TITLE: Signs of Friendship

AUTHOR: Feli

EMAIL: feli.ca@web.de

CATEGORY: General

SEASON: 1

SPOILERS: Children of the Gods

RATING: G

SUMMARY: Ah, the famous beer drinking scene from COTG: what went through their minds when Jack and Daniel talked with each other. The beginning of a friendship

STATUS: Complete (prologue and epilogue are available - but with major slash warning!)

ARCHIVE: Area52 and Fanfiction.net, MajorClanger's site

DISCLAIMER: Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions. This story is for entertainment purposes only and no money whatsoever has exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. The situations and original story are the property of the author. Not to be archived without permission of the author.

AUTHOR'S NOTES: Kat, you're the best!

I admit that it took me a while to notice how perfect this scene is for a nice, little story about Jack's and Daniel's friendship - I was too busy envying the beer bottle at Jack's lips… . But now here it is. Enjoy!



After checking on Ferretti, and being informed that Kawalsky intended to stay by his bedside, Jack decided to go home. There was nothing for him to do on base.

Everything had gone so horribly wrong that day: Daniel Jackson's wife Shau're and Skaara, her brother, had been abducted by aliens, several Abydonians and two of Jack's own people were dead, Ferretti was severely wounded, and all they knew was that there were thousands of places where the aliens could have brought Skaara and Shau're.

Jack's chest constricted painfully at the thought of Skaara. The young Abydonian had filled a special place in his heart when Jack visited Abydos for the first time. It was a place where the death of his son Charlie had ripped a gaping hole in his heart; a hole so big Jack had wanted to die, too. But Skaara had touched him with his innocence and youthful enthusiasm.

The hole where Charlie once had been would never completely heal but Skaara had managed to mend the edges considerably. And now he was gone.

Jack rounded the last corner on his way to the elevator and caught sight of Daniel Jackson. The archeologist stood at the far end of the corridor, leaning against the cold concrete wall, staring unseeing into nowhere.

Maybe there was something for Jack to do on base after all. He walked over to the archeologist.

"Hey?!"

Slowly Daniel turned his head, noticing the colonel's presence beside him. "They don't know what to do with me. And I don't know what to do with myself," he admitted quietly.

Jack wasn't surprised to hear that. General Hammond was still furious, with him *and* with the scientist here. And Jack had to admit that the general had every right to be furious. After all Jack and the men under his command had lied to their superiors, had knowingly and intentionally withheld the fact that Dr. Daniel Jackson and all the people on Abydos were still alive when they returned to Earth after the first mission.

In the eyes of the general this appeared to be the cause of all the tragic things that had happened in the last few days. No wonder he had snapped at the archeologist when Daniel had stormed down the ramp after Jack's team and immediately demanded to be on the team that went after Skaara and Shau're. It surely hadn't been the most diplomatic of approaches, although it was one that Jack could understand.

Tapping Daniel lightly on the shoulder he prompted: "Come on, let's get outta here."

Burying his hands in the pockets of the oversized BDUs he had been given Daniel followed Jack to the elevator. He was too weary to even ask where they were going.

------------------

Jack grabbed two bottles of beer out of the refrigerator and went into the living room where his guest stood in front of the warm, blazing fire in the fireplace. Daniel sneezed almost violently into a large tissue.

"Nice catch!" commented Jack dryly.

"Thank you. Gate travel seems to make my allergies... ." The rest of the sentence was drowned beneath another vigorous sneeze.

Jack regarded the man in front of him silently. Daniel was indeed the stereotype of the geeky scientist. Somewhere in the world there was probably a dictionary that had his picture next to the explanation for 'geeky archeologist with allergies'.

So why had he taken the younger man home with him? Had Daniel triggered his 'Save-the-lost-puppy' reflex? Certainly yes. But from the beginning Jack had also sensed that there was more to the archeologist. He *had* taken the shot that was aimed at Jack. Although Jack doubted that Daniel had anticipated the consequences of his action properly, it was still a very courageous act and spoke volumes of the strength that must lie beneath the nerdy exterior.

Finally Daniel took the bottle that Jack had been holding out to him the entire time. He still wasn't sure if coming with the colonel to his house had been such a good idea. The colonel had never hidden his disdain for scientists in general, and Daniel in particular. On the other hand he'd never treated Daniel badly or without a grudging amount of respect.

