Part 1: Happy Trails
"Carter, you got those reqs for P6C-111?" Carter looks up from whatever she's fusing, phasing, or reacting. I'm hanging back by the door of her lab.just in case something's about to blow.
"I emailed them to you first thing this morning."
"Well, I didn't get them so if you don't mind?" Puzzled, Carter nonetheless walks over to her computer to print off a copy. I'm not going to admit to her that the reason I didn't get them is because my computer is possessed. Seriously. It keeps shrieking and blinking at me. And I'm absolutely certain I saw a vaguely horned image when I tried to reboot. I'm not touching it again without holy water and a crucifix. And preferably a pope or two.
"Looks like a good target," Carter says with a smile as she hands me the equipment requisitions.
"Well, that all depends on your definition of good," I say dryly.
"It'll be a quick one," she reassures me. "I asked for a 48 hour window but I really don't think it'll take that long. We'll be back well before Thursday."
"Daniel's birthday?" Carter says with exasperation. "Don't tell me you forgot."
"Of course not." I even got him a present. I'm just not sure why Carter's so interested.
"I hope you're planning something nice. Something romantic," she hints.
"Just a little life lesson here, Major. One you should learn now to save yourself future disappointment. Romance is purely a gal thing. Guys don't do romance," I inform her. "Daniel and I are guys, ergo, we don't do romance."
"With all due respect, that's a load of crap," Carter says bluntly. "Even guys appreciate a little romance once in a while." She eyes me with disapproval. "Well, Daniel would."
"Carter, I can't believe you fall for Daniel's sweet and sensitive act. I know the lab bunnies buy into it but you're supposed to be smarter than that." Carter bristles at the lab bunny crack. The truth is we have a lot of very smart, very capable women at the SGC. And then we have the lab bunnies.
"Daniel is sweet and sensitive," Carter argues. "You just don't appreciate it." Actually, I do. I think Daniel's just about the sweetest deal going. He's also a guy.
"Carter, Daniel got this sensitive, sharing guy reputation because he's always asking people how they are, offering an ear, or a shoulder, to anyone who needs it. Right?" Carter nods. "And you never noticed that he doesn't really answer when people ask him how he is? Never takes them up on their offer of an ear or a shoulder?" Oh, yeah-that's giving Carter food for thought. And I don't mean blue Jell-O. "Daniel keeps his feelings safely repressed just any other guy."
"Daniel is sweet and sensitive," Carter insists. "He's just never had much opportunity to share it with anyone. Besides, after everything he's been through, I think he could use a little show of appreciation." Point of fact-I appreciate Daniel regularly. Enthusiastically. Athletically even. Which probably doesn't count for squat in Carter's book because she's talking about feelings. She throws up her hands in surrender. "Then again, what do I know? Maybe emotional constipation is the holy grail for male relationships."
And this is news to her?
"Jack, why did you refuse my request to go with SG-14 tonight?" Daniel drops his tray onto my desk with a silverware rattling thud. Carter manages to pull herself away from her slop long enough to give Daniel a surprised look, and Teal'c ignores all of us. We're eating lunch in my office because we can relax and have an unofficial team meeting to prepare for the next mission. And because I don't want to be left alone with the demonically possessed PC.
"Because SG-1 has a mission scheduled for tomorrow." And you're not going anywhere without me.
"To an uninhabited world," Daniel says pointedly. "You don't need me to collect soil samples and SG-14 is going.." My computer suddenly farts.
"Ah.Sir?" Carter asks, staring at it with a bewildered expression.
"It's just the demon. Ignore it and it'll probably leave us alone."
"Demon?" Daniel questions. Don't start with me, Daniel.
"Oh, for Pete's sake," Carter crabs. "You probably just spilled something on the keyboard again."
"Carter - leave it alone." It's not wise to provoke evil spirits. They tend to get pissy and unleash plagues of locusts or flay the flesh from your bones or something. Carter, of course, ignores me and reaches for the computer. Which shrieks at her.
"Holy.!" She rears back in shock, stunned that one of her babies would turn on her.
"Are you all right, Major Carter," Teal'c asks with concern.
"Yeah, I'm fine," she says dismissively, turning to glare at me. "Sir, what did you do?"
"I warned you about downloading from those porn sites," Daniel mutters from across the desk.
"I got you. I don't need web porn," I mutter back. Teal'c scowls at both of us as Carter foolishly taps the keyboard. The computer promptly farts. Twice.
"Doesn't seem like a very evil demon," Daniel says thoughtfully. "Just flatulent." Teal'c cocks an eyebrow at Daniel. And I'm not about to get into some weird-ass discussion about a demon's digestive problems. Meanwhile Carter takes another stab at it.
"Damn it, Carter. I don't care how good you are you can't reformat a demon!" Frustrated, Carter pulls the plug. The computer farts one last time and releases a puff of smoke. "Hey! You do know you just lost all my work?"
"You actually had work on it?" Carter and Daniel both ask.
"I believe that is highly unlikely," Teal'c opines. I get no respect. None.
"I'll get one of the IS people down here to work on it," Carter tells me.
"I don't need a computer nerd. I need an exorcist. The damn thing's possessed."
"Possession is nine tenths of the law," Daniel says. The king of non sequiturs strikes again. I think.
"What the fuck does that mean?"
"Maybe you should just let the demon have the computer," Daniel suggests.
"I know that I don't know what you're talking about half the time," I admit. "The question is - do you?"
"Which brings me back to my original point," Daniel says, more than ready to forget the satanic inclinations of my personal electronics. "Why can't I go with SG-14?"
"You're a member of SG-1. We thought it would be nice if you actually went on mission with us once in a while." And you're not going anywhere without me. I can't emphasize this enough.
"You can not go off world without O'Neill again," Teal'c adds sternly. Thanks, big guy. Appreciate the support.
"Excuse me?" Daniel says in a frosty tone of voice. "I don't need Jack."
"That may be," Teal'c says agreeably. "However, O'Neill needs you."
"What?" Daniel and I say in unison.
