Disclaimer: Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions. I have written this story for entertainment purposes only and no money whatsoever has exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. The original characters, situations, and story are the property of the author(s).
He had been kicked off the base. There was no other description for it. Landry had lined him up at
the door, drawn back his boot, connected it with Daniel's rump and sent him flying out of the
The fact that Sam had been not far behind was little comfort. What was it with those who had no
interest in the sciences? Didn't they have moments where they just had to work? Wasn't there any
obsession in their bones?
At that thought, Jack immediately came to mind. Obsession, yes. He guessed the topic just varied.
The Jack in his head was giving him that look. Okay, okay, it had been a tough several weeks, but
when were they going to realise that he found his work relaxing and satisfying?
Fishing is relaxing, Daniel.
Daniel fought back the urge to snort as he opened his front door, keys clanking on the woodwork.
Teal'c had been the victim this time around for that little adventure. Despite the fact the
archaeologist would have enjoyed visiting the General, he had so wanted to get his head into his
current project, he'd begged off.
He also had enough healing mosquitoesque bites left over from the last mud encrusted mission.
Sometimes he was tempted to follow Jack off base and return to earthbound and much safer
interests for a while ... but then he remembered what it was he did and dropped the idea immediately.
Mosquito bites or no.
But then Landry had kicked him off base anyway.
Okay, so the latest diplomatic mission had been stressful enough to cause his hair to fall out. The
fact that it had and then sprouted on the nearest Asgard was just the nature of his job. Thor had
been very put out. Personally he thought a hairy Asgard looked a great deal warmer, but
considering the amount of hair transposed was equal to his human male body hair, the result had
been eye opening to say the least.
Thor's aide had been the Asgard nearest to Sam and it was worth his life to comment on that one.
So not going there.
Suffice it to say that scarves and bandanas had become the fashion of SG-1.
His hair had fortunately grown back, with the aid of a little Asgard wizardry, and was now only a
severe military cut, so he'd left the base sans bandana. At that thought, he self-consciously ran his
hand across the soft crop on his head. Another reason for begging off the trip to Minnesota - the
expression on Jack's face would most likely be unbearable.
Dropping his keys onto the bench, his eyes narrowed a little, but he couldn't help but smile at the
The armful of books quickly followed the keys, but the thud of textbook hitting wood was echoed
by the chime of his doorbell.
He frowned. No one expected him to be home.
Backtracking, he opened the door to find Sam hovering uncertainly on his doorstep, the flowery
scarf around her head fluttering in the breeze.
She hesitated. "Daniel, can I speak to you for a moment?"
"Sure." He held the door open for her and she edged in, definitely uncomfortable. He frowned as
he shut the door and ushered her into the living room. "Are you okay?"
She looked at him, and catching his expression, her eyes widened a little. "Oh. Yes, I'm fine.
There's nothing wrong. Not really."
Not really, huh? Then why was she so edgy? "Have a seat. Coffee?"
"No, no, I'm fine." She ran her hands down the sides of her thighs as if not sure what to do with
them, but then abruptly perched on the edge on his couch.
She might not want one, but the thought had him yearning for a cup and a moment later and he had
the kitchen prepped for coffee. Unfortunately, however, he found he was reduced to instant. Food
shopping seemed to slip down the priority list when the world needed saving.
The kettle heated up with the comforting sound of water heading for the boil. Returning to the
living room while he waited, he leant on the doorframe, watching her. "So, what did you want to
She looked up at him, going for the deer in headlights motif. What was wrong? He left his perch
and took another on the couch opposite her. He gently grabbed her hands and stopped them
fidgeting. "C'mon, Sam, what is it?"
"I think I've screwed up."
She swallowed and refused to look him in the eye. "Have you ever been in the situation where
someone appears to like you very much, but you're not sure how it could possibly work?"
"Uh, yeah, once."
She blinked. "You have?"
"Yeah, one of the nurses had a crush on me a few years back."
