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Alpha Males 4

still, small voice - not

Summary: Jack and Daniel have to get used to their, er, house guests. A little consensual tying up (I don't do S&M stuff, at least not in this series, it's all in good fun).
Nikki's idea started something off but I went off on a tangent. Sorry Nikki, that's the best I can do...
Part of this is based on a true story. Of course, all references within the context of SG-1 are completely fictional. Or are they? *bwahaha*

"So, what are we going to do today?" I ask Jack as we face off over the breakfast table.

"I promised Talnet I'd take her to the zoo," he says, his face scrumpled up as he says it.

"The zoo?"

"Yeah. Wanna make something of it?"

"Um, no. Just wondering, that's all."

"Told her I'd show her an iguana."

That explains everything then. Ok-ay, he obviously wants to take his mind off things. Not easy when the problem causing this is in his mind, but we'll do what he wants.

"Okay then. When do you want to go?"

"Soon as. It's a nice day. May as well make the most of it."

At least it hasn't snowed for a couple of days - always a good thing in my book. The zoo's on Cheyenne, so we're heading back towards work. It'll make a change to see the wild animals outside the mountain for once.


"What?" He looks back at me and grins, knowing just what I mean.

"You get a discount because you're military. I work for you lot and I don't get one!"

"Daniel, it's only a dollar, what'cha complaining about?"

"It's not the dollar, Jack, it's the principle. Are you any more likely to get KIA'd than I am?"

"Probably. I don't have your resurrection abilities. Stop your whinin' will ya? There's a good linguist."


//Daniel? What is this 'zoo'?//

{It's a place where they keep animals, normally wild animals, Qabil. They are there for entertainment purposes in one way, but these days the main reason for the existence of these places is the education of the visitors and the captive breeding programmes of the rarer species, so we don't lose them to extinction. Man has a nasty habit of taking over the living space of animals, so some people, the more far-sighted ones I guess, are doing their best to protect the animals. Zoos aren't a perfect solution, but they do what they can. The animals are treated well and with respect. Sometimes, in some collections, certain of the animals, such as the elephants or seals put on shows.}

//That doesn't sound respectful, Daniel.//

{No, no, it doesn't, but they only 'ask' the animals to do things. They don't make them. The animals get rewarded for learning and performing tricks. They benefit by getting a piece of their favourite food, for example. For the more self-aware and intelligent species it also gives them something to do and stops them getting bored. There was a time when animals were beaten into submission to do this sort of thing, but not now. If anyone did that now, they could be jailed.}

//That is a relief. When I lived on Earth a few millennia ago, there was no regard for animals - apart from a few species, such as the cat of course, which was revered. One of the pharaohs I knew though had hounds and he loved them dearly. He was not a cat person at all. One day one of the hounds got into a room he shouldn't be in and ate one of the queen's cats. There was hell to pay. The pharaoh pretended to order the destruction of the dog, but in reality he sent him to live secretly with one of his relatives so he could visit him.//

I don't think I have ever learned so much about the time I spent so many years studying as I have done since I met Qabil. He's full of stories like this that help put everything into pictures for me.

{Thank you, Qabil, I love your stories.}

//It is my pleasure, Daniel. May I tell you many more before our ways part. By the way, would you like me to fix your eyes for you? I'm healed enough to do it now.//

{Can you? It would make life easier, though how I'm going to explain it, I don't know.}

//Tell everyone you're wearing those little lens things you put in your eyes sometimes.//

{Contacts. Of course. I should have thought about that. Thanks Qabil.}

Daniel's retreated into his head, his mouth is twitching like he wants to speak to Qabil but he knows he can't say anything out loud. It's funny.

[I doubt you are any better, Jack]

(Gee, thanks Tally.)

[My pleasure.]

Yeah, she's a she all right.

"Jack, where do you want to go first?"

"Reptile house - it's over there," I point in the general direction of the bird and reptile house.

[Jack, you are very quiet. Are you all right?]

(Yeah. I'm fine.)

[Jack. One of the advantages or disadvantages to having a symbiote is never being able to hide your feelings. You can shut off your thoughts and memories, but I know that you are a little sad now. Please, Jack, tell me.]

(Crap. Okay, it's just the last time I came here I brought Charlie.)

[I understand now. Was it a good trip?]

(It was great, thanks. It was Charlie's birthday. We brought him and some of his friends up here and had a day out, party, the works.)

[A wonderful memory, Jack. Thank you for sharing it with me. Perhaps we can try to enjoy ourselves today too, and honour Charlie's memory by making this a happy place for you.]

(I think that would be a very good thing indeed. You know, for a snake, you're okay.)


"Jack? Are you okay?"

"Fine Danny, fine. Come on, let's get in there, I want to have some fun today."

Daniel's smiling at me, as if he's worked something out. Perhaps he has. What the hell - it's a nice day, the weather's about as warm as it ever gets this time of year. I'm going to enjoy myself.

[Or else?]

(*snigger* Yeah, or else.)

We're in the reptile house. Snakes always give me the willies, but I don't let on about that. I love lizards though, they're cute. A frill necked one gets a response from Qabil. I know it's him, Daniel's face looks... different somehow.

"I would guess that this is what you were talking about, Jack. Perhaps our biologists can compare notes. It would be an interesting study," he murmurs.

I nod, we'll have words back in the mountain. Even though none of the animals here are the same as the Tok'ra, there are a number of similarities with a few of the species.

[Jack, may we see some of the other animals now?]

(Sure thing, Tally. What do you want to see?)


Her enthusiasm makes me laugh, earning me a few funny looks from the other visitors and Daniel.

"Come on Danny, I'll tell you outside."


Who's that? Ferretti?

"Hey Lou, come on, we're off duty. Whatcha doing here?"

"Brought the kids, Jack, giving the wife the day off. What about you? I wouldn't expect to see you here."

"Ah. Well, hell, I kept one big thing from you, I'm not keeping this a secret too. Um, do you remember Kadim and Hasana?"

"Sure - nice people. I was sorry to hear about them."

"Yeah, well, Qabil and Talnet needed somewhere to go in a hurry, if you get my drift."

Lou's eyes open wide as it dawns on him what I just said. We're having to be very circumspect in what we say.

"So, who's staying with you, Jack?"

"Talnet. It's just a temporary arrangement. Qabil's with Daniel."

"You two are the last people on Earth I'd have expected to agree to that."

"Under different circumstances I doubt we'd have said yes, but if we didn't, they'd have died. We've grown pretty fond of the pair of them over the last couple of years."

"I take it this is a secret?"

"Oh yeah, don't want to get kidnapped by you know who."

"Got you. Thanks for telling me Jack. So, why the zoo?"

"Tally wanted to see the lizards."

Lou cracks up at that. Daniel's chatting to his kids, pointing to the camels and telling them some story or other. The keeper of the camels is there. He and Daniel are talking, probably exchanging some bits of information. Oh God, what's he doing now?

"Danny? What are you doing?"

"Making friends, what else?" he calls back grinning.

Lou and I head over to where they all are. I don't believe it, the freaking thing is virtually snuggling with him.

"How do you do that, Daniel? Those things are bad-tempered beasts."

I think the keeper wants to know too. Turns out this one is a recent addition to the zoo and not overly friendly.

"Ja-ack, where was I born? Come on, I've spent more time on a camel than on a horse and a bike combined. Let's just say I learned a few tricks of the trade when I was a kid."

He's muttering something to the camel, gentle words rather than the harsh sounds you usually associate with talking to these nasty beggars, and tugging softly on its harness. It's going down on its knees and finally down onto the floor.

"Hey, Danny, if you ever want a change of profession I think you'll land a job as a camel keeper," I tease, wondering which one of them actually knows how to do this.

"Hmm, now there's a thought," he replies with a grin.

The keeper's talking to him.

"He's not wrong. Nobody can handle this one like that. If you're after a job..." he laughs as he says it, but I think he means it too. "By the way, what do you do?"

"Archaeologist," Daniel replies.

"Anthropologist, multilinguist," I add.

"Smartass?" asks the keeper.

"Oh yeah. That too."

That was a fun day. We both felt better about wandering around the zoo when we met up with the kids. Lou's children are fun, even if they are getting a bit old for day trips to the zoo. I think that we were able to help Lou out a bit there. I'm glad.

{Did you enjoy yourself, Qabil?}

//I had a great time, thank you. Perhaps we'll get to see more of this planet before it's time for us to leave you.//

{Yes, I'd like to show it to you.}

"Hey, Q, did ya like the lizards?"

Ah yes - not only has Jack picked up on Qabil's nickname for Talnet, he's given him one of his own. I had to explain about the annoying entity from Star Trek. At first Qabil was annoyed, but then he decided that being named after an omnipotent pain in the ass was a good thing. Go figure.

"Thank you, Jack, I loved them. I see why you call Daniel 'lizard' now. The one in the end case was quite bad-tempered."

{I heard that. Any more of that and I'll force you to watch an ice hockey match - at the rink.}

//I apologise Daniel. Besides, don't you have laws against torture?//


We've been back at work for a week now. Qabil and Talnet are settling down on Earth/Alpha - though I think that they are a bit restless. They're both field operatives - something that Jack and I understand well. We've both been 'cured' of our various weaknesses; Jack's back and knee are better, my eyesight is fine and my allergies are GONE! However, we're both still committed to the setting up of the Alpha site. We don't mind heading out for one-off missions like the one to Eshmunen, in fact we welcome the distraction, but we really need to spend most of our waking moments on Alpha or in yet another frigging meeting.

Jack and I have just been summoned to see Hammond, so we're heading back to Earth. Sam and Teal'c are already there, though I don't know if they are wanted or not.

"General, Doctor, thank you for coming. Sorry to recall you like this."

George is being awfully formal. And who's that guy on the other side of the table?

"This is Air Marshal Alexander," says George. Oh, so that's who. Not that I'm any the wiser, though Jack seems to know of him.

"Sir? Wow, um, pleasure to meet you. Your exploits in er, eh hem, were required reading for us spec ops guys," Jack's almost gushing.

"General, having read of your most recent exploits I'm honoured you should feel that way."

Oh crap. Mutual love fest here. Thank God. Sam's just knocked on the door. If she goes girlie I'm resigning. Great, she's never heard of him. Obviously something that us mere mortals never get to hear about.

