EPILOGUE, PART TWO  BY PHOENIXE
Slash:  Jack and Daniel involved in a loving and committed relationship, which usually involves sex.
Rating: R
Category: E/R, H/C, Angst, Drama, AR, (that's Alternate Reality), Meridan Free, Ultimate Denialist Fic
Season/Spoilers: Season 6/7 - ish?  Spoilers for SoG (teeny tiny)
Synopsis: Jack awakens in a hospital offworld to find himself alone, abandoned and
presumed dead, and up to his neck in mystery and intrigue.
Warnings: Extreme Happy Ending
Length:   70 Kb  Completion Date Jul 05, originally appeared in the JD Divas Zine from Yadda Press.  Posted to the net 30 May 2010

( From JD Divas) Notes: This story has had an extremely long and chequered history. It seems as if I've been writing it forever, it was stuck in writer's block limbo for well over a year and honestly, I didn't think I'd ever finish the darned thing. I started with wanting to explore a scenario where Jack has supposedly perished in an offworld incident, and everyone believes he's dead except Daniel, and no one will take Daniel seriously when he keeps insisting Jack is still alive. It kind of evolved into a 'retirement' story, because the scenario I ended up with was so extreme it just seemed to lead Jack in that direction. I've always wanted to write a 'retirement' story for the boys so I went with it, and what Jack wanted to do. I hope it all turned out okay, but for whatever any of it is worth, here it all is. You will also find the epilogue of this story deliberately and defiantly populated with every character we have loved and TPTB have so pointlessly and needlessly killed off over the course of the series. Everyone is alive and everyone lives happily ever after.

Notes:  Updated for 2010.  As you can see, this story has been around for awhile, because I completely forgot about it.  Although I found the premise really interesting, the actual act of getting it out of my head and onto the page was absolute torture, took forever, and was one of my least favourite writing experiences.  Well, I've resurreted the poor thing, spiffed it up, trimmed it of some excess verbiage, and now I like it a little more.  Re - the epilogue, to Epilogue. 
When this story was written no one had any inkling TPTB planned to off the Asgard, and Cameron Mitchell was only a name.  We hadn't met him yet.  I made some choices for him, and a few other of our beloved supporting characters I hope you find interesting.  Lovely accompanying illo by Bibilo, for JD Divas. Thanks for reading and enjoy!

epiloguegraphic

 


 

"Oh God, God, I missed you so much!" Daniel groaned, pulling the man who was trying to lower him gently onto the pallet roughly on top of him.

"Easy, Daniel!" Jack soothed. "It's okay, we've got time. I'm not going anywhere."

"Got that right," Daniel said fiercely, winding his arms and legs around Jack. "I'm never letting you go again."

"You won't have to," Jack told him between the soft, lingering kisses he was plastering all over his face. "As far as the SGC is concerned I'm still dead."

"What?" Daniel said sharply, taking Jack's face in his hands, locking eyes with his lover. "What did you say?"

"You heard me. I said I'm done. When I woke up in that place and found out what they'd done to me and why, that was it for me. Other than the guys involved in the conspiracy on Astiria, you, General Hammond and Teal'c are the only ones who know I'm still alive. I told Hammond I wanted it to stay that way. So, baby," Jack smiled at Daniel, tenderly brushing back the hair from his moist forehead. "If it's okay with you, you've got one officially expired and therefore retired colonel on your hands 24/7. You think you could stand that?" he finished softly, only the slightest tremor in his voice.

"What?" Daniel murmured, the eyes searching Jack's face wide and perplexed.

"I said my time with the Air Force and the SGC - it's over. I'm done. Retired, gone – outta there. I'm never going back. We're never going back. I hope.”

"Oh Jack!" Daniel joyfully cried, a huge smile erupting all over his face. "Jack!" he sobbed, hugging him fiercely about the neck. "Do you mean it? It's over? We're really free?"

"You don't mind? Giving it all up for me?"

"Don't be stupid," Daniel harshly scolded, his voice breaking. "None of it means anything to me without you. You're all that matters."

The answer he'd hoped for. Everything he'd hoped for. The only thing he wanted. All there in the love glowing in Daniel's eyes. He was totally, absolutely, completely home-free.

"You know what?" Daniel murmured, close to his ear. "This is good. I was going to – I was going to tell you I couldn't do this any more."

"And I don't want you to," Jack told him happily, starting to kiss him again.

"I was hoping you'd be okay with…" Daniel whispered, turning toward the lips nuzzling his ear. "When I left the SGC I handed in my resignation. Hammond thinks – thought - when I came around, accepted you were dead," he harshly spat out the words, "I'd come back to the SGC. Never! Not after this, what they did, what I know. The General is a good man, but he can't stop the SGC from being used by the kind of people who tried to kill you. I'll never work for them again," he snarled, "I won't help them exploit and violate the universe."

Jack's elation instantly vanished.

Damn. If Daniel knew what Hammond had, what he was about to do, would he feel differently about his decision? If he knew the bad guys were about to be taken out would that reverse his revulsion for the SGC? Make him keen to go back? But he didn't know and if Jack didn’t say anything he could keep him that way.

In the dark, and with him forever.

All he had to do was keep his mouth shut and everything would be fine.

"Daniel, Atkar gave Hammond all the goods on the conspiracy. Naming names, places, specifics, all detailed and documented. Kinsey and his goons are going down."

"And, so, therefore?" Daniel smiled and pulled Jack into a melting, lingering kiss.

"What?" Jack only just managed to burble after Daniel at last released him.

"I'm glad they're going to be taken down, but what does that have to do with us?"

"Not a damned thing," Jack happily growled.

"Can we have sex now, please?" Daniel pouted, his right hand delving under Jack's robes, searching for his fly. "You are wearing far too many clothes," he grumbled.

"You sure you're feeling up to it?" Jack hadn't wanted to admit it during the hike to the caves, so as to avoid having Daniel bite his head off, but he was more than a bit concerned about how weak Daniel still seemed to be. Although he was getting over his recent incapacity he was far from all right.

"What do you, think," Daniel teased, taking Jack's hand and placing it on his own groin.

"Whoa, Doctor Jackson," Jack grinned. Feels to me like you're suffering from an advanced case of 'glad to see me'.

"Suffering being the operative word, here," Daniel gasped, bucking up into the hand caressing his erection. "Maybe you spent the last couple of months in a coma, but I sure didn't."

"No," Jack sighed, dropping his head onto Daniel's heaving chest. "I guess you didn't. I just don't want to hurt you. I've done enough of that already."

