Disclaimer: Don't own them... No money made... That makes me one broke Stargate fan, wishing everybody else a Happy New Year.

A/N: Takes place one month after 'The Mission.'

Jacob's Discovery

by Linda Bindner

The klaxons wailed throughout the SGC even as Walter Harriman's voice carried through the corridors over the PA system. Unscheduled offworld activation! Incoming wormhole!

The shimmering puddle of blue light had barely had time to coalesce in the Stargate, and Jack had hardly taken up his position at the bottom of the ramp, when Jacob suddenly shot through the event horizon, looking grim enough to murder somebody. He stomped down the ramp, showing in no uncertain terms, and without uttering a word, that he was less than pleased.

Nonetheless, Jack spread his arms out wide in a very informal greeting. Jacob! he said, his voice displaying his pleasure at seeing the alien man again. Long time no see!

Jacob headed straight for Jack. Don't give me that bullshit! he yelled, and drew his arm back to deliver a blow that would have leveled anyone else.

But Jack was black ops trained, Jacob forgot, and reacted faster than any man should have reacted to the older man's initial attack. Jack's left hand instantly shot up, instinctively blocked Jacob's swing, leaving his right hand free to shoot out like a bullet, and pinch Jacob's windpipe in a soft grip that promised to tighten if given the tiniest reason. Now, Jack conversationally said, No bullshit, I promise, as long as you tell me what's going on.

Jacob stood only a hair's breath from sudden annihilation, and glared at Jack. Oh, I think you know perfectly well what's going on!

At that point, Daniel, who had been about to enter the elevator to return to his office when the warning of an unscheduled activation made him redirect his route into the 'Gate Room, skidded to a stop to gape at the two angry men. From there, he had barely registered the brewing turmoil before he caught Sam in the hallway outside the blast door, and grabbed her, jerking her into the room.

Daniel! Sam protested. What..?

Jacob... pissed, Daniel mumbled in his typically incoherent fashion during a crisis. Jack... holding his own... Do something! He pushed her further into the room.

Jacob turned towards Sam, and, his finger shaking with the inexplicable rage he was still feeling, spluttered, You, stay! I have something to say to you!

Jack moved his hand just a tiny bit closer to Jacob's windpipe. You harm one hair on the head of any of my team members... He left the threat unfinished, and thus, more potent.

But Jacob was so mad that his anger was only just held in check. Okay, he grunted, though the strain in his resistance was obvious. Then he pointed a finger in Jack's face. Your office... You, And he swiveled his hand to indicate Sam. And you. Now, he commanded.

But Sam crossed her arms on her chest, and stubbornly dug the toes of her combat boots into the floor. No, she said. I'm forty years old, Dad, not some teenaged kid who can be ordered around any longer...

I mean, please, Jacob ungratefully cut her off, then carefully drew back from Jack's hand before walking out of the door, and proceeded on to the General's office.

That left Jack to stare at Sam, and Sam to stare at Jack. Their confusion as to what was up with Jacob evident on their faces as, brows lowered, they both shrugged, then made to follow in Jacob's wake as the Stargate disengaged, forgotten, behind them.

* * *

Once ensconced in Jack's quiet office, both doors firmly shut, and the phones rerouted to Walter's work station, with the order that General O'Neill was not to be disturbed unless the world was blowing up, Jack turned to Jacob standing to one side, trembling, and asked, Okay, you got us alone... Care to tell us what this is all about?

Jacob worked his mouth, but no words came out for several minutes. He tried to breathe steadily, and when he had regained control of his speech, he agreed. All right. I'll tell you, but it's not pretty, he warned.

Dad, Sam protested as she plopped down in a seat fronting Jack's desk. We've been fighting Goa'ulds for seven years... We're immune to the 'not pretty' things in the universe by now.

Jacob squinched his eyes shut. Okay... Ready?

Jack began in a diplomatic tone. Whatever's got you so ticked off, we didn't..?

Jacob whirled to face him. Oh, yes you did! he half said, half yelled. Jack opened his mouth to say something, but Jacob's angry, roughened voice cut him off. Tok'ra homeworld. One month ago. You. My daughter. Sending me on a mission to get me out of the way!

Jack felt the feeling leave his fingers. Oh.

Jacob twirled into the desk, gripping its edge until his knuckles turned white. Yes... Oh, he sarcastically repeated, then he stared in total revulsion at Jack. I even liked you... How could you, Jack?

But again, Jack's response was pre-empted by Sam. Don't you dare come barging in here, and start acting like the town bully, Dad. There's more going on here than you know...

Jacob grimaced. Then, by God, you better tell me, and tell me fast, before I start knocking heads together!

