General Hammond smiled as his newly reunited team, SG-1, filed into the briefing room. Colonel O'Neill and Doctor Jackson had recently returned from a series of, adventures from a malfunctioning Stargate that had tossed them from one alternate universe to another.
Their adventures had been both educational and frightening. In one case, the alternate universe pair of O'Neill and Jackson, one a Jaffa and the other a consort to the Gould Hathor, had actually exchanged places with them for awhile. That time had given them all an education in what could have, should have, and would have been.
But the two prodigal sons of the SGC had finally returned safe and sound to this their home universe. And George had never been so relieved. He had even decided that he didn't want to be the commander of NORAD.
This was to be the first trip through the Stargate for the two returnees. All of them were going together this time. No more splitting up for these four. He didn't care if they held hands when they went through the wormhole, and wouldn't blame them if they did.
As they all filed in and took their normal seats, he saw a happy team. And when his number one team was happy, he was happy. Nodding, Hammond started the briefing.
"Colonel, Doctor, I can't tell you how pleased I am that you made it back in one piece. Doctor Fraiser has assured me that both of you are rested and fit for duty."
O'Neill smiled at him. "Yes Sir, we're pretty much ready to go." He glanced at his Major. "So, Carter, what have you got in mind for us this time?"
She smiled at him, "Well, Sir, we have made contact with an advanced civilization on P25-4C3. They are approximately at our level of advancement, but they have discovered a very powerful energy source. They are interested in opening diplomatic relations with us and entering into a trade agreement."
O'Neill brightened up like a kid being informed of a pending trip to Disneyland. "Oh, really? What, pray tell, is this source of power?"
"It's an element found on their planet. They've been mining it for some time and are working on ways to refine it and put it to civilian and military uses." She looked from O'Neill to Hammond. "It looks very promising, Sirs. I think we can do a lot to help them with it, and of course, ourselves."
Daniel looked fondly at his friend, happy for her excitement. "What's the planet called, Sam?"
She glanced down at her notes. "They call the planet Kelowna..."
Colonel O'Neill sat straight up in his chair in shock and looked across the table at Daniel, catching his eye. He slapped his hand on the table and immediately shook his head. "Nope, not going to happen."
Carter looked at him in surprise. "Sir?"
"We are so not going to Kelowna." he stated adamantly. Everyone at the table stared at him, including Daniel.
"Yes, Colonel O'Neill, why?" Hammond asked mystified at his second in command's resolute statement.
"We can't, Sir, and when I explain why, I'm certain you will agree with me."
"Well, I'm waiting." George raised his eyebrows to what would have been his hairline.
"Oh-kay." Jack looked down at the tabletop and realized that he had clenched both of his hands into fists. "In the second alternate universe we visited, it was really fuc...fouled up." He looked around to see all eyes were on him, including Daniel's who had a quizzical expression on his face. "There was an SGC, just like ours. In fact everything was the same...except for one thing." He took a deep breath, then continued. "Their SG-1 team was comprised of my alternate, Major Carter, Teal'c and some guy named Jonas Quinn. He was from Kelowna."
Daniel nodded and made an 'OH' face. Jack looked at him meaningfully and continued.
"They had gone to the planet Kelowna already, on a mission just like this, to look at the power source. It's called Naquadria, isn't it?" Carter nodded wordlessly. "Well, their Daniel had stayed with Jonas to go to the lab while the rest of the team went somewhere else. There was a problem in the lab, and the damned stuff blew up. Daniel, being Daniel, tried to stop it. Their scientists all died, and Daniel was fatally poisoned. Then the government tried to blame him for the accident." He stopped talking and the room was filled with echoing silence.
Daniel spoke softly. "Jack, that might not happen here."
"Oh, Daniel, I guaran-damn-tee it's so not gonna happen here." Jack replied pointedly. "Cause we're not going. Not SG-1."
"Daniel's right, Sir, with proper precautions...."
He cut her off. "When Daniel isn't there to stop the explosion, half the planet will go up in smoke." He shook his head emphatically. "No. That's final."
"But Colonel, you yourself admitted that it is an alternate universe." Hammond spoke for the first time. "Things may not work out the same."
"Sir, before we left that SGC, that Jack O'Neill pulled me aside and made me promise that we," he pointed first at Daniel then at himself, "would never go there. He said that it had been the worst decision of his life and that if he could change one thing, that would be it." Jack sat up straight up in his chair and looked around the shocked group. "Sir, if you order us to go, I WILL retire and Daniel WILL resign."
"Colonel O'Neill, do you know what you're saying?" Hammond was looking at him like he had two heads. "Those are very strong words."
"Yes sir, I'm aware of that, and believe me when I say...I mean every one of them. I'm not risking Daniel's life, or any of my team for that matter, for an unknown possible energy source. I I don't care how wonderful and powerful it is."
"Sir." Carter started to speak.
"No! It's not going to happen, Major. I can't speak for you or Teal'c, but I will for Daniel and I. We are not going!"
