Boiling Point by Layton Colt

Ferretti plans to get revenge on a 'traitor,' will Daniel getting in the way be enough to stop him?

Author's Notes: I have no idea where this came from. I think maybe it was because I was thinking about the episode, Children of the Gods, and I started to wonder how Ferretti was injured -- and who did it. I'm not sure this story flows very well, or if it even makes much sense, but it was simply a late night endeavor -- not my best work, more like a stalling technique to keep from having to do my homework.

We'd planned out the timing so perfectly. Only Daniel could unwittingly ruin everything. The kid's like a little brother to me, and I care for him deeply, but he's a walking disaster.

The traitor is standing beside him, moving slightly as if to protect Daniel from *me* as my men and I enter. Daniel, for his part, is just eyeing us curiously. He's got absolutely no sense of danger. He can't even see that the man he's standing beside is the enemy, or that me and the three men behind me have come here ready to attack.

"Daniel, why don't you head home?" I say quietly. I doubt it will work, Daniel doesn't even go home when there's nothing going on at the SGC, and we've been busy all week. He isn't going to catch on that we'd like to be left alone with. with the traitor.

"Go home?" As usual, Daniel's missing the point. He has no idea what's going on here. He really doesn't get it. Sometimes it's hard for me to accept that he's a PhD. A multiple one at that.

"Yes, Daniel, we have some things we'd like to discuss with -- Teal'c." Teal'c. Huh, I can barely bring myself to say his name. He's a traitor and a monster. He's no better than the Goa'uld he used to serve, and though he may be able to fool the susceptible, like Daniel, he won't ever fool me.

"Ferretti, what's this about?" Daniel's voice is laced with that inherent innocence that always has me giving him his way. I may have been a jerk to Daniel when I first met him, but I'd been scared, I thought we weren't going to ever get home. And since Daniel was the one who had said he could get us back, he was the one I blamed. But it didn't take long -- not long at all before Daniel had gotten beneath my skin.

Even Kowalski, before he had died, had been completely wrapped around Daniel's finger. And Colonel O'Neill's been a different person since Daniel and Skarra. I've never seen him so protective of anyone as he is of those two.

I'm a little protective of Daniel myself. Which is why the way *he* is trying to block him from me is making my blood boil. I've been patient, really I have. I waited calmly for them to see. For everyone to realize he couldn't be trusted. But they never did, so I've decided to take matters into my own hands, and my team is backing me up.

He's killed more people than there are at Cheyenne Mountain. Hell, he's helped in committing *genocide* on more than one occasion. He was responsible for the abductions of Sha'uri and Skarra. He was the reason I almost lost my life. I still remember looking in his eyes as he fired the staff weapon at me, nearly killing me. But I wouldn't be bested that easily. I forced myself to remain conscious, and read the glyphs on the DHD so we could follow them to their destination. And I waited. I waited for them to bring Sha'uri and Skarra home and kill all those responsible. But they didn't return with Sha'uri or Skarra -- they returned with *him.*

"We'd just like to speak with Teal'c for a minute," I say calmly. I can see in the traitor's eyes he knows what we'd really like to do. Daniel doesn't have a clue.

"About what?" Daniel asks. Here we are, me and three other marines, decked out in our BDU's, we've barged into the alien's quarters at 2:00 in the morning, and Daniel still believes me when I say all we want to do with *him* is talk. Is it any wonder *he* was able to convince Daniel he was one of the good guys?

"You should leave, Daniel Jackson," the alien says calmly.

What does he think he's doing? Does he actually believe he needs to protect Daniel from me? I'm trying to protect Daniel, the entire SGC, from *him.* This whole noble warrior act is growing old.

Daniel looks at me again, and something clicks with him. He finally takes in the traitor's defensive stance, the way my team and I are crowding the doorway. It took awhile, but he's figured out why we're here.

"I'm not going anywhere," Daniel says plainly. I hold back a smile at his tone. He's always been brave. It was something I had never expected of him. I'll never forget watching him turn that staff weapon on Ra. Daniel just has that rare type of courage, the kind that doesn't even factor in common sense.

