Appearances can be Deceiving...

Pairing: Jack O'Neill/Daniel Jackson
 
Category: Action/Adventure, Drama, Established Relationship
 
Rating: NC17
 
Summary: Don't tell me you thought Daniel and I would let Thompson get away?
 
Notes: There were holes in War Games big enough to fly a B-52 through, thought I'd round the story up *eg*

Please note that this is part 2 of 2 - Part 1: War Games should be read first

"Sorry, sir, I'll duck faster next time." Sam gave their CO a shaky smile as she squirmed in the hospital bed to get at least a little more comfortable.

"You do that, Carter," Jack gave her a tired smile of his own.

Daniel stayed where he was, squashing the urge to step forward and put his arms around Jack. Wouldn't do of course. Sighing inwardly, Daniel compromised, reached out and rested his hand comfortingly on Jack's shoulder. The older man relaxed visibly.

Teal'c hovered at the end of the bed as the two men took to the side. Daniel yawned deeply. They'd gotten home from the war game Tuesday and gone back out Wednesday. The mission had been a quiet one, well up until the forces of nature had decided to teach them a lesson. A huge earthquake... or would that be a planet-quake? Anyway, it had divided the team and Sam had been thrown off a narrow ledge, sliding almost 130 feet into a valley below them.

Amazingly she had no major fractures, but the bruises and minor injuries were enough to keep her in bed for at least a few weeks. Daniel leaned forward to give her a reassuring smile. "Got anything planned for the, eh, medical downtime?" Daniel knew that Sam was as bad as he was when it came to working against the Doctor's orders.

"A few things, yes, but seriously, I'll be up and out of here before you know it." For all in the world she looked like a petulant child who'd been told she couldn't go out to play. That description would cover pretty much any injured SG-1 member, come to think of it.

"Oh no you don't, Sam. You've got a fractured rib; you're not straying too far from here at the moment." Janet Fraiser appeared out of nowhere, startling them all. Well, except from Teal'c, who, if he'd been surprised, hid it well.

"When's she gonna be fit for duty again, Doc?" Jack asked, leaning into Daniel's hand as if he was drawing strength from the other man. Daniel wasn't entirely sure that wasn't the case. He suspected that Jack would crash once they got home. None of them had had much rest since returning. They'd showered, debriefed and gone straight to the infirmary to check on their team mate.

"It *will* take time, Colonel, as you very well know..." Janet gave him a stern look.

Jack looked a little guilty, and Daniel hid his smile. Jack had gone through enough of such situations to know this, but the man was also the world's second worst patient. Daniel had no illusions as to who took the first place in that category. He'd been told often enough.

"Yes, ma'am," Jack answered meekly, which made Janet glare at him. There was no way in hell she'd trust him on something like this had he been in Sam's place.

"So, we're one man, eh, woman short?" Daniel broke the silence before either of the combatants could get into trouble.

"I believe we are," Teal'c answered from his position at the end of the bed. The man was like a living statue at times.

Jack shrugged. "Either the General will assign us a temporary fourth or we're not going off-world until Carter's ready to join us."

"Any idea which it'll be?" Daniel wasn't sure he liked the idea of going off-world with someone new. Ridiculous, really, but he was so used to the team that it felt... wrong. Not that Daniel never left with other teams, but it was never truly... right.

"It'll depend on the nature of the missions scheduled," Jack looked a little worried for a moment, but soon hid it behind a wide smile. "We'll just hope that Carter gets better real soon."

Sam was about to say something, but Janet interrupted them. "She'll get better a lot faster if you gentlemen would leave her to it, and go get some rest of your own." She held up a hand to stop whatever protest they could utter. "Ah ah... I don't want her worrying over whether or not you're getting any rest."

The men shot each other a look of surrender, then said their goodbyes to Sam, who yawned deeply before letting Fraiser push her down into the bed and tug the sheet up around her shoulders.

Daniel realized as they walked down the hallway that it was actually late Friday afternoon. They had the rest of the day off and weren't expected back at work until mid-afternoon Monday. He smiled as he wondered how to convince Jack that he *really* should spend their downtime at Jack's place. They hadn't been together since the night after the war games and to tell the truth, as much as Daniel had been living without the sex for years, he felt deprived after a few days without. It could of course be the fact that one taste of Jack and there would never be anyone good enough to fill the void. Not that there was a void, that Daniel would ever allow any void to appear... Man, he was babbling internally, which meant he *really* needed to get out of the mountain, into bed and get some rest soon.

Judging from Jack's yawns and the rubbing of tired eyes, they would actually be getting some rest. A thought struck Daniel. What if Jack wanted to go home on his own? Sure, they both seemed sure about what they were doing, but...

"Anything planned for the weekend, Teal'c?" Jack's voice broke the silence.

"I am in need of Kel-no-reem, and I have promised GeneralHammond that I would train a group of recruits in hand to hand combat this weekend." The stoic man stopped at one elevator, waiting for it to open.

"Thought you'd be relaxing, T," Jack grinned. "Training recruits is considered work."

Teal'c raised an eyebrow, entered the elevator and turned around to look at his team mates. "It *is* relaxing, O'Neill, a piece of pastry."

The doors closed before Jack could correct him. The older man turned to find Daniel grinning at him. "He does that on purpose, doesn't he?" Jack asked as they went to the next elevator, waiting for it to arrive and take them topside.

Daniel smiled as he followed Jack into the elevator. "Of course he does, Jack; I thought you'd learned that by now." It was always fun watching Teal'c make a 'mistake' and Jack plunging right into it, feet first.

"Yeah," Jack leaned back against the metal wall, watching Daniel with a small smile.

"What?" Daniel tried to relax, but the assessing stare felt like beams of heat cutting through his body.

"*You* got any plans for this weekend?" Jack's voice was low and casual.

Daniel finally grinned. "I do, actually," he answered.

"Oh..." Jack seemed to suddenly find the floor of the elevator very interesting.

"But it depends on a little detail..." Daniel didn't have the heart to let Jack suffer. His own doubts vanished the moment he saw Jack wondering if Daniel had made plans without him.

"Yeah?" Jack's brown eyes connected with Daniel's again. Oh boy, there was no way Daniel could ever disappoint this man. At least not intentionally.

"Yes, there are certain factors to be taken into consideration." Daniel hid his smile as he watched the numbers telling him they were nearing the surface.

"Like...?"

"Mainly how much food you have in your fridge, do I need to go shop before we go home..." Daniel trailed off, finally giving Jack a searching look before continuing in a more serious voice. "It depends greatly on you wanting company..."