"No, sir, you misunderstand." She assured him. "If the element is that unstable, then I agree with you. We don't need another nuclear bomb." Carter looked at the General. "With all due respect, Sir. I concur with Colonel O'Neill."
General Hammond nodded at her then looked at Teal'c. There was no doubt on the dark, impassive face. "As do I."
Hammond looked around the table, and nodded. "Very well, as you are my most qualified people, and you, Colonel, have a unique insight into this matter, I will have to take your advice on the subject. The mission is scrubbed."
Jack relaxed in his chair. "Thank you, Sir. And I mean that from the bottom of my heart."
"Not a problem, Colonel. I can see no reason to put any of you at risk." Hammond nodded. "Now that this mission is a no-go, I guess we can move on and find someplace else that would require your inimitable presence."
As the team got up and filed out of the briefing room, Hammond shook his head in wonder and went back to his office.
SG-1 headed towards the commissary to get lunch together before they went back to their separate projects. O'Neill and Jackson walked side by side followed by Carter and Teal'c.
"So," Daniel said conversationally. "You would retire and I would resign?"
"Instead of going to Kelowna? That would be a definite yes." Jack looked at him sideways.
"And what if I hadn't agreed? About the resignation, I mean?"
"That's not even funny, Daniel."
"It was rather high handed of you, Sir." Carter voiced her opinion.
O'Neill looked at her then at Daniel. "If you would have refused, I would have punched you in the jaw, knocking you out, thrown you over my shoulder and left the Mountain."
"In front of the General...and Teal'c?"
"Yes, in front of the General and Teal'c; besides, Teal'c would have helped me."
"I would," the big Jaffa intoned. "I would gladly assist O'Neill in keeping you safe, Danieljackson."
Daniel looked at him oddly. "I don't need protecting."
"You do." Teal'c replied. "You have always been precipitous in your actions. Even from the first time I saw you, when you tried to volunteer to be a host in Apophis' dungeons."
"That was different." he protested.
"It was not." Teal'c replied.
"Not." Teal'c responded.
Daniel looked helplessly at Jack. "You've corrupted him, I can't go anywhere now."
"Indeed." The big Jaffa replied smugly.
O'Neill was sporting a large smile as he glanced back over his shoulder. "Thank you, Teal'c."
Teal'c inclined his head in his direction.
That night as the two lay in bed together, Daniel pressed his point again. "Jack, knock me out, huh."
"Yashuryabettcha. There is no doubt in my mind that we weren't going there."
"He really made you promise?"
"Yes, he was very adamant." He rolled over to face his lover "He said, if he could change anything in the past, it would be that." He looked at the other man thoughtfully. "I didn't make a big deal of it, but he meant that over Charlie and Sara too. It took me a while to process that particular idea."
"Wow," was all the younger man could say.
"Yeah, wow." Jack agreed, reaching over to touch the younger man's face. "You know what that means don't you?"
Daniel nodded and said softly. "He really loved Daniel."
" 'We', Danny. We really love our Daniels, and we would do anything to protect them. Up to and including retirement." He looked at his partner sideways. "And maybe kidnapping."
Daniel chuckled and leaned into Jack for a kiss. "You won't have to resort to that...where you go, I'll go."
"And if I don't go?"
"Well, I won't guarantee that I won't go on missions with other teams now and again, but that's pretty standard nowadays, what with the shortage of archaeologists and anthropologists in the SGC. But, you'll have plenty of warning and a veto vote."
Jack frowned but knew that Daniel spoke the truth, there simply weren't enough geeks to go around...but this geek...well, as far as he and George were concerned, was special. "Well, Danny, I guess that's the best I can hope for. Just remember, no more over the top stuff, cause I plan on a long relaxing retirement at a cabin in the woods. Sort of like those other two."
Daniel rolled over and snuggled up to Jack. "Which other two?"
"The Jaffa and his Beloved."
"That sounds like a story title." Daniel sighed and smiled into a kiss. "I hope that they got their wish."
"Me too, if anyone deserved it, they did."
"And the Abydonian pair?"
"Should be fathers again pretty soon."
"That's a scary thought."
"Nah, they were great Dads. I hope they both have a dozen kids."
"I just hope that Daniel appreciates what he has." Daniel frowned.
"He does," Jack assured him. "He was just having a bad day."
"And the Jack and Daniel married to Sam and Janet?"
"Whoo whee." Jack rolled over and laughed out loud. "What a group! It must be hilarious there."
"Think they believe in wife swapping?"
"No, but spouse swapping, now that's a concept."
"I still can't believe you said ewwh about Sam." Daniel laughed with him. "That was sooo childish."
"And Janet Jackson...I nearly hurt myself on that one." Jack returned to his original position facing the other man. "I love you Daniel Jackson, never you forget it."
"Never in a thousand years, or a hundred universes." He leaned in for another kiss, "Now go to sleep."
"Good night, love."
"Good night, Danny boy."
"I am not a boy."
"Yes, I noticed your nine millimeter was happy to see me."
"Jack, the trigger is cocked and loaded."
"Fire away, Danny. Fire away."