"Last time you left O'Neill behind his mood was most disagreeable," Teal'c explains. Support like this I don't need.
"That's just Jack," Daniel says, baffled.
"He's right, Daniel. The colonel was way out of line." Thanks, Carter. God forbid we'd have to go without your two cents.
"Most disagreeable," Teal'c repeats.
"I was not petulant!" I protest. I might be willing to cop to irritable, but not petulant. I'm not even touching peevish.
"What did you do?" Daniel demands, turning to me.
"Why do you automatically believe them?" I snipe by way of answer.
"Because I know you," he shoots back.
"Major Carter was forced to challenge O'Neill to a duel." Just gonna keep feeding the fire, aren't you, Teal'c? Daniel's jaw just about hits the desk.
"It was just a little hand to hand," Carter says casually, retaking her seat at Daniel's side.
"I won," I add hopefully. Doesn't hurt to play up my physical prowess. Some people find that a real turn on. Naturally Daniel isn't one of those people.
"You know he fights dirty?" Daniel asks her, ignoring me. No.playing the conquering hero definitely isn't going to get him swooning.
"I do now," Carter grumbles. The look she gives me promises she won't be surprised like that again. Think again, Major. I've got a lot more dirty tricks up my sleeve. "Is he always like this?"
"Yes," Daniel answers promptly.
"No." I'm not always like that. In fact, I wasn't like that when they said I was like that. Ah.crap, you know what I mean.
"Yes," Daniel insists. "Demanding, domineering.."
"Fine. Next time I'll wear the French maid outfit and you can be 'Lord of the manor'." No, I've never had a French maid's outfit.but the expression on Carter's face is priceless.
"Way to be subtle," Daniel says dryly. I don't know why I suddenly find myself saying these kinds of things. It's not to embarrass Daniel, because very little truly embarrasses him. Maybe having sex with Daniel has fried the few lingering tact cells I had left. Honestly, I think it's because of our situation. We can't act, look, or talk the way we really are. Only three other people on the entire planet, in the entire universe, know the truth about us. I think that, when we're with them, I take any opportunity to acknowledge, in any way, shape, or form, Daniel's role in my life. I could, of course, be more mature about it. But then I would miss all these great opportunities to embarrass Carter.
"Subtle? You want subtle?" I challenge. Daniel slaps a hand over my mouth. Probably just as well.
"So, we're actually a go for tomorrow?" he asks, removing his hand. Fair question-our last two scheduled missions got canned before we even got out of the gate.
"Back in the saddle again," I assure him. Oh.shit.
"Hi ho, silver," Daniel says lightly. I, of course, spew lemonade all over my meal, and Teal'c's, because the only time Daniel says that is when he's in the saddle. So to speak.
"Hi ho, silver," Carter chuckles, looking pointedly at my hair. "Good one, Daniel."
"Carter, if you had any idea what he's usually doing when he says that, you'd wash your mouth out with soap," I inform her. "Then you'd wash out his."
"What?" She frowns at me, puzzled. Smiling to himself, Daniel starts to softly hum the theme song from the Lone Ranger. Jeez, Carter, for a bright gal you,oh, there she goes. Carter's eyes nearly pop out of her head as she puts two and two together and gets slutty archaeologist. "Oh! Oh, you pervert!" she says, slapping Daniel's arm. He flinches and gives her a wounded look.
"He's the pervert," Daniel says, pointing at me. "I'm just a slut." He immediately gets that 'what the hell did I just say?' look on his face.
"Way to be subtle, Kemosabe," I taunt. Carter snorts. For all her embarrassment I don't think she really minds our lewd repartee. Teal'c, however, rises from his seat.
"While I recognize that it is both healthy and desirable to have sexual fantasies, I do not wish to hear about them." Teal'c exits with the all the offended dignity a former first prime can exude. I'm speechless, Carter's making little gulping noises, and Daniel absolutely looses it. He doesn't laugh often but, for some inexplicable reason, pissy jaffa has him rolling on the floor every time.
"Shit, shit, shit," Daniel gasps, wiping his eyes. "Shit!" Got the picture, lingo lad. "I'd better, I'll just go talk to him."
"You might want to stop laughing your ass off first," I say helpfully. Daniel just waves distractedly as he heads out the door. "I think Teal'c has some, you know, issues," I say to Carter.
"No, it's not that," she responds. "It's just the poor guy has to watch the two of you being.."
"Horny," she corrects. "And he doesn't have anyone."
"You don't have anyone."
"Yes. Thank you so much for reminding me," Carter says sarcastically. "But there are a few million men on this planet, and surely there's at least one who won't drop dead the minute I look at him. So theoretically, I have a chance." While I applaud her optimism, the way things have been looking lately I wouldn't put money on it. "Teal'c is the only jaffa here. He has no chance."
"Love is a bitch," I agree. "I don't have it easy either.."
"You'll get no sympathy from me," Carter says coldly as she gets up from her chair.
"Fine, I'll just go find Daniel."
"You won't get any sympathy from him either," she adds as she finally leaves. No, but I do get sex. My computer farts again.
Like I said - no respect.
"Get in bed," I order, stroking the mattress beside me. Daniel came home half pissed at me for being so unsubtle. He doesn't want to be the reason I get booted from the SGC, and he's afraid I'm going to blow him. It. I mean it. Which I won't. Him I will. Oh, fuck it-just get in bed and make it worth getting booted.
"It doesn't impress me when you get all authoritative," Daniel informs me. "There's nothing attractive about a pushy, petulant, possessive.." I'm lying back enjoying the show, watching Daniel pace around the room shedding clothes until he's bare-assed naked. My little friend is doing the wave in a show of appreciation.
"I've got another 'P' word for you."
"Puerile," Daniel says flatly. And that wasn't it. "Rock knocking, duck fucking, cock sucking son of a bitch." I love it when Daniel talks dirty but..
"Stop dissing my artifacts," Daniel explains, stopping at the side of the bed, hands on hips and cock at half mast. I think getting worked up gets him just plain up.
"When you stop dissing my gun," I retort coolly.
