Lifesigns

Author:  Orrymain
Category:  Slash, Drama, Angst, Romance, Missing Scene/Epilogue, Established Relationship
Pairing:  Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Rating:  PG-13
Season:  7 - July 29-30, 2003
Spoilers:  Lifeboat
Size:  30kb, short story
Written:  July 6,10-13,17, 2008
Summary:  With Daniel's body serving as a lifeboat to at least twelve alien beings, Jack watches, waits, worries, and then takes action.
Disclaimer:  Usual disclaimers -- not mine, wish they were, especially Daniel, and Jack, too, but they aren't.  A gal can dream though!
Notes:  
1) This fic is by request of Evelyn.  Thanks!
2) Sometimes, Jack and Daniel speak almost telepathically.  Their “silent” words to each other are indicated by asterisks instead of quotes, such as **Jack, we can't.**
3) Silent, unspoken thoughts by various characters are indicated with ~ in front and behind them, such as ~Where am I?~
4) Thanks to my betas who always make my fics better:  Linda, Irina, Wolf Moldy, Keri, Ali!

Lifesigns
by Orrymain

“O'Neill, Major Carter.  I am pleased to see you have recovered,” Teal'c said when his two teammates, along with General Hammond, entered the observation area.

Hours earlier, SG-1 had been investigating P2A-347 after the MALP had detected a beacon that had apparently been activated by a remote device.  The device was part of a spaceship that had crashed on the planet surface.  Having gone inside, the team discovered several people in chambers in cryostasis.  As Jack had put it, they'd stumbled onto “a shipload of frozen people”.

“How is he?” Sam asked, referring to Daniel, who was in the room below, along with a weary Janet Fraiser.

“Yet another personality has emerged,” the Jaffa informed his teammates.  “Doctor Fraiser appears to be making progress.”

On the ship, just after having had split up into pairs, Sam with Teal'c and Daniel with Jack, to count the number of bodies aboard the vessel, a huge ball of light flashed through the ship, knocking out the team.

When Teal'c had awakened, he discovered both Jack and Sam unconscious.  He had continued on, finding Daniel leaning against one of the cryogenic chambers. When the archaeologist had roused a moment later, he focused on the Jaffa and let out a horrifying scream.

Teal'c had contacted the SGC, and SG-4 had been dispatched to assist, bringing Jack and Sam back on stretchers, while Teal'c had kept hold of a frantic Daniel, who appeared not to know where he was and had actually tried to run back through the event horizon.

Now, as he looked down on his Love in the room, Jack was in agony.  He'd sensed something was wrong the first time he'd awakened in the infirmary.  At that time, he'd done his best to get up, but neither he nor Sam were well enough yet to even stand on their own.  Fortunately, it had only taken a few more hours of rest before both teammates had recovered and been released.

Having been filled in on the basics, the colonel had led Sam to the observation area, where he knew both General Hammond and Teal'c were, and now, he was keeping a determined vigil, watching over the man who owned his heart.

~Geez, Danny.  I don't know how well I'm going to be able to keep up the appearance that you're just my best friend.  I should be down there with you, not stuck up here.~  Jack paused, taking in a resigned breath.  ~Suck it up, O'Neill.  Time to put Jack away and let the colonel out.~  Covering up his emotions, he inquired of his teammates, “How'd he get stuck in here?”

“Daniel Jackson's preliminary electroencephalogram proved anomalous,” Teal'c answered.

“I dare ya to say that again,” the colonel challenged.  ~I'm not in the mood for psycho-babble, especially from a Jaffa.~

Hammond prevented the alien from accepting the dare by interrupting, “Doctor Fraiser declared a Code 17.  Doctor Jackson has been under constant guard, and only she and a few of her staff have had any direct contact, as a precautionary measure.”

“She thought he was a Goa'uld?” a surprised Sam queried.

“We've since ruled that out, but I'm not taking any chances until we can determine the means by which these additional persons have found their way into Doctor Jackson,” Hammond responded.