"No!" Don't say that! None of this was your fault. You hear me, Colonel?"

"That would be, Colonel, Retired," Jack said huskily. "And yeah, you're coming through five by five."

"Very good," Daniel smiled seductively. "Now, strip and prepare to submit to a close inspection."

"How close?"

"Really, really close. It could take hours."

"Promise?"

"Well, I wouldn't want to miss anything."

"Sweet!"





"We can't stay here, you know," Jack softly told the sated man drowsing contentedly in his arms.

"Hmmm?"

"We can't stay here, Danny. On Abydos. Right now the bad guys…and anyone else who's on their side and might get pissed by what's about to happen to them…they don't know I'm alive, but if the word gets out, even by accident… It really isn't safe to let anyone know where I am. Not even our friends…here. I know they'd never, deliberately do anything to betray us, but there's no point in taking any chances or placing us – or them – at risk, if we don't have to. And we don't. Which is why we're…here…and not in Nagada. And why I've made some plans for us, for our future, without asking you, I know, but I sorta didn't have much choice. Anyway, we have to leave Abydos. Soon, I think."

"Hmmmm…" Daniel breathed, sleepily rubbing his cheek against Jack's chest.

"You…okay with that? Leaving your home – your family…again? For me?"

"Ummm hmmmm," Daniel murmured, smiling against Jack's skin, the hand resting on Jack's belly trailing languidly downward to finally drape itself over his sticky groin.

"I love you," Jack whispered.

"Mmmmmmm…" Daniel sighed, slipping easily into slumber. With Jack's arms a welcome, certain cradle, he could finally sleep.

Jack tightened his grip about his slumbering companion, expelling a contented sigh. Definitely tired but not quite to the point of needing to sleep yet, he was happy to lie quietly, nicely draped in Daniel, and drowse. Bask in some delicious post-coital bliss and…

"Greetings, O'Neill."

What? Though he hadn't planned on sleeping, he was darned close to dropping off, so he wasn't sure, but he could have sworn that sounded exactly like…

Jack peeled open one eye and peered over towards the sound of the soft voice he'd sorta maybe heard but then again maybe not.

"Thor!" he exclaimed at the solemn little Asgard standing beside their cosy cavern nest. "Buddy! Holy crap, you didn't waste any time getting here!"

"It is very good to see you, O'Neill. The Asgard people were deeply saddened to learn of your apparent demise."

"Trust me, I wasn't exactly thrilled when I found out about it either."

"We have come as you requested, and would be more than happy to assist you and Doctor Jackson."

"Thor, that's great," Jack beamed. "And you know what, we'll be right with you, but seeing as how, we're not exactly…" he waggled a hand over Daniel's head. "You kind of caught us with our pants down. Well, okay, off! Could ya give us, a minute here before you go zapping us up into the ship?"

Thor inclined his head, extending the glowing stone he held. "We will be standing by," he said, before abruptly disappearing in a brilliant flash of light.

"God, I love those guys," Jack grinned, giving Daniel a gentle shake. "Oh honey, wakey-wakey. Must get up now," he sing-songed. Rise and shine, our ride's here!"




World whited-out, high pitched hum, moment, moment, a moment of nothingness and then…

Yep, just your normal, average, every-day run-of-the-mill Asgard beam-up.

What a life, when you could become blasé about doing stuff most people could only dream about because as far as they were knew it wasn't even possible! Yeah, he'd been around, done some pretty cool shit, had one hell of a run, but it was over now.

He wasn't going to miss it a bit.

"Colonel!" a familiar voice assaulted an instant before the whiteness cleared enough for him to be able to see her face.

Ah, the last loose end. It would have been easier to have remained dead to her as well, but he owed her a little honesty and a lot of closure and not for the reasons Hammond thought he wanted to say good-bye to her, although he doubted she'd appreciate them, or him right now. Or for a while to come, but she'd get over it.

And him.

They were standing on the flight deck of Thor's ship, the little grey guy at one of the control consoles, flanked by Carter and Teal'c. Teal'c was openly beaming at both of them while Carter stared at him, eyes agog, mouth hanging open, like she'd been goosed by a cattle prod.

"You're – you're dead," she stuttered.

"Surprise!" Jack grinned at her. "Obviously you can't believe everything you hear. So, you didn't tell her?" he aimed at Teal'c.

"We did not, O'Neill," the Jaffa rumbled. "General Hammond believed for security reasons the safest course of action was to maintain total secrecy about your current status. After Thor beamed me aboard the DanielJackson we proceeded to the Naavik Homeworld where they were informed Major Carter was required back on Earth. Once the authorities there were satisfied and released her from her duties we transported Major Carter to the ship. I told her I was not at liberty to divulge the details of the mission until we arrived at our next destination. I assumed, O'Neill, you would prefer to fully apprise Major Carter yourself," Teal'c finished, his voice laden with hidden meaning.

Carter glanced at him sharply, and then back at Jack, her eyes wide and shining, the start of a tremulous smile pulling at her lips.

Oh boy, here we go.

"You…assumed correctly.” Jack felt Daniel's hand massaging the small of his back, a brief, but appreciated touch of commiseration before the love of his life bailed on him, to go and huddle with Thor and Teal'c.  Leaving him in the lurch to deal with Carter solo.

Coward.

No, Daniel was right, this was his mess, a self-inflicted fix he'd concocted during his 'convincing himself he only liked girls, any girl, even Carter, and not his very best, very male friend' phase. Resolved in part, in the end by the best man winning after all. Thank God. Problem was, he'd never bothered to inform Carter not only had she lost, but she'd never really ever been seriously in the running.

She started to walk toward him, big blue eyes wide and goopy, and Jack heroically resisted the impulse to run screaming for the nearest airlock as fast as his cowardly legs could carry him.

Buck up, O'Neill, you've gone head to head with System Lords and homicidal First Primes and all sorts of nasty things that go eek and squeak and bump in the night. How bad could this possibly be?

Bad…

"Sir, you're alive!" Carter gushed excitedly, face flushed, eyes glowing.

"It's good to see you, too, Carter. But you can forget the 'Sir'.  From now on Jack will do."

"Sir?" she replied, frowning.

"It's not Colonel any more. Just Jack. As far as anyone who isn't on this ship right now except for Hammond is concerned, I'm still dead."

"Sir?" The frown got deeper, and behind her searching eyes Jack could see her mind working. At terrifying speed, no doubt well on its way to reaching an equally terrifying and completely unfortunate conclusion.

"I didn't choose what happened to me on Astiria, but I made a decision to use the events to my advantage." He took a deep breath, bracing himself for delivering the punch-line.

