The Truth Within

Author: Orrymain
Category: Pre-Slash, Missing Scenes/Epilogue
Pairing: Jack/Daniel  .... and it's all J/D
Rating:  PG-13
Season:  1 - just after COTG, before, during after EW
Spoilers:  Children of the Gods, The Enemy Within
Size:  40kb, short story
Written:  February 17-18,21,23,25,29, 2004
Summary:  As Kawalsky is taken over by a Goa'uld, Jack and Daniel build their friendship.  When Jack reveals that he wants Teal'c to be on SG-1, Daniel wonders if his friendship with Jack will be over before it's even begun!
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) Thanks to my betas who always make my fics better:  Claudia, StarShadow, Drdjlover, Quingem, Michelle, Sheryl, Karen!

The Truth Within
by Orrymain

Daniel nervously carried the large supreme pizza into Jack's house.  Wanting to surprise the older man, he had taken a cab home from the SGC and stopped off to pick up the pizza.  Of course, it wasn't as if he had money for any of this, but the government had given him a small advance for essentials.

Daniel had been staying in Jack's spare bedroom since his return from Abydos a week ago, and although he knew he'd have to get a place of his own eventually, he was content to stay with his friend for the time being.  The young man was still adjusting to life back on Earth, to the loss of his life as it had been, and trying to carve a niche for himself within the SGC.  Somehow, being with Jack at his country-styled home seemed ... comforting.

Still, his friendship with Jack was odd ... unusual.  They had connected in some warped way during the first mission to Abydos.  He had never forgotten Jack.  In fact, Daniel had thought about him daily, wondering what he was doing, if he had truly gotten over his death wish and moved on with his life.  Now that he was back on Earth, staying with Jack, their friendship seemed almost surreal.

On the surface, they were complete opposites.  Daniel was the scholar and the peacemaker.  He was quiet, shy, and often reserved.  For Daniel, there were always alternatives to be discovered and questions to be asked.

Jack was the epitome of military might, shooting first and asking questions later.  He was loud, confident, and outgoing.  He used sarcasm and wit both as a shield and as a tool.  He had been Special Forces with a history of covert operations that would forever haunt him and color his decisions.

Daniel liked to read, go to museums, and study artifacts.  His idea of a good time was a night spent researching some relic, making a connection between it and some ancient culture.

Jack liked to watch TV, go to sporting events, and the only thing he seemed to want to study were the stars.  His idea of a good time was a night spent watching hockey, drinking beer and eating pizza.

Daniel wasn't a big pizza fan.  He liked Chinese food and salads, was addicted to coffee and chocolate, and he loved a good, fine wine.  On this night, though, he thought he'd surprise his friend with one of his favorite supremes, complete with a thick crust and extra cheese.  He knew Jack had plenty of beer, so he hadn't worried about bringing any.

He didn't see Jack in the house, but the truck was in the driveway.   Remembering Jack's love for stargazing, Daniel carried the pizza up to the roof deck.  Sure enough, there was Jack looking through his telescope, a six-pack of beer by his side.   Then he heard the sniff as Jack's nose smelled the gift of pizza.

“Okay, that's my kind of food,” Jack laughed, leaning back on the stool he was sitting on, when Daniel appeared at the top of the ladder.

“I, uh, I just thought you might like a pizza tonight.  It's late, though.  Maybe ... maybe you already ate.”

“It's never too late for pizza, Daniel,” Jack said as he got up and went to one of the two deck chair on the deck.  It was the first time two chairs were present.

“You ... got another chair?”

“There are two of us.  Sit down.  This is great!  Good choice, Danny,” Jack mumbled as he bit into the juicy and still hot pizza.

“Daniel,” Daniel said out of habit as he sat down.  He hadn't quite gotten used to Jack's more and more frequent use of the nickname “Danny.”  Since his parents' death, Daniel had never allowed anyone to call him “Danny,” but Jack was ignoring his frequent corrections.

For the first time, however, even though he had corrected Jack, Daniel noted he hadn't minded it as much when Jack used the diminutive.  He thought it was odd, but then he was also coming to realize that this new friendship might be different from anything he had ever known before.

