Summary: It's the first mission and it's a case of finding their feet. And in some cases - their shoes. Thanks to Joy and the cheerleaders for their usual encouragement.
It's time to go to our first rendezvous. We're all going this time, maybe later we'll be more inclined to go in pairs, but for now, we're sticking together.
We're getting there with the first cabin. We've been on the island for just over two weeks now and we've worked on it constantly. The Tok'ra tools have made the cutting of the wood simplicity itself, so it's just the fiddly things like making the pegs and cutting the holes for them that is taking the time.
The walls are already up and we're working on the roof. We made the floor and the frame first. When the roof is up we'll put up some partition walls, just three rooms though, bedroom, living room and bathroom. We'll cook outdoors because we're a bit wary of having an open fire inside. Maybe one day we'll get the proper materials to make a stone fireplace, but the rocks on our bit of the island aren't really suitable.
Daniel and I have been sleeping outdoors. No sign of rain yet, but it's bound to happen one day. We've kept the big tent up, Teal'c and Sam are sleeping in the Tok'ra tunnels. It gives us the freedom to make as much noise as we want and for them to... I wonder what? They're spending a lot more time together than they used to, and Teal'c is being very attentive towards her. It could be because Daniel and I are still wrapped in each other, though we're trying to be inclusive of the guys. It's just like we're a pair of newlyweds at the moment, our freedom has gone to our heads, I guess. Still, we're all happy.
But now, it's back to work. We're at the gate, in BDUs but with no identifying marks on them at all. No dog tags, no nothing. Trouble is, the four of us are well known to almost any Goa'uld, but hey, we can't have everything.
I wonder what our first job is going to be?
Daniel's dialled up. Jacob called us through the gate with the visual communication device, a.k.a the VCD for convenience, and confirmed that our first pick-up would be today.
So, we're off to PX5-89R - wherever the hell that is. Carter has all of the gate co-ordinates on her computer. We'll have to get a hard copy of it at some point just in case their computers crash for some reason. Guess it's one of those things that we'll have to send as a request. Jacob is going to act as liaison when we see him, but for the rest of the time we'll head to SG-1's location and leave messages before they get there. Then we have to wait till their next mission to pick up what we requested. That's the theory - just hope it works in practice.
Carter's looking at our VCD and saying that we have a go - so, we go.
"Ah, trees," I say as we step out onto a forested planet.
"Got any rope?" Daniel adds innocently.
Carter giggles. She doesn't know, does she? He wouldn't have said anything, would he? I shoot him a questioning look and the one I get back is just as confused. Oh. My. God. She must have seen us that time when we were collecting wood. We're going to have to be a lot more careful.
We go to the DHD. There's nothing there. We have a good look around but there's still nothing.
"Perhaps they're running late, Jack," Daniel calls. "They may have wanted to leave the message on their way back."
"In which case, do we hide out or go back to Remoc?"
We named the planet that. It's the Goa'uld for 'end of the journey' - home I guess. We didn't want to give it a name like Eden, it's so clichéd, and everyone knows how much I hate them.
"Perhaps we should look around, O'Neill. SG-1 may be in trouble," Teal'c counsels.
"Okay, don't know where they went though. Most likely that-a-way, I'd have thought," I point to a path in the trees.
The others agree. I think we're all just glad to be acting the way we're used to. One thing though, we have to walk to the side of the path, just in case they come our way. They can't officially know about us - it's crazy, but there you are. It's one thing them 'forgetting' the messages, it's another thing entirely them forgetting seeing us. There may come a time in the future when we have to contact them, but we'll keep that to a minimum.
Still no sign of them after an hour of walking. I'm getting a touch concerned. Ferretti is good, his team were only ever late if they were in some sort of trouble. There's a village up ahead, perhaps they're there. We creep up, silently moving closer. Oh crap, they're in trouble all right.
"Guys, we have to get them out of there," I say, getting nods of approval from the others. Right, what to do?
SG-1 are currently sitting in a circle in the middle of the village. They're tied up, roped together. Their kits and weapons are too far away from them and they're being held by natives with spears. Crap. Our zats and single staff weapon would do a lot of damage here, but there are so many natives that we'd get cut down before we got there.
How are we going to play this?
I have an idea. Jack's going to hate it, but it might work.
"Jack, let me go in there."
"Hush, let me explain. Nobody's going to be expecting a single, apparently unarmed man to walk into the village, are they? Hopefully it will wrong-foot the natives. Now, I'll demand that they let them go or else our god will destroy them. If they say no, you guys set fires or something. Teal'c's staff weapon can do some serious damage. If the three of you stay out of sight they'll think that it's divine intervention. I'm not as good as you guys at the sabotage stuff, but I can bluff my way in front of the crowd easily enough."
"SG-1 aren't even supposed to see us, Daniel," Sam complains.
"Yeah, but their lives are in danger. They were only due back an hour or so ago. Hammond won't send out help for at least another five or six hours - maybe more because he'll think that we're here and he won't want to endanger us. We have to do this."
Jack sighs. He obviously hasn't come up with a better plan, so he lets me go.
"Give us five minutes to get into position, Daniel. I'll call you when it's time to go in."
"Okay. Good luck."
I have no idea what they're going to do. We haven't brought any C4 or anything. That's one of the few Earth weapons that they insisted on having. It's very useful. Jack was upset that he couldn't have his P90, but getting more ammunition for it would have been a problem. So, we're sticking to the zats because they never need 'refilling' so to speak.
I can hear some of the natives speaking. The language is similar to that of the Aztecs. Fortunately I had a chance to hear that being spoken on another planet about a year or so ago. They were a friendly people and I learned the dialect fairly quickly. A couple of return visits had me almost fluent. So, I think I know what I'm going to do.
I get the call and in I go. I'm getting bemused looks from the natives, but I'm saying nothing, just walking with my head held high over to the guys.
"Say nothing," I whisper as I get there and I get my knife out and cut their bonds. My surprise visit is giving me time to do this. However, the natives are now getting restless, so...
*Release these people or our god will strike you down.*
They say nothing, just murmur and mutter. I nod at the team to get their kit. As they approach it though the guards point their spears at them.
*Return their possessions to them. Our god detests thieves.*
The guards are nervous, not so sure. One of, what I assume to be the elders, makes his way to us.
*These are our prisoners. And now you are to join them.*
*Oh, I do not think so; not today.*
I send the signal to the guys and all of a sudden we see fires breaking out around the wooden stockade that surrounds the village. The elder doesn't know what to make of this and his people are in confusion. SG-1 pick up their kits unhindered, but as we make our way to the gate, which is suddenly getting a little too hot for comfort, we're stopped again. Crap. I raise my hand and I hear a staff weapon blast coming our way.
"Stand still," I manage to tell the guys and it's just as well we do.
The guy in front of us has just been struck down by the blast. Shit. Didn't want anyone to die here today, but this has now scared the hell out of the villagers and they're fleeing. Good. I lead SG-1 out of the village and down the path. They say nothing till we're about half an hour away and almost certain that we're not being followed.
"Daniel?" It's Ferretti.
"I'm not here," I tell him with a grin.
"Of course not. Thanks, by the way, we thought we were goners there. They'd said something about inviting us to some religious ceremony. I don't think we were going to be holding hands and singing hallelujah somehow."
"You're welcome," I say with a laugh. Lou's always made me giggle.
"So, where are the others?" Daisy asks as she comes up closer to me.
"They're watching us. You probably won't see them, they're watching our backs, making sure that the natives don't come after us."
"How do you know that for sure?" Philip is very curious. I just turn to him and smile.
"They're there. I know it."
"Ah, Philip, you're never gonna figure out those guys," Lou tells him. "They're always like this. The betting was that they were hit with some sort of telepathy thing way back when, but they won't let on."
"Sorry to disappoint, Lou, but no telepathy. We just know, that's all."
"Know what?" Jason Coburn asks, more curious than Philip in his own quiet way.
"Just know, Jace, I'm being watched. I know it. I can feel it. They're close to me. I know when they're not close to me, when they're in trouble, in pain, whatever. They know the same about me. It's curious but it's true. I guess it's what comes of being together so long."
Silence reigns for a bit and then we hit the area around the DHD.
"Do you have anything for us?" I ask.
"Sure," Lou replies and dives into his pack. He hands me a large manilla envelope.
"You guys okay?" he asks.
"Fine - having fun so far, but this is the first set of instructions we've received. Hopefully we'll be around to pick up the next ones. You do know you can't say how you got out of this, don't you?"
