Wallpaper

Author:  Orrymain
Category:  Slash, Action/Adventure, Drama, Romance, Established Relationship
Pairing:  Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Rating:  PG-13
Season:  4
Spoilers:  None
Size:  49kb
Written:  August 31, September 1-3, October 1-2,5,7,11,15,17-18, 2006
Summary:  On a mission, SG-1 come across an unusual wall that has a strange impact on them.
Disclaimer:  Usual disclaimers -- not mine, wish they were, especially Daniel, and Jack, too, but they aren't.  A gal can dream though!
Notes:  
1) Sometimes, Jack and Daniel speak almost telepathically.  Their “silent” words to each other are indicated by asterisks instead of quotes, such as **Jack, we can't.**
2) Silent, unspoken thoughts by various characters are indicated with ~ in front and behind them, such as ~Where am I?~
3) Thanks to my betas who always make my fics better:  Linda, Claudia, Jodi, QuinGem!

Wallpaper
by Orrymain

Colonel Jack O'Neill stood at the foot of the ramp in the gate room of the SGC, his hands resting on his MP-5 weapon.  To his left stood Doctor Daniel Jackson, who was adjusting the straps on his backpack, as it was hanging a bit uncomfortably at the moment.  Next to him, the warrior Teal'c stood proudly, his staff weapon in his right hand.  Just as the kawoosh of the Stargate exploded dramatically into the room, Major Sam Carter hurried in, finally completing the military unit known as SG-1, which was the flagship team of Stargate Command.

“Oversleep?” Jack asked.

“Sorry, Sir,” Sam responded.  “The MALP was relaying some unusual readings.”

“Unusual?” both Jack and Daniel asked at the same time, albeit in different tones, Daniel's conveying interest and excitement whereas Jack's was cautious and wary.

“The transmission was intermittent.  It was almost as if the structure near the Stargate blinked or flickered,” Sam answered.  “It could have been an energy surge of some kind that made the image ... blink,” she speculated.  Then she sighed, “Or maybe it was just a glitch in the telemetry software.”

“You *think*?” Jack and Daniel asked at the same time, though this time Jack stared at Daniel with surprise in his eyes for being in such perfect synch with him.

“I'm pretty sure,” Sam commented as she adjusted her gear.

“Good,” Jack responded dryly.  “Move out.”

SG-1 walked casually through the Stargate and emerged on the planet designated PX5-784.  Beating the others through the wormhole by a split second, Sam was the first to see the world.  She looked all around, taking in the unusual purplish-pink sky with clouds that were a combination of white and yellow.  Their pre-mission tests had shown that the atmosphere was safe for humans, but she immediately took some more readings, just to be sure.  Then she headed for the MALP to check out the equipment.

Teal'c stopped near the DHD, methodically looking over the area in front of them, section by section.  The MALP was to his left, directly in front of an ancient structure made of stone that was about one city block long.  There were no windows in the structure, but there was a foot-deep ventilation grid that ran all the way along the width, roughly two feet from the building's roof.  Atop the roof was a series of rustic smokestacks, each about eight-inches high.  The outside of the building had several thin columns in front of it that were as tall as the building, but two-feet thick.  In front of the Jaffa was an open meadow-like area and to his right was a collapsed building, the granite and columns broken and strewn over a great distance.

Jack stared at the destruction, curious why that building had been allowed to fall into decay, or had been destroyed, while the one opposite it was still standing.  He twisted around to see what was behind the Stargate and noticed there was more open meadow, the blades of green, black, and orange grass sticking up several inches.

~Interesting colors,~ Jack thought, noticing the hue of the sky before checking on his teammates, just in the nick of time, apparently.  “Whoa!” he called out, jogging over and taking hold of Daniel's right elbow.  “Where do you think you're going?”

“Inside,” the curious archaeologist spoke, motioning towards the open doorway of the building.

“I don't think so,” Jack responded, adding, “not until we check out this place.”

“Jack ...”

“Daniel, look over there,” Jack requested.  “Looks to me like that building was either destroyed or collapsed.  I want to make sure this structure is safe before we go waltzing in or around it.”

“Fine.  Make sure,” Daniel stated, extending out his arm towards the building.  He ambled over to get a closer look at the columns.  ~Mmm.  It's not Egyptian.  I don't really recognize this,~ he thought as his eyes scrolled one column from top to bottom.

“Teal'c, check around the back.  I want to make sure this thing won't fall down on our heads if we go inside,” Jack ordered.

“When,” Daniel called out from his position, determined to explore the inside of the building.

Jack looked over, observing that his archaeologist wasn't even looking at him.  He wondered if Daniel had actually spoken the word, or if he'd just imagined it.

“Carter, what's with the MALP?” the colonel queried.

“I'm still checking, Sir, but everything seems to be working properly,” the major answered.

“What about the ... blink?” Jack asked.

“It might have been an internal sensor shutting down, or it could have been just a ...”

“Glitch,” Jack said for her.

“Yes, Sir,” Sam verified.  “I'll keep checking,” she added, accurately reading from Jack's stare that a glitch wasn't going to be a suitable explanation for the strange equipment readings.

“I'll be inside,” Jack spoke, wanting to get a closer look at the inside construction.

**Jack, if you go, I'm going,** Daniel argued via their non-verbal communication that seemed to be growing with the passage of each year.

**Daniel, you do your job, and let me do mine.  That's an order,** Jack replied, facing the man who was standing several yards away while studying the columns.

**And you say I'm stubborn,** Daniel responded.

“I'll be back in five,” Jack announced to his team as he stepped inside the building.

