End of an Era by Sistine
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Category: Jack/Daniel
Genres: Established Relationship, Missing Scene/Episode-Related
Rated: Pre-Teen
Warnings: None
Series: None
Summary: How Daniel found out about Sam’s promotion to Atlantis, and why he didn’t get to see her off.

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Story Notes:
I was watching SGA 4.3 the other night and I wondered during the scene where Sam left the SGC and Teal’c came to say goodbye to her, where was everyone else? This is my take on where Jack and Daniel were
“They’ve decided,” Jack announced as he walked into his Washington D.C. apartment.

His partner of several years looked up from the computer he was using for research. “Who have decided what?” Daniel asked.

“The IOA have decided who they’re sending to take command of Atlantis,” Jack explained as he took off his uniform jacket and threw it over the back of the nearest chair. One of the worst things about being at Homeworld Security was having to wear a dress uniform every day; the other two things were dealing with politicians, and being away from Daniel for most of the year - not necessary in that order.

Daniel knew it wasn’t him; his name hadn’t even made it onto the list, thanks to Jack. Besides the fact that Daniel didn’t want command anyway, they didn’t want it known that Daniel could operate Ancient technology. On his brief visit last year, there fortunately hadn’t been an opportunity to reveal that but they both knew that if Daniel was there for an extended length of time, he would be found out. They only knew themselves because of a piece of Ancient technology in Antarctica that Daniel had accidentally activated while no-one else was around. “Who?”

Jack plonked himself down next to Daniel and sighed. “Carter.”

“Sam?” Daniel’s eyes widened. “Is that wise?”

“She’s come a long way in the last couple of years. She’s a good commander now.” Jack was confident she could lead the expedition; if it had been two years ago, though, he wouldn’t be so sure. “Plus, it’ll give Mitchell a chance to lead SG-1 properly.”

Daniel couldn’t disagree there, although it could never be said that he, Teal’c or Vala were ever ‘led’ by the military officers. “Do you think she’ll accept it?” He knew how much Sam loved being on SG-1.

“She’d be crazy not to,” Jack replied. “It comes with a promotion too.”

That made three promotions in seven years; even Daniel knew that was fast. “You’re hoping she’ll take the promotion over you.” He wasn’t jealous that Sam still had an interest in Jack after all these years; he could understand how hard it was to let something like that go.

“Yep.” Jack knew Carter would accept the promotion; she had always been career military.

“So, when will she go?” Daniel queried, already mentally booking a flight back to Colorado Springs to farewell her. With the dangers inherent in both their jobs, they might not see each other again.

“Let’s see… Woolsey was going to let her know an hour ago, so…” Jack looked at his watch. “About four hours from now.”

Daniel raised his eyebrows in surprise; there wouldn’t be time to get there. “Why so quick?”

“IOA doesn’t want Sheppard in command for too long, so they want her there asap now they’ve made their decision.” Jack sighed again; he really hated the politics of this job. “I get the feeling they’ve been planning this for some time. That’s why they made Carter a full-bird colonel recently - they needed someone to outrank Sheppard.”

“I thought the IOA would want to keep Sam here,” Daniel frowned, trying to figure out the logic. “We need her on SG-1.”

“Yeah, well…” Jack shrugged. “You know the IOA’s always got their own agenda. And there weren’t too many people on that shortlist. Sheppard’s too much of a loose cannon, McKay’s too… you know, and the others don’t have Carter’s expertise with gate travel. And even if you’d put your hat in the ring, they wouldn’t have wanted you because they wouldn’t be able to control you.”

“Thanks,” Daniel said dryly, although he knew what Jack meant.

“Besides which, there’s still all the Priors left in this galaxy and you’re our foremost expert,” Jack continued. “So they wanted someone who wasn’t known for rash decisions and whom they could exert some control over.”

Daniel nodded, getting it. “Because Sam’s in the military.”

“Exactly.” Sam wasn’t the impetuous one in SG-1 - well, most of the time, anyway. “It’ll be good for her, getting out there and meeting new people, learning how to run a facility, and so on. Give her a couple of years and she’ll be running the SGC,” Jack joked half-seriously.

A smile flashed across Daniel’s face as he thought about Sam as a General. “I don’t think she’s ready to give up going on missions yet,” he commented. But in a few years, if a career was all she had, then he could see her being promoted again.

“Not yet, no.” Jack was rather hoping that she would find someone new to focus on over on Atlantis; there was only so many ways of telling her to get a life - one that preferably didn’t involve settling down with him. “So if you want to give her a call, say goodbye and all that…” He gestured towards the phone.

“Thanks.” Daniel moved to pick up the phone. “Do you want to talk to her?”

“Probably better if I don’t,” Jack chickened out. “But tell her I said good luck.”

Daniel rolled his eyes but dialled the SGC’s number anyway. One day, Jack would run out of excuses and have to face Sam but obviously today wasn’t it. Instead, he would need to get used to the fact that another era of his life was ending, and that only he and Teal’c remained out of the original SG-1. At least everyone was retiring instead of being killed - that was unprecedented in the SGC’s history.

~~~~~~~~~~

Daniel ended the call some ten minutes later and headed to Jack’s den where he knew his lover would be hiding out. “Sam said to give you a goodbye kiss from her,” he stated as he entered the room.

It was Jack’s turn to raise his eyebrows. “She what?”

Daniel grinned. “Actually, she just said to say goodbye and don’t do anything stupid while she’s away. But I think if you were there, she would have wanted to kiss you so…” He leaned over and kissed the top of Jack’s head.

Jack growled and when Daniel had stepped back, he stood up and quickly backed his lover against the wall. “Is that the best you can do?”

“Well, I didn’t know what kind of kiss Sam would want to give you so I…” Daniel got no further as Jack claimed his mouth passionately. He was silent for a minute until Jack released him, and then he said, “Should I be jealous?”

“Nope.” Jack pressed his body full length against Daniel’s. He hoped that Carter could one day find someone who fitted with her the way Daniel did with him, and maybe this trip to Atlantis would give her that chance. “So, do you want to eat or…?”

“Or,” Daniel agreed. He had to make the most of these visits with Jack until one of both of them retired. And now, without Sam around, he could do it without feeling like he was sneaking around behind her back.

~~~~~~~~~~

Hundreds of miles away, Sam had hung up the phone with a smile on her face. She knew that Daniel always stayed at Jack’s place in Washington and she knew why as well, although she had let Jack keep his illusions about the crush she used to have on him; in later years, this had proved useful in gossip circles to take the attention away from the two men. She wanted the kind of relationship the two shared and she had recently embarked on a relationship with a brigadier-general from the Pentagon that definitely had potential. Being in a whole other galaxy was going to test the relationship but Sam hoped that it would survive the separation.

And hopefully, she would survive Atlantis.
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