It's All Phoenician to Me

Author:  Orrymain
Category:  Slash, Drama, Romance, Missing Scene/Epilogue, Established Relationship
Pairing:  Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Rating:  PG-13
Season:  4 - November 12-14, 2000
Spoilers:  The Curse, The Serpent's Venom
Size:  39kb
Written:  July 20, 2009, May 3-5,8,12,14-15, June 29-30, 2010
Summary:  As Jack and Daniel continue to make up after an argument, they, Sam, and Jacob travel to the Tobin System to reprogram a mine.
Disclaimer:  Usual disclaimers -- not mine, wish they were, especially Daniel, and Jack, too, but they aren't.  A gal can dream though!
Notes:  
1) 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.**
2) Silent, unspoken thoughts by various characters are indicated with ~ in front and behind them, such as ~Where am I?~
3) This fic stands alone, but it does reference my other fic(s), “They Don't Understand”
4) Thanks to my betas who always make my fics better:  Navi, Classic, Irina, Tammy, Ali, Claudia!

It's All Phoenician to Me
by Orrymain

“Mmm,” Daniel sighed contentedly, his naked body stretched out like a blanket over his soulmate.

“Happy?” Jack asked hopefully, desiring to please the man who owned his heart.

“Yes,” the younger man answered, his cheek nestled up against his lover's chest.

“I hate fighting,” Jack sighed.

“We're not fighting now, so let's not think about it anymore,” Daniel suggested.

The lovers had had a difficult few days that stemmed from Daniel's return to Chicago to attend the funeral of one of his professors.  While there, he'd met up again with a woman he'd dated for a few weeks back in college as well as with an old rival.  Before it all worked out, Jack and Daniel had not only fought, but had had some unfortunate miscommunication.  Now, though, all was forgiven, and the two were working on just enjoying their love and togetherness.

“Danny, that Sarah chick ...”

Not moving, Daniel interrupted, “Sarah's just someone I dated for a while.  It didn't last very long.”

“I should have been there,” the colonel grumbled, tightening his hold on his ‘blanket’.

“I'm sorry.  I should have let you come with me, but I ...”

“Don't stop now,” Jack interrupted.  ~Absolutely, you should have let me come with you.~

“Jack, you would have been jealous, and there's no reason for you to be.”  Daniel repositioned his body, moving up to look down into the rich chocolate eyes of his Heart.  “For a few minutes, we reminisced, and it was a little like the day we'd met, but it didn't take long to remember why we hadn't worked in the first place.  Sarah was all about power and notoriety.”

“But you liked seeing her again?”

“Sure, yes, for ... for a little while.  I mean, uh, for a few weeks in college, she gave me was something else to think about aside from archaeology, except I didn't, not really.”

“Didn't what?”

“Think about Sarah.  I pretty much had a one-track mind in those days.  I wasn't very interested in anything, or anyone, that took me away from my studies.”

“Well ...”

“Don't say it, Jack.  I know what you're thinking,” the younger man put forth as he rolled over to his side of the bed.  He looked up at the ceiling and added, “I guess I still put too much emphasis on my work.”

Jack rolled onto his left elbow and leaned down for a kiss.  He traced Daniel's chin with his thumb and for a few moments, simply enjoyed the beautiful face of the man he loved.

“Danny, you're still learning to trust that I'm not goin' anywhere.  What just happened shook your confidence.  I can't help being jealous because I can't believe I'm this lucky to have you in my life like this.”

“I don't want anyone else, Jack.  Gawd, it's taken so long to find what we have,” Daniel put forth emotionally.  “Why can't you believe that?”

“Maybe for the same reason you're always waiting for the other shoe to drop.”

“So, we're both scared then,” Daniel purported.

“I'd say that's a good bet, but there's something important that you need to remember.”

“What's that?”

“I love you.  Daniel, I love you so friggin' much that I'm not sure I know how to handle it.  I need you, and I want you in my life.  You're my Angel.”

With a smile, Daniel replied, “I love you, too, Jack.  You're all I want.”

A tender kiss led to yet another reconnecting of their bodies.  The love Jack and Daniel shared was growing every day.  Each challenge to their love had thankfully been overcome and right now, each man simply wanted to express their love for the other with the union of their bodies.

====

The water splattered against their bodies as Jack and Daniel kissed, their hands caressing the other's skin beneath the cascading shower.

“Geez, what you do to me,” Jack gasped in between kisses.  “Love you, Danny.”

“Love you, too,” the younger man replied as he maneuvered downward to express his love in a way other than words.

