Wrong Side of the Wormhole

by Layton Colt

Note: This is a season eight future fic, and will probably end up being A.U. when season eight actually airs, as I'm not clairvoyant.

"So this is what it was like for George all those years," Jack O'Neill whispered. He was standing in the control room, looking down at the open gate, his new uniform pressed to perfection.

Walter Davis, one of the gate technicians, glanced quickly his way. "This is what it's like for all of us, General, sir."

"I think I prefer getting shot at," he responded tensely. "Why aren't they coming through?"

SG-7's iris code had been entered seventy seconds earlier, and the iris opened quickly after. No one had come through, and to the SGC's new General, each second seemed to last for hours. There was nothing he could do on this side of the 'gate. Whatever happened to his people was out of his control, because now instead of fighting beside them with a P90, the only weapon left in his hands was prayer.

"Sir!" Davis said urgently.

Three figures had rushed through the gate, and two more right after-- spinning as they hit the ramp and watching the event horizon for any sign of whatever enemy had chased them home.

"We need a medic!" one of the men called.

Jack's fists clenched as he saw Dr. Daniel Jackson leaning heavily on Lt. Matthews, the devastating results of a staff weapon blast covering his left shoulder. He was awake, and Jack knew Daniel would be fine. Daniel had recovered from this same injury before, and even worse injuries on far too many occasions.

Dr. Smith, the new CMO, rushed into the room with a gurney and her medics, prepared for anything. At least, he was certain that was what she believed. She would learn soon enough you could never be fully prepared for the things that happened in this place. Losing her predecessor, Janet Frasier, for example--was something none of them had ever even contemplated.

Janet was the one that put their pieces back together, she was the steady presence that kept them alive and kept them sane. She was the one that was supposed to outlive them all.

He pushed the thoughts aside, as he had been forced to do so many times with so many people that had been lost, and focused on the present. He took the staircase down two steps at a time. They were just pushing Daniel out of the 'gateroom when he reached them.

"You just have to be the center of attention, don't you?" he asked with a frown, all the while examining Daniel's injury.

Smith looked at him aghast and Jack felt another twinge of loss. Janet would have known this was his way of telling Daniel he was glad to have him back at least in one piece. Smith probably thought he was some hard ass without a soul. Let her then, he decided, turning away. He didn't need to get attached to anyone else; keeping a clear head now that he was in charge was hard enough as it was.

"You know me, Jack," Daniel responded with a tired grin, "Always glad to help aspiring Jaffa warriors with their target practice."

Smith looked at both of them as though they were mad--and if half the things she'd heard of them were true, they almost certainly were. "Sir, I need to get him to the infirmary," she announced tensely.

O'Neill quickly stepped out of her way, but to her annoyance, he followed them the moment they got moving.

"You know, it's funny, I recall telling you not to get yourself hurt this time," O'Neill called as he trailed behind them.

"You always tell me that," Daniel responded instantly. "I can't very well do it every single time."

"No, of course not. That would make life too easy."

"Damn straight," Daniel said as he reached irritably for the wound on his shoulder. One of the medics grabbed his hand before he could reach it and gave him a look.

"So what happened?" O'Neill asked. "I thought this was a walk in the park."

Smith turned to give her General a cold look. "Sir, with all due respect, shouldn't you be debriefing one of the other men?"

Jack O'Neill returned her stare easily. "Dr. Jackson was the mission leader. I'm asking him."

Smith backed down, and when she turned away Daniel grinned over at Jack. They both new the real reason Jack was here questioning him. Daniel was a horrible patient, and staying still was a trial for him at the best of times. When he was hurt like this, the best thing for him was to keep his mind active and occupied.

"Oh you know how it is, we were having so much fun some Jaffas decided to crash our party. They ambushed us at the research site--we never saw them coming."

"Did you maybe not see them coming because you had your nose in a book? Again?" Jack asked snappishly.

