Rating: PG (or K+, or whatever the hell they're calling it these days. Anyway, there's no smut.)
Category: Angst, Romance, OT4
Spoilers: Through season eight.
Disclaimer: Don't own 'em. While this is disappointing, I'll live.
Author's Notes: This fic was written for valeria_sg_1 for wisdomeagle's Stargate OT3+-a-thon. She requested Sam/Jack/Daniel/Teal'c, where they're all in-character, everyone gets the same attention, and there's no focus on Jack/Daniel or Sam/Jack.
Summary: When abandoning your home is the most palatable option, how do you know what's right?
The project was dying by degrees.
First came the budget cuts. After Replicator problem had been solved, and the major blow had been struck against the Goa'uld, the folks in DC didn't see the Stargate Project as important. Who cared about what the galaxy had to offer?
After that were the personnel reassignments. The project was "too high-stress" for long-term assignment. And for those who remained on base--well, they didn't really need the civilian scientists, did they?
When they heard that the chairman of the House Ways and Means committee was coming for a tour of the Cheyenne Mountain Complex, Sam and Daniel exchanged a grim look.
The project was dying, and they couldn't halt the progress.
They put out feelers quietly. Dropping hints here and there to a few of the guards. Going to some of the SG teams that they trusted. Discreetly suggesting that if the program was shut down, a few of them should leave; make sure that someone was out there, looking out for the good of the planet.
When they asked Teal'c to scout some safe places to move a large number of people, he merely nodded and suggested that they also contact the Asgard. Thor should be willing to assist them, after they had "risked their necks for his skinny gray butt."
Sam laughed at Jack O'Neill's words coming from Teal'c's mouth. Daniel smiled softly, wishing Jack were there to help.
The general had retired, handing over the reins to someone "completely incompetent." That was Daniel's opinion, anyway--Sam was certain she'd heard a pissed-off Ferretti mutter something a bit less complimentary a few days before.
The final blow to the Stargate Program came with the death of the only daughter of a senator on the Appropriations committee.
After SG-10 returned from that horrible mission, hollow-eyed with shock, the three members of SG-1 decided to take a road trip.
When they arrived at the quiet cabin that was their destination, they woke the man who would always be their fourth from his mid-afternoon nap. He stopped grousing when they explained the situation.
Then he exploded.
After Jack had spent his fury--and Sam had wrapped his hand, injured while punching a tree--Daniel told him of the arrangements they had made. Jack's eyes had narrowed when he heard that Sam had let her apartment go and had moved into Daniel's house, but he said nothing.
He was impressed, and more than a little proud. To be able to see this coming, and prepare for the eventuality--he liked to think he'd taught them that.
Jack could see that Sam was more uncomfortable with the plan than she let on. After a few beers, he asked her what was up.
She confessed that she didn't like the idea of betraying her oath like this. She was basically planning the desertion of herself and countless other servicemen and women. She was an Air Force officer, and loyalty to her country had been ingrained in her at an early age. Up to that point, she could rationalize it as an intellectual exercise; now that they had to implement it, she wasn't so sure.
To the surprise of both Jack and Daniel, it was Teal'c who reassured Sam the most. Daniel spoke serving a higher cause. Jack was more pragmatic, saying that they didn't fit anymore, and needed to find somewhere they did. But Teal'c...
He didn't try to assuage her guilt, but showed an empathy that they found rarely. He knew the difficulty of abandoning his people, and also knew that only Sam could make the final decision. His wasn't a long speech, but it left Sam quiet for a few hours afterward.
They put the plan in action the next day.
The word was passed to those who had expressed interest. A good number stepped back, having too many ties to Earth. A few more were reluctant to break their oaths. But there were some who agreed.
Allies were contacted. Thor, who would "drop by" Stargate Command to ask for help on a mission, and request that Jack be fetched. Jonas Quinn, who quietly arranged for housing and positions in Langara's Stargate program for those of the thirty Tau'ri who wanted them. Tuplo, who was delighted to be able to assist in any way possible. Warrick, who would provide transport and employment for anyone capable.
