The rain was cold and bitter, the immediate area a mass of swampy, muddy ickiness. There were no signs of life anywhere near the Stargate. The only thing of any visible significance was the stone structure sticking out of the mud a few yards away. Jack looked around in irritation, adjusting his helmet to try and keep the water out of his eyes; again. "Must be the rainy season."

Sam grinned, cornflower blue eyes twinkling merrily as she agreed, "Pretty wet."

"Daniel! Are you finished yet?" Jack barked, glancing east towards his erstwhile companion.

Looking up from the stone carving, Daniel replied mildly, "We've only been here for ten minutes Jack. I can't possibly be done already now, can I?"

Grumbling, Jack turned away, hiking his P90 into a firmer grip. He moved to join Teal'c on the perimeter and asked the larger man, "Anything coming?"

Teal'c shook his head. "I do not believe there is anything on this planet O'Neill."

"You got that right," Jack muttered. He wiped at his eyes and continued, "I don't mind getting wet if there's a reason for it, but this is just annoying."

Inclining his head in agreement, Teal'c opened his mouth to speak when his jaw dropped slightly in surprise. Wondering what could possibly have disturbed the Jaffa, Jack followed his line of sight, his own jaw dropping in shock.

It was a ship. A space ship that reminded Jack of a horseshoe crab but with two points coming together in the back. It was easily as big as a Goa'uld mothership but sleek and rounded instead of bulky and filled with hard angles. There was a trail of smoke leaking out of the bottom as it moved across the sky. He watched as the ship slipped through the mist above them and finally found his tongue as his eyes met Teal'c's dark gaze. "What the hell is that?"

"I have never encountered such a ship," Teal'c replied.

Well shit. That couldn't be good.

"Jack! Jack! Did you see that? It was incredible!" Daniel exclaimed, skidding to a stop beside them and almost falling over in the process.

Jack grabbed and steadied the excited archeologist. "Yeah, Daniel. It was kind of hard to miss."

"Sir, we should check it out!" Sam exclaimed, a little more in control of herself than Daniel, but not by much.

"All right kids, settle down," Jack ordered firmly. "We're going to track it, not that that should be hard, but we're going to do it slow and cautious. It's not Goa'uld, but we don't know that they're friendly, either."

That put a damper on everyone's enthusiasm, reminding them that not all advanced races were benign. Nodding once his point had been taken, Jack continued, "I'll take point. Daniel, you're with me. Carter, Teal'c you've got our six."

They fell into formation and immediately started walking west towards where the ship had gone down.

* * * *

"Crighton. Are you finished with those repairs yet?"

Glowering at the wall in irritation, John answered, "If I was finished, you'd be the first to know, Aeryn. Back off and let me do my job."

"We're frelled if we don't get back in space, that radon field we passed through won't confuse them for long."

Take a deep breath. Count to ten, John reminded himself. Forcing a smile even though the woman wasn't there to witness it, he said, "And if you don't stop bugging me, I'll never get the repairs done!"

He smiled in grim satisfaction when there was no response. Aeryn wouldn't actually acknowledge that he was right. Oh no. Not Ms. Kick-ass Peacekeeper. Ex-peacekeeper, he amended viciously in his mind. Sometimes it was all too easy for Aeryn to fall back into that roll and when she did, it was all John could do to restrain himself from strangling her.

"Crighton."

Growling at the fourth interruption, Pilot this time, John shouted, "What!?"

"There are four humanoids currently approaching out position," Pilot reported.

Fuck!

"Peacekeepers?"

"Negative. I believe...three of the humanoids match your physiology, Commander."

John dropped the tool in shock and it fell on his foot. Stifling the sharp curse that came to mind, he demanded, "Are you sure?"

"Yes Commander. Three of them appear to be...human."

"I am so on my way, Pilot!" John exclaimed. "Chiana!"

"Yeah Chriton?"

"Take over repairs in subcorridor 28 for me, will you?" John asked, jogging towards the nearest airlock.

"Crighton, you can't go out alone," Aeryn ordered over the communicator.

"They're human and that's all I care about," John exclaimed.

"Frelling reckless human," Aeryn muttered.

Grinning broadly, he agreed, "Got it in one."

D'Argo was waiting for him at the airlock, his massive body leaning casually against the wall. John grinned and asked, "Coming along, big guy?"

In answer, D'Argo unsheathed the long, Qualta blade that was traditionally strapped to his back, pulling it out in a smooth motion. "Since you do constantly get into trouble."

Looking innocent, John unhooked his blaster from the safety and protested, "Me? Get into trouble? D'Argo, please."

"John."

Stopping short, his hand about to hit the unlocking mechanism, John answered, "Yeah, Zhaan?"

"Be careful."

Smiling, John promised, "I will Blue. Back before you know it."