Daniel, looking completely unaffected by the tone, shrugged. Then winced as he painfully jarred his injured shoulder. Jack rolled his eyes at his carelessness.

"Right," he said. "Why did I even ask? Of course you did."

"Colonel Reed was in charge of security, Jack--and he was doing everything he was supposed to," Daniel told him. "We didn't see them coming because they were sneaky bastards."

Jack frowned. Daniel hardly ever cussed, in English anyway, and that was a bad sign that he was probably hurting more than he let on.

Smith pushed into the infirmary first, calling for a nurse. Jack moved to stand out of the way, watching with a frightening sense of déjà vu as Daniel was carted away to be examined. He ran a hand through his hair, feeling that sense of helplessness take over again. Unlike in the control room, however, this helplessness was all too familiar.

"Sir!"

Carter came barreling into the room, Teal'c right on her heels and looking unusually unkempt.

"How is he?" she demanded breathlessly.

"Staff blast to the shoulder," O'Neill told her quickly. He noticed the moment he told her there was relief in her eyes. Compared to the trouble Daniel usually got himself into, this was minor. And he found that very disturbing.

"Where is Colonel Reed?" Teal'c demanded instantly, his eyes darkening. "I wish to speak with him."

"Wow there, buddy," Jack said. "Don't go killing my colonels off. Daniel says Reed was doing his job. They got ambushed."

Teal'c glared, but luckily made no move to retrieve his staff weapon.

"They weren't even gone a day," Sam said. "Daniel just can't catch a break."

"Indeed," Teal'c said. "He is, as I have heard Ferretti say on many occasions, a 'magnet' for trouble."

"Yeah," Jack said tiredly. "God, how did everything get like this?"

"Sir?" Sam asked, turning to look at him in concern.

"This isn't how it's supposed to be, Carter. We go through the 'gate together. That's how it's supposed to be."

Sam's eyes softened. "I know, sir. It's strange, but--but without General Hammond, well, I wouldn't feel safe if it was anyone but you in his place, sir."

"You are needed here now, O'Neill," Teal'c agreed.

"I know that," Jack agreed. "But aren't I also needed out there? Nobody else knows how to handle Daniel. No one knows that better than you two. And I know he's a pain in the ass. But he's still been my responsibility for the last seven years."

"Sir," Sam said cautiously. "Daniel can take care of himself."

"Do you want to run that by me again? Have you forgotten why it is we're all standing around the infirmary on this beautiful Monday afternoon?"

"Granted," Sam allowed with a ghost of a grin. "But that could have happened to anyone. All of us have been injured off world."

"Yes, but only Daniel is injured EVERY TIME he goes off world," Jack snapped.

Teal'c raised an eyebrow and Sam looked away. Neither seemed willing to point out that was somewhat of an exaggeration considering their new General's disposition.

They waited in silence then, listening to Daniel complain from behind a thick white curtain. "No, don't do that... Really, I'm fine... Can't you just give me a couple of Advil instead?"

Smith came stumbling out from behind the curtain a few minutes later, looking rather less together than she had at the start of Daniel's examination.

"How is he?" Jack asked curtly.

"Fine," Smith told him. "The wound has been cleaned and bandaged, and I've put him on antibiotics to forestall infection, as well as painkillers--so he'll probably sleep until sometime tomorrow."

"Can we see him?" Sam asked.

Smith glanced over at her. "He should get some sleep," she said pointedly.

Jack grinned icily. "I'll take that as a yes, general, you may."

Smith held her folder against her chest and glared at him.

Jack just motioned for the others to go ahead of him, and then followed to Daniel's bedside. That was the first time he'd played the General card since getting the title, and he had to admit to enjoying it.

"Daniel," Sam whispered as she brushed his hair off his forehead. "How do you feel?"

"I've been forcibly drugged," he complained, before smiling over at her.

"That good, huh?" Sam responded playfully.

"Who is responsible for this, Daniel Jackson?" Teal'c demanded.

