The Mountain

Rating: G

Written for Destina, on the Occasion of her Birthday.

Daniel gaped at him, melon frozen halfway to his mouth. For a highly intelligent man, Teal'c reflected, Daniel Jackson was easily surprised.

"Jack told you that," he said. "Our Jack."

Teal'c didn't smile. That would take the fun out of it. "Indeed he did. We had a most interesting discussion of masculine archetypes and their varied applications." Which was true, as far as it went, though the conversation had not involved the word "archetype" so much as it had a great deal of beer (on O'Neill's part) and repeated invocations of the Village People. Teal'c, who had fond memories of attending a Village People concert at the El Paso County Fair as one of his first unescorted offbase excursions, had understood the concept immediately, and connected it to the oversized phalluses worn by the priests of the Goa'uld Min on special feast days. At that point O'Neill had brought up the zats, and been adequately horrified by the cautionary tales Teal'c remembered from his adolescence in the training barracks. It had been a most satisfying evening, excellent compensation for the time spent testifying in small, classified rooms to irritating, sweaty politicians.

"Huh." The melon finally made its way to its final destination, and Daniel chewed thoughtfully, tapping his plate with the tines of his fork. "I'd have thought the whole gay cowboy thing would've made him... jumpy."

Teal'c finally let himself arch one eyebrow. "It did not. He said that he felt a great kinship for the characters' attachment to open, less-civilized spaces, and the freedom found therein, along with the difficulty of reconciling this attachment with the demands of family and duty." Alma was the smart one there, O'Neill had said, well into his cups, voice and face a little sad. Sometimes you gotta be someone, but you can't.

"Huh," Daniel said again. "I wouldn't... huh. How drunk was he?"

Teal'c sighed. The fun was going out of this conversation. "Significantly. I do not believe he is enjoying his time in Washington."

"No," Daniel said. He rubbed at his eyes, then stabbed another piece of melon. "I suppose it's good for us that he's there, but no. I wouldn't think he would."

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