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strange things happen at sea
PG-13, pre-slash. SG-1 watch Star Trek, eat pizza, play mind games and generally kill time before a mission.
Every morning, most people try to take a shower, whether they're at home or not. And even light years from home in the middle of deep space, that was what Captain Jonathan Archer, captain of the Starship Enterprise NX-01, was doing.
At least that was what he was trying to do, when he heard a sound like machinery winding down. Looking down, he saw the water gently leaving the ground, transforming into large globules that then began to make their lazy way upwards, utterly weightless. He noticed his own feet were no longer on the ground, and suddenly realised that if he didn't do something soon, he was going to be spreadeagled naked on the ceiling. The water was spreading everywhere in the form of those large transparent globules. Struggling a little, Archer grabbed the top of the shower cubicle and reached for the communicator on the wall.
"Archer to the Bridge!"
"Lieutenant Reed here, sir," came the crisp accents of the British armoury officer.
"What the hell's going on?" Archer demanded.
"We're having a little trouble with the gravity plating on E-deck, sir," said Reed apologetically. "Hope it hasn't caused you any inconvenience."
"Oh, no, no, no, not at all," Archer replied, hanging onto the shower cubicle and watching the water drift past his head. "Any idea when you might get it back online?"
"Commander Tucker says it should be any minute now, sir."
Commander Tucker was right. There came a click, like machinery turning itself on, and Archer gritted his teeth as he landed with a thump on the floor of the shower. "Thank you!"
There was blackness for a moment, and then...
"It's been a long road, getting from there to here,
It's been a long time, but my time is finally here,
I will see my dream come alive at last,
I will touch the
There were a few stifled giggles as the familiar Enterprise theme carried around the darkened room.
"I know this episode," Daniel remarked. "Trip gets pregnant."
Sam immediately burst into more giggles. "Trip? As in Tucker? Pregnant? But he's... male!"
"Which is why I love this show," Daniel said blandly. "Anything can happen."
"Daniel Jackson," said Teal'c solemnly. "I would have preferred it if you had not volunteered that information ahead of time."
"I'm sorry if I spoiled it for you," Daniel apologised, "but I couldn't help myself... poor Trip. In the last episode, they turned him into a paranoid gibbering wreck, and now they get him pregnant! It's like they're trying to whump him all the time..."
Sam looked at him, thought about saying something, and then thought better of it. Instead, she looked straight at Teal'c, who merely looked stoic, though Sam had no doubt that deadpan expression concealed a massively amused Jaffa.
There were several things that amused Teal'c, and Star Trek figured highly among them. Sam wasn't sure how he had become acquainted with the series, but ever since, he had found it extremely entertaining. This strange new world of phasers and transporter beams and holodecks and starships intruiged him. Daniel had tried to explain at length that it was a fantasy of the future created in the sixties, written as a showcase for Earth's political problems at the time, but in the end he just shut up and watched the show.
At this point the door to Teal'c's quarters burst open. On the other side of it was a very angry USAF colonel. "I told you," he said breathlessly, "to go fetch Teal'c. I did not tell you to disappear for half an hour!"
"Sorry, Jack," Daniel said gently. "We got distracted watching... something."
Jack peered suspiciously at the television screen, which was still showing adverts. "Watching what, exactly?"
"Enterprise, sir," said Sam blandly.
"You know, Jack," Daniel said helpfully. "The one with the guy from Quantum Leap..."
"Yes, thank you, Daniel! I know what it is! Now will you come quietly, or am I gonna have to drag you kicking and screaming?"
"With all due respect, sir," Sam ventured, "why do we have to go anywhere? What's wrong with us staying here - if Teal'c doesn't mind?"
"I do not, Major Carter."
"There you go," Daniel said. Jack grumbled under his breath, turned on his heel and was gone. "He's probably gone to get the pizza," Sam said knowledgably. The three remaining members of SG-1 continued entertaining themselves with conversation, pens, pencils, bits of paper, and Star Trek.
Jack returned five minutes later, carying three large flat boxes.
“What’ve we got?”
“Cheese and tomato, ham and pineapple, and tuna and sweetcorn.”
This last offering was greeted with derision. “Who in their right mind puts fish on a pizza?” Sam asked scathingly, looking up from whatever it was she was doing.
“I don’t mind,” Daniel said. “It’s better than pineapple.”
