I do not own Stargate SG-1 or Angel the Series. They belong to Joss and ME and WB, and MGM and whoever else owns 'em.
Thanks to my beta, Starway ManAuthor's Note:
This story initially takes place after Episode 4x13 “The Curse” of Stargate SG-1, and after Episode 3x03 “That Old Gang of Mine” of Angel. And yeah, I know the dates and years don't match up between the two 'verses. Pretend they do, okay? There's a reason it's called author fiat, you know...Old Friends
Chapter 1October 7th, 2001
Stargate Command, Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado
Daniel Jackson knocked lightly on the frame of General George Hammond's open door, letting the USAF two-star general, who was currently buried almost neck deep in paperwork, know he was there. “General Hammond?”
Hammond looked over to him. “Come in, Dr. Jackson. You said you wanted to see me?” Daniel nodded. “Please, sit.” George gestured to the chair across from him, and Daniel sat.
“Paperwork?” Daniel offered as a way to break the ice.
“Requisition forms. I need to check and countersign everything.” Hammond smiled a little, his Texan drawl thickening somewhat. “Friend of mine who became an Admiral told me once that the Navy, contrary to common belief, sailed on paper, not water. It's as true for the Air Force, believe me.”
“Oh, I believe you.” Daniel remarked. “I've heard Jack complain about the mission reports.”
“Don't let him fool you. Colonel O'Neill doesn't like writing them, but when he does, they're quality reports.” Hammond set the latest sheet of paper down and looked over at him, hands clasped in front of him on the desk. “So, what can I do for you, Dr. Jackson?”
“Well, sir, it's about what we talked about last month. Hiring more people for my department. We still haven't replaced Rothman...” The archaeologist paused a moment, painfully recalling his deceased former colleague. “Which is as much my fault as anyone else's... I haven't really wanted to. But there's just too much workload for me to do it all alone, even once we replace Dr. Rothman.”
“Dr. Jackson, I sympathize with your problem, you know that. But we can't exactly put out a Help Wanted advertisement. Finding people who are skilled enough, might be receptive and that we can give security clearance to is a difficult task. Although, while we're on the subject, I wanted to ask you – what do you think about Doctor Raynar? From his resume, he's certainly got the talent and the knowledge to be a help to the program, but you're the one who actually knows
Daniel shook his head after a few seconds' consideration – whatever personal issues he had with Stephen, Hammond was right that he had the skills needed. But still, Dr. Jackson just didn't think it would work out. “I don't think so, General. I mean, yeah, if it were possible Stephen would be great to bring on board, especially after what happened with Sarah. But when I dropped off the grid and basically vanished from public view, I had a very public disgrace that people could point to to explain it. Stephen's situation is different; he's well published – even has a best-selling book – and he's highly respected in the field. A rising star. He's not going to be able to disappear from academia that easily, and since he can't publish anything we find out...”
Daniel shook his head again. “And even if that wasn't an issue, I don't think he'd take the job, anyway. I mean, working under me? Being forced to admit that I was right and he was wrong, all along? I don't think Stephen would be able to cope with that, at least not for very long. That's just the sort of man he is.”
George nodded. “Alright. I'll take that under consideration, though it doesn't help the current problem.”
“No, it doesn't. But actually, I had someone else in mind that I was going to raise with you. An old friend and acquaintance of mine, from when I studied at Oxford for a few years. We've kept in touch by letter and phone calls since. He's English, his name is Wesley Wyndam-Pryce.”
Hammond nodded. “What are his qualifications?”
“Well, he speaks as many languages as I do – not counting all the ones I've picked up since I've joined the program, anyway. And he's just about as quick as I am at picking up languages and dialects of all kinds. His focus of study was Iron Age European History, Archaeology, Mythology – though given some of the things we've encountered so far, that could actually give us a useful different perspective. Egypt's not the only culture the Goa'uld stole from, and then there's all the other aliens pretending to be our old gods or mythic figures from every culture...”
“And you've known him for all this time? Why didn't you suggest him sooner?” Hammond wrote down the name. Obviously, there would have to be thorough background checks on this man and his situation, but assuming Daniel was correct, the man could be useful. Anyone with Dr. Jackson's facility with languages, or close, would be priceless – the civilian member of SG-1 was in great demand for any number of dig sites and finds on other worlds, since he was more fluent than anyone else in the languages they had to deal with.
