Title: This World Is Never Enough

Author: Debi C

Fandom: Stargate SG1

Feedback: debi27@stic.net

Rating: NC 17 cause it's slash but only 2 jalapenos

Pairing: Jack/Daniel

Category: Sequel to my Meridian Fixit Forever Is Not Long Enough For Our Love. so I guess it's an AU but it should be real and theirs should be the AU. Romance. Established Relationship.

Date: June 20, 2002

Status: finished

Series: Forever Love

Season/Spoilers: Six I guess. Meridian Archive: Alpha Gate. Area 52. TheBoy, WWOMB

Synopsis: What happens at the cabin after Daniel returns and why he did.

Notes: Thanks to CelticAngel for the beta read.

Warnings:  Slash. M/M relationship. Death of Minor Character discussed. Alternate Universe.

Disclaimer: I don't own 'em. Showtime/ Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions do. I seem to take better care of them. Don't sue me. I'm poor. The Song "FOREVER MAY NOT BE LONG ENOUGH FOR MY LOVE is the love theme from 'The Mummy Returns' By LIVE and can be found on the DVD of the Movie Starring Brendon Fraiser. It's a wonderful Music Video and a Great song that didn't get near enough play time and I don't own it either. No copyright infringement whatsoever is intended. The story is for entertainment purposes only. At least I hope it's entertaining. The original characters, situations and story are mine. Please check with me first if you want to archive or link to this story.

This World Is Never Enough by Debi C

Forever, Forever may not be long enough for my love I have a will but I'm lost inside your touch If you could would you come with me to the other side Forever may not be long enough

*******

Jack entered the cabin and saw Daniel sitting in front of the computer desk typing away busily. He put his long, flat package down on the couch and stepped up behind the younger man. He laid his hand on his lover's shoulder leaning over to read what the other man had been working on. Jackson continued typing but spoke. "Hey."

"Hey, whatchadoin?"

"Trying to finish this chapter so I can start dinner." He rubbed his head back on Jack's arm. "Where've you been?"

"Down to the store to pick up the mail." Jack kissed him on the nape of the neck. "I got it."

"Got what?" Daniel stopped typing momentarily and looked back at his lover.''

"The compound bow and the two dozen arrows I ordered ."

"For why?"

"To hunt with." Jack left the typist typing, moved to the couch and started to unpack the box he had carried in. "For meat, Daniel, for this winter. I've already gotten my elk and mule deer license."

"And we're not buying meat because..."

"Because hunting is cheaper in the long run up here...because there's a lot of mule deer and elk here in the mountains...because I like to hunt with a bow...because I like to eat venison..." he stopped and shrugged. "Because I like to be independent when ever I can."

Daniel stopped altogether and turned to watch him as he pulled the weapon out of the shipping box. "Humm. I assume you know how to use that."

"Yea, Daniel I know how." Jack assured him. "I'm probably a little rusty though...I'll need to practice before I go out." O'Neill looked up at his friend. "You hunted on Abydos didn't you?"

"No, I was lucky to be able to hit targets that were standing still with the bows they used." He shook his head observing Jack's handling of the modern piece of archery equipment. "I could use the sling pretty well though."

"Really, a sling? Like a slingshot?"

"No, it was a thong with a cup fashioned in the center. You tuck the rock or pellet into the pocket and throw it by releasing one of the ends." He shook his head disparagingly. "The kids taught me. I was not a hunter. Luckily, they accepted me for what I was...a scholar and a teacher. I got paid."

"Paid? In what?" O'Neill looked up curiously.

"Well, it was primarily a barter system. The farmers brought their crops, the herders brought meat or animals, the city people traded whatever their wares were." He shrugged. "You know boots, pottery, and things like that."

"Oh, okay, makes sense." Jack proceeded to nock the bow by running the bowstring through the tension gears. "They didn't have currency at all?"

"Some, but not a lot was in use after Ra was killed. They preferred the other way due to the fluctuations in the value of the coins." He left the computer and came over to sit next to Jack. "Can you teach me to use that?"

"Sure, I don't see why not." He looked up briefly at his partner. "If there's a weapon around you should always know how to use it...just in case you ever need it."

"Oh yes," Daniel recalled something. "Speaking of weapons and using them, Sam's coming up this weekend. She said she had something she wanted me to look at and to talk to you about."

"Okay." Jack put the bow down. "Did she say what it was about?"

"No, just that it was important." Daniel got up and went back to the computer. "I think the new guy isn't...um, as knowledgeable as he let on."

"That's the truth." Jack grunted. "I know he wasn't working out with me as team leader. Hell, I wanted Nyan before him. And when I retired, Sam got Hailey as a replacement."

"Well, she's very intelligent and will probably do very well working with Sam. At least Sam can keep her challenged."

"Yep, a four foot nine fighting machine." Jack grinned at him. "While the Goulds are laughing at her she can kick them in the shins."

"Be nice, Jack." Daniel fussed at him gently. "You didn't like me much when we first met."

"Yea, but you were prettier than her, even then." Daniel grimaced at him and turned back to the computer. "Well, you were!"

*********

The following Saturday the phone rang at the cabin. Daniel was in the kitchen cleaning the dishes from their lunch when he picked up the instrument. "O'Neill's residence."

