Jack and Daniel involved in a loving and committed
relationship, which usually involves sex.
gets rocked when an old friend's son joins the SGC.
125 Kb Notes: This fic
was originally written for a zine for Judy and is dedicated to her.
roared at the airman who had the audacity to appear at his door. He
shouldn't be roaring, he should get up and close the damned door.
People kept stopping in, greeting him, catching up, and congratulating
him. It was annoying. He was in from Washington
for his final trip to the SGC for his retirement bash and nothing
irritated him more than tentative, timid airmen.
to bother you, sir," the kid stammered. "General Landry asked me to
remind you to be ready in one hour."
well, fine," Jack mumbled.
of guilt surfaced when the kid actually blushed after the painful
delivery. Kid was an understatement. If this boy, this child, was old
enough to be an airman and patrol the halls of the SCG then Jack was
certain he had hung on too long.
airman didn't immediately scurry out the door with relief at his
acknowledgement, Jack testily asked if there was anything else.
It's just... it's an honor to meet you, sir."
worshipping, stuttering, runny nose newbie airmen were nothing new to
O'Neill but something about the voice gave Jack pause. He glanced up at
the uniform but he was too far away, or too close, to read the name on
the fatigues. Damned eyesight, he was definitely getting old. Maybe if
the kid stood out in the hallway a few doors down he could make it out.
you're name, Airman?" Jack waited impatiently while the kid shuffled
and fidgeted. Why would the SGC assign a youngster this nervous to its
ranks? Newbies were generally uneasy around him but this was
ridiculous. Maybe he'd talk to Landry about it.
you a question, son." Jack cringed at his choice of words. Son? That
was a Hammond
phrase, not a Jack O'Neill, scourge of the SGC, phrase.
sir. John Kawalsky."
Jack's stomach lurched at the name. It couldn't be that Johnny
Kawalsky. That Johnny was eleven or twelve years old. Although,
admittedly that was eleven or twelve years ago.
up and looked at the kid for the first time and recognized the familiar
now, sir. I stopped using Johnny the day my dad died." The kid stood
proudly at attention.
joined the Air Force?" This time it was Jack who was stuttering and
asking stupid questions in an effort to buy time to better digest this
startling bit of news. "How old are you?"
"Twenty-two, sir," Kawalsky answered. "I graduated first in my class.
My goal has always been to join the Air Force and then to work at Cheyenne Mountain."
didn't bother adding 'just like my dad' but he might as well have. This
seemed impossible. It was difficult for Jack to come to grips with the
reality standing before him. The last time he'd seen Johnny the boy had
been running around the backyard tossing a football around with his
father.Jack closed his eyes for a second
to push down the memories. He couldn't afford to go there. The room
suddenly felt small and confining, as if there wasn't enough air to
father was a good man," Jack said coolly. "I need to get ready. You're
didn't move. Jack decided this younger version of Kawalsky wasn't as
timid as he first appeared.He had
probably just been anxious about their first encounter.
joined the SGC because this is where I want to serve but I also joined
because I want to know how my dad died."
painful declaration was like a punch in the gut but Jack was a master
at covering his emotions. He didn't want to talk to Johnny about this.
It was too painful to recount his own sins. He should have stayed in
touch. He had called Beth, Kawalsky's wife, a few times after her
husband's passing and had asked about Johnny and Kimberly, their
children. But Beth had immediately packed up the kids and moved back to
New York to be closer to her family and with his schedule at
the mountain, they had quickly lost touch.
rational, handy excuse to ease his conscience.
more pertinent reason Jack hadn't pursued the friendship was because it
hurt too much to be around Johnny. The boy was only a few years older
than Charlie had been and not only had they known each other and played
together, but they'd been friends. Best friends. The realization that
this could be Charlie standing before him, a grown man, an airman just
starting out, his entire life stretched out before him open to endless
possibilities and adventures, was almost too much to bear.
with him when he died, sir?"
anxious, hopeful, impossibly young face snapped Jack back to reality.
Nope, he definitely couldn't do this. Not today. Maybe never.
have clearance for that?" Jack coldly snapped off the question, already
knowing the answer.
