'The Drake Equation' by Eos

Part 2

"Here!" Daniel called breathlessly as he ran back to Jack. "I've got something to bandage it with."

"What's that?"

"My shirt," Daniel said, tearing at the fabric of his SGC issue t-shirt. "What's left of it anyway."

"It won't help," Jack said glumly. He held out his hand to show Daniel.

"We just need to get more pressure on it."

"That's not going to be enough."

"It'll stop. Eventually," Daniel said stubbornly.

"You know what we have to do," Jack said with dull resignation.


"Daniel, under other circumstances, I'd agree. Try the bandage, try more pressure. But we don't have a friendly neighborhood infirmary with a fresh supply of blood," Jack said sharply. "Under these circumstances, I can't afford to keep bleeding like a stuck pig."

"It's only been fifteen minutes," Daniel argued.

"Yeah, and how much do you think I've lost already?" Jack said. Granted, it wasn't a huge amount of blood, Jack wasn't in any danger of actually bleeding to death, but in their current circumstances he couldn't afford to compromise his health in any way. "Daniel...."

"All right," Daniel said, closing his eyes and taking a sharp breath. Jack allowed Daniel to help him up and back to the cabin, holding a wad of Daniel's shirt against his hand. Jack slumped to the ground next to the fire and watched Daniel retrieve the knife. Daniel stood staring at the blade unhappily.

"Daniel," Jack prompted. "Right," Daniel said tightly. He held the blade in the fire, continuing to stare at it.

"I'd do it myself but I'm kind of a wuss when it comes to pain," Jack said. He tried to smile. "Betcha didn't know that, did you?"

"Never would've guessed," Daniel said quietly.

"Just...do it quick, okay?"

"As quick as I can," Daniel promised with a small, tense smile.

"Good. 'Cause I don't want to end up screaming like a girly man here," Jack said, swallowing against sudden nausea.

"Too bad we don't have a bullet for you to bite on," Daniel said.

"If I had a bullet I'd think of better ways to use it," Jack retorted.

"Not without a gun."

"I'd figure out how to build a...Argh!"

Jack tried to suppress his cry as Daniel took advantage of his momentary distraction to bring the heated blade to bear on the wound. Jack bit his lip and stamped his foot against the dusty ground. He tried to hold his arm still while Daniel applied the flat of the blade, trying to stop the bleeding without causing any additional injury.

"There. I think that's it."

"Ah, fuck me, that hurts," Jack growled. He cradled the hand to his chest, but refused to look at it. Feeling was bad enough—seeing would have to wait a while before he'd be up to it.


Jack looked over, irate, ready to blast Daniel for asking such a blatantly stupid question, but the words died when he saw Daniel's face. Daniel was composed, his hand steady as he calmly cleaned the knife. But he was white as a ghost under his tan.


"I'm going to go get some fresh water," Daniel said, ignoring Jack. "I'll only be a few minutes."

Jack lay back down on the ground, silently venting his fury on the nameless fates who'd brought him here, and at his own carelessness. His hand throbbed where it rested against his chest, but he suspected that this was one time when the old saw 'this'll hurt me more than it'll hurt you' might apply. Jack had trusted implicitly that Daniel would do what had to be done, would do whatever Jack needed him to do. But he hadn't fully realized just how difficult it would be for Daniel to do it.

"Hey, thanks," Jack managed to grit out when Daniel returned a few minutes later. Daniel grimaced as he knelt down, carefully holding a cup with hands that now shook faintly in a delayed reaction.

"You may want to hold off on thanking me until you've seen the results."

"No, Daniel, I'm serious," Jack said, gripping Daniel's knee with his uninjured hand. Daniel raised his eyes to meet Jack's. "I really didn't want to have to do that myself. So...thanks."

"Sure," Daniel said with a tight nod. "Just don't ever ask me to do it again."

"Not if I can help it," Jack agreed fervently. "Uh...what are you doing?"

"Even with the.... It's still bleeding a little bit," Daniel explained, tearing the rest of his shirt into strips. "It needs to be bandaged. We have to keep it clean."

