Our Future is in the Stars – Chapter Three

Our Future is in the Stars

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Warnings and story info are in the Master Post

Chapter Note: To try and limit confusion between Daniel Jackson and Jackson Grimes, Jackson Grimes will be referred to Jax as much as possible.

Chapter Three

 

Spencer was standing in the conference room that they’d used the day before waiting for someone to arrive so the first group could leave for the base. Whatever that meant. He and Derek had come in early to fill out their paperwork. Derek’s skepticism had apparently not lessened overnight. Spencer thought that Tony’s reaction though was interesting, because whereas the day before he looked nearly ready to strangle Morgan, today he seemed almost amused.

Spencer had been puzzling over the possible reasons for the change in attitude as he signed his name for what felt like the millionth time. Before he could comment, the conference room door opened, and in walked the last person Spencer expected to see. Maybe that was short sighted on his part given the letter he’d received. In fact, it was most certainly short sighted when he took into consideration all that he knew about Jackson Grimes. Unless he’d had a personality transplant, Jax was a man who went after what he wanted when he’d set his sights on something.

“Shepard-Not-Shepard, I’m impressed,” Jack greeted from where he was working on his own paperwork as Paul handed him folders of things to sigh. “You’re on time. This must be a record. What’s the ulterior motive?”

“I have my reasons. Tony, I’m happy to hear that you’ve finally moved out of that clown school who didn’t appreciate you. Danny, I have some things I want to go over with you for some of the devices we’re working on for your department. Dr. Reid, it’s nice to see you again.”

“Jax,” Spencer greeted as he felt his face heat up signaling, he was blushing. Internally, he damned Grimes for the effect that he had on him. It hadn’t helped that he’d spent hours thinking about their time together the previous night. Because their breakup had been amicable with both of them simply going in different directions, there had been a lot of good memories to recall. More than one of them had involved hours spent in bed making love.

Jackson Grimes was everything 21 yr. old Spencer Reid wanted. He was smart. He was attractive. He knew what he wanted to do with his life, and he wasn’t afraid or ashamed of it. The two met while Jackson was speaking in one of the Engineering professor’s classes. Even though Spencer had long ago gotten his Engineering Doctorate, the professor invited him to listen in on the 3-part lecture. By the end of the first class, he had already been hooked.

The romance had been hot and intense but doomed to be brief thanks to the appearance of Jason Gideon on campus for a lecture of his own. When Spencer realized that his life and Jackson’s were not on the same path, he was devastated. From the look on Jax’s face when Spencer finally forced himself to bring up their futures, it was apparent that while the revelation was new to him, Jax had known that they were doomed for some time.

Spencer had always secretly hoped that someday they would be brought back together. When Maeve died, he’d convinced himself that he was just never going to get to experience what long term love felt like as so many other people did. The last thing he expected was just a few months later that he’d have his dream job that came with the reappearance of one Jackson Grimes.

When General O’Neill finished catching Jackson up to date, Spencer found he couldn’t contain his curiosity any longer. “You’re involved in all this, Jax?”

“Yes, the SGC seems to be turning into a family venture. Grimes Tech and Sheppard Industries split several of the government contracts for the SGC and two of my cousins are stationed with Stargate. You’ll see the youngest Aiden at Cheyenne, and the oldest, John, is with the Atlantis base.”

“You’re all crazy,” Derek threw in, and Spencer rolled his eyes at his friend’s stubbornness. When Jax just flashed that grin that suggested he was highly amused by something he knew and the other person didn’t, Spencer was intrigued.

Despite knowing that Jax was generally rather easy going in his personal life, Spencer knew how protective he was of his professional ventures. He was curious about the affectionate tone in Jax’s voice when he talked about the Sheppard’s. when they went their separate ways, Jackson had just met Patrick, and was still trying to decide if he wanted to try to do the family thing. So, when Derek made his disbelief of what seemed to be not just Jax’s work but his family’s, Spencer was slightly surprised.

General O’Neill however seemed to have reached his limit and after almost herding Jax, Spencer and Derek to where Daniel was standing, slipped what looked to be an earpiece into his ear and began speaking. “Daedalus, Dr. Jackson and three companions Dr. Grimes, Dr. Reid, and Special Agent Morgan to beam up.  I have a couple things to cover here and then the rest of us will be joining them. I will signal when the rest of us are ready.”

“Come on, man,” Derek chided while Jackson just smirked at him. “Don’t you think you’re taking this whole thing a little…”

Derek’s voice trailed out as Spencer’s vision was blinded momentarily, but when he could see again, he found himself looking at an older, serious looking man who appeared to be an Air Force Colonel from the insignia on his uniform.