It had been twenty-four hours since Daniel had returned home to his soulmate, and the couple had made good use of their downtime.  Now, though, they had only two hours remaining before they'd have to head back to work, putting in another shift at Cheyenne Mountain.  They were determined to make the most of all one-hundred and twenty minutes.

====

“Lunch?” Jack questioned as the lovers boarded the second elevator that would take them deeper into the Stargate Command complex.

“I'd like to, Jack, but I've been gone, so ...”

“Work,” Jack sighed.

“Teams didn't stop going off-world just because I wasn't here,” the archaeologist reminded.

“You still have to eat.”

“Coffee,” Daniel compromised.

“Coffee and snack,” Jack countered as the elevator doors opened on Level 18.

As Daniel exited, his hands in his pockets, he casually agreed, “One o'clock.”

With a grin, Jack stepped back into the elevator.  Somehow, he'd get more than a Twinkie down his Heart, and he'd do it by getting to the commissary a bit sooner than Daniel.

~I'll have a sandwich ready to go,~ the colonel determined.

====

In his office, Jack stared at the computer, growling at it.

“You *ate* my report.  I can get even, you know.  There's a junk pile where I could toss you, piece by blasted piece.”

The computer beeped in response.

“Ah, go beep yourself,” Jack spat, standing up and stretching.  He was in his green BDUs, but he'd taken off the jacket.  Stretching as he walked around his office, he groused, ~Why don't we have a mission to go on?  We should be out there, doing something -- out there!~  Then he remembered that his second-in-command's father was visiting.  ~I'm always telling her to get a life.  I can't very well take away their daddy-darling time.~

Just then, Jack heard the klaxons blare and the announcement of an off-world activation.  Since no SG teams were due back at this time, he knew something was up.

Pumping his fist, the Special Ops officer exclaimed, “Yes!” and headed for the control room to see what was up.  He had a vague awareness of guilt flowing through him, knowing that the unexpected blaring of the klaxons rarely heralded good news.  ~Whatever's wrong, we'll fix.~

====

“Stop ... playing with that,” Daniel ordered his soulmate, who was seated atop his worktable in his lab.  “And get off my table.”

“You like it when I'm on this table.  Remember last month when ...”

“Jack!” Daniel exclaimed, arching his eyebrows and glancing up at the security camera.

“Spoilsport,” the colonel whined, complying with both of his lover's requests.  “You ready?”

“In a minute.”  Daniel smiled in that cute way he had where his dimples flashed for just a moment.  “Jacob got you good a few minutes ago.”

“I still don't trust 'em.”

“Jacob?”

“The Tok'ra.  You watch, Danny.  They'll come up with some surprise they haven't told us about.”

“Jack, this couldn't have been planned.  Jacob was here visiting Sam when the message came through.”

“Convenient, don't ya think?” Jack verbalized, while silently criticizing, ~They may be on our side, but a snake is still a snake.~

Rolling his eyes, the archaeologist replied, “You see conspiracies everywhere.”

“Yeah, well, it's my job.”  Jack walked over to a shelf and stared vacantly at some of the relics on them.  “Apophis and Heru'ur: they wouldn't be a good thing together.”

“Uh, that's why we're going to try and stop them from joining forces, right?”

“Yep,” Jack responded succinctly.  Referring to Apophis, he sighed, “I really wish that guy would stay dead, just once.  Looking at his Love, he teased, “He's like a cat, or you.”

“Jack!”

“Ready?”

“Almost,” Daniel responded as he studied the book he'd pulled out several minutes earlier when Sam and Jacob had also been present in his lab.  The four had listened to a transmission they'd acquired from Tanith.  It was a conversation between Apophis and Heru'ur discussing a planned meeting to consider uniting their forces against the System Lords.  “I just want to make sure I have this translation exact.”

During the meeting with Sam and Jacob, Jacob's symbiote, Selmak, displayed some symbols from a technical manual which none of the Tok'ra had been able to translate.  The linguist, however, had immediately recognized it as being Phoenician.

“Yes, I'm right.  It's definitely three to the blue, four to the orange, and three to the blue.”

“Daniel, you were sure about that a few minutes ago,” Jack recalled from the discussion.

“I'm ... sure.  I was just double checking.”

“This is insane,” Jack huffed.

“Well, it's not the first insane thing we've ever done,” Daniel pointed out, trying to remain calm.

“I didn't say it's the first, but it has to be the craziest.”

“We don't have much of a choice, Jack.  Apophis and Heru'ur are meeting in the Tobin System and that means ...”

