Summary: Things just don't go as planned when SG-1 goes on a secret mission.
Info: This is a Danielized story for S6, meaning there is no Jonas and Daniel is with SG-1 per normal.
Jack and the Professor
Author Email: email@example.com (Feedback welcome)
Author Website: http://orrymain.com
Category: Slash, Drama, Missing Scene/Epilogue, Romance, Holiday, Established Relationship
Pairing: Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Season: 6 - April 20, 2003
Spoilers: The Other Guys (Danielized)
Written: April 27-30, May 1-2, 2009, September 4-7,11-12, 2016, March 14-17,26-31, April 1,7-9, 2017
Summary: Things just don't go as planned when SG-1 goes on a secret mission.
Disclaimer: Usual disclaimers -- not mine, wish they were, especially Daniel, and Jack, too, but they aren't. A gal can dream though!
1) Silent, unspoken thoughts by various characters are indicated with ~ in front and behind them, such as ~Where am I?~
Jack and the Professor
"Oh, for crying out loud," Jack whined as he put down the phone. He was sitting on the side of the bed, and he was completely naked. "*This* I don't need."
"What don't you need?" Daniel asked as he exited the bathroom. He, too, was wearing only his birthday suit. "Who was on the phone?" he asked, glancing over at the alarm clock that showed the time was just five in the morning.
Normally, Daniel wouldn't like realizing it was so early, but considering that the reason for the early rising was a magical all-night cuddling, snuggling, fondling, and sexual lovemaking fest, he didn't mind. The lovers had slept, but not all that much.
"Ferretti," Jack answered in a whine as he placed the palms of his hands over his face and rubbed them up and down against his skin a few times.
"He has the night duty at SGC."
"And?" Daniel prompted yet again.
"SG-5 was backing up SG-3 on PRX-472 when they came under fire," Jack began.
"Are they okay?"
"They managed to get out alive, but two of the team were hit -- Fortune and Meadows. Frasier says their wounds aren't serious, but it's enough to keep them out of action for a couple of days."
"And?" Daniel queried one more time.
"We have to replace SG-5 on their mission to P5X-112."
"Okay, well, what's the mission?" Daniel asked as he walked to the dresser and opened the drawer to pull out his underwear.
"Babysitting a trio of geeks." Jack sighed, closing his eyes as he realized what he'd just said. He stood and approached his soulmate, extending his arms to gently caress his Heart's upper arms. "I know you're a geek. You're my favorite geek, but you know how I am with the brainy types and," he let out a disheartening breath of air, "I had plans for us today, silly, romantic, chocolaty fun plans that involved spending most of our time in bed. This," he nodded to the bed in reference to the previous night and early morning tryst, "was only the first phase." He leaned in and gave his Love a sweet kiss before pulling back a few inches. "The last thing I want is to miss out on a day with you just to baby-sit three scientists."
Daniel gave his lover an understanding nod and a tiny smile. He had also been looking forward to spending the day with Jack. They were supposed to have the entire weekend off. He didn't really know what the older man was planning for their downtime, but it sounded exciting. After all, Jack said it included a day of sex and chocolate. For the archaeologist, that would be a day hard to beat, especially if their nighttime togetherness was just a warm up.
"I'll give you some leeway," Daniel promised, "but, Babe, even surrounded by five scientists, you'll live."
Jack's head almost exploded at the verbal verification that he would be in the presence of five full-fledged geeks for at least day and he knew it could be even longer. Just the thought of that possibility was making his muscles tense.
"I know, but I'm gonna be a grumpy camper," the silver-haired man admitted. "Danny, this mission could go on for days. Just reviewing it with Hammond last week when we went over the upcoming assignments put me sleep."
"Jack, you didn't fall asleep during a meeting with General Hammond." Daniel observed the pointed look in Jack's eyes and lightly gasped at what he saw. "Gawd, you did."
"Why do you think Hammond put me to work in the mess, overseeing the penalty box?" the colonel asked as he referred back to a few hours spent watching SGC personnel given kitchen duty for various infractions. "It wasn't for my health."
Daniel let out a chuckle and teased, "I wouldn't fall asleep in front of the general again."
"I made a note," Jack mused, pulling Daniel so that their bodies were fully touching. He gazed into the blue eyes that reminded him of the purest blue ocean ever created and then he kissed his archaeologist soundly. "I love you, Angel."
"I love you, too, Jack, so much." Daniel ran his right hand seductively all along his soulmate's bare back. "Uh, do we have time to, uh ... you know?"
"No, but I'll think of something to explain our tardiness," Jack returned, leading Daniel over to the bed for a quickie lovemaking session that pleased both men.
Standing in the embarkation room at Cheyenne Mountain, Jack tapped restlessly on his P-90 as he watched the trio of scientists fussing over their equipment that was being loaded onto the Field Remote Expeditionary Device, otherwise known as FRED. With a look of disdain, Jack already wished the mission was over. If he had his druthers, he'd be home with his own scientist, enjoying a special holiday breakfast rather than going on this seemingly unambitious mission.
"Give them a break, Jack," Daniel requested as he stood next to his lover and reached up to scratch his left shoulder.
The archaeologist was referring to the three male scientists, Jay Felger, Simon Coombs, and Arnie Meyers, whose task it was to research Goa'uld technology that had been abandoned on a desolate planet.
"Daniel, they're scientists." Jack groaned, immediately noting the rebuke in his soulmate's glare. "I mean, they're *scientists*. You know, the kind who talk about stuff I don't understand."
"Like me?" Daniel asked pointedly with raised eyebrows. ~Didn't we already have this discussion?~
"Yes, I like you," the smug colonel responded, smirking at his cleverness.
"Jack!" Daniel reprimanded, objecting to how his words had just been twisted. ~Gawd, he did it.~
"You know what I mean."
"Unfortunately, I do. Look, all I'm saying is that they have a job to do, just like we do."
"Yeah. The professors play while we baby-sit them," Jack groused, looking up at the control room where General Hammond, who arrived as scheduled for his duty shift, thus relieving Ferretti, was talking to personnel.
"You tried to get out of it, didn't you?" Daniel accused, remembering that upon arriving at the base and gearing up, his lover disappeared for several minutes.
Grimacing at the query, Jack sighed, "Hammond's a stubborn ... general."
"He's not the only one," Daniel replied snarkily.
Moving slightly in agitation, the older man complained, "Do you know how many MREs we're taking?"
"What?" the confused archaeologist asked, blinking a couple of times from the surprising question.
"A whole case full. That means Hammond thinks we'll be babysitting for the next few days."
"They have a job to do," Daniel reiterated and opening his mouth to continue speaking.
"You already said that."
"I wasn't finished," Daniel pointed out tersely. "You don't know what they might learn about these ancient rings that could help us in the future."
"Probably nothing," Jack retorted dismissively. As his soulmate rolled his eyes in minor annoyance, the colonel smirked, "Besides, I was looking forward to seeing you in a bunny outfit."
"Excuse me?" the archaeologist responded, looking nervously around the gate room to see if anyone might have overheard the statement.
"It's Easter, Danny. We're giving up a roll in heavy chocolate, bunny ears, and other goodies for this."
Daniel wasn't too surprised. After all, Jack mentioned his chocolaty plans when they were at home, but he was being a bit brazen to bring it up while in the gate room when their words could be easily overheard. Yet, there was one part of the comment that concerned him.
Jack instantly grinned, but he wasn't able to elaborate since Hammond had just entered the gate room.
Interrupting the private conversation, the major general inquired, "Is everything ready?"
"Jack, SG-1 is the only team available today and you'll only be on P5X-112 for a day or two," Hammond interrupted, sensing the latest complaint that was about to spew out of his second-in-command's mouth. "I have great confidence in your ability to handle the mission."
"Yes, Sir," Jack responded, accepting his fate.
Hammond turned, nodded at the scientists, and spoke, "Gentlemen, good luck on your mission."
Sternly, Jack approached the three nervous-looking men and advised, "Just do what I say, and we'll all get through this." His fingers knocked menacingly on his weapon as he stared intently at the trio. It was a stare of intimation, fostered by the fact that without changing his focus, the colonel ordered, "Teal'c, move out."
~This is not the day I had planned. Nope, not even close.~ With Teal'c and the FRED about to go through the event horizon and Daniel halfway up the ramp, Jack gave the scientists one last glare. "Carter, make sure they don't get lost going through the Gate," he ordered before heading up the ramp.
Quietly, Sam advised, "Don't mind him."
"He doesn't like us very much," Meyers opined.
"Of course, he doesn't; I mean, does. I ..." Sam stammered, not sure what to say at the moment. "Come on," she implored, nodding for the three men to move out.
~So far, so good. Of course, we just got to this sunny vacation spot,~ Jack snarked to himself as he waited for the entire group to appear on this side of Stargate. Sensing that his archaeologist was approaching, he remarked, "This is your kind of planet, Daniel."
"My kind of planet?" Daniel echoed in confusion.
"Hot, dry, and with lots of sand."
While there was some greenery alongside the ruins, most of the planet near the Stargate and the ancient rings that were to be examined was an arid desert. Sand dunes were prevalent, and the bright sun had Jack wearing his sunglasses. The planet had been abandoned centuries ago and was pretty much devoid of any human or alien life. There was some animal life, however, especially birds. There were a lot of those on the otherwise barren world.
"Don't forget the ruins," the archaeologist replied.
"Yeah," Jack agreed, rearing back a tad as something occurred to him. He faced his lover and asked, "Why didn't you bring your toys with you?"
"My toys?" Daniel repeated in a reprimanding tone.
"You know what I mean," Jack claimed, looking back to see Sam and the other scientists finally walking through the Gate.
"Maybe because SG-11 has already been here and reviewed what was necessary," Daniel answered. Then he sighed dejectedly, "Maybe because there isn't anything of interest here to an archaeologist."
"But to them?"
Daniel glanced back at the three men being discussed. One of them appeared to be chattering away. He wasn't sure what they were saying, but he recognized a shyness in Sam. She was being complimented.
With his own acceptance of the differences between the specific scientific disciplines of himself and the three other men on this mission, Daniel responded dryly, "They're more in Sam's league."
With the FRED and all the personnel now on the planet, an already miserable colonel asked, "Carter, can you and Daniel handle this on your own?"
Once again, Daniel rolled his eyes. How many times had every member of the team set up the naquadah reactor that would be necessary to power the DHD manually? The answer was many.
~Okay, so normally I just watch, but I do know how it works, and I *have* done it,~ Daniel told himself.
"Not a problem, Sir."
"Okay, you two stay here and secure the Gate while Teal'c and I guard the professors."
"Yes, Sir," Sam replied.
"Have fun!" Jack wished a bit sarcastically as his group headed for the ruins.
Sam walked over and stood by her science twin as he watched the men walk away.
"He's not happy, is he?"
"Not very," Daniel agreed. "Hours upon hours of just ... watching ... scientists."
"I could arrange it so that we have to stay here and guard the Gate ... a lot," Sam put forth.
"Problems with the reactor?" the hopeful Daniel suggested in question.
"And I need your help, of course," the astrophysicist added with a smile.
"Of course," Daniel replied with a grateful smile.
"I guess we'd better help them," Jack put forth reluctantly.
Without missing a beat, Teal'c responded, "It would be advisable, O'Neill."
"It's that, or plan on being here at least a week," the colonel growled.
The two brothers-in-arms were watching the professors attempt to put up a large tent. Technically, he and Teal'c should have been helping with the setup anyway, but Felger insisted that he and his two co-workers could handle it. He'd mumbled something about SG-1 having more important things to do than putting up a tent, though Jack couldn't imagine there being anything important for SG-1 to do on the bland world.
~Okay, that's it,~ Jack determined as he witnessed the latest unintentional comedy routine from the trio. "Oy," he lamented, having seen Felger fall on top of Meyers which prompted Coombs to begin screaming that he was being attacked. ~If we don't get the blasted tent up, they'll never get to work, and we'll never get off this planet.~ With a nod to the Jaffa, Jack headed towards the scientists while thinking, ~I need to get Danny over here before I go crackers.~
The morning drudged on for Jack and Teal'c. Being on babysitting duty wasn't new for the two warriors, but they never liked it. There wasn't even much of a perimeter to secure. With little exception, they were surrounded by sand. What greenery existed was scarce. For Jack, it was doubly bad since Sam kept finding reasons for Daniel to stay with her near the Stargate.
~Boring,~ the colonel opined after observing the nothingness of his surroundings for what felt like eternal minutes. Just for the exercise, he sent Teal'c to explore the southern area while he checked out the northern section of the site. Of course, it wasn't the first time during the morning that the two soldiers had walked those areas. Jack, however, had an ulterior motive for the current perimeter check. ~Danny time,~ he told himself with the lightness of his heart. "Daniel, come in," the colonel spoke into his radio.
"Uh, hi, Jack," the archaeologist responded, sounding as innocent as possible.
"Report to the northern rim of the ring site," Jack ordered.
"Why?" Jack echoed with a confused tone. "Because I ordered you to get your six over here." Silently and with a smile, he added, ~And what a sweet six it is, too.~
"I heard," Daniel replied. He glanced over at his cohort in deception and smiled with a plea in his eyes. "Sam needs me here."
"I'll bet," a disbelieving Jack responded.
"Sir," Sam interjected over the radio. "I'm still having some problems."
Sam's eyes widened as she contemplated what stretch of the truth to use as her explanation.
"Jack, it's technobabble," Daniel interjected. "Sorry," he mouthed to the major, who nodded in understanding.
"Fine. O'Neill out." Jack let out a brief growl and muttered, "I'm on to you two. There will be payback, Dannyboy."
"He's, uh, not happy," Daniel relayed to Sam after lowering his hand from the radio.
"Why don't you help me do a test of the generator?"
"Sam, we never test ..." Daniel smiled, lowering his head for a second. "If I help you do a test, we're not lying to Jack."
Sam smiled as she kneeled down by the generator and pointed to where Daniel should situate himself.
With a nod, the archaeologist positioned himself opposite his friend. The two proceeded to verify that everything was set up appropriately.
"So, did you have plans for Easter?" Daniel asked while they worked.
Daniel looked up, interested and happy that Sam had a date for the holiday.
"... with my computer, working on a new book."
"Oh," Daniel laughed.
"What about you?"
Sam smiled shyly, feeling fairly certain that the colonel and Daniel had some type of plans together.
"What's the focus of the book?" the archaeologist inquired, moving the conversation in a different direction.
"It's ... technobabble," Sam mused brightly before answering in a more specific way.
The science twins continued to chat the morning away while unnecessarily going over the generator hook up and anything else Sam could come up with as a cover for Daniel remaining with her and away from the annoyed team leader and his sarcastic wit.
A few hours later, after checking the area around the ancient rings multiple times, Jack once again met up with Teal'c.
"Sand," Teal'c responded, clearly not any happier than his commanding officer was with their current assignment.
As Jack and Teal'c stood silently in place, Jack had the odd sense they were being watched, but not from the enemy. His senses became well aware that the stare was emanating from Felger, who apparently was more fascinated with SG-1 than doing his job. Jack decided to ignore the man, hoping the other scientists would lure Felger back to work.
"So, T, who you taking in the Cup?" Jack asked the Jaffa, whose response was a questionable stare. "Lord Stanley's Cup?" the colonel explained.
Still, Teal'c didn't seem to get it. He raised his left eyebrow, waiting for further clarification of the question.
"Hockey? Remember, with the ice and skating?" Jack was getting frustrated. How could anyone forget his beloved hockey? "We went to a game last year."
"Indeed," Teal'c acknowledged, secretly happy that he'd driven Jack batty for a minute. It was his way of having fun and that was sorely needed on this current assignment. "I believe the Canucks of Vancouver are superior warriors."
"Canucks, eh?" Jack repeated in surprise. ~Interesting.~ Deciding not to continue the discussion, his next statement saw to another of his beloved favorites, food. "So, lunch?"
Jack headed straight for the table that had a couple of crates on them. He was immediately besieged by Felger, who just couldn't seem to stay out of his personal space.
"Progress, Professor?" Jack asked as Felger, who was the senior advisor for the researchers, was practically joined to his hip as he approached the table.
"Definitely, yes," Felger answered. "Big stuff going on here -- big. I can give you a full report, if you want."
"Save it for Carter. We just came here for the fine cuisine," Jack quipped. ~Ah, food,~ he thought as he opened the container and began looking through the MREs for a meal that appealed to him at the moment.
"Of course, yeah. I mean, her DHD reports are unbelievable, aren't they? I mean, she is single-handedly revolutionizing our knowledge of Stargate technology," Felger commented about Sam while looking at both Jack and Teal'c, neither of whom acknowledged him. "Any word on how that's going?"
"No," Jack answered. ~Yum.~ Picking up one of the brown-bagged MRE meals, he looked at Teal'c and asked, "Turkey?"
As Teal'c took the packet he was offered, he asked Felger, "Are you nearing the completion of your research?"
Jack wasn't really paying attention to the discussion until he heard a noise that was apparently one of the other scientists bumping into a scanner.
Regretfully, Felger advised, "Uh, well, it may be a few more days yet."
"What's your time frame there?" Jack inquired. ~I won't last here a few days. I may not make it through today.~
"Um, a day or so, you know, but then you guys can get right back to saving the world again," Felger answered as he patted Jack's arm as if it were a drum a couple of times.
~Don't do that,~ Jack conveyed with a deadly look at the scientist.
Not getting the message, Felger laughed and made a comment about SG-1 having saved the world seven times. Teal'c quickly corrected the scientist by indicating SG-1 saved the world on eight occasions.
Amused by his friend's comment, Jack interjected, "What, you're counting?" to which the Jaffa cocked his head slightly in the affirmative.
At that point, Sam radioed that General Hammond had just sent an urgent message. The colonel understood what that meant, but he delayed his response as he glanced at Felger, who was leaning in towards Jack more than was comfortable for mission leader.
"Roger that. We're on our way," Jack replied over the radio, his voice calm even though his heart was racing with delight at having a legitimate reason to leave the trio behind, especially since it sounded like they were bumping into and breaking objects every few minutes. Followed by Teal'c, he began walking away and told Felger, "We've got to check something out."
"Can I help?"
As Teal'c grabbed his staff weapon, Jack answered, "No. As a matter of fact, stay here. If we're not back in an hour, get to the Gate; dial home. Got it?"
"Well, what could go wrong?" Felger questioned as he walked alongside the SG-1 teammates.
"Got it?" Jack repeated forcefully.
~What could go wrong?~ Jack echoed in his mind as he head swiftly for the Stargate. ~Geez, I wish he hadn't asked that.~
"What's up?" Jack asked as he and Teal'c arrived at the Stargate.
"We finally got the word from our contact," Sam answered.
"They're sending a ship," Daniel added. "General Hammond wants us to proceed with the plan, which means ..."
"We have to let them capture us," Jack completed for his Love. "Great," he lamented sarcastically, knowing the plan was their only option, but still having some reservations about it.
"It's not like we haven't been prisoners of the Goa'uld before," Sam put forth.
"Yeah, but it's that on your knees thing."
"Gawd, I hate that," Daniel agreed, surprising everyone when he mimicked being forced down onto his knees.
Sam chuckled slightly, but turned away after seeing her CO starring at her.
"Let's try to avoid that this time, kids," the colonel suggested as he checked his watch.
SG-1 took their positions as they waited for the imminent attack. As often was the case, Jack and Daniel stood side-by-side, while Sam and Teal'c grouped together a few feet away, both with their eyes on the sky.
"How's the team doing?" Daniel asked his soulmate about the three scientists.
"You mean Larry, Moe, and Curly?" Jack teased as he equated the fumbling scientists with the Three Stooges. He drew a breath and said, "Daniel, if they get anything done, it will be a bonus. They're tripping over their own equipment."
"I'm not sure any of them have been off-world before," Daniel rationalized, although he truly had no idea how long any of the three had even been working at Cheyenne Mountain, let alone their off-world assignments, if any. ~Maybe we need a team-building session to build rapport between personnel and allow everyone to get to know each other better.~
"And they might not ever be again," Jack quickly responded, his agitation evident even more so when he began muttering about the calamities he'd witnessed throughout the morning. ~And that Felger is just plain odd.~
~Or maybe not,~ Daniel sighed internally. "I'm sure the professors are all doing their best."
"Look, I'm sorry. You know I'm not the most sensitive guy in the world, especially when we have a job to do."
"I know, but maybe you can try a little harder to be more respectful."
"Well, if they follow orders, they'll be off this planet within an hour and safe on Earth where they can teach the young minds of the world how to bore one another."
Daniel bowed his head and shook it in frustration. He knew Jack didn't mean half of what he said; yet, he wished his Love would be a little more tolerant of those in the scientific community.
"Sorry, Danny," Jack surprised his life partner in saying. "The Goa'uld are unpredictable."
"You're worried about us being captured."
"A firefight is a firefight."
Daniel let out a small smile as he acknowledged, ~He's not worried about himself, he's worried about me.~ He couldn't help himself and spoke a quiet, "Jack."
"I, uh, I'm sorry."
"Sam didn't really need my help."
"Oh," a somewhat confused Daniel acknowledged.
"Daniel, I've been a bear. I didn't want to be here. You know that. Carter knows that. Heaven knows T knows that. So do I, so, I know."
With a bob of his head, Daniel replied with a tiny grin and softer sounding, "Oh."
"But there will be payback," Jack declared seriously before breaking out into a smile that, due to the situation, didn't last very long.
"I look forward to it," Daniel challenged.
"Me, too," Jack agreed before refocusing. ~Where are those arrogant snakeheads?~ he wondered as he looked skyward.
"The ship should be here anytime, Sir," Sam reported a few minutes later.
"Okay, let's get ready," Jack ordered. His mind was full of many thoughts, including the safety of his team. In many ways, he felt the impending skirmish was one of the most dangerous they would ever face. ~Playacting,~ he bemoaned. Silently, he also hoped Felger, Coombs, and Meyers would follow his orders and return to Earth on schedule. ~Scientists: all brains and no ears, except for Danny, of course.~ He glanced over at his lover and inwardly added, ~What am I saying? He never follows my orders, either.~
~No time, not for that.~ Daniel had a hunch he'd just been part of his soulmate's thinking, but considering they probably didn't have a lot of time to talk, he chose to drop it and instead inquire about the scientists. "What did you tell Jay and the others?" he asked, his query loud enough for Sam and Teal'c to hear.
"I stuck with the plan," Jack replied with an anxious tone. "I told them to go back to SGC if we didn't get back in an hour." Jack looked around, every part of him on full alert as the team awaited their enemy. Suddenly, he paused, looking over at Sam and vociferating, "They *will* follow my orders. Won't they?"
With a hesitant smile, Sam responded with the non sequitur, "I'll take position over there."
As Sam headed to her desired location, Jack looked at Daniel, who quickly turned around and walked away.
"They'd better!" the colonel shouted. ~At least we don't have to baby-sit anymore.~
"They're late," Jack groaned.
"Not by much," Daniel called out, pointing upward for a moment and then pulling out his zat weapon and taking cover by a rock.
"Make it good, kids," the colonel called out.
A Goa'uld mid-range attack vessel, referred to as an al'kesh, hovered over the Stargate and began to open fire. At the same time, several Jaffa went down to the surface via the ring transporter to engage SG-1.
~I sure wish they were in on the plan,~ Daniel thought to himself as he narrowly escaped a zat blast.
~Got one,~ Jack cheered inwardly. ~It has to look good. We're SG-1; we're famous,~ he mused about his direct hit of one of the team's attackers. ~Okay, I'll miss the next one.~
~It is most difficult to refrain from killing the enemy,~ Teal'c admitted as he fired, making sure to miss his target. ~These are not well trained,~ he opined about the oncoming Jaffa warriors.
~They sure didn't teach this at the Academy,~ Sam whined while firing her zat. Having intentionally fired to the right of her initial target, she successfully downed the next. ~We can't not hit any of them. No one would believe it.~
"Colonel O'Neill, Felger. We just saw an al'kesh," Felger reported urgently over the radio.
~Scientists!~ Jack decried. Discharging his zat again, he replied, "I know! Stay put! Remember what I told you. Wait till it's clear, get to the Gate; report to Hammond."
A moment later, the Goa'uld got the drop on SG-1, surrounding the team and taking their weapons from them.
~Took you long enough,~ Jack bellowed, having intentionally left his six exposed. He looked over, ensuring his team was okay and taking an extra moment to linger on his lover, assessing his archaeologist for any signs of injury. Satisfied, he refocused on the Jaffa. "You bozos got lucky."
The response from the nearest Jaffa was a jab into Jack's abdomen, causing him to fall to his knees.
"At least I got here on my own," the colonel sighed, though only his teammates realized what he was taking about.
Following a motion made by the Jaffa, Jack stood and began walking as the Jaffa led SG-1 towards the al'kesh.
"Thanks. We'll take this one," Jack snarked to the group of Jaffa who took SG-1 to a holding room. "No bathroom?" he asked, not getting any type of response from the enemy except for them simply walking away. "That's okay. I can hold it."
Daniel walked over to the far wall and turned around. He leaned against it as he folded his arms across his chest.
"What?" Jack asked while still standing by the entranceway to the small cell.
"I just want to be over here in case you can't ... hold it," the archaeologist answered with a deadpan expression.
Sam snickered as she sat down on one of the benches that were recessed against the wall and asked, "Do you think they bought it?"
"We're here," Jack answered. "They suffered casualties."
"They did not suspect that we were not fighting them at full force," Teal'c stated authoritatively.
"How can you be certain?" Daniel questioned curiously.
With a straight face, Teal'c answered, "We are not dead."
"Oh," Daniel responded, wishing he'd never asked the question in the first place.
Hearing a rumbling noise, the archaeologist scanned the room for the source. He noticed Sam and Teal'c were doing the same thing. When he heard the sound again, there was no doubt where it was coming from. The rumbling was originating from the team leader.
Jack faced his teammates, finally giving them a shrug as he conceded, "I can't help it. I'm hungry."
"Teal'c, I always wanted to ask you about the al'kesh ..." Sam began.
Jack moaned internally, sensing the technical conversation that was about to begin, even though it took the attention away from his needy stomach. After the Jaffa sat down to talk with Sam, Jack walked over to Daniel. He turned so that he, too, was leaning against the wall and brushed his shoulder against his lover's, giving the life partners some brief but welcome contact.
Daniel turned his head to face his soulmate, who smiled at him with bright eyes that spoke of such love that Daniel actually shivered.
"You okay?" Jack asked, believing for a moment that something was physically wrong with the younger man.
"Yeah, I'm fine," Daniel assured with a genuine, though tiny, smile. "Were the professors making any progress with the rings?"
"How should I know?" Jack answered with disinterest. "Daniel, there's something seriously wrong with their leader ..."
"Senior advisor," Daniel interrupted. "Well, that's what he is, technically. They work as a team."
"So do we, and a leader is a leader." Jack rethought his point of view and decided Felger didn't appear to be true leader material. "You got it. He's a senior advisor, like Moe."
Daniel's head tilted up slightly as he closed his eyes upon hearing the remark that again likened the trio of scientists to the antics of The Three Stooges comedy team.
"Hey, he kept staring at me, up close. It was eerie."
"It was probably your imagination."
"Nope. I'm telling you he couldn't get close enough to me. It was ..." Jack paused, staring at the other man. "You don't suppose he's ..."
"Gawd, Jack," Daniel responded in disbelief.
"No, I'm not saying that. I'm just me, but the way he was looking at me, maybe he thinks I'm ..."
"Will you stop!" Daniel demanded, his plea an order and not a question.
Jack shook his head and remarked, "I'm telling you, Daniel, that one guy kept staring at us."
"Jay," Daniel clarified quietly. "He thinks SG-1 is pretty special, especially you, Jack."
Jack gave his soulmate a quick stare, but then looked around the cell in disbelief.
"You're, uh, like a hero to Jay."
"I didn't think you knew any of them that well."
"I don't, but Jay was following me all over the SGC this morning, so I talked to him for a few minutes. He has a small case of hero worship."
"Danny, I'm no hero. We both know that. I'm just doing my job and that's what he should have been doing, too."
Weary of the subject, Jack reached into one of his pockets and pulled out a tiny ball. He showed it to Daniel, who nodded. Immediately, the colonel walked away a few feet and began to gently toss the ball back and forth with his lover.
"Hot potato," the colonel called out, challenging his archaeologist.
"I do not see any potatoes here, O'Neill," Teal'c responded as he approached, having finished his discussion with Sam.
"It's a game, T," Jack answered. "Come on, Carter," he beckoned the major, who was leaning forward while still seated on the bench.
With a quick explanation to Teal'c, SG-1 was soon involved in a serious game of Hot Potato, tossing the ball to each other with urgency. Jack was setting the timer on his watch to go off at varying intervals, so when it beeped whoever had the ball was out.
"Sorry," Jack told Daniel when the younger man was the first one out.
"Right," Daniel responded, walking over to the bench on the right side of the room and sitting down to watch the rest of the game.
Sam was the next one to be caught with the 'hot potato'.
"I wish to see your watch, O'Neill," Teal'c stated.
"T, are you accusing me of cheating?"
"I wish to set the timer myself," the Jaffa stated.
Jack frowned, but handed his friend the watch, resolving to remain unfazed by the request. With the timer set, the game continued. It was a longer round than any others, but in the end, Jack was the winner.
"Yes!" Jack exclaimed happily, pumping his fists into the air to celebrate his victory. "Better luck next time," he said to Teal'c, patting the Jaffa on the arm as he headed over to sit down next to Daniel.
While Teal'c remained standing, Daniel asked curiously, "Do you think maybe we should fake an escape?"
"We are SG-1, Sir. They might wonder why we aren't trying anything," Sam agreed.
"Too much work," Jack replied, patting his abdomen as it growled again.
"Jack, eat this," Daniel ordered, pulling out a power bar from his pocket and handing it over.
As he opened the bar, the colonel rationalized, "It shouldn't be long now anyway."
"Before what?" Daniel asked.
"Oh, some overdressed, over-the-top bad guy floats in, gloating about whatever evil fate awaits us." Chewing on the power bar, he checked his watch. ~Yep, any minute now.~ Taking one more bite and then putting the bar in his pocket, he urged, "Wait for it."
"Another stomach growl?" Daniel teased.
Jack gently slapped Daniel on the thigh. Before he could say anything else, the doors to the cell opened, revealing several Jaffa.
"Do I have timing, or what?" Jack questioned rhetorically.
"What?" Daniel retorted.
"What?" Jack replied.
The colonel stood and walked forward a few steps. Daniel rose as well and moved to stand to his lover's left. Sam remained seated.
"Colonel O'Neill; Major Carter: the so-called greatest of all Tau'ri warriors. Doctor Jackson: the frustration of all Goa'uld, and the Shol'va, Teal'c."
Jack proudly patted Teal'c on his shoulder and then snarked, "Now that we know who we are, how about telling us who *you* are."
"Wait!" Daniel objected. "I'm a ... frustrator?"
"Not a word, Daniel," Jack pointed out as he looked at his archaeologist with curiosity. ~But maybe it should be a word.~
As SG-1's captor glared, Daniel whined, "Seriously, Jack and Sam are great warriors, Teal'c's a Shol'va, and I'm just ... frustrating. You can do better than that," he taunted. "Try again. What am I?"
"Inconsequential," the team's foe responded.
"Oh," Daniel expression with some frustration of his own and pursing his lips as he weighed his verbal options.
~Don't count on it,~ Jack thought, waiting for the time when Daniel could show the evil in front of them just how consequential he really was. ~Are you done with your fun, Angel?~ he wondered as he glanced over at his archaeologist and noticed a gleam in the younger man's eyes.
"I'd really like to know what you mean when you call me frustrating," Daniel continued. "Are you saying you're disappointed in me? Maybe I'm not warrior enough for you."
"You talk too much," the man accused.
"Ya think?" Jack interjected, totally ignoring the mental rebuke he could feel from his lover. He gave a shrug and extended his hands with his palms open as he stated, "All I'm saying is that he's just getting started."
"Sure," Daniel agreed, not that he needed his soulmate's permission to frustrate their enemy. "Let's talk origins, of the word, you know, frustration. The word developed in the mid-sixteenth century from the word, 'frustrare' which means to disappoint. I'm guessing you didn't know that. You probably don't even know it's of Latin descent." With a bit of twinkle in his eyes, he added, "It, uh, includes the act of deception."
SG-1's antagonist took two steps forward and glowered at the archaeologist.
"Watch it, Daniel. Here it comes."
"What is coming, O'Neill?" Teal'c inquired.
"The big bad wolf is about to huff and puff," Jack answered.
The incensed Jaffa leader continued his stare at Daniel and menacingly reaffirmed, "You are a frustration to the Goa'uld. You do not remain silent and you never die."
"Thank you," Daniel replied with a satisfied smirk.
"He's a word warrior," Jack praised. He wanted to say that Daniel could beat the man in a fight anytime, but he didn't like the challenging scowl being directed at his archaeologist. Thus, Jack decided it was time to change the subject before his lover ended up having to prove his prowess and risk injury in the process. "So, you are?" he prodded again.
"I am Her'ak, First Prime to Lord Khonsu of Amon Shek."
"Very impressive. Got a resume?" Jack asked snarkily.
With a sneer, Her'ak boasted, "I captured you."
"Yes, right, you did. Well done. You got the job."
"I had been looking forward to a greater challenge than the one you provided."
"Sorry we disappointed you," Daniel interjected disrespectfully. "Are you frustrated?"
Glaring briefly at the archaeologist, Her'ak continued, "However, the result has yielded the same consequence. You belong to my master now."
Once Her'ak and the Jaffa left, Jack looked at his Heart and requested, "Daniel, be honest, the resume gag ...?"
"Well ..." Daniel began without responding any further.
"It needs work, O'Neill," Teal'c stated forthrightly.
"I'll work on it," Jack replied. Glancing at his lover, he asked, "What are you smiling at?"
"He got you with the capture line," Daniel pointed out.
"Yeah, he did," Jack sighed dejectedly. "But the resume gag ..."
"... needed work," Sam reminded with a small giggle.
Hearing his stomach growl yet again and seeing the amused expressions on his team's faces, Jack returned to the bench and sat down. He pulled out the power bar and had a familiar feeling. Sure enough, his three teammates were all staring at him.
"What? No one else is hungry?" the colonel asked, surprised to see the disinterested heads even as he took a bite of the bar. "Your loss," he asserted to no one in particular. "Yes," he stated after fully devouring his first taste of the bar. He lightly pounded his abdomen and claimed, "Hits the spot."
"I must look like a chump," Sam mused after telling her friends about a recent experience.
"It's the blue eyes," Jack put forth, internally noting that his lover had immediately looked over at him questioningly after the remark. ~Geez, I love it when he gets jealous.~
"You are woman," Teal'c stated, gaining the eyes of his teammates.
"It's cultural," Daniel interjected. "They don't realize your talents."
"Well, they lost the bet, so I'm not complaining," the blonde chuckled.
"Fifty big ones," Sam boasted.
"Wow!"Jack exclaimed, whistling afterward. "You're a regular pool shark, Carter."
The lighthearted banter ceased when the team heard whistling through the upper duct of the cell.
Looking behind and upward from his spot on one of the benches, Daniel queried, "Is that a bird?"
"I do not believe so," Teal'c responded as both he and Jack stood and realized the whistling sounds of birds chirping was coming from one of the long panels above the opposite bench.
The colonel crossed the room, stepped up on the bench, and put his hands and right ear against the panel. As he honed in on the sound, he heard a voice saying something about the panels being held in place by a magnetic field.
"Who is that?" Jack called out in a hushed tone while backing away from the panel.
"Colonel O'Neill?" came the response.
"Felger?" the colonel called out incredulously. ~Has to be a nightmare.~
Hearing SG-1's leader, Felger called out his name while Coombs cut the power, allowing the panel to be disconnected.
"Oh, Colonel O'Neill," Felger noted as he moved the rectangular panel out of the way. "Are you all right, Sir?"
"What are you doing here?" an agitated Jack asked.
"Stand easy, we're here to rescue you," the prideful scientist replied with a grin.
"Did he say we?" Sam asked her teammates.
"That's right. I have Coombs with me."
On cue, the other scientist appeared in the vent next to Felger and said hello to the team.
"Why, look, everybody, he's got Coombs with him," Jack said mockingly.
Jack's animosity grew with every breath, especially since Felger was so boastful in what he believed was his crowning achievement, rescuing SG-1.
Felger didn't understand the harsh reaction he was receiving from the colonel to having rescued the flagship team.
"What about never leave a man behind?" Felger inquired in his defense.
In reply, Jack barked, "What about we allowed ourselves to be captured, on purpose?"
"Oh," Coombs returned.
"You what?" Felger queried. ~He could have told us.~
"We're on a mission, you nit!" the colonel unhappily exclaimed. Jack stepped down from the bench and walked to stand by his lover, though each faced opposite walls in the cell. "Daniel, you'd better keep them away from me or I may do something you'll regret."
"You'll miss my company after they throw me in the brig for a decade or two."
"Oh." Daniel watched as Teal'c helped the two scientists down from the vent. When the two men started to step down off the bench, the archaeologist extended his hands in a stopping motion and suggested, "I wouldn't just yet." He glanced over at a glowering Jack, who now stood near Teal'c, and could sense the anger inside his soulmate. "Why don't you just stay there for a minute. It might be safer."
"He's right, Felger. I'm staying here," Coombs told his fellow geek, who only nodded and who didn't quite believe they were in any real danger from his hero.
Jack continued to scowl at Felger and Coombs and pondered the pros and cons of killing them before his blood pressure rose any further. Perhaps he could say it was self-defense.
"Please don't be angry, we just thought ..." Felger began.
Coombs interrupted his colleague as he pointed and squealed, "It was Felger all the way. His idea completely."
~No loyalty at all: scientists,~ Jack groaned as he listened to the ensuing conversation.
Sam told Felger and Coombs that SG-1's intentional capture was because they needed to make contact with an undercover Tok'ra named Khonsu who was pretending to be a Goa'uld. The only way to accomplish that and keep the Tok'ra safe was for Her'ak and the others to believe they had really captured the team.
Certain they were safe from the colonel's wrath, Felger and Coombs finally stepped off the bench. Sam walked a bit closer and ended up standing somewhat between the two.
"See, I knew it was too easy. I mean, you guys have taken out more Jaffa than that before, right?" Felger questioned.
"Carter!" Jack growled, not wanting to say something he might regret. ~I could care squat about these two, but Danny's a scientist and he's gonna make me pay for every anti-geek word.~
"Professor, we know you meant well, but you've actually put us in a really awkward position," the blonde responded.
"Well, why not tell us?" Felger queried.
"Because you didn't need to know," Jack answered.
Sam explained, "We've been on standby for weeks, waiting to hear from the Tok'ra. Now, we didn't know where or when this ambush would occur. Obviously, you weren't supposed to be there when it went down, but when we finally did get the word it was too late to send you home first."
"Why didn't this Khonsu just, you know, send the Intel to you? I mean, why the big song and dance?" Felger inquired.
Daniel answered, "He's collected vital information on how and where Anubis is getting his new technology."
"As we have said, Khonsu's true loyalties are carefully hidden. He could trust no one to carry such information in his place," Teal'c added.
"He needs to remain undercover to continue his work," Sam noted.
"So did we," Jack snarked with subtle ire. ~Why the heck are we telling these two bumblers the details? We don't have to explain ourselves to them.~
Felger insisted he and Coombs hadn't put the team in danger because no one knew they were there.
Jack had plenty more to say on the subject, but at that point, more footsteps were heard, indicating that more Jaffa were approaching. The colonel motioned at his team and right away, Daniel, Sam, and Teal'c shifted their positions to stand in front of the professors. Meanwhile, Jack hurriedly stepped up onto the bench and reached inside the vent to retrieve the panel. He was barely able to get the panel in place before two Jaffa entered.
"I am Dol'ok, free Jaffa, loyal to Khonsu the Tok'ra." Dol'ok assured SG-1 that while there were few free Jaffa, the team was not alone. He also wanted them to know that being imprisoned was a way of protecting the team from the Goa'uld. As he spoke, he could see the feet of the scientists behind Daniel, Sam, and Teal'c. "Who are they?"
"Look, ah," Jack began, stepping off the bench and walking to Dol'ok, "there's been a little mix-up here. Any chance you could put these guys someplace safe, relatively secure until this is over?"
"I will do what I can," Dol'ok promised before exiting and taking Felger and Coombs to another part of the al'kesh to hide.
"They didn't mean any harm, Sir," Sam put forth hesitantly when the scientists were gone. "If you think about it, they actually were very brave to try to ... save us."
Jack's hardened brown eyes silenced his second-in-command completely. He looked over at Daniel who, with his arms crossed in front of his chest, simply turned and sat down on the bench.
~Dang scientists,~ Jack lamented to no one but himself. "There's no way any of those three jokesters have been through basic."
"They're scientists, Jack," Daniel reminded.
"D'oh!" Jack retorted, pretending to hit his forehead with his hand. "Meyers must be the only one with any sense." Suddenly, Jack paused and looked at Sam uncertainly. "They did send him through the Gate, didn't they?"
"I assume so, Sir," Sam answered with equal uncertainty.
"Great, just great. As if we don't have to worry about getting out of this after the meet with Khonsu, we also have to worry about the professors. What do they teach, anyway? Cartoon Rescues 101?"
"Felger is a lecturer in residence at the M.I.T., Coombs teaches applied math at Yale, and Meyers ..."
"Carter, it was a rhetorical question," Jack groused.
When the al'kesh reached its destination, Her'ak and SG-1 ringed down to the pyramid where Khonsu resided.
As the group stood before a closed door, Jack quipped, "So when are we going to meet this old ... Ginsu guy."
Her'ak stared stoically at the Earth leader.
"Jack, they don't get it," Daniel pointed out.
"I know that." After a brief pause, Jack elaborated, "I bought one of those sets once. Figured I'd get a little something extra for my money."
"I didn't know you owned Ginsu knives."
"Quiet!" Her'ak ordered the archaeologist, preventing Jack from responding.
"No, I don't think so. We're having a nice discussion about chefs and their knives."
Jack leaned forward slightly and offered, "Give me a knife and I'll give you a lesson on how to filet."
Her'ak took a deep breath as his face hardened with a deathly frown, but he didn't say anything since at that point the door opened. He led SG-1 into the room and ordered them to step up onto a circular platform that was in the center. The platform had three arced benches, each separated from the others by a few feet where openings were located. Immediately, a forcefield was engaged.
~Arrogant prick,~ Jack thought about Her'ak as the First Prime began to walk away, a smug expression on his face. Then the colonel reached out to the invisible barrier and instantly reacted to the jolt of pain he felt. "Don't touch that!" he ordered his team. Frustrated, he called out to Her'ak, "Hey, Her'ak! What, no gloating?" With a grand gesture of his outstretched arms, he mockingly encouraged, "Take some pride in your work, son."
The Jaffa turned around and went forward a few paces before confidently responding, "You shall all be forced to bow before my master soon enough."
After Her'ak left the room, Daniel whined, "More bowing."
"What are you complaining about? I'm the one with the bad knees."
"That's true," the younger man agreed.
"You know, this whole imprisoned for our own protection is getting a little old," Jack complained as he sat down.
"What choice did we have?" Sam responded. "If we want this information, we have to trust Khonsu."
"You know, Jack, it's probably not the best idea to aggravate Her'ak," Daniel put forward.
"Go ahead, Daniel."
"Go ahead and ... what?"
"Touch the forcefield."
Daniel let out a sigh. Sparring with the Goa'uld was something both men did frequently and most likely would until the Goa'uld were expunged from the universe. Sometimes, though, they allowed their own irritation with a situation to take over a bit too much. He also realized that Jack's burden at keeping his team safe had doubled with the unexpected arrival of Felger and Coombs. The two might be thorns in Jack's side, but Daniel was aware that Jack now had the additional concern of ensuring the two untrained scientists made it safely home. He wished he could talk with his soulmate more intimately, but there was no chance for privacy within the forcefield for any member of SG-1.
"C'mon, Daniel," Jack urged as he once again took out his ball and tossed it to his lover. "One potato, hot potato," he singsonged with a smile.
With a nod, Daniel and the others made a circle and started a new game with the ultimate goal being to let off some steam before the next challenge of their mission occurred.
It wasn't long before a group of Jaffa released SG-1 from the forcefield and took them into a large chamber where Her'ak was sitting on the throne that should have been occupied by Khonsu.
Jack quickly realized something was amiss and asked, "Where's Khonsu?"
"Khonsu is dead," the First Prime advised, relishing his deliverance of the news.
After Her'ak told him that Khonsu's loyalties were suspect, Jack jammed his left elbow into a Jaffa's face in an effort to start a fight and escape. The bold attempt failed miserably, however, as both he and Teal'c were zatted within seconds while Daniel and Sam were grabbed and held back from assisting their teammates.
Though Teal'c managed to get back on his feet, Jack's fight ended with him lying on the floor and looking up at his enemy.
Angered, Her'ak retrieved a pain stick from beside the throne and approached SG-1's leader. Dramatically, he hovered over the colonel until he finally pushed the pain stick into Jack's abdomen.
In pain on the floor, Jack moaned, "Crap! I hate that thing."
"Now that, Colonel O'Neill, is what I call pride in my work."
"Good job," Jack spat in reply.
Her'ak demanded to know the names of the Tok'ra hiding within Anubis' ranks, but Jack resisted and further upset the acting Jaffa leader when he retorted, "Oh, ask Khonsu. Oh wait, you can't, you killed him."
Once again, Jack felt the agony of the pain stick.
"Stop it!" Daniel called out.
"Tell me!" exclaimed Her'ak.
"We don't know anything," Jack claimed.
Sam interjected, "He's not lying. Our orders were to make contact with Khonsu. That's it. Any information you want died with him."
"Forget it, Carter. He's just the warm-up band and he knows it," Jack put forth as the pain of the apparatus continued to ripple through him.
Still smirking, Her'ak sneered, "No matter what you have endured, you have never experienced the likes of what Anubis is capable of."
Angrily, Jack snapped, "You ended that sentence with a preposition!"
Her'ak had no clue what Jack meant, nor did he care. He'd felt great pleasure at giving pain to the Tau'ri and he looked forward to being present when Anubis arrived and doled out what he was sure would be the final pain all of SG-1 would ever feel. Full of smug satisfaction, he ordered the team returned to the holding area.
As SG-1 settled back on the platform, they were unaware that Felger and Coombs actually witnessed Her'ak assassinating Khonsu. Though Coombs wanted to escape and return to Stargate Command, Felger insisted they go after SG-1. He feared those in charge on Earth might not respond in time and that the flagship might be sacrificed, especially since Anubis was said to be on his way to the planet.
As a result, the scientists ringed down to the planet wearing Jaffa armor and walked nervously through a slew of Jaffa surrounding the Stargate and ring platform area. Though bickering the entire time, they successfully made their way inside Khonsu's pyramid and found a console where they could review the schematics of the pyramid's security.
The goal for the two men was to find SG-1 and free them, something that was easier said than done.
The team hadn't said much since being placed back on the platform. Instead, Jack sat on one of the arced benches by himself. Eventually, he laid down, his knees raised, one crossed over the other. His mind gave way to distraction as he let himself ponder the Easter he originally planned, one that included dressing up his lover in a naked bunny suit of chocolate.
~Next year,~ Jack promised himself before returning his thoughts to the mission and developing plans for the team's escape.
Teal'c was seated alone on the arced bench to Jack's left. He was thinking about the free Jaffa who had most likely been killed by Her'ak. The Jaffa was a proud warrior and as he sat, he recommitted himself to doing whatever was necessary to gain freedom for his people.
On the third bench, the one to the colonel's right, was Daniel. He sat with his arms crossed and head bowed. He was deep in thought, wishing Jack could hold him. He wasn't scared of the Goa'uld or even the team's current predicament. Somehow, he was certain they'd find a way out, or at least, he hoped they would. Daniel liked the security that Jack's strong arms provided. He was still in disbelief about their love. They'd been together for years, and yet, he was afraid of it ending and of Jack leaving. He'd been left a lot in his lifetime and even though he knew that he and Jack were soulmates, he was full of self-doubt and insecurity.
Sam differed from her teammates and instead of resting on the benches, she paced, walking in forced circles as her mind processed the situation the team was in and their prospects for a successful exit. She loved being a part of SG-1. Her teammates were both friends and family, and she had great confidence in their ability to survive even the most dangerous situations. Yet, things were looking bleak and she wondered if this time might be the last time they faced life and death together. She stopped walking and looked at each of her teammates a couple of times, an inner fear that they were all feeling the same way growing within her.
"This is not good," Sam remarked as she finally sat down on the circular pedestal bench that was in the center of the platform.
Before anyone could respond, a loud voice resonated through the room, announcing, "SG-1, this is Felger."
The team startled. Jack bolted upright while Daniel lowered his arms and leaned forward as he considered if the voice meant a way out for the team. Sam bounced slightly in her seat as she looked towards the ceiling in awareness that the voice was coming over the intercom. Teal'c remained motionless, as was his normal state for times like this.
"Do you copy? Colonel O'Neill?"
Sam stood, surprised when she realized it was Felger's voice speaking to the team. She was hopeful his presence might somehow assist in SG-1's escape, though she had to admit she wasn't sure how that might happen.
"No. This is not good," Jack opined. ~What are those nerds doing?~
"Don't be mad, Sir," Felger requested. "Are you all right? Is everyone else with you?"
"Yeah. Where are you?" Jack asked as he stood and looked upward.
"We're inside the pyramid, Sir. We're hiding in the control room."
While Jack was frustrated that the scientists were on the planet and inwardly concerned about the extra weight their presence put on his shoulders, Sam now knew how the scientists could help SG-1. She quickly pointed out that Felger and Coombs could have access to the security systems and be able to lower the forcefield, freeing the team. She began to provide guidance to the two men as they worked in the control room.
"Felger, we need weapons," Jack called out.
As fast as he could, Coombs located an armory located at the end of the hall. Felger left his friend to continue working on his task while he retrieved some zats and headed for the holding area.
Meanwhile, all SG-1 could do was wait.
Coombs finally managed to turn off the forcefield, allowing SG-1 to exit the platform, something Jack did with animated glee. About the same time, footsteps were heard. Jack and Teal'c positioned themselves on opposite sides of the door. They hoped the steps belonged to Felger, but in their business, assumptions could be deadly.
When the door opened, both Jack and Teal'c lunged cautiously forward, but were relieved to see the entrant was the scientist they'd been waiting for eagerly. Felger was startled by the team's actions, however, and actually dropped some of the weaponry he'd acquired from the armory.
With the zats dispersed among the team, Jack focused on Felger and delivered a harsh warning in his direction.
"All right, look, Professor, this little stunt of yours does not excuse the fact that you disobeyed a direct order, from me -- twice," Jack stated sternly while jerking his right hand out towards the man, two fingers extended to emphasize the two disobeyed orders. "Do it again, I'll shoot you. Are we ...?"
The unsettled scientific advisor answered by interrupting with, "... crystal."
"Good," Jack returned, pointing and jabbing the man's chest for emphasis.
"Do you wanna hear the rest of my plan?" Felger dared to ask with a grin.
~I'm gonna kill him,~ Jack pledged silently.
"Our plan," Coombs corrected over the intercom.
Felger informed Jack that there was a shield around the pyramid and beyond it was the Stargate. His plan was for Coombs to lower the shield, allowing SG-1 to head for the Gate and take out the Jaffa. Coombs would then use the transporter rings to exit the pyramid and meet up with SG-1 at the outer ring platform at which time they could all return to Earth.
"Piece of cake," the professor concluded.
Daniel shook his head, knowing that Felger using one of Jack's favorite phrases was not earning the man any favors with Jack.
"*We* take out the Jaffa," Jack repeated in a challenging tone.
"We, as in you," Felger corrected.
~Crap, it's not that bad of an idea. I would have thought of it myself if I had the Intel,~ the colonel opined. "How many?"
"A dozen, tops."
"A dozen?" Jack questioned in an incredulous tone.
"Yeah, and they got some of those really big guns."
"Good plan, Felger, good plan," the colonel snarked, not liking the odds for success.
"Come on, you're SG-1, this is what you do," Felger put forth with confidence and encouragement.
Unable to hide a smile, Daniel mused, "He's right, Jack."
"For years now," Sam added with a smile of her own.
With reluctant acquiescence, Jack agreed, "Right," and headed out of the chamber.
"It is who we are," Sam chuckled.
"We do have a reputation," Daniel added lightheartedly.
"The frustration of the Goa'uld," Sam teased, a sly yet sparkling look in her eyes as she smiled at her science twin.
"Agreed," Teal'c added.
Daniel stared at Teal'c, uncertain if he was agreeing with SG-1 having a reputation or himself being regarded as a source of frustration for the enemy.
Aware of Daniel's uncertainty, Teal'c simply left the room. Sam gave her friend a tiny shrug and then followed the Jaffa.
Daniel waited a moment, processing the last minute or so. He actually didn't mind being the Goa'uld's frustration. It gave him a certain advantage when going head to head with them. Still, part of him wanted to be regarded as a warrior.
~A mental warrior, driving the Goa'uld crazy with every word.~ The archaeologist paused and blinked a few times as he realized the thought that had just gone through his mind. ~Gawd, what am I thinking? I've been hanging around Jack too much.~ He smiled. ~True, but he's worth a little snarkiness, even if I'm the one being snarky.~
Shaking off his thoughts, Daniel walked swiftly away and joined Teal'c and Sam as they sought to catch up with Jack.
Coombs directed the group through the dark pyramid. Quietly, they passed the numerous columns that were part of the pyramid's infrastructure. Lit torches against the walls and cauldrons of fire were everywhere, giving the interior its only lighting. When they reached the door that led to the outside, Sam attempted, to no avail, to open it.
"Felger?" Jack called out.
Standing next to Sam at the door, the scientist responded by immediately calling out, "Coombs?"
"I'm sorry," Coombs responded over the radio. This coding is very confusing. Just ... just wait a second."
~What a mess,~ Jack sighed as he waited for the frazzled Yale instructor to get the door open. ~Why does he keep looking at me?~ he groaned, realizing Felger hadn't stopped looking at him. "What?"
Felger approached SG-1's leader and admitted, "I can't believe that I'm here, with you, like this. It's ..."
"Yeah, I'm having the same problem," Jack returned sarcastically.
"This is great! You know, sneaking around with you guys in a Goa'uld pyramid on some alien planet. The only thing missing is some Jaffa chasing us," the professor stated with an enthusiastic tone and small chuckle.
~Geez, is he for real?~ an astounded Jack pondered, his thoughts interrupted by Teal'c alerting him to an oncoming group of Jaffa.
Felger hurried to the door and urged Coombs to hurry, but he didn't have a chance to say much more as Jack moved forward and grabbed the radio out of his hands.
"Now, Coombs!" Jack ordered over the radio.
In short order, Coombs figured out the right buttons to push to open the door. The team and Felger hurriedly left the area and remained undetected by the Jaffa as they passed through on the other side.
As the group made their way through the woods, Coombs radioed that the shield was down.
"Way to go, Simon," Felger praised a bit too loudly for Jack's taste.
Turning and looking back at Felger, the agitated colonel spat, "Shush!" Righting his position, Jack ordered Coombs to head for the ring transporter and wait for his signal. ~That bleepin' Felger had better keep his butt behind me or I may shoot him. Not even a review board would blame me.~
Before going much further, Daniel sprinted forward to pass the others and walk next to his lover.
"What's on your mind, Daniel?" Jack asked, still upset about Felger and Coombs.
"Jack, are you sure we should keep going?"
"You wanna go back and have a happy dance with those arrogant slugs?"
"No, but I was thinking about Coombs."
"You heard me give the order. He's coming,"
"Yes, I know, but ..."
"Daniel, where's your faith in your fellow scientists?"
"Jack, don't be an ..."
"Hey, hear that?" Jack interrupted.
"Uh, I, uh ... hear what?"
Not answering, Jack picked up the pace. He wanted to see exactly what he was facing before making any changes in the plan. Even so, his gut was telling him that the plan, Felger's plan, wouldn't go smoothly and somehow, just somehow, he was certain Coombs would run into problems while attempting to escape from the pyramid.
~No way is he going to get clear on his own; not gonna happen,~ Jack accepted reluctantly.
As they hid behind shrubbery, SG-1 and Felger observed a number of Jaffa all around the Stargate. One stood on the Gate platform, two others were positioned at the DHD, and several were patrolling the perimeter.
"Teal'c, Carter, your target is that center gun placement. Daniel, you're with me." Jack looked at Felger and asked pointedly, "Now, is there anything else we need to discuss?"
Instantly, the scientist replied, "No, Sir, no, Sir. I'm going to stay in this very spot. Even if I see you writhing in agony, calling my name, I'll be here."
"Exactly. On my signal, get Coombs out here," Jack ordered, opting to believe as positively as he could that the plan would go without a hitch. A bit reluctantly, Jack handed the professor the radio. ~I'm probably going to regret this.~
SG-1 headed away from Felger and then split up in pairs per Jack's orders to take out the Jaffa. One by one, the team eliminated their adversaries, though they all had multiple close calls in the skirmish.
From his position at the shrubbery, Felger could hear the ongoing sounds of firepower. Then he received frightening news. Coombs was trapped inside the pyramid with a swarm of Jaffa fiercely attempting to reach his position inside the control room. Concerned for his colleague, Felger emerged from the bushes and ran as fast as he could to find Jack.
As Felger sprang out from the shrubbery, SG-1 defeated the last of the Jaffa near the Gate.
"Danny, you okay?" Jack asked as he scanned the area of the fallen enemy.
"Yeah, I'm fine," the archaeologist answered, his zat now at his side as he looked out over the dead and injured.
Jack saw Teal'c and Sam running towards him and asked, "Clear?"
"Clear, Sir," Sam affirmed while still on the run.
Felger's frantic shouts interrupted Jack's assessment of the situation.
~What now?~ the colonel wondered as he looked at Felger running towards him, the professor undeterred by fallen Jaffa and even jumping over one of them in his quest to reach SG-1.
"Colonel O'Neill. Colonel O'Neill! Colonel O'Neill!"
"What are you doing?" Jack asked. "Get Coombs out here."
"There's a slight problem there, Sir. He's stuck."
~I knew it, I just knew it!~ Jack looked over at his soulmate and saw widened eyes looking back at him. "Not a word, Daniel."
"Nope, not *a* word," Daniel replied, his placed emphasis on the singular not escaping the colonel's attention.
Over the radio, Coombs emotionally spoke, "Jay, I don't think I'm going to make it out of here. You just go. You take care of my cats, okay?"
~Figured he'd be a cat person,~ Jack thought as he frowned.
Witout hesitation, Felger argued, "No, no, no, no, Simon. I got us into this mess. If you're staying, I'm saying, too."
"No one's staying," Jack interrupted angrily. "Can you ring us in?" he asked, giving a slight nod to indicate Teal'c would be going with him on the rescue.
"You're staying here, Daniel," Jack stated sharply, immediately closing the subject.
Waiting for the rings to activate, Jack addressed his 2IC, ordering, "Give us five minutes and then ..." Before he could finish, the rings began to engage. He gave a shrug as he mused, ~What's the use?~
"Daniel, you'd better dial the Gate," Sam suggested. "We may not have much time once the colonel and Teal'c get back with Professor Coombs."
The archaeologist nodded as he, Sam, and Felger hurried to the DHD. Her zat drawn and standing a few yards away, the major kept a constant watch over the area. Not all of the Jaffa were dead and she could not be certain that others might show up soon.
Meanwhile, Daniel began entering Earth's address as he and Felger stood in front of the dial home device.
"He's really something," Felger opined energetically while standing to Daniel's left.
"Who? Oh, Jack. Yes, he's ... something," Daniel agreed with a bit of a smile. Noticing how fidgety the professor was, he inquired, "Nervous?"
"Nervous? Me? No, I'm excited," Felger responded. "He won't shoot me, will he?"
"Jack?" Daniel asked. "No, he won't ... shoot you."
"Shoot me. He threatened me, you know, when we were hiding, earlier," Felger explained in a confusing response.
"I'm sure he was just teasing," Daniel put forth.
"No, no, he was angry. Colonel O'Neill is always threatening to shoot me."
"Jack's military. He likes people to obey his orders and gets a little agitated when they don't."
Just then, the kawoosh of the Gate exploded.
"That's really something, how that works," Felger spoke in scientific awe.
Daniel transmitted his ID via the Iris Deactivation Code, otherwise known as the IDC. He quickly received the "all clear" from Stargate Command. Now he just needed Jack and Teal'c to return with Coombs and they could all go home.
Inside the pyramid, Jack and Teal'c made short order of the Jaffa they encountered and quickly rescued a much-relieved Coombs. They swiftly made their way to the rings and transported to the platform. Hastily, the three ran towards the Stargate. As Sam predicted, Jaffa were on the their heels and time was of the essence.
Sam and Felger went through the Gate first, followed by Teal'c and Coombs.
"Jack, don't play games," Daniel warned as a staff blast whizzed by him.
"Move it!" Jack ordered.
~He can't help himself,~ Daniel opined ruefully without moving an inch towards the event horizon. Looking out, he observed the charging Jaffa and saw who was leading them. It was Her'ak. "Jack!" he exclaimed in alarm.
~Sorry, Danny.~ Fully aware of Her'ak's presence, the colonel gave his lover a shove through the Gate and then turned to face his foe. He shrugged and smirked. ~Na na na na na!~ Satisfied that he'd taunted Her'ak long enough, Jack turned and walked through the Gate. As he ambled down the ramp, he noticed the frown on his soulmate's face. "What?" he asked innocently.
Daniel simply rolled his eyes and turned to face General Hammond who had just entered the gate room.
"Good to have you back, SG-1," Hammond greeted the returnees.
"We're glad to be back," an excited Felger responded.
The flagship team all had tiny smiles on their faces, each aware the greeting was for them and not the wayward scientific team.
"Welcome back, Professors," the major general replied, offering a genuine albeit delayed hello to Felger and Coombs.
"General Hammond, when do we debrief?" Felger asked, thrilled at being at what he perceived would be an authentic review of the mission.
Without giving a direct response, Hammond answered, "Doctor Meyers will be pleased to know you've returned safely. He's waiting in the infirmary."
Giving a nod to one of the Special Forces crew in the room, Hammond watched as the two scientists were escorted away.
"Thank you, General," Jack stated, now free of the professors. "You can thank me, too."
"Why is that?" Hammond inquired.
"I didn't kill them," Jack answered, a stoic expression on his face as he walked away, followed by his teammates.
"I thought this day would never end," Jack remarked as he walked inside his house and immediately headed for the kitchen to get a couple of beers from the refrigerator. "Crazy day."
"Daniel, don't start," the older man said as he handed his lover one of the beers.
"It wouldn't hurt you to be nice."
"I'm just a guy, Danny. I don't do this hero worship thing, especially when I'm supposed to be the blasted hero."
"Live with it," the archaeologist returned forcefully as he crossed his arms across his chest. "Babe, Jay and Simon didn't have to try to rescue us, but they did. They ringed to the platform on the planet *knowing* they'd be surrounded by Jaffa and then they walked right into the pyramid that was full of Jaffa. Jack, they risked their lives and they had no way of knowing that being captured was the plan." Seeing his partner's stone-cold expression, Daniel let out a sigh and then challenged, "What if we'd really been taken hostage?"
Jack plopped down in his favorite chair, sighing with delight at the comfort it gave him. He sipped his beer as he gazed at his soulmate.
~You sexy thang you,~ Jack thought with a lustful smile on his face.
"No to whatever is going on in your brain right now, at least not until we get this settled," Daniel replied, his beer untouched as it dangled in his fingers.
"Blackmail," Jack accused. He scowled when he realized Daniel wasn't going to budge. He knew the cool look in his Love's eyes and he recognized the defensive stance. No matter what, there would be no 'sexy thang' activities until the matter was settled. Resigned to his fate, he asked, "Okay, what do you want me to do?"
"Just thank them for what they did. I mean, Simon did figure out their security system. We wouldn't have escaped without his help, and it was Jay's plan that allowed us all to get off the planet."
"Point of fact," Jack began. "We're SG-1. Defeating the bad guys and escaping their evil clutches is what we do, remember?"
"They'll be at SGC Tuesday. I'll give them some crumbs of gratitude then. Okay?"
~Tuesday?~ Daniel blinked as he observed his soulmate and made a realization. "Jack, you've been playing me."
"How do you know they'll be on the base Tuesday?" Observing his lover's stumped expression, Daniel sighed. "You already planned on talking with them."
Though he hemmed and hawed for a few seconds, Jack placed his beer on the table next to the chair and admitted, "It could have been real. It took a lot of guts for a couple of nerdy brains who couldn't even set up a tent to go head-to-head with the Goa'uld. They drove me crazy, and if they ever disobey orders again, I'll shoot 'em both, but they did good, all things considered. I figure they should know that."
Daniel smiled as he finally relaxed and took a sip of beer and was instantly reminded that he really didn't like the brews as much as his life partner did.
"You know, Babe, there is another reason why we should be happy that Jay and Simon did ring down to the planet."
"Happy?" Jack questioned in utter opposition to the thought.
"If they hadn't, and if they'd stayed on the al'kesh, they'd still have to be rescued. I mean, uh, they'd be under Her'ak's control. Who do you think would be devising a plan to rescue them right now?"
~That's my genius.~ Jack let out a huge sigh and gave his lover, who was full of his own level of satisfaction for having posed the question, a smile of acquiescence. "We'd get about three hours sleep before we'd be back among those good-for-nothing, egomaniac, slimy snakeheads again."
"Daniel, one thing."
"We wouldn't have to worry at all about the professors had they obeyed orders."
"Okay, but we might be bowing before Anubis if they hadn't disobeyed orders," Daniel put forth.
"A no-win, eh?"
"I think it's a draw," Daniel concurred.
Jack reached for his beer and took a couple more sips from the bottle before putting it back down on the table. He was ready to forget about the entire mission.
"I'm sorry your plans for Easter didn't work out," the younger man spoke softly, his previously cool eyes now warm and his stance inviting and relaxed.
Checking his watch, Jack noted, "We still have twenty-six minutes." He patted his lap and spoke in a low, oddly-twang-like voice, "Hop on over here, My Little Chickadee."
Admittedly eager for some snuggling, not to mention more sensual time with the man he loved with all his heart, Daniel nodded. He let the Chickadee line go, faintly remembering that it had some cultural reference to an actor from the early days of films.
"I love you, Angel," Jack declared tenderly as he kissed his Heart.
"I love you," Daniel replied in-between kisses and the early stages of fondling.
For a time, the two simply kissed and gently made out in Jack's comfy chair, but soon they needed space for more intensive togetherness and headed upstairs to the bedroom. It wasn't the playful Easter Jack originally intended, but that was okay because Jack and Daniel were happy and healthy and living their lives together in Colorado Springs.
~~Finis - Finished - Done - The End - But is it ever Really?~~
Author's Note: Please feel free to email me with your comments or suggestions; constructive criticism, things you'd like to see, etc. A chronological listing of my universe is at http://orrymain.com