In the end, Apophis' death changes little in the grand scheme of things. There are other Goa'uld who claim parts of his territory. Other System Lords who break apart his armies for themselves.
Once they get Teal'c back, life moves on at the SGC.
(There's a shift in the atmosphere though. Among the Tau'ri soldiers. Among the free Jaffa. Apophis was the first to invade Earth. Teal'c was the first to rebel.
The tide is changing.)
Carter befriends an ascended being, Jack fights side by side with a shape-shifting alien. They almost destroy all life on an Asgard-guarded planet called K'Tau, but things get set right in the end.
Through the Stargate and back again. Life moves on.
By now the SGC has grown considerably. What started with nine small off-world teams has become so much more.
Half of Carter's family is somewhere else in the galaxy now, fighting with the Tok'ra. Teal'c's family is sequestered away, kept safe, but distant. Daniel's family has ascended into glowing beings of light (he says he still sees them in his dreams).
Jack had joined the SGC still reeling from the loss of his family. (A mood Daniel had pulled him from.) He's found a new one here.
Benders abound at the SGC. An Air bending USAF Major on SG-5. An Earth bending archaeologist on SG-12. A Water bending nurse in the infirmary. A Fire bending scientist in the labs.
They still do not know about Jack. About Daniel or Carter.
But Teal'c bends freely.
They battle [what happened to Cassandra. Virus?] and slavery, fight an alien creature with Russian soldiers, and meet the Goa'uld again on the new Tollan home world.
They meet the Aschen (a deceptive race), an Earthly billionaire who cares little for any human rights but his own, and an old alien friend who's somehow become a TV producer.
Jack fights a hostile takeover with new recruits at his side, and holds in his Fire as always. Teal'c gets stuck in the Stargate, but Carter gets him back.
Daniel goes alone to a meeting of the System Lords. The rest of them meet with the Tok'ra. (Under attack, Jack dare not waste oxygen in the tunnels by using his Fire. Teal'c doesn't hesitate to shift the Earth from their path.)
They lose some of the free Jaffa to the return of Anubis, but Teal'c is no longer the only Jaffa who can bend. (No longer the only Jaffa forced to keep himself hidden.)
The Goa'uld are all weakening: even this ancient and malevolent being.
Lord Yu is an Air bender, sharp swift jabs mixed with gentle breezes that conceal storms. He suffocates his enemies, robs them of one thing they cannot live without, and is unmoved as they suffer before him. Flexible in a way the other Goa'uld aren't, he moves around obstacles and carves his own path. Patient in a way the other Goa'uld aren't, he's willing to wait.
(There are rumors that he cannot be fooled. Daniel says he likely feels the Air shift around him, the movements of his allies and enemies through the world, and no surprise attack will ever succeed.)
An asteroid hurtles toward Earth, Imhotep tries to regain control of his Jaffa. They find a child-like android responsible for the replicators on a barren planet and Daniel almost Air bends Jack into a wall when he destroys her. (Almost).
Growing tensions simmer beneath the surface of SG-1.
(Jack wonders how things have gone so wrong. But there has always been tension between his ideals and Daniel's. Their friendship has always just overcome it.)
(Almost always. The Eurondans are not forgotten.)
But then it happens. The unthinkable. They've died before. They've lost Daniel before (thought they'd lost him). This is different.
This is slow and painful. This is lies and cowardice. This is Daniel, refusing to tell them what happened because he's dying either way - who cares if the Kelownans want to save face.
The Kelownan capital city is much like an Earth city would have looked like fifty or sixty years ago. Or so Jack imagines. They have politics and science, benders mixed amongst them. A mounting cold war looms over them all.
They'd been eager to learn about the Stargate. Eager to learn about alien life. Eager to exchange knowledge in general.
Daniel in particular had gotten along well with a fellow nerd - Jonas Quinn.
Of course there's a catch. (There's always a catch.)
Cold wars are apparently synonymous with mutually assured destruction. The planet as a whole isn't quite there yet, but the Kelownans sure are aiming for it.
They're making a bomb.
And that's when it all goes wrong.
They return to the SGC with a dying teammate, and the claim that Daniel tried to sabotage the Kelownans' research.
