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Teal'c asks, "He is your friend?"

Jack glances over at Teal'c. There is no inflection in the question, but there is something about the word "friend" that gives Teal'c away. Jack says, "He's a bit rough around the edges."

Teal'c raises an eyebrow. Jack shrugs. "Like you're one to throw stones."

"Have stones thrown at you, maybe," Draco says, raising his nose a little deliberately, staring under his eyelashes at the mark on Teal'c's forehead.

Jack thumbs his P-90. "Severus-"

Severus puts a quelling hand on Draco's neck. Draco looks mutinous for a moment before he quells. "Still living a life you can't speak of, even to yourself?"

"Still living in a world that believes the Amish got it right?"

Severus smiles. Teal'c tilts his head slightly, looking perplexed. Jack's unsure of whether it's by Severus' sudden near-mirth, or the reference to the Amish. Probably both. "We need help."

"A general Muggle state of being," Draco sneers.

Jack makes a talking gesture with his hand. Severus asks, "What sort?"

"If the enemy we are fighting makes their way to earth, not even your kind will be able to bury themselves far enough."

Severus is silent for a long while. "There are people with whom I must speak."

Jack nods. "Don't take your time."


Teal'c says, "You trust him."

"He's mean, not stupid. And really, I've trusted with less license before." Jack glances out of his peripheral.

Teal'c nods. "True."

Jack says, "Yeah. No regrets." There have been moments where maybe he should have, moments when trusting Teal'c is more trouble than most sane people would find worth. But Jack steps through wormholes for a living. He's not sane. And he wouldn't take sanity over Teal'c.

Teal'c is silent next to him. Teal'c has several silences. Jack knows this is a questioning one. He has to decide whether to answer the questions. He knows what they are.

"For a bit," he finally says. "He and I- He's a bit like Daniel. In a really misanthropic way."

"Daniel Jackson's life is dedicated to the aiding and bringing together of peoples."

"Well, like I said."

Teal'c asks, "A bit?"

"Not like this," Jack says, making a hand signal that means nothing in military code but that Teal'c will know. Teal'c can figure out even the most off-the-cuff of his flutterings.

"Indeed," Teal'c says, and it sounds like every other semi-doubtful indeed.

Jack knows Teal'c actually believes him. Nothing--past or present--is like this.


When Draco starts making the face that always, ALWAYS occasions trouble, Severus says, "I'm part Muggle, Draco."

This halts the process of Draco's facial expression. He instead wrinkles his nose. "You're not usually so verbal about it."

"No," Severus says.

"Why should we help him?"

"Life debt."

"You can't have a life debt to a Muggle."

"You can if you value the concept behind the debt, rather than the theatrics of it."

"And besides, when did you find yourself being dragged from death by Muggles?"

"Not me. Jack's father served with mine in the second World War."

"You have too much integrity for your own good."

"And you're far more lucky than any snot-nosed brat has the right of, but I'm rarely verbal about that, either, am I?"

"Now you're just being grouchy."

Severus raises an eyebrow.

"That's another thing, the big guy? He's got a design branded on his head. Gauche, Severus."

Severus grabs at Draco's always-covered forearm.

Draco says, "Point taken."


Jack says, "I wouldn't have called the blond ingenue thing."

Severus says, "I would not have predicted the strong, silent type thing."

"You always were crap at the predictive magics."

"You always were completely incompetent at mocking the magical arts."

"Part of my charm."

"A quickly wearing one."

"Will you help?"

"I read the files. Technology of a sort that not even magic would overcome. Equal, perhaps, but if it were a question of numbers..."

"Yes, then?"

"The files said you had been facing this enemy for five years."

"Give or take. I count time by planets. It was one thousand fourteen planets ago."

"Any of them supporting alternative organic matter?"

"Want me to bribe you with potions ingredients?"

"I doubt you have anything else that interests me."

"Not available any more, no."

"We should be combining physical magic weapons with projectile technology."

"Now you're talking."

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