Not yet," Kawalsky answered.
you're dismissed," Jack said firmly. "When you get clearance, you can
read the mission reports." There, that should put an end to it. The kid
wasn't stupid, hopefully he'd take the hint.
since Kawalsky hadn't moved from the doorway. Jack could only hope the
boy wasn't as stubborn as his old man had been.
dismissed, Airman. You graduated first in your class, I assume you
understand how to obey orders. And close the damn door on your way
knew that was harsh but what was the kid expecting... hey, buddy, it's
Uncle Jack. How've ya been?
sir," Johnny replied, not bothering to hide his disappointment.
door closed, Jack sat down on the chair beside the bed, ran his hand
through his hair and let out a sigh.Little
Johnny Kawalsky was old enough to fight bad guys and save the world?
That didn't seem possible but the proof had just exited his quarters.
supposed to be a happy day. He was getting the gold watch, the brass
ring, the big prize.After today he was
free to do as he pleased. He could stay up all night watching baseball
or hockey, he could sleep in, he could drink as much beer as he deemed
prudent, and wonder of wonders... Daniel could move in with him.The last thought helped him set the shock of
seeing Kawalsky, who looked strikingly like his father, aside. He had a retirement party to attend, his friends
and colleagues were waiting for him and there would be cake. He had
asked Carter and she had confirmed it.
soon-to-be retired general took a deep breath, plastered on a smile and
headed for the gateroom.
Jack was at the
sink washing lettuce and various vegetables when Daniel walked through
the door and threw his jacket over a kitchen chair. "Hey, Jack, guess
who works at the SGC? You're never going to believe this."
resisted the urge to pick up the jacket and hang it up in the hall
closet. He resisted because he didn't need Daniel accusing him of being
anal. Especially since the accusation had some merit. Before
retirement, Jack had considered himself neat but not extraordinarily
so, since retirement, he had to admit he was bordering on anal.
Ignoring the jacket was good practice for him, unfortunately, there was
no way to ignore where this conversation was inevitably heading.
been close to a month since his retirement party and the chance
encounter with Kawalsky junior. Jack had stayed quiet and hoped the kid
would take his advice and read the files about his father and leave
well enough alone. It was rude and unfair but he had no desire to face
the youngster a second time. Seeing Johnny was like tearing open scars
on old wounds and watching them bleed.
Kawalsky had read the reports and Daniel was just relaying an
interesting tidbit of information. Either way, there was no point in
didn't you tell me?" Daniel seemed genuinely surprised.
matter," Daniel continued when Jack didn't immediately answer. "Landry
called me into his office this afternoon to inform me that young
Kawalsky has been cleared to review all the files relating to his
father's work at the SGC, including his death."
nice." Jack's stomach clenched at the words.
nice?" Daniel was giving him an odd, studying look.
decided he'd better be careful or in a matter of minutes he'd be
getting the archaeologist's version of the third degree which was never
him over tomorrow night so we can sit down together and talk. Maybe, we
could throw some steaks on the grill."
gritted his teeth and tried not to growl.
retirement had been going well. Far better than he had dared to hope.
He jogged every morning then showered and read the newspaper. He
whipped up a hearty breakfast of bacon and eggs, or pancakes and
sausage, and then worked on the crossword puzzle and the Sudoku while
he ate and drank coffee some time around eight-thirty as opposed to
five-thirty.He consulted with the Air
Force two days a week, more if necessary. For relaxation, he mowed the
lawn and tended the garden, and best of all, he had wanton sex with an
extremely sexy archaeologist.
The man standing before him was the real reason retirement was so
peachy. The archaeologist had kept his old apartment but only to keep
up appearances and to use as a storage facility to house his artifacts
and other priceless junk. The really important stuff, like Daniel's
toothbrush and razor, were settled comfortably in Jack's bathroom.
moved in and never looked back. That had been the plan after his
retirement but Jack had always assumed he'd somehow manage to screw it
up, or Daniel would come to his senses and change his mind.
