Daniel groaned inwardly. They'd been at the library for only thirty-five minutes. And Jack hadn't been able to keep silent for longer than two minutes at a time.
"Just one more," Jack promised, smoothing out the crossword puzzle he'd ripped out of the morning paper. He looked at Daniel, his pen poised. And that was his first mistake. Jack should never attempt a crossword in pen. These days Daniel thought Jack should be wary of using pencil.
"Just one more," Daniel said. He rested his chin on his hand, staring at Jack. He still thought Jack was one of the sexiest men he'd ever met. He continued thinking that right up until Jack opened his mouth.
"Seven letter word for repository of knowledge. And I already tried Ancient head-sucker, but I couldn't squeeze it into the spaces."
"Library," Daniel sighed.
"Um not unless Vanna spells her name with an R," Jack said.
"That'll work," Jack said, pleased. "What about Scots patron?"
"You said only one more," Daniel reminded him, trying desperately to focus on what he'd come to the library for in the first place. Which was damn. Stupidity must be catching.
"Yeah. Plus this one."
"What's the theme of the puzzle?" Daniel asked.
"National Library Week." Jack paused, frowning. "There's an official library week?"
"A bit much, don't you think?" Jack said. "Even dear old mom only gets a day."
"Yes, well " Daniel really couldn't think of an appropriate rebuttal to that.
"It's kind of sad."
"It's not sad. It's all too little recognition of a valuable resource," Daniel said. "And it's Carnegie."
"Andrew Carnegie, a wealthy industrialist who bequeathed millions to build public libraries."
"A simple no would've sufficed," Jack muttered, quickly filling in the letters.
"Jack, you have to be quiet."
"It's a library."
"It's boring," Jack said. "It could use a little something to liven things up. A nice jazz band, maybe a costume party you know, come as your favorite character."
"That would be very disruptive."
"To whom?" Jack asked.
"To those of us who want to read," Daniel said. Jack arched a scarred eyebrow at him. "And don't look at me like that. It was your idea to tag along."
"I wanted to spend some time with you," Jack said defensively. "It was your idea to leave my Gameboy at home."
"Yes, it was," Daniel agreed. He graciously refrained from mentioning the temper tantrum that decision had provoked. "And my walkman."
"It's a library, Jack. Books. Lots of books. Find something to read."
"There's nothing interesting," Jack complained.
Daniel stared at Jack in disbelief. An entire library at Jack's disposal and he couldn't find anything of interest?
"I've already read all the sex books," Jack added.
"Speed reader?" Daniel asked, staggered by the thought of Jack scouring a library for sex books. No real reason sex was Jack's number one priority. If there were sex books around Jack was bound to find them. And he shuddered to think what costume Jack'd had in mind for the party. He now suspected that Jack really had meant 'come' as your favorite character.
"It's pretty basic stuff. I mean, come on does anyone really need to have the physical possibilities of 'pole and hole' spelled out?" Jack said in a decidedly superior tone. "I'm ready for the advanced program."
And with that Daniel suddenly had a lap full of wriggling toes.
"Jack!" he yelped.
Every head in their section came up, all eyes focused on Daniel. Daniel flushed a deep red, and Jack just kept working it.
"Sorry. Just sorry," Daniel apologized in a loud whisper while his hand batted at Jack's foot under the table.
Slowly the other patrons returned to their own reading materials. Furious that Jack had provoked him into violating the most fundamental rule of library etiquette, Daniel stood up and started shoving his notes into his briefcase.
"That's it. Pack up your puzzle; we're leaving."
"Really?" Jack said with a hopeful smile. He shoved the crossword and his pen in his shirt pocket and got to his feet.
Daniel jerked his head toward the door and marched off, certain that Jack would follow. Jack always followed. These days there seemed to be an invisible tether between Daniel's ass and Jack's dick. Once upon a time, Daniel would never have dared dream that Jack would have any interest in his ass. Now he couldn't seem to keep Jack out of it.
"Er Daniel?" Jack sing-songed.
"Forget it, Jack," Daniel said when Jack tried to detour him deeper into the mostly empty stacks. "We're not having sex in the library."
"Because it's inappropriate," Daniel insisted.
"You're no fun anymore."
"My ass can't take as much fun as you want," Daniel said. He stopped and turned to face Jack. "And that's not a compliment."
"Yes, it is," Jack said, trying to maneuver Daniel into a dead end.