“Holy fucking shit! What was that? What the hell is going on here?” Derek snapped as he looked around somewhat wildly, and Spencer couldn’t help but snicker. The Colonel to his benefit just lifted an eyebrow before addressing them calmly.

“Doctors Jackson and Grimes, welcome back. Doctor Reid and Special Agent Morgan, welcome to the Daedalus. I would ask that Dr. Reid and Special Agent Morgan be accompanied by either Dr. Jackson or Dr. Grimes at all times. This is a big ship and it’s easy to get lost if you’re unfamiliar with it. I do believe that the plan is for Supervisory Special Agent DiNozzo’s team to be here for an hour or so. General O’Neill thought that they would have more privacy here than in the mountain to share the information that SSA DiNozzo learned last night.”

Spencer watched Derek wander away from the group toward one of the large bridge windows where the Earth was clearly visible. He’d caught a quick glimpse of his friend’s face before he wandered away and was worried how Derek was mentally handing being forced into a new world view. Not for the first time since the previous day when the truth of their new assignment was given to them, Spencer questioned if he’d made the right decision in demanding that Derek be on the team with him.

“Come on, Spence. I’d like to show you something.”  Pulling his gaze and his mind away from Derek, Spencer turned his eyes to Jax who was watching him affectionately. “Leave your friend to Daniel. He’s an expert at stubborn. Trust me when I say not even your friend Morgan beats Jack O’Neill at stubbornness. Col. Caldwell, do you mind if I take Spencer to the lounge on the floor below?”

“Not at all, Dr. Grimes. The conference room on that floor is the one that Dr. Reid’s team will be using. I will inform Gen. O’Neill and SSA DiNozzo of your location when you arrive. For what it’s worth, Dr. Reid, I agree with Dr. Grimes. Your friend is in good hands.”

After giving Derek one more worried glance, Spencer nodded his thanks to the Col. and then followed Jax down to the lounge on the floor below. Once inside, it was Reid’s turn to be memorized by the view, and he found himself wandering to the window where he could stare at the gorgeous view of the Earth. He was glad that Jax didn’t immediately start speaking, but instead gave him a moment to be caught up in the wonder if his current situation before talking.

“You know, when I found out about Stargate Command, you’re the first person I thought of. I knew that if anyone on Earth could be an asset to this program it was you. You’re at least as intelligent as Dr. McKay with better people handling skills. You have all of Daniel’s genius for languages and cultures on top of it, but unlike him, thanks to your time with the FBI, I think that you will have an easier time understanding the military point of view. Then there’s the selfish part where I can’t help but hope this is a sign from Fate that it’s finally our time.”

It was the last sentence that pulled Spencer’s eyes away from the windows and toward Jax. Reviewing Jax’s words, Spencer skipped the ending for the moment, and went back to a name that drew his curiosity. “Dr. Rodney McKay, the astrophysicist and engineer? I wondered where he had gone. We met in college and had a friendly rivalry. He’s such a degree snob. I can only imagine what he’ll say about me ending up at the FBI. I am sure there will be something about me wasting my brain or some similar nonsense.

“I missed you too, Jax. I’ll be honest in that I wouldn’t mind if this time went better than the last, but it’s only fair that I warn you that I am not sure I’m ready just this second. I… There was someone whom I cared for, but she was… Her name was Maeve Donovan and she was killed in front of me by her stalker several months back. As happy as I am to see you, I’m not sure either my head or heart are ready for something new.”

“Then I wait,” Jax said so calmly and matter-of-factly that Spencer couldn’t help but relax. “This isn’t a race. I finally know where you are and you finally know where I am. Our lives both professional and personal seem to be in the same place, again. So, I am in no rush. When you’re ready, I will be waiting.”

Letting loose a sigh of relief, Spencer gave Jax a relieved smile along with a nod before turning back to the view. This place and this moment were everything he’d ever wanted, and for once he was going to take the time to enjoy it.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

Derek was standing near the windows trying to wrap his mind around what he was seeing when he felt someone come up next to him.

“Magnificent, isn’t it?”

When Derek looked next to him, he saw that the Dr. that filled them in on everything was the one standing beside him. Since his head was still spinning with information, Morgan turned his attention back to the view in front of him. He was surprised that the Doctor didn’t automatically start pushing him, but instead stood next to him quietly.

“I can’t believe this is all actually real. The Egyptians that were really aliens. The Roswell Greys that actually were there. Then you’re telling me on top of it there were ultra-religious God wannabes that we hope are gone for good and space vampires that are very much not gone at all.”

