Disclaimer – MGM/Gekko/Double Secret own them. Yay!
This is the next part in the much-neglected ‘Smart Jack Series’ (as it’s been dubbed by others), which can be read from the beginning here.
The ‘series’ is set during season five, keeping up with the season as it progresses.
This is a sequel to ‘Hide and Sneak’, and is an episode addition for ‘Between Two Fires’.
Contains spoilers for ‘Ascension’ and ‘Between Two Fires’. This is yet another story I started months ago. Another short piece of the puzzle.
It wasn’t often Jack felt the need for a really good workout just for heck of it, but today was one of those days. Annoyed, frustrated, and not entirely sure why, he found himself at the SGC gym. Dressed in his usual workout clothes – baggy pants and a sweatshirt – he started warming up.
He’d barely moved onto lifting arm weights when Teal’c walked in.
Great. Just what he needed. Watching Teal’c work out would make Mike Tyson feel inadequate. “Hey Teal’c.”
“O’Neill,” His friend greeted, but made no move towards any of the equipment.
Maybe he’d get lucky... “Something I can do for you?”
Teal’c nodded. “Daniel Jackson has spoken with me about your request.”
Jack frowned. What the hell was he talking about? “Uh...’request’?”
“That I have provide justification for the fact that you were hiding under the desk in Major Carter’s laboratory.”
Ohhhhh. *That*. With the Russians coming, leaving or dying, he’d forgotten. Jack lowered the weight and studied Teal’c. “Ah. Yeah. Is there a problem?” He couldn’t help but notice that Teal’c hadn’t actually agreed to help him out yet.
“I wondered why you didn’t ask me yourself, O’Neill. We are friends, brothers. Did you feel you could not ask my personally?”
The guilt started to surge inside Jack. That this bothered Teal’c was obvious, but it wasn’t part of any big cover-up.
Not any big cover-up aimed at Teal’c, anyway.
Letting go of the weight and carefully placing it on the bench he was sitting on, Jack spoke. “Actually Teal’c...the truth is that it was all Daniel’s idea.” Frankly, Daniel’s suggestion had been the only one that had sounded even the slightest bit credible. And even that...teaching Teal’c how to play hide and go seek?
Not the smartest thing that particular scientist had ever come out with, but it was far more intelligent than any of the suggestions Jack had made. Losing a contact lens was a particular low for any number of reasons; the most obvious being that Jack didn’t need them in the first place.
“And as it was Daniel’s idea,” Jack continued. “He volunteered to ask you. That’s all there was to it.”
Apparently relieved – as relieved as he ever looked in any case – Teal’c nodded. “I see.”
Nodding as well, Jack clucked his tongue on the roof of his mouth, wanting to ask the question but not wanting to ask it too urgently. “So...do you mind helping?”
“Of course I will help, O’Neill.”
Oh that was *definitely* a nice feeling of relief pouring through him at that moment. “Great. Thanks.”
“But there is another question I wish to ask,”
The relief disappeared like air from a vacuum. “Of course you do.” Teal’c didn’t need to ask; the question was blatantly obvious. Why *had* he been hiding underneath the desk in Carter’s lab? “Well...you see...” How to explain this without sounding pathetic and obsessed? “Daniel and I are taking part in a...research project.”
Teal’c’s eyebrow climbed to new heights; obviously he had never expected those words to come out of Jack’s mouth.
Jack couldn’t blame him, but his mind had firmly attached itself to the idea and he kept talking. “We’re attempting to discover if it’s possible to surprise an Air Force Major with mental knowledge matching or close to her own, without being discovered.”
Teal’c looked like he’d just had something very unpleasant shoved somewhere very unpleasant. “I see.” Though clearly, he didn’t.
“I would appreciate your silence in this matter, because obviously we don’t want the Major in question to find out. Ever since the incident in her lab, we’ve been playing our cards close to our chests.” Hey, this was actually sounding...quite impressive. From his point of view anyway.
Obviously overcoming his shock or simply deciding to accept this newest turn of events, Teal’c agreed. “You can rely on my secrecy of course O’Neill, but I believe it unlikely that anything other than significant action would draw her attention. The Major in question had been...distracted, of late.”
And the reason? Something else that Teal’c didn’t need to spell out specifically.
“Yeah,” Jack sighed.
“He cared for her deeply.”
And there was something that *Jack* didn’t need spelled out specifically. Narim’s feelings for Carter had been impossible to miss; the guy might as well have stood on the highest mountaintop – or ion cannon – he could find, and yelled the truth out to everyone within range.
Yet to Jack, he was just...dull.
But he was a good guy; he’d practically sacrificed himself and his entire planet to save Earth – even though Jack had no doubt it had more to do with saving Carter than anything else.
No. That wasn’t nice. He should give the guy a break. He’d been damned-
“Even to the point of programming his home computer to speak with her voice.”
“Excuse me?” Why-how-why-where-*what*?”
His friend seemed unperturbed. “When Major Carter and I paid our initial visit to Narim’s abode, his home computer welcomed us in her voice.”
Huh. “Huh.” Huh. Huh. “And how did I miss this?
Teal’c shrugged – or at least moved his shoulders up by one millimetre. “I believe it made Major Carter uncomfortable, eventually. She asked him to deactivate it.”
“Doesn’t that seem a little...” creepy? Pathetic and “...obsessive?”
Again with the miniature shrug.
A computer in Carter’s voice? How the hell was he supposed to beat that...no, he sternly reminded himself. There wasn’t anything to ‘beat’. She wasn’t some prize he was competing for; he was just indulging in this ‘research project’ because – when it came right down to it – it was something to do. There wasn’t much else he *had* to do when he wasn’t working.
She’d barely spoken to anyone since the Narim thing. “I guess it’s been a tough year for her already. Narim...that Orlin guy. Cloud. Whatever.”
This was depressing.
The need to exercise had long since vanished. Leaving the weights completely alone, he pushed himself up from the bench and quietly headed towards the exit. Pausing in the doorway, he frowned.
A personal computer speaking in her voice?
“He was a good guy, wasn’t he?”
The response was quick, firm, and entirely expected.
Yeah, that’s what he thought.
Jack nodded and left the gym.
That’s what he thought.
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