"Of course, we'll think of something. Thanks again, Daniel, that was one hell of a rescue. Thank the guys for us, will ya?"
"Already done, Louis," I tell him with a grin.
Then I wait out of the way as they dial up and go home.
"You can come out now, guys."
I was impressed yet again by our youngest member's cool head under fire. I had to take on trust that he would stay still when I fired the staff weapon at the native. His trust in me and his understanding of my methods is incredible. Also his certain knowledge that we would manage to implement his plan in such a short space of time shows his faith in us. I pray that we never let him down.
"Jace?" says O'Neill as Daniel dials up Remoc.
"Sure, he's a pal. He headed SG-2 when I was on a dig, they were looking out for us. Nice guy," Daniel replies with a grin.
"Nice? He's a good soldier," O'Neill says carefully. "But 'nice'? Daniel?"
"Green-eyed monster," Daniel retorts with a gentle prod of O'Neill's arm as we step up to the gate. He says nothing more as he steps through.
O'Neill, however has plenty to say when we emerge.
"Daniel, you didn't... did you?"
Daniel says nothing for a minute, he turns his back on O'Neill, then he walks off, his shoulders dropped and his body language sad. Then we see his shoulders shake. Perhaps he is crying? What is going on?
"Daniel!" O'Neill is now getting stern with him, unsure as to what is wrong with his lover. However, when Daniel slowly turns back to face him we all see that he is laughing.
"God, Jack, you are so easy to wind up. He's a friend, nothing more. Sure, he is a god, I mean, that muscular body, sweet face..."
He starts to run, laughing out loud as O'Neill curses him and chases after him, finally catching him and tripping him up. They are wrestling on the sand, laughing out loud as they do. Samantha comes up close to me.
"Daniel's going to get himself into big trouble one day, winding Jack up like that, I mean."
"He will. However, I have no doubt that he can handle anything that O'Neill throws at him. Would you care to walk with me back to our encampment? I think that they should be left alone at the moment."
"I'd like that, thanks," she replies with a smile and then she slips her hand in mine. I like this very much indeed. One last glance at the men and we see O'Neill on his back, and Daniel lying on top of him, gently stroking his face and then kissing him softly.
"Aw, they're so sweet when they're like that," Samantha says as we turn away and head back to our home.
"Sweet? I suppose so. They have both had to hide for so long that they are enjoying their freedoms. Daniel said that they felt like they were on 'honeymoon', I believe the term was."
"Apt. It's the holiday newlyweds go on as soon as they are married, to get used to each other. Did you have any idea about them, before they told us?"
"I was not sure. They fought so often that it was difficult to see them like that. However, they were still fiercely loyal to each other. Knowing what we know now about their pasts, it is not surprising that they are together. In fact it is more surprising that they did not get together before that."
"True. They were like a married couple from the word go - always bickering, able to finish each other's sentences, prepared to die for each other. When we landed back on Earth after leaving Daniel on Klorel's ship - I truly believed that Jack might commit suicide. He was devastated."
"He told me that the moment he left Daniel was the moment that he realised just how much he loved him. If the mission hadn't been as urgent as it was he would have stayed behind with him."
"He would have died," Samantha says quietly.
"Yes. He would have."
I guess I've always been amazed at the strength of feeling between the guys, a little jealous too if I'm honest about it. But it's only now, seeing them happy and together, watching the way they look at each other and learning more about their past as well, do I realise just how deep their feelings go. And I appreciate even more that they try to include us as much as they can.
I'm lighting a cooking fire while Teal'c goes to check the fishing nets that Dad supplied. Wish we had some vegetables here. It would make a change. We're leaving the MREs for when we need them - mainly to take on missions with us.
We're getting a reasonable diet, I guess. There are some small mammals which are like pork to eat, some wild fowl which taste more like duck than chicken (what we wouldn't give for a roast chicken, roast potatoes and all the trimmings now!), the inevitable fish and lots of fruit. Expeditions into the jungle have found trees with different types of fruit, so we're not stuck with the cinnamon fruit, delicious as it is.
The guys are heading our way, holding hands and laughing about something. Daniel loves to wind Jack up, and Jack falls for it every single time. It's a hoot.
"Hey guys, Teal'c's checking the nets. As we haven't gone hunting today it's either fish or MREs."
"Let's hope there's fish then," Daniel groans.
There is! Lots of it. Good. He brings them over and we all gut them as we chat about the little adventure we were just on.
"So, how did you guys set the fire then?" Daniel asks after he tells us about his side of things.
"We found a barrel of oil - probably cooking oil," Jack replies. "While you were doing your 'messenger from god' act, we were spreading it outside the stockade. When we got your signal we set the fire and it went up a treat. If it hadn't worked, Teal'c's staff weapon would have had to have sufficed. You scared the crap out of me again, Daniel," he growls as he finishes.
"It had to be done, Jack. Those guys were serious. I got the feeling that SG-1 would have been sacrificed if we hadn't shown up. Hope this isn't going to happen every time we go and get the message. Speaking of which," Daniel reaches inside his jacket which is now laying on the floor by his feet, "we'll have to look at what we've got."
"Finish gutting the fish. While it's cooking we'll get cleaned up and then look," Jack orders.
We finish as quickly as we can, set the fish on stakes and over the cooking pit and then go to the river to clean up.
While the fish cooks we open the envelope. There's a certain amount of trepidation as Jack pulls the papers out. There's a picture? How did they get that? Dad must have a camera or something. I'm going to have to have words with him about this. There are other sheets of paper too. Jack's reading them and then he announces what our mission is.
Oh boy. Talk about throwing us in the deep end.
"How's the fish doing?" I ask as I try to gather my thoughts.
"It will be a few minutes yet, Jack. Come on, tell us what we have to do." Sam's sounding impatient.
"Well, tomorrow, this guy," I show them the photo that's been printed out - looks digital, perhaps Jacob's got a digi camera? I don't know - shit, stop stalling O'Neill. "This guy is turning up at these co-ordinates. We have to go and get him and take him to these other co-ordinates."
"Does he know this?" Daniel asks as he checks on the fish.
"So, we have to kidnap him?" Daniel's not looking too happy about this idea. "Who is he and why are we taking him there?"
"He's a snake, Daniel, so don't get your panties in a bunch. And we're taking him to the Tok'ra. They need him for questioning."
"What's his name?" Sam asks as she takes her fish from the fire.
"Ah fuck," I say as I see it.
"Hmm, that well-known Chinese god," Daniel sniggers.
Sam smacks him as I hand him the paper.
"If you're so smart, you say it," I tell him.
"Oh, it's an African god, a trickster," he says with a grin, then fluently rattles off, "Iboniamasiboniamanoro... Commonly known as 'Ah Fuck' in the Western world," he adds with a giggle.
Daniel's feeling playful. It could be my lucky day - and it's only mid-afternoon. We go over the details we've been given. Apparently he's recently become allied with Anubis for reasons nobody can fathom... Not so much why 'Ibo' (as he has become known, Daniel's other name not withstanding) wants to be allied with Anubis, but the other way around. This guy is a minor snake, even among the minor snakes.
"So, I wonder what this guy has got that Anubis wants," Sam says, happily chewing on a piece of fish. Tastes like salmon - pretty delicate flavour.
"Intelligence or technology," Daniel considers.
"Not territory?" she asks.
"Anubis would just take his territory," Teal'c points out.
"So that leaves intelligence or tech. If he has tech, the Tok'ra would likely know about it," I say. "You know what they're like. My feeling is it's intelligence. What does Anubis want to know most about?"
"The Tok'ra," Sam replies with a sigh. "He must have got an operative working within the Tok'ra, or he's captured one."
"If that's the case, we're in trouble," Daniel sighs.
We look to him for elaboration.
"If he knows about the Tok'ra, and the Tok'ra know about us..."
"I'm calling Jacob," I say. No way am I taking my kids on a suicide mission when it's not necessary. We need more information than what we've been given. At least we need a reason to die.
I send Sam off to get the VCD which is the way we're going to contact Jacob. We're only supposed to call him in emergencies, but I think that we really need to establish some ground rules here. Teal'c says he'll accompany her to the gate. Daniel and I clear up and take our dishes to wash at the river. We made sure that we brought some eating utensils when we left Earth - got to keep up some standards after all.
"Why is the Goa'uld going to that planet, Jack?"
"Slave auction," I say with a sigh.
He looks at me and glares.
