Colonel Jack O'Neill was
so not a happy camper. It'd been a week since SG-1 had gated to the
world designated P3-575, one that was supposed to be safe and
snake-free, nothing more than a standard recon. NOT!
So much for truth in
advertising, guess the Snakehead's never heard about that rule. This
god-forsaken hunk of rock was definitely not living up to the
travel brochures. The Jaffa patrols had shown up the day after they'd
gated there, taking them by surprise. They would've caught them still in
their sleeping bags if it hadn't been for Teal'c's warning.
'It's my team's first mission with
Teal'c along as a member, the first since Kawalsky died with a snake
infesting his head. Sure, I'd asked for dibs on his stereo if he didn't
make it. But it'd been a stupid joke, for crying out loud. Trouble is .
. . he hadn't made it. He'd died. Now I've gained a stereo, but at the
price of losing my friend, Charlie. Screw the stupid stereo. Why'd it
have to be him? I'd give anything for him to be here with me now. We'd
been together way back when we were both spooks doing special ops jobs
for good old Uncle Sam. He always made it back before, always . . . even
when I didn't. So why couldn't he have made it this
Jack studied his
surroundings, which consisted of bare brown rock-covered walls and the
dirt floor of the cave they'd found refuge in. The sound of horns coming
from outside the cave caught his attention and he flattened against the
wall. He stifled a groan when his movement jostled his wounded leg.
With any luck, the Jaffa
patrol wouldn't notice their hiding place. He knew if it hadn't been for
Teal'c's eagle eyes, he would've missed it himself. And he'd been
frantically looking for a hiding place such as this, as much as he
could, given his less-than-dignified position hanging upside down from
Teal'c's shoulder. An up-close and personal view of Teal'c's backside
was not exactly on his list of favorite things to do.
Teal'c had left him holed
up there while he did a recon of the area. Jack cursed under his breath
at his own inability to leave the cave and wondered again why his newest
team member had stayed with him. He'd had a clear route to the Stargate;
in fact Teal'c had made it as far as the DHD.
As befitted his position
as team leader, Jack had been covering their retreat from a squad of
Jaffa when he'd gone down, shot in the leg with a staff blast. He'd
ordered Teal'c to leave through the open Stargate with Carter and
When he'd realized that
Teal'c was running toward him instead of away, he'd cursed him, and
bitterly called him every name in the book for not following orders. His
Jaffa teammate had merely thrown him over his shoulder in a fireman's
carry and headed off into the barren hills.
Since then it had been
just the two of them, with no supplies except what they carried. Even
his cap hadn't made the trip. Jack figured it must've fallen off
sometime during Teal'c's desperate run to relative safety. He missed his
cap though, but couldn't place the blame for its loss on anyone but the
fricking Jaffa patrol that'd had the bad taste to show up and ruin their
team's little campout.
The water had run out a
day ago. The power bars had gone two days before that. He'd carefully
rationed what they had between the two of them but suspected that Teal'c
hadn't been taking his full share.
A rustling at the cave
entrance had him reaching for the knife at his belt.
A whisper drifted to his ears. "O'Neill."
Jack leaned forward.
"Teal'c?" His hand tightened around the haft of his knife, just in case.
He'd survived this long by never taking anything for granted. He wasn't
about to change that lifesaving habit now.
A man-shaped shadow
darkened the cave entrance for a moment. Jack stiffened from his
position farther back where he sat propped up against the cave wall. A
whisper of sound, and then it spoke again.
"It is I, Teal'c." Hardly heard footsteps ghosted toward Jack.
Jack slipped his knife
back into its sheath. "Took ya long enough. I was beginning to think
you'd finally decided to follow orders and got the heck out of
Teal'c bent down to avoid
the roof of the cave as he crept toward O'Neill. "We are not in
Jack huffed in
exasperation and muttered under his breath. "We sure as heck aren't in
Kansas." Then he added in a louder voice. "I meant I'd hoped you finally
got some sense and went home. Guess that was too much to hope for," he
Teal'c knelt down beside
Jack. "I shall not leave you behind, O'Neill. As you refused to leave me
behind to deal with an uncertain future on Chulak, so do I offer aid to
a fellow warrior." Teal'c's dark eyes glittered. "Do you not remember
the oath of allegiance I gave to you?"
