Author’s Note: Written as a birthday present for Christina A., who finally found two canon characters she could ‘ship only for them to wind up in different galaxies. And, er, this was originally intended to have a sequel set after they *did* wind up in different galaxies, but it never happened. Slightly AU–I wrote it after “The Lost City” but before “Rising” so there is no Simon.
“Daniel? What are you thinking?”
Daniel sighed, reaching up to brush a wayward strand of mahogany hair out of his lover’s eyes: eyes that ran the gamut from chocolate to peridot depending on her mood. “I was thinking that I just found you and already I’m losing you.”
Elizabeth grimaced, looking away for a long moment. She’d first come to him a night or two after SG-1 had been returned to Earth on Daniel’s namesake vessel by a grateful Thor. Ostensibly, she wanted to talk, but somehow talking had turned into kissing and kissing had progressed into…well, the inevitable when two people with a powerful mutual attraction didn’t stop themselves.
Her voice when she spoke was still soft, just like it was even when she was being tough as nails, facing down Kinsey or a whole room full of System Lords. “You know I never really fit in here.”
“Neither did I at first,” he argued half-heartedly. “I was the civilian pain in the ass that they couldn’t get to go away because I wanted to find my wife. Eventually…they got used to me. Give it time.”
“Time is the one thing we can’t afford if we’re going to keep this world safe,” she pointed out, one finger drifting up to rest on his lips as a sad smile crossed hers. “You were right–the dispute over the Antarctic outpost needs to be solved, and I’m the right person to do it. The right person for this job is Jack O’Neill. We both know that too.”
Daniel knew she was right; that still didn’t make it fair for her to use his own words against him. He hadn’t wanted her to go away, he’d just been worried about his friends.
He hadn’t wanted her to go away since pretty much that first conversation in her office, when he’d discovered that he admired her just as much as she annoyed him, not unlike a few other friends he could name. Although what he felt now was something very, very different from friendship.
“Jack will never go for it…” he pointed out.
“That’s why I need you to convince him.”
This time the sigh almost felt like it had come all the way up from his toes. “You’re right…I know you’re right. It’s just…it’s not like you’re being reassigned off-world, but Antarctica is still very, very far away.”
“You’ll be there too,” she promised softly. “Not all the time, but I know we’ll need your expertise to figure everything out once all the proprietary questions have been answered.”
“Did I mention that it’s also very, very cold?”
Elizabeth laughed affectionately. “All the more reason for you to drop by now and then to keep me warm.”
Daniel’s hand brushed her hair away again, lingering this time on her face as he searched it with his eyes. He wasn’t sure what he expected to find there, wasn’t even sure what he himself was feeling, except a little lost. The logical side of him was saying it was too early to call it love, but the romantic in him kept reminding him that he’d chosen to spend his life with Sha’re much faster than this.
All he knew for certain was the strong undercurrent of deja vu. He didn’t feel like he was losing her just to the ends of the Earth; he felt like he was losing her to the universe. Maybe even to a dream far bigger than the one that had drawn him through the Stargate the first time, though he didn’t know what made him feel that.
And while Sha’re had been taken from him…Elizabeth was leaving by choice.
“Besides, Daniel…” she pointed out with a quiet sigh, letting her head drop onto his chest. “Even if I stayed, we couldn’t continue this. We may be civilians and therefore not bound by the military’s regulations, but sleeping with a subordinate would be just the excuse this project’s domestic enemies would need to undermine my authority, and put someone in charge who really *would* cater to them like Kinsey thought I would.”
“So instead we put Jack in charge and ensure that they’ll have trouble for years to come?” he asked dryly.
Elizabeth laughed and propped herself up just enough to lean in and kiss him. “Exactly.”
“You’re a devious woman, Dr. Weir.” Daniel smiled in spite of himself, returning the kiss with enthusiasm. “And I think I like it.”
“Why thank you, Dr. Jackson.” For a long moment, they just lay there looking at each other, but her eyes gradually lost their teasing sparkle. “I won’t ask you to wait for me. I have no right to make that kind of a claim on you when I’m the one who’s leaving–”
He interrupted her softly: “What if you already have?”
She smiled, burying her face in his neck and closing her eyes. “Then I’ll be the luckiest woman in the universe, even living in Antarctica.”