Summary: Methos shares a secret with the SGC
Adam and Daniel had been working on the Abydonian text for almost a month. Daniel was glad that he had enlisted Adam's help in their work. He'd proven to be an invaluable asset to the program, any fears that he'd had were unfounded. It appeared that Adam didn't keep up with the academic community and never mentioned Daniel's 'falling out'. Adam's skill as a linguist was remarkable, his progress and ease with the translation unmatched by any personnel working at the mountain. Daniel felt certain that they would find the missing information soon.
When Adam first joined the SGC, SG-1 had been grounded, but General Hammond had been sending them on several short missions in the last two weeks. He told Adam that he'd be out of town for a few days and Adam had accepted his absence without question. He returned yesterday from an away mission, speaking with Adam about his latest work. They'd been given two days down time and he was thankful for the respite.
Jack and Daniel finished their breakfast. As Daniel loaded the dishwasher, Jack cleared the table.
"Adam is making great progress with the translations. I think we have to tell him about the System Lords."
Jack dried another dish and placed it in the cabinet. "Why?"
"Jack, he's smart, really smart and I think he's suspicious. He provides me with copies of his work and every few days we discuss it. The last section he completed is about the Abydonians working for Ra, mining their Naquda," Daniel explained as he rinsed out a glass. "Also he asked me about the Goa'uld the other day at lunch. Wanted to know if the snakes that the personnel talk about are the Goa'uld."
"I see. Well anyone who works here long enough has to know about the snakeheads. He does have clearance. I'm just not certain..."
Daniel let the water out of the sink as he placed the last glass in the machine, turning toward his lover. "What are you uncertain about? Has Adam done or said anything to make you not trust him?"
Jack looked at Daniel, saw the raised eyebrows of his teammate and shrugged. "No, he's not done anything, but all those years in Special Ops count for something. Maybe after we talk to him, we'll find out his secret."
"Why do you think he has a secret? Come on. Can't he just be a little eccentric?" Daniel griped as he walked toward the living room. "Let's say we call them up and invite them to spend the day with us. The art museum has a new exhibit on Egyptian art that I would like to see. I'm sure Adam would find it interesting too. Besides I think I heard him say that Duncan was coming in town this weekend. This would give us a great opportunity to get to know them better."
Jack followed Daniel into the living area, sitting down on the couch as he picked up the remote. "Let me set the game." Jack flipped to the guide screen determining the correct time and channel for the game. "I just love the TIVO you bought me for my birthday. I never have to worry about missing my games when we're off world. TIVO is sweet." Pushing the correct buttons, he set the game. "There, its set. You know Daniel; they haven't seen each other in a month. If I hadn't see you for that long, the last thing I'd want to do is to join some co-workers for a museum trip."
Daniel went to Jack, placing a kiss on his neck. "Mmm. You do have a point. Why don't we wait until at least tomorrow to get together? After all, another day is not going to make a difference. That will give them some time to get reacquainted." Daniel eyed his lover, noticing the way his jeans fit his muscular thighs and his shirt accented his pecs.
"Speaking of reacquainting, I think maybe I've forgotten as well. Wanna help me remember what your wonderful body pressed next to mine feels like?"
Jack kissed Daniel back, hugging him as he did so. "As much as the offer is enticing, I've got to take the truck in for an oil change. It's way overdue and who knows when we'll be back on earth." He walked to the table where he kept his keys, grabbing them and his jacket. "Hammond seems to be itching to send us off world again. I think he can only handle my snarkiness for so long."
"Your loss." Daniel smiled as he got up from the couch. "I've got to go to the bank and there are some books I ordered from the bookstore that are in. See you later this afternoon. I'll call Adam and see if he and Duncan want to join us for brunch."
Jack and Daniel spent the day running errands and taking care of business. That night Jack watched a hockey game while Daniel read one of the new books he picked up at the bookstore. Daniel had called Adam earlier in the afternoon and they agreed to meet for brunch at Solo's the next morning.
The four men met for brunch the following day. Conversation was friendly and stayed on neutral topics.
"We'd like to talk to you and Jack, but the topic is a little sensitive. Why don't you join us for coffee at our place? I picked up some Blue Mountain Blend that I'm sure you'll appreciate Daniel," Adam said as he laid down his credit card to pay his portion of the bill.
