Rain, Jaffa, and a Man Named Felger

Author: Orrymain
Category: Slash, Drama, Romance, Missing Scene/Epilogue, Established Relationship
Pairing: Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Rating: PG-13
Season: 7 - August 6-11, 2003
Spoilers: Avenger 2.0, The Other Guys (minor)
Written: March 7-9,14, 2021
Summary: Daniel's stranded on a weather-torn moon, Jack and Teal'c are off-world under attack, and Sam has to soothe the ego of Jay Felger after a virus program goes bad and knocks out the entire Stargate network.
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?~

Rain, Jaffa, and a Man Named Felger
by Orrymain

Almost immediately upon their return from the great space race around Hebridan in which Sam was a participant, Jack and Daniel found themselves involved in urgent matters. For Daniel, he was leading the effort to relocate the citizens on P3L-997, a moon that was in a decaying orbit. It was a nasty situation with the inhabitants dealing with severe seismic disturbances and weather anomalies. For Jack, it was politics, Jaffa politics. He would be gating to P3C-249 working on negotiations with rebel Jaffa leaders, a necessity due to recent infighting and some old rivalries that popped up of late. While Daniel's mission required him to depart bright and early on Wednesday morning, the colonel wouldn't be leaving until later in the day.

This provided Sam an opportunity to convince Jack to go with her to a lab where Jay Felger and his assistant Chloe were working. This wasn't something Jack was eager to do, but Sam insisted it was important.

"Carter, you're talking about that wacky scientist with an SG-1 fetish?" Jack asked when approached by his second-in-command to see a new weapon tested.

"Don't sell him short, Colonel," the major pleaded.

"He almost got us killed," Jack reminded.

A year earlier, Felger and two other scientists went to study ring technology on an abandoned planet. SG-1 purportedly accompanied them for protection, but in reality, they were hoping to be captured in order to make contact with a Tok'ra spy named Khonsu. Felger, disobeying orders to stay by the rings, saw the capture and believed he needed to save the SG team. This lead to an even more dire situation, though in the end, Felger did help the team escape. Still, Jack's memory of the awkward and nervous scientist was not a positive one.

"Sir ..."

"Alright, Carter, let's go see this new weapon," Jack said, beginning to walk towards Felger's lab. "Sure hope it doesn't blow us up."

====

Daniel's hands were full from the moment he arrived on the moon. He met with the SG team and other SGC volunteers who were assisting him with the relocation of the moon's inhabitants. He reviewed results of an unofficial count of citizens who had medical issues or who were handicapped with various mobility issues.

"Lieutenant, get these people ready to go through the Stargate in one hour. We don't want to risk them losing their medication or getting sick from the weather, and we need to make sure those with physical limitations are helped through the Gate."

"Yes, Doctor Jackson."

Wearing a much needed poncho, Daniel walked through the rain to the Stargate and dialed the Alpha Site where the inhabitants would become temporary refugees until a new home could be found or they returned to the lands of their birth. He made contact with the man in charge of the secretive site.

"Colonel, we'll have our first set of moon colonists ready to go to the Alpha Site in an hour and ..."

"Doctor, that's a no go," the commanding officer negated, after which he explained the reason why. "They'll have to wait."

"I understand your situation, Colonel, but this first group are those with potentially harmful medical conditions should they become ill or need medication we don't have or can't get access to. There are a few residents with physical conditions who need more time to be transported to safety."

"Doctor, I can't ..."

"Yes, you can and you will, Colonel," Daniel said with unusual force. "The weather conditions on this moon are only going to get worse. The orbit is rapidly decaying. We cannot risk the lives of innocent people who need our help. Now, as I was saying, I understand your situation and will honor it. We'll wait for your go ahead before sending others through, but I have to insist that this first group be allowed to relocate to the Alpha Site in one hour."

The colonel sighed and stared defiantly at the archaeologist who seemed to be giving him orders.

"Colonel, if you have a problem with this, we can notify General Hammond and ..."

"Very well, Doctor. The Alpha Site will accept one group of your refugees, but then you wait for my okay before sending anyone else through."

"Absolutely," Daniel agreed and then shut down the Stargate. ~It's common sense,~ he sighed about the decision to get this initial group to safety as soon as possible.

====

Back on Earth in Jay Felger's, the scientific geek claimed his latest creation was "a finely calibrated device. It fires a focused plasma pulse."

Sam explained, "It's an energy-based weapon, Sir. It could, potentially, replace the missiles on the X-303."

"Phaser?" Jack asked.

"More like a photon torpedo," Chloe responded.

"This is all based on a Goa'uld design, and if you'll join me to the rear of the weapon, we will proceed with the demonstration," Felger stated.

Unfortunately, the demonstration was a bust as sparks flew when the scientist plugged together two cords. The weapon lit up and began to hum. Then there was a loud bang and a cloud of smoke, after which more sparks flew and all of the power in Cheyenne Mountain went off. The good news was that the backup generator kicked in immediately, restoring lights and power.

"That wasn't supposed to happen," Felger bemoaned.

"Right," Jack responded dryly. "Carter, I'm gonna check out the damage. *You* go explain it to General Hammond."

"Yes, Sir," the major acknowledged with a gulp.

"He's not happy with me," Felger sighed.

"Don't worry about it," Sam replied before heading for the major general's office on Level 28.

====

Naturally, Hammond wasn't a happy camper about operating on generator power due to Felger's weapon shorting out the entire base. He had no problems letting Felger know his feelings, either.

The scientist claimed what occurred was just a minor glitch, which didn't go over well with Hammond.

"You've been saying that for the last six months. In fact, I've been reviewing your records. It seems that most of the projects you've overseen during your tenure here have been similarly long on promise and short on results," the perturbed major general spoke.

Felger responded, "Right. What ... what exactly are you saying?"

"I'm saying it may be time for the Air Force to rethink your position here."

Felger fought hard for his job, asserting he was on the verge of a major breakthrough of another new weapon. He stumbled his way through an explanation, but said he could have something to show by the end of the following week. Hammond gave him twenty-four hours.

====

On P3L-997, Daniel was speaking with one of the SGC lieutenants who volunteered to assist with the evacuation of the people living on the moon.

"We're having small explosions outside the city," Kerry Patterson reported.

"Obviously, it's going to get worse," Daniel said as he looked closely at a map of the major city on the moon and its surrounding areas. "Okay, we'll start with the residents who live around the edge of the city."

"Sir, when we can get them going through the Stargate? Why aren't we moving them through right now?"

Daniel sighed as he relayed, "I spoke with the commander of the Alpha Site earlier. They're still rehoming the Argomates. He was insistent they didn't have the manpower or space to accept these inhabitants until the refugees they already have are gone. Unfortunately, it's taking longer than they thought. Uh, some type of transportation issue. He said it would be tomorrow afternoon at the earliest and maybe not until the day after."

