Category: friendship, fluff.
Season/Spoilers: The Movie, COTG.
Synopsis: Daniel meets up with an old acquaintance.
Notes: This fic is for Athene. I hope you're feeling better!:-)
This is just harmless fluff. I've always wanted to try my hand at the 'Daniel meets up with a childhood acquaintance who's been posted to the SGC in a surprising turn of fate' fic, 'cause I always enjoy them. So, here it is <G> Feedback is very welcome, if you get the time - email@example.com Not Beta'd due to time constraints, so any mistakes are mine.
Warnings: Angry natives? ;-)
Disclaimer: The characters of Stargate SG1 are not mine, nor do I lay any claims on them. This is for entertainment purposes only, and done in the hopes of shutting the damn plot bunnies up.
As his feet pounded repeatedly on the craggy, uneven alien soil, Daniel couldn't help but marvel at the fact, that even though his legs felt as though they were being weighed down by several bags of wet cement, cramping and burning horribly, he and his teammates still seemed to be several minutes ahead of their pursuers.
And even as he was running, most of his mind doing its best to to help his feet navigate the dry, cracked surface of the ground beneath them, there was still a part of him trying to figure out just why everything had gone to hell so suddenly.
One second everything had been fine, with SG1 conducting what seemed to be friendly negotiations with the natives, able to communicate with the small number of native words Daniel had been able to decipher, and through a series of hand gestures. There were several samples that Sam wanted to collect, one of them being the soil - as dry and packed as it was - and things had been going great. However, the next thing anyone had known, a man had come stumbling down the path leading into the village, practically falling through the barrier placed at the town limits. He had spurted out a stream of the alien language, Daniel only able to understand a word here and there, all the while gesturing wildly. The elder that Daniel had been 'talking' with sent back an equally indecipherable string of words, before SG1 found themselves on the pointy end of several dozen spears. They had been able to brazen their way out with a show of the firing power of a couple of P90s coupled with a staff weapon and a handgun, but were only afforded with a few moments to escape, before the natives realized that they might as well chance it, because SG1 would not be able to take them all out before at least one of the humans had been badly injured or even killed.
Finally the DHD was in sight, but Daniel couldn't spare the breath to sigh in relief. Jack signaled him to make for the device, while he and the other two kept an eye out. He nodded his acknowledgement, nearly pitching over as that slight movement shifted his balance. He steadied himself on the DHD, raising a tired arm to press down on the symbols needed for powering the 'gate.
The 'gate whirled to life, the wormhole appearing as the event horizon splashed out, snapping back and then settling into a gentle rippling motion. He pulled his sleeve back next, typing in SG1's IDC into the GDO strapped to his wrist, about to call out to Jack, when a strange whistling sound caught his attention. The noise was followed by a sudden displacement of air, and a fiery burning sensation, lighting up his upper left arm.
"Argh!" he cried out, automatically grabbing the injured extremity. He realized what had caused the pain, when he heard the ding of a spear impacting the DHD, before bouncing harmlessly off.
"Shit! Everyone move!" Jack shouted as another spear came his way, watching as several dozen natives crested over the hill they had just gone over themselves, all waving their weapons angrily. A few more came sailing their way, Sam having to dodge out of the way as one came a bit too close. Still grasping his arm, Daniel led the charge, running through the wormhole with Sam on his tail, knowing that Teal'c and Jack would be bringing up the rear.
Exiting the wormhole to the familiar sight and sounds of the SGC 'gate room under high alert, Daniel quickly cleared the ramp, turning around to watch his friends come through. They did, first Sam, then Jack and Teal'c, the latter two calling in tandem for the iris to be closed. It spun securely in to place, the only sound following the din of several thuds, then the abrupt noise of the wormhole being shut off. Daniel found himself hoping that the impacts on the iris had simply been the natives weapons, rather than the natives themselves.
After a few more moments, in which SG1 took stock of their teammate's conditions, assuring themselves that no one was on the verge of collapse, or even obviously injured, General Hammond bustled through the 'gate room door, quickly followed by Fraiser and two of her medics.