Unbelievably, it had come off without a hitch. When the archaeologist
wasn't off-world, he came home every night for dinner and they talked
and laughed and argued and ate and did some unspeakable things in the
upstairs bedroom, in all the rooms actually. Jack couldn't help
wondering if the newness would eventually wear off and it would become
routine. So far, Daniel's arrival every evening was still a pleasant
shock. Shock because Daniel was Daniel and he was just, well, Jack.
brilliant. No one disputed that.
everyone who worked at the SGC was smart, there was no doubt about
that, but Daniel was exceptional. His mind worked in mysterious ways.
He thought, he puzzled, he resolved, he brokered peace treaties and
trade agreements. He ended wars. His spirit didn't just sing, it
soared. His ideas weren't lofty, they were noble. Everyone that had the
honor of meeting Doctor Daniel Jackson was better from the experience.No one walked away indifferent or unaffected.
Hearts beat faster in his presence. His star shined a little brighter.
his occasional act to the contrary, Jack didn't consider himself dumb
but he knew he was nowhere near brilliant. His mind worked in concrete,
practical ways. When in doubt, he'd shoot first and ask questions
later. His ideas were often selfish, or at the very least, self-serving
for planet Earth. People who met him often walked away shaking their
heads in confusion. No one's heart skipped a beat at his appearance,
and if he had a star, one would need the Hubble Space Telescope to see
sighed deeply and wondered what characteristics made him attractive to
Daniel. He was tall and he was in good shape, but then again he was
grey and he liked to eat junk food. He was protective but that seemed
to be more of a nuisance to Daniel than a selling point. He was good in
the sack. That had to be it, Jack decided smugly.
downside of retirement was waiting for his exceptional archaeologist to
arrive home when he was off-world. It gave Jack a whole new
appreciation for Sara and for all the wives or husbands or partners or
parents who waited at home for loved ones. Aside from that, life was
looking at him expectantly and Jack had no idea how to distract him
into giving up this incredibly stupid 'let's get together and dig up
old ghosts' idea.
the offensive seemed like the best bet. Jack shut off the cold water
that was beginning to wilt the vegetables and turned to face his
crazy?Did you forget that you're living
here?What if he puts two and two together
and figures out that we're more than just friends? I may be retired but
I don't need everybody at the SGC talking and knowing our business."
scoffed at that. "He's young, Jack. Most young people don't care about
that stuff anymore."
don't?" Shit, that had been his best argument.
don’t," Daniel said confidently.
supposed he should be happy about that fact but he didn't have time to
be grateful. It was obvious that as a tactic, that dog wasn't going to
hunt. He needed to throw Daniel off the track and avoid a visit from
John Kawalsky, newbie airman from the SGC, son of Charlie K, best
friend of Charlie O'Neill...
the point? What am I going to tell him?That
his father was snaked and died a painful, horrible death? Is that what
you think he needs to hear?"
blue eyes blazed, Jack was certain he was not only going to lose this
argument but he was going to get an earful as well.
to know about his father. You must know that any kid would want that. I
honestly don't understand your objection, Jack. As painful as it is, I
thought you'd be happy to talk to him. He deserves to know. Besides, it
doesn't matter now, it's a moot point. I've already invited him over."
not happy about it. And you should've asked me first," Jack grumbled,
turning back to the sink to pull out the remaining veggies. "But it's
fine, I'll go out. You knew Kawalsky, you can relay all the gory
details." That could work. He'd just go down to the local watering hole
and let Daniel and the kid stroll down memory lane and spend a few
miserable hours together rehashing the horror of Kawalsky's death.
There was no reason he needed to be a part of it.
sure he wants to talk to you. Would you stop with the lettuce and look
at me?" When he complied, Daniel continued. "What's the matter with
you? Kawalsky was your best friend."
difficult coming up with nifty, logical retorts but that didn't stop
Jack from trying. "No, you're my best friend." Hah, Daniel couldn't
argue with that one.
didn't even know me back then," the best bud in question answered
did." Jack could keep this up all night if need be.
did," Daniel conceded. "But not for very long. We had just met."
was glaring as he folded his arms across his chest. Never a good sign.