====

Ten minutes later, SG-1 began their investigation of the structure.  Based on his own observations and Teal'c's report, Jack had deemed the building safe, but was still cautious.  Sam hadn't been able to determine any reason for the strange MALP readouts, but had suggested performing a complete diagnostic of the unit when they returned to Earth.  Daniel had been fascinated by the columns, but hadn't been able to identify the exact origin of the writings, though he was fairly certain it was related to languages of ancient Europe.

Now the team began their search of the interior, eager to see what was inside the old edifice.

“This is so unfascinating,” Jack quipped, staring at bleak, barren walls as they walked.

“There must be something significant,” Sam commented.  “Otherwise, what's the point of this building being here?”

Daniel ran his thumb along the side of his mouth for a brief second and then theorized, “It might have been some kind of records hall.”

“And you think that why?” Jack asked.

The younger man cocked his head and smirked, “Do you have a better theory?”

Jack groaned, then continued turning right into one of the several rooms that veered off from the main corridor.  Meanwhile, Sam and Teal'c moved on to the other side of the building to see what they might find.

“Daniel!” the colonel called out.

Entering the room the bellow had come from, the archaeologist looked around and expressed, “Wow.”

“What is it?”

“I have no idea ... yet,” Daniel said, smiling as he took out his mini-camera and began filming the room.

The room was full of writing, three of the walls completely filled with some kind of script, though the fourth wall was barren.  In the center of the room was a four-foot square table that stood three-and-a-half feet off the stone floor.  Each of the four sides of the table had shelves which held various items, all showing signs of their age.

“Maybe it's a museum,” Jack suggested.

Daniel ceased filming for a few moments to examine some of the artifacts on the table's shelves.

“Any idea what this is?” Jack asked, pointing to the script.  “Anything we should be concerned about?”

Daniel put down the Viking knife he was holding and walked over to the outside wall, studying it carefully.

“Aaaaah,” Daniel began as his genius mind processed the script.  “It's futhark.”

“Fut-what?” Jack asked.

“Futhark.  The Vikings,” Daniel stated, as if that should say it all.  Seeing his lover's blank expression, he explained, “Runic ... ah, but most people refer to it as futhark.  Before the Viking age, the Germanic culture used an alphabet of runes and called it futhark, after the first six signs in the alphabet.”

“ABC?” Jack quipped.

~I'm going to ignore that.~  Daniel stared at the older man, his mouth open, but he said nothing for a moment.  Finally, he continued, “No one knows for sure who invented it, but the Vikings' Odin was responsible for it.  Actually, the runic alphabet was probably patterned after Latin, or maybe Etruscan.  It was most likely first used in Southern Europe, but it's more closely associated with the Germanic people who brought it north.”  He paused, running his fingers over some of the writing for a moment.  Then he continued, “There have been thousands of ruins discovered within Scandanavia.  They usually talk about a dead person, but ...”  He stopped, staring at his lover and asked, “Jack, are you listening?”

“Sure, dead people,” Jack responded as he played with an ancient bowl that he'd taken from one of the table shelves.

“Of course, some of the writing told us about their culture, too.  In fact, they wrote a lot about their travels.  Actually, ah, they aren't always that hard to find.  I've seen some in Sweden that are by old bridges and meeting places.  They do a lot of inscriptions, like on grave stones and ...”

“Interesting,” Jack commented, interrupting his friend's oration.

“Yes, it is.  I ...”  Daniel sighed, realizing the colonel wasn't responding to his comments but, rather, to another artifact he was examining.  The archaeologist agreed that the item, a finely sculpted box that he figured had been used to store jewelry or other fine treasures, was intriguing, but the topic at hand was the writings on the walls and what it could mean.  “As I was saying, this looks like very early runic.  There's no standard direction,” he walked over to another section of the wall as he talked, “in the writing.  Well, not at first, but they eventually settled on left to right, but this is ... it's up and down, from what I can make out.”

The scientist of many skills looked over at the leader of SG-1, prepared to tell him that this writing was a little unusual.  Instead of being the traditional labeling, it talked about an unknown magic that had swept over their land.  However, Jack had picked up three medium-size stones and had begun juggling them.

“I might as well be talking to a wall,” Daniel stated as he watched in disbelief.  Shaking his head, he began to wander around the room, examining various items and ending up by the blank wall, where he sighed, “I might as well *be* a wall.”

~Time to go,~ Jack thought as he finished up his juggling, returning the mini-donut-sized items to where he had found them.  He looked up and began, “So, what is this ... Daniel?”  He walked over and turned around in a circle.  “Daniel?”  Concerned, he darted out of the room, looking up and down the corridors and shouting, “DANIEL?”  Turning back into the room, the colonel clicked his radio and spoke, “Daniel, come in.”  After a pause, he clicked the communication device again and stated, “Carter, Teal'c, Daniel's disap...Danny?”

With widened eyes, Jack approached the once-barren wall.  His eyes searched the wall, taking in every detail.

“Sir?  Are you okay?” Sam called out.

Jack clicked his radio, answering, “Daniel's a ...”

“Colonel O'Neill?” Sam called out when Jack's voice trailed off.

“Carter, he's a wall.”

Sam stared at Teal'c in utter confusion, then responded, “We're on our way.”

====

Jack stood in a stunned silence in front of the table, staring at the wall.  He wondered if he was hallucinating, or if he'd just lost his mind.  Then his teammates entered the room.

“Sir, where's ... Daniel?” Sam asked, her eyes drawn to the strange wall.

Teal'c cocked his head, but said nothing as he took in the unusual sight.

“Carter, do you see this?” Jack asked.  ~Tell me you don't.  Given the alternative, I'd just assume be imagining this.~

“Yes, Sir,” Sam answered, moving forward to stand within a few inches of the wall.