//What's frosting your cookies, Daniel?//

{Knock it off, Q, you're sounding more like Jack every day. Ugh, don't mind me, I've just got far too much to do without being hauled back to meet some 'legendary' guy that I've never heard of.}

"General, Air Marshal, I hate to do this but could you tell us why we've been recalled? I've got a million and one things to do and if I don't get back there soon I'm going to have to go in armed and ready to put down a rebellion. I just left the palaeontology department fighting with the archaeologists over who was going to get what lab. As we were going the earth scientists were sneaking in behind them. It won't be pretty."

"Ah, of course Doctor Jackson. Please. Take a seat. I'm afraid you won't be able to return to Alpha for a little while though. We have a mission for you."

"General, we retired from the field," I complain.

"This isn't off-world. We need you to go to the UK."

"Oh God, Sir, if this is a diplomatic thing..."

"No, no, no fund-raising or anything."

A collective 'phew' goes around the room. George hands us out folders which we open with trepidation. It starts...

Ooh er. Before I open it I ask,

"General, Sir, should we, under the current circumstances, be opening this?"

"Doctor. Your current circumstances are precisely why I believe you to be the best people to open this."

The Air Marshal looks at us. I stare back at him. We're not explaining. He looks miffed. Tough.

So, I open the folder and begin to read.

You know some days it doesn't pay to get out of bed. This morning I was tucked up next to my hairy general, woken up gently with a mug of steaming triple-strength Java and then completely revived when he started to show me just how much he loves me. When I was finally able to close my mouth and stand (after my legs had stopped shaking and they'd recovered from their jelly-like state) I showed him how much I love him in return. In the shower. On my knees. Heh, heh, heh.

A couple of hours later, we were on the other side of the galaxy. I was mediating between warring departments, Jack was organising the transfer of equipment so that we can get the power sources equalised (i.e., Sam has to figure out a way to connect our needs to the Tok'ra supplied power without said power blowing up our stuff. There's lots of talk of transformers and stuff. I normally shut down at this point and 'do a Jack'. In other words I smile and nod a lot.)

Anyway, where was I? More to the point, where am I? A quick lunch, a rush home to grab some clothes and then a trip to Peterson. Now we're somewhere over the Atlantic and about to embark on an investigation worthy of the X-files. And if Jack calls me Scully once more I'm going to kill him where he stands.

It turns out that there have been a couple of highly-substantiated UFO sightings over the past few decades there. One of which (or rather two given our current assignment) was a lot more than at first appeared.

Rendlesham Forest, Suffolk, UK. 1980. Boxing Day. A UFO landed near an RAF base used by the USAF. Also near an RAF research station. Highly, highly-classified stuff there. At the time there was another research station a few miles away which was used by the Brits and us - namely the NSA, the big time secrets guys. The Brits developed RADAR there in the 1930s in a bunker on an island in Orford Ness, right by the forest. Only the research station at Bawdsey is still operative.

Since then, the NSA listening post in Menwith Hill, Yorkshire, has been the place for similar sightings. Each and every time the same description comes forth - often from trained witnesses such as the police and military officers. A triangular vessel; lights changing colour; electrical interference. And radiation. Which was so bad at the landing site that a number of the trees in the forest had to be cut down and taken away before the public could be allowed back. There's a public footpath that runs by the site, and whereas the British are usually okay about following orders such as 'keep out', ramblers (the people that use the footpaths) are notoriously adamant about using their rights. All traces from the scene had to be quickly swept away. Witnesses were told to be quiet. USAF personnel that saw the craft were transferred without warning. Sounds like a major cover-up, doesn't it? So, many people have investigated this.

What they haven't found out, and will never find out if we have anything to do with it, is that this was most definitely an alien spacecraft. Records have come to light that prove it. Not only that, there have recently been a batch of sightings back in the same area, overlooking the research station in Bawdsey. Menwith Hill has also reported such sightings. These objects are being tracked on radar, as were the ones in the 1980 case. And the 1993 and 1995 sightings. It would seem that we have some curious friends. At least I hope they're friendly. Not all aliens are.

//Ah, but the best of us are, aren't we?//

{Yeah, I guess so. Given what you've seen in the report, have you any idea who's behind this?}

//I'd have said the Russians, but they're on our side now, aren't they?//

{QABIL! Stop it. You really are getting as bad as Jack. Just as well you didn't blend with him.}

//Sorry. And no, not from these reports. There are a lot of them, aren't there?//

{Yes. These witnesses, they're not fanciful. Ed and Mike are from Suffolk, you know them. They're a touch mad, but they're not given to wild speculation. People from country areas tend to be pragmatic. On top of that there's the military accounts. This happened all right. No denying this.}

//I wonder what Ed thinks of this?//

Ed's coming with. We're using him as a cover - he's taking Sam to meet his parents and we're going with because Jack's going to visit Bawdsey 'officially'. Teal'c can't come because Janet's up to her eyeballs in work and he can't leave the country without her. So, he's been sent to Alpha with a zat to sort out my department. And may God have mercy on their souls.

The fact that Jack's a general is being used to cover the use of a military plane for transport. We're flying to Lakenheath on the west side of Suffolk, one of the last remaining USAF bases in Britain.

We're there, at last. It's midnight our time - 7 a.m. local time. We all slept on the plane so we're all right. I like having Qabil around. I didn't get scared once. If he carries on like this I might just keep him.

//Not a chance. I'm not getting stuck on this backwater of a planet.//

Oh. Well, it's time to get off the plane.

"General O'Neill, Sir, we've been expecting you."

A colonel has come out to greet us. Hey, we're going up in the world. It's usually a grumpy airman.

"Colonel De Witt. Thank you. This is Lieutenant-Colonel Carter, Major Wilson and Dr. Jackson. Have you been apprised as to our needs?"

"Yes, Sir. A staff car is available. Would you like a driver? Someone familiar with the area?"

"No, that won't be necessary. Major Wilson is a local."

The Colonel looks at him and grins, though I guess he's wondering what we're doing here. Two USAF, one RE and a civvy. An odd combination.

"Major? Where are you from?"

"Ipswich, Sir," Ed replies.

"A Tractor Boy? Well, you'll know the area well enough then. I'll get the keys for you."

"Yes, Sir, thank you."

"Ed?" Jack's asking. "Tractor boy?"

"Local football team, General, it's their nickname, the Tractor Boys. Great team," he says with a big smile.

I'm not getting in to this. I used to support Oxford United. The "U's". Not an original name I admit.

The Colonel is looking a tad confused.

"General, I was ordered to arrange accommodations for you. Er, two double rooms. Not twins. Double beds. Er..."

"Yes? Was that a problem?"

"Um, no, Sir. It's been arranged in a nice hotel not far from Bawdsey as requested. But..."

"Then that's okay. Thank you, Colonel."

I guess Jack's not in a mood to explain anything.

I can see the Colonel's mind working overtime. Tough. I don't need to explain myself. He can work it out for himself.

"Oh, I'm sorry, Sir, I nearly forgot. There's a message for Dr. Jackson from a Major..." he looks at some paper in his hand, "Davis from the Pentagon."

"Thanks," Danny replies, smiling at him and he takes the paper from him. Then he cracks up.

"What does it say, Danny?

"It says, 'Just remember you have to be nice, don't flip when you get tea instead of coffee and you'll be fine'. I guess he knows."

Typical. Is there anything that goes on that he doesn't know about?

Ed's still tired so Daniel says he'll drive. He's the only other one that's driven over here so it should be okay. It's a stick shift, but I know he can manage those.

"Just remember to drive on the left, Daniel," Ed says as we get into the car. I'm getting in the front with Daniel and getting some funny looks from the Colonel. Why am I not in the back and being 'chauffeured'?

"Jack," Danny's whining already, "one word about my driving and I'm stopping and kicking you out. It's a long walk so behave."

Huh. Carter and Wilson are cracking up in the back. I think the Colonel is getting the idea that we're more than just travelling companions.

"How much longer, Ed?" I call back after we've been in the car for about an hour.

"Not long, we should be reaching the junction soon. Daniel, take the Lowestoft A12 turn. Watch yourself at the bottom of the off ramp, cars come fast around that roundabout."

"Sure thing, Ed. It's a nice morning. Pity about the rush hour traffic around Ipswich. I thought your parents lived there."

"Nah, they moved out to Woodbridge a few years back. It's a lot quieter there. Can't blame them. Dad's got a boat on the Deben."

"Deben?" More to the point - boat?

"Sure, the river that runs past the town. It's really pretty there. If we get any time for sightseeing I'll show you around. Take you fishing too, if you like."

I like.

"There's a visitors' centre up at Sutton Hoo, Daniel, you'll want to see that."

"I saw the treasures in the British Museum years ago. Fascinating stuff."

"Yeah, I saw it too. You can go and see the burial mounds if you like. They're all covered over as if they haven't been dug up, but it's interesting. Lovely views from the top of the hill."

"Daniel? What's the significance of that place?" Carter's asking. She would.

"It was an Anglo-Saxon burial, Sam. They found one of the local kings buried in his ship. One of the biggest finds in this country. On a par with King Tut."

While Danny prattles on about ships, kings and treasures I look out at the scenery. We've just gone over a bridge and the view down the river was lovely. There were boats out on it, some of them with sails up. Ed explained that this was part of a country park. This is a beautiful part of the world.

"Ed? What's that building? It looks imposing."

We've just turned off the main road and we're heading up to our destination.

"That's the BT place - um, Telecoms. They do a hell of a lot of research there. This whole area used to be filled with research facilities at one point. You couldn't swing a cat without hitting an engineer. My granddad used to work at the Marconi site. It's not there now."

I'm kinda glad that Ed's here - it's like we're getting a guided tour.

He's giving Daniel more specific directions. Damned 'roundabout' things are everywhere. We're missing Woodbridge and going to the other side of the river and downstream. They've found us a pub/hotel-type place on the river's edge apparently. Ed says he knows it well, which is just as well as it's off on some country road. We've seen the signposts for RAF Woodbridge - the place where the initial landing took place back in 1980. Going past Sutton Hoo now and down a straight road past some forestry. Ed's saying that the whole area is full of chunks of forestry. It's pretty flat here, but not totally so. Jeez - some of these turns in the roads are 90 degrees!

"That's normal around here, Jack, some of the field systems date back centuries, if not millennia. The roads follow boundaries."