"I sure hope this place sticks together that long."

"Well, the experts say we have a few days, but this weather might change their minds."

"What do we do, Doctor Jackson?"

"Get the people on the outskirts of the city ready to go. Make sure that when we say it's time, they're prepared to move immediately. They'll be the next group to go through to the Alpha Site."

"Yes, Sir," Kerry responded, turning and heading for other volunteers to give them the latest update and to do as Daniel ordered.

Daniel sighed as he again reviewed the map of the main city on the moon and the areas surrounding it. He hated the delay, with the weather and surface conditions worsening every hour.

~At least we were able to get the high risk group to the Alpha Site earlier.~

====

While speaking with Chloe and admitting he had to tell Hammond something or be fired, Felger decided to take an idea called Avenger and make it work.

Once he had the details sorted, Felger presented it to Sam. The two discussed it as they walked along the corridors near Felger's research lab.

"A computer virus?" the blonde questioned.

"Yeah. See, when you think about it, the, the Gate network is nothing more than a bunch of linked computers. I mean, delivering the virus is as simple as dialing the target Gate and uploading the program."

Sam surmised, "The virus would then scramble the DHD's established coordinates."

"Yeah, so the symbols no longer correspond with the proper coordinates, you see? It's like rearranging the letters on your keyboard."

"Then the target Gate would be useless."

"Yeah, I mean, sure, the Goa'uld have ships, but ... you know, they, they still rely heavily on Gate travel and that would be a real tactical advantage for us, don't you think? What do you think?"

Sam agreed it was an interesting idea, but pointed out Felger's proposal did not include a finished program. Again, he stammered his way into an excuse and claimed he could provide that soon.

The major said she'd take a closer look at the idea, and if she believed it had real merit, she'd take it to General Hammond.

====

"Just checking in, Sir," Daniel told Hammond.

"How's it going?"

"Well, no one's hesitating in leaving. We just need to get their belongings and help them through the Stargate."

"Doctor, forget their belongings. The Alpha Site will have everything they need."

"I agree, General, but saying that and getting them to do it are two different things. We're trying to speed them up, but ..."

Hammond sighed, understanding the difficulty the archaeologist was facing. Still, time was limited.

"Doctor, use all of your expertise. Get those people ready to go now."

"I'll do my best."

"How's the climate?"

"Getting worse. It was raining hard when I got here, but now it's, uh, colossal: some hail and the water is washing away the dirt roads."

"Be careful."

"I will," Daniel promised with a nod before the transmission ended.

The major general was about to go to his office, when he deterred to Jack's office, almost surprised when the colonel was there, considering Jack loved to say he didn't have an office.

"Colonel."

"Sir," Jack responded, standing up at the general's entrance.

"I thought you'd want to know that Doctor Jackson just checked in."

"Thank you, Sir. How's it going?"

"Sounds like some of the residents want to take everything they own with them."

"Yeah, folks don't always comprehend that an emergency means get your body out of there and leave the replaceable crap behind."

"They are preparing."

"I appreciate the update, General."

"Are you about ready to depart?"

"As soon as I gear up."

"Very well," Hammond said, turning and leaving the colonel alone.

~Hang in there, Danny. We'll enjoy a nice cozy fire when you get home.~

====

Sam headed for the embarkation room to see Jack and Teal'c off on their mission, meeting up with the colonel as he was going that direction himself.

"So, you'd rather stay here and geek out some computer program than come with us, huh?" Jack asked as he entered the gate room.

"Don't take it personally, Sir. I just think this research shows a lot of promise."

"It's Felger."

"He did save our lives, Colonel."

"Yeah, don't remind me."

Teal'c interjected, "The ability to disable any Gate we choose could prove to be a valuable weapon in our struggle against the Goa'uld."

"If it works," Jack noted strongly.

A minute later, joined by a Marine unit, the team left Earth for the site of the meeting with the bickering Jaffa, leaving Sam to deal with the geeky scientist. She truly believed in Avenger, but she also felt Felger needed a little support to be successful.

====

On the moon as the downpour continued, Daniel addressed a large group of people who gathered at a courtyard in the middle of the city.

"Listen to me," Daniel shouted in order to be heard. "You can't take everything you own. That would take too long."

The crowd bristled with shouts that they didn't want to leave anything behind.

"You have to. We won't have time to transport all of you and all your belongings through the Stargate. It's more important to save yourselves."

More grumbling was heard from the unhappy crowd.

As sympathetically as possible, the linguist sighed, "I know what it's like to lose everything, to have nothing but the clothes on your back, but life has to go on. Pack two bags. Choose your most precious things, things that can't be replaced: photographs, mementos, children's drawings. We'll help you, but you have to get ready now."

The crowd murmured, but not as harshly as just a minute before.

Daniel continued, "Your lives matter. We hope to open the Stargate late tomorrow or the next day, so you have that long to prepare. It's really, uh, very important that you're ready to go. Look around you. These conditions are only going to get worse. When we open the Gate, we won't have time to wait for furniture or items that you can obtain in another place. Please ... please ... two bags only. Let us save your lives so you can live on in a new place. Please."

The man's sincerity was hard to dismiss. One citizen called out that he was already packed with his prized possessions and could help his neighbors. Another shouted that Daniel was right. They could replace objects, but not their families. Encouraged, the archaeologist watched as the city dwellers returned to their homes, some already reaching out to SGC personnel for assistance.

The wind kicked up a notch and Daniel had to put his hand on top of his head to stop his rain gear from blowing off.

~I sure miss Egypt right now.~

====

That evening, Sam decided to do something unusual for her. She pulled Felger's address from his personnel file in the computer and went to his apartment. She definitely wasn't prepared for what she saw, which included an elaborate miniature setting of soldiers and trees by a Stargate. She even discovered a Barbie-like doll dressed in fatigues that resembled her. The apartment itself was a mess and Felger was so unnerved by seeing her at his door that he put his pants on backward.

~Okay, maybe I've been blind, but this guy may have a crush on me,~ the woman thought. ~What about Chloe? She seems to like Felger a lot.~

Sam informed Felger that General Hammond agreed to give him another chance, but only on the condition that she worked with him on the project. With her teammates all off-world, this wouldn't interfere with SG-1 activities at all.

====

As night came on the moon, Daniel was too busy to sleep. This would be a sleepless passage of time. There was too much to be done. People, for the most part, were following his instructions, but there were still a few who didn't want to give up beloved paintings, favorite clothes, or even their preferred cookery. He had to implore many to heed his request of just two bags each as Daniel knew that to make sure everyone got off the moon in time, personnel couldn't be bogged down with luggage, home decor, and other accessories.

