“Goodness, what happened to you?” Isabel asked when she saw Daniel enter her office several weeks after her arrival at Stargate command.
“Nice to see you too. Long story,” he replied sounding tired and his left arm in a sling. “I’ve got something for you.”
Isabel’s eyes lit up as she saw the thick manila folder and several cd’s in his good hand and placed it on her workbench.
“Take a look at this stuff that I brought back from P3-X34,” he said.
She stood next to him as he began to show her the photographs from his recent adventure. They were both immersed in the findings that time slipped away from them.
Isabel took a step back from the table as she stretched her back before she looked at her watch. “Oh, my, I didn’t realize that it was so late.”
“What time is it?” Daniel asked as he removed his glasses and rubbed his eyes with the back of his hand.
“Three a.m. I have a briefing in five hours with the General and SG-12. I haven’t finished the presentation yet.”
“Do you need some help?” he asked feeling a little bad distracting her.
“Na, just a few gallons of coffee. I’ll crash after the presentation. Luckily I don’t have far to go.”
“You found a place?”
“No, still in the temporary quarters here. Level 24. I don’t know when I’ll get a chance to look. I can count on one hand how many times I’ve seen daylight since I came here. Not that I’m complaining, everything I need is right here.”
“It feels like I rarely get out of here too,” he said. “I’d better let you get to work.”
“Thanks,” she said as he started to leave the office. “Doctor Jackson?” she called after him. Daniel turned to face her. “You never told me how you hurt your arm.”
“Another time, Doctor Miller, another time,” he said smiling. He looked at her for a second and then left her office. Isabel smiled after him and then turned back to her work.
“Isabel,” Jack called as he saw her walking out of the briefing room later that day. “Hey, what ch’ up to?”
“Oh, Jack. Uh, not much. Just got done briefing SG-12. They’re doing some really interesting preliminary work on ruins for me.”
“So they’re doing recon for you?” he asked.
“Yes, recon. It’s going to take me forever to learn all these military terms.” She laughed. “For someone who is supposedly an expert in foreign cultures, you would think I would understand more of the military culture by now.”
“I’d be happy to help you out,” Jack said, eyes twinkling.
“That would be nice, but right now I need to get to some sleep. I spent most of the night with Doctor Jackson and the goodies he brought back with him.”
“How about dinner, later tonight?”
“Sure, Jack, anything but cafeteria food,” she said lightly as she reached the elevator.
“I’ll pick you up at the surface around nineteen hundred… oops, sorry, seven o’clock.”
“Sounds good, Jack. Thanks, I’ll see you then,” she said as she stepped into the elevator.
Jack watched the doors close and walked away with a definite spring in his step.
“Jack, wait up,” Daniel said as he picked up his step to meet up his friend. “You seem to be in a good mood.”
“Yeah, I guess I am. How’s the arm?”
“Still hurts, but glad to be out of the infirmary.”
“Heard you spent the night with Isabel?” Jack teased.
Daniel faltered a little. “I showed her what we brought back from P3-X34. How did you know I showed them to Doctor Miller?”
“She told me right after I asked her to dinner,” Jack chuckled.
“You asked her out on a date?”
“Don’t sound so surprised. I guess not all archaeologists stay late every night at work.” Jack laughed and clapped his friend on his good shoulder. “Don’t worry, I’ll have her home before curfew, Dad.”
Daniel laughed a little, hoping it hid his jealousy. Over the past few weeks since her arrival, he had gotten to know Isabel much better than when they were in Chicago. Back then he thought of her as a celebrity trying to play at being smart, trying to prove to the world that she was more than a pretty face. Ever since he read her most recent published paper, he was enlightened to how brilliant she really was and thought she would be a valuable member to the archaeological team. But ever since he saw her, Daniel wasn’t acting completely like an archaeologist, he was acting like a man.
“So why all the abbreviations? DHD, ETA, SP, HFMIC, all that stuff?” she asked as she sipped the last of her wine.
“It makes things easier,” Jack told her from across the table.
“Don’t worry about it. You’ll catch on.”
“I guess. It’s just so new. All the regulations and rules you guys have to follow. I don’t know how you career guys do it.”
“We just do. I don’t know how but we just do.”
“I’m just glad to be a civilian.”
“So what’s going with you and Daniel? Why so formal?”
“What do you mean?”
“You always call him Doctor. I’m not even that formal with Hammond.”