Since having returned to Earth, as his lover and Sam recuperated in the infirmary, Daniel had shocked everyone by exhibiting numerous personalities.  One was Martice, the Sovereign of Talthus, a very arrogant and demanding persona who explained that the ship had been en route for a planet called Ardena.

Another being within the archaeologist was a more understanding and cooperative man by the name of Tryan, who stated that he was a crewman aboard the Stromos, which was the name of the crashed vessel.

There were at least two other personalities inside Daniel's body that had been discovered, and Hammond wanted to know why and how these personas had gotten inside of the scientist, who he thought of as a son.

“To do that, I'd have to have another look at their cryogenic systems,” Sam stated, also eager to know how Daniel had suddenly become a host to other life entities.

“Schedule a mission briefing with Doctor Fraiser as soon as possible,” the general ordered.

Quietly, the concerned colonel requested, “With your permission, Sir, I'd like to stick it out here with Daniel.”

“You realize only medical personnel are allowed access?” Hammond asked authoritatively.

“Yes, Sir,” Jack acknowledged.  ~I'll go along with that, for now.~

“Very well,” Hammond agreed and then left the room, as did Teal'c and Sam.  ~I couldn't stop him, not that I should have anyway.  Those two have a strong link. I believe Doctor Jackson needs him here as much as Jack needs to be here.~

Somberly, Jack took a seat and began to watch the action as it unfolded in the isolation room below.  To his right was a monitor.  Its camera remained focused on Daniel, no matter where he walked in the lab, thus giving the colonel a close-up view of his archaeologist at all times.

Just before Jack and Sam had entered the observation area, Tryan had explained to Janet about the cryogenic system.

“A cryo-sleeper's consciousness is stored in the same memory module that maintains the sleeper's body,” Tryan had stated.  “There is simply no way to separate them or send the consciousness to any other than its corresponding body unless ... oh, no!  Unless the sleepers' bodies are dead.”

Aware of the topic of conversation, Jack took a breath as he settled into his spot, knowing he wouldn't be leaving his watch for quite a long while.

“All right, Tryan, look.  Let's not jump to conclusions here,” Janet responded to the personality currently in charge of her friend's body, not wanting to contemplate being unable to 'rescue' Daniel.

~He's not dead,~ Jack determined inwardly.  **Danny, I'm here.  I don't know if you can hear me or not, but I'm here, and we're going to figure this out.  Stay safe, wherever you are.  Give us time.  Together, Love, we're unbeatable.  Don't you forget that.**

As the conversation continued, Jack remembered breakfast before the lovers had gone to the Mountain that day.  There hadn't been anything extraordinary about it, and that's why he was thinking about it now.  He'd made his Love his favorite flavor of Starbuck's coffee, Arabian Mocha, and had had to entice Daniel with a chocolate glazed donut to wake him, a result of the two having stayed up late.

Unfortunately, the reason the two men had been up late wasn't from having had made love, but because they'd been debating some ethical issue that Jack couldn't even recall at the moment.  As many of their debates were, it had been lively and passionate.  It ended with them making out and then falling asleep in each other's arms on the sofa.  When they awoke in the middle of the night, they'd sauntered upstairs and then quickly returned to sleep in their large bed.

“I'm sorry,” Tryan spoke.  “There's simply no other way this could've happened. Only then can the fail-safes be overridden and the consciousness purged from the system.  I am dead, as are the others who may reside in this body.”

~Not a chance in Netu,~ Jack argued.  ~Danny and I have plans, forever type plans.  Crap, that wacky dream we had is in my head.  That's why this feels so weird.  Danny wouldn't leave me.~  He scowled at his thoughts.  ~O'Neill, get it together.  This isn't even close to what you dreamed about.  Oma DiMayonnaise isn't here, and we weren't on that self-indulgent, arrogant, egotistical, demanding, idio...~

The colonel stopped his rant, wanting to hear Tryan's response to the question Janet had just posed to him, about why his people separated the consciousness from the body in the cryo-sleep process.