"Jesus," Jack muttered, all sorts of wonderful images springing to mind. The topper was Daniel having to amputate Jack's hand because he'd developed gangrene.

"Not going to happen," Daniel said grimly. Jack looked up, momentarily surprised. Then he realized that Daniel had probably seen enough on digs and in his time at the S.G.C. to know what could happen to open wounds. "Here—drink some of this."

"What?" Jack said, accepting the cup with his uninjured hand. He sniffed warily at the liquid. "Gooberry juice?"

"I think it has some analgesic properties. Maybe even acts as a mild sedative."


"It seems to help when I get headaches," Daniel said with a shrug. Jack glared at him. Daniel hadn't said anything about headaches.

"I probably need a new prescription," Daniel explained, pointing at his glasses.

"Why didn't you say something?"

"What would be the point?"

Daniel pulled the leather tie from his hair and dropped it on the ground next to his bed. He scrubbed his fingers across his scalp, roughly combing out the snarls.

"Why don't you let me cut it?" Jack asked, and not for the first time.

"Why does it bother you so much?" Daniel countered.

"It doesn't. It's just...doesn't it get in your way?"

"Not if I keep it tied back," Daniel said logically. Of course, it had been a pain in the ass until it grew long enough to tie back, but he preferred the temporary annoyance to having to cut his hair all the time.

"Doesn't it feel weird?" Jack asked, crossing the couple of feet between them and tugging the sun streaked strands of hair.

"At first," Daniel admitted. "I'm used to it now."

Daniel turned his head toward Jack as Jack continued to finger his hair. Daniel waited, curious, watching Jack's face in the low glow coming through the door from the campfire. Jack's hand slid down from his hair until it lay flat against Daniel's bare chest.


"I'm not sure," Jack said, brushing his hand along Daniel's smooth skin. Daniel trapped Jack's hand beneath his, stilling the movement but keeping it firmly against his body.

"This shouldn't be just...." Daniel bit off the rest of what he was going to say. After all, he'd been hoping for this. He was in love with Jack and Jack was looking for sex. So was Daniel going to say no? Was he going to let any high moral or ethical concepts get in the way of hot, sweaty sex? Sex with Jack? Like hell he was.

Daniel sighed. He'd been good. He'd waited nearly eight months. Hell, he'd actually waited years. Daniel had forced his feet along the high road and consistently refrained from saying or doing anything that might soothe his own desires. He'd waited for Jack to reach this point under his own power.

"Daniel." Jack was looking at him. Quiet, somber and, Daniel suddenly realized, understanding.

"You knew?"

"Why did you think I wouldn't jerk off in front of you?" Jack asked.

"You're shy?" Daniel suggested, knowing even as he said it that that couldn't possibly be right.

"I've lived in barracks. I've lived in tents. I've lived in fucking foxholes, Daniel."

"What's your point?"

"I'm not shy. It's just that, in your case...."

"You were afraid of my reaction."

"No, actually, I was afraid of mine."

"Yours?" Daniel said. Suddenly he jabbed Jack hard in the chest and pulled away. "Are you telling me that you wanted...? And you made me wait eight months?"

"I waited three months on Edora," Jack said calmly. "Three months before I accepted that I wasn't going home. And then—ta da—there you were."

"So? Three months, six months, a year: why wait at all?"

"Daniel, listen to me. If there was any realistic chance of rescue we wouldn't be having this conversation at all."

"Why not?"

"Because we couldn't," Jack said firmly.

"Don't ask, don't tell?"

"That's part of it. There's also the fact that you're my teammate. There are rules against fraternization, and I happen to think they're good rules."

"Couldn't you have at least talked to me? Told me that you were interested?" Daniel asked.

"What would be the point?"

"So I'd know. God, Jack, I've been in love with you for years. It would've been nice to at least know that...."

"That wouldn't have been fair to you," Jack said.

"What? Oh...." Understanding hit like a ton of bricks. Daniel was in love with Jack, had just admitted to that. But Jack wasn't. Jack thought Daniel was attractive and was open minded enough to consider having sex with him, but he didn't love Daniel. Not that way.