Sam stood up to better confront her father. There you go again, always threatening violence to..! she exploded into the silence of the office.

Jack waved his arms, referee style. Yo! he called, stepping between them. This is not the way to figure out what's going on! He stared at a subdued Jacob, then at the man's solemn daughter as she breathed hard into the sudden silence. Okay, Jack said, Let's just calm down, and...

But Jacob demanded to be heard. How can I be calm when not twenty minutes ago, I got a sneak preview directly into my own daughter's very private life, and you are somehow along for the ride! He glared at Jack. And, believe me when I say that this doesn't exactly make me ecstatic!

Sam rose a second time from her chair. Dad, I've fallen in love with a great guy who even goes so far as to eat my cooking... I should think you'd be thrilled, not threatening to dismember him!

Some great guy! Jacob retorted. He takes advantage of a bad situation to compromise my daughter, jeopardizing her career in the process!

I volunteered to go with Jack to the Tok'ra homeworld for that mission! Sam informed. And I knew all about that mission's objectives before I volunteered! She glared back at Jacob. Perhaps you would rather I had stepped aside, and let a man who's more important to me than anyone else in my life go off and screw some other girl!

Whoa! Jack hollered, still acting like the arbitrator that he was. Let's calm down, here, before we all say something that we'll regret for the rest of our lives!

Sam continued to glare at Jacob, but she remained quiet, though reluctantly so. Jacob glared back, not sure which one of the two before him that he should focus his glare towards, but he also didn't say anything. Jack's upraised hands slowly lowered to his sides.

Okay, he intoned, reminding him of how Teal'c often defused potentially critical situations with a soft tone, and a raised eyebrow. Now, let's be rational...

Jacob didn't even bother to raise his finger to gesture at Jack. Either one of you tells me that the holovid that I overheard playing in my fellow Tok'ra's quarters was a really incredible facsimile of yours and Sam's voices, or I leave right now, and I'm not coming back.

Jack spoke up. Now, that's just what I'm talking about...

I mean it, Jack, Jacob warned, his tone now relatively affable, but cold at the same time. Start talking, or I'm gone. And I'm not coming back.

Jack's face suddenly grew hard as granite. I'm beginning to understand why Sam always claimed that she didn't get along with you before Selmak took over half your mind...

Jack.., Jacob warned.

But Jack was beyond the warning stage. I lost a son, and would do just about anything to bring him back, and here you are, volunteering to lose your own daughter..? He stared in incomprehension, an expression of horror on his face. That's pretty damned stubborn, if you ask me...

I wasn't! Jacob scorned.

Jack suddenly pressed his hands on his hips. Selmak, how do you put up with so much... UGH! Jack didn't finish his comment, but it still rang in the air.

For the first time ever, Jack and Sam watched Jacob shudder as he fought Selmak for control of his body. But the snake was the more rational of the two just then, and, hence, the stronger personality. Jacob's head dipped for just a fraction of a second, then Selmak's voice reverberated in the office. Jack, Sam, I suspect I don't have much time... My host is understandably irate about his discovery...

So am I! Sam firmly said.

Put yourself in his shoes... uh, boots, Selmak advised. He knows nothing of what's really going on, only of what we both overheard a few minutes ago... Something about a game called 'Strip Poker..?'

But Jacob's head slipped down again as he regained control of his body. He drew a slow, cleansing breath. Selmak, he said to the office walls, Don't ever do that again!

Jack also drew in a much more calming breath, and leaned back into his desk. Okay... All right... Top secret... You talk, we deny everything, and T'crat destroys that vid you're talking about... And you'll know that the destruction of the Tok'ra race was all your fault.

Tell me it's not true, and you have some strange look-a-likes somewhere in the galaxy.., Jacob beseeched, then, his voice lowering in accordance to his words.

Jack and Sam both looked at each other, the guilt suddenly clear on their faces. We can't tell you what you want to hear, Dad, Sam explained.

She watched as her own father slowly sank into the other chair in front of Jack's desk, and drop his head between his knees, muttering a forlorn, No, no, no... over and over again.

Sam sighed in frustration. I had a great time, Dad, she protested. I would think that you would be pleased to hear that, at least.

Jacob gave a bitter laugh that held no humor in it. I should be pleased that my own daughter has been turned into a porn star? he asked.

Jack intervened, then. All right, no one, and I mean no one, talks about Sam that way...

How else should I talk about her? Jacob entreated, his voice much calmer now, but also much more pleading, thus, much harder to resist. What the two of you have done...

What were we to do? Jack asked, then. That damned treaty between us and the Tok'ra demands a sharing of any social customs... And this wasn't our idea, ya know!