“A consciousness cannot survive the restoration process without significant loss of memory and intellect.  A person undertaking such a long journey without proper storage of their consciousness would arrive at their destination as a mere fraction of themselves.  The very essence of that person would be lost.”

“So the memory requirement must be enormous,” Janet deduced.

“Each cryogenic capsule contains an active matrix memory module sufficient to sustain one single mind.  Its systems are connected with those that regulate and sustain the corresponding sleeper's body,” Tryan expounded.

“Well then it may be possible to upload your consciousness back into that memory,” Janet put forth confidently.

~There you go!~ Jack exclaimed, tuning out the stranger's rebuttal.  ~The Doc will figure this out.~

The colonel watched with disapproval as Tryan picked up a glass of water and did a demonstration, pouring it into a jug of water.  He'd asked if the water could ever be exactly the same again.

~Too techno for me,~ Jack groused.  ~Besides, you don't know My Danny.  He's been through worse than this.  He's in there.  That's *his* body.  Heck, that's *my* body.  I'm the only one he shares it with, and not in the way you are right now.  You're going to get your walking papers real soon.~

Jack sat back, frowning as he observed Tryan's current confusion.  The passenger, as Janet called each personality within Daniel, was saying something about hearing other voices, and they were getting louder in his mind.

“It's the most incredible feeling,” Tryan noted as Janet implored him to hang on.

~Sounds more like Daniel.  He'd probably think this was fascinating,~ the colonel thought.  Suddenly, he bowed his head, closing his eyes.  He realized his thought had sounded like his lover wasn't there any longer.  ~But you *are* there, Danny.  Fight, Love!  Fight for our forever.~

“They're pulling at me now.  I don't know how long ...” Tryan began, whimpering in pain.

~Wha...what?  Where?~  Without warning, Daniel opened his eyes, staring around the room in shock.  His vocal tone was both anxious and alarmed as he called out, “Janet?”

“Daniel?” Janet asked hopefully, her tone higher pitched upon realizing it was her friend who had just called her name.

“What's going on?” the archaeologist inquired somewhat nervously.

**Danny, I'm here.  Hang on.  Find a way.  We're going to get those ... people out of you.  *Hang on, Angel!*  I love you,** Jack communicated, moving closer to the screen, hoping his Love would hear his silent plea and declaration.

“Look, something has happened, I need you to just stay with me okay?  Just hang in there,” Janet pleaded.

**Jack?  Jack, I'm scared.**

**Hang on, Love.  Keep yourself separated from those ...**

**Love you, Ja...**

**Danny?** Jack called out in a nonverbal panic, realizing his name hadn't been completed.  **Daniel?**

“Where am I?” a voice sounded, looking down at the white-clad hospital outfit Daniel was wearing.  Then there was a gasp.  “Where's my body?  I'm ... I'm not a man!”

From his spot above the isolation room, Jack leaned back and sighed.  His lover was gone, but he'd be back.  He was sure of it.

~Hearing voices inside your head is bad enough, but having multiple personalities from some alien world actually sharing your brain and body with you is insane; now he's a woman.  I *so* don't want to think about that.  At least now we have proof he's still in there.~

Janet walked over to the corner of the room, where a couple of her staff were waiting and requested, “I want to run another EEG and MRI.  Ask Doctor MacKenzie to meet me in my office in thirty minutes.”

~MacKenzie?~  Jack leaned forward and opened the comm link to the room.  A bit frostily, he called out, “Doctor Fraiser, can I see you for a moment?”

Janet looked up at the colonel, annoyed at his interference.  She knew exactly what he was upset about, but she had one priority right now, and that was Daniel.  Finishing off her instructions, the physician made her way to the observation dome.

“Doct...”