Daniel looked over at the voice, and tried to focus on his friend. "Jaffa number three hundred and twenty five."

Jack raised his eyebrows. "They have to wear license plates now?"

"No, I was being sarcastic, Jack."

"Teal'c can't grasp sarcasm, Daniel. You know that."

"Indeed," Teal'c said turning to look at O'Neill. "That is why I can never understand O'Neill."

Daniel grinned. "Sounds like sarcasm to me."

"Smart ass," Jack said, reaching over and ruffling his hair.

Daniel pushed him away with his good hand. "Smith says I should be out of here by tomorrow night," he said sleepily. "And since it's mostly just surface damage, I should be able to go off world again within two weeks."

Jack didn't respond, he had frozen up at that last statement. Daniel, who had fallen asleep didn't notice but both Teal'c and Sam eyed him strangely. The thought of Daniel going back out there so soon had caused a familiar sense of panic.

Sending Daniel off world without him had always felt like when he would send Charlie off for his first day off school. He would fix his backpack, make sure he brought everything, then warn him to be careful. And it never got easier.

He was suddenly struck with the idea that this was how it was going to be from now on. SG-1 went on missions on a weekly basis, and that wouldn't stop just because Jack was no longer with them. He didn't know if he could handle watching Daniel go through the gate time and time again like that.

All of SG-1, Hammond and Janet and Cassie had become his family. Now Hammond was retired, Cassie was off at school and Janet was dead. Teal'c and Carter were still here with him, but they were his comrades in arms, it was a different kind of family with them than it was with Daniel.

If Teal'c was his best friend, then Daniel was his little brother. And, he decided, he couldn't deal with worrying about Daniel all the time when he had so many others depending on him now. He had new responsibilities--he wasn't the one going off world and fighting for his country, he was the one sending people out to fight. He didn't want to send Daniel, he wouldn't be able to live with himself if one time he didn't come back.

After all, that was just tempting fate, wasn't it? Daniel had dying down to an art form, but every time he bounced back the rest of them lost something. Nothing was harder or took more from you than losing one you care about, and they'd lost Daniel--four times now, was it? Jack shook his head in frustration. He'd actually lost count, and that told him everything he needed to know.

"Sir?" Sam asked quietly. "Are you alright?"

He nodded. "I have to finish going through the mission reports," he said wearily. "I don't want Daniel left alone, can one of you stay?"

Both of them nodded. "We can both stay, don't worry, sir. He'll be fine."

Jack nodded and headed towards his office. She was right. He would be fine, he would make sure of it. He'd just made his first real decision as General- -he was giving Daniel a promotion.

xxxxxxx

"You're promoting me?" Daniel gasped. "Why are you promoting me?"

Before Jack could answer, Daniel was distracted by the brace on his left side, holding his arm and shoulder immobile. "Damn thing," he mumbled as he tried to loosen it.

"Daniel," Jack said, trying to regain his attention. "This has been a long time coming. You're far too valuable to be wasted on SG-1, the only reason you haven't been moved until now is that you were on the first contact team."

"Isn't SG-1 still the first contact team?" Daniel asked with a frown.

"Well, yes, actually, but that's not the point."

Daniel looked at him suspiciously. "You just said that was the only reason."

"Well, not the ONLY reason," Jack backpedaled.

Daniel sighed. "Get to the part you don't want me to know," he demanded.

"You won't be going off world anymore," Jack admitted. "It's a desk job-- but you'll be getting paid even more and you'll have the entire civilian contingent at your beck and call--"

"Hey hey," Daniel broke in. "Back up. I won't be going off world? Are you kidding? Uh, no thanks, Jack. I think I'll just stick with SG-1."

"You can't turn down a promotion, Daniel," Jack snapped.

"I just did. And it was ever so easy," Daniel said in a sing-song tone sure to set Jack off.

"Are you forgetting that I'm your boss here?" Jack asked. "I'm not asking you to do this, Daniel, you HAVE to do what I tell you, and I'm telling you that you're now the head of the civilian research department."