* * * *

The ship was easy enough to find. It had settled in a field, surrounded only by the massive trees. There was no cover between them and the ship so Jack motioned the others to hang back at the tree line. The thing was massive, huge, gigantic, mind-bogglingly big...and gorgeous.

There was an inherent beauty to the sleek lines and curves that Jack stared at and the pilot in him instantly coveted the ship.

"Will you look at that," Carter breathed.

"Impressive," Teal'c agreed.

"Wow."

Jack snorted in amusement, looking over at Daniel and winking at the younger man. "I think Daniel pretty much just summed it up."

"Sir, someone's exiting the ship," Carter pointed out.

Jack pulled out his bilocular and took a closer look.

"Well?" Daniel demanded impatiently.

Jack lowered the binocs thoughtfully and answered, "Well, it looks like one of them is human."

"And the other, sir?" Sam asked.

"I haven't got a clue," Jack admitted, passing the binocs to his 2IC.

Sam took the binocs and whistled long and low after a moment. "He's ah, impressive as well."

Teal'c's eyebrow lowered in disapproval at her admiring tone, but he remained silent as he took the binoculars from her. After looking through them for a moment, Teal'c said, "I do not recognize this species."

Daniel smothered a smile at Teal'c's reaction and reached for the binocs. The magnifying lenses increased as he pressed the focus and within a few seconds, he saw what Sam and Jack were talking about.

The alien was tall, extremely broad shouldered and had a mane of cinnamon colored hair that matched his tunic. Daniel could see tattoos covering most of the exposed chest and the extraneous flesh hanging down from the chin like a tapered beard. He looked at the man walking beside the alien and frowned.

Something about him seemed very familiar. Roughly Daniel's age, short brown hair, tall, good looking. "Oh yeah. Definitely impressive."

This time Jack frowned in disapproval, taking in the line of direction that the binoculars were aimed. He snagged them from Daniel and suggested, "Let's go meet them, shall we?"

"Do you think that wise, O'Neill?" Teal'c rumbled. "They are both clearly armed and the alien appears aggressive."

Jack hesitated, watching as the two from the ship continued to approach their position. Before he could say anything, the human appearing man called out to them and Jack's jaw dropped. He was speaking English. His eyes flashed to Daniel who looked just as shocked. "I wasn't hearing things, right? He is speaking English."

"Ah, yeah," Daniel agreed slowly. "That's um, that's definitely English. Sounds kind of Midwestern, actually."

Jack was thinking the same thing. He had cousins who sounded like that guy. Pasting a smile on, he said, "Well then, let's go say hello. Daniel, let me do the talking this time, all right?"

Daniel silently pushed his glasses up with his middle finger.

Jack stifled a grin at the subtle insult and stood, heading out towards the strangers with his team at his back.

* * * *

"Yo! We know you're in there somewhere so come on out and say hello," John shouted.

"Crighton. I don't think shouting at them is going to accomplish much," D'Argo pointed out.

John adjusted the grip on his blaster and replied, "Sure it will. It'll at least let me know if they're really human."

"I don't see how..."

"English, D'Argo. If they're from Earth, then chances are they speak English. Well, all right, there's a crapload of other languages they could speak but, oh never mind. Just let me handle this, all right?" John finished with an irritated sigh.

D'Argo smirked, but John ignored it as they drew closer to the edge of the forest. "We're not going to hurt you. Just want to talk, all right? So come on out and let's talk!"

Four people filed out of the tree line and John's jaw dropped in shock. They were dressed in fatigues but holding weapons he didn't recognize. Including the really big black man who was carrying a staff of some kind. And one of them was a woman! A really pretty blond woman, actually. They stopped about five feet from each other and the mutual survey began.

John knew instinctively that the older man with the dark eyes and attitude was in charge. Beside him was a younger man, about John's age, with blue eyes and glasses who was wearing...a fishing cap? The black man was sporting some kind of gold, raised tattoo on his forehead and he was standing protectively in front of the woman while glaring at D'Argo. "So all right. You probably don't understand me but my name is John Crighton.

John pointed at his chest and repeated, "John Crighton. That's me. This is my buddy D'Argo, and that's our ship, Moya. We've got more crew inside, but they're a little busy right now."

For some reason, the one with the glasses was flushing while the older man and blond woman were obviously trying not to laugh. The black man looked faintly amused.

"Is that what I sound like? Is it?" the one with the glasses burst out. "Do I really sound that stupid?"

"Hey! Who're you calling stupid?" John demanded. Then he realized what that meant. "Wait! Do you understand me because of microbes, or are you really speaking English?"

Looking puzzled, the younger man said, "We're speaking English. What do microbes have to do with understanding you?"

"Where are you people from? How did you get here?" John demanded in excitement.

"I'd like to ask you the same thing," the older man said, looking pointedly at the one with the glasses who subsided with obvious irritation.