Visible to the three members of SG-1 were two blue eyes, wearing glasses, staring out at them.  There wasn't a mouth, but there was a nose, and the eyes were unmistakable, not to mention the arched eyebrows that were questioning what was happening, just as much as the three teammates were.

Teal'c looked down on the floor, observing Daniel's backpack, clothing, and gear, all now in a pile on the floor.  His mini-camera that he'd been using was there, too, as was his boonie hat, Beretta, and everything else he'd had in his possession.

Sam leaned close to the wall, where the nose was, and jumped back in shock when the nose sneezed.

Jack moved forward two steps, asking, “Daniel?”  He looked at his second-in-command and inquired, “Why would he sneeze?”

“New perfume, Sir,” Sam bashfully admitted.  “Daniel sneezed at it this morning when we were on break.”

“I thought Doc Frasier took care of all that allergy business,” Jack replied.

“Perhaps it is the wall that has made DanielJackson sneeze,” Teal'c intoned.

 Noticing the nose on the wall twitching, he walked up to it and scratched the tip of the nose.

“Teal'c, what are you doing?” Jack barked.  ~No one touches ... oh, for crying out loud, he's a wall!~

“I observed DanielJackson's nose itching, O'Neill,” the Jaffa replied.  “I proceeded in the most logical way possible.”

Jack quipped, “Right, Mr. Spock.”  Seeing his friend's odd stare, he shook his head and said, “Never mind.  Carter, this can't really be Daniel.”

“Then why are DanielJackson's clothes on the floor?” Teal'c inquired.

The colonel stared and replied, “So, Daniel is a wall.”

An uncomfortable silence ensued while Jack, Sam, and Teal'c just stared at their 'walled' teammate and one another.  No one knew what to make of it or what to do to get the archaeologist back to normal.

“Uh, excuse me,” Sam stated with an embarrassed smile as she touched the wall.

The eyes blinked, causing Jack to step forward.

**Danny?** Jack asked using their silent communication.  He saw the eyes blink again.  **Can you hear me?  Hmm.  Blink once for yes, twice for no.**  After the eyes blinked once, he inquired, **Did you feel Carter touching you?  I mean, the wall?*  After the eyes blinked again, he asked, **Did it hurt?**

This time, the eyes blinked twice, causing Sam to move back.

“Sir, he's ... blinking ... a lot,” Sam commented.

“He's in there, Carter,” Jack stated.  “How do we get him out?”

“I don't know.”

Jack turned, looking at the walls with the runic writing on them.

“Teal'c, go back to the Gate.  Tell Hammond we need someone who can translate this stuff,” Jack ordered.

“What is this ... stuff, O'Neill?” the Jaffa inquired.

“Futhark,” Jack answered, noticing the eyes seemed to soften with the comment.  **Okay, I was listening.  I always listen to you.**  When the eyes blinked twice, he argued, **I do, too!**

The eyes blinked twice, causing Sam and Teal'c to stare at them curiously.

**Too!** Jack maintained.

The eyes blinked twice, the eyebrows furrowing into a definite frown position.

**Daniel, we don't have time for ...**  ~What the heck am I doing?  Arguing with my lover -- the wall?~

“O'Neill?” Teal'c called out, noticing the team leader was distracted.

“It's called futhark, and it's runic writing.  There must be someone on Daniel's staff who knows this stuff.  Go!” Jack ordered.

“Sir, the wall felt ... soft,” Sam explained.  “It was like ... well, like caressing his skin.”  Seeing her CO's glare, she coughed.  “I just thought you might want to know ... Sir.”  After a moment, she added, “I'll go help Teal'c.”

Jack's eyes followed the blonde all the way out of the room.  He glanced at the door, then walked to the Daniel wall.  For a moment, he just paused.  Then he sighed and gently reached out, touching the wall and feeling the unusual softness.

“Danny ...”  Jack swallowed and backed away.  “How'd you get in there?  How do I get you out?”

The eyes blinked, staying closed for longer than they had previously before opening.

**I love you.**

The eyes blinked one time and now looked a bit brighter, prompting Jack to smile.

“We'll figure it out,” Jack stated more confidently as he took a closer look at the items in the room, hoping to uncover some secret of what had happened himself.

====

Thirty minutes later, Sam and Teal'c re-entered the room with another civilian linguist.

“Sir, this is Edward Haapiniemi,” Sam introduced.  “He's on Daniel's staff.”

“So, we're ... on another planet?” the nervous language expert spoke.

“It's his first time off-world,” Sam clarified.

“Ya think?” Jack responded in frustrated.

“Doctor Jackson?” Haapiniemi asked as he approached the wall, jumping back when the eyes blinked one time.

“We're doing the one blink for 'yes', two for 'no' thing,” Jack explained.  He pointed to the other walls and asked, “Can you read this stuff?”

The five-foot-eight, blue-eyed blond moved to the wall and began to examine the writings.

“Well?”

The man nodded, answering, “Yes, I think so.  It's elder futhark, or runic writing; it's very common to Scandanavian countries and ...”

“I've already heard the lecture, Haapen...”

“Haapiniemi,” the man corrected.

“Ed,” Jack retorted.  “What does it say?”

“I need some time, Colonel,” Haapiniemi responded.  He looked over at the image of Daniel's face on the wall.  “Um, Doctor Jackson, can you breathe in there?”

The eyes looked over at Sam, who shrugged and walked to the wall, leaning against it near the nose.  Seeing the twitch of the nose, she moved back, just in time to miss the sneeze.

“Wow!  A silent sneeze,” Haapiniemi observed.  “No mouth?” he asked, looking over at Jack.