"Thank you, but no," Daniel said again.

"What part of I'm not asking did you misunderstand?"

"Please, Jack, we both know what this is," Daniel rolled his eyes. "You're just being overprotective. I appreciate it, really--now cut it out."

"Daniel, I'm not doing this to protect you. I'm the General now, I run the SGC, I have to put people in the jobs that they'll be most effective. I'm sorry if you don't agree with the decision--"

"Oh please, that is such a load of--"

Jack held up a hand. "Are you forgetting that I'm the General now?"

"As though you'd let me."

"Does the word insubordination mean nothing to you?"

"Change it to insolence, put on a hand device, and you'd be doing a pretty good impression of Kronus right now."

"Alright, that's it, I'm telling Smith to give you a couple more sleeping pills."

"Yep, you've definitely gone power mad," Daniel said with a grin.

"I haven't gone power mad!" Jack snapped. A young nurse passing nearby turned to look at him nervously.

"Oh yes you have. You're trying to promote me!"

"If I'm not mistaken, normal people appreciate promotions."

"Yeah, well, forget it. I'm not going to do it. I'm staying on SG-1. This is my life, Jack, I have to go off world."

"I've already submitted the request to the Pentagon, Daniel, and they said it's about time you were taken off field duty. It's done, Rogers and Paine are being transferred to SG-1."

"You've got to be kidding!" Daniel snapped. "You went behind my back?"

"I made a command decision."

"I can't believe you did this, you know how much the SGC means to me. What is this even about, Jack? You're miserable being stuck here and you want me miserable too?"

"Daniel, that's not why I did it and you know it. Look, you're still going to be here, you'll get to head up the research on everything that's brought back. You've been complaining for years that you don't have the time you'd like to study the things we bring back. Now you will."

"This is ridiculous! If you're going to be the General here, Jack, you have to think like a General. You can't play favorites with us, you can't choose only the ones you don't like to send into dangerous situations."

"I AM thinking like a General, Daniel. Listen, you never should have been allowed off world. And don't remind me we might not HAVE a world if you hadn't been out there half the time to save it, because I do know that. But you're still too valuable an asset to risk. Look at Frasier. She should NEVER have been out there to begin with, she would still be here if we had followed procedure."

"And someone else would have died in her place, Jack. You KNOW what losing Janet did to me, to all of us, but she knew what she was doing. She died saving a life, and she knew the risks when she went through the 'gate. If she'd sent Warner or Andrews in her place then it would have been their funerals we were at. And maybe that would have been somewhat easier on us, but they have families too."

"Your situation is even more extreme, Daniel. You're the only human on Earth that can speak Goa'uld, you have some of the ancients' knowledge locked away in your mind, hell, you're the diplomatic representative for half the worlds we're allied with--things like...like you getting ambushed by a group of Jaffa are unacceptable."

"What makes you think this world is so safe?" Daniel demanded after a pause. "You ever turn on the television? There's all kinds of murderers out there. Maybe I should just be chained to a desk on one of the lower floors. You can post some guards at the door and leave me there to translate for you."

"Don't be so melodramatic, Daniel."

"I'm being melodramatic? I'm not the one going around promoting people because they got themselves shot."

Smith pulled the curtain open and glared at the two men. "I have patients trying to sleep," she told them, with a pointed glance at Daniel. "And some patients who need to sleep."

"Subtle," Daniel said tiredly. "Fine, you're probably right--I'll go to sleep. Can you just come by later, Jack?"

Jack crossed his arms as Daniel turned away from him and closed his eyes. Both of them knew he would not be falling asleep.

"Sure," he agreed anyway. But when he came back two hours later to continue their conversation, Daniel had already been released.

xxxxxxx

Teal'c slowly entered Daniel's lab, Carter coming in right behind him. The office was dark, illuminated only by the light from the hall. They could just make out Daniel's figure sitting at his desk. Daniel had finally had the brace removed this afternoon. As Smith had predicted, two weeks had been all the time needed for him to heal.