They're wrong, of course.
(Jack's never worked harder to hold in his Fire.)
(The Tok'ra, the Asgard, a Goa'uld sarcophagus - Jack would take anything at this point.
Even the best Water benders in the world can't heal this much radiation damage.
They simply can't work fast enough.)
And then Carter talks about the potential of the naquadria. And Hammond talks about negotiating with the Kelownans.
And Jack has to clench his fist in order not to burn something down.
He delivers the letter himself to take the opportunity to talk to Jonas Quinn.
Maybe he convinced the man to tell the truth. Maybe he didn't.
Jonas comes to Earth with naquadria and an apology. And the truth. Daniel Jackson saved millions of lives.
Jack thinks of all he knows about his best friend. Of all they'd been through together. He is not surprised. (He still wants Kelowna to burn.)
Jacob comes, but it's not in time.
In the end, Jack lets Daniel go.
He's not dead - not really.
But it feels like he is.
(The torch burning in Daniel's room goes out at the moment he leaves their sight. Carter and Teal'c and Jacob throw subtle glances in Jack's direction. Hammond and Fraiser frown, but pass it off as just the breeze from Daniel's ascension.)
In the immediate aftermath of Daniel's passing, Jack's flame simmers down to dull embers.
Later, it roars upward into a raging bonfire, and lashes out at those who irk him.
Despite Daniel's passing, Jack requests to remain on active duty. He can't sit around. Can't allow himself too much time to think about his friend's absence.
The remaining members of SG-1 get called to help the Asgard before Hammond can think too much about denying his request. Jack'll take it.
They get through the mission, they rescue Thor, and Jack gets to pretend that Daniel was just busy elsewhere.
It's happened before plenty of times - Daniel, off to offer his expertise to another SG team without them.
Besides, it's not like Daniel's actually dead. He really is just... off somewhere else.
But then they get a new member added to SG-1. And another, and another, and another.
(None of them last long.)
Their sixth addition is a USAF Captain, with a degree in ancient languages and the knowledge of many modern ones. He speaks Goa'uld, has been with the SGC for three years. He knows what he's doing.
He's also incredibly arrogant.
That in itself isn't unusual. There are big shoes to fill - those before him had either been overconfident they could step in for Daniel, or too unsure of themselves to do their jobs properly.
But this Captain is different. He doesn't just think he can fill Daniel's shoes - he thinks he can do better.
Jack's in a rage after their first mission together. (Three days together, scouting out an uninhabited planet. He's glad to be back on Earth.)
But he holds it in, he calms himself, and he and Carter and Teal'c find each other afterward, migrating to Teal'c's quarters without discussing it beforehand.
They promised Hammond they'd really give the Captain a try, especially after the last guy had only lasted two hours.
They spend some time riffing their new teammate, wondering when Hammond will give up. Wondering how long the Captain will last.
That's when he walks in.
Like he's part of the team. Like there's nothing wrong with meeting them in Teal'c's quarters.
(He doesn't seem to realize how unwelcome he is.)
Later, Jack doesn't quite remember what had happened.
The team had stiffened when the Captain had joined them. He remembers that much. (Trying to give him a chance, no one had said anything.)
But then there had been the subtle insults toward Daniel. The insinuation that the Captain was so much better than him. That it was his right, to join SG-1. He's not quite sure what was said.
All Jack remembers is that it ended badly.
The candles in Teal'c's room had flared. Before Jack had realized what was happening, he been in the Captain's face, a fist full of flames in hand.
There's no more hiding his Fire bending from the SGC after that.
Jack doesn't really care.
They put him on leave for a short while. Try to figure out what to do with him. How to discipline him.
This isn't like Teal'c hiding his bending. Jack's been with the Air Force for a long time.
In the end they feel that the good he's done outweighs the secret he's kept. (Jack's sure that's mostly Hammond's doing.)
In the end, Carter reveals her bending as well, and argues that they're only more valuable now, as benders.
In the end, they both get to stay.
(In the end, all three of them wish that Daniel was with them, showing the world how Air obeyed his commands.)
They go through three more people before they finally find someone they can live with on SG-1.
