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Title: But We Have Dwelt In Tents, And Have Obeyed
Author: Thothmes
Word count: 17,543
Rating/Warning: PG-13 for a few words and a few discussions of violence.
Spoilers: Emancipation, First Commandment, Thor's Hammer, Bloodlines, Singularity, Cor-ai, Enigma, Prisoners, Family, Tokra Parts 1&2, In The Line of Duty, The Gamekeeper, The Fifth Race, Serpent's Song, Point of View, Learning Curve, Foothold, Shades of Grey, Forever and a Day, Past and Present, The Other Side, Crossroads, Divide and Conquer, Tangent, Chain Reaction, Absolute Power, Prodigy, Exodus, Fifth Man, Beast of Burden, Between Two Fires, Wormhole X-Treme, 48 Hours, Menace, Meridian, Cure, Disclosure, Redemption, Prophesy, Orpheus, Fragile Balance, Space Race, Birthright, Heroes, Icon, Gemini, Affinity, It's Good To Be King, Moebius. Pairings, all canon: Jack/Sara, Daniel Sha're, Teal'c/Drey'ac, Moebius AU Jack/Moebius AU Sam.
Prompt: Prompt #169. Classic Team. Random conversations during night watches/in tents off-world. I went with tents.








But We Have Dwelt In Tents, And Have Obeyed

by Thothmes



"And ye murmured in your tents and said..." Deuteronomy 1:27


IN THE BEGINNING

"Captain"

"Sir?"

"I can hear you lying at attention. I need you rested and alert tomorrow, so cut it out!"

"Yessir."

[intense silence]

"Captain?"

"Sir?"

"What do you get when you cross an elephant and a kangaroo?"

"It's not physically possible with Earth's current knowledge of genetic manipulation. At least not with a viable result."

"It's a joke, Captain."

"Oh."

"So what do you get when you cross an elephant and a kangaroo?"

"A kangaphant? An elleroo?"

"Enormous holes in Australia."

[small huff of laughter]

"That’s better, Captain. Now go to sleep."

"Good night, Colonel."

"Good night, Captain."


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


"Ummm...Teal'c?"

"Yes, Daniel Jackson?"

"About the candle..."

[silence]

"You'll put it out when you sleep, right?"

"I do not require sleep."

"Because it is a fire hazard if no one is-- Wait! You don't need to sleep now, or you don't need sleep at all?"

"Jaffa do not sleep. We require only kel'no'reem."

"Thought inwards... or thought within.... Meditation?"

"Indeed. We use it to refresh and renew our bodies. It is necessary so that the larval goa'uld within may cleanse our bodies of that which causes disease."

"I could get a lot more work done if I didn't have to sleep!"

"One does not work during kel'no’reem. One focuses the mind and relaxes."

"So you're just going to sit there. All night."

"Indeed. I will, however, emerge for my watch."

"Oh. 'Night, Teal'c."

"I believe the correct response would be 'Sweet dreams, Doctor Jackson.'"


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


"I gotta warn you, Teal'c, we put in a lotta miles today in some pretty hot weather."

[silence]

"So when I take these puppies off, it might stink in here for a bit."

"Indeed."

"Indeed it might, or indeed it does?"

"Both, O'Neill."

"Ah........Sorry about that."

"Indeed."

"Now see, that's just mean!"


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


"Ooops! Sorry! I'll just..."

"No, it's fine, Daniel! I'm decent. I've been doing this a while and I know how to change and stay covered."

"Oh."

"Daniel, you can open your eyes! I'm done."

"Okay."

"You have a side of the tent you prefer?"

"Uhhh...no...Not really. Do you?"

"No. I'll just put my bag here, and yours can go there."

"Sam?"

"Yeah?"

"Did the military have a class about how to do that?"

"Do what?"

"Change and stay covered."

"No. Mostly I think it’s just women who know show the ones that don't."

"Ha! I'll have to tell Jack!"

"Tell the Colonel I learned to change and stay decent?"

"No. Tell him you didn't learn how in a course. Jack told me the military offered classes in everything."

"Ah."

[silence]

"Uhh...Daniel? Do you really have to bring that up with the Colonel? Because I'd find it a bit-"

"Awkward?"

"Yeah."

"No. I don't have to. I wouldn't want to make you uncomfortable, Sam."

"Thanks, Daniel."

"Think nothing of it."


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


"You do not sleep, CaptainCarter."

"No."

"You are troubled by the events of this evening."

"Yes. I can't help thinking of what might have happened if the Colonel had not shown up when he did. I don't know what was in that stuff they gave to me, but by the time he got there I'd already taken off my boots, my jacket, my pants, and my t-shirt. Any more and I would have been naked."

"But you were not."

"If I'd started stripping just a few minutes earlier..."

"The past is complete. If you learn its lesson, it has no further hold on you. What matters is the future."

"That's...helpful. Thank you, Teal'c."

"You are welcome."


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


"Owwwww!"

"Careful, Jack! That book is out of print! If you break the binding, I can't just order up another one on Amazon!"

"Like I can just order up another foot on 2LeftFeet.com!"

"You could...I don't know...look where you were stepping?"

"Now see, that's part of the problem. There's almost no place in here I can be stepping without crushing some of your crap! This is a tent, a small tent, I might add, and not your spacious office at the S.G.C. If you insist on bringing an entire reference library, and camera gear, and all those trowels and brushes and other paraphernalia, you need to keep it all on that side."

"Oooh! Paraphernalia! Been reading the dictionary?"

"I have a vocabulary. Some of it is more than four letters long!"

"I know, Jack."

"I think I bent back the nail of my big toe on that tome of yours!"

"Want me to kiss it and make it better?"

"NO!"

"Okay then."

"Okay."

[silence]

"You know the pictographs on that eastern wall were fascinating. They looked like a mix of Mayan and -"

"Daniel?"

"Yes?"

"I'm sleeping!"

"No you're not!"

"Am."

"Aren't."

"Am!"

"Aren't!"

"Well, I was trying to, but somebody was making noise!"

"Sorry. 'Night, Jack."

"Good night, John Boy."