Petite in stature but not in confidence, Janet sternly interrupted, “Colonel, my single concern right now is Doctor Jackson.  You have *no* idea what we're dealing with here, and I can say that, because *I* have no idea what we're dealing with.”

“Doc...”

“I am fully aware of your feelings toward Doctor MacKenzie, but he is the best one available to assist me in analyzing the tests we're running.  I am also aware of Daniel's feelings regarding my colleague.  As such, he will not be examining Daniel in person, but he *will* be reviewing the data.  Now, if you'll excuse me.”

In a huff, Janet turned and stormed out, leaving Jack standing alone in the dome.

“Yep.  I sure put her in her place,” Jack said to no one, before turning around to stare at his lover.  ~Okay, Doc.  You need MacKenzie, we'll use him, but he's not touching Daniel.~

====

Time passed as the medical team continued to get a grip on exactly what was going on.  The analysis of Daniel's test led to the theory that the archaeologist was actually in a coma of sorts and was being suppressed by the alien entities, which is why he'd only been able to 'appear' once and only for a few seconds.

Sam and Teal'c had returned to the planet with SG-12.  While Sam studied the cryogenic systems, the others searched the ship for an unfrozen survivor on the theory that it was that person who had attacked the team in the first place.

Meanwhile, Jack watched from his perch as yet another personality took center stage within his soulmate's body.

~A kid?~ Jack questioned in surprise at the vulnerable sounding youth.

“Where's my father?” the child within Daniel's body asked the red-headed physician.

“I'm sorry, I ... I don't know.  Do you mind if I sit down beside you?”

~You're good with kids, Doc.  You've done great with Cassie,~ the colonel opined silently.

Compassionately, Jack listened as Keenin, the frightened 'boy', talked to Janet, telling her about how his father, Pharrin, had comforted him when getting into the cryo-chamber at the beginning of their journey.  He explained that a dark star was about to pass by Talthus' sun, so close that the sun would flare and destroy the boy's world forever.  He'd grown up knowing about it as his planet waited its impending destruction.

~Okay, that's just not right.  No kid should grow up, knowing his entire life, that the world was going to end,~ Jack thought with sorrow.  His sympathy swelled even more when the 'child' told how his father, an officer on the Stromos, had been allowed to pick one family member to go with him on the journey.  The boy's mother had insisted on her son going.  ~That's hard.  The poor kid: knows his mother is dead, and now ... crap.~

“My mother said that she would take her chance with the lottery, but she wasn't chosen,” the boy added.  “The Sovereigns were chosen, but she wasn't chosen. No one I know was chosen.  I wanted to stay with her.”

~Okay, those arrogant ...~  Jack was livid.  Still deeply concerned about his lover, his heart went out to the child living in Daniel's lifeboat.  He was angered by the political aristocrats of the boy's world.  He knew what had happened.  The lottery had been rigged.  ~That's why that Martice guy makes my blood boil.~  He watched as the 'boy' lay his head in Janet's lap, the physician stroking his hair as she comforted him.  ~Danny ... what are we going to do?~

Suddenly, Martice resurfaced, confused about what was happening and upset at Janet's familiarity with him.

~Shut up, you ...~

In Jack's mind, he lashed out with every profane word he could think of.  He hated this persona.

Perhaps as penance for his attitude, the Sovereign was now upset at hearing all of the voices in his mind.  He was ordering them to be silent, even though he hadn't yet accepted that the other lives were sharing Daniel's body just as he was.

“No, no, no, no, no, no, no!  What you're saying cannot be so.  I have responsibilities to attend to.  I, I cannot remain here,” Martice insisted as he argued with the doctor.

“You cannot leave!” Janet responded, admittedly tired from hours of going round and round with the many personalities inside of Daniel at the moment.

“A thousand of our people depend on me to lead them; I am the Sovereign.  They have sworn an oath to me!”

“I'm sorry,” Janet replied without backing off an inch.

“It is my destiny to rule over Ardena,” Martice insisted.