"Daniel," I say firmly. I've heard Jack use this tone to get Daniel to eat, or sleep, or any other basic necessity normal people do all on their own. "This doesn't concern you."

"I think it does," he says softly. "Why don't we go somewhere and talk, Ferretti? We should let Teal'c get some sleep, it's late."

"Sleep?" I ask harshly. "But you're mistaken, Daniel, he doesn't sleep. He isn't human, remember?"

"Our job is to explore other worlds," Daniel says. "You can't be judgmental of alien species -- we're bound to encounter them."

"I'm not," I say truthfully. "I just have a little problem with killers."

"Haven't you ever killed, Ferretti?" Daniel asks. There's no malicious intent behind the question, but it stings none the less.

"I killed for my country, Daniel, for freedom."

"And Teal'c killed for his people, for the man he thought was his god." Daniel shakes his head sadly. "He went against a man he'd been raised to believe was omnipotent to save our lives, how could we ask for more?"

"Major Ferretti has a right to be angry, Daniel Jackson," the traitor interrupts.

Damn right I do.

"It was I who injured him on Abydos."

Daniel looks surprised at that. Maybe now he'll understand why this alien warrior is such a danger. "You're the one who shot Ferretti?" he asks.

"I am," *he* says boldly. If nothing else, I'll admit the traitor has guts. Admitting that in front of my men hadn't been smart, I could feel them go tense behind me. I never told anyone who shot me, I had thought the fact that Sha'uri and Skarra were abducted by his hand would be enough. And to be quite honest, I had been so hurt, until now I hadn't even been completely certain he was the one who fired on me.

Daniel runs a hand through his hair, a nervous habit I'm pretty sure he picked up from Jack. "Oh," Daniel says intelligently. That's it? That's the total of your reaction? The man tried to kill me, Daniel. A little anger on my behalf would be appreciated.

"In my culture," the traitor says to me. "You would be allowed to take my life for compensation of my actions."

Take his life? I cast a quick look behind me. Sherman, Baxter, and Wynter, certainly looked prepared to take a life. But I hadn't come here planning a murder. Yes, I had wanted to beat up on *him*, even though, taking into account his size, it would have been futile. But I hadn't wanted to take his life. I had wanted him to admit his intentions, tell me that yes, he planned to betray us. That way I could have gone to Hammond, had the alien shipped off with Kennedy and never feel any remorse.

It wasn't supposed to go this way. He wasn't supposed to tell me I could kill him. He was supposed to. supposed to. be the man who shot me. The eyes of the man that shot me were cruel and unfeeling. The eyes of a traitor.

"I don't want your life," I say at last. I can see Daniel let out a sigh of relief. "But I do want you to leave the SGC. You aren't needed or wanted here."

"Ferretti!" Daniel snaps. There's an authority in his voice I've never heard before. "You aren't thinking very much like a soldier, are you?"

The civilian is telling me I'm not thinking like a soldier?

"I know it isn't easy to work with someone who not too long ago was our enemy," Daniel says. "He took my wife, and that wasn't something I'd easily forgive. But Ferretti, he's willing to help us, he wants to atone and do the right thing. And even if you can't believe that, at least you have to admit he's an important resource with invaluable information. We do need him to fight the Goa'uld."

Okay, so maybe the guy knew some stuff. Maybe he was the loyal first prime of our worst enemy for more years than even I've been alive and is willing to tell us whatever we want about him. But how do we know he's any better than the tyrant he's telling us about? How can we be sure he won't abandon us and sell us out if something better comes along?

"He can't be trusted, Daniel, no one who's done what he's done could be trusted."

"Teal'c never had any choice about who he was forced to become. He either became Apophis first prime or he would have been killed as a traitor. He undermined Apophis time after time, and thwarted him every chance he got. Yes, Teal'c took a lot of lives, but he also saved them. If someone else had been first prime, someone who never questioned, many more people would have been killed."