“Mines, lots and lots of mines,” the colonel stated.  “You know there's a reason there's no people left in that system.”  Turning around and rubbing his hand along the side of his neck, he continued, “They probably booby-trapped themselves into extinction.”

“That's possible,” Daniel agreed as he closed his tome.  “But maybe one of those mines can do something good now.”

Leaning against Daniel's desk, his hands gripping its edge, the colonel argued, “What are the odds?  Carter wants us to beam one of those things onto Jacob's cargo ship, something we have to do *very* carefully since they're always moving, and then while we have the thing, Jacob has to pilot the ship in sync with the thing.  Doesn't that sound insane to you?”

“What choice do we have?  I mean, unless you want Apophis to become more powerful than he already is, we have to at least try to thwart his meeting with Heru'ur.”

Jack sighed, “Are you sure you can reprogram the mine to match the energy signature on Apophis' ship?”

“That's why I was double checking my notes,” Daniel answered with just a hint of a smug smile.  “Of course, I still have to review the entire Tobin manual.”

“If it works like Carter thinks it will, the mine will think that Apophis' ship is firing a weapon and take it out.”

“A big boom,” Daniel mused about the prospect of the mine exploding near Apophis' ship.

“Insane,” Jack opined once again.

“Better idea?”

“Yeah, let's go home and ...”  As Daniel lowered his head and laughed, Jack checked his watch.  “Time for the briefing with Hammond.”  Walking towards the door, he sing-songed, “He's gonna love this one.”  As he walked, he thought, ~Even Teal'c would agree with me on this one.  Lucky for him he's powwowing on Chulak.~

====

“... you have a go,” General Hammond stated, rising from his chair to conclude the briefing.

Standing, Jack ordered, “No time to waste, kids.  Meet up in thirty.  I'll arrange the transport to Peterson.”

Nearby Peterson Air Force Base was where Jacob's cloaked cargo ship was parked at the moment.  He'd landed it on one of the restricted and highly classified runways.

“So much for lunch,” Daniel mused as his lover brushed by him.

“We'll see,” the colonel replied smugly as he proceeded onward.

“Uh, Jacob, what about the Tobin manual?” Daniel inquired.

“I sent a message to Freya before the briefing,” Jacob responded.  “I'll get it to you as soon as ...”  Hearing the klaxons blare, he amended what he'd been about to say.  “That should be it now.”

Daniel walked with Jacob to the gate room and then a couple of minutes after that, he headed for his office to get his materials together.

Meanwhile, Jacob continued to have a brief discussion with Freya and two other members of the Tok'ra.

====

Thirty minutes later on the dot, Jack strode purposely to the meeting point and immediately realized his lover was not present.

Still walking, Jack asked Sam, “Where is he?”

“He's on 18,” the major advised her CO.

~Late again.~  Focusing on the elevator, Jack asked, “Jacob, do you really think the Goa'uld are stupid enough to fire on each other in a minefield?”

Stepping inside the transport lift, Jacob answered, “No, and we don't want them to.  The ultimate goal is to get them into an all-out war, where both their fleets will be seriously weakened.”

“You think that's going to happen?” Sam questioned her father as he pressed the appropriate button for their desired floor.

“If he thinks Heru'ur's ambushing him, Apophis will most likely retreat.  However, his next move will be to order his armies to attack Heru'ur's planet,” Jacob responded.

When the elevator stopped and the doors opened, Jack immediately caught sight of his life partner and walked towards him.

Daniel was on one knee putting books that fallen out back into one of his overloaded backpacks.

“What are you doing?” Jack questioned.

“I could use a hand here,” was Daniel's only response.

Picking up one of the backpacks, Jack quipped, “Sure you got everything?”

“Wanna try to reprogram that mine without the proper translation?” Daniel returned pointedly.

~That's my snarky geek.  One good turn deserves another.~  Entering the elevator again, Jack put forth, “Thought of a laptop?”

“Well, I had one.  I just couldn't get Beck's Ancient Phoenician Symbology on CD at archaeology-dot-com, so ...”

~Dang, he's cute when he gets like this,~ Jack opined.  ~His glasses are about to fall off.  I can do something about that.~  Not caring about how it might look to Sam and Jacob, the colonel reached out and used two fingers to push his lover's glasses back up his nose so that they were secure.  “Sorry.  You were saying ...”

“You don't want to know,” Daniel droned in disbelief.  ~Not in front of Jacob.~

Sam watched in amusement, trying not to laugh, while Jacob was involved in an internal conversation with his symbiote as he sought to explain the apparent closeness of the two best friends.