"How did you fix it?"
"Daniel, you had to have done something."
"I didn't. Well, I did, but it didn't really have anything to do with me."
"So what happened?"
"I died." He shrugged. "Tends to put a dampener on romantic interests."
"Oh." Now she was staring at him.
"Hey, I didn't say it was going to help." He gave her an innocent look that quickly turned back to
one of a more sober nature. "So is it a crush?"
She sighed. "I'm not sure 'crush' is the right word. There is this whole cross-cultural thing to
consider ..." She paused before barrelling on in a rush. "He gave me a rose."
Daniel blinked. "He gave you a rose?" The kettle chose that moment to boil and shrill noisily. He
jumped up from his seat and strode quickly into the kitchen. "Who gave you a rose?"
She raised her voice so he could hear her. "He's an alien, Daniel. I'm just not sure if I'm
interpreting his advances correctly. Hell, he may not even be aware of what he was doing. I
thought I'd dismiss the Valentine's Day thing, but now he's been acting differently around me. And
it's important. What affects SG-1 affects the world where it comes to extraterrestrial relations. I've
learnt that the hard way."
He frowned, distracted by the warm smell of coffee wafting up from the boiling water he was
pouring into his mug. "What else has he done, other than the rose thing?" If this was what he
thought it was, somehow he was not surprised. Really.
"Well, not a huge amount. He is always polite and courteous. He helps where he can and despite
that facade of stoicism, I think he cares a great deal. I just don't want to screw this all up because I
can't handle his overtures."
She was back to tense and worried by the time he made it back to the living room. "Well, we have
all known each other some time now and been through a great deal, perhaps he feels it is time to get
to know you better?" It was a random comment. He really needed to corner Teal'c on this one.
Why hadn't he asked Daniel for advice?
But then he was up at Jack's now. Perhaps that is why he allowed himself to be dragged off on one
of those legendary bug infested outings. It would explain a lot.
Though Daniel couldn't help but be a little hurt his friend didn't feel comfortable talking to him
about this kind of thing.
"I guess that could be it. I'm just afraid I'm leading him on without realising it."
"Well, you are kind of irresistible."
"No, seriously. Think about it. You're smart. You're symmetrical. Always a good thing in any
"If you're not going to take this seriously-"
"I am taking it seriously. In any culture, those attributes are always highly valued. Perhaps
someone has finally noticed just how much yours are undervalued."
She narrowed her eyes at him, still unsure. "Do you honestly think it could work?"
"Don't you?" He straightened in his seat. "C'mon, Sam, he's a good man. Look at what he has
done for us."
She twisted her lips. "For us, yes. But what about personal stuff? Sometimes it is so hard to read
his expression. How do I know I'm interpreting what he feels correctly?"
"How do you feel?"
She shifted in her seat, uncomfortable. "I admire him and you're right, he is a great man." She
sighed. "I don't know. I guess I'll have to think about it some more."
He caught one of her restless hands again. "I'm sure it will work out fine."
She smiled, still thoughtful, but squeezing his hand in return. "Thanks, Daniel."
"Okay, so what are your plans during our exile?"
"I was thinking of working on a few equations."
"Same here. Though in my case, it's a translation." He hesitated a moment. "Work party?'
She smiled again. "Work party. My stuff's in the car." And she jumped up, heading for the door.
He sat there a moment, thinking.
Teal'c, we really need to have a talk.
Slapping at yet another persistent mosquito that had the tenacity to settle on his arm, Teal'c shot a
glare at the completely oblivious O'Neill.
The general was slouched in one of the uncomfortable wooden chairs provided for anyone fool
enough to consider fishing in the pond behind the cabin. He was wearing oversized shorts, a t-shirt
which, by the rips in it, had been worn for far too long, and a hat that hung so low over his face that
the Jaffa was unable to tell if the man was awake or not.
Probably his reason for wearing it.
"There are no fish in this pond, O'Neill."