"No fucking way, O'Neill, I'm not being a slave again."
"I'm not going to sell you, Daniel. There's not enough gold in the universe to pay for you."
Don't tell him that there are days when I'd happily give him away, but there you go.
"You going mushy on me?"
"Ah, so sue me."
"I might just do that," he sniggers.
Plates washed up, we head back to camp.
"Do you have a plan, yet?" he asks.
"Yeah - but you won't like it. You and Carter get to be my attendants, slaves, whatever. Teal'c's my bodyguard. It'll give us the chance to go there, pretending we're looking out for a new slave or something. It should offer you two protection if you're already 'owned', so to speak.
"When we find Ibo, we'll think of the way to get him off the planet. We don't have any intel on how many Jaffa he'll have with him. There'll be lots of people there, innocent bystanders as well as snakes. We won't want a firefight. This should be the most peaceful way to do this, Daniel. I wouldn't ask it of you if it wasn't. You know that."
He sighs, looks at me and then nods.
"Just don't get too bossy," he moans.
Jacob's just turned up and he's not looking too pleased.
"How are we supposed to keep you guys a secret if you call us up for nothing?" he demands.
"This isn't nothing, Jacob," Jack growls. "We don't think you're giving us the whole story here. The only reason we can figure out that Anubis would even consider an alliance with this guy is if he has something to offer."
"Well, I'd have said that was perfectly obvious."
"And seeing as Anubis is in the position to take tech or territory, the only thing we can think of is information. And the only information that Anubis is likely to want is info about the Tok'ra. Which means you think that Ibo has a spy in your ranks. Are we right?"
Jacob looks at the four of us and then bows his head.
"You are right. We have our suspicions as to which among the Tok'ra is the spy. That person has been kept away from the secret of your continued existence as a team. In fact we have used him to feed information back that SG-1 is no more. Which is why we did not want you to contact us."
"Which would have been clear if you'd told us that in the mission brief and we'd have stayed away. When are you going to understand that telling us everything is to your advantage?" Jack sighs.
"We are sorry, Jack. We had hoped that you would have just followed the instructions. You did promise to accept what we told you."
"Yes, we did. But you have to realise, Selmac, that this team is not a normal military team. We work things out before we go into battle. And if we think that you're holding out on us we're not going to do it. Whereas we're happy to take out snakes, start rebellions or whatever you ask of us, we must be in full possession of the facts to start with.
"Both of you know that full and accurate intelligence makes or breaks a mission. If we're not fully cognisant with the whole story we're not going to co-operate. It's in your best interests, Selmac. Either trust us completely or we won't trust you. And if we don't trust you, there's no way in hell we're going to do as you ask."
It's Selmac's turn to sigh and then she agrees. Jacob takes over and gives us all the details. We're now happy to go through with the mission.
Jacob's gone now, we've had our evening meal, discussed making a table and benches so that we can eat more comfortably and now we're getting ready for bed. We've decided on an early night as we have to leave at 5 a.m. local time.
We worked out when noon was and then discovered that we have an almost exact twenty-four-hour day here. It's surprisingly common to have that - something to do with the size of planets and the proximity with the sun giving the same atmospheric conditions and therefore the suitability for the stargates. Or something. Sam's better at explaining things like that. Abydos, however, had a much longer day. It's obviously not a constant.
"Hey, Daniel, you okay about tomorrow?" Jack asks as he comes into our tent.
"Yeah. I guess I trust you not to sell me. You really had better not, Jack, or I'll come and find you and give you hell."
"Like you don't now?" he sniggers.
"Oh. Well, if it's like that, we can go straight to sleep. If I'm that much of a bother."
"I didn't say that, Daniel," he murmurs, snuggling up behind me and nibbling my ear. I wish he wouldn't do that, especially when I'm trying to be pissy. It's very distracting.
"Fuck me Daniel," he whispers.
Damn. I'm gonna have to now, aren't I? However, I can't give in that easily.
"You want me to do that? Are you sure Jack?"
"Daniel, just do it, will ya? C'mon. Unless this old body doesn't attract you anymore?"
"I never said that, Jack. All right then, on your back."
He's trying not to giggle as he rolls onto his back. I'm gonna get him but good. A long, slow session, I think, winding him up, letting him down and building his frustration till he's screaming at me to fuck him. So, let's start here, kissing his neck, I so get off on the moans I get from him when I do this. Shoulders, arms, elbows get special attention. Hmm, tastes good. He lets out a whimper when I lick the inside of his wrist and the palm of his hand. He's trying to control his breathing, keeping him calm and collected. Time to change tack then.
I shift my position, make it look like I'm about to start on his chest but I yank his shorts off and go down on him hard and fast - licking and sucking until I feel him nearly ready. Then I back off and give him time to calm down again. He thinks I'm going to do that again, but I push his legs up and stick my tongue up his ass instead. He screams. Figured he'd do that.
"Oh God! Daniel, finish me please, please Daniel, please."
My fingers take the place of my tongue, and I hit what I'm aiming for pretty quickly.
I'd say he's ready. He's writhing around on the floor as I push his legs up onto my shoulders. I'm inside in a couple of strokes. He's calling my name, begging me to fucking get on with the fucking already. Uh huh, hun, got something for you. I pull out, almost all the way, change my angle and slam back into him. His eyes open wide, as does his mouth, but no sounds come out.
I do it again, hitting him from yet another angle. I think he's forgotten how to breathe. He loves it when I rotate my hips, screwing him into the floor - so that's what he's getting now. I'm trying to ignore my own pleasure at the moment, focussing wholly on him. He's chanting my name, his back is arching off the floor, his hands are looking for mine so I grab hold of them. His legs are locked behind my head now, pulling me closer and further into him if that was possible. I think he's close.
I'm not even touching him and he's going to come any moment now. One... more... yes! He's coming hard and pushing me, the contractions taking me with him. God, that feels so good.
His legs drop, but he doesn't let go of my hands. I drop to his side and he turns to face me and we kiss, frantically to start with, then gentling to sweet touches.
"God, I love you, Daniel, love you so much."
"Love you too, Jack. More than anything. Never forget it."
"I won't. Don't you forget it either."
"As if I could. C'mon - we'd better go and wash up again. Don't want to go out tomorrow all sticky and dirty."
"Samantha, are you sure that this is necessary?"
"Yes, Teal'c, it is - how else are we going to hide the tattoo on your head? We don't want anyone to recognise your symbol because then we might be recognised as a team. It's only a bit of make-up, that's all. It will wash off."
Because we are so well known it was decided that one of the items we should have here would be make-up - but not ordinary make-up. This is the make-up used in the movies. We also have liquid latex to create solid structures such as masks, or in this case thin lines which will then be painted in gold to disguise my tattoo. Samantha and Daniel are creating a second serpent to intertwine with the one that is already there. The double serpent is not one of the System Lords' symbols. However, it is very early in the morning and both of them are 'cranky' as O'Neill says. He is feeding them coffee to keep them even-tempered.
"How long are you two going to be? We need to ship out soon and you two still have to get dressed up," he demands.
"Just putting the finishing touches on... now. Here, Teal'c, what do you think?"
Daniel hands me a small mirror. I am impressed.
"I had no idea your talents extended to the application of make-up, Daniel Jackson," I tell him.
O'Neill and Samantha laugh. I very nearly made Daniel blush, I believe, but he has started to laugh. His pitch of voice raises, he smacks my arm gently, his wrist floppy and says, "You'd better believe it Big Guy. I have many and varied talents. Hang around a bit longer and you'll be introduced to them."
This makes Samantha laugh even more and O'Neill looks like he wants to kill him. I will never understand them.
We are 'going in mufti' as O'Neill says. In other words, we are not going to be wearing uniform.
"What do you want me to wear, Jack?" Daniel asks.
"Similar to my get-up, Daniel, just casual, but make sure it's comfortable for you. We don't know how long we're going to be in action."
O'Neill is wearing his normal 'off-duty' clothes. Whereas these clothes are distinctly Tauri to those who know them, they are unknown to the rest of the universe. His jeans and leather flying jacket may raise a few eyebrows but they will not identify him.
O'Neill and I head to the transport rings that we use to get access to and from the tunnels. The youngsters are changing, calling out to each other as they do. O'Neill and Daniel keep their clothes down here to protect them from the high humidity of above ground.
"I hope that they're going to be sensible about clothing and get changed quickly," O'Neill complains.
I answer him as soon as we arrive on the surface.
