Have I Mentioned I Hate You Lately?
A/N: New story. Daniel gets a new assisstant after his ascending/descending eposide. This story takes place over sessons 7 and 8 with spoilers for select episode (and I'll let you know which ones). Also, Erika Sheppard (yes, related to John Sheppard from SGA) is a returning character for me. She made her first appearance in my story Ancient History over in the SGA part of this site. But you don't have to read that story to understand this one. This is actually a prequel to that story. But by all means, if you would like to read that too you are more than welcome.
Anywho...on with the story. Commentary is always welcome. Oh, and I'll try to update once a week, probably on the weekend, but no promises. ;)
A/N2: So, haven't worked on this story in a while…sorry. I edited the 5 chapters that are up – nothing major, just fixed a few errors. I promise I am working on chapter 6. My muse just took longer than expected.
Captain Erika Sheppard walked slowly through the halls of the SGC. She glanced right and left, awed by the size of the building as she followed the airman to the General's office. They walked through a control room and Erika stopped, breathless. She had learned about the secret base under Cheyenne Mountain a few years ago, had even studied some of the artifacts that came from the base at Area 51. She knew about the Stargate and it's capabilities, but to see it, to actually look at it, stole her breath away and left her rooted to her spot. It suddenly hit her full force that she was actually at the SGC. She was going to join a SG team and travel to other planets. She felt she would practically burst with excitement.
"Pretty impressive, isn't it?" Erika turned around and beamed a smile at the man next to her.
"Colonel O'Neill. Have I thanked you yet from saving me from Area 51? Because I am thankful. This is really amazing, Sir," she ended, remembering who she was talking to. O'Neill just smiled at her.
"Oh, don't thank me yet, Captain. You haven't met Daniel."
"No, Sir. I read a few of his papers as an undergrad, though, Colonel," Erika remarked offhandedly.
"What'd you think?"
Erika frowned. Colonel O'Neill was a good friend of Doctor Jackson. She did not want to offend. Besides, it was not an order. "I would prefer to keep judgment for when I met Doctor Jackson, Sir," she replied carefully.
"Though he was crazy, uh?"
"Absolutely nuts, Sir," Erika admitted truthfully. O'Neill just kept smiling and nodded once, as if he knew exactly what Erika was thinking. Erika smirked. Maybe he did. "But I do look forward to working with him, Sir," she added quickly, just in case.
"Oh, I'm sure the feeling is mutual," O'Neill replied knowingly. "Shall we, Captain?" He gestured for her to start up the stairs. Erika nodded and walked ahead of him up to the conference room overlooking the Stargate. She heard arguing in a side room and glanced at O'Neill. He just shrugged, offering Erika no explanation. Erika wanted to ask, but she held her tongue. She stood silently next to the Colonel, feeling more than a little nervous being in the room with such a hero. She sighed quietly to herself. She had a bad case of hero worship when it came to Colonel Jack O'Neill.
"General," someone said loudly as the door to the side room opened. Erika glanced up to see General Hammond waltz out followed by an animated man with glasses and short hair. She cocked her head to the side, watching as he followed the general around the room to stand a mere foot from the imposing Hammond. Glasses was definitely not military. She snuck a glance at O'Neill. His smile seemed to almost split his face in two.
"Doctor Jackson, there is nothing more to be discussed," General Hammond ended the conversation before it began anew with a raise of his hand. "The decision has been made and it's final."
"Off world activation," a voice announced over the PA. Erika turned to watch as the Stargate lit up. She flinched and took a small step back as the wormhole engaged in a bright blue swirl before calming into a pool of liquid. Her mouth hung open slightly as four people stepped out and on to the ramp leading from the ring. She could barely feel the corners of her mouth turn up into a smile. She would go through that ring someday. The thought scared the hell out of her and delighted her at the same time.
"Just SG-3 coming back on schedule," O'Neill said over her shoulder. Erika nodded, hardly able to form a thought much less a sentence.
"Colonel," Hammond questioned, "who's this?"
Erika almost tripped over her own feet she spun around so fast. She saluted with timed precision as she introduced herself, "Captain Erika Sheppard reporting for duty, Sir."
"At ease, Captain," the general replied. Erika dropped her arms and clasped her hands behind her back. She saw Glasses eye O'Neill, but the Colonel was standing behind her so she could not see his response. The other man raised an eyebrow and glanced at Erika for a moment. She met his gaze, and he turned away first.
"Captain, this is Doctor Daniel Jackson," Hammond continued as he motioned to Jackson. Erika just nodded. "You'll be working directly under him, understand?"
"Yes, Sir," Erika replied quickly. She knew what he was asking: "will you take orders from a civilian?" She had taken more orders from civilian scientists in the past few years than any other captain she knew. Jackson would be no different.
"General," a new voice interrupted.
"Sergeant?" Hammond asked as he looked past Erika to the doorway.
"SG-3 will be ready for a debriefing at 1600 hours, Sir."
"Thank you, Sergeant." He glanced at his watch. "I'll let you two get acquainted. Captain. Colonel."
"General," O'Neill replied casually. It was awkward for Erika. Every general she knew (and there were a few) wanted to be saluted all the time. She barely had time to raise her hand up before Hammond waltzed out of the room and down the steps. She watched his retreating figure before she glanced up at O'Neill. He was still smiling a face splitting smile.