"When I found out I was already officially dead, it wasn't that much of a leap for me to choose to stay that way. I've decided to hang it up. It's time to move on, and get on with the rest of my life."

"Oh?" she breathed, her eyes lighting up excitedly. "You're – you're – you're not…you won't be – you're leaving the SGC?"

"Carter, as far as the SGC is concerned I exited stage dead two months ago. I've simply decided not to exercise my public resurrection option. Colonel O'Neill is officially dead, and he's going to stay that way. Jack O'Neill, however, is still very much alive, damned glad to be, and thanks to the Astirians now has a chance for a whole new life with someone who's been waiting very, very patiently for a long time for this day, and him, and he's gonna stop talking about himself in the third person now, and take it."

Crap, he'd said it, and sure enough, she'd leapt. Me! Her eyes were screaming at him. It has to be me!

"Sir," she purred, taking a step forward, putting a possessive hand on his upper arm.

"Whoa, Carter!" he whooped, only just slamming down the urge to recoil all the way across the room before taking her hand and gently, but firmly removed it.

"Jack?" Daniel suddenly piped up from Thor's side, an unmistakable edge to his voice. While there was no denying Daniel loved Jack and he certainly loved Sam there were apparently limits to the latitude he'd allow when it came to standing by and watching a deliberate attempt to poach on his preserve even if he knew they both knew the poachee didn't have a prayer and she didn't.

"Daniel?" he quickly answered, in his very best help me voice.

"Daniel?" Sam looked at Jack, puzzled by the exchange and his subtle, but definite rejection.

"Colonel O'Neill," Thor suddenly interjected. "Once we have returned Teal'c to Abydos we stand ready to convey Major Carter back to the Naavik Homeworld and you and Doctor Jackson to the world we have selected for you. We trust our choice and the habitat we will construct for you there will meet with your approval."

"I'm sure everything will be just peachy, buddy," Jack thanked Thor before turning his attention back to the woman before him.

Sam's eyes were glassy with shocked comprehension.

"Daniel?" she gasped. "You – and – and Daniel?"

"Daniel," he acknowledged ruefully, with an apologetic shrug.

"Daniel?" she snapped frostily, whipping her head around to lock eyes with the archaeologist.

"Sam?" he shot back just as crustily. No apologies, no attempts to dissemble or deny any particle of the newly-revealed truth or the part he'd played in keeping this secret from her.

"Sir!" she exclaimed, whirling back on Jack to confront him, eyes blazing.

"Carter, I told you, call me Jack," he weakly admonished in an equally feeble attempt to evade the current issue.

"I try to, Sir, I mean Colonel, I mean…" Sam grimaced and angrily looked away. "It just comes out, 'Colonel' every damned time. I'm sorry, Sir."

She was furious, bristling, humiliated, devastated, a battleground of conflicting emotions as the full enormity of reality and all its implications started unspooling into her skull. Although Daniel would probably tell him he'd already done enough damage and should definitely quit before he dug himself in any deeper, Jack didn't want to leave it, or her, like this.

Maybe he couldn't do much for her in the long run, and yeah, maybe he'd already done way too much to her, but he couldn't leave her without...something.

"Well, shouldn't that tell you something right there, Carter?" Jack asked gently, putting his hands on her shoulders and giving them a comforting squeeze.

She glared at him for a few more seconds, and then dropped her eyes.

"You never…not the way I thought. Did you?" she finally asked in a low, embarrassed voice.

"No," he answered her honestly but kindly. "I'm very, very sorry if anything I ever said or did made you believe otherwise, but…no."

"Not even a little bit?" she said hopefully, her face falling once more when Jack sadly shook his head. "No. No, of course not. Daniel?" she finally asked. "Daniel?"

"Think about it for a minute, Carter," Jack replied. "You know me – "

"I thought I did," she grumbled.

"No," Jack persisted. "You know me. You know him. You know us. Maybe there were things about both of us you didn't want to see, but this can't be completely out of the blue, even for you. If not you, then who else could it possibly have been?"

"Daniel," she sighed, grudgingly conceding him the point.

"Daniel," Jack echoed holding out his arm as the man being discussed reached his side. Carter flinched, but didn't turn away, opting for her bravest face while watching Jack pull Daniel closely into his side and the men exchange glances leaving absolutely no doubt as to the true nature of their relationship.

"Daniel?" Jack said fondly to his partner, barely resisting the urge to kiss him. Bad form in front of Carter. There was no point in salting the wound.

"You should see the planet, Jack!" Daniel said excitedly. " It's absolutely incredible! Thor's been showing me some shots of the valley where they're going to build our house. There's a huge lake, miles of absolutely virgin forest - "

"Whoa, Grasshopper!" Jack laughed. "It'll still be there in a couple of minutes. We gotta say our good-byes to Teal'c before we can go anywhere. Hey, big guy!" Jack exclaimed after striding over to the Jaffa and throwing his arms around him. "I'm sure gonna miss you."

"Me too," Daniel echoed, embracing Teal'c in turn after Jack released him.

"We will meet again, O'Neill, DanielJackson."

"We'd better," Jack scolded with mock severity. "Once Hammond's little bomb has gone off and the smoke has cleared you're more than welcome to stop on by and visit - wherever it is we're going to be. You'll have to hitch a ride with my buddy Thor, here, though, because he's the only one who's going to know where we are and how to get there."

"When the time is right we will be more than happy to reunite you with your trusted friends," Thor chimed in.

"You will guarantee their safety?" Teal'c demanded of the diminutive alien. "I have your assurance they will be protected."

"You do," Thor nodded, his enormous, unblinking eyes fully trained on the Jaffa's grim face. "The planet to which they are to be relocated is a completely virgin world. Unpopulated, and far beyond the sphere of influence and interest of the Goa'uld, or any other hostile races of note. The planet itself is well protected and I am confident they will find the enclave we will erect there for their use extremely comfortable, with sufficient amenities."

"Sounds way cool!" Jack enthused. "So, are we there yet? Why not?"

"Jack," Daniel fondly chided. "Behave."

Daniel ignored the man pretending to pout at his side, turning his full attention back to their Jaffa companion.

"Kasuf," Daniel began, his face full of concern. "Teal'c, please tell him I'm deeply grateful for the way he took me in, for everything he and Skaara and – and everyone have done for me these past months, and I'm sorry to have departed like this, with no warning, without taking my proper leave of him, but tell him I am well and he need not fear for me, but I had to follow my heart."

He paused, to glance at Jack, gently caressing his cheek.  "And tell him, we will meet again someday."