"I have every faith in them, O'Neill. As should you."
"Yeah, yeah, I do, it's just..."
"You are a pathological mother hen who doesn't trust anyone else to wipe their own ass."
O'Neill does what Samantha tells me is called a 'double take'.
"Daniel told you to say that, didn't he?" he asks suspiciously.
"Your powers of deduction are amazing, Sherlock."
Now he is doing what Daniel calls his 'fish mouth'. His jaw is opening and closing but nothing is coming out. But not for long.
"That's it. You have spent far too much time with that boy."
"Oh yeah, just putting my jacket on, hang on." I grab my jacket - well, Jack did say that he wanted us to wear what he was wearing, so we are. Jeans, T and leather jackets.
"Woof," I say when I get a good look at Daniel.
"Woof? Jeez Sam, you're as bad as Jack."
"Well, you are a babe, Daniel."
He laughs, shakes his head and then pulls me close and drops a quick kiss on my cheek.
"C'mere gorgeous," he murmurs and hugs me tightly.
"Hey, cut that out, Jack will get jealous."
"Well, let's just say that when Jack gets jealous, he goes alpha on me."
"And that entails?"
"You really want to know?"
"Go on, surprise me."
"No surprise, Sam. He usually carries me off to bed, throws me on it and fucks me senseless."
When I stop laughing we head for the transport rings arm in arm.
"Do you like that?" I ask.
"When he goes alpha on you."
"Oh God, yes," he hisses. "It's like nothing else."
"I'd have thought that you'd want to be more... I dunno... equal, with him."
"It's not like that, Sam. I'm just as likely to do the same to him. Just sometimes you want the other one to take the lead, to make the decisions if you like. Jack loves it when I do that. He has to constantly decide what we do as a team - and those decisions can mean we live or die. So, when I get bossy in bed he likes it.
"That's all it is, it's not that we're trying to dominate each other or anything. We're partners in everything that we do. He couldn't go alpha on me if I didn't want him to. I'd have castrated him a long time ago if he'd done something like force me."
Somehow, I don't doubt it.
We transport up and join with the guys. Jack goes over our plans once more and then we head to the gate and Daniel dials up the co-ordinates. I send the VCD and see nothing untoward so Jack gives us the go-ahead.
Before we step through the gate I see Jack grab Daniel's hand and give it a squeeze. He gets one of Daniel's shy smiles in return and then we all go through together.
Fortunately for Jack there aren't too many trees. There is however a bustling market. The four of us, in our customary positions, walk through the centre, taking our time to see what's on offer. Dad gave us some gems, and after telling us what each was worth, said we could use them to buy ourselves things - especially clothes for undercover work. We head to a permanent shop which has clothes in the window and we all go in together.
The shopkeeper looks at the way the three of us surround Jack, as if we're protecting him, and then he makes a beeline directly for him.
"My Lord, thank you for gracing my humble premises. How may I help you today?"
Daniel looks at me as Jack gets called 'My Lord' and he rolls his eyes. I have to smother a snigger. Teal'c's saying nothing, but we know him too well. His face is telling us that he's dreading Jack's attitude in reply.
"We need clothing - plain clothing for once," Jack says.
We see little point in getting human clothing for Teal'c - his tattoo is a bit of a giveaway. I wonder if Dad can help us get rid of it? We can always put another back with make-up if we need to... Hmm, file that thought away for future discussion.
"Plain clothing, My Lord? Surely such beautiful creatures such as your children should be dressed in the finest robes."
Daniel loses it. So do I. We just can't not laugh. Even Teal'c is in the throws of Jaffa hysteria. He actually snorted. Jack is so offended.
"These are not my children," he spits. "They are my servants."
The shopkeeper trips over his tongue in apologies and only succeeds in making things worse. Jack's about to storm out of the shop when Daniel turns the charm on. He caught hold of his hand and now he's stroking his face.
"Come on, My Lord, it's not so bad, is it? It was an honest mistake. It's not my fault if I look younger than I really am, is it? I'll try to look older if it makes you feel better."
He's planting a few kisses on Jack's cheek and Jack is visibly softening now.
"You always get around me," he murmurs.
"Because I love you," Daniel replies. "And you know it."
Jack cocks his head to one side and grins.
"Go, get yourself something. Whatever you want. You too, Samantha." He looks at Teal'c.
"I need nothing, Lord," says Teal'c.
"Okay. If you want to get yourself a weapon or something later, you may. I'm feeling generous."
Daniel looks at me - oh, it's my turn to act the creep. I head over to Jack and slip my arms around his waist and kiss his cheek.
"Thank you, My Lord," I tell him and he drops a kiss on my cheek.
"Go, shop, spend my money. You two will be the ruin of me, that's for sure."
Daniel and I act like a pair of kids as we head off with the shopkeeper's assistant. He's bringing out robes and other clothes for us to try on. There's a changing room there. This is strange - the shop building looks almost Middle Ages, but we have off-the-peg clothing. Weird. Still, it is an alien world and one thing we have learnt is that aliens may be similar to us, but in other ways they are way different.
"My Lord, may I find some garments for you?" the shopkeeper asks.
I'm still rankled by the whole 'children' thing. I know that I call them my kids but that's pushing it. I'd have been what? nine? when I got Daniel's mom pregnant if that was the case. And Sam is older than him. I mean, ew.
"You may," I sigh.
I like this 'Lord' thing though, and the kids have been great about falling into the role. I'm gonna get hell off them when we get home though, I know it.
He's found me some green trousers - a dark-green in what feels like moleskin. Nice. There's a medium-brown shirt and a vest that matches the pants. It looks pretty smart - and a lot less conspicuous than the jeans and leather jackets, that's for sure. I take them to a side room and try them on. There's a big mirror in there and I think it looks okay.
"Hey, T, what do you think?"
He looks me up and down and then nods.
"You look most presentable, Lord. The young ones are changed. Would you like to come to see if what they are wearing meets with your approval?"
Oh, I think I can manage that.
Sam looks gorgeous. She's in a dress, believe it or not - the same sort of dress that is being worn by the women outside. It will help her fit in. It's a rusty-red that makes her look even more blonde for some reason. It stops halfway down her legs and is pulled in at the waist with a sash. It's short-sleeved but has a dark-green cloak that goes over it.
"You look beautiful, Samantha," I tell her. We're using her full name because Sam is known as Sam to the Goa'uld.
She gives me one of her hundred watt smiles and kisses my cheek.
"Thank you," she whispers. I think she knows I mean it.
"We'll find you some more suitable footwear too. Why don't you keep your dress on? I like to see you in dresses, it makes a change."
She grins again and says, "As long as you keep this outfit on, My Lord. You look edible in it."
Daniel's lecherous voice cuts through the air, "I'll say."
I turn around and my heart almost stops. He's in tight pants in the same material as mine, but they're in a dark-blue. He has the shirt and vest too, though his vest, which laces up the front, is also the dark-blue and his shirt is the same as his beautiful eyes.
"Daniel," I whisper. "You look incredible. You're keeping these."
That wasn't even a rhetorical question, it's a statement. I'm going to get him in these as often as possible. His hiking boots don't look so out of place with these clothes, so it's only Sam we have to get shoes for.
I pay the shopkeeper in gems and he's positively rubbing his hands in glee. It all only came to one of the smaller ones, so we're still well enough off. In fact, he's given us some change in the local currency.
"Is there somewhere that I can change more of these for the local coinage," I ask. "Just in case we need to stay overnight?"
"We have a money changer in the market," he replies. "He should be able to help you. Just ask for Darrius, My Lord."
"Thank you. One more thing - the slave auction. I haven't attended one on this planet before. Could you tell me where and when it is?"
"Of course, My Lord. It is at the other side of the market. It will actually start tomorrow, but you can view the merchandise this afternoon. They're being held in the cells right next to the stage."
I see Daniel wince when the shopkeeper calls the slaves 'merchandise', but he doesn't say a thing... yet. We thank the merchant and then head out of the shop. There's a shoe shop nearby. I give Teal'c some money and he escorts Sam to get some shoes. Neither Daniel or I feel like doing that. Clothes are one thing, but shoes and women? Nuh huh. Even though Shau're wouldn't have done the 'trawl through fifteen shops just to settle on the first pair she found' trip, I'm guessing Sarah did by the look that Daniel gave when it was mentioned.
We tell them where we'll be and we head off towards the auction.
"Merchandise," Daniel spits. "These are humans we're talking about Jack."