“As well as hundreds of other cultures and races that we’ve met over the years that are both good and bad. We’ve made friends and enemies and all levels in between with more places yet to explore. There’re planets who are light years ahead of us in technological advancement and there’s planets that are still stuck in the middle ages or before. Fortunately, we know a lot more about all of this than when we started. I hope that we aren’t making as many mistakes as we used to. At some point the Wraith will have to be dealt with, and I am sure once they’re gone there will be someone else.

“My real question though Special Agent Morgan is what your real issue is, because I find it hard to believe that you really thought a Brigadier General was lying to you.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about Dr. Jackson, and please call me Derek or Morgan.”

“Then it’s Daniel for me, please. As far as what I’m talking about, it goes back to that experience that I was alluding to. When I first got to Stargate I was nearly a pure academic. I’d been basically laughed out of academics for my theory on the Pyramids of Giza. Fortunately, Catherine Langford saved me by offering me a job doing translations on the Stargate ring they’d discovered. I admit that at the beginning, Jack and I were at odds more often than not. Since then though, I think I’ve become good at masks and such.

“I admit you threw me last night because I’m used to Jack’s idiot game, and Tony seems to lean that way as well. So you’re insistence that we all had to be lying was hidden well by the black and white personality that you were portraying. The thing is that Jack has tried to protect me enough times from the various dangers of the universe that I realized last night in the quiet of my house what was going on.

“Dr. Reid is a big boy, Derek. Will he be more in danger than the highly trained military personnel around here? Of course, he will be. My guess is that you and Tony will pick up the military mindset fairly easily, and I would bet money that Tony trains with the SEALs or Marines on base anytime that he’s here. Spencer will probably come hide on one of our labs or offices translating things in his downtime. However, that doesn’t mean that he deserves to be here any less than you do. You can’t protect him from everything.”

“Hell, I couldn’t even protect him from his girlfriend being murdered in front of him. How the hell am I supposed to protect him from space vampires?”

“You won’t be alone for one thing,” Daniel pointed out gently as Derek finally turned back toward the other man. “You’ll have a whole team around you and a lot of highly trained Marines and Air Force members as well as military personnel from other countries. It also isn’t like you’ll constantly be off planet. Not to mention there will be other more scientifically minded people around to help guide Spencer. The people at SGC are very in tune with keeping its non-military members safe.”

“I just don’t want the kid to be hurt any more,” Derek admitted softly. “I think he’s gone through enough, and all I see is danger.”

“Have some faith in the people around you and remember that part of Dr. Reid being happy is doing something he will love. None of us have the right to take his dreams away from him.”

With a sigh, Derek nodded and turned back to look out at the planet outside the windows. He’d known from the second O’Neill mentioned the words aliens that he was fighting a losing battle. It seemed like it was time to just give in and figure out how the hell he was going to keep the Pretty Boy in one piece.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

Tony sat in the conference room on the Daedalus watching everyone find a seat. As he glanced at McGee, Tony couldn’t help but feel amused at how jumpy his Probie was. Despite how much he was pulling for the younger man to succeed, he couldn’t help but feel some twinge of satisfaction at the computer genius being taken down a peg or dozen. Not only had Tim been interrogated most of the previous day by Hammond and the DoD’s best interrogators, but the second the first group left, he was lectured by Jack.

Tony was pretty sure that there was a bit of partner Jack mixed in with Brig. Gen. O’Neill in the talk, and it gave him a little bit of the warm fuzzies. Seeing that everyone was settled, Tony took a deep breath to calm his nerves, and addressed his new team.

“Now that we’re all here together, and in relative privacy, I want to say a few things before we start in on a case. First off, I appreciate you all sticking with this even though I know we had a wide range of skepticism. While all of you look at Derek, I want it clear I am not singling him out. I can assure you that if I wasn’t personally involved with the head of this circus that I’d have needed more proof before I fully bought in myself. The bottom line for me now is that you’ve all bought in and are as dedicated to helping these people as I am.

“I realize not all of you know this, but I didn’t start my career with NCIS. I was a cop in a few different cities before I was recruited to NCIS. While things there didn’t end the way I would have liked, I can honestly tell you though that the thing I absolutely do not regret is being able to help our men and women in the armed forces. I feel like this team, this job is just the next step in that honor. These people we’re helping are the cream of the crop. They are the most badass and most experienced of the badasses.

“And helping them is how I’ve looked at my job for the last decade plus. I know that there’s going to be some adjustment period for a couple of you. I want to make it clear that it’s expected. The thing I ask you to remember and that our boss expects you to remember is that these people have given everything for not just their country, but their planet. They are what is standing between Earth and space vampires or worse. I’m not asking you to let them steamroll you, but the boss and I do expect that you remember respect is not just requested it’s expected.”