It was as if a weight had been lifted from Jack's shoulders, as the other man finally stood straight, a blinding smile spreading on his face. "I think I can handle company," he answered, eyes twinkling.

"And the fridge?" Daniel walked out of the elevator, knowing that Jack was right behind him.

"Pretty empty, I'd say, but I have a suggestion..." Jack joined him by the check out before they both crossed the parking lot to their respective cars. The sun was high in the sky, it was warm and all in all Daniel couldn't really ask for more. Didn't have to. Anything else he wanted would be given to him freely. One look at Jack confirmed just that.

"And what suggestion would that be, Colonel?" Daniel unlocked his car, but waited for an answer from the other man.

Jack opened the door to his truck, but turned to regard Daniel. "Take-out tonight and grocery shopping tomorrow?"

Daniel nodded. "Sounds like a plan to me."

"Staying over?" Jack cocked his head.

"Just let me get home and pack a few things, and I'll be right over." It all sounded so... innocent, unless of course, Daniel mused, one knew what he knew... "Want me to get the take-out on the way over?"

"Sure," Jack agreed as he got in, closed the door and rolled down the window. "Got something special in mind?"

"Chinese?" Daniel leaned against the side of his own car. He couldn't help wondering how they'd grown accustomed to this so fast. Maybe the problems would come later? If they did, hopefully it'd be a *lot* later. For now he would settle for having what they could have and... enjoying the sight of how the sun's bright rays played through Jack's grey hair.

"Chinese's fine..." Jack trailed off and gave Daniel a strange look. "Wha?"

Daniel frowned. "What?"

"What'cha staring at?" Jack put on his safety belt.

"I'll tell you later," Daniel answered with a grin. He wasn't about to tell Jack, in the middle of the base's parking lot, how much he liked that grey hair. One, he wasn't that sappy... at the moment at least, and two, this really wasn't the right place for it.

Jack merely raised an eyebrow, nodded and started the truck.

With a wide grin, Daniel got into his own car, buckled up and started it. Life was good; they were all alive, even if Sam had gotten a few bruises. They had the weekend off and he had the feeling he'd be spending it at Jack's place and that clothes would be optional... most of the time. Sniggering to himself he pulled out of his parking space and set a course for his apartment.


Daniel pulled into the driveway, quickly getting the bags with food before going up to the house. He could get his weekend bag later. The door opened before he could knock and a smiling Jack greeted him.

"Great timing..." Jack stepped aside to let him in. "No extra clothes, Daniel?" Jack raised an eyebrow.

"Knock it off, I've only got two hands," Daniel grinned. "The bag's in the car." Daniel continued inside, made his way to the kitchen and deposited the various bags on the counter. Pulling out the treats he took a deep breath as the air was filled with the mouthwatering smells of good Chinese cooking. The sound of the front door closing brought Daniel around to find Jack entering the kitchen.

"I put your bag in the hallway..." Jack's voice trailed off as the older man walked across the floor and a moment later Daniel found himself drawn into a tight embrace on the receiving end of a searing kiss. "I missed this," Jack finally whispered as he broke the kiss and buried his face against Daniel's neck.

Daniel lost all his bearings for a moment as Jack's hands slid up under his shirt. Deciding to go with the flow, he pulled Jack's head up to capture his lips in another kiss. "Dinner will get cold..."

Jack finally let go of him, trying to school his face into a pout, completely ruined by the smiling brown eyes. "Your loss, book boy." With that, the older man went to the cupboards to get plates and glasses.

Daniel shook his head and carried their food into the living room. Putting it all down on the coffee table he went back into the kitchen, narrowly missing Jack at the door. Grinning he sidestepped the other man and went to the fridge for beer. Amused he pulled out two bottles. Jack had definitely learned a thing or two. The usual brand of beer had been exchanged for several different ones of imported origin. Yes, Jack was definitely making an effort. Either that or Daniel was rubbing off on him...

Speaking of rubbing... Daniel couldn't help laughing as he found six foot two of USAF Colonel plastered to his back a moment later. Pushing back he managed to keep his hold on both bottles of beer and pushing the door to the fridge shut. Jack still refused to let go of him.

Burying his face in Daniel's neck, Jack's arms snaked around the younger man's waist, hands dipping down into Daniel's pockets. "You smell good." The compliment was muffled and the words vibrated against Daniel's skin.

Daniel rolled his eyes and began making his way towards the living room, his progress severely hampered by Jack's need for closeness. Somehow they still managed to get to the couch and Daniel put the bottles down on the table.

"Jack..." Daniel sighed and leaned his head back to rest on Jack's shoulder.

"Mphf," came the muffled reply as Jack nuzzled his way under the collar of Daniel's shirt, mouthing the bare skin.

Daniel dug his fingers into Jack's forearms, letting out a deep groan. Trust Jack to have, in less than a week, found his most sensitive spots. "Jack, the foo-ood's getting cold..." Daniel whimpered as Jack's teeth sunk into his skin. Not enough to leave a mark, but enough to set off all Daniel's nerve endings.

With a heartbreaking sigh, Jack let go of him, though only for long enough to get to the couch. Then he grabbed Daniel's arm and dragged him down into his lap.

Laughing Daniel surrendered into the soft kiss. "Hey," he breathed as they broke apart, keeping eye contact, nose to nose.

"Hey yourself," grinned Jack, looking as breathless as Daniel felt.

"Dinner?" asked Daniel, trying to suppress an answering smile.

"In a minute, gotta do this first," Jack frowned, "and it's gotta be done right." With that he drew Daniel into another kiss, this time not letting him up for air for what seemed like forever. Not that Daniel was complaining, because God could Jack kiss, and if there was one thing Daniel loved it was kissing. Lucky him to have found Jack who seemed so dead-set on delivering.

Daniel was finally allowed to slip down onto the couch. Still, Jack managed to stay glued to his side as if he was afraid that Daniel might disappear. Daniel indulged him. It was nice to relax, eat and just enjoy the nearness of another person. Didn't hurt things that this other person loved him and that Daniel loved him. Had anyone told him, back when he'd unlocked the key for the 'Gate and went to Abydos for what had been a suicide mission for Jack, that now, years later, he'd be in a physical and emotional relationship with the man, he'd have thought they'd been insane.

Dinner was finished, the plates and glasses in the dishwasher and the TV was on. Not that either man was watching. They'd hardly sat back down before they'd been kissing again. Slow rasp of tongue against tongue and all the time in the world to explore. Daniel snuck a hand up under Jack's t-shirt, reveling in the feel of warm skin. The motion as Jack breathed; the ripple of muscle under taut skin was driving him slowly crazy.