“This from a profession that voluntarily ingests fried scorpion tails and buttered ants’ heads?” Jack asked, ignoring his increasingly shaky grammar and staring at the archaeologist, who was chewing the end of a pencil.
“Bite me,” Daniel said reflectively through a mouthful of wood and lead.
“Daniel!” Sam exlaimed, and Daniel laughed, removing the now somewhat decrepit-looking pencil from his mouth. “What I want to know is this,” he said. “How did you get them to deliver a pizza here?”
“I didn’t,” Jack said, sounding deeply offended. “I went to get it myself. So you’d better be grateful, kids!”
They all hurriedly ensured him this was indeed the case, and Jack sat back in an attitude of scowling benevolence.
SG-1 were on base for a variety of reasons, the main one being the eccentric day/night cycle of one planet, P4X-390, nicknamed “Terra Nova” by Daniel in a fit of whimsy. It was a measure of how much sarcasm had rubbed off on him in recent years, for Terra Nova had nothing like the green fields of Earth. In truth, it was a desolate, barren, irradiated wasteland. However, Sam suspected it had naquadah deposits, and so to humour her, the team were going to inspect it. The one problem was the fact it was so far from the star it revolved around, it was too cold for comfort most of the time. It was warmest at midday, and midday on Terra Nova - “It had to be three am on a Saturday morning, didn’t it?!” Jack complained. He had complained at length about it, in fact. He claimed his team deserved a break (which was true) and that even galatic explorers needed weekends off (which was also true). The general had suggested SG-1 pass on this mission, but Sam had kicked up a fuss. She wanted to see it for herself, she said. Cue the revelation there might have been an ancient civilisation on Terra Nova, and Daniel joined her in the kicking-up-a-fuss. Their commanding officer was furious with them, but neither seemed to be particularly affected, and the general made the final decision - SG-1 were going.
Jack had accepted this as ungraciously as possible, and had made one more demand - he was not losing his Friday night, he said. Daniel and Sam wanted to get some work done, but here he was, marching in bearing pizza and a grim expression. The scientists saw right through the façade, safe in the knowledge he was making a nice gesture and trying to hide it under an attitude to kill.
Taking a bite of the pizza, Sam asked suddenly, “Daniel, what are you doing?”
“Something Cassie left us,” he said, slightly incoherently, holding out a sheet of paper.
Sam took it from him. Skimming the sheet, she rolled her eyes. "Daniel! Is this your idea of getting some work done?"
"No," admitted Daniel, "but I couldn't seem to give up with it."
"What is it?" Jack wanted to know, but no-one listened to him. Sam was tapping the pencil on the desk, clearly deep in thought.
"I've numbered it," Daniel said helpfully. "Saves you from losing count."
"What is it?" asked Jack again.
"What state do you come from, sir?" Sam asked suddenly, looking at him.
"Illinois. Carter, what is that?"
"Oh, look!" she exclaimed, ignoring him completely. "They've found the Xyrillians!"
Jack watched in bemusement as the Enterprise rendezvoused with a race of aliens that resembled nothing more than short, bald women with gold scales, then he lost his patience. "Carter! What is that thing?"
Apparently for the first time, Sam noticed he was there. Doing her best to ignore the assorted aliens on the screen, she held up the piece of paper. "It's a game Cassandra taught us," she said, meaning herself and Daniel. "You have to number from one to fifty, and try and write down all the US states."
"And?" Jack asked.
"But what's difficult about that?" Jack wanted to know.
"You'd be surprised," Daniel cut in. "I get stuck on forty-seven every time."
"Give me that," he said, and was immediately handed the paper. The two scientists weren't known for their calligraphy skills, but he could decipher the handwriting. As he had said, Daniel had written "Delaware" at number forty seven, leaving the last three blank.
Teal'c had paid no attention to all of this, beyond helping himself to the pizza and watching the antics of the Enterprise's crew. He wondered, sometimes, how he had got himself into this. Swearing allegiance to a world who would fight the Goa'uld was one thing. Eating pizza, watching sci-fi and playing games with its somewhat unbalanced inhabitants were quite another.
After a minute, Jack threw the paper down. "I'll tell you what," he said dangerously. "All these years, when they've been telling us there's fifty states, didn't you think it a tiny bit of a coincidence it came out to be such a nice round number? And you know something? It's because there aren't fifty states, godammit! There are forty-seven!"