With that pronouncement, Teal'c began to reel in the totally useless line, having made the decision
to end this charade once and for all.
"There are, T. We've seen them."
The hat did not move, nor did the man, but the voice sounded a little anxious.
"One fish, O'Neill. And it was probably an illusion brought on by insect venom." He slapped at
another mosquito, frowning as he missed it. "I shall return to the cabin and procure some lunch."
He had already stood when his companion spoke again.
"Wait, ah ... before you go, I ... ah." The hat slipped off and O'Neill sat up, all illusions of lethargy
Teal'c waited, knowing that to hurry O'Neill was tantamount to stopping him completely. Perhaps
now he would learn the real reason he had been invited to spend the Easter weekend with the
general at his cabin.
"I was wanting to ask ..."
Once again the words stumbled to a stop. A little encouragement was clearly needed.
"Yes?" He raised one eyebrow as he uttered the single word, giving O'Neill the visual stimulus he
always reacted to.
"There's this friend of mine ... well, not really a friend, more of a friend of a friend, and he ... he
has this problem ..."
A friend of a friend.
Teal'c nodded encouragingly, and it seemed enough to make O'Neill continue.
"He has this friend ..."
Yet another friend. It was all Teal'c could do not to take the man by the collar and shake him to
make him `cut to the chase' as it were. He slapped at another insect.
"... who sort of likes this other guy. You know?"
"I do not, O'Neill."
"Ah ... okay ... I'll just get another beer."
Teal'c always knew the general could move rapidly when necessary, but was still startled by the
abruptness of his disappearance in the direction of the cabin. It was several long minutes before he
returned, long minutes in which Teal'c wondered whether he could accidentally 'lose' his fishing rod
in the deep, murky, mosquito infested water.
A can was pushed into his hand and he clutched it instinctively, feeling somewhat surprised given
his dislike of beer - something of which O'Neill was well aware.
The sound of a top being popped and a couple of loud slurps had him placing his own beer can at
his feet and looking over at his former teammate.
"This friend of a friend has a friend who likes this other guy, but the other guy likes him even more
and wants to maybe take the friendship to another level, but there's this whole issue of them being,
like, aliens and what with all the cultural stuff and, you know, 'things', there could be
misunderstandings, and they're good friends so that wouldn't be good, and they're, like, well, guys -
at least one is, and the other one is to really, despite his differences, and he knows it isn't right, but
maybe he has it all wrong and the other guy doesn't really like him in 'that' way, so it isn't really an
issue and he should forget all about it, because it's just wrong on so many levels. What do you
Processing the stream of information took some time, time which O'Neill spent looking everywhere
except at him. The general's ever moving fingers twisted and tugged at the can's ring pull and for
the first time Teal'c could remember, a slight flush of embarrassment rose in his cheeks.
Teal'c found himself growing more and more uncomfortable as what O'Neill had said began to sort
itself out in his mind.
Were there not rules about this type of situation in the Tau'ri military?
Although perhaps the people involved weren't in the military?
But O'Neill had mentioned aliens.
There were very few aliens on the planet, especially ones O'Neill was in close contact with.
Cassandra Fraiser could be discounted, which left only ...
O'Neill's friend was interested in a having a relationship with ...
A friend of a friend.
"And there's this whole respect thing, because he respects the hell out of him, and he's in a position
of importance and someone you want on your side in a fight, no question about that, so maybe it's
just a warrior brother type thing, like the Spartans - no, not like them. No, not like them at all. And
it's all sort of mucked up and I don't know what to do because it's embarrassing and I could have got
it all wrong and I don't deal with this sort of stuff well, so I thought I'd just come right out and tell
you and see what you thought."
Teal'c sat, unable to answer.
O'Neill was finally looking at him, a hopeful expression mingling with the obvious embarrassment.
And Teal'c had no idea how to handle the situation.
O'Neill was a friend.
A close friend.
He deserved an answer.
But Teal'c was too stunned to think of one.