“Yeah, he finally has to shut up,” Jack quipped.  Seeing the eyes grow harsh, he relayed, **Just kidding, Love.**

The eyes blinked twice.

“No?  Daniel, no to what?” Sam asked.

“Nothing, Major,” Jack said.  “Help Happenman, will ya?”

“Yes, Sir,” Sam agreed, moving to stand near the civilian while Jack walked over to stand next to Teal'c.  “What's the writing about?” she asked Haapiniemi.

“Someone named Stefan was born here,” Haapiniemi replied, continuing, “He roamed the woods, searching for his future.  He was an expert stonecutter, but he wasn't happy.  He wanted to escape.”

“Escape?” Sam asked.  “From what?”

“Well ...”

“Well what?” Jack snapped, eavesdropping on the conversation.

“Well, I don't know yet, Sir,” Haapiniemi reported and then returned to his review of the wall.

“Well find out!” Jack barked, short on patience.

“Sir, please,” Sam cautioned quietly, giving her CO a look that requested him to 'back off'.

Jack sighed, saying, “I'm going to check the exterior; see if there's anything that might help us.”  He paused, glancing up at the wall and sending the silent message, **I'll be back.**

====

With Teal'c at his side, Jack checked the area that surrounded the building.  He didn't really expect to find anything, but he couldn't just stand around and watch his lover be a wall.

“It is a peaceful place, O'Neill,” Teal'c opined as they walked an area about one-click north of the structure.

“Yeah,” Jack agreed.  “Teal'c, we have two buildings, right by the Stargate, but nothing else.  Why?”

“Perhaps this place was a transport station,” the Jaffa speculated.

Jack looked at him and responded, “Like a way station?  Gate here, then go some place else?”

“It is a possibility, is it not?” Teal'c questioned.

The colonel nodded as they continued their recon of the area.  There were no roads and nothing that showed signs of trespass amid the forested area.  The meadow grasses were tall and straight with no sign of tampering by movement of any kind but their own.

“Let's take another look at the collapsed building,” Jack suggested after a while, wanting to see if they could determine what it might have been used for.

Teal'c nodded, and the two warriors headed for the pile of debris that had once been a sister building to the one that now housed Daniel as a living wall.

====

“Strange,” Haapaniemi spoke to himself.

“Did you find something?” Sam asked, walking over to the linguist.

“There's a reference here to Seiðr,” the man answered.

“What's Seiðr?” Sam asked.

“Talking with the dead,” Haapaniemi answered simply.  “The funny thing is that there's also reference to witchcraft.”

“What's funny about it?” Sam asked.

“Just that both are mentioned in futhark writing.  I don't believe Seiðr has been referenced in this way before, but I'd have to check.  I'm not an expert or anything.  Doctor Jackson could ...” Haapaniemi paused as he glanced over at the wall that now entrapped the SGC's leading scientist.  “Is he frowning?”

Sam turned to face the living wall and recognized the furrowed brow and the harshness in the eyes.

“Uh, well, yes,” the blonde confirmed.  She walked over towards the wall and asked, “Daniel, is he right?”  After a blink of confirmation, she asked, “What now?”

Haapaniemi shrugged and said, “It's just a reference.  There's a mention of Holda. She's possibly the most powerful goddess of witchcraft and may or may not be the same as Frige.”

“Edward, how does this help us?” Sam asked, pointing over at Daniel.

“I only know what the writings are talking about,” Haapaniemi answered nervously.  “I'm sorry; I wish ...”

Sam put her hand on the man's upper arm and said calmly, “It's okay.  I know this is your first time, and a lot of what you've encountered at the SGC probably seems like a low-budget science fiction movie.  This is real, Edward, and Daniel is a part of the wall.  The answer has to be on one of these three walls.  Daniel can't tell us what he was doing, so it's up to you to figure this out for us.”

“Colonel O'Neill looked like he was going to kill me,” Haapaniemi confessed, making sure they were alone.

“The colonel gets like that.  Daniel's a member of his team, and he's upset,” Sam explained.  “Focus on the wall, and find something we can work with.”

Haapaniemi nodded and returned to his translation, while Sam looked over at the 'Daniel wall'.  She smiled reassuringly and, in response, the eyes on the wall seemed to soften.

“I wish you could talk, Daniel,” Sam intoned.

The eyes blinked once, an indication that Daniel, too, wished the same thing.

====

“There's nothing left, T,” Jack commented as the two walked through the rubble of the demolished building they were investigating.

“Perhaps it was a tornado,” Teal'c suggested, earning him a funny look from Jack. “I have seen the stories on your television, O'Neill.  Many times one building is spared.”

“There's that, but there's no damage at all to the other building,” Jack replied.

“Perhaps the people who used the buildings repaired the other,” the Jaffa suggested.  “Or the other building may have constructed after this one was destroyed.”

“I guess the wicked witch could have landed here,” the colonel mumbled, stepping over a lump of broken boards.

“Did you say something, O'Neill?” Teal'c asked.

“There's nothing here, Teal'c.  Let's see if the kid has turned up anything,” Jack responded, taking a final look at the fallen structure before heading back to the other site.

====

Jack and Teal'c had returned to the building over an hour ago.  Unfortunately, they weren't any closer to figuring out what had happened.  Jack's frustration was on the brink of becoming pure anger, and young Edward Haapaniemi was its recipient.

“Sir, maybe it would help if we went over exactly what you and Daniel were doing when he ... uh ...” Sam hesitated, nodding towards the 'Daniel wall'.

Agitatedly, Jack replied, “I was examining the room, and Daniel was prattling, like usual.”

“Colonel,” the major chastised as sternly as she could.

