Daniel woke wondering if he'd actually heard something, or if it had just been part of a dream. Too tired to investigate and feeling somewhat safe in his own home he let himself slip back into unconsciousness.
This time he knew he had heard something, but he still wasn't sure if it was worth getting up for. Opening one eye he squinted to focus on the luminous alarm clock on his night stand.
Growling in frustration Daniel hauled himself out of bed. The noise was coming from the window, which was odd. He was up on the second story and there were no trees next to the window. The full moon poured into the room and splashed its silver light on the floor.
Still more than half asleep Daniel made his way over to the window and opened it. A small rock sailed into the open window, flew across the room and nailed a delicate artifact on top of the dresser. Daniel looked back at the broken shards of pottery on the floor with his brow knit in thought.
"Daniel!" Came a whispered shout from outside.
"Open you door."
Another pebble came flying through the air and bounced off Daniel's chest.
"Wake the hell up and go open your door." Jack hissed.
"This had better be good." Daniel grumbled.
"It's a matter of life and death."
"Of course it is." Daniel muttered to himself as he made his way downstairs.
Coming to the front door Daniel simply flicked the lock. Not in the mood to deal with the lights at this time in the morning he just wandered over to his couch and laid down. He heard his unwanted guest step inside and instantly go over to the kitchen.
Daniel shut his eyes against the invasive light of the fridge. He struggled to stay awake as Jack raided the pantry. Daniel had just gotten back from a full week off world and desperately needed a good night's sleep. To that end he had taken some sleeping aids and was having trouble clearing his head.
"Light beer? Daniel...what's wrong with you?"
"Jack, if this is about needing a beer I'm going to call the cops and have you arrested for breaking and entering."
"It's not about beer." Jack assured as he snapped one open. "But I certainly need one."
"What do you want?" Daniel yawned.
Daniel didn't get an answer right away. Jack was clearly too busy enjoying the stolen beverage. Daniel heard him sitting down on the loveseat opposite the couch. When he still didn't get an answer he forced himself to sit up. When he looked up at his guest he found a young stranger sitting in his living room.
"Aaaa!" Daniel yelped in surprise.
"Daniel, calm do..."
Daniel was not about to calm down. He scrambled up, but with the sleeping aid still in his blood he quickly lost his balance. Falling over the back of the couch he landed hard on his back. The teenager came around and looked down on him.
"Chill, Danny, it's alright, it's me...the...um...'other' me."
"The Asgaurd clone..."
"Hey, I'm still 'me'...I think." Jack said defensively.
The young Jack reached down to help Daniel to his feet, however, Daniel was not interested in help. He got up on his own and backed away. It had been several years since he'd seen this copy. He had changed, by the looks of things he was nearing 17 or 18.
"What the hell are you doing here?!" Daniel snarled.
"Nice to see you to, old friend." Jack hissed.
Daniel sighed in defeat. Knowing that he was about to fall Daniel walked around the couch and sat down again. Jack circled around and took his place on the loveseat once more. For a moment nothing was said.
"You...um...you still go by Jack?" Daniel asked uneasily.
"Yeah, only now it's O'Neil with one 'l'."
"I considered changing it to 'Jake', but it just isn't me."
"No...not really." Daniel looked around uncomfortably.
"So how are things at the SGC?"
"Um...fine. How are things...uh...wherever it is that you've been?"
"Alright, I guess." Jack shrugged. "This whole 'youth' thing has its pluses and minuses. At the moment I'm just counting the days till I can get out of my 'foster' home."
"Yeah, I know how that feels." Daniel muttered.
"Anyway, another year and I can get back into the Air Force. Hey, if you live long enough we might just end up working together again at the SGC."
"Oh joy." Daniel said without much enthusiasm. "You had said something about Life and Death?"
"Right, what can you tell me about the Age of Justinian?"
"Justinian the First?" Daniel asked confused. "Of the Byzantine Empire?"
"That's the one!"
"What could that possiably have to do with anything, let alone something important enough to risk coming here and waking me up in the middle of the night?"
"I have a theory about him, that he may have been, or possiably still is a Goa'uld."
"Just tell me about him and then I tell you what I've come up with."
Daniel stared at the young intruder. It was frightening how much he was like Jack. Except for the new svelt frame he was a perfect carbon copy. Same manarisums, same inflection in his voice, it was creepy, particularly at three in the morning.
"Please, Daniel, this is very important." Jack pleaded. "I couldn't think of anyone else that could help me with this."
"Fine." Daniel sighed.
Still half asleep Daniel began a disertation on the Byzantine Emperor. From his humble beginnings as the son of a Illyrian pesant to his rise as one of the most powerful and infulantal Emperors the Byzantine Empire had ever known. He had started and won countless wars and signed ground breaking treaties in the name of restoring Roman rule to the Meditranian.
"According to what we know Justinian died in 565." Daniel conculded his hour long speach.
Jack had gone through four beers while listening to Daniel. Now that he seemed to be done he reached into the bookbag that he carried. He ruslted around in the bag for a momement, at one point Daniel could swear that he heard the clicking of a tape recorder being turned on or off. Seemingly satified Jack jumped up and headed twoards the door.
"Thanks, Danny...you're a life saver!"
"Whoa, wait a minute. What?"
"I gotta go."
"What was this all about?" Daniel demanded.
"What do you think?" Jack asked with a smug grin.
"There's no Goa'uld is there?"
"Please don't tell me I just cribbed a paper for you." Daniel moaned.
"Cribbed is such an ugly word."
"Just do me one favour." Daniel sighed.
"Don't put my name down as a reference."
"Oh I wouldn't dream of it...you're academic reputation isn't good enough."
"Good night, Dr. Jackson."
Sam stepped into the mess hall and made a bee line for the coffee pot. Caffeinated beverage in hand she scanned the room to see if anyone she knew was here as well. She spotted Daniel sitting at a table in the corner with his head down in his crossed arms.
She walked over and joined him. The coffee cup in front of him was empty, but the contents of it hadn't seemed to have woken him any. Sensing someone at his table Daniel forced himself to sit up.
"You alright, Daniel?" Sam asked concerned.
"The...uh...the oddest thing happened last night." Daniel replied with a yawn. "At least I think it happened."
"Did 'Jack' pay you a visit?" Sam giggled.
"How did you know?"
"He came to my house as well."
"Dare I ask what he wanted?"
"Help with his physics homework."
"Consider yourselves lucky." The original Jack suddenly entered the conversation.
"What?" Sam and Daniel asked in unison.
"He only visits me when he needs money."