At least physically.

Carter had been shocked when she found a file on her desk announcing that Daniel was being taken off the team, replaced by Paine and Rogers. She had realized at once it would not have been Daniel's idea. Since then, she'd hardly been able to get a moment with Daniel or General O'Neill, and she knew they hadn't spent even that long with each other.

"Daniel?" she started.

He looked over and smiled at her. "Hey, Sam. How was the mission?"

Sam avoided meeting his gaze. Going off world without him had felt like a betrayal. "Went on without a hitch. How are things here?"

"Exciting as ever," Daniel told them. "Why just this morning Evans, the crazy bastard, tried caffeinated coffee instead of his usual decaf. We're all eagerly waiting to see the results."

Teal'c raised an eyebrow, missing the sarcasm, and Sam simply sighed. "Daniel, why don't you just talk to the Col--the General. You're the only one that can get him to see reason, you know that. You just have to prove to him that you could be hurt anywhere--and that you're needed off world."

"I already tried explaining that--he doesn't listen, and I'm tired of having to prove myself to everyone. You would think by now that I wouldn't have to."

"Indeed," Teal'c said. "You have proven yourself a warrior time and again. If you wish, I will tell this to O'Neill."

Daniel sighed. "No, Teal'c. Thank you, but no. I can fight my own battles. I've sulked enough--you're both right. I have to talk to Jack."

Sam smiled encouragingly. "I'm sure he'll see reason, Daniel, now that he's had time to think it over. Just point out that things can happen wherever you are--your bookshelf could tumble and crush you--"

Daniel winced and Sam stopped her example guiltily. "I tell him that," Daniel said bitterly. "And he'd probably take away all my books."

"It was a bad example," Sam agreed. "But there are lots of dangers just on this base."

Daniel's eyes began to light with a familiar spark, and Sam groaned. She had a feeling she shouldn't be giving Daniel any ideas.

"You're right. Exactly right. Okay. Thank you. Goodbye."

Daniel stood and began to pace, hardly noticing that Teal'c and Sam had not picked up on his ever so subtle dismissal. They shared a look, worried what Daniel might have in mind.

Daniel spun around towards his desk, and looked at his two former teammates in surprise. "Shouldn't you guys...be somewhere?" he asked.

Sam grinned. "Okay, okay--we'll leave. But don't do anything stupid."

"Perish the thought," Daniel told her distractedly, reaching for the phone.

"General O'Neill," was the prompt response when Daniel dialed his friend's office.

"Hey, Jack," he said cheerfully.

"Daniel! Hey...how are you?"

"Oh, good, good. Hey, can you come down here? I'd like to talk." As he spoke, Daniel examined his bookshelves, and wondered how much it would take to bring them tumbling down.

"I'll be right there," Jack said instantly.

Daniel hung up the phone and walked over to the bookshelf. Experimentally, he reached over to a loose screw and began to unscrew it.

"Dr. Jackson?"

Daniel spun guiltily at the voice, and let out a sigh of relief when he saw it was just Siler and his wrench. Daniel paused. Siler's very large wrench.

"Hi, Siler," Daniel said sweetly. "So, uh, just out of curiosity, what do you use that thing for?"

"Oh, it's a multi purpose wrench," Siler said proudly.

"Give me an example," Daniel asked eagerly. Leaning on his desk, his eyes fixed to the wrench.

Siler looked up to the ceiling. "Well, I might use it to help push open that air vent up there."

Daniel looked up. "Uh huh. And...what if, while you're doing this you drop the wrench?"

"Oh, don't worry, sir," Siler assured. "I would never drop the wrench."

"What if I wanted you to drop the wrench?"

Siler frowned. "I'm not sure what you mean, sir."

"I think you should open the air vent and drop the wrench, as close to me as you can." Daniel went to the doorway, and looked down the hall to see if Jack was close yet.