Oh, so that's why. Here at last. And WOW. It's a pub on the edge of the river all right, and the views are stunning.

We're leaving Ed to do the talking so he's introducing us to the landlord. They've had to open up early for us to arrive. Can't serve anything yet apart from coffee. Daniel's eyes have lit up so I guess that's what we're having. They're rustling up some breakfast too.

This is the life. A full English cooked breakfast, coffee, and a view to die for. We're sitting in the lounge and looking out over the river. The sun's out and we can see for miles. And we have to ignore it soon and get to work. Damn.

We're up in our rooms. The landlady who showed us up didn't even blink at Daniel and me. Cool. Daniel told me that people over here can either be overly sensitive about stuff or they just don't care what you do, as long as you don't hurt anyone. And as he said, country folk are very matter-of-fact.

Groan. We're going to have to get changed into 'proper' uniform. Daniel's refused to reprise his 'Major Jackson' for me, so he gets to go in one of his suits. Shame.

[I would have thought you'd have seen enough of men in uniforms, Jack.]

I flash a memory at Tally of Daniel in the Class Bs and she agrees that it's a beautiful sight.

We have to wait for a contact to come here, so Daniel and I are snuggling on the bed. It's lovely - big and comfortable. A four-poster no less. This is the life. Just a shame that real life has to take over.

"Hey, Q, how's it going with you? Are you enjoying your tour?"

"It's wonderful, Jack, thank you. The countryside here is very pretty. Makes a change from being shot at, that's for sure."

I must admit to agreeing with him there.

There's knock on the door.

"General? Can we come in?" It's Carter.

"Sure thing, Sam, come on in."

Oh crap, they're not alone. Just as well that Daniel and I are both dressed. Just haven't got our shoes on, that's all. I shouldn't have put my cap on him either. Oops.

"Um, General? This is Group Captain Simon Kenwood. He's our liaison for the investigation."

I rack my brains. Group captain. Ah yes, same as colonel. Okay. Got that. It sort of helps to put people in their place as far as the hierarchy is concerned. In other words, I outrank him.

We get up and off the bed, slip our shoes on and then greet him.

"Group Captain. Thank you for coming. Shall we leave?"

To be fair to him, he didn't so much as raise an eyebrow. Phew.

"General, welcome to Suffolk. And of course, we can go now if you'd like. Bawdsey is only a few miles away."

The five of us head out of the hotel, and get a couple of open-eyed looks from our hosts. Hey, I can't help it if I look good, can I?

Another trip down country roads and we turn up at the base.

"So, Group Captain, are you with Air Force 2A?" Daniel asks. That's the group that deals with UFO data over here. Sort of like the old Project Bluebook, I guess.

"Er, yes, I am, Doctor Jackson. How did you know?"

"It was a guess," Daniel admits. He's good at those.

"Lieutenant Colonel, Gentlemen, do you know exactly why you are here?" he asks carefully as we pull up at the gatehouse.

Our IDs are shown and the guard phones to get permission. This place is a highly-classified installation. In other words, everyone knows it's here, but nobody has a clue what goes on. Except that it's highly classified.

"We were told that a UFO had crashed," I answer.

"No, not crashed," he replies as we get waved through. "More like landed. One of the occupants was human. Well, sort of."

"Was? Are they dead?"

"Oh no - very much alive." I think he's a bit stunned that we aren't reacting to his news. Perhaps he doesn't know about the stargate. But why wouldn't he if he works for 2A? Who knows? The secrecy shit surrounding our project stuns even me sometimes.

"Good," Daniel replies. "Perhaps we can question them?"

"I doubt that you could, Doctor, they don't speak English. Or any other language we've heard of. We've run a short tape of their language past all our linguists and nobody recognises it."

"Hopefully that won't be too much of a problem," Daniel answers cautiously.

He's withdrawn into his head again. I guess he's talking to Q.

{Oh boy, Qabil, they love sending us in blind, don't they?}

//*chuckle*. You're not wrong, Daniel. Don't worry. I'm sure we'll figure this out.//

{I hope you're right, my friend.}

"If you'll come with me, there's someone coming to meet us. I don't doubt we'll be steered away from the experimental areas. Don't take it personally, please, but the goings-on here are very secret."

"Oh, we won't," Jack replies a little too cheerfully. "Though I dare say that Colonel Carter and Major Wilson could help your guys out."

The Group Captain ignores that remark as tactfully as he can. Then the door opens and a very frustrated-looking guy in a suit falls through it.

"More? How many more people are your lot going to send? I know we have a 'special relationship' but this is ridiculous."

"More?" Jack demands. He's not so cheerful now. "Who else is here?"

Oh crap. It would be wouldn't it? Another man walks in behind the frazzled Brit.

"Simmons," Jack hisses. "I thought that you'd been court-martialled."

"Oh no, just transferred."

"Who to this time? You don't get much lower than the NID."

"NSA if you must know, General."

"Oh, just great. Group Captain, could you do me a favour, please?"

"Of course General, what is it?"

"Either lend me a gun or shoot this scum-sucking SOB yourself. I promise you'll have my wholehearted support."

"I'm sure you have your reasons, General, but I'm unarmed so I can't. I could have him removed to protective custody, if you'd like?" I look at the Group - he's picked up on all of our distaste for Simmons. Ed only knows him from our tales and he hates him.

"That would be a mistake," Simmons snipes.

"Oh? Like letting you live was? Ya know, Simmons, I really don't like being shot in the back. It kinda grates."

"He shot you in the back, General?" Kenwood asks, horrified by the sound of it.

"Oh ya," Jack snarls.

Kenwood snaps to attention and salutes Jack, marches out of the room and then comes back with a couple of MPs. I'm guessing that he doesn't like cowards any more than we do.

"Just for now," he says, "and until we can sort this out. Sergeant - watch your gun. If he tries to take it, shoot him."

"Sir, yes Sir," the sergeant barks back. Simmons has no choice but to go with him.

"And watch your back, son," Jack calls out. The MPs salute him and escort Simmons out of there.

"I really don't like the fact that he's here, Jack," I say.

"I know, Danny, me neither. Let's see if we can get this cleared up as soon as, eh? Go on, do your peaceful explorer thing. It's been a while since you did that."

I get a loving wink from him as I follow Kenwood out of the room and we all follow the guy in the suit (who still hasn't been introduced) to another heavily-guarded room.

I don't believe it. We have an Asgard, a Furling and Aris Boch.

"Fuck me!" Jack yells. I guess he's not making a request here. It's a bit too public. But even his Class Bs do it for me...

"Boch?" I howl, desperately trying to take my mind off Jack in uniform - hands against the wall, pants round his ankles - STOP IT MIND!

//Yes, please Daniel's mind. Stop it.//


"What the fuck are you doing here? And who are these?" I demand.

"I thought you'd know the little guy, Dr. Jackson." Whoo - that's got Kenwood and the other guy surprised. The alien knows my name, as we know his.

"I know..." I change to Goa'uld - I think it's safer...*"the species, Boch, but which ones are they and what they hell are you doing with them? You're not handing them in, are you?"*

The Furling is curled up in a ball, the noise of everyone's thoughts is obviously weighing heavily on him.

"I am Loki," the Asgard says. In English. Surprising the hell out of our hosts. I go back to Goa'uld though, hoping he'll pick up on the reasons.

*"Loki? What are you doing with Boch? And more to the point, what in God's name are you doing on Earth?"*

*"We came to find someone."*

*"Look, much as I appreciate that you guys are a cryptic lot - openness is going to help you a lot more."*

*"Some time ago, a friend of ours came here. He disappeared. We came to search for him. It took us a while to find out where he had gone."*

*"That must have been the landing, Loki. I'm sorry, but there were no encounters."*

He looks sad for a moment, then he comes to touch me.

"YOU!" he calls in English. "You are Goa'uld."

Boch and the Furling look terrified now. I look to Jack and he nods carefully. I guess the others in this room will have to be debriefed anyway.

I lower my head, I can feel my eyes flash. I let Qabil talk.

I am not Goa'uld. I am Tok'ra. My name is Qabil. My mate Talnet is also here.

Jack joins me in the mental back seat.

I am Talnet. You have nothing to fear from us. Boch, you met us in our previous hosts. Hasana and Kadim. They were killed by Ma'at.

Boch laughs.

"Fairy tales. Ma'at and Thoth have been dead for centuries."

I persuade Qabil to let me talk.

"Boch, we recently got back from Eshmunen. I can supply you with the gate address if you like. Ma'at and Thoth are now dead - for good."

Kenwood and the other guy are standing to one side, not really sure what the hell is going on. But I have to ignore them because I need to get through to these aliens if we are to figure out what happened.

"Boch," I doubt that speaking in Goa'uld is going to make much difference now. "Why didn't you use a cloaking device to hide your ship?"

"I did," he drawls. "But the damned thing failed when we got here, along with the engine. So, are you going to let us fix it and go?"

"Yeah, but not just yet. Come on, we need to figure this out, you know that. I've got to let you know that others from our government are here and they're not as nice as us. So, it will be in your best interests to co-operate with us."

I move close to the Furling.

"Who are you?"

I hear him in my mind. "Polemitis. You can hear me? You know what I am, don't you?"

"You are Furling," I think at him. "We have met your people. Tell me, why are you here?"

"Many years ago, I was taken from my planet. I was walking outside the dome when a Goa'uld came through the gate. Somehow, I don't know how, she saw me. I was captured and taken to her home world. I met others of different species there. Loki among them. Our friend, the one we came looking for, was from a different race again - the B'lix. He escaped custody with the aid of an accomplice from his home planet. We hoped he would find a way to come back to us. A few months ago we were able to escape ourselves and go through the stargate. We recently met up with Aris Boch and he promised to help us track down B'rido - for a price, of course. We followed a trail that he left. We have no idea why he came here. Perhaps he was trying to hide. We do not know now where he went."

"There have been a number of sightings of the same sort of craft. Do you have any idea why he would come here all the time? To this specific place?"

"I'm sorry, I do not. His people may have been like the Asgard; perhaps they had connections with the peoples of these islands?"

You could hear a pin drop in here. It's as if they're trying to listen in to our silent conversation.

"Polemitis, who was the Goa'uld?"


Oh crap.

This means that she wasn't banned from her home world.

"Jack, we've got a problem," I tell him. "Nirrti's still at large."

This day keeps getting better and better. We're taking a break now, Boch and the aliens are being fed and watered, though they are all complaining about the food.

"Okay," Kenwood shouts. "Just what the fuck am I supposed to give them?"

He looks at us sheepishly and apologises for swearing.

"Don't sweat it, this is enough to drive anyone insane," I reply. Poor guy.

"Boch needs a blue substance," Carter says, "or he will die. Did he have any on him?"

"No, not as far as I know," Kenwood looks at the other guy, who has been introduced - finally - as a Dr. Eriksson.

"No, nothing on him at all," Eriksson adds.

"Then it will be on his ship," I suggest.

Carter and Daniel go off to the ship, which has been taken inside a hangar to hide it.

"The Furling - that's the greenish guy - he's a plant," I add helpfully.

"A PLANT? So, what? I give him a good dose of Baby Bio?"

Poor Kenwood, I think he's going to lose it. If he doesn't, I think he'll be a good addition to the programme.

"I have no idea what the little guy will eat. Perhaps the kids will find something on Boch's ship."

"Who is that Boch guy?"

"A bounty hunter - but basically he'll do anything for the blue stuff. He can't survive without it."

While I wait for the others to return I lay my cards on the table.

"Look, Group Captain, Doctor, I'm sure that you realise now that something a lot bigger than what you have here is going down. I'll look into letting you two into the project. I think it would be for the best under the circumstances. Both our governments are working together on the project so it shouldn't be a problem. Now, the NSA guy, he can't know about Daniel's and my, er, guests." I point to my head to let them know what I'm talking about.

"Why not, General? The NSA is a top secret agency after all."

"Yeah, you have a fair point, but neither of us wants to end up as lab rats, okay? Qabil and Talnet are friends of ours and friends of our project. They're only with us temporarily. As soon as is feasible, they'll be gone. We don't want anything to happen to them in the meantime. I can't explain any more than that, I'm afraid. Very few people know about them, by the way, so we'd appreciate your silence."

"You've got it, General," Kenwood replies. Eriksson adds his agreement. I think he wants in on the SGC secret. Hey, I'm not above a bit of bribery if needed.

Daniel and Carter are back, they've got some food for the aliens so they go straight into the room to give it to them. We follow them in. Daniel asks for a bottle of water for Boch and as soon as it's supplied he drops the roshna, or what ever it's called, in.

"Thanks," he says as he salutes them with the bottle. "I was getting a touch desperate there. So, now you know why we're here, how about letting us go."

"We can't, not until your engine and cloaking device are fixed," Carter says. "Most of the people on this planet don't know about extraterrestrial life. We don't want to worry them unnecessarily, the cloak is essential. Ed, um, Major Wilson and I can fix the ship for you."

"That's mighty accommodating of you," Boch replies. "Why are you doing this?"

"We're feeling generous, Boch," I growl. "Take it or leave it. If you leave it, you're all staying here."

"Oh, I'll take it. Can I help with the repairs?"

"No," I tell him. "I don't trust you not to run off with my people and leave these guys here stranded."

"That's harsh, O'Neill - but I understand. I'm hurt though. How about I give you my word?"

"Tough one, Boch, but 'no' anyway. Just relax and enjoy the hospitality."

Daniel's on his knees in front of the Furling.

"Polemitis, are you okay? Is the noise too much?" he murmurs. There's a silence as real Plant-boy answers Daniel.

"Okay, I'll ask." Daniel turns to look at Kenwood. "Can we move them somewhere else? Somewhere away from too many people? Polemitis is a telepath, and whereas he can shut out a certain amount of mental noise, having too many non-telepaths around is basically giving him a mother of a headache. He needs silence."

"I'll see what I can do," Eriksson says quietly.

Ed and Sam head out to fix the cloaking device and the rest of us stay put.

"Loki, why did Nirrti take you?" I ask him.

"Because she wanted us to tell her about our technology. She learned nothing from us, but she had a Rhit'ou there."

"Yeah, we know about her experiments in phase shifting. It led to her downfall. She's had her ships and things taken from her."

"But she is still powerful. She has thousands of Jaffa."

Crap and double crap.

"She also experimented on us," Loki adds quietly getting a gentle touch from Daniel.

"She could take over, Jack," Daniel says carefully.

Yeah, I'd kinda figured that one out for myself. We have to get back asap. I leave the room with the others, pull out my phone and call Hammond.

"General?... Yeah, look, could you do me a favour? We need my communicator - I need to talk to Thor pronto. Could you get it to me?... It is?... He is?... Marvellous. I'll see him soon then. By the way, Sir, Simmons is here - he's NSA now. We've got him in custody at the moment - protective custody... Yes, Sir... No, Sir, I haven't shot him yet... Okay, I won't then... Yeah, spoilsport... Bye."

"Good news," I tell the guys. "One of our cargo ships is in orbit at the moment. Davis is at the SGC so Hammond said he'd send him with it. Just as well we installed those rings in the gate room."

"What's a teltac doing in orbit, Jack?"

"Shifting some of the bigger stuff to Alpha, I guess. It's easier than taking it through the gate and then loading it up there. The sooner we get the gate shifted there the better."

"Paul's not going to be happy. He hates being ringed anywhere. You should have seen him on Vorash. Oy - no, he hates it more than gate travel."

"Ringed?" Kenwood asks. "Or is that one of those things that I'll have to wait to find out?"

"You're smart," I tell him and he smirks back at me.

Daniel's gone back in to chat to Loki and the others, leaving Kenwood and me getting some fresh air.

"It's a pretty part of the country," I say by way of conversation.

"Yes, it is," he replies carefully. "Sir, this Simmons guy. I doubt we'll be able to hold him for long, we have no grounds for it. And much as I really don't like him - there's something about him that sets the hairs of my neck on end - I can't order him locked up for no reason. Committing a crime on US soil isn't an arrestable offence, not unless the proper channels are gone through. If we get yelled at from on high, I'm going to have to order his release."

"I know, and I want you to know I'm grateful for what you've done already. He has to be kept from the aliens though. Loki comes from a very powerful race. They're good friends of ours - saved the planet a couple of times - but they might not take kindly to one of their own being interrogated. I happen to know they could take this planet out in a heartbeat if they wanted to. I've asked for some equipment to be brought here as soon as. When it gets here I'll contact the Supreme Leader of the Asgard fleet, Thor. He's a good buddy of mine."

Kenwood starts laughing and shaking his head.

"Permission to speak freely, Sir?"


"You are either the coolest-headed man I have ever met or you have the ability to bull your way through a shit load of crap without blinking. Either way, you're very relaxed. I'm impressed."

"I'll let you into a secret, it's how I got to be a general and not court-martialled on many occasions."

He snorts at me.

"I've got a little way to go," he replies. "But let's just say I'm full of bull when I want to be too."

"And therein lies the whole key to promotion."

We're looking at some flat ground on the edge of the complex here, the grass is looking as if it's getting flattened. I'd say the teltac's arrived. It's still cloaked, of course. I see the door open. It's Paul with Jacob.

"You do realise," I call out to Paul as we walk over to meet them, "that Danny is going to complain like crazy when he knows his air travel time could have been cut down to a few minutes."

"Oh yes, but I'll leave you to get it in the neck, if you don't mind. Here's the communicator. Where's Dan?"

I tell him who he's with.

"Fuck me!" he says.

"Yeah, I said that too."

"Did he?"

"Not in public."

I think Kenwood's baffled by the banter between a general and a major. Paul and I look at each other and laugh. Jacob's groaning.

"We've known each other a long time, Group," I tell him. Time to introduce them. "Brigadier General Jacob Carter, Sam's dad," I add, "and Major Paul Davis from the Pentagon. Group Captain Simon Kenwood."

Kenwood offers up a salute to Jake. Smart. I'm taking to this guy, and I'm not often wrong.

Paul salutes him and immediately drops into his well-polished manner, exquisitely polite and respectful. Loads of people think that he's a 'soft touch'. They couldn't be more wrong. Paul is an extremely dangerous person to cross. Fortunately, he loves Daniel to pieces, so he's definitely on our side.

"Simmons is here," I tell him.

"The General told me. He said to tell you that he's working on it. Would you like me to shoot him?" he asks, only half-kidding I think.

"Yeah, but Hammond said 'no', so we'd better not. At least not yet. Let's give him enough rope to hang himself for good."

"After what he did before I'd have thought he'd have done that."

"Yeah, seems he had friends in low places."

"Are you going to communicate with Thor then?" Kenwood asks.

"I just did," I tell him. Well, I pressed a button. "I needed this here so that he'd know exactly where we are. I'm not where he'd expect me to be, so it saves him scanning the planet. He should be here soon."

We've installed Polemitis in a small room with a bed so he can lie down and rest. Loki, Boch and I are talking in another room.

*"Tell me about Nirrti, Loki. Just how powerful is she?"*

*"If she gets so much as a couple of mother ships she's going to be highly dangerous. She has continued with her phase shifting experiments. Fortunately, as far as I know anyway, she has not got hold of the same cloaking device that Boch has.*

*She doesn't want that,"* I say. *"Phase shifting will allow her to move through solid objects."* I give off a shudder as I remember my own trip into an out-of-phase reality.

They agree that she must be stopped. Loki says he doesn't know the co-ordinates of the planet though. Hopefully Thor will be able to help when he gets here.

The door's opening. It's Paul and Jacob. Oh, I guess they needed someone to pilot the ship, of course.

"Hi guys, how's it going?"

"Fine. You okay, Daniel?"

"Yeah, no problem, Jacob. Do you want to talk to Q?"

"Q? Don't tell me - Jack?" I nod with a laugh. Paul's looking confused. Hasn't he been told? I dip my head and hear Qabil talking to Selmac. They're just making sure that everything's okay, exchanging pleasantries I guess. Okay - my turn now.

"Daniel?" Paul's not so sure about what's going on.

"Qabil," I say. "You heard about Kadim and Hasana?"

"I did. I'm sorry about them, I liked them a lot."

"This is breaking my heart," Boch moans. "But I really want to leave this planet - like now!"

"You have to wait for Colonel Carter to fix the cloaking device, Boch," Paul snaps.

"Colonel? She got promoted again? Good for her! What about O'Neill?" His voice is dripping with sarcasm.

"He's a general now," I tell him (not a little proudly).

"My, my, my, aren't you guys so important now? Mind you don't get delusions of grandeur."

"So says the 'famous' Aris Boch - so famous we'd never heard of him," I sneer. So? I can be petty too when I want.

We all withdrew and headed off to grab something to eat. Jacob took some food to Sam and Ed, to catch up with them I guess as much as anything. Jack and I are sitting outside. The weather's glorious, the view is wonderful - but the sandwiches, oy. Can't wait to get back to the hotel tonight. I caught a glimpse of the dinner menu and it looked inviting. Kenwood's making his way over, he doesn't look happy.

"General, Doctor, I'm sorry to disturb you but you should know that I'm being jumped on to release Simmons."

"How high up does it go?" Jack asks.

"Orbital," Kenwood shrugs. "We've been ordered to give him access to the aliens too."

"Damn and blast," Jack spits. "Thanks, Group, I know you've done what you could. Look, is there any chance your guards will get a severe case of temporary myopia?"

"I think that it's possible. The sun's very bright," he says with a grin.

"Danny, go check up on Boch's ship, will ya?"

On my way.

"Guys, how long before the ship is ready?" I ask as I stick my head around the door.

"Couple of hours, Daniel, he blew the power source."

"Dammit. Simmons has been released and we've been ordered to give him access to the aliens. Time for plan B. Let us know as soon as you're done, okay?"

"Gotcha," Sam calls and I see her head disappearing behind the console. Pity we can't install the cloak from our ship, but then that would be seen. Perhaps we could get another one? Oh, no, that's not possible. I remember Sam complaining before we left for Eshmunen that we'd run out of them and that she needed certain elements to build some more. And what with the move and all, she hasn't had time to sort it. Just hope Thor turns up in the meantime.

I go back to the building where the aliens are being held and straight to where Jack is. Funny, I seem to know exactly where he is.

//Naquada, Daniel.//

{From this distance?}

//Ah. Good point. However, now we're close enough. Can you feel that?//

{Oh yes. And I thought it was Jack's good looks that made me feel like that.}

//Don't tell him that, he'll be most upset.//

"Dr. Jackson," Simmons sneers. "I require your assistance. The aliens are refusing to speak to me."

"And you are surprised by this?"

"You are under direct orders to co-operate with me, Doctor." Why am I looking for a moustache for him to twirl?

"Um, I don't take orders, Simmons, civilian remember? Besides, I can't force them to talk and I doubt very much whether you could either."

"There are ways," he comments.

"What? You're going to snake them too?" Jack spits.

"No, no, but there are other ways." If he doesn't stop this I'm going to wipe that fucking smirk off his face. What the hell, I might do that anyway.

//I don't like him one bit, Daniel. He's less trustworthy than a Goa'uld.//

{Tell me about it. This is the bastard that accused me of being a Goa'uld sympathiser, Sam of having doubtful loyalty and the less said about what he thinks of Teal'c the better. Then he shot Jack in the back. I want to kill him.}

//I'm not going to stop you.//

Okay, I shouldn't have giggled then. Jack's just shot me a fearsome look.

"Just what do you want to know, Simmons? You know that we already know everything that their people are willing to tell us."

"They know more, they have weaponry."

Same old, same old.

"For a start, the Furlings don't have any weaponry, so questioning Polemitis would be pointless. They do have the shielding and they have already told us what it's made of - technology that is way beyond us at the moment - unless you are telepathic, Simmons and you haven't let on yet?"

Ya know, he's really crap at sneering.

"As for Boch, he has nothing that we want. We already have the cloaking device schematics. So, I take it you want to question Loki? Forget it. Nirrti didn't get anything from him in years, Simmons. What makes you think you'll ever get anything out of him. Not to mention just how pissed Thor will be with you if you mess with his brother."

"I'm taking them with me," he says, "all of them. If you won't help me nicely here, I'm sure I'll find a way back home."

Jack pushes me out of the door, Kenwood follows us.

"Dammit," Kenwood says, "I see exactly what you were talking about. That guy's only a couple of steps up the evolutionary ladder from pond slime."

"That's exaggerating. He's not that far up," Jack replies. "Danny, how long before Boch's ship is ready?"

"Too long, Jack. We've got to hope that Thor turns up soon."

"Can't rely on that now. We've got to get them out of here. Look, let Kenwood and me distract Simmons - I'm sure we can find a way. You grab them and get them in the teltac, take them into orbit and wait for Thor. Can you do that?"

"Sure, no problem."

Jack and Kenwood head back into the room where Simmons is. Dammit, I look through the glass and see that Boch is in there. They must have brought him in another way. I'll have to take the others with me and hope that Jack can take care of Boch.

"Dr. Eriksson, I need your help, and fast," I hiss as I see him in the corridor. "We've got to get Loki and Polemitis out of here now."

"Without being seen? Shit, go for the easy things, why don't you? Okay, look, let's get them in here first and away from where Simmons thinks they are."

*"Loki, Polemitis, come with me and keep quiet, okay? You have to trust me."*

A couple of blinks from Loki and a glance from Polemitis tells me they're not happy but they're going to trust me anyway.

We usher them out of the room and into a cupboard outside as we hear the door to the room where Jack and the others are open.

Eriksson and I are standing in the corridor, trying to look nonchalant as if nothing's wrong.

"So," I say to him, "does this sort of thing happen a lot?"

He does a double take at my words and then recovers. "Oh, no, first time, really. I mean, we have weird stuff going on on a daily basis, but I can definitely say this is a first for me. How about you?"

"Oh, this sort of thing is normal now," I reply with a smile. "Gentlemen?" I look up at Jack and the others, "Have you finished talking to Boch already?"

"Just taking a break, Daniel," Jack replies calmly. Simmons glares at me. I guess that someone threatened Simmons otherwise they'd still be in there talking. Tempers look frayed.

"I want the aliens put somewhere safe, Group Captain," he barks, ignoring me.

"Very good, Colonel," Kenwood says, winking at me as he turns away from Simmons. He heads to the room where we put them earlier.

"Uh, Colonel Simmons? We may have a little bit of a problem fulfilling your request," he says lightly.

"WHAT? What do you mean, 'a little bit of a problem'?"

Heh, heh, Simmons is starting to get angry.

"Well, they're nowhere to be seen. Of course, being aliens and all, is it possible that they're just, I don't know, um, invisible? Or something?" He's doing his damnedest to sound innocent here. Simmons is going apoplectic.

"JACKSON! You had something to do with this! You've gone too far this time!"

"Colonel," Jack spits, doing his damnedest not to hit Simmons for yelling at me. "You will remember who you are, what you are and where you are. Not to mention to whom you are speaking. I will not tolerate any more insubordination from you, is that clear?"

Simmons says nothing.

"I said, IS THAT CLEAR?"

"Yes, General," Simmons spits.

"Good," oh fuck, Jack's voice is icy. He's now gone beyond angry - he's positively fucking dangerous. Kenwood looks at me and I realise that I'm giving off nervous vibes. He's smart and he's picking up on Jack's demeanour.

"Colonel, why don't you continue your interrogation of our other guest while I send out a search party?" he suggests calmly.

Simmons hasn't taken his eyes off Jack. I think he's getting the message.

//Daniel. Just how dangerous is Jack at the moment?//

{Simmons just threatened me, Qabil. He might not have said as much but we both heard what he didn't say. Jack's going to kill him.}



//Is this a bad thing?//

{Only in that it will stop me doing it first.}

//Daniel? That's not like you.//

{No, it's not. But I owe this bastard big time.}

"Simmons, do as you are told," I tell him. I need to deflect his attention from Jack at the moment. They're facing off against each other, looking for the world like they are ready to fight.

"Jack," I move right next to him. "He's not worth it."

Where is Paul? He disappeared early on and I haven't seen him since. The sandwiches weren't that bad.

Daniel's twanging like a plucked violin string. He knows just how mad I am at Simmons. Kenwood has steered Simmons back into talk to Boch and Daniel stays right next to me, staring into my eyes.

"Calm down, Jack, I need you to be as cool as I know you can be. For me, please?"

"Sure Danny. He threatened you. He wants to hurt you. I won't let him."

"I know, Jack. Come on, we've got a breakout to orchestrate. Dr. Eriksson, could you make sure that the corridors are empty, please?"

"Of course. Just a moment. We should do this one corridor at a time, I think."

"Jack - go back to the room with Simmons. He can't touch me if you're watching him, can he?"

I know what this is, it's the Tollen all over again. Daniel's a civilian and he's going to use that to get away with this. He knows that he stands a great chance of not being fired. He also wants to keep me out of this officially.

"Okay. Be careful, Danny, please."

"I will. Give me the communicator."

I go back into the room and know I have to keep Simmons occupied for a while. This isn't going to be easy.

"So, Boch," he says after about an hour or so of fruitless questioning. "Tell me about the Goa'uld and their weaponry." Same question he's been asking for the last hour or so, too.

Boch's picked up on what I'm doing, I think. I hope. He's been giving Simmons a royal runaround and it's taken all my self-control and a lot of Talnet's for me to keep a straight face.

"O'Neill," Boch says, "did you know that the bounty for taking SG-1 in has been increased?"

"Oh?" I reply as innocently as possible. "What now?"

"I think I could make a large fortune if I were to take any one of you in. Dr. Jackson's really pissed them off this time."

"What's he done now?"

"You know, the conference thing, helping take out Yu, that sort of thing. Some of Yu's Jaffa have spread the word that he's not to be messed with. The up-and-coming Goa'uld are sort of taking this personally. Some of them were related to the System Lords."

"Could make things interesting," I reply. "We've retired from the field. You're not going to get a chance to take us anymore."

"Pity. I could have retired on the proceeds. How's the analysis of the roshna coming?"

"Oh, we're working on it," I tell him. "We've got a team of biochemists sifting through the data. It's very complex. Some of the elements aren't found on Earth so we're sending teams out to other planets to find them. We'll work it out for you one day. Hopefully we'll free your people when it's done."

"Thank you. I really do appreciate you trying," he says.

"This is all very well, but can we please get back to the question I asked you?" Simmons sounds very weary.

"What question was that?" Boch asks.

I'm saved by a knock on the door.

"Jack? How's it going?" It's Danny! The twinkle in his eye tells me that things have worked out well.

"Pretty boring really," I say. "Want a break, Boch?"

"I do indeed," he replies. "I need some roshna."

"Of course. Come to your ship, we'll find you some," Daniel says.

So, his cloaking device is fixed then.

"You can't do this!" Simmons argues.

"Simmons," I bark. "Our guest is in need of what amounts to medication. If he doesn't get it, he will die. Would you like to explain why you are taking a body and not a live guest back to the States? Because as sure as hell, I don't want to. Boch, go with Daniel. I'm sure you can find something to help alleviate your situation?"

He's grasped my meaning and goes with Daniel to the ship. I'll head out there in a bit. In the meantime I've got a colonel to deal with.

"Colonel Simmons, you have repeatedly gone against all of our laws appertaining to the holding of prisoners and/or people for questioning. Do not use the fact that he is an alien to justify your methods. Withholding medication is inhumane. Just because he's not human does not give you the right to break our laws. I will be speaking to your superiors about this."

"Come off it, O'Neill, you know as well as I do that the orders I get are from on high. Not even your precious Hammond can stop me from doing what I want. Now, get out of my way, I need to find out just how they managed to lose two aliens in a place like this."

I step out of his way, I'm biding my time. Simmons is so going down.

[I do not like this man, Jack. Do you have a zat?]

(Tally! Though its sorta tempting, isn't it? No body to find. Hmm, I wonder if we've got one on the teltac?)

We leave the building, Simmons is yelling at Kenwood who's trying to look very sheepish. His guards are muttering and shuffling, looking at their feet. One of them's pointing to the sun. Well, it is bright today, must have got in their eyes or something. Snigger.

Ah, Paul. Where in hell's name has he been?

"General!" he's calling. "I've been on the phone. A lot," he growls the last bit.

"Oh? Who were you talking to?"

"Josh for one. He's been discussing our current situation with the President, had to break into an important early morning meeting for this. The President went ballistic."

We stroll over to Kenwood and the guards. Simmons is still ranting about inefficiency and inept grunts. Oh, I dunno, from where I'm standing I think they're pretty effective.

"Group Captain," Paul calls over the noise of Simmons. "I have a request, Sir. Could you please arrest this man on a charge of treason? The President himself has signed the order. Here's a faxed copy of the request and another one of agreement by your Prime Minister."

"Treason?" Simmons splutters.

"Treason, for consistently acting against the best interests of our nation, holding allies in custody against their will, deliberately and wantonly putting the entire planet in danger by interrogating said allies. Not to mention the court martial for insubordination and ignoring orders from a superior officer. That would be General O'Neill, by the way, Colonel," Paul smiles back. I like this guy, he's got class.

The guards' eyes have opened wide, the sergeant looks at Kenwood who just nods at him. Simmons is screaming, "YOU WON'T GET AWAY WITH THIS!"

Oh yes we will.

The Brits are not impressed by this prick; he's being led away, in cuffs this time.

"Thank you," Paul says. "We'll be sending a team to pick him up as soon as we can. They'll come from Lakenheath and then we'll fly him straight back. As all of this is on military soil I don't think we're going to have to bother with local police and the usual extradition procedures."

A noise comes from the hangar. Zat fire? We all take off at a run towards the hangar, nearly getting killed when Boch's ship comes swooping out, cloaks and disappears.

Daniel, Jake, Carter and Wilson are all lying on the ground moaning. Daniel opens one eye, sees it's just us, winks, looks up at the security cameras and goes back to playing at being zatted. I see what happened now. They faked an escape by Boch. Cool.

"You guys okay?"

"We'll live," Sam groans and gets up and brushes herself down.

"Simmons has been arrested for treason," I tell them with a grin.

"Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy," Daniel retorts.

When he's right, he's right.

I'm going to have a lot of explaining to do to Jack, but not now. Jacob and Paul are going. This means I'm going to have to fly back. Huh. We need to keep up appearances. Today was a 'courtesy visit' to a local RAF station by a visiting USAF general. Sam and Ed are now going to be the loving couple and visiting his parents. Jack and I, well, we're the good friends, their 'special friends' that are keeping them company. Nothing odd happened here today, just normal politics.

Paul tells Kenwood that he's going to try to get him and Eriksson transferred to the SGC. Considering how they behaved today, I want them there. They didn't hesitate to do the right thing, disguising it where necessary, following orders but never to do the wrong thing. We need people like them.

I give Paul a hug, ignoring the funny look I get from Kenwood. I think he's just confused.

"Thanks Paul, I appreciate what you did today. Go home, recover and I'll see you in a couple of days, okay? Oh, and make sure that the big guy hasn't massacred my staff, will you?"

He laughs at that and he and Jacob head to the teltac and then disappear and leave.

We're back at the hotel and in our room. We had a lovely meal, again overlooking the river as we ate. Now Jack's back and looking out of our window. I'm enjoying the view too, lying on the bed and looking up at my general in his blues. Whoo boy.

"Hey, flyboy, I'm getting a little worried."

"Why?" his head snaps around in shock.

"Well, you in blues, me in your favourite suit, four-poster bed, no intergalactic emergency and we're not making out. Don'tcha want me anymore?"

He smiles and snorts and then turns to look out the window instead.

"C'mere," he murmurs. I'm a'comin'. I slip my arms around his waist and he wraps his around me.

"Just watching the world go by," he says quietly. "I'm tired, I guess. Sorry Danny."

"What for? You don't want to make love? So what? It's not important. Love you for you remember. Come on, the light's fading. Let's get ready for bed and when we're there I'll tell you what I did."

He plants a kiss on my head and turns to get undressed. We both put sweats on to sleep in. I know what he means, sometimes you don't want sex, you just want to 'be'. I can do that for him too.

//Do you think that something's wrong, Daniel?//

{Maybe, I don't know. If it is, he'll tell me in time. He has a lot going on at the moment, a lot of responsibilities. Let him be, Qabil, now's not the time to push. I'll know when it is.}

In bed now and we're both on our backs and looking up at the canopy above us.



"I'm letting you off the hook for not wanting wild, wanton and perverted sex, but if you think you're going to get away without cuddling me you've got another think coming."

I feel his strong arms wrap themselves around me and he feels me plastered to him. He smells good.

"Hey! Thought you were going to let me get away without sex tonight!"

"I am, I just need to have words with my dick. If I get this close to you... sheesh... mind of its own. Just ignore it, I am."

I'm starting to make him snigger. Hopefully he'll lighten up soon and I'll find out what's bothering him really.

"So, you gonna tell me what you did?" he growls.

I've already checked this place for bugs. The ring Kadim had on Eshmunen came with me. It's a neat gadget.

"Okay. Well, when you went back into the room to distract Simmons for me, Eriksson and I opened the cupboard where we'd stashed Polemitis and Loki."


"Hush, do you want me to tell you or not?"


"Cupboard. Stationery cupboard to be precise. Unfortunately, Loki had found a bottle of ink and Polemitis was now covered in it. Seeing a Furling with ink dripping down him was funny, but somehow I kept my face straight. Loki was known as a trickster, but I didn't think he'd keep that up in his true form."

Jack's lightening a bit now, his sniggers are getting louder.

"So, there I am, mad scientist behind me laughing his ass off, an Asgard trying to look innocent and a Furling who's now a streaky blue. And I have to get this bunch out of a top security base and to an alien spaceship which I can't see. Fortunately, Kenwood had briefed his guards and they were all looking in the other direction whenever we came across them. Eriksson kept running ahead in the corridors - he'd shout 'clear' and the three of us ran down to meet up with him. It was like something out of a James Bond movie. We finally got to the back door and I had to find the ship. I knew where it was supposed to be, obviously, but I didn't know where the door was. We sneaked out, and I'm shouting the command to open but nothing happened. I thought we were in deep shit till Qabil reminded me that we had changed the password and I called out the new one. The door opened, we all got on board and took off. Eriksson is now freaking over the fact that a) I'm part alien, b) I'm chatting with other aliens, c) we're on an alien ship and d) in a couple of moments we're in orbit. I pointed out the window so he could look at Earth and he got a sudden attack of vertigo and threw up."

Jack's giggling now. I'm glad.

"We didn't have to wait long, Thor's ship arrived and met up with us. We were all transported to his ship and he thanked us for rescuing them, promised that he'd get Polemitis home and would help them look for their friend. He's going to check out the threat from Nirrti too if he can. Eriksson didn't say a word, I think he was too stunned. He sent us back and we came back down. I'm sure you can guess what happened with Boch. He was grateful, promised to keep his ear to the ground about Nirrti too as a thanks for getting him out of there."

"You did good Dr. J," he murmurs.

"I'm inspired by the best," I counter as I snuggle even closer. "Come on, let's sleep, I'm tired. Jet lag, overexcitement from the events of today, I'm getting old, Jack."

"Oh dear, might have to find me a younger man then," he teases. I poke him in the ribs for that.

"Leave me?" Okay, I know I shouldn't be worried, especially when he's joking, but I can't help it.

"Never. Sleep now, more talk tomorrow."

Daniel's still sleeping. Well, it is only just after dawn I guess. There's a kettle in here with some freeze-dried, so I'm okay for coffee. Daniel's going to have to wait for the staff to get up if he wants the real thing. I love watching him sleep, he looks so sweet and innocent. Ha! How wrong I was all those years ago. That thing with Simmons reminded me of something that I have to tell Daniel. He's not going to like it, but he should be told.

There's already a boat coming up the river I notice as I turn back to look out of the window. The tide's coming in and it's moving upstream with it. Must have been waiting for the tide to turn out at the nearby estuary, I guess.


"Jeez, Danny, give a guy a heart attack, why don'tcha?"

Since when has Daniel ever woken up this early? And since when does he get out of bed silently.

"Are you going to tell me what's bothering you now?" he asks quietly, wrapping his arms around me and nuzzling into my neck.

"Yeah, in a minute. Want a coffee? Not the real thing I'm afraid, but it's not bad."

"Go on, I won't throw a fit, I promise."

I put the kettle on again and make us both a cup. He's taken himself off to the bathroom as I wait for the water to boil. Coffee made, we're back on the bed, drinking quietly.

"Talk Jack, something's eating you up. Have I done something to upset you?"


"Why what?"

"Why is it you always assume that it's something you've done?"

"Because I do upset you sometimes. I can be selfish, bad-tempered, thoughtless - do you want me to go on?"

"Daniel, oh babe, no. You're the most thoughtful, most generous person I've ever met." I'm taking the Fifth on the temper thing. "No, it's nothing you've done, I promise. I've not done anything either, though I wanted to. I have to tell you something and you're not going to like it."

He's put his cup down. I guess I'd better do the same thing.

"Makepeace is dead," I say. "He wasn't executed in the normal style. I wasn't going to tell you this but I'm guessing that Simmons will go the same way in the end."

"What do you mean, 'not in the normal style'?"

"He was taken from the jail and killed, Daniel. Terminated with extreme prejudice. He couldn't go to trial for what he did. He was a traitor, he put Earth at great risk. That gets the death penalty. You know that."

"You know how I feel about the death penalty, Jack," he's growling. "It's bad enough in itself, but to circumvent the law? That makes us every bit as bad as a dictatorship."

"I know. Shh, Danny, don't shout. There are others here. They can't hear this."

"You're right, sorry. Jack, how do you feel about this? Honestly."

"Tough one. You are correct, Daniel. To go around the law like this makes us as bad as the Goa'uld. However, I can see the position that the authorities were put in. It's not an easy choice. And on a personal level? I'm sad that one of the finest officers I'd known turned so bad. I'm mad as hell that he did what he did to you. And I'm glad he's dead. He hurt you, kidnapped you, hurt you again. He threatened my team too. If they'd have given me the gun I'd have pulled the trigger."

"No, no you wouldn't," Daniel says with conviction.

"Yes I would, Daniel." He doesn't know me as well as he thinks.

"No, you had your chance to do that, Jack. When he was pointing the gun at me. You'd have had the law behind you too, and I would have understood you doing it. But you didn't, you just punched him. So no, you wouldn't have taken part in a premeditated murder. It's not who you are."

I've got no answer to that.

"So, how come Maybourne is still on the loose?" he asks. "He was higher up, giving out the orders."

"He's also way smarter than he lets on, Daniel. They have to catch him first. That won't be easy."

"The sooner it's done then the better. It's bad enough that our government sanctions the murder of its own people, but to allow traitors to go on the run, knowing what he knows. That's bad, Jack, that's really bad."

"I know."

I don't know what else to say. Daniel's fuming under all his mask of calm. I had to tell him though - it had to come from me. If I'd kept it a secret and he'd found out from someone else he'd have gone nuts. I think someone's going to get it in the neck when he finds out who gave the order.

"Jack? Are you tired of me?"

"What sort of question is that, Daniel? Of course I'm not."

"Oh, it's nothing. I'm afraid, I guess. I know I've got a bad temper and I'm scared that one day I'll push you away."

"Not going to happen, Daniel, couldn't happen. Can't live without you, you know that. Are you really put out because I don't always want to make love?"

"NO! No, of course not. I don't always want to either. No, Jack, I'm just..."

"Daniel, you were pushed from pillar to post when you were a kid. No matter how long you live, that sort of fear of abandonment isn't going to completely go away. It's up to me to prove to you that I'm not going anywhere, and I'm not going to send you away. How would a little tactile reassurance go down about now?"

"Now? Oh, I think that would go down very well indeed."

I pull him into a hug. He's not up for anything else, just yet. Give it a minute though.

[Daniel sometimes appears to be so uncertain, Jack.]

(He is, Tally. I showed you what his childhood was like, didn't I?)

[You did. Poor thing. How could his grandfather have rejected him like that?]

(He's a single-minded man, Talnet. He thought he was doing it for the best. He was wrong. He knows that now, but then he ruined Daniel's life. It makes my job harder, but it's worth it.)

I kiss him, feel him smile against my lips. I know I tease Daniel about being so permanently horny, but sometimes I wonder if he does this to make me happy so that I won't reject him. That hurts to think that. I'm not sure it's even a conscious thing on his part. Perhaps that's why he's a little touchy when I don't want to have sex, he thinks I don't want him anymore. Oh God, Danny, that's it, isn't it? I can't tell him this, can't bring that subject up at all. What am I going to do? I'm getting older, I'm not going to be able to have sex on demand some years from now. I wonder if I can get Viagra?



"What are you thinking about?"

"You, and how gorgeous you are."

"Liar," he teases, kissing me hard for that.

"Uh huh, you are. Love you so much, ya know? I wish I hadn't been so fucking stupid all those years ago. Wish I'd hauled you back through the gate on that first mission, run away with you. We could have been shacked up in our cabin by the lake. You could've kept us by writing potboiling 'aliens built the pyramids' stories and I'd have kept us in fish for supper."

"Hah! Now, see that's the problem with that little scenario."

"What's that?"

"No fish in the pond."

That's my cue. We can have some fun now.

"OH, you are so going to get yours Dr. Jackson for that smart-assed remark."

"It'll take more than you've got, flyboy."

I tip him onto his back and tickle him. He's laughing his ass off, trying to fight back, but I've got him where I want him. I hold his hands above his head in one of mine. He could get out of this easily, but he doesn't want to. More kisses, I'm plastering his face with them. He is so going to know how much I love him by the time I'm finished.

"OW!" I just bit his neck. A really visible hickey.

"Mine," I growl, "mine all mine. And if anyone wants to take you from me they'll have to fight me. And I'll win. Nobody takes my baby from me."

He lets the 'baby' thing go, twists me onto my back and brands me too.

"Same goes for me, Jack. You're mine, you got it? Nobody comes near you or else. My baby," he adds with a twinkle in his eye. I've got an idea.

"Hang on," I tell him as I head to where we got undressed last night. I find his tie.

"Here. Tie me up and I can't go anywhere."

"You sure, Jack?" he looks concerned. I've gotten over my worries about tying him up, especially as I know how much he really loves it. But, since that first time I was tied he hasn't done it since. All I have to do is get through this and not get any nightmares down the line.

[I'll help all I can, Jack. You're right, he needs this.]

(Thanks Tally. I have to show him that I trust him this much.)

"If I wasn't sure I wouldn't have said it, would I? Please Danny, for me?"

"How do you want this? Do you want to lie on your back or stomach?"

"My back. I want to see you."

A big grin and I find myself being kissed like we'll never see each other again. He breaks away, wraps the tie around my wrists, gives me the end to hold so I can pull myself out if I want, then he gently pulls my arms up and attaches me to the bed. I'm not afraid, but I am excited by this. He pulls my sweats off, licks his lips and then starts kissing my body.

"You're going to love this, Jack," he's murmuring, "I'll be gentle, I promise. Beautiful, so beautiful, my Jack, all mine. Gonna make you come so hard, babe, but you're going to have to be quiet. Can you do that? No sound at all? Can you keep quiet for me?"

Oh Christ, I think I'm gonna come before he touches me. He's to one side of me, licking my nipples, gently biting them to make them hard - like the rest of me. He's standing up.

"Are you going to be quiet? Nod for me, Jack. Don't say a word."

I swallow hard, watching as he slowly peels his sweats off, revealing his erection as he does. I nod - frantically.

"Good man," he praises. His voice is quiet, calm. How in hell's name is he keeping so controlled? When I see him like this I want to pounce - now! And it's not because he doesn't want to, I can tell. Can't hide when a guy is or isn't excited.

Back on the bed now and he's gone straight to his favourite destination. And mine. And HOW! Whoo boy. I'd been on the receiving end of some good blow jobs when I was younger, but nobody came close to just how good he is at this. He treats me with love and respect, and that's half the key to it. Technique - that's important, but not so much. I happen to know he loves to do this, and that blows me away. Literally. I'm trying not to yell as I feel his tongue on me, trying not to scream as I now feel it IN me. Just letting him do whatever he wants to me is incredible. I'm trying to get past the fact that my hands are tied up, and just surrendering myself to the moment. So fucking good, this is, so fucking good. He's working me up and bringing me back down, always gently and reverently even. Never any disrespect when we make love, not even when we're playing rough. He's treating me like I'm some sort of religious icon. I have to fight back the snigger that comes up as I think that he's worshipping my dick. Got to keep quiet though, I am not going to spoil this for him.

I want to tell him to finish me. He's got to. But I can't say a word. My hips twitch and he looks up at me. My neck is aching from tilting my head to look at him. I see him looking at me through his eyelashes. God, that is such a turn on.

Damn, he's pulling away. Oh God. He's not, is he? He is. He hates doing this in 'public' so to speak, I know it, but he's touching himself now, stroking hard.

"You like to watch this, don't you Jack?" he gasps. "You love it when I do this. Do you want to watch me prepare myself too?"

WHAT? Oh God. A nod, it's all I can do. He grabs some lube from the drawer and coats his fingers. He's kneeling on the bed, his legs straddling mine. His right hand is back on his dick, stroking hard. His left hand has disappeared behind him. I can see him bearing down on his fingers. He's moving both his hands in time with each other.

"Gonna come, Jack, I'm gonna come soon. Watch me Jack, watch as I come for you. When I'm done I'm going to take you all the way, baby, going to sit on you and take you whole. Is this good? OhGOD. Love you Jack, love you so much. Want you babe, want you so fucking much - I'mgonna-acomebabeyes!"

He's spurting so fucking hard it hits him on the chest. Christ, how I didn't come just watching that I don't know. He's catching his breath on his hands and knees now, leaning over me. His lips are brushing mine, not kissing, just touching.

"Gonna make you come that hard, babe," his voice drops as he says that. I can feel his breath on my lips. I want to tell him to do it now but he won't let me talk. Shi-it, it would help if he wouldn't lick my lips.

He's not even putting any lube on me. He'd better be prepared properly then or there'll be hell to pay if I hurt him. Oh, given the look on his face it's not hurting. He's smiling, a feral smile. That is so good, so hot and tight it's amazing.

He's moving now, back and forth, harder with every stroke. I let out an involuntary gasp, he's got to know I can't hold on much longer.

"Go on, Jack, you can come for me now," he gives the order.

And I do. Boy, do I. It takes me a few minutes before the grey that descended goes. My hands are already untied by the time I'm with it again.

"Jack? Jack? Are you all right?"

"Shh, babe, I'm fine. Amazing, you are so amazing. Love you."

"Love you, Jack, so much."

He's wrapped me up in his arms, holding me tight.

"Thank you Jack, thank you for trusting me so much."

"Hey, trusting you was never my problem. Danny, why didn't you fuck me? I thought you were going to."

