a Stargate: SG-1 story

by dirty diana

back-up story for becky_monster in the OT3 ficathon, who wanted the team and movies, but no apocalypse. Some triangles don't have equal sides. Hope that's okay. Beta love to sf fan.

"Sir, I think we've lost Daniel."

Sam spoke loudly, in order to be heard over the sounds of gunfire emanating from Jack's widescreen TV. Jack shook water from his hands and peered around his kitchen door into the living room, spotting his archaeologist stretched out on the couch.

"How many did he have?" Jack asked, returning to the sink. He towelled off the last dish, and pushed it into the cupboard.

Carter shrugged. She hooked one restless hand into the pocket of her jeans, tipping the last of her beer with the other and then tossing the bottle into the box of empties, where it landed with a satisfying clink. "Wasn't counting. Guess I'll be driving him home."

"Nah," Jack shook his head. "I'll do it."

"You're already home," Sam pointed out.

"You live in the wrong direction."

"I'm not drunk," Daniel called out. His words slurred into each other.

Sam laughed, her eyes meeting Jack's. She said, "I'll flip you for it."

Jack pulled a quarter out of his pocket.

"Heads," Carter called, and smiled in satisfaction as Jack caught the coin and held it out.

"Bet you can't get him off the couch," Jack said. He watched from the kitchen as Daniel opened bleary eyes at the sound of Sam's voice, then tugged on the edge of Sam's shirt. She slid willingly onto the couch, laughing at him.

"Up," she whispered to him. "Colonel's going to make you some coffee, okay? Then we're going to go."

Daniel didn't seem to hear, one fist still with a handful of Carter's t-shirt and the other sitting lazily on her hip. Jack turned away.

In the movies, the hero always gets the girl at the end. Jack's wasn't a hero, but he had Carter half-asleep on his shoulder, and if she knew that he thought of her as a girl, she would probably have whipped out her knife and her hand-to-hand training and made him take it back.

Jack shifted slightly, trying not to disturb her, and reached for his beer that was leaving condensation streaks on the end table.

On the other side of Carter, Daniel mumbled something, along with the TV.

He hadn't realised that Daniel was still awake. Jack frowned suspiciously. "Daniel, what are you doing?"

Daniel looked at him with startled eyes, as if he hadn't realised that Jack was awake either. He reached over, and tugged the tattered blanket of Jack's that Sam was clutching, pulling it up around her shoulder. "Practicing," he answered finally.

"Practicing Elvish?"

Daniel shrugged. "It's interesting. Tolkien created an entire language to base these books around, did you know that?"

"You're insane," Jack said. "Carter, tell Daniel he's insane."

Sam squeezed closer to Jack without opening her eyes. "Daniel, you're insane," she mumbled, and her breath was warm and laced with the taste of beer.

Daniel responded at Jack in Elvish, with a sarcastic smile. Jack put one hand around Carter, to stop her from slipping further down his chest, and checked his watch.

"Attack of the Clones?" Daniel handed the rental box over for Jack's inspection, but Jack was already shaking his head and moving along the aisle.

"No science fiction. Not with Carter. Remember last time."

"We might be able to keep her quiet. This one's got Ewan MacGregor."

"Oooh." Carter grabbed the box out of Daniel's outstretched hands. "Let's get this one."

In the corner, Teal'c was holding up Tomb Raider, with one raised eyebrow. Jack sighed. Daniel was worse with fake archaeology than Sam was with fake science.

"Let's get them both," he said.

Jack's not supposed to know when Sam and Daniel started sleeping together, so he pretends not to. He doesn't notice that they always seem to be together now, or the fierceness of Carter's blush when Daniel gets too close, when she knows that Jack's watching. He pretends not to notice Sam's smile when Daniel stops working long enough to sit in the dirt and eat lunch with her, or Daniel's half-asleep grin when Sam meets him in the morning with coffee.

Jack catches Teal'c's raised eyebrows and shakes his head, because he's not supposed to know. And he's glad that they're happy.

In the movies, the hero always gets the girl at the end. Daniel's got the girl, but he's got too many crooked scars to be the hero, and Jack doesn't like to think about how used he's gotten to having Daniel around. He doesn't like to think about what Carter and Daniel do when he's not there, if Carter can talk Daniel into watching the movies that Jack won't let her rent, the ones starring Julia Roberts. If Carter falls asleep before the end of the movie, the ways she always does, with her head on Daniel's shoulder.

"Headed home?" Jack asks him in the parking lot.

Daniel nods, only a tiny hint of the lie passing through his eyes. His pockets jingle as he searches for his keys. This mission was hard. They're all hard. Daniel looks tired.

"Get some sleep," Jack tells him.

Daniel's mouth pulls into a tight, barely amused line. "Yes, Dad."

Jack doesn't say anything, just gets in his truck and goes home.

He woke with the dawn, to find Carter still on watch and Daniel making coffee. He has to step around Teal'c in the tent. Teal'c slept soundly now, something else to get used to.

"Hey." Jack stretched, and his frown was carefully light. "Is Carter's watch broken?"

Daniel shrugged, stirring too much sugar into his cup. "We thought you could use the extra rest."

Jack's fingers drummed idly against his thigh. He wasn't mad, not exactly. "Carter know we're going to be marching all day?"

"She'll be fine," Daniel said, handing Jack an empty cup. He switched pronouns so much easier than he used to now, me, she, we. Almost the same. "Want something to eat?"

Jack nodded. He was hungry.

"Tell us a story, sir." Carter was half-asleep. It was pretty close to zero on this tiny ice planet, and despite the thermal blankets and the firelight that flickered on the walls of the cave, she had pushed her sleeping bag closer to his, with Daniel just as close on the other side of her. Teal'c was on watch. Teal'c never seemed to feel the cold.

Jack grimaced. "Ask Daniel."

"Daniel's stories are depressing."

Jack rolled his eyes and turned onto his back, pretending that he couldn't hear Carter breathing. Or Daniel, just as close, breathing slowly like he was almost asleep. "Okay. Once upon time, there was a spaceship."

"What kind of spaceship?" Carter asked with interest. "What was it fuelled by?"

"Air Force majors who kept interrupting."

Carter giggled, and was quiet.

"Once upon a time, there was a spaceship, and it had a suave and handsome captain named..."

"Jack?" Daniel suggested.

Jack glared, even though he could barely see Daniel over the tilt of Carter's shoulder. "...Kirk."

"I think I know this story."

"Shut up," Jack answered helpfully.

"Yeah, shut up." Sam rolled over, landing against Jack with a warm thud, then wriggling away again. Her tags clinked together, and in the dim light he could see her brushing her mouth with the back of her hand, before closing her eyes. "The colonel's telling us a story."