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24 October 2011 @ 11:07 pm
Fic: Connections  


Title: Connections

Author: Magickmoons
Fandom: SG-1
Genre: Gen
Rating: K+
Summary: Missing Scene for The Enemy Within taking place after Kawalski’s death and prior to the General’s phonecall with the President. Jack, Sam, and Daniel dealing with recent events.
Disclaimer: Not mine



My friend died on the table.”

She found him sitting alone in the briefing room. Everyone else seemed to have gone home or was busy with their duty assignments. His face was drawn with fatigue and grief. She realized that she hadn’t seen him since their hurried debrief following Kawalsky’s death. At that point, he had been very professional, the consummate soldier. Loss is part of the job, especially in front-line units.

He could feel her staring but didn’t have the energy to summon up a smart-ass remark. Even just a few hours ago, it would have been fun to say something outrageous or un-military, just to see how she would react. He still didn’t quite have a handle on her and had been enjoying poking around a little to see what made her tick.

She cleared her throat. He looked up tiredly. Despite the overwhelming desire to ignore her , to ignore
everything, he was her CO. It might actually be important.

She had a look of concern on her face as she said, “Just wanted to let you know that I’m leaving for the night, Colonel.”

He nodded. Not important, then.

“Teal’c’s transfer has been put on hold until the General’s call with the President in the morning. We have someone watching Kennedy’s quarters to make sure he doesn’t try to slip out with him tonight.”

“Good.”

Everything about her CO was saying Leave Me Alone, but she couldn’t leave without saying something. It wasn’t right that he was sitting here alone. “I’m sorry about Major Kawalsky, Colonel.”

Jack tried not to wince at the sound of his friend’s name.

“Had you known him long, Sir?”

“You know, Carter,” his voice sounded harsh even to his own ears. “I don’t really wanna talk about it. Go on home.”

She nodded and turned to leave when she was struck with what she realized may be a very, very bad idea. She had only known him a few days and he hadn’t been all that thrilled with the idea of her on his team and he had just told her to leave. Reluctant to leave him in so much pain however, she turned back.

“You want to go get drunk?”

That got a reaction. His head whipped up, and he stared at her incredulously. “Excuse me, Captain?”

She hesitated only for a second before slightly revising her question. In for a penny... she mentally shrugged. “You want to get drunk, Sir?”

He chuckled mirthlessly. “It wasn’t the military etiquette I was questioning, Captain. It was your invitation.”

“You look like you could use it. I’m just offering you some company if you like.”

Jack looked at her. It had been a very long couple of days and, even given the advantage of her youth, he was sure she was just a physically exhausted as he was. Yet here she was, trying to make sure he was okay. It was awfully tempting, but he was not sure that going drinking with his new 2IC was the smartest move. Besides, there was another consideration.

“Ah, Daniel’s staying with me right now until he gets his own place. I’m his ride.”

She smiled. “So we’ll bring him along. I’d say let’s invite Teal’c too, but, even excluding Kennedy, I don’t think he’s allowed off the base just yet.”

~SG1~

It was a subdued trio that wandered into O’Malley’s that night. The waitress tried her best to put them at ease while taking their drink orders but still left the table feeling like she was escaping a funeral. The smiling, laughing people all around them only to serve to highlight the tension and discomfort among the three of them, each already certain that this was a huge mistake.

They sat silently, waiting for their drinks, a buzz of conversation punctuated by the clacking of pool balls surrounding them but not intruding on their individual grief and exhaustion. Sam looked at the others, trying to figure out why she thought this would be a good idea. Daniel was sitting slouched in on himself staring blankly, his default demeanor since he had returned to Earth. The colonel was overly alert, tense and
restless, a protective shell surrounding him nearly as solid as a wall. She sighed softly. She’d gotten them there, but she had no idea what to do now.