Daniel looked doubtful. "As alluring as that solution is, Jack..." he began.
"Give it here," Sam interrupted, before Jack did anything violent to either of them. "Let me try."
The team commander surrendered it, and the astrophysicist retreated into a corner to study it. Teal'c was still quite clearly engrossed in the fate of Trip and his baby, and so Jack turned to Daniel, who seemed to have produced some translations-in-progress from somewhere, and was gradually going through them with a red pen.
Daniel looked up. "Don't," he said sharply. "I want to finish this. And you are not going to distract me."
Jack ignored that completely. "There's so much more productive stuff you could be doing than work."
“Ah, yes, because productivity is so your strong point, Jack.”
Jack chose to ignore that as well, and continued, “There are so many things better than this. Like…”
“Well, there’s… see, now there should be a law against this!” Jack complained suddenly. Some minutes before, he had discovered yet another pencil in his pocket and now he threw it in the air. Daniel reached up and caught it, Jack held out his hand for it and his friend tossed it back.
“A law against what?” the archaeologist asked once this little interchange was completed.
“Elections,” said Jack obscurely, inspecting the pencil carefully in the dim light. Daniel had an unfortunate tendency to bite pencils down to the lead. Admittedly the archaeologist had only had this pencil in his possession for a grand total of about five seconds, but you couldn’t be too careful…
“Elections?” Daniel repeated patiently.
“Yes!” Jack said firmly. “I was thinking about elections. There should be some rule against them lasting only one day. I mean, what if in some hypothetical future, people weren’t actually on the planet in time to vote…”
"Jack, why the hell are you talking about elections?" Daniel asked.
"We were offworld on the last one," he explained. "I was just thinking about it. On election day, we were on some planet, and it annoyed me."
“In some hypothetical future, they’ll change the rules,” Daniel offered. “Right now… there’s not much we can do about it.”
“That sucks,” said Jack intelligently. “I mean, I even explained it to Teal’c for him! Apparently Apophis wasn’t big on democracy, and you know, for a hundred-year-old ex-First Prime, Teal’c sure is a quick learner. Of course, what can we say? We were on some planet with trees and… caves, and missed our chance use our rights as citizens of the greatest democracy in the world…”
“Wait a minute.”
“What?” Jack asked irritably, apparently slightly peeved at being stopped mid-sentence.
“I was thinking while you were talking…”
“Do you ever listen to what I say, Daniel?”
“And I realised something.” Daniel continued, ignoring this completely, “Don’t you think it a little strange that Teal’c can vote? I mean, he actually has the social security number he would have if he were born on Earth. I wouldn’t be surprised if he had a birth certificate.”
“This is the United States of America, Daniel,” Jack said darkly. “Never underestimate the power of the US government. They are capable of anything you can possibly imagine.”
“Does that include bringing the dead back to life?”
“I mean,” Daniel explained, “I shouldn’t be able to vote either, because legally I’m dead, aren’t I? I thought when you left me on Abydos, you told everyone back home I’d died and I’m sure someone thought to get a death certificate or something like that for me.”
“I guess so,” Jack admitted. “I told them you’d died in the service of your country, and that I’d seen you die… which was true.”
“You saw me die. You left out the resurrection part,” said Daniel dryly, and his friend nodded. “Exactly. Resurrection. Never underestimate the US government.”
“But I didn’t die in the service of my country,” Daniel said thoughtfully. “I’m not American.”
“Your accent suggests otherwise, Dr. Jackson,” Jack said in response to this.
“I’m not American. I can’t run for President.”
“Of course you can’t,” said Jack patiently. “You’re not over thirty-five years old.”
“Not just that!” Daniel protested, and before he could go on, Jack jumped in with, “Criminal convictions? Well, there isn’t a civilian law against smuggling an alien race through an interstellar portal aided and abetted by a pacifistic alien. I checked.”
“That’s not the only crime I’ve committed, Jack.”
“Drug addiction isn’t a crime,” Jack said. “Apparently it’s legal to be addicted to… um… addictive substances, but it isn’t legal to possess them.”
“And I didn’t mean that, either! It might seem a little strange to you, Jack, but I am an adult. I did have a life before the Stargate.”
