Historical Value

Rating: PG

I suspect this owes something to Tallulah Rasa's So Long, Farewell, See You Around, which I highly recommend. Jack, with pottery, for margueritem.

It isn't that Jack doesn't like old stuff, no matter what Daniel thinks. It's other people's old stuff that he doesn't really care about. The glowy expression and the "oh, look, it's a three-hundred-year-old spoon!" thing… really, who gives a shit? Okay, Daniel does. And all of those other social scientist people who gradually took over Level 18.

There's no accounting for taste. Hell, some people like the bagpipes.

Personal old stuff, old stuff that matters, that Jack understands caring about. He has plenty of mementos at home—pictures, letters, even that Power Ranger Charlie had saved his allowance for with a grim determination unlike any five-year-old Jack had ever met, armless now as a result of the kid's love of taking things apart. Back at the SGC, he'd even kept some personal stuff on-base, because he'd spent so much time there it might as well have been home. Somehow, it had felt right to have pieces of home there with him.

But while the hours aren't any shorter in DC, the place just isn't the same, and his office is nearly bare of decoration. The Air Force stuff is still up there, but he hasn't felt quite right yet bringing in things that are just his, because he sees a lot of politicians and politicians want to talk to you and next thing you know some asshole from Arizona's chatting you up about your dead son.

So there's only one thing in the room that's there just for Jack, rather than to make a point to any and all visitors. It's a shallow bowl, about as wide as a man's hand, with a cracked, reddish glaze on the inside and an intricately repeating diamond pattern drawn onto the unglazed exterior. The bottom is carefully inscribed with a large S, but no one ever sees that part, because Jack uses the bowl as a candy dish and is religious about keeping it filled.

Daniel didn't actually give it to him, in the sense of "giving" that means "handing it to the other person and waiting to observe their reaction." He shipped it, in packaging worthy of the archaeological artifact it is, with an enclosed note written in Daniel's damn-near girly script on the back of a shopping list:


Limited storage for the trip, and this doesn't need to disappear into that big box at the SGC storing everything left from A that isn't mine. Thought you might like it.


Jack recognized it immediately, thank God, because having to call to identify the thing would've been just too embarrassing. Sha're had commissioned a matched set of dishware shortly after her marriage just so she could put writing on them—both Abydonian and English—and shock the neighbors with it. Kasuf had sent Daniel the whole set after Sha're's death, and so it still existed, unlike pretty much everything else from Abydos. Including the planet.

Trapped in Earth politics like he is now, Jack kind of likes having something around that talks about other places, even if mostly it only talks to him. When Daniel stopped by during what Jack privately refers to as the Vala hearings, he didn't say a word about it. He did take a couple of circus peanuts, though, so Jack figures he approves. It's their old stuff, dammit, and they can eat candy out of it if they want to.

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