"At least my rocks aren't phallic symbols," Daniel argues.
"One word, Daniel: stela." I draw the shape in the air. "Look me in the eye and tell me that's not a phallic symbol." Daniel gets a look of unholy glee in his eyes.
"My phallic symbol is bigger than your phallic symbol," he sing-songs.
"Size doesn't matter."
"That's what all the little guys say," Daniel rebuts as he flops on the bed hard enough to nearly bounce me out. He is not a small boy. In any sense. He crawls over to hover over me, finally leaning down to kiss me.
"Quit with the stall tactics and fuck me."
"What did I say about authoritative?" he snipes.
"Hierarchal command structure," I observe.
"Meaning?" Daniel asks archly.
"Meaning I'm top gun in this bed," I say smugly.
"I'll see your gun and raise it one stela."
"Stick that stela where the sun don't shine," I say, rolling over and wiggling my butt. Admittedly, it's not the thing of beauty that Daniel's ass is, but he likes it anyway and that's all that matters.
"Asshole," he rebukes, motioning for me to get to my knees while he grabs the lube. One unexpected, but welcome, side effect of pissing Daniel off is that he tends to focus on the bottom line. I like the 'peaceful explorer' version but sometimes you just want it hard and fast.
"What I said." Let's get this show on the road. "Get along, little doggie, whoa!" Daniel thrusts his thankfully well lubed cock deeply on the first stroke. "Fuck, Daniel!"
"Okay?" Daniel asks anxiously, freezing.
"Yeah, fine." It is. I'm used to him taking a little more prep time but.it is. It's fine. It's actually kind of .. If my dick is anything to go by, it's more than kind of. "Ride 'em, cowboy!"
"Hi ho, silver," Daniel snorts as he begins his long, strong strokes. I don't know why he finds that so incredibly amusing. My theory, based on Daniel's and Carter's sense of humor, is that the brain cells taken over by the genius part of their brains must have been recruited from the humor part.
"Back in the saddle again," I croon.
"I'm not making love with that caterwauling going on," Daniel insists. I'll show him caterwauling. I clamp my ass around him. Okay, so no caterwauling, but a definite gasp. He freezes again, fingers digging into my sides.
"Damn it, Jack. Do that again and I won't be responsible for the consequences," he growls.
"Yeah, yeah-less complaining, more fucking, Kemosabe," I direct.
"Mouth shut, ass open," he counters. He starts rocking and gliding again. Oh.oh, god, yes! Damn he's good at this. I let nothing pass my lips but appreciative moans and groans while Daniel finds his rhythm again. I wait until he's in the zone, stroking his hands around my hips and across my groin while his cock thrusts smoothly and deeply. Then..
"Happy traaaails to you," I bellow.
"Jack!" he howls, exasperated. But I can feel him shaking with suppressed laughter against my back. "That's enough!" He grabs my hips and thrusts so hard he nearly drives me nose first right through the mattress. Then again. And again. Bolts of electricity shoot all the way to my toes. Yeah-that's what we want. The Lone Ranger rides again.
Chapter 2: Here We Go Again
Another day, another mission. All four of us are waiting at the foot of the ramp for the whooshy light show to kick in. As soon as it does Hammond gives us the all clear. "All right, kids. I hope everyone remembered to visit the little gater's room because we are not stopping on the way." Ignoring me, Carter takes point through the gate. Daniel ignores me as he follows on her heels. Teal'c gives them a couple of seconds to arrive on the other side then, ignoring me, he steps into the gate. I decide that if you can't beat'em you might as well join'em, so I ignore myself until I'm at the top of the ramp. Damn, I knew I forgot something. "Davis, what are the odds on this one?" Up in the control room, Sgt. Davis glances nervously at Hammond. Give it up, Walt. He knows.
"3 to 1, sir."
"For or against?" Davis just stares at me. Right. Stupid question. "Put me down for 20." He acknowledges the bet with a nod. I step in and then step out. Ah, crap. This has got to be a SG-1 record for missions going FUBAR.
"Carter, this planet is supposed to be uninhabited."
"Yes, sir." So why are we surrounded by people? Very suspicious looking people at that.
"We did send a MALP?" Carter nods. "And a UAV?"
"Then why, pray tell, did we not know about these folks?"
"I don't know," Carter says sounding frustrated. "The probes didn't show any sign of intelligent life." Gonna withhold judgment on the intelligent part just yet. I wait, knowing she'll eventually fill in the gaps. "We sent the MALP almost 72 hours ago. These people must have arrived after that."
"I think Sam's right," Daniel chips in. "These people appear to be nomadic." He gestures at the veritable forest of brightly colored tents surrounding the area of the stargate.
"And they just happened to set up camp here the same day we were coming?" I don't like coincidences.
"Apparently," Daniel answers. Nope, don't like coincidences at all.
"Carter, from now on we go nowhere without MALP data that is no more than an hour old." For crying out loud, people could get killed this way. Carter, Teal'c and Daniel all wait silently for my decision. They don't waste their time or mine offering their opinions. They don't need to. I already know what they're thinking. Just like they probably already know what I'm thinking. I know I'm going to regret this.
"Well, they're here. And we're here." I look pointedly at Daniel.
"I'm on it," he says simply and he walks over to introduce himself to the natives.
"So.what did you have to promise the Krispy Kremes?" I ask Daniel while at the same time giving the grand high pooh-bah my best shit eating grin. Daniel sighs and pulls me over to where Carter and Teal'c are waiting. And watching our backs.
"K'ris K'rimi," he corrects. Right. Like I said. Touchy bunch of pastries, that's for sure. I still don't know what set them off. We were making all friendly like, Daniel giving his usual spiel about peaceful exploring, sharing knowledge, yadda, and all of a sudden the natives are screaming bloody murder. I don't know if we actually said or did something they found offensive, or if they're just collectively having that 'time of the month'. Daniel insisted that, as guests, we respect their culture and try to make amends. Personally, a well timed 'your mother' and a quick return through the gate seems a far better use of SGC time and money. It would, that is, if it wouldn't earn me a reprimand from Hammond and, more frightening, some Daniel-less nights. Not that Daniel ever uses sex as a threat. In fact, he's disgusted by the thought of such venal manipulation. But an angry Daniel is a Daniel who just isn't in the mood. So I turned him loose to soothe some ruffled feathers.