"I know, Daniel, I know. I don't like it any more than you do. Perhaps we can do something, help them maybe?"
He looks at me and smiles.
"I know you'll try," he says with a sigh.
Sometimes Daniel puts so much faith in me and my actions that it worries me sick. The decisions I make impact on so many people's lives. I have to try to do the right thing just to live up to his expectations of me. And I do that because I want to. It's not easy though.
We get to the holding cells - pens would be a better word for them. They're disgusting. It's all Daniel can do to not go nuts, take out the guards and let these poor people out. Some of them, I'd guess, have been through this before. They're looking resigned to the whole thing. Others look at us with hate in their eyes, the rest with fear. Daniel plays his role beautifully though and he slips his hand in mine.
"Do you really want someone else, My Lord? You're not going to replace me, are you?"
I look into his eyes - the boy's a damn fine actor - and then I stroke his face.
"Nobody could ever replace you, Daniel. I may acquire someone else to fulfil other needs though, but you will always be my favourite."
He beams at me and kisses my cheek.
"Good, because life wouldn't be worth living if you ever got rid of me."
I slip my arms around him and hug him close. He's as tightly strung as I've ever known him. Much as he never lets us down in any situation, this sort of thing - the abuse of anyone, human or otherwise - is too much for him. It's hard on me, but then I've seen more of the deliberate acts of inhumanity than he has. Doesn't make it easier to bear, just easier to ignore for the moment. Whatever we do, it's going to have to be soon.
As we leave the cells Daniel takes one look back - the look of sadness on his face says it all.
We have finally acquired Samantha's new shoes. She insisted on comfort rather than beauty, but then made sure that the comfortable shoes looked nice too. I am glad that Draya'uc never needed to go shoe shopping when we were married. Sandals bought in one place were the only option. There is a lot to be said for no choice in the matter.
Now we are heading to the slave auction. I fear that we are about to be dragged into a situation greater than our briefing. However, I trust O'Neill to make the right decision so I will go along with his choice.
We are approaching the holding cells and I see something so I hold Samantha back.
"It is Ibo, Samantha. Stay out of sight for the moment. Perhaps we should get close enough to listen in but not be seen?"
She nods and we creep up towards the men.
"Surely a single servant is not worth what you are asking," Ibo sneers.
"That's because he is not just my servant," O'Neill counters. "Now, like I said. If you're really that interested, the cost is your entire holding - territory, Jaffa, you name it. If you're not prepared to pay that, you don't even get close to him."
"How much for just one night?" Ibo enquires.
"That was the cost for just one night," O'Neill replies and he turns his back on the Goa'uld.
His arm is around Daniel's waist. Daniel is looking extremely haughty, as if he considers the Goa'uld beneath him. He is right, of course, but the Goa'uld is not happy about this. He steps forward as if to strike Daniel. O'Neill meets him eye to eye. I notice that the four Jaffa that accompany him are slow to react. I wonder how many Jaffa he has at home? Not many, I am sure.
I step behind Ibo. Samantha stays hidden at my request. She has her zat with her. If it comes to it, I will require her as backup.
Ibo is about to say something to O'Neill. I tap him on the shoulder. His host is about six inches shorter than me and he has to look up. Without taking my eyes from his I say,
"Do you have trouble with this creature, My Lord?"
"Not anymore, T. He was just leaving."
Ibo says nothing but he does slink away, taking his Jaffa with him. I do not think that they will be any trouble for us.
"All that for just one night with Daniel, eh?" Samantha teases. "Damn, Daniel, you must be good in bed."
O'Neill looks at Daniel and kisses his cheek.
"You have no idea, Sam, none at all," he murmurs with a grin.
I have had enough of this.
"It is lunchtime. I do believe we should find somewhere to eat."
"Good thinking Teal'c. I think I saw an inn over there," Samantha replies.
The others agree and we head off to the inn. Daniel is quiet as we walk. He is upset - probably more by the conditions of the slaves than by Ibo's actions. He is rarely bothered by Goa'uld and the things they say. O'Neill looks at him curiously but says nothing. Samantha has also picked up on his mood and she has slipped her hand into his. It is a small gesture of comfort, but one that is rewarded with a smile from him. O'Neill nods in approval too.
We have reached the money changer, O'Neill is changing the smallest gem and now we can go and get something to eat.
"We should get rid of our baggage," Samantha says as we sit to wait for our food in the inn. We are having to carry their other clothes and they are getting in the way.
"Okay, after lunch we should dial up and throw our things through. We can pick them up on our way home," O'Neill replies.
"Not Remoc," Daniel says - the first words he has uttered since leaving the slave auction.
"Um, why?" O'Neill replies.
"Ibo is having us followed," Daniel mutters. Then he flicks his eyes near the door. Some of Ibo's Jaffa are indeed drinking at a table near the doorway.
"Somewhere that isn't used - but it has to be on the Abydos cartouche - we don't want to give away any other addresses," Samantha puts in.
"P4X-347," Daniel interjects. "The Goa'uld pleasure palace. It hadn't been used in ages and since we shut off the light it will be safe for us to return there."
He is correct. However, O'Neill does not look too happy.
"Why there, Daniel? Surely there could be other places?"
"True, but at least it's indoors, Jack. If we send the stuff to an outdoor one it may get wet if it rains. It will be better off there. I don't want to lose my jacket - or yours for that matter," he adds with a grin.
"Okay," O'Neill sighs, "but for the record I hate that place. Too many bad memories."
He is also correct. Knowing that Daniel actually died on the way there - and that he nearly committed suicide because of the light - is going to affect O'Neill. They were going through a bad period in their relationship at the time. That will not help matters.
Our food has arrived; standard meat stew, bread and beer, but we are enjoying it.
"I've missed bread," Daniel muses. "I wonder if we can buy grain somewhere, or flour? Could we buy some bread to take home, Jack?"
O'Neill is obviously feeling indulgent so he agrees. As soon as our meal is finished, we head to the market and buy food.
We now have bread, cheese, beer, wine, root vegetables which we ate in our stew and tasted like potatoes, and spices that Daniel wanted for his cooking. We have put everything in a large sack and now we are heading to the stargate. Daniel remembers the co-ordinates. He says that he can remember all of the addresses of planets that we have been to where bad things happened. They are 'etched' in his memory. Samantha pulls the VCD out of her cloak and we see that the place is empty. Then we all step through.
We place our provisions in a safe place and then discuss what we are going to do before we head back.
"We can't stay here long, Jack," Daniel announces as if a light has just gone on. "Ibo might decide to come after us. I think I have a better idea - one which may help the slaves."
Jack's looking at me expectantly. I know he's going to hate this - he hates all my ideas as a matter of principle, but ones in which I'm in danger he hates with a vengeance.
"Use me as a lure, Jack. Let me send a message to Ibo to meet me for a walk near the gate after dark. I'll make out that I want to be bought by him or something. In the meantime, Teal'c and Sam can set small charges at the cell doors. When we get close enough to the gate, they can set off the charges remotely and cause confusion in the town. That's the trouble with the gate being in the middle of the market square - everyone will see us kidnap Ibo. However, if everyone's running around..."
"And what if he captures you instead?" O'Neill argues.
"Jack, you'll all be watching me. I'll have a zat too. Let me be the one to zat Ibo if necessary - you guys can take out his Jaffa. We've only seen four of them, I doubt whether he's got any more with him. I trust you to look out for me, you know."
"I know you do, Daniel, but how many more times are you going to be the one to go into a dangerous situation?"
"Jack, as I said on that last planet when we rescued SG-1 - you guys are the warriors, you know how to set charges and take out people. I can do it, but not as quickly or efficiently as you. And none of you can communicate with or bluff people the way I can. It's the best use of our talents, Jack. You won't take your eyes off me, I know it. I get distracted easily. Besides, it's me he wants."
It's always me they want - I have no idea why.
Jack sighs and then agrees. Teal'c heads back to Remoc with Sam, taking our provisions too. There was no point in leaving them here. I wish I would think of these ideas in a more sensible order sometimes. They're going to make up enough charges to blow open the cell doors. I think they'll probably do a little more than that. We'll meet back up with them in the inn for the evening meal. We want a full stomach - no point in passing out with hunger, eh?
Jack and I head back to the planet and do some window shopping. One of Ibo's Jaffa is close. I've written a note in Goa'uld to Ibo so I slip it to him and then get back to Jack's side before he has a chance to grab me.
