When you realized you couldn’t win, you accepted that.  As hard as it was for you, you accepted defeat.  But the game changed the rules; it wouldn’t let you leave.  You died trying to quit the game.  The game was supposed to have ended.  It wasn’t your fault, Teal’c.  We all saw it.”

“And you chose to come to my rescue, Daniel Jackson,” Teal’c acknowledges with a small bow.

“We all did, Teal’c,” I correct.  “Jack, Sam, me, we all volunteered to do it.”  I shrug and smile.  “As Jack said, ‘that’s what we do.’  They only let me do it because they didn’t think the machine would pick up any tricks from me.”

“A gross underestimation on their part and a fatal error on the machine’s part,” Teal’c observes solemnly.

“Never underestimate the power of friendship,” I say with a smile

“Indeed.  I am proud and honoured to be your friend, Daniel Jackson.”

“Same here,” I say quietly.

Teal’c bows his head and closes his eyes.  The time for talk is over.  I smile and close my eyes.

                                                *********

“Jack, why are you still here?  It’s eight o’clock,” I admonish, frowning at his frazzled appearance.

“Crap, Daniel, I am so friggin’ behind,” he growls, scowling contemptuously at an alarmingly large stack of paperwork.

“Don’t you have help for this stuff?” I ask, plucking a form off the top.  “Yukon Gold, again?”

“”Oy,” Jack sighs, tossing his pen down in defeat.

“Seriously, Jack, shouldn’t someone be helping you with this?  I thought Walter—”

“He already has,” Jack admits.  “You should have seen it before.”

“Ouch,” I wince.   “Well, you did spend a lot of time with Teal’c and me the other day.  I never really thanked you for that, so thank you.”

“It was a little more pressing than this crap,” Jack replies.

I nod, but somehow I can’t imagine General Hammond dropping everything to spend hours with Teal’c and me.  He would definitely come by and be kept apprised of the situation, but he would not have dropped his duties.  A general doesn’t have that luxury, and that includes General O’Neill.  Now he’s paying the price.

“Pack it in, Jack,” I say gently.

“Daniel, I can’t leave this—”

“I’ll buy you dinner.”

His mouth hangs open as he stares at me in disbelief.

I smile.  “Going, going—”

“Okay,” he says, jumping to his feet, “but can we just get some take-out and go to your place, seeing as it’s on the way home?”

“Sure,” I readily agree. 

"Sweet,” he grins.  “Let’s get out of here before it procreates,” he says, gesturing to the pile on his desk.

                                                            *****

“Jack, you should take some of this home with you.”

“You pushing me out already?”

“No, no, no.  I just don’t feel right keeping all this,” I explain, gesturing to several half-eaten containers of Chinese food spread out on the table.

“You paid for it,” Jack reasons, “but if you insist, I wouldn’t mind some of that Kung-pao chicken.”

“It’s yours.”

“And the almond guy ding was pretty good.”

“O-okay,” I nod.

“Oh, the lemon chicken.  I have to have some of the lemon chicken,” he declares.

“Right.  Why don’t I divide everything up?” I suggest.

“Great idea.  I’ll give you a hand,” Jack offers enthusiastically.

I smile and shake my head as Jack attacks the job with gusto, nibbling at the leftovers as he does so.  Soon we have the bounty divvied up and I refrigerate the lot.  I close the door and turn to see Jack licking his fingers.

“Sorry I can’t offer you any dessert,” I murmur.

“We’ve still got these,” Jack crows, holding up the little bag of fortune cookies.  “Two for each of us.”

“Take the ones you want; I’ll put on the coffee.”

“Okay,” Jack agrees as he rummages in the bag.

I smile and shake my head as I hear him crack open a cookie and take a bite.

“Hey, they’re even fresh!” he exclaims.  “Nothing worse that a stale fortune cookie.”

“What’s your fortune?” I ask, pouring water in the coffeemaker.

“Let’s see … for crying out loud.”

“What?”