"Hey, I've already told you more than you've told us," John said.

"Fair enough," the older man agreed easily. "Colonel Jack O'Neil, US Air Force. Dr. Daniel Jackson, Major Samantha Carter, also USAF, and Teal'c."

"US Air Force," John repeated faintly, swallowing heavily. So many emotions flooded him at once that he grew dizzy. He felt D'Argo grab him, supporting him until he was able to keep his balance.

When he was okay, he nodded and D'Argo slowly released him. He was surprised to find the newcomers looking at him with concern. "I'm all right. It's just, I've been trying to get home for so long and now, well, you're here. And, I have a way to get back, right? Back to Earth?"

"John Crighton! The astronaut!" Daniel exclaimed. "I knew you looked familiar! You disappeared almost two years ago! How'd you get out here? Everyone thinks that you're dead."

Grinning wryly, John informed them, "Not for lack of opportunity, believe me."

"So, John. You think you might invite us in for some coffee? Talk a little, compare notes?" Jack drawled.

D'Argo frowned as he looked at the dark skinned man still glaring at him. "Crighton. I don't think that's a good idea."

Surprised, John turned to his friend and asked, "Why not?"

"Because that one there looks like he wants to kill us right now," D'Argo said quietly.

John followed his look but couldn't see any threat. "D'Argo, you're imagining things."

Scowling, D'Argo growled, "I am not imagining things Crighton. Do you honestly think these humans showed up out of nowhere coincidentally? We don't know for sure they even are human."

"D'Argo, buddy, trust me. They're human. Mostly American, too. They are not a threat," John said, trying for patience.

"Everything all right, Crighton?" Aeryn asked from behind.

John didn't miss the Colonel's tightening his grip on his weapon at Aeryn's approach. It was also impossible to miss the woman and black man shifting their weapons to the ready as well. He looked back and saw that she had blaster in hand and not quite aimed at the new arrivals. Chiana was beside her and also armed. Oh frell. "We're fine, Aeryn, just fine. I was just about to invite them on board to find out more about them."

"They don't look real friendly to me," Chiana said suspiciously, dark eyes scanning the others, her finger tightening on the trigger.

Aeryn locked eyes with the Colonel and said, "For once I have to agree with Chiana."

John met Daniel's eyes and the two men instantly turned towards their respective friends to calm the situation down. He couldn't keep track of what the other man was saying as he assured his own friends. "They're just a little freaked about meeting another human way the yotz in the middle of nowhere. That's all. Cautious, okay? They aren't a threat and they just want to talk. Now just, just back off. All of you."

Aeryn and D'Argo both warned, "Crighton."

"No! I mean it! Just go back to Moya and stay there until I come back or say otherwise," John ordered, losing his temper and shouting. He was about to stamp his foot to complete the image of pitching a hissy fit, but for once the others did as he asked. When Aeryn stepped closer while Chiana and D'Argo walked towards Moya, he demanded, "What?"

She looked at him seriously and said, "Be careful."

A reluctant smile forced its way onto his face at the over-protective nature of his friends and he answered, "It'll be fine."

She still looked troubled, but nodded and went to join Chiana and D'Argo. That taken care of, John turned back to the humans. He was surprised to see the Colonel looking as though he'd swallowed something unpleasant while Daniel finished his lecture. John listened with growing amusement. It was quite similar to what he'd just said.

"...and they're obviously just protecting him from what they perceive to be a threat so stop acting like a schoolyard bully and listen to what the man has to say!"

All three of the military types were avoiding Daniel's eyes. He spared them all another glare before turning back to John. Grinning and holding out his hand, John said, "John Crighton, LASA Astronaut, late of the Farscape project and currently of Moya's crew. Good to meet you."

"Daniel Jackson, Archeologist and resident cultural geek assigned to Stargate Command. It's nice to meet you," Daniel said firmly, taking his hand.

* * * *

"I think if D'Argo and Teal'c stop glaring at each other for more than a second, they'll probably like each other a lot," Daniel commented with a smile.

John nodded and echoed the smile. Once the crew had been formally introduced to each other, and with Zhaan present as an additional calming influence, things had gone a lot more smoothly. He noticed Colonel O'Neill and Aeryn looking daggers at each other from opposite sides of the room and chuckled. "Don't think O'Neill and Aeryn are going to hit it off though."

Daniel snorted. "Too much alike."

"Major Carter and Zhaan seem to be getting along," John observed. The blond woman and Zhaan had formed an immediate rapport and were currently sitting a short distance away. He'd listened long enough to the conversation to know he didn't stand a chance of keeping up and had bowed out gracefully.

"Sam's great," Daniel agreed with another smile. "So what happened to you?"

"I don't know for sure," John answered with a grimace. "There was a solar flare right when I engaged the Farscape module. I was thrown into a wormhole and ended up out here. Right in the middle of a dog fight."

