Thank you all for the strong initial response to the story. I hope it doesn’t disappoint and yes, I will try to be timely about updates. This one is a bit short, but the next one won’t be. This was just a natural place to end. Disclaimer:
Playing nice with my toys. I don’t own Buffy or Stargate. Timeline:
Buffy and Stargate SG-1 Season 5. Chapter Two “It's 'O'Neill', with two L's. There's another Col. O'Neil with only one L, and he has no sense of humor at all.” –Colonel Jack O’Neill
Jack juggled the case of beer and bucket of hot wings as he knocked on Daniel’s door. Normally he would have called ahead, but six years of familiarity told him when Daniel didn’t want to see people.
Which of course meant to drop by unannounced.
Jack rocked back on his heels are he studied the darkened house speculatively. Daniel’s car wasn’t in the drive way, but Jack guessed the garage, and all the lights were out. The house was also silent and shuttered, giving every appearance of being unoccupied.
Jack knocked again.
He was just about to put down either the chicken or the beer and use two hands when the door flung open to reveal a very exasperated archaeologist. Daniel looked like shit, all two-day stubble and dark circles under his eyes. His expression was not one to inspire sympathy though as he glared mulishly at Jack and with clipped poise stated, “I am NOT home.”
Jack caught the front door with his shoulder and followed Daniel into the house as he tried to slam the door again and leave. He almost sacrificed a few beer bottles to the move, but practice meant he only got his fingers slammed a bit in the process.
Daniel, well used to O’Neill persistence, glared once and strode into the kitchen, flicking on the light with more force than necessary as Jack ambled after him, cautiously flexing his fingers to see if the door had broken anything. Jack held his tongue as Daniel stomped his away around the kitchen, opening cupboards and slamming two glasses down before his filled them with tap water.
Finally Daniel looked his way again and rolled his eyes at the peace offerings. “I already ate.”
Jack raised a single eyebrow and set the chicken wings and beer down with exaggerated care on the counter. “Well then,” he responded cheerfully, “lucky I only brought all this for me. I’m staaaarving after two thrilling days spent guarding sands and rocks with Dr. Odor.”
Daniel sighed and ran a hair through short hair. “Dr. Odair.”
“Are you sure?”
“Daniel, what’s going on here? It’s not like you to miss work. It’s not like you to leave
work. You have a cot in your office and half your clothes stashed in your office.”
The younger man stared at his hands for a moment and with an uncharacteristic mutter responded with, “It’s complicated.”
Jack stared at him for a minute before throwing his hands up in the air. “We travel to other worlds and fight aliens for a living. I have a six pack and all night. Start explaining.”
“What if I’m not interested in having a heart to heart right now?”
“Well, Danny Boy, if I was planning to take your interests into account, I wouldn’t have been knocking at your door tonight, would I? Have a beer and let’s chat.”
There was at least a minute of silence before Daniel sighed, defeated, and grabbed a beer from the six pack, snagging one of Jack’s wings before heading for the living room. He collapsed in an overstuffed recliner and ignored Jack as he wove his wave through take-out containers and stacked newspapers to sit on the less-comfortable couch. Jack looked around at the mess with a raised eyebrow. “You planning to hibernate for the winter? It’s only been two days.”
“Shut up Jack.” They drank a beer each in silence, with Jack sending speculative glances at Daniel. When Daniel put the empty beer bottle down on the crowded coffee table he moved so that he was leaving forward, his elbows resting on his knees, staring at the wall to the left of Jack instead of directly at him.
“You know my parents died when I was eight years old and my grandfather didn’t take me in, even though he was supposedly my only living relative.”
Jack, not one to miss important context clues, felt his eyes narrow. “Supposedly?”
“After I joined the Stargate program I hired a detective agency in Denver to look for extended family on my father’s side that Nick may not have either known about or wanted to discuss. I’ve been paying them a yearly fee all this time and they never turned anything up.”
“Something turned up.”
Daniel sighed and stood. “Three somethings.” He went to his desk and returned, handing Jack a manila folder. Jack opened it and stilled when he saw the obituary notice for one Joyce Summers. She smiled at him from the copy of the newspaper clipping. He didn’t know if Daniel knew it, but they had the same jawline. “That was my half-sister. She passed away four days ago. She had two daughters, Buffy and Dawn.”
“You didn’t know before…?”
His teammate laughed humorlessly. “No. The detective hadn’t been able to find her until the obituary notice was published. The family moved around a lot before settling in Sunnydale California.”
“Divorced. Absentee father from what I’ve been able to find.”
“And the girls?”
“Buffy is twenty, Dawn fourteen.”
Jack whistled and stared another long moment at Joyce Summers. “Have you…”
“Googled them?” At Jack’s startled glance Daniel snorted. “Jack, its 2001, I know how to use the Internet.” Another trip to his computer table and Daniel returned, some print outs in-hand. “I didn’t find a whole lot. Joyce ran an art gallery for several years. Buffy may or may not have burned down a gym at her high-school before Sunnydale. Dawn was listed in a newspaper article for winning an art award when she was in grade school. Nothing since then in the public records.
“Sunnydale seems like a pretty interesting place though…” As Daniel thumbed through and handed Jack some copies of newspaper stories. “Highest death-rate with the lowest taxes in California. More cemeteries than News Orleans. High school burns down at graduation… the year Buffy graduated by the way. Totally ordinary things.”
“What are you saying Daniel, that maybe this warrants an investigation?”
Daniel grimaced. “I don’t know Jack, nothing says ‘I’m your long-lost uncle’ like a government investigation into your home-town. It could be nothing…”
Jack snorted. “They’re related to you. They’re lucky they haven’t been kidnapped and/or killed a few times.”
“Very funny. I don’t know how receptive they will be to having me try to intrude in their life. But I know, I know
what it is like to feel alone and I don’t wish that one anyone. Especially not in a town with a murder rate like that.”
Jack sighed, took a moment, and rose before meeting Daniel’s eyes. “Are you sure you want to make contact?”
The question didn’t even really need to be asked, not with Daniel being involved, but Jack wanted him to remember that he had made a conscious decision to get involved when he was hearing boy-talk and finding nail polish on the rug in his guest room.
“Jack, they’re family.”
“Fine, fine… I’ll call General Hammond.”
“No, really, I didn’t mean to involve SG…”
“Danny boy, really, give me some credit. I’m merely placing a courtesy call to the General to let him know my knee is acting up again. The Doc has been keeping at me about taking care of myself better and all that standing on the sand planet really did me in.” Jack shot Daniel a quick triumphant look. “I’m betting the General suggests we take, maybe five or six days off before being back on active duty. I mean, it’s not like there’s been anything big going on and I’ve always wanted to see the beach in California.”
“Sunnydale doesn't have much in the way of a nice beach.”
“The mountains then.”
Jack sighed again as he dug into his jeans pocket for his cell. “Daniel, stop trying to help.”