"Daniel, what do we have to give the little.dumplings?"
"Pretty much just the usual. Friendship, technology, world peace.my first born child." Carter, Teal'c and I all study Daniel carefully. It's not always easy to tell when he's kidding.
"Ah, I probably should have told you this right off the bat but.Doc says I'm going through the change." Having the hot flashes to prove it. Carter makes an amused grunt and relaxes a little. Actually, Doc told me I was post menopausal. Which reminds me-need to call the vet and see what the hold up is on the declawing.
"Well, they don't know that," Daniel says dryly.
"I'm just saying.if they expect us to stick around until we produce the goods.." I don't know what Carter is snickering at. If we actually have to come up with a rugrat, she'll be the one in the hot seat.
"No, we just have to participate in a little ceremony. Appease the goddess," Daniel explains.
"Goddess?" Teal'c inquires sharply. That caught my attention too. "Are you referring to a goa'uld?"
"I hope not," Daniel admits. Couldn't you, just this once, give us a simple yes or no? "I don't recognize the name of this goddess. The mythology isn't from earth like the other goa'uld we've met."
"We haven't seen any sign that the goa'uld have been here," Carter adds.
"Hey, we hadn't seen any sign that these people had been here," I remind her sharply. She grimaces an acknowledgement.
"From what I understand, we won't be meeting the goddess herself-just her priestess," Daniel says.
"She doesn't have a thing for bespectacled archaeologists, does she?" Given Daniel's history, I have to ask. We'll never forget the lovely Shyla. And God knows I've tried. "Or have some legend about living happily ever after with a traveler from a distant planet?"
"She's a priestess, not a princess," Carter reminds me. Daniel makes a disgusted snort and stalks back over to the chief.
"It's for his own good," I say.
"Indeed," Teal'c agrees.
"Tell me again why we didn't haul ass when we had the chance," I ask bitterly. Osiris. It had to be Osiris. One of her flunkies had set herself up as the local priestess, apparently as part of Osiris' plan to gather power by insinuating herself onto planets that have been ignored or even forgotten by other goa'uld. Anyway, before you could say 'snakeskin boots', we were transported to the head honcho's lair. Now three quarters of SG-1 awaits her Snakiness on bended knee. And how clichéd is that? The audience room boasts the usual discriminating goa'uld taste in home decorating. Martha Stewart would have a field day. Still, it's better than our accommodations. Almost three days we've been left to stew in a cell, given enough food and water to keep us going. We have no idea what Osiris wants-other than the usual world domination scene they're all into-but I have to admit that the question I'd most like answered right now is: where's Daniel? Osiris's eyes lit up when he/she saw Daniel. And I don't mean in that creepy glow wormy way. The snake was practically doing a happy dance over the unexpected opportunity, and wasted no time culling him from the herd. We haven't seen him since.
And to top it off, I now owe Davis twenty bucks.
"O'Neill, Carter, Teal'c," Osiris intones as she enters the room. "What have you to say for yourselves?" She slinks up to her throne, all silk pajamas and overdone jewelry. And really, the only person who gets away with silk jammies is Hugh Hefner-and that's because he's such an incorrigible lech, not because they look good.
"See ya, wouldn't want to be ya." Inappropriate sarcasm is, after all, my forte. Osiris sneers and drops into her throne huffily.
"We should make you beg for your pathetic lives." She gives us a sly look. "However, we are feeling merciful. We might even be persuaded to make a deal."
"Here's a deal for you. You give Daniel back, let us go, and we won't kill you." Yes, I know. I'm not in a position to make demands, but male bravado has got to be worth something. Sometime. Somewhere.
"Daniel Jackson has chosen to remain with us." I'm totally flabbergasted by this statement, which is probably obvious by the gaping look of disbelief on my face. She has to know we won't believe that for a minute.
"Like hell," I challenge. She snaps her fingers and Daniel emerges from the knot of sycophants and hangers-on lingering behind the snake bitch. Damn it, Daniel. There's not a mark visible on him but I can tell.his eyes.she's been screwing with him. Figuratively if not literally. He stops at Osiris's side, his head up but his eyes averted just enough that he's not actually looking at us. "Daniel," I call, my voice sharper than I intended. The fact that he refuses to acknowledge me is not a good sign.
"Tell them," Osiris commands. Daniel's jaw juts as his innate stubbornness kicks in. Boy, do I know that look. "Tell them.or we will be forced to explain.." A look of shame crosses his face.
"I'm staying. Don't.don't worry about me." Now, at last, he looks me in the eye. Asking me to take whatever out Osiris might offer. I know he knows better than that.
"You see, he remains willingly," Osiris taunts. Yeah, so willing you felt the need to fit him with a dog collar. And, judging by the reddened areas I now see on his wrists, handcuffs of some sort have come into play recently. Not that I haven't considered it myself.but in my case I had only his best interests at heart. Namely to keep him from getting into situations like this. "We are feeling generous today. Therefore, we will allow one of you to leave. You, O'Neill, may choose which."
"I'm guessing Daniel isn't an option." The smug look on her face says quite plainly 'no, it's not'. And for the record, I wouldn't be choosing him because he's my lover. I'd choose him because the snake has nasty things in mind particularly for him. I think Carter and Teal'c would understand that. But it doesn't matter as obviously it's a moot point. "Carter," I decide.
"Sir," Carter hisses under her breath. "You're the best one to lead a rescue mission." She's pissed because she thinks I'm a sexist pig. Possibly, but that has nothing to do with the current situation. I'm staying because Daniel's staying. Simple.
"You can do it, Major," I say almost inaudibly. I'm counting on that fact. The jaffa grab Carter and take her from the room before she can argue the point any further. And apparently that concludes today's festivities because several other jaffa grab Teal'c and me and haul us to our feet. Daniel chances a quick look at me and tries to reassure me with a small smile. A smile that doesn't come anywhere close to reaching his eyes.