~Look at that.  He's not amused,~ Jack observed, a pleased smirk on his face.  ~He's crinkling his nose at me.  Geez, I'm turned on.  Not a good time for that.  Turn around, O'Neill.  Think of something else, and fast.~

When Jack began to hum, Jacob asked curiously, “Jack, why are you humming?”

“Can't sing a note, Jacob, but I'm a great hummer,” Jack claimed.  “Okay, that's not exactly the truth.”  With a cock of his head, he inquired, “So, this sharing the body thing, how's that working for you?”

Daniel closed his eyes and looked away from his quirky colonel.  He had a hunch that this was going to be a crazy mission.

====

The ride to Peterson was a little more ‘out there’ than the archaeologist would have liked.

Seated in the back seat of the van, Jack pulled out a brown bag and smirked as he presented it to his lover.

“What’s that?” Daniel asked, even as Jack shoved the bag into his hands.

“Lunch.”

“Jack!”

“Eat!”

“I am *not* a child.  You can't just … just hand me a bag and order me to eat what's inside,” the younger man put forth strongly, though his tone was hushed in the hopes that Sam and Jacob wouldn't be able to hear the discussion.

“You promised me lunch.”

“I promised you coffee.”

“I have that, too,” Jack stated proudly, pulling out a thermos.  “Uh, read it.”

“Read the coffee?” a confused Daniel questioned.

Jack glanced at the front seat, noting that Sam and Jacob were deep into their own conversation.  Thus, he felt like he had a bit more freedom.

“Read it,” the colonel urged, tapping the cup of the thermos he'd just pulled out and handed to his lover.

~And he says I’m crazy sometimes,~ Daniel thought.  Going along, he pulled off the red cup and looked at its interior base.  In a split second, he melted.  ~Gawd, I love him.~

Inside the cup, Jack had taped a message that read simply:

D.

You are my brightest star.  I’m still sorry we fought last week.  I love you with every inch of my body.  Even my overgrown toenail loves you.

J.

P.S.  Eat!

Daniel looked over at Jack, who gave him a small smile.

**You’re incorrigible,** Daniel communicated through the couple’s inexplicable but growing mental link.

**Love you.**

**I love you, too,** Daniel replied, slowly opening the brown bag, withdrawing the sandwich and eating it.  He could literally sense the elated feelings inside his soulmate.  ~Totally and completely incorrigible.  You've got to love him; well, I do, anyway.~

====

The group had just entered the cargo ship and were getting ready to take off.  Jack had immediately noticed that the bulkhead had been removed in order to accommodate the space needed for the mine.  Daniel noticed something else was missing.

“What about the escape pods?” the archaeologist inquired.

“If that mine touches anything in here, escape pods aren't going to do us any good,” Jacob explained.

“Oh,” Daniel replied dryly.  “So glad I asked.”

“Don’t worry, Daniel,” Jack began.  “If things go south and we have to jump, it'll just be a big splat of a headache.”

“What?”

Jack shrugged, already having forgotten the ridiculous statement he'd spoken.

The archaeologist reached into his backpack and pulled out the banana that had been included with his bag lunch.

Walking up to his soulmate, Daniel quipped, “Eat this.  Your brain needs some assistance.”

Jack gave his Love a mock grin and then stared at the yellow food.  Then he shrugged and began to peel the skin away.

~A banana a day keeps the monkeys away,~ Jack chuckled inwardly.  ~So long as it doesn't keep my Space Monkey away.~

====

Throughout the journey to the Tobin System, Sam and Daniel were focused on the reference materials they'd brought with them as they prepared for the task ahead.  With Jacob flying the ship, this left Jack with nothing to do but play with his watch.

Sitting near Sam at one point, Jack asked, “Do you understand any of that?”

~I can't resist,~ Sam thought and then answered, “It's all Phoenician to me, Sir.”

Jack returned the pun with a mock smile and then played with his watch some more.  Then he heard a chuckle.

“What are you laughing it?”

“You can't stand that Sam got you just now,” Daniel mused.

“She did not.”

“Did so.”

“Not.”

“Yes, she did,” Daniel insisted.

“Nah.”

“She did.”

“Carter, tell him,” Jack ordered, extending out his hand in Daniel’s direction.

“Actually, Sir, I think I did.”

“I get no respect,” SG-1's leader whined.

“Only when you earn it,” Daniel interjected, his face serious until he finally gave his soulmate a bit of a grin.

“Jacob,” Jack shouted out.  “Are we there yet?”