When Tony paused to take a drink of the water bottle he’d nabbed earlier, Dr. Reid took the opportunity to speak.

“Is there somewhere I can get my hands on a copy of the Manual for Courts-Martial? I’d like to read it so that I can get an understanding of the difference between civilian law and the uniformed code of military justice. Will we always be dealing with paper? If not, is it possible that my case files are paper?”

Tony arched an eyebrow at the request, but then remembered the good doctor’s reading speed and eidetic memory being two of the things Hotchner mentioned the night before. “Jack always has an updated copy in his office. I’m sure that he’d let you borrow it. We’re still working on the paper versus digital element. Normally, I would tell you that information would be delivered digitally. Since we will on occasion be working non-SGC cases, I expect those will be digital files.

“However, with SGC cases, I am somewhat concerned about security issues with having SGC information on tablets that will connect to non-SGC networks. I haven’t had a chance to talk to the boss about it, but I know it’s a concern of Jack’s as well. So, for this case we will be as non-digital as possible, and then we’ll address future cases once this is wrapped up.”

“You keep talking as if you know who our new boss is,” Delilah pointed out, and Tony grinned at her.

“I do actually. I met with this person last night. Since they were not available to join us on this case, we decided to keep their identity secret. There was some chain of command issues on my last team. The new boss and I decided that keeping their identity a secret will give us all a chance to get used to my leadership and give me a chance to get used to my leadership being taken seriously. If no one else has a team related question, I think we can move onto Brig. Gen. Carter’s murder.”

“I know that you know Gen, O’Neill better than the rest of us, but it feels like he already knows who is guilty here,” Derek pointed out sitting up in his chair and resting his elbows on the table. “If I’m wrong, I apologize, but if not, I don’t understand why we’re wasting our time here. I know that I asked that question yesterday, but we all weren’t there, and I think it’s still something that hasn’t been completely answered.”

“I’m of the opinion that it’s never a waste of time to make sure that we are arresting the right person,” Tony started, and when he saw McGee wince he knew that both he and his Probie were thinking of Remmie Grant. “However, you are correct. For the most part, the SGC believes that they know who is responsible. We’re still going to conduct an investigation, but I am fairly sure our outcome will match theirs. The real thing needed here is a thorough investigation of the SGC as a whole to both sniff out any possible moles, and to make a recommendation for who should take over command at Cheyenne Mountain.”

“That sounds like they believe that General Landry is the guilty party,” McGee pointed out with a frown and Tony tilted his head to one side in acknowledgement of the truth of the statement. He was happy that his Probie was echoing Derek’s observation from the day before.

“They do. In fact, General Landry has been isolated. The cover story at the moment is that he’s quarantined. One of the Gate Teams came back with some symptoms of an alien virus and they’re using that to explain why Landry is not in command at the moment. The people who did the investigation are not trained investigators. As a matter of fact, our team will be the SGC’s first investigative team and we will be covering both Cheyenne Mountain as well as Atlantis and Area 51.

“In addition to that, the SGC has had some problems with spies between the NID, an organization called the Trust, and the IOA. So, they want to make sure that whomever they choose next is only affiliated with the SGC and whatever branch of the military they joined. I talked Jack into making a list, and he can just use the information we gather in our investigation to make his final decision. One thing that we need to keep in mind here is that Brig. Gen. Carter was a long-time member of this organization. She was respected and trusted by both the military and scientific personnel.

“Her murder is a huge blow to not just the SGC as an organization but to a lot of the people who make it up including the president. So, there will be a lot of eyes on us, and I want our first impression with these people to be a good one. If you run into an issue, send them my way. I’m not asking you to let them walk all over you, but I am asking you to help me prove to these people that we belong here.”

As Tony drained the last of his water, he glanced at Tim and saw that his Probie was about to speak. “Have you decided what are our assignments will be yet, Tony?”

“I have, you and Delilah will be responsible for going through the SGC’s files with a fine-tooth comb. You’ll start with Cheyenne Mountain, and then move onto Atlantis. We are waiting on an updated copy of their files in the next data burst. I know that it’s going to be a huge task, so we’re going to bring in a consultant to help us. His name is Daniel Krumitz and he works for the FBI’s cyber crimes task force. He’s going through a quick security clearance assessment and then will be joining us in a day or two. If there’s no more questions, let’s head down to the mountain and get started. Brig. Gen.. Carter deserves justice and we’re going to give it to her.”

 

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