"SG1? You aren't due back until tomorrow. Did something go wrong?"
"You could say that, General," Jack replied as soon as he'd gotten his breath back. "The natives got restless." Looking at the doctor and her staff, Jack waved a hand. "It's okay, Doc...for once this seems to be a false alarm."
"O'Neill," Teal'c said, his voice rumbling as he directed the soldier's attention to their civilian archaeologist. Daniel was clutching his left arm still, the fingers of his right hand covered in blood.
"Ah, damnit," Jack murmured, watching as Fraiser made her way to the injured man.
"It's alright," Daniel protested. "It's just a scratch. The spear just grazed me, that's all."
"I still need to take a look at it," Janet told him, trying to pull his hand away from the wound as gently as she could. "For all we know, the natives may have laced their weapons with some sort of poison."
SG1 exchanged glances. "I, er...I guess in all the excitement, I didn't think of that," Daniel admitted, allowing the small woman to guide him down the ramp.
"Debriefing at 1700," Hammond informed them, watching as three quarters of his premier team handed over their weapons, before following the direction their teammate had been taken.
Some time later, SG1 had been patched up and cleared, Daniel's tox screens showing that there was no evidence of any foreign substances in his body. Fortunately, the injury really was minor this time, and though still stinging quite uncomfortably, there wasn't really that much pain.
They had briefed the General on all that occurred, and the decision had been made to sever all ties with the planet for now.
"Well, I think that rounds everything up, SG1. Dismissed."
Jack and Sam stood as the General departed. Teal'c and Daniel moved slower, but soon SG1 were all on their feet, tiredness reflected on all of their faces - even the ever stoic Teal'c.
"Anyone hungry?" Jack suddenly blurted. "I'm hungry. Are you hungry, Teal'c?"
"I believe I am," the Jaffa rumbled after a pause.
Sam smiled at her CO, knowing that he was trying to lift his team's spirits. "Sure, sir. I could do with a bite."
The archaeologist looked up from the notes he was shuffling, his eyes blinking rapidly as they refocused. "What? Oh, um...not right now. I want to go over a few things, see if there was any indications we missed in the research we did before we visited the planet that could account for the way the inhabitants turned so suddenly."
Jack just blinked, an eerie imitation of the gesture Daniel had just been making. "Negative, Daniel."
That got Daniel's attention. "What?"
"Negative. N.O Uh uh. Nope. No way. Absolutely not. Ain't gonna happ -"
"I *know* what the word means, Jack," Daniel cut in. "I just don't understand why you're saying it."
"Daniel, in case it had escaped your attention, not so long ago, the whole team was nearly skewered by a bunch of pissed of natives."
Daniel looked down at his arm, the bandage hidden by the jacket he wore. "Yeah, you know, I think I got that," he replied sarcastically.
"Exactly. Now, I don't know about you, but I for one would like to take this opportunity to relax - to bask in the knowledge that my team are still in one piece."
Daniel looked down at his notes again, shuffling them once more. He had heard the sincerity in Jack's voice, and admitted to himself that it *would* be nice to spend some quality time with his friends. Not that he'd admit that to Jack, though...the man's ego already rivaled that of a minor System Lord. "Okay," he finally answered.
"Yes!" Jack grinned, clapping his hands together. "Let's get this show on the road, then."
"To which show do you refer, O'Neill?" Teal'c asked solemnly, a raised eyebrow the only indication he was anything but serious - although, Daniel conceded, to the outside observer, the Jaffa would appear most grave. You really had to know him. Jack indicated that they should follow him, as he tried to explain the expression he'd used to Teal'c, much to the amusement of his two younger teammates, as his explaining, only seemed to get him even more confused.
By the time the got to the commissary, Jack had managed to explain to Teal'c the actual meaning of the phrase he'd used. Though the Jaffa was wearing the look Jack equated with the words 'foolish Tau'ri,' he thought that Teal'c secretly rather enjoyed these little 'misunderstandings.'