“Carter, he was ranting about futhark, and I was ...” Jack paused, sighing at his second-in-command.  “I was juggling,” he said, pointing at the circular artifacts he'd been playing with at the time.  “Daniel was annoyed, said something about being a wa...wall.”

Jack blinked.  In the middle of admitting to the conversation, it dawned on him that his lover had commented about being a wall.

“Daniel said he wished he was a wall?” Sam questioned.

“Not wish,” Jack refuted.  “He said he might as well be a wall.”

“Colonel O'Neill,” Haapaniemi interjected, looking over at the two SG-1 members.  “Part of these writings talk about traveling outside the body.”

“His body isn't here, Hopper,” Jack snapped.

“Haapaniemi,” Sam quietly corrected, getting nothing but a glare from her CO.

“I know that, Colonel, but German folklore contains stories about people who were summoned by the devil and traversed great distances.  There's also a tale about two women who drank from a glass and were transported elsewhere.  It was a bride and her mother.  The groom saw them, drank from the glass, too, and was also transported to another place,” the linguist explained.

“And that helps us *how*?” Jack asked harshly.

“Maybe Doctor Jackson touched something,” Haapaniemi theorized as he looked back at the wall.

“Now there's a thought,” Jack said sarcastically, shaking his head at the comment.

“Daniel ... does tend to ... touch things,” Sam affirmed hesitantly.

“Okay, so there could be something here that acts as a conduit,” Haapaniemi stated.  “Or ... maybe it's something else.”

Jack rolled his eyes and turned around so that he faced the 'Daniel wall' again.  He wondered if all scientists were this vague and useless.  Then he saw what he swore was a scowl on his lover's face.

**Danny, is he on the right track?**

“Why'd he blink?” Haapaniemi asked, seeing the blink.

Turning back to face the civilian, Jack answered, “He's affirming your theory.  Keep working on it.”

====

An hour later, Jack was seated on the floor, his back against the 'Daniel wall'.  Teal'c was checking the perimeter, just in case.  Sam had gone to check the MALP again, just to be doing something since she really couldn't do anything to help the young scientist, who was still deciphering the wall.  From time to time, he mumbled about Stefan, magic, and transportation, none of which made any sense to the agonizing colonel.

Jack glanced down at his lover's clothes and gear, but then he noticed something unfamiliar to him.  Curious, he reached down and picked up the slender item that reminded him of a pointer.

~This isn't Danny's,~ the colonel thought.  He noticed it was old and had similar markings as that of the bowl he'd looked at earlier.  “Hoppenam!”

“Haapaniemi, Sir,” the young man corrected with a sigh.

“Close,” Jack said, standing up with the item.  “What's this?” he asked as he crossed the room and handed it to the scientist.

“Some type of artifact,” Haapaniemi responded, returning the item to Jack's possession.

“I *know* that,” Jack groused.  “It was with Daniel's things.”

“So?”

Frustrated, Jack spat, “So ... maybe it's the magic wand that has my archaeologist pretending to be a wall!”

The civilian backed up a step, sensing the colonel's anger level had taken a dramatic jump in two seconds flat.

“Oh, for crying out loud!” Jack exclaimed.  “You told me earlier that this place was about magic.  You suggested Daniel might have touched something.  *This* is what he touched,” he explained, holding the item out in front of him.

“I'd be careful with that, Colonel.”

“Do you think I'm an idiot, Hoppandingy?” Jack barked.

“Haapaniemi, an...and no ... no, Sir,” the civilian stammered.

Jack turned and walked back to the wall, muttering, “He's an idiot.”  He sighed and mumbled, “Like I'd stand here, holding this thing, and say, 'I wish I was a wall'.”

Haapaniemi's eyes grew wide as dollars and he yelled over his radio, “MAJOR CARTER!  TEAL'C!”

Quickly, Sam ran back to the room, joined by Teal'c several seconds later.  Both stood, stunned, by the newest pile of clothing and gear to be by the wall.

“Colonel?” Sam asked.

One blink from the wall was her response.

Sam looked over at the civilian and inquired, “What happened?”

“He was holding the ... magic wand, and he wished he was the wall,” Haapaniemi explained.  “He was being sarcastic, but he said the words.”  He looked back at the wall he'd been examining.  “Stefan wanted to escape, and magic had come over the land.  Magic came here.”

The major looked back at the wall, which now had two pairs of eyes.  Daniel had been moved to the right, so that now, each man had half of the wall.  As with Daniel, all of Jack's facial features were part of the wall, his mouth being the exception.  At the moment, their eyes were trying to look at each other.

Sam walked over and picked up the wand, twisting it around in her hands.

“MajorCarter, is it wise to hold the wand?” the Jaffa inquired.

“Well, if Edward is right, I'm fine as long as I don't wish to be a ...”  Sam paused, looking back at the wall.  Then she asked, “Edward, what if I wished for the colonel and Daniel to be themselves again?”

“It might work,” the civilian replied.  “Um, be careful how you word your wish,” he added with concern.  “We don't know if the wand understands literal from the rhetorical.”

“Oh,” Sam stated, agreeing with the civilian scientist.  “Okay, well, I wish for the colonel and Daniel to be themselves again.”

“Nothing happened, MajorCarter,” Teal'c announced needlessly.

“I think they probably have to do it themselves,” Haapaniemi surmised.

“Okay,” Sam acknowledged.  “How do we make that happen?  They can't hold the wand.  They're a wall.”

“I wish I knew,” Haapaniemi lamented, turning back to the writings about Stefan hoping to find the answer there.

“Me, too,” Sam sighed.

“Is that not the answer?” Teal'c questioned.

“What?” the major asked, turning to look at the Jaffa.