Daniel took a bite and ate it slowly.

“I thought you didn't like pizza,” Jack stated as he continued to devour the Italian food.

“It's okay,” Daniel responded shyly, not looking at Jack.

Jack smiled, realizing Daniel had purchased the pizza because it was one of his favorites.  He made a mental note to reciprocate soon with a Chinese night.

“What were you looking at?” Daniel motioned at the telescope.

“Abydos.”

“Really?”

“Well, that direction anyway.  It's a big universe, Danny.  Each one of those worlds out there is an Abydos with a story of its own.  Life, history ... it's a big universe.”

Daniel stared at his friend, realizing a silent truth -- Jack O'Neill was not the dummy he pretended to be.  Daniel had known that already, but as Jack had talked about the stars and the universe, he also saw a passion in Jack's eyes, a passion for life and the unknown.  For the first time, Daniel wondered if he and Jack were really all that different.

“Careful, Jack.  That sounds like something I'd say.”

“Oops.  Forget I said it then,” Jack teased.

“Too late.”

“No, it's not.  I take it back,” the older man insisted.

“You can't!”

“Can, too!”

“Can't!”

“Yes, I can!”

“No, you can't!”

“Yes!”

“No, Jack!”

“Yes, Daniel,” Jack burst into laughter, shaking his head at the exchange.

He looked and saw the smile on Daniel's face, but the young man wasn't laughing out loud, and yet, Jack heard the laugh inside.  “Why aren't you laughing, Danny?” Jack wondered silently.

Jack took another bite of pizza and studied the man who was staying at his home.  Was he a friend?  Or was Jack just being accommodating?  At first, Jack was sure it was the latter, except, as he swallowed another bite, he realized he'd never invited anyone over to his home before, not even Kawalsky, who Jack thought of as his best friend.

And yet, Jack reflected, when he had seen Daniel, alone in the cold hallway of the SGC just a week or two before, he hadn't been able to help himself.  He had brought Daniel home, as if the archaeologist was a lost puppy. In fact, he noticed that Daniel was still wearing Jack's old brown jacket, a jacket Jack had been on the verge of throwing out, and yet Daniel was clinging to it like a lifeline.

“Maybe it is one,” Jack thought to himself.  He knew Daniel was going through the torture of being separated from his wife, Sha're.  Maybe Daniel needed something to get lost in, and the slightly oversized jacket might be a temporary fix.

The two sat quietly.  They didn't say much, just ate their pizza and watched the stars.  Jack showed Daniel where Abydos was, or what would be Abydos if they could reel it in close enough to see, and Daniel talked for a while about setting up the Archaeology Department at the SGC.  But mostly, they just sat on the chairs and watched the stars in the sky.

Strangely, the quiet that surrounded them didn't seem odd.  Being together was pleasant and peaceful.  Daniel found himself often glancing at Jack, trying to understand this man who had so many conflicting facets to his personality.  He had no idea that Jack was doing the same thing -- wondering how this geek was slowly becoming a part of his every day world.

After a couple of hours, they decided to call it a night, tossing the pizza box and beer bottles into the trash can that sat in Jack's backyard.  Daniel trailed behind Jack as they walked up the stairs, his arms folded tightly across his chest.  As they reached the upstairs hall, they paused and looked at each other.

“Well, good night, Jack.”

“Thanks for the pizza, Danny.”

“Dan ... you're welcome,” Daniel said quietly with a small smile, then turning and walking into the spare bedroom.

“I guess it's not so bad,” Daniel thought to himself about Jack's use of “Danny” when addressing him.

In the hallway, Jack watched as Daniel closed the door, and then smiled to himself knowing he'd won a small victory with the nickname thing.  Though Daniel had just conceded the use of the nickname, Jack vowed not to overdo it -- for now!

“Why does that make me happy?  Geez, why the heck do I even care?” Jack suddenly argued with himself for a few moments before deciding it wasn't worth taking the time to debate.

Within minutes, both men, separated only by a wall and a few feet,  began to fall asleep.

As his eyelids fluttered shut, Jack yawned.