"Hi, it's Sam." The familiar voice said.

"Hi Sam, where are you at? Are you almost here?"

"Yea, we're just leaving the town."

"We? Sam who do you have with you?" Daniel became slightly concerned. "You know you're not supposed to be bringing anyone with you."

"Well," Her voice changed a little or maybe it was just the connection. "I've brought General Hammond."

"Is that such a good idea, Sam?" Daniel felt a little concern. He and Hammond had developed an almost paternal relationship through the years, but the man had his responsibilities to the Air Force and the SGC.

"Well, he's retired now and he wanted to say goodbye." He could hear her unspoken plea. She wanted to let their old Commander know that he was all right.

"Sam, I'm going to ask Jack. If he agrees then I will to."

"Good. Thank you. I don't think you'll regret it."

Daniel went out into the back wooded area still holding the phone in his hand even though the connection had been cut. "Jack."

O'Neill turned from cutting wood for the stove. He waited until Daniel got to him then asked, "What's up?"

"Sam's coming up, but she's brought the General. What do you think? Should I disappear for a while?"

Jack looked at him then glanced down the road. "Humm. Did she say why she brought him?"

Jackson nodded. "He's retiring and wanted to see you. I guess she couldn't or wouldn't think of a good excuse. I think it'll be all right, don't you?"

"I wish she had asked first." O'Neill shook his head. "I trust George, but I really want to keep you out of harm's way."

Daniel nodded in understanding, knowing that his return could cause all kinds of concerns with a group of people he really didn't want to deal with.

Jack saw the emotions flash across the younger man's face. Then he grinned a mischievous little smirk. "Of course, we could hide the bodies up here and they'd never be found what with all the wolves and bears."

"Jack, I don't think someone like Senator Kinsey would go missing without having a few questions being asked."

"Probably not, but it would be a blessing for the SGC and his constituency. Now, Simmons we could get rid of him and nobody'd care. Even Harry doesn't like him."

Daniel looked at him with a perplexed expression. "Harry? Harry who?"

"Harry Maybourne."

"You two on a first name basis now? I didn't think you liked him."

"Yea, well...let's just say every once in a while our interests parallel." Jack shrugged. "He's helped out occasionally when I needed an assist."

"Oh," Daniel nodded looking serious. "I'll have to watch him. Do I need to be jealous?" He looked at Jack seriously.

"Yea, sure." He looked at his slim, fair-haired lover and pretended to concentrate. "Like that's a worry." Jack shook his head.

"Well, I mean do I have to stake a claim on you to keep him away." He slipped up behind Jack and bit him meaningfully on the side of neck. "I could mark you. You know I still have a few tricks up my sleeve from my previous life as a combat veteran."

"Oh really, grasshopper." Jack turned and grasped the younger man by his upper arms and stepped out of his range. "You think that you may defeat the master?"

Daniel stepped back with a jerk, slipping out of the hard grip of Jack's left hand and rolled to his right arm. Then using his own strong right, he pulled his partner forward destabilizing his center. Daniel shifted his weight to support then overbalanced the heavier man as he pulled Jack across over his hip and rolled him over onto his back and into the soft dirt. Jack, not to be beaten, threw his left arm around Danny's upper chest and allowed it to slide forward around his companion's neck tumbling them to the ground together. Jack was on the bottom but at the end of the tussle, he had his hand on the nerve point of Daniel's throat. In a real fight, either one could have easily seriously injured the other. As it was, they lay there a few moments and contemplated the results. Finally, Jack removed his hand from his lover's throat and kissed him in the most available area, the nape of the neck, and groaned piteously. "Uncle, I give, have pity...you're too damned heavy...get off me you moose."

Daniel laughed and rolled off Jack's body, gracefully regaining his feet then extending a hand to Jack. "You're the one who keeps trying to get me to gain weight."

"Muscle, Daniel, muscle." Jack got up easily with the offered helping hand. "I want you to gain muscle so you can carry me around when I'm old and gray."

"Oh, Jack...I don't mean to be the bearer of bad news but..." He looked at his significant other and grinned.

Jack scowled back at him. "Shut up."

Daniel shrugged and jogged off towards the cabin. Jack watched him go, admiring the grace and strength of the younger man. He hefted the ax over his shoulder and started back to the cabin himself murmuring as he walked. "Mine, all mine."

*******

This world is never enough and I'm not giving up. My baby, love is like blood, I spill it freely My baby, love is like blood, it goes in every way Don't stop to look at it, look at the clock. Forever, it won't be long enough

*******

The small classic sports car pulled up in front of the cabin and eased to a stop. Lt Col Carter had realized half way up that she needed to start renting a bronco like Janet's before driving all the way up here again. She was going to leave the oil pan of her Volvo on some rocks one of these days.

She glanced over at the man riding in the passenger seat of her car. Maj. Gen. George Hammond (ret.) looked around the clearing and then admired the long front porch of the rustic looking cabin with its old fashioned rocking chairs waiting invitingly. He glanced in her direction. "This is nice, but a little primitive." He commented.

She smiled. "I thought the same thing, but actually he's just done a good job of camouflaging. The TV satellite dish is in the back, and it also carries the phone and computer linkup. There's a generator in the outbuilding and a hot tub on the back porch." She grinned. "But I think it's a little extra. Jack seems to want to use it more for baitfish, than actual soaking." She indicated a windmill up the side of the mountain. "That is also a power generator and the solar panels heats his water and assists in heating the house, plus he has a fireplace and a wood burning cook-stove that scared the hell out of me."

