Title – Pragmatic
Author – nostalgia
Rating – R for bad words.
Disclaimer – Property is theft. So is fanfic. Embrace the dark side!
Summary – Jack and Daniel in 500 words.
Notes/Warnings – Kinda dark, but not necessarily AU. Just a touch over 500 words.
"Carter, with me. Teal'c, you stay with Daniel." Sam takes a deep breath and nods. She will follow orders, find solace in the chain of command. Teal'c is silent and stoic and Daniel knows that he will be made complicit in all of this by twice his body-weight in Jaffa.

"Fuck you," says Daniel, and no one even blinks in his direction. He watches Jack and Sam head off towards the village with a box of C4 and some lip-service ethics.

"We should stop them," he says.

Teal'c grips his staff more tightly, the skin around his knuckles losing several shades of melanin. "It must be done."

"We can think of something. We always think of something."

"There is no time, DanielJackson."

"Help me. Just... help me stall him. Please."

"Sometimes one must make sacrifices to ensure victory. I have found the Tau'ri to be most resistant to this truth."

Daniel swears under his breath. "You're exactly like him"

Teal'c nods, "Thank you."

"I didn't..."

"I know."

Something explodes half a kilometre away and Sam pales. Teal'c frowns. Daniel throws up. Jack adjusts his cap.

"Jesus, Daniel, couldn't you at least puke on your own stuff?"

Daniel decides the prod against his ribs could not possibly have been a kick and crawls far enough to empty his stomach into sand. It reminds him of Abydos, which Jack did not blow up, because there was another way after all. His vision is blurry but he's still wearing his glasses.

"So, Carter, how long would it take Daniel's breakfast to evolve into something smart?"

"Fuck you," he manages, cutting off when his stomach turns itself inside out again. All that's left is bile. It burns the back of his throat.

"You go down on your dead mother with that mouth?" asks Jack, pulling him to his feet and brushing sand from khaki.

"Tell me again why Sara left you?"

"You ever tell Sha're what you did with Hathor?"

"You still leave a loaded gun lying round your house?"

Daniel hits the ground again, harder this time, and spits out blood and what he thinks is part of a tooth.

"We're moving out. Somebody pick up the geek."

"Dial us up, Carter."


Jack drums his fingers on his P-90 and then says, unasked, "It was quick, Daniel. None of them had any idea what was going to happen."

"Oh, well, that makes everything OK, doesn't it? Obviously I'm upset about nothing."

"We saved the fucking world, isn't that enough for you?"

"There was another way. We could have figured something out. If we just-"

"No. Do not think about it. It's over, and there's nothing we can do to change anything that happened. If you come up with some dumb idea that could have... Just don't, OK?"

The 'gate is a silver puddle going all the way home.

"How the hell do you even sleep at night?"

Jack stares him out for a full minute. Then he shrugs and says, "Alone."

Daniel surprises himself by not giving a damn.