Jack woke slowly without opening his eyes. It took him a moment to figure out why he was so warm before realizing that it was Sam snuggled up against him. Her short hair tickled the underside of his chin anytime either one of them took a breath. He wasn't sure what the future was going to hold for them, all he knew was that he didn't have the emotional strength to cope with it right now. In fact he wasn't sure he had the energy to even face the day and thought about just going back to sleep.
A sudden hot rush of air against his face caused Jack to furrow his brow in confusion. The rush repeated itself. Jack had that eerie feeling of being watched. He slowly opened his eyes, fully expecting to find River watching him. When his vision cleared he did find a mutt staring at him intently, but it wasn't River. Before he could say anything a large wet tongue slapped him against the face.
Sam yelped as she was jerked awake. She soon found herself under a similar salivary attack as Jackson greeted her with enthusiasm. The pair fought to sit up and Jackson jumped up into Jack's lap while River was all over Sam. Jack pushed Jackson off.
"Get off me, Flea Motel." Jack grumbled even though he was smiling. "I know you use that tongue as toilet paper and I would appreciate it if you didn't lick me with it."
"His mouth is cleaner than yours."
"Daniel?" Jack and Sam asked in unison.
"Yes." He answered automatically.
Daniel was sitting up in bed, leaning against the headboard. Dan'yel was curled up next to him still sleeping. Jackson jumped up onto the bed and started rolling around, tail wagging furiously. River joined the fray and soon the two had tumbled off the bed in a playful tangle of teeth and fur. Woken by the wulves Dan'yel instantly sat up and wrapped his arms around his father in a warm hug.
"Daniel..." Jack got to his feet "you're looking...alive."
"How are you feeling?" Sam asked as she came over and sat down on the edge of the bed.
"Not as good as Jackson, but I think I'm going to make it."
"That's amazing. We were all pretty sure you were a goner." Jack smiled. "Again."
"Hey, it's not my fault you've got more lives than a cat and less luck than a three footed rabbit."
Daniel rolled his eyes, but he still had a smile on his face. His skin was still missing most of its colour and he looked like he could still use a few good night's worth of sleep. However he was awake and oriented and that was all Jack really cared about at the moment.
"So, Dan'yel tells me my heart stopped." Daniel said casually.
"Twice." Jack beamed.
"Thank you for not taking me to the Sarcophagus."
"Well, Dan'yel did tell me that you had said you didn't want us to. Isn't that right?"
"Yes, Sir." Dan'yel answered shyly.
Sam looked up at Jack and flashed him a quick smile. They had decided against letting Dan'yel know that Ash had set a trap, he had enough on his mind at the moment. Jackson and River were still rolling around and boxing at each other with their forepaws. When they noticed the lull in the conversation Jackson broke off the game and jumped up next to Daniel and laid down panting heavily. River sat at Sam's feet, waiting to have her ears scratched. She didn't have to wait long. Daniel reached up and rubbed at the scarab on his chest.
"Daniel? You okay?"
"I'm fine." Daniel answered quickly. "Jack, I know I'm just back and you probably don't want me risking my life again, any more than I do, but I can't live with this thing on my chest, we have to try and get it off."
"Maybe not." Sam said. "I think there is a good chance that it isn't working anymore. It took a fairly heavy zap when we resuscitated you the first time and then it gave off a discharge when Dan'yel touched it. I wouldn't be surprised if it was toast."
"Then let's test it."
"Are you sure you're ready?" Jack asked without thinking.
Daniel looked at him and Jack rolled his eyes as he noticed his mistake. He wasn't wearing a watch so Daniel just counted off the seconds in his head. When fifteen seconds came he tensed out of anticipation. However after a full minute he looked down at the scarab and smiled.
"Well?" Jack asked.
"Nothing. I think Sam's right, I think it's dead."
Before anyone could protest Daniel reached up and ripped the disk off his temple. Everyone seemed to hold their breath, but once again there no major consequence, just a small trickle of blood. He reached down to pull the scarab off as well but this time Jack lashed out and stopped him.
"Hang on their, Cowboy, that one is connected a lot deeper."
"Doc says it has tendrils that wrap around your heart, so there will be no simply yanking on that one."
"As long as I don't have to answer ever inane question I hear." Daniel sighed.
"Like 'how's it hanging?'." Jack chuckled.
Daniel closed his eyes and shook his head sadly. A sudden fast paced beeping startled him. River got to her feet and started whimpering although her tail was wagging.
"Sorry, that's me." Dan'yel said meekly.
"What is it?"
"An alarm to remind me to take the medicines."
Dan'yel reached into his shirt and pulled out a dog tag chain that held a small digital stop watch. He made it stop beeping. Sam reached over to the nightstand and gathered up the numerous pills and handed them to him with a glass of water. Once he had taken the medication River settled back down.
"Why not just wear a watch?"
"I..uh..." Dan'yel looked up at his father and flushed. "I don't like having things around my wrists."
Daniel nodded and reached out to pull Dan'yel into a hug. Sam smiled at the cozy scene, but her stomach was still twisted in a knot. She thought she was hiding her fears, however when she looked up she found Daniel staring at her with a sad smile on his face.
"Dan'yel?" Daniel asked. "Are you hungry?"
"Come on, Kid, I'll take you down to the mess." Jack held out his hand.
"Yeah, it's sort of like a kitchen. Not the best food, but good enough."
Jackson heard the word food and his ears perked up.
"I think Jackson wants to come too." Dan'yel said for the wulf.
"Alright, come along, Mutt-butt." Jack looked to River. "What about you?"
