Summary: For the O'Neills, the Stargate Program was more than a job. Follow Jack O'Neill's niece and nephew as their own adventure intertwines with SG-1's. See the author's note at the end for additional details.
Chapter 1: The Ties That Broke
Set early in Season 1, independent of any episode.
"Sergeant, shut it down."
SG-1 turned in surprise. They hadn't even made it to the ramp. General Hammond's mouth set in a grim line as he leaned over the microphone.
"Colonel O'Neill, report to my office."
As O'Neill squinted up at the control room, Daniel stepped up behind him to say over his shoulder, "What did you do now?"
"Shut the door and sit down, Colonel."
O'Neill hadn't even set aside his gear. Warily he moved his P-90 to the side so he could take the offered chair.
"What's going on, sir?"
Hammond took a deep breath. "I've just had a call from a Mr. Adams, your brother's lawyer. He's been trying to reach you for days."
"I'm sorry, Jack. Your brother and his wife were killed in a car crash Monday morning."
"Is that Russian?"
Dany O'Neill dropped the lid of the music box. It landed with a sharp thud, the lullaby – if you didn't speak Russian and couldn't understand it was anything but – ending with a soft metallic ping. She didn't turn and face her boyfriend, and he, denying the end in the room, prattled on.
"Look, I know this has been hard on you…"
He'd been saying that kind of thing a lot, and Dany was starting to find it grating. Hard on you? Her parents had died, for crying out loud. Hard did not apply. Of course, it wasn't the first death in her lifetime, but Jeff didn't know about Charlie.
"It's over, Jeff," Dany said, cutting him off. "We're over." As cold swept the room, she relished the way he froze mid-sentence, an echo of her own pain. She was ready to be rid of him. They'd have broken up in the spring, anyway.
"Dany?" He was trying to be shocked, his voice cracking like a bad radio signal.
Feeling a headache coming, Dany pinched the bridge of her nose. Still she didn't turn. Her voice, as it shuffled from her to Jeff, pounded in her own ears. "It was never going to last through next year. Now I have to go live with my Uncle Jack…"
Jeff snorted, and Dany remembered for a second why she'd liked him in the first place. "Your Uncle Jack…Who you haven't seen in ten years…"
Dany hadn't actually heard the shot that had killed Charlie, but she always felt the bang when it was mentioned. She flinched now. "Yeah. That Uncle Jack…"
Mr. Adams had arranged everything, with Dan's help. Dany had predictably checked out after the crash, then vanished altogether after the internment, which left Dan to shake hands and accept condolences from people neither of them would ever see again, all the while brushing off Mr. Adams' inquiries about the whereabouts of his twin sister.
"How do you know?"
"He always knows." And there was Uncle Jack, looking somewhat worse for the wear. All Dan's pretension at good humor vanished. He shook the older man's hand as though he were another Mr. Adams.
"Should someone look for her?" The lawyer pressed on.
Dan shook his head.
The packing was a simple matter. Mr. Adams took care of that too. Dan supposed he should really be thanking his parents for arranging their death so nicely, but he couldn't really be grateful when they'd left him so recently. He packed what he needed – and a few things Dany would only pretend she'd never miss – into two duffle bags.
Dany never reappeared. Yet somehow the next morning she was waiting at the front door with her own luggage and an expression that read don't ask me any questions in all of the five extra languages she spoke. And then they were all three on the way to Colorado Springs.
O'Neill had never thought he'd find Daniel's voice calming, but the hesitant "Jack?" penetrating the silence of the house was beyond welcome. He met the archeologist in the front hall, grateful he'd taken the hint and come alone, and relieved him of the pizza boxes.
"Nice. C'mon in."
Daniel followed O'Neill into the dining room, which to his knowledge had never been used, as the Colonel barked down the hall for his niece and nephew. Dan lumbered in with all the grace of lanky Irish teenager, and Dany trailed behind him.
"Dan, Dany, Daniel," O'Neill said with a series of corresponding nods. All three raised their eyebrows at him. "This is gonna get old fast."
Blinking rapidly, Daniel held out his hand to the boy. "I'm Dr. Daniel Jackson. I work with your uncle."
"Dan. This is my sister, Dany."
"Their mother had an interesting sense of humor, "O'Neill said, earning himself a glare from the girl, which he ignored. "They're twins."
"Ah," said Daniel.
"You're a military doctor?" Dan asked as O'Neill moved to the kitchen in search of paper plates he knew weren't there.
"Uh, no. I'm an archeologist."
"On an Air Force base? In Colorado?" Dany looked skeptical.
"Yeah…I guess that's a bit odd…What about you? You must be thinking about colleges?"
Dan rolled his eyes in the direction of the shuffling in the kitchen. "Oh, that's next year. Engineering Physics for me. Haven't decided where yet."
"Should probably get on that," Dany mumbled at him.
Dan half-smiled at his sister. "Dany's going to Princeton."
Daniel's eyebrows shot up to his hairline. "Princeton? That's-that's great! What will you study?"
"Dany speaks Spanish, French, Italian, Russian, and a little Japanese," Dan explained with a display of brotherly pride Daniel found odd in a teenager. But then, he hadn't had siblings, let alone a twin.
"Okay," said O'Neill, reappearing with a giant white wad. "I couldn't find paper plates, but we've got lots of paper towels."
"It's your table," Dan said with a shrug.
"Good enough, then. Let's eat."
The four pulled out chairs as O'Neill divided the wad between them. Daniel was still staring sporadically at Dany.
"That's a lot of languages for a high school student."
The girl shrugged and bit into her pizza. "Always something I've been good at," she said around a mouthful of mozzarella.
Unsure whether or not to be annoyed, Dany swallowed and tried to explain. "Languages just make sense to me. They follow patterns. Once you know the pattern…" She ended with a shrug O'Neill was beginning to realize was a family characteristic and took another bite.
O'Neill look at Daniel.
"We were just discussing Princeton."
"Princeton, you say?"
Dany nodded. "Assuming we can still afford it…"
O'Neill set down his slice of pizza and rubbed his hands together rapidly to clean them. "Listen, both of you. That's one thing you don't need to worry about. Your parents set all that up."
The tension Daniel had failed to break returned full force.
AN: It always weirds me out that characters never have the same name. I have trouble telling true stories, because half the guys I know are named Matt. So, to insert some real world confusion into the mix, I give you Dan and Dany, even though we already have Daniel.
This is part family drama, part romance. I tried posting it before, but lacked the time to give it the attention I thought it deserved. Merry Christmas to me, I'm making the time now.
I will do my best to respond to reviews individually.