Disclaimer: Stargate Sg-1 and its characters are the property of Stargate (II) Productions,
Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions. This story is for entertainment purposes only and no money exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. The original characters, situations, and story are the property of the author. This story may not be posted elsewhere without the consent of the author.
Author's Note: I suppose we all had our own way of dealing with Daniel's leaving… this one just came to me when I was looking at a movie poster, and it made me laugh out loud. I thought it would be 'an amusing conceit'. I hope you enjoy it. Oh, and my apologies to a certain author. I'm just borrowing, no infringement intended.
Wiz Kid Jackson
Daniel Jackson sat across from the major, staring disconsolately into his mug. "I don't know, Sam. I mean, I've thought about leaving before. Haven't you? To just have the freedom to do whatever you want, without, well, I don't know." Putting down the mug with a hollow thud, he shook his head. "Don't you ever get tired of it all?"
Sam chewed a mouthful of cereal and shrugged as she swallowed. "I suppose. But I don't think I'd actually do it. At least, not now…" She stared thoughtfully at the salt shaker on the table and Daniel grinned at her in spite of his mood. The conversations over breakfast before a mission tended to be a bit more subtle than the ones they had over beer after. The only reason Sam would leave was the exact reason she would stay – and that reason happened to be on his way over to the table with Teal'c.
"Mornin', campers. We got good news and bad news. We're not leaving for P63 today."
"Why not, sir?" Carter's eyes were on the colonel, suddenly all business. Daniel envied the way she could order her life into discreet sections, deal with one at a time.
"The chemical analysis of the atmosphere is inconclusive, Major Carter." Teal'c almost let a smile slip free. "I believe I told O'Neill that it was in doubt last night."
"Look. Just because I didn't read the whole report doesn't mean I didn't believe it, or wasn't paying attention to it."
Teal'c and Carter stared at each other for a moment, trying to find a reasonable context for that sentence. Carter shook her head. "Well, all right, sir. What's the other thing then?"
"The other thing?"
"You said good news and bad news."
"Oh. It's just an expression." Carter stared at him, her eyebrows raised. "What?" Her blue eyes softened from surprise to bemused affection. Jack recognized her expression and blinked at her. "Well, it is, isn't it?"
They were interrupted as Daniel leapt to his feet, pointing toward the ceiling. "What the hell is that?" They turned, Carter and O'Neill reaching instinctively for side arms that weren't there in their casual fatigues. Teal'c scanned the room, and several officers who were off duty stared blankly at them.
O'Neill looked around once more, turned to Daniel. "What was what?"
Daniel blinked, shook his head, looked around searchingly. "I saw something. I thought I saw something, anyway. A bird, or maybe it was just a piece of paper…" He trailed off and looked back into the concerned eyes of his teammates. "It was big. I don't know how you could have missed..." He looked around, saw nothing, and shrugged. "I really thought I did." He took off his glasses, polished them on his shirttail and pushed them back onto his nose before looking sheepishly at them. "Sorry about that. Ah. You were saying?"
Sam and Jack exchanged a glance. "May have been a light reflection, sir." Jack nodded thoughtfully, still staring at Daniel. "Well, we're still due in the General's office in fifteen for the briefing, which will now say, I suppose, that we've got the day off."
"Not quite off, Sam. I'm still on that translation, and-" He stopped, noticing for the first time the serious set of Jack's eyes. "Jack?"
"Ah, Danny? What kind of bird?"
Daniel blinked off toward the wall. He frowned, looked thoughtful, then shrugged. "Owl?" He frowned again, pursed his lips. "Maybe?"
Jack stared at him for a moment, rubbed his eyes with his hands, and finally muttered under his breath. "Not now."
"Nevermind. We'll figure it out soon enough."
Sam looked concerned, her eyes darting between Jack and Daniel. "Sir, if there's anything I can do?" Jack lifted his eyes to meet hers, and smiled thinly.
"I'm sure there will be, Major. Let's get this briefing over with and-"
The sudden noise of klaxons erupted throughout the base, a synthetic voice calmly speaking in the mayhem.
Intruder alert. Intruder alert. There has been an unclassified person sighted in the base. Lockdown sequence six, five, eight, niner…
Colonel and Major snapped into action, running for their posts in the gate room.
"What's going on? The gate didn't activate, did it?"
Jack yelled over his shoulder. "Teal'c. Keep an eye on Daniel. We have the gate. And stay close!" They rounded the corner into the gate room, and the door shushed closed behind them. "Carter. Weapons."
"On it, sir." She was already opening the weapons locker and handing out rifles.
"Why here, Jack? There was no gate activation."
"It's our zone. We defend it. Take cover."
Daniel ducked behind the table that Teal'c overturned and peered over the top. For some reason he wanted to see what was going on. Without knowing why, he felt like something was about to happen, and probably to him.
"Carter! What's with the gate?" Sam turned around and saw a sparkling silvery mist gathering around the stone. It swirled and writhed, miniature lightning bolts flashing across it. Soon they were less than miniature. "Carter!"
"I don't know, sir. There's some kind of energy build-up going on, and the naquada must be sensitive to it!" They were both yelling by now, just to hear each other over the heady whine of the energy-laden gate. "I don't think it's going to activate, but I'm afraid it's channeling too much energy to stay together!" She frowned and looked like she had tasted something bad. "Do you smell that, sir? It's like the air tastes like… tin."
O'Neill turned to look at the Stargate and swore. "Would dialing out take the pressure off?" He looked back over his shoulder and saw Jackson standing, his eyes wide, staring at the wall opposite the gate. "Daniel! What-" A brilliant flash of light blinded them all momentarily, but didn't keep Jack from jumping over the table and pulling Daniel down behind it.
The silence that followed seemed more unnatural for the contrast. O'Neill looked at Daniel first, who seemed stunned but all right. He might have been hit by something, since there was a red mark on his forehead, but there wasn't any blood. Then he looked around the side of the table and caught sight of Carter, who signaled that she was okay. He tapped his forehead and she nodded that Teal'c was with her. He let out a deep breath, unaware that he had been holding it. Another signal to Carter, and he slowly looked around the edge of the table.
The gate was fine. It looked as if nothing had happened. Jack was about to relay that to Sam when he heard Daniel's voice.
"Who- who are you?"