"Don't get your hopes up..." Jack whispered in his ear.

"Too tired?" Daniel's hand slid up a little further, fingers carding through the hairs on the Jack's chest, toying with the dog tags.

"Mmm..." Jack's hands did a little exploring on their own.

"Bed?" Daniel grinned sleepily.

"Good idea, I'm sorry Daniel, but I..." Jack sighed deeply.

"It's okay, Jack, don't worry. Trust me, I'm not exactly feeling energetic at the moment and we've got the entire weekend." Daniel stood when Jack let go of him and he smiled as he pulled the older man up from the couch.

Stripping and sliding under the cool covers, Daniel sighed deeply. As tired as he was he could still enjoy the fact that he was in Jack's bed. Make that naked and in Jack's bed. A moment later he could add a naked Jack to that and to Daniel all was right with the world, if only for a while.

Before long Jack was sleeping and the sound of his slow, rhythmic breathing and the rise and fall of his chest under Daniel's head soon drew the younger man into his own realm of sleep.


Daniel slowly opened his eyes. It was still dark outside, but dawn wasn't far away. Still, Daniel needed a trip to the bathroom. Extracting himself from Jack's embrace, he quickly made his way out of the bedroom. While he washed his hands, Daniel studied his fuzzy reflection. He hadn't bothered with his glasses, but he could still make out the dark lines under his eyes. He felt better but he was still a little tired. Rolling his shoulders he winced. Maybe he could ask Jack for a massage in the morning? He'd been working a lot with translations lately and as much as he loved it, sitting hunched over the desk just didn't do him much good physically.

Walking back into the bedroom, Daniel realized Jack was awake. Climbing into the bed, he groaned as the muscles in his back and neck tightened.

"Something wrong?" Jack asked; his voice low and breath hot against Daniel's neck and ear.

"Just a bit sore and stiff, that's all," Daniel mumbled as he enjoyed Jack's hands on his back.

Jack shifted on the bed next to him and there was the sound of a drawer being pulled out, rummaged through before being shut again. "Turn over, Daniel," Jack said as he urged him to lie down. A moment later the soft glow of the bedside lamp broke through the darkness.

With a sigh Daniel did as he was ordered and he wasn't disappointed as a moment later he felt Jack straddle his lower back, though the older man still kept his weight off Daniel. Something was uncapped and a light musk-like smell reached Daniel's nose. Burying his face in his crossed arms, Daniel relaxed as he felt the strong hands kneading his abused muscles. The massage oil felt warm as it was worked meticulously into his skin and he quickly drifted off somewhere between sleep and awake.

Maybe Daniel could convince Jack to take all that hard work he was doing a little further? As much as Daniel tried to focus on the burn of loosened muscles, it was difficult as his senses kept telling him that the slide of heated skin against the small of his back was Jack's erection. It might be easier to talk Jack into it than he'd thought.

"So...?" Jack's voice rumbled above him.

"So?" Daniel wondered what Jack was hinting at. It wasn't easy redirecting blood-flow to his mind.

"In the parking lot, when we left base?"

Daniel frowned, rubbing his cheek against the pillow under his head. "Ah." Of course.

"Well?" Jack prodded as dug his fingers into the stiff muscles of Daniel's neck.

"Just admiring the grey," Daniel grinned.

"Yeah?" Jack sounded... puzzled.

"Yeah," Daniel answered with a happy little sigh. This was life; that was for sure.

"Enjoyed a job well done?" Jack chuckled.

"It's not all my fault!" Daniel snorted indignantly.

"Is too," grinned Jack.

"Is not."

"Is too."

"Is not."

"I had no grey hair when we met," argued Jack.

"Well, it looks good on you," Daniel admitted, knowing when to divert Jack.

"Yeah?" Jack seemed genuinely pleased if a bit surprised by that.

"Oh yeah," Daniel agreed. That was no lie. Jack aged with dignity. Come to think of it, he aged like a good wine.

"Sweet," chuckled Jack.

Jack continued spoiling Daniel for a little while, before leaning down to whisper into his ear, the heat from the strong, lean body felt almost scorching against the slick skin of Daniel's back. "Feels good?"

"Oh God, yes..." Daniel groaned as Jack chose that exact moment to dig into a specifically hard muscle in his neck.

"You're such a massage slut," Jack grinned.

"You have no idea," Daniel mumbled, smiling against his arm.

"Easy piece of ass, Jackson."

"Only for you Colonel, only for you." Daniel wriggled against the sheets to get a little friction. Jack wasn't the only one affected by the back rub.

"Glad to hear... I wonder if I could get you to do anything in this state..." Jack's sounded downright evil.

"Well, I'd offer to roll over and go 'woof', but I'm kinda busy being pampered at the moment," Daniel snorted. Moaning his approval, he continued. "Got any other suggestions?"

"Mmm," Jack hummed, fingers doing their magic walk across Daniel's shoulders. "How about you just lie there and let me take advantage of you and the situation?"

Daniel stopped a chuckle and pretended to think about the offer for a moment. "Do your worst, flyboy," he finally managed to choke out without too much laughter.

"Your wish is my command, Dr. Jackson," Jack growled and dug even harder into Daniel's abused muscles as he meticulously worked his way down Daniel's back, kneading muscles Daniel wasn't even aware of having.

Daniel was lulled back into his sleepy state as Jack kept working his magic, scooting further down to make sure he got every inch of Daniel, thighs, calves, the tendons at the ankles. As Jack worked quickly for a finish back up Daniel's legs, the younger man sighed deeply. Now this he could get used to that was for sure.

He wasn't surprised when he felt Jack's fingers slide in between his thighs, lightly caressing the sensitive skin, spreading a little more oil, moving teasingly close to where Daniel wanted them. Closing his eyes, Daniel concentrated on staying relaxed and he felt the shiver as Jack's hands slowly slid up over his ass, fingers dipping inside the cleft, parting the cheeks. A light bite was placed on either side before Jack slipped a finger teasingly down from the small of Daniel's back to his balls. The movement had Daniel pressing up in the matter of seconds.

Jack's chuckle broke the silence.

"Tease," Daniel growled, but he couldn't keep up his act of disapproval for long as Jack's slick finger returned to circle his opening. "Jaa-ack," he sighed, breath hitching as the tip slipped inside. He must have somehow managed to appeal to something in Jack, because he finally stopped fooling around and began slowly working more of his finger inside. Either that, or Jack was no more capable of holding back than Daniel was.