Jonas Quinn is a Fire bender. A warm, eager little flame always stretching out for more knowledge to consume. He's spent more time on science then bending though, and he's not exactly skilled at it.
(His gentle flame is nothing like Daniel's calm breezes. It isn't.)
Now SG-1 is a team of four benders: two Fire, one Water, one Earth. They get looks from the other teams. Scorn. Jealousy. Disbelief.
They're out of favors, and they know it.
But, also, most of the SGC knows them. Knows what they've done for Earth.
Reynolds, the Earth bending leader of SG-3, reveals to Jack that he's known for a while. (Jack had thought the man might have seen something.)
Carter gets assigned a proper Water pouch.
Life is different, but it does move on.
Through the Stargate and back again. (Wishing Daniel was still by their side.)
A fight to save Earth, a ship at the bottom of the ocean, a frozen ancient in Antarctica who dies to save them, a town infested with infant Goa'uld.
Jack doesn't want to admit that he's starting to like Jonas. Doesn't want to ever think that someone could take Daniel's place.
But the thing about Jonas is he doesn't /try/ to take Daniel's place - he just fits into it. Jonas is aware of what Daniel did for his people. He knows exactly who's shoes he's stepped into.
And it's that respect for Daniel, coupled with his enthusiasm for Stargate travel and new experiences, that makes Jack reluctantly admit, if only to himself, that he likes the guy.
Jack doesn't show his Fire bending to Jonas, but he sees the man training with others in the mountain.
Jack's distrust of the Tok'ra grows when, under the influence of an alien virus, he agrees to blend with one of them to save his own life (how will Carter and Teal'c handle it, if he leaves them too?).
Kanan takes hours, days of his life from him. Jack comes back to himself on an alien planet, unsure why he's there, as the Tok'ra leaves him behind.
Frankly, as he's captured by Jaffa, Jack doesn't care if the symbiote survives.
The Goa'uld who has him is Ba'al - Jack's never heard of him. Daniel may have mentioned the name once or twice, but Jack doesn't know which element he can bend and which he fakes at having control of.
He finds out soon enough.
(Unlike other Goa'uld, as Jack eventually learns, Ba'al favors words and knowledge over shows of power. He snarks and sneers and convinces you that you need him, convinces you to help him, convinces you that your goals are the same as his, and before you can turn on him at the end, he's gone.)
He is not solid like the Earth, free-flowing like the Air, or capricious like Fire. He is the steady drip and the smooth flow of erosion, the slow leak that creates a flood. He is the twists and turns of a river, sly and unpredictable, fast and then slow, bending out of sight so that you have no idea what is coming next.
But while Water may be his element, Ba'al is a Bloodbender through and through.
Jack stands there, defiant, until his limbs begin to move of their own accord. Soon he is up against the wall, brought there because of the Water in his body, held there by gravity.
He gets a knife in his shoulder for his impudence. Then another. A third one comes, and Jack knows no more.
(Ba'al punishes traitors like this:
They stand before him, trembling and afraid. Or perhaps straight-backed and defiant. It doesn't matter. They stand before him, and he makes them kneel. He makes them talk.
Then he pulls. He twists and turns and squeezes.
However it starts, it always ends like this: Ba'al, standing, a gleaming Watery orb undulating in the space above him. The traitor or slave, rebel or rival, nothing but a corpse on the ground, dried out and hollow.
When the slaves come later, they bring a broom and dustpan, for the being that once was crumples to dust at a touch.
No sarcophagus can bring one back from such a fate.)
Seated in Jack's cell, casual as can be, is Daniel. Jack looks at him, answers him cautiously, then throws his shoe through the man.
"I just tossed my shoe through you," he says plainly.
"Yes you did. That's because I've ascended to another plane of existence."
They talk. Jack takes his shoe back. Daniel claims he's not allowed to interfere.
Then he drops the bomb: "Nobody knows you're here."
So there's no rescue coming, no hope of surviving.
But Daniel just looks at him. As calm as always. "The Goa'uld and the Tok'ra may not know about your bending Jack, but the SGC does now." There is no judgement in his voice. Only acceptance. "You always knew one day you'd have to give up the advantage."
He's right of course, which makes it all the more annoying. Especially because Jack's not sure he's even really there. (And how does Daniel even know about that anyway?)