Finally, the archaeologist made the inhabitants a promise, one he was hesitant to make, but one he would honor if possible.

"Look, mark anything you think is vital in your homes. If, and I do mean if, after everyone is safely through the Stargate, there is still time, I promise we'll retrieve as many of the marked items as possible. We won't risk our lives, but if there's time, we'll take advantage of it."

That soothed more of the disgruntled moon residents, much to Daniel's relief.

Tired and cold, the archaeologist found a corner to have a moment of peace. He drank from a thermos of coffee, only the beverage was cold. That didn't matter. Daniel drank it anyway.

**Jack, no way can you hear me, but I love you. I wish you were here. I'm, uh, not quite the military leader you are. Besides, I need you to hold me. I'm so cold.** Daniel paused, smiling as he remembered the first time he'd told Jack he was cold. That was the night they became a couple, the moment when love erupted between them. **I love you.**

====

Jack tossed and turned as he tried to sleep on the planet. He was also cold, but not from the weather, but from the absence of his soulmate. He smiled in anticipation of their reunion, which he hoped would happen in the next day or two.

**Angel, hey, you can't hear me, right?** The colonel waited a moment. **Yeah, I thought not, but I wanted to say goodnight. I miss you, and I love you. Don't catch a cold on that miserable moon.**

Jack turned to rest on his back and looked up at the sky. He wondered if the moon Daniel was on was visible among the stars he was looking at. Slowly, his eyelids closed and he fell asleep with thoughts of his Love circulating through his mind and heart.

====

The next morning, Sam and Felger dug into making Avenger a reality and a success. They spent the entire day on the project. Meanwhile, preparations to depart the moon continued, but the actual relocation was delayed until the next day when the leader of the Alpha Site assured Daniel that all of the currently housed refugees would be on the way to their new home world. Elsewhere, Jack did his best to bring together two hostile factions on the Jaffa, though both sides seemed anxious to find any excuse for fighting. Not the best peacemaker in the universe, the colonel was both irritated and frustrated by the ongoing arguments.

====

Early the following day, Sam felt confident in handing a complete report on Felger's project to Hammond.

"We think the virus is ready, Sir. Of course, other than computer simulations, there's no real way to test it, except on another Gate," Sam stated.

"Do you have a target in mind?"

"P5S-117. It's one of Ba'al's principal naquadah mining sites. If we could disable the Gate, we could seriously disrupt his supply network."

"How will we know if the test is successful?"

Sam explained, "There's a Tok'ra operative on the planet who will be able to relay the results of the test through their sub-space communication network."

Hammond okayed the test and the virus was dispatched within the hour. From then on, it was a waiting game until the Tok'ra made contact.

====

"Why haven't we heard from Colonel O'Neill?" Hammond asked the technician on duty upon entering the control room.

The major general noted the presence of Sam and then Felger when he arrived, believing the Tok'ra were finally calling in with news about the virus.

"He hasn't attempted a check-in, Sir."

"Dial P3C-249."

"Yes, Sir."

The Stargate began to turn and finally locked. The kawoosh exploded and transmission to the planet was established through the MALP (Mobile Analytic Laboratory Probe), a remote-controlled vehicle that assisted in confirming the presence of a DHD on a planet prior to an SG team gating through. It also determined any hostile forces close by as well as any potential environmental concerns. Right now, the most important function of the MALP was to relay both visual and audio signals from the planet to Stargate Command.

"General, boy, are we glad you called," Jack stated as he stared into the MALP's camera, providing the viewers with a close up of his head.

"What's your status, Colonel?" Hammond asked.

"Well, the mission was going according to plan. Then we hit a little snag. We can't dial the Gate."

"Say again?"

"We cannot establish an outgoing wormhole. We've tried all kinds of addresses, but we just can't get a lock."

"Stand by, Colonel."

Hammond glared at Felger, accusation on his face.

"Whoa, whoa, whoa, this is just a coincidence. There's no way this could have anything to do with my virus. No ... could it?" Felger questioned weakly.

"Colonel, we'll have to get back on you. We may have a problem," Hammond sighed.

"Sir, is the problem named ... Felger?"

"I'll get back to you."

Jack's groan was the last thing heard when the transmission ended.

"Sir, maybe we should go to Felger's lab."

"Let's do that, Major."

====

Conditions on the moon grew worse as its orbit continued to decay. The volcanic eruptions were happening with more frequency and the inhabitants were beginning to panic. Still, Daniel was hopeful.

"These are the locals from the outskirts of the city," Patterson reported to Daniel. "They're eager to go."

"I would be, too," Daniel said. "Dial the Alpha Site and let's get them through as quickly as possible."

The lieutenant approached the DHD and inputted the coordinates, but nothing happened. He looked stunned. He repeated the procedure and then looked back at the archaeologist.

"Sir, it's not connecting?"

"What?" a startled Daniel responded.

"I've dialed the Alpha Site twice. The Gate won't lock."

Daniel was worried. The location of the secret base was highly classified and not even Earth's major allies were given its coordinates unless absolutely necessary. He went to the DHD and inputted the coordinates himself.

~I don't understand this.~ Daniel dialed again and again with the same failure of the Stargate to lock. ~Could they have been attacked?~

"Sir, what do we do?" Patterson questioned.

Daniel said nothing, but he dialed home, the coordinates to Earth. Then he dialed the Nox world. True, their Stargate was usually buried, but it wasn't always the case. Next, he tried the Land of Light and after that, he entered the symbols for Cimmeria. His pulse rate began to race, some trepidation of the continued existence of the universe floating through him.

~Where is everyone? The universe didn't ... explode ... did it?~

The archaeologist kept dialing: Argos, Chulak, and even P7J-989, the garden world of the gatekeeper. He didn't stop as his own panic threatened to take over. His hand worked quickly and accurately. Each time the Stargate spun; it just didn't lock on the final Gate address.

Orban. K'tau. P3X-888 where the Unas Chaka lived. Daniel dialed every Gate address in his mind, including the recently visited P3X-289 where people disappeared with frequency and all memories of their existence were removed from its residents until SG-1 discovered the reason for the dwindling population and successfully corrected it. No matter where Daniel dialed, the Stargate wouldn't lock.

"Doctor Jackson?" Patterson called out nervously.

"This doesn't make sense," Daniel lamented. "The Alpha Site checked in an hour ago and said we could start sending our people through the Gate. Why can't we reach them now?"

The genius mind of Daniel struggled for reasons for the Stargate's failure to lock, but he couldn't really come up with anything. He couldn't comprehend something so spectacular as the rest of the universe suddenly disappearing, either, so he had to assume there was a logical reason for the current crisis.

