Spoilers: Shades of Grey
Disclaimers: All characters are property of Gekko Productions, MGM Studios, and the Sci-Fi Channel.
Sam found Daniel sitting in his office, staring into space. His face looked drawn, like he hadn't slept in a few days. In fact, she hadn't even seen him since the day they drew straws to talk to Colonel O'Neill.
"Daniel?" She became concerned when he didn't respond. "Daniel," she said a little louder. If she hadn't been right next to him, the archaeologist would have fallen to the floor. "God, are you all right?"
She stared at him skeptically. "Why do I not believe you?" Daniel's reply was a mere shrug. "Daniel, what happened? I haven't heard from you in a few days."
"There isn't much of a foundation," Daniel muttered, looking at his desk.
"What? What are you talking about?"
"Nothing important, Sam," he replied, moving to pick up the book that was lying open. "I should be finished with this translation by..." He thought for a minute, "...1400 hours."
Sam smiled for a brief second, but then realized that Daniel still seemed depressed. "Did you talk to Colonel O'Neill?"
"Is that what he said to you?"
He held up his hand to cut her off. "Sam, I appreciate what you're trying to do, but don't. I should be used to this by now, right? I mean, I let people in and they drag me across the floor. It's happened all my life, why should it stop now?"
Sam had no response to this. It was tearing her apart to see her friend so upset. She was half tempted to request permission to go off world to talk to Jack O'Neill. No wonder Daniel hadn't been in the Gateroom when he left.
"Sam, I'm sorry. I'm just not really good company right now. I'll see you at the briefing tomorrow. I'm heading home."
"Are you sure you don't want to come to my place and watch that Ancient Greece special on the Discovery channel? We could order pizza."
He smiled. The first smile in days. This is what friendship was all about! He didn't lose everyone when he lost Jack O'Neill. Friends want to hang out with you no matter how depressing you look and feel.
"Let's grab Teal'c. He's always wanting to learn about Earth's history."
"Cassie too then," Sam added.
Daniel grabbed Sam's hand and pulled her in for a hug. "Thank you for everything, Sam. You're a great friend."
She smiled back. "So are you, Daniel. And don't worry about Colonel O'Neill. He'll come crawling back, I have no doubt."
SG-1 was in the briefing room when the alarms went off, signaling an unscheduled activation. The team followed General Hammond down to the control room. "Sergeant?" he asked.
"Right on time, Sir."
Sam glanced over at Daniel, who shrugged. Whoever was right on time did not seem to have an IDC code. "Sir," she said. "The Gate address isn't even familiar to me."
"You'll understand in time, Major," Hammond replied cryptically.
Daniel watched in shocked silence as Jack O'Neill stepped from the event horizon. He kept his arm in to hold it open. Soon, people began filing into the Gateroom after him. Everything was a blur for Daniel as Jack spoke with everyone around them, answering various questions.
"Daniel, a word," Jack said, pulling the archaeolgist from his thoughts...
"We drew straws." Daniel waited a beat. "I lost."
Sam held in her laughter as she followed Daniel. Jack may think that Daniel was joking, but she knew the truth. She knew how much it hurt Daniel no matter how hard they tried to convince him that orders had to be followed.
Jack stared at his friends in disbelief. "Carter!" he called, catching up to her. Daniel had moved away too fast for him. "What's that all about?"
"He's just getting back at you, Colonel."
"I believe he is letting you off easy for now."
He glanced up at the Jaffa. "What do you mean 'for now'?"
"Sir, Daniel told us what you said to him. Even though it was for show, and he knows it, I think it really hurt him. He's been rejected way too many times in his life."
Jack sighed. Sam was right. He needed to do some major butt kissing in the next few weeks. "Any idea how to gain his trust again?"
"I may be smart, Sir, but not that smart. It's good to have you back," she said, heading in the direction
of Daniel's office.
"You are just lucky we are not on Chulak. DanielJackson would have been well within his rights to remove your head."
"Nice," Jack muttered. "Excuse me, Teal'c. I need to wash up, debrief with the General, and see about saving my friendship with a certain archeaologist."
Teal'c nodded, leaving the Jack to his thoughts.
Jack didn't know what to do as he watched his friends walk away. Carter and Teal'c understood what he had done only because they were just like him. Daniel, on the other hand… Daniel had gone through a lot as a foster child and rejection seemed to be the most prevelant.
"Great job," he muttered as he headed to the locker room, "You just lost any ounce of respect your best friend had for you."
Jack found Daniel exactly where he thought his friend would be. He took a quick glance around to make sure that Teal'c and Carter weren't present. He really didn't want them to see him begging to be befriended. It wasn't going to be pretty.
"Hey," he said. Nice way to start off, O'Neill. Act like nothing happened, Jack thought to himself.
Daniel looked up from the computer. "Hi, Jack."
Okay, he wasn't expecting a greeting like that. "Mind if I sit?"
"No. I wanted to talk to you anyway. About everything that's happened over the past week."
"Good," Jack said with a nod. "So do I. Daniel, I am truly sorry for what I said. I didn't mean any of it, but..." He paused, thinking of what to say next.
"Jack, I understand why you did it and that you had to do it. Sam talked some sense to me. I was just upset when we were in the Gateroom. I had a flashback to my childhood again. Being lied to is something I should be used to anyhow."
Jack shook his head. "No, Daniel. It's not. No matter what you do, remember that!" Jack stopped and the friends stared at one another, then began to laugh. "This sounds funny coming from people who spend their lives working on a classified project."
"That whole lie is another topic in and of itself!" Daniel replied with a laugh.
Daniel stood up and Jack followed suit, patting his friend on the back. "That foundation, Daniel. It's as solid as the Stargate."