Both Sam and Daniel chuckled and then returned to their books.  The brief playtime had been fun, but it was time to get back to the serious matter at hand.

====

Jack strolled towards the front of the cargo ship and sat down in the co-pilot's seat.  He stared at Jacob with great curiosity.

“Something on your mind, Jack?”

“The bulkheads.”

Jacob said nothing as he continued to focus on piloting the craft.

“Just explain something to me,” the colonel requested.  “As soon as that message came in, you had a brief confab with your folks and then we all gathered in Daniel's office.  He figured out the code.  Twenty minutes later, we're meeting with Hammond, and he's given us the go ahead for this mission.  Jacob, when and *who* removed the bulkheads?”

“Freya arranged it for me after she delivered the technical manual,” Jacob explained.

“That's pretty swift, removing bulkheads in less than an hour.”

“Jack, if you have an accusation to make, just go ahead and make it,” the Tok'ra replied.

“I'm just sayin' it doesn't add up, and I'm pretty sick and tired of the Tok'ra having their own agenda every time we step out into the galaxy.”

“Are you saying you don't trust me?” Jacob questioned.

“I'm saying I don't trust the Tok'ra, and there's no way they were able to remove the bulkheads that fast.  You had a game plan, Jacob.”

“There's no deep mystery here, Jack.  It's to our advantage to break up this alliance between Apophis and Heru'ur before it happens.  You've agreed with that.”

“Yes,” Jack confirmed.  “The problem is why you people keep treating us like kids, trying to lead us around by our noses.”

“We have the same goals, Jack.”

“Sometimes, I wonder,” the colonel sighed.  “Something's just not kosher.”

With a bit of a smile, Sam's dad retorted, “That's just your overactive imagination.”

“Maybe,” Jack returned, though he didn't believe it.  ~I don't know how, and I don't know why, but I'd bet money we've been set up for this.  It's friggin' stupid; we're here, doing the job, so why the games?~

The colonel leaned back in the chair and simply stared out in space now that the brief back and forth with Jacob had subsided, at least for the time being.

====

“You’ve had your nose in that book for hours,” Jack stated as he sat down next to his lover sometime later.

“Just making sure.  No escape pods, remember?”

“You can do this,” Jack replied supportively.

“You’re bored.”

“I’m just tagging along.”

“You’re our leader, Jack.  Maybe you're not involved in this part of it right now, but your just being here helps.”

Jack smiled at the sincerity he saw in the blue eyes looking at him.  That made him feel better about being aboard the ship and having done little but joke around with everyone as a means of giving his team a break.

“Besides,” Daniel stated.  “You’re doing your job.”

“What job would that be?”

“You’ve forced both Sam and I out of the books, a few minutes at a time.  It keeps us refreshed.  I know that, and so do you.”

The couple allowed themselves fifteen more seconds of sentiment before Jack tapped on the book and stated, “Get back to it.”

“Yes, Sir,” Daniel replied mockingly, getting a groan from Jack in response.

====

After arriving in the Tobin System, Jacob successfully used the rings to transport one of the mines into the cargo ship.  As he walked around the large circular object, Daniel became concerned because he couldn't see any symbols on the mine.  When Jacob suggested it could be underneath the mine, Sam spotted something interesting and, after Jacob raised the object a bit by maneuvering the ship, crawled underneath it.

“It looks like a circle with a cross in it,” Sam called out.

“That could be it,” Daniel opined as he leafed through his reference book.

“Okay, what do I do?” Sam asked.

“I'm pretty sure you touch it,” Jacob called out.

“Pretty sure?” Jack challenged in disbelief.  ~I thought he knew about this thing.~

“The last time a Tok'ra was sent to attempt this, they were never heard from again,” Jacob explained.

“Well that's news,” Jack responded with a lightly edged tone.  ~The Tok'ra are really trying my patience.  Don't they know what 'full disclosure' means?~

“No, I think that's it,” Daniel reiterated, referring to the circle Sam was seeing from her position beneath the mine.

“You think?” Sam questioned.  ~I'd like something a bit more positive sounding before I mess with this thing.~

“Okay, I ... I'm sure that's it.”  Just as Sam was about to touch the panel, Daniel urgently called out, “Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait!”

“Hey!” Jack complained.  ~Why does he do this to me?~

Focused on his book, the linguist rebutted, “No, no! Sorry!  Uh, that's it; I'm sure.”

**Daniel, so help me ...**

**Be glad to help you, Babe.  Later.**

Jack glared across the cargo ship hold, wondering if his lover had done it all on purpose.