"You're the one who's Jonathan."

"Sleeping!"

"Right. Sorry."


THE FIRST YEAR



"So, Captain, how's the back?"


"Dr. Fraiser cleared me for duty, sir."


"Noticed that. We wouldn't be here on P3X-...."


"389, sir."


"- if you hadn't been cleared."


"No, sir."


"So. How's the back?"


"I'll be fine, sir."


"I'm sure. I take it you're still a little sore."


"Just a little."


[silence]


"I was impressed by how you handled that Turban fellow."


"Abu? He was just a kid, sir."


"No. The other one. Turban? The knife fight?"


"Ah. Turghan. Thank you, sir."


"About Abu... If I had asked you for a threat assessment that first night..."


"I would have said very low, sir. I assumed that if women were so sequestered, then they were equally well guarded."


"We assumed."


"Yes. We did."


"Kinda made an ass out of you and me... Well, me mostly. I'm in charge, my call."


"Abu and Nya were kind of a wild card, sir. You couldn't have known."


"It was my job to find out, Captain. So. Operationally, what changes do we make going forward?"


"You said it at the debriefing, sir. No splitting the team unless it's two and two."


"And?"


"Never assume, sir?"


"That's right, Captain. From now on, you catch me – catch any of us – assuming, I want you to call us on it, and we'll do the same for you. We hit another world where they segregate the women, and we leave and come back with Airman Westerholm or one of the other women on base, so you won't be by yourself."


"Probably wise, sir."



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



"You are not sleeping."


"No, Teal'c. I'm not."


"You are still troubled by the events of our last mission."


"Yes."


"Your actions were correct. Both General Hammond and Colonel O'Neill confirmed that at the debriefing."


"My actions during the mission, yes."


"Then, may I ask what is troubling you?"


"I just wonder, Teal'c. I knew Jonas Hanson as well or better than anyone else on the base. If I'd known he would go off the rails like that I would have said something, told someone -"


"Off the rails?"


"Go crazy. Exhibit signs of mental illness."


"I do not understand this 'mental illness'."


"You don't... Jaffa don't have illnesses of the mind?"


"Some display cowardice. They are not allowed to continue."


"Oh. Wow. So what do they do if they can't serve?"


"While it is true that they cannot continue to serve, as they would be a liability in battle, that is not what I meant. They are not allowed to continue living."

"Oh."


"Can you explain mental illness?"


"Mental illnesses are malfunctions of the brain in the areas that control reasoning or emotion. They can include not just unusual or illogical thought processes, but also inappropriate actions, responses, and beliefs, as well as hallucinations and delusions."


"Hallucinations?"


"Experiencing visions or sounds that do not actually occur."


"Ah. And delusions?"


"In this case, the conviction that things are other than they actually are."


"Human beings are fragile."


"I suppose by your standards, we are."


"Is this 'mental illness' contagious?"


"No. Contagious illnesses are caused by microbes – germs – which attack the body until the person's immune system can fight them off. Although we do not entirely understand all the causes and mechanisms of mental illness, which seem to involve both genetic susceptibilities, environmental causes, and life events, our current understanding of mental illnesses is that they are basically caused by imbalances and malfunctions in brain chemistry."


"Our larval goa'uld protect us from that. How did you know that Jonas Hanson had a case of mental illness?"


"He thought he was a god, Teal'c!"


"So the Goa'uld are mentally ill?"


"I don't really think so, Teal'c. I think they are cynical and power hungry."


"Indeed."


[silence]


"Is not your Dr. MacKenzie a doctor who treats and diagnoses mental illness?"


"Yes."


"Yet he passed Jonas Hanson as fit for the mission."


"Yes."


"It is his job to know the signs and symptoms of this disease, even if they are subtle."


"Yes."


"And you are not this type of doctor."


"No. I'm a not a doctor at all, if you mean doctor as someone who takes care of illness. My title of doctor merely means that I am qualified to teach Theoretical Astrophysics at the university level."


"As Daniel Jackson's degrees do."


"Yes."


"It seems to me that it is Dr. MacKenzie that should be lying awake. This is not your area of knowledge."


"Yes, but -"


"Would you blame Colonel O'Neill if he did not see the subtlety in shades of meaning in a translation, even if the language were another he knows?"


"I'm not sure he even knows another language"


"That is immaterial. The question is a hypothetical one. In any case, he knows the language called Spanish. I have heard him address Airman Guzman in that language."


"Oh. I guess not. It's not his specialty."


"Indeed. It is the same with you in this case. You need to do what Col. O'Neill would call 'cutting yourself some slack'. You are not responsible for the actions of Col. Hanson."


"I guess not. Thanks, Teal'c. You're really starting to get the hang of this slang thing."


"Thank you. May I ask? 'Get the hang', is this related to the 'how's it hanging?' that O'Neill uses?"


"Not really. Get him – or better still, Daniel – to explain the difference."


"Thank you. I shall."


"Thank you, Teal'c. I think I can sleep now."


"You are welcome. I believe I should wish you 'sweet dreams'."


[silence]


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



"Before you sleep, I wish to speak with you concerning our last mission. You destroyed the doorway to the labyrinth to free me, and in so doing, you may have destroyed the path to freedom for your wife. I am doubly in your debt."

"Doubly?"

"I also bear the guilt of having selected your wife to be offered to Ammonet."

"I thought we had agreed to put that behind us."

"We did. The debt remains. In Jaffa culture, this is important. My honor will be yours until both debts are paid."

"Oh. I see. That's a big thing."

"Indeed."

"Would it have been better as far as the debt is concerned if Jack or Sam had shot it instead?"

"It would not. You are my teammate. You have suffered harm so that I might benefit. The debt remains. That you were the one to perform the action simply deepens the regret I feel that you have suffered this harm. I would not wish to cause you to feel guilt. It is a most uncomfortable emotion."

"But I don't. Feel guilt, I mean. I was angry at first – Oh! Not with you, with Jack! Because he made me be the one to choose, when I was the only one with so much at stake. I was going to confront him about it, but I was waiting for a chance to talk to him when you weren't there. It wasn't your fault you needed someone to destroy the doorway to save you. I didn't want you to feel bad about it."