"But I had
a feeling we'd be best friends," Jack weakly insisted, clinging to the
ridiculous banter in an effort to avoid the real issue.
this, junior high?" Daniel pinched the bridge of his nose and looked
exasperated. A sure sign Jack was winning the argument or at least
keeping his best friend off balance.
saying," Jack muttered in his defense.
right here with you. We can both explain. You haven't seen this kid in
years. Kawalsky's kid. I would think you'd want to see how he's doing,
talk to him..." Daniel unfolded his arms and pushed up his glasses.
"I saw him
last month just before my retirement party. Which, by the way, put a
damper on it."
You're upset because he put a damper on your retirement party? I don’t
believe you, Jack!"
was bordering on true anger and Jack supposed the damper comment might
have sounded a tad cold.
"I know Kawalsky
was your best friend." Daniel was admirably struggling to be reasonable
and maintain his cool. Jack smirked when
the linguist paused and hastily added, "before me," before continuing.
was John's father. And as much as it hurts you to think about the loss
of your friend, his son deserves to know the truth about what happened
to him and you're the best man to tell him, but if you won't, I will.
Even if I have to talk to him by myself."
shrugged. There was no way to dispute that bit of logic. Daniel
didn't understand and Jack wasn't sure he could explain it even if he
to take a shower before dinner," Daniel announced abruptly as he turned
and headed up the stairs, leaving Jack to wonder if the conversation
had left the world-renowned linguist with a headache.
finding a colander to set the vegetables in, Jack made a split second
decision. He wasn't going to allow the past to interfere with the
present, or the future. Not with his relationship at stake. Daniel
deserved his honesty no matter what the emotional fallout.
upstairs and when he heard the shower running in the master bath, he
shed his clothes and quietly slipped into the bathroom.
"Mind if I
join you?" With the words, Jack stepped into the shower stall behind
Daniel and risked embracing his partner from behind while allowing the
warm water to wash away some of the day's tensions.
you already have."
relief, Daniel's response sounded more amused than annoyed.
kissing Daniel's neck, concentrating on the spot just below his
hairline, Jack unburdened himself, softly whispering in his lover's
ear. It was easier than being face to face.
Kawalsky and Charlie were friends. Best friends. It's a little
difficult for me, that's all. But you're right, he deserves to know and
we'll tell him. Both of us." Jack trailed a few kisses down the smooth
skin on Daniel's right shoulder. "Tomorrow." He resumed kissing,
heading south toward the small of Daniel's back.
obvious the moment the implication of Jack's words registered with the
sorry, Jack. That was so stupid of me, I'd never even thought of that.
I didn’t think..."
attempted to turn around to face him but Jack gripped his shoulders to
hold him in place. "No, don't turn around and don't apologize." Jack
reached around to put a finger to the linguist's luscious lips to shush
him. "I want you, Daniel. Right now. Just like this."
gripped his lover's biceps. He was hard now from the closeness and he
allowed his cock to poke at the perfect ass before him and then
listened for the gasp of consent that escaped his lover's throat. Jack
spotted the bar of soap and released Daniel's arms so he'd be free to
lather it up between his hands. When it bubbled to his satisfaction he
reached around Daniel's torso to soap his lover's chest, lingering on
his nipples. When Daniel gave a squeal of delight, Jack moved down to
his belly and then reached down to give his lover's balls a gentle,
groaned loudly and urged him to hurry. Grabbing the lube, Jack greased
up a few fingers and loosened the panting man before him. Daniel was
relaxed and completely opened to him. His legs were slightly apart, his
palms flat against the white ceramic tile. Trusting and vulnerable.
Jack's eyes stung with unexpected tears at the sight and he wasted no
time slicking himself up and entering his lover. Daniel bucked and
moaned as Jack came hard and fast, murmuring and moaning his pleasure.
was spent he leaned against Daniel's back for support and realized the
younger man was still hard and aching so he reached around his lover's
hip to stroke his cock. It was all Daniel needed and he came at the
touch, panting, with Jack along for the ride, still buried inside of
him, draped over his back and whispering his love.
lingered in that position, neither wanting to break the connection
until gradually the water began to cool so Jack reluctantly slid out
and Daniel finally turned around to face him.
sorry, Jack. You should have told me this was about Charlie. I would
hovering. Hovering meant one thing.
would you stop with the guilt already. You're right, the kid deserves
to know about his father. I was being selfish."
gave him a weak smile and reiterated his promise to be supportive and
at the ready if he faltered or needed any help.