"Doctor Jackson?" the anxious lieutenant called out again.

Daniel glanced over at the military man and sighed, "Well, sooner or later, General Hammond will contact us."

"I hope it's sooner."

"Um, the wind speed is growing. You might as well as tell everyone to go home until we hear from the general."

"But ..."

"Lieutenant, our next scheduled check-in isn't for three hours. If these people stay where they are for long, they'll either catch pneumonia or be blown away. Get them to safety."

"Yes, Sir."

Daniel sighed. He really didn't like giving orders, but when pressed, he always found the strength to do so.

~I just hope that was the right order to give,~ the scientist sighed. ~Gawd, I wish you were here, Jack. You'd know for sure what to do.~

====

Felger continue to maintain the problem couldn't be his virus program, and Sam verified the virus was sent to the correct Stargate. Further discussion was halted when another off-world activation announcement was heard over the public address system.

Quickly, the group returned to the control room where they learned the Tok'ra were making contact at last. It wasn't good news as a series of malfunctions within the Gate system were occurring. Gates were offline for no known reason. The Tok'ra provided Sam with specific data on one of the Stargates and she left to analyze it.

It didn't take the astrophysicist long to find the problem: automatic correlative updates that supposedly only happened every two-hundred years. Sam immediately recommended all off-world teams be recalled immediately, though Hammond already began doing so.

In Felger's lab, Sam told the major general, "We think we may have an explanation. We know that the Gate network has to undergo periodic correlative updates in order to compensate for stellar drift. Now, we've never witnessed it, but we believe that the Gates dial each other automatically to transmit the new coordinates that apply to each address."

Hammond asked, "And you believe Doctor Felger's virus initiated one of these updates?"

"It may have triggered an automatic internal protocol in the DHD. Before adapting the new scrambled coordinates, it dialed out and transmitted them to a few of the neighboring Gates who then transmitted to a few more and so on and so on ..."

There was no time to stop the dialing, so the focus became on getting the off-world teams home quickly.

Hammond glared with great annoyance at Felger before exiting the research lab.

"He's really mad, isn't it?"

Sam took a breath and smiled weakly.

"I'm sure it will be okay once we get the Gates working again."

"He's going to fire me."

"Let's get back to work," Sam suggested.

====

As SGC attempted to get its teams back to Earth safely, it was time to contact P3L-997, the moon Daniel was on while he worked on relocating the locals. This was done before the scheduled check-in, something that was a sense of relief for the archaeologist.

When the connection was made, Sam immediately advised, "Daniel, we're having a problem with the Stargate."

"So are we."

"Doctor Jackson, what's your status?" Hammond questioned anxiously, though he could see and hear the loudness and harshness of the weather.

"The rain is worsening, General," Daniel reported. 'We can't dial out, Sir. I've tried almost every coordinate set I can think of. I'm, uh, I'm afraid we're stuck here until ..."

"Son, I can barely hear you."

"Uh, sorry," the archaeologist replied. When he spoke next, he was shouting. "It's getting pretty bad. The waters are rising." He added, "We can't dial the Gate. No coordinates have been successful."

"Are you in danger?"

"Well, for now, we're safe, but we'll have to seek higher ground if this downpour continues." Daniel paused and asked, "Any news from Jack?"

"We're due for another check-in shortly."

Daniel nodded and then Hammond ended the communication session.

"So, that's another team who can't come home," the major general lamented. Both forcefully and harshly, he addressed Sam and stated, "Major, I want this situation rectified immediately. You get that ... Doctor Felger to fix this mess now. I want our people home."

Hammond said nothing more and left the control room. Sam looked over the others in the room. She knew the general wasn't angry at her; he was simply worried about the personnel assigned to him. He had reason to be as Sam didn't have much confidence at the moment that her friends and colleagues would all survive the events on the planets on which they were stranded.

On the whole, SGC wasn't having much luck with the teams. In fact, only three teams were able to return to SGC with twelve more stranded on planets. This included both Jack and Daniel.

====

Sam updated Felger and Chloe in the lab. Felger was already having a difficult time breathing and now he was even closer to hyperventilating. He used a brown paper bag to try and control his breathing.

"This is ... this is just so bad."

"Jay, it'll be okay," Chloe tried to assure as she continued to rub his shoulders.

"You don't understand. First, General Hammond is going to fire me. Then Colonel O'Neill is going to kill me."

"What about Doctor Jackson?"

"I don't know. He's more ... passive, but he might hit me. I've heard he can hold his own in a fight."

"Doctor Jackson's not going to fight you, Jay," Chloe sighed.

"Colonel O'Neill will."

"Jay ..."

"I can't breathe," the nervous inventor of Avenger gasped as he again put the bag to his mouth and breathed into it.

====

Another check-in with Jack took place during which he advised, "The mission's been compromised, Sir. Looks like one of the Jaffa commanders sold us out. Go figure."

"What happened?" Hammond inquired.

"The negotiations were going just fine; then the Gate broke down. After that, they all started accusing each other of sabotage and all hell broke loose."

"Sir, we think we know what caused your Gate to malfunction. It was the virus," Sam told her commanding officer.

Jack moved in close to the camera and asked, "Felger's virus?"

"It created a new coordinate system that then spread to all the DHDs, but, since we don't have a DHD, we have the only Gate that can dial out."

The colonel was beside himself. He actually walked away from the MALP's camera in disgust until he turned back and chided, "I told you not to trust that brown-nosing little weasel!"

"He doesn't know I'm standing here, does he?" Felger questioned weakly.

"Sir, I'm just as responsible as anyone else," Sam claimed.

Just then, an al'kesh was seen by the colonel and began to attack. Jack dived out of the way. An explosion occurred, causing the video signal to cease. Those in the control room at SGC held their collective breaths as they waited for vocal communication from the colonel, who was standing right by the MALP when the explosion was seen. Finally, there was a collective sigh when Jack spoke over the radio and advised they were going to take cover.

Sam suggested they send reinforcements since they still had an outgoing wormhole, but Hammond refused, saying, "They'd be stranded like all the others. I can't send anyone until we fix this problem."

Hammond drew a giant breath and yet again glared at Felger. If looks could injure, this was one of them.

====

Back in Felger's lab, Sam, Felger, and Chloe discussed the problem as they sought a solution. They believed only Stargates with a DHD were affected by the virus.

"So, if we can get just one DHD converted back to the old coordinate system, the Gate network would spread it for us," Felger put forth.

"But how do you convert back to the old system when the new one is based on a completely random principal?" Sam asked.

"There still has to be a pattern. I mean, if we can get one DHD to establish a lock with a specific Gate, then all we have to do is compare the old address to the new address and extrapolate a translation program ... yeah," Felger responded.