“Well, when I was suggesting people I knew that might be receptive and helpful to the program three years ago, Wesley was still working for the IWC.” He saw Hammond raise an eyebrow. “I don't know what it stands for, Wesley didn't either. But from what I know they're antiquities dealers, appraisers, occasionally translators. Depending on who you are and what you know, they'll also allow occasional access to some of the rare books they've got. Impressive collections. Based in the United Kingdom, they're well known in the field, even sponsoring occasional digs. They've been around for around for the past two hundred years or so, and Wesley's family has been with them for at least three or four generations. He was quite looking forward to continuing the family tradition, according to his letters. But a couple of years ago, he quit, apparently. There were some really nasty office politics involving his father and the guy running the IWC at the time. Not sure why it never occurred to me to consider him for this since then, but I was reading his latest letter the other day – and I suddenly realized he'd be the perfect guy to assist me here at the SGC. Especially since he's now living in Los Angeles.”
“You do understand we'll have to look into him ourselves, before he's granted security clearance to know what we do here?”
“Of course. Though actually, before you do, I'd like to go see him myself – it's been years since I've spoken to him face to face. With Jack and Teal'c still in Minnesota and Sam wanting to study the stasis device on the Isis Jar some more, it seems like a pretty good time to do that. Uh, and I guess I'd need to sound him out about all this; Wesley's running a private detective agency nowadays, oddly enough. I don't know if he'd actually be receptive to working for us or not.”
“So you'd like to personally assess if he's SGC material?” Hammond asked, raising an eyebrow.
“Pretty much.” Daniel confirmed. “If it doesn't seem like he'd work well here, or if he doesn't seem likely to take the job, then no need to look into him any further.”
Hammond considered. “Alright, Dr. Jackson. You have a go.”Five minutes later
Angel Investigations, Los Angeles, California
Cordelia picked up the phone within a second of it ringing. “Angel Investigations, we help the hopeless.”
“Well, I'm not hopeless,” An unfamiliar male voice said from the other end of the line. “Is Wesley there? I called his apartment, but nobody picked up, so I figured I'd call his work number.”
Cordelia looked into Wesley's office. He was still meeting with that Slarn demon, darn it. “He's in a meeting with a client, but he should be done soon. Can you wait a few minutes? And can I tell him who's calling?”Full on receptionist mode, Cordelia.
Much as the visions gave her killer headaches, at least they were more interesting than just answering the phones and manning the desk.
“Uhm, yeah, I can wait a few minutes. And, oh, sorry. My name's Daniel Jackson. I'm an old friend of Wesley's.”
Cordelia looked back over to the private office. The demon was coming out, and Wesley shook its blue-skinned hand. “We'll get back to you as soon as we have anything.”
“Thank you.” The demon said in a voice too high-pitched for its bulk. It went for the door and was out of the Hyperion in moments.
“Hey, Wesley, there's a Daniel Jackson on the line for you? Says he's an old friend?” Cordelia called out.
“Ah? Well, I wasn't expecting a call from him. I hope everything's alright.” The two of them usually just sent letters to one another. Slower, but it was their normal style. Wes stepped back into his private office and picked up the phone. “Daniel? To what do I owe the pleasure?” He asked with a smile. He gestured at Cordelia to hang up the phone. Rolling her eyes and mouthing 'spoilsport', she hung up. Smirking, Wesley sat back in his chair.
“Well, there's a few new exhibits at some of the museums in L.A. that I wanted to take a look at. There's not much happening here at work right now, so I was going to take some time off. And I figured since you're there, I could stop by, say hi, catch up. Been years since we last saw each other, after all.”
“Yes, true enough. And as I recall, the last time I saw you in person, you were preparing to jettison your career on a rather... radical idea.” Wesley said with a slight laugh. “I told you to wait until you had more evidence, you know.”
“Yeah, I know, and you were right.” Daniel said, a slightly amused tone in his voice. Sore spot, yes, but Wesley was one of the few people who could get away with it. “But I've already given you my reasons for catching up in person.”