George looked fondly at the young woman that he'd know for most of her life. "Sammi, I never knew a cook stove that didn't scare the hell out of you." He teased gently,

"Sir, that's why god made microwaves." She laughed at him as they climbed out of her car. The two trudged up the dirt path to the front porch. "Jack! Colonel, are you there?"

The door pushed open and the tall slender form of Jack O'Neill came out and swept her up in his arms. "How ya doing Carter?" He swung her around and dropped her back on her feet. She laughed at his enthusiasm. Then Jack grasped Hammond by the hand and shook it happily. "And you General, finally see the error of you ways and left the Air Force behind have you?"

"Well, Jack...it was more a matter of 'don't let the door hit you on the way out'. George laughed, happy to see O'Neill in such obvious good spirits. "Glad to see you looking so well." He looked carefully at his old friend. Jack had gained a bit of muscle in the shoulders and upper arms; his graying hair was longer in the back and almost covering his ears. He was still clean-shaven but had a bit of a five o'clock shadow due to it being afternoon.

"Instead of suicidal?" Jack looked at him meaningfully.

"Well, to be honest, yes." George looked him in the eye. "I didn't think I'd see you again when you left."

"Come on inside. I've got a little surprise for you." Jack patted him on the back as he released the General. Jack glanced back at Sam and winked, grinning broadly. "It's the reason I'm still here."

"It must be some surprise, son."

"Oh, yes sir." Carter stepped in front and opened the door for the two men. "It's definitely that."

The three friends entered the cabin's comfortable den/living room area. George quickly took in the small buildings interior lay out. The large living area was decorated in a very masculine fashion that bespoke the resident's taste. Overstuffed furniture faced the fireplace in a corner sat an entertainment center complete with television, stereo, CD, VCR, and DVD players. On the opposite side of the room, a rather extensive computer set up that was on with some text showing where some work was being done. All of the wall's free space was taken up with shelves stacked with books and journals. At the far end of the room was a large modern kitchen flanked by a huge heavy dining table. Expensive oriental rugs covered the bare plank floor. A curtain was hanging across a doorway that he assumed led to a bedroom area.

"This is really nice Jack." George nodded his approval.

"Well, it's kinda primitive but I have all I need here." He looked over at Carter, who smiled back at him. "Have a seat and make yourself at home."

At his look, Carter pointed at the bedroom. Jack smiled and nodded. She pushed the blanket blocking the door aside and slipped into the smaller area. There Daniel gave her his megawatt smile, hugged her enthusiastically and kissed her. She returned it in kind and hugged him hard. "How are you?" She whispered.

"Great. I've missed seeing you." He returned quietly.

She grimaced. "Mission. I'll tell you later. You're going to tell the General aren't you?"

"Sure, but Jack's got to set him up a little. I don't want to give him a heart attack." He told her happily.

"Can I get you something to drink a beer, coke...?" O'Neill entered the kitchen area and opened the refrigerator.

Hammond settled on the large comfortable couch. "A beer would be good." He agreed. He could see the books on the closest shelves. They were almost exclusively about ancient Egypt and the Middle East. Snugged up next to them were some personal journals. The handwriting on the spine was easily recognizable at Daniel Jackson's. George shook his head sadly knowing his friend was still mourning the loss of his close comrade. "I see you kept Doctor Jackson's books."

"Yea, he wouldn't want them locked up in boxes." Jack came back into the den area with two beer bottles and handed Hammond one. He then sat down in the chair across from his old boss. "George, I have a little surprise for you."

"Oh? And what would that be?" He looked around for Sam Carter, but the woman had seemingly gone behind the curtain into the other room.

Jack glanced in the direction she had gone. "I've had something unbelievable happen to me." He laughed denigratingly. "If I was still religious, I'd say it was a miracle."

The General leaned forward to look searchingly at his friend. "Did you meet someone? You certainly are a lot happier and look a lot better than I expected."

"Well, lets just say I found someone from before." Jack leaned back and studied his beer bottle, searching for words. "But you're right. My main goal when I got here was to live long enough to engineer a convincing non-accidental death for myself." He shook his head and leaned forward to balance his elbows on his knees. "I'd wake up each morning, look at the world and then drink myself into a stupor." He glanced over at his old friend.

George nodded. "I was afraid of that when you left."

"I was just about to accomplish my goals when...well, a miracle happened." He glanced back towards the other room. "George, you had a physical recently?"

Hammond looked at him perplexed. "Yes, Doctor Fraiser did my retirement physical last week. She said I was as strong as a horse." He looked suspiciously at his old friend. O'Neill was famous for his rabbit out of the hat tricks. "Why?"

"I got up one morning and decided that I had enough. I opened a new bottle of Johnny Red, loaded up the rowboat and headed for the middle of the lake." He took another drink of beer. "I figured I'd either fall in or the boat would sink. I'd almost finished the bottle when I passed out." Jack put the half-empty bottle on the table and began to roll it between his hands making the liquid slosh around in its brown container.

"Well, what happened?" George prompted.