"There's no excuse for what he's done, Daniel," I snap at him.

"No, no there isn't," he admits. I see him cast the alien an apologetic look. "He made a lot of mistakes, but he never really stood a chance. His entire planet is enslaved, Ferretti, and there isn't any way you'll be able to understand his situation -- or put yourself in his place."

"I'd have never been able to do what *he* did!" I yell.

The traitor remains impassive. He isn't even trying to defend himself. Not that he has to, Daniel's doing a pretty good job of it. And isn't that just like Daniel? Why does he have to be so god damned reasonable all of the time?

"You don't know that, Ferretti," Daniel says, his voice infuriatingly calm. "Like I said, you can't put yourself in his place. It's easy to look at his situation from your place of freedom and judge his actions, but you don't know what it was like for him -- none of us here do."

"Daniel Jackson," the traitor interrupts, "Major Ferretti, you do not need to debate this matter further. I am guilty. Major Ferretti, I leave my fate to you."

Damn. This is not how I envisioned this visit. I'm supposed to be the hero in this situation, not the putz who forced the big noble warrior to give his life to me.


I turn around, Wynter is looking at me questioningly, and Sherman and Baxter are slightly behind him.

"What do you want us to do.?" Wynter asks.

Throw him through the 'gate? I sighed. That wouldn't work. Daniel was already watching me pityingly. Probably thinking 'poor ole Ferretti -- he finally snapped.' It doesn't occur to him to be angry with me. He has too much empathy. He understands what happened to me and why I'm acting like I am. But why does he have to have so much damn empathy for the monster who took his wife? For once, he should be on my side, he shouldn't be working against me.

"You guys can leave," I say at last. Wynter opens his mouth to protest but I hold up a hand. "I'll be fine," I tell them.

Wynter, my trusty CI2, gives a clipped nod and leads my men away. I turn back to Daniel and *him.*

"I don't want anything from you," I say to the traitor. "Nothing. I don't trust you, Teal'c, not for a second. But Daniel does, and god knows his opinion is worth a hell of a lot more than mine. So I'll leave you alone. I'll stay out of your way -- and you stay out of mine. But be warned, if you hurt them," I pause and cast a quick glance at Daniel, ensuring he understands what *them* I'm talking about. "I will kill you."

Daniel shakes his head disappointedly. He had thought he'd gotten through to me. I'll never tell him, but he has -- just a little. I'm starting to have a few second thoughts about. Teal'c. I mean if he was only interested in self gain he wouldn't have offered me his life. He couldn't have been sure I wouldn't take him up on the offer, trust me, when I'd entered here I'd certainly had murder in my eyes. But Daniel trusts Teal'c. And though he may not have the best judge in character, he does have the rare ability of being able to see good in anyone -- and more often than not he brings it to the fore.

I turn and leave them both. I can hear their voices as the door closes shut behind me, but I can't make out the words. I'd made Daniel angry though, I'll have to smooth it out with him later. Jeez, here I am, worried about Daniel being mad at me. But take my word for it, Daniel is not a good man to have mad at you. I'd of rather Jack been in there with Teal'c tonight than Daniel. Jack would have slugged me and then probably reported me to the General. But Daniel, he made me question myself. Made me think maybe I was wrong about Teal'c. And that's worse.

Because I need someone to blame. I need a cause for my pain and how I suffered. I need a target for my frustration at Daniel's loss. At Sha'uri and Skarra being with those damn Goa'ulds. And Teal'c is a nice safe target right here on our side of the 'gate.

But Daniel's words keep running through my head. Daniel's words have a habit of doing that. Haunting you when you just want to wish them a way. They resound through your mind, and make you question everything.

'It's easy to look at his situation from your place of freedom and judge his actions, but you don't know what it was like for him -- none of us here do.'

Maybe I don't, Daniel. Maybe I can't understand him. Maybe that's the problem.

You've got one chance, Teal'c. One chance. Make one mistake. just one, and you won't need to give me your life.

I'll take it.

The End