"Two reasons. One, I wanted to surprise you. I knew that's what you were expecting. Gonna keep you guessing, Jack, don't want the mystery to go, you know?" I kiss him for that.

"The other?" I prompt.

"I wanted you to associate this with feeling good and not feeling afraid. I don't want you to have another nightmare. This sort of thing is about love and trust, Jack, not about raking up old hurts. I need you to know that."

"I already did, Danny. You couldn't hurt me by doing that I promise."

I don't believe the gift that Jack just gave me so happily. I'll wait and see if he copes with it as well as he says he's going to before I try that again though.

//Is it really that bad for him, Daniel?//

{Yes, Qabil. His memories of being chained and raped and tortured are terrible. To ask me to do this takes incredible bravery on his part.}

//Is that why you did that then? Did what you feel awkward doing?//

{Yes, awkward is way easier to deal with than fear. Besides, it turns him on like nothing else.}

I can't believe I'm agreeing to this. We've had a wonderful day. We went to the visitors' centre up at Sutton Hoo. Jack didn't complain once either, not even when I took advantage of his 'post laid' state and lectured him. We met up with Ed's parents there (Henry and Margaret) and spent a great day with them. And now? We're on Ed's father's boat, catching the evening tide and sailing down the river to this 'great spot I know for fishing' according to Ed. Fishing. Me. And Sam. Oy. The things I do for love.

Ed's parents knew about Jack and me. I'm guessing that Ed told them ages ago. They were fine about us, though I'm not sure his dad really knows how to deal with us. He's doing his best to cope, but everything he says seems to have a double meaning. He reminds me of Joe's father-in-law in some ways, a good man underneath it all. Ed's mom is great. She's a bustling character, making sure we're all okay, filled with food and drink, happy and safe. I can see where Ed gets his character from.

"So, do you guys get to come out much? To fish, I mean," Henry calls out.

"Not as much as Jack would like," I answer. "We've got a cabin in Minnesota with a pond. No fish, but it doesn't stop him sitting there and pretending. I take a book."

"It's got fish! How many times do I have to tell you Daniel, it's got fish!" Jack's bursting with indignation.

"Very smart fish then, you've never caught any. Only thing you've ever caught there is a cold." I duck the screwed up jacket that he throws at me.

"Teal'c was caught, by mosquitos, the only time he went there," Sam howls.

Poor Jack, he's onto a loser here. Henry's laughing though, and Margaret is giving us an 'indulge the children' look. Tomorrow, Ed's family are having an 'emergency get-together'. His brothers and sisters have been recalled. Three brothers, two sisters and as many partners and kids as can make it. Oh boy. Just as well the weather's great and they've got a big back garden.

"Come on, Daniel, time to put up or shut up," Jack growls.

"What's that supposed to mean, dear?" I warn. He gulps. I only call him that when I'm giving him a 'heads up' about something or threatening him.

"You're always having a go about my fishing, time to show me how good you are at it."

"Have you got a rod, Daniel?" Henry asks innocently. Jack and I try to keep a straight face.

"Oh yes, I've got one. Quite big, actually. Don't get many opportunities to use it. This sort of fishing is different from Jack's."

"This is more like sea fishing," Henry continues, unaware of the rising tide of smothered giggles.

"Loads more fish in this sea then, Jack," Sam teases.

"What sort of tackle have you got, Jack?" Henry continues.

"Freshwater stuff," Jack puts in before I can say anything. "It's nothing special, does its job."

I've baited the line that Henry gave me and I've cast over the side.

"You don't cast like that, Daniel, that's pathetic," Jack moans.

"Oh? Okay, you show me yours, then Jack, and I'll show you mine again after."

Margaret has picked up on the underlying thread and she's giggling like mad. Ed doesn't know where to put himself. His mom's a hoot, a bit like Mom, but not as bad.

I pull my line up, it's heavy. Probably got snagged on something. Ah. Jack's going to hate me.


"Yes Daniel?" Oh dear. More growling. I am so going to have to make this up to him later. What a shame.

"I've, er, caught something."


I wind up the reel as quickly as I can. Whoo ya, it's a beaut. Jack is really going to hate me now.

"A bass," Henry calls out. "A decent size too. Have you any idea just how difficult those buggers are to catch?"

"What can I say? Beginner's luck," I shrug as I land it onto the boat.

I am so in Jack's bad books. I cast 'badly' a few more times and caught a fish each time I hauled it in. Jack caught a fish. And threw it back. Oh dear.

"Look, Jack, what can I say?" I call as I get undressed. I'm doing it in front of him, slowly, to take his mind off the evening. "I got lucky."

"That's the only time you're getting lucky tonight, book boy."

Oh, is it? I'll see about that. He's heading into the shower. Time for an ambush, I think. He's in there, facing away from me. Arms around his waist and I'm licking the water from the back of his neck.

"Took you long enough," he moans.

Oh, it's like that, is it? Ya know, I'm not usually a demanding person when it comes to sex, but I can adapt. And I've come in here, er, prepared in advance.

"Jack, I have something I want you to do for me."

"What's that?" he turns around. Hell, he's hard already. This is going to be good.

"Have you any idea just what seeing you going down on me in the shower does to me? Watching the water go down that wonderful body of yours, the trails it makes over those incredibly strong arms turns me on beyond belief. I want you, Jack, and I want you on your knees."

"Oh God," he moans and kisses me hard. I love this, tongues clashing, hips grinding against each other.

"Don't," I gasp. "I don't want to come now, I want to come in your mouth. And then you're going to fuck me hard, Jack. I'm all ready for you. Just waiting babe. Do you want this too?"

I try to look as seductive as I can. I'm always afraid that my 'smouldering' look comes off as a squint, but it usually seems to have the right effect. He's going down, trailing his tongue as the water runs down both of us. Oh wow, I'm watching this, watching my Jack as he takes me whole. He's pulling on my thighs, making me move. Yes, this is what I wanted. Not gonna last like this, it's too good. My water-god on his knees, sucking hard, his fingers digging hard into my thighs.

"OhJack,myJack,gonnacomesooncan'tholdon." He sucks harder, encouraging me, his tongue is running up and down my dick. Can't hold on.


I'm panting, trying to catch my breath. He's working his way back up my body, licking and biting as he goes. Love this, love him.

"Face the wall," he orders. Oh yes, love this too, one of my favourites.

"You're ready?" he checks.

"Never been more ready, just do it babe, please, need to feel you inside me, want your cock inside me, got to feel how hard you are, do it, doitdoityes. Feelssogood."

He's thrust into me, not sparing me at all. Good, don't want that.

"Gonna teach you a lesson, Danny. Showing up your old man like that; not nice, ya know? Gonna fuck you so hard you won't sit down for a week. 'Cause when I'm finished here, we're gonna take this to bed, and I'm gonna fuck you again. And again."

Jeez, when did Jack get this filthy? It's usually me that talks like this. I'm NOT complaining. I'm moaning - a lot - and groaning - and yelling. This is so good. So hard and fast and dirty and he's still talking.

"Before I fuck you again though you're going to return the favour, Danny Boy, and you're going to suck me, you got that? You're going to suck me so hard and fuck me with that beautiful tongue of yours. You're going to make me howl with pleasure."

He's howling now, going to come soon, I think. Oh yes.

He's pulled out hard, grabbed me and tugged me to face him. Kissing now, my back is against the tiles. I grab the shower gel and start to clean us up, taking special care with his tender dick. His eyes are black. What does he do to me?

"Love you Daniel, don't you forget it, I fucking love you. Got that?"

"Got it. Don't doubt it, babe, don't doubt it." I hug him to me as he switches the water off.

"Jack, did you mind me asking?"

"What? No! Of course not. Told you babe, you want it, you've got it. You don't think that going down on you is a hardship for me, do you?"

"No, but I know you don't get as much out of it as I do. Thank you, Jack, I needed that."

"Hey, don't you think that I give it to get it back. There was a time in my life when that was true, but never with you, not from that first time. I got as much out of that as you did, okay? You're so fucking beautiful, Daniel, you have no idea just how beautiful you are. Come on, grab a towel, let's get ready for bed, okay?"

"Are you going to fuck me within an inch of my life then?" I ask with a grin.

"I'm gonna give it a damned good try."

"Gonna have to catch me first, flyboy," I whack his butt with my towel and he chases me into the bedroom. I let him catch me pretty quickly. Damn, he's hard again. Tally obviously has a lot to answer for.

//You're not exactly slow on the, er, uptake either, Daniel.//

{No, and thank you too. Ya know, I'm thinking we should keep you two.}

//Not a hope. You'd wear us out in no time.//

Heh, heh, heh. So, my baby wants me to return the favour, does he? I'm not going to disobey this order.

"Jack," I whisper, "get on your hands and knees, babe."

He does what he's told and I go straight to work, biting and licking at his butt and ooh yes, pushing inside. I keep at it till his cries tell me he won't last much longer. I drop underneath him, suck in his balls one at a time, play with them for a bit till his warnings get louder. Okay, got me a dick to play with. Won't make him hold out. I pull him down and deep-throat him straight away. Fingers playing with his ass and his balls and he's mine, coming hard and screaming into the pillow.

He collapses down onto the bed and I scramble to be up with him. I'd completely return the favour, but I don't want that. I grab his hand and wrap it around me.

"Please Jack, I want it like this," I beg. His wonderful hands do their job, stroking gently at first, then harder, faster till I come howling his name.

"Daniel, I know we don't talk about our past sex lives, but I've got to know something. Where in hell's name did you learn to do those tricks with your tongue?"

"Fai. He was good at it. Took his time with me, taught me how to do it. I wanted to learn how to give him as much pleasure as he gave me."

"He was that good?"

"Good? That guy could take me so far down I'd have to burp him to get my balls back."

Back home. The last day was a hoot. Ed's family are nuts, the whole lot of them. Watching Sam and Daniel playing with the kids was funny. They had a soccer ball and they were playing catch, that's all, but the kids were ganging up on them at times and Daniel had to dive for the ball and landed on top of Sam once. She beat him up for it. We were really relaxed there, as if none of this Alpha crap was going on. I think we needed that. Life's pretty weird at the moment, more meetings and arrangements needing to be made. We're getting close though, and we should be over there and on time too. And under budget. Cool.

"General, you're wanted in General Hammond's office."

Crap. More meetings. Ah well, back to the grindstone. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?