"What?" Daniel exclaimed.

Shaking his head, John said, "Oh yeah. The module crashed into a fighter then spun out of control. The other ship crashed into an asteroid and Moya sucked me into the main docking bay. Of course I didn't have a clue what was going on until I got shot full of translator microbes."

Daniel's eyes grew large. "Translator microbes?"

"Yeah. One of the DRD's, a cute little robot thing, shot me full of these bugs that automatically translate whatever someone else is saying into something I can understand. So I'm hearing English even though D'Argo speaks Luxan and Rygel speaks Hynerian and Chiana speaks Nebari, and well, you get the idea."

"That's why we can't understand them but you can," Daniel said.

"Right. But I can fix that. We can get you shot up too, if you want," John offered.

"Oh my God you don't know what a gift that would be to me!" Daniel exclaimed. Then he froze and groaned as though in excruciating pain.

Alarmed, both by the groan and Colonel O'Neill's hostile look, John asked, "What's wrong?"

"I can't take you up on your offer," Daniel complained. "If I come back with something foreign in my bloodstream they'll never let me off the mountain, let alone off-world again."

Grinning, John said, "Yup. Sounds like the military to me. So. Now it's your turn. How the hell did you wind up here?"

"Wormhole, believe it or not," Daniel answered with a grin.

"Come again?"

"Did you notice the stone circle about a mile east of here?" Daniel asked.

"We were a little busy trying to repair Moya, I didn't have time to sightsee," John replied dryly.

"Oh, right. Well, there are these devices that we call Stargates..."

"Oh Daniel," Jack called.

Daniel looked over at him. "What?"

"Don't you think that's a little classified?"

"He's going to have to travel through one to get home so it's not like he won't know about the SGC when we get back," Daniel pointed out. "Anyhow, the Stargate forms a stable wormhole and as long as we have the proper sequence of symbols, we can travel back and forth to other worlds."

"Crighton," Aeryn asked, standing.

John looked over at her and replied, "Yeah Aeryn?"

"We need to talk. Privately."

John shrugged an apology to Daniel and said, "I'll be right back."

"Sure. I'll be here."

John grinned and got to his feet, following Aeryn into the hall. "What's up?"

"We need to get back to repairs. I wanted to know if you'd be staying until they were finished," Aeryn answered.

He saw the stiff posture and suddenly realized that it was really going to happen. He was going home. Back to Earth and his Dad, his family and friends. He paused, taking the incredible information in, before saying, "Yeah. Of course. Maybe Major Carter will help out too, speed things up."

Dark eyes narrowed at him as she said, "Well, we wouldn't want you to be forced to stay here a moment longer than necessary so, by all means, ask Major Carter to help."

Aeryn brushed passed him and ordered sharply, "Chiana, D'Argo, we need to get back to repairing Moya. Let's go."

John watched his friends leave and stared after them helplessly. Zhaan touched his shoulder and he looked at her, hurt and bewildered.

"She's upset, John. None of us wants you to go, but we all want you to be happy," Zhaan murmured. An elegant blue hand reached up to brush through his hair. "I shall miss you, John Crighton."

Daniel approached hesitantly. "What was that about?"

John sighed. "Oh nothing. Just the gang's way of saying they'll miss me."

"Sure looked it," Jack observed.

"Sir," Sam reproved.

"No, that's all right Major Carter. He's right," John said. "Look, before we head back home, can you spare the time to help repair Moya? The Peacekeepers are hot on our tail and I want them to be in the air as soon as possible."

"Who are the Peacekeepers?" Jack asked.

"Military society, neo-nazi delusions of purity," John answered. "It's a long story so let's just say that we're pretty high up on their Most Wanted list right now."

"Sweet," Jack muttered. "How long do you estimate for repairs?"

"Just another hour or so," John answered.

"All right. Major, go on with Crighton here and see what needs doing. I guess the rest of us will head back to the Gate so Daniel can finish his research on the stone thingy," Jack said. "I want you both back at the Stargate in one and a half hours. I don't care what else needs fixing. If the bad guys are showing up soon, I would prefer not to be here when they arrive."

* * * *

"This ship is incredible," Sam said in awe as they walked along a corridor.

"Isn't she?" John agreed with a fond smile.

"What's it made of?"

"Actually, Moya is a living ship, a Leviathan. She's sentient and allows us to travel on her," John explained.

"A living ship? Are you kidding me?"

John grinned at her stunned expression. "Nope. That's what makes repairs so tricky sometimes. It's not always replacing a part, sometimes she just needs to heal."

"But that's not the case now," Sam guessed as they came to a stop in front of an open panel.

Sighing as John eyed the damage, he said, "No. We were being chased by Peacekeepers and they got in a lucky shot. We lost them but it won't be long before they pick up our trail again. Crais is nothing if not a persistent bastard."