They all picked up their meals, though Jack thoroughly enjoyed the moment when one of the servers - a face he didn't recognize, and so therefore guessed to be one of the new personal that had been stationed at the base recently - caught sight of the sheer amount of food Teal'c managed to carry, his eyes bulging as he took in the many pieces. They found a table to sit - the SGC was experiencing a rare calm time, so a lot of people had chosen this place to congregate - and promptly placed down their meals, each drawing out a chair from under the table to sit on.
Picking up his coffee first - who knew so much running could take so much out of a guy? - Daniel was a little startled to hear his name being spoken from behind him.
Taking one look at his friend's faces, Daniel knew he had heard correctly. Turning around, Daniel was confronted by the sight of a tall man, who seemed about his own age, with light brown hair, partially hidden under the headwear usually worn by the security forces who worked to keep the mountain safe. There was something familiar about the man's face, and his eyes narrowed as he tried to place him. Apparently sensing his confusion, the man smiled.
"It's okay, you probably don't remember me, it was a long time ago. I'm - "
The man's smile grew at Daniel's surprised recognition. "Well, it's John now, but, yeah."
Daniel stood, his hand going out to shake that of the newcomer. "God, it's been - what? Nearly 20 years."
Daniel still sounded like he couldn't believe his eyes, but a not so subtle throat clearing from behind him reminded him of the presence of his friends.
He faced them, finding their expressions ranged from Teal'c's mildly interested (though who truly knew just *what* was going on in that smooth Jaffa head of his?) to Sam's openly curious, to Jack's blatantly impatient.
"Daniel?" he said, raising a scarred eyebrow and moving his gaze back and forth between the two standing men. "You goin' to introduce us, or...?"
"Oh! Um, yeah...Colonel Jack O'Neill, Major Sam Carter and Teal'c, meet Johnny - sorry, *John* Philips."
They exchanged nods, but Jack couldn't help but notice that Daniel hadn't shared exactly *how* they had met.
John could see the Colonel's question practically burning at his lips, so he elaborated a little further. "Daniel and I knew each other when we were kids, sir."
John and Daniel exchanged looks, something seeming to pass between them.
"We were in the same foster situation for a while, Jack," Daniel explained.
"Ah," Jack said. "Well, Philips - we were just having a little post mission get together...celebrate coming back in one piece. Would you like to join us?"
John looked at Daniel, who just raised his eyebrows, the corners of his mouth twitching. He knew the man would find himself on the wrong end of a interrogation by his curious friends if he wasn't careful.
"Yes sir," John replied, moving with Daniel to claim a seat.
"So," Jack started when they were settled. "Just what *was* Daniel like when he was a kid, huh?"
John smiled as Daniel rolled his eyes, picking up his drink and taking a sip of the cooling liquid.
"Um...quiet. Shy, I guess. He liked to read, too. Was interested in history."
Jack pulled a face. "Aw, c'mon...he hasn't changed."
Daniel shrugged. "Gee, Jack, then I guess you're not the only one who still acts like they did when they were a kid."
Jack gave him a glare for his comment, which promptly rolled over Daniel as he turned to John.
"So...how have you been?"
John shrugged now. "Good. As you can see, I joined the Airforce. I was only assigned here last week, so I've spent the last several days trying to get my bearings and absorb all of this. I mean, the Stargate? I was assigned to 'gate room duty immediately, and wow...to see that thing in action is...."
"Amazing?" Daniel tried when John trailed off.
"Well...yeah," he smiled. "So...what about you *Doctor* Jackson? I mean, I obviously know you got your PhD and your role here - the grapevine here seems to work even faster than my last posting - but what's been going on for you?"
Daniel sighed. "Well, I became *Doctor* Jackson as you said. I helped open the Stargate initially, and went through on the first mission. Helped to kick some Goa'uld ass." That comment earned him a smirk from Jack. "Came back a year later, joined SG1. Met these guys, kicked some more Goa'uld ass, died a few times - and did I mention the ass kicking?"
