Teal'c's Theory of Theralution
by Suz suzvoy@tesco.net

Disclaimer - MGM/Gekko/Double Secret own them. Thank God!

Hey, we're back in the swing of things...for this one story anyway. This is a sequel to 'Wiggling Delirium', and is an episode addition for 'Chain Reaction'.

Use of {} indicate memories.

Spoilers for 'Cold Lazarus', 'There But For The Grace of God', 'Point of View', 'Beneath The Surface', 'Tangent', 'The Curse', and 'Chain Reaction'.



Lifting his head, Jack moved his morose gaze away from his mug of coffee and up towards the friend who nodded at him once. "Hey Teal'c."

The Jaffa stood next to his table in the commissary. "I have a matter I wish to discuss with you."

Uh oh. That didn't sound good. Mind you, nothing that came out of Teal'c's mouth ever sounded particularly cheery. "Take a seat."

It occurred to Jack as Teal'c sat down opposite him that not that long ago he would have taken the comment literally. There would have the been the inevitable question of exactly where he should take the seat, then there would have been the equally inevitable rolling of Jack's eyes followed by "Just sit down, Teal'c!"

His friend had come a long way in understanding them, and him. It wasn't often he made those kind of mistakes anymore.

Jack missed that.

Feeling even more depressed, he sat up straighter, determined to shake it off. Yes, sometimes he liked wallowing in a strange depression that seemed to have no reason, but right now Teal'c wanted to talk. "What do you want to talk about?"



"Umm...what, specifically?"

"I have observed that you seem most depressed these last few days."

Jack couldn't exactly deny that. "Sure,"

"It concerns me. I was wondering as to the reason."

Good, this was something he could talk about for the simple reason that there was no reason. If it had been anything else...not even a zat gun getting ready to fire a second shot would get him to talk about it. "There isn't one."

Teal'c lifted an eyebrow. "Please explain."

Gulping another mouthful of coffee, he swallowed and shrugged. "Teal'c...sometimes, we just get depressed without any explanation. Don't you?"


Huh. "Well, humans do. Sometimes it can be explained by recent events, sometimes its hormones...but sometimes it simply happens for no explainable reason. I'll come out of it. I always do. But thanks for asking."

Considering the words, Teal'c frowned for several moments. Jack always thought it was cool that the tattoo never wrinkled up.

"I believe I have an explanation," Teal'c announced, eventually.

Jack shrugged, lifting his cup up to his mouth for another swig. "Shoot."

Again, not taking the statement literally, Teal'c told him.

It wasn't what Jack had been expecting to hear.

But he didn't choke on his coffee, he didn't spit it out in surprise, he didn't vehemently insist that the idea was just ridiculous...any of the reactions that even a few months ago, he would have had.

He simply lowered his mug and sighed.

It was all the answer Teal'c needed. "If you wish to talk..."


They both knew he wouldn't, of course, but he had to extend the option. They were brothers.

Rising from his seat, Teal'c bid Jack a goodbye before carefully - always carefully - turning away and leaving the commissary.

Jack resumed his depressed view of his nearly empty coffee mug. So, he'd been doing the denial thing. Yet again.

Big surprise.


Teal'c was right, of course. It wasn't often that he brought up that particular subject, and even less often that Jack would actually be willing to talk about it, but Teal'c was right.

And it was Daniel's fault, of course. It was always someone's. If Daniel hadn't gone exploring on 233, he never would have found the quantum mirror. Then she never would have come through it.



The Other Carter.

It had probably started somewhere around there, or at least seriously. Seeing her...knowing who he was to her in that other reality...well, it'd gotten him thinking. Who wouldn't have thought about it?

Hell, he was a guy. He knew from the very beginning that Carter was attractive and that they were attracted to each other, but for the first few years that's all it was.

And then he started looking at her...


Of course when he realised what he was doing he stopped it immediately, shoved it somewhere dark and untouchable, quite content with the fact that they were co-workers, friends, and that's all they ever could be.


Naturally, he'd managed to fall rather spectacularly off the wagon. Most of the...uh...'contacts' really weren't his fault and he somehow managed to take some small fragment of solace in that, in the fact that his control had to be better than that. It had to be.

And then along came Thera.