“He was on staff while I was doing my Masters, that’s where we met,” she said avoiding his eyes.
“But there’s more to that, isn’t there?”
“He didn’t take me seriously. I had just finished my contracts with Sports Illustrated, so my face was all over the place. The SI swimsuit issue had been out for about three weeks. Okay, so picture this. I walk into my first day of interning in a trendy, tailored suit, and I mistake Doctor Jackson for one of the under-grads.”
Jack started to laugh. “Oh, I bet he loved that.”
“Wait there’s more. He was so mad at me and he got all flustered… and then the rest of the interns walked in… and thought I was faculty and he was one of the interns.”
They were both laughing so hard that it took a few minutes for them to calm down.
“But you like him,” he said.
“Since we’ve been on equal ground, I have enjoyed working with Doctor Jackson.”
“That sounds like a much practiced answer. Listen, you don’t need to keep it from me. I see how you look at him.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m still expecting him to snap on me like…” she said, dropping off in mid-sentence.
“Like what?” he asked.
“Like the last time I saw him.”
“What happened? It usually takes a lot for him to snap.”
“It doesn’t matter, now does it? And I believe you have an early meeting with General Hammond,” she said, wanting to stop the line of conversation.
Back at the surface entrance to “the Mountain”, Jack walked Isabel inside, away from prying eyes.
“I had fun tonight. This was the first night off I had since I got here, thanks,” she said as she got closer to Jack.
“Well, I hope that I helped you with the foreign culture you have been submerged in.”
“Oh, yes you have. Thanks, Jack, for everything,” she said and placed a kiss on his lips. He placed on hand on her hip and one on her cheek as he deepened the kiss. When they pulled back, they looked into each other’s eyes and started laughing.
“I don’t mean to be blunt,” he started, still laughing.
“Yes, you do,” she replied, laughing just as hard.
“But that kiss, well it felt like I was kissing my sister.”
“Yeah, I felt like I was kissing my brother. And I don’t even have a brother.”
“And I don’t have a sister,” he said just beginning to calm down.
“I had fun tonight, Jack, I really did.”
“Me too. Say, I have hockey tickets, next time I’m on world, you should come.”
“Sure, let me know.” Isabel reached up and gave Jack a hug and a kiss on the cheek. “And thanks again.”
“I’m always happy to help a retired supermodel acclimate to her new surroundings,” he said with a grin.
Isabel giggled and said, “Good night.”
“Good night,” he responded and kissed her on the forehead. Isabel smiled and the two new friends parted ways.
“You wanted to see me General?” Isabel said as she entered his office.
“Yes, Doctor Miller. Please have a seat,” he instructed. Once seated he continued. “I hate to do this to you, but we have a little problem.”
“Is it something I did, sir?” she asked, feeling as if she was sitting in the Principal’s office.
“No, not at all. It’s just that I was just informed that SG-9 is bringing three hundred refugees here and we are running out of room.”
“What do you need me to do?” she asked concerned for both herself and the refugees.
“Well, I hate to do this to you, but we need the space. I can arrange other housing for you, but we need your room.”
“No problem, sir. I’ll get the things I have here. Most of my personal items are still in storage anyway. I have been meaning to find something a little less ‘institutional’ anyway,” she said smiling, hoping to hide her nervousness.
“Thank you for understanding, Isabel. Please make sure personnel knows where we can reach you off base. Take a few days off to get settled.”
“Sure, now if you will excuse me…” Isabel rose and shook hands with the General before striding out of the office.
Isabel had no clue where she was going when she was done with her shift as she quickly packed her belongings and brought her bags down to her office so she could get back to work.
“Doctor Miller?” Daniel asked as he gently touched Isabel’s silk covered shoulder, her head resting on the workbench, asleep.
She quickly sat up, trying to gather her bearings. “Oh, I’m sorry, Doctor Jackson. I didn’t mean to fall asleep. What time is it anyway?”
“Just after midnight. You should head off to your quarters,” he suggested.
“No can do, Doctor,” she said as she stood and stretched her back.
“What do you mean?” he asked as he watched her body move under the silk blouse and linen skirt.
“Got bumped from base housing by three hundred refugees. Do you know a hotel in the area?”
“No hotels worth staying in around here and you look too tired to drive anyway. If you want, you can stay at my place until you find something.”
“I couldn’t put you to that kind of trouble.”
“I’ve got a guest room and I’m never home anyway.”
“Because, I don’t want you to go to any trouble.”
