{Author's Note: This isn't new… I wrote it ages ago, but for whatever reason, it never got added to the archive here… so here it is. Enjoy!}

Little Moments

by Bren Ren

Summary: Daniel witnesses an unusual moment between his friends.

Spoilers: None; takes place…. Oh, lets say somewhere around season three.

Disclaimer: Not mine. Just playing again.

******

"3 lighters, 2 MRE's and this shiny flashlight and that's my final offer." The native regarded Colonel O'Neill with wary skepticism.

Dr. Jackson snorted. He'd been watching this barter play out for the better part of the last hour. Why Jack was so determined to acquire the article in question completely eluded the usually deductive Doctor. Nevertheless, this display of near desperate pleading from the usually stoic Colonel had captured his undivided attention.

"Well?" The Colonel barked impatiently. "Do we have a deal?"

"May I sample this MRE?" Daniel bit his tongue as Jack turned at least three different shades of purple.

"NO!!!" The shout exploded out of Jack's head, and Daniel was pretty certain he could see smoke wafting out his ears. Jack pulled himself back together, though, and his next words were even more menacing for being so quiet. "You already sampled two. This is it. Last chance. Going once. Going twice. Go—"

"All right. We have an agreement." The native held his hand out for the new treasures. Jack handed over the lighters and the MRE's, but when the young man reached for the flashlight, Jack yanked it back out of his reach.

"Ah-ah…" Jack extended his empty hand out.

The young man dropped a leathery pouch into Jack's open hand. Jack handed over the flashlight. Jack closed his hand around the pouch, a smug little grin spreading across his cheeks. The native scampered off flicking a lighter in one hand, waving the flashlight around in the other, while munching the last of the MRE's in his overstuffed cheeks.

Jack trekked right past Daniel, apparently without even seeing him. Daniel frowned as he turned to watch Jack stroll across the village's central thoroughfare. His frown turned into a wry grin as he realized that Jack was making a beeline for Sam. That explained the mad determination. But not what was inside the pouch. The quizzical frown returned to the archaeologist's face.

Unable to stop himself, Daniel crept slowly towards them. He told himself he just wanted to find out what was in the stupid bag. Then he snickered at himself as he realized how lame that excuse sounded even to him. He paused just a few meters away, just within earshot, and pretended to be interested in the random carvings on the archway he found himself standing beside.

Jack came up behind Sam, who was talking with a small group of the natives. He tapped her on the shoulder, and she turned, and started at how close he stood beside her. He saw her take a steadying breath, and half a step back away. Taking back her personal space, he mused.

"Got something for ya." Jack's voice was almost too soft for Daniel to hear. Daniel inched closer, still unnoticed.

Jack offered her the pouch. As Sam took it, she turned, and to his dismay, Jack blocked his view of her. He heard her gasp as she turned the contents of the pouch into her other hand.

"How did you get this, sir?" Her voice was tinted with awe and surprise.

"I have my ways." Daniel could have sworn he heard the smirk in Jack's voice.

As Jack stepped to the side, she was returning whatever it was back to the pouch, and all Daniel could make out in the brief glimpse was something shiny, perhaps crystalline. He frowned in disappointment.

Sam's face was slightly flushed as she stepped away from Jack. "Thank you, sir." She gave Jack one of those smiles Daniel had noticed only came up around Jack, one that beamed as brightly as any sun they had seen in their journeys. Jack smiled in return, an almost bashful little smile that he usually saved for when she wasn't looking.

And then the moment was over. Like a bucket of cold water had been sloshed over the scene, they suddenly shifted back into the Colonel and the Major. It was only then that Daniel realized what he had witnessed. It was a very rare moment, indeed. He felt slightly guilty for having intruded, even though they were unaware. For that little moment belonged to Sam and Jack, and to them alone.

Daniel muttered a curse at the unfairness of the situation. The bittersweet truth lay bare to him, perhaps for the first time. All they could have were these little moments. And they were far too few and far between. Daniel vowed to himself then, he would do his best to give them as many as of those moments as fate would allow them.