"Of that I am certain," Teal'c nodded. "I will say what needs to be said.”

"Thank you," Daniel beamed at him. "I know you will." He smiled ruefully at the Jaffa, and sighed. "Well, I guess that's just about – oh wait!" he exclaimed, turning to Jack. "My journals – my things. I don't want to leave them behind."

"Your possessions have been secured, Doctor Jackson," Thor supplied.

"Wow, you guys think of everything," Jack said admiringly.

"Neither of you ever plan to return to this place, or to Earth. It was logical to assume you would wish to have your personal possessions with you."

"Beamed it all up, did ya?" Jack grinned. "Sweet."

"Indeed," the Asgard solemnly affirmed.

"God, I love this guy!" Jack gave Daniel an enthusiastic squeeze. "And your technology – crazy about it, especially the beam-up-and-down deal. My favourite thing. Quite a time-saver. Have I ever told you that?"

"You may have mentioned it in passing, O'Neill."

"Well, big guy, I guess this is it," Jack gave Teal'c's shoulder a farewell pat.

"Regretfully, it would appear to be so," the large black man smiled, and inclined his head.

"Thank you watching out for Daniel," Jack said fervently, clasping Teal'c's arm one final time. "Take care of yourself, you hear? And we do expect you to drop by, some day. Bring snacks!"

"It has been an honour to fight at your side, O'Neill, DanielJackson, and to call you both friend and brother. Live well and be happy."

The Jaffa abruptly disappeared in a brilliant flash of light.

"He's been so good to me, Jack," Daniel said sorrowfully. "I never told him…how much…"

"He knows, Daniel," Jack soothed, pulling Daniel into a comforting embrace. "Trust me, he knows."

Daniel sighed, allowing himself to be roundly hugged by his lover while making no attempt to disguise how much he enjoyed the feeling of Jack's warm, hard body aligned with his and Jack's powerful arms around him. They were about to finally forge a future together, just the two of them, but even if the Asgard did build them a paradise in the distant place they were about to be conveyed to, the way Daniel felt right now, he didn't need it.

He had all the heaven he'd ever desired in his arms, and needed nothing else to be content for the rest of his life.

Although, the lake was gorgeous. Thor told him it even had fish in it.

"Ahem," came a soft utterance from behind them.

Carter. They'd forgotten she was still there.

Crap.

As one the couple slowly turned to face the woman behind them, not at all sure what to expect when they acknowledged her once more. She'd gotten quite an eyeful, and neither man knew how she was going to take it.

They tried to prepare themselves for reactions running the gamut from disgusted to furious to despondent and depressed, but they were completely unprepared for the twinkling eyes and fond smile awaiting them.

"I can believe how sweet you are together!" Sam gushed, and then giggled. "This is the most adorable thing I've ever seen!"

"Sweet!" Jack roared, outraged. "I am not sweet, Daniel – definitely no way, Jose and as for adorable – what?" Jack broke off to snap at the man poking him roughly in the ribs. "What?"

"Jack," Daniel said, smiling warmly at Sam. "Don't argue. Take it."

"What do you mean, take it?" Jack shot back.

"If Sam thinks we're sweet, then we're sweet!" Daniel hissed. "Sweet is good. It's much better than most of the alternatives."

"Oh yeah," Jack said, after a brief, but extremely scary vision of Sam doing a full-on psycho version of the woman scorned flashed across his consciousness. The woman knew how to make a bomb out of a black box full of Naquadah, for crying out loud. Oh yeah, and lest we forget that sun she'd blown up. And that was just for starters.

Daniel was right, this was better.

"Sweet is good," he obediently agreed.

Oh well, at least she hadn't said they were cute.

"I didn't mean to start a debate," she grinned contritely at them. "I just wanted to say, now I've seen you like this, now I'm really looking, well, you do sort of belong together," she admitted, her cheeks flaming. "And I'm okay with that. Well, maybe not completely okay, but…better than I thought I would be. I just wanted to say that."

"Carter, come here," Jack said kindly as both he and Daniel opened up their arms, inviting her in.

"Yes, sir," Sam blinked back tears while walking into their welcoming embrace.





Five Years Later



"Jack, wake up," Daniel nudged his dozing partner, planting a fond kiss on his forehead.

"Um…what?" Jack, started, opening his eyes. The warm sun beating brightly down on him confused him for a moment, until he realised where he was. Comfortably laid out on his chaise lounge on the observation deck. Damn, he'd fallen asleep. He hadn't meant to, he'd only intended to stretch out, catch a few rays while waiting for Daniel to finish up puttering around in his study.

The last time he'd fallen asleep like this Daniel had found him, several hours later, snoring and scarlet. Third degree sunburns over every exposed inch. Every inch, dammit. All he could say was he'd been damned thankful their handy dandy built-in Asgard medical unit was equipped to instantly deal with stupid shit like stupid shits like him nudely nodding off under the gloriously copious rays of Eden's single sun.

So happily he hadn't suffered the consequences of his ill-advised siesta for long. Daniel had taken care of his little problem. Once he'd stopped laughing. Which had taken longer than it had taken to take care of the problem.

Much longer.

"Just resting my eyes," Jack said quickly, rising up into Daniel's kiss. "Hmmmm, you taste good," he murmured appreciatively. "So, how's it going?"

"Very well, thanks. There are a couple of promising prospects in the latest batch of planetary surveys Thor sent me. The extinct civilization on Garuz 4 looks particularly interesting. It's only about ten light years away."

"So, just a day trip then," Jack smiled.

"Well, initially," Daniel nodded. "It might take years to properly examine the site, though."

"Whatever," Jack shrugged. "We've got time."

"Yeah," Daniel agreed, his eyes shining. "Lots of time."

"So, when do you want to go?" Jack yawned and stretched. "I could pack a lunch, the gear is already stowed in the flyer, if you want, we could stay a couple of weeks, camp out, just like the good old days. It'll be fun," he grinned.

"I love you," Daniel leaned down to bestow proof of his assertion upon his partner's eager mouth. "That sounds great, and I'm really looking forward to it, but it'll have to wait. We're about to have company."

"Someone rang the bell?" Jack quipped.

"That's what I came out here to tell you. According to the Sentry just informed us a Visitor's Shuttle is entering the atmosphere."

"So I see," Jack pointed to tiny speck of brilliance blazing an impressive, arching trail through the sky behind Daniel's left shoulder.

"So," Daniel said. "We're about to have company."

"So. Company. Callers. Guests."

"Yeah."

"I wonder who it is."