Daniel slowly lifted his head, then turned to look at Jack, who was concentrating on setting every nerve in Daniel's body on fire. "Jack...?"

"Mmm?" Jack pushed his finger all the way inside, moving it rhythmically, sending shiver through Daniel's body.

"I'm not gonna last much longer..." Daniel trailed off into a deep moan.

"Oh?" Jack slowed his movements before slipping in another finger, but his attention was solely on Daniel, the dark eyes glittering with arousal.

Daniel grinned in answer as he stretched to open the bedside drawer he pulled out a condom and threw it as the other man. "Suit up and move in?" Daniel sniggered.

Jack's laugh sent vibrations through Daniel, who bit his lower lip, trying to think of anything to take his mind off the sinful things Jack was doing to him at the moment. He tried hard not to moan his disapproval when Jack pulled out his fingers.

"Daniel...?"

"Yeah?" Daniel turned his head to look at Jack.

"Do you trust me?"

"Of course I do," Daniel frowned.

"We're both... clean..." Jack seemingly struggled with his choice of words.

It took a moment for Daniel to get with the program. "Oh!" Wriggling his ass, he laughed out loud. "I don't think anyone gets tested as thoroughly as we do."

"So that's a yes?"

"Oh yeah," Daniel answered. To tell the truth he wanted nothing between Jack and him. Closing his eyes he rested his head against his folded arms. A moment later he felt the light nudge against his ass and Jack pulling the cheeks apart. For a moment neither man moved, then Jack pressed forward and after a moment's resistance, he pushed inside. Daniel groaned as he felt the stretch and burn turn to bursts of pleasure.

A heartbeat or two later, Daniel sighed happily as a heavy weight descended on his back. Jack's long body aligned with his, chest pressed against Daniel's slightly slippery back. For a little while they stayed like that, getting used to the intimacy, the nearness.

Finally Jack pulled back unto his knees again, an arm around Daniel's waist, drawing him up as well. Jack's hands slid along Daniel's arms, taking a hold of his hands, placing them on the headboard of the bed. "Hold on," he whispered hoarsely.

Losing himself in the movement, Daniel closed his eyes. The pleasant fire curling in his belly flared as Jack set a slow pace. The rough hands seemed to be everywhere except where Daniel wanted them, but he had the feeling Jack wanted him to keep his own hands on the head board. Trembling with his pent up need for release, Daniel decided to let Jack play whatever game he wanted, as he knew that the older man wouldn't let him down. To Jack it wasn't about being satisfied, but giving as good as he got, which meant that however way Jack chose to do this, in the end Daniel was sure he'd like it.

The slickness from the massage oil lent an extra dimension to the way Daniel felt the touches. Hands and fingers sliding over his skin no longer sought to release tight muscles but to bring him pleasure he wasn't sure he could handle. Suddenly Jack grabbed his hips and picked up the pace, but the moment he found his release his hand slipped around Daniel's waist to find the younger man's erection. But what Daniel had expected to get him off, was suddenly a tight squeeze at the base of his cock, pulling him out of his aroused state, keeping him from coming.

Feeling himself cheated of it, Daniel swore loudly. "Jack! What the *hell* are you doing?"

Jack panted and pulled out of him, drawing him down and flipping him over unto his back. "Just a way to avoid wet spots," he answered, as if *that* explained anything.

Not that Daniel cared a moment later as Jack scooted down and treated him to a brain melting blowjob. The pressure quickly built inside of Daniel and a moment later he came with a shout, arching up into Jack's mouth, loving the fact that Jack kept it up until Daniel whimpered and had no more to give.

Seconds later Daniel was wrapped in a warm embrace and was kissed within an inch of his life. Oh yeah, any day the Colonel wanted to play...

Finally drifting off to sleep, they kept murmuring stupid little things to each other, and even for his life Daniel couldn't remember any of them afterwards. He wasn't entirely sure he wanted to, because somehow he knew that he'd be as embarrassed as Jack was...


Monday, 1300 - Cheyenne Mountain.

Leaning against the wall, sipping his coffee, Daniel waited for the elevator to arrive. A folder was tucked under his arm, full of enticing facts. PX3-495 was most likely in some way linked to the Asgard. There were, however, no life forms on the planet, except from the natural flora and fauna. Nor was there anything resembling Thor's Hammer, at least from what they'd seen from the first probe sent through. But there had been a pillar with runes welcoming travelers. Daniel had been dying to go there since the first probe had been sent through. He hadn't been able to decipher which Norse deity it had told off, as some of the symbols had been worn off by the weather.

"DanielJackson." Teal'c's calm voice drew Daniel out of his contemplations.

"Teal'c. Hi, ready to go?" Daniel hoped they wouldn't encounter another Thor's Hammer. The last time they'd feared they'd lost both the stoic Jaffa and Jack.

"I am," answered Teal'c. As the elevator doors opened they revealed Jack leaning against the far wall of small compartment.

Daniel cautiously greeted the other man. No sir, not giving away how nice the weekend had been. No need to look. Carry on whatever you're doing, nothing to see here, no blushing, no definitely not blushing.

Jack and Teal'c said their 'hello's' and they waited for the elevator to take them to the lowest levels of the complex.

"Can't wait to go play with the rocks?" Jack teased.

Daniel grinned, turned and gave Jack a long, lingering stare before returning to wait with his back to the two others. He could almost feel Jack's blush, though the other man quickly regained his footing. Daniel couldn't allow that, now could he? "I'm sure you can't wait to get another Asgard friend. If I didn't know any better, I'd guess you were trying to make Thor jealous..."

A snort from Jack as the doors opened made Daniel laugh. Someone might think that Thor's sense of humor was a little strange. He seemed to like Jack O'Neill and who could fault him for that? And the little grey alien had the uncanny knack to beam the Colonel up mid-sentence. "Come on, Jack," Daniel taunted him as they entered the briefing room. "The Asgard are completely besotted with you -- they named a *ship* after you."

"And blew it up," Jack answered.

"I believe MajorCarter blew it up," Teal'c corrected him.

Any other comment was forgotten as the fourth person in the room made himself known.

"Major Thompson..." Jack's voice was carefully neutral.

Thompson snapped to attention. "Sir!"

Jack waved him off, but before he could ask, the General entered.

Daniel took his seat in silence. He didn't very much like Thompson, but for the sake of peace he'd keep his feelings to himself. There was still a lot of unsolved animosity between especially him and the Major. At least the Major seemed to think so. Daniel wasn't one to hold a grudge. Thompson obviously was.

