A Chance Reunion
Category: Slash, Drama, Romance, Missing Epilogue, Established Relationship
Pairing: Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Season: Beyond the Series - April 30, 2019
Written: February 28, 2021
Summary: While running errands, Daniel meets an old acquaintance, or rather, an old acquaintance meets him.
Disclaimer: Usual disclaimers -- not mine, wish they were, especially Daniel, and Jack, too, but they aren't. A gal can dream though!
1) This fic stands alone, but it does reference my other fic(s): "Switching it Up"
A Chance Reunion
Daniel Jackson-O'Neill was out and about in Colorado Springs running a variety of errands. He'd mailed a few packages, put gas in his car, made a deposit at the bank, picked up some dry cleaning, purchased office supplies for his den, purchased treats for Bijou and Katie and food for his fish, and was now headed home when he spotted a car with its hood up on the side of the road. He safely pulled over and exited his sleek silver sports car, buttoning up his coat after he did so to keep himself warm.
It was chilly out, in the low thirties. The fog was hampering the view and snow was threatening. In fact, it already snowed earlier in the day so white flakes already laced the landscape.
"Hello," Daniel called out to the twenty-ish looking brunette who was nervously bouncing up and down on her feet. He kept his distance, not wanting to alarm her. "Do you need help?"
"Boy, do I." The woman sighed, "I left my smartphone at home. I was so eager to get out of there. I don't know what's wrong." She motioned at her car. "She just ... huffed and puffed." The female shrugged. "Then she rolled to a stop. Nothing happens when I try to start her."
"Okay, I named my car."
"I call her Breezy because we breeze along with so much fun."
Daniel smiled as he replied, "Sounds logical. Uh, do you want me to call someone for you?"
"Triple A would work."
"I'm Daniel," the archaeologist introduced as he pulled out his phone.
"I'm Penelope," the woman stated. "Penelope Pernell." She sighed, "My parents thought it went together. It's okay, though. My friends call me Penny, and I like that better."
"Hello ... uh ..."
"Penny," Daniel repeated. He made the call for roadside assistance, reporting information about the woman's vehicle and their location. To simplify the process, he gave his own information since he also had AAA. "It'll be a half-hour."
"That's fine. Thank you for calling for me."
"Do you want me to stay until they come?"
"Would you? I hate to sound like a baby, but it's getting dark, and I've promised my parents never to put myself in a vulnerable situation if I don't have to. I guess that sounds childish. I am a woman, after all."
"It's not childish," Daniel refuted. "You're just being smart."
Daniel and Penelope chatted about all types of things in the news and life in Colorado Springs until the tow truck appeared. An older gentleman with thick, all-white hair who was perhaps in his late sixties, exited the vehicle. He checked out the woman's vehicle and determined he couldn't fix it on the side of the road. He recommended towing the car to an auto repair facility. Penelope agreed and knew where she wanted it towed since she had a regular shop she used for maintenance.
The archaeologist stood by his 1999 Shelby-American car while Penelope spoke with the tow truck driver. Then he felt a stare.
"Miss, would you excuse me a minute?" the African-American man asked.
"Excuse me," the man said to Daniel. "I know you."
"Uh, you do?"
"You're older, but so am I. Your hair is a little shorter, but I know you."
"I'm sorry, but I ..."
"Yeah, don't you remember? Hey, it's been maybe twenty years, but we feasted together, in a diner. Remember?"
"I ... don't recall."
"I'm Fred. You're Ma'chello."
"Ma ... Ma'chello?" Daniel questioned, his whole body on alert. "You know Ma'chello?"
"That's you, man."
Daniel sighed and explained, "I, uh, to be honest, I don't ... remember a lot from that day."
"Something like that," Daniel acknowledged. He considered trying to explain the truth to Fred, but it was classified and probably would sound crazy to him. Of course, to Daniel, that day was crazy. "It's, uh ... a blur."
"I knew it. You were a little spacey, but you were a nice guy," Fred opined. "I was worried those cops would hurt you."
"Cops?" Daniel had to dig deep for the information he knew about what happened to him during the second year of the Stargate program when he accidentally changed bodies with an inventor named Ma'chello. The old man fought the Goa'uld and wanted to be free of them. Using a device, he lured Daniel to it and swapped bodies. Thus, the man Fred met was actually Ma'chello, but at the time, Ma'chello was in Daniel's body. "No, I wasn't hurt. It was a ... a misunderstanding."