Jack fireblasts his way out of the cell. Then through the guards. His training with Teal'c comes in handy when he deflects staff blasts without thought.
Despite what Daniel said about not being able to help, Jack sees him out of the corner of his eye every now and again. He follows him.
Whether or not Daniel was actually there doesn't matter in the end. Jack finds his way from the fortress, and takes the slave woman with him.
He gets back to the SGC, exhausted and in pain, and tells no one what he'd seen.
Not even when Daniel reappears at his bedside.
He's not sure if it was real anyway.
(Life moves on, but this time Jack carries hope with him.)
A trip to Kelowna brings back old memories, a staged capture turns into a mess when two scientists try to help out SG-1.
When Tok'ra and Jaffa go head to head at the Alpha Site, for the first time, Jack is grateful the world knows of his Fire. Only a few of the Jaffa can bend, but the Tok'ra always try to take benders as hosts. Skilled warriors though the Jaffa are, they're used to fighting other Jaffa, or conquering human slaves - not benders.
Jack stands between the two opposing groups and lets the Fire pour from him. He burns, bright and brilliant and full of pent up rage and anger and pain. All he's lost, all they've fought for, and these idiots can't bother to put aside their differences to fight together? The ground scorches beneath him.
Daniel was right. (He usually is). Everybody knows of Jack's bending, there's no point in hiding what he's capable of.
(And the shocked stares, the respectful glances, the return of a temporary peace, these things are all worth it, in the end.)
On Pangar, they meet the Tok'ra queen, then watch her die.
On Earth, the Prometheus gets hijacked and Jack and Teal'c have to rescue Sam and Jonas from rouge NID agents.
Lost in deep space, the new SG-1 is rescued by the Asgard and recruited to stop the Replicators, trapping them within a time dilation field.
Through the Stargate and back again. Life finds a way. Time moves forward.
Kinsey reappears briefly to mess up Jack's life. Maybourne comes back with his own plan, but his offer (if true) is too good to pass up. (It's not true, after all, but he reveals his Air bending in the process.)
They run into Nirrti again, still trying to make the perfect host.
It's all been done before, even if it's different this time.
Jack's known his fair share of Air benders in his time. At least, more than most people. It comes with being a member of the Air Force. They come in all types and personalities, even if they tend to be a bit more... centered than most people. More likely to defend then attack.
Somehow, Daniel has rewritten his perception of Air benders. Changed how he thinks of them in his mind. Which is why it's such a shock when Jack sees Maybourne command the wind.
Knowing that Maybourne can bend the Air to his will does not make Jack like him any more. In fact, he thinks it makes him like the man even less. Maybourne's bending is not anything like Daniel's.
Maybourne is sharp, brief gusts of wind in your face and shortness of breath. Daniel is a calm, gentle breeze and deep, steady breathing. Maybourne's wind trips you as you walk, Daniel's guides you home.
After almost seven years, after war and heartbreak and loss, after hunger and pain, after friendship and loyalty, after alliances forged and broken, after saving planets and people, the rest of the world finds out about the Stargate program.
(Of course, it's not really the rest of the world. It's still a secret. Still hidden from the people of Earth.
Of course, it's only US allies that learn of it.
Of course, nothing really changes in regards to how the program is run.)
It's still a start.
(Maybe some things do change.)
Jack is patriotic. He cares about his country, he's fought and bled for America.
It's been a long time since the war with the Goa'uld has been about American values - at least for those fighting it. Jack thinks about the planet these days, and all the people on it.
He thinks this disclosure is a good thing, even if he hates the bureaucracy and the arguments and the debates that go along with it. (He thinks Daniel would be (is?) pleased.)
They get lied to by aliens and befriend a new race. Teal'c uses his considerable (mental) strength to save both his life and his mentor's. Prometheus gets into trouble again. Jonas falls ill, but still manages to help.
Daniel Jackson appears in front of Jack, and asks for his help.
Ascended beings can either control all four elements, or they do away with bending altogether and simply alter the universe to suit their needs. Jack's never been sure which is true, mostly because they generally aren't allowed to do either.
