(for pepper_field, whose recap questions on redial_the_gate inspired it)
The wormhole thinned into wisps of mist and disappeared.
O'Neill sagged a bit at the departure of the boy, and Captain Carter looked wistfully after her father.
Teal'c exchanged a glance with Daniel Jackson. "Dr. Fraiser requested that you return to the infirmary after seeing the boy leave, O'Neill," he reminded his friend.
O'Neill didn't appear to hear him. "I hope..." he murmured, so softly Teal'c could barely hear him.
"Like you said, Jack, it's his only chance," Daniel offered.
O'Neill shuddered. "They're going to put a snake in his head."
Samantha Carter looked a bit defensive. "I'm sure they'll take good care of him, sir."
O'Neill's expression smoothed out, more because he didn't want to cause his second any distress over her father's condition than because he was convinced, Teal'c thought.
"Fraiser will be waiting," O'Neill said.
The others trailed him to the elevator. O'Neill glanced at them. "You don't have to come with me," he told them.
"I wanted to see how SG-5 was doing," Daniel said blandly. "They came in hot while you were busy getting bandaged up."
"And I was going to check on Airman Long," Captain Carter added without missing a beat.
"Airman Long?" O'Neill frowned.
"The technician who was helping me install the palm scanner," she explained. "He was injured when the Reetou blew the Tok'ra through the window in the gate room."
"We've got to get something better than safety glass in that window," O'Neill said, twitching the shoulder that had once been pierced by an arrow. He looked at Teal'c.
"I plan to ensure that you arrive at the infirmary safely, as Dr. Fraiser requested," Teal'c said.
"Suck-up." O'Neill said.
Teal'c simply inclined his head. "As General Hammond instructed, we have completed two more sweeps of the SGC, O'Neill, and are satisfied that there are no more Reetou present. Thus I am free to ensure that you are well."
"Your team did not encounter any Reetou the first time," O'Neill said, somewhat aggrievedly.
Teal'c had no response. He felt a somewhat guilty relief not to have experienced the disturbing effects of the Reetou presence again and he regretted not having found the aliens in time to help stop them, but only chance had directed his team to a safe area. O'Neill knew this as well as he did.
"Not if by encounter, you mean, 'were shot by'," Daniel said in a helpful tone.
O'Neill turned a baleful glare on his friend. "And you, Daniel, need a refresher on military hand signals."
"If there's a military hand signal for, 'there are non-combatants in that room, so maybe we shouldn't dash in with guns blazing' I'd be happy to learn it!" Daniel retorted.
"Military hand signals are intended to convey basic information, not allow you to argue about your instructions," O'Neill said in a tone of considerable exasperation.
Teal'c relaxed. He knew that O'Neill recognized their transparent attempt to distract him, but clearly he wasn't going to try to dissuade them. Once set off, O'Neill and Daniel Jackson could argue for hours. Which was not something Teal'c usually encouraged, but for every rule, it appeared there indeed was an exception.
They arrived at the infirmary to find the two airmen with TERs playing them over the infirmary.
"What's going on?" O'Neill demanded.
Dr. Fraiser turned to look at him. "Two of those Reetou creatures were blown to bits in my infirmary, Colonel. I requested these airmen clean them up."
"But the Reetou are in a different phase," Carter said. "You can't see or feel them."
"Or smell them," Daniel Jackson added under his breath. Then winced- apparently O'Neill had kicked him.
One of the airmen looked up at Dr. Fraiser with a pleading expression. "I'm not sure there's anything we can do, doctor," he told her. "Nothing we do seems to affect the bits." He stood aside, and his cohort obligingly played the beam of the TER over the bug guts smashed on the floor.
"Ew," O'Neill said, looking away. Captain Carter turned a bit green.
Daniel Jackson moved in closer. "May I have that?" he asked, reaching for the TER.
The airman willingly relinquished it.
Daniel illuminated the remains with the TER, apparently examining the straps and equipment. He reached out to touch one bug-innard-splattered pouch and his hand went through it without resistance. "I wonder if these are some of the cross-phase explosives that Selmak mentioned," he speculated.
At that Captain Carter looked intrigued and squatted down beside him, apparently forgetting her queasiness. "I don't know how we could tell," she said, "given that we can't touch them."
"Why don't they fall through the floor?" Daniel asked her.
"Clearly they interact with solid matter to some extent," Carter said, "Or how could the Reetou even move around? They'd just drift."
"They didn't seem able to go through-," Daniel said, his words coming faster
"-the blast doors-" Carter said nodding.
"-or the iris-"
"But they go through us, so-"
"Is it because we're organic-?"
"-maybe a function of the density-"
The two stopped bothering to finish sentences as they swapped theories faster than the others could follow the conversation.
"That's all very well and good," Dr. Fraiser interrupted. "But am I getting dead Reetou out of my infirmary or not?"
Carter and Daniel stopped and looked toward her.
"There's really no chance of infection or anything like that," Captain Carter said, standing up.
Fraiser gave her a look that clearly communicated volumes.
"But I think maybe if we tried pushing them with something solid enough-" she looked around.
Teal'c picked up a metal chair, and offered it to her.
She and Daniel each took a side and scraped the edge along the floor. It made a metallic noise as it passed through the dead Reetou.
"It moved!" Daniel said. "Just a bit."
"We need something denser," Captain Carter said.
Teal'c was the only one who saw O'Neill sway a bit on his feet. "Colonel O'Neill," he said, reaching out to steady his team leader. "You do not appear well."
"I'm fine-" O'Neill protested, but it was enough to divert Janet Fraiser's attention back to him.
"We'll use the other examination room," she said. "Colonel, this way," she summoned a nurse with a glance as she turned toward a Reetou-less room.
Teal'c observed that the two airmen, who had briefly looked hopeful that they were not going to be called on to do anything more, were receiving instructions from Captain Carter to construct some kind of dense and no doubt heavy device to scrape up Reetou remains.
Daniel Jackson was peering once more at the dead Reetou, attempting to open its equipment pouch with a metal rod.
Teal'c finally allowed himself to become conscious of a distressed fluttering in his abdomen. His symbiote was still agitated from the presence of the Reetou. He should go kel'no'reem, try to calm the creature. He turned to the door of the infirmary. His work here was done.