~He wouldn't do that to Carter,~ Jack opined.  ~Maybe.~

====

Lying beneath the mine, Daniel and Sam attempted to reprogram it, but it was proving futile.  Any progress they might have made was then interrupted when the mine suddenly began to lower itself.

As Sam called out to her father, Daniel quickly rolled away to safety.

~What is she doing?~ Jack wondered when his 2IC remained in place.  “Jacob?” he shouted, hoping for a reversal on the mine's descent.  ~Oh, for crying out loud,~ he thought in frustration as he reached down, grabbed Sam's feet, and pulled her towards him.  ~I knew this mission was insane.~

Jacob had his hands full, but he finally succeeded in getting the cargo ship steady and the mine back in place.  As Jack joined the Tok'ra, Daniel and Sam returned to their positions to continue their reprogramming efforts.

It was just a moment later when the sensors picked up another ship, which turned out to be Apophis' mother ship.  Jacob had virtually no time to think about the Goa'uld arrival since an alarm on the mine had activated and the lights began to flash.

“Uh, it's flashing green.  Green is good?” Sam asked Daniel hopefully.

Focused on his reference book, the linguist answered, “No.”

“Bad?”

“Bad,” Daniel affirmed.

“How bad?” the major inquired anxiously.

“Very, very bad!”

“Dad?” Sam called out urgently.  “We may need Selmak's help here!”

“All right.  Jack?  You're going to have to take the stick,” Jacob told the colonel.

“What?  Really?” Jack responded like a kid in a candy store.  ~It's about time.~

The colonel was visibly excited about finally getting to contribute to the mission.  Eagerly, he took the controls and put on the H.U.D., the Heads-Up Display which allowed the pilot to keep one eye on the ship's controls and the other one the monitor, which in this case showed the mine.

“Take the H.U.D.  Keep the mine center circle, and avoid hitting anything out there,” Jacob instructed as he exchanged places with Jack.  He paused to make sure Jack had control before walking over to where his daughter and Daniel were working on the mine.  “What's going on?”

“The crystals are flashing green,” Sam advised.

“I think it's going to explode,” Daniel opined.  ~That's not the explosion I'm wanting to witness today.~

“Deactivate it,” the Tok'ra ordered.

“I don't know how,” Daniel returned.  “If you enter the wrong combination, a failsafe is enacted, and you have five minutes to ... enter the right combination ... or the ... mine explodes.”

“Apophis is already here.  If we release the mine now, and it explodes, the mission will be ruined,” Jacob complained.

~He's not helping,~ Sam lamented silently.  ~This is one of those times when the colonel has a point about the Tok'ra, even if Dad is a Tok'ra.~

“And if we don't release the mine now, we'll be ruined,” came Daniel's displeased reply.  ~Doesn't he get it?  We don't have the answer.~

“Then enter the right combination!”

“We tried,” Sam responded.  “What does Selmak say?” she asked.  ~I hope he's more helpful than Dad is being.~

“Try again,” Jacob answered for his symbiote.

“Very helpful,” the archaeologist snarked.  ~I think I'm beginning to understand why Jack gets so frustrated with the Tok'ra, even Jacob.~

As Jacob returned to the forward part of the vessel, Daniel looked over at Sam, who gave him an apologetic expression.

“Any ideas?” the archaeologist asked his friend.

“Want some oatmeal cookies?”

Daniel smiled, and the tension was relieved for the moment.  The science twins returned their focus to the problem.

====

Now standing a couple of feet behind Jack, Jacob realized he wasn't getting the pilot's chair back, not without a fight, anyway.  Jack finally had something to do, and he did love to fly.  Even Jacob realized that fact.

Just as he'd decided not to press the issue of piloting, he realized that Heru'ur's ship had arrived.  He tuned into the ongoing negotiation between Heru'ur and Apophis.  It turned out to be a bit of a shocking discussion when Heru'ur offered Apophis a gift -- Teal'c.

“Teal'c's on Chulak,” Daniel called out from beneath the mine.

“Apparently not,” Jack bemoaned.

With less than a minute to go before the mine would explode, Sam's frustration was at its highest.  Daniel was simply perplexed.

~Maybe I'm missing something,~ the linguist pondered.  “Okay,” he began, deciding to go back to the basics.  He showed the technical manual to Sam and advised, “These are Tobin numbers.  This is one, this is two, this is three ...”

“Wait, wait!” Sam interrupted.  “What about zero?”

“What?”

“Zero,” Sam reiterated.  “Why didn't you say zero?”

“Uh ... be...because there's no zero in the Phoenician numerical system,” Daniel explained.