We noticed that the local time periods are marked by a bell - every hour and ten minutes in Earth time. I've told him to meet me in the market two bells after sunset. Let's hope he falls for it.
Time is going on, every time the gate dials up we look at it. No sign of Teal'c or Sam yet. I wonder what they're up to?
FINALLY! Yay. They're here. Jack and I head straight to the inn. He's in a quiet mood, obviously unhappy about what is to happen. Still, it has to be done.
We're having a similar meal to before - not too much ale though, we need to keep clear heads.
"Do you think that Ibo will take a chance on meeting me?" I ask.
Jack rolls his eyes and just looks at the others. They shrug. Guess he's likely to turn up then.
"Have you got everything you need guys?" he asks the others. They answer in the affirmative and as soon as we finish our meals we head out.
The sun is setting now - two bells from now and we meet with Ibo. I keep watch as the others plant small charges in various strategic places. Nothing serious will happen, just enough to cause a disturbance, hopefully enough to create havoc but nothing else.
We're leaving the cells till last. Hopefully we won't be turned in by the poor inhabitants. There were children there for goodness sake. It makes me sick. Some of the charges we've set are in the area where the auction will take place - there's a big wooden stage which is going to go up. If nothing else it will delay the auction. We're hoping that the slaves will follow us through the gate.
"Who are you? What do you want?" the guard challenges as we approach. We only have half an hour before the second bell so we need to get in there soon.
"I'm just going to have one more look," Jack replies. "Haven't made my mind up which slave I want yet. Let us in."
The guard looks us up and down and then nods and unlocks the door. We shut it behind us and Sam sets a small charge on each hinge on the frame side and one of the frame side of the lock. The door should just be pulled off. I watch the door while they put small charges in the locks of each cell.
As they go from each one they say, "Keep alert and stay at the back of the cell until the time is right. You will know when."
They're not saying anything else. It will be up to them if they want to escape afterwards. As soon as they're done we head to the door.
"Lord? What is happening?" one of them cries.
"Quiet. Say nothing and be prepared," Jack replies calmly. Then he smiles at them. "Do as I say and your lives will be in your own hands. Stay away from the doors until the time comes."
We get mutters from them. We're praying that they will do nothing until then. They have all retreated to the backs of their cells though, so there is hope.
It is nearly time for the second bell. Showtime.
Teal'c, Sam and Jack slip into the darkness. I can feel their eyes on me. I have my zat inside my vest as I head to the gate. My biggest worry is that Ibo will send a Jaffa to get me and not come himself. All depends on how smart he is.
Oh how I love the predictability of the Goa'uld. He's there.
"Why did you want to meet me?" he booms. Not very quiet then.
"Hush - my Lord may be watching me. You wanted a night with me? I am no slave, I choose to serve my Lord. It will cost you."
I'm still beyond arm's length of him. I don't want to be grabbed. His Jaffa are milling around. I need to get them away from us.
"Walk with me," I tell him when he enquires as to my price. "Leave them behind. This is between you and me. If my Lord finds out he will kill us both. He is less likely to see only two of us."
The twit agrees and I start to walk with him close by. We're getting near to the gate now. Come on guys, it's time...
Explosions go off around the town. Before Ibo can react I have my zat drawn and my arm around his neck. People are running out of the buildings and chaos reigns. I look at the Jaffa and see them all on the floor. Time to go.
"With me. Now!" I tell Ibo - he has no choice as the zat is trained at his face. He comes with me to the DHD but I nearly lose him when townsfolk smack into us.
"Don't even think about it," I growl. "I can do this with you conscious or not. It doesn't bother me which."
The guys meet up with us and hold him while I dial. I look back to the slave area and see them pouring out of their prison. The gate springs to life and Teal'c and Sam take Ibo through. Jack and I call to the slaves and they run to us. The townspeople are more intent on putting out the fires that the others started. Whoo-ee - the stage has gone up like tinder wood. More bangs and crashes - the sky is lit up - it's almost as light as daylight. We duck shrapnel in the form of chunks of wood from a barn that just blew up. That was a bit close for comfort.
"Come on!" Jack yells - we're keeping the gate open for them but they have to hurry. They jump through the gate as we yell at them to get a move on. Finally - all that are coming have come. Jack and I jump through the gate and we emerge in the pleasure palace.
Come on, guys, where are you? Teal'c has tied up Ibo and he's not a happy snake. Tough. The slaves have started to come through. They look scared but exhilarated. Don't know what we're going to do with them though. Daniel's idea of having a stopping off planet is a good one. It doesn't matter if we're followed here and we have defensive positions. Not to mention that we explored a fair bit of this place when we were stuck here so we know good hideouts. At last, they're here and the gate shuts down.
"Carter, Teal'c, take these good people somewhere to recover for a minute will ya? I think that we should deal with our prisoner first. Then we'll come back and send them wherever they want to go."
One of the wretches says, "Lord? Why did you do this?"
"I'm just a man," says Jack. "I'm no lord. You should be free. Nobody should be a slave. Trust in us a little longer, we need to take our prisoner with us. We will be back as soon as we can, but we don't know how long we'll be gone for. We'll try to send you home if you want to go there. If not, we have a few other places where you will be safe. But we need you to trust us. Will you?"
The poor man says, "Even if you were to abandon us here, we would die free."
"I understand," replies Jack. "We won't do that. If for some reason we don't come back in two days though, I'd suggest you head out of this place. There's fresh water in the palace and fish in the sea outside. Not sure how you'd catch them though. Hopefully it won't come to that. If we don't come back it's 'cause we're dead."
Teal'c and I take them to what is in effect the kitchen here. At least they'll have water.
"Use whatever you find," we tell them. "Make yourselves as comfortable as you can. If the gate opens, hide. Only when we call should you come out. We can't guarantee that our prisoner's Jaffa or one of the slavers didn't see where we went. So, unless you know it's us - stay out of sight."
They agree to that and we head out.
Before Daniel dials up the DHD, Teal'c heads into the light area and zats the controls.
"Just in case one of the refugees should turn it on out of curiosity," he explains. None of us disagree with him over that one.
Jack zats Ibo too.
"Didn't want him seeing where we were going," he shrugs.
I think it was just that the guy had hit on Daniel. I'm surprised he didn't zat him another two times. I've sent the VCD through - there's no one there so Teal'c slings the snake over his shoulder and we step through. I pick up the device and then use my communicator to contact Dad.
"Mission accomplished," is all I say. Now we wait.
Teal'c has dropped Ibo on the ground. We're all sitting down and waiting for Dad to turn up. And waiting. Jack's lying down, his head on Daniel's lap. Daniel's stroking his hair. Sometimes I think the pressure of the responsibility that Jack feels for us gets to him. Daniel's very good at relieving the pressure, I think - pun not intended. Though I'm guessing that he's good at relieving that pressure too. Daniel's got a look on his face - it's one that says that he's having one of his ideas. I doubt that Jack will like it.
There's still no sign of Dad. What's going on? We know where the transport rings are so Jack makes the decision that we should go there. We have the controls to operate them. Ibo is awake now so he's made to stand up and we march him to the rings. I operate the controls... and we appear in an empty room. I spoke to Dad as soon as I got here. What's wrong?
Zats drawn we head out of the room. There's a noise coming from down one of the tunnels. We push Ibo along there and... WHOA! Dad's being held by someone - at a guess, Ibo's agent. He's got a zat to his head. Teal'c grabs Ibo and does the same thing. Jack, Daniel and I, along with some of the other Tok'ra, point our zats at the agent.
"Kill me and you will kill Selmac," he shouts.
"You're not going to get out of here alive," Jack yells back. "And you know it. Now, be sensible and give up."
"Dad," I call. "Remember what happened to Uncle Simon?"
Dad frowns. My zat is primed. "Remember, how he died?"
A look of understanding crosses his face. Nobody else has a clue what I'm talking about. This has to be me doing this.
Dad bends, dropping to the floor quickly. Uncle Simon collapsed and died suddenly. I fire and catch the agent once. It's up to the Tok'ra what they do with him now. Dad gets up and comes over to give me a hug.
"Thanks Sam. I didn't want to get zatted. I'd already been hit once a short while ago - I'd only just got up. Another shot might have killed me."
Now he fucking tells me.
We're back at the pleasure palace. Ibo was taken away, I'm guessing the agent was killed. Don't really care to tell the truth. We've done our job anyway. Some of the Tok'ra have come back with us and they're helping us get the refugees home. We only had to leave them for a couple of hours. I think that returning them home is helping Daniel cope with seeing them all locked up like that. I don't tell him, but I counted how many were in the cells. At least ten didn't make it. Still, we're rehoming fifty ex-slaves, so that's a good thing. I can live with that.
It's time for us to leave. Daniel still looks like he's got something up his sleeve but he's not letting on what, just yet. When I asked him he just gave me a small smile. I dunno - he's gone all cryptic on me.
One of the refugees just hugged Daniel. He looks awkward - trying to be nice about it but he hates strangers hugging him. He lets me - always did let me even before we got together. He positively encourages Sam these days. I know he'd accept a small hug from Janet - a big one from Cassie though. And Skaara is about the only other person he willingly lets near him. I guess it's 'cause he's not used to it.
That breaks my heart, especially as I'm the sort of guy to hug the crap out of people whether they want it or not. I think he'd let Teal'c hug him, but the big guy's about as much a hug monster as Daniel is. When they touch hands, it's their equivalent of kissing the shit out of each other.
Back home - at least we're on Remoc.
"Well, guys, I think that went well," I say as we stroll back to the base.
"Yeah. Sending those people home was the best bit," Sam agrees. Teal'c chimes in with another agreement and then we look at Daniel.
"Oh, yes, it was great," he says.
No, Daniel, something's on your mind and you're going to tell me what it is.
"Um, Sam, Teal'c, would you two mind if Jack and I took off for a day or two?"
That brings us up sharp.
"Daniel? What do you have in mind?" I ask.
"I'm thinking about something," he says. "Will you come away with me for a couple of days? Please?"
"Ah. You'll have to wait and see. It's safe though, so don't worry. What do you say?"
Sam and Teal'c agree to it so I guess I'll have to as well.
"We'll need food," he says, "and bedding. And clothes of course. But that's pretty much it."
So we go and pack.
Daniel's shared the bread and cheese out. We're taking some other things like fruit. Just enough to last us a couple of days. I notice that he's slipped a couple of tubes of lube in his pack, so perhaps this is going to be fun.
We've got everything so now it's time to go. We take a VCD with us so the guys can communicate if necessary - Daniel gave them the co-ordinates but he still won't tell me where we're going. They've waved us off and we're at the gate.
"Are you going to tell me now?" I ask for the fifth time.
"No. Wait till we get there. Come on, Jack, it will be okay. I promise."
We step through the gate and arrive on... or rather at the pleasure palace again.
"Something struck me when we were here, Jack. When we were first here, things were pretty awful. It was bad between us without all the light-induced crap. Anyway - this place became one of those places which we have bad memories of and bad feelings for. And I'm fed up of that. I want us to make some good ones, Jack. I want to be able to strike this one off the list of bad planets.
"Think about it. This place is perfect as a hideout, as somewhere to go if we need to get away without going back to Remoc. If we're to come here, then I think we should exorcise the ghosts."
I can see what he's saying. If I can associate this place with good things, then I won't physically shudder every time it gets mentioned.
He plants a Tok'ra early-warning device on the step by the gate. It's like our perimeter sensors. If the gate opens and even if we're outside in the water, our own communicators will yell at us that someone's coming.
"I'm tired, Jack. Let's go to bed."
He takes his pack and my hand and we head off somewhere that I haven't been. It's a bedroom?
"I, um, tested it when we were here the first time, Jack. It's safe. No bedding though, just a mattress. I figured it would make a nice change from sleeping on the floor."
Okay - I can deal. We get ready, don't need to eat or anything and we hit the mattress. He's right, it's better than the floor. We're going to have to build some sort of bed for the cabin. Hmm. This mattress is nice. I wonder if we can take it with us?
He's going to sleep? Well, I guess I'm tired too. Actually just going to sleep together is wonderful - we used to have to make the most of being together when we had to hide, this rarely happened. Yeah. I like this.
Mmmfff. Wassa? Pillow. Oh yes, we're at the palace. Just Jack and me. Nobody else. Woo hoo! We can make as much noise as we like. I'm full of good ideas like this. What to do? He's still out cold. So, a little wake-up call? I think I'll take a leak first, wash my face and wake myself up. It's not normal for me to be up before him. I guess that yesterday was a bit much. Still, my old man is going to lose a couple of years in a minute.
That's it. Quietly pull back the covers. Damn, he's got a great body, it gets me all hot and bothered just to look at it. So, a little encouragement I think.
"Ugh, hmm, Daniel? Wha's goin' on? Oh God, don't stop."
"Good morning dear, are you awake now?"
"God yes, put your mouth back there now! Daniel, don't stop, please."
"Uh huh, I've got other plans for you. That was just to wake you up."
"You're not winding me up and leaving me alone, are you?" He looks so worried, poor thing.
"No. I wouldn't do that to you, would I?"
"Yes. You do. Frequently. You're a professional prick-tease."
"Well, as they say, if a job's worth doing..."
"Get up here you bastard."
"Now, now, insults before breakfast. I don't know. Perhaps I should go and make some coffee?"
A couple more buttons to push and he's going to go alpha on me. Do I want that? Duh!
"Well, it would probably be better if I did get some breakfast on. Why don't you go and take a leak and wash up?"
It would probably help if my hand wasn't gently stroking his dick.
MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! I'm now flat on my back and he's kissing the shit out of me. YAY! He's so fucking predictable. And I LOVE IT! Love him too, but that goes without saying.
"Leave me hanging, eh?"
"I wouldn't," I manage to gasp. He's good at this. "Just getting you worked up. Hmm, just there. Oh God Jack, you're so good at this, so fucking good. Please. Wouldn't leave you hanging babe, just wouldn't. Love you."
"Yeah, I know. Now, lie there like a good Spacemonkey and hitch your heels up, there's a good simian."
Ya know, there are times when I regret encouraging him to read a thesaurus.
OH GOD that is good. He's good. Filling me hard and hot and fast and... he's stopped? WHY?
"JACK! Start moving NOW!"
"Uh huh, not till you tell me what all the winding up was for."
"For this, you bastard, now move it or I won't be such a slut for you in future."
That got him. He loves my sluttish side. The one that crawls all over him, begging him to fuck me, sucking him hard and fast, sneaking up behind him in the shower and nailing him against the tiles. Ah - that's my more alpha side. Well, he loves that too.
Yes, he's moving. Slowly, steadily, pushing in hard and fast. Love this, so good, so fucking good.
"More, Jack, please babe, more."
"Your wish is my command," he growls back and ohmyfuckinggod that is incredible. Hitting the spot, time after time, I'm gonna come, can't hold out anymore.
Jeez - I fucking hit my face! It's pushing him over now. A couple more slams and...
Yup, I'd say he's got there too.
"So, what are we going to do today?" he asks over a breakfast of coffee, bread and cheese. This is good.
"Daniel," he sighs. "You really are a fucking monkey - like one of those chimps you see on those documentaries. If they're not eating or beating the crap out of each other they're fucking anything that doesn't get out of their way fast enough."
"Apart from the violence it sounds like a good life. You got any better ideas?"
"Um, no. Not yet. Hang on, why don't we look around a bit more? We didn't explore all that much when we were here the first time because you were so sick. There may be some stuff that is of use."
"Okay - but only while we're recovering. We're too busy on Remoc to do the bunny impersonation. I think we should make like rabbits most of the time."
"You won't be able to sit when we get back, I promise."
"Neither will you, Jack, neither will you."
The alarm has just gone off. The gate is opening. I wonder if something has gone wrong with O'Neill and Daniel. Samantha and I arm ourselves and head off to the gate. There is a sack with a note attached.
Found these, thought you'd like them.
D & J
We open the sack and find cloth? Strange. We take it back to the transport rings to inspect further.
"I wonder what the boys are getting up to?" Samantha giggles.
"I would suggest that they are exploring the palace, given this gift. When they are not doing that, I would expect them to be..."
"Teal'c! I think I can guess. Do you think that they'll calm down?"
"Eventually. Let them enjoy their honeymoon, Samantha. It is enough for us to know that they are constantly thinking about us, and that they will always care about our welfare."
She agrees and we transport down into the tunnel.
When we reach the main living and eating area that we have for use when the weather is bad on the surface, we open the sack, which turns out to be a large cotton sheet which Samantha has 'bagged'. There are Jaffa robes in it. They must have found them waiting for use by visiting Jaffa. And candles for my kel'no'reem. I am touched that they thought of me.