**Good night, Danny.  Maybe tomorrow I'll get you to that hockey game.**

**Good night, Jack.  And don't count on it.**

Suddenly, Daniel jerked himself upright from his prone position on the bed.  He looked towards the wall.

**Jack?**

Silence loomed.

“Gawd, I'm losing my mind,” Daniel spoke softly, laying back down and succumbing to sleep.

In the other room, Jack lifted his head up off his pillow.  He looked around, as if expecting to see Daniel standing there, but there was only darkness and the closed door to his room.  Jack's face contorted a bit as he tried to understand what had just occurred, but then he made himself comfortable again and went to sleep.

====

The next morning, Daniel walked into the kitchen, yawning.  Jack, standing in front of the sink, laughed, “You are such the night owl, Doctor Jackson!”

“How can you stand to get up this early?”

“Early?  It's 0630.  It's late!”

“Oh, gawd.  You're a maniac.”

“Now, that may be true.  Here, have some breakfast,” Jack put the bowl of cereal on the counter that separated the kitchen from the living room.

“Froot Loops?  Jack, that's for kids.  I want real food!”

“Hey, I'll have you know Froot Loops are the real breakfast of champions!”

“Breakfast of champions?”

“Wheaties, Daniel, Wheaties.”

“Whatever you say, Jack,” Daniel said as he reluctantly sat down to eat the cereal.

“What would you rather have?” Jack asked, sitting on a stool opposite of Daniel.

“I don't know ... food, Jack.  Waffles, eggs, pancakes.  Waffles!  Oh, I missed waffles on Abydos.  Buttermilk waffles with rich, thick, gooey maple syrup ... not that thin stuff, but the homemade variety.  Hmm, waffles.”

“Daniel, you look like you're about to have an orgasm!”

Daniel spit out a mouthful of Froot Loops.  “A ... a ... a what?” he coughed, adding an, “Excuse me” for his reaction.

Jack roared.  “Geez, Danny, you're blushing!”

“Am not!”

“Oh yes, you are!”

“Not!”

“Too!”

“Oh, gawd.”  Daniel pushed the bowl out in front of him, folded his arms onto the counter and lowered his head onto them.

Jack shook his head and laughed as he sat down, “Eat your cereal, Danny, so you can grow up to be a big boy.”

Daniel glanced up, “You're so dead, O'Neill.”

Jack laughed as Daniel cleaned the countertop and then ate the cereal.

When they were done several minutes later, Jack cleared the area, and Daniel took care of a bit of personal business.  When he returned, Jack was seated in the chair nearest the kitchen area.  It was a roomy armchair, one Jack could sink down into and relax his tense muscles after a long, difficult day at the SGC fighting the Goa'uld, or worse, politicians.

“Um, shouldn't we be going to the SGC?” Daniel asked, standing in front of Jack's TV.

“Daniel,” Jack leaned forward, clasping his hands together in front of him, “I need to make sure you're okay with what's happening.”

“Which is ... what?”

“I've requested Teal'c be a part of SG-1.”

“Oh, okay.”  Daniel turned his back to Jack and walked to the bookshelves, folding his arms.

Jack stood and walked towards him, “Daniel, I know this might be awkward for a while, but ...”

“Awkward?  No, why should it be?”  Daniel walked around Jack to stare at the big backyard.

“Danny ...”

Daniel turned to face Jack.  “DANIEL.  MY NAME IS DANIEL.  Gawd!”  He spun back around to look outside again.

“Daniel, he's earned his place.  He saved our lives.”

Daniel was breathing hard.  “I know that,” Daniel again turned to face his friend, who was now an adversary.  ”What do you want from me, Jack?” The shaggy-haired scientist was breathing heavily and suddenly his heart was beating faster.

“I want you to be okay with it.”

“And I want Sha're back!”

“Daniel!”

“Forget it, Jack.  We both know it doesn't matter what I want.”

“Sure it does.”

“Fine.  Then put Teal'c on SG-2.”

“Daniel ...”

“See, it doesn't matter what I want, so this discussion is pointless.”