Jack looked away. "Yeah,
"Oaths such as these are
not to be taken lightly. I swore my allegiance to you, O'Neill. I could
not abandon the man who would aid in the fight against all false
Jack lowered his eyes,
uncomfortable with the stubborn light he saw in Teal'c's eyes. "Yeah,
well considering the less than red-carpet treatment they gave you back
at the base, I wouldn't be thanking me just yet. If the NID ever get
their grubby paws on you . . ." he shuddered at the thought. "Well,
let's just say that the NID's idea of a welcome wagon leaves a lot to be
Teal'c cocked his head
and reached for Jack's wounded leg. "I did not see a welcome wagon,
"Nope, you didn't, and as
long as I'm around, the NID will never haul you off in theirs either."
Jack winced as the Jaffa peeled away the rough bandage and revealed the
burnt flesh below. He held his breath to avoid the stench of charred
meat, his own. Once you smelled the stench of burning human flesh, the
memory stayed with you.
"Your wound has become
infected." Teal'c retightened the bandage over the wound, not having one
to replace it. "I was unable to procure provisions or water. The
Stargate remains heavily guarded by Jaffa warriors. I fear we shall be
unable to leave this planet for some time."
Jack scrubbed his face
with one hand and sucked in a breath as the bandage was tightened
against his skin. "Well, ain't this just peachy." His other fist hit the
ground as he rode out the pain. The loose rock under him shifted with a
Teal'c hunkered back
against the wall. "I do not understand."
Jack's fist hit the
ground again and several pebbles disintegrated with the impact. "It's
just an _expression." He paused and panted. "Like saying we're in
trouble, in deep water, in the soup, up the creek without a paddle."
Teal'c raised an eyebrow.
"What?" Jack shook his
head and squeezed dirt between his fingers. "You mean to tell me that
you don't have sayings like that?" He breathed deeply, letting it out in
"We are most straight
forward in our words, O'Neill. A Jaffa warrior's entire focus is devoted
to serving our gods."
"Ah! That explains it."
Jack looked around the stark rock walls of their cave, hands still
clenched at his side. "So, no water?"
"I am sorry. Our camp was
discovered before I could return to it. Nothing survived."
"Ah forget it, Teal'c."
Jack looked at Teal'c and shrugged.
"Why do you wish me to forget such a thing?"
"It's a saying, Teal'c."
He narrowed his eyes in speculation. "Are you making a joke?"
Both eyebrows were raised on the Jaffa's forehead.
"No, I guess you wouldn't
be. Look, what I meant was that I know it isn't your fault, you did the
best you could." He levered himself up and leaned against the rock wall.
"We'll just have to figure out how we're going to get out of this mess
ourselves, that's all."
Teal'c nodded in
understanding. "Indeed. It is often thus for those who follow the
Jack smirked. "You can say that again."
"Indeed. It is often thus for those who . . . "
Jack rolled his eyes and
held up his hands. "Ack! Stop, you don't have to take everything I say
literally, you know." He shrugged his shoulders and rubbed them against
the rough wall of the cave. "Cause, if you do, it'll drive you stark
raving nuts. Not to mention what it'll do to me, and for me that might
be a real short drive, if you know what I mean."
Teal'c frowned and
inclined his head. "I believe I understand." He shifted
Jack leaned forward and
beckoned with one hand. "C'mere for a second."
Teal'c scooted forward
until he was sitting on the cave floor in front of Jack. He raised one
eyebrow and frowned.
Jack squinted and then
fingered the dark stain on the shoulder of his teammate's jacket. "What
"I was discovered while
returning to the cave." Teal'c frowned. "He will tell no one of our
presence and has been disposed of."
"How bad is it?"
"It is of no consequence.
My symbiote will heal it in a short time."
Jack's eyes flashed
angrily. "So, just when were you planning on telling me about this
little wound of yours?"
Teal'c's eyes turned dark
and his frown haughty. "It is not your concern, O'Neill."
Jack thinned his lips to
a line. "As long as you're on my team, it is my concern, mister." He
crossed his arms and lowered his voice. "As long as it says Colonel on
this uniform that makes it my concern." He licked his lips. "How can I
make decisions about the welfare of my team when you're holding out on
Teal'c said nothing, but
didn't drop his eyes from Jack's either. O'Neill sighed and rubbed his
hand through his hair in frustration. "Listen, Teal'c. We've got be able
to trust each other if we're going to work together on the same team. If
I can't trust you to be up front and honest with me, I don't want you on
the team. What it comes down to is I've got to trust you to watch my
back, just like I'll watch yours. Otherwise it just won't work.
Teal'c looked troubled.
"I have behaved as thoughtlessly as a young Ha'shak pup. I ask your
forgiveness, O'Neill. For behavior such as this my old master would have
beaten me severely." He bowed his head.