"I do not feel bad about that. I am what I am. I require a larval goa'uld to live. What I regret is that you were harmed, and that you might feel contributory to your wife's condition."

"Yeah. That's why I was so angry with Jack. But when I thought about it from his point of view, I think he had to do it. 'Never leave anyone behind.' He says it all the time. He lives it. Our rescue of Earnest was a good example. He wasn't going to leave that planet without me, even if we got stranded and fell into the sea with the castle. He wouldn't leave me behind, even though that was what I wanted... what I thought I wanted. He couldn't have me on his team if I was willing to leave you behind just because of what I might be able to get at some unknown time in the future. I know now that I really belong on this team, and that we are a team, not just an odd assortment of misfits."

"Misfits?"

"People who don't fit in. Jack would probably make you watch Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer... A Christmas program for children. It's been around for many years. And it has misfits in it."

"We are misfits?"

"Well, I'm not exactly military. You're Earth's only Jaffa. Jack's a bit of a black sheep -"

"Black sheep?"

"He's not very obedient soldier."

"He is not. He is a warrior of unusual worth. Major Samuels is an obedient soldier, but not a warrior. O'Neill is the better man."

"I think you are right, Teal'c. As far as the Pentagon is concerned, though, Jack is still a bit of a black sheep."

"And Major Carter? She is obedient. She is a fine warrior. How is she a misfit?"

"Well, she's a woman."

"This much is obvious."

"There still aren't many women in frontline positions. I think Sam may be the only woman in a combat position. I'm not sure how she was able to get that. Probably because she has scientific expertise that no one else has. You'd have to ask Jack or General Hammond. It makes her a misfit too.

"I see. We were, however, already a team."

"How do you know that, Teal'c?"

"I believe that each member of this team would be willing to die for another. We are bonded. We are strong."

"Well, from my point of view, we're stronger now that I know what I'm willing to do."

"Then I thank you for your allegiance to the team."

"You're welcome. Can we erase one debt?"

"We cannot."

"Can you tell me how to get some debt of my own?"

"It is a lengthy topic. Humans require sleep. Jaffa do not. You must sleep."

"Another time then. Good night, Teal'c."

"Good night, Daniel Jackson."


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


"So, Teal'c. A son."


"Indeed."


"I had a son, once. Charlie."


"I know."


"Yes. Of course. Ry'ac seems like a good kid. Brave."


"He acquitted himself well."


[silence]


"You are troubled, O'Neill. You do not sleep."


"Just thinking."


"Your thoughts trouble you."



[silence]


"Teal'c?"


"Yes, O'Neill."


"If Ry'ac had not gotten the snake?"


"He would have died."


"Doc tells me that the snake acts as your immune system."


"Indeed it does."


"Starting when?"


"I do not know. I would guess that the priests would know. It is they who are called when the young fall ill."


"Do you know of any Jaffa who have not been implanted?"


"I do not. Those who are not granted the 'honor' of implantation are put to death."


"Jaffa kill their own children?"


"They are executed by others. By Jaffa from another of their god's territories, brought in to see to the matter. If the young die well, they can bring honor on the family, making up for the disgrace of not being chosen for a prim'ta."


"Doc says that she thinks that the fact that Ry'ac got as sick as he did was because he no longer had a functioning immune system."


"That is indeed possible. Even likely."


"You wanted to prevent the implantation."


"Yes. It did not prove possible, however."


"You knew he might die without a Junior of his own?"


"It was a possibility."


"And you wanted to prevent the implantation."


"Death is a fact of life, O'Neill."


"He's your kid!"


"A life of slavery is a life of dishonor. I wished to spare him. I am certain he would have died with honor."


"It's life, Teal'c! Where there's life, there's hope!"


"This is something I have learned from you, O'Neill."


"Really?"


"Indeed."


[silence]


"Still you do not sleep."


"I'm sorry we couldn't get them out, Teal'c."


"There would have been no other Jaffa. I doubt that Drey'ac would have consented to come."


"Inside a mountain is no place to bring up a kid, either."


"It is not."


"Over time, as word spreads, there are bound to be Jaffa that want to leave the Goa'uld"


"Bra'tac spoke to me of his hopes for this."


"So have Hammond and I. We want to have a place in mind to steer them to, where they will be safe from the Goa'uld. For now it's the Land of Light. We want you to sit in on the meetings on the search for an Alpha Site. When we find one, we want it to be a place for the Jaffa who need asylum to retreat to, before they find a place to call their own."


"And you think that one day there will be a place where Drey'ac and Ry'ac can go."


"Yeah."


"It is something to hope for."


"Yeah."


"You have taught me much, O'Neill. You have given me hope for my people, and for my son."


"That's good, Teal'c. That's good."


[silence]


"You could not save your son, O'Neill, but you have saved mine."


"Yeah."


"Your son's death may yet free an entire people."


"Well, there's that."


"Many mighty warriors have done less."


"Still would have rather seen him go to his prom."


"Prom?"


"A dance. For high school students."


"In Jaffa culture, because you have saved Ry'ac's life, any honor he gains brings honor to you too, as do the action of his heirs."


"So honorary grandpa. Someday."


"Indeed."


"That's nice. Really nice. Do all Jaffa have their kids as late in life as you do, Teal'c?"


"They do not."


"So there's a chance I'll live to see the grandkids?"


"Indeed."


"I look forward to that."



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



"Sam?"

"Mmmm?"

"Oh, sorry! Just a minute. I want to put my glasses in the case. There. Anyway, Sam?"

"Yes"

"You don't have to answer if... Well, anyway, about Cassandra... I just kind of thought that you might have wanted to take her. You really seemed to bond with her, and she was really pretty attached to you, right from the start. You were good with her too. Did you even consider taking her?"

"I couldn't, Daniel."

"Couldn't?"

"Couldn't. What time did you leave the mountain last night, Daniel?"

"Around midnight. Jack chased me out. He told me if I didn't get home and get some sleep, he wouldn't let me come on this mission. I don't think he understands the way that intellectuals work. When the work is flowing along, it's important to see the thoughts and ideas through."