"Sir?"

"It's an experiment," Daniel said. "Trust me."

"I don't think--"

"Siler, we don't have time to argue. Get up there and drop the wrench. He's going to be here any minute."

"He?"

"Jack."

Siler's eyes widened. "General O'Neill? Doctor Jackson, I really think I should just leave."

Daniel checked the doorway again, and saw Jack turning the corner and heading towards him. "Here, just give me the wrench," he said.

"I don't think I should, sir," Siler said, pulling the wrench somewhat behind him and out of Daniel's reach.

"I need to use it for an experiment," Daniel snapped.

"What kind of experiment?" Siler demanded.

"One to see if I can get Jack to let me off world, now hand it over!"

Daniel made a grab for the wrench, but fearing for the good doctor's sanity, Siler did not release his own grip.

xxxxxxx

Jack tried to strengthen his resolve as he neared Daniel's office. He knew Daniel would try to talk him out of his decision, but he knew what he was doing. Daniel was the smartest man he knew, and in just an hour on base he could diligently do work that would take all the other civilian advisors at least a week. This was the best place for him.

He had been expecting Daniel to be working on something when he entered his office. What he hadn't been expecting was to see him fighting with Siler over what appeared to be a very large wrench.

"Daniel!" he called incredulously.

Siler froze at the voice. "General O'Neill!" he said, releasing his hold on the wrench and coming to stand quickly at attention.

Stunned by the release of the wrench, Daniel's pulling caused him to fly backwards, tumbling right into Jack and throwing them both to the floor.

"What the--" Jack started. "Daniel!"

Daniel gasped at the impact and pushed the heavy wrench to the side before moving quickly off of Jack.

"What are you two doing?" Jack demanded.

"Uh, sorry, Jack," Daniel said quickly. Then in a moment of pure genius, he added casually, "This is a dangerous place, you know."

Jack ignored this last part, and restated his question. "What were you doing?"

"Siler wouldn't let me see his wrench," Daniel told him.

"I know I'll regret this, but you wanted to see his wrench why?"

"I just needed a wrench!" Daniel shouted.

"What the hell for?" Jack shouted back.

Siler moved his gaze from one man to the other. He should have known better than to have come into Doctor Jackson's lab. Trouble usually followed.

"There's a screw loose on my bookshelf," Daniel said. "You wouldn't want it to crush me to death would you?"

"And for this you needed a four foot wrench? What the hell kind of screws do those shelves have?"

"So I'm not a craftsman. Sue me."

"Sirs?" Siler started cautiously.

Neither of the men even turned to look at him.

"Daniel, what is with you these last weeks? I know you're angry with me, but this is the best thing for everyone. Why can't you get that through your head?" Jack got to his feet, and glared over in Daniel's direction.

"I was meant to go through the Stargate, Jack! I know you have to, but I'm not ready to give it up."

Siler carefully began to inch his way towards the doorway. He'd heard of Jackson and O'Neill's legendary fights--and he really didn't need to be witness to one of them.

"Sam and Teal'c both agree with me--they want me back on the team. When are you going to assign me back?"

"Hmm...let me see. How about never?"

Siler winced. It was never reassuring to witness your new General acting as though he were five years old. With a last glance at his wrench, still caught between Jackson and O'Neill, he decided it would have to be a casualty and he left it behind--he snuck out the door and then ran like hell.

"Fine. Then I resign," Daniel told him primly.

"You're bluffing!" Jack said. "You'd never last."

"I stay here on this base one more day without getting off this planet and I'll go insane, Jack. And personally, I really don't feel like being a case study for McKenzie again."

"What kind of case study? The effects of NOT going through the gate?" Jack snapped.

"It could be explored," Daniel nodded.

"You're not resigning," Jack said with finality. "You're going to stay here and do as you're told."

"Ooo," Daniel mocked. "My specialty."

"Don't push me, Daniel. I could assign you to be an assistant to the paleontology geeks."