Jack O'Neill had certainly not been happy to have Daniel with him on that first mission, especially having to rely on him to get his team – if not the colonel himself – home. But they had worked well together in the end, and Jack, the career military officer, had obviously even lied to his superiors in order to protect Daniel's new life and love.

Walking over to the couch Jack settled down and resumed their conversation.

"So...you were saying?"

"Ahm, anyway, as soon as you were gone they realized they were free. I mean Abydos was their world for the taking."

Jack propped up one foot on the coffee table and uncapped the beer.

"Had a little party, did ya?"

Daniel gave a short laugh as the memories of his first few days on Abydos flooded back. "Oh, yeah yeah! Big, big party."

Daniel had never been a hero before. However, he was to the people of Abydos. They didn't know that he was considered a geek on his homeworld. To them he was their savior, the man who freed them all from an oppressive god and a life in slavery.

He was also one of them. His marriage to Shau're – unexpected as it had been – had ensured that. And Daniel drank it all in. The affection, the joy, the sense of belonging. For the three days that the celebrations lasted, he'd been drunk on all of it; drunk on life, this strange and new but oh-so-welcome new life.

But it had also scared him. Once life returned to normal – at least what was normal to the people of Abydos – Daniel expected them to treat him *normal* as well. Yet he was still their hero. The Abydonians looked up to him, looked to him for guidance. It was a responsibility unlike any Daniel had ever shouldered before. It had made him proud that the Abydonians trusted him this much. It had also humbled him.

Daniel decided that he did not want to share this particular information with the seasoned soldier who was still patiently waiting for him to continue. Instead, smiling shyly, he simply said: "They treated me like their savior, it was...ehm...embarrassing."

He fiddled with the label of his bottle and looked uncomfortably over to Jack after his confession.

"It's amazing you turned out so normal," quipped Jack sarcastically, sipping his beer.

Although deep down inside Jack had to admit that he wasn't amazed at all. Beneath the archeologist's gangly, uncoordinated exterior and his enthusiastic, 'there's-good-in-everything' innocent look at the world there lay a core of strength and integrity that would indeed ensure that Daniel always managed to keep things in perspective.

'I mean look at him,' Jack thought to himself, 'here he is, telling me that he was embarrassed about the way the Abydonians treated him after he saved their lives.'

Jack had noticed those qualities in the man from the first moment, although he hadn't wanted to acknowledge them. Because at the time they met it had meant that Daniel – the scientist, the geek – was stronger than Jack O'Neill, the soldier. The man who'd given up the will to live. Jack acknowledged those qualities now as he looked at the man in front of him.

Not surprisingly Daniel took Jack's last comment seriously.

"Well, if it wasn't for Shau're I'd probably... ." He stopped, looking away from Jack while searching for the right words.

When he turned back to Jack he found the older man's gaze still resting on him, his eyes curiously neutral. Then Jack looked down at the bottle in his hands; unsure how to label the emotions that were coursing through him, unsure of what to think about the young man, even unsure of what to think about himself. So he waited.

Daniel ducked his head, sighing, and headed over to a chair to sit down.

"She was the complete opposite of everyone else, she practically fell on the floor laughing every time I tried to do some chore they all took for granted, like..ehm.. grinding eufetta flour."

Daniel smiled wistfully at the memory. Looking over to Jack he asked: "I mean, have you ever tried to grind your own flour?"

"I'm trying to kick the flour thing." Now, answers like this came to Jack spontaneously, he didn't have to think about them.

Daniel snorted out a laugh at that. It felt good talking to Jack. He still didn't feel entirely comfortable with the concept of staying at Jack's house but so far everything seemed to be going alright. He was pouring his heart out and the colonel made snide comments. They were back to where they'd left off.

But all of a sudden, Daniel felt awkward with the status quo. Was this all there was ever going to be? This one-sidedness? And what exactly did he want from Jack? A place to stay? A promise to bring back Shau're? That certainly. But there was more.

With a sudden clarity, that was so much an intrinsical part of Daniel that its appearance didn't surprise him at all, Daniel realized that he wanted much, much more of the man in front of him. He wanted Jack's respect, his trust. His… friendship.

