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New Fic: Involutary Association

Involuntary Association
Fandom: Stargate SG-1
Rated: PG
Category: Vignette.  Jack and Sam friendship or ship, depending on your glasses.
Season: Post-series (barely).
Spoilers: Season four of Stargate Atlantis, Solitudes.
Summary: Sometimes, you just can’t help but make associations.
Word Count: 586
Note: Written as a second story for a random word prompt of: Color.

xxx

Jack had always been a multi-colored lights on the tree kind of guy.

In fact, the messier things were, the better, as far as he was concerned.

He liked handmade ornaments and he definitely disapproved of themes.

All these designer-made trees, with their color-coordinated bows and baubles just weren’t his thing.

So when Daniel visited, he cocked his head sideways at Jack’s tree, then nodded to it.

“What’s with the white?” he asked.

Jack waved one hand at the tree dismissively. “Huh? Oh, that? Just wanted to do something a little different this year. Had a few strings of lights out and thought ‘why not?’”

Daniel grunted.

Jack shot him a defensive look. “What?”

“Nothing,” said Daniel, “Just different. Not your usual.”

“You think I should go back?” asked Jack, seeming a little defensive.

Daniel shook his head, trying to placate Jack. “No, no, no. I like it. It looks good.”

Jack nodded. “Me too. Never thought I’d go for the one color thing, but I like it.”

“That’s all that matters,” said Daniel. “Though to be honest, I’m surprised you put up a tree at all.”

“Me too,” admitted Jack. “It’s just me, so it seems like a lot of work. But the color isn’t the only change.”

Daniel laughed. “Yeah, I noticed it was an artificial tree.”

“And pre-lit, too,” admitted Jack. “It was hard to give up the idea of a real tree, but this was so much easier.”

“I bet. And don’t worry. I won’t tell anyone,” said Daniel, giving Jack an exaggerated wink.

Jack chuckled. “It’s not a matter of national security.”

“As far as I’m concerned, it may as well be,” said Daniel, still being mock serious.

Jack rolled his eyes, then handed Daniel a bottle of beer. “Here. Drink this. You’ll make more sense that way,” he said, opening his own bottle and flopping down onto his couch.

Daniel did as he was told and the room was silent for a few minutes as both men enjoyed their beverages and their own thoughts. Then the conversation started up again and went in the typical fashion for Jack O’Neill and Daniel Jackson. It started out serious and about work, then turned into debates on everything from Indiana Jones to national policy that both men pretended to hate but secretly loved.

Daniel fell asleep in his chair a while later, and when Jack went to unplug the tree and head to bed a short time later, he couldn’t help but remember Daniel’s first comment that night.

He regarded the tree for a moment before pulling the plug, a half smile on his face.

The all-white lights did look good, but deep down he still preferred the look of the colored ones.

But it wasn’t the look of the lights that made him change things up this year.

Rather, it was something he’d known for a decade. An association he’d made long ago and could never shake, even when he’d wanted to.

An association he kept to himself, for a lot of reasons he could name and several that he couldn’t.

An association of a then-new 2IC with the color of snow.

A then-new 2IC now in command of Atlantis and more miles way than he cared to calculate.

Jack gave the tree a half smile, then shut it off.

As he drifted off to sleep a few minutes later, he sent the same thought out to the universe that he did nearly every night.

Stay safe, Sam. See you next year.

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