"Crais?"

"Captain Bilar Crais, Peacekeeper and insane commando," John explained sourly. "He's been chasing me and the others across this and many other galaxies since I got here."

"What did you do to piss him off so bad?"

"Wrong place at the wrong time," John answered. Story of his life out here. "C'mon, let's get started and I'll fill you in."

* * * *

It was still raining as Jack stood and watched Daniel doing his thing at the stone wall. There was something about the way Daniel was so totally focused that had Jack itching to disturb that concentration. Juvenile, completely, but the urge was there. It was kind of like the impulse to pull the fire alarm, just for the hell of it. Still, Jack hadn't gotten to be Colonel by arbitrarily pulling fire alarms and restrained himself in this case, too.

He scanned the skies, looking for the Peacekeepers that Crighton was talking about. He figured that since they were a space faring people, the attack would come from there. He glanced over at Teal'c to find the other man watching their perimeter intently. There was something about the tilt of his head that made Jack cross the distance and ask, "What's wrong?"

"We are no longer alone, O'Neill," Teal'c said softly.

Jack looked casually around but didn't see anything except the trees. "Trouble?"

"I believe so," Teal'c replied.

Nodding, Jack turned to get Daniel when a laser beam cut him off. He dove in the opposite direction, towards shelter, and Teal'c was right beside him. Looking out from behind the tree, he saw Daniel surrounded by men and women in black and red uniforms. The archeologist was standing utterly still as a dusky skinned man with slicked back, black hair said something to him that Jack couldn't hear.

He might not be able to make out the words but Jack recognized the stubborn, but frightened expression on his friend's face. Grabbing his radio, he barked, "Carter!"

"Yes, Colonel?"

"Crighton's friends are here and they've got Daniel!" Jack reported harshly.

The man talking to Daniel shouted something but the only words he could make out were John Crighton. "It sounds like they want Crighton but I can't understand a word he's saying."

There was a pause then Crighton's voice sounded over the radio. "We'll be right there. Stay put."

Jack looked at Teal'c and murmured, "Are we staying put?"

Teal'c was looking carefully at the area, taking note of the personnel and weaponry. His jaw tightened as the Jaffa answered, "I believe we are."

"Damn," Jack muttered. Touching the radio, he said, "Hurry it up, Crighton, I don't think this guy's the patient sort."

* * * *

"You can't just go running out there," D'Argo said flatly.

"Don't even go there," John said, not slowing in the least as he, Carter and D'Argo headed towards the airlock.

"Iit's Crais. He's going to kill you and then the other human, you know that."

"What's your point?"

D'Argo grabbed his arm, forcing John to stop and look him in the eye. "The point is that if you go, you will both die. If you stay, only he does."

Furious, John yanked his arm out of D'Argo's grip and exclaimed, "So I trade his life, for mine? Daniel's not even a soldier for Christ's sake! He's an innocent, D'Argo. Just like Jothi."

"Daniel is not your son," D'Argo rumbled dangerously.

"No. He's just some guy who got snatched in my place. Now either help me, or get the frell out of my way," John said, just as dangerous. He could feel Sam's tense gaze on them but couldn't spare any time to translate.

D'Argo snarled, but nodded agreement and they started moving again.

"Crighton. Pilot says that repairs are sufficient enough to get us out of here," Aeryn said over the comm.

This time it was John who stopped D'Argo. "End of the line for you big guy."

"What are you talking about?" D'Argo demanded.

"You're staying here so Moya and the others can get out of here," John ordered.

D'Argo shook his head hard. "And let you face Crais alone? I don't think so."

"I'm not going to be alone. I've got people backing me up," John said. "And we don't have time to argue."

"You're right. We don't," D'Argo said, starting to walk again.

"Frell! D'Argo!" John shouted, jogging to catch up with the bigger man's strides. Sam paced him, still silent. "You can't leave with me. This is the perfect chance to get out of here!"

"We've had this discussion, Crighton," D'Argo replied, not looking at him.

They'd reached the airlock and John stopped again, looking his best friend in the eyes. He smiled faintly at the determination and barely hidden worry and said, "I know, big guy."

Before D'Argo could react, John shot him. D'Argo flew backwards, landing in a heap on the ground. "Pilot? As soon as Major Carter and I are clear, take off and don't look back. Zhaan, you might want to get down here and take care of D'Argo. I had to stun him to keep him on board."

"Understood, Commander."

"Very well, John. And, good luck."

"Thanks, Blue. See you...around," John finished lamely. He looked at Sam who was staring in open mouthed shock at D'Argo's limp form. Grinning wryly, he shrugged and said, "It was that or he would've come and Moya needs to get out of here now. He'll be fine, if a little pissed at me."

Sam nodded and followed him out of the airlock.