Homes were sold. Trinkets and things useful for trading were bought and smuggled onto base. Jack moved in with Sam and Daniel, preparing for the day it would be made official.
They seemed closer than when he had left. They weren't sleeping together--he certainly would've noticed that--but they had connected at some level deeper than before. Daniel had been distant since he returned from his stint as a blob of light, and it was good to see he and Sam were friends again.
Even if it was because they were leaving everything behind.
And even if he was so not jealous. Not at all.
The official declaration came down from On High, and the Stargate was scheduled to be shut down and buried for good. And to be certain that SG-1 wouldn't pull another "escape through the 'Gate after zatting the guards in the control room" stunt, the iris was welded shut.
After, of course, ordering Atlantis Base to return and being summarily ignored.
SG-1 and their fellow escapees smirked at this in a combination of amusement and bitterness.
Thor arrived in the final days, when everyone was being reassigned. He followed the script, ignoring the general's pointed comment that "all our allies were contacted and told of our situation." Jack was summoned, and SG-1 entered Cheyenne Mountain for the last time.
All of those who left had been offworld before, Teal'c observed. None had ever experienced transport via Asgard transportation beam, however, and looked disoriented as their surroundings changed drastically.
O'Neill greeted Thor happily. As happily as a man who knew he would never see his home again, at any rate. He then took charge of the other Tau'ri, his wide gestures and increased sarcasm betraying his agitation. Daniel Jackson and Colonel Carter--no longer a colonel--conversed with Thor. The stunned group began to break off into smaller groups of three or four. The SG teams who had joined them--two, three, seven and ten--stayed together. The physicists and chemists gravitated toward Colonel Carter, while Daniel Jackson took time to reassure those who had been in his department.
They took stock of their possessions, which Thor had also beamed onto the ship, then claimed quarters in which to rest. SG-1, used to sharing the small space a tel'tac afforded, bunked down in a single room. They received a few glances, but when the other former SG teams followed suit, this was dismissed as unimportant.
The few days spent on the Asgard ship, however, would change the bonds of SG-1 permanently.
For one, Teal'c asked for and received permission to call Colonel Carter "Samantha".
Then, Daniel Jackson kissed O'Neill.
The look on O'Neill's face, as the Tau'ri television advertisement stated, was "priceless".
Alcohol had been involved, of course. Teal'c found that his friends had done many foolish things under the influence of the substance. Daniel Jackson, in particular, had a difficulty metabolizing it, and acted in ways that were out of character.
O'Neill, after overcoming his original shock, spluttered and stammered and said, truly, nothing of importance. This was interesting, as the Tau'ri military tended to regulate its soldiers' sexualities. Many men, Teal'c had noted, were overly aggressive toward those who were attracted to those of the same gender.
When he had asked Samantha about this, she had explained the rules against homosexuals in the military. This confused Teal'c--why would any leader wish to exclude a large portion of its possible pool of fighters based on such an insignificant aspect? Samantha did not have an answer.
Clearly, based on O'Neill's reaction, he was as confused as Teal'c.
The kiss--and the awkwardness afterward--were not mentioned again until they arrived on Langara.
Predictably, Sam was the one to snap. Daniel watched in half concern, half embarrassment as she paced the quarters assigned to them.
Jonas had welcomed them with a mixture of excitement and dismay. The irony of the situation was not lost on any of them. It hadn't been long ago that the man had left his own people to join with what had been at the time a welcoming group.
Okay, so not at first, from what Daniel had heard.
The arrangements had held up, and the displaced Tau'ri settled into their new lives. The Langarans welcomed the scientists' knowledge--particularly the database of Stargate addresses that a few of the computer geeks (professional and amateur) had been able to secret onto their hard drives.