“No, talking is never pointless.”  Jack blinked for a second, looking down at the floor, his facial features twisting a bit.  He wasn't quite sure why he had just spoken those words.  He hated talking.  What was it about this Daniel Jackson that stirred Jack's heart so much, to the point that he was saying things totally out of character?  Jack shook his head for a second, forcing him back to the reality of the moment.

Daniel just stared.  Jack knew somehow their discussion had gone beyond Teal'c, but he wasn't sure how exactly.

“Daniel, you were there.  You know the circumstances.  You know why Teal'c did what he did.”

“That's not the issue.”

“Then what is?”

“She's my wife, Jack, and she's ... she's a host now because he chose her.”

“He didn't have a choice, Daniel.  Teal'c was a slave.  He had to pick someone.  It just ... it happened to Sha're.”

“Don't you get it, Jack!  Yes, I know he was slave, that he was forced into that way of life.  I understand that ... intellectually!  But emotionally, in my heart, all I can see is Sha're, standing there with that ... with Apophis.  Gawd, who knows what is happening to her, what nightmare she is living this very second because HE chose her.”

“I want him on SG-1, Daniel.”

“FINE.  I already said FINE.  It's not a problem, Colonel.”

“It is if I can't trust my team to function.  I have to be able to trust you to ...”

“Gawd, you trust him more than me, don't you?”

“Daniel ...”

“DON'T YOU?  Forget it, Jack.  It won't be a problem.  I'm used to being second.  Heck, I'm usually so far down the list no one even knows I'm there.  If Sha're wasn't out there somewhere, I wouldn't bother.  But make no mistake, I am going to find her, and you, Colonel, are my best bet, so I'm not going anywhere.  You want Teal'c on SG-1?  Fine, go ahead and put him on the team.  I understand what he did and why he did it.  I'll ... adjust.”

“Stop acting like a whiny child!”

Daniel stared at Jack, angry and hurt, and at the same time wondering why he felt strangely betrayed.  Jack flinched at the look on his friend's face, not yet fully aware of just how sensitive Daniel truly was as a result of a lifetime of hurt.

“I'm sorry you don't approve of my comments.  I'll try and spare you from them in the future.  Excuse me.”  Daniel went upstairs, disappearing from Jack's sight.

“DANIEL?  OH FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!” Jack groaned loudly.

After taking a couple of minutes to cool down, Jack went upstairs to get Daniel.  It was time to go the Cheyenne Mountain Complex.  They'd have to finish their discussion later, but when Jack got upstairs, he saw Daniel bundling up the few possessions he'd acquired over the past week.

“Danny, what are you doing?”

Daniel looked up, surprised at the shocked expression on Jack's face.  He stood silently for a moment, then hesitantly said, “I ... I assumed ... I mean ... You want me to go, don't you?”

“Go?  Why would I want that?”

“We ... fought.  I mean ...”

Jack stared at Daniel, and at that moment, he saw for the first time the abandoned, frightened eight-year old boy Daniel had once been, not the 31-year old scientist who had impressed Jack with his courage and compassion.

“Danny ... and don't say it ... DANNY,” Jack emphasized the nickname,  “we had a fight.  People ... fight.  It's not the end of the world, and it's a not a reason to leave unless ... unless that's what you want to do.”

“But ... I meant what I said ...”

“So?”

Daniel looked down and then turned and sat at the edge of the bed.  He was used to being alone and people not caring about him unless there was something in it for them.  Jack was confusing him.

Jack walked over and sat next to him, closely.  In fact, Daniel flinched, realizing that Jack was intentionally brushing Daniel's shoulder with his.

“Daniel, listen to me.  I'm loud and abrasive.  I say what I think.  So do you.  We didn't agree the first time we met, so what on Earth makes you think we aren't going to disagree now and again?”

“I'm sorry, it's just ...”

“Do you hold grudges, Danny?”  Jack watched as Daniel shook his head.  “I didn't think so.  Do you want to leave?”

Daniel shyly shook his head again, causing Jack to smile.  “Good, because it's fun having you around to tease all day and night.”

“Nice to know I'm finally good for something.”