They were at the tree line when Moya took off but John didn't look back.

* * * *

Daniel looked up as Moya raced across the sky, then at his captor. The man was looking decidedly pissed and was probably about to take it out on Daniel. Oh yeah. He'd seen that fury before on any number of Goa'uld faces when they'd realized that SG1 had yet again pulled a rabbit out of thin air. Whoever this was, they'd thought capturing him would get the crew of Moya to come running.

He wasn't yet sure if he was relieved they hadn't, or not. After all, it was his ass on the line now. It would help if he could only communicate with them but the language was completely foreign to Daniel and he couldn't even use his hands because they'd been bound. The dark eyed commander looked about ready to spit nails as he looked at Daniel. Swallowing heavily, he prayed that Jack and Teal'c kept out of range since there wasn't anything they could do.

Not that that had ever stopped them before, he thought wryly.

The commander said something and Daniel shrugged to indicate that he didn't understand. That seemed to inflame him further and that was when he realized the man thought he was being deliberately non-communicative. He probably assumed he had those translator microbes and was just not answering out of spite. Praying that the man's microbes were working, Daniel said, "I have no idea what you are saying. My name is Daniel Jackson and I am part of SG1, a peaceful exploratory group here on a simple archeological survey. I have never seen your uniforms before and don't recognize your language so I assume you're not from this planet?"

The man frowned, looking at him closely before saying something else in a fairly neutral tone of voice. Daniel kept himself completely open, letting his incomprehension show on his face. If there was a way out of this, and he wasn't sure there was, it would hinge on his making this man believe that Daniel knew nothing about John Crighton, or the situation at large.

* * * *

The first instance that not everything was going to go the way he'd planned was the lack of response from the stranger's companions to his threats. He'd deliberately picked the weakest link in the group, instinctively knowing this man to be a civilian, despite his uniform. They should have at least responded, either with threats of their own, bluffs or claiming lack of knowledge of Crighton.

The second thing was the leviathan taking off. If Crighton knew these people, then he would have tried to rescue this man.

The last thing was the man himself claiming that he had no idea of what Crais was saying. An exploratory group on an archeological survey? How stupid did the man think he was? Keeping his tone neutral, Crais looked him in the eye and said, "I know that you're lying through your teeth. When we get back to my ship, I'm going to fuck you until you're bloody and raw inside and begging for mercy."

There was no hint of comprehension on the man's face and Crais knew that the man had been telling the truth. Wonderful. So Crighton had escaped because these people couldn't understand what he'd said enough to call for help. Just frelling wonderful. Practically snarling in fury, he turned away from his captive to think about what to do next.

* * * *

"What's happening?" John asked, coming to a crouch beside Colonel O'Neill.

"Nothing just now. The one who seems to be in charge appears to be thinking about what to do next," Jack reported. "Daniel said something to him, no idea what, and that seemed to throw him for a loop. Knowing Daniel, he probably just told him the truth and now your buddy there's trying to figure out how to still get what he wants. And why is this guy so hot for you anyhow?"

"Long story," John said. "So what do you want to do?"

"O'Neill, they are moving," Teal'c reported sharply.

Jack shifted to take a look and, sure enough, the group was starting to walk away. "Crap. All right kids, let's trail them. Carefully."

John fell into step beside Sam while Colonel O'Neill and Teal'c took the lead. He was impressed with their nearly silent passage and began wondering just what sort of soldiers they were. Not that he expected military types to be noisy but these people were practically blending in with the trees and making almost no sounds whatsoever. Considering that Teal'c was huge and Colonel O'Neill no slouch in the height department himself, that was a pretty good accomplishment.

They traveled for about twenty minutes before reaching Crais' ship. "Frell."

"What?" Jack asked instantly.

"They're going to leave the planet with him," John answered. "I have to let him know I'm here. Get him to exchange Daniel for me."

"Forget it," Jack nixed.

Surprised, John looked at the stony face and asked, "Why?"

Looking him in the eyes, Jack replied, "I don't give up any of my people. The dark haired guy with the ponytail, he's in charge, right?"

Feeling strangely warmed by the Colonel's blunt statement, John nodded.

"Good. You stay put. I'll take care of this."

Before anyone could protest, Jack was out of the trees, zat gun aimed at Crais and calling out, "And where do you think you're going with my man?"



Ten weapons were leveled at him, but Jack didn't even blink. He noted the unpleasant but satisfied expression on the leader as the man stepped forward, ignoring the gun aimed at him as well. He said something and Jack waited until he was finished before saying, "Haven't got a clue what you're saying, asshole. The only thing that I understand is that you're trying to make off with my archeologist. Go find one of your own, because I don't play nice with my toys."

He noticed the narrowing of the man's eyes at the insult and hid a fleeting grin. Apparently swears did translate. He hoped it had been literal.