"I woke up in my bed and not even wet. Course I proceeded to puke my guts up in a strategically placed bucket that had magically appeared beside me." He looked up at his old boss. "Then someone started tending to me, cleaned me up and I realized who it was..."

On cue, Carter stepped out of the room and held the curtain back. A tall, slender, light-haired man entered the room. Hammond stood up, put his beer bottle down on the coffee table in front of the couch and looked at the newcomer dumbly. The young man walked over and stood directly in front of his old commanding officer, one of only two men who could claim that right and extended his hand to him. "It's good to see you General Hammond."

Hammond stared at him speechlessly for a split second then grasped his shoulders for just a moment before enveloping him in a powerful bear hug. Daniel returned it with laughter.

"You son-of-bitch, Danny-boy! Only you could do this! Only you could manage to return from the dead again." When the old General pulled back to look him in the face, he had tears in his eyes. He glanced from Jackson to O'Neill. "I've heard of miracles Jack, but this one sure does beat it all to hell!"

The two men released each other and Jack came over and put an arm around his Daniel's shoulder. "I can't claim any credit on this one George." He gave the younger man a quick hug and left his arm around his waist. "He did it all himself."

Daniel shook his head. "No, I didn't do anything; it was time to come back." He glanced at Jack. "Oma Desala allowed me to return to be sure nothing happened to Jack. It seems he's not through with his life's path yet." He gestured for Carter to join them and they all sat down again. Sam joined Daniel, sitting on the arm of the couch next to him, and laid her hand on his shoulder. Jack went back and sat down in his chair.

"So what happened, son?" George watched Jackson, having trouble believing his senses that the younger man was really there in front of him taking in the sight of him. The man looked healthy and tanned, hair longer than he remembered it being, maybe a little blonder. The blue eyes held a sparkle he hadn't seen in a long time if ever. "The last time I saw you, well, you were dying in front of our eyes."

"Oma Desala, the entity that had taken Shi'fu had come to me in the SGC infirmary. She offered to take me with her, to allow me to ascend and heal from my injuries. I was supposed to stay there...to kind of graduate to the next level...but I had too many connections to my past existence." He glanced at Jack who smiled back at him. "I couldn't concentrate on my new life, kept trying to revert back. Then, it was discovered that Jack had left his position." He shook his head. "Jack has made a large difference with a lot of powerful, well, er, people in the outer reaches. He's altered the path of the Asgard, he's affected the Nox, he stopped the Aschen from destroying Earth as we know it, he's come as close as anyone to destroying the power base of the Goa'uld." Daniel glanced at Sam at her perch next to him on the couch. "Sam here has directly affected the Ascended with her friendship with Orlan. Her relationship with Narim influenced the Tollan civilization and of course, Jacob Carter has become highly placed in the Tok'ra. Earth, as a civilization, is becoming very influential. Of course, that's not even mentioning Teal'c's future in the ranks of the Jaffa." Daniel continued. "And Jack's influence over them is tremendous. When it was realized that he was about to do...something regrettable...I was allowed to return to help him." Daniel smiled at Jack. "He's too important in the scheme of things to let him throw it all away."

Jack O'Neill was listening to Daniel's explanation with amazement. "How come you didn't tell me this before?"

"I did."

"No, you didn't. I would have remembered."

"Did! You didn't get it." Daniel arched an eyebrow. "You were hung over and not paying attention to what I was saying. I knew you'd understand soon enough."

Jack looked at him in curiously. "I thought you came back because...of us."

Daniel disengaged himself from Sam and went over to O'Neill, kneeling in front of him. "Jack, I did! Listen to me, if you weren't you and we didn't have what we do, none of this would have been possible." He put his hand on Jack's knee. "Look, I don't know everything...but I do know that you are the most important person in my world, and you also have a destiny to fulfill. Everything that's happened to us, everything that we have learned is necessary for this to work."

Jack O'Neill looked at his lover with awe. "But Daniel, what if we hadn't met...if you hadn't opened the gate..."

Daniel shrugged. "I don't know. It's all a part of what's going on." He glanced back to the two people sitting on the couch. "We're all a part of the great path... that's what the Ascended call it. Whatever we do affects it." The young man settled cross-legged on the floor in front of Jack facing the others looking very Buddahish. "All of us play a part in the destiny. When Jack tried to commit suicide, it was determined that he was needed. I returned to stop him and to continue on with my own path. I don't know what's going to happen to us, but I do know that Shi'fu, as the Harsesis, is part of the pattern also. That he has the potential to be very powerful one day. If nothing else, I was able to affect his feelings for Earth. When he was teaching me, I was teaching him in return. And part of that was what Jack has taught me, what you have General and what Sam has."

Carter was sitting there amazed at the information. "So this was all fated from the beginning?"

Jackson grimaced. "I didn't say that, there is no concrete fate per se. What I'm saying, what I learned is that everything we do affects the final outcome. If Kathryn's father hadn't found the Stargate, if I hadn't figured out the cartouche symbols, if I hadn't met Jack or married Sha'uri or she hadn't been possessed...it would have been different. If Jack hadn't been in Special Ops, or" He glanced up at his friend then back again, "or if Charlie hadn't died or if your father hadn't gotten cancer or George hadn't called you back into the program...everything would have been different."