"Colonel, Teal'c, Dr. Jackson -- Major Thompson has been assigned to SG-1 as temporary fourth man." The General continued even though Jack looked as if he had a thing or two to say about that. "In theory his rank assures him the spot as 2IC, but seeing that this is only the Major's second trip through the 'Gate, there are other factors to be aware of. In case the Colonel's not capable of performing his task as CO, command goes to either Teal'c or Dr. Jackson, depending on the situation."

Daniel ignored the icy stares from Thompson, who obviously wasn't too happy with that idea. It was a sound decision. In case of danger, Teal'c would take over. If they ran into intelligent life, Daniel would take the lead.

Jack still looked as if he wanted to argue, but a stern look from Hammond made him bite his tongue. Mmm, tongue... Daniel zoned out for a moment until the General broke the silence.

"I do, however, not believe there are any risks on PX3-495, Dr. Jackson?"

Daniel pushed the lecherous thoughts about Jack into the back of his mind as he readied what little info he did have.

"We won't really know what to expect, until we get there. This is, from what I can make out, an Asgard protected planet. The markings..." Daniel tapped the remote and the screen on the wall showed a picture of a tall pillar with runes. "Most of the writings have been worn off at some point. Some of the scratch marks suggest by ice -- a theory could be very hard winters or an actual ice age, but for that I'd have to go there for samples and to see if this..." another change of picture showed an aerial shot of what seemed like a fortress-like building, "...might yield a few answers."

"Any idea which Asgard we're dealing with, Doctor?" Hammond asked.

"If there was any indication or name on the pillar at the 'Gate, then it's long gone, sir. "Daniel shrugged.

"So you'd say it's safe to go through, that all Asgard are good?" Jack's voice broke the silence.

"Ah, no... there are such as Loki, for example, who was known as a trickster... and according to some translations, even Odin, the God or Father of the Gods, wasn't above using tricks and illusions to get things his way." Daniel turned off the projector before continuing. "However, some of the translations were done by men of the Christian church and may have been meant to discredit the old ways and beliefs.

"But chances are we might find something of Asgard origin?" Hammond sat back in his chair, giving Daniel a questioning look.

"Like a big honkin' space gun?" Jack asked.

Daniel raised an eyebrow, communication his usual request for Jack to stop being an ass. Trying not to laugh as Jack gave as good as he got, putting up his most innocent. It was ruined by the smirk lurking at the corners of his mouth. A part of Jack that Daniel shouldn't dwell on at the moment.

"We won't know till we get there," Daniel said.

"SG-1, you have a go." Hammond stood. "Departure in one hour."

The team left the briefing room. Thompson first, then Daniel and Teal'c. Frowning Daniel noticed that Jack stayed behind, wanting a world with Hammond. Didn't take a rocket scientist to guess about what.


An hour later all four men stood in the 'Gate room, waiting for the usual ka-woosh. Gearing up had been an uneasy experience to Daniel, who had constantly felt as if Thompson was staring at him. At least until Jack had re-joined them. Daniel didn't have to be a mind reader to guess what had been the outcome of Jack's little 'chat' with the General. The bemused look their CO had given them had spoken volumes. There was no changing the decision now. SG-1 was going off-world without Sam and with Thompson instead. Not Daniel's ideal idea of a fair exchange. Not even close.

Daniel would manage. It wasn't his first run in with someone like Thompson. And as much as he knew both Jack and Teal'c would put themselves between the two of them, he much preferred to solve it on his own. If he couldn't sway Thompson's first impressions of him, there really was no helping it and any kind of intervention, however helpfully meant, would never have a positive impact. On the contrary.

Daniel knew he could never fight off Jack's protective streak, but he could work his way around it. He had years of experience doing exactly that. With a grin he watched the 'Gate spring to life. He could get through this and so could Jack. At least they had something to come home to. His smile widened as he followed the others up the ramp, walking shoulder by shoulder with Jack through the 'Gate.


For the fifth time in the last hour, Daniel sighed inwardly and turned his attention back to the runes on the wall. Outside the old fortress the icy rain pelted down. They'd barely made it to the sheltering building before the heavens had opened, releasing their cold water.

A quick check told him that Teal'c was still standing next to the entrance, a dark shadow against the grey light from outside. Jack was making another round, which explained why Thompson had retreated again. The Major kept looming over Daniel, trying to intimidate him. Not that it was working, but it broke Daniel's concentration. Whenever one of them spoke, a ghostlike echo accompanied it. That of course kept Thompson from *saying* anything. With a wry smile Daniel went back to the runes.

A few minutes later, Thompson was back. This time he leaned against the wall Daniel was studying. Daniel ignored him until the man started tracing the runes on the wall. The prickling feeling, the gut wrenching certainty... Daniel opened his mouth. "Don't..." as he was surrounded by a blinding flash.


"...touch that!"

Daniel's voice echoed back to him, as he found himself still crouching but no longer by the wall, but in the middle of a bare room.

"What the hell...?" Thomson spun around, searching for his weapons.

"Don't bother," Daniel said as he slowly rose, checking their surroundings. A second later Thompson grabbed him by the font of his jacket.

"What the fuck did you do?" Thompson spat out the question.

Daniel kept calm. He wasn't really surprised, he'd even expected this. *I* didn't do anything. You pushed one of the runes on the wall."

"The fuck I did! Now get us back!" Thompson was positively seething.

The only thing that kept Daniel from losing his temper was the fear he saw below the anger. Thompson had only been off-world twice, and both times he'd been 'abducted' - really, this way he'd end up breaking SG-1's track record, Daniel mused. Damned, why couldn't he be trapped here with Jack instead? 'Because Jack's learned the hard way not to touch...'

"Are you going to let go of me anytime soon, Thompson? Someone might get the wrong idea..." Daniel kept his voice level, but there was only so much he'd take from the other man.

Thompson grew red and looked ready to explode. "You'd like that, fag, wouldn't you?"

"You're not really my type, Thompson. I prefer mine with a little more brain." 'However well they hide it...' Daniel narrowed his eyes, pursing his lips. "And if I were you, I wouldn't use that word again. I can assure you, you'll regret it."

Thompson's grip grew tighter. "You and what army, pretty boy?"

Daniel didn't answer, but kept up his stare until Thompson let go.

The far wall grew brighter for a moment and a huge portal barred by heavy stone doors appeared. Daniel took a deep breath before walking over to it. The arch itself was littered with runes as were the towering doors.