"We do things a little different here, Sheppard." He patted her shoulder. "I'll leave you kids alone. Daniel, be nice." With that, he jaunted down the stairs, humming some tune under his breath. Erika felt another smile tug at her mouth.
Jackson cleared his throat. "Captain."
"Doctor." Erika turned slowly and gave a little nod as she looked him up and down. He was athletic, and some might say he was good looking, although he was not Erika's type. He seemed a little uptight and looked a little too uncomfortable with the situation for Erika's taste. But being the big girl she was, she decided to make the first move and crossed the room with her hand extended.
"Nice to finally meet you, Doctor Jackson," she started. He looked at her hand for a moment before he finally took hold in a firm grasp.
"Yes, you too, Captain." He did not sound thrilled at their meeting though, and Erika remembered the voice she heard in what she now guessed was Hammond's office. Jackson did not want her working with him. The thought shocked Erika more than a little. No one had ever reacted to her in that way before.
"Doctor Jackson, I can assure you that I am qualified for this position," she offered, not knowing what else to say. He seemed surprised for a moment, but it melted away into disbelief.
"I'm sure. Why don't we go over those 'qualifications'?" He gestured to the seat across from him as he sat. Erika hesitantly dropped into the seat and folded her hands on top of the table. They watched each other, sizing each other up, before Jackson began the informal meeting.
"So," he moved his hands so his palms were flat on the table. "You have been in the Air Force for three years, mostly at Area 51 and you have a Bachelors in archeology. Is that it?"
Erika furrowed her eyebrows and pouted. She leaned forward over her hands and cocked her head to the side. "No. I also have a Masters in Egyptology and-"
"Egyptology? I didn't see that in your file," Jackson said as he stood, his interest clearly peaked. He shoved his hands in his jacket pocket as he paced around the table. "Been to Egypt?"
"Yes. I spent a semester there as an undergrad and a semester and a summer as a grad student. I worked on-."
"How many languages do you speak?" Jackson interrupted again. Erika sighed in frustration. He would get more information from her if he did not interrupt her after every thought.
"Five or six."
"Which is it, five or six?"
Erika thought about it for a second. "Five fluently. A few more passably." He gave her a look. "Oh, you want to know which ones." Erika smiled behind her hand at his exasperation. "Spanish, Arabic, Latin, and Chinese."
"You said five."
It was Erika's turn to be exasperated. "And English, of course. As well as a little French, Italian, Aramaic, Japanese, Portuguese, and German. Plus I read-"
"You speak all those languages?" he asked in an unbelieving tone.
"Doctor," Erika started. He waved a hand at her in a dismissive manner, much to Erika's irritation. She finally stood and stopped in front of Jackson, making him stop and look at her. "Doctor," she repeated. He actually looked up at her and held her gaze.
"Captain," he replied, confused.
"Yes, I speak all those languages, although only the first five fluently. I can just barely get by with the rest. Plus I read-" she raised a hand to stop his interruption. He sighed and pouted a little, but closed his mouth. "Plus I read," she continued, "Spanish, Latin, hieroglyphics, cuneiform, Greek, and enough Chinese to get by. I've been to digs in both China and Egypt. I actually spent a year total in Egypt, although in two separate semesters: one as an undergrad and one as a grad student."
"Oh," was all he offered in return. He rocked back on his heals.
"And I can make coffee like no one's business," Erika said completely straight-faced. She wondered briefly if maybe her eyes gave it away when Jackson cracked a smile.
"I suppose I should show you the office. It's where the coffee pot is, after all," Jackson commented lightly as he turned and started down the stairs. Erika smiled and shook her head at his back as she followed. Working for Jackson would not be so bad. At least he had a sense of humor, which was more than most of the scientists at Area 51 had to offer. Plus she hoped he would use her as more than a glorified coffee girl given her qualifications.
They wandered through the maze of corridors that ran under Cheyenne Mountain until Erika was thoroughly lost. She considered asking for some kind of map, but changed her mind when she realized this was a top-secret facility. In front of her, Jackson droned on and on about Stargate travel, documenting sites ("Are you sure you know how to document properly?"), and a few other things that Erika supposed where important to her new position. But she tuned him out instead and let her mind wander to what possibilities lay beyond the Stargate. Assuming Jackson set her off world, of course.
"Uh. Oh. Office. Yes," she replied, slightly embarrassed. She mentally chided herself for tuning Jackson out so completely and resolved to only tune him out a little bit in the future. But instead of acknowledging that she was not listening, Erika opted to enter the office and took a look around her new home away from home (not that 'home' was anything spectacular, she reminded herself). The office was by no means small and by no means neat. Papers were littered on the small desk, artifacts were scattered on a larger table, and books lined the walls in cluttered piles. There was a chalkboard in one corner with strange writings on it. Erika carefully threaded through the office to stand in front of it. She tilted her head from one side to the other as she studied the alien language.
"It's Ancient," Jackson commented as he stepped next to her. Erika inclined her head to look at him and was struck to see the admiration in his eyes as they moved over the text. Especially since the words were gibberish to her.
"So what does this all mean?" she asked as she gestured to the text. Jackson's glance held a smile and more than a hint of mischief.
"You're going to tell me," he commented. Erika's jaw almost hit the floor she was so shocked.
"What? I can't read Ancient, Doctor Jackson. I won't even know where to start to translate this," she quickly explained. Not that Erika thought she could not translate the text given the right tools. She wondered if this was some weird test Jackson was putting her through.
"I know, but you're gonna learn."