Daniel looked at Jack, sharing a conspirational thought. "Sounds great. Let me pay our portion of the bill and we'll be ready."
The four men left the restaurant and walked to Adam's apartment.
"I'll start the coffee Adam. Anything I can get for you Jack?" Duncan asked.
Adam returned with the coffee and the four men sat facing each other, Duncan and Adam on the couch and Jack and Daniel on the chairs.
"This is really good," Daniel said as he sipped the coffee. "Where did you get it?"
"There's a little coffee shop about two blocks from here. They grind their own coffee and I stop by there frequently."
"I'm sure the coffee is great, Daniel, but we didn't get invited here to tout coffee," Jack chided him as watched Daniel smiling in his own brand of bliss. "So what's this big secret?"
Adam looked at Duncan before beginning his tale. "I know about the Goa'uld."
"I know. We talked about them at lunch the other day," Daniel reminded him.
Adam stood up, walking to the window. "You don't understand. I know about the Goa'uld. They are evil and you shouldn't go searching for weapons if they are around."
"Explain," Jack urged as the hairs on the back of his neck stood up.
"I will Jack, but promise to listen to me before you say anything."
Turning toward his guests, Adam looked at Daniel, "Daniel, do you remember how you used to talk to me about the pyramids, thinking they were older then people thought? You thought someone other than the Egyptians built them."
Daniel nodded his head in agreement.
"You were right. The Goa'uld built them. They were built as temples."
"I know," Daniel said softly as he agreed. "But how..."
"I know because I was there."
Jack started to talk, but Daniel put out his hands, quieting him.
"Remember your promise, Jack," Adam reminded him.
"You're not a Goa'uld, Janet checked you out herself," Jack spoke aloud, trying to figure out the mystery.
"No, I'm not a Goa'uld. I'm Immortal. I was in Egypt when the Goa'uld were sent back through the circle."
Jack's body went on full alert, shoulders tight, and body rigid, looking from Adam to Duncan and back again. "Holy shit. Immortal." Looking at Daniel, he smiled, "Told you there was some big secret there, didn't I?"
"Shut up, Jack," Daniel said quietly as he nodded toward Adam to continue.
"Yes, Immortal," Adam said softly.
"Okay, what exactly does that mean? Immortal as in never die?" Jack asked as he looked for unusual signs. "I think I'll take that beer if you have one," he looked at Duncan as he tried to process the information.
Duncan went to the kitchen, grabbing a beer for Jack and Adam, even though he had not asked for one. Handing the men their drinks, he sat back down.
"So how old are you?" Jack asked, trying to gauge Adam's true age. "You look about 29, but if you were around when the Goa'uld were here, then you must be..."
"Old. I'm old Jack. My true age doesn't matter. What matters is that the military can't go looking for those weapons if you're going to encounter the Goa'uld. They take you over, you'll be slaves."
"Stop. Okay, you are really starting to confuse me and I don't like to be confused," Jack opened his beer, mostly draining it in one drink. He brought out one finger, touching it with his other forefinger. "Let me get my facts straight. One, you're Immortal. Two, you were alive when the Goa'uld were in Egypt. And three, you can't die."
Adam looked out the window of the loft watching the people on the street before turning around to face Jack. "Yes, Yes and sort of. Any other questions? You're taking this better than I expected."
"What do you mean sort of? You said you were Immortal. That means you don't die?" Jack said as he cocked his head.
"We can die, we just come back to life. We don't die permanently," Methos answered his question. Looking at Duncan, he tilted his head to the side indicating his unwillingness to give Jack and Daniel all the information at this time.
"Well guess I'm used to the unexpected. Ten years ago I didn't know what a Goa'uld was, didn't think we had the capability to leave earth, didn't know about the Stargate, yadda, yadda, yadda. Experience has let me believe the unbelievable. If there are Goa'uld out there, I guess there can be Immortals too. Maybe vampires are real. That would be something." Jack smiled as he looked at Daniel. "Don't you think, Danny?" Jack asked Daniel, his only so called expert in ancient myths. "How come you didn't become snaked?".
"Snaked?" Adam repeated, unfamiliar with the term.
"Yeah, they take their symbiotes and make you into one of them." Jack answered.