Sam surmised, "That would mean random dialing."

Chloe reminded, "Seven symbols chosen from a pool of thirty-eight non-repeating candidates? That's about sixty-three billion possible combinations."

Even Sam was impressed by the other woman's mathematical prowess, but she had to remain focused on the solution. At least there was an idea now for saving her colleagues.

====

When Sam checked in Hammond that night, he told her Ba'al was taking advantage of the Gate issues and was attacking several System Lords and winning.

====

Meanwhile, the city dwellers on the moon were growing restless. There was no power and their food supply was lessening with each day. The rain pounded down on them, while the high winds threatened to push them to the ground. The planet's volatility was peaking with a growing number of explosions. Time was short and they wanted off the moon.

"Doctor Jackson," Lieutenant Glen Harmon shouted in a rush.

"What is it?" Daniel asked, standing up from the cot he'd been resting on in the hope of getting a little bit of rest.

"They're rioting by the Stargate."

"Wha...what?"

"They think we won't dial the Alpha Site, not that we can't."

"Oh, for crying out loud," Daniel responded. ~Gawd, I'm channeling Jack again."

Hurriedly, Daniel followed the African-American Marine, another volunteer from the SGC, to the Stargate. There, he saw hundreds of people in a panic, yelling, threatening those trying to help them, and even shoving one another as some wanted to push through the crowd to reach the DHD.

The DHD, however, was surrounded by the SG team assigned to the relocation. Their weapons were drawn, all four members ready to fire if anyone from the crowd advanced and threatened them. The other SGC volunteers were either spread out in front of the Stargate or on the sides of the large collection of angry citizens.

The archaeologist called out, trying to get the attention of the city dwellers, but no one heard him. Then he saw a horrible sight as the crowd became violent. Several tried to get to the Stargate. People fell to the muddy dirt below their feet. Daniel's eyes grew wide as he saw a young girl desperately hiding her face that was about to be trampled on by advancing rioters.

Daniel did something he thought he'd never do, but in his mind, it was the only option.

~It's what Jack would do.~

The archaeologist pulled out his Beretta sidearm, raised it up against the powerful rain, and fired it three times. The rioters stopped, which allowed other SGC personnel time to position themselves properly and pull out their own weapons.

"Listen to me!" Daniel shouted. "Is this really what you want?" He walked over and helped the little girl, who couldn't be more than seven- or eight-years old, up onto her feet. "You want your children to die here, unnecessarily, because you're impatient? Is that you want?"

"Ankeila!" a woman cried out. "Ankeila!"

"Mommy!" the girl responded anxiously, pulling away from Daniel and running to the woman. "She's okay," Daniel said softly.

Daniel walked over to the DHD and then turned back to face the people. He became aware that all ten of the volunteers had weapons drawn, as did the SG unit.

"Put them away," Daniel ordered.

"But ..." Patterson began to argue.

The SG personnel shared looks of unhappiness and uncertainty. A couple quietly balked at the order.

"He's in charge," Harmon pointed out to the others.

"He's an archaeologist," one of the SG team muttered.

"And he's in charge," Patterson stated sternly.

Seeing the hesitation, Daniel repeated strongly, "I said, put your weapons away."

"You heard the man. Lower your weapons," Patterson stated as he immediately rested his powerful assault weapon to his thigh.

There were still a couple of grunts, but the rest of the SG personnel finally followed the command.

Once the order was obeyed, the archaeologist refocused on the upset moon residents.

"The Stargate isn't working. Stargate Command is aware of the problem. It's not just us. It's the entire Gate network. Did you hear me? The system has a virus and until SGC determines how to ... kill the virus, we have to wait."

"You're lying!" a man accused angrily.

"Watch."

Daniel dialed four different Gate addresses. The people saw the circle turn, but never engage.

"I still don't believe you."

"Who here knows how to use the DHD?"

When several hands rose, Daniel motioned for some of them to approach.

"Dial. Dial any Gate address you want," the scientist challenged.

Three of the men made attempts, the final staring at Daniel and whispering, "I'm sorry. I'm trying to save my family."

"I know that." Daniel looked into the crowd. "I think we should all try to stick together. We may have to move fast once the problem is fixed. Get your things and gather around our camp." He saw the crowd begin to disperse, but they were moving slowly, too slowly for the urgency of the situation. Suddenly, Daniel shouted, "Move! Now!"

The now peaceful citizens picked up their pace, returning to their crumbling homes to get the few items they would take with them to the Alpha Site and assembling in the nearby buildings to where Daniel and his relocation team had their tents set up.

Daniel sighed and contemplated his actions all the way back to his tent. He sat down on the cot, now waterlogged due a hole at the top of the tent. He shook his head, kept his poncho on, and lied down on the cot, ignoring the dampness.

**Jack, it's a mess here, and I don't know that I'm a very good leader in situations like this. I hope you're having an easier time with the Jaffa.**

Daniel sighed. There was no response, which didn't surprise him. After all, the intensity of the weather was so bad now that he couldn't even hear himself think. He closed his eyes, but sleep never came on this night.

====

As another day began, Sam went to Felger's lab and found him feeling extremely guilty. She tried to make him feel better by admitting her own errors.

"I was the one who bypassed the dialing protocols that caused the wormhole to pass through K'Tau's sun. The chain reaction that resulted could have led to the deaths of everyone on that planet," Sam told the other scientist.

Felger became excited and called out, "That's it! That's it! Oh, even your mistakes are perfect."

"What are you talking about?"

"You were able to bypass the security protocol because you created your own dialing program."

"So?"

"So, we can do that here," Felger said. "Instead of trying to tweak the DHD program back to its original form, why don't we just upload everything from our dialing computer?"

"Our program is nowhere near as sophisticated as the one that exists in the DHDs. It's completely Jerry-rigged."

"It doesn't have to be perfect, as long as the coordinate system is accurate. The DHD will automatically make all the necessary adjustments."

Sam asked, "How do you know that?"

"Well, it's ... okay, I don't, I don't, I don't, but the fact that Avenger triggered a correlative update seems to indicate that the DHD program is adaptive by it's very nature; and plus, we have nothing else. Trust me, Major, this is gonna work."

====

"It'll be a few minutes, Major Carter," Patterson replied when the Stargate's event horizon formed and a transmission began via the MALP. "Doctor Jackson is in his tent."

"Tell him it's urgent," Sam requested. As she waited quietly, she thought about her friend stranded on the moon that's life would end within the week. ~You have to make it back, Daniel.~ She sighed. ~The colonel loves you, so we need to get you home before that moon is destroyed. I sure hope this works.~

At the beginning of Jack and Daniel's romantic relationship, Sam wasn't totally on board with it, even though she frequently assisted them in covering it up. Now, though, she'd seen their love for years and couldn't argue against it.

