By Blue Topaz
Disclaimer: Stargate SG-1 and its characters are not mine. I'm not happy about that.
AN: This is for Thal. A bribing material *g*. Thanks to Scully who beta-read it.
"Let me do it."
Major Samantha Carter eyed her CO skeptically right after he said those words. There was something awfully wrong with the offer.
"What?" Jack raised his eyebrows in response to her suspicion. "I know how hard it is for you to tell Jakey-boy. So let me do it."
Armed with fork on the right hand and knife on the left, the major narrowed her eyes. He was up to something. While most of the time she didn't care what it was, this time was different. It concerned her father.
"Besides, Jacob knows better than kill a messenger, right?" he coaxed her while stealing fries from her plate.
She ignored the liberty that he had taken upon her food. The grip on her knife tightened when the potato piece disappeared into the cavern of his mouth. Her stance was downright intimidating.
Unfortunately, Jack O'Neill was not the kind of person who could be intimidated easily. "Come on, Carter. The fact is simple. You *can't* do it. So let me do it instead."
"Why?" Doubt and mistrust filled her voice.
"Hey, do I need to give a reason to help a very good friend?" He advised while stealing another one of her fries.
Her lips had formed a thin line. "I'm sure that there's something you're not telling me."
He shrugged his shoulder. "You asked 'why', I'm just answering your question."
"Yeah, but we both know that you are not *just* a messenger. So give! Why?" she pressed. "And please, Colonel, I know you. Give me a little credit by not lying to me."
"Tsk, tsk, tsk. Don't you trust me?"
"When you ask the question like that, no, I don't," she answered without hesitation.
He raised one eyebrow in typical Teal'c fashion. "Well, you should." He leaned back in his chair and looked thoughtful. "You should have a blind trust in me, even more since we --"
"Alright, alright," she cut him short. She found him to be more incorrigible these days, especially after *the* incident. He always found a way to tease her about it every chance he got, particularly knowing that it made her uncomfortable. She honestly didn't know why it freaked the hell out of her. "Do whatever you want. It's not like you won't do it without my permission anyway," she said curtly.
He grinned devilishly. "Jake won't know what's coming."
She was fighting the urge to kick his shin under the table. Too bad that it was classified under 'attacking a superior officer'. "Please remember that Dad is a Tok'ra representative. Don't do anything that might jeopardize our alliance."
"Don't worry, Carter. I can be diplomatic if I want to."
She muttered under her breath. "That is what I am afraid of."
Jacob didn't like the way his daughter nervously twisted the straw of her drink, her eyes were downcast as if she was guilty of something. He didn't like the fact her CO sat next to her either, with a secretive smile on his lips. They had been like that since he arrived on Earth a few hours ago. They said that they had something to say to him, so he let them lead him out of the mountain into one of the restaurants in town.
He was no fool. He knew that there was 'something' between the two officers situated on the other side of the table. He saw them working together, how their eyes always communicate without words, the way he looked at her when he thought that no one was looking, the way she worried about him when he was in trouble, and the deep understanding that they shared. Jacob envied and concerned at the same time.
Therefore, he knew that he wouldn't like whatever coming his way.
'Give them a chance to explain before you jump into any conclusion, Jacob,' Selmac suddenly said inside his head.
The inner snort of his symbiote only fueled his foul mood.
"Jacob, we have something that we want to tell you," Jack started, his eyes flickered briefly to Sam. "We think it's better for you to hear it from us."
If Jack had been so foolish to touch his little girl, he would personally see that the colonel paid for it. Selmac was the only reason Jacob managed to bite back the sharp retort. "What is it?"
"Before I start, please let me tell you first that this is not our fault."
Fault? That implied that there was mistake. And he could only think of one mistake right now.
"Sam," he called his daughter. Her head snapped up to meet his gaze.
"You're not carrying Jack's child, are you?" He bluntly asked the worst-case scenario.
"*What?*" Sam reacted instinctively.
"*My child?*" Jack's reaction was identical.
Judging by their response, it was not that.
A few heads turned towards their table.
'Jacob, she's going to hate you for that,' Selmac gently reprimanded her host.
'It was the only way to get a confirmation right away.' He was so relieved that he was actually feeling good about himself.
"Dad, how could you say such thing?" Sam's indignant question almost made him feel guilty about what he had just said. Almost.
"Sweety, what else should I think about? You and Jack have been acting strangely. I just wanted to know that it was not that," he defended his action. "Now I can relax a bit. Surely whatever is coming, it can't be worse than that."
To his surprise, Jack laughed out loud. "I knew there was a reason why I liked you."
Sam glared at the two men. "Sure, gang up on me, why don't you? It's not like it was *your* virtue that he was attacking."
"Calm down, Carter. We haven't told him yet."
"So, what is the big news then?"
Jack cleared his throat. "Well, I think it's better to tell you everything from the beginning so that you can see the whole picture."
Jacob nodded in consent.
Jack continued, "A couple weeks ago, we went to this planet."
"P98 B2X" Sam supplied the address.
"Right, they called themselves Raven."
"Ravan," Sam corrected.
Showing no indifference to the correction, Jack leaned forward, resting his arms on the table. "Anyway, we came during the festival that's held every year. If I'm not mistaken it was to celebrate the first King's coronation or something. They were quite nice bunch of people if I may say so, but they don't speak English. Since the Tok'ra borrowed Daniel at that moment, another geek was assigned to our team. His name is Kiddy."