River looked up at Sam and snuggled closer to her. Jack looked at Daniel and Sam and for a minute he looked as though he wasn't going to leave them alone together. Jackson nudged him and he snapped out of his thoughts. Nodding he lead Dan'yel and Jackson out into the hall.
Sam started stroking River's fur, unsure of how to take advantage of her time alone with Daniel. He had clearly seen that she wanted to talk to him, and now she feared that he knew why as well. She startled a bit when he reached out and took her hand.
"It's okay, Sam."
"I assume you know what I want to ask you."
"Anuket had absolutely no interest in me sexually, since she had River's thoughts I'm guess she thought that you and I were related. As for Jack, he was a perfect gentleman as far as I know."
Sam breathed a sigh of relief and flashed Daniel a shy smile.
"I'm sorry I had to ask, Daniel."
"You have every right to know."
Sam smiled again and nodded. She looked down at River and sighed. River brought her mismatched eyes up to meet her partners. She wagged her tail and leaned forward to place her head in Sam's lap.
"I'm not sure I would be able to forgive you if I had ended up with a litter of kids." Sam scolded River half jokingly. "You caused a lot of trouble, you know?"
"I don't think River is going to take your body without your permission ever again."
"We'll see how long her memory of this lasts."
"Have you tried switching with her and back again?"
"No. I'm afraid to. I don't even know if I want to take her off world again."
"Let's not worry about that right now." Daniel smiled. "I think I'm going to take a few months, maybe even a year, off of active off world duty myself to spend some time with Dan'yel. Maybe you should think of doing the same...perhaps there is someone you could spend some time with?"
"I think that's a bad ide..."
"For once, Sam, please: don't think. Sometimes your heart has more answers than your head."
Teal'c stepped through the Gate and into the Gateroom of the SGC. He looked around and a smile twitched the corners of his mouth. He was surprised how good it felt to be back, he had not realized how much he truly considered Earth 'home'.
Still wearing the traditional Jaffa garb he walked down the ramp and went to make his way towards the locker room. He was a little concerned that the only ones to greet him back to Earth with the various on staff members of the SGC, none of which he knew very well.
Out in the hallway Teal'c walked with his usual sense of purpose. With his line of sight held high he didn't even see the small child in his way as he turned a corner. The boy had been running and smacked directly into him. The child was sent reeling back and landed hard on the floor. Sitting on the ground he looked up at Teal'c with deep blue eyes that sparkled with recognition.
"You must be, Teal'c." He smiled.
"Indeed. Who are you?"
"I'm Dan'yel, although Jack says I should be 'Dann'i'. I kind of like it." He replied as he got to his feet. "I'm Daniel's son."
"Daniel Jackson?" Teal'c asked in disbelief.
"That's right. It is nice to met you."
Before Teal'c could return any thoughts about the meeting Jackson appeared at the far end of the hallway. He barked excitedly, his tail held high he bounded towards towards them. Dan'yel turned to him just as the large wulf knocked into him and licked his face.
"Yes, Jackson, you found me, but it was hardly fair." Dan'yel complained.
"What is transpiring here?" Teal'c asked.
Jackson nuzzled Teal'c in welcoming and then nudged at Dan'yel and barked.
"I have to help Jackson find River," Dan'yel explained "we're playing a game."
Dan'yel waved good-bye, displaying that his left hand was bandaged. Teal'c raised a disapproving eye brow as the young boy and the wulf ran down the hallway like they'd both had too much sugar. After the strange encounter he continued on his way to the locker room, unsure of what to think.
Once dressed in his Base uniform Teal'c headed directly to Jack's office to discuss his recent success with the Jaffa Nation's peace treaties and to inquire about the young child running around the Base. When he arrived at Jack's office the door was open just an inch. He was about to knock when a crashing noise behind the door rang out.
Alarmed Teal'c threw open the door. Standing in the doorway he came upon his second odd sight for the day. The crashing sound had been a set of books that had hit the floor when Sam had pinned Jack to the floor to ceiling bookshelf against the far wall. He looked a little stunned as Sam tangled her hands into his dark hair and forced him into an aggressive kiss. After first Teal'c thought that he was needed to intervene, however it quickly became clear that the General was returning the affection with equal passion.
Deciding that the pair had everything under control he backed out of the office, unnoticed, and closed the door. He stayed outside the door for a moment, trying to collect his thoughts on everything that had happened in the ten minutes that he'd been back. Beyond the door came the sounds of more destruction.
Teal'c turned around and headed straight for the infirmary fearing that his memory was not all that it should be. When he got there Daniel as sitting on one of the beds talking with Janet. He had his shirt off and gleaming on his chest was a small gold device that Teal'c didn't recognize, but it had the look of Goa'uld technology. Janet shook her head and put a silver necklace in Daniel's hand.
"I think you're though it, Daniel. Your blood work is looking better and better."
"What about this thing?"
"I'm sorry, even though it's dead, I just don't feel comfortable removing the scarab right now."
"That's okay, what's up with the necklace?"
"It's a Medical Alert tag, I want you to wear it when you're off Base. You can not under any circumstances be allowed to have an MRI, the tag will keep a doctor from making that mistake if you're in accident."
Daniel nodded and slipped the necklace on and then pulled on a black shirt. Janet smiled brightly and gave him a quick hug before hustling about the rest of her day. Daniel tucked the necklace into his shirt and looked up. Spotting Teal'c he jumped down off the bed and walked over to him.
"Teal'c!" Daniel cried happily. "You're back early."
"Indeed..." Teal'c said slowly.
"Something wrong, Teal'c?"
"Much seems to have changed in my absence, Daniel Jackson."
"Yes it has."
"So I have returned to the correct Universe?"
"You have, trust me. It's a long story."
"I am...as General O'Neill would say: 'All ears'."