Jack made a mental note to find out more about why Daniel made so many self-deprecating remarks.  Daniel was a genius.  He had opened the Stargate.  Why was he always putting himself down?

Jack wished they had time to discuss it, but they didn't.  At the same time, Jack wondered why he cared so much.  “Geez, I do care.  Why is that?” Jack asked himself before continuing the conversation with his friend.

“Daniel, you didn't let me finish what I was saying downstairs.  Will you let me finish now?”

“Sure.”

“I want Teal'c on SG-1.  I think he's proven himself, and yes, I trust him.  But I also trust you, and your place is on SG-1.  I meant what I said about an effective and efficient team.  We have to work together, depend on each other.  I can't afford to wonder what you're thinking about Teal'c or vice versa.  Now, I need to know if you can work with Teal'c, if you think you can move forward.  If you can't, then we go to Plan B.”

“Plan B?”

“As I said, Doctor Jackson, your place is on SG-1.  You say the word, right now, and I'll ask Hammond to assign Teal'c to SG-2.”

“You'd really do that?”

Jack saw the astonishment in Daniel's eyes.  “Hasn't anyone ever cared about this man before?” Jack found himself thinking inwardly.

“Yes, Danny.  I think SG-1 could be a dynamite team -- you, me, Carter and Teal'c -- but I won't force it.  He'd be a great asset to Kawalsky on SG-2 if that's the way it has to be.”

“Okay.  Put him on SG-2.”

Jack nodded.  “Done.  Come on, we have to go.”

Jack stood, grabbed the pile of clothes Daniel had on the bed and put them away.  When he was done, he clapped his hands together, “Let's go.  We're going to be late.”

“Jack?  I'm sorry.”

“Me, too.  Fun awaits, Daniel.  Let's go.”

“Daniel,” the young man said softly as Jack was almost to the stairs.  Daniel didn't understand why all of sudden having Jack use his formal name felt cold and distant.  “Gawd, I want him to call me 'Danny'.  I am losing my mind,” he thought silently.

“Danny, for crying out loud, the General is going to have my behind if we miss the briefing.”

“Sorry,” Daniel said with a smile, hearing the nickname.  He reached over and grabbed the brown jacket Jack had given him.  Daniel slipped on the jacket and hurried down the stairs.  As they reached the door, Daniel said, “Jack?”

“What?”

“Teal'c can be on SG-1.  It's okay.  Really.”

“You sure?  Danny, no one expects you to be the man's best friend or anything, but ...”

“... but we could be a dynamite team.  And ... and who knows, Jack, what's in our future.  It really wasn't his fault.  It's just ... everything's so new and raw right now, but you're right. Teal'c deserves a chance.”

“You're a good man, Daniel Jackson,” Jack said with a smile before walking out the door.

Daniel walked outside behind Jack.  He felt refreshed from the trust Jack had just given him, and his heart felt glad that his friendship with Jack, which minutes before he had thought was over, had been  resurrected.

“I really need to buy a car.   Actually, I really need to get paid,” Daniel said as he hopped into Jack's truck.

“You know the military.  They'll get to it.  In the meantime, I've got your six.”

Daniel looked at Jack as he warmed his hands from the chill in the air.

“Thank you, Jack.”

“Just keep bringing home the pizza,” Jack laughed as they headed for the SGC.

====

General Hammond was discussing the next missions with SG teams one and two when Jack and Charlie Kawalsky began a bit of joking interplay over who would get which mission.  As Hammond watched, Jack said light heartedly, “You know, I'm kind of partial to P3-575 if you don't mind taking P3A-577.”

“No, I'll take 577,” Kawalsky said confidently.

Jack teased, “I'm not married to it.”

“No, no it's …”

The Major's words were cut off by Jack.  “I want to be fair about it.  How about we flip for it?”

Daniel watched the interaction between the two, wondering what it would be like to have a good friendship like the one Jack and Kawalsky seemed to share.  He had never really had a friendship like that, not really.  In fact, he'd never had a close friend, let alone a best friend.  Since his parents had died, Daniel had been a loner, consumed mostly by his studies.  And yet, something about the light joking between the two SG team leaders made him envious.