Hammond had been listening carefully. "So what you're saying is that by our actions or lack of action has caused us all to reach this point."

"Exactly, and whatever we do we directly affects the outcome. If you hadn't been in command of the SGC when Apophis originally came through six years ago after they closed it down he may have taken it over and re-conquered the Earth then. We'll never know for sure."

Jack spoke quietly, "That may be what's occurred in all those alternate universes that we've seen through the Quantum Mirror."

"Exactly." Daniel looked up at him. "Like the time I never joined the SGC and the Goa'uld invaded the Earth by ship."

"So what happens now, Daniel?" Sam asked. "The General and Jack have retired, I've got my own team. Teal'cs thinking about leaving and taking an active role as the leader of a Jaffa rebellion. What happens next?"

Daniel smiled at her. "I don't know. I don't think the Ascended know. We just keep on doing the best that we can." Jack reached down and put his hand on Daniel's shoulder, the younger man looked up at his lover then continued. "As long as I stay hidden here, I'm safe. But if I reveal myself, the NID would probably want me to 'study' and General Hammond wouldn't be there to prevent it like he did for Teal'c."

O'Neill looked at Hammond. "Who's taking Command of the SGC George? Is it someone who'll stand up for it like you did?"

"Bill Wallace is the new Commander." Hammond replied. "He's a good man and has got plenty of cajones when he needs them. He also knows and respects Jacob." He looked at Carter. "That's one reason I recommended him for the job. He'll be able to deal with the Tok'ra like I have. We all go back a lot of years together." He looked over at Jack. "Have you ever met him?"

"Not that he'd remember me." O'Neill replied. "My team helped pull him out of North Africa some years back but I was just a Captain then."

"Oh, I don't know Jack." Hammond looked at him thoughtfully. "Bill's got a long memory for people. He might surprise you."

Daniel nodded. "I hope he's capable of understanding exactly what he's got there. The potential for great wonder and great horror."

"I've given him all I can." Hammond nodded in agreement. "But as with all things he'll have to learn by experience."

O'Neill nodded thinking of their own experiences. "Is Ferretti still there?"

"Yep, I left him with as much experience in place as possible." He nodded at Carter. "He and Carter'll be a big help to him." He smiled at Jack, "they've both learned from the best."

********

Later that evening after dinner was served and cleaned up the group retired to the front porch. The stars were much brighter in the mountains and Jack pulled out his telescope. Daniel had helped him clear a few branches out of the surrounding trees to give a clear view and the two men were setting up the large piece of equipment. Hammond and Carter were wisely staying out of the way, watching the preparations.

As Jack was lining up the view, bending over slightly peering into the eyepiece. A nimbus of light seemed to envelop him. He stood up from his telescope and looked around in surprise. When he realized what was about to happen he called out. "Daniel..." Jackson looked over from unpacking another instrument then started running towards him. As Jack began to fade, the younger man reached him and threw his arms around his lover. The two were caught in the beaming effect and disappeared... together.

Hammond and Carter both witnessed the occurrence and jumped to their feet, Carter ran to the telescope and looked around vainly, but both men were gone.

"Colonel, what the hell happened?" Hammond called out from the porch.

She looked at him and shook her head. "Asgard?"

*******

Forever may not be long enough for you to know Just how far I'd travel, just how far I would go Open your heart and everything will be all right Open your heart and believe with me...Don't be afraid forever

*******

The two humans appeared in the almost familiar surroundings of an Asgard warship. When they had solidified, they could see two of the Asgard standing in the room waiting for them. Daniel released Jack but remained in close proximity ready to resume his physical contact at the first sign of transporter use.

Jack looked at his lover in curiosity. "And you did that why?"

"You're not going anywhere without me!" Daniel replied in an assertive tone, gripping Jack's hand.

"Cool." He smiled at his lover, then the two men looked at their hosts.

A small slender gray form left the group of the aliens moved forward to greet them. "O'Neill?"

Jack took half a step forward. "That'd be me. Is that you Freyr?"

"It is O'Neill." The small alien seemed to relax. "Who is your companion?"

"This is Daniel Jackson. He's with me."

"Welcome Daniel Jackson." A pause. "We had heard that you had joined the Ascended."

Daniel shrugged. "It didn't take. I was allowed to come back to be with Jack."

"I see, this is unusual." Freyr tilted his head in a curious gesture. "But I have not known Oma Desala to make a mistake. You are also welcome Jackson; perhaps you too may be of assistance."

"So, what's goin' on guys?" Jack asked. "I'm kinda retired ya know."

"We were informed of that by the Commander of the facility where we sought you. We then came in search of you."

"That must have been a shock to General Wallace." O'Neill replied.

"He did seem somewhat surprised by our appearance, although he did recover quickly from what we perceive as astonishment at our visit."

"I'm sure he just wasn't expecting you." Jack replied smoothly. "But why have you come looking for me?"

"We came to advise you of your friend Thor."

Jack looked with hope at the small alien. "Is he all right?"

"No unfortunately, we were unable to treat his condition successfully." Freyr's voice inflection changed to one of sorrow. "Though Thor was still alive when we recovered him, his injuries were too great. He died later in our medical facility."

A great sorrow for his friend rose in O'Neill. The little alien had been a staunch ally for the SGC. He felt Daniel reach forward and silently lay a hand on his shoulder in comfort. "I'm very sorry to hear that, he was a brave man and a good friend."