The man said something else and Jack didn't need a translation to hear the whine of weapons being primed. This time he did grin, and he let the fury that was simmering, show in his voice. "Oh please, please do it fuckhead, I dare you. Because I promise you that this gun has a hair trigger so that when your people kill me, you're gonna wind up just as dead."

That seemed to give the man pause as he stared at Jack, determining the truth to his threat. After a long moment, he nodded and said something else. Jack didn't move his eyes from his target as he called out, "Hey Teal'c."

"I am here, O'Neill."

"Good. If anyone has Daniel sighted with their weapon now, I want you to give them a sample of that staff weapon you've got," Jack ordered.

"With pleasure."

Teal'c suited action to words and a nearby tree was blown away by a staff blast. Keeping his voice menacing, Jack said, "I know you understand me, even if I don't understand you. That was on a lower setting than Teal'c likes to use with people who threaten Daniel. He's a little over-protective, not that I have any intention of changing that behavior because hey, you can never have too many pissed off Jaffa's on your team, right?"

There was silence as each man took stock of the other's resolve. Jack had the uncomfortable feeling that he and this commander were a lot alike. They would both do whatever was necessary to protect and/or avenge those they loved. After a few tense minutes, Jack drawled, "I don't know about you, but I think if you just let my archeologist go, we can forget this little misunderstanding ever happened. You go fly away in your ship and I won't kill you for touching what's mine. How does that sound?"

Finally, the commander said something and Jack could almost visibly see the soldiers relaxing. Daniel was cut loose and shoved roughly forward. Jack caught him with one arm, pulling the younger man to his side, and slowly backed up, keeping the zat trained on the commander. They reached cover and Jack let go, allowing Daniel to rabbit into the trees. He gave the commander a nod of respect before slipping into the trees himself.

The others were already on the move, running as hard, fast and quietly as possible away from the threat. Grinning, he thought, Gotta love it when a plan comes together.

They ran for a good fifteen minutes, heading back towards the Stargate. They were just about there when something flew overhead. Teal'c brought the group to a halt but John waved them on, "It's the Farscape Module, friendly."

They started running, jogging really since the emergency was almost over, and burst into the Stargate clearing to find the small LASA machine parked a few meters from the Gate, the large alien named D'Argo leaning against it, arms crossed over his chest. Jack didn't need a translation to see that he was pissed. Looking over at Crighton, he was surprised to see a mix of surprise, caution and happiness on the other man's face.

Interesting.

* * * *

D'Argo was there. Leaning against the module as though it was the most natural thing in the world. He was pissed, John could see that right away, but he was also anxious, dark eyes scanning the area. They snapped onto John the second he left the tree cover and the sheer joy at seeing his friend again wiped away the caution and surprise. Why had he been surprised? D'Argo always came after him; always had and always would.

"You stunned me," D'Argo growled, straightening at his approach.

"You were going to follow me," John countered, grinning.

"I still followed you."

Standing only a few inches from the other man, John looked up into those dark eyes and suddenly things were all right. The deep and abiding affection he'd realized for D'Argo when they were floating in space sans rescue, with only short supply of oxygen, had transmuted into something else along the way. D'Argo would never say the words, neither would John, but it was there nonetheless. "So you did."

"John?"

Startled by Daniel's voice, John turned and saw the other man looking hesitantly at them. After a few moments, Daniel nodded slowly. He pulled out a piece of paper and scribbled something down. Holding it out he said, "These are the symbols for earth. If you ever want to come home, come back to this planet. Punch those symbols onto that device, in order, and then press the red circle in the center. Make sure and send an audio signal first telling us it's you because we've got this iris on it and, well, bugs on a windshield."

Warmed by the thought, John replied, "Thanks, Daniel."

Daniel took it with a smile. "No problem. Hey, did you want me to pass on any messages?"

John opened his mouth to say something when a laser blast hit the module inches from him. D'Argo grabbed him, swinging them both out of the line of fire. He heard Colonel O'Neill shouting for Daniel but couldn't see anything because D'Argo had him pushed against the other side of the module. "D'Argo! Let me up!"

"Forget it, Crighton," D'Argo said flatly.

"God damn it! Frelling pushy, overbearing Luxan!" John cursed.

D'Argo looked at him and said quietly, "The best thing we can do is leave. Without you here, Crais will have no reason to harm them."

He hated to admit it but D'Argo was right. Of course, there was no guarantee that Crais wouldn't try it anyhow, but there was a much better chance of them getting out of it without John around. "Fine. Let's go."

They got into the module as quickly as possible and when John looked to see the situation, he was relieved to find Daniel safe with the Colonel, both men returning fire from their position. He saw they were laying in cover fire for him and D'Argo to leave and started the engines. Within the minute, they were airborne and flying out of range. He made one more sweep and saw the team disappear through the wormhole.