Hammond, however, had had enough.  “How about you go where I tell you.  As far as I'm concerned …”

But then the klaxons blared and once again, the SGC dealt with the Goa'uld attempting to invade Earth.  Fortunately, the iris that had been installed in the Stargate was holding firm, stopping any invasion.

====

While conducting a briefing with Sam to other staffers about the DHD, Daniel noticed Kawalsky standing alone on the ramp to the Stargate.  Concerned, Sam had Hammond and Jack paged.  When confronted, the Major had no explanation for his actions, so he was ordered to go to the infirmary in the hopes Doctor Warner could discover a reason for the apparent blackout.

Daniel watched as Jack helped his friend.  He'd known they were good friends, but now he suspected they were best friends.  In fact, he figured that Jack's deceased son, Charlie, had probably been named after Kawalsky.

Daniel turned and went to his office.  He was still setting things up and getting organized.  The upcoming mission would be the first official mission for SG-1, going to a new world for exploration and not chasing after Apophis.  Daniel felt excited about that, and at the same time, he longed for Sha're, his wife who was serving as a host to a Goa'uld.

He spent some time organizing his desk and putting some reference books away.  He also placed the photo of himself atop a camel in Egypt on the wall.  The great pyramid was in the background.  It had been one of the few “good“ moments of his life.

“Hey, Daniel,” Jack entered, looking around, “It's ... homey, isn't it?”

“It's gray and barren.”

“Dress it up.”

“Dress it up?”

“A few drapes, some photos like you and the camel there,” Jack pointed at the photo, “a little splash of color ...”

“Jack, you've lost your mind!”

“Just thought I'd see how you liked the place,” Jack laughed vibrantly.

Daniel shrugged.  “It's big.”

“Really?” Jack looked around.  “Seems average to me.”

“No, it's ... big,” Daniel said, looking down as if hiding something from Jack.

“Daniel?”

“What?”

“You okay?”

“Sure, I was just ... Jack, it's a nice size, a lot bigger than anything I'm used to actually, but uh, anyway, how's Kawalsky?”

Jack sighed.  “Doctor Warner is examining him now.  Uh, Daniel, I have to get to that so called meeting with Teal'c and the Pentagon guy.”

“Meeting?”

“Yeah, they think Teal'c is some specimen to be studied.”

“Of course that's crazy.  He's ... not a lab specimen,” Daniel said, meaning every word, but still struggling not to let the events that had occurred on Abydos and Chulak rule his emotions where the Jaffa was concerned.

“No, he's not.  I'll see you later.”

Daniel nodded and Jack left, joining the session in progress.  It was during this meeting that Teal'c realized Earth was the planet Ra had come to.  At the same time, the SGC learned the Goa'uld had populated planets all over the universe with Tau'ri slaves.  For the first time, the extent of the Goa'uld threat and their reach into human history was beginning to be truly understood.

====

Later that day, Kawalsky left the infirmary and went to the Control Room where he tried to start up the Stargate.  When Sam intervened, he fought her.  She was slightly injured in the fray that left a couple of men injured and one marine dead.

It was then that Doctor Warner discovered the presence of a Goa'uld which was wrapped around Kawalsky's spine.

Jack looked at Daniel, and the two of them walked over to Kawalsky to tell him what the MRI had shown.  The Major looked at them, waiting for answers about his latest blackout.

Jack hadn't needed anyone in a long time, but somehow, with Daniel at his side, he felt more secure.  It seemed crazy to him, but there was something about Daniel Jackson that made Jack feel better when he was near.  Jack focused on his task, sharing what Warner had just told them.

With questioning, Kawalsky realized the parasite must have entered him on Chulak right before coming back through the Stargate.  Eventually, they decided to try and remove the parasite through surgery.  At first, it seemed to be a success, but the Goa'uld had deceived the surgeons, as it had only been a husk that had been removed.  The Goa'uld now had complete control of Kawalsky, and it wanted nothing more than to escape through the Stargate.