Adam looked at Daniel, sitting quietly on the couch following the conversation. "They tried but I guess what makes me Immortal doesn't mix with the symbiote. I killed it when it tried to blend with me."
"Sweet," Jack grinned. "So you can't get snaked. Are there others of you out there? I guess Duncan, you've got to be Immortal since Adam is having this conversation in front of you." Jack smiled, assessing Duncan and Adam in a new light, his body relaxing as he realized they were not a threat to him or Daniel.
"Yes, I'm Immortal and there are others of our kind," Duncan answered. "Why?"
Jack placed the bottle on the coffee table, he said, "Well, if there are others of your kind we sure could use them. Can you imagine going against the Goa'uld and not worrying about dying or being snaked? Cool." He grinned as the thought of an army of Immortals fighting with them flashed through his head.
"Jack," Daniel chastised him. "You can't do that."
Jack sat for a few minutes trying to process the information. Looking at Adam and Duncan, he found it difficult to wrap his head around the fact that they were Immortal; they looked just like the rest of them.
"You said go to the Goa'uld. You know where they are and you've met them?" Adam asked as he registered Jack's comments.
"Yeah, we've met many times," Jack smiled with a grin. "In fact we've even killed our share of the snakeheads," Jack boasted.
"How? I thought they all left through the circle," Adam stated as he took another swig of his beer.
Jack looked at Duncan, threat assessing the man. Deciding that keeping the secret of Immortality had to be at least as difficult as the Stargate, he told a shortened version of their tale. "The circle that you keep referring to is called the Stargate. Your friend Daniel figured out how to use it about eight years ago, and since that time we've been traveling to other planets. The first planet we traveled to was Abydos and on Abydos we encountered Ra. Ra was a Goa'uld and we helped the locals kick his butt. We came back to earth and forgot about the gate. A year later another Goa'uld came through the gate on earth. We killed him too, but then realized that the gate went to other worlds. We've been using the gate to explore other planets, searching for clues and weapons to fight the Goa'uld."
Adam listened intently to the short tale while peeling the label off his beer bottle. "So you aren't really looking for Atlantis are you?"
"Yes, we are. Actually we think that an ancient weapon is located in Atlantis, and we need to find it to fight this really bad Goa'uld," Daniel said as he stood up to stretch his legs.
"I see. So, you wanted me to translate the text to find Atlantis and therefore the weapon. How do you know it will work? The Goa'uld are dangerous," Adam said as he finished his beer. Going back to the kitchen to grab another he yelled, "anyone want more?"
"Yeah," Jack replied.
"Um.. ah.. Sure," Daniel answered.
"No thanks," Duncan responded.
"So, what happens when we locate the weapon? How do you know you'll be able to use it," Adam asked as he sat down with his fresh Heineken.
"We don't know that we'll be able to use it. We hope the translations you're doing will give us that answer," Daniel replied.
"What if the Goa'uld are there? That wouldn't be wise," Adam asked.
"We don't think that the Goa'uld know about the weapon, otherwise they would have already used it." Daniel explained as pushed his glasses up.
"That makes sense," Adam said as he took another swig of beer. "I'd like to be there. The Goa'uld almost destroyed my world once, I would like to see them defeated."
"Cool. A new recruit that can't be killed. We could use all the help we can get," Jack said as he slid his hands back and forth, the gleam in his eye twinkling.
"I'll help too. Watch your back," Duncan offered.
"You sure? This isn't your fight, Duncan." Adam looked at his lover, the concern evident on his face.
"Yes, I'm sure. I cannot fight your battles for you nor do I want you to fight mine for me, but I can back you up." Duncan stood up, walking to the window of the loft. "If these Goa'uld are as evil as they sound, they must be stopped.
Smiling, Adam turned toward Mac, speaking softly, " Always the boy scout."
Duncan rolled his eyes at the comment, but remained quiet.
"Adam," Daniel said, "I'd love to talk to you sometime about your past. You must know so much more than there is in the history books. I bet you have great stories to share."
"Don't encourage him, Daniel. Besides, Adam has a tendency to embellish the truth. You won't know if he's telling a story or not," Duncan said as he kissed Adam on the cheek in a friendly manner.
