Stargate Horizons

A Blow of the Hammer
by Maureen Thayer

Categories: Angst, Drama
Rating: PG
Content Warning: Mild Profanity
Spoilers: Thor's Hammer

Jack headed for the SGC locker room, his mind on the events that had taken place on Cimmeria.  Mostly, his mind was on Daniel.  Ever since the archeologist had fired the shot that destroyed Thor's Hammer, he had been way too quiet, barely speaking a word, except when he spoke to Kendra just before they left the planet.  Jack knew that Daniel was upset about the destruction of the device that could have freed Sha're from the Goa'uld within her, but there had been no choice.  They couldn't have left Teal'c trapped in that cave for the months or even years it might take to find and capture Amaunet and Skaara.  Even so, Jack understood why Daniel was hurting now.

Upon entering the locker room, Jack was surprised to see Daniel dressed in his civvies and in the process of putting his shoes on.  It had only been about ten minutes since the archeologist left the debriefing, so, obviously, he had not taken a shower.  His dry hair confirmed it.  Granted, Daniel wouldn't be in need of a shower as much as Jack was since he didn't tangle with that Unas, but he almost always showered after a mission.

"You're not going to take a shower?" Jack asked in surprise.

"No, I'll shower at home," Daniel replied in a tight voice as he finished putting on his shoes.

Jack felt that he needed to say something in an effort to make his friend feel better.  "Look, Daniel, I know it was upsetting to lose Thor's Hammer, that you're thinking it might have been the only hope you had for freeing Sha're, but—"

Daniel slammed the door of his locker shut, cutting Jack off.  He turned to the colonel, an expression of hurt and anger on his face.  "You really don't get it, do you."

"Get what, Daniel?!  Are you sorry that you did it?  Are you thinking it would have been better to leave Teal'c trapped in that place forever?"

Daniel turned away, shaking his head.  His voice was now sad and weary as he said, "No, Jack.  I'm not sorry I did it.  I know that it was the right thing to do."

"Then what's bugging you?"

Daniel looked into Jack's eyes.  "What's bugging me is that a man I had come to believe was my friend has no faith or trust in me."

With those words, Daniel turned and left.  Shocked by the archeologist's statement, it took Jack a few seconds to snap out of it and go after him.  By then, Daniel was out of sight.  Jack hurried around the corner to see the linguist on the elevator, the doors closing.

"Daniel!  Wait!"

The doors slid shut the rest of the way, Daniel having give no indication that he heard Jack.

"Dammit!"  Jack went to the nearest phone, intending to call the first checkpoint and have them stop Daniel from leaving.  But, even as he picked up the phone, Jack realized that would be a mistake.  Daniel was upset, and keeping him from leaving the base would only make him madder.  Besides, this was a conversation they needed to have in complete privacy.

Jack went back to the locker room and changed into his civvies, foregoing his shower.  Leaving the mountain, he headed straight over to Daniel's.  His first knock on the door of the archeologist's apartment went unanswered, so he knocked harder.  He was about to knock a third time, when the door opened.

"Jack, I don't feel like talking about it," Daniel said stiffly, angry eyes glaring into Jack's.

"Well, that's just too bad, because we are going to talk."  Jack pushed by Daniel and went in.  He swung around as the archeologist shut the door.  "I want you to tell me how the hell you could possibly think that I don't trust you, that I don't have faith in you."

"What else am I supposed to think, Jack?!" Daniel shouted back.  "You had the staff weapon right in your hand, and nothing was keeping you from stepping onto the other side of the hammer and shooting it yourself.  But, instead, you gave it to me and demanded that I do it.  Sam was right there, too, but you gave it to me.  You knew, you knew how it would make me feel to be the one to pull the trigger, but you didn't care about that.  All you cared about was making sure that I could be trusted as a member of the team, that I would sacrifice what I want more than anything in the universe if it was for the sake of the team."  He turned away, his arms wrapping around himself.  "Well, I sure hope I passed your little test," he said bitterly.

Stunned silence followed Daniel's outburst.  Jack's mind was scrambling for words, for something to say.  He knew that his friend had every right to be angry.  He should have shot Thor's Hammer himself, not asked Daniel to do it.

Jack realized that, in a way, Daniel was right.  Jack had been testing him.  The colonel knew how much getting Sha're back meant to Daniel, how far he would go to save her, and Jack had needed to be sure that, when necessary, Daniel would put aside his greatest desire and do what had to be done.  But that wasn't really the whole truth.  The real reason for Jack's actions was that he had to be sure that Daniel would give up a chance to save Sha're in order to save the life of the man who was partially responsible for her being made a Goa'uld.  But Jack should have known that a man of Daniel's integrity would not put his own desires ahead of the welfare of others, including Teal'c.

"Daniel, I'm sorry," he said.  "You're right.  I should have done it myself.  It was wrong of me to ask you to do it.  I just . . . had to be sure about you and Teal'c.  But I do trust you, Daniel, and I do have faith in you."

"Apparently not enough," Daniel said in barely more than a whisper, his back still turned to Jack.

Jack sighed and took a step closer.  "The truth is that I made the mistake of judging you by my own standards, which was a really stupid thing to do since I learned ages ago that you operate on a totally different level of morality, one that's miles above mine."

Daniel finally turned around.  "What do you mean?"

"I mean that, if I was you, if I was in your shoes, I really don't know if I could have forgiven Teal'c, not completely.  God knows that I was pretty angry when I first found out that he was the one who gave Skaara to Apophis.  If it had been Sara that he'd chosen like he did Sha're. . . ."  Jack shook his head.  "No matter how much I may have known that Teal'c had no choice but to carry out his orders, I don't think that I could have ever really gotten past it."

Jack took another step toward the younger man.  "I am sorry, Daniel.  I'm sorry that, for a moment, I forgot what kind of man that you are.  I won't ever forget again," his lips quirked upward, "not that you'd ever actually let me.  I'm sure I'll remember it every time you want to talk to the angry natives trying to skewer us instead of letting me just shoot them."

The ghost of a smile brightened Daniel's features.  "Yep, you got that right."

"Uh huh.  That's what I thought."  Jack paused.  "So . . . are we okay?" he asked, a trace of uncertainty and concern in his voice.

Daniel looked at him for several seconds before replying.  "Yes.  Yes, we're okay."

Jack relaxed.  He didn't want to lose Daniel's friendship.  In the months that the archeologist had been on SG-1, he had come to care about the younger man way more than he probably should.  He also knew that Daniel was a very valuable member of the team.

"So, you up for some pizza?" Jack asked with a note of hopefulness.  "I know all the best places that deliver."

"Yes, I bet you do."

"There's a movie on tonight that sounds like it might be good."

Daniel gave Jack a little smile.  "Pizza and a movie sound good, Jack."

The colonel grinned.  "Great!  I'll make the call."

As Jack headed off to the phone, a thought came to Daniel's mind.  'If you had been me, Jack, I know that you'd have shot Thor's Hammer, too.'

Confident in his belief in Jack's integrity, Daniel joined the man he knew would always be his friend.


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