Kawalsky set the auto-destruct sequence as he activated the Stargate.  Entering the Gate Room, he saw Teal'c blocking his path.  The Jaffa held firm, refusing to let the Goa'uld escape.  As they fought, Hammond and Jack made their way to the Gate Room, disabling the auto-destruct.  As the fight climaxed, Teal'c held Kawalsky's head in the Stargate's event horizon.  Jack ordered the Stargate shut down, effectively killing Kawalsky and the Goa'uld.

Hammond gave SG-1 and SG-2 24 hours to regroup before resuming their mission schedule.

====

Daniel carried pizza and beer up to the roof.  Jack was sitting with his back against the wall of the house.  Daniel took a deep breath.

“I, uh, brought us some pizza and beer,” the young man offered shyly.

“My truck still in one piece?”

Daniel laughed.  “You won't let me drive your truck.”

“I thought maybe you did anyway.  After all, following orders isn't exactly your thing, Daniel.”

Daniel bobbed his head back and forth just slightly, knowing Jack was right.  He decided not to comment further on the truck, and concentrated instead on the pizza.  “I had it delivered.”

Jack nodded.  Daniel slid down next to Jack, and took what was a big chance for him.  He mimicked what Jack had done for him not long before and brushed his shoulder against Jack's.  Jack looked at the younger man and smiled.

“I'm okay, Danny.”

“Good.  Eat.”

For the next hour, they settled into a comfortable silence, simply enjoying the clear night sky as they ate the pizza and drank a few bottles of beer.

“He was a good guy, Danny.  He deserved better.”  Jack's words came seemingly out of nowhere.

“I know.  Jack, your son was named after Kawalsky, wasn't he?”

Jack smirked, but then answered, “Yes, but he never knew it.  Geez, Danny, he didn't even know about Charlie.  I always kept my family separate from the service.”

“Maybe you should call her.”

“Sara?” Jack looked at Daniel as if considering it, but then he leaned his head back against the wall.  “Nah.  Not yet anyway.  Besides, she didn't know Kawalsky.”

“You shouldn't be alone, Jack.  I mean, he was your best friend.  I just don't think you should be alone.”

“I'm not alone, Danny.  You're here.  Thank you for that.”

“You're welcome, but ... I mean, wouldn't you want to be with ...”

“... with a friend?”

Daniel nodded.

“Have one of those ... looking at him even.  Let's have another beer.”

Daniel handed Jack another bottle and got one for himself.  Then, Jack held the beer out towards Daniel.

“A toast?”

Daniel placed his bottle next to Jack's.

“Here's to ... adversities and differences that enrich us both.  To friendship!”

“To friendship,” Daniel repeated as their bottles clanged together.

====

The next day, SG-1 was gearing up for its mission as a four-person team.

“You ready, Daniel?” Jack asked before leaving the locker room.

“Ready, Jack!”

“Meet you in the Gate Room.”

Daniel smiled.  A few minutes later, he met up with Sam, and as they walked, they reviewed what had happened with Kawalsky.  It was then Sam pointed out to Daniel that for the Goa'uld to have set the auto destruct, Kawalsky had to be there in some form.

“So something of the host must survive,” Daniel said, feeling a renewed hope for Sha're.

As Daniel walked in, Jack smiled.  Daniel smiled back, and then SG-1 gathered together at the base of the ramp.  As Hammond gave the go-ahead, Jack glanced at Teal'c and then led his team through the gate for the first of many missions to come.

“Okay, Campers,” Jack said as the Stargate shutdown, “Let's see what's behind the trees.”

Daniel sneezed.  “Sorry.  Allergies.”

“We'll ... work on that,” Jack smiled, handing Daniel a small package of Kleenex.

“You carry Kleenex in your uniform?”

“Someone has to look after you,” Jack said quietly, outside of hearing range of their other teammates.  “Okay, Carter, Teal'c, head south.  Radio check in 20 minutes.”

And then Jack spoke what would become immortal words, words that would be help to identify and solidify the relationship between the two men.  “Daniel, you're with me.”

And this was only the beginning ...

~~Finis - Finished - Done - The End - But is it ever Really?~~
Feedback Welcome - click here to email the author


Web Page Visitor Counters
Overstock Coupon