"Glad to hear it. Hey, do you know that colonel?"
"Yeah, that was his name. How's he doing?"
"Well. He's ... well."
"Ah, that's good. Man, he changed my life. Will you tell him I'm grateful and I've never forgotten his help."
"Colonel O'Neill ... helped you?"
"Yeah. It was kinda weird, Ma'chello, but these severe Army looking types found me and asked me a lot of questions. The next thing I know here's this O'Neill guy, asking more questions. He said it had to do with national security or something like that." Fred paused for a moment and then continued, " I told him all I knew is that I'd met you and we talked about life while eating at a diner. I told him I thought maybe you were ill or suffering from your time in the war and that I tried to help you. That was it. Then he started asking about me."
"He found out I was homeless and struggling to get a job. Man, I applied everywhere. No one would give me a break. I don't know who he called, but the next day, I had a job at a gas station. I learned all about towing." Proudly, Fred stated, "I own that station now. This is my truck, and I owe it to that colonel. Tell him thank you for getting me a chance. I got off the street and I've never been back, except to try and help others who need a break of their own."
"I'll tell him ... Fred."
"How do you make a living?" Fred inquired.
"I ... research things."
"Have enough money to live on? If you need ..."
"No, I'm fine."
Daniel somewhat nervously looked at his very expensive car.
Fred laughed, "Oh, yeah, you must be. Well, I've got to get this lady off this road, especially with the snow starting to fall again."
"Is she able to pay for her repairs?" Daniel queried.
"It sounds like she'll be fine, but I like your action, Ma'chello," Fred mused.
"Fred, it was very nice to meet you, um, see you again."
"Keep the peace, man," Fred responded as the two shook hands.
Daniel and Penelope said their goodbyes and the archaeologist returned to his home and quickly sought out his lover, finding him alone in the garage, sorting through some tools.
"Babe, I just met someone very interesting."
"And hello to you, too," Jack chuckled.
"Sorry. Hello. I'm home."
"Get everything you needed?"
"Okay, I'll bite," Jack stated. "Who is this interesting person you met today?"
"His name is Fred."
"Fred? Who's Fred?"
"Well, today, he owns a gas station and runs a successful tow truck service. In 1999, he was a homeless man who spent an afternoon helping a stranger."
"Anyone we know?"
"As a matter of fact, yes: Ma'chello."
Jack looked over at his husband and echoed, "Ma'chello? That inventor of things to kill the Goa'uld?"
"That's the one," Daniel said. "Jack, you never told me about Fred."
"Fred," Jack repeated thoughtfully as he sought out the data in his mind. "Oh ... Fred! The diner guy?"
"Yes, the diner guy, the man you helped get a job that turned his life around. He said to tell you thank you and that he's never forgotten you."
"Or you, either, apparently," Jack said, standing and walking over to his Love.
"You helped him and you didn't tell me."
"I didn't know SGC was going to hunt down anyone Ma'chello spoke to that day to make sure they didn't accidentally find out something that was classified. It came down to the homeless man described by the waitress. He was finally found. I was notified. I questioned him and realized he basically thought Ma'chello was mentally off because of the war. Ma'chello kept his mouth shut for the most part about the Goa'uld and whatever he knew. Case closed."
"But you helped him."
"He helped you, or at least your body. He just needed someone to believe in him. I called in a favor. I never saw him again. I'm glad to hear he made it work."
"He did. By the way?"
"I love you."
"I love you, too, Angel.
The lovers kissed and continued on with their day, but Daniel's chance reunion with a man his mind never met touched his heart. It wasn't just the helpfulness of Fred, but it was Jack's reaching out to help Fred and never requiring or seeking praise for it.
For Fred, a man once lost and alone with little hope for a decent living, life was now strong and engaging. He was a business owner and someone who gave back to society, now that life treated him more kindly.
For Jack and Daniel of Colorado Springs, life was still full of surprises. They, too, always tried to help people in need. Fred was proof of that. Life for the couple was better than ever, and both were happier for it.
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