“Sorry, Daniel, I don’t see you as a serial killer. Actually, I don’t see you committing any kind of crime. Although, I could see you teaching evolution in Alabama. That I would believe.” He paused for the merest of seconds, noticed Daniel was trying to interrupt him, and plunged on. “What slogan do they have on their license plates in Alabama?”
"Alabama?!" came a voice from the corner. A wild-eyed theoretical astrophysicist stared at Daniel for a moment, but then muttered, "Dammit, got it already..."
"‘Proud to be be backward’ sounds right to me,” said Daniel dryly when he could remember what he had been asked. “Anyway, I said I couldn’t run for President because I wasn’t born in America. And apparently that’s a problem.”
“Where were you born?” Jack asked.
“Cairo,” said Daniel, surprised this fact had slipped his friend’s mind. “That’s why I can’t run for President and why I don’t think I’m American. And how do you know so much about it, anyway?”
“I’m in the US military, Danny-boy,” Jack shrugged. “You live for your country, you die for your country, and in between you learn a hell of a lot about your country.”
“And then there’s Nyan,” Daniel continued, apparently in a thoughtful frame of mind.
“Nyan?” Jack repeated.
“My research assistant, Nyan.”
Jack looked blank.
“Nyan, the Bedrosian scientist. Bedrosia? The planet with the little cages?” Daniel said. This patient explanation took so much effort he felt in need of sustenance and grabbed Jack’s pencil off the floor. After one bite, he felt better. Jack made a mental note to start keeping pens in his pockets.
“Oh, that Nyan,” he said innocently.
Daniel considered asking him how many people named Nyan he knew, but decided against it. He was starting to feel dizzy.
“Nyan should be able to vote,” Jack said confidently.
“Nyan… should be able to vote?” Daniel repeated. “But he’s only been on the planet for a year!”
“Never underestimate the power of the US government,” Jack said once again. Daniel sighed and swore lightly in Abydonian.
“But how did you…” Daniel began to protest. Jack wagged a finger. “Ah, ah, ah! I know you!”
Daniel sighed again. This was turning out to be a long night. His work seemed to have gone out of the window.
“How did we start talking about this?” Jack asked.
“I don’t know and I don’t care, Jack,” said Daniel wearily. “It was something to do with you teaching Teal’c about democracy.”
“Yeah,” Jack said. “Which, I might add, is your job. Aren’t you supposed to be teaching him about American culture?”
"I have, Jack. For Teal'c's benefit, I have explained Star Trek, the billboard charts, breakfast cereal, Winnie-the-Pooh, the Easter Bunny, the Coca-Cola company, the Synoptic Gospels and the concept of homosexuality."
“Shut up, Daniel.”
“Gladly. At least I won’t have to listen to you talk.”
“Listen to me talk? Look who’s talking!”
“Tell me, how do you talk so much and say so little?”
“Shut up, Daniel!”
After a pause, during which they both glared at each other, a deep voice intoned, "Daniel Jackson, O'Neill."
The pair turned to see Teal'c looking down on them from a great height. "I would appreciate it if you would continue your disagreement in a quieter fashion," he said solemnly and disapprovingly. "I wish to discover the fate of Commander Tucker."
"Commander Tucker?" Jack repeated, bewildered.
"Trip," Daniel said briefly. "He wants to know what's going to happen to Trip. He's pregnant."
"Daniel, how do you know so much about this?" Jack asked suddenly, waving a hand at the TV screen in the corner. "Did you say 'pregnant?!'"
"Long story," Daniel said wearily. "Get Teal'c to explain it to you sometime. I don't know... I'm sure half the arguments on the planet are caused by people talking when other people want to watch television."
"But then you, Daniel Jackson," said Jack craftily, "have probably never in your whole life sat through something on TV. Have you?”
“I have!” Daniel protested.
Jack suddenly looked thoughtful. “Yes, I have an idea… Daniel, did you once say you speak twenty-something languages?”
“Twenty-three. I said that thirty years ago.”
Jack blinked. “Yes… what?”
“Nothing. Go on.”
“Now, in the time I personally have known you, I have heard you speak English, Russian, German, Latin… um… oh, Abydonian…”
Daniel nodded. “Yeah. Are you going somewhere with this?”
“Yes, I am. You’re always so impatient, Daniel.” He waited for Daniel to get over his sense of righteous outrage at that last comment, and went on, “I’m guessing you know all the regulars?”
“Like French, Spanish, Italian, all of that?”