"Kid. Dr. Trevor Kid," Sam said.
"We didn't realize it then, but we think that he is one of Kinsey's informants. He had the skill, being a geek that he is, not as good as Daniel obviously, but he did what he was paid for. So, we go on our merry way."
"Wait, what does Kinsey want exactly?" Jacob interrupted.
"We'll explain later. Don't worry," Jack assured him. "Where was I? Oh yeah, the festival. Carter did her usual mineral survey while I had Teal'c watch out for Kiddy. Like Daniel, he was easily excited by the culture and started asking questions. Apparently, the high priest was going to make an appearance the day after. Whoever this guy was, his people really liked him. They talked and talked about him, saying how grateful they were that he was watching over them all the time. I didn't like the sound of it."
"You wondered whether he was a Goa'uld," Jacob whispered.
"Yup. So we decided to stick around and poke our nose in. This high priest guy ... Carter, what was his name again?"
"Thanks. This Ska guy has an even greater power than the King, and the people worship him like a god."
"Typical Goa'uld MO," Jacob agreed with the colonel's assessment.
"Right on the money. Since we can't speak the language, Kiddy was the only one who could interact with them. He told us that this Ska guy only showed his face once a year, the rest he spends in his cave to meditate. He'll accept offering from the villager and exchange them with his blessing. In order to get close to him, we had no other choice but to do this offering as well."
Sam added, "The King was pleased to know that we went along with his custom. He said that by doing this, we were one step ahead of understanding his people. In our honor, we were told that we could see the priest right after him. The King is always the first one to do the offering."
"There are two types of blessing. One is the general one, you know, may God bless you with loads of money, health, children and all that crap. The other one is marriage blessing. This guy was the only one on the kingdom that can perform wedding ceremony. Anyway, to indicate which blessing you want, all you have to do is put your offering either in left or right side of his feet."
"Did you manage to meet him? Is he a Goa'uld?" Curiosity piqued, Jacob eagerly asked the question.
Jack ignored him. "I needed Carter to sense the naquada, and Kiddy to translate, so they went in with me. I had Teal'c hiding just outskirt of the village just in case something was wrong. We had the comm open all the time. So, in we go."
"And what happened?"
"That was when Kiddy screwed up. Big time." The grin on Jack's face made Jacob's frown. Usually, when someone under his command made a mistake, Jack would be furious. Selmac was equally puzzled.
"Why are you glad that he screwed up?" Jacob questioned.
Jack turned towards Sam and she looked back at him. "Do you want to tell him, or should I?"
She visibly flinched. "You do it. You said that you wanted to, right?"
"Sam, what's wrong, honey?" Jacob was getting worried about his little girl. "You're not injured or anything, are you?"
"No, Dad, it's not like that," she quickly assured him.
Jack was positively glowing. "We went in and got closer to him. And we give him the offering, as instructed by the King. Carter was sure that she couldn't sense the naquada in him. I'm convinced as well, because this Ska guy turned out to be very old. Goa'uld is a vain being, he would have kept his host young or move to another host instead of staying in that old man body. He was quite nice as well, we chat for a bit."
"And?" Jacob encouraged.
"We were quite pleased about it, to be honest. Because his people genuinely adored him and it would've been hard for us to help them see the evil that he was, *if* he was a snakehead."
"Jack, don't play around with me. What is it that you want to tell me about," Jacob's patient was gone. "If this story has something to do with my daughter, I want to know about it *now*!"
"Jeez, Jacob. I was getting into that. Like I said in the beginning, it's important for you to know the whole story."
"Go on then."
"Anyway, we were happy that he was not a snakehead. But, after the offering took place, we noticed that Kiddy was acting strange. He was pale and didn't talk much. Not his usual chipper himself. We thought nothing of it at first; he might have had indigestion or constipation for all we cared. So, we went home. A few days later, Carter's sample turns the lab upside down. We found trinium. So, we went back to that planet again. We brought Daniel this time."
"The King was pleased to see us again and when we said that we wanted to trade with them, he gladly accepted." Sam put in.
"And after that, you know how curious Daniel is, right? He wanted to stay there after the negotiation, interacting with the native. I didn't see any reason why not, so I agreed. Because of that, we discover something," Jack said.
"Explain," Jacob ordered.
"Well, we found out why Kiddy was acting strange. Do you remember the priest?"
"Even though Kiddy's grasp of their language was excellent, he made one big mistake."
"What was it?"
"When concerning the high priest, everything that was said *had* to be in his point of view. For example, the King told Kiddy that the offering had to be laid on the left side. However, the left side of the priest in his perspective is our right." He paused. "Do you follow me, Jake?"
Jacob had a sinking feeling as the realization dawned. "No, it can't be," he shook his head in denial.
It couldn't be. No way. His little girl ...
"Do you remember the two types of blessings that the priest gave?" Jack asked.
He stared at his daughter first. She was trying to hide behind her glass unsuccessfully, and then at the man next to her.
"No," the whisper was so weak.
Jack's brown eyes twinkled with amusement. "Well, what do you say, Jake? Should I call you Dad for real now?"
to be continue
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