"Sam!" Daniel exclaimed, his face barely visible from the hood of the rain gear that covered his head.

"Daniel, we think we fixed it. I'm going to close the wormhole. Try to dial out, here to Earth."

"Right away."

Sam shut down the Stargate and waited. Minutes passed and nothing.

"Major?" Hammond asked as he entered the control.

"I don't think it's working, General," Sam spoke, sounding the most emotional she'd been in the last few days. She looked at her watch and advised, "It's been ten minutes. If it worked, Daniel would have been in touch by now."

"Dial P3L-997," Hammond ordered.

The outgoing wormhole established and there was Daniel, talking into the video camera on the MALP.

"Doctor Jackson?" the major general prompted.

"Yeah, sorry to rain on your parade, guys, but it didn't work," Daniel advised.

"It should have worked," Felger replied.

"We tried dialing Earth and the Alpha Site, but we couldn't get a lock," the archaeologist stated.

Felger suggested, "You know, maybe there's something wrong with the upload."

"If you've got any other bright ideas, now would be a very good time," Daniel spoke somewhat anxiously.

Hammond inquired, "What's your status, Doctor?"

"Flood water's rising pretty fast; seismic activity is causing a lot of rogue waves. We estimate that within forth-eight hours, the entire city will be under water."

Felger sighed, "It should have worked!"

"Daniel, we'll figure it out," Sam promised. "Stay dry."

"Sorry, there's not a dry spot in sight," Daniel responded with a slight smile.

"We'll be in touch."

Sam turned to say something to the general, but he was already in his office. She heard the slam of his door as it closed. She looked up at Felger.

"It should have worked," Felger reiterated.

"But it didn't," Sam said. "Excuse me."

Sam removed herself from the control room and hurried to her lab on Level 19. She shut the door and leaned back against it. Slowly, she slid down to the floor, put her head into hands, and cried from desperation. She didn't stay like that for long, though. She sniffled and dried her tears with the black sleeves of her BDU shirt.

~Get a grip, Samantha. The colonel and Daniel will both get home safely. It's going to happen. Go home. Sleep on it. Tomorrow, we *will* fix this.~

Sam stood up, feeling oddly refreshed after giving herself the brief pep talk. She'd let her femininity out for a few minutes, but now it was time for the major to do what she did best: drown herself in the science of the problem and find the solution.

====

The next day, a rededicated Sam was ready to dig in, only Felger was nowhere to be found. Chloe hadn't seen him, and Sam couldn't find him anywhere. When she checked the security points, she learned the man signed out the previous evening around 9 p.m. and had not returned to the base. Having no choice, Sam reported Felger's departure to the base commander.

"I thought you said all he needed was a little support," Hammond stated.

Sam responded, "Yeah, I may have been wrong about that. Okay, I admit it, he's a complete screw-up. He makes rash decisions based on sketchy evidence, he's clumsy in the lab, he's always late, and quite frankly, it wouldn't kill him to ease up on the aftershave; but the fact is, Sir, he's at Stargate Command because he's a brilliant scientist, and no one understands that virus better than he does."

"Then I suggest you get him back."

Sam went in search of Felger and, after calling his mother, found him on a bridge overlooking a stream not all that far from Cheyenne Mountain. It was a place he went to often. She gave him a great deal of encouragement and listened as he briefly reviewed his history and talked about the pressure of working in the Stargate Program. He also maintained his solution to the virus should have worked.

That prompted Sam to speculate, "Jay, what if the virus replicated itself and then traveled along with the new coordinate system to the other DHDs?"

Felger didn't believe that was possible, but then neither should the correlative update occurred.

Sam insisted the DHD program was adaptive.

====

In the briefing room, Sam and Felger presented their latest solution to the issue at hand. Apparently, the virus was blocking the upload and they needed to neutralize it first. However, before any of that could happen, they had to find the virus somewhere within the dialing program itself. Essentially, it was looking for a needle in a haystack.

"But we do know that the virus exists within a very specific sub-routine of the original target DHD on P5S-117. The catch is, in order to make this work, we have to reboot the system which means removing the control crystal. Someone's going to have to physically go to the planet, Sir," Sam advised.

Hammond approved the mission with Sam at the helm. As fast as possible, Sam and Felger gated to P5S-117. Felger began to set up their equipment work on the DHD while Sam checked out the area.

====

Meanwhile, SGC contacted Jack again.

"The Jaffa landed the al'kesh and they're sending out search patrols. Teal'c and I have organized the rebels for a counter attack," the colonel reported.

Hammond warned, "Be advised, Colonel. Major Carter has gone to P5S-117. She's attempting to get the Gate system back on line."

"That's occupied territory, Sir," Jack spoke, aware Ba'al now controlled the planet.

"Yes, it is."

"What team did she take?" Jack questioned, hoping it was a Marine unit.

"Major Carter didn't want to risk stranding anyone else," Hammond responded.

"She went alone?"

"Not entirely. Doctor Felger's with her."

"I'm inspired with confidence," Jack quipped. ~I'm so going to knock his block off if we all get out of this mess. "Sir, Daniel?"

"No progress, Colonel. The weather conditions on the moon have worsened. They're trying to stay above the rising waters, but are running out of places to go."

"Yes, Sir," Jack acknowledged unhappily. ~I'm not going to knock his block off, I'm going to send that idiot to Siberia.~ After the Stargate shut down, the colonel advised, "Teal'c, we need to move now. Carter and Daniel are in trouble."

====

Within the hour, Jack, Teal'c, and their allied Jaffa were in place, shielded by rocks and the woods. They guessed that the al'kesh had offloaded at least one-hundred Jaffa.

"How many more do you think they have on that thing?" Jack asked his teammate.

"An al'kesh is capable of carrying vast armies, O'Neill."

"Yeah, well, we'll think positively." The last search party left the al'kesh over ten minutes ago, so the colonel decided this was the best chance. "Move out!" he ordered, signaling the rebel Jaffa.

Weapons at the ready, Jack took out one of the Jaffa guarding the ship, while Teal'c took out another. Quickly, the group boarded the al'kesh.

"Howdy, Boys," Jack greeted as he and others rushed the bridge of the vessel while others automatically searched the large ship for enemy Jaffa. "I'm the new sheriff in town."

"O'Neill," Teal'c shouted in warning.

Jack turned and saw three Jaffa rushing him. He opened fired, immediately injuring two of them. The third paused, but started to move forward again.

"Go ahead. Make my day," Jack stated, using his best Clint Eastwood voice and snarl.

The rebel Jaffa forced all of the Jaffa found on the al'kesh to the bridge. There actually weren't that many, just twelve or so. The rest were apparently on the planet as part of the many search parties dispatched.