Kawalsky had been delayed at the SGC so the steak dinner was off but
the reminiscing was still on. He arrived a little after nine wearing
jeans and an Air Force tee shirt. After they made themselves
comfortable in living room the kid relayed some incredibly good news.
He had read the mission reports the night before, thus sparing them the
painful task of rehashing every detail of his father's death.
the files so I know the facts," he said solemnly. "I was hoping you
could fill in some personal details. Like what kind of man my dad was.
What kind of officer and leader..." Johnny blushed faintly. "What kind
important things." Jack smiled at the young man before him. This he
could do. Daniel had a glass of wine, Jack had a beer and Kawalsky's
kid was drinking ice tea while they recounted Kawalsky senior's best
attributes and his contributions to the SGC, the country, and the
time we went through the gate on a mission it was to Chulak," Jack
dad went with you, he was the leader of SG-2," John chimed in with
kid had definitely read the reports. But some things weren't in reports."Major Samuels was still briefing us on the
way to the gateroom. He informed us, in his usual tacky way, that if we
didn't check in within twenty four hours, SG-2 was to scrub the mission
and leave without us. Your dad ignored that order completely. Without
missing a beat he piped up, 'Not going to happen, Colonel. SG-2 won't
leave without you.' He didn't care if Samuels heard him or not. That's
the kind of man your father was. That's the kind of friend he was. He
had your back. He'd be there. I always trusted in that. We trusted in
it was still hard for Jack to believe his friend was gone.
after ten when the conversation began to wind down. Daniel had
retreated to the kitchen, either to neaten up, or to give them some
privacy which Jack didn't think was necessary.
Johnny stood up, Jack did the same, thinking the young airman was going
to say his goodbyes.
Jack, there's something I'd like to show you."
been a long time but the old endearment flowed from Johnny's lips so
naturally, Jack wasn’t sure the kid was aware he'd even said it.Uncle Jack. Uncle Charlie. Charlie K, as Sara
had called him. Sara, Beth, Kimberly and Johnny. And Charlie. His
Charlie. He closed his eyes and for a moment they were all there, still
with him. He and his best friend were flipping burgers on the barbecue
in the backyard as their wives laughed and conspired against them,
while their kids giggled, rode bikes, tossed around the football and
traded baseball cards. He could see them clearly and for a minute it
was as if time stood still and the last eleven or so life-changing
years had been nothing more than a dream.
opened his eyes, the faces faded and disappeared. Kid
Johnny, friend of Charlie's, was gone, replaced by this adult John, an
airman who worked at the SGC. It wasn't fair that John was here all
grown up, while Charlie was still eleven years old. Forever.
Where was Daniel?
the heart-wrenching trip into the past and forced himself to breathe
slowly and concentrate on Johnny. John.
head was bowed and when he raised his eyes, they glistened, making it
difficult for Jack to swallow before he summoned the courage to nod his
consent for the man to continue.
slipped a chain off of his neck, and for a second, Jack thought he was
removing his dog tags. Instead, he opened his hand to reveal a silver
medal. It was beautiful, an intricate shamrock surrounded by a
perfectly woven circle of Celtic knotwork and forming a small Claddagh
at the top. Jack recognized the Irish symbols but stayed quiet.
and I bought these our last summer together, right before school ended.