"He understands what goes on out in the field, Daniel. Lack of sleep can be dangerous. It slows your reflexes and interferes with concentration."

"Interferes with concentration. Proof positive that Jack has insomnia!"

"Daniel!"

"Anyway, don't try to change the subject. Why can't you take Cassie?"

"I slept in my base quarters last night. The Colonel found me down in the geology lab discussing the mass spectrometry results from that rock sample that SG-5 brought back last week with Birnbach. They were really unusual, and the most likely hypothesis is that they contain a metal that is unknown to Earth science. We were both really excited. Anyway, it proves my point. I work all kinds of hours. I'm off-world sometimes for days at a time at short notice. Lately I've started to wonder if I shouldn't find a better home for Schrödinger, and he's just a cat, not a child. It wouldn't be fair to Cassie."

"But you love her!"

"So does Janet. She has a predictable schedule, at a higher pay grade, so she can employ someone to be there for those times when she is working nights, or when a shift runs a little late."

"I can see how it's probably better for Cassandra, but how about you? Are you okay with not getting to be her mom?"

"I'll still be there for her. I'll just be her Auntie Sam, not Mom. There's another thing, Daniel. This is a dangerous job, Daniel. I lost... When I was twelve, my mom was in an accident, and she didn't make it. I couldn't ever do that to a kid, Daniel. Cassandra has lost one mother already. She can't lose two. She just can't. Technically the SGC is a front-line posting, but Janet isn't really in much danger."

"Wow. I didn't know. So your mom was in the military too?"

"No, she was -"

"Kids? It's time to go night-night! We have a busy day tomorrow. Samples to collect, inscriptions to document..."

"Yes, sir. Good night, sir."

"Daaaad? Aren't you going to tuck me in?"

"Not liiiistening!"

"I'm thirsty. Can I have a drink of water?"

"Stillll not listening!"

"Are too! Good night, Sam."

"'Night, Daniel."


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



"Watch it, Jack!"


"Damn it, Daniel? What have I told you about your glasses! On your face or in the case!"


"I just put them to one side for a moment so I could rub my nose!"


"I rest my case. And your glasses need to rest in theirs."


"Okay, okay! Putting them in the case. Happy now?"


"Ecstatic. Or I will be when you explain what's eating you."


"Besides those annoying little black midge things?"


"Besides them. Need bug dope?"


"I used some, for all the good it did me."


[silence]


"Well?"


"Well what, Jack?"


"Spill it."


"I was just thinking."


"Thinking and giving Teal'c the Eye. And me for that matter."


"Yes. Thinking. You should try it some time."


"Nah. Hurts too much."


"Very funny, Jack."


"I thought so. What'cha thinking about, and how does it involve Teal'c and me?"


"I just don't think I understand the military. Any military."


"Not news to me. What's puzzling you now?"


"Jack, back on our last planet, Teal'c essentially admitted to war crimes, and the way you backed him up... You seemed to okay with that. Sam tells me both you and General Hammond admit to doing 'some damn distasteful things' for the military. I don't know what to think."


"I think you're lucky there are people like me who get our hands dirty so you can keep yours clean."


"So you've committed war crimes too?"


"That's classified."


"How convenient."


"And true. Don't forget true! Look, Daniel, if Teal'c had defied the orders of Apophis, do you think he would be here with us today?"


"No. No he wouldn't. Maybe he'd be at the head of a rebel Jaffa army."


"You really think so? You've seen the stranglehold the Goa'uld seem to have on the Jaffas’ minds. Would he really have been able to pull that off? One Jaffa, acting alone?"


"Probably not. No. What about you, Jack. What about General Hammond? Are you saying the means justify the ends?"


"Sometimes."


"It's good you can live with that, Jack. I couldn't."


[silence]


"You sorry you talked me out of it, back on Abydos?"


"What? No!!!" Of course not."


"Do you trust me?"


"Do I trust you to keep us safe? Absolutely. Do I trust you to always react the right way? No, not always. You and I will never see eye to eye in some things, Jack. Do I think you're a good and decent man, who acts according to his own moral code? I just... I don't... I guess, yeah, ultimately I do. Ultimately I think not even George Hammond could get you to do something if you thought it was wrong. He might be able to keep you from acting, but he could never get you to do something if you thought it was wrong."


"So you trust me?"


"Didn't I just say so?"


"And Teal'c."


"Yeah. Teal'c too."


"And General Hammond?"


"Him too."


"And Carter?"


"I've always trusted Sam."


"Lucky Carter. And Walter? And Airman Wood? And Siler?"


"Jaack! Yes. I trust you. I trust all of you! Happy?"


"Tickled pink! So. No more funny looks? No more staring?"


"Nope. Well, not much. I won't make any promises about where I stare before I've had that first cup of coffee in the morning."


"Good enough."


"Jack?"


"What now?!!"


"Who's Siler?"


"Tech. Sergeant, about my size, wrench to match?"


"Oh. Him. I've always wondered if he was just overcompensating."


"Ewww, Daniel! Don't ask, don't tell!"


"You military types are so uptight!"


"We like it that way. 'Night Daniel."


"Good night, Jack."




SECOND YEAR




"Sam?"

"Yes, Daniel?"

"I’ve been thinking about something Jack said, back on Hadante. He said it was obvious that I’d never been in prison, and then he as much as admitted that he had. How is that possible? I thought it was impossible to enlist if you had a record."

"First of all, Daniel, he didn’t actually say he’d been in prison. You challenged his knowledge of prisons, and his reply indicated that he had knowledge of them."

"True. But the implication –"

"Yeah. I think… I can’t be sure, but I think I may have seen his photo on the screen for a few moments when the networks were covering the release of P.O.W.’s during the Iraq war. I had a real sense of déjà-vu when I saw his photo in connection with that first mission through the stargate. I think that might be why."

"Wow. I didn’t know anyone in the military back then, so I probably didn’t give it as much attention as I ought to have. I was more concerned with the possibility that the bombing would destroy priceless archeological sites and artifacts, but I hear that the treatment that the P.O.W.’s got was brutal."