"Hey, it's not like you were sitting home alone on Saturday nights, pining away over me," Jack said dryly.

"No, I wasn't," Daniel said belligerently, accepting the out Jack offered him. And he'd slit his own throat before admitting that most of his admittedly few partners had been older, dark eyed.... "And I wouldn't have even if I'd known that you might be willing. Not as long as we couldn't be together."

"You know—you can keep up the pissy act or we can get down to business." Jack grinned when Daniel just stared angrily at him. "Either way is fine with me. I'm a sucker for a good floor show."

Daniel growled and gave Jack a push. Jack went down to the pallet easily, desire slowly replacing the humor in his eyes.

"I'll give you a floor show, you smug bastard," Daniel said. He stood over Jack, straddling the bed. Slowly he undid his fly and brought his cock out through the V of his pants. Jack's smile faded completely as his eyes grew hungry.

"You get off on watching?" Daniel asked curiously as he slid his pants down past his hips.

"I think I could," Jack said, sounding mildly surprised. Grinning, Daniel shucked the pants the rest of the way off.

"Sit down," Jack ordered, grabbing Daniel and guiding him to sit across Jack's groin.

"Um, Jack? You have to take your pants off for that," Daniel said with amusement. He reached for Jack's fly.

"No," Jack said sharply, catching Daniel's hand. "We can take care of each other, but we don't need to go that far."

"Okay." Daniel wanted it all. He'd fuck Jack six ways to Sunday and take even more in return, but he wouldn't push Jack to go farther than he was comfortable. They were friends. Daniel loved him and Jack...cared. Daniel could live with that.

"Ah—bastard!" Jack gasped as Daniel ground his ass down against Jack's cloth covered crotch. Daniel just grinned and stroked his own cock as he continued rubbing against Jack.

"You know—it's gonna get messy if you come in your pants," Daniel pointed out.

"Oh, fuck, yeah," Jack conceded, although he didn't really seem to care. Daniel gave him a questioning look. Jack shrugged, giving Daniel permission to take the lead.

Daniel lifted up and quickly undid Jack's pants, pushing them down to his knees. Then Daniel sat back down across Jack's thighs, bringing their cocks together, Daniel's balls heavy against the base of Jack's cock. Jack groaned in appreciation and reached for Daniel. Their hands entwined, pulling and twisting until Daniel let out a groan that felt like it had been dragged up from the very tip of his tailbone, right along with his orgasm.

When Daniel could force his eyes open again he looked down at Jack. He appeared to be having the same trouble mastering control of his eyelids.

"Um...that couldn't possibly be all mine," Daniel said, running a finger through the puddles on Jack's chest.

"No, not all," Jack agreed.

"Okay, good." Daniel figured a Jack who had gotten off was a happy Jack. And a happy Jack was one who would probably be up for more of the same. Although...not right away. Daniel sagged forward, laying his head on Jack's chest. "I'm just going to pass out for a while."

"Daniel, no," Jack grumbled.

"Oh, God, you're not a talker are you?" Daniel groaned. Jack's answering laugh made Daniel's head bounce on his chest.

"Talking bad. Passing out good," Jack said, pushing at Daniel. "But you're going to have to move."

"Whatcha doing?" Jack asked. He'd found Daniel sitting behind the cabin after lunch, hunched over his field notebook.


"Duh," Jack said sarcastically. "About what?"

"Everything that's happened to us since we gated to P9S."

"Don't forget the stuff about the purple-people-eaters."

"They weren't people eaters," Daniel said, exasperated. "They weren't even really purple. More of a lilac. Maybe lavender."


"I've got it. Or I'm getting it anyway. It's all here: how they captured us while we were separated from Sam and Teal'c on P9S. How they imprisoned us on their ship and questioned us for days. And how, when they decided we didn't have any useful information, they tossed us overboard." Daniel paused and stole a glance at Jack. "I'm also saying that the Djouma weren't actively hostile...more just indifferent to the prospect of our survival."