Happy fucking birthday, Daniel.
"Sorry, Teal'c. I would've loved to get you out of here, too."
"You wish to protect Major Carter," Teal'c responds calmly from where he sits in the corner of the cell. He never treats Carter as anything but an equal, but sexism is pretty ingrained in jaffa society. He wouldn't bat an eye at the idea of getting Carter out of here just because she's a woman.
"I wish to not have to tell Jacob that I left his daughter behind," I say as I pace back and forth. A slight lift of the lips indicates Teal'c's amusement. "If nothing else, at least she'll get out of this mess in one piece."
"That is assuming that Major Carter was not killed the minute she left the audience room." Yeah, thanks for not letting me forget the worst case scenario.
"Why would Osiris let one of us go anyway?"
"To send a message. She may wish it known that she is responsible for capturing the Tauri," Teal'c suggests. "Or possibly to engender Daniel Jackson's cooperation."
"Cooperation with what?" And no, I don't really want to know the answer to that.
"Information is always a possible goal," Teal'c says after a moment of serious thought.
"I sense a 'but' there."
"Osiris has the memories of her host, Dr. Gardener. She is also aware that Daniel Jackson has acted to impede her plans on several occasions," Teal'c says circumspectly.
"So.revenge." Teal'c nods. Yeah, that's kind of what I thought. The really scary thing is that I'm hoping that means torture rather than.forced nookie. I think Daniel can handle that better. He's been used sexually before, by a goa'uld, and the fall out wasn't pretty. The only good thing about Daniel's experience with Hathor was that she had to use so much of her pink passion potion to make him 'cooperative' that his memories are pretty fuzzy. He knows, intellectually, what she did to him, but he remembers only fragments. Which I think has to be a blessing. Rape is rape no matter how you try to spin it and it's always ugly. Daniel's immune to the nishta now so he won't even have that protection. With the advantage of having Gardener's memories to use against him, Osiris can, and probably will, twist him into knots. He's going to be one messed up monkey when we out of here. I say when. "If" is not even a consideration.
"Why does this shit always happen to us?"
"Of all the people of your world, only a very few travel through the galaxy," Teal'c explains. "And SG-1 is a first contact team. It is inevitable that we should encounter danger more frequently." Uh huh. Knew that.
"Let me rephrase that-why does this shit always happen to Daniel?" I say testily. Teal'c hesitates a moment before shrugging.
"Bad karma perhaps," he suggests.
"O'Neill." It's been approximately 24 hours since Carter left. Teal'c and I have been hanging out, unmolested, in the cell. I have the very unhappy thought that Daniel hasn't been so fortunate. I've been summoned to another little chat with the head snakess. At least she's finally getting to the point of this whole exercise. "We require information."
"And I require you just let us go." Gonna keep playing that male bravado card until it pays off.
"Cooperate and we will allow you to have a choice in your eventual disposition."
"Okay, I'll bite. What choices?" Normally, choice is a good thing. I suspect that this is not going to be one of those times.
"You will either be sent to Anubis to be disposed of according to his wishes." Choice A not sounding good. "Or, if you give us what we wish, you will remain here. As one of our jaffa."
"And that's supposed to be the good choice?" I say with disbelief. Well, fuck that.
"You have no idea how.extreme Anubis can be."
"Oh, I think I've got a pretty good idea," I say rubbing my aching head. "Torture, death, sarcophagus. Followed by more torture and death. It's always the same damn thing with you snakes. Why don't you try something different once in a while? Throw in a picnic. Or a square dance maybe. Stop being so predictable. It just bores the hell out of me." Osiris is not taking my helpful hints well.
"Your alleged humor will not serve you well in our presence," Osiris warns. Alleged? Now that's uncalled for. And just plain rude.
"Look, if Daniel didn't give you information there's no way I will."
"I do not require information from Daniel Jackson." Osiris smiles-a sight scary enough to freeze-dry the blood in your veins. "He serves another purpose." Damn, I knew it.
"Where the hell is he?"
"He is well kept in our personal quarters." Kept. Great, just what Daniel always aspired to-being a kept man.
"Haven't you ever heard of a vibrator?" I say a little testily.
"Silence!" Osiris jumps to her feet, eyes glowing. Methinks I hit a sore spot.
"You'd think with all your superior than thou technology you'd have the super duper model by now. Naquada powered or something." This is such a bad idea. I know that, but I just can't help myself. "Or maybe you're just a frigid bitch.. Ow, shit!" Osiris' backhand knocks me clean to the floor. Should have seen that coming. Before I can get to my feet again a familiar hum comes from the center of the audience chamber. Like some kind of khaki colored miraculous vision, Carter, SG-12, her dad and another tok'ra are suddenly in the middle of the room. They come out firing and in a matter of seconds the room is devoid of living jaffa. Unfortunately, I clearly saw Osiris escape.
"So much for a covert insertion," Jacob says wryly as he looks around at the fallen jaffa.
"No problem. Feel free to drop in anytime," I say gratefully, accepting a zat from him. "Carter, if it weren't against regulations, I'd kiss you." SG-12 smirk knowingly. Let them. They don't know nearly as much as they think they do.
"Which one?" Jacob asks.
"Either. Both. I'm an equal opportunity rescuee." Jacob just shakes his head.
"Teal'c? Daniel?" Carter asks anxiously from behind her father.
"Teal'c is still in the holding cell. Daniel.we haven't seen him since you left," I tell her. "Supposedly he's being kept in Osiris' personal quarters."
"You go get Teal'c," Jacob says. "We'll find Daniel," he adds, gesturing at his tok'ra companion.
"I remember where the holding cell is," Carter volunteers, freeing me to go after Daniel. Bless you, Major. I really could kiss you.
"There aren't any set guard points, but there are 4 jaffa patrolling the halls between here and there," I tell her. She nods confidently. Right. She probably made note of that when we were first captured, just like I did. Well, a little reminder never hurt anyone. "Report in when you get back here, then evacuate." Carter gives a curt nod. I know that look. She and Teal'c won't leave until they know Daniel and I are safe. Carter doesn't give me time to reinforce my orders as she and SG-12 take off.