"It was."

"And Jack was there."

"I think so. I can’t be sure. I’m certainly not going to ask him… And you shouldn’t either, Daniel!"

"No. I don’t suppose he’d tell me anything if he did."

"Probably not."

"Not unless we needed to know."

"We don’t."

"No, thank God! It kind of explains…"

"Explains what?"

"When I was staying in the guest room at his house immediately after Abydos, while I was looking for a place, he had nightmares. I thought it was… I assumed it was about the death of his son, but he cried out, and it woke me, and just for a moment it seemed that he’d cried out in Arabic. I didn’t think that was likely. I dismissed it as a remnant of a forgotten dream of my own."

"Oh. That’s… awful!"

"I guess not all the bad guys are out here in space."

"Nope. Some of them are even Senators, like Kinsey."

"Sam Carter! You rebel! Dissing a member of the government you’re sworn to uphold."

"I have my moments. But it’s the Constitution I’m sworn to uphold, and the United States, and all her enemies foreign and domestic."

"Good point. Now all we need is to find evidence that Kinsey is trashing the Constitution."

"Can that wait for morning? It was a bit of a hike to get here, and we’re going to have to hike out again tomorrow."

"At least it will be mostly downhill this time. It’ll leave plenty of energy for us to solve all the world’s problems as we go along, I’m sure."


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


"Teal’c?"

"Yes, Major Carter?"

"I’ve been thinking about what came out at the debrief from our last mission."

"What is it that troubles you?"

"It doesn’t trouble me. I mean I don’t like the fact that the Colonel and Daniel had to keep living through those horrible experiences, over and over. There was nothing that either of us could do to stop it at first. We didn’t have enough information, so I don’t feel that I handled it wrong. No, this is more in the way of an observation."

"Indeed. Please share your conclusions."

"Well, Daniel and the Colonel are very different people…"

"This much is immediately apparent."

"No kidding. Still… for both of them the Gamekeeper chose a situation where they were helpless to help people they care about. Do you think that was because of who they were, or because it fit into the Gatekeeper’s plan for us?"

"Do you not think that if the Gamekeeper had been able to use you, he would have chosen a similar incident from your mind?"

"I guess, but that doesn’t really answer my question."

"Perhaps not. I think that it is a characteristic of Tau’ri. They will act to avert the death of another. Their motivation is stronger if the person is one that is close to them. This suited the Gamekeeper’s purpose, because it meant that O’Neill and Daniel Jackson were more likely to be caught up in their need to act, and less likely to examine the situation dispassionately."

"True. But if he wanted a situation where they would never stop trying, why didn’t he use… Why wasn’t it Charlie he tried to get the Colonel to rescue? The Colonel would never stop trying if he thought he had a chance to save him!"

"I do not know. Perhaps he knew of the extreme apathy that Daniel Jackson said he suffered after the death of his child. Perhaps he feared that sorrow would incapacitate O’Neill and he would provide insufficient entertainment for the observers. Perhaps he feared that the watchers would be too upset with the sight of a child dying violently, over and over, in a distressingly violent way. Perhaps he feared the magnitude and violence of O’Neill’s wrath when he realized that this event was being used repeatedly to elicit his reactions. Perhaps all of these."

"Yeah. I think that last might be right. I’m glad, whatever the reason, that he didn’t make the Colonel relive that. It was bad enough seeing Daniel, but at least he was a grown man, and could use the situation to understand what happened back then from an adult perspective. He says it helped him to understand that it really wasn’t his fault, and there was nothing that he could have done to save them. He was just a kid, and he didn’t understand the danger then, until it was too late."

"I am glad to hear that our experience has granted Daniel Jackson some additional measure of peace. It was not a suitable burden for a child."

"Indeed."

"I believe you have appropriated my expression."

"Indeed."


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



"Carter, I know I’ve asked this before –"

"’Wormhole’ is just an expression, sir, to help you envision a shorter path through an alternate space when a surface-bound journey to the same point –"

"I got that, Major. I mean about your dad –"

"What about him, sir?"

"If Jolinar was that bad –"

"Like I said sir, Jolinar was desperate, and I didn’t understand. I thought – we all thought – she was a Goa’uld. I fought her. Dad was prepared, and got a chance to consent. Selmac wasn’t running for her life. She didn’t need to force control to save herself."

"And if she did, would we know?"

"He seemed like my dad, sir. And he said his arthritis was gone. He was really happy about that. Anyway, where there’s life there’s hope, sir. Maybe someday Selmac will move on, and Dad can come back to Earth, without his cancer."

"Can you be sure it was Dad? Would you be able to tell? Was it you in that cell?"

"I’d… rather not say, sir."

"I see. Well, if it was you, I’m sorry."

"Thank you, sir."

"Your dad’s a brave man."

"He always was."

"I couldn’t do that. Take a snake."

"I hope you never have to, sir."

"From your mouth to God’s ear, Major."

"Yes, sir."


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



"You say the Asgard took the Ancient repository away?"

"Yep. All gone."

"How?"

"They just kind of held out a hand and siphoned it off."

"Just like that?"

"Just like that."

"How?"

"I just told you how!"

"No. I mean how can they just hold out a hand and do that?"

"Well, I don’t know Daniel. Suppose you tell me?"

"How should I know! I wasn’t there!"

"Well I was, and I told you all I know. Period. The end. Maybe the guys in the Bio Lab have some theories. Ask them."

"They weren’t there. They don’t have any data!"

"I don’t know if you noticed, but I wasn’t exactly in shape to go gathering data either, at the time, even supposing that gathering data was the sort of thing I did."

"You do it all the time, Jack, whenever you make a threat assessment."

"That’s different."

"How?"

"It’s my job!"

"It’s still gathering data!"

"No it’s not!"

"Yes! It is!"

"Well, yes it is, kinda. But not like you scientists do it. No tables. No statistical tables. No standard deviants."

"Deviations."

"From what?"

"Standard deviations. It’s ‘standard deviations’ not ‘standard deviants’."

"If you say so."

"But you had the Ancient knowledge."