"We could find out. Check to see which shuttle got called out. The one keyed to respond to Sam, or Teal'c or – "

"Nah, that takes all the fun out of it."

"I'd rather wait and see too."

"So. Company. We should get our asses up to the landing pad and greet our guests."

"Okay, but Jack, although, as you well know I'm a huge fan of your birthday suit, unless you want to give whoever's coming a unexpected thrill, don't you think you should put some clothes on first?"

"Crap."




"Uncle Jack! Uncle Jack!" Jamie Carter-Shanahan joyfully shrieked while hurtling down the gangway of the sleek Asgard flyer and flinging herself into Jack's waiting arms.

"Looks like she still loves Jack the best," Daniel chuckled, feigning a pout at Jamie's laughing, bright-eyed mother disembarking after her daughter at a slightly more dignified velocity, her trajectory equally unerringly taking her into Daniel's warm embrace.

"Hey, Sam," he smiled, hugging her tightly.

"Oh, Daniel, you know that's not true," Sam happily snuggled one of the men she hadn't seen for six months and still missed intensely though five years had come and gone since the day when they'd left her, the team and their former life. Yes, she missed them, and things would never to be the same for any of them now, but as much as she loved them both and her life as a member of the original SG-1, what she had now...

She wouldn't trade it for anything, not even to have them, and that life, back.

"Hey, what's not to love?" Jack panted, engrossed in his efforts to prevent the squirming mass of excited, overjoyed toddler in his arms from bowling him completely over. "Easy there, Sunshine," he playfully admonished the child, scooping her up. She shrieked with delight at the playful manhandling, and after tucking her under his arm Jack made to properly greet his former 2IC.

"Is that a rhetorical question?" Daniel quipped, releasing Sam and accepting Jamie, allowing Jack to embrace mother while daughter hugged the crap out of her second 'uncle'.

"Uncle Daniel, you know I love you too!" the child protested, pretending to be horrified by Daniel's tragic face.

"I don't believe you," Daniel mournfully sighed, theatrically rolling his eyes. "Prove it!"

"Kisses!" the child gleefully giggled, and then proceeded to liberally anoint Daniel's face with rapid-fire butterfly pecks and smooches.

While Daniel manfully weathered the infant assault Jack warmly hugged Sam, planting an enthusiastic kiss on her cheek.

"Looking good, Carter," he said sincerely, after they released each other. "If it wasn't a cliché, I'd say you were glowing."

"Well, thank you, Sir," Sam flushed slightly with pleasure. "I have to say being in love agrees with me."

"Can't argue with you there, Carter," Jack fervently assured her.

"Hey, I'm not the only one. You're looking pretty good yourself, there, Colonel. And I say that strictly as a friend, and not as someone who thinks about you in any other context than the purely platonic. By the way, have I ever thanked you for setting me straight and dumping me?  It was by far the best thing you ever did for me."

"Once or twice," Jack shrugged, his eyes twinkling. "Though it was hardly a pleasure at the time for either one of us, I'm happy to have made my small contribution to the course of the proper unfolding of true love in your life, Carter."

"Small, maybe, but extremely significant," Sam teased. "And admittedly a blow to the ego, initially. But once I got over it, and myself, I took a look around, at someone I'd…"

"Let's face it, Carter, you treated him like crap," Jack fondly scolded her.

"Yes, Sir, I did," she unashamedly agreed. "What's more I'm damned lucky after everything I did and said to him he still considered me worth taking a second chance with, and don't think I don't know it."

"You always were worth it, Carter, you just needed to believe that yourself."

"And…go for the right guy," Sam reminded him, giving his shoulder a playful punch. "Which didn't happen to be you. Once I figured that out…"

"Oh, he's the right guy, all right," Daniel interjected, breathlessly, rejoining the conversation. "As long as you're me." The toddler-shaped burr hanging from his neck squealed and transferred back to Jack as soon as Daniel brought her close enough. Daniel suffered this second rejection with good grace, considering the arm of his partner settling comfortably around his waist more than adequate compensation for the loss of infant affections.

"He still snores, but I think I'll keep him," Daniel winked at Sam. "Besides, he's much more fun than a hot water bottle."

"Daaaaniel, ix-nay, not in front of the ild-chay!" Jack hissed with mock-horror while Jamie hooted into his ear with unbridled delight.

"Who, as you can see, has as yet to grow up himself," Daniel sadly informed Sam. "However, speaking of right guys, I don't see yours. Pete couldn't make it this trip?"

"Nope," Sam shrugged. "We…" she fluffed her daughter's blonde curls with a fond smile. "Didn't want to miss the presentation so we left Daddy behind to handle the last minute arrangements about shutting up the house."

"Carter?" Jack queried, a huge smile beginning to spread across his face.

"Well, we talked about it," she began, flushing again. "And we agreed now the Goa'uld are history and the Stargate Program has gone public, and especially with…" she paused, patting her stomach meaningfully. "The whole saving the universe thing is kind of getting old. Pete and I both think it's time I hung it up and if it's still okay we'd like to take you up on your offer. We'd like the baby to be born here on Eden."

"Oh, Sam!" Daniel exclaimed, hugging her again. "You know you guys are more than welcome. It's a huge planet. You can have your pick of any spot you want."

"And our Asgard Erector-Set can build you just about anything you can think of," Jack chimed in. "If you want you can have a house the size of Minnesota! Danny!" he said excitedly to the man by his side. "We're gonna have more neighbours!"

"More?" Sam prompted, visibly intrigued by the comment.

"Well, all I can say is if you've got your heart set on a certain spot you'd better stake your claim soon," Jack informed her with a smug smile. "Location, location, location. All the good ones are going fast. Janet and Cam have their eye on a few choice acres in Pleasant Valley. Ferretti and the missus are mulling it over, as well as General Hammond. Heck, your dad has even been making noises about building a cabin on Emerald Lake."

"He – he has?" Sam exclaimed. "My father?"

"If I'm lying Apophis isn't a dead, false god," Jack emphatically assured her. "Teal'c has already called dibs on a sizeable chunk of Oz and he'll start homesteading on it if he can ever tear himself away from the new Jaffa coalition – "

"Not to mention finally getting Ishta to say yes," Daniel added.

"If the current trend continues mostly everybody we used to hang with in the SGC is going to be living somewhere on this planet," Jack smiled proudly.  "In a few more years you won't be able to swing a dead cat around these parts without hitting a familiar face. It's gonna be cool!"

"Yeah," Daniel nodded. "But that's neither here nor there, at the moment, did I – did I hear you say, earlier, the reason why you and Jamie are here, now, and Pete's not…you were saying something about a – a presentation?"