"Ride's over," Jack said, motioning for the removal of the enemy from the ship. "You think you can handle them from here?"

"They cannot defeat us," one of the rebel Jaffa responded.

"I take that as a yes."

The enemy Jaffa were removed from the ship while the rebel Jaffa said their goodbyes to Teal'c and also disembarked.

Teal'c took the pilot's seat and lifted the al'kesh into the sky. When he saw the enemy Jaffa returning and opening fire on the rebels, he used the al'kesh's outer weapon to fire, causing the enemy to run away.

"Nice," Jack responded. "Get this thing to P5S-117."

Teal'c engaged the hyperdrive and headed for the planet on which Sam was currently located.

====

On P5S-117, Sam returned from her recon and reported not seeing an Jaffa nearby. Felger was working on the DHD when he realized there was yet another problem.

"This isn't Avenger. I mean, it's Avenger, but something's hinky. It's been altered," Felger told the major. He added, "This isn't the program I wrote. It's been tampered with since it was sent."

Sam surmised it was Ba'al who was responsible, saying, "Think about it. He stood the most to gain. He took your idea to bring down one Gate and modified it to bring down the entire Gate network, knowing it would give him an advantage."

Felger was happy at that thought since it relieved him of being a failure. That faded when Sam pointed out that the tampered program meant their antivirus wouldn't work.

The solution, of course, was to modify the antivirus, a difficult task to say the least.

====

Daniel was still shouting to be heard when he had his next check-in with Stargate Command.

"Still no word from Sam?"

"To be honest, we should've heard back by now," Hammond answered.

"Well, we're gonna have to abandon the Stargate and move to higher ground," Daniel stated reluctantly.

"Very well. Good luck, Doctor Jackson." Hammond sighed, ~Colonel O'Neill isn't going to be happy about this, either.~

Daniel gave Hammond one of his sloppy salutes that he often gave Jack. It was about the only affectionate thing he could think of to do, since he wasn't so convinced he'd survive the situation on the moon before the problem with the Gates were solved.

====

Felger continued to work diligently on the solution, but Sam ruined his fun by telling him that Jaffa had made their position. Soon, the Jaffa opened fire. The fact was that Sam was greatly outnumbered and most likely wouldn't be able to hold off the Jaffa for long.

The firefight intensified until an al'kesh surprisingly arrived and began to attack, not Sam and Felger, but the Jaffa. Some Jaffa were killed, while the others retreated to safety.

Transporter rings activated and to Sam's joy, Jack and Teal'c were in front of her.

Felger was so excited, he ran to Jack and hugged him. In response, Jack removed the scientist's hat and swatted him with it in order to get the man to let go of him.

"How'd you manage this one, Sir?" Sam asked.

"We got tired of waiting," Jack answered. "Uh, we have to go. Carter, return to SGC through the Stargate; tell Hammond I'm bringing him a little surprise, but don't tell him what."

"Yes, Sir," Sam chuckled. "Come on, Jay. Let's get our stuff together."

"I, I ... well, I mean, I still have to ..." Felger spoke, pointing to the DHD.

"Do it," Jack ordered. "See you later," he said to his 2IC as he and Teal'c again boarded the al'kesh, though they actually remained hovered over Sam's location for a few minutes to ensure the Jaffa weren't coming back. Feeling confident his 2IC was safe, Jack ordered, "Teal'c, let's make sure Daniel's okay."

"Indeed."

Teal'c again worked the controls and took the al'kesh to the moon's location. It wasn't all that safe for the al'kesh to be in the orbit of the moon, but it was a risk Jack was willing to take. As soon as he could, Jack used the transporter rings to go to the moon's surface.

"Jack?" Daniel called out from near the DHD. "Jack!"

"Hey, there, Daniel," Jack chimed with an upbeat tone and a smile. "The Gate working now?"

"Um, uh, yes." Daniel sighed, "We had to go up there," as he pointed to a ridge about a mile away. "Patterson volunteered to stay behind to monitor the Stargate. He ran all the way up that ridge to get us." He licked his lips and looked away for a second. "Jack, Patterson's a good man. He's been very ... helpful."

"I'll make a note," Jack promised. It was almost a sure thing that with Daniel's remark, Kerry Patterson's career path was headed upward. A promotion to captain was on the man's horizon, though he didn't know it yet. With a small smile, the colonel stood within a foot of his lover and softly spoke, "You look good."

"So do you."

"Doctor Jackson, this woman wants to take her dinette table with her; she says it's been in her family for generations."

Jack was sure Daniel would agree, but smiled with a combination of pride and curiosity when the archaeologist responded, "We can't do it. This moon is going to explode in a matter of hours. Get her through the Gate without the table."

"Did I miss something?"

"Yes, but I have to get the rest of these people through to the Alpha Site."

"You think there's enough time?"

"According to the seismology experts, we should be okay with an hour to spare, maybe."

"Teal'c and I will stay."

"And do what?" Daniel smiled and noted, "You came on an al'kesh?"

"Yeah, a new toy for Earth. I think it will come in handy."

"Well, take your ... toy and go home. I'll be back tonight."

**I love you, Danny.**

**I love you, too, Jack.**

A bit reluctantly, Jack returned to the al'kesh and headed back to Earth.

====

With the DHD on the planet put back together and having tested it sufficiently, Sam and Felger returned to SGC via the Stargate.

"I trust the solution you came up with is of a permanent nature?" Hammond asked hopefully.

Felger responded, "Oh, yes, yes. Not to worry, General. I've modified the antivirus, you know, specifically to target and neutralize the altered version of Avenger, but I've also added a little patch, you know, just to ensure that no one will ever ..."

Sam interrupted, "The problem is solved, Sir ... permanently."

Hammond advised, "Doctor Jackson managed to get the remaining inhabitants of 997 through to the Alpha Site."

The actual reality was that when notified by SGC that the network was back in operation, Daniel immediately began sending the city dwellers to the Alpha Site. When he checked in with Hammond again, he actually said they were still sending the people through. However, the transmission was garbled and cut short when thunder strikes interfered, causing the general to believe the moon's people were all safely at the Alpha Site.

"Good to hear it, Sir."

Hammond asked, "What about Colonel O'Neill and Teal'c?"

"They found an alternate means of transport. I promised the colonel I wouldn't say anything. He wants it to be a surprise."

====

As the sky darkened over Colorado Springs, two special events occurred. The first was the return of Daniel Jackson. Sam eagerly approached her friend in the gate room and unabashedly shared a hug with him, something that would have been unheard of during SG-1's first year of exploration.

"Welcome home, Son," a happy Hammond greeted as he entered the gate room.

"Mission accomplished, Sir," Daniel reported. "Uh, Jack?"