Adam shot Duncan a glare and kicked his shins. "I do not lie, MacLeod. I'll have you know...."
"Blah.. Blah.. Blah..." Duncan's grin lit up his face as he teased Methos.
"Okay, campers. It seems that we've got work to do," Jack said as he finished his beer, taking the dead soldiers to the kitchen.
"Jack?" Adam asked. "You're taking our revelation pretty well. I didn't expect it would be this easy." Giving Duncan an 'I told you so' look as he stood up to stretch.
"Adam, in the last ten years I've seen enough things that I didn't think were possible. Immortals on earth are just another revelation to add to the mix."
"So, Adam how much more of the translation do you have to complete? The sooner we locate Atlantis, the quicker we nuke the snakes," Jack asked trying to bring the conversation back to the topic at hand.
"Now that I know what I'm really looking for, I'm hoping that another week or so should be sufficient. I can get started this afternoon. It seems that time is of the essence," Adam said as he started to get up.
Jack smiled at Adam's eagerness and looked at his watch. It was already 15:00 and they were due back at the SGC at 0:800 in the morning. He guessed that once Adam was unleashed on the text, he would be just like Daniel, rarely coming up for air. He wanted to find out more about Adam and Duncan and there would be little time for that indulgence once they returned to the mountain.
"No, I'd like to spend the rest of the day getting to know you two better. I know we'll all be busy when we return to the mountain. Anubis is gathering his forces for an all out attack and when it comes, no one will have time to gather Intel."
Jack and Daniel sat in the leather chairs opposite the couch. "Anyone for more beer?" Adam asked as he made his way to the kitchen. "Talking and thinking makes me thirsty."
"Everything makes you thirsty. Or should I say that you use any reason to grab a beer," Duncan called out as he smiled at his lover. Duncan took a seat on the sofa, leaving room for Methos.
Jack said he'd like a beer but Daniel and Duncan declined.
When Adam returned Jack started the conversation. "Duncan, Adam said he was old, are you old too?"
"I was born on the shores of Loch Sheil in 1592. I am over 400 years old. Adam is much older than I am."
"Wow," Jack exclaimed. "400 hundred years and Adam is even older. You started to call Adam another name. I guess you wouldn't have had the same name all your life."
Adam looked at Duncan, but Duncan just slightly shrugged his shoulders in response. Adam trusted Daniel, and Daniel trusted Jack. They'd been working with the Goa'uld for over 7 years and no one knew about them. He felt they could keep a secret.
"My name is Methos. I'm over 5,000 years old, the oldest of our kind. I keep my identity secret as there are many of our kind who would like to take my Quickening."
"Huh?" Jack asked
"I'm Immortal, but I can be killed. If you take my head, I will die."
"So you guys go around with a guillotine in your pocket?" Jack asked, the humor evident in his voice.
"We kill each other with swords. Every Immortal is trained to use a sword. It's how we defend ourselves. If our head is detached from our body, an electrical energy pours out and the essence goes to the nearest Immortal."
"Remind me never to spar with either of them, Daniel," Jack said flippantly.
"I didn't know you fenced, Jack," Daniel looked at his lover with renewed interest. "When did you learn that skill?"
"There are many things you don't know about me Daniel, and I'd have to kill you if you knew some of them."
Daniel looked around the loft and his eye caught the swords. "Are those really family heirlooms, Duncan?"
Duncan turned his head toward the mounted swords, smiling as the memories of their acquisition flooded his mind. "Not really. A very old friend gave them to me. I have many swords, a collection of them actually. Some are from old foes, others have been given to me, and some I bought in my business as an antiques dealer."
"I see," Daniel said as went to look at them closely.
"When this is all over, I'll show you them if you'd like," Duncan said as he took down one sword, offering it to Daniel to inspect.
Daniel gently handled the ancient weapon, turning it over and examining the blade. "Its beautiful. I would love to see your collection. I hope that I can talk to you about your life as well. While you're not as old as Methos, I'm sure your knowledge would be useful."
"We'll see. Let's get through this first."
"Jack, you know how I met Duncan but I don't know how you met Daniel, somehow the Daniel I know would never be working with the government."