In the end, neither he nor Daniel know what happened when the ascended being faced off with the ancient Goa'uld – only that both Daniel and Anubis survive.
They find Daniel on a planet once populated by Ancients. Except he's not quite Daniel, because he doesn't even remember who he is.
The discovery is a confusing mixture of sheer relief and despair. Of overwhelming joy and unbridled fear that they've lost Daniel for good. Jack doesn't allow himself to doubt.
He can still see Daniel in the man before him.
For a short while Jack worries that Daniel will bend in front of the SGC. There's no need for that, really. Daniel is even more reserved and withdrawn than before.
(Of course, this means that for a brief moment Jack wonders if Daniel even can still bend. But when he and Sam and Teal'c corner Daniel, displaying their own bending, his fears evaporate.
And knowing that he has told only them about his bending, Daniel's trust in them grows.)
Life staggers forward in inches and centimeters, crawling and dragging itself onward, pulling itself toward something better.
But life does move on.
Jonas and Daniel seem to get along, but Jack can tell that Jonas also notices the way Daniel fits seemlessly back into SG-1. He doesn't stay long.
Especially not after his own planet comes under attack from Anubis.
(By the time he leaves the SGC, a year after he came, Jonas Quinn's flames are strong and fierce, however well contained they are. He is a bonfire that his people will gather around, a steady light to guide the way, and when Jack wishes him luck, he means it sincerely.)
The missions continue, the galaxy unbothered by their own trials and tribulations.
Jack wakes on an Asgard ship, face to face with a young clone of himself. Apparently clone-Jack used his Fire as proof of his identity, but it doesn't change the fact that he's about sixteen. Jack feels slightly wary about ditching the younger version of himself, but relief that he's not hanging around.
Together the team shudders and side-steps, and learns to navigate again with Daniel at their side.
But it's not seamless - for reasons other than the fact that the four of them are back together. Daniel struggles with his missing memories, regaining a few of them back. Teal'c struggles with his dependence on Tretonin, and what it means about his strength.
On their next routine patrol mission to an uninhabited planet, Jack pauses, looks around at his silent teammates, and lobs a fireball at Teal'c's head. Well. Near Teal'c's head.
They're in an open field, and there's no evidence of life on the planet so far - not even any ruins for Daniel to fawn over.
Teal'c freezes, momentarily alert and on guard, before his eyes meet Jack's.
There is a moment of silence between the four of them.
Then Teal'c stomps his foot, a chunk of Earth flying upward from the ground. With a thrust of his arm, the stone and dirt heads straight for Jack.
Before Jack can even react Daniel is moving. He steps forward, making his own motions that blast the stone away from Jack, then sweeps his arm forward in a motion that sends a blast of Air at Teal'c.
The Jaffa falls, feet knocked out from under him, but Daniel isn't done. Without even looking he pushes a hand toward Jack, knocking him down as well. Sam is the only one who escapes the Air - drawing the Water from her pouch and aiming it at Daniel.
Jack gets back to his feet in the midst of a battle between Water and Air, and exchanges glances with Teal'c. Both of them are grinning. They are all familiar with this game.
It's almost an hour later when they finally collapse to the ground. The Air stills, the Earth settles, the Fire dissipates, and the Water retreats. Jack is bruised and exhausted, his Fire dimmed by extended use, but SG-1 is back.
They haven't lost anything, not really. Haven't forgotten anything about the others. It's only Daniel who was gone, but it feels like all four of them are just now returning.
They'd needed this: time with just the four of them, like their old training sessions when no one else had known about their bending.
Laying on the Earth together, Jack, Sam, and Teal'c fill Daniel in on everything he'd missed.
Life leads them onward, and SG-1 follows gladly.
A town in a bubble, cut off from the toxic wasteland their ancestors created and slowly being killed by it. A ship of frozen survivors, consciousnesses transferred in and out. Another encounter with the Unas, assisted by Daniel's friendship with them. A space race with allies.
The wonders and horrors of the galaxy are vast and unimaginable, and they meet them head on.
Jack leads and Teal'c protects and Daniel calms and Sam navigates. Jack protects and Teal'c calms and Sam leads and Daniel navigates. They flow seamlessly around each other, falling back into their old roles, which aren't really roles at all.