Freyr nodded, accepting the tribute to his fallen comrade. "He was a hero to our people."

"And a brave defender of many worlds." Daniel stepped forward beside Jack.

"Yes, and we will honor him by continuing to protect those worlds as long as we are able."

O'Neill looked at the little alien in surprise. "What does that mean...as long as we are able?"

"It means O'Neill, exactly that. Between the Replicators and the Goa'uld threat our race is badly outnumbered." He shook his head.

"You're still having problems with the Replicators?"

"Yes. They are difficult to destroy and we are too few to properly police all of the worlds as they should be."

"Yes, I remember your difficulty in that area." Jack nodded. Daniel looked at him curiously but didn't ask anything.

"This 'retirement' you speak of...what does it entail?"

"Well, it actually means that I've quit working for the government. I'm relaxing and enjoying life."

"What caused this?"

"Well, if you must know my age and physical condition caused it. I've been in the Air Force for twenty some odd years and I'm not young anymore." He heard Daniel chuckle softly behind him. "So it was time for me to quit leading such an, uh active life." Jack finished.

"And Daniel Jackson? What does he do? Has he 'retirement' also?"

"Well, no he's not retired as such. He just doesn't work there anymore." Jack looked at him perplexed.

"I uh, I'm writing a book, actually." Daniel put forth helpfully. "About ancient Egypt, sort of."

"He's with me. He's my uhm, mate." Jack said almost angrily. "He doesn't have to 'do' anything."

"I see." Freyr nodded, obviously not seeing at all.

"Well, I don't. What do you mean..." Daniel started angrily?

"Daniel, not now! Please...not in front of the Asgard." Jack leaned over close to Daniel and lowered his voice. "Later, I promise. Just...not...now, okay. Please."

Daniel bit his lower lip and turned his head. O'Neill was right, now was not the time nor place. He exhaled and turned back to his lover. "Okay, not now! Later!"

O'Neill nodded. "Promise."

They turned back to the small grey alien. "Well, look. We're really sorry about Thor. I mean he was a really good guy. We'll miss him a lot. He saved our asses lots of times." Jack looked at the group. "What can we do for you?"

"Nothing at this time, O'Neill." Freyr answered. "But, we would like you to continue as a point of contact between out two races. Our dealings with you have always been honorable, honest and genuine. We do not know this new Commander. We do not have confidence in him as yet."

"Well, I don't know him personally but George likes him. He says he's a good guy."

"George?" Freyr tilted his head in confusion.

"Hammond," Daniel spoke up. "Of Texas."

"Ah, yes. Another honorable man to our knowledge." The Asgard nodded. "It is a pity you Earthlings have such short life spans. You come and go so quickly."

"Yea, it does kinda suck at that." Jack looked back at Daniel, who returned his gaze steadily. Jack decided to quit while he was ahead. "Uh, do you need anything else?"

"Not at this time O'Neill. We will contact you when necessary. We appreciate your willingness to continue to be our liaison."

"Well, you're welcome...I guess." He and Daniel faded from their view...

*******

...And reappeared in the clearing in front of the cabin.

"Colonel! Daniel! Are you all right? What happened?"

The two men appeared to be examining each other, and then Jack gave Daniel a hug and tried to step back from him. Daniel wouldn't release him so he slipped an arm around Jackson's shoulder. "Don't ever do that again!" He ordered.

Daniel grinned at him. "Sorry, where you go, I go. That's the deal!" He glanced over at the General, flashed an impish grin, and kissed Jack on the cheek. "We need to talk."

Jack turned his face to the other man's. "Yes...yes we do." He brought his face closer to his lover's and kissed him full on the mouth, then he whispered. "In for a penny, in for a pound." then shrugged. They both looked at Carter and Hammond.

The two officers were on their way over to the two returned men. Hammond got there first "So what happened?"

Sam was right behind him. "Was it the Asgard, Sir?"

"Yea, it was Freyr."

"Well, what did he say?" Hammond demanded.

"Well, sir. Thor's dead."

"I'm sorry to hear that Jack." The General acknowledges. "I know he was a friend of yours."

"Yea, I'm gonna miss him. They went to the SGC first looking for me. They talked to Wallace then left."

"It seems they didn't know anyone there. Freyr wasn't satisfied with your replacement General. They came looking for O'Neill or Hammond of Texas." Daniel smiled and released Jack.

Hammond shook his head. "Well, I did warn him. I imagine I'll get an earful when I get back."

Jack and George led the way back to the cabin. Sam hugged Daniel around the waist and he threw an arm around her shoulders. "That was a brave thing you did." She commented as they walked back.

"No Sam, it's the way it's got to be." He shook his head. "I came back to be with Jack. He's not going anywhere without me."

"Daniel, can you die...again?" She looked at him with concern.

"Oh, yea." He looked down at her. "What made you ask that?"

She shook her head at him. "I just wanted to know."

"I'm completely human Sam, just like all of you." He indicated Jack at the two older men walked in front of them. "Just like him. The only improvement seems to have been that my eyes were corrected so I don't need glasses anymore. But we're in this together. We need each other."

As they walked back to the cabin together, Jack looked searchingly at George. "General, you do know that Daniel and I...."