"Let's go," Jacob urges. I hustle after him as he leads us through a confusing maze of hallways.
"So, how the hell do you know where to go?" I ask. The compound appears to be fairly new so I'm assuming that neither Jacob nor Selmac has been here before.
"The goa'uld aren't terribly original," Jacob answers. "For example, the ones who have taken on the persona of Egyptian deities all tend to build their complexes in the same manner. Some variation in size or.."
"Décor," Jacob agrees. "But fundamentally the same layout. I don't know for sure where Osiris' quarters are but I can get us pretty damn close."
"Okay." Not going to argue with a man with a plan. Although, as it turns out, we only need about half the plan, because just as we round the next corner we run smack dab into Osiris and a handful of her guards. Osiris has a leash attached to Daniel's collar now. She uses it to yank him to her and slams her hand against his forehead. Yeah, the hand with the nasty ribbon thing. We all freeze, pointing our weapons at each other.
"It would appear we have a stand-off," Osiris observes.
"Not exactly," I correct. "See - you're making a crucial mistake. You're counting on me letting you go rather than see Daniel hurt."
"Apparently you don't care for him as much as he believes you do," Osiris taunts. Daniel grimaces. Don't worry, Daniel. No one will put much stock in anything you may have said under duress.
"You're sadly mistaken. Again." I love telling snakes they're wrong. "It's because I care about Daniel that I won't let you take him." Daniel's expression calms. I think that means he understands. I hope that means he agrees. Suddenly, a slave, unaware of the crisis, stumbles into our midst. The distraction is enough to divert the Osiris' attention for just a second. Daniel does me proud by instantly pulling down and away from Osiris. Unfortunately, just as I get a clear shot, one of her jaffa moves over and takes the hit. The area erupts. Two seconds later I'm sucking tile and firing almost blindly. A shout from Jacob alerts me that he's got Daniel and it's time to blow this joint. I look at Osiris at the far edge of the chamber, hiding behind her personal shield.
"We are not finished," she sneers as I scoot across the floor toward Jacob. Think again, sister. If I have anything to say about it we are beyond finished.
"Sure - have your people call my people," I holler back at her. "We'll do lunch." I haul ass out of there and Jacob and I catch up to Daniel in the hallway. The other tok'ra is giving Daniel displeased looks because he obviously refused to just get his butt to safety. Ah, the joys of an untrainable archaeologist.
"Thanks for the rescue, Jacob."
"Anytime, Danny. Now let's get out of here." Daniel follows Jacob while I cover our six. We hit the audience chamber just seconds after Carter, Teal'c, and SG-12. I shove Daniel into the ring area and motion for Carter and Teal'c to join him. Two members of SG-12 jump in and they're gone. We wait the few seconds for the ring transport to reset and then we're all on the tok'ra ship and putting the pedal to the metal. I finally allow myself to take a deep breath.
"Hey, Teal'c," I say with a small wave. "Good job, Carter."
"Thank you, sir. But you really should be thanking Dad."
"Good leadership means knowing what your resources are and how to use them." Carter nods reluctantly. Damn woman just doesn't know how to take a compliment. "What next?"
"Dad's going to drop us at the nearest safe gate," Carter explains. "It'll be faster for us and.." Uh huh, that's great. In the meantime my attention has been drawn rather forcibly to my better half. Who is muttering and cussing up a storm. I ease over to him. "Daniel?"
"Get this damn thing off!" Daniel growls, tugging angrily at the collar and leash. There are spots of color on his cheeks.and that shamed look in his eyes again.
"Take it easy. We'll get it off," I say, gently grasping his shoulder. The fastening looks like it might need some goa'uld tech to open, but the collar is just leather so I motion for Carter to hand over her knife. She gives me a worried look as she does. Yeah, I know, Carter. Not a happy camper. That makes two of us.
"Sometime today?" Daniel snaps as I try to saw through the thick leather without slicing him, too.
"Hey! You want to do it yourself, Mr. 'Don't Worry It's Only a Priestess'?" Well, that got everyone's attention. Sarcasm is obviously not the only thing I express inappropriately. Forgive me, Daniel. Taking my anger out on you only because the snake is out of reach. I look up just as Daniel turns his head to look at me. That shamed look is still there. Crap. He rubs his face roughly and turns away. "Sorry," I mutter. "Almost got it." The collar finally gives way and Daniel can't rip it off fast enough. He tosses it across the compartment.
"Daniel?" Carter says hesitantly.
"I'm fine," he says woodenly as he slides down the wall and huddles on the floor. Right. Is there anyone in here who believed that? No, didn't think so.
We barrel down the ramp. Carter peels off to give Hammond a quick sit-rep. SG-12 heads for the locker room. Teal'c and I are about two steps behind Daniel as we march toward the infirmary. I'd be right next to him but he's not what you would call receptive to close physical proximity right now. Entering the infirmary Daniel immediately heads for the farthest gurney. I grab Doc's arm surreptitiously as she passes. "He's been Hathored," I whisper. Her eyes widen as she glances over at Daniel. With a curt nod of understanding she moves to intercept the nurse who was headed in Daniel's direction. Fraiser takes her place, walking over to his gurney briskly and pulling the curtain around with a loud rattle. Carter rejoins us and we submit to the routine post mission exam with more patience than usual. Personally, I've got no where to go until I find out how Daniel is. Eventually Hammond wanders in to assess the situation.
"The Carters zipped in, grabbed us, and zipped out." Hey, I can do bullet point summaries. "No casualties on our side. Some casualties on theirs. Unfortunately, Osiris was not one of them." Hammond nods and looks over as Fraiser finally comes to make her report.
"Doctor, what's Dr. Jackson's condition?" the general asks with genuine concern.
"Lab work shows no evidence of alien chemicals, organisms, or technology. And his MRI is clean," Doc reports briskly. And now for the bad news. "As Colonel O'Neill indicated, Daniel's been, assaulted," Fraiser adds angrily.