Sam intervened, now. She knelt down so that she was on the same level as Jacob. Dad, you're acting like this is a horrible decision on my part, when I think it's the best damned thing that's happened to me since I joined the Air Force!

Jacob audibly groaned. The Air Force! he said, and buried his head even further into his hands. The regulations..! What about those? How can I ever keep quiet..?

You had better keep quiet, Jack said. Or Sam can say 'sayanara' to her career, that's what.

Jacob glanced up at that comment. But I thought that you said this was all on the up and up.

It was... it is, Sam tried to explain. Then, she looked a little chagrined, as if there was more to the situation than was entirely covered in the mission profile. It's the month since the mission that hasn't exactly been approved.

You mean..? Jacob asked, the expression of horror again in his eyes.

Sam balked. Jack was going to retire! she whispered. He's way too valuable to lose... And I didn't want to lose him, anyway!

But you didn't have to sell yourself! Jacob protested in agony.

Sam balked again. If this is selling myself, then I'm all for female bondage, she sardonically voiced.

What happened to that other guy..? Jacob inquired.

Pete, Mark's friend?

Jacob nodded.

Sam rolled her eyes. You are so out of the loop, Dad! she said, sounding like a long-suffering kid just then. I broke up with him ages ago!

Jacob glared his parental glare. But I thought...

You didn't even like him, Dad! Sam protested.

But how could you expect Mark to feel..?

Oh, Sam sarcastically commented. I'm supposed to allow whatever Mark does to dictate my love life, now, is that it?

You know that's not what I meant! Jacob said, his voice rising again as he started to grow more incensed.

Jack was just about to step forward, and separate the two once more when Sam suddenly dropped from kneeling in front of Jacob to her knees sitting on the floor, and rubbed her head as if it ached. Dad, she laughingly pled, how can you even bring Mark into this? God, I'm involved with someone who I love, and who loves me back, and all you can do is bring up my brother? It's taken me forty years to reach this point, and... You should be overjoyed.

But, Sam, how can I be overjoyed when we're both perfectly aware of what the Air Force regs dictate..?

Jack did intervene, then. Do you want to be known as the guy who destroyed his own daughter's career? he softly asked. Do you want to ruin her life?

Jacob held out his hands. How can I be a General in the military, but not stick to their rules? he implored, his hands held out in supplication.

Retired General, Jack corrected.

Jacob sat back in his chair. Oh, so that's it, he said, as if he suddenly understood everything. I'm retired, so I'm just supposed to accept how things are, and keep my mouth shut, huh? He turned his glare on Jack then. That's hardly fair! he retorted.

Jack retorted back, It's not fair that Sam and I should both be punished just because we love each other, either!

Jacob snorted. Love! he derisively said. What do you two know about love? You're both too young to know anything!

Jack glanced at Sam. He couldn't resist quipping, Those fifty-odd years I lived before this life in my office began must have been a dream.

Sam glared back at him. Jack! she admonished. This is hardly helping!

Jacob looked up. 'Jack?' he repeated. She calls you 'Jack,' now?

Jack pointed at the plate covered in saran wrap resting on the edge of his desk. She even buys me brownies, too, but I think that's only because she likes them, and eating them is an excuse for her to visit my office more often, actually, he told him.

Jack! Jacob admonished. What is all this about, really?

Really? Jack echoed. He readjusted his grip on the edge of his desk. Officially? The Tok'ra wanted our help in refining their urge to procreate. Unofficially? I'm in love with your daughter, and wonder if I have your permission to start dating her? Then, he added, Sir? for good measure.

His hands clutching his head as if he wanted to keep it from flying apart, Jacob began to humorlessly bark his laughter. Forgive me for saying this, Jack, but as one General to another, your timing stinks.

At least it's only my timing that stinks, Jack said, and pushed himself away from the desk. He stuffed his hands into his pockets. At least I didn't ask if I can marry her, right, Jacob?

Sam's head jerked up in tandem with her dad's. You want to marry me? she blurted in surprise.

Jack shrugged. Maybe it's a bit soon to be thinking about that... though I've been thinking about it for the last eight or so years, now that I think about it, he admitted.

Sam smiled in spite of the serious discussion they were all embroiled in. Ask me again tomorrow, she suggested. When I'm not distracted by an angry Tok'ra sitting in your office.

This is insane, Jacob muttered, shaking his head.

You gonna kill me, now? Jack nonchalantly inquired.

Again, Jacob laughed, but there was definitely more humor in the sound than there had been before. You know, no one will ever seem good enough for my little girl, right?

Jack glanced once more at Sam, and his eyes softened. Nope, he agreed. No one will ever be good enough... But I'm going to try my damndest.