He still had dreams about her. The colour of her hair, her eyes, the way she smiled, the way she touched him. The way she groaned when he-


That had nearly broken him. That had been the closest to how he felt after Charlie died.

Yet he was mended, somehow. The experience in the retro fitted death glider had done something...he didn't know quite what. Maybe made him appreciate what he had, what she was to him now. Maybe it just told him to stop moping around on his sorry ass and get on with his life.

And he knew, as he huddled under the blanket with her hand wrapped around his bone-chilled one, that they would be fine. Hell, he'd even invited her to go fishing again knowing that they would be okay together in that situation.

So, why was he currently depressed?

As if in answer, the elevator doors he'd been waiting for these last few minutes opened.

Of course.

Of course she was in the elevator.

She smiled, genuinely. "Sir."

"Carter," He responded, feeling himself smile back just as much despite himself. Pressing the button for his floor - then realising it was her destination too - he stood with his back to the right side of the elevator, his hands shoved into his pockets.

She was still looking at him and didn't bother looking away even when he met her gaze.

He loved that. That was something good that had come out of all of this. When they were alone together - like this - one of them (sometimes both) would stare at the other one with a stupid grin on their face.

It was ridiculous really. It wasn't like they could do anything, it wasn't like everything was miraculous fixed simply because they were in each other's presence...but it was just them. In a confined space.

The memories may have often been painful, but *damn* they were good.

Teal'c's words flittered through his mind. His mind - quite used to doing something without telling the rest of him what that something was going to be - did something.

As the elevator came to a sudden halt, he removed his hand from the emergency stop button.

Carter was staring at him.

"You knew," He told her, not knowing how he even knew that. "You realised."


"You knew...what could have happened."

Realisation flooded her features, and he wished he'd had a camcorder to capture the expression for posterity. Or at least late night viewing when he was feeling pathetically lonely.

The eyes went first. They always did. They widened; those big, blue, beautiful eyes became almost huge.

The rest of her face took a while to catch up. A slight frown furrowed her brow before straightening itself out, her mouth turned down for just a fraction of a second before a sad but strangely appealing smile appeared.

"Didn't you?"

It was a fair enough question. And the truth was... "No. At least not at the time. I was too wrapped up trying to get Hammond back, and..." He didn't want to say it, and he wouldn't.

That, for that time, Hammond was more important than she was.

But she knew. And she understood.

Somewhere, in that dark and untouched place, he must have been aware of it. But other things took priority. Other things always did.

And that was the crux of their problem. Other things would always take priority. Earth, fighting the Goa'uld, their careers, exploring the universe...

All of that came before them.

It was a depressingly large list.

Still, Hammond was back - that was something he was definitely thankful for, and he couldn't regret what he'd done for him.

But he could regret what he hadn't done.

As Teal'c had pointed out, for a short time Carter was effectively no longer under Jack's direct command.

He knew it didn't take all the problems away, he knew it didn't automatically make it right...but it was one of the bigger hurdles. The one even he wouldn't knowingly cross.

It had been gone. And he hadn't even realised. Subconsciously, yeah, but...

That was where the denial had come in. Where he'd pretended not to know what he was depressed about, because if he did know, if he did acknowledge it, he'd also have to acknowledge the opportunity he missed.

Even if it was only a few days.

"That's why you didn't say anything before Hammond was officially reinstated," He murmured, understanding now why she'd avoided him completely until Hammond was back in command.

Her eyes looked wetter than normal and damned if his didn't feel the same way. "I seriously considered turning up at your house, you know. But it was difficult enough after...the memory stamp."

Yeah. He wouldn't want to go through that again, either. She'd known that somehow he'd get Hammond back, that everything would be put back to the way it was. She'd had faith in him to get all of them reassed back to SG-1.

She knew it was going to happen.

So she said nothing.

He honestly didn't know if he'd be strong enough to do the same if their positions had been reversed.

"And here we are," He told her sincerely. "Back where we started."

"As always," She responded, smiling, pressing the button that would restart the elevator.

It chugged into life, jolting for a second before falling back into its smooth, efficient journey. A journey he'd taken a thousand times before but this time, when he left, he felt like he'd left something behind.

{"For several days, you were no longer Major Carter's commanding officer. An opportunity arose."}

{He tilted his head - he always, always, tilted his head.}

{"You did not take it."}


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