“Perhaps we can only wish for things for ourselves,” Teal'c supposed.

After a moment, Sam did a little hop as her excitement took hold.

“I don't understand,” Haapaniemi stated.

“It's simple,” Sam responded with a smile.  She walked over to the man and handed him the wand, which he nervously took.  “Wish to know how to make the colonel and Daniel themselves again.”  Seeing the odd expression on the man's face, she deduced.  “It only works when we wish for something we want.  We can't wish it for others.  There has to be a way to undo this,” she said, pointing over to the faces on the wall.  “You have to want to know how to fix it.”

Taking several anxious breaths, Haapaniemi closed his eyes and stated, “I want to know how to undo the magic; how to make Colonel O'Neill and Doctor Jackson themselves again.”

“Well?” Sam prodded.

Haapaniemi walked over to look at the four eyes that were glued on him and said, “The wand has to be with them.”

“What?” the major questioned.

Holding the wand up, the man said, “The wand belongs with the wall.  Make the wand a part of this wall.”

“Nothing happened,” Sam reported moments later.

The scientist sighed, “I thought the magic would take the wand.  That's what popped into my head -- that the wand needs to be with Colonel O'Neill and Doctor Jackson.”  He frowned and went back to one of the other walls, reading the writings there.  “We can't wish things to go away.  We can only wish for ...”  He stopped, turned to Sam and stated, “You have to take the wand with you.”

“Excuse me?” Sam asked, her eyes big and bright at the notion of becoming a female sandwich between the two naked men.

“Major, it's the only way.  You have to want to be part of the wall, but you have to be very clear that you want the wand to go with you.  Then, once you're with them, the three of you can wish to be yourselves again.”

“And naked!” Sam exclaimed.  “I just mean ... there has to be another way.”

“In case it doesn't work, I can't go, unless you want to translate the writings,” Haapaniemi astutely pointed out.

“Teal'c,” Sam called out, smiling enticingly at the well-built Jaffa.

“As you wish,” Teal'c said, nodding his head, willing to do whatever was asked.

“Major ... Sam,” Haapaniemi called out.  “The wall isn't that big.  I'm a little concerned about having another large male in there,  and there is the possibility that whatever 'magic' this is, it won't mix well with his symbiote.  Plus, I think Teal'c should continue to check the area.  If this doesn't work, we may have to start looking elsewhere.”

“Fine.  Sure.  Great,” Sam sighed.  “But you're *not* going to be here when we get back out of the wall.”

“I'll wait in the hall, once I know you're inside the wall,” Haapaniemi assured.

With a hesitant sigh, Sam took the wand and walked over to the wall.

“No peeking!” the blonde warned the seemingly smiling eyes.  “Okay, I want the wand with me.  I want the wand and me to be part of the wall with Colonel O'Neill and Daniel.  Me *and* the wand,” she repeated, emphasizing the wand was to be part of the request.

“It seems MajorCarter is now part of the wall,” Teal'c replied, seeing Sam squeezed in between Jack and Daniel.  It was the same as before, with all of her face visible except for her mouth.  This time, the wand was visible, too, lying flat at the bottom of the major's face.  “I will continue my search of the perimeter,” he stated, honoring Sam's request to be outside the room when she and the other two returned from their 'wall' encasement.

“Okay, I'll be in the hallway,” Haapaniemi told the three faces.  “I think you need to make the wish together, and you have to be very clear about wanting to be yourselves again, separate and apart from the wall.  Um, your clothes and gear are on the floor.”  He looked around and shrugged.  “Sorry, Major, but I don't see any blankets or anything.  Maybe you should all close your eyes.  If you're ready, I suggest counting to ten and then making your wishes as loudly as you can from ... the wall.  Okay, I'm going out now.  One ... two ...”

Haapeniemi disappeared outside the doorway, but he continued counting, hoping to guide the three teammates.

“... nine ... ten.  Make your wishes.  Be detailed,” Haapaniemi called out.

“ABOUT FACE!” Jack shouted as he and Sam materialized face to face, only then he realized that put her staring at his naked lover.  “MAJOR, LEFT FACE!  EYES FRONT.”

Jack kept his own eyes level, and he noticed Daniel nervously looking the other way.  Still, they couldn't help locking eyes with each other for a few seconds, small smiles of want appearing before the reality of their situation took root again.

“Now what, Sir?” Carter asked.

“Daniel, Carter, close your eyes.  On my command, bend over and pickup your clothes.  On three,” Jack commanded.  “Three.”

Quickly, the three got their clothes, dressing with their eyes closed.

“Daniel?”

“Here.  I mean, dressed,” the archaeologist answered.

“Carter?”

“I'm dressed, Sir,” the major responded.

“Okay, eyes open,” Jack said, looking down to check himself over to ensure he hadn't missed anything.

“Well, that was interesting,” Daniel observed, looking at his friends and back at the wall.  “Uh, the wand.”

“I didn't think about it,” Sam responded.  “I just wished for the three of us ...”

“Me, too,” Jack acknowledged.

“Me, three,” the archaeologist lamented.

“Edward, you can come back in,” Sam called out to the linguist.

“Uh, Edward, nice job,” Daniel stated, giving the young man an encouraging jab.

“Sir, the writings about Stefan are really quite fascinating,” Haapaniemi stated, leading Daniel over to another section of wall to show him what he meant.

“No touching anything *and* no wishing,” Jack ordered.

“Aye, aye, Sir,” Daniel teased with a smile.

“Carter, let's get Teal'c.  Daniel, you have fifteen minutes, and then we're out of here,” Jack ordered.

“But ...” Daniel began to argue, holding up his right hand with his finger extended.