“I already said that it wouldn’t be. You’re exhausted.”
“Fine, but only one night. I’m off tomorrow and I’ll find a place then,” she said with resolve, shocked that she was agreeing to go with him.
As they walked out to his car, Isabel still couldn’t believe what she was doing.
Isabel stretched before she opened her eyes. The feel of the Egyptian cotton sheets felt almost like silk against her skin. It took her a second to realize where she was and felt embarrassed by how good she felt. The events from the previous day ran through her head and now she was in the guest bed of Doctor Jackson.
As she sat up in bed, she could smell the coffee from the kitchen and hear noises of activity on the floor below her. Isabel pulled back the covers and put her silk robe over her pajama pants and tank top before she quickly made her bed. After visiting the bathroom, she headed downstairs to face the music.
She entered the kitchen to see Daniel sitting at the kitchen table, switching between writing in a journal and reading in a larger book. He looked so enticing in a t-shirt and sweat pants.
“Morning,” she said as she stepped into the kitchen.
Daniel looked startled, almost as if he had forgotten she had stayed the night. “Oh, morning. I hope you slept well. There’s coffee there, help yourself.”
“Yes, thank you,” Isabel said as she crossed the room to the coffee pot. “Thank you again for the place to crash.”
“No problem,” he said as his attention turned back to the books in front of him.
“What are you working on?” she asked after her first sip of liquid energy.
“A translation, a very old language.”
“Cool, may I?” she asked as she approached the table and leaned over his shoulder. Her long, blond hair falling over her shoulder and tickled his bare arm.
As he began to explain the translation of the table, he couldn’t help but enjoy how close she was to him. Traces of her perfume mixed with the aroma of coffee seemed to heighten all of his senses.
“So you said the Goul’d were also after this. What is it?”
“We think it’s the location to the Ancient’s Lost City.”
“And the key to defeating the Goul’d once and for all.”
“Exactly,” he told her, smiling up at her and realizing how close she was to him. It would just take him leaning over just a bit if he wanted to kiss her, not that his body could move with the knowledge that just her thin tank top separated him from her bare skin, wondering if she was still had the perfect body he had seen in the magazines.
“Any idea where it could be?” she said as she put her cup down so that she didn’t spill it.
“Not yet. We initially thought it pointed to this one planet, Vis Uban.”
“What was found there? Another tablet, like a scavenger hunt?” she asked as she placed her hand on his shoulder blade as she glanced over his notes.
“No, they found… me.”
“What? I thought you’ve been working at the SGC all this time. How did you get there?” she asked pulling back from him.
“It’s a very long story and I can’t remember too much about it, but I was found on the planet with no memory of how I got there or who I was.”
“Sounds like a fantastic story.”
“Sometimes fact is stranger than fiction.”
“So you got your memory back?”
“Most of it. Everything from the time I disappeared until I turned up on Vis Uban is very hazy at best.”
“Just when I start to get a grip on things here, something else throws me a curve ball. I’m just glad Jack helped me with some of the military lingo. He’s a real nice guy.”
“He can be,” Daniel said as he felt a twinge of jealousy.
Before he could complete his thought, Daniel’s phone began to ring. By the caller ID, he could tell it was Jack, speak of the devil.
“Daniel, you free tonight?” Jack asked.
“Uh, why?” Daniel asked cautiously.
“I’ve got hockey tickets to tonight’s game.”
“Oh, okay then.”
“Cool. By the way, do you know where Isabel is staying? Rumor is that she got booted out of her quarters because of the refugees.”
“Uh, yeah. She’s here.”
“Really? Knew it,” Jack said jokingly.
“Oh nothing. Can I talk to her then?”
Daniel handed over the phone to her.
“Why are you staying at Daniel’s?” Jack asked right away.
“Long story, but it hinges around me working too late.”
“Okay,” he said skeptically. “Anyway, I’ve got tickets to the hockey game tonight. Wanna come?”
“Cool, so tell Daniel we’ll pick you guys up at eighteen hundred.”
“That’s six, right?”
“Yup. Told you’d get it. See ya then and remind Danny to wear something warm.”
“Sure thing,” she said smiling into the phone at him.
They hung up and Isabel picked up her coffee, which had now turned cold.
“Well, I’d better get to looking for a new apartment or something. Where can you recommend?”
“Uh, it’s a bit hard to find a place, but down town is a Realtor that can help. I’ll get her name for you.”