It's real silver. We saved our paper route money. That summer you and
dad took us up to your cabin for a 'guys only' camping trip. Remember?"
he remembered. Jack's throat went dry at the thought of those happy
times he'd shared with his son. Memories he hadn't dared pull out and
examine since the accident. He didn’t trust himself to speak, so again
he nodded his acknowledgement.
in the cabin, when everyone was asleep, Charlie wrote a letter for both
of us to sign. He called it a promissory note.An
agreement that we would keep forever no matter how old we were or where
life took us. He was younger than me but he was incredible. You know
how intense he could be. You couldn't help but like him." John's voice
faded briefly at the recollection. "He wanted to do good and help
people. He wanted you to always be proud of him. Remember when we were
little, he always wanted to play cops and robbers or superman. Charlie
wanted to be a hero. We both did. Just like our dads."
breath hitched as he choked back a sob, but he took a deep breath and
have the letter."
stiffly, Jack didn't dare move for fear of losing control over his
fragile emotions. He concentrated on breathing in and out and keeping
an impassive expression.
his hand into his jeans pocket and produced the well worn piece of
paper."These rusty looking spots are
where we pricked our fingers to seal the deal with our blood. That was
Charlie's idea. He said we could never forget or walk away from our
promise once we put our blood on it."
to admit that sounded exactly like his son.
handed him the paper and with shaking hands, Jack unfolded it and read
the words his son had written years ago.
everyone is a little bit safer because I am there.
anyone in need has a friend.
everyone is happy I am there.
Humphrey, the Warriors Creed," Jack muttered, recognizing the words and
smiling through misty eyes at his eleven-year-old's lofty goals.
When we first signed that Charlie told me it was the Warriors Creed but
I thought he made up the words.I didn't
realize until I was older that it was an actual creed that he had
copied from one of your books."
the words were the boy's signatures and under that was the Air Force
motto, "Do Something Amazing" followed by the date and the drops of
blood. That camping trip had been so much fun, and then, just a few
months later, his son was gone.
carefully folded up the fragile piece of paper and handed it back to
nodded his gratitude. "What happened to Charlie's medal?" he asked
Charlie's medal," John answered, motioning to the shamrock he still
held in his hand. "I searched his room the night we came over after the
accident and I found it in his dresser. I slipped mine into his casket
at the wake and I kept his."
numb, he felt like he was falling and realized his knees were buckling.
A strong arm draped around his shoulder and squeezed, anchoring him and
he realized Daniel was beside him. It was all he needed and his muscles
began obeying him again.
take it off. It goes where I go," John continued. "High school, my
first dance, baseball games, the Air Force Academy, the SGC, and when I
finally go through the Stargate..." The man paused then regained his
composure. When he spoke again his voice was strong and sure. "When I
go through the Stargate, Charlie will be right there with me, sharing
the ultimate adventure. We'll both do something amazing, together. Just
like we promised each other we would."
offered the medal and Jack took it, his hand steady with Daniel beside
him. He turned it over and read the inscription. Luck, Loyalty,
Friendship. Charlie O'Neill. Jack closed his fist around the silver
shamrock and this time when he closed his eyes, for the first time in a
long time, his son appeared before him in colorful detail, whole and
happy, smiling the patented, charming O'Neill grin. Jack opened his
eyes and took a good look at the young man standing before him and gave
him a warm smile.
it. Keep your promise." He handed the medal back to its caretaker.
"Take Charlie with you, and your dad. He loved life and he valued
loyalty and friendship, too. You're just like him, Johnny."Jack hugged the young man and they clung to
each other for a few long minutes.
for remembering Charlie," Jack managed as they gradually broke the
never forget him, Uncle Jack. You can count on that."
believed him, and somehow, the thought was comforting. His father's
death had inspired John to reach for the stars, who knew what this
young man's contributions would be? Jack couldn't help thinking that
maybe, in some small way, his Charlie could be credited, too.
even after he and Sara were gone, Charlie's memory would live on in
John and maybe someday, God willing, in his children, as well.
silence stretched on until it became awkward and when it was apparent
there was nothing more to say, Daniel stepped in to lessen the emotion.
"So, how do you like working at the
SGC, John? Is it everything you thought it would be?"
incredible!" John enthused, his relief at the change of subject
obvious. "And you guys, SG-1, are truly amazing. You saved the entire
once," Jack said sarcastically, grateful for Daniel's sense of timing.
sarcastic declaration must have put his partner at ease because at the
words, Daniel lowered his hand from Jack's shoulder and winked at him.
better get going." John moved toward the kitchen. "I hope I didn't
upset you, sir. I just wanted to talk to
you. You have no idea how much this means to me."
a lot to me, too," Jack assured him, offering a genuine smile.