"Why are you protecting them?" Jack asked. "Come to think of it—why are you even writing it down? It's not like there's anyone here to read it. And I hate to point out what should be totally obvious which is that you and I are not about to go forth, be fruitful and multiply."

"There's always a chance that someone will find the journal, even if they're not in time to find us," Daniel said stubbornly. He wasn't touching 'fruitful' with a ten foot pole.

Jack dropped his end of the log and stood, hands on hips, as he surveyed the result of a couple of days' hard work. Daniel walked over from the other end of the pile of logs to stand next to Jack.

"Not bad, eh?"

"Should be enough to make the cabin tall enough so that we don't have to walk all stooped over," Daniel agreed. He wiped away the sweat trickling along his temple, leaving behind a streak of dirt.

"A job well done by a couple of manly men," Jack said with satisfaction.

"Stinky, sweaty, manly men," Daniel said wryly.

"Well, you know what stinky sweaty manly men do when they finish a job?"


Jack grabbed him by the shoulders and planted a big, sloppy kiss on his mouth. Daniel responded by licking at the sweat beading on Jack's upper lip. Jack urged him to the ground, tugging at Daniel's pants as they went down.

"So...manly men do it in the woods?" Daniel teased breathlessly as he tried to shove Jack's pants out of the way.

"It takes a true manly man to do it in the woods," Jack said. A snort of laughter escaped him.

"What?" Daniel asked as he lay back, trying to draw Jack down with him. The evil grin on Jack's face gave him pause. Daniel's eyes opened wide. "Oh, no. No, you don't."

"What?" Jack asked, trying for innocent and missing by several decades.

"Sing one bar of the 'Lumberjack Song' and you'll be handling your wood all alone."

Jack just snorted again, still resisting Daniel's attempts to pull him up. He kissed his way down Daniel's sweaty torso, flicking his tongue, snake-like, over his nipples and down his ribs.

"Uh...Jack?" Daniel asked uncertainly as Jack continued moving down his body. Jack had been more than happy to participate in mutual hand jobs and other mild variations on the simple friction theme, but there were some things he didn't do. He'd never blown Daniel.

Jack looked up at him curiously.

"Are you...? Oh, God." Daniel curled up, digging his hands into Jack's shoulders in order to prevent himself from grabbing Jack's head and thrusting uncontrollably down his throat.

Jack experimented a little, drawing him deeper, then pulling away. He rubbed his tongue roughly across the head and Daniel let out a choked cry. Jack smiled to himself, letting long hidden memories guide his actions. Daniel kneaded the muscles of Jack's shoulders, groaning and gasping until he let out a shout and flooded Jack's mouth.

Jack crawled up Daniel's body, grinning smugly as he slumped back on the ground, muttering incoherently. Jack kissed him deeply, making him groan again at the taste of himself.

"I love the fact that you're so completely gone after sex," Jack observed.

"Prick," Daniel mumbled with a smile. "Just give me a sec and I'll get you."

"Er...no need," Jack admitted sheepishly. He held his right hand, dripping with semen, in front of Daniel. "Kind of took care of it myself."

Daniel grasped Jack's hand and drew it to his mouth, licking the fluid from first one finger, then the next. He felt Jack shiver against him, and watched his eyes begin to darken again.

"Jesus, how do you do that?"

"Do what?" Daniel asked.

"Be...just be so fucking sexy."

"Me?" Daniel asked, stunned by the idea. He'd never seen himself as sexy. Passionate—yes. Absolutely. Daniel gave his all to everything, sex was no exception. But...sexy? Sexy implied a certain attitude that Daniel didn't see in himself.

"Yes, you," Jack said, amused.

"No," Daniel said. "You—you're sexy. You're so...."

"Macho?" Jack prompted.

"Confident. Almost arrogant," Daniel said thoughtfully.


"There's a little swagger in your walk," Daniel said. "You're hot and you know it."

"You're nuts," Jack said affectionately. Daniel drew Jack's other hand up, studying it.

"Does it hurt?"

"It's fine," Jack said, trying to pull his left hand away. Daniel held firmly, gently testing the two fingers that now stayed permanently clawed in toward the scar tissue that twisted across Jack's palm.

"Sorry," Daniel said, finally releasing the hand.

"For what?" Jack asked, puzzled.

"I screwed up," Daniel said, looking directly into Jack's eyes. "There must be tendon damage."

"And what were you supposed to do about it?" Jack asked.

"Maybe if I hadn't tried to cauterize it...."

"I asked you to," Jack reminded him.

"See what happens when I start listening to you?"

"It was the right choice," Jack said, giving Daniel an exasperated look. "It healed, no infection, and it doesn't hurt. I'd say that's a good outcome. And hey—it's not like it's the first scar I've gotten."

Daniel jogged along the path, looking for Jack. Some of the root vegetables he'd transplanted into a garden plot near the cabin had finally taken and were starting to grow. The tubers required little care, and the garden would save him the time and occasional frustration of wandering around hunting for them in the wild. Not exactly front page news back on Earth, but around here it was one small bit of civilization they hadn't had before.

A few high clouds swept across the sun. The momentary dimming of the light acted like a hand waved in front of his face. Daniel reminded himself that there was a reason he'd been heading in this direction, and quickly covered the last few yards to Jack's homemade kiln. He walked around the mound of earth that covered the curing pots and stopped short.


"What?" Jack asked, trying, unsuccessfully, to make himself small and unnoticeable.

"Finally decided to go native?" Daniel said, smile growing at the sight of Jack sitting on the ground...in a loincloth.

"The only natives I've seen around here are covered in fur or scales."

"You know what I mean," Daniel said. Jack refused to look at him, remaining hunched over the pictures he was drawing on the ground.

"It's hot work," Jack said, waving his left hand at the kiln.

"You know that gives you no protection from animals and rocks and...."

"Fuck off, Jackson," Jack said mildly.

"What are you working on?" Daniel asked. He crouched down beside Jack and studied the rough sketches Jack was making in the hard packed dirt. Jack added a couple more lines with a small stick. "Airplane?"

"Glider, actually," Jack said, sitting back so that Daniel could see the drawing more clearly.

"Could you really make one?" Daniel asked, fascinated by the idea.

"Doubt it," Jack said. He started to scratch out the drawings but Daniel grabbed his hand.

"Why not? You're an engineer. You know aerodynamics. You sure as hell know airplanes."

"On Earth it would be doable, but I'm used to working with known materials," Jack explained. "I know the parameters of metal and nylon, not wood and animal skins. Besides, what would be the point to building it?"


"Not around here. We'd have to take it up into the mountains to find a good launch point, catch a thermal." Jack shook his head. "No, it's not good for anything. I'm just goofing around."

"Nothing wrong with goofing around."

"There is when I've got more important things to do." Jack stood up and scuffed out the pictures with his foot. "The pots should be done."

"Okay," Daniel said with a shrug. He straightened up, ready to return to the garden. "Oh, that reminds me—I just checked and the carrot things are finally growing."

"Yeah? Cool," Jack said with a pleased smile.

"I thought so," Daniel said, smiling back. "Anyway, I'll let you get back to your...."

"Hey, give me a hand here," Jack said before Daniel could leave. "You are the digger on this team."

"That didn't work when you tried to make me dig the latrine either," Daniel said, but he accepted one of the wooden scoops and bent to help Jack uncover the fired pots.

Daniel giggled.

"Daniel?" Jack could remember Daniel giggling on only a few occasions, and those were always when he was.... "You're drunk."

"S-so are you," Daniel said, sniggering.

"How?" Jack asked indignantly.

"I think maybe the gooberry juice has gone over," Daniel said, waving at the nearly empty bowl.

"Son of a bitch," Jack said with an expression of such stunned disbelief that Daniel fell over, laughing helplessly.

Jack tried to ignore the way that Daniel's loincloth moved and...molded to accommodate the occupying flesh. He started to think that maybe their decision to go naked or semi-naked around home was a bad idea. It had seemed reasonable at the time. They'd both seen everything—up close and personal by that point. But Jack found that he was easily distracted.