"Thompson?" Daniel frowned as he worked on recognizing the runes. There was no answer. Daniel drew a deep breath before turning around. "Major, *please*..." Daniel pushed his glasses up his nose as he watched the silent figure of the other man in the middle of the room. "Do you remember what the rune you touched looked like?"

"No."

Daniel's inner voice, sounding suspiciously like a certain USAF Colonel yelled at him. No fucking way. The man was a trained soldier. Hell, Ferretti had managed to memorize the gate-address to Chulak, wounded and near unconscious. How could Thompson not remember *one* fucking rune...?"

"Look, Thompson, the sooner you cooperate, the sooner we can get out of here." Daniel would try with reason first. If that didn't work...

Thompson's shoulders sagged for a moment before the man finally moved over to Daniel's side.

"Do you think you might recognize it?" Daniel stepped back to give the man some room.

"Yeah..." Thompson stared at the portal for a moment. "It... it was sort of an 'F', only... the horizontal lines were pointing downward." He shrugged.

Daniel searched the arch and the doors. Midways down the doors he saw the rune. "Of course! Ansuz, the Ancestral God, Woden, better know as Odin."

Thompson gave him a strange look. "Is that good or bad?"

"Well, according to myth, Odin did often have a hidden agenda, but I hope that's just part of the myth. That the Asgard version isn't like that." Daniel frowned as he pushed the rune. It changed color, lighted up a little, but nothing else happened. "Hmm, some of the other runes are for other gods, and some of the markings are more pictograms than runes."

Taking a deep breath Daniel plunged into the translation of the door, or rather, tried to find anything he could tie to the rune for Odin. He said out loud: "Odin had two ravens, scavengers as well as bringers of tidings. Huginn," he tapped a couple of runes, "is 'thought' and 'sensitivity'." He searched a little further to the right and found the others. "Muninn is 'memory,' 'mind' or even 'longing'." That one lighted up as well. Nothing else happened after that.

"Now what?" Thompson sounded almost... interested. Well, of course, he wanted to get out as much as Daniel did.

"Hmm..." Daniel dug into what little he could remember. At least it wasn't one of the minor Asgard gods, because then he'd have trouble remembering much of anything. "Wolves," he sudden cried out.

"Where?!" Thompson spun around.

"Oh, sorry," Daniel tried to look contrite, knowing he was failing utterly.

The glare Thompson gave him was positively deadly.

"Odin never ate. He ever only drank wine... whatever food was served to him; he would feed to his wolves..." Daniel's hand hovered over the writings on the door. "Freki, 'the greedy'," he pushed the combination. "And Geri, 'the ravenous'." One touch to the last rune and the door flashed.


When Daniel could finally see again, he and Thompson were standing with their backs to a wall, a large round chamber open to them with a circular stone in the middle. What Daniel first thought was an altar turned out to be a well or fountain.

"Jackson..."

Daniel was startled. This was more or less the first time Thompson had used his name. "Yes?"

"Is this anything like the time SG-1 encountered the... Thor's Hammer?" Thompson looked around as if he expected an Unas to appear. Daniel suspected he'd read more than a few of their mission reports.

"No, more like the Hall of Thor's Might... this looks a lot like a... a quest, a test of some sort." Daniel walked up to the well. "And it seems we passed the first one. It would definitely fit with Odin. He was known to enjoy riddles and tests."

Thompson still kept his distance, but he seemed more interested by the minute. "Do you have any idea of what we're gonna find?"

"Not at all." Daniel shrugged as he studied the runes on the well. They didn't seem to say anything, except... "Mimir's well..." Daniel closed his eyes for a moment. "Legend has it... that Odin gave his eye to drink from the well of Mimir... the well of knowledge and wisdom." Daniel looked into the water. "Well, at least it isn't following the legends on the idea that Mimir's head should be in the well..."

"So... what now?" Thompson chanced a quick look into the well.

"Maybe we need to drink from it?" Daniel reached out towards the water.

"Hey!" Thompson grabbed his wrist. "What if it's poisonous?"

"You got a better idea?" Daniels asked, knowing very well that he didn't.

"No... I guess not." Thompson looked ill at ease.

Cupping his hands, Daniel dipped them into the clear water, hesitating only a fraction before bringing them to his lips. The water had a mild metallic tang to it, but otherwise there was nothing...

"Who put out the light?" Daniel put his hands on the edge of the well.

"What do you mean?" Thompson asked briskly.

"Eh... I can't see anything..." Daniel turned towards where he knew the other man was.

"Jeez!" Thompson sounded severely spooked.

"What?" Daniel blinked a few times, but there was no change in the darkness.

"Your eyes are all... white... like you're..."

"I'm blind," Daniel said. Well, that wasn't fair. Odin had only given an eye, not his entire eyesight. Then again, Daniel checked under his glasses. At least it seemed he still had his eyes. He just couldn't see anything. A strange noise made Daniel take a step back. "What's happening, Thompson?"

For a moment it was as if Thompson wasn't going to answer, but then his voice, low somewhere to the left of Daniel, stated, "The water level is sinking."

"And?" Daniel tried not to sound too impatient. Typical, he'd go and lose his eyesight and he didn't feel at all wiser.

"There are... steps leading down... a winding stair..."

"Then we're going down," Daniel said matter-of-factly. He waited for a moment, then continued. "Unless you have a better idea..."

Thompson grumbled something inaudible.

"Didn't think so," Daniel said as he felt for the edge of the well. A hand on his shoulder made him stop.

"You better let me go first," Thompson grumbled.

Daniel shrugged. He wished he could see the other man's face, his expression, but for now he'd just try to get along with him. Strangely enough, Daniel mused as Thompson gave him a hand to get over the edge of the well, the loss of his eyesight wasn't that bad. Of course it was annoying, but Daniel didn't feel the panic he suspected he was supposed to. But considering that this was clearly the work of the Asgard, that might explain a little of the calm Daniel was feeling. Now, he could only hope for that whatever else Odin had in store for them, he could do it without using his eyes. He wasn't entirely sure how he felt about being dependent upon Thompson. What little he had learned so far about the man, well, it wasn't exactly trust inspiring.

The winding staircase was narrow enough to allow Daniel to keep a hand on either wall. The rock was smooth and cool under his hands and helped him stay calm. As long as he had a feeling of where he was it wasn't too bad and he could hear Thompson's footstep just a little in front of him and down.

They descended for a long time in silence. Daniel wasn't sure how much time had passed, but the stillness was beginning to get to him. He wouldn't object to having had Jack around, to listen to the older man's bickering and general odd comments. A moment later Daniel found himself wishing for silence.

"So, why does the SGC employ geeks?" Thompson's voice rose up to Daniel.