“Thanks and thanks again for giving me a place to crash.”
“Stay as long as you need to. There’s more than enough room.”
“Thanks, Doctor Jackson,” she said as she placed a peck on his cheek and left the kitchen to get ready.
Daniel sat at the table for another second, the feel of her lips still on his cheek.
“How was house hunting?” Daniel asked when he saw Isabel enter the house through the back door. She looked tired, more tired than when she was working.
“The Realtor said she had nothing. I could have a six-bedroom mansion or an undeveloped plot of land, but there is nothing in between. She said she would call me if something came by her, but didn’t think that she would hear anything until late this month. Sorry to put you out, but if you don’t mind…”
“Not a problem, Doctor Miller. I’ll be going off world next week so it would be nice to have someone looking after the place while I’m away.”
“Um, okay. You do have a nice place. What’s the rent?”
“Spit the utilities and buy the food and I’ll take care of the rest,” he suggested.
“Uh, okay if you’re sure.”
“I wouldn’t had offered if I wasn’t sure.”
“Um, okay. Then I guess we have a deal, Doctor Jackson.”
“I guess we do, Doctor Miller.”
“Come on, Izzy. The ice is going to melt if we have to wait any longer,” Jack yelled up the stairs and the three men waited for her.
“Keep your jersey on, Jack,” she called as she came down the stairs, wearing tight weathered boot cut jeans, a v-neck sweater that hugged her curves and spiky black boots.
“Finally,” he said in a mock-exasperated voice.
“And don’t call me Izzy.”
“Sure thing… Izzy,” he said. Isabel responded with a light swat on his arm.
The four of them left Daniel’s house and headed out to Jack’s big black Ford F-150. Teal’c and Isabel climbed in the back bucket seat, while Jack and Daniel sat in the front.
“So who’s playing tonight, Jack?” Daniel asked once they were all underway.
“Colorado Avalanche against the Fire,” Jack replied.
“Philadelphia Fire?” Isabel asked, making sure she heard things correctly.
“One in the same,” Jack told her.
“I used to date the captain, Connor McNutly, a few years back.”
Daniel, who had been fiddling with the vents, froze.
“Let me call him and maybe we can get into the locker room after the game.”
“Wait, you can really do that?” Jack asked, sounding like he was a kid who had just been told he was getting a private audience with Santa.
“Yeah, if I can get through,” she told him as she pulled a cell phone from her purse and pressed the auto dial.
“Connor?” she asked as someone picked up the phone on the other end.
“Yes,” the familiar voice said.
“Izz, how are you. I’d love to talk but I’m just about to get dressed for the game.”
“I know and I’m sorry. I would have called earlier if I had known. I just so happen to be on my way to the game.”
“Izz, it’s not a home game.”
“What are you doing in Colorado? I thought you worked for U of P.”
“I did, but it’s a long story. I’m doing some independent contractor work out here. The reason I called was to see if my friends and I could come visit in the locker room after the game.”
“Sure, but with the new security measures I need names to go on the list.”
“No problem, well there’s me, Jack O’Neill, Doctor Daniel Jackson and… just a second,” she said as she covered the phone. “Uh, Teal’c, what’s your last name?”
“I do not have one but O’Neill has introduced me as Murry on several occasions,” he told her stoically.
She smiled at him and went back to her phone conversation. “And Murry Teal’c.”
“Okay Isabel. I’ll get you on the list.”
“Thanks Con. I’ll let you go. Kick butt tonight because I’m here with three Avalanche fans.”
“Don’t tell me you’re converting.”
“Never, you know where my heart always will be,” she teased back. “Give my best to Bobbi.”
“You bet, see ya then,” he said.
“Later Connor,” she replied and then hung up the phone. As she put her phone away, she turned to the guys in the cab. “Not a problem.”
“Cool,” Jack said, clearly excited.
“You dated Connor McNutly?” Daniel asked.
“For a few months. Nice guy. I dated him about a year before he met his wife.”
“She’s on the team too, right?” Jack asked.
“Yup, and she’s very good so you guys are probably going to lose tonight,” she laughed.
Daniel didn’t like the idea that he was going to meet one of her ex-boyfriends. Knowing from what Jack had said about Connor over the years, he had the reputation as a real ladies man. God knows how many times that he got his hands on her perfect body. He didn’t know what had gotten into himself. They were work colleges and now he offered to become roommates, this was so unlike the normal, practical Daniel he thought he was.