Jack chuckled. "Yeah,
well, I don't know if I'd go that far. Just don't let it happen again,
okay? We're on the same side here." He looked at the wound more closely.
"Did you clean it out?"
"Indeed, it was but a
glancing blow. I shall engage in Kel'no'reem after sundown in order to
allow my symbiote to better repair the damage."
"Killeen? Isn't that down in Texas?"
Teal'c lifted an eyebrow.
"Kel'no'reem. I was referring to the trance-like state all Jaffa use to
enable their symbiote to maintain bodily health."
"Whatever." He shifted his eyes and took in the lengthening shadows that
crept toward them. "Looks like nightfall's not too far off. You want me
to take first watch?"
"No, you are weaker due
to your wound, rest and I shall awaken you for the second watch."
Jack eyed him. "Promise?"
"I have said it."
"Yes you did."
Teal'c watched as O'Neill
settled back against the stone walls of the cave. The light sheen of
perspiration on the Tau'ri's upper lip along with his pale features
added credence to his worry that the wound had become infected. He had
seen it happen thus for far too many seasons. Many a young promising
Jaffa warrior cut down in their prime, caught in some senseless feud
between the gods over worlds they plundered.
'To my own everlasting shame, I
helped orchestrate numerous battles where there were no winners, only
those who survived to fight another day. These were often meaningless
battles waged between gods who put more value on their pride than those
who gave their lives in their petty squabbles.'
'Because of the
tutelage of Master Bra'tac, I grew to question the unquenchable lusts of
my god. Though, until I laid eyes upon the Tau'ri O'Neill, I lacked the
courage to act upon my doubts of the absolute omnipotence of Apophis. In
that one pivotal moment, I saw something in O'Neill's eyes that impelled
me to abandon everything.'
Teal'c watched as O'Neill
groaned and shifted in uneasy sleep. His hand reached out to wipe his
new leader's forehead, and then hovered in mid-air. He sighed and then
withdrew it, mindful that his touch would disturb such a restless
slumber. Because he was without an immature Goa'uld to aid his recovery,
O'Neill would require all his strength in the coming days.
'This passionate and
charismatic man has continued to stand by me, even against his fellow
Tau'ri. How could I abandon such a leader when he fell upon the field of
battle? I could not, and will endeavor to aid him in his return through
the Chaapa'ai to safety, for in him I see the leader who can inspire
others of my people to make their bid for freedom. And if I die in such
an enterprise, I die free.'
A horn sounded in the
night and jerked Teal'c from his thoughts. He crept to the entrance of
the cave to survey the darkness. As he watched, the horn echoed again,
but at a distance this time. The former First Prime grunted in
satisfaction, the search parties had not discovered his return trail.
With any luck their hunt would soon be abandoned, leaving them to return
through the Chaapa'ai.
He crept back to settle
down next to O'Neill, sitting cross-legged on the dirt floor. Closing
his eyes, he began the rituals for Kel'no'reem. The immature Goa'uld
thrashed restlessly in his pouch, demanding that he deepen his
meditation, and he complied as he knew from long experience that his
body was ruled by the creature residing within him.
O'Neill was dreaming and
it looked like it would be another bad one. He was running from
something that had glowing eyes. He feinted and dodged, but no matter
what tactic he used, it continued to dog his trail. He chanced a quick
look back, and realized it had somehow gained on him. Jack fell heavily
to the ground and groaned, as he felt something alight on his back. He
twisted and cried out as fiery pain struck first at his leg, then at his
O'Neill jerked awake with
a stifled yell as he found himself lying on his side. His eyes widened
as his gaze took a dark shadow crouching over him. Jack ducked as a hand
shot past his neck. He became aware of something crawling up his back
and gasped as the hand came back into view. In the fist wriggled a
symbiote hissing its displeasure as its multi-pronged mouth gaped open,
flicking droplets of red blood in a hit and miss fashion.
Jack whispered and
swallowed hard as he eyed the source of his nightmare, Teal'c. "What the
. . .?" He shifted to lever himself up onto one elbow.
Teal'c said nothing as he
wrested his jacket open one-handed as holding the writhing snakelet away
from his body. His black t-shirt revealed, his fist jerked it out of
this pants, exposing the x-shaped entrance to his pouch.
This done, it took only
seconds to thrust the symbiote into the pouch. Teal'c withdrew his now
empty hand with a sucking sound as the entrance closed on its parasitic
Teal'c leaned over Jack,
his dark eyes flashing. Jack flinched. "Are you injured, O'Neill?"
