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By Meg Richberger

Thriller / Drama

Chapter 1

Colonel Jack O'Neill fell through the gate horizon and tumbled onto the ramp, knocking the air from his lungs. Teal'c and Daniel Jackson jumped through next, the gate closing after them.

"What happened?" General Hammond demanded, appearing before them.

 Jack stumbled forward, his left foot turned at an awkward angle. Daniel and Teal'c tried to help him, but he pushed them away and limped out of the room on his own. The three men watched the door close after him before Hammond turned back to Daniel and Teal'c.
 "Will someone please tell me what happened? And where is Major Carter?"

Daniel bowed his head tilting it to the side, trying to avoid eye contact with the General.
 Teal'c frowned, looking Hammond in the eyes, "Major Carter did not make it, General Hammond."

Beer bottles sat scattered on the coffee table, empty of their contents. A soft hiss and pop echoed throughout the silent room, the bottle cap landing and bouncing next to an empty bottle. Jack tipped the bottle up to his lips, drinking the bitter liquid down in steady gulps. Once finished, he flopped down on the chair. His broken foot slung over the padded arm, and his head tilted back against the back of the chair. The half empty bottle sloshed in his right hand as he lowered it to the ground.

The double ring of the doorbell startled his half drunk mind, "Daniel…" He groaned grabbing the crutches with his free hand, and climbed to his feet. Only Daniel rang the doorbell like that, it was just one of his things.

He balanced on the crutches, pulled open the door, and leaned against it nonchalantly, "Pick straws and loose against Teal'c?" He took a quick drink from the bottle, his eyebrow raising and lowering, as he eyed the younger man warily.

"No…" Daniel frowned slightly, "I chose to come here on my own this time."

"This time," Jack chuckled wryly, then shrugged, "Well that's good to know." He blinked lazily, "Want something?"

"Actually," Daniel tilted his head to the side, "Mind if I come in?"

"Sure." Jack grunted, moving away from the door and into the living room back to his chair.

Daniel walked in, closing the door behind himself, "We all know how you felt about Sam, Jack." He started, getting right to the point as he moved into the living room. He eyed the coffee table full of empty beer bottles, and sighed, "I'm really sorry about what's happened. I hurt too."

Jack scowled, ignoring Daniel as he finished off his beer. He reveled in the slight buzz it gave him. Safe and hidden behind the fuzzy drunk wall, just where he liked to be when he was hurt. Daniel sighed sitting down on the couch, he hated seeing his friend like this.

"I know you Jack. If you weren't injured, you'd be right back at the SGC pushing yourself into the ground." Daniel lifted an empty beer bottle by the neck, "Sam wouldn't want you to do this to yourself."

"Sam's not here." Jack grunted, trying to get to his feet to get himself another beer.

Daniel stood up, "Why are you doing this to yourself?" He demanded, "Drinking's not gonna bring her back!" He was sad and maybe even a little angry about Sam's death, he wasn't about to watch Jack dig himself into the ground too, so-to-speak.

"Shut up, Daniel!" Jack shouted. The crutches got in his way and he angrily shoved them away, shouting as they clattered into the coffee table, breaking a beer bottle before falling to the floor. "Damn it!"

He clenched his fists. If he could, Daniel thought watching him, he would have probably stormed out of the room.

"Get out!" He shouted, pointing to the door. Hurt, one of the many fleeting emotions, in his eyes.

Daniel shook his head, "You gotta-"

"I don't gotta to do anything!" Jack spat, before Daniel could finish, "I'm ordering you to leave, Daniel!" His hands dropped to his sides in fists. The anger in his eyes was something Daniel hoped he'd never have to see again. 

Slowly he backed up, eyes locked with Jack's, "Yes sir." He muttered sarcastically, before turning for the door and leaving.

Jack watched the door click shut then sighed, flopping back down in the chair, putting his head in his hands.

Rock music with an uplifting beat echoed down the dull gray hallways of the SGC. A few of the officers gave each other looks, but didn't dare go near the office in which the music played from. Of course Daniel Jackson, being the curious person that he was, had to go check out what was going on.

He found himself standing next to the slightly a-jarred door listening to Colonel Jack O'Neill sing out loud to himself, as he searched through the closet for something.

 "I never really wanted you to see the screwed up side of me that I keep locked inside of me so deep," He half hummed half sang, emerging from the closet with an empty cardboard box and dropped it on the floor, "It always seems to get to me, I never really wanted you to go, so many things you should have known…" Moving to his desk he began pulling things out and throwing them into the box. "I guess for me there's just no hope. I never meant to be so cold-" Daniel pushed the door open at that time and Jack froze, "-in here." He mumbled, trying to act as though he hadn't just been singing, "Jeeze, it's freezing!" He rubbed his arms, moving back to the box and picked it up setting it on the desk, "Don't you think it's cold in here?"

"Jack," Daniel frowned, "What are you doing?" He moved away from the doorway, folding his arms over his chest uncertainly. At that moment, he looked like a little kid to Jack.

"Partying." Jack replied sarcastically.

Daniel looked at him pointedly, not in the mood for Jack's sarcasm.

Jack closed the box before looking up at Daniel, "You remember when you died Daniel?"

Daniel shifted, his eyes averting to the paperclip sitting on the desk, "Well I didn't actually... yes- yes why?"

Jack frowned, "I didn't want to have to go through something like that again." He said softly, his eyes falling onto the box before him, "So, therefor, I am resigning."

Daniel's jaw dropped, "Wait! What!?" He gaped at Jack, "You can't do that! Jack-"

"I've made up my mind, Daniel. Hammond's already got my resignation papers, and the fish are calling my name." He picked up the box and went to leave, but was stopped as Daniel stepped in front of him.

"You can't."

Jack nodded, "Yes I can, and I am. Please move Daniel."

"But Jack…" Daniel whispered, almost whined.

"Daniel! Move!" Jack barked, quickly loosing his patience.

Daniel sighed in defeat and moved to the side, allowing Jack to pass. He turned watching Jack round the corner then looked back at the empty office.

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