Daniel sighed as he tried to figure out why he was here. But to do that, he first had to determine if ‘here’
meant at the bar or if it meant on this planet. Just a week ago, he had been happy and in love, content in the simplicity of his existence. It had not taken him long to adjust to the subsistence living of Sha’re’s people after Jack and the others had left him on Abydos. Now, constantly inundated with strangers wherever he turned, overwhelmed by the noise and air pollution all around, and dedicated to the probably impossible task of recovering Sha’re, he had a feeling that his adjustment period was going to be substantially longer. Who did he have here to help ease him back into this chaotic life? He had no family, broken ties with most of his friends and colleagues even before that disastrous lecture, and after a year without word, he couldn’t imagine that anyone was still thinking about him.

Everyone he could possibly call friend anymore would be found at the SGC: Jack, Sam, Kawalski, Ferretti. Then he remembered why they were here. Kawalski was dead. He tightened his arms around himself. His mind drifted back to the list that Kasuf had composed of the Abydonians killed in the fight against Ra. The entire village had learned it, adding it into their oral history. Somehow sure that there were more casualties to come, Daniel began mentally to compile his own list of those he would never forget. He craned his neck looking around for the waitress. He needed that drink.

Jack sat, scanning the room constantly, his fingers tapping an unending beat on the table. He remembered coming back from Abydos the first time. After all the debriefings were finally over and the reports filed, he had taken Kawalski and Ferretti out for a drink like this. Not here, of course. He’d chosen someplace new tonight, trying to escape the memories. He laughed silently to himself; he had enough years of this behind him to know that there really was no way to escape. He looked over at Daniel and Carter; they were so young,  enthusiastic and idealistic. The weight of their future well-being hung as heavily on him as the weight of his past failures. Carter was certainly well-trained and Daniel handled himself better than Jack recalled, but still neither of them could hope to be prepared for what was sure to come in this newly declared war.

Sam glanced at her silent teammates and then looked around at the other customers. People eating and drinking, talking and silent. She was shocked at how alien she felt compared to them. She had thought she was so prepared. She had known about the existence of the gate for years, had reviewed the mission reports from Abydos, was certain that she was completely used to the concept that other life forms were out there.

But it turned out it was a little bit like going through the gate itself: all the technical knowledge, the intellectual comprehension of the event could not prepare her for the ride. And now, it all seemed different. She had traveled to another planet. She had seen men die, seen others possessed by the goa’uld. She admitted to herself now that her motives behind the invitation were not entirely altruistic. She didn’t want to be alone with these thoughts that she couldn’t share with anyone outside the mountain.

Their drinks arrived, glass bottoms set on the table seeming to echo in their little chamber of silence. The server was obviously unnerved by their demeanor so Jack gave her a charming smile as he thanked her, setting her slightly more at ease. Sam ordered a couple of appetizers for the table and Jack preemptively ordered a second round for the table. After she had left, Jack raised his glass and the others followed suit. “To Major Charles Kawalski.” They drank.

Daniel put his glass down, Kawalski’s name circling in his head, calling forth memories. The warmth of the shots seemed to break the ice, spurring him to start in with a series of “Hey Jack, do you remember...?” and soon they were all intrigued, sometimes laughing, sometimes reflective, as Jack and Daniel traded anecdotes from the original Abydos mission. Jack then reached farther back in his memory and told some highly edited tales of his escapades with Kawalski as they came up through the ranks. The conversation took a broader turn after a while, as they reached out to each other with small glimpses of their own pasts, struggling to personalize the connection that had been forced upon them by circumstance.

~SG1~ 

Two hours later, Daniel’s head was resting in his hand, elbow perched precariously near the edge of the table as he swayed slowly back and forth. Sam kept an eye on the colonel. He had been knocking back a few, but still seemed fairly sober; the only sign of inebriation seemed to be a loosening of his tongue as he continued to dig up stories out of his past. She had switched to diet soda after the first round, determined to make sure that everyone made it home okay this evening.

As Jack paused, she nodded toward Daniel. “I think maybe we’d better get him home, Sir.”

Jack chuckled. “Yeah, he’s a lightweight. Although I don’t know how, drinking that stuff of Skaara’s for a year.” Sam smiled, remembering the look on the colonel’s face when he’d tasted the ‘moonshine.’ Sam reached for the check, but Jack grabbed it first. “I’ve got this one, Captain.”