Jack opened his mouth and then closed it. "What?"
"Did my symbiote injure you?"
Jack slumped to the
floor, his arm stretched out before him. "Oh, umm. I don't know, let me
He pushed himself up into
a sitting position and then groaned. One hand snaked to his thigh, and
then his buttocks. When he gazed upon his hand, it was bloody.
"Crap!" He wiped his hand
on his t-shirt and then twisted in an attempt to look at his new injury.
"Your fricking snake bit me on the ass, Teal'c."
He stiffened and his eyes
widened. "Are you sure that thing is inside your pouch? I mean . . . I
don't have one crawling around inside my head, do I?"
Teal'c looked troubled.
"It is inside my pouch, O'Neill. I did not anticipate such an
occurrence, for this injury I apologize and will take the necessary
steps to prevent any recurrence."
As if that were a signal,
Teal'c's shirt bulged about his middle and then ripped, revealing the
writhing head of his immature Goa'uld once again. In response, the Jaffa
withdrew his knife from his belt.
Jack's eyes widened and
he put out a restraining hand. "Teal'c, no!" When the symbiote snapped
at his appendage, he quickly withdrew it, but continued to scrutinize
"Do not come near, I will
do what I must." Teal'c slashed the palm of his own hand, then dropped
the knife and grabbed the neck of the wriggling reptile protruding from
his belly. He forced the mouth toward his bloody hand until the snakelet
began sucking greedily on the crimson blood dripping from his palm.
Jack held his breath,
afraid to disturb the awful tableau being staged in front of him. The
only sound came from the reptile as it slashed and tore at Teal'c's
already bloody hand. After what seemed like hours, but in reality were
probably only seconds, Teal'c thrust the protesting symbiote back inside
his pouch. Then he sighed and leaned heavily against the cave wall, his
hand resting on his thigh. Bright spots of crimson fell upon the green
fabric, dotting it dark brown.
Jack pulled himself
along, inching toward his teammate. "Teal'c?" he whispered.
"The danger to you has
passed." Teal'c gasped as he leaned his head against his chest.
By this time Jack had
wriggled close enough to grasp Teal'c's injured hand. He turned it over
and winced when he saw the damage. However, it at least appeared to be
Teal'c didn't utter a
sound of protest, and turned stoic eyes on his leader. Jack hiked an
eyebrow. "Mind explaining just what the hell just happened here?"
Teal'c pulled his hand
away and nodded. "One moment." He leaned his head against the wall, took
a breath, and then pulled his jacket closed over his ripped t-shirt.
Teal'c eyed Jack. "Your wound?"
Jack raised a hand. "Is
not serious." He propped himself next to Teal'c, leaning to one side.
"My symbiote required
nourishment in order to sustain itself within my pouch. As I had not
partaken of food or drink for several days, it sought elsewhere for its
Jack whispered in
disbelief. "Teal'c, that thing took a bite out of my ass! Since
when does nibbling on my butt meet its food requirements?"
Teal'c's eyebrow rose.
"Because of my wound, my body was no longer able to provide adequate
protein levels for it. Had I not been wounded, it would not have sought
"My own blood has
provided the nourishment it craved. Once I have meditated, my body will
be restored to full health."
"But that thing sucked on
you like some kind of vampire, Teal'c. I saw what it did to your hand."
Jack shook his head and scrubbed the back of his neck nervously. "Are
you okay with this?"
Teal'c's voice grew low
and deadly. "Understand this, O'Neill. I shall never be okay so
long as I carry this parasite within me. It is but a small part of the
price that all Jaffa pay for servitude to the false gods. I would rid
myself of it if I could do so. However, I cannot and live."
Jack's voice grew
serious. "Well, there's that." He laid his hand on Teal'c's shoulder.
"I'll take watch so you can do your meditation thingy." He shrugged at
the questioning look shot his way. "I don't think I could sleep very
well right now anyway. If you know what I mean."
Teal'c nodded and bowed. "Indeed."
Jack removed his knife
from its sheath and laid it within easy reach. He nodded to Teal'c who
settled into a cross-legged position, arms resting on his knees. With
eyes focused on the opposite cave wall, the Jaffa's breathing grew faint
'There's so much I don't know about
this guy, yet I trust him with my life. Why is that? For crying out
loud, I don't even know his last name. Yet, I would trust him at my
back, more than some of the people of my own military. How can he live
carrying that THING around in his belly? I don't know if I could do it .