"Had. Yes."

"So you must remember some of it. Think back to what you were doing when you had it. What do you remember?"

"Not much."

"You must remember something!"

"I remember regretting sticking my head in that thing! What was I thinking?"

"Yes! That! Tell me what you were thinking!"

"Well, this sucks!"

"Jaaack! You had untold wealth of knowledge in your head, and all I’m asking is that you share what you were thinking!"

"That’s what I was thinking! ‘Well, this sucks!’ That’s what I was thinking to myself."

"This sucks!"

"Yup. You got it!"

"No, I mean… Never mind."

"It’s not like I never use my mind. Just not as often as you and Carter."

"No… just… I meant… Never mind."

"You said that."

"GOOD NIGHT, Jack!"

"Nighty-night!"

"You had to have the last word, didn’t you?"

"Yep."



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


"So, Teal’c, Martouf said that Sokar has a sarcophagus, is this true?"

"I have no personal knowledge. If the Tok’ra say that this is so, it is likely true."

"Did you know he was likely to have one?"

"It was always a possibility."

"So you knew that when we turned him over, there was a possibility that he could be revived."

"Indeed."

"Then why didn’t you tell us that?"

"Would it have made a difference? The safety of your planet was at stake. Would you have chosen differently?"

"Me? No. I just think that it was General Hammond’s choice to make, and that he made it without knowing all the possible outcomes."

"Indeed. Your view has merit. I shall consider this in the future. Still, I doubt that the outcome would have been different."

"Probably not."

[silence]

"Teal’c?"

"Yes, Daniel Jackson?"

"What will Sokar do to Apophis?"

"Do you really wish to know?"

"No. No, I don’t suppose I do."

"Be assured that Apophis will suffer deeply and suffer long."

"Good. Oh, God! What sort of monster does that make me?"

"Not a monster but an honest man."

"Oh. Thank you, I think."


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



"O’Neill."

"Teal’c. Why are you… why are we whispering?"

"The others sleep. Is this not appropriate?"

"I see your point. What’s up?"

"Please explain to me ‘black power’.

Michael has mentioned it. While we waited for the rest to use the rest stop today there was a program on the television in the office of the gas station where an individual was saying that the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. proved that black power and revolution were the only way open for his people today. He had hair similar to this. Were the wearers of wigs oppressed? If we must remain here, should I join the struggle for their freedom in the time remaining to me before I must face the choices that ‘Junior’ will force upon me?"

"No, Teal’c. If it comes to that, Carter says we should try to lay low, so we don’t change… well, you know. We don’t want to do anything that might wipe out the SGC."

"It will be difficult."

"Very. But we’re not there yet. Time enough to worry about what to do when it comes to that. We have a plan. Let’s carry it out and not borrow trouble."

"We have sufficient trouble of our own."

"Sure do. ‘Black power’ was a name for a movement by Americans of African ancestry to take possession of all of their rights by demonstrating strength and being intimidating. It was a move away from the teachings of Martin Luther King who encouraged non-violence and avoided violent confrontation."

"I do not understand. Why were Americans of African ancestry not in full possession of their rights?"

"Well, a little over one hundred years ago, most of their ancestors were slaves. Unfortunately that meant that many people thought that they were not as good as other people."

"Slavery is not a determinant of an individual’s value."

"No. Of course not."

"So your people have learned."

"Well, most of us. There are still some ignorant yahoos out there."

"Yahoos?"

"Jerks."

"I see. Why black power? I resemble an African American. I am not black. I am brown."

"Uhhh… Why don’t you ask Daniel that one, T.? In the morning."

"I shall. You may sleep now."

"Good to know. You’ll keep an ear out?"

"I shall keep two."

"Good."




THIRD YEAR



"I have not yet had a chance to congratulate you, O’Neill, on the success of your plan to help the Urrone children."

"It wasn’t a plan, T. That was all Merrin’s doing. I just wanted to show a little girl how to be a kid."

"She has greatly improved many lives."

"I suppose there’s that. Didn’t help her much."

"She will be helped in time. Her people have only begun to relearn how to teach by means that do not rely on nanites."

"Yeah."

"You are not comforted by this."

"Oh, I am. A little. It could be worse. She could have been turned into a vegetable and just left there to rot like that boy, Tobin."

"Tomin. He too was improved by the knowledge Merrin shared."

"Really?"

"Indeed. You still mourn."

"It’s just that Merrin… She was like a little Carter, you know? Smart. Wise ass in that quiet, subversive Carter way. A little too serious sometimes. And now look at her! Sitting around drawing purple dogs. I know what it would cost Carter to become that. I just hope she doesn’t really feel the difference, that she doesn’t know how… diminished she is."

"She sacrificed herself for her people. Is that not what any one of you would do?"

"She’s just a kid, Teal’c. She shouldn’t have to."

"Daniel Jackson spoke with Kalen of returning in a year to see the progress that the children have made. Perhaps then you shall receive comfort."

"I doubt it. Even if Merrin is on the way back to being a little blond genius, I’ll know that I made it easier for an entire planet to continue to use their children to serve their own selfish ends. I said it before to Kalen, I’ll say it again. Those people don’t deserve children."

"If the universe were fair in that manner, then you would have many healthy children, the Jaffa would be free, and the Goa’uld would be confined to tanks where they could live out their lives and infest no one."

"So when my mother told me that ‘Life is not fair!’ she was right?"

"Indeed. And wise."

"I’ll buy that."

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


"What keeps you from rest this night, Major Carter?"

"I was just thinking. About the quantum mirror. It’s a shame that the General wants it destroyed before we can study it. There’s so much we could potentially learn!"

"Is it not possible that if you were to study the mirror, you would be able to learn how to manipulate the transition between realities, as it does?"

"Yes! Think of the knowledge of physics that we could gain! We could leap ahead by light years."

"So you were untouched by the repercussions of the differences between that reality and this?"

"I wouldn’t say that, Teal’c. It was awkward. I mean, what must General Hammond think? The other me was married to the Colonel! And that goodbye! It’s not going to help with the base gossip any."

