"This is all your fault, you know."

He had been waiting for it, the words hardly unexpected, and yet even knowing they were coming did not stop his groan from escaping. Burying his face harder into the bunk (the pillow having already been usurped by his cellmate), his words emerged muffled and tired. "Shut up, Jack."

"What do you mean 'shut up, Jack'? I'm right. This is all your fault."

Daniel wondered if he could kick him without actually getting up. Doing some quick mental calculations he realised that his 'friend' had been smart enough to pick a piece of floor about ten centimetres out of reach. Damnit.

Turning his head to peer out, Daniel saw his companion sitting up against the wall, calm as could be, happily rolling his yo-yo away from him along the floor. If ever a sight was going to infuriate him more, this was it. Could the man take nothing seriously? They were imprisoned, for heaven's sake! Waiting until the blue circle made its way towards him, Daniel reached down and snatched it away, flinging it (hard) towards the concrete wall. The sound of splintering plastic and the resultant clattering to the floor was quite the balm to his nerves.

"Well," said Jack, looking from Daniel to his broken toy. "I don't think that was entirely necessary."

"Trust me, it was."

"Well, if you say so." An accommodating Jack was the last thing Daniel needed. Jack was only ever accommodating when he had won – or worse, when he thought he wasn't to blame.

Pushing himself into a sitting position, Daniel looked him squarely in the eyes. "This is not my fault."

"Au contraire, mon amie."

Oh great, now he was speaking French. He was going to gloat. Daniel wondered if Jack would make the same clunking noises if he threw him against the wall. "You always say it's my fault, Jack."

"Well -"


Jack sighed as he rummaged through his pocket. He didn't seem too upset by the situation, which was, by and large, not too surprising. They had, after all, spent their fair share of time in prisons of one kind or another. At least this one had afforded him a pillow to sit on, a friend to taunt, and (until recently) a yo-yo to distract him. And if he wasn't mistaken – a ha! his fingers found the right pocket – a power bar to snack on.

Offering the grouch on the bunk half, and finding it categorically rejected, he started waving the bar around to make his point.

"I'm telling ya, Danny-boy, it was all you. If you had just left well enough alone, none of this would have happened." He stopped to take a bite of his pointer and continued with mouth full. "Thanks to you and your yammering we got manhandled by a giant and thrown in here to rot. You should have just played it cool, like me."

Daniel knew he was slackjawed (it was an expression he found himself using with alarming regularity in recent years), but he didn't know where to begin. "If you thought that was 'cool', Jack, you're even worse off than I thought you were. She knew exactly what you'd done and there was no way around that."

"Well we could have tried!" Jack said, punctuating his point fiercely with what was left of the power bar, muesli flying in Daniel's direction. "You didn't even try to defend me! In fact, you outright turned on me! Threw me to the dogs! Fed me to the lions! You -"

"Oh give it a rest! I know what I did, and I'm not even sorry, you deserved it," Jack looked shocked at Daniel's honesty. "You knew what you were doing, knew it was strictly prohibited, and you went ahead and did it anyway! That's not innocence, that's pure stupidity."

The look on Jack's face was almost pouty – if aging colonels were even capable of making such a face. "I still don't think it was necessary to help them convict me."

"I didn't do that. All I did was maintain my innocence."

"You screamed 'it was him, all him!' and then shoved me towards her big hulking protector."


"Yes, protector, it's a title that suits him well, don't you think? All tall and imposing."

Daniel considered it. "Yes, it does, actually... why don't we have a protector?"

Jack sniffed, and tried to look as though he wasn't put out by his lack of 'protector' – or Daniel's not considering him as such. "We're the legendary SG-1, we don't need protectors."

"But -"

"We don't need protectors," Jack stressed. "Besides, as I see it, to have a protector-thingy to throw people in jail you kinda have to look like her."

"Like her?"

"Yeah," Jack said, as if it were obvious. "You know, all gorgeous-like. With that hair, you know? I mean, I'm sure some people would consider her gorgeous, it's not like I've noticed or anything."

"Sure. You trying to tell me I'm not gorgeous?"

Jack hung his head. Some of the fun was starting to drain out of this now that he was wearing the bulk of the blame – though why he was agreeing to that he wasn't quite sure, he must remedy that. "Don't start with me Daniel, I'm still mad at you for getting me thrown in here!" There, that oughta do it.

"You got yourself thrown in here Jack, remember, by the Gorgeous One."

"Actually, the protector did all the throwing, and he was unprofessionally gleeful about it too."

Privately, Daniel agreed about that, but he wasn't about to feed into Jack's delusions of innocence. He had far better things to do with his time, like imagine all the ways he could inflict pain on Jack without actually moving from the bed. He was part way through a rather nice fantasy involving a rather good shot connecting his boot with the side of Jack's head when he was interrupted by the sound of a key turning in the lock and the door of his own personal hell opening up.

She (now known to the inmates as the Gorgeous One) swept into the room with an irritatingly assured stride. It was a seemingly universal walk Daniel had seen possessed by many they had come across in their travels, one not defined by culture or upbringing, but rather the hauteur that came from believing you were completely in the right. They had frequently experienced it from inside a cell.

Her protector stood firmly in the doorway – as if either of the prisoners had any intention of making an escape – while she approached, eying them keenly. She stared at Daniel, the sharp intelligence of her eyes telling him he would be dealt with later. She crouched before Jack, a surprisingly graceful move, and spoke to him quietly. Not quite able to make out the words, Daniel nonetheless saw the gradual widening of Jack's eyes and the gentle shaking of his shoulders. Perhaps it was better he couldn't hear.

Standing up, she turned from them and left the room without another glance in their direction. Leaving the door to their cell open, her protector bowed and followed. Looking at Jack with raised brow, Daniel was nearly bowled after as Jack scrambled off the floor and headed for the door.

"Come on Danny, I gotta go buy Carter some more jello."