“You will travel great distances,” Jack reads out.  “What a rip.  Like I need a fortune cookie to tell me that.”

“Maybe the second one will be better,” I laugh.

“I doubt it.  Here, you try one,” he says, thrusting the bag under my nose.

I dutifully reach in and pull out a cookie.

“Don’t forget to take a bite first,” Jack says as I crack it open.

“I know the drill,” I say as I obediently take a bite.  I open my fortune and smile.

“What does it say?” Jack asks impatiently.

I hold the little piece of paper up with a flourish.  “Patience is a virtue that serves you well at work and at home.”

“Get out, it doesn’t say that,” Jack growls, snatching the paper from my hand.  He reads it and sighs.

“Stupid fortune cookies.”

I grin and open my last cookie.  I take a bite and open the strip of paper.  “You are in good company,” I read aloud.  “Well, can’t argue with that,” I shrug.

Jack grins and opens his last cookie.  He chews thoughtfully as he stares at the paper.

“Well?” I prod, curious as to Jack’s reticence.

He hands it to me silently.

I raise my eyebrows at his behaviour, but I take the fortune.

“A recent promotion may affect those closest to you,” I read out quietly.

I look up at Jack, and I don’t like what I see.

“Jack, your being a general did not put Teal’c or me in that chair.”

“Maybe not, but it sure as hell put you on Avedon,” he counters.

“Only because I insisted.  Plus, you knew I had to, and I can’t believe you’re taking a fortune cookie seriously.”

“We’re not talking about a fortune cookie, Daniel.  We’re talking about decisions I now have to make as a general.  Decisions that can potentially put every SG team member in peril,” Jack argues.

“So, what are you saying?  You’re sorry you took the promotion?  You made a mistake?” I ask.

He looks at me intently. “I’ve considered both those possibilities,” he says quietly.

“And?”

“And I don’t know,” he answers.

He looks beaten, and my heart goes out to him.  I can’t imagine the burden he now carries.  General Hammond has always been a general for as long as I’ve known him, but Jack has literally been thrown into the lion’s den.  I wish I could help him.  All I can offer is the truth and my support.

“Jack, my opinion may not mean a lot, but I think you’re doing a hell of a job.”

He cocks his head and gives me a little sad smile.

“You’re wrong, Daniel.”

I sigh and open my mouth, ready to argue.

“Your opinion always means a lot, especially to me,” he adds.

“Oh,” I say, surprised at the unexpected response.  “Well then, that’s good because I mean it.”

“You gonna make that coffee or what?” Jack asks.

“Patience, Jack, patience,” I reply, wagging my finger.

He chuckles and leans back against the counter as I fill the coffee filter.  I switch on the machine and turn to see Jack watching me, an odd introspective look on his face.

“What are you thinking?” I ask

His eyes flick up to mine, and I’m surprised and concerned at the sadness I see.

“Jack?”

“I miss it, Daniel.  I miss this,” he says, gesturing to the coffeemaker.  “I miss watching you make coffee on a mission.  I miss hearing Carter explain an obscure Earth trait to Teal’c.  I miss watching your backs.”

He gives an embarrassed shrug that tugs at my heart.

“Jack, believe it or not, you’re still out there with us,” I say sincerely.  “In fact, we talk about you all the time,” I add light-heartedly.

“Yeah, I can imagine,” he chuckles.

“Of course, we’ve only gone through the Stargate twice since you became general,” I murmur, frowning.

“Do I hear whining?” Jack queries, his hand cupping his ear.

“I don’t whine.”

“Besides, you went to Avedon three times so, technically, you’ve been through the gate four times,” Jack reasons.

“That doesn’t count,” I insist.

“Definite whine there, Danny boy.”

I open my mouth to protest, but snap it shut.  I know when I’m beat.

“Good answer,” Jack teases. 

“I did come back with that great jacket,” I muse.

“Which I’m still waiting for you to lend me.”

“I’m breaking it in,” I smile.

“I’ve heard that before,” Jack mutters.