"Carter?" Jack added his interest to Daniel's.

Sam opened her mouth to answer but was interrupted by the sound of several soft chiming tones emanating from the portal leading into the house from the hangar deck.

"What the – " Jack sputtered. "Saved by the bell, Carter. Unless my ears deceive me, that's another couple of shuttles returning to the roost."

"Three, I think, actually," Daniel confirmed. “A lot of people, all at once. That's...odd.

"Carter, what's going on?"

"You'll see," Sam grinned, scooping her daughter and making for the inviting environs of Jack and Daniel's sumptuous and spacious Asgard residence. "By the way, Sir," she addressed the men falling into step beside her. "Are you ever going to call me Sam?"

"Yeahsureyoubetcha," Jack nodded. "Right about the same time you stop calling me 'Sir.'”





Jack rested his chin on Daniel's shoulder, giving his partner an affectionate squeeze while his eyes roved fondly over the cherished faces of the people surrounding them. They had quite a full house at the moment, the low, comfortable circular divan dominating the huge 'conversation pit' on the hospitality level nearly occupied to capacity, but every single soul clustered about them was more than welcome. He and Daniel, they had a good life together, each day more precious than the last. His life was rich, complete, and he couldn't want for anything more, but still, as good as everything was, it was nice to have company.

Teal'c had mellowed over the years. Grown hair, too. That still took some getting used to, but Jack was definitely a fan of the more relaxed version of his formerly forbiddingly stoic team mate. Now the Jaffa were truly free and well on their way to becoming productive members of the galactic community the big guy was finally loosening up, taking the time to think about himself, his own future, and a certain lady Jaffa still playing hard to get.

Jack wished him well with that one. Teal'c might have brought the Goa'uld to their knees but Ishta was proving to be a much harder nut to crack.

"You've never once regretted your decision to leave the SGC, have you Jack?" Lieutenant General Retired George Hammond's soft query roused him from his indulgent musings.

"Nope." He hoisted the cold bottle of Guinness he'd been happily partaking of in salute to his former commanding officer. "I miss beer," he admitted with a shrug. "Thanks for restocking the fridge, by the way. I miss the pizza delivery boy and being able to see a hockey game without a six-month or so time lag, but other than that, can't say I've ever regretted hanging it all up. Believe me, Sir." He finished by fervently hugging a blushing Daniel to his chest. "Nothing means more to me than what I've got right now. Or this man right here."

"I can see that." Hammond concluded his comment with a quiet, approving smile. "And for whatever it's worth, although I wasn't entirely convinced at the time, you made the right call. You're a very lucky man, Jack O'Neill."

"Don't I know it, General," Jack sighed, nuzzling the side of Daniel's neck. "I'm glad you finally see it that way, too."

"And speaking of hanging it up," Daniel turned to the petite, auburn haired woman seated beside him in an effort to move the conversation into an less personal area. "Have you really quit, Janet?"

"You betcha, honeychile," Janet drawled, and laughed. "We both have," she finished, patting her husband on the knee.

Cameron Mitchell grasped Janet's hand, pressing it to his lips. Jack once again observed the obvious warmth and deep affection between the pair and highly approved. He'd been initially unsure of Mitchell – the man had been given command of SG-l when the team was finally officially reactivated with two new members in the wake of Hammond's 'acceptance' of Daniel's resignation and the pair of them haring off with Thor to their new home. Jack hadn't met Mitchell previously so he'd never had the opportunity to get to know him before he took the top spot on the top team and had started courting Janet Fraiser. But in the interim the man had more than proved his worthiness for both honours, as far as Jack was concerned.

Besides, he made Janet damned happy. You'd have to be blind not to see it; the woman was luminous with contentment. Yeah, Mitchell would do, all right. He'd never served with the man and he still wasn't exactly what Jack would call a bosom buddy, but he was okay.

"We've decided we want to do some travelling," Mitchell continued, draping an arm around his wife. "Take a little sight-seeing tour around the galaxy. We figure we've saved it enough times, we should maybe go and simply enjoy it for a change."

"It's a big place so it might take awhile," Janet added. "We'd still like our home base to be here, but we wouldn't actually be around a whole lot for a couple of years."

"No, they'll be spying on me while I'm attending the Vodran Academy," Cassandra whispered, leaning confidentially towards Jack and glaring at her mother from her refuge behind the ex-colonel.

"Oh, we might drop in there and say 'hi', now and again but I'd hardly call it spying," Janet teased.

"I knew it," Cassandra flopped back against the back of the low divan, arms crossed, pretending to sulk. "Geez, Mom, I'm almost 24 years old.  I don't need a keeper."

"No, of course you don't, honey. You're all grown up now, but you'll always be our little girl. If you ever decide to have kids of your own one day, you'll understand."

"I'll have to take your word for it," Cassandra sighed, her gaze carefully averted.

Understanding and sadness briefly flared in Janet's eyes. "You're still serious about going through with it, then."

"Yes," Cassandra nodded. "I've thought about it a lot, and I really want to do it. I think it would be an honour to accept a Tok'ra symbiote. If they will have me, that is."

"The honour would be all ours," Jacob Carter smiled proudly at his 'granddaughter'. "We wish more people would view the possibility more favourably. Janet, I know you have reservations, but I can honestly tell you blending with Selmac has been the most positive experience of my life. You know I love Cassie and if I had any doubts she wouldn't enjoy as beneficial and rich as life as a host - "

"I couldn't have a better example than Grandpa Jacob of how I could personally benefit from hosting a symbiote, or how much good I could do as a host." Cassandra turned to her mother, entreating. "Grandpa Jacob wouldn't even be here if not for the Tok'ra and his symbiote. And he's had an amazing life with them, done and seen so much and it's far from over. I want that, too. I want to know so much and be so much! Please Mom, Dad, try to understand, I really want to do this!"

"Okay, okay!" Janet held up her hands. We'll talk about this later! Right now, we're here for…you know…not to deal with major family business."

"Oh yeah," Cassandra grinned. "Sorry!"

"Just for the record, I'm with your Mom," Jack shuddered. "Ewwwwww! No offence, Jacob."

"None taken, Jack," Jacob shot him a wry grin.

"Mighty glad you're still here and all, but once again, ewwwww…." Jack made a face.

"Well, all right, people," Hammond put on his 'official' face and rose, addressing the chuckling assemblage. "If we're certain everyone who's going to be coming is in fact here, perhaps we should proceed with the business at hand."

"Robert?" Daniel ventured. "He's not coming? Again?"