. . and I hope to God that I never have the chance to find
Jack loosened his belt
and felt inside to his injured buttocks. He craned his head around but
due to the position of the wound, he couldn't get a good look and there
was just no way that he was going to ask Teal'c to look at it. From the
feel of it, though, it seemed to be a minor wound that had already
scabbed over. No blood came back when he inspected his hand.
'There is just no way that I'm going
to drop my drawers and ask Teal'c to take a gander at my backside, not
while I'm conscious. It's embarrassing enough as it is. Just how am I
supposed to explain this one to Hammond, hmm?'
'It'll be just my luck to get some
sweet, young, wide-eyed female nurse for my post-mission exam. Yep, I
can see it now, she'll want to know where I've been wounded and I'll
have to tell her that Teal'c's baby snake tried to use my butt as an
'It could be worse though. Carter
could've been here with me, but then I'd never have gotten bitten on the
ass by a snake either. God, I hope she made it back to the base with
Daniel and they're both okay.'
'Crap, Jack, what you really need to
worry about is how you're going to get your snake-bitten ass and
Teal'c's back through the Gate to the SGC.'
Jack glanced toward the
cave entrance and noted the signs of daybreak. He hadn't heard anymore
Jaffa horns for several hours and hoped that meant good news. As far as
he was concerned, they couldn't get off this planet soon enough.
A change in Teal'c's
breathing caught Jack's attention. As he watched, the Jaffa's eyes
Jack wiped the sweat out
of his eyes and tried to ignore how his hand shook. "Good morning,
Teal'c." He winced as his burned leg twinged a warning when he tried
Jack turned to find Teal'c watching him. "Good day, O'Neill."
Jack indicated the cave
entrance with his hand. "Haven't heard a thing all night. Maybe those
Jaffa packed their bags and got the hell out of Dodge."
"Perhaps. I shall
endeavor to ascertain their position." Teal'c arose gracefully, mindful
of the low cave ceiling. He bent over to check Jack, who in turn took
the opportunity to survey his teammate. Nothing remained of the wounds
on his shoulder or hand.
Jack licked dry cracked lips. "I see you healed up okay."
"Indeed. Your wound however continues to be infected. It shall
require additional medical aid."
"And? What's your point?
Because in case you haven't noticed, we're not exactly in the middle of
Walter Reed right now."
Teal'c sighed. "Walter Reed?"
"Never mind. Sorry, I guess I'm just cranky, that's all."
"You burn with wound fever."
"Yeah, whatever. Weren't you going out on recon?"
Teal'c nodded and then
turned to leave. "I shall return momentarily."
Jack settled back against
the wall. "Great, that's just hunky-dory, peachy-keen." He laid his
knife on his lap. "See ya soon." He waved a half salute.
He was alone now, at
least until Teal'c returned. And he would return, of that he had no
doubt. If he'd had any before, those thoughts had been killed when he'd
watched him force his snake to drink his own blood rather than endanger
his teammate. Crap, how'd he luck out, getting such loyal teammates? As
he shook his head in wonder he decided that he wouldn't worry about it
because it certainly couldn't be anything he was doing . . . Could it?
Nah! Put a lid on it, Jack. You're thinking too much.
To distract himself, Jack
picked up a nearby rock with the intention of using it to sharpen his
knife blade. He plucked out a hair from his scalp and dropped in on the
blade. When it wasn't sliced in two by its own weight, he grunted in
dissatisfaction. He'd been neglecting his equipment, something he would
The rasping sound of
knife blade against the rock made a comforting sound one he was well
used to. He must have drifted because the back of his head hit the cave
wall when he jerked awake.
O'Neill rubbed it tenderly. "Ow."
There was a sound at the
cave mouth and then a shadow. Jack gripped his knife, ready to defend
himself, or go down fighting.
In an effort to make himself as inconspicuous as possible, Jack
shrank against the cave wall.
A whisper reached his ears. "It is I, Teal'c."
Jack licked his dry
cracked lips and blinked the sweat out of his eyes. "Teal'c?"
Suddenly the big Jaffa
was crouched over him, a frown on his face. "I bring good news."
"What?" Jack looked confused.
'How'd he sneak up on
me like that? I must be losing my touch. Snap out of it, Airman. You've
got to make it home and you certainly can't do that if you don't pay
attention to your surroundings.'
Though, try as hard as he
might, his mind was fuzzy. He wiped at his head and shivered, with the
He flinched when he felt
a hand on his forehead and his eyes snapped open as he swiped weakly at
it. "Leave me alone," he protested. "I'm fine."