“I could go back and try to get another one.”

“Nice try.  You are staying put for awhile.”

I smile and check on the coffee.  I think of Jack’s earlier words about missing the act of seeing me make coffee.  I turn to meet his gaze.

“It’s not the same for us either. Jack.  We do miss you, and from a purely selfish perspective I wish you were never promoted.”

Jack cocks his head to the side and smiles.

“Thank you, Daniel.”

“I meant what I said about you doing a great job here,” I reiterate, “but … well …”

“It’s not the same.”

“No, it’s not the same,” I agree.  “Things change whether we want them to or not.  I used to whine, um, argue with General Hammond about not having enough time to study what we find out there.”

“And now that you’ve got the time you wish you were out there,” Jack says, gesturing upwards.

I smile and shrug.

“Now you see why I have grey hair,” Jack grumbles.

“Admit it, you love it,” I tease.  “You’d miss me if I were gone.”

A brief, haunted shadow passes over Jack’s face, and I realize the callousness of what I just said.

“Uh, coffee’s ready,” I murmur, turning to grab the pot.  I don’t want to see that look in Jack’s eyes.  I don’t want to think of the pain I put him through when I ascended, or the fear he must have felt when I was missing on Avedon.

I pour the coffee and replace the pot, wincing as I use a little too much force.  A heavy arm settles across my shoulders and my tension vanishes.  Without thinking, I wrap my arm around Jack’s waist and close my eyes as he pulls me in close.

“You came home, Daniel.  Both times.  That’s all that really matters.”

I glance at him sideways, and my chest tightens at the warmth and love in his eyes.

“I will never forget where home is,” I vow.

Jack’s eyes go misty and he laughs, giving me a gentle shake before releasing me.  “Good thing Carter isn’t here.  She’d be blubbering all over the place.”

 “Good thing we’re men,” I nod, surreptitiously swiping my eyes.

“Manly men,” Jack clarifies, sniffing audibly.

“And full of crap,” I chuckle.

“Ah, but manly crap,” Jack corrects.  “So, what’s on the tube tonight?” he asks, reaching for his coffee and deftly changing the topic.

“Actually, I thought maybe we could reminisce a little,” I suggest.

“Reminisce?  Hell, that’s going to require more than just coffee,” Jack warns.

“That’s okay, I stocked up,” I reply.  “Drink your coffee first.”

 “You went shopping?” Jack says aghast

“I’m home so much now I get to shop regularly.”

“Whining, Daniel, whining,” Jack admonishes with a wagging finger.

“Speaking of whining,” I say as we settle in the living-room.  “Remember when Sam dug all those holes on PX9 then forgot to fill them in, and you promptly stepped in one and sprained your ankle?”

“I could’ve broken my neck,” Jack retorts in obvious remembrance.

“Yes, as I recall, the words were, ‘Damn it, Carter, I almost broke my goddamn neck.’” I mime in Jackspeak.  “Poor Sam catered to your every whim the rest of that trip.”

“Yeah, that was sweet,” Jack purrs.  “But let’s not forget that floral-festooned planet with the green water.”

“I thought it was grass,” I mutter in defense.

“You were cleaning your glasses and not paying attention,” Jack clarifies.

“It was green, flat, and grassy-looking,” I insist.

“It was seaweed.”

“I lost my allergy pills in that muck,” I mutter, grimacing at the memory.

“No shit.  I had to sacrifice my T-shirt so you could blow your nose every five seconds.”

“You didn’t have to,” I counter.

“A five year-old with glazed doughnut face is one thing, but a thirty year-old?”

“I wasn’t that bad,” I insist.

“Right, oh, and what about that mushroom planet?” Jack asks with a raised eyebrow.  “You started ripping your clothes—”

“I think there’s something on TV I wanted to watch,” I say, grabbing the remote.

“Okay, okay, we’ll pick on Carter and Teal’c,” Jack laughs, plucking the remote out of my hand.

“Gets my vote,” I say in relief.  “Ready for a beer now?”