"No, Daniel, I'm afraid not," Sam said. "He sends his best wishes, and his regrets."

"But…he was in the middle of something just too fascinating or pressing to put down." Daniel smiled wistfully.

"You know Robert," Sam nodded. "It's always something. He'd live in the mountain, in that office if they'd let him. He'll probably stay on SG-1 until they force him to retire and as for leaving the SGC…"

"They'll have to carry him out in a box. Well, we'll catch up with him sometime between now and then," Daniel sighed. Still, the SGC couldn't have a better man continuing to carry the torch. I was happy to know he'd taken my place on SG-1."

"Amen to that," Jack quickly added, before turning his attention back to Hammond. "Now we've settled that, you were saying, General."

"Call me George, Jack, please, that's all behind all of us, now. But yes, I suppose you are both wondering why we've all…descended upon you like this."

"Not that we aren't tickled pink to see each and every one of you, but yeah," Jack admitted for both of them. Daniel nodded in tacit agreement while Hammond continued with his explanation.

"We've all gathered here to make you aware of a certain…occasion…recently celebrated in your honour. We thought you might want to know it, and possibly do a little celebrating of your own.

"Which of course, you'd all be more than happy to help with," Jack grinned.

"Though we are well aware we do not need an excuse to 'party' with you and DanielJackson, O'Neill," Teal'c suddenly piped up from the quiet corner where he'd been silently observing the room and the repartee.

"Indeed." Hammond acknowledged the comment with a nod. "To continue, I was recently contacted by President Atkar of Astiria."

"Do tell!" Jack quipped, after glancing at Daniel. "There's a name we haven't heard in a long time. How is the old reprobate?"

"Just fine, actually," Hammond supplied. "He's beginning his third term in office."

"Good for him. So, what did he want?"

"He wished me to attend the 5th Anniversary Celebration of O'Neill Day."

"Of what?" Daniel exclaimed.

"The Astirians made a national holiday of the day Jack supposedly got himself blown up on their behalf. They celebrate it every year."

"O'Neill Day," Jack beamed. "I like the sound of that. Has a really nice ring to it, don't you think?" He gave Daniel an emphatic elbow prod. The prodded man shoved him back, rolling his eyes.

"I'm not going to encourage you." Daniel deliberately ignored Jack, gesturing for Hammond to continue. "So, did you go, Sir?"

"Unfortunately I was unable to stay for the official ceremonies themselves, but I did briefly go to Astiria because Atkar was most anxious I receive something from them I was to present to both of you on their behalf. Apparently this year, being the fifth since the 'accident' holds a special significance for the Astirians, being something they call a Quada. For O'Neill Day this year they issued a small commemorative souvenir to mark the Quada celebration of the event, and Atkar wanted you and Daniel to have one. After I saw it, I fully understand why. You definitely have to have this," Hammond finished with an enigmatic smile, before nodding at Sam.

"We all believe you should possess this remembrance as well," Teal'c supplied for the barely contained assemblage. "We furthermore wished to observe your expressions once you have received it. Ergo, we are here."

"Thank you, I think," Jack said uncertainly, both he and Daniel exchanging puzzled glances while Sam took an Asgard crystal out of her handbag. She handed it to Jamie, who by now, although she'd previously been remarkably restrained and well behaved, was clearly busting to let several cats out of a considerably large bag.

Everyone else in the room was likewise grinning madly. Something was definitely…up.

"Now, Mommy?" Jamie piped, her little hands gripping the glowing stone. "Can I do it now?"

"Yes, honey," Sam proudly instructed her daughter. "Do it just the way I showed you."

The little girl briefly manipulated the stone while her mother looked on, ready to assist if necessary. Suddenly there was a familiar flash atop the large, low glass table in the centre of the circular conversation pit. When the light and the familiar sound of a transport beam had faded, the Jack and Daniel found themselves looking at a large crystal disk that hadn't been there before resting on the tabletop.

"Nice coaster," Jack remarked, eyeing it sceptically. "Not that we don't appreciate the thought, but you really didn't need to go to all the trouble. Really. Coasters, we've got."

Not like this one, Uncle Jack,” Jamie giggled.

"Jack, I've seen these before/" Daniel thoughtfully gnawed on his lower lip and contemplated the object on the table in front of him. "When we were on Astiria. There was one in my room, remember? In yours too – before you broke it."

"Oh yeah. The hologram…thingees. And I didn't break it, it…fell," he belligerently informed Daniel and started to reach for the device.

"Jack, if I may." Hammond held up a hand. "Before you – turn it on – there are a few things I'd like to explain."

Jack shrugged and settled back. "Go for it."

"It's Jack's statue, isn't it?" Daniel narrowed his eyes, trying to understand the strange mirthful undercurrent permeating the room. "The statue the Astirians were going to erect for him – Atkar's given us a miniature version of it. God, I'd almost forgotten about it."

"Me too," Jack added. "As hard as that might be to believe. Although I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't mind seeing it, even after all this time. They'd better have spelled my name right." He glanced at Daniel.

"Oh, they did," Hammond reassured him, with a slight grin. "Doctor Jackson, as the recognized and acknowledged Dhanat of the Saviour of Astiria, on the occasion of the Quadda Anniversary of his sacrifice, and your subsequent terrible loss, the grateful citizens of Astiria wish to present you with this special remembrance. Atkar asked me to 'officially' offer Doctor Jackson the condolences of the populace and their hopes he will find this memorial a sufficient tribute. Privately, he hopes you'll both get a kick out of what you're about to see, especially once you understand exactly what the Astirians have been publicly acknowledging and honouring all this time."

"What?" Jack demanded of the man in his arms, softly snickering since hearing the word 'Dhanat'. "What's so funny?"

"Oh God, Jack, I think I know where this is going.”

Hammond could barely keep a straight face while reaching for the disk. "The first time I saw the statue was a couple of days ago, when I arrived on Astiria. It's standing in front of the Palace, just as Atkar told us it would be. It's really…quite...impressive," he finished, coughing.

"Nice, huh?" Jack prompted, eager for the general to get on with it. There was definitely some background giggling beginning to emanate from various parts of the room.

"Atkar explained to me they wanted to pay you the highest honour they possibly could, so when they designed it… they do thing a little differently there," Hammond's lips twitched with his efforts to keep the obvious mirth underlying his comments under control. "The Astirians consider familial and intimate bonds to be of the utmost importance and worthy of recognition and celebration in their own right, and the idea of singly honouring any sort of important historical or politically significant figure without acknowledging he was a man and was loved…well, they just don't do it that way," he finished with shrug.