"Jack, it can't all be saving the world and sex. There has to be something more." Daniel put his hand on Jack's chest and pushed him back. "Why can't we go to a movie? Or dinner? Or just talk once in a while?"
"Talk?" Jack said, looking dumbstruck. Or maybe just dumb.
"We used to talk," Daniel said. He made a break for the exit, trying to remember when they'd stopped talking. Or rather, when Jack had stopped, because Daniel still talked. Although, apparently he was only talking to himself these days.
"You know me, Daniel I'm a do-er, not a talker."
"You used to be both," Daniel said. He plopped down on a bench just outside the library. As much as he loved Jack's dick, and he did love it, that wasn't the reason he'd fallen for Jack. He'd fallen in love with a sly, witty, charismatic man who could hold his own in any conversation. So when had Jack turned into the village idiot?
"DDS," Jack said.
"What?" Daniel asked. While he'd been musing, Jack had settled next to him and resumed his crossword puzzle.
"The clue must be wrong," Jack said, scowling at the puzzle.
Daniel snatched the paper from Jack's hand and looked at the clue.
"Hey, that's mine," Jack said, smacking Daniel on the hand.
"Dewey," Daniel said, allowing Jack to reclaim the page.
"Do we what?"
"Not 'do we' Dewey," Daniel said.
"As in 'Huey, Louie and' fame?"
"D.D.S.: Dewey decimal system," Daniel said, wishing there was a brick wall close at hand. He needed something softer than Jack's head against which to bang his own.
"Oh. That would explain why Schnackenberg didn't fit."
"My dentist," Jack said, reading the next clue.
"That's it," Daniel said. There had to be an explanation for Jack's shrinking IQ. A logical, reasonable andmost likelyalien reason. And Daniel had a pretty good idea of where to start looking.
"Where's the stone thingy?"
"Your Asgard pager," Daniel said, making a 'give me' gesture.
"Oh, the stone thingy." Jack plunged his hand deep in his front pocket and pulled out the ovoid stone. Daniel grabbed it from him.
"Hey, Thor entrusted that to me."
"Wouldn't be the first mistake he made."
"Greetings, Daniel Jackson, O'Neill."
"Hey, Thor," Jack said, obviously delighted to see his other little buddy.
Daniel glanced around the ship's bridge before nodding at Thor. And wondered why they never saw any of the crew.
"Is there something with which I may assist you?"
"Yeah," Daniel said. He gently pushed Jack aside and directed him to resume his puzzle. "I need to know if maybe you took a little too much out of Jack's brain the last time you had to purge the Ancients' knowledge."
"Why would you ask such a question?" Thor asked after a suspiciously long pause.
"Well, because he's an idiot," Daniel said. "And he didn't used to be."
"I can assure you the process went as planned."
"There has to be an explanation for Jack's regression," Daniel said.
"Indeed there is," Thor agreed. "After removing the Ancient knowledge I reprioritized O'Neill's neural pathways."
"Why would you do that?"
"O'Neill wanted it so."
"Jack asked you to reorganize his brain?" Daniel said. That didn't sound like any version of Jack he'd ever known. Even Jack wouldn't trust Thor that far.
"Not in so many words," Thor conceded. "But O'Neill's desire for you was quite obvious."
"What does that have to do with making him stupid?" Daniel asked.
"As it is currently programmed, the capacity of the human brain is limited. It was necessary to free certain areas of his brain to allow him to fully express his affection."
"You you deleted some of Jack's knowledge and enlarged his "
"Dick," Jack said suddenly. He bent over to fill in another clue while Daniel glared at him.
"His libido," Daniel continued, turning back to Thor.
"O'Neill felt much of that knowledge was unnecessary."
"Well, I'm sure, but " Daniel paused, staring at Jack. Then he turned to Thor. "Why couldn't you just enhance his libido and leave his intelligence intact?"
"That was not possible."
"I thought Jack was supposed to be 'advanced'," Daniel said.
"Advanced in the sense that he has large amounts of unformatted empty space in which to store extraneous new knowledge."
"Apparently he has even more empty space now," Daniel said, accusing.
"It was a gift. To both of you," Thor said.
"A gift?" Daniel rubbed his temples. "Okay, I realize that you may not understand this given the circumstances "
"What circumstances?" Thor asked.
"The lack of sex. Or genitals, even," Daniel said. "You need to realize that man does not live by sex alone. Although god knows Jack's tried."
"You are not pleased?"