“No, listen.  You don't understand the seriousness of your condition.”

'Martice' stormed forward angrily, raising his hand towards Janet as he spat, “And you still do not realize who you are talking to!”

With equal rage, Janet shouted, “I don't give a damn!  You don't belong in that man's body, and I intend to take it back!”

~There you go!  Now that's the Doc that should have been there when she called Danny nuts and let that quack ...~  Jack paused.  That situation had been years ago.  It was time to let it go for good.  Obviously, the petite woman had learned her lesson.  ~I know you care.  Go get 'em, Doc!~

====

Quite a bit had happened in the past little while.  Sam and Teal'c had discovered one member of the ship's crew who was not in stasis.  Pharrin had been brought back to the SGC where he explained that he'd overridden the fail-safes in order to save as many people as possible.  In doing so, he allowed several minds to live inside one body.  In his mind, it had been the only way to save “the last of an entire world.”

~They aren't going to live inside of My Danny; it's crowded enough in his brain with all that ... stuff he knows,~ Jack snarked internally when learning of Pharrin's point of view.

Pharrin admitted that he, too, was serving as a lifeboat, with thirteen different entities residing within his body.  He'd hoped that Sam and Teal'c would also agree to carry souls within them.

Fortunately, Sam had come up with a solution, using an alternate power source that would be capable of bringing the energy reserves of the Stromos back up to where they needed to be in order to revive those in stasis.

“Are you sure you trust this guy?” Jack questioned from his seat just after Teal'c walked in to join him and the general.

“He has much to gain by assisting us,” Teal'c responded.

Jack blinked, thinking, ~He'd better not double cross us.  I have *no* intention of losing Danny.~

Just then, Pharrin was taken inside the Iso-lab to speak with the personalities residing inside Daniel's body.

The colonel listened as Pharrin explained the situation to Tryan, who was resigned to sacrificing his life, understanding that the SGC would help, but not unless Daniel was released and those minds within him removed.

~At least he's reasonable,~ Jack thought about Tryan's compliance as he watched the action.  Suddenly, though, Martice took over and demanded to be taken to the Stromos.  He had no intention of giving up his life, regardless of the cost to his 'host'.  ~Down, Sovtrash.  You aren't going anywhere.~

Pharrin immediately dropped to his knees and asked for forgiveness.  Jack sat back slightly, fearing the double cross was about to happen.

~Not gonna happen.  You're gonna go through with this, no matter what,~ the worried lover vowed.

“Pharrin!” Sam exclaimed, realizing the man was bowing to the Sovereign, which meant he had changed his mind about helping them.

“We have sworn an oath to do his will.  We cannot proceed,” Pharrin explained.

“Officer Pharrin?” Martice called out smugly.  “I've given you a command.  Do you understand me?”

~I don't think so,~ Jack determined in disbelief of what he was witnessing.  “Oh, for crying out loud!”

Angrily, the colonel left the observation room.

Hammond just watched, knowing what his second-in-command was about to do and choosing to ignore the violation of orders not to interfere.

~That's our boy there, Jack.  Go save him because my hands are tied,~ the bald-headed man thought.

Storming into the Iso-lab, Jack ordered Pharrin to, “Get up!”

“I've sworn to protect the Sovereign,” the crewman responded, still on his knees with his head bowed.

Yanking the alien up off his knees, Jack argued, “Your Sovereign's dead!  Get up!”

“His soul lives on,” Pharrin countered.

“Not if I cut him out!” Jack threatened loudly.  ~And I will.  Believe me, I will.~

“You would not.”

“Oh, yes, I would,” Jack promised.  ~Try me.  I dare you to try me.~

“Pharrin, you will listen to me,” the Sovereign ordered, his head reared back in royal arrogance.

“Don't listen!” Jack barked, his left hand pointing at the body of his lover.  “You just do what you came here to do!”  ~Or you won't live to see the light of another day.  That's my lover you're hanging out to dry, and that is just not acceptable.~

Finally, Pharrin realized that he had no choice and again asked his Sovereign for forgiveness.  Saving their race was more important than one life.