“You have.” Wesley smiled. “Well, I'd certainly enjoy seeing you again.” He laughed. “Though you should probably just come by the office. I practically live here these days.”
“So I gathered from your letters. Is someone making sure you eat?”
“Now, now, I'm not that bad.” Wesley shot back. “Daniel, old man, you
were always the one that needed to be reminded to eat when you were studying. Sarah had a hard enough time forcing you to do that, as it was.” Wesley couldn't help noticing the sudden silence on the phone. “Daniel? Is something wrong?”
There was a sigh on the other end. “No, sorry. Just...when I went to Dr. Jordan's funeral the other day...Sarah was there. We spent some time together, and then we ended up having a pretty nasty fight, to put it mildly. She...she's changed since I last saw her. Since you last saw her, for that matter. I'm still a bit sore about the subject, is all.”
“I take it she slapped you?” Wesley chuckled, despite himself.
“Repeatedly.” Daniel provided after a moment. “Anyway, I'll be flying out tomorrow morning. Check into a hotel, rent a car and then drop by your workplace around...say, two?”
“Sounds like a plan.” Wesley agreed. “I can introduce you to everyone.”
“Ah, yes, the co-workers you've told me all about. That would've been Cordelia answering the phone, right?”
“It was. As a matter of fact, right now she's trying to look busy, and not like she's not eavesdropping on my half of the conversation.” He raised his voice. “Try harder next time, Cordelia.” The dark-haired Seer scoffed and rolled her eyes, filing a case file into its drawer.
Daniel chuckled. “They're the kind to give you the third degree about everything, too?”
“Oh yes.” Wesley said. “Of course, I give them the third degree about working for me, so it's only fair play, I suppose.”
“There is that.” A pause, and Wes heard some papers moving around. “Well, I need to wrap up a bit of work here before I can head back home, so I'll see you tomorrow?”
“Sounds good. See you then.”
“See who?” Angel asked from the doorway, arms crossed in front him as he leaned against the frame.
“Ah, Angel, there you are. And it's Daniel Jackson, an old friend of mine from Oxford. We haven't seen each other in quite a few years. He's going to be in Los Angeles tomorrow, and so we're going to spend some time together, catch up. How much of the conversation did you hear, anyway?” he asked as Cordelia came over into the office.
Angel shrugged. “About half of it.”
“Whereas you eavesdropped on all of it.” Wesley said to Cordelia, bemused.
“Yeah, and? So, spill! Tell us about this Daniel Jackson guy. Is he cute?”
“Not to me, I must admit. And there's not much to tell, really. We met when we were both studying at Oxford, not long after I graduated from the Watchers Academy. He's an archaeologist and linguist. Doctorate in both, actually. He specialized in ancient Egypt. He ended up going to the University of Chicago to get his Doctorate, and we've kept in touch since. Letters, usually.”
“Daniel Jackson...” Angel murmured the name, as if it sounded familiar. “Wait...he's the guy who did that speech about the Pyramids and aliens, right? The entire room was empty after ten minutes.” He saw Wesley's look. “I read about it.”
Wesley nodded. “Well, yes. Despite his status as a rising star at the time, he was laughed out of academia after that. The man then vanished off the face of the Earth for over a year – I was actually a quite concerned, after a while. Although given the circumstances, it's quite understandable, of course. He works for the Air Force as a translator these days.”
“Why? If he's an archaeologist, shouldn't he be out, you know, digging stuff up?” Cordy frowned.
“No doubt he'd certainly love to, but when you stand up in front of a crowd of academics and say that the pyramids are thousands of years older than previously thought and that there's no way the Egyptians built them themselves...you do tend to find yourself without options in the field. He took whatever was available for work. Anyway,” Wes added. “He doesn't know about what we do here – demons and vampires and all that. So let's keep it to ourselves, shall we?” Then he let out a sigh, looking up.
“You know you just jinxed us completely, right?” Angel pointed out, smiling.
“Yes, I suppose I did.” Wesley sighed. “Let's hope not, anyway. He'll be here tomorrow. Hopefully, just for one day, things will be nice and normal around here...”