~SG1~

Sam maneuvered a staggering Daniel through the front door and looked to her CO for guidance. He indicated the direction of the guest room which she found without problem. She eased Daniel’s arm from  around her shoulder and supported him as he bonelessly collapsed on the bed. She went off in search of the water he was sure to be wanting soon.

As she walked down the hallway, she saw the colonel apparently passed out in what must be the master bedroom.

She grabbed several aspirin and two glasses of water, leaving a glass and some aspirin on the colonel’s bedside table and taking the rest into Daniel’s room. Gently removing his glasses, she placed them next to the pills. Retreating quietly, she found a phone and called for a taxi.

It was going to take a while for the cab to show up since the colonel had chosen to live as far from the urban center of the city as possible. While she waited, she found herself wandering around the house. It was not  what she had expected, but at the same time seemed to fit what she knew of her new CO. Quiet and orderly, style stepping aside for comfort.

She ventured outside and found some stairs leading to an observation deck. Climbing up, she sat on a rickety wooden chair noting the high-end telescope. She uncovered it and had just put her eye to the lens when she heard steps coming up the stairs behind her and looked over as the colonel slowly came into view.

“I thought you were asleep Sir.”

“Nah, just taking a minute to regroup.”

She looked back through the telescope to hide her smile. “This is a nice setup you have here.”

“Surprised, Carter?”

She sat up and looked at him. “Maybe a little. I thought you didn’t like scientists,” she teased.

“Yeah, well, that may have been an overly broad generalization.”

She looked like she wanted to say something else, but their attention was distracted by a car slowly coming into sight down the street. It slowed as it approached the house. “That’s probably my taxi, Sir.”

They made their way down the ladder and walked around to the front of the house. “You’ll be okay getting home, Captain?” he asked as she turned to head down his front walk.

She paused. They’d been halfway across the galaxy and back and he was worried about her getting
across town. It was kind of sweet, not that she would ever let him know that. She looked back, unable to completely hide the smile in her eyes. “I think I’ll be okay, Colonel. See you tomorrow morning.”

“Bright and early, Carter. We’ve got a galaxy to explore.” He smiled as she settled into the taxi, watching it pull away down the street and turn the corner before heading back in for the night.



 
 
 
Fig Newton: sam is readingsg_fignewton on May 8th, 2013 09:11 am (UTC)
I just had the pleasure of reccing this. :)
magickmoons: kawooshmagickmoons on May 8th, 2013 04:16 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much!
Sid: Jack gate and skysidlj on May 8th, 2013 07:18 pm (UTC)
A great look at some early teambuilding under the very worst of circumstances. Sam has good instincts!
magickmoons: classic teammagickmoons on May 9th, 2013 01:20 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I'm glad you liked it.
Lokei - a little mischief now and then: daniel-if you dreamlokei on May 9th, 2013 04:48 pm (UTC)
Yay! This is amazing timing, as I just watched The Enemy Within this week. I love your Sam, and the "Want to get drunk, Sir" exchange is spot on and made me grin.

I also like the hint that Jack's not able to sleep with others in his house, yet, wandering about and poking at things--that's a man with a lot of walls and privacy issues, this early on.
magickmoons: JDSmagickmoons on May 10th, 2013 08:27 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much! This was one of the first things I wrote in SG1 and it was kind of my way of feeling the characters out a bit. For instance, I agree with your read on Jack at the end there - but it wasn't deliberate, just one of those intuitive things that I wouldn't get until later.
thothmes: Good Fic Carter?thothmes on May 11th, 2013 06:23 am (UTC)
A great look at the team (minus Teal'c still wrapped up in Air Force blue red tape) sounding out each other's needs and boundaries.

I liked the whole thing, but the line "Yeah, well, that may have been an overly broad generalization.” really appealed to me. It just seemed like such an utterly pitch-perfect call for how Jack would handle that situation.
magickmoons: three amigosmagickmoons on May 11th, 2013 06:56 pm (UTC)
Thanks! It's interesting exploring why / how they all gelled so well. I mean, the crisis-reaction obviously gives them something, but there's something more that binds all four of them together. This was supposed to be the beginning of that exploration for me, but I got a little sidetracked.