Hammond looked at him knowingly. "I'd kind of figured that out earlier today."

"Does it bother you?"

"Would it make a difference?' The older man glanced at him.

O'Neill had to smile at that. "No."

"Jack, if you were still at the Mountain and it affected your ability to command it would bother me. Not because of the relationship, but because of the potential it had for doing harm. Here," he shrugged. "It's your life and if it makes the two of you happy then take it for all it's worth. When I lost my wife, I thought my world had ended...then the girls came into my life and they've made it possible for me to keep going." George stopped and turned to face his old friend. "I know you've lost a lot. I'm really thought we'd find you one day with your brains blown out at your house. Now, seeing you together here again, I'm happy for you. I'm glad that you've been able to find a life here with Daniel."

"Thank you for that." He glanced at the two younger people coming up to them. "It wouldn't have made a difference in the relationship, but I wouldn't want you to think less of us George."

Daniel and Sam stopped to stand with them. "We both value you too highly as a friend, General." Daniel said as he saw Jack's smile.

"As I do you son." George clapped him on the shoulder. "But living with him can't be easy."

"But it's never dull..." Jack commented.

"For either of us." Daniel finished the sentence and the two men smiled at each other.

*******

Later that evening, Sam brought out some rubbings done on rice paper of an unidentified script. It had been taken off of some bronze tablets that were found on a dead world that had once had a high level of civilization on it. The two scientists put their heads together over the papers at the large dining room table. The two military men sat in the comfortable living area sharing memories and liquor. After several hours, the sleeping arrangements were sorted out. The General got the couch and Sam took the rollaway bed. Jack and Daniel had offered their bed to the older man but George had declared he was quite happy with the fold out hide-a-bed. So when they were in the privacy of their room and cuddled up together, Daniel brought up the subject of his vocation. "You know I'm very capable of getting a job, Jack. I mean I can't work as an archeologist anymore or teach but I can do other things."

"Daniel, I don't want you to work. I want you here with me, not going off every morning to the lumber mill or whatever." Jack stroked his arm. "Besides what if the Asgard came during the day and left with me. I doubt if they would say, 'Hey, Jack. Come on, we need you to stop a Gould or kill some Replicators. Let's stop off and get Daniel'." He leaned over and kissed his lover. "You'd come home and I'd be gone."

Daniel rolled over to his side. "You're right of course; it just bothers me that I'm living here off of you. I feel like some kind of ...of..."

"Unproductive?" Jack continued to stroke the younger man's body, fondling him."

"Well, yes, I guess that's it." Daniel responded to his lover's touch. "Like I'm, umm, not doing my share." He arched up to meet Jack's hand. "That feels good."

Jack leaned over his partner, kissing and nibbling the full lips and firm jaw. "Daniel, you've died for this world several times over. The last time, it was a horrible painful death. You've earned anything and everything you get." He sighed into the lovely mouth that opened beneath his efforts. "I love you; I want you with me."

Daniel nodded and wrapped his arms around his lover. "I want to be here with you." He moved against him and smiled at him. " Guess I'll just have to finish that book."

*******

The next day, as Carter and Hammond got back into her car, George shook both of the men's hands. "You know, Daniel, one of the worst problems we're having at the SGC is the lack of a translator of your caliber." The older man commented. "I sure wish that you could come back part time."

"General...George, I'm just afraid that if I allowed myself to be re-discovered that there would be a danger that the NID or someone else would want to determine where I went and how I came back intact." He looked over at Jack. "I can't risk it. There's too much at stake for me to wind up at Area 51 as an unwilling guest."

"I understand completely son." The older man replied.

"But if you need help with something specific and you can have Sam bring it up to us, I'd be happy to help in any way."

"That might work Daniel." Carter nodded. "Your replacement...well, he's intelligent enough, but he doesn't have your intuitive grasp of things. He's a linear thinker like I am not an intuitive genius like you."

Daniel laughed at her turn of phrase. "Thanks I think."

As she started the car, Jack leaned in and kissed her on the cheek. "Thanks Carter, for everything."

She smiled back at him. "I didn't do a thing Sir. As usual, it was the two of you."

He came around and grasped George's hand. "Is there anything I can do, Jack?" The General asked.

"Unless there's a way to make Daniel un-missing-in-action without giving him away, I can't think of any. He's writing a book and he's having to list me as the author. Knowing him, it'll put me in the next tax bracket when it becomes a best seller."

"I'll see what I can do Jack. But that'll take some creative bookkeeping but I'll try." He shook his head at the two men. "It would have been easier if I'da known before I started my retirement outprocessing."

Jack looked at him and nodded. "I know George, but I had a thing or two on my mind at the time." The two men looked over to where Daniel and Sam were talking. Daniel looked up to see Jack smile at him and he blushed a bright pink.

The two men laughed at his reaction and George replied teasingly, "So I see Jack." All four of them laughed and Sam put her small car in gear and started off. They waived as they drove off down the dirt road to the small town.

*******

Forever may not be long enough for you to know Just how far I'd travel, just how far I would go Open your heart and everything will be all right Open your heart and believe with me...Don't be afraid forever

*******

Daniel finished packaging the hard copy and floppy disk of his book and wrapped a string around the brown paper wrapped box. Jack was sitting on the couch pulling his boots on. "Jack, can you drop this off at the post office when you go into town?"