Martice didn't want to give in, but the others inside Daniel's body began to assert themselves, drowning out the Sovereign until Keenin, the young boy Janet had comforted earlier, resurfaced.

The reunion and ultimate goodbye of the father and son touched Jack.  He almost stepped back, memories of his own painful loss, that of his son's life many years before, flooding to the forefront of his mind.  He truly wished there was another way, but he wouldn't, and he couldn't sacrifice his life partner.

~So help me, Danny, you give me grief over this!  I know you.  You'd be feeling sorry for them.  'One life versus many lives'.  I can hear you now.  Sorry, Angel, but I love you, and your life has meaning.  By living, *you* save lives, including mine.~  The colonel sighed and reminded, ~I'm nothing without you, Danny -- nothing.~

====

“He'll probably be unconscious for  a while.  I think it's best if we ...” Janet began bright and early the next day aboard the Stromos.

“What?” the archaeologist questioned suddenly, his eyelids beginning to flutter open as he stood in one of the cryogenic units.

Hearing the soft lull of his soulmate's voice, Jack's heart beat faster.  He'd waited a long time to hear his Love's vocal inflections again.  He moved forward, hope filling his entire being that the younger man was once again himself.

“Daniel?  That you?”

“Jack?” Daniel called out, his eyes still just barely open as he grappled to get his bearings.

“How ya doing?”

“Bad headache.”

“Nail in the head kind of thing?” Jack asked knowingly.

“Yeah, somethin' like that,” Daniel affirmed, confused about what was going on but happy to see the somewhat blurred vision of his lover.  ~Glasses.  I need my glasses.~

“Yeah,” the older man acknowledged, giving out a smile.  ~Okay, think, O'Neill,~ he urged himself, wanting some time alone with his Heart.  “Carter, how about you and the Doc check on the other ... passengers.”

“Yes, Sir,” Sam acknowledged with a smile, knowing what her CO was asking.

“Actually, Sir, I think I should stay here and monitor ...”

“Janet, I think it's a good idea ... for us to check some of the other chambers.  You really haven't seen all of the Stromos yet,” Sam rationalized, trying to convince the physician that leaving her post was appropriate, if only for a few minutes.

“Okay,” Janet agreed.  “Sir, call me, if Daniel starts to have any reaction or ...”

“Janet, I'm fine,” Daniel interjected, though his headache was at about an eight on the one-to-ten meter.

“We'll be back in a few minutes,” Sam stated as she and Janet left the two men alone.

“What, uh ... I mean, I don't re...” Daniel began, wanting to understand what the heck was going on.

“It'll come back.  You've had a lot of company up there,” Jack stated, motioning towards his lover's head.

Looking around a little and seeing a man in another chamber, Daniel asked, “Who's that?”

With a sigh, Jack answered, “Pharrin.  He's taking on your ... people.”

“My ... people?” the archaeologist asked, still fuzzy on the facts, or what he knew of them anyway.  After a moment, wanting to be free of the contraption he was in, Daniel began, “Do I, uh, have to ...”

“Give it a few minutes.  Let's wait for the Doc.  She didn't think you'd wake up this soon.  She said you were back to normal.”

“Good.”

“Yeah, but I was hoping maybe she'd be able to do something about the pratt...” the colonel began, teasing a natural response, regardless of the crisis at hand.

Seeing his lover's glare, Jack smiled innocently.  He was loving this normalcy at the end of another traumatic event.

“Jack, explain this to me.”

“Short version: ship crashed, carrying the only survivors of a doomed planet.  When we were counting heads, one of them kidnapped your body to play host to a bunch of others.  Carter and Teal'c eventually found the culprit, Pharrin, and got him to see the light of day.”

“Why do I think there's more to it?”