“You need to ask?” Jack replies in bemusement.

I smile and return to the kitchen to get Jack a beer.  I haven’t seen him this relaxed in a very long time, and I hope he doesn’t regret coming here. 

I come back to the living-room to find Jack has kicked off his shoes and is resting them comfortably on my coffee table.

“I hope those are clean,” I say dryly.

“Clean enough to eat off,” Jack replies.  “Want to smell?” he asks, sticking his foot in my face.

“I’ll pass,” I grimace, turning my head and holding out his beer.

“Thank you, Daniel,” he says solemnly as he takes the beer.

The emotion in his voice surprises me.

“It’s only a beer,” I say, puzzled.

“Not that, although I thank you for that, too.  No, I mean for dragging me away from the office.  I needed this.  So, thank you, Daniel.” 

”You’re welcome.  Truth is, I needed it, too.  I meant it when I said I’ve missed you.”

“Yeah, me too,” he says softly.

We look at each other, smile, and look away in embarrassment.

“So, Carter and Teal’c,” Jack says.  “Who should we start with?”

“Sam’s too easy.  Let’s start with Teal’c,” I suggest.

“Carter’s too easy, huh?” Jack grins.  “Something going on between you two I should know about?”

I rise to the bait and smile demurely.  “We’ve got to do something with all that down time.”

“Crap, you’re getting way too good at this,” Jack scowls.  “Takes all the fun out of it.”

“Sorry,” I chuckle, “but you taught me well.”

His eyes widen and he puffs out his chest a little.  “I have, haven’t I?”

I smile and nod.

“So, I guess this is where I’m supposed to say you’ve taught me a lot, too.” Jack says.

“Only if it’s true,” I shrug.

“Oh, okay,” Jack replies, relaxing into the couch.

“So?” I query.

“So?”

“Well?” I press.

“Okay, okay.  I’ve learned a lot from you, too,” he relents.

“Thank you.  Ready for something stronger?” I ask, gesturing to his empty bottle.

“Now you’re talking.  Make it a double.”

The way Jack’s acting, he’s likely to request a few doubles.  I quickly come to a decision.

“To be on the safe side, why don’t you stay here tonight?” I offer.

Jack looks at me and his eyes brighten.

“You’ve got the good stuff, don’t you?”

“The best,” I grin.

“You finished fixing up the bedrooms?” he asks, his eyes narrowing.

“Yes, Jack,” I sigh.  “The munchkin bed is gone and most of the masks are in my room or the den.  I bought a double bed for the guest room.”

“Sweet.  Can I use your toothbrush?”

“Don’t push it,” I warn.

“I guess I could always gargle with 30 year-old Scotch,” he muses.

“You would, too, wouldn’t you?”

His answering grin has me shaking my head in resignation.

“The things I do,” I mutter, getting up and heading for the kitchen.

“There’s that whining thing again,” Jack warns.  “Bring one for yourself.  You know I don’t like to drink alone.”

“Since when?” I ask, looking over my shoulder.

Jack just laughs and stretches out with his hands clasped behind his head.

I smile at the sight.  I think we’re both going to have headaches from hell tomorrow, but it’ll be worth it.  I really have missed my friend, and I plan to make the most of this evening.

“You got any cheese?” I hear Jack yell.

“Jack, we just ate,” I retort.

“That was at least thirty minutes ago.  You know how it is with Chinese food.”

“I know how it is with Jack O’Neill,” I mutter a little louder than necessary.

“I heard that!”

I grin and call out: “Stilton, gorgonzola, brie, or plain old cheddar?  And no, I don’t have Cheez Whiz.”

I smiled at the dead silence.  Any second now.

“You’re kidding?” Jack says, coming into the kitchen.

“I’m sorry, but I refuse to buy Cheez Whiz.”

“No, no, not that, the other,” Jack says.

I smile, open the fridge, and gesture to my selection.

“You eat like this all the time?” Jack asks, visibly shocked.