Good God, Jacob remarked. You are in love with her... Heaven help me.

Sam has me twisted around her little finger, Jack told them then, his voice showing just a shade of pride in what he was divulging.

Sam smiled. You willing to eat my blue jello, then? she asked in a teasing manner.

Jack's eyes narrowed. Don't push it, he told her.

She giggled, just to let him know that she knew that he was teasing.

They all remained staring at each other while the silence became oppressive and balmy at the same time. Finally, Jack clapped his hands together. All set, then? he asked in a loud voice.

Jacob rose from his chair. You owe me for this, he stated. But I won't say a word. I promise.

And I promise.., Jack began, but he had to look at Sam to ask, What do I promise again?

Sam rolled her eyes. Not to be so impossible, for starters, she suggested.

I'm not impossible! Jack protested, and reached for the doorknob that opened one of his office doors into the Briefing Room. Or, he amended, at least you like it when I'm being impossible... Right?

Sam didn't answer. Jack led them all into the Briefing Room, and to the 'Gate Room by association. Right? he echoed as he followed them to the steps leading down. Yep, she loves me, he playfully whispered into Sam's ear, then followed in their footsteps down to the Stargate as Sam suddenly smiled for no apparent reason whatsoever. But her reason was walking only two steps behind her, whistling the entire way.

* * *

Captain John Davis and Sergeant Steve Pauls stood in the security office three evenings later, complaining that they had pulled yet another round of boring guard duty in the security office.

Suddenly, Captain Davis sat up in his chair. Oh, I almost forgot..!

What? Sergeant Pauls demanded to know, but refused to climb to his feet, and join his friend at the shelves holding all the security video tapes filmed over the past two weeks. He yawned. What's so damned important? he asked.

The captain ignored his friend's question in lieu of looking for one particular date and place inscribed on the side of the tape. He finally found the right video, after a rather extensive search, then held up the correct tape in triumph. Here it is!

Pauls let his feet drop to the floor with a loud plop. So? he drawled.

So? And Captain Davis was already fitting the tape into a VCR for quick perusal. This is a tape of the General's office.

So? asked Pauls again. All he ever does is paperwork while he eats those brownies that Colonel Carter brings him. I bet she buys them, and doesn't even make them herself, he predicted. She may be hot enough to sizzle bacon on a sidewalk, like you're always saying, but I hear she can't even boil an egg!

Who needs to boil en egg when you have a body like that! Davis retorted.

She's too smart for you! Pauls retorted right back. So get off your high horse, and stop commenting about what you can't have!

Davis whacked his friend's boot with his own foot. Seriously, he said. I've been taking these lip reading classes... You know, so I can figure out what everyone is talking about on these tapes... So I can do a better job at security...

Pauls snorted. Boy, are you gonna be bored! he predicted. The only thing Colonel Carter talks about is what she's taking apart in her lab... You know those science geeks... BORING!

Sh! Davis ordered. This is it, from a few days ago... That time that General Carter showed up mad as hell...

Pauls grimaced. What are you shushing me for during silent video tapes? he asked. Afraid you'll miss somethin'?

But Davis wasn't looking at his friend. He was staring at the TV in front of him, and his face had frozen after only watching for a few minutes. Oh, he said.

Pauls sat forward in his chair to stare at the screen. 'Oh,' what? he asked. Then he shook his head when Davis didn't immediately respond. I don't know what you think they're saying in there, he noted. It's not like they're talking about anything good or nothin'.

Davis watched for a few more silent moments, until the three officers strode into the Briefing Room, and their figures were lost to the camera in the corner of the General's office. Without prompting, Davis hit the 'stop' button, followed by the 'eject' button.

What Pauls taunted. What did you see?

Nothin' Davis mumbled. Wrong tape, he said. Then he went as if to replace the tape in its place on the shelf, but slipped it into his backpack resting on the floor instead. He would take it home, where the danger of anybody else doing what he had done was remote.

Told you you'd be bored, Pauls was affably saying, his eyes on the key chain dangling from his fingers that he had just drawn from the pocket of his trousers. The Broncos symbol on the keyring reminded him to ask, Hey, you hear about what happened at the football game the other night?

Davis shook his head. You tell me, he ordered.

That was all Pauls needed to hear before he was rambling on about hits, and scores, and fieldgoals.

Only Davis didn't hear a word that Pauls said. He only knew that his daydreams about Colonel Carter, as harmless as they had been, had been pre-empted by a certain General with a yen for brownies.

How was he ever going to live this one down? Davis asked himself. He glanced once at the rambling Sergeant Pauls. But he knew one thing for sure. He would never say a word, Davis promised himself. Not one damned word.

The End


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