"To keep you flyboys and jarheads out of trouble when we can, or get you out of it before it's too late." Daniel felt a certain glee at pointing that out to Thompson.

"Careful, fag, it's a long way down..." Thompson threatened.

"Nice of you to point that out, and what did I say about that word?" Daniel kept his voice level. Baiting people was rarely a good idea.

"Why? You are one," Thompson snorted.

"What makes you say that?" Daniel was genuinely curious. Not that there hadn't been comments on base, concerning his sexual preferences before, but it had always been rumors more than knowledge. And to tell the truth, in the last couple of years it hadn't been too bad. It seemed that to most people he'd earned his place with SG-1. Then again, if they objected openly they'd have a six foot two pissy Colonel in their face.

"Oh come on, anyone can see that," Thompson's voice drifted up to Daniel.

Daniel couldn't hold back his laugh. "And the fact that I've been married and spent several years searching for my wife means nothing in the equation?" Why couldn't people work with all the facts instead of focusing on the rumors?

"Smokescreen," replied Thompson.

Daniel's voice dropped a little as he answered. The anger he'd felt towards the other man earlier came back. "So you're saying I didn't love my wife?"

For once it seemed as if Thompson had picked up on the underlying tone of warning in Daniel's voice, because for a long time he didn't say anything. The stairs seemed to go on and on forever, down further than any of them had expected.

"So you don't like men?" Thompson sounded... surprised.

Daniel answered before he could stop himself. "What if I do?" 'Way to go, Daniel, couldn't just have kept yer big trap shut, could ya?' Sighing Daniel tried to ignore his inner Colonel.

"So you can't make up your mind?" Thompson sounded... slightly disgusted.

"I think, Major, it's far more a matter of seeing personality before gender," Daniel sighed heavily. Why was he even trying?

"We're down." Thompson was obviously relieved to have something else to concentrate on.

Daniel clenched his teeth. What he wouldn't give to have his eyesight back. Especially if they had to face yet another test.


"Well?" Daniel stayed where he was, not daring to move too far from the stairs. Being blind wasn't exactly comforting. Things weren't improving with the fact that the one man who could help... well, safe to say Daniel didn't really feel compelled to trust him. Especially not with his life.

"Well, what?" snapped Thompson somewhere to Daniel's right.

Daniel sighed deeply. This was getting old, fast. "What does the room look like?" If only the guy would work with him, it would make it a lot easier. For the both of them. Hello, the man was military, shouldn't he be capable of working towards a common goal and ignoring any personal problems there might be? Obviously not. Maybe Daniel was just too used to working with people to whom his civilian status was a mere footnote. At least nowadays. Damned, at least Jack never gave him this much trouble. Such short time and he missed the man already... What he wouldn't give to be back home, on Jack's couch, preferably wrapped around six foot two of sweaty, naked...

"It's large, like the one with the well." Thompson fell silent for a moment. "There's... a pedestal of sorts in the middle with..." Thompson trailed off.

"Yes?" Daniel dug up the last of his patience. Blind here, remember? One should like to think even Thompson had enough brains to pick up on that now...

"I think there's... a head on it." Thompson sounded downright... nauseous.

"A... head?" Daniel took a deep breath before holding out his hand, searching for Thompson. "No reason to prolong our stay here, Major..."

A tentative grip on his sleeve told Daniel to start moving forward. Well, well, well, things were warming up. From deep frozen to merely frozen it seemed. An improvement if there ever was one.

"It... seems to be sleeping," Thompson kept his voice low and close to Daniel's ear. The warm puffs of air tickled Daniel's skin and he flinched a little. One thing was having Jack this close; it was something entirely different with Thompson.

Thompson seemed to get the idea as he took a step away. Daniel didn't have to be able to see the other man to tell that he was slightly embarrassed about it. As much as they were in the same boat, he still didn't feel at ease around the civilian. The Major cleared his throat, the sound echoing through the room and Daniel could almost feel the change in the air, almost like electricity.

"Who disturbs Mimir's sleep?" The voice was deep and seemed to come from all sides, echoing around them.

Daniel winced and covered his ears. Before he could speak the voice continued, albeit at a more normal level.

"Please forgive me; I am not used to mortal visitors."

"There is no need to apologize, Wise One," Daniel answered, racking his mind for more info on Mimir. Not much more came forward. "We are travelers from Midgard; Major Thompson here is a warrior of great skill..." Daniel tried to sound sincere. He really didn't know about the skills of the other man, so theoretically he wasn't lying. "And I am Daniel Jackson, scholar and explorer."

"Welcome to my humble cavern. Make yourselves at home... Tell me, Daniel Jackson, traveler from Midgard, do you ever play?" Mimir inquired.

"Play?" Daniel asked, wondering what might come next. He couldn't remember anything about playing games...

"Yes, I so rarely have visitors, even old Odin so rarely visits," Mimir sounded almost... regretful.

"But when he does, you... play?" Daniels asked tentatively. It looked as if he'd have to... wing it, as Jack would put it, this time around.

"Yes, we do," Mimir answered.

"And you play what?" Thompson asked before Daniel could.

"Oh, many a game, Young Warrior, many a game. Most recently, however, it was chess." Mimir sounded as if the memory of that meeting was quite pleasant.

"Chess?" Daniel asked, for a short moment wondering where the Asgard had picked up chess, then remembered that Jack had mentioned the little grey aliens still studied Earth and its inhabitants. Not that the implications pleased him anymore than it had Jack back then.

"Oh yes, do you play, Young Scholar of Midgard?" Mimir's tone turned slightly hopeful.

Daniel wondered if the hologram was a sentient AI of some sort. Last time he'd dealt with an Asgard hologram, one had been a recording and the next an actual transmission. "I... eh, occasionally, yes, I do."

"Brilliant, then grant me a game, and I shall show you the way out," Mimir boomed, delighted laughter in his voice.

"I would be delighted to, but..." Daniel began.

"No buts, my friends," Mimir cut him off.

"How are you going to play when you're blind?" Thompson whispered to him.

"My question exactly," Daniel whispered back. With a sigh he began wondering how he could possibly convince Mimir what a bad idea it was. "Master Mimir, after the well, I can't..."

"Now, now, Daniel Jackson, you give me a game, and I'll give you the way out of here." Mimir's voice was strong and sure and left no room for argument.

"You're gonna have to help me, Thompson..." Somehow Daniel suspected Mimir wasn't going to let him use his lack of eyesight as an excuse. Second option was actually playing, but for that he'd need a... proxy of sorts.

