To Sam Carter, one minute Daniel was a pair of
dreaming blue eyes above a towering, precariously balanced pile of
books, the next he was pinned very gently against the elevator wall
by Colonel O'Neill.
"Sir?" Sam queried, startled by the unexpectedness of it and
straightening up in response.
The colonel was crowding into Daniel's space, a move she
automatically catalogued as textbook aggression, but he wasn't in
the least confrontational, and at her side, Teal'c wasn't reacting
at all. He was simply watching, a precise eyebrow soaring
quizzically as their smiling C.O. engulfed their distracted
archaeologist in a disturbing bear hug.
Sam didn't have time to put her finger on what it was she found so
disturbing about this intimacy.
The colonel's hand slipped around to warmly cup Daniel's head and
then he kissed him like he'd waited his whole life to do it.
Daniel's books scattered and fell.
Arms closed tight around him and he was borne back against the
elevator wall, cradled close against the colonel's body.
Sam's mouth fell open. She made a noise, but couldn't speak, gaping
at the two men, who were sinuously entwined in a world of their own.
It was a soft-focus fantasy of a kiss, the kind which had slipped
into her dreams from time to time, perhaps the dreams of any woman
attracted to men. Tall, beautiful men who touched and kissed one
another sensually and with specific tenderness.
But not these two men!
There was tenderness, this Sam could see, but there was also a
direct, masculine passion which had always been masked, contained
somewhat, in her experience of sex. It suggested strength meeting
strength. Daniel's eloquent hands were flexed in the air, uncertain
whether to hold Colonel O'Neill or push him away and that alone was
enough to stun Sam. There shouldn't have been any question.
Only...they looked good together, so good and right her heart was
thumping, her mouth dried. So beautiful, so erotic she could hardly
bear to look at their faces. The colonel was rapt and their throats
were arched. Sam could see, she couldn't help but see the colonel's
tongue was deep in Daniel's mouth, he wanted him so badly Sam could
taste it and her breathing was harsh and fitful.
They kissed forever, the moments stretching to breