A Fine Messby JoaG
They had all spent the last ten minutes going over every crack and dent in the four metallic walls of their cells. The inner walls were clear... separating all of them into different compartments. The see-through walls felt like plastic but allowed voices to carry through as if nothing was there.
"Another fine mess..." Jack groused as he paced the small cell he was in. "You'd think by now 'someone' would learn to keep their hands to themselves."
Daniel eyed the lumpy looking mattress behind him that would supposedly serve as his bed. He toed it dubiously. "Hey, it wasn't my fault this time." He turned to stare at Teal'c, who had the grace to put on a somewhat sheepish expression.
Okay, as sheepish a look as a Jaffa could give, but still, the slight downtrodden lip and the lowered eyebrows were evidence enough for Daniel.
"I merely stated the protuberance could have been the trigger necessary to unlock the doors to the temple, which was why I depressed it. It was not my intention to set off a boob trap."
"Booby trap," Daniel corrected Teal'c without thinking.
"That was what I stated."
"You said boob, which is a whole n'other ballgame." Jack stopped pacing and moved closer to the plastic wall separating him from Daniel. He placed both hands on it, and pushed.
"Well in any case, whatever it was Teal'c touched triggered something that knocked us all out. I don't even remember going down."
"Maybe we were ringed in."
Jack turned his head to glare at Sam. "Is that supposed to make me feel better? 'Cause it's sure not working."
"Ja-ack," Daniel complained at his lover's tone.
"You don't think we were transported here, do you, Daniel?"
He turned to look at Sam, who was sitting on the corner of her bed, knees pulled up against her chest and arms wrapped tightly around them.
"Honestly, Sam, I don't know. We must have activated some kind of safety feature preventing anyone from trying to get inside the temple without permission of... whoever built the temple. Although if there's a door, there must be another way inside, otherwise the people who want to go in would just get knocked out. Like we did," he finished with a grimace. Daniel walked over to Jack, who was turning red with his efforts. He leaned closer to the plastic, his face barely a half inch away from his lover's. "Jack, we tried that already. It didn't work then and it doesn't look like it's working now."
Jack huffed, made a small moue at Daniel that *could* have been meant as an air kiss or a 'kiss my ass' statement, then lowered his hands and went to kick his own mattress. Other than that small luxury, the only other convenience was a small working toilet in the corner of each cell.
"It's funny, when you think of it." Jack lowered himself onto the mattress and leaned back onto his elbows.
"What is?" Daniel crossed a leg behind him and sank onto his mattress. He was surprised; it was a lot softer and comfortable than he'd expected.
"That three weeks ago we find a 'gate address for this planet in the ruins on P9B 753. Yet the people on that planet have no records or history of having been occupied by a Goa'uld."
"Not necessarily." Daniel emulated Jack and leaned back on his elbows. "They might have rewritten their history, reinterpreted it over the centuries so that the Goa'uld are now simply characters in stories and myths, like those on Earth."
"So who captured us? The evil witch of the west?"
"Maybe nobody did, maybe like I was saying, whatever knocked us out is automated. There's nobody there. Teal'c just set off something and, poof, here we are."
"And *where* is here?" Jack smacked the mattress with his hand.
"Inside the temple?" Daniel guessed.
Sam glanced at her watch. "I don't think we were unconscious for more than an hour; but still that leaves our kidnappers with a lot of time to have moved us anywhere."
"We may have been transported to a spaceship," Teal'c supplied.
"Or through the Stargate," Sam added.
"Or we could have been beamed deep inside the planet, or to the other side of the world." Jack, in a burst of energy, sat up by using his legs for leverage, throwing them up into the air and slamming them onto the ground. "Or better yet, this is just a stupid dream. Speaking of dreams, did anyone else have weird dreams when they were... knocked out?" He looked at all three of them, a questioning expression on his face.
"No, sir. I remember standing outside the temple doors and then waking up here."
"I have no recollection of dreams."
Daniel frowned at the jumble of memories and emotions that Jack's question brought up. The dreams he'd had weren't clear, but upon waking his heart had been racing and he'd had that awful feeling that he'd been in danger. "I did. Nothing I can put my finger on, just, someone asking me questions and—"
"A Goa'uld. Interrogation—"
"There was a flower, in his hand—" Daniel rolled onto his side and looked at Jack.
"In his lapel, kinda like those slapstick movies—"
"And whenever he'd ask a question, he'd make me smell the flower and—"
"Squirt. Squirt some water in my face with the flower—" Jack made a quick opening and closing motion with his fist, as if he were squeezing something.
"I felt compelled to answer. But I didn't. I knew I had to fight him—"
"And Bart Simpson came in and wanted to know where Apophis was hiding."
"Bart Simpson?" Both Daniel and Sam exclaimed in unison as they stared at Jack.
"I told you it was a weird dream. What's weirder still is that Daniel had the same one. You sure Bart Simpson didn't come in and..." Jack waved his hand as if dismissing his question. "And speaking of which, if I'm lucky, this is still part of the dream and in the next two minutes my alarm will go off and I'll be up eating pie and coffee."
"You have pie for breakfast?" Daniel frowned as his stomach growled, reminding him that they'd walked a long distance to get to the temple and it was past dinnertime.
Jack shrugged. Daniel turned to look at Teal'c, who was still standing in the middle of the room, hands clasped behind his back. "What about you, Teal'c? What did you eat for—"
Something rumbled next to him and Daniel scrambled to get up. The transparent wall that separated both his and Jack's cells began sliding into the floor, the top edge of it evident as it descended slowly. Daniel moved closer, as did Jack. Once the wall had moved lower than his shoulders, he waved his hand through, touching Jack's chest.
The second the wall was low enough for him to lift a leg over, he did, quickly moving into Jack's cell. Although he needn't have worried; once the divider had sunk into the floor, it remained there.
"I wonder what's going on," Daniel said as he eyed the now nearly invisible spot that had separated them a few seconds ago. He waited to see if Sam and Teal'c would also be released, then looked around in confusion when he heard a hissing sound. He smelled something sweet and...
He got dizzy for a moment and a second later, he and Jack were walking through the Stargate, their feet thumping on the metallic grill suddenly loud in his ears after the quiet of their cell. General Hammond was waiting for them at the bottom of the ramp. The general stepped forward to greet them.
"Welcome back, SG-1."
Then Sam called out.
- - - - - -
Sam didn't see exactly how the Goa'uld had entered Colonel O'Neill's cell. One second she was eyeing the partitions between the cells, expecting the one dividing hers and Teal'c's to also slide down, then someone was in the cell with her teammates.
"Colonel!" she called out in warning.
Colonel O'Neill simply turned to look at her with an odd expression on his face before walking towards the Goa'uld, a look of warmth on his face. "Thank you, sir. I'm not sure what just happened—"
"I think we were transported back to the Stargate." Daniel had also turned to give Sam a strange look, but stepped closer to the Goa'uld, stopping beside the colonel. "No, General. We did make it to the temple but we weren't able to get inside."
"Yeah, Teal'c was the one with the itchy fingers this time. He triggered something and we got transported somewhere before Daniel could figure out how to open the doors." Colonel O'Neill gave Teal'c a teasing look usually reserved for Daniel.
"Colonel, we're not home." Oh God, what was happening here? "We're still in the cells. That's not General Hammond." Sam pounded the plastic wall in front of her, but the action only made her palm sting.
"Although I don't remember dialing home." Daniel turned away from the enemy and faced Teal'c and her. "Sam, did you or Teal'c—"
"DanielJackson. Do not speak another word. We are not where you believe us to be. You are speaking to a Goa'uld."
"I must still be woozy from whatever they used on us. I don't remember Teal'c dialing but hey, we're home." Colonel O'Neill spread his hands out to his sides and looked around the room. "Anything beats the cells we were in."
"Boy, Janet's going to have a field day with us again," Daniel sighed.
"Daniel! Tell me what you're seeing, she begged. Both the colonel and Daniel were reacting to something that only they could see and hear. The Goa'uld hadn't uttered a word, had simply stood there and had allowed the two of them to react around him.
He wasn't as imposing as most Goa'uld's she'd seen. The host was shorter than herself, and although he was handsome, he didn't exude arrogance and power as the others did.
"Carter, Teal'c, are you two going to stand there all day? Fraiser's probably waiting for us with honking big needles again." Colonel O'Neill rubbed his forehead as if he was remembering something unpleasant. "Why can't we get a nice, quiet planet with no alien devices or cells for a change, and give Fraiser a rest when we come back?"
Both of them left the Goa'uld and walked to the mattress, sitting down on it in unison.
- - - - - -
"So, you don't know what caused you to black out?" Janet pulled the syringe out of Daniel's vein and pressed a wad of cotton over the puncture. Daniel put pressure on the wound with two fingers.
"No. No idea."
Janet handed the last vial to a nurse, who immediately labeled it along with urine and blood samples from the whole team, then hurried the bits of fluids to the lab.
"Well, preliminary examinations show you're all fine. But to be on the safe side, I'd suggest you stay on base until I get your test results back." She took out a Band Aid and placed it over the cotton. "Which I'm sorry to say won't be until tomorrow morning, seeing it's so late. I'm afraid you'd better sleep on base. I'll let the general know you're all free for debriefing first thing in the morning."
"Janet, are you sure we can't go home? We could come back in the morning and—"
"I'm sure, Sam. You know the rules. Until I'm positive you haven't been exposed to anything serious, I want you, all of you, to stay where I can keep an eye on you. If you'd like, I can get you four VIP quarters."
Daniel slid off the bed and stood, looking at Sam who sat dejected three beds away. He felt just as discouraged. He and Jack hadn't shared a bed in close to a week; what with missions and late nights, they just hadn't had time to connect. He'd been looking forward to tonight. He'd planned on having a lot of hot sex and a lot of cuddling afterwards.
"Daniel and I can share a room," Jack offered, surprising him. Daniel raised his eyebrows, staring at Jack in wonder. Jack shrugged back. Okay, there might be security cameras in the room but once the lights were out, there'd be nothing to record. He bit back his grin, thinking that maybe he might get that hot sex after all. His cock jumped in anticipation and he forced his thoughts instead to what he'd like to eat from the cold fare the commissary might be serving this late at night. He'd much rather have preferred a steak from O'Malley's.
"You guys wanna go to the commissary and get something to eat?" Jack asked, as if reading Daniel's mind.
Daniel chewed his steak, savouring the last bite. His stomach was full and sated. The steak was just as good as the first bite, albeit a little colder. He drained his coffee and stood, cramming the last of the garlic bread into his mouth.
"Anyone want more coffee?"
Jack shook his head, as did Sam.
"You're not going to be able to sleep if you keep on drinking coffee," Jack reprimanded as Daniel walked past.
"I don't plan on sleeping much. I have some research I want to do," he said over his shoulder as he walked to the coffee pot, his footsteps loud and echoing in the large high-ceilinged room. Sergeant Siler walked by carrying a huge wrench, stopping to check a computer console crammed between the drinks dispenser and the soup warmer, then continued on to the Stargate.
"Research? On what?" Jack called across the gateroom cum commissary, which was oddly empty, even for this time of night. Only two other tables on the other side of the ramp were occupied; one by two nurses and the other by one lone marine.
"Dreams and their meanings. Particularly, Bart Simpson." He looked over his shoulder at Jack, grinning as he refilled his coffee when Jack's eyes opened wide at his comment. Daniel then snagged a brownie and a piece of pecan pie on his way back. He'd just handed the pie to Jack when he heard a familiar voice come over the speakers.
Daniel turned and looked up when he heard Sergeant Harriman's voice. The 'gate technician looked a little harried as he stood beside his work station, looking down on them from the control room.
"Yeah, what is it, Walter?" Jack cut into his pie and took a mouthful. He never even looked up.
"General Hammond says he'd like SG-1 to debrief him."
"Now?" Daniel froze, ass halfway to his seat and looked up past Walter in the control room, to the briefing room window. It was long past the hour when the general usually went home, but there he was, staring down at them.
"That's what he said."
Daniel sat and took a quick bite of brownie, scattering crumbs all over the commissary table. He picked up his coffee cup, took a sip, and put it back down.
General Hammond sat with hands folded before him. "I figured I'd take advantage of having you on base tonight. First off, I'd like to know if you found anything that might be related to the people of P9B 753." The general turned to look at Daniel, pointedly staring at the food before him. Daniel wiped the crumbs off the briefing room table and put his mostly uneaten brownie aside.
"No sir. Like we told you when we returned to the SGC, we couldn't even get into the temple. There were no signs of life on the planet, nothing to indicate anybody had been in or around the temple in ages. To be honest, we weren't there long enough to ascertain whether or not others were living there but—"
"What?" Daniel turned to look at Jack in confusion. Sam and Teal'c were also staring at him from across the table.
"Daniel and I shared a dream."
"That's nice, Colonel, we all have dreams, but what does that have to do with your mission?"
"I mean, literally. We dreamed we were being questioned by a Goa'uld."
"That's right." There had to be a connection there somewhere. "The dream was a little vague but there were aspects to it that were very similar. Up until—"
Hammond looked at Sam and Teal'c, pushing a vase full of flowers into the center of the table. "And you two didn't share this dream?"
"We did not. It is possible we were drugged and that these are simply memories from the interrogation, if indeed there was such an occurrence."
Daniel scrunched his nose against the sweet smell of the flowers. He heard Jack yawn next to him as Teal'c continued to explain, and he couldn't contain his own reaction to the sound. He politely put his hand in front of his mouth as he realized he really was tired. Jack pressed his leg against his thigh, the heat of Jack's leg against the thin material of his sweats reminded him what he was looking forward to in a very short time.
"In this dream, what did the Goa'uld want to know?"
Daniel shrugged lazily. "The usual. Earth's defenses, Tok'ra bases, what we knew or didn't know about the System Lords." The smell of the flowers was strong and pungent, almost musky.
Jack yawned again, then apologized. "He wanted codes, manpower, which planets our people were stationed at offworld." He leaned back in his chair, tilting slightly towards Daniel. His shoulder brushed Daniel's, and he turned to face him, yawning again. Jack's breath puffed against Daniel's cheek.
Unable to resist, Daniel leaned forward until his cheek was nearly touching Jack's. He raised his lips and gave Jack a light kiss. Jack moved slightly so that Daniel's lips brushed against his own.
"Colonel O'Neill. Are our people and allies in danger? Is there a need to warn them?"
The general's voice was coming from far away, and Daniel had to concentrate to make the words out. Jack sighed, his lips still brushing against Daniel's as Jack replied.
"No sir, everyone's safe." He flicked his tongue and brushed Daniel's upper lip.
"I don't like what happened. I think you should go dial the Tok'ra homeworld and warn them, simply as a precaution. Perhaps some of our other teams?"
"The Alpha site?" Daniel breathed just as he sucked Jack's tongue into his mouth. He put his hand behind Jack's head and pulled him closer, deepening the kiss.
"Yes, the Alpha site. I want you two to go and dial both planets immediately and warn them they may be in danger."
The lethargy Daniel had felt earlier was gone. In its place was fever-heat and lust. He heard the general's order, but he couldn't bring himself to follow it. His senses were full of Jack, the feel of him, his taste, his body reacting with a will of its own even though, somehow, he knew Teal'c and Sam were there watching him. It should have bothered him, but it didn't.
"Colonel O'Neill. Did you hear me? I told you to—"
Then Jack pushed him down onto their bed and laid his length on top of him, and all thoughts flew out of his head except for Jack.
- - - - - -
"What the hell are they doing?" Sam and Teal'c had given up trying to warn their friends as they both seemed to be responding to something only they could hear. The Goa'uld simply stood there, watching, but the colonel and Daniel had had a conversation going up until a few seconds ago. Then they'd started kissing and the colonel had pushed Daniel down onto the mattress and it looked like in a few minutes, both she and Teal'c were going to be privy to an X-rated interrogation if Sam couldn't come up with a way out.
"It appears they are enjoying themselves." Teal'c's eyebrows were up and he was watching them with avid interest.
"Okay, this is so not something I'm comfortable with." Carter pushed her hand through her hair and looked away, but a moment later curiosity and fascination had her staring once more. The colonel had his hands in Daniel's pants and Daniel appeared to be enjoying his attentions quite a lot.
"We have to do something."
"They do not appear to hear us."
"Yeah, well..." She screwed up her face at the soft murmurs coming from the other side of the plastic glass. The Goa'uld appeared to have had enough of them also. He turned to the wall, aimed his hand device at it, and stepped through the slim opening that he created. The wall closed in on itself behind him.
"New type of door?"
"In reality, the device is ancient and burdensome. The Goa'uld use it chiefly to maintain privacy."
The swift pants and small cries of pleasure from her teammates were exciting Sam more than she wanted to admit.
"Shit, I know they're a couple but this is more than I ever wanted to see. Ah, screw this." She banged her fist on it and called out loudly. "Colonel. Colonel O'Neill. Sir, you have to wake up."
"DanielJackson. Please cease and desist this action. We require your assistance." Teal'c had moved to stand next to her, separated only by the plastic divider.
Despite being lost in his pleasure, Daniel pulled away from Jack's kiss and turned his head to the side, as if he were listening to something.
"Daniel, it's me. It's Sam. Come on, look at me."
The colonel put a hand behind Daniel's neck and pulled him back to him. He was rocking rhythmically over Daniel while Daniel's hands were caressing the colonel, his hands shoved down the back of his pants. As their breathing began to speed up, Sam rubbed the back of her neck in embarrassment. She walked back to the mattress, sat down so she was facing Teal'c across the divider, and smiled.
"So, heard any good jokes lately?"
- - - - - -
Daniel woke up slowly, feeling Jack's weight against his hip and shoulder. But Jack was lying on top of his arm and it was cutting off the circulation. He twisted and pulled his arm out from beneath Jack.
"Nothing." Daniel shook his arm a few times hoping it wasn't far gone into the tingling phase, then wrapped it around Jack, pulling him close. He felt lazy and sated and sleepy, and planned to spend the rest of the evening wrapped around Jack, and hopefully a little later, inside Jack.
"Daniel? Colonel? Are you all right?"
Somehow Sam's voice in the middle of Jack's bedroom wasn't part of the plans. He sat up in a rush, blinking around in confusion as Jack rose beside him. It took him only a second to realize he wasn't in Jack's bedroom.
And a second later to realize he probably wasn't even on Earth.
"What the shit..." Then Jack was pulling his pants up in a frenzy and Daniel suddenly realized his pants were pooled somewhere around his ankles. He reached down hurriedly, memory coming to him as he saw the mattress and small cells that they'd been imprisoned in earlier. The wet spot on the mattress reminded him that the sex hadn't been a dream.
"Please tell me this was only a dream." Jack stood, turned his back on Sam and hurriedly buttoned his fly.
"Um, well, actually, sir... I think..."
Daniel attempted to do make himself decent while sitting down but after fumbling with the buttons, he gave up and stood. His legs felt a little unsteady and he had to lock his knees to keep from stumbling. His fingers felt a little numb, a little thick and unwieldy.
"Carter, did we or didn't we just..." Jack turned to face her, sharing a quick, embarrassed look with Daniel.
Teal'c was the one who answered. "You did. Although MajorCarter and I believe you were under the influence of the Goa'uld."
"There was a Goa'uld?" Daniel looked around the room, half-expecting to see glowing eyes hiding in a corner somewhere.
"Yeah, he came into your cell. You and Daniel were talking, like you were... I don't know, sleepwalking together? You couldn't hear us or see us."
"It appeared you believed yourselves in another location. At one point you were conversing with GeneralHammond."
"Oh." Daniel wiped his hands on his pants, his palms wet with nervousness. "That wasn't while we, um..."
"No." Jack put a hand on Daniel's shoulder. "I remember coming home. A debriefing with the general... it feels more like a dream, now, but—" He looked up at Sam. "You two were there. But you weren't really adding much to the conversation."
"We went home. I could have sworn we went home. Janet was there, and Siler." Daniel wiped the sweat from his upper lip with the back of his hand. "You don't think we were drugged, do you?"
"From the way you two were acting, I think it's a pretty good possibility." Sam couldn't quite meet Daniel's gaze and a blush spread across her neck and cheeks.
"I remember there were flowers in the briefing room. I was thinking it weird Daniel wasn't sneezing."
"There aren't any flowers here." Daniel looked around their cells, just to make sure.
"Maybe your subconscious made up the flowers in your dream if you did smell some sort of gas and—"
The metallic walls behind them all slid open, revealing several Jaffa dressed in armor. Daniel glanced over at Sam and Teal'c, who were being motioned out of their cell. A not-so-gentle nudge to the ribs reminded Daniel of his own captors, and he followed Jack into the corridor.
Sam and Teal'c came down the corridor and met up with Jack and Daniel. Together, the four of them were escorted down a long, brightly lit corridor. The metallic walls bounced back the bright lights, forcing them all to squint and keep their eyes downcast.
Finally they were led to a large chamber. It was decorated in typical Goa'uld style; glittery and flamboyant curtains and carpets abounded over and around a throne sitting atop a dais. Complete with Goa'uld sitting on said throne.
"Sometimes I wish Martha Stewart would get snaked; might make it easier on the eyes on days like this," Jack grumbled.
"And that's a good thing, why?" Daniel smirked in Jack's direction as they were shepherded towards the Goa'uld.
"A little easier on the eyes would be nice."
"He's the one who was in your cell while you were dreaming," Sam said softly.
"T, any idea who he is?"
"He is not familiar to me."
The clunking of the armor-clad Jaffa stopped, and Daniel slowed, half anticipating the painful order to kneel. He wasn't disappointed. A painful blow to his lower back was accompanied by the order, "Kneel before your god, Morpheus."
"Gah," Jack exclaimed, making a show of a painful descent. Not that it wasn't painful; landing on your knees this suddenly not only hurt your pride, but your shins and kneecaps as well. Daniel's legs throbbed painfully, attesting to that fact, as did his back. He resisted the urge to rub at the soreness and instead examined the alien sitting before him.
The Goa'uld looked back at them with what seemed to be curiosity. His gaze moved from Daniel, then to Jack. Daniel blushed when he realized that this creature had been in the cell with him and Jack when they'd...
"Shit," he muttered under his breath.
"What?" Jack asked, just as softly.
"This is kind of embarrassing, you know."
Jack turned to look at Daniel. "Embarrassing?"
Daniel opened his eyes wide. "He was in the cell with us when we—" He made a rapid motion back and forth motion with a closed fist.
"Oh." Jack frowned, then his eyes widened as he understood. "Ohhhh." He turned back to the Goa'uld, who continued to sit there, content to watch them. "Morpheus, huh? God of dreams? I gotta admit," he waved a hand in the Goa'uld's direction, "that last one was pretty intense. I wonder if we could bring back samples of your dream dust back with us and—"
"Fools." The Goa'uld stood and descended the stairs, coming to a stop before them. "Restrain them."
Fingers caught Daniel's biceps, squeezing cruelly. A quick glance left and right showed him everyone was being held. This certainly was a precursor for something bad.
Oh yeah, something bad, all right. The fingers gripped his arms more tightly as he was raised onto his feet. Daniel cast a quick glance behind him, only to catch Jack's worried look as he was forced to remain kneeling with the rest of their team.
Then Daniel was being pushed onto the edge of the dais. He sat, watching warily as Morpheus slowly walked towards him. Deliberately taunting him, Daniel knew, savouring the moment as the captor toyed with the captive.
Daniel yawned suddenly, blinking back involuntary tears. The Goa'uld smiled, his eyes glowed, and then his hand was coming up towards Daniel's face. The light glinted against the metal of the hand device, and a small vial of red liquid held in the center of the device caught his attention.
Then the hand was over his face. He smelled something sweet and his head erupted in agony.
- - - - - -
Daniel woke up and groaned as he became aware of the pounding in his head. He raised his hands and pressed his palms against his temples, trying to remember the dream he'd just had. Something about a Goa'uld and a ribbon device...
The motion didn't help his headache any so he sighed loudly, feeling sorry for himself. He lowered a hand and snaked it along the mattress, trying to gauge how long the bed had been empty. The sheets beneath his fingers were cold; he must have been lying here alone for a while.
He sat up and groaned again as the movement reminded his stomach that it didn't like the pounding going on up there in his head. He waited a moment, then stood. He squinted as bright sunshine peeked through the blinds of Jack's spare bedroom.
He frowned, wondering why he was in here and not in the master bedroom. The bed was a mess; the comforter half lying on the floor, the sheets had been pulled away from the edges of the bed. The room smelled of sweat and booze, and the underlying scent of sex. Daniel raised an arm and sniffed his armpit; okay, headache and body odor he could trace to himself but damn, if he'd had sex last night, he sure as hell didn't remember it.
He found his boxers on the floor and picked them up, his headache pounding more fiercely as he bent over. He staggered down the hallway and into the bathroom once he'd put the boxers on and splashed cold water on his face. He reached for the medicine chest and caught sight of himself. Bloodshot eyes, face pale, shadows beneath his eyes. He almost looked, and felt, like he'd gone a round or two with a Goa'uld and his hand device. That would account for the dream he'd had just before he woke up.
Or was suffering from a hangover.
He opened the medicine chest, took out the Tylenol and shook out three capsules. Ignoring the decorative glass on a ceramic holder, he cupped water into his palm and slurped it up, swallowing the pills down after a few mouthfuls.
He jumped when someone rapped their knuckles on the bathroom door. "You okay in there?" Jack's voice was slightly muffled through the wooden door.
"Yeah." Daniel burped loudly, the sour contents of his stomach threatened to come up, then settled. "I'm just gonna take a shower." He peed, washed his hands and started the shower. Five minutes later, a towel wrapped around his hips, he opened the door. Jack was still there, arms folded, leaning against the wall.
"Need some Aspirin or something?"
"I helped myself." Daniel forced a smile. Jack looked way too cheerful and happy.
"You want breakfast? I got toast in the toaster."
"Coffee?" Daniel leaned closer to Jack, expecting a good morning kiss. Instead Jack pushed away and spoke over his shoulder as he walked into the kitchen.
"Just made a fresh batch. Won't help the hangover but might help clear the cobwebs."
Daniel didn't remember getting drunk last night; obviously Jack wasn't too happy with him. Maybe that was the reason why he'd woken up in the spare room. But then, he'd had a good time, even if he didn't remember it... at least he thought he did. Or hoped he had.
He followed Jack into the kitchen, where Jack was pouring a cup of coffee. Jack handed him the cup and Daniel looked at it a moment, licking his lips in anticipation. As he reached for it, he noticed his hands were shaking. He took a sip and sighed in appreciation. He looked over at Jack, trying to gauge his mood.
The splash of color on the counter behind Jack caught his attention.
"Hmm?" Jack turned to glance at what Daniel was staring at, eyebrows raised in question.
"When did you get those?" He waved at the collection of gaudy cookie jars.
"Really? She gave them to you?"
Jack frowned. "Why would she do that?"
Daniel moved away from the counter and padded closer to Jack. The towel began to slip and he smiled smugly, waiting for gravity to do its thing.
"Don't you think you should go get dressed?" Jack eyed the towel with what seemed to be nervousness.
"Why?" Daniel leaned closer to Jack and reached down to give the towel a tug, when he heard footsteps behind him.
"Hey dad, have you seen my keys?"
Daniel grabbed the loosening towel as he turned to see a blond-haired teenager enter the kitchen and begin rummaging through the small bowl where Jack kept his keys and other odds and ends. The boy spotted Daniel and smiled. "Hi, Daniel."
"They're on the coffee table in the living room, Charlie."
"Charlie?" Daniel turned to Jack in confusion. "Jack, what the hell's going on?"
Jack grinned at his son. "Don't mind Daniel. He got shitfaced last night and he's obviously not quite sober yet."
"Daniel got drunk? Damn, that's something I'd have given a year's allowance to see."
Daniel turned to Charlie in exasperation.
"Sorry, but it's true." Charlie turned and ran down the stairs into the living room. "You were right, here they are."
"Good thing the girls have gone out shopping. You gave Shau'ri a hard enough time last night. We almost had to drag you bodily from the party."
Daniel stiffened at the mention of his late wife's name.
"Sara figured you'd be sleeping in, so she decided to show Shau'ri the best places in town to shop." Jack smacked Daniel on the shoulder, not noticing his discomfiture. "She's adapting really well to life here on Earth. You'd never suspect she came from a more primitive culture. She enjoyed herself last night, despite your overindulging."
Daniel opened his mouth, not sure what Jack was talking about and what was going on, when suddenly he smelled something burning.
"Dad, the toast!"
"Shit." Jack rushed to the toaster, which was emitting black smoke. He unplugged it, grabbed the burnt toast and tossed them into the garbage. Charlie brushed past Daniel to open a window just as the smoke detector went off.
Daniel took the opportunity to leave the room and hurried back into the bedroom, holding tightly onto the towel as he did so. He shut the door behind him, muffling the sounds of swearing and the buzz of the smoke detector. He sat down on the bed, totally confused.
That was when he spotted the nightgown, lying on the back of a chair. He stood and reached for it. The material was soft and light. He brought it up to his face and inhaled.
His legs almost gave out as he recognized that scent that was Shau'ri. It had been so long but he would have known it anywhere. But Shau'ri was dead. This couldn't be real.
Hell, Charlie was dead. What the hell was going on?
The door opened and Jack peeked inside. Daniel kept his face averted, not able to meet Jack's eyes. Had Daniel dreamed that he and Jack had been lovers? He crushed the material in his hands as he heard Jack approach.
"Are you okay?"
"To be honest? I don't know."
"You had quite a bit to drink last night; maybe you should try getting some more sleep."
"I'm not drunk."
"You seem a bit confused." Jack stopped a few inches behind him. Daniel could sense him there; smell him, feel his body heat, and his body began to respond.
Daniel laughed. "That's an understatement."
"Why don't you lie down, sleep a few more hours?"
Suddenly embarrassed about his state of near dishabille and his body's reaction to Jack's proximity, Daniel dropped the nightgown and grabbed a handful of the sheets and comforter and slid beneath them, tugging them up past his hips. He felt the towel finally let go underneath. Sitting awkwardly, he lowered his upper body until his head was lying on the pillow.
From his vantage point, he could see a half-opened suitcase in the far corner of the room, with clothes spilling out of it. A woman's bra lay on the floor beside a man's shirt.
"You mentioned a party?" Daniel shut his eyes so he wouldn't have to see the clothes.
"A celebratory one... you and Shau'ri flew in from New York yesterday where you presented your latest thesis. From what I understood, it went over almost as good as the one you and Carter presented on alternate universes last year. Then again, you've been a success each and every time you've published."
"I'm still dreaming, aren't I?" Having any of their accomplishments and discoveries from the past years published and Daniel's work acknowledged was something he no longer expected. At least, not in his lifetime.
"Depends on the dream." The mattress dipped as Jack sat on the edge of the bed.
That slight motion reminded him of his still-upset stomach and he squeezed his eyes tight. "Shau'ri, Charlie, Sara – it's not real. None of this is."
"Okay, now you're starting to scare me."
There was a gentle touch to his cheek. Daniel's eyes flew open. Jack was staring down at him intently. Daniel reached out to touch Jack's knee when Charlie rushed into the room.
"Dad? Daniel? I'm leaving now." Daniel froze as Charlie came to a stop in the middle of the room. He squeezed his fingers into a fist as Charlie asked, "Daniel, you okay?"
Jack never moved his hand from Daniel's face. "He's fine, just a bad hangover. Something I'm sure you'll never experience, right?"
"Yeah, um, right. Don't have a cow, man. Look, I gotta go. Daniel, I hope you feel better soon." Laughing, he threw over his shoulder, "At least by the time Shau'ri comes home. Oh, are you ever gonna be in for it."
Daniel swallowed hard as he waited for the sound of the front door closing. Jack also kept quiet, his thumb making small rubbing motions on and around Daniel's temple. When the sound of a car's motor started and then faded, Jack finally spoke. "Tell me what's going on?"
Slowly Daniel unclenched his fist, staring at it rather than at Jack. "This. Charlie. Sara. Shau'ri. It's not real. None of this is real. It's a... a trap. Something..."
"Why? Why now?" Jack took his hand away. "What happened? You were so happy. When you got back yesterday, you told me and Sara you both had a great time in New York. You were so excited that Shau'ri was—" Jack straightened. "Is that it? You're afraid for Shau'ri? I know you guys wanted to start a family and—" "Oh God, Jack." Daniel rolled over, turning away from Jack. He stumbled and caught himself on the DHD just as the center glyph winked out.
"It didn't work. Hurry, try dialing again." Shau'ri clutched his arm, her eyes wide in fright. She pressed against him and her large belly brushed against his hip.
Daniel looked around, confused. He'd gone from lying in bed to a firefight. The acrid smell of smoke burned his throat and lungs, making him cough. He looked towards the Stargate. Jack was there, kneeling beside a bloody body. He raised his head and met Daniel's gaze.
"Try dialing the Tok'ra or the Alpha Site," Jack ordered.
"Daniel. Dial it up now! Those Jaffa are on our tails." Even as Jack spoke, Daniel heard the alarm vibrate through the woods, the deep trumpety sound coming closer and closer with each call.
Daniel quickly began punching in the symbols for home.
"That is Earth – you just dialed – it does not work." Shau'ri turned towards Daniel and tugged at his arm. "Charlie is dying, he needs help."
Ignoring Shau'ri, Daniel hit the center crystal and turned expectantly towards the Stargate. The symbols winked out.
"Daniel, damnit. My son here is dying and we're all going to be toast in a few seconds. Get us the hell out of here. Dial the Alpha Site."
Daniel could now hear the jingling sounds of Jaffa armor. He stared towards the woods, looking for movement.
"Daniel! Bart's going to bleed to death if you don't do something!"
"Dan'yel, hurry, my husband." Shau'ri tugged at his arm. "Bart has been badly injured. He needs help. The Tok'ra can heal him."
"Bart?" Daniel blinked, the smoke was making his eyes burn and tear. He looked again at Jack's son, who was lying very still. "That's not your son." His head hurt and his vision blurred. The stench of smoke turned sickly sweet and he gagged.
"Charlie. For crying out loud, Daniel. I said Charlie." Jack stood and rushed over to Daniel. He grabbed him by the arms and shook him. Daniel's head felt too heavy for his neck to hold up. "Dial the fucking 'gate!"
"You dial it, Jack." The words came out in a near whisper. The whoosh of a staff blast flew by. He felt the heat of it on his cheek as it went by. His reflexes were too slow. Before he could grab his wife and pull her down to safety behind the DHD, a second blast caught her in the abdomen. He stumbled and fell against the DHD as he was hit by a dizzy spell.
"Dial the 'gate! We can still save her!" Jack grabbed Shau'ri by the armpits and began dragging her towards Charlie. "You can save her and Bart, Daniel. Dial the Tok'ra."
"No." Daniel allowed himself to sink to his knees. "No. This isn't right. They're already dead, Jack. They died years ago. I can't save them."
Then Jack was there, forcing him onto his feet. "Dial. The. Gate." He pushed Daniel against the DHD hard enough that his thigh connected painfully with it. Daniel turned around, leaning his butt against the hard edge and rubbed at the throbbing bruise.
"That's it, isn't it? This is all a trick. All of this—" he waved his hand towards their two injured loved ones, "is a ruse to get me to give you the addresses." His legs buckled and he allowed himself to slide down, bumping the back of his head against the metallic edge of the DHD when his butt hit the ground. "Well, I'm not playing your game."
He closed his eyes and felt cruel hands catch his hair, forcing his head back. The sun was hot against his face, its light bright through closed eyelids. There was a loud whooshing sound in his ears, pulsing every few seconds.
Then he was pushed backwards and his shoulder slammed into the ground. Through slitted lids he saw tiled mosaics along the floor, bits of mica glittering here and there. A pair of booted feet walked before his line of sight, only to disappear behind him. He tried to turn, but his head erupted in pain, and his sight turned red before going dark.
- - - - - -
It had been obvious that the contraption on Morpheus' hand wasn't your usual run of the mill torture device. When he'd brought it up and focused it on Daniel, Jack had realized immediately that it wasn't causing Daniel to squirm in pain. Instead his eyes had fluttered shut and his body had relaxed. Not enough that he'd collapsed bonelessly onto the floor but he had sagged somewhat, enough that a Jaffa had moved in to hold him upright by an arm.
Daniel's head had fallen to the side and Jack could see that his eyes were moving rapidly and restlessly behind closed lids. If Morpheus' earlier attempts to – what, interrogate them through dreams? - then it appeared that Daniel was undergoing another third degree Sandman-style.
It seemed to go on forever. Daniel gave out little soft grunts occasionally, his fingers twitched, his breathing sped up, hitched, then slowed. Jack alternated his attention between Daniel and the snake; the bastard's eyes were half closed in concentration and Jack had a gut feeling he knew exactly what was going on in Daniel's head.
Then there came a look of such rage over Morpheus' face that Jack, for a moment, thought for sure that he was going to do something rash. Instead he pulled his hand back and the red beam reflecting onto Daniel's forehead faded. The snake motioned to the Jaffa, and he let go of Daniel, who fell heavily onto the ground. He landed curled up on his side, his face near Jack's knee.
The vice-like grip on Jack's arms was released. Despite his arms feeling slightly numb, he bent over Daniel, immediately checking his breathing. It seemed slow and deep; Daniel looked to be nothing other than deeply asleep. There was a sickly sweet smell around Daniel. Suddenly Jack was breathing hard and blinking fast as the room began to spin. He straightened in time to see Morpheus striding from the room, leaving SG-1 kneeling there, surrounded by Jaffa.
"Bring him." The Jaffa who spoke motioned to Teal'c to get Daniel. Once released, Teal'c knelt beside their downed teammate and pulled him up into a seated position. Daniel sighed softly, but didn't wake. Teal'c got him into a fireman's carry and stood effortlessly. Jack scrambled onto his feet, hoping to beat the Jaffa's somewhat painful *nudge*, only to have the end of a staff weapon smack him in the ribs. Jack glared at the Jaffa but followed Carter and Teal'c as they were escorted back through the corridor, towards their cells.
Jack stumbled along, still feeling dizzy from the whiff of chemicals that had knocked Daniel out. His ears buzzed and his vision swam. He kept up appearances that nothing was wrong and walked beside Carter to the booted beat of Jaffa armor, trying not to stagger like a drunk.
The Jaffa stopped suddenly and Jack walked into the one before him, smacking his nose painfully against the metallic back. He bounced off the Jaffa and lurched into the wall. He grabbed his nose with his hand, trying to blink back tears when suddenly he was pulled roughly to the ground.
Disoriented, he tried to make sense of why the Jaffa were falling around them. Carter was leaning over him, as if she were attempting to protect him and Teal'c was covering Daniel's body with his own. Then his brain caught up to his body and he saw Major Griff coming towards him, his movements alternating in slow motion to normal speed until he came to kneel beside Jack.
"You guys okay?" Griff glanced at Daniel, who lay unmoving against the wall.
"Yeah. The snake used some kind of gas on Daniel." Jack forced himself onto his knees as Carter accepted a pistol from the major.
"We better get the hell out of here before they bring in reinforcements." Griff looked pointedly at Jack.
"I'm okay." Jack managed to stand and he ignored the hissing in his ears. After he'd taken several steps, he began to feel a bit steadier. Still, throughout the time it took to rush through the complex, make it to the room that housed the rings and then the race to the Stargate, the feeling of being drugged never left him.
As he lay on an infirmary bed watching Fraiser's face swim in and out of focus as she examined him, he tried to remember his short conversation with General Hammond when they'd arrived back on Earth. He recalled was the general's worried expression when he caught sight of Daniel and Jack. Then they'd been rushed to the infirmary where Fraiser had promised to let him sleep as soon as she finished with him.
All he could remember about their escape were bits of sights and sounds. How Daniel's hand had flopped against Teal'c's hip as they ran towards the Stargate. How green the grass had been as Jack had stumbled drunkenly along, trying to match his pace to everyone else's and barely succeeding. How the whoosh of the Stargate activating had sounded muted, as if there had been cotton stuffed in his ears. The clatter of boots on the metallic ramp, by contrast, had been loud and strident.
More clearly, he recalled the emotions that had swept through him: fear for Daniel, anxiety that they'd be attacked before being able to get through the Stargate, frustration with himself at not being able to help.
Then relief when they'd made it home. And now he was fighting the urge to sleep and knowing he wouldn't be able to do so for much longer.
"Daniel?" Jack asked when Fraiser finally finished with the penlight and stethoscope and the nurse put the blood pressure cuff aside.
"Sleeping." She looked over Jack to the bed beside him where Daniel lay behind a privacy curtain. "He's non-responsive so I'm assuming he's been drugged. Were you exposed to the same—"
"The snake used a ribbon device on him." Jack squeezed his eyes shut and pushed his palms into his eyeballs. "There was a drug of some kind built into the—"
"Teal'c and Sam have already described it. They didn't mention you getting—"
"The drug was around Daniel. I think I just got too close and breathed some in."
"And I understand you and Daniel were subject to some kind of mind-altering effects from something you were exposed to earlier." She smiled and motioned to the nurse. "We'll just take a few blood samples and then let you rest."
Jack turned his head away as his arm was swabbed with a disinfectant. He could feel the pull of sleep and it finally became too tiresome to fight. He let himself slide away, the pinprick of the syringe not enough to call him back.
- - - - - -
The slight prickling pain on his elbow suddenly escalated and Jack opened his eyes, drawn from his doze, and slapped at the offending mosquito. The small, mangled remains left a smear of blood which he wiped off with his fingers, then swiped his fingers on the cool grass.
"C'mon, choose one." Jack turned towards the sound of the high pitched voice and ensuing giggle. Tessa was perched on the deck chair beside Daniel, and they were going through what looked to be a colouring book. Daniel was flipping through the pages, apparently examining each outline carefully.
"Okay, this one." Daniel pointed to a page.
To Jack's surprise, Hammond's granddaughter tore the page out and put it aside.
"Choose another one." She nudged the book Daniel still held in his hands. While Daniel continued skimming through the book, she took the page she'd torn out and began colouring in it.
"This one." He showed her and she tore the second page out and placed it at her feet.
Kayla ran up to her sister and grabbed the second torn sheet. She sat down, bumping her sister in the process. Tessa growled "watch it" before applying herself to choosing another crayon. By now Daniel had torn a third page and was searching for more.
Jack straightened up in his chair and stretched. He could smell heating charcoal and his mouth watered and the thought of the juicy steaks he'd spied in Hammond's fridge earlier when he'd helped himself to a can of Pepsi. He'd eyed the beer longingly, but as Fraiser was also at this shindig, he didn't dare defy her orders of nothing alcoholic until the drugs were completely gone from his system.
He yawned, still feeling lethargic from the Goa'uld's drugs. He and Daniel had spent a good portion of the past two days napping at odd hours. He glanced at his watch, figuring he'd dozed off for no more than fifteen minutes. He hoped nobody had noticed. He didn't trust Cassie and her new digital camera and suspected there might be a few photos he might regret seeing, waiting in his email that evening.
He sat up reluctantly. He'd much rather just turn onto his side and sleep until supper was ready. Instead he decided to go see if he could offer Hammond a hand with the cooking. That way he would be closer to the food and might be able to sample a few of the goodies.
He glanced at the pictures the girls were colouring, and froze.
They each had a glyph taken from the Stargate. And even before he could say anything, Daniel stopped riffling through the pages and pointed out another page to Tessa. "This one."
And Jack recognized all three symbols. The first three in the 'gate address to the latest world the Tok'ra had taken for their base.
Even as Tessa grabbed the page and began pulling it free of the book, Jack yelled, "Daniel, no!"
Damnit. They weren't home. This was another damned setup and Morpheus had finally managed to trick Daniel into giving him the 'gate address. He grabbed the half-coloured pages and the book from the girls, ignoring their cries and expressions of fear. He hurried towards Hammond's BBQ, intending to burn the pages.
"Jack, what the hell's going on?" Daniel was on his heels, matching his hurried steps. "You just scared those poor kids."
"This." Jack waved the crumpled sheets before Daniel's nose. "This is what's going on. You fell for it." He waved behind him, his anger making the motion almost violent. "Those aren't children, one of them's a freaking snake." He ignored the looks of concern from Carter and Teal'c as he passed them in his beeline for the beckoning fire.
"Jack." Daniel grabbed his arm, forcing him to stop. "I think you're a little confused. You were probably dreaming and—"
"Dreaming? Oh yeah, I sure am." He opened the book to a random page. "Since when do colouring books have pictures of 'gate addresses on them?"
Daniel peered at the pages before him. "Gate addresses? They're just constellations. What's with you, Jack? You're starting to worry me."
"Is there a problem, gentlemen?"
Jack turned to Hammond, who had approached them without Jack noticing.
"Nothing I can't take care of." Jack shrugged off Daniel's grip and continued towards the flames. Grabbing a fork, Jack plunged it into one of the steaks and threw it to the ground, exposing the grill and the coals beneath.
He tossed the two crumpled pages onto the grill and watched with satisfaction as the edges blackened, curled up slowly at first, then burned into flames and quickly turned to ash.
"You're gonna eat that steak, y'know." Hammond stood beside him, Daniel two steps behind. Resolutely, Jack pushed the edges of the colouring book into the grill, touching them to the gray coals beneath. It wouldn't catch.
He could feel the heat on his hands and he changed his grip, holding it from the farthest edge. "It won't burn," he said, turning to look at Daniel.
"Of course it won't. It's made of naquadah."
"It has to. He can't get it. We can't let him get the address before we can warn the Tok'ra."
"Jack, it's okay." Daniel moved closer to him and put a hand on Jack's forearm. He squeezed, then tried to pull the colouring book away from the fire. "Let go."
"No, you don't understand. It's a dream. It's all a dream." He stiffened his arm and forced the pages deeper, causing the ash surrounding the charcoal to fall and exposing the red-hot heat inside.
Daniel let go of his arm and put a hand on his shoulder. "Jack, wake up."
"We have to destroy this. Why won't the damn thing burn?"
"Wake up. C'mon, Jack. Wake up."
The hand shook his shoulder and Jack jerked awake.
"You were dreaming." The hand let go of him and a warm, solid arm moved across his bare chest.
Jack realized he was in bed. He raised his head and looked around. His bedroom. There was faint illumination coming from between the blinds, indicating it was daytime outside. He let his head fall back onto the pillow.
Daniel's breath puffed against the back of his neck as he settled, pulling Jack closer. "You okay?"
"Yeah." Jack tried to remember when they'd gone to bed. He rubbed a hand over his face. Late afternoon, when both he and Daniel had found themselves with no energy to do much of anything except sit and fight off sleep. Then he remembered his dream. He tensed. "No."
The arm around his chest tightened slightly and Daniel shifted again.
"Dreamed of Morpheus?"
"Was it a dream? Or are we dreaming this now and he's trying to trick us into thinking we're home and we're safe? Again."
Daniel rolled away from Jack, exhaling heavily. "We've been through this already."
"Yeah, well... why did I just stop you from giving out the 'gate address to the Tok'ra stronghold."
"You were *dreaming*."
"In the other dreams, Morpheus never got this close to getting what he wanted."
"So this wasn't one of *his* dreams. It was just a regular Jack O'Neill special."
"Hell, no, it wasn't. You were the one who gave in to the pressure."
"I wasn't dreaming. You were."
"We've shared dreams before." Jack motioned between himself and Daniel. "That weird thing the snake had going where we... you know..."
Daniel's eyebrows went up. Then down. "In front of Sam and Teal'c. Yeah, not one of my proudest moments." He paused a moment. "But I didn't dream, so whatever you saw in your dream, it wasn't my doing. It was you."
"You uncovered three glyphs."
"It was your subconscious doing that not me. Your dream, not mine."
"I couldn't stop you."
Daniel snorted. "Shows what confidence you subconsciously have in me, huh?"
"That's not what I—"
"The dreams are a residual effect from the drug. Janet told us that—"
"He's made us see Janet before."
"Jack." The headboard creaked slightly as Daniel sat up and leaned against it. "You're just confused because of the dream. Give it a few minutes."
He turned onto his back and rolled his head back to look at Daniel. "Hell yes, I'm confused." After a moment, he sat up and inched back so he was sitting beside Daniel. "If this is real," he said, waving a hand at the dim room, "why am I still dreaming about it?"
"I know that." He tried to keep the exasperation out of his voice, but failed. "But why am I still dreaming about the 'gate addresses? This time I couldn't stop you from—"
"You're blaming me for your dream?"
"If this isn't real, if this is still his doing, we came this close to giving Morpheus what he wants."
"It's your dream, Jack. Whatever you saw, it came from your subconscious. Not mine."
He nodded, hating that he was the one who might have given in. "I know."
"You can't control your unconscious mind. You probably dreamed about it because you know it's safe to now."
"But I don't know that," Jack said, pounding the mattress for emphasis.
"Yeah, you do." Daniel's voice was soft and the bedclothes rustled as he turned towards him. "Was there anything that felt... off, with the dream?"
"Like something wasn't quite right, or didn't belong?"
"Hammond's grandkids were in the dream."
"No, I mean, someone who shouldn't have been there. Maybe someone who's moved away. Or died," Daniel said softly.
Daniel had never really spoken much about what he'd dreamed when Morpheus had used the device on him. There had been a haunted look in his eyes before he'd looked away and mumbled he couldn't remember much, but that he was certain he hadn't given in to Morpheus' demands. Jack wondered what Daniel had seen that had been so painful to him.
Jack brought his focus back onto his dream and thought over the people that had been in it. Hammond, the kids, Daniel and the rest of his team. Vague memories of people he knew were SGC personnel but couldn't quite put faces and names to the familiar sensations of their having been there. "Nope. Just... people."
"Did we have sex?"
Jack smothered a laugh. "Nope."
"Nobody who's not really human?"
"Everyone in my dream was a real, living person."
"How about Bart Simpson? Every time I experienced Morpheus' drugs, somehow you mentioned Bart Simpson."
"Bart Simpson is a person." Jack imagined Daniel's rolling of eyes at that and he turned quickly and caught Daniel in mid-roll. He smiled.
"But was he in your dream?"
Jack went over the dream again; the details had already begun to fade from his mind, but he was pretty sure he'd seen no sign of the bullet-headed figure. "Nope."
"That's odd, you know."
"What is?" Jack turned to lean his shoulder against the headboard.
"Legend says Morpheus can invade your dreams and take the form of just about anyone. But we somehow managed to see through his ploys each time."
"No, you did. You just said you felt something was off. I can't say that—"
"It was your way of telling me something wasn't right. That's how I knew something was wrong. It was your doing, and it helped me later when I was..."
"Yeah. He managed to latch onto both of our memories and..." Daniel sighed heavily.
Jack leaned forward so he was lying against Daniel. He gave him a small, quick kiss on the nose.
"We got enough stuff in our heads to give us nightmares for years. I guess I can live with an occasional bad dream."
Jack saw Daniel smile in the dim gloom of the bedroom. His hand snaked around Jack's nape and pulled him closer for a real kiss. Jack relaxed against Daniel when suddenly the old fear snuck up. He pulled back.
Daniel sighed. "It's just me and you here. There's nobody watching us."
"That's easy for you to say *now*," Jack huffed. "Who was pulling away this morning when I joined you in the shower?"
"We can't live this way, Jack. *I* can't live like this." Daniel threw the blankets off and got out of the bed.
Jack silently agreed with Daniel as he stormed out of the room. He hoped the paranoia was just due to the traces of the drug still in their system. Because it sure as hell was putting a damper on their sex lives.
Speaking of which, he still had to thank Carter and Teal'c for not mentioning the last bit of sex he and Daniel had engaged in. He smiled at Teal'c's "O'Neill and DanielJackson were not arguing" when Hammond had questioned them about how he and Carter realized the Goa'uld had been manipulating them when the snake first showed up.
Jack got out of bed and went looking for Daniel. A glance at the clock in the kitchen showed it was early evening. His stomach grumbled, reminding him he hadn't eaten since noon. He had a nagging feeling that there was something he normally did around this time.
He heard the television so he followed the quickly shifting sounds of channel surfing. Without a word he entered the room and sat beside Daniel, copying his position by resting his legs on the coffee table before him.
"I can't find it." Daniel quickly shifted from one channel to the next.
"Isn't it on at this time?"
The sound of the closing credits of The Simpsons filled the room.
"That." Daniel threw the TV's remote onto the coffee table.
"The show's finished." Jack reached for the remote, silently cursing his sleep-stiffened muscles. He hit the Off switch and the room was filled with silence. "So. No Simpsons. Think it's an omen?"
Daniel didn't answer, but kept staring at the dark television screen.
"You know I rarely miss that show. That's gotta mean something. I think we're really home." He quickly raised a finger when Daniel opened his mouth. "Ack." He moved his hand, cupping the back of Daniel's head. "How about we try this again? Nobody here now." He moved closer and kissed Daniel gently. "No Bart Simpson," he said against Daniel's lips. "No Goa'uld." He pressed his lips again to Daniel's. "No Carter or Teal'c."
"You're not helping my libido here, you know." He felt Daniel's lips stretch into a smile. "Try using your mouth for something other than talking." Then Daniel shifted, pressing Jack back against the couch cushions.
Jack reached up and slid his fingers beneath Daniel's tee shirt, enjoying the feel of Daniel's stomach muscles contracting as he touched a hot spot. "You mean, like this?" He slid down and kissed the still quivering flesh.
"Yeah," Daniel sighed. "Wait."
Jack blinked as Daniel pulled away and reached for the remote. He turned the television on, put the remote back on the coffee table, and turned back to Jack. "Just to be safe," he said with an embarrassed smile.
Author's Comments: To my Heartsisters, some of whom I managed to totally confuse as I wrote this story.
Hugs and more hugs to devra, who alpha'd this story for me. You rock, girl
to contact me