General, I want you to know that I don't expect or want any special
treatment," John added as he made his way to the door.
good, because you certainly won't get any," Jack roared, trying to
sound crusty and cranky but failing miserably.
I will be checking up on you and I expect to hear nothing but glowing
reports." And he would check up. He and Kawalsky had made that promise
to watch over each other's families if anything ever happened to either
one of them. Of course, they'd been naïve and had never expected
anything truly bad to actually happen. How could it when they were so
young and invincible?Like Charlie must
have felt on the day he composed the letter and spilled his blood on
the page.Now Jack had a second chance at
keeping his word to his friend and he wouldn't screw it up again.
sir," Airman John Kawalsky answered, adding a respectful salute as he
left the house.
okay?" Daniel asked as they watched John's Jeep back out of the
fine. Give me a minute, okay? I'm going to run upstairs and put this in
a safe place." Jack held up the wrinkled letter.
frame it for you to better preserve it," Daniel offered.
the archaeologist," Jack smiled. "I think I'd like that. Give me a
minute," he repeated before heading upstairs.
wasn't sure how much time had passed since he'd been reminiscing,
reading and re-reading Charlie's letter while poring over old
photographs when he swore he heard voices downstairs that didn't sound
like the TV.
he yelled. "What's going on down there?"
down, Jack. We have company."
What the hell? It was going on . When Jack came downstairs he was surprised to
find SG-1 sprawled out and making themselves comfortable in his living
room. "What are you guys doing here?"
called us, sir," Carter explained. "He thought you could use a few
glanced at the archaeologist's crooked little smile and felt a surge of
love. Daniel always knew what he needed.
down on the sofa as Carter handed him a beer and sat down beside him.
Daniel sat on the opposite side and Teal'c pulled up a chair to
complete the small circle.
sorry, Jack," Daniel started. "I never thought about Charlie when I
invited John over..."
Jack raised his index finger. "I'm glad we met and talked. Really glad.
You did the right thing."
been unaware that Major Kawalsky had a son," Teal'c stated.
that was my fault," Jack answered. "I should have told you guys. I felt
guilty and just wanted to forget."
"I was not
assigning blame, O'Neill, merely stating a fact."
looked at Teal'c affectionately and knew that was the truth. Teal'c
didn't have a judgmental bone in his body. And it was a large body.
"Unfortunately, Teal'c and I didn't get to know the major very well,"
Carter said. "Though we did meet the parallel universe Kawalsky."
true, Major Carter," Teal'c agreed. "And I also met him when the
gamekeeper had us relive a significant event from O'Neill's past. I do
not revisit all that fun just now?" Jack interrupted.
wish," Teal'c answered sounding a bit confused.
a toast?" Daniel suggested. He raised his glass and the others did the
same. "To Charlie O'Neill and to Charlie Kawalsky, lives well lived,
lives cut short, but lives well treasured and loved."
looked around the room, grateful for his friends as they clinked their
glasses together and drank. "One more," he proposed.
true, he'd lost more than most, but glancing around the room at his
teammates he was forced to acknowledge that he also had more than most.
Would he trade it all for a brief, shared embrace with his son? Yes, no
questions asked. But that wasn't an option so he had made amends as
best he could with a little help from his friends. The four of them had
a unique bond that would never be broken. Jack credited their successes
to the depth of their friendship and their trust in one another's
abilities. He often joked about it but it was true, SG-1 had indeed,
saved the planet and the galaxy from certain disaster. More than once.
He silently swore his own personal oath to luck, loyalty and friendship.
flashed to snapshots of Charlie, of Kawalsky, then Fraiser, Jacob,
Rothman, Boyd, Cromwell, Elliot, Astor, Benton, Graham, Connor,
Mansfield, Hawkins, Barber... sadly, the list was endless. All gone but
and friends," Jack said raising his glass. "May they always be
cherished and remembered."
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