Daniel rolled his eyes. "You're the one that thinks they're geeks, Jack. They're my friends, remember? And I would be HAPPY to be reassigned to them, because all their current postings are off-world."

"Okay, so that's out."

"Jack," Daniel started slowly. "You have to stop this. I'm not staying at this base day in and day out. If you don't put me back on field duty--even a long term excavation site would be fine--then I walk."

"You can't be serious, Daniel. You would never leave the SGC," Jack said certainly.

"It isn't like I don't have other offers, Jack," Daniel told him.

"What?" Jack snapped. "What other offers?"

"I've had offers from the Pentagon, the gate site in Alaska--"

Jack held up his hand and laughed. "Right. I can so see you working at the Pentagon."

"And--" Daniel continued undeterred. "A spot at the new research center in Atlantis."

Jack's laughter stopped abruptly. "What?" he demanded. "You're not going to Atlantis. No way."

"The offer came from the head of the Atlantis facility, Jack--it has nothing to do with you. You can't tell me not to accept," Daniel told him ruthlessly.

"Oh yes I can. I'm the General here now."

"Oh my god!" Daniel snapped. "I should leave now just so I don't have to listen to you keep telling me that. I know! You were promoted. WE ALL KNOW!"

Jack crossed his arms. "You wouldn't be happy in Atlantis."

"You're probably right," Daniel allowed. "I wouldn't be with the people I care about, my team, I wouldn't get to travel to new worlds. It wouldn't be the same. But, Jack, it would be better than this."

"Is staying on base really that unbearable to you?" Jack demanded. "Because I've been going through that gate for seven years, and as much as I miss it, not traveling out there any more is somewhat of a relief."

"Not for me," Daniel told him softly. "My whole life I didn't fit in anywhere, Jack--and it's just my luck that I finally found a home on another world. And Abydos may be gone, but there are so many other worlds out there I may be able to help."

"You're going to die if you keep trying to help them," Jack snapped.

"Maybe, but none of us would be at this base at all if we weren't prepared to give our lives for the cause," Daniel told him reasonably. "You've died for the SGC far more than once yourself, and if the need arose, don't try to tell me that your new title as General would stop you from doing it again. I know you hate the loss of control you're facing being left behind every time the teams go off world--but you just have to accept that you can't control everything, Jack."

Jack pulled his eyes away from Daniel. Hating that as almost always was the case, Daniel was right. He hated telling people to go risk there lives while he stayed safely behind that Plexiglas window and watched them go. All his life he had been a take charge person, diving head long into the action.

"You'd really transfer to Atlantis?" Jack asked finally.

"If I had to--I can stay on base and research items for days at a time, but it would wear me down, Jack. I need to see the places the artifacts came from, I need to touch them--there's no magic in it for me if I can't." Daniel sighed and sat on the edge of his desk. He thought it best not to mention long periods on base also drove him to try and get people to almost hit him with a wrench, as that was just as likely to work against him as it was to help.

"Alright," Jack said at last. "Rogers and Paine already both put in a transfer requests to get on other teams--so I guess I might as well assign you back to SG-1 in their place."

Daniel brightened. "Seriously?"

Jack nodded with a rueful smile. "Seriously. Besides, I owe it the people at the Atlantis site. They already have enough mysteries to figure out without throwing you into the equation."

Daniel grinned back. "It seemed like an easy assignment anyway," he dismissed easily. "So what happened with Paine and Rogers?"

Jack laughed. "Apparently Teal'c refused to speak with them, and simply glared at them at every possible opportunity."

Daniel laughed.

"Hey, you want to go get some food?" Jack suggested.

"Sure," Daniel said with a grin.

They both started for the door.

"So how did Sam react to them?" Daniel asked curiously.

"She threatened to shot them with her zat if they didn't pick up the pace," Jack said with admiration. "She's going to make a damn fine C.O."

Daniel laughed and smiled over at him. "You know what else? I think you're going to make a damn fine General."

The End.