They lead and explore, navigate and voyage. They protect and defend, attack and restrain. They search and rescue and discover and translate. They fly and swim, soar through the stars and retreat underground. They form alliances and meet new people and save the planet, all in a day's work.
They are the SGC's frontline team, and they have earned that role, and continue to earn it with every step off-world they take.
Evan Lorne is an Air bender, flexible and fluid. A constant cooling wind, peaceful and calm in the worst situations, capable of throwing tornadoes if the situation calls for it.
Despite their rocky start, Jack knows Daniel grows to like the other man.
Sam works on a virus for the 'gate system while Daniel relocates a village rocked by a natural disaster and Jack and Teal'c attempt to calm angry Jaffa.
They separate and merge again, going where they SGC sends them, but always a team.
Anubis is a half-ascended Goa'uld. He has no host, no physical form. The Ancients prohibit him from using his ascended abilities. The elements do not bow to him, and it is his only disadvantage.
The Kull warriors he engineers more than make up for that. The masks they wear prevent Air or Water from suffocating them. Their armor prevents Earth or Fire from obliterating them. Throw them backward and they get back up. Bury them and they dig their way out. Put a forest fire in their path and they walk through it. Push them under the surface of an ocean, infinite and deep, and they swim.
Their only weakness is time. (At least for now - Jack believes in Sam and the SGC. They'll come up with something.)
But as Sam and Teal'c deal with their new enemy, Jack deals with regular people, on Earth. Trekking through the jungle somewhere in Central America to save Daniel doesn't feel that different than their typical missions. And Daniel manages to mostly save himself anyway, though his Air doesn't do much against a foe that won't stay dead.
Bill Lee is a scientist who's been with the SGC for a while now. Jack doesn't deal with him very often, but he's dealt with him enough to know the other man isn't a bender. Still, something about him suggests Earth: he's not afraid to dig his hands in and get dirty when it comes to science, and though he's no soldier, he's solid and reliable.
Always there providing support, but never really noticed until he falters and the ground slips beneath you.
Through the Stargate and back again.
Sam manages to save the crew of Prometheus, Jonas asks for help for Kelowna. Osiris returns to Earth, still possessing Sarah Gardner, but with the help of the Tok'ra they manage to free her. The Alpha Site comes under attack, and a documentary crew comes to the SGC.
Life moves onward.
(But life at the SGC isn't all victories and triumphs. Life at the SGC is bloody battles and dangerous territory. It's ambushes and traps, superstitious villagers and Jaffa faithful to their false gods.
Life at the SGC includes capture and imprisonment, torture and pain. Destruction of towns and planets, firefights between bullets and energy blasts, space battles against ha'taks and Replicators.
Sometimes, life at the SGC is death. Watching your friends, the people you've grown close to, fall. Knowing that they'll never get back up again, and learning to live with that, as life drags you forward.)
Janet dies saving lives on P3X-666. The staff blast is sudden and quick, and death is immediate. Jack isn't there to see her fall, but he sees the repercussions of her actions.
There isn't a person on the base who doesn't owe her their lives, in one way or another. Each person he passes is another she's saved, and they all know it.
It's Daniel's death all over again, except worse, because Janet has no hope of coming back.
She's been with the SGC since the beginning, and now it will have to limp forward without her.
(And it does, slowly, haltingly, but it does. Life drags them from their grief, and reminds them that time stops for no one.)
The rouge NID try manage to create a Goa'uld-human hybrid on Earth, and Kinsey tries to undermine the SGC on President Hayes' first day in office.
Politics. Jack could do without them.
Under attack from Anubis, Jack downloads the knowledge of the Ancients into his own mind. (Daniel's willing, but Jack pushes him back. It's him doing this, or no one at all.)
Back at the SGC, Hammond gets outed. After years of people trying to throw doubt onto the work he's done, someone finally succeeds.
Dr. Elizabeth Weir, a civilian, a Fire bender, a diplomat, gets command. Despite the Fire in her soul, Jack feels no kinship with her.
(He's dying anyway, what does it matter?)
(It matters because there's always a way out. It matters because even if he dies, his team will remain.)