Jack stared at him blankly. "Still not getting it.”

"Don't worry, you will," Ferretti snickered, ignoring his wife's playful slap.

"Maybe I'd just better show you," Hammond sighed, tapping the centre of the disk twice to activate it.

The crystal immediately glowed, the luminescence flowing up to form a swirling nimbus above the base swiftly resolving itself into a fully realised, substantial, three dimensional figure.

Jack stared, hard, at the miniature representation of what had to be one impressive monument when you super-sized it. Damned impressive indeed. Gleaming like highly polished silver, the figures were so precise, so detailed they looked real enough to get right up off the mini pedestal and start walking around.

There were two men on that dais, not one. One of them, clearly him, and a damned good likeness it was. Quite impressive. The other man – the other man…

As soon as Jack realised what he was looking at and what it meant he gave way, as did everyone else, and the room rocked with hearty laughter.




"It's a beautiful, isn't it?"

Formin Meck covertly rubbed his sweaty palms against his thighs to purge them of the offending dampness. He couldn't believe he'd finally found the nerve – he 'd actually spoken to…him. He'd been stopping here, every day after work for almost a full month, hoping to catch even the smallest glimpse of the tall, blond god he'd been secretly lusting over since the first time he'd seen him here, standing staring so raptly, so seriously at the Saviour of Astria. The object of Meck's affection didn't come every day, but he'd showed up often enough to give the young man hope, and finally enough courage, to do more than glance, yearn and dream.

"Oh yes," the blond god nodded, never taking his eyes off the imposing monument towering over them.

"I…I like to look at it," Meck hoped he didn't sound like he was burbling like a complete idiot. "I actually saw him once."

Beautiful, he's so beautiful and he's talking…to me.

"The Saviour?" The object of Formin's adoration turned to give him a slight smile, almost reducing him to a quivering puddle on the spot.

"It was only for a moment," Meck continued, feeling more confident. The inquisitive eyes trained upon him seemed bright, kind and actually interested in what he was saying. "I was working at the Repository at the time. He was being conducted on an official tour. He walked right past me and said 'hello'," Meck finished proudly. "I've never forgotten it."

"Did he really?" the intense, blue eyes devouring him flared with obvious interest. "That must have been exciting." His face abruptly lit up, as if he also had something to share. "I – " he blurted, and then fell abruptly silent, the joy draining from his face, and for a brief, terrible second Meck was afraid he was the cause of his companion's distress.

"Never mind, it's not important," the blond finally murmured. "That must have been an incredible experience.” He smiled warmly at Meck once more. "Truly a memory to cherish. The Saviour was an amazing man. Were you fortunate enough to see the Dhanat as well?" This time the smile he bestowed upon the completely besotted Meck was utterly dazzling.

Meck basked in the man's continued regard, feeling he could die now and his life would be complete.

"Unfortunately, no," he admitted with a sigh. "The Saviour was unaccompanied by any other members of his team at the time."

"That's too bad. Still, you did see the Saviour. I envy you. I wish I could have met him as well, even in passing. My name is Terrin, by the way."

He extending his hand to Meck, his smile suddenly tremulous, his gaze warm and slightly self-conscious.

"F – Formin," Meck gulped, grasping Terrin's outstretched hand and shaking it vigorously.

"Formin, it's nice to meet you. I've seen you here, a couple of times."

"I – I like to stop by, on my way home from work." It was only a partial lie, and it made Terrin smile again.

"I thought so," Terrin nodded, still holding Meck's hand.

"I've seen you here, too," Meck admitted.

"I was kind of hoping you had."

"Really?"

Too good, this was too good to be true but he meant it, he really meant it, he could see it in his eyes.

"Uh huh. If you hadn't said something today… I was going to…"

"You would have?" Meck grinned shyly at Terrin.

"Uh huh," Terrin nodded. "I would have."

"So," Meck felt impossibly audacious." "Do you want to…to go somewhere, maybe sit and talk, have some claava, possibly something to eat?"

"I'd like that very much," Terrin nodded, brushing his fingers across Meck's cheek.

"Where would you like to go?"

Terrin smiled and put his arm around Meck's shoulders, preparing to steer him toward a cosy bistro he knew close by serving in his opinion the best claava in the city. He'd had his eye on this man for a long time, and now they'd actually spoken, he had a good feeling. A really good feeling.

How peculiar of all the places in the city where he and Formin could have possibly crossed paths it should be here, at the statue of the man who'd had such a profound influence on him. He'd come a very long way in five years, grown up and away from the callow, brazen youth who'd chatted with a dead man. And as a result of the conversation, changed the entire direction of his life. He'd thought about Jack O'Neill many, many times in the ensuing years, but he'd never once broken faith and revealed what he'd seen and knew, and he never would.

That much he could do for Astiria, and Jack O'Neill.

He cast a parting glance at the statue looming grandly over them, briefly scanning the inspiring image of the two men surmounting the pedestal posed in the traditional manner – the Saviour standing, his hand resting on the left shoulder of the Dhanat Daniel Jackson, seated before him. The Dhanat's right arm was crossed over his chest, raised to cover the one on his left shoulder. Both men's expressions were brave and serene, their eyes trained upon a distant eternity.

Terrin was deeply familiar with the image, having come here to contemplate it many times in the past five years. Then as now he remembered patient 359, and wondered if the enigmatic man was, as he claimed, the same one whose larger-than-life image would endure and continue to inspire the citizens of Astiria long after Terrin Abik would be around appreciate it.

Terrin hoped the man under all those bandages had indeed been Jack O'Neill, and he'd gone from Astiria and somehow he found his way back to his Dhanat. He drew Meck closer, desperately wishing somewhere Jack O'Neill and Daniel Jackson were together. More than that; although it was probably far too early, after all, he hardly knew anything about Formin besides his name, he had a feeling, maybe, finally, he'd found his own Dhanat.

Only time would tell.

Ardis bless you both, wherever you are, and may she make me as fortunate in love.

Terrin bestowed his parting mental benediction upon the statue and finally left it behind to step forward with Formin into a hopeful future.




FINIS



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Biblio, PhoenixE, babs, Brionhet, Darcy, Devra, Fabrisse, JoaG, Kalimyre, Marcia, Rowan and Sideburns, 2001-2008.
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Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of Stargate Productions, Sci Fi Channel, Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions. These stories are for entertainment purposes only. No copyright infringement is intended. The original characters, situations, and story are the property of the author. These stories may not be posted elsewhere without the consent of the author. Copyright on images remains with the above named rightsholders.
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