"Penny for your thoughts?" Daniel said, still chuckling. "Um...except I'll have to owe you the penny 'cause I'm fresh out."

"I was just thinking that I'd like to get rid of that loincloth," Jack said bluntly.

"Allow me," Daniel said, pulling the garment off and tossing it in the general direction of the cabin door. He wiggled his ass and said, "You're right. That's much better."

Jack pounced. He clamped Daniel's head between his hands and tried to suck the tongue out of his mouth while humping vigorously against his groin. When he pulled back for a breath, Daniel growled and yanked him back down, wrapping his legs around Jack's.

"Get this fucking thing off," Daniel demanded, tearing at Jack's own loincloth. Jack fumbled to help, wondering why he'd been concerned about getting distracted. Wasn't that the whole point of becoming 'fuck buddies?' Alleviating the distraction? Except that they didn't fuck. Daniel would, though. Daniel wanted to. Suddenly that seemed like an excellent idea to Jack.

Daniel groaned as Jack's loincloth finally gave way. Daniel grabbed Jack's ass and ground their cocks together almost painfully. The ache deep in his belly was demanding satisfaction. He clawed Jack's skin, biting his mouth, neck...anything he could reach until Jack pinned him to the ground and shoved one of Daniel's legs up. Daniel grabbed behind his knee and pulled, giving Jack access.

Jack gripped himself and started to push in. At the last second a flicker of sanity stopped him; he realized he couldn't go in dry. He looked around wildly, desperate for something that would function as a lubricant.

"Come on come on," Daniel chanted impatiently, pulling at Jack. Jack spied the remnants of their dinner and figured animal fat would have to do. He quickly rubbed some on his cock before entering Daniel with a sharp push. Daniel cried out. Jack didn't know if it was a cry of pleasure or of pain, but the part of his brain that was in control didn't care too much one way or another.

Daniel bucked up against Jack, drawing him in. Between the grease and the intoxicating effects of the juice, the pain of entry wasn't any worse than Daniel had felt before. Daniel bucked wildly, fucking himself on Jack and digging his fingers in hard enough to leave bruises.

Jack's head was spinning as he abandoned himself to the savage rhythm. His mouth met Daniel's, knocking their teeth together and bruising their lips. Too soon, Jack threw his head back, pistoning his hips harder and harder. Daniel's incoherent shout sounded in his ear as warmth surged between them. Jack gave a few more uncontrolled thrusts before shouting his own satisfaction into the night.

"Fuuuuuuuuuck," Jack groaned. He pressed his hands tightly against his head, trying to still the throbbing.

"Are you going to live?" Daniel asked softly. Jack slit his eyes open and looked cautiously in the direction of the voice.

Daniel watched Jack carefully. His own head was pounding fit to beat the band, which almost took his mind off the burning in his ass. Daniel had absolutely no memory of what had happened, but the evidence was unmistakable. He'd been fucked, and quite vigorously by the feel of it. The problem was that Jack had indicated quite plainly that he didn't want things to go that far between them. Daniel wasn't sure how Jack would feel about it...assuming he even remembered. Actually, that was just one of the problems. The other was that Daniel had finally gotten fucked by Jack, for the first and possibly only time, and he couldn't remember it.

"Hangover?" Jack asked in a pained voice.

"Apparently," Daniel said, nodding.

"How?" Jack struggled to sit up without his head splitting open.

"The juice, I think."

"The gooberry juice? I got so blitzed that I blacked out from a fruit juice?" Jack said incredulously.

"Well, I told you before I thought it might have medicinal qualities," Daniel said, noting the "blacked out" with a pang of both regret and relief. "Evidently when it goes over it packs a punch."

"Medicinal qualities?" Jack said skeptically. He gratefully accepted a cup of water from Daniel and tried to rinse the fuzziness from his mouth.

"I told you that it probably acts as a sedative or analgesic," Daniel said.

"Yeah, but...whoa, momma, that's a hell of a kick," Jack said. He looked himself over carefully before doing the same to Daniel. He was naked and, judging by the hickeys on Daniel's neck, they'd gotten a little frisky.

"You okay?" Jack asked.