“Like me threatening to rip him into little pieces and grinding him up like Hoffa if he didn't help us make you, you again?”

“Something like that,” a still groggy Daniel responded.  “So, how come I'm ... okay.  I mean, I'm glad I'm okay, but ...”

“You saved yourself, Danny.  Fraiser said your mind protected you; you only came out once.”

Daniel looked pensive and then nodded while saying, “Yeah, I ... I remember that now.”

“With your mind safe, Pharrin was able to separate all those ... people and transfer them into his own body.”

“They're all in him there?”

Gently, Jack answered, “I don't know, Danny.  We did everything we could to help them.  We won't know for a while how many survived.”

“So he's going to have ...”

“He'll never be alone.  Doc wants to keep him as an ice cube until we wake up the other passengers so they can take care of him.  Pharrin said there were other ships out there.  Maybe others will find them, and they can help with the ... passengers.”

“Oh.  That makes sense,” Daniel responded.  “Jack?”

“Yeah.  Oh, yeah,” Jack acknowledged about his fear at almost having lost his lover again.  He looked around and then moved closer.  Though Daniel's movements were still restricted, Jack leaned in for a kiss.  He needed it badly.  “I love you, and I'm going to tell you the whole story about these folks, but I'm tellin' you now not to give me grief about the decision we made.”

“Jack!”

“What?”

“Shut up and kiss me one more time before they come back,” Daniel ordered.

Jack grinned and then accommodated his lover's request.

====

“So I was a real ... prize?” Daniel asked as he and his lover rested against the headboard of their bed after a round of passionate lovemaking.

“I wasn't around for all of it,” Jack answered.

“You're, uh ...”

“Yeah, my own nail in the head,” Jack confirmed with a grimace.  “Teal'c was impressed when you, or rather, Martice, threw his glass of water at the observation window.”

“Oh, well, I ...”

“And 'the small woman' decided to overlook the remark, considering you weren't yourself at the time.”

“Small woman?”

“That's what you called Fraiser once, according to an orderly,” the older man explained.  “That Martice had the 'I am king' thing going strong.”

“Apologies?”

“Just a few dozen or so,” Jack teased his Love, chuckling inwardly at the role reversal since it was usually he, not Daniel, who had to make apologies for his actions.

The lovers still had a lot more to discuss, but the colonel knew his archaeologist was recovering nicely.  He certainly wasn't lacking for energy, as evident by their 'welcome home' communication between their bodies.

Daniel nodded, well aware he'd have to find out more specifics about exactly how obnoxious he'd been because of his 'passengers'.

“No guilt, right?” Jack questioned, slightly hesitant to bring up the subject but yet believing the time was right to at least touch upon the topic.

“I ...”

“Daniel!”

“Jack, I don't like knowing anyone ... died, physically or ... or otherwise, but, no, I don't feel guilty; well, not ... much.  You tried, right?”

“Danny, that little kid, he ...”

“That was hard for you,” the younger man surmised.

“I wouldn't want to leave my kid,” Jack admitted.

“But they're together.  Jack, they're together forever,” Daniel comforted.

“Yeah.”

“So, when are we going back?  SG-1, I mean?”

“We're not.  Carter and Teal'c are still there, helping the Doc to make sure everyone de-thawed okay, but SG-4 is going to oversee the relocation of the survivors,” the colonel answered.

With a knowing smirk, the archaeologist asked, “Not letting me near the ship?”

“You know me so well,” Jack affirmed with a smile.  “I figure SG-4 can handle the Stromos, and I'll handle you.”

“Handle?” Daniel questioned, looking down at his 'rising' midsection.

“Oh, yeah,” Jack replied as he proceeded to oversee the happiness of his Daniel, and that was exactly the way both men knew it should be.  ~We'll talk about your guilt later, Love.  We're together, so we can work through it.  “Love you.”

“I love you, too!”

~~Finis - Finished - Done - The End - But is it ever Really?~~
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