“Well, with all that down—”

“I don’t want to hear it,” Jack says, holding up a warning hand, “but if you have both single and double malt, I may just have to marry you.”

I smirk and open the cupboard to my little used, but well-stocked liquor cabinet.

“Holy crap, Daniel,” Jack breathes, staring at the array of bottles.

“A nice little inscription in Abydonian,” I suggest.

“What?” he says, looking at me puzzled.

“A simple gold band should suffice,” I reply, waving my ring finger in front of him.

“Oh, right.  Um, how about a weekly chess game instead?”

“Dumped even before the first date,” I sigh.

 “A little cheese with that whine?”

“Is that all I am to you, Jack?  A source of lactose solids and fermented grains?”

“For crying out loud, now you sound like Teal’c.”

“You dumped him, too?” I ask in wide-eyed horror.

“Daniel.”

“Jack.”

He looks at me with that insufferable look he gets and then he grins.  Next thing I know, I’m engulfed in a bear hug.  I grin and hug him back.  This is the Jack O’Neill I’ve really missed.

“Single or double malt?” I ask when we pull apart.

“Single, and maybe some of that moldy cheese,” he requests, ruffling my hair.  “I hear it’s good for the digestion.”

“Why don’t you get the drinks and I’ll get the cheese,” I suggest.  “I’ll have a port.”

“You gotta deal,” Jack says, diving for the cupboard.

We putter silently together, absorbed with our tasks.  Something makes me look up and our eyes meet.  We look at each other for several seconds, smile, and resume our tasks.  Our silent conversation warms us both.  The only thing that could be better would be if we didn’t have to go to work in the morning.

“We should call in sick tomorrow,” Jack says suddenly.

“What?” I ask, shocked at the suggestion rather than his reading my mind.

“I am the general,” he reasons.  “There’s gotta be some perks.”

“You can’t do that.”

“I know, but it’d be nice,” he shrugs.

“Well, it’s only three days till our weekend.  Chess at your place?” I suggest.

Jack’s face lights up.  “It’s a date, er, a deal,” he corrects.  “But don’t expect stuff like stilton.”

“Let me guess: chocolate-covered Froot Loops and cheese in a squeeze bottle,” I say.

“You’ve been spying on me,” Jack accuses with narrowed eyes.

I smile and put the cheeses back in the fridge.

“All that down-time,” I murmur.

“Don’t start with that again,” Jack grouses, swatting me lightly on the back of the head.

I smile and pick up the tray of cheese and crackers.  “All set?”

“I’ll watch your six,” Jack says, picking up the drinks.

“Speaking of six,” Jack says as I lead the way to the living-room, “remember when Carter downed that six pack of Edoran ale?”

“You mean that stuff you assured her was as mild as lemonade?”

“I may have left something out,” Jack acquiesces, resuming his seat.

“Hold it,” I warn as he starts to swing his feet up.  “No feet on the table when there’s food on the table.”

“Like you can smell my socks over that cheese,” he scoffs, but obediently places his feet on the floor.

I smile and pick up my glass.  “To the future.”

Jack lifts his glass and reciprocates.  “To the future.”

His voice is quiet and subdued, and try as he might, he can’t hide the haunted look in his eyes.  Not from me.

“Whatever the future brings, Jack, we’ll always have this,” I say, indicating the two of us.  Even if we no longer work together or, God forbid, one of us dies, our friendship is rock solid, and nothing will change that.

Jack understands what I’m saying, and I’m relieved to see him smile.  “Yeah, to us.”

“To us,” I smile.

“And to Carter and Teal’c for providing so much fodder for reminiscing,” Jack adds with a twinkle in his eye.

We take our respective sips then settle into the couch for what will no doubt be a long and raucous night.  We wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Disclaimer: Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of Stargate (II) Productions, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions. This story is for entertainment purposes only and no money exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. This is a parody for entertainment purposes only. The original characters, situations, and story are the property of the author. This story may not be posted anywhere without the consent of the author.