"I guess that makes sense, if any of this does."
"I think he's coming around." Jack shifted his arm around Daniel's shoulder, as the younger man blinked and shook his head. "You okay, Danny-boy?"
Daniel looked at all of them in turn. "I had the most amazing dream, and you were all in it." He laughed at their expressions. "I'm kidding. I'm okay." He patted Jack's hand on his shoulder. "Thanks."
"No problem." Jack helped him to his feet while Teal'c gave the ladies a hand.
"Hermione. I-" Daniel was abruptly cut off as Hermione threw herself into his arms and kissed him full on the mouth. The team averted their eyes politely until they came up for air. "Listen, Hermione. I haven't exactly been- single."
"Shut up." She kissed him again. "I've been 'away' too. And I know exactly what you've been through." She smiled gently at him. "Albus actually sent me off planet. I was working as a geologist when we found the gate on our world. Three days ago it activated, and this fell through." She held up the feather. "My team leader looked at me and asked if I knew what it was from… and I said, 'well, a Jobberknoll bird, I think." She shook her head. "I think I was as startled as he was. I started to remember right away. It took me this long to get the wand from the Ministry of Magic, and to find you."
"I believe you." He hugged her hard, and smiled over her shoulder at his teammates. "Um. I'd like you to meet Hermione Granger. I think Jack knows her already, but I don't know how."
"I've never met her. But Albus told me about her. Or warned me about her, I was never sure which." Daniel's eyebrows raised. "He showed up after you came back from Abydos. Asked me very nicely to keep an eye on you." Jack's eyes sparkled fondly. "It wasn't that hard." Resuming his usual exterior, he added, "not that it wasn't a full time job. If I'd known what I was getting us into…" He stared again into his friend's eyes. "Ah, what the hell. I still would have done it."
Daniel looked at his teammates, his family of the last five years. "I don't know how to thank you all." He looked at the floor, and when he looked up again, his eyes were wet. "I don't know how to say goodbye, either."
There was an awkward moment before Sam stepped forward. "Then don't."
"But I have to go."
"Well, sure, but that doesn't mean we can't keep in touch, does it?"
Daniel looked at Hermione, who shrugged. "I'm not sure it's safe for you to remember this."
"Oh, for crying out loud, Danny. You're looking at the keepers of bigger secrets than that."
The younger man looked hopeful. "Maybe you're right. But there's got to be a cover story for the rest of the world, even for the rest of the Stargate command."
Hermione nodded. "Done. You've been appointed professor at a private university on P39-ON6." She smiled at Daniel. "That's been home for me for over ten years. Let your government cover up beyond that. They're good at it, aren't they?"
Jack laughed. "She's a smart one. But will Hammond go for it?"
She looked at him, unsuccessfully covering a smirk. "Oh, I think so."
"Well, good then." Jack looked at Daniel and then toward the gate. "How do you get out of here?"
The lady in black laughed again. "Did you ever notice that there are nine chevrons on the gate?"
"Well, if you put your wand over the DHD, it makes it 9 ¾." She stepped over to the gate and frowned. "But you don't have a DHD."
Sam motioned toward the control room. "We have a computer. I'm sure we can make it work." She began to walk toward the door and stopped, walked back to Daniel. "You will keep in touch, won't you? I mean, I don't have an owl-" she stopped as her voice cracked, and he hugged her.
"I'll miss you. I love working with you, you know." She nodded. "Remember, radio signals go through. We'll find a way to keep talking… I promise." Then, quietly, into her ear, he whispered. "And keep an eye on him, okay?" She laughed out loud at that.
"I'll try." Sam looked affectionately at him. "I'll talk to you soon, Daniel. Be good." Then she turned away, and without looking back, led Hermione up to the control room.
Daniel turned to Teal'c. "Thank you. You've always been there for me. I'll miss you, Teal'c." He stepped up and hugged the big man.
"I cannot say that I understand this, Daniel Jackson, but I understand that you must perform your duty." He held Daniel at arm's length, squeezing his shoulders. "Be well. And call on me if there is anything I can do to help you." Daniel smiled.
"Thanks, Teal'c." He turned to O'Neill. "Jack. What can I say?" He looked at the colonel, looked at the floor. "I mean, it's been…" His sentence was broken off as Jack locked him in a bear hug.
"Look, kid. If you need anything, and I mean anything…"
"I know. Thanks, Jack. And if you guys ever need me for anything – I still know all I've learned here." He stepped back and looked his commander in the eye. "I won't forget."
There was a series of clanking noises as nine chevrons locked rapidly into place. With a metallic whoosh, the gate opened. Jack nodded as he looked at the event horizon, which was glowing in shades of purple. Hermione was at Daniel's side, like magic.
They joined hands and walked up the ramp. At the event horizon, just before they stepped through, Daniel turned and waved once more, with a smile. "Until next time."
Back in the gate room, the three remaining teammates decided that it was a good time to take a day off.