"I, I don't understand." Carter blushes as we all stare at her. "How could she.. Look, when Hathor got her hands on Daniel he was drugged. He was willing to, you know, because he didn't really know what he was doing. But how, uh.."
"How did he get it up for the snake bitch?" I ask. Doc comes this close to smacking me. In my defense I was just clarifying the question.
"One of these days I'm going to find an undeniably compelling medical reason to remove your tongue," Fraiser hisses at me. She'll do it, too. She regains her professional demeanor before answering Carter. "Sam, there are ways to elicit the necessary physical response even against his will," Fraiser explains, sort of. "She wasn't exactly gentle about it. His physical injuries are superficial but he won't be forgetting what she did anytime soon."
"Fuck a duck," Carter mutters savagely. Doc and Hammond both stare at her. I, of course, put on my innocent face. Which actually looks more clueless than innocent. Carter finally notices the attention and reddens. "Oh, sir, I'm sorry. It's just..an expression." At this Doc and Hammond's heads swivel in unison to glare at me. Why do they automatically assume I'm somehow responsible for all the bad behavior on my team?
"What?" I ask, still wearing my clueless face. I'm way better at playing dumb than Carter is. Hammond just turns back to Fraiser.
"What's the plan, doctor?"
"Well, there's no medical reason to keep him here," Doc says reluctantly. "But I'd rather he not be alone. Colonel, if you'd be willing to keep an eye on him.?" The woman's good. Not even the hint of knowing that I'd be taking him home anyway shows in her face or voice. You'd think it was a genuine medical order. Oh. It is.
"You got it, Doc." Yes, ma'am. Whatever Daniel needs, I'm here.
"Unless they called in a priest they haven't fixed the problem," I insist. Carter gives a sigh of long suffering patience.
"It wasn't possessed, sir," she says firmly as she runs another system check. "Just don't spill anything on it again." I'll admit that the nerds managed to get my computer to stop farting. Off setting that small accomplishment is their indulgence in a completely uncalled for and unnecessary display of geek humor. Now every time I log on it plays the theme song from the Exorcist.
"Not was, Carter, is. Is possessed." She smacks my hand away as I reach for the keyboard. "Hey! I could bring you up on charges of assaulting a senior officer for that."
"Shaking in my boots, sir," she responds mildly. Not one tiny iota of respect, that's what I get.
"Jack!" Daniel roars into my office, ending any further debate about the existence of digital demons. Carter tenses and I give a deep mental sigh. I knew this was coming. "Janet won't clear me to go with SG-5."
"And?" I say as blandly as possible.
"Do something about it," he demands. Carter's inching toward the door. I throw her a 'stay put!' look and she just shakes her head.
"Hey Daniel good to see you I left something on in my lab catch you guys later bye." She's out the door like a shot. Wuss.
"You have to talk to Fraiser," Daniel repeats. I don't think he even noticed Carter or her vanishing act.
"Daniel, you know Doc has the final word on medical issues," I explain reasonably. After a couple of days Fraiser cleared Daniel for light duty. She isn't going to release Daniel to anything more than light duty until he deals with the whole Osiris love slave thing. He hasn't yet and Doc knows that because I told her. Normally I wouldn't rat him out to Fraiser but I happen to agree with her on this one.
"Then you need to convince her," Daniel argues. I'm guessing he's just tried convincing her himself and didn't get anywhere but pissed.
"First of all, when have you ever known Doc to listen to me?" I point out. "Secondly - no."
"No," I reiterate. If we let Daniel start going on missions again he'll bury himself in work and never deal with the..uh, the assault. The rest of us will get busy, too, and we'll start forgetting about what happened and eventually the whole mess will just get shoved into some back corner. Which isn't good for Daniel. It'll just lurk until some day it'll jump out and bite him on the ass when he least expects it. "You know the condition - you don't go off world until you do what you need to do."
"Has it occurred to anyone that what I need to do is get back to work?"
"Honestly? No. Christ, Daniel, have you listened to yourself the last couple of days? Have you looked in a mirror?" Daniel's back stiffens.
"I'm fine," he insists tensely. Oh, Danny, you're so far from fine. At this point I'd settle for you being okay. "Jack," he says in a much more reasonable tone. "You know me. Sitting around thinking and talking about it isn't going to change anything. It happened. It's over. And I'll feel a whole lot better when I can just get back to my life." The man has a level of self control that defies logic. He almost made that sound not only entirely rational but downright desirable. I just sigh because I really do hate to deny him. Daniel reads the sigh and tenses again. "I'm not talking to that quack."
"You don't have to," I remind him. The quack, of course, being MacKenzie. "You can talk to me. Or Carter, or Teal'c. Whoever you're comfortable with."
"Would it count if I said I had discussed this all rather thoroughly with Osiris?" he asks.
"Damn it, Daniel." I have to smile, though. You have to admire the stubbornness and sheer audacity of the man. A ghost of a smile actually crosses his lips, too.
"No, I didn't think it would be that easy," he allows with a sigh as he lets go of some of his tension. "Well, I'll be in my office."
"Not talking," he reiterates.
"You do realize that works to our advantage," I tell him. He frowns in puzzlement. "We've been trying to find a way to shut you up for years." He amiably flips me the finger as he walks out.
Daniel is going to be fine. He is.
We've been home about a week and, while I realize that's not long-not considering what he went through, it worries me that Daniel's so closed off. Emotionally he's huddled up into a little ball, desperately hoping no one will notice him. On the plus side, he hasn't pushed me out completely. I am staying with him at his apartment, but I've been staying on the couch. He didn't force me out of the bedroom..exactly. But the huge effort of will obviously required for him to tolerate my presence had me pulling out the spare blanket and heading for the living room. Not that I would even think of.even I'm not that un-evolved. I just wish he'd tell me what happened. Christ, you know it's bad if I want to talk. But I know that if he could just get it out in the open he'll feel better. Some of what he's feeling I can guess because while Daniel may be completely, delightfully, comfortable with his sexuality, he has a huge problem with being seen as a self-serve sperm donor.