"Your fever worsens."
Teal'c removed his hand and wiped it on his pants. He swiveled in
position to gaze at the cave entrance.
"The Jaffa are breaking their encampment and should abandon it soon."
Jack nodded but said
nothing, instead concentrating on controlling his shivering aching
"Our path to the Stargate
should be accessible within hours, O'Neill."
"'S good. Charlie. I knew you could get us out of here."
Teal'c cocked an eyebrow. "I am not Charlie."
Jack looked up, his eyes glazed. "What?"
Teal'c grew more
concerned as he observed O'Neill's condition. 'The wound fever
worsens. I must seek medical aid for O'Neill. However, if we move too
soon, the remaining Jaffa will discover our presence and resume their
He settled on his
haunches as he considered his options. 'If they follow established
procedure, the Jaffa will vacate this world within hours. As much as I
would wish it otherwise, I must wait until then. Were he able, I am
certain O'Neill would reach a similar conclusion. However, he is not
able, therefore I must make it for him.'
Teal'c withdrew a scrap
of cloth from his pocket and wiped it across O'Neill's forehead.
"I am here, O'Neill."
"When did you get back?"
Teal'c settled against the cave wall next to Jack. "It was but a short while ago."
"Oh, must've fallen asleep."
Jack looked at Teal'c with feverish eyes. "How'd the recon go?"
"The Jaffa show
indications of leaving this world soon. We shall leave soon after."
"Sounds like a plan to
me." Jack's eyes fluttered. "Think I'll grab a couple zee's."
"I shall keep watch,
O'Neill." Teal'c whispered, then took off his own jacket to drape across
the chest of his companion. Then he settled back to wait until it was
safe to leave.
When he folded his hands
across his mid-section, his fingers encountered the torn edges of his
black t-shirt. The memory of what had transpired made him burn with rage
and shame. He stiffened when the larvae within his pouch thrashed in
He rubbed his pouch and
addressed his inner thoughts to the parasite residing there. 'Your
greed could have cost more than you know. And know this, infant of a
false god. I vow to do everything within my power to prevent the death
of such a man, for it is Tau'ri such as he who will be the ultimate
salvation of my people. If this vow should mean my death, then I die
The infant Goa'uld,
symbol of his people's oppressors squirmed violently in its artificial
womb, then quieted.
'Indeed, remember that your immediate
future and survival depends upon mine . . . and O'Neill's.'
The Jaffa warrior crept
toward the cave opening and carefully peered out. Hearing nothing, he
looked back at his teammate who was tossing and muttering under his
breath in a restless sleep.
He moved noiselessly
toward his companion, touched him lightly on the shoulder and then
withdrew his hand quickly.
Jack's fist shot out, narrowly missing its target. "What?"
"It is time to leave, O'Neill."
Jack blinked and wiped at
his eyes. "Already?" he looked around him as he tried to get his
bearings. "Jus' gimme me a minute."
Teal'c inclined his head. "I shall give you two."
"Huh? Oh sure, thanks."
Teal'c watched as Jack
knitted his eyebrows and place his hands on either side of his body in
preparation to standing. Sweat popped out on his brow as he strained to
push himself up. Tried . . . and failed.
Jack raised apologetic eyes to his Jaffa companion. "Sorry."
"Do you wish my aid?"
Jack shrugged and looked down. "If you don't mind."
"I do not."
Teal'c extended a hand
and Jack grasped his forearm for assistance. With little effort, He was
aided in to his feet and stumbled toward the Jaffa. Not releasing his
grip on O'Neill's arm, he steadied him on his feet.
Jack smiled gratefully. "Thanks, Teal'c. I owe ya one."
Teal'c inclined his head. "Indeed."
"How's about we blow this
Popsicle stand?" The Tau'ri O'Neill smirked as he leaned against his
newest teammate and hobbled toward the cave entrance.
"What is a Popsicle stand?"
"What? Oh, sorry. Just a
figure of speech, like getting the heck out of Dodge, blowing this
joint, and amscray." O'Neill used his free arm to illustrate his
Teal'c shrugged his
shoulders, well able to take on the increasing weight from the injured
Tau'ri. "I understand."
'Yes, I do indeed understand,
O'Neill. I understand far more than you realize. I wonder if you truly
appreciate your worth?'
Jack smiled up at Teal'c and motioned with one hand. "Good. Home, James."
Tea'c sighed. "I am not James, O'Neill, but I shall take you home."