"I believe that you are easy to distinguish from Dr. Carter. The hair is different. She is not you."

"No. She’s not. But she could have been. Or I could have been her. And the Colonel –"

"Is not her Colonel. I believe, from a remark O’Neill made to Daniel Jackson in the locker room that afternoon, that she discovered this as they said their goodbyes."

"Oh."

"Ours is the only reality that matters."

"To us."

"Indeed."


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


"Daniel? If it’s not too soon… If it is, just tell me. I don’t want to…"

"What is it, Sam?"

"It’s about Sha’re. I never really got a chance to know her, beyond a few moments on Abydos. Will you tell me about her?"

[silence]

"I’m sorry. It’s too early. I never should have brought it up! Forget I even said anything!"

"No, no! It’s fine. I want to talk about her. It’s one of the things that scare me – that without her physical presence in the universe, that she’ll fade. That I’ll forget her. Her passion. Her courage. The sound of her laughter. She was always the first in the settlement to laugh, you know. Often it was at me. All the simple little tasks that the Abydonians took for granted because they did them from earliest childhood, and learned the skill at their mother’s knee or under their father’s eye, I had to be shown and corrected, and shown again, and still I couldn’t seem to do it quite right. And Sha’re was always there… laughing. Then we’d look around, and all the others, except sometimes Skaara, would be practically owl-eyed with consternation, because she was laughing at Daniel Jackson, the Hero of the Rebellion, Slayer of Ra. Then we’d both go into convulsions!

We laughed so much.

She was smart. She showed me the way to get Jack and his men home, even though she couldn’t read, and she and I could hardly communicate at that point. I don’t know why the translator thingies didn’t work that first time –"

"I do. I can explain it, later."

"Please do. I’m curious.

Sha’re was smart. You’ve met Skaara. He’s pretty bright, but Sha’re was… freer in her mind. Less bound by rules and convention. She loved to learn. She and I would sit for hours, swapping stories of her people, their oral history, and I’d tell her of her ancestors, the Egyptians. I’d recite some of their poetry and sayings, once I’d figured out the vowel shifts over the millennia, so I could speak it in an accent she’d understand. I’d recite a poem once, and the next morning she’d be teaching it to the kids.

She loved kids. She would have been such a great mom! I’ll keep looking for clues about where the harseisis is, and if we can find him, I’ll bring him back and raise him, and tell him stories about his mother.

And you’re tired."

"No, it’s okay, Daniel. Ke[yawn]ep going. Sorry. That just slipped in there. I want to know."

"It’s okay, Sam. There’s plenty to tell, and tonight is not our last chance for me to tell you about her."

"If you put it that way… You really don’t mind?"

"No. I’m kind of tired myself. This was nice though. Another night. It can be your bedtime story, and I’ll stop and tuck you in when your eyes start looking drowsy."

"Stop! No picking on me when I’m sleepy. It makes it hard to beat you up!"

"Hey, it’s safer that way!"

"That’s what you think. Inspect your coffee carefully tomorrow, Daniel!"

"You wouldn’t. You’re not that cruel! Are you?"

[patently false snore]

"Besides, everybody knows it’s not nice to pick on the guy who wears glasses! After all I just might turn out to be Superman!"

[snort of laughter]

"You laugh now. Just wait until I jump tall Jaffas with a single bound!... I didn’t mean that the way it just came out, I meant –"

[gentle even breathing]

"Never mind. Sweet dreams."


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


"Jack? You awake?"

"Am now."

"I think I owe you an apology. You tried to warn me. I cut you off. Refused to listen to what you were trying to say. God! I was dating the Destroyer of Worlds!"

"She didn’t know she was then."

"No. She didn’t. It still doesn’t mean that I wasn’t spending my time with someone who was willing to kill untold numbers of people, who was willing to make a world overdose on a chemical stew which made them sterile just so she could regain their youth."

"She wasn’t the twisted thing she once was, when she forgot."

"And when I think about Sha’re… Oh, God, Jack! What would she think about this. So soon. Too soon!"

"Don’t you think that’s part of why?"

"So my wife dies, and just to prove that I’m not going to be alone forever I fall right into the arms of the Destroyer of Worlds? Ammonet not bad enough for me?"

"No, not like that Daniel. I just think that after so much death and loss you were looking for a way to feel again, and you jumped at the chance that was offered."

"Bad timing!"

"Well, there’s that."

"Thanks, Jack. You’re such a comfort!"

"Look, Daniel. You’ve been a little lost lately. You’re grieving. It’s hard work, no fun, and you can’t just do it 24/7 until it’s out of your system. You needed a break, and your timing might have just been a skosh off. There was no way that you would have been able to figure out that this much younger woman was a fugitive elderly mass murderer. Cut yourself some slack. Sha’re would have."

"Sha’re would have had my eyeballs for even looking at another woman."

"Would she? Even now?"

"No. You’re right. She would want me to be happy."

"Damn straight."

"Thanks, Jack."

"Isn’t this where we came in?"

"No. That was an apology. This is gratitude."

"Well there’s gratitude for ya!"


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



"Carter?"

"Yes, sir?"

"After our little foothold situation, I was talking with Maybourne."

"I'm sorry, sir."

"Well, he did help save my favorite base, and thus my favorite planet. He was a little less repellant than usual."

"I can see your point."

"He told me you didn't even hesitate before you blew me away... Well, not me, the creature that looked like me. Anyway, he said you didn't hesitate a moment. Any latent hostilities or resentments I should know about?"

"NO, sir! I saw the creature for a second or so as the engines reached the right frequency at take off! I knew it wasn't you! I would never -"

"Aw, Carter, I was just giving you a hard time. Ya’ done good. You showed ingenuity, perseverance, and good strategic planning."

"Thank you, sir."

"So, just to be clear, no urges to shoot me?"

"No, sir."

"Taze me?"

"No, sir."

"Slap me silly?"

"Not quite yet, sir."

"That's my girl!... Major... Very reliable and professional colleague..."

"I got what you meant, sir."

"I always say you're the smart one, Carter."

"Just wait until I tell Daniel you said so, sir."