"Major Carter tells me he's returning via Peterson. I was about to go there, if you'd care to join us," Hammond spoke, nodding over at Sam.

"I would very much. Thank you, Sir."

"Why don't you change into something ..."

"... dry?" Daniel teased. "I've forgotten what dry feels like."

Hammond chuckled and requested, "Meet me at my car in ten minutes."

====

"Sir, you might want to order Patterson to restrict air traffic until further notice," Sam suggested as she entered the car.

"Very well," Hammond agreed even as his curiosity was heightened. He placed a call to the Air Force base commander, who implemented the order. "Major, this surprise ..."

"You'll love it, Sir," Sam claimed with a smile.

"I agree, General," Daniel added. "It's out of this world."

"How do you know, Doctor Jackson?"

"Jack dropped by the moon to make sure we were okay," Daniel answered.

"He dropped by?"

"Yes, Sir."

The short ride to Peterson ended and the group walked to the appropriate landing strip where they were joined by the curious base commander. Hammond was stunned to see the alien craft come into view. He shook his head in wonder as Teal'c landed the al'kesh.

With the grin of a Cheshire cat, Jack deplaned, though Teal'c remained aboard, awaiting instructions where to bed down the ship so it would be safely out of view and air restrictions could be lifted.

The base commander was stunned at the latest classified arrival and immediately began preparations to not only hide the craft from view, but to guard it.

"Colonel, that was a lovely surprise. The Secretary will be elated."

"I figured he would, Sir," Jack respond.

"I know it's been a long few days, but we'll debrief in one hour."

Once the al'kesh was placed inside a large hangar, SG-1 and Hammond returned to Cheyenne Mountain.

====

After the debriefing, SG-1 went about their business with Jack and Daniel heading home as fast as possible. They continued to debate about the competency of Jay Felger, something that began in the session with General Hammond. Soon, though, they put aside their differing opinions and concentrated on their nation of two, satisfying both men greatly.

====

The next morning, the lovers dressed and prepared to head to work. Daniel, however, seemed distracted as he stared out into the backyard, watching the couple's beloved beagles, Bijou and Katie.

Jack approached and wrapped his arms around his archaeologist. He placed a kiss on his nape. He felt joy when Daniel leaned back into him, succumbing to his presence.

"What's wrong?"

"Not wrong, just ... gawd, Jack, I channeled you practically the entire time I was on 997. I, I fired my Beretta, used military terminology, and gave orders right and left. I wasn't me."

"Yes, you were," Jack corrected. "I'm glad you channeled me. Maybe it helped keep you safe and those protesters alive. You did what you had to do to maintain control of the situation."

"Firing a gun?"

"You've seen me do more times than either one of us can count."

"It's just ... gawd, when was the last time I actually did something in my line of work?"

"Okay, I admit it's been awhile, but Hammond is only following orders. The Goa'uld are on the run, Danny. All the bad guys we first dealt with are gone, departed, and otherwise no longer with us. Ba'al and the others have come in from the outer reaches to take over. We need to get rid of them; to end this war." Jack sighed. "Angel, I know you're having to be a warrior more than you want, but right now, there's not a lot I can do about it. We need time. Can you give us that?"

Daniel turned and put his hands on his soulmates neck while caressing gently. He smiled sweetly and nodded.

"I can be patient, for a while, but we all have our limits."

"Hang in there with me and I'll see if we can some old fashioned, space explorer first recons."

"I miss those," Daniel responded.

"Well, to be honest, I do, too. Hey, I love a big huge honkin' gun as much as the next guy, but we've made a lot of good friends over the years. The Nox and the Asgard come to mind," Jack put forth. "I wouldn't mind seeking out a few more allies and maybe acquiring more med tech to help our own world."

"And other big huge honkin' guns or weaponry wouldn't hurt, either, right?"

"Right."

The lovers kissed and then left their home for Cheyenne Mountain.

====

After signing in and checking their schedules, the lovers met in the mess hall for breakfast, something they didn't have time for at home since they were up late, cuddling and making love. They both smiled and called out when Sam entered and selected a tray full of food herself.

"Ready to go?" Jack asked as his 2IC sat down.

"Where?"

"Easy, Carter. There's nothing scheduled until tomorrow."

"Good, because I'm behind on my research. I had to babysit Jay the entire time you guys were gone."

"That I understand," Jack groused.

"Sir, he's ... a screw-up, and I told General Hammond that, but he's here because he's actually a top-notch scientist, and remember, it wasn't his virus that created the problem."

"Yeah, Ba'al had the balls to mess with the Stargate after he figured out what Folger did."

"Felger, Sir," the major corrected.

"He'd be better as a cup of coffee," Jack insisted.

"Uh, Sam, you do know Felger has a crush on you," Daniel interjected.

"He could barely take his eyes off you during the debrief," Jack pointed out.

"Maybe, but I think he's getting over it."

"The blonde geek?" Jack questioned, seeing two stares his direction since Sam was both blonde and a geek. "I mean that gal, Chloe."

"Actually, I think so," Sam affirmed, suddenly staring at her food.

"Carter, you're holding something back on us," Jack cajoled.

"I went to Felger's apartment."

"And?"

"He has a very unusual ... hobby."

"Which is?" Jack prodded.

"Us. SG-1."

"What makes you say that?" Daniel asked curiously.

"Well, you know how much he adores the colonel, but he had, um, he has this model."

"Airplanes? Trains? Automobiles?" the silver-haired man queried playfully.

"SG-1, on a planet, in front of a mini Stargate, with lots and lots of trees around," Sam said, gulping at the end. "He, um, also has a couple of ... Barbie dolls, one of which looked a lot like ..."

"... you?" the lovers surmised in unison.

"Well," Jack began as he stood up having finished his eggs and waffle meal. "Good luck, Carter. I'll see if Hammond can spare you to work with Folger again." He looked at his soulmate and said, "I'll check in with you later, and then he walked away, chuckling.

"Sir, that's really not nece...ssary," Sam sighed as Jack disappeared from view.

"He's just kidding."

"I hope so. How are you doing?"

"I'm home. Jack's home. You and Teal'c are home. I'm good, but I have a lot of catching up to do, too, so I'll see you later." Daniel took one last sip of coffee and stood up. "Oh, Sam."

"Yes?"

"Thanks for helping Jay and rescuing all of us."

Sam returned the archaeologist's smile and then finished her meal.

The last few days were rough on the entire team, but what made it okay was that everyone was safe and back together at Cheyenne Mountain; and for Jack and Daniel, life was about to transition in ways they couldn't imagine just a year ago. Their nation of two and their forever and always love was strong and continuing to grow, so no matter what dangerous and traumatic events they faced, life was always good.

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

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