“Fifteen!” Jack reiterated sternly, raising his hand and finger to match his lover's. “Carter ...” he beckoned, walking out of the room.

====

It had been two hours since SG-1 plus one had returned to Earth, and the debriefing was about to take place.  General Hammond was entering the conference room where Sam and Teal'c were already seated.  Edward Haapaniemi walked in and reluctantly sat down at the far end of the table.

As Jack and Daniel entered, Jack teased, “We won't bite ... today.”

“Jack!” Daniel chastised.

The debriefing was the first for the young civilian scientist, and Haapaniemi felt a little out of his league.

“I assure you, Doctor Haapaniemi, you'll survive the debriefing,” Hammond called out.  “Why don't you join us down here.”

Letting out a cough, the civilian moved forward several chairs to be in closer proximity to SG-1 and the general.

“Colonel,” Hammond stated, indicating for Jack to begin the debriefing.

--

“So, this room is magical?” the general asked curiously after hearing the full story.

“Well, Sir ... yes,” Daniel answered.  “The runes were full of stories of inhabitants wanting to escape.  Uh, Stefan was the first.  Whether the planet was one time full of inhabitants, or if the planet was just used as a transport station, it's clear from the writings that people went there to gain freedom.”

“Freedom from what?” Hammond asked as he leaned back in his chair at the head of the table.

“Who knows?” Daniel replied with a shrug.  He leaned forward, twirling his pen in his hands.  “It could be from slavery or from poverty.  Maybe they just wanted something different.  There isn't much detail on the wall -- just names and what they wanted, like Stefan who wanted to escape.”

“Daniel, where'd they go?” Sam inquired.

“I have no idea,” the archaeologist replied.

--

“What happened to the wand?” the general asked later in the debriefing.

“It's still in the wall, Sir,” Sam answered.  “None of us wished for it to come out, so it's still there.”

“Is there any way to retrieve it?” Hammond asked.

“I doubt it,” Daniel answered, looking over at Haapaniemi for agreement, which he got.  “Inanimate objects can't wish.  It was the tool, but it still needed the human factor to work.”

--

Several minutes later, the general looked at his flagship team and stated, “Doctor Fraiser tells me there were no ill effects from your association with the wall.  Still, I think it's best that you remain on Earth for a week or so.  Your mission to P9J-329 will be postponed until next week.”

“Are we restricted to base, General?” Jack asked, hoping for a negative answer.

“No, Jack, but I wouldn't advise leaving the city, just in case,” Hammond asked.  “Good work, Doctor,” he added, nodding at the still-nervous Haapaniemi.  “Dismissed.”

Everyone stood as the general got up and left the room.

“Ready for your next mission?” Jack asked Haapaniemi.

“Next ... mission?” the civilian said, gulping.

“Edward, go back to the research lab.  I'll be there shortly,” Daniel said, not allowing the man to be further teased by his snarky colonel.

“I must kelno'reem,” Teal'c announced, following Haapaniemi out of the room.

“Good work,” Jack called out, noticing that Haapaniemi paused while still visible on the other side of the large glass window, taking in the compliment.  He nodded to the civilian.  ~He did okay, for a geek.~

“The MALP analysis is still inconclusive,” Sam stated.

“It was a glitch, Carter.  Let it go,” Jack replied, freeing her from the concern of the strange blink.

“We don't know what caused the blink, though,” the major replied.

“Sam, could the MALP have recorded disappearances?  I mean, uh, maybe it was recording the magic,” the archaeologist supposed.

“I don't know, Daniel,” Sam responded skeptically.

“You have a better idea?” Daniel challenged.

“Carter, if you spent the next month analyzing the MALP readouts, do you think you'd find an answer?” Jack asked pointedly, urging her to take the out offered her.

“Magic,” the major concurred.  “I'll go write my report.”

Jack shook his head, hiding his amusement.  Then he glanced over at his lover.

“Don't say anything, Jack.  You became part of a wall, too,” Daniel reminded.

The older man chuckled, “It was weird.”

“Very,” Daniel confirmed.

“Daniel ...”

**Later, Babe,** the younger man interrupted.  “I have a staff meeting.”

“I must have something important to do,” Jack responded.

Daniel just stared, then walked out of the room, leaving his lover alone.

“Memos.  I have memos to read,” the colonel mumbled as he turned and walked out.

====

“It was *not* my fault,” the older man insisted strongly as he waited for Daniel to unlock the door to his apartment.

“Yes, it was, Jack.  You can't change the facts,” Daniel argued.

“If you hadn't touched the thing, I wouldn't have, either,” Jack refuted.

Slipping his keys inside his pocket, Daniel opened the door and walked in as he replied, “You ignored me, Jack.  It's starting to become routine.”

“Daniel!” Jack called out to his lover's fleeing back.  ~Geeks,~ he whined, shutting the door and following Daniel to the kitchen.  “I heard every word you said.  I proved that.”

The archaeologist sighed, “Why?  Why act like you're ignoring me on missions?”

“You know the answer to that,” Jack spoke sternly and yet with regret in his eyes.

“The game?  The ever-present, non-ending game,” Daniel spoke sarcastically as he put away the coffee he had been about to prepare and, instead, opened the refrigerator to pull out a beer.

“Danny, we agreed,” Jack replied more softly.

Jack and Daniel were two men, deeply in love, but Jack was military.  As long as the Air Force was a part of their lives, they had to hide their romantic relationship.  To make it worse, men like Robert Kinsey and Frank Simmons and groups like the NID were constantly interfering in their lives.  To keep each other safe, the lovers had agreed to put on a bit of a false front at the SGC.  Some people were beginning to wonder if their friendship was suffering.  It was the early stages of this part of their 'game'.