“Yes, Jack! What’s your point?”
“That mysterious twenty-third language of yours… could it possibly be… Klingon?”
Daniel looked at him sharply. “Jack!”
Jack was nonchalant. “You’re blushing, Dr. Jackson.”
Daniel laughed suddenly. “Yes. There you go. I do speak Klingon. I do translations for the Klingon Language Institute.”
“No!” Daniel exclaimed. “But I do speak Klingon, you’re right. Why?”
“That proves you’re a Trekkie!”
“How do you know so much about it?” Daniel asked, suddenly suspicious. “Jack, is there something you’re not telling me…”
“Hey, I don’t speak Klingon!”
“But you do watch Star Trek?”
Jack shrugged. “You know me and sci-fi,” he said helplessly. “I watch it on occasion. Not enough to learn the langauge!”
“Voyager, Deep Space Nine, The Next Generation?” Daniel said craftily.
“Voyager… ah.” Jack’s look of comic dismay was enough to make Daniel start to laugh.
“Busted!” said the archaeologist triumphantly. “So, you watch Voyager. I thought you might. Might it be something to do with Seven of Nine?”
“Daniel…” said the colonel warningly. “I’m sure there’s some kind of grounds for court martial here.”
“I’m a civilian…”
“Oh, I know. If you weren’t I’d have you shot.”
They were smiling at each other. It seemed their 'disagreement' was over. After a pause, Jack went on, “At least I now have a skeleton in your closet to blackmail you with…”
“I wouldn’t, Jack. There’s already enough rumours going round the SGC as it is. The one thing that travels faster than light is messages on the Stargate Command grapevine. Like the time Anise was zatark testing.”
“Daniel, are you trying to imply something in that oh-so-subtle way of yours?”
“What? No, I’m not trying to imply anything, Jack.”
“Oh, I think not, Daniel." He lowered his voice, and looked around him to make sure the other half of the team were thoroughly occupied. Teal'c was still watching the high drama of Commander Tucker's baby, and the only sound Jack's second-in-command had made during the entire conversation had been to mutter "Kentucky, Oklahoma, Kansas..."
Satisfied, no-one was listening, Jack turned back to Daniel. "Were you possibly referring to that famous web of intrigue surrounding myself… and Carter?”
“You said it, not me.”
“Well, let me tell you something,” Jack went on, ignoring Daniel completely, “There is absolutely nothing going on with me and Carter. She’s my second-in-command, she understands the concept of military regulations and chain of command. And..."
"I’m not her type.”
“And the real reason comes out,” Daniel said thoughtfully. “How do you know? And who is her type?”
“You’re the one who was talking about rumours, you tell me!”
“I don’t know.”
“I think you do. Aren’t you the one paying careful attention to the grapevine? She doesn’t want a miltary guy, she wants someone who knows what she’s going on about half the time… You know, someone with more degrees than a freakin' thermometer and blue eyes to go with…”
“What? Sam and… me? Jack!”
“Yes, Daniel?” Jack said sweetly.
Daniel said nothing for a moment. Once he'd given the matter a little thought, it was obvious what his comeback should be. “Jack,” he said neutrally, “there’s benefits to be had in paying close attention to the SGC grapevine.”
“And if I were Teal’c I’d say ‘indeed’ round about now,” said Jack lazily, attempting to raise one eyebrow without success.
“I mean it,” Daniel persisted. "You and Sam aren't the only rumoured couple in SG-1... neither are Sam and me."
"Teal'c? He's... not the first person who springs to mind where romance is concerned."
"Not Teal'c, Jack. Not Sam either."
Jack stared at his 'friend' for a few seconds. "Please tell me you're not serious."
"If only." Daniel smiled ruefully, and Jack looked at him suddenly. For the first time ever, he evaluated Daniel in that way. Always a systematic judge in these matters, Jack tried to see clearly in the dim light, and noticed several details about Daniel he had never seen before. The archaeologist could almost be described as pretty, with those blue eyes, long lashes, and honey-coloured long hair, and he certainly was good company, if somewhat unpredictable, and there was something appealing in the way he appeared so guileless...
Daniel's voice broke through Jack's thoughts. The colonel suddenly realised what he had been thinking and who he had been thinking about, and said shakily, "Daniel?" in reply.
Daniel caught the hesitancy. A flash of intuition later and he had guessed the train of thought he had sparked off in Jack's head. It wasn't often that his schemes backfired on him, but this was just...