Everyone but Teal'c smiled, the Jaffa simply raising an eyebrow once more, but Jack would swear that he was smiling on the inside - so to speak. But for all their smiles, the three people who had known Daniel since the beginning of the SGC, knew the things he had left unsaid.
"Well," Jack announced, letting out a deep breath. "I'm gonna go...get a head start on my report. Carter, I'm sure you have some sort of wacky trouble to get in to with your doohickeys."
"Yes sir," Sam smiled, standing up. "It was nice meeting you, Philips," she said, nodding to the man sitting next to Daniel. "Daniel, I'll see you later?"
"Sure, Sam," Daniel told her, nodding at her over his coffee cup. He knew he was scheduled for a friendly 'interrogation' of his own later.
Teal'c was next. "I believe that I am still fatigued from our run back to the Stargate," he said. "I will retire to my quarters to engage in some kel'no'reem. Daniel Jackson, Airman Philips."
And with that, he joined the others, the three of them retreating hastily.
John and Daniel looked at each other, before both bursting in to laughter. "Was it something I said?" John asked between chuckles.
Daniel shook his head. It was obvious what was going on - he had *never* heard of Jack wanting to do anything with a report due other than put it off for as long as possible. And Teal'c, fatigued? He'd seen the Jaffa exert himself with more than just a simple 'run for your life' jaunt, and *still* have energy to spare. He got the feeling that his friends were trying to give them some space to talk, and he told John so. John smiled, and they fell in to a light conversation of their childhood exploits.
"Hey, Daniel...remember Davey Smith?" John suddenly asked.
"Oh, the little guy with the, er -"
"Of course," Daniel replied. "How could I forget?"
The two continued to talk until John was needed back on duty, with both promising to meet up again later, to continue their reminiscing. After the other man had left, Daniel took his cup back to his office, the mug nearly empty now. When he got there, he found that he had a visitor.
"Hello, Jack," he said, avoiding his friend's legs as they lay splayed across the floor, left there by his sprawled position in the chair he occupied.
There was nothing more said, until the silence finally got too much for Jack.
"So...did you have fun talkin' about old times?"
Daniel looked up from the document he was scrutinizing. "Huh? Oh, yeah. It was great. Brought back a lot of good memories."
"Ah," Jack nodded. He waited a beat before asking his next question. "So...what was that whole pause thing back there in the commissary...when you were talking about where you knew each other from?"
His voice was a study of casual interest, but Daniel knew that he was more than a little curious.
"Jack...very much apart from the fact that kind of information is private - what's the first thing you think of when you remember that I was raised in foster care?"
Jack frowned, trying to figure out what Daniel was getting at, but didn't have time to guess before Daniel went on.
"You think of a poor, lonely little kid, starved for affection and mistreated by all and sundry, right?"
Jack shook his head in denial, but Daniel interrupted again.
"And a lot of it wasn't exactly fun, I'll admit that. But...do you know how frustrating it is to be regarded with pity and 'aww, isn't that sad,' every time someone finds out that you weren't brought up by your natural parents? It's bad enough to be treated as a charity case just for being an orphan, but I don't need that kind of attitude all the time."
Jack was silent for a moment. "I didn't know that we did treat you like that," he said finally.
Daniel sighed. "You don't - at least, not so much. And besides, you guys are my friends. It just - it's not something you announce, you know?"
Jack nodded. "I think I do."
The answer seemed to satisfy whatever curiosity had brought Jack here to talk - and Daniel knew that a great deal of it *was* concern for his friend. So, with one final smile and a pat to his shoulder, Jack left Daniel alone.
The archaeologist smiled softly to himself as he thought back over the last hour. It had truly been a good thing to run in to John. They had been quite close as children - well, as close as any two children could get in such a situation. But had drifted apart when they were separated, placed in different homes. Now, however, he had a chance to connect again to his past - and he realized that he was looking forward to it.