"Don't get too full of yourself, Carter."

"Never, sir."

"Underdog, you are humble and loveable."

"Sometimes, sir, you're a little weird."

"Never said I wasn't, Major."


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


"You continue to be upset with O'Neill for his role in the operation to unmask those who would steal technology from our allies."

"No. Not really... Well, maybe a little. I don't think he should have obeyed the order to keep us out of the loop. But I'm not angry any more about what he did, or what he said; I see why now. Still, he should have let us in on what was going on. He didn't have to take all the danger on himself. We could have helped!"

"Do you believe that the order to maintain our ignorance of the true facts was unlawful?"

"No."

"Then he could not disobey."

"I suppose not. I guess I'm mad at the Air Force, then."

"You do not believe that they should have acceded to the request of our allies?"

"No. Of course not. I just think it was wrong of them to make Jack face all that without his friends. They wanted him to appear to betray us! We're his friends!"

"O'Neill has told me that it is unusual for a team to remain together for as long as we have."

"Why?"

"Lest they form bonds of loyalty that transcend the discipline and requirements of the service."

"That's... asinine! Why have we been allowed to stay together then?"

"Colonel Makepeace chose to betray his planet, but he was otherwise a capable commander and a warrior of great ability. Still, if we had not already been forged into a team by the skill and ability of O'Neill, then I doubt that Colonel Makepeace would have the ability to do so. Such facility is rare. This ability to see the heart of the person within is part of what made me decide to follow him."

"So we aren't supposed to be friends?"

"We are, nevertheless friends."

"Yes. Good friends, Teal'c."

"Indeed."


Part 2 here

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
lolmac
Aug. 17th, 2011 02:57 am (UTC)
OMG OMG OMG so much to LOVE here!!

"Oooh! Paraphernalia! Been reading the dictionary?"

"Slap me silly?" "Not quite yet, sir."

"Were the wearers of wigs oppressed?"
thothmes
Aug. 17th, 2011 05:43 am (UTC)
Personally, my favorite part is the first section, where they are all new to each other. That part wrote itself, practically, and was the piece I intended to submit. But, oops! It was 827 words, with a 1000 word minimum. I needed to make it longer. My strategy for fixing this (I really didn't see where beefing up the conversations I already had would improve them at all!) resulted in a behemoth.

I'm so glad the behemoth pleases. As a fan of the original ficlet, I have a tendancy to think it runs on, so your reaction is very encouraging!
lolmac
Aug. 17th, 2011 12:50 pm (UTC)
It reads very smoothly and quickly, and there are tasty nuggets in each segment. I particularly loved your smooth establishment of the underlying premise -- two and two divisions, Sam shares and they all deal with that, and the truly wonderful ensuing rotation of who's bunked with whom. The longer form gave you room to ring the changes, as it were, with every combination. You could edit it down to some arbitrary shorter length if there was a need, but I see no inherent need.

In part 2, I especially loved Jonas' appearance, and I really loved your bit with the Moebius AU characters.
thothmes
Aug. 17th, 2011 04:00 pm (UTC)
Well the Moebius bit is a very small sop to my not-so-inner Sam/Jack shipper. Besides, somebody somehow somewhere had to explain how the fish got there. Might as well be me!
sg_fignewton
Aug. 18th, 2011 12:15 pm (UTC)
"I believe the correct response would be 'Sweet dreams, Doctor Jackson.'"

::LOVES::

And then again with Sam! (Oh, that awesome relentless logic trail to stop her blaming herself about Jonas.)

And it seems my favorite bits are all with Teal'c :) because this: "You could not save your son, O'Neill, but you have saved mine." Oh, TEAL'C. And JACK.

One little thing to fix: you refer to Sokar as Anubis, once. (And OH when Daniel and Teal'c talk about Apophis suffering!)

"Slap me silly?"

"Not quite yet, sir."


Wheee!

This is all so wonderful - such sweet teamy goodness and deep friendships in these little casual exchanges!

::bounces off to next part::
thothmes
Aug. 18th, 2011 02:49 pm (UTC)
Oh, rats! I thought I'd fixed the Sokar thing after lolmac kindly pointed it out to me (brain blip on my part, where my inner Jack O'Neill was saying "I knew that!"). Turns out I fixed the second reference, but not the first (and more disorienting) one. Thank you for the catch! All fixed now.

I'm glad you enjoyed these. Teal'c is fast becoming my favorite character to write, because yeah, he doesn't say much, but what he does say is always highlighted. Just as a great athlete moves only when it becomes necessary, and then with an economy of motion that wastes no effort and makes each action tell, so Teal'c speaks.

I know this will please you a great deal, but for a shipper, I seem to be writing an awful lot of gen of late!
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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A Few Words from the Wise

Speak to him, for there is none born wise.

-The Maxims of Ptahotep

~~~~~~~~~~


In mourning or rejoicing, be not far from me.

- an Ancient Egyptian Love Song

~~~~~~~~~~


But your embraces
alone give life to my heart
may Amun give me what I have found
for all eternity.


-Love Songs of the New Kingdom, Song #2

~~~~~~~~~~


To Know the Dark


To go in the dark with a light is to know the light.
To know the dark, go dark. Go without sight,
and find that the dark, too, blooms and sings,
and is travelled by dark feet and dark wings.


-Wendell Berry

~~~~~~~~~~


Up in the morning's no for me,
Up in the morning early;
When a' the hills are covered wi' snaw,
I'm sure it's winter fairly.

-Robert Burns

~~~~~~~~~~


Visit to the Hermit Ts'ui


Moss covered paths between scarlet peonies,
Pale jade mountains fill your rustic windows.
I envy you, drunk with flowers,
Butterflies swirling in your dreams.


-Ch'ien Ch'i

~~~~~~~~~~


Mistress of high achievement, O lady Truth,
do not let my understanding stumble
across some jagged falsehood.


-Pindar

~~~~~~~~~~


Every Gaudy colour
Is a bit of truth.


-Nathalia Crane

~~~~~~~~~~


I counted two-and-twenty stenches,
All well defined, and several stinks.


-Samuel Coleridge

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