They were both trying not to look at each other.
Thankfully, they were saved from having to say anything further by Sam walking across the room, grabbing the last cheese and tomato pizza slice and sitting down on the floor. "Damn America," she said conversationally. "There are only forty-eight states."
Daniel grabbed the paper, and saw under where he had written "Delaware" she had written "Maryland."
"I rest my case," Jack said. "There cannot be fifty American states. Did you put Alaska and Hawaii?" he added as an afterthought.
"Yes," Daniel said impatiently. "They're number ten and number eleven."
Teal'c turned round and administered a glare all round. Apparently the conversation behind him wasn't allowing him to fully appreciate Trip's situation. The three humans turned to the television screen in time to hear Trip say, with much righteous indignation, "I am Chief Engineer. I spent years earning that position. I never had any intention of becoming a working mother!"
Tucker's southern accent didn't help in the slightest. SG-1 smiled, giggled, and raised eyebrows.
"What time is it?" Sam wanted to know suddenly.
"I have no idea," Daniel said lazily. "If we have to be on the planet at three o'clock our time, when do we have to leave?"
"An hour before," Sam said. "I think we've got about five hours more to kill."
"Oh, joy," was the archaeologist's response. "You know, Jack, in about half an hour Nyan is going to come down here and want to see how far I've got translating the inscriptions we found on P3X-891, and I won't have done anything. Thanks to you."
"You work too hard, Daniel," Jack replied easily. "Come to think of it, so does Nyan."
"I knew you knew who he was," muttered Daniel under his breath.
"Yeah, he's part of your geek club."
Daniel rolled his eyes. "If he does come down here, let's give him pizza and hope that keeps him quiet."
"You're rubbing off on him, sir," Sam said amusedly to her commanding officer.
Teal'c made his entrance into the conversation at this point. Daniel noticed he could hear the instrumental version of the Enterprise theme, and realised the episode must have ended. "Hey, Teal'c."
"So what happened to him?" Jack wanted to know.
"Who, O'Neill?" Teal'c asked.
"The... pregnant guy," Jack replied helplessly. "You know."
"Trip?" Daniel volunteered.
"Commander Tucker endeavoured to have the baby removed and taken back to its own people with the aid of the Klingons, O'Neill," Teal'c said impressively. "And he succeeded."
"Good," said Jack decidedly. "Male pregnancy is... just too weird."
"Stranger things happen at sea," Sam said.
"Stranger things happen in the SGC, you mean," Daniel replied. "We've had a Neanderthal plague, and what else? Um... crystal entity lifeforms pretending to be you, Jack..."
"Pretty aliens with flowers in their hair," Jack volunteered, "who turn out to be a great race of the galaxy and lend us a hand smuggling the Tollans out of here. Robot doubles of ourselves, who seem to think they're us. "
"Hathor," said Sam briefly.
"Ah, yes," said Jack sourly, "you would mention that."
"You definitely came out best of all of us after that," said the archaeologist wryly.
"Not that you didn't deserve that commendation," Jack said, and then, glancing at Daniel, continued, "And not that we didn't deserve that trauma-and-rape counselling."
Daniel shuddered. "No wonder Mackenzie thinks I'm nuts."
"He's a shrink, Danny. That's his job."
Daniel was spared from having to think of a reply by a knock at the door. "Come in," Teal'c called in his deep voice.
The door opened and Nyan came in. "Teal'c, have you seen..." he began, and then stopped. "Oh, you're all here."
"What can we do for you?" Jack asked.
"Daniel," Nyan began hesitantly. "Did you finish that translation?"
"No, Nyan, I haven't yet," Daniel said. "I've been... distracted. You're welcome to stay, if you like."
"Um... no, thank you," the young scientist replied. "I'll just..." He waved a hand at the door, and after a moment, went back out.
"What are you doing to that kid, Daniel?" Jack asked. "He sounds like you when you're wired."
"Excuse me?" Daniel said. "What am I doing to him? He's quite capable of looking after himself."
"That's crap," said Jack bluntly. "If he's anything like you, he doesn't eat, doesn't sleep, and drinks way too much coffee."
Suddenly, the door opened again. Nyan strode in without a trace of hesitancy, made for the pizza box, extracted a slice, and was gone before anyone could say a word.