"Me? Why?" Daniel asked nervously. After cleaning himself, and then, very carefully, the still unconscious Jack, Daniel had dressed in his loincloth. Fortunately it covered the most obvious evidence of their activities.

"Looks like we had some fun and games," Jack said, gesturing at his own neck. Daniel quickly ran his fingers down his neck and over his chest, wincing when he encountered a rather enthusiastic bite mark. "I didn't break the skin, did I?" Jack asked with concern.

"No, just bruised. You've, uh, got a few, too," Daniel said.

"Not surprising, I guess," Jack said ruefully. He crawled over to Daniel and started checking him over. "But we have to be careful. Human bites can be dangerous."

"I'm fine," Daniel insisted, trying to push Jack away.

"Are you sure?" Jack asked, still trying to examine Daniel. "Jesus, Daniel, I'd never forgive myself if I...."

"You didn't," Daniel said with a fond smile. Jack obviously didn't remember any more of the evening than Daniel did. He apparently didn't have a sore ass to clue him in either, which was a mixed blessing. Daniel would like nothing better than the opportunity to show Jack just how good he could make it for him. But while Daniel had made it clear that he'd be open to anal sex. Jack had very specifically said he wasn't. If Daniel had had Jack the previous night, he'd feel guilty about taking something that Jack hadn't offered.

"Whatever we got up to last night was mutual."

"You don't remember either?" Jack asked.

"Not really, no."

"Well, that was monumentally stupid," Jack said with obvious disgust.

"We were drunk; stupid kind of goes with the territory," Daniel pointed out. "Although, I wouldn't go so far as 'monumentally'...."

"We were both out of commission, Daniel. What if we'd been attacked?"

"By what?" Daniel asked incredulously.

"Er...those cougar things," Jack suggested. Daniel rolled his eyes. The wild cats were carnivorous, probably their biggest competitor for the smaller game. However, on the rare occasions they'd caught sight of the stealthy felines, the cats had been far more inclined to run away than attack.

"No more fucking goo-goo juice," Jack said, climbing painfully to his feet and heading off in search of the designated tree.

"I'd give my left nut for a UAV," Jack said with a heavy sigh.

"Really?" Daniel asked with some alarm.

"At least we could explore some of the planet that way," Jack said. He tossed a couple of gristly scraps from his dinner into the fire and wiped his hands on the ground.

"You still think there might be other people somewhere out there?" Daniel asked.

"It makes more sense than there not being anyone out there," Jack said. It drove him nuts every time he stopped to think about it. The idea that there could be people, even entire civilizations on the planet, and that they would never know just because it was on the other side of the world.

"A stargate?" Daniel asked.

"Maybe. Maybe not. That's actually not as important as finding people," Jack said.

"I doubt they exist. If there were any kind of advanced civilization they surely would've spread far enough across the planet that we'd be able to detect some sign of their presence," Daniel said. He gestured around them. "And surely someone would've settled here. It's the perfect place to live."

"Exactly. It is perfect. So why isn't anyone here?" The emptiness wore on Jack. The only reason he could think of for such a hospitable planet to be deserted was that there was some as yet unknown threat. And he was getting tired of always looking over his shoulder, waiting for that threat to materialize.

"Well, I don't know what the actual odds are on...."

"The Drake equation."


"The Drake equation," Jack repeated. "It's used to calculate the probability of finding life elsewhere in the universe. You take the rate of formation of stars, number of stars with planetary systems, the number of planets per solar system capable of supporting life, the...."

"You were...spending a lot of time with Sam, weren't you?" Daniel said.

"My point is that a planet like this should have intelligent life."

"Well, I don't think the theory works in reverse, but either way it presupposes that life out here will be like life on Earth," Daniel said.


"And doesn't take into account the activities of the Goa'uld."

"No, it couldn't."

"Or the Asgard."


"Or the possibility of an intelligent life form being dumped on a planet by passing purple-people-eaters," Daniel concluded. Jack glared at him. "I'm just saying."

"When did you become such a pessimist?"

"Realist," Daniel corrected. "I just don't think you should drive yourself crazy worrying about something that may very well not exist on this planet."