"What's this?" Samantha asks, handing me a glass jar which had been wrapped in one of the robes.
I open the stopper. It is oil.
"Oil for massage," I tell her. "It is meant to relax the mind and body. A Goa'uld would have a Jaffa who would be skilled in such things."
"Are you?" she asks with a grin.
"Most skilled. Would you like a demonstration?"
"Would I ever? Where do you want me?"
"Your bed will suffice."
"Then lead on, MacDuff."
I am unsure as to who or what this MacDuff is supposed to be. A Scottish beer, perhaps? It is of no consequence though - I lead on.
I hope the guys got the sack - so to speak. There are a few more things here and we're deciding what to take. Some of the cooking utensils from the kitchen will be helpful. There are sheets and blankets too. Just as well there's no moths on this planet. I'm surprised at how good a condition a lot of these things are in. Perhaps this place hadn't been abandoned for as long as we thought. Still, there's been no sign that anyone has visited in a long time. I'll never figure out the Goa'uld. Daniel's having fun opening cupboards and rooms that we hadn't looked at before. There are a surprising number.
"JACK! Look in here!"
What now? More candles? Nope - clothes?
"It's Goa'uld robes, Jack. You never know when we'll need to dress up to hide out. There's make-up and perfumes and goodness knows what else. It's a complete dressing room. You said we should be on the lookout for anything that will help us blend in on future missions."
He's got a point. There seem to be various sizes too. Daniel pulls out a sapphire-blue dress.
"Sam will look drop-dead gorgeous in this."
"No way would you ever get her in it," I challenge.
"She will if it's necessary. Besides, now she's off the base she's got nothing to prove."
"What do you mean?"
He sighs and turns to me, taking my hand and leading me to a seat.
"Jack, you know as well as I do that she's had to fight to get any sort of respect there. She's her father's girl - daughter of 'the General'. She's brilliant and beautiful. She's also a pilot. People seemed to forget that she got to be a pilot on merit and so Sam forgot how to be a woman. She's finally got that we love her and respect her for her abilities - but that's us as a team, Jack. She still had to compete and fight off sexist suggestions on the base."
"She never told me," I complain.
"She wouldn't. She dealt with it herself. But she told me. I did what I could to help her, as she did what she could to take away the hassle from me. It wasn't easy being the geek there, you know. It was hard enough hiding what I really was without being treated like a hanger-on."
"Why didn't you tell me?"
"Because you would have gone mad at those who said these things. And then we'd have the fact that you were the one fighting our battles for us going against us. It wasn't too bad, Jack, and we worked together to defeat them. We're not incapable, you know."
"I know that, Daniel. And you're probably right, if I'd heard about it I would have gone ballistic. I'm glad you've got your big sister to turn to."
"It means so much to me Jack. Growing up, I'd see those foster siblings I had with their own real siblings and I'd want a brother or sister so much. It hurt, you know. Some of the kids were great. There were some families where I was welcomed, wanted even, and the kids did their best to include me. But I was such a loner and everything was so strange to me that I didn't really fit in. Then when I joined the SGC it reminded me of those times. There I was, the outsider yet again. The only civilian on the base - the useless geek."
I go to interrupt but he stops me.
"That's how I was perceived, Jack. Some of the teams were okay, depending on their leader. When Lou took over SG-2 I never had any trouble with them. Others, though, wanted to make my life hell. If it wasn't for you guys I'd have jumped ship and gone to look for Shau're on my own.
"But there you were, larger than life, a bit of a maverick in your own way - and you seemed to want to adopt me. That was really nice, you know, it meant so much to me. Then there was Sam, the woman, the pilot and scientist - an outsider in her own right. Way too smart for her own good. She decided early on that she wanted me as her little brother so all of a sudden I had a big brother and a big sister. I couldn't believe it.
"Then Teal'c and I became close and he became my second big brother, always looking out for me, appearing just in the nick of time to 'save me from bullies'. He'd just have to stand there and everyone would be polite. He was even more of an outsider than I was, so we took solace in each other's company."
"You lost me as a brother when you jumped me that night, you know."
"I know. But I gained so much more. I can live with that, Jack," he smiles back at me. "I've made many thousands of decisions in my life - probably only a handful of life-changing ones though. And I think that that was the best one I ever made."
Damn. Don't know what to say to that. Can't say a word so I just kiss him till anoxia sets in instead. I think I know what to say now.
"Daniel, I hope you know just how much I love you. I doubt very much whether you know how much I respect you, but I do, and it's unequivocal. The same goes for Teal'c and Sam too. I trust you all implicitly. But most of all, I'm the happiest man in the universe because I too have a new family and the man I love more than anything. I also think it was the best decision you ever made."
"Are you going mushy on me, Jack?"
When I pick myself up off the floor and stop laughing, I take him by the hand and lead him back to the bedroom. Want it? Well - duh!
Jack's giggling now - perhaps I shouldn't have said that. Ah well, the damage is done. I have yet another idea.
"Jack, you do realise this place has an en suite bathroom, don't you? And we have hot water. I think it comes up from a spring or something - or of course it could be some sort of naquada-powered water heater, we'll have to set Sam on that to find o...mmmffffllll."
"Daniel, stop getting side-tracked. Now, when I take my hand off your mouth you are going to tell me in a few words what it was you were going to say."
I nod. He removes his hand.
"Well done, Daniel. Let's do that."
We go into the bathroom. There is a layer of dust in here so we'll have to clean it out, but still, I think this could be fun. It's as big as a hot tub. We'll have to bring the guys here sometime. There - it's clean. Now I have to work out how to get the hot water running... got it.
"Hey, Daniel, lookie here!"
What's he got? Some jar of something or other - smells nice and spicy. I wonder?
"What are you doing, Daniel?"
"Aw, stop being such a macho prick, Jack, who's going to see?"
"Go on then, a bit of luxury won't go amiss. Hope it's not acid or something."
"Knowing my luck it is. Stick your hand in and check it out, will you?"
"I'd better. If you do it it will probably eat you alive or AAAARRGGHH!"
"JACK! OH FUCK JACK?! WHAT'S WRONG?"
Bastard's laughing. I'm gonna fucking kill him. COME HERE! Oh God now he's taken off. I'm faster than him though. Gotcha.
"Now you've got me what are you going to do with me, Daniel?"
"I'll think of something. Bath, now, Colonel."
"In my clothes?"
And he does - does he ever. Wow. I'm joining him as quickly as possible. Woof.
I love this, the slow, tender kissing thing. Aw - come on Jackson, is there anything he does that you don't like?
I wonder what the boys are doing? Are they arguing?
I've just had the most wonderful massage from Teal'c. He's just gone off to catch something for supper. Having a man around the house is fun! Hmm - using the Tok'ra installed cooking facilities isn't my idea of fun though, so I'm off to the cooking fire up top. I hope that Teal'c comes back with something nice. I popped a couple of potatoes or whatever they are in the embers from the earlier fire. They should be cooked soon. I'm feeling leaner and fitter than I have done in years. This life is doing me the world of good. Miss chocolate though.
So, what are the boys doing?
Oh God Daniel, yes, yes, just there! You're so fucking beautiful, so good. Love you so much you know. Please - more? Oh my, my boy is all grown up! And how! Jeez, Daniel, it doesn't get better than this.
"Are you all right, My Lord?" he whispers.
I like the sound of that.
"God, yes. Just like that."
"My Lord must tell me what he wants. I wouldn't want to get it wrong for him."
"Fuck me, Daniel, please. Harder!"
"Like *pant* this? *gasp*"
Just as well we're in the bath, eh?
It is time for the others to return. I hope that they are feeling refreshed from their time away from us. Samantha and I certainly appreciated the time away from them. But it is now the moment of their return. The gate is dialling up. Samantha and I hide just in case it is not them. It is. Good. They have yet another bundle with them.
"Hi guys!" Daniel calls.
He drops his bundle and grasps my hand, then he hugs and kisses Samantha.
"Sam, we've brought you a dress. Hope it fits. You know, just in case you need to be glamorous for once. You'll look stunning in it."
He takes her by the hand, picks up his bundle and they head off.
"Are you feeling refreshed, O'Neill?"
"Yeah, thanks for holding the fort, Teal'c. It was good."
He winces a little as he steps down onto the beach. Perhaps his knee is sore.
"How long is it before we have to pick up the next drop, O'Neill?" I ask him.
"Three days from now. Here's hoping it will be a bit quieter."
"Somehow, I doubt it."