Genre/Verse: Science Fiction, Stargate SG-1
Length/Rating: 398 words, PG, Gen
Originally Posted: Feb. 27th, 2007
Summary: It’s the same song, just different words.
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Jack wondered when he’d gotten old again. Sure, for a few years there, before the SGC had shown up at his doorstep with an offer as subtle as a shotgun wedding, he’d been feeling his years. He’d admit it now, but only after one too many beers, when the rest of the world seemed so very very young. With SG-1, moving from one cataclysm to the next, he never had the chance to feel old. Aged, well-worn, and a bit achy perhaps, but not old-old. Not like this.
He sipped the beer that was now officially one-too-many, and stared out across the moonlit lake that might or might not have fish, depending on how many more times they messed with the timeline. Or had already messed with it. He’d never been too good at the linguistics of time travel (that’s what Daniel was for), but now he wouldn’t have to be. Now it was Mitchell’s job to conjugate the impossible.
Mitchell (who made him feel old by just breathing) was out there, somewhere, saving the galaxy on pure stubbornness alone. He was young– too damn young, but no more so than Sheppard, who had more years and less sense, but that same bulldog mentality that turned the impossible into the improbable, and the improbable into everyday miracles.
Jack had a knack for pulling diamonds from coal, but he knew as well as they did that the military used diamonds to grind, not decorate.
And someday, when they’d been used up and worn down, edges shattered against harder truths, maybe they’d sit on a deck somewhere, and look up at the stars, and feel old too. Or maybe they wouldn’t, because even miracles weren’t enough sometimes.
Which was why he was here, now, looking up into the stars, mind chewing away at political conflicts and forests of red tape. Because he’d seen the look in Carter’s eyes, and Daniel’s, and Teal’c’s, and almost every face in that damned mountain. He was too old to be saving the world from the front lines, and they knew it. Every time they stepped foot through that gate they carried the impossible with them, and he wouldn’t– couldn’t make them carry his weight too.
They still had a world to save, and now it fell to him to make sure it was worth saving.
And next time, he’d save Mitchell a beer.