"How?" Thompson sneered back, "I don't play chess."

"Be my eyes," Daniel said as he shrugged. He couldn't see any other way out of it. "Tell me what's happening." He could almost feel the unease vibrating off the other man, but he was damned if he was fighting this alone.

A moment of silence then Thompson said in a low voice: "The floor's turned into one gigantic chessboard... with huge pieces."

Daniel frowned and pictured a chessboard in his mind.

"Go ahead, my young friend, as the guest you take white, as the guest you make the opening move..." Mimir's voice had fallen to ordinary level again.

'Well, here goes nothing,' Daniel thought, took a deep breath and made his move. All he could do was to trust Thompson on this and hope that they were as lucky with this Asgard as they'd been with Thor in the past.


"Checkmate," rumbled Mimir.

"Thompson?" Daniel pushed his glasses up, rubbing his eyes -- more out of habit than need. He had no idea for how long they'd been doing this, but it felt like forever.

"He's right, it seems," Thompson sounded every bit as tired as Daniel felt.

"So we lost," Daniel sighed. Maybe he'd had a chance if he'd been able to see... then again, who could ever be arrogant enough to expect to win against the Keeper of Wisdom?

"I wouldn't say that," interrupted Mimir.

"But you won," Thompson stated flatly.

"I won the game, yes, but you do not leave this place empty handed." Mimir's enigmatic words rolled around them as Daniel noticed the strange tingling feeling of the Asgard transporter. Suddenly everything was a little too bright and he squeezed his eyes shut. For a moment the only thing grounding him was Thompson's hand on his shoulder.

"I'll let Odin know you came by," chuckled Mimir, voice strangely distant.

Another blink and Daniel found his vision returning as he realized both Thompson and he were standing in the middle of the chamber they'd been examining earlier, before their little... trip.

"Daniel!"

The outburst had Daniel turning and grinning at the same time. Never, ever had that bark sounded so sweet in his ears. A moment later he was almost lifted from the floor, engulfed in a tight hug. With a weak laugh he realized how much he was shaking. Returning the hug briefly before taking a quick step back, Daniel smiled at Jack and Teal'c.

"We're okay, Jack, don't worry," Daniel assured them. It pained him to see the worry in Jack's brown eyes, but damned, there was no one he was happier to see, that was for sure.

"DanielJackson, it is good to see you unharmed... Major Thompson," Teal'c nodded at the other man.

Jack didn't say another word for what seemed like an eternity, nor did he fully let go of Daniel, as if he was afraid the younger man would disappear if he did. Finally Jack cleared his throat. "Daniel..."

"It's okay, Jack... Teal'c, glad to see you too." Daniel shook his head. "We ended up going through some rather... strange tests, that's all..."

"Tests? That's it?" Jack gave Daniel a look of disbelief.

"And a game of chess..." Daniel grinned at him.

"Met up with any little grey guys?" Jack asked curiously.

"Not exactly, but this place is definitely of Odin's doing."

"And ya got nothing for yer troubles, did ya?" Jack smiled and finally, albeit reluctantly, let go of Daniel.

Daniel shrugged and as his hand brushed the pockets of his BDUs, he noticed something bulging in the left one. "Wait a second..." Digging into it, he found a strange, flat ring, around two inches in diameter and made of a blue-greenish metal.

"What's that?" Thompson asked, looking curiously over Daniel's shoulder.

Again Daniel shrugged. "I have no idea, but I think..." he trailed off as he slowly ran his fingers over it. Suddenly it burst to life, a shimmering screen appearing in the center of the ring. The images flickering across it were without any doubt, combinations for 'Gate addresses. Daniel ran his hand over the ring again, and the images disappeared.

"'Gate combinations?" Jack gave him a questioning look.

"Seems like it," Daniel smiled at him. "Guess we don't go home completely empty handed."

Jack nodded slowly while casting a quick threatening glance over Daniel's shoulder. The younger man suddenly realized that Thompson was still standing fairly close to him. Ah, however annoying it was, it was nice to have Jack back. Daniel couldn't quite help winking at the older man before straightening up and giving him a nod.

A broad grin finally relieved the scowl as Jack nodded in return. "Let's go home, kids."


"So we've landed ourselves a new set of 'Gate coordinates?" Jack asked as they waited for the elevator.

Finally, Janet had let them go, they'd been debriefed, said their hello's to Sam, who'd listen to their story with envy. Then they'd been told to just go home and relax. None of them had needed to be told twice. Jack and Daniel had left Teal'c in his quarter, to kel-no-reem and from there made their way to the elevator.

"Yeah, quite a few of them weren't on the Abydos cartouche or among the ones you added." Daniel yawned deeply.

A cough behind them made both men turn to find Major Thompson standing, looking a bit ill at ease.

"Major?" Jack's normally warm voice dropped a few degrees. He was still a bit hostile towards the man.

Thompson seemed to snap to attention. "I just wanted to say it's been... educational serving with you, sir." With that, he saluted Jack, then, to the surprise of both men, he turned a little and did the same to Daniel. "Dr. Jackson, it was an... experience and quite a lesson." Thompson hesitated for a moment. "Not to mention an honor," he finished, salute crisply ended as he turned and left behind two very stunned men.

They entered the elevator in silence and for a few seconds they stood in silence.

"Daniel?" Jack stared at the wall.

"Yeah?" Scratching the back of his head, Daniel wondered what had just happened.

"Pinch me, I think I'm dreaming," Jack shook his head.

"Okay," Daniel leaned a little closer, slid his hand down, making damned sure that the surveillance camera couldn't record what he was doing, then grabbed Jack's ass, hard.

The older man almost jumped away from him. "Dammit, Daniel!" he gulped, trying to sound angry, but failing miserably.

"Sorry," Daniel said, trying to sound contrite.

Jack huffed. "No you're not." Dark brown eyes glared at him.

"No?" Daniel said innocently, suppressing a grin. Two days downtime. Not a lot, but it would suffice for now, at least.

"Brat," Jack said with a smile. His voice held both warmth and a promise that he wouldn't let Daniel get away with it without a fight. There'd be repercussions... later.

"Maybe he'll make a decent SG member..." Daniel commented as he watched the numbers fly by, telling him they were almost at the surface.

"Maybe..." Jack said reluctantly.

As the doors opened and they stepped out, their eyes met in a sideways glance. "Eventually," they agreed at the same time, grinning as they made their way towards the checkpoint and a few days of true freedom. Midgard, Tau'ri home world, Earth. A multitude of names for one place: home. What more could any space explorers ask for?

The End