"Sure, what is it?" He hefted the package, considering it's weight.

"It's my book. I've finished it and I'm sending it to a publisher."

Jack looked at the return address. Daniel had really done it, put Jack's name on his work. "How come it's got my name on it."

"We talked about that." He reminded his partner. "I'm non-existent remember, missing in action. I can't write a book, or at least I can't get paid for it. No social security number." The younger man grimaced at him.

"Okay. Can I read it?" O'Neill looked at it suspiciously. "What's it about anyway?"

"Yes, you can read it. I've got it on disc." Daniel watched him handle the box. "Don't bend the floppy, please." He continued. "It's about two men in Ancient Egypt. The hero is a Commander in the Pharaoh Akenaten's army who fights in the war and discovers the ancient gods are all myths so he supports the king in the creation of his new monotheistic religion."

O'Neill nodded. "Who's the second guy?"

"Well, the second man is the Greek slave of the General. He's a scholar and can read and write many different languages. He also knows some medicine that he learned from his first master so he's very useful to the General."

"So was the Pharaoh grateful?" Jack looked at the novel critically.

"Well, sure." Daniel defended the manuscript. "He gave him the slave."

"Oh, really. Is the slave good looking?"

"He's okay, I suppose. Not the type I prefer. Light hair, pale skin, funny blue eyes, unusual in Egypt during this time period."

"Oh, yea?" Jack glanced at him curiously. "Tall, blonde and hunky, huh? What does the General look like? Tall and good looking too?"

"Of course." Daniel gave him a pained look. "But the General has a shaved head like most Egyptian upper class men, but he does have pretty brown eyes."

"These guys sound suspiciously familiar." Jack commented dryly. "Based on anyone I know?"

"Well, I've always found it's best to write about what you're familiar with." Blue eyes twinkled.

"And what type of relationship do these two guys have?"

"Well, if you must know," Daniel turned to Jack and wrapped his arms around his lover. "They have a very close relationship."

Jack laid the package down on the table. "Close, eh. How close?"

"Very close," he nuzzled the closest ear, purposefully rubbing his chin with its' afternoon growth of stubble on Jack's nape." You know ancient Egyptians didn't have a problem with two men having a really close relationship." The older man shivered in his lover's arms.

"Skin to skin close?"

"Oh, yea. That close at least."

"Closer?"

Daniel nipped the available ear lobe. "Maybe."

"How close are we talking here?"

He looked at his lover through his lashes and shifted his mouth to cover Jack's. Daniel plied the firm lips with his tongue and gained entrance. He teased and played with the mouth until he could hear his beloved moaning softly before his assault. Daniel could feel Jack's hands working their way through the flannel shirt, pulling it out of the jeans he was wearing then under the cotton tee shirt to stroke his ribs and back. Then he realized that somehow, they were back in the bedroom and strong, sure hands were guiding him to the bed. As the back of his knees bumped the soft edge, he was caught by strong arms and carefully guided onto the mattress he smiled up at his lover. "Pretty good strategy for an old guy."

"You know what they say, 'old soldiers never die...they just get sneakier'." Jack started unbuttoning the flannel outer shirt that was between him and Daniel.

"I suppose this is supposed to impress me."

"No," Jack acknowledged "but it is supposed to get you excited."

"My book?"

Jack was peeling the tee shirt off of the younger man. "Well, I suppose. How graphic did you make it anyway?"

"Oh, the book's not graphic at all. Just some PG stuff." Daniel kissed the available part of Jack, his forehead and hair. O'Neill started unfastening the younger man's jeans.

"I don't know, maybe you ought to bump it up to an R rating."

"Ah, do you think so? I want people to read the damn thing Jack." He gasped as his lover continued to move down his body.

"Believe me Baby," Jack mumbled as he nipped an licked a path down Daniel's belly. "They'll read it. Put a tacky color cover on the paperback with that blonde French guy in a skirt. Give the gals a thrill."

"What gals?"

"You know, all the forty-year-old housewives that read these things. Give Harlequin a run for its money."

"Jack...He protested, then gasped as his lover took him in his mouth and sucked gently. "Jaaack!"

"Quiet, slave. Or I'll give you back to the Pharaoh."

Finish.

The Song

 

FOREVER MAY NOT BE LONG ENOUGH FOR MY LOVE

(The theme from ĎThe Mummy Returns)

 By LIVE

 

Forever, Forever may not be long enough for my love

I have a will but Iím lost inside your touch

If you could would you come with me to the other side

Forever may not be long enough

Forever may not be long enough

Forever may not be long enough for this love

Forever, Forever, Forever,

 

This world is never enough and Iím not giving up.

My baby, love is like blood, I spill it freely

My baby, love is like blood, it goes in every way

Donít stop to look at it, look at the clock.

Forever, it wonít be long enough

 

Forever may not be long enough for you to know

Just how far Iíd travel, just how far I would go

Open your heart and everything will be all right

Open your heart and believe with me...Donít be afraid forever

 

This world is never enough and Iím not giving up.

My baby, love is like blood, I spill it freely

My baby, love is like blood, it goes in every way

Donít stop to look at it, look at the clock.

Forever, it wonít be long enough