"Don't get me wrong the sex is great. But you can't have sex 24/7. There has to be more. I need someone I can actually have a conversation with, not someone who needs help doing simple crossword puzzles."
"You wish me to restore O'Neill to his former level of intelligence?"
"No," Jack said, taking an interest in the conversation for the first time.
"My libido, my decision," Jack insisted.
"You're not thinking straight, Jack."
"I haven't thought straight since I met you."
"That's beside the point," Daniel said. He looked at Thor. "Yes, I want Jack back the way he was. He wants it, too, he's just too stupid right now to realize it."
"It is possible," Thor said. "The deleted knowledge remains stored in the ship's computer."
"Then do it."
"Hey!" Jack said. He tossed his pencil aside and marched over to Daniel and Thor.
"I am sorry, O'Neill, but I am afraid I must agree with Dr. Jackson," Thor said. "You are no longer competent to make this decision."
"And whose fault is that?" Jack asked, stabbing an accusing finger at Thor.
"It is indeed mine," Thor agreed, bowing his head.
"Er " Jack froze, momentarily nonplussed by the admission of guilt. Then he turned on Daniel. "Do this and I'll never speak to you again."
"You don't speak to me now."
"Do," Jack insisted.
" 'Huh?,' 'D'oh,' and 'fuck' do not constitute actual conversation," Daniel said.
"Snob," Jack said.
"Thor?" Daniel called.
"I will initiate the procedure immediately."
Daniel blinked as he found himself in Jack's bedroom. A moment later, and another flash of light, and Jack was in the bedroom with him, sprawled across his bed, unconscious.
A hologram of Thor appeared in the corner of the room.
"Is he ?"
"O'Neill has been fully restored. He should awaken shortly."
Thor's image vanished before Daniel could ask any more questions. On the bed, Jack began to stir. After a moment, his eyes opened and he looked around the room in confusion. Daniel approached him apprehensively.
"Jack, you okay?"
"Er ." Jack closed his eyes, his face screwed up in concentration.
"My brain has double vision," Jack said, waving his fingers at his head.
Daniel started looking around for the Asgard pager. He should've known the little gray asshole wouldn't be able to resist leaving his mark on Jack's brain.
"It's like um " Jack grimaced. "Oh, please tell me it wasn't my idea to send mini-me to high school."
"Actually," Daniel began.
"That is so wrong," Jack said. He slapped a hand over his eyes. "We've got to do something about that. Just the thought of it makes me feel dirty."
"Welcome back," Daniel said, smiling.
"Miss me?" Jack asked, peeking through his fingers.
"You have no idea," Daniel said.
Jack reached up, wrapped his fingers in Daniel's shirt, and pulled him down.
"Didn't miss my libido, though, did you?" Jack asked when Daniel had wiggled into a comfortable position on top of Jack. Very comfortable.
"Yeah, how much of that did Thor remove?" Daniel asked. He was simply curious. Yeah, that's it pure curiosity.
"We may have to cut back to only once a night."
"So I may actually get some sleep now?" Daniel teased.
"Not likely. I've got all these deep thoughts and I need to inflict them on someone."
"Deep thoughts? Er how?"
"Apparently the part of my brain that was stored in Thor's computer was still working," Jack said. "Not only that, but it was learning from the computer."
"That's that's "
"Too fucking weird for words," Jack agreed. "You know Einstein?"
"Not personally, no."
"The guy was totally messing with people's heads," Jack said.
"E does not equal m c squared?"
"Not exactly. Close close enough for our current level of development but there's a teeny tiny variable that humans haven't quite grasped," Jack said, planting his hands firmly on Daniel's ass.
"You're not going to tell Sam that, are you?" Daniel asked, imagining the scene. Imagining the fury. Imagining the carnage. Imagining little Felger bits splattered over the physics lab
"Right. Like I've suddenly developed a death wish." Jack rolled them over so that he was leaning over Daniel. "Besides, I've got some theories of my own I want to test."
"Such as?" Daniel asked, his mind suddenly going down and dirty.
"The amount of nipple torque necessary to achieve orgasm independent of penile activity. The minimal limit of prostate stimulation at which a linguist loses all higher language ability. Analyzing the amount of neural and hormonal activity resulting from the application of oral stimulation, thereby proving once and for all that two heads are better than one."
"Have I told you how hot it is when you talk smart?" Daniel murmured.
"Not lately," Jack said. "But I'm looking forward to making up for lost time."