“What if the Tobins added it?” Jacob queried.

“He's right.  Inventing technology with this level of sophistication would require a zero,” Sam put forth confidently.

“Why?”

~Oh, boy.  This would take too long to explain, even to Daniel,~ Sam thought.  “Just trust me; it's a math thing.”

Daniel realized he'd been wrong the entire time and promptly gave Sam new instructions that took zero into account.  That solved the current problem.  Now all they had to do was enter the right frequency.

====

~He's willing to let Teal'c die,~ Jack groaned from the pilot's chair.  ~'Bigger things are at stake', he says.  Teal'c is 'expendable', he says.  Not in my book, Jacob, but first things first.~

Jack's unhappiness stemmed from his conversation with Jacob about trying to rescue Teal'c.  Unfortunately for SG-1, Jacob had insisted they continue on with their mission, asserting that it was essentially for the greater good of the universe, even if it meant sacrificing Teal'c in the process.

“We're done!” Sam exclaimed happily when she and Daniel had finished reprogramming the mine and its door had closed.

A minute later, the mine was deployed.  When nothing happened at first, Jacob feared the Tok'ra operative might have been compromised.

“Or we reprogrammed the mine wrong,” Daniel suggested.  Instantly, he felt a set of cold eyes on him.  “No.  I'm ... sure we reprogrammed the mine right.”

**Nice try at humor, Danny,** Jack praised, impressed by the remark.

**Who was trying to be funny?** Daniel returned.

Moments later, after realizing that Apophis had agreed to the alliance with Heru'ur, Sam argued that Jacob owed Teal'c, just like the rest of SG-1 did.  It was at that point that Daniel came up with their answer.  When Teal'c was ringed aboard Apophis' ship, the cargo ship would intercept the transport.

“It won't work while the ship is in stealth,” Jacob stated, referring to the fact the cargo ship was still cloaked and undetectable to the other Goa'uld ships.

“So uncloak it,” Jack told the Tok'ra.  ~Duh!  Logical, eh?~

“It would take some pretty fancy flying,” Jacob asserted.

~In a fighter jet, I'm the man.  In a Goa'uld cargo ship ...~  Quickly, Jack removed the H.U.D. and stated, “It's your ship.”

====

Distressfully, the attempt to rescue Teal'c failed, and the group had no choice but to leave the area before being destroyed themselves.  That's when Jacob noted that the mine was working and was headed for Apophis' ship.

All of a sudden, an entire fleet of Goa'uld ships appeared.  Jacob was stunned, since the enemy had never been able to keep even a mother ship cloaked before. To see a fleet appear was unimaginable.  He watched as the ships maneuvered to protect Apophis' ship.

Close at hand, just as Heru'ur's ship exploded, a glider escaped from the destruction.

“Uh ... Heru'ur himself?” Daniel wondered about who could be in the escape transport.

Jacob contacted the vessel, determined not to let Heru'ur escape.  He was surprised at the reply, which included a Tok'ra password.

“Identify yourself,” Jacob demanded over the radio.

“My name is Rak'nor.”

“Who are you?  How did you know how to answer my hail?” Jacob inquired curiously.

“I am the Jaffa who helped Teal'c escape.”

“How do we know that?” Jack called out.

A familiar voice eased Jack's concerns when it spoke, “It is good to hear your voice, O'Neill.”

“Glad ya made it, Teal'c,”  Jack relied happily.  ~At least something good came out of this insanity.~

“As am I,” the Jaffa replied, his voice weary and strained.

“We can rendezvous on the third moon of Tichenor,” Jacob informed Rak'nor.

“We will meet you there,” Rak'nor agreed.

“Well, I guess we've stopped the alliance,” Daniel stated as the transmission ended.

Jacob's symbiote Selmak replied, “Unfortunately, it is the worst possible result.”

“No war,” Jack assumed.  ~Geez, they're never satisfied.~

“No.  We could not have predicted that Apophis would bring a cloaked fleet into the minefield.”

“So what now?” Sam questioned.

“Apophis will easily absorb Heru'ur's forces into his own.  He is now a bigger threat than ever before,” Selmak answered.

The mood inside the cargo ship was downbeat.  It was as if everything the group had done had been for naught.

“We still took out Heru'ur,” Jack asserted, deciding to look at the positive side of things.

“And if we hadn't tried to stop the alliance, Teal'c might be dead,” Daniel suggested.  “I mean, uh, how far could they get in that glider.”  He saw his lover's stare and shrugged.  “I'm just saying.”