Daniel and Teal'c were the quickest to adjust. Daniel had no ties left to Earth, and had spent a year on Abydos and a year as an Ascended one, thinking he'd never return both times. He wasn't certain about Teal'c, but the Jaffa seemed to be content as long as he knew where his teammates were.
There was the occasional outburst, of course. Overall, however, it seemed as if they were adjusting fairly well. It helped that Langara was a developed society--he didn't think that they'd do quite as well on an agrarian planet.
And then Sam decided that Daniel and Jack had avoided each other enough. Unfortunately, Daniel had been the recipient of her wrath, as he had been closest at the moment when she made this decision. After living with her for months--not to mention fighting beside her for years--he knew when to keep quiet, though, and save his more cherished bits.
Being incorporeal for a year had helped him appreciate the more fun aspects of the human body.
Then she corralled Jack--and Teal'c, which Daniel found interesting--into the tiny living room, sat them down, and treated them to the same tongue-lashing.
Teal'c took this with the same equanimity as he faced most things. Jack had the same stunned look that he'd worn when Daniel kissed him.
Well, it had seemed like a good idea at the time.
Sam would never have spoken to Jack like this on Earth. Their elective exile had brought out some of her more... insistent qualities.
(Shrewish went through Daniel's mind. He ignored it, since voicing this thought would be a very bad idea.)
They were looking at him. He blinked. Why were they looking at him?
Oh, right. An explanation. It seemed like a good idea at the time wasn't going to cut it, he suspected.
He'd... experimented... in college. His natural curiosity had ensured that. He'd never been in a relationship for long--his natural absentmindedness and ambition had ensured that--but he had been with both men and women, and had enjoyed it.
All three of his teammates seemed nonplussed by this. He wasn't sure if he should be amused or insulted.
It was his turn to be stunned speechless when he heard Sam's proposal. For once, he and Jack were thinking the same thing.
Teal'c looked... intrigued.
Did she mean all four of them?
She blushed and started rambling about how she knew they'd have to keep it quiet, because they had the same taboos on Langara as they had on Earth, and that she knew it was odd, but she thought it would work for them, and that she knew Jack might be uneasy, but she wasn't certain about Teal'c, but she didn't think she could be with anyone other than them, and she didn't want to split up the team, and besides, she was really kinda attracted to all of them--
Teal'c murmured her name, and she shut up. He was willing to "participate in her experiment", and if it worked out to be more long-term, so much the better.
Jack still looked like a deer in headlights. Daniel sighed.
When Jack finally agreed, Daniel almost fell off the couch. He'd thought Jack was too straitlaced (or, rather, too straight)
to do something like participate in a foursome. Not that Jack was uptight or moralistic, but he was far too... alpha-male.
He wasn't exactly sorry he was wrong.
No one found it odd that the former members of SG-1 shared living space. That was just how it was. The Tau'ri were oddities themselves, so it was only to be expected that they had their quirks.
The former members of SG-1 themselves, however, had to adapt yet again to another strange situation. All four were used to having their own private retreats--even Teal'c, who had lived on base for the greater part of eight years.
After the third screaming match between Jack and Sam (four stubborn people in such a small area meant a hell of a lot of arguing), they agreed to move into their own house. Their neighbors were as relieved as they were.
Teal'c was away fairly often assisting the rebel Jaffa, who were quite close to becoming the majority. When he came home, it was always Jack who greeted him--he'd never really come out of retirement, though he, very strangely, had become the chosen babysitter for a few of the children in the neighborhood. (He'd glare at Daniel whenever he called him that.)
They weren't the most traditional of families, and they didn't settle into a comfortable family life. Staying in one place was boring. Sam was able to talk the people in charge of the Stargate program to allow them offworld when they wanted to go. The Langaran officials overlooked this, as it was a small price to pay for the alliances they had formed through taking in the famous (and infamous) Tau'ri quartet.
They never did return to Earth. Daniel once declared that home was where the heart was, so they were already home. Jack pelted him with berries and told him to stop being trite.
Secretly, though, he agreed.