The knowledge Jack gains leads SG-1 to an Ancient outpost, and an Ancient power source. It's not the lost city, its not Atlantis, but it saves Earth, and helps them discover an Ancient outpost on their own planet.
Barely aware of his surroundings, Jack steps into a stasis chamber, looks out at the team he loves with all his heart, and lets go.
Buried beneath the ice, he sleeps.
Jack wakes... No. Jack returns to awareness as part of an Asgard ship, his body still asleep, his mind separate. It's strange and unnatural, but not unpleasant. He can still feel his internal Fire, but he's not sure if that's his imagination or not.
The entirety of the Daniel Jackson's computer is available to him. He knows about the situation on Orilla and the threat of the Replicators. He knows how frail his body is right now. He also knows what he's willing to do to help a friend.
He builds the Replicator weapon first, and saves himself second, and when he wakes for real he has no memory of the last few days.
He adapts quickly enough.
Together SG-1 beats back the Replicators from Orilla, and reunite in a galaxy far from home. It is their last mission together as a team.
Jack has spent seven years side by side with his friends and allies, defending his planet. With their victory, and their discoveries, Weir gets command of the Ancient outpost in Antarctica. Jack gets a promotion, and command of the SGC.
He doesn't accept immediately (he talks with his team first), but he does say yes. Though he would never admit it, he's getting old.
As his first act of command, Jack promotes Sam to Lieutenant Colonel.
Life as commander of the SGC is far different than just life as the commander of SG-1. For one thing, Jack barely leaves the planet. For another, his responsibilities skyrocket - no longer can he pretend he doesn't have a desk, or miss memos. He doesn't get to use his Fire nearly as often either, though he amuses himself by making the torch in his office flare whenever a particularly nervous airman stands before him.
He doesn't get to see his team as much either.
But teams don't spend every day off-world, and Jack uses the little free time he has to sneak into Sam or Daniel's lab, or meet up with everyone in Teal'c's quarters.
The war with the Goa'uld is all but over now. Anubis is gone, and the remaining System Lords are too weak and too cowardly to attack Earth. Teams still run into skirmishes against loyal Jaffa, but for the most part the System Lords are all but defeated.
All but Ba'al - he twists and turns and wiggles his way through tight squeezes, staying out of trouble and gaining power all the while.
Jack deals with his people coming back injured and wayward science experiments, with Earthly politics and the struggles of the Free Jaffa.
Teal'c's son gets married, Sam breaks up with her boyfriend. Shau'ri and Shifu pay Daniel a visit.
The Stargate gets stolen, the Replicators return, and Jack gets to sit on Earth behind a desk as Hammond leads the Prometheus to Atlantis.
(It gets hijacked and Daniel is captured, but everyone returns safely, in the end.)
Maybourne and the Russians, a barber in Indiana - Jack deals with politics and people now, far more than firefights and ambushes (but he still gets to go off-world, every now and again).
Almost a year into his command, with the System Lords mostly on the run, the Jaffa decided to take Dakara. Ba'al and the Replicators, the Ancients and the Jaffa. Through the battles and struggles Jack stays on Earth and listens and learns and directs, but does not see or fight or retaliate (at least, not until the Replicators make it to the SGC).
But Jack has had command of the SGC for a year now. He's grateful now, for the break. For the chance to take it easy on his knees, and sleep in a bed most nights. He's adjusted.
Anubis is gone. The Replicators are destroyed. The new Jaffa nation is established on Dakara. The SGC finds a ZPM to send to Atlantis, if anyone is still there.
(In another timeline, Jack rejoins SG-1 to travel back into history and dig it up. In another timeline, a reluctant Jack (still with Fire in his soul) gets roped into joining a crazy mission with two civilian scientists who've never been in a battle. This is not that Jack.)
When he gets the offer to join Homeworld command, Jack does so with the knowledge that he has helped to make the world a better place, and that his team is moving on as well. (But they will always be close.)
Sam makes her way to Area 51. Teal'c stays off-world these days, helping his people. Daniel readies for a trip to Atlantis.
Jack moves to DC, content.
Fire, Water, Earth, and Air. The four of them have done so much together, and there is more yet to come, but for now, all is well.