The thought of wanting to have this hard-assed, cynical soldier as a friend was scary, Daniel admitted to himself. Jack was so unlike his former friends in the world of academia, few as there had been. They had nothing in common, did they?

And the colonel certainly would scoff at the idea of them becoming friends. After all, what did he, Daniel, have to offer to a friendship with an Air Force officer? He didn't even particularly like the beer he was drinking right now.

With embarrassment Daniel became aware that he'd been silent for a very long time. He looked around the room, searching for a distraction. Finding none he raised his bottle.

"This is going straight to my head," he announced and took another swallow of beer. "What time is it anyway, I must have gate lag or something."

'Great, now you're babbling, Daniel,' a voice inside his head sniggered. 'Is this the way to get him to take you more seriously…?'

Jack watched him amusedly, a hint of a smile playing around his lips.

"Daniel, for crying out loud, you've had one beer!" Staring down at his bottle Jack quietly added: "You're a cheaper date than my wife was."

'Jeez, why did I have to bring her up now?' Jack inwardly berated himself. 'I don't wanna talk about Sara. Hell, there *is* nothing to talk about! She's gone, over, finito. Beans are spilled, no need to talk.

Although sometimes I wish I could…talk to someone. Have someone who listens. No shrink, god forbid, after Iraq I've had enough of those to last me a lifetime and more. But I can't talk to Kawalsky or any of the other guys either. That would be stretching the friendship we have too far.

Ah, wait a minute. Friendship? Where did that come from? Kawalsky is a fellow officer, a guy you can go out and have a beer with. I've never invited him over to my place, and he'd probably assume that I'd been brainwashed if I asked him to come over for a cozy chat like this.

So why *am* I sitting here, striking up a conversation about my ex-wife with a guy who is so…so…a scientist, for crying out loud! A guy who got his wife as a gift because her father thought he was a god.



A guy who chose to stay on an alien planet and leave everything he knows and that's familiar to him behind. Just like that. Most people would have been scared shitless. Me included. Admit it, O'Neill, the guy's got guts. Saved your life, too! Maybe he's not the worst person you could be talking to. Who knows, he might even become a friend.



A friend? Oh boy, seems I can't take the beer any better than he can… .'

Meanwhile, Daniel looked pointedly around the room again, glad for the opportunity to change the subject of their conversation.

"Yes, when am I going to meet your wife?" he asked.

"Oh...ahh...probably...," Jack cocked his head to one side, trying to make light of what he was saying. "Pff...never." He nodded, affirming that last word more to himself than to the archeologist.

Although he had brought the subject up Jack was reluctant to go any further. Admitting that your wife left you because you were responsible for your son killing himself was not an easy thing to do. Felt more like impossible to do.

Don't show any weaknesses, that's the first thing a good soldier has to learn…!

But Daniel just sat there unmoving, regarding Jack steadily. Waiting.

And slowly something inside Jack gave way. The barriers around his self, the ones behind the façade of the 'don't-give-a-damn' Air Force colonel, didn't crumble to dust - that would have been to easy. But the wall cracked, tiny rifts appearing here and there. Jack felt it and let it happen.

It was time for him to talk about this *stuff*, and it was Daniel he wanted to talk to. So, without inflection, he continued.

"After I came back from Abydos the first time, she'd already left."

"I'm sorry!" Daniel said softly.

He could see what making this admission had cost the older man by the tight grip Jack had on his bottle and by the way his shoulders tensed when he spoke.

But Jack didn't avert his eyes from Daniel's, and Daniel felt, almost physically, when Jack decided to open up and really talk. To let Daniel in.

For the first time that day Daniel felt peace settle over him. He and Jack still had a long way to go if they wanted to build up a friendship but they were off to a good start.

In his contemplation of the changes in their relationship Daniel almost missed Jack's reply to his 'I'm sorry'.

"Yeah, so was I." Jack paused, searching for the right words. "I think in her heart she forgave me for what happened to our kid, she just...couldn't forget."

"And what about you?"

"I'm the opposite, I'll never forgive myself! But sometimes I can forget."

Jack's eyes locked with Daniel's, long and hard. He, too, felt that something had changed. He didn't know what would happen now but, for the first time since Charlie's death, he was looking forward to something.

"Sometimes," he repeated, draining the last of his beer.



Next part: Epilogue (only if you've read and enjoyed the prologue!). If not:

FIN



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