"So where's Moya hiding?" John asked.

"Not far."

"Hey D'Argo."

There was a pause from the back seat before D'Argo replied, "What, Crighton?"

Smiling faintly, John said, "Thanks."

A soft rumble of laughter sounded then the Luxan said, "I always retrieve what's mine."

An eyebrow arched and John demanded, "Oh is that right? And how do you figure I belong to you?"

"Because a bond between warriors must be equal. And since I have belonged to you for many cycles, the reverse must be true as well."

His breathing was suddenly tight as emotions rocked through him. "Damn, D'Argo. Way to steal my thunder, man."

There was another chuckle and then D'Arg's warm, large hand gripped John's shoulder from behind.

* * * *

Daniel literally rolled down the ramp, ending in a sprawl at the bottom, looking up at a crooked and concerned General Hammond. No, wait, it wasn't the other man who was crooked. Daniel straightened his glasses and half managed to sit up.

Concerned, General Hammond questioned, "Dr. Jackson? Are you all right?"

Looking back at the rest of his team, who were walking down the ramp, damn them, Daniel sighed and accepted the older man's hand up. "I'm fine sir. Someone pushed me through the gate with a little more force than necessary."

The unspoken 'again' was plainly audible and Jack grimaced. "C'mon, Daniel, we were under fire. I just gave you a little help. Oh yeah, sir, you might want to close the iris."

The iris sealed shut on his words and Daniel grinned to himself. If Jack said to close the gate, people were probably falling over themselves to get it closed.

"I take it things didn't go as planned on PX6-557?" General Hammond asked.

"Not really," Jack answered. "Ran into a fellow American though, sir."

Obviously startled, Hammond repeated, "A fellow American?"

"Yessir. Commander John Crighton," Jack answered with a grin.

"But, he's been presumed dead for two years Colonel," Hammond said.

"Yessir. And that would be wrong. He is alive, kicking and apparently in a bit of trouble," Jack reported.

Shaking his head, the General said, "I can see this is going to be an interesting debriefing. I will see you all in ten minutes in the conference room."

* * * *

"Hey Jack! Wait up!"

Jack paused mid-step at Daniel's call and leaned against the wall to wait. Daniel was trying to get his jacket on and simultaneously rearrange the grip he had on several books. By the time Jack counted to four, the books fell and Daniel stumbled over them. Jack was there to catch him, as always. He grinned at his friend, who smiled back uncertainly, then bent to pick up the books. Glancing at the titles, he said, "Geeze Daniel, this is heavy reading, even for you."

Daniel shrugged and accepted the books back. "There's a lot of prep needed for the next mission. I thought I'd take some research home and actually be comfortable while reading."

"Good plan," Jack agreed, falling into step with him. "What else you doing this weekend? Want to rent a movie?"

"Sure," Daniel said absently, his thoughts plainly elsewhere.

They left the mountain and walked to their respective cars which were, as usual, parked beside each other. "You want to come over tonight for the movie, or tomorrow?"

Frowning, Daniel tossed his books into the car then leaned against it, facing Jack. "Your archeologist?"

Uh oh. Jack should've known he wouldn't escape without explaining that remark. Before he could say anything, Daniel spoke again.

"You don't play nice with your toys?"

Yikes. Daniel was starting to sound a little hot under the collar, in that completely quiet, aggravated way he had. "Ah, Daniel..."

"You won't kill him for touching what's yours?"

There it was. That incredulous lilt bordering on extreme irritation. He should've remembered Daniel's eidetic memory, but in the heat of the moment, everything had fallen by the wayside except his need to protect Daniel. He thought quickly and said, "Look, Daniel, it was the only way to get through to a guy like that. I'm sorry I had to insult you like that but..."

His voice trailed off when Daniel crossed the foot or so between them and leaned against the truck, pretty much blocking him out of sight of any casual passers-by. Long elegant fingers reached out and cupped his crotch, sending any coherent response flying out the nearest window. Shocked, he looked down into impossibly blue eyes and managed, "Daniel?"

"I might be a little slow, Jack, but I'm not obtuse," Daniel said softly. "I think we should skip renting the video this weekend, don't you?"

Swallowing heavily, Jack nodded and croaked, "Right. Sure. Whatever you want."

Smiling brilliantly, Daniel pulled away and said in a normal voice, "I expect you to drive responsibly, Colonel. Sound barriers had better be intact when I get to your house, or we will be watching a video tonight."

Daniel got into his crappy Volvo and started the engine.

Jack finally clamped his jaw shut and muttered, "Who owns who, here?"

He was grinning as he got into the truck, though, because it didn't really matter. Nothing mattered except for the fact that he and Danny were finally on the same page and, very shortly, would finally be in the same bed. Whistling happily, Jack started the engine and pulled out behind Daniel, keeping all sound barriers intact.