"Daniel?" I hesitate in the bedroom doorway. Startled, Daniel looks up from where he's huddled on the bed with a journal. "Would you mind.?" I ask, gesturing toward the bed.
"No. Of course not," his lips say. His body language, however, is screaming 'run away, run away'. I may be in way over my head here, but something's got to give. And since Oprah's not around to give pointers I'm just going to have to wing it. I had already stripped down to my boxers so I just ease myself into the bed. Daniel quickly turns on his side, his back to me. Well, it's not for nothing I'm known as pushy. I roll over and curl up behind him. Not..not too close. I rest my head on one arm and use the other to rub his shoulder.
"Jack." His voice is filled with tension.
"Just let me." For all his resistance, I know he wants to talk. He needs to talk.
"Asshole," he says mildly, his voice sounding a little shaky.
"Anytime you want it," I answer. Shit. That was so not the way to go. This is exactly why Fraiser has me listed as a carrier of 'foot in mouth' disease. Which she says makes me far more dangerous to everyone else than I am to myself.
"Thanks, I appreciate the offer, but..not tonight."
"Not..not exactly," he sighs.
"I..I did what she wanted," Daniel confesses in a small voice.
"What do you mean?" No matter what anyone says I know he didn't cooperate willingly.
"I..I.. She wanted a baby." First of all-eeuuw! Second-there are certain subjects we've never discussed. One of the biggies is kids. I've never asked him to drag out his possible regrets and share them with me. I don't intend to start now. I can't honestly say which of us I'm trying to spare.
"Let me guess - either you serviced the snake or we got snuffed." Daniel's silence confirms that. "You did what you had to, Daniel, in order to save your team. There's no shame in that." Not for him, anyway. None at all. And I'll gut and filet anyone who tries to tell him different.
"There was also the small matter of the pruning shears," Daniel adds quietly. Say what? "She said..she told me she preferred the 'human' method but if I didn't cooperate she'd just - ah - snip, snip and take what she needed anyway." Okay, that loud sucking noise you just heard was my own testicles ascending back through my groin to where it's safe.
"Christ! How the hell can you perform after that?" You know - with your gonads half way to your lungs.
"There are ways to..encourage the appropriate response. And Sar..Osiris knew them." Yeah, that's kind of what Fraiser said, too.
"So, she was getting into the spawning thing?" I'm sorry - it's not you, Daniel - but my gonads aren't the only things twisting into little frightened knots. The whole idea is just disgusting.
"Actually, no. Apparently only certain goa'uld, the true 'queens' can produce off spring. Sort of like bees, I guess." The tension in Daniel's voice eases slightly. He's a lot more comfortable discussing this as abstract science. "Osiris isn't a queen."
"Don't be too sure. A guy wearing a chick's body says 'queen' to me." Ahh.I think I hear a smile.
"Goa'uld are neither male nor female." I know that. "But you know that."
"No. I'd have to be a goa'uld for that." Right. Bad idea. "No, she just wanted either a new host or an heir of sorts."
"Well, which was it?"
"Apparently that depended on the sex and physical attractiveness of the child," Daniel says coldly. Well, shit. "Why is it always me?" he asks angrily.
"Damned if I know," I say honestly. "Teal'c thinks it might be bad karma."
"I don't accept that," Daniel says seriously. "I won't..can't accept that karma or fate is the defining factor in my life. That my intentions, my actions don't matter." Hey, I'm with him on this one. After all, what's the point of living if the course of your life is out of your hands? And thank you for that little side trip from Oprahland into existential angst.
"So..is she?" It'll kill him if she is.
"I..I don't think so." He's quiet for a moment. "When Sha're..when she was pregnant, Amaunet had to sort of hibernate."
"Osiris was still very much in evidence," I agree. So, probably not. Thank god. "Daniel, do you want kids?" So much for my vow to not drag Daniel's regrets into the cold light of day.
"I want the choice!" Daniel says harshly. I freeze, not knowing what to say. "I mean..no. I..I decided a long time ago that it would be better if I didn't. I don't want someone else taking that choice away from me." A bitter chuckle erupts. "I would have..for Sha're I was willing, if not exactly eager. But she had another man's child. The only children I've ever fathered were fucking larva." He shudders in disgust.
"They had your eyes," I offer. Daniel goes absolutely still, then turns his head slowly to stare at me. Jeez, Fraiser won't even bother with the tongue-ectomy. She'll head straight for the gonads and do a snip-snip job on me. He smacks me. Hard. Okay, so I deserve it. Daniel starts to laugh, but there's a nasty edge to it. Sure enough, before my eyes he loses it. He's laughing and sobbing at the same time, and, at this particular moment, loving and hating me in equal measure. I wrap my arms around him, hold him tight and let him go.
"You shit," he mutters once he's able to start pulling himself together. "My eyes?"
"This would not necessarily be such a bad thing," I tell him as I ease my hold on him. He rolls over within my arms and looks at me, warily awaiting another gem of O'Neill logic. "A bunch of near sighted, caffeine addicted, rock obsessed parasites? Pffft! Be like shooting fish in a barrel."
"You wouldn't be able to do it." Daniel's voice is still a little ragged, but he's not nearly as tense as he rests his head against my chest. "After all, they have my eyes."
"Um..well.." Oh, all right. I have a thing for his eyes. Can you blame me? "Maybe not. I suppose I could take them up to the lake. They'd probably have a snorgy excavating the junk on the bottom."
"Snorgy?" Daniel forces his heavy lids to open.
"Snake orgy," I explain. Daniel just snorts and lets his eyes close again. "We'll throw the coffee grounds in there occasionally..just to keep them from going through psychotic withdrawal."
"And it's not like there's any fish to bother," Daniel mumbles. He's nearly asleep so I let the insult pass without comment. I look down at him. For the first time in way too many days he's really with me. Snuggled up, relaxed, and, I think, free of some of the shame and fear he's been bottling up. He's okay.
He's going to be fine.
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