Jack smiled, patting his Love on the back a couple of times and saying, “Let's ... yeah.”

“That makes sense,” Daniel responded to his lover.

“Jacob, wanna trade places?” Jack asked hopefully, wanting more seat time flying the cargo vessel.

~Colonel Jack O'Neill: boy pilot,~ Daniel sing-songed to himself.

====

The trip to the third moon of Tichenor took another couple of hours to complete.  It wasn't all that far away from the explosion site, but the cargo ship and glider had to navigate carefully through the mines and the debris from Heru'ur's ship.  Jack had piloted the ship for a bit before returning the controls to Jacob.

“Looonnnng,” Jack yawned, “day,” he remarked as he sat down next to his lover.  He glanced over at Sam, shaking his head as he watched her studying some part of the cargo ship's internal mechanisms.  ~I don't know if that's dedication or insanity.~

“Yeah, long,” Daniel replied, his eyes closing as he leaned his head back against the wall.

“Hmmm,” Jack responded, his own eyes closing.

====

“Should we buy them a rattle?” Jacob asked his daughter with his own brand of snark.

Jack and Daniel were both asleep and had even slept through the cargo ship landing on the moon.  Just by circumstance, their bodies had gravitated towards each other's.  As they rested, their heads were touching, their shoulders helping to keep the other from dropping completely over to the side.

“Dad, stop,” Sam requested.  “Sir, Daniel!”  When they didn't rouse, the major stepped forward, shaking both of her teammates on the shoulder.

“Huh?  What?  I'm here.  I'm awake.  Where's the Goa'uld?” Jack mumbled as he woke up, jerking away from his soulmate as his senses returned to him.  “Geez, what a nightmare.  Apophis grew horns.”

“Are we on the moon?” Daniel inquired as he stood up and stretched.

“Yes,” Jacob answered.  “Teal'c and Rak'nor just landed,” he advised the other two men as he headed for the door.  “And Jack?”

“Hmm?”

“Daniel's glasses are about to fall off.  You might want to fix that,” Jacob quipped smugly and then continued to the door.

Sam tried hard not to laugh, desperately trying to suppress her reaction as she followed her father.

Daniel cocked his head as he stared at his Love with a 'We'll never live this down' look.

With a casual shrug and devilish eyes, Jack surprised his archaeologist by doing as Jacob had suggested.  He pushed the glasses back up Daniel's nose and this time, he took his index finger and wiggled the younger man's nose playfully.

“Jack!”

Unapologetic, Jack went to the cargo ship door to check on Teal'c as he entered.

====

“That was a ... a looonnnn...” Daniel's comment was cut off by a yawn.  “Coffee,” he stated, forgetting about the long day that had come and gone.

“I can beat that,” Jack chuckled as he trailed inside the house after his lover.  ~Coffee can't do what Guinness can.~

It was late in the afternoon following the mission to the Tobin System.  The rendezvous had gone off without a hitch, and Jack had spent most of the voyage back to Earth watching Rak'nor in an attempt to gauge whether or not he could be trusted.  As for Daniel, he'd napped a little bit more, but theories about the aftermath of the day's events had kept the group talking quite a lot.

Once back at the Mountain, SG-1 had gone through a debriefing, which included a discussion about Rak'nor having seen the light and wanting to work with his fellow Jaffa in freeing their people from Goa'uld oppression.  Master Bra'tac had been contacted and agreed to assist Rak'nor in joining the fight against the Goa'uld.

After the debriefing, there'd still been a lot of paperwork to be completed which had been interrupted by the unanticipated mission.  With Teal'c recuperating in his room, Sam and Jacob were having dinner together, and Jack and Daniel had headed home.

“Hungry?” Jack asked as he headed for the kitchen.

“Yes.”

Having retrieved two beers, Jack handed one to his lover and asked, “Steaks?  Burgers?  Hot dogs?  Eggs?”

“Colonels.  Well, make that ... colonel,” Daniel requested, looking suggestively at his Love.

With arched eyebrows, Jack questioned, “How do you want this colonel?”

“Over easy, but hard,” Daniel responded.  “Definitely not scrambled, though that, uh, goes with the territory.”

Jack put his arms around his archaeologist and kissed him.  Then he laughed.

“The kiss was funny?” a confused Daniel inquired.

“No, the stubble tickled,” the colonel remarked about Daniel's unshaven face.  “I love you, Danny.”

“I love y...” Daniel yawned, “you, too.”

With smiles on their faces, the lovers put down their beers and retreated to the master bedroom, where their weariness was left behind in favor of fiery passion, which more than filled their hunger.

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