“I know, but I don't like it anymore than I like Sam being a ... a ...”

“Necessary cover,” Jack completed, walking over to his soulmate and warming his arms with his hands.

Daniel put the beer on the countertop and leaned into his Love, saying, “Will we always have to do this?”

“No, Angel, not always.”  Jack placed a kiss on Daniel's neck and, for a moment, he held the younger man securely in his arms.  Quiet filled the air.  Then he added, “I always listen to you.  I heard every word you said.”

“It was just us.  Why ... pretend?”

“The game, Danny.  The moment we walk into the Mountain, we have to play that dang game,” Jack responded as he rubbed his lover's back.

“I hate the game,” Daniel confided.

“Me, too,” Jack agreed.

Taking a huge sigh, the younger man pulled back to look his lover in the eyes.  He saw love and devotion.  Whether or not Jack heard every word he had said wasn't all that important.  In the end, Jack had heard the key points, and perhaps that was enough, at least until they didn't have to play the game anymore.

“I love you, Jack,” Daniel intoned.

“I love you, Danny, so friggin' much,” Jack replied, following it up with a passionate kiss.  “Are we okay?”

“Yes,” Daniel affirmed.  “I just wish ...”

“Someday, Angel ... someday.”

====

“To walls,” Jack teased, hooking his arm around his lover's.

“To walls,” Daniel agreed as the two toasted their strange experience and then sipped their wine and then tasted each other's lips in a warm, tingling kiss.

The two were seated on Daniel's balcony, enjoying the late night breeze.  They had to be careful not to be seen, but with his apartment on the eighth floor, Daniel wasn't overly concerned about it, at least not tonight.  They'd enjoyed a light dinner before taking a platter of cheeses, grapes, and crackers onto the balcony with their wine.

The game was long forgotten.  Here and now, no one mattered but themselves, and nothing was a concern but their love and commitment to each other.

“You didn't have to buy a new bottle of St. Julien's, Love,” Daniel spoke after their kiss.  “We could have gone to your place.”

“Our place,” Jack reminded.  “You wanted to get that shelf fixed tonight.  Besides, it's not the really good stuff.”

“It's 1965, Jack.  That was still a good year for St. Julien's,” Daniel spoke.

“And for me,” the older man added as he hand-fed his lover a grape, receiving payment for the service in the form of a tender kiss.

“It was a good year?  Oh, the Corvette,” Daniel surmised.

“You were born,” Jack answered informatively, leaning in for a more passionate kiss.

“Mmmm,” Daniel moaned in delight.  “I'd like another grape, please.”

“My pleasure,” Jack responded, repeating the service and receiving his preferred payment and then some.

After finishing their drinks and putting down their glasses, the two shifted positions slightly, snuggling together side-by-side with their backs against the glass patio door.  Jack's left arm wrapped around his soulmate's shoulders as they leaned their heads together.

“Jack, what did it feel like for you, being a ... a ...”

“Wall?” Jack chuckled.  “I felt like roadkill -- flat and squished.”

“Seriously,” Daniel prodded.

“It felt odd,” the older man answered truthfully.  “I could hear everything, see everything, but I couldn't speak.”  He sighed, “But the worst thing, Danny, is that I knew you were there, but I couldn't feel you.  I hated that.”

“Me, uh, too.  It was ... lonely,” the younger man sighed, snuggling in even closer to his Love.

“Yeah,” Jack affirmed.  “Maybe next time you won't touch things without knowing for sure what they are.”

“Me?” Daniel spoke, pulling back so he could look at his partner.  “As I recall, Colonel, you were in the wall, too.”

“Technicality.  I didn't want you to be alone,” Jack said with a guilty smile.  The lovers kissed, their hands caressing each other's bodies.  “I love you, Angel.”

“I love you, too, Jack,” Daniel replied.

“Wallpaper,” Jack suddenly said.

“What?”

“I felt like wallpaper.”

“Oh,” Daniel chuckled.  “Well, Babe, if you were wallpaper, you'd be the sexiest wallpaper ever.  In fact, I'd take a photo and let you be my screensaver on the computer.”

“I'm not sure how to take that,” the colonel admitted.

“Dancing Jacks.  You'd be so cute, Babe,” Daniel teased, referring to the screensaver, comprised of several lines of an Egyptian woman dancing, on his computer at the office.

“Very funny, Daniel,” Jack replied, rolling his eyes at the thought.

After his chuckle subsided, the archaeologist inquired, “So, when do we go back?”

“Not in this lifetime,” Jack spoke teasingly.  “SG-11 gets to have their own fun with the magic next month.”

“I still wonder what Stefan and the others wanted to escape from,” the archaeologist pondered.

“So many questions,” Jack stated.

“Yeah, lots of them,” Daniel confirmed.  “Ah, Babe, I have a question.  Actually, it's a wish.”

“Tell me,” Jack requested.

“It means disappearing.”

“Daniel ...”

“From the balcony.  I was thinking a shower and ...”

Jack grinned and responded, “It's the 'and' that's the magic.”

“You're the magic, Jack; my magic, anyway,” Daniel spoke lovingly as he moved in for a kiss, nibbling his lover's lower lip just slightly as their passion began to soar.

The magic of PX5-784 was still a mystery to Earth, but the magic of Jack and Daniel's love was no secret to them.  Instead, it was a passion and joy to be nurtured and encouraged between the two, and it was the one thing that both men relied on more than anything else in the world.  Now, the soulmates ventured to the privacy of their bedroom, letting the magic of their union fulfill them until the blissfulness of their physical love took them to a peaceful slumber, preparing them for another day of learning, about the universe and themselves.

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