COMPLETED: October 8, 2005
SEASON/SPOILERS: Season 9. “Ex Deus Machina”.
AUTHOR’S NOTES: Just a bit of fun.
As Daniel entered the locker room, he peeled off his BDU shirt, automatically pulling off his team patches before he tossed the garment into the open laundry bag. It’d been a long, exhausting day, and while they had managed to save downtown Seattle, Daniel couldn’t help but feel defeated. Not only was Ba’al not dead, they could be up to their armpits in cloned Ba’als at any moment. But worst than that was the defeat on Teal’c’s face when he’d come back from Dakara. Gerak had pulled victory out of defeat and the leaders of the Free Jaffa had flocked to his side, drawn by the sweetness of success. Teal’c was obviously shaken by his political loss. Daniel had wanted to go to Teal’c, to be there for him and offer him some words of comfort but he knew what Teal’c really needed was to be alone for a few hours. Only meditation would give him peace of mind and inner balance. Judging from the despondency on the big guy face, he would be hauling out the emergency candles for this session.
Daniel walked over to his locker, but instead of opening it, he sat down tiredly on the bench, needing a moment of his own to comprehend recent changes. He fingered the SG-1 patch, running his thumb over the smooth patterns of tight embroidery. He had thought he’d never wear this again. For a full eight years—nearly one half of his adult life—he’d been a part of SG-1. Jack, Teal’c and Sam had become his family. They’d accomplished much and experienced the unbelievable on a regular basis. In fact, the only thing that could top such an amazing experience would be to go to Atlantis. When SG-1 had effectively nullified the Goa’uld threat by eliminating Anubis, the members of the team had felt the pull of other priorities. General O’Neill had ascended into the highest stratum of the military structure. Daniel smiled, hoping that Jack would be able to affect more change than Daniel had when he’d ascended. Carter heeded the call of family and the desire to immerse herself in alien technology; she accomplished both by departing to head research at Area 51. Teal’c had tackled perhaps the toughest job and bravely went off to try to mold an entire nation of suddenly free Jaffa.
Daniel’s quest was more personal. He’d been prevented from leaving on the expedition to find Atlantis, but now that he knew there existed an intact Ancient city, he simply had to go investigate it. Granted, his skills and experiences made him the idea researcher for Atlantis, but it was mainly for personal reasons that he needed to go there. He had ascended twice, had lived as an Ancient for over a year; he had so many unanswered questions about the experience. He hoped Atlantis would provide both insight into the human condition and personal enlightenment. Unfortunately, Vala’s arrival had caused him to literally miss the boat to his next great adventure.
Daniel stared steadily at his new patch. Fate had a habit of pushing him where he was needed most, despite what he personally wanted. Could staying on SG-1 be more important than going to Atlantis? Which path should he choose? He sighed; the truth was that the Atlantis path was closed to him unless he could attempt another transfer when the Daedalus returned to Earth after its current mission was over. Until then, SG-1 was where the next best action would be.
He looked up as the door swung open and Colonel Cameron Mitchell sauntered in. “Hey,” Mitchell offered in greeting. He tended to be a man of few words. Walking to his locker, he spun the dial of the combination lock as he glanced over at Daniel, his sharp eyes quickly spotting the patch in Daniel’s hands. He was only a couple feet away as he’d been assigned to Jack’s old locker. This was SG-1’s area and while Mitchell’s name plate was new, Daniel’s and Teal’c’s had yet to be removed. Possibly the officer in charge of such changes had been conditioned to not act hastily to changes in SG-1’s roster. Mitchell opened his locker; the inside of the door was bare and Daniel looked away, feeling a sudden pang as he missed Jack, missed seeing that photo of Jack’s son, Charlie.
Daniel looked back at the gray and black insignia in his hand. “You know, I can’t help but wonder why you asked Sam and Teal’c to join SG-1 but didn’t feel the need to ask me.”
Mitchell smiled as he shrugged out of his shirt. “In case you’d forgotten, Jackson, I’ve been asking you to join for the past couple of weeks.” He pulled his black t-shirt off over his head, his lean muscles flexing as he looked back at Daniel. “I finally decided that maybe you couldn’t say yes without saying no to Atlantis, and it’d just be easier if I made that decision for you.”
Daniel pursed his lips as he frowned, he hadn’t thought of that. It was insightful if it was true. “You seemed pretty certain that Sam and Teal’c would join up,” he said.
Mitchell sat down and began to unlace his boots. “Yep. They were easy. You were hard one.” At Daniel’s skeptical lift of his eyebrows, Mitchell continue. “I’ve known Sam for over a year now and she is one competitive lady. Once I had you, I knew she wouldn’t be able to stand the thought of you out there making new discoveries while she was stuck back on Earth.”
Daniel decided it was prudent not to comment on Mitchell’s reasoning. “And Teal’c?”
“Oh please, Jackson, he’s got it back for you. You get a bad hair cut and he comes a runnin’.” He stood up, balled up his socks and threw them into the laundry basket. “Just air,” he breathed, cocking his head to the side. He reached down to unbutton his fly.
Daniel was used to the military types disrobing in front of him, but his intuition was telling him something else could be at play. He stood up and placed his patches in his locker. “I told you that day in my office that you can call me Daniel. Everyone else does.”
Mitchell dropped his pants and stepped out of them and right into Daniel’s space. “And I told you to call me Cam, but all I ever hear comin’ out of that pretty lil’ mouth is “Colonel” or “Mitchell.” He looked down at Daniel’s mouth and licked his lips. “Besides, I want to call you Jackson because no one else does. I like the thought that that’s special between us. When you hear that name, you’ll be thinking of me.” He grinned. “You do know that General O’Neill said I could have anything I wanted once I recovered from my injuries.”
Okay, that was definitely a pass. Daniel faced Mitchell squarely. “I’m sure he was referring to a command.”
Mitchell eyes were alive with merriment. “You any good at takin’ orders?”
Daniel nearly burst out laughing. Mitchell was proving as forward as Vala had been. “I’m pretty used to taking orders from Jack O’Neill.”
“Hmm…present tense. This could take longer than I thought.” Mitchell slipped his thumbs under his waistband and slid off his government issue briefs. Completely nude, he looked speculatively up and down Daniel. “I’m a patient man and I got time and proximity on my side.” He stepped away and walked a few feet towards the showers before turning back, displaying a fine, tight set of glutes. “Will you be taking a shower before headin’ home?”
What the hell? Was that some sort of invitation, and here in the SGC at that? “Not tonight,” he said firmly.
“Maybe later then. Don’t look so worried,
The playful flirtation was contagious and Daniel couldn’t resist the obvious comeback. “Would that be…together?” he asked innocently.
Mitchell’s mouth hung open. “Be still my heart,” he breathed
in awe. Then his face was split with a large smile. “You’re a bit of a pistol,
Daniel smiled as he started to change into his street clothes. He really shouldn’t have encouraged him but the man was so open, so eager, it was hard not to catch his enthusiasm.
** The End **
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