Jack took a swallow of his beer, before answering. "Daniel was hired by a daughter of the man who found the original Stargate in Egypt in the 1920's. He was laughed by his peers and scorned by the community for ideas that we know are correct." Jack walked over to Daniel, giving him a squeeze on the shoulder. "Anyway Daniel figured out how to work the Stargate and he was sent as a civilian consultant to go through the gate. We needed him to get home. I was the mission commander." A look of sadness passed over Jack's face as the memories of that first trip revived in his conscience. "The trip was a success, but Daniel decided to stay on Abydos as he was sort of married by the end of the trip."
"Married? But I thought you two..." Duncan asked, the confusion evident on his face.
"Danny boy got himself gifted with a bride of the local chief. Since he had nothing on earth, he decided to stay when the rest of us returned to earth." Jack nudged Daniel's side with an elbow, grinning at the long-standing joke. "A year later when the gate opened and more Goa'uld came through to earth, the military thought they came from Abydos. A team from the SGC returned to Abydos to find out what happened. Unfortunately that is when we discovered that there were lots of different Goa'ulds. One of them had taken Daniel's wife and snaked her." Jack saw Daniel's sad face when he spoke of his deceased wife. The pain etched there always made his heart ache. "Daniel asked to join the military to find his wife." Jack gave Daniel a squeeze of support on his shoulder. "We didn't get together until after she died."
"I'm sorry, Daniel," Methos said as he remembered the many lovers he'd lost through his long life.
"Thank you, but I have Jack and..."
"No gushy stuff, Daniel," Jack chided. "I love you and you love me. Nuff said."
"Immortals know how to fight with swords, but do you know other kinds of combat. It's not too likely we'll be needing swords where we are going," Jack asked the two men.
Duncan stood up, waving them to join him in the other part of the loft. "The sword is only one way we defend ourselves. Each of us has to always be in peak physical shape because when we fight, it is for our life." He took down several mats from a large pile, laying them on the floor. "Our battle is life and death. We fight in the dead of night, on rocky terrain, on ice, on roof tops, wherever we are challenged." Taking down two wooden bokkens, Duncan motioned for Methos to join him. 'We try to stay away from the public, don't want everyone calling the police and knowing about our world. As you said, men with swords doing battle in the middle of the street would draw unwanted attention."
"Just a friendly demonstration for our new friends," Duncan urged Methos as he handed him the practice stick. Duncan grabbed his Bokken, twirling it with both hands as he did a warm up kata. Watching him step left and right as his body moved with the sword was like viewing a well-choreographed dance. Sweat glistened on his body as it warmed from the exercise.
Methos completed a few moves but did not warm up like MacLeod. "Fine, but you owe me," Methos said.
After a few minutes, the men turned toward each other, matching strikes. Neither man was out of breath, despite the increase in exertion. Methos took charge, upping the direct hits to his partner. When each man had brought the blade toward the other's throat, they stopped.
"Wow," Daniel said in awe. "I never knew you could sword fight, Adam. You always seemed to be the non athletic type."
Jack watched their footwork, respecting their great skill. "Cool," Jack shared his opinion. "T would love to spar with you guys. Bet you'd get a great workout, too."
Duncan grabbed a nearby towel, drying his face and Methos did the same.
"Who is T?" Duncan asked as he grabbed a bottle of water.
"T is a Jaffa," he answered as he looked at Methos, seeing the confusion on his face.
Holding out his hand, Jack said, "Aht. Yes, Jaffa are part of the army of the Goa'uld, but he's on our side. He helped rescue us when the Goa'uld took Daniel's wife." Jack looked at his watch, pointing to the time. "Well, gentlemen, that was a very impressive demonstration. I can't wait to tell Hammond about our good fortune. Daniel..." Daniel tipped his head in Jack's direction, "We need to go home. It's been a long day."
Daniel and Jack walked toward the door. "Duncan, come with Adam, I mean Methos, tomorrow about 9:00. I will talk to General Hammond about clearance for you."
Methos joined them at the door. "By the way, Jack, please continue to call me, Adam. Its safer for all those concerned."
"I can see where that might be dangerous. So, Adam it is." Duncan walked toward them. "What about you Duncan? Is there another name you'd rather be called? " Daniel asked as he smiled at his lover.
Duncan finished another bottle of water. " No, Duncan is who I am and I've never gone by any other name. Methos doesn't like that I don't change my name, but that is something he and I will never agree on."
