Summary: Jack and Daniel on the phone after "Ripple Effect."

A/N: Deluded shipper rationale for "Ripple Effect," so spoilers abound. I jotted this down and wasn't going to bother posting it, then I remembered I had another 'phone call' story up already, so I just decided to make this the next chapter of it, in case some people want a way to explain the whole thing to themselves like I did...

Okay, so I had two shipper-friendly theories for the weird Sam, Martouf, Kvasir scene. Since there were tons of Carters around, she had a substitute in that scene. If it was the black uniform one that turned out to be quasi-evil, then the comment her Teal'c made to our Daniel about her being on her honeymoon was referencing Pete, since her dad didn't die in that reality... So, she's not quite so fond of Petey and didn't much mind about kissing Martouf. OR, the way this story takes it, it was just one of the remaining 17 Carters. That's how I kept my little shipper bubble in tact, in case anybody else needed help with theirs. ;). Mwaha. Take that SG1 directors. Okay, I obviously need sleep...


"So… let me get this straight," Major General Jack O'Neill said, leaning on his desk with both elbows, cradling the phone loosely to his ear. "You're saying while I was stuck in meetings with babbling idiots trying to explain the situation there to me and only confusing me more, then leaving them to go to meetings where accountants bore me to death with budget reports for the Atlantis laundry-detergent supply and God-knows what else, you were hanging out with not one, not two, not one and a robot, or one and an evil Replicator duplicate, but eighteen Carters?"

"Yup," Daniel answered succinctly from the other end of the phone. "Well, nineteen, actually, counting ours." He paused for a moment and couldn't help but add, "Jealous?"

"That you've come alarmingly close to living a recurring dream of mine for some time… yes."

"Ew, Jack. Come on, please. That's… way too much information. Speaking of which, Teal'c and I sort of tried to take a poll of sorts, just to satisfy our own curiosity, of course."

"What are you talking about?"

"Well, the last two times we encountered alternate realities, you guys were engaged or married, so we asked around and…"




"What? Even in the one where Martouf came to the SGC to be with her, they eventually broke up and now Janet said she's off on maternity leave with…"

"Daniel, why are you so fascinated by… wait, I heard about the doc, but Martouf? HE was there too?"

"Yes… why?"

"Ohforcryinoutloud," Jack muttered to himself.

"What?" Daniel prodded.

"Don't you think it's a little odd that all of a sudden, as soon as we… I mean as soon as I was promoted and moved, all these old guys start popping up everywhere you guys turn? I mean, Agent Barrett was one thing, that's understandable, I suppose, but Orlin was ascended, gone, poof, off floating around with the other glowing squids, and now Martouf? He's been dead for years, but oh no, a Martouf from an alternate reality just has to pop in to say hi…"


"Don't stop me, Danny boy, I'm on a roll. Anybody else nobody's mentioned yet? Let's see, did Narim somehow magically survive his planet being annihilated by the Goa'uld? Anybody been pulled over for speeding by Pete Shanahan or bump into that alien prisoner creep?"

"Um, Jack," Daniel interrupted again. "First of all, Agent Barrett did ask Sam out again and she turned him down, pretty cold. Secondly, Orlin was a child when he came back, and he's now little more than a vegetable because of the sacrifice he made to come help us. But even if he had been a grown man again it wouldn't have made any difference. And Martouf… well, I don't know all that happened there, but after spending a little time with him, Sam let one of her other… selves play stand-in for a while so she could get some sleep, so even though, yes, she was glad to see him again, I really think that had more to do with the fact that in our reality, she was forced to kill him than anything else. And anyway, I think you're missing the bigger picture here, which is one thing I get reminded of every time we encounter alternate realities, but particularly this time because there were so many…"


"That even if you decide that the status of your relationship in other realities is of no concern to you, you have to at least look at the patterns established in this reality."

"And what patterns might those be, oh wise one?"

"People on the base used to joke about Sam being fatal to anybody who so much as thought about dating her, right?"


"While I objected to that for many reasons, obviously, because she's my friend, it was a pointless claim anyway because you always liked her more than anybody and you're still around, so…"

"Daniel," Jack warned.

"Right. Sorry. Back to what I was saying. Anyway, I may not have liked the way they said it, but they did have a point, you have to admit. She did have a string of… unfortunate luck, with men. Not that my own was any better. With women, I mean, not with… you get it."

"Yes. Daniel, while I do occasionally miss you, I do not miss the part where it takes you ten years to get to a point."

"Gee, thanks. What I'm saying is, Pete didn't die. I think a big reason why that relationship progressed so far was that she was sort of amazed that he was still around. Not that she consciously understood the connection, but… anyway. She ended that relationship on her own because there was nothing wrong with Pete except for the fact that he wasn't you. And, I know I've always been the more optimistic of the two of us but if I were you I'd be pretty pleased with the way things have been lately. Yes, some old, at one point… potential romantic interests have resurfaced, and yes, some have come back from the dead to do it, but… don't you get it? She's no more interested in them in that way than she was when they were dead. What I'm trying to get through your thick skull is that… despite what Sam claims about there being an infinite number of choices and possibilities and all that stuff… all of her roads seem to eventually lead to you."

Jack was quiet for a few moments, then he said, "So… how much blue jell-o does it take to keep 19 Samantha Carter's happy?"

Daniel laughed. "From the way the guys in the mess was complaining… a lot."

Jack chuckled.

"Well, I really should finish my report on all of this…" Daniel hinted. Jack, who had never been much of a talker, was getting worse and worse about keeping them all on the phone talking about whatever he could think of the longer he was in Washington. Daniel knew he missed them all, missed being home, and tried to be patient, but there was only so much… smiling, Daniel decided to ask something that had been bugging him since black-uniform-Teal'c had mentioned it. "I have a question for you, actually."


"Well, when the first team came through, the ones who started this. I was interviewing their Teal'c and he said something to me that I haven't been able to shake."

"You and Teal'c are together in his world?" Jack guessed.

"Very funny. No. We were trying to figure out where the realities differed and where they were the same… we gave it up after the first few teams came through, but anyway. He said their Sam came back to SG-1 after her honeymoon."


"And, well, since Jacob was still alive in their world, I thought maybe she went ahead and married Pete there, since I'm still a little vague on all the stuff that happened while I was… trying to ascend. Anyway, that turned out not to be it, so of course I asked the next question and got the usual answer: you."

"So there's another one, so what?"

"Well, I started thinking," Daniel continued. "I assumed that was another spot where our realities were different but what if it was really just another point of convergence?"

"Daniel…" Jack started quickly.

"Sam was gone for a long time. We met you at the cabin and left you there, she reported to Area 51 two weeks later, and you were both terrible about returning phone calls and e-mails the entire time she was gone from the SGC. Jack, did you guys…"

"Goodbye, Daniel," Jack said firmly, hanging up the phone.

He waited a few moments to make sure Daniel wasn't about to call him right back, then picked up the phone and pressed another button. He strummed his fingers along the desk impatiently while he waited for it to be answered.


"Where are you?" he asked quickly.

"At home… why?"

"Good, that gives you a little more time. Daniel's going to call you in about two seconds… or show up as soon as he can if you don't answer the phone, and by the way, don't answer the phone."

"Why? What's going on?"

"I think we may have just sprung the proverbial leak."