Author's Note: Semi-sequel to I Have A Question, in that it is completely a stand-alone story but follows the same basic concept.
Spoilers: Solitudes, Nemesis, Small Victories
I Have Another Question
"It's going to be one of those days," Jack announced in a dry tone, dipping his index finger into his coffee cup and inspecting it without enthusiasm.
"What makes you say that?" Daniel asked, casually pulling his own cup towards him and discreetly glancing inside, hoping not to find whatever Jack had found in his. He saw nothing that would have detracted from the enjoyment and benefits of his drink and certainly nothing to jinx the entire day.
It was a few minutes before 0800 and Daniel was sitting across from Jack at the briefing room table. Teal'c was sitting quietly beside him, seemingly in a meditative state as his hands were folded in his lap and his eyelids were nearly closed. He was unperturbed, as always, by Jack's dreary prediction.
Jack's response took him totally by surprise and he lifted his eyebrows as he glanced over at Jack. "Woodpeckers?"
"Noisy beasts. Pecking away at my lovely abode at all hours of the night. It's not enough we have to save the planet from evil snakes, but to have a bunch of those brutish flying fiends eating my house is just wrong."
Daniel continued to stare at Jack blankly. "Woodpeckers, Jack? That's what you're complaining about?"
"Oh, don't even get me started on the trees. Dropping their crap all over my yard."
Daniel shook his head and rolled his eyes, trying to hide his amusement at his friend's cynicism. "Sorry I asked." He took a sip of his coffee and nearly spat it back out as he watched Jack push his own cup away with a look of disgust on his face. He made an effort to swallow his current mouthful, peered down into his cup again and sighed as he pushed it away. Might as well not take the chance.
Jack's fingers started drumming at the tabletop. Although Daniel was trying to read the papers in front of him his eyes were drawn to Jack's hands as they tapped impatiently and without rhythm in front of him.
"Jack," he said pointedly to attract Jack's attention.
Jack's fingers didn't miss a beat. "Daniel."
Daniel let out an exasperated sigh. "Bored?"
"Little bit," he admitted simply. Suddenly Jack leaned forward across the table, glancing over at Teal'c as he lowered his voice. "Actually, Daniel, I have a question."
Daniel found himself leaning forward as well, wondering if this would become a typical senseless Jack moment or whether Jack was actually being serious. "What?"
"Why didn't the seventh chevron change?"
Daniel blinked. "Huh?"
"When we lost the first Stargate on Thor's ship and had to bring in the Antarctic 'Gate. I distinctly remember a different point of origin while Carter and I were freezing our butts off in that glacier, but we get the 'Gate in here and, presto, it's suddenly that inverted V with the sun…thing…whatever."
Daniel blinked again.
Jack gestured with his hand toward the symbol of the Tau'ri on the patch on his right jacket sleeve. "I suppose it would have been a pain to redecorate, but seriously. How did they change the symbol?"
"They…I…what?" Daniel stuttered.
"That is the Antarctic 'Gate we've got down there, right? I may have lost track, we seem to be misplacing a lot of them lately."
"Um, yes, that's the Stargate you and Sam discovered in Antarctica."
"And Carter didn't realize that we were actually on Earth when we were redirected to that 'Gate because the point of origin was wrong. It was a big circle with a bar next to it, I think. Or a bone. Something like that. Well that 'Gate down there," Jack gestured toward the window which provided a view of the Gate Room, "has the symbol we found on the first 'Gate from Giza. Did it just…morph? Because I have a hard time believing Hammond ordered a metal worker to…you know. Change it."
Daniel could almost feel the vein popping out of his forehead as he tried to find an answer, any answer, for Jack. Maybe the 'Gate had been switched again and they'd been offworld at the time and Hammond forgot to send a memo? They had already discovered that the Stargates were nearly indestructible so he doubted anyone would have been able to manipulate the appearance of the chevrons. Think, Daniel, how did they…
"The Asgard did it for us," he stated, and confidently pulled his coffee cup back towards him, taking a sip to hide his smirk.
Jack looked at him doubtfully. "The Asgard?"
"Yep. They wanted to give us a gift for saving them from the Replicators, and with all the budget issues we've been having lately Washington decided it would cost too much to change our logo. So we asked the Asgard to fix the 'Gate."
Jack's eyes narrowed. "You are so making that up."
"Am I?" he asked, the very picture of innocence. He may have batted his eyelashes.
"Oh, yeah, I am so onto you. This is how you always have an answer for everything, isn't it? If you're not sure you just make it up and hope that nobody calls your bluff."
Daniel shrugged casually, and very nearly preened at his jacket. "I have no idea what you're talking about, Jack."
Jack looked like he almost believed him. Almost. "Teal'c?"
Teal'c opened his eyes, and tilted his head slightly to scrutinize Daniel. Daniel stared back, lifting his own chin defiantly. "The Asgard are indeed indebted to us, O'Neill," Teal'c informed him in his stately manner. "I see no reason to doubt Daniel Jackson's claim."
"You people are nuts," Jack grumbled, his shoulders slumping as he sank further into his chair. "I'm not even going to waste my breath asking how the wormhole doesn't vaporize the iris when it's closed during the kawoosh thing."
Daniel's eyes widened as he realized he had yet another question he would have to ask Sam. To hide his confused expression he began to take another sip of coffee, and stopped. He set down the cup, poked his finger inside along the rim, and pulled out a two inch strand of blond hair. Yet another question for Sam.
Maybe Jack was right. It was going to be one of those days.