Jack looked at the two Immortals, seeing a depth of history and understanding between the two men. He wondered if he and Daniel would ever understand each other in the way these two appeared to read each other's minds. "I think we can use all the help we can get. If you think of other Immortals who might be willing to help, let me know."
"For now, I think I would like to keep the exposure limited to Methos and myself. Many of my kind are leery of governments."
"Yep, I can see that. Area 51 and the aliens is still a big sore spot. If the government knew about Immortals, I can just see the experiments they'd want to perform. You're safe in the mountain. The secrets we keep from the world are many and one more won't be a big deal.'
"Thank you, Jack. We'll see you tomorrow," Methos said as he let the two men out of their loft.
"That went well. I'm glad I told them the truth. They took it better than I expected," Methos said as he kissed his lover. "Want to get even sweatier? I feel the need to release some sexual tension." Methos asked as he rubbed Duncan's neck and back.
"Lead the way old man. I feel the need for a different kind of workout," Duncan replied as he walked toward their bedroom.
JACK AND DANIEL'S HOME
Jack and Daniel drove to their home, each lost in their thoughts, not speaking but each having silent conversations in their heads. Arriving at their home, they walked inside, turning on the lights. Daniel went to the kitchen, starting a pot of coffee, while Jack gathered some cheese, crackers, and sausage bringing the food into the living room.
Daniel sipped his coffee, enjoying the aroma as much as the taste. Jack fixed some small cheese and cracker sandwiches, offering one to Daniel. Daniel took the offered treat, popping it whole into his mouth.
"That's good. What kind of cheese is that?" Daniel asked, trying to keep the conversation light.
"Smoked gouda. Come on, Daniel. I see the wheels turning and they are turning so fast and furious I can almost hear the squeaks from your head," Jack teased Daniel.
"Don't Jack. It's just so amazing. 5000 years. He's been alive for 5000 years. I lived with an Immortal for over six months and I didn't have a clue," Daniel said
Jack smarted at the reminder of Daniel's past, but chose not to confront him on the issue. He knew Daniel had a past and let sleeping dogs lie had to be his mantra at this time.
"You weren't supposed to know, Daniel. He didn't want you to be involved in the Immortal world."
Taking another small cracker, Daniel continued, " Think of all the history he's seen. Think of all the knowledge he has. I can't begin to imagine the changes he's seen and he has had to adapt to them all." Thinking back to Adam's departure from his life, he commented, " I wonder if another Immortal was after him when we were together. It would make sense," he mused. Making a small sandwich, he held it up to Jack's mouth for Jack to take a bite. "He appears just a normal 29- year-old linguist and museum specialist. To be an Immortal must be difficult and you have to be able to adapt to change. They barely had writing when he was born. Now we have information at our fingertips."
Daniel 's eyes started to glaze over, but Jack touched his arm, bringing him back to the present. "Danny, Adam is old, very old. He's a survivor. I have a feeling that when this is all over and we defeat Anubis, you two will be spending lots of time-sharing stories. That's okay by me, but just don't go into hero worship mode. I'm the only one I will allow you to worship." Jack's stern look gave Daniel pause.
Jack finished his last cracker and drank some of Daniel's coffee, then yawned. "Sorry to break up this little party, but learning about Immortals and talking about Anubis has me beat. Somehow I get this bad feeling that things are going to go downhill fast and furious now that Adam knows what we're up against. I suggest we go to bed, together. Now."
Daniel finished his coffee, taking his cup and the plate into the kitchen. He placed the items in the dishwasher, threw out the coffee grinds, refilling the pot for tomorrow's brew. Checking all the doors, he turned out the lights and made his way to the bedroom.
Taking off his clothes, he went to the bathroom to complete his evening routine before joining Jack in bed.
"Thank you. I'm glad you believed in me," Daniel said as he kissed Jack gently on the mouth.
Jack returned the kiss, trying to keep the yawn at bay. "I've always believed in you and I will always honor you. I love you. As much as I'd like to show you, this old man is beat. Set the alarm for half an hour early and we can have some fun before the day starts.
Daniel set the alarm, turned on his side, holding Jack around the waist, and kissed his hair. "Good night, Jack."
Next: The Artifact