"I'm not driving myself crazy."

"Well, no. You were already crazy," Daniel agreed.

"Get over here."


"I've got an...urge."

"Well, why didn't you just say so? It's really not necessary to start a fight phmmphgh...." Daniel's last words were smothered by a kiss.

"Hi ho, hi...." Jack's cheerful if tuneless singing was cut off by several sneezes. "Daniel?"

"Argh," Daniel spat, sneezing again.

"What's up?" Jack asked. He crouched down next to Daniel, who was trying to pack a small sack in between rubbing his eyes and nose.

"Nothing. I'll be ready...." Daniel was interrupted by three quick sneezes in a row. "God damn it."

"What's wrong?" Jack asked.

"Nothing," Daniel insisted. He gave an angry sniff. "Nothing a butt load of antihistamines wouldn't fix."


"Yes," Daniel said irritably, rubbing again at his reddened eyes.

"You sure? It's not a cold or something?"

"I've had allergies all my life, Jack. I know what the symptoms are."

"Yeah, but we've been here for more than a year and you haven't had any problem," Jack pointed out logically.

"Must be something that's just now started to bloom," Daniel said. "Either that or I've become sensitized to something that's been here all along."

"Is there anything we can do?" Jack asked.

Daniel looked at him for moment, then sighed heavily.

"Not that I know of," he said, resigned. "Just my fucking luck."

"It'll get better though, right?"

"If it's something new, something that's just started to bloom and, hopefully, will die off soon—then, yes, it'll get better. But if it's...." Daniel waved a hand vaguely at the vegetation surrounding them.

"You look miserable," Jack said, laying a comforting hand on Daniel's shoulder.

"You have no idea." Daniel glanced at Jack, apology written all over his face. "Think I'm going to have to punt this little expedition."

"I can wait."

"For how long?"

"I've got all the time in the world. It's not like it's something that has to be done right now," Jack told him. "I can wait."

"Go on," Daniel said, barely suppressing another sneeze. "I'm just going to be whiny and bitchy and miserable anyway."

"And this would be a change?" Jack jumped back from the slap Daniel aimed at his head, laughing. "You sure you'll be okay?"

"Whiny and bitchy," Daniel reminded him. "But okay."

Jack eyed the sun's position, calculating just how late it would be when he got back to the cabin. Not that the hour of his return mattered; he'd stopped punching the clock around the time his life had been hijacked by purple-people-eaters. But he was in the home stretch of his journey now, and he didn't intend to stop until he got there.

His week long trek hadn't uncovered anything earth...planet-shattering. No hidden civilization. No stargate. He had found a nice cave that would function well as a secondary shelter. Knowing that he would be heading straight back to the cabin, Jack had left a few things behind—some dried food and a fur blanket. The supplies would be the start of an emergency cache. Or maybe they could make the cave a sort of vacation home. For a cave it was pretty decent. Dry, and there were no signs of any recent animal habitation. And, if you were so inclined, you could climb a short way up the rock face above the cave entrance to a natural ledge and claim the best seat in the house for the double moonrise.

Jack's pace unconsciously accelerated as he drew closer to home. During the days of his jaunt he'd come to realize just how much he counted on Daniel's company. In truth he'd always counted on it, even in the beginning, but hadn't been about to go there. He'd always been self-reliant, self-contained, and he didn't need anyone, damn it. Not anymore.

Well, Jack knew who'd gotten the last laugh and it wasn't him. Or maybe it was. Much of his life may have been stripped away, reduced to essentials, but his needs were met and he was content. It wasn't such a bad way to live. Not when he had Daniel to share the burden.

"Daniel?" Jack's high spirits sank as he entered the clearing where the cabin sat. Something was definitely not right. He knelt down on one knee, running his fingers through the ash of the campfire as he kept his eyes fixed on the cabin door. The fire was not only out, the ashes were cold. Fear tightened his chest as he approached the cabin door.

Part 1

Part 3

Part 4

Eos' Home Page

Eos' Quick Links

F.D.A.S. Archive Index Page