"Well!" Jack exclaimed after the door had slammed shut. "That cheeky little..."
"Language, Jack," said Daniel mildly. "He's just like me, remember?"
Sam smiled to herself as the argument continued. It was one thing she liked about SG-1 in general. They were old friends.
"Excuse me, gentlemen," she said loudly over their continued bickering. "Are we going to do some work, or get some sleep, or what?"
"Some Saturday," Jack grumbled. "No sleep, no day off, just planetery exploration day in and day out..."
But after the passage of a few hours, SG-1 did think about sleep. They were military, at least three quarters of them were, and there was no thought of them oversleeping, but Jack knew the perils of having a tired team. He'd had plenty of experience with his two scientists. He sometimes wondered if he was the only Stargate team commander with the dubious pleasure of having two scientists, not one. Teal'c slipped quickly into kelnoreem; the three humans dozed and slipped lazily in and out of consciousness. Surprisingly, it was Daniel of the caffiene wired brain who fell properly asleep first. He dreamed of an outbreak of male pregnancy within the SGC, extending even to the general, and he was the only one who was immune, and it had something to do with anti-histamines...
He was jerked out of the dream by someone shouting, "Virginia!"
Daniel's eyes opened to find he was almost eye to eye with a startled USAF colonel. "Ah! Don't do that! Why are you watching me sleep?!" he cried.
Jack looked at Daniel, sleep-ruffled and wide-eyed, and as he remembered a certain embarrassing conversation they had had earlier on, he blushed.
Daniel saw it, guessed the reason for it, and blushed himself. For a brief moment, Jack's openly scrutinising eyes had made no secret of his thoughts.
Once again, Sam saved them. "Virginia!" she shouted again.
"Please be kidding," Jack said, when she walked up to him holding the now very crumpled piece of paper.
"I'm not kidding," she said happily. "I just thought of it."
"And you woke all of us up to tell us that?" Jack said. "Carter!"
"Sorry, sir. I didn't think you were asleep."
"We weren't..." Jack began, and then stopped. Sam was staring at him and Daniel, who had both quite clearly been in the middle of staring into each other's eyes.
"We weren't asleep..." Jack repeated lamely, suddenly realising what could be inferred from that.
"Is there something the matter?" came the voice of a recently meditating Jaffa, and Teal'c was on the scene.
"Uh... no. No, there's nothing the matter, Teal'c."
"I heard a voice shout 'Virginia,'" Teal'c persisted.
"Yeah, that was me, Teal'c," Sam said, looking embarrassed by the chaos she had caused. "It was the forty-ninth state."
"Then perhaps West Virginia is the fiftieth," Teal'c said gently.
The other three stared at him for a moment. Then Sam took a pencil and wrote it in, whilst Jack could be heard to mutter, "Beaten on geography by an alien..."
"What time is it?" Daniel asked suddenly.
"About one-thirty," Sam replied, staring at her list in disbelief.
"Almost time to ship out," Jack said. "Let's get out of here, what do you say, kids?"
"Might as well," mumbled Daniel. "Nyan will still be here, probably..."
Sam nodded, and Teal'c stood up, gathering empty pizza boxes as he went. The team cleared up in silence. All but Teal'c were extremely embarrassed, and for a variety of reasons.
"Well, I have to say tonight was an experience," Daniel said, looking around at Teal'c's now clean and tidy quarters.
"If you like that sort of thing," Sam said breezily. "Come on, Daniel."
Daniel followed her, clutching the US state list in one hand and trying not to look at Jack.
The team were kitted out, standing on the Gate ramp and ready to go when Daniel suddenly said, "Oh, VeQ ngIm!"
"What did you say?" Jack said in surprise.
"Nothing, nothing.... Sam?"
"You have New Mexico twice."
The team's last thoughts before dematerialisation were somewhat varied, but the strangeness of human behaviour, the problem with the homophobic attitudes of the military, how to swear in Klingon and the utter audacity of the state of New Mexico were all in there somewhere.
Somewhere else, in a fictional parallel universe beyond the realms of reality, the starship Enterprise continued its historic voyage through space, this time in search of the lost colony of Terra Nova.
Somewhere else, the tiny forgotten state of Rhode Island lurked on the eastern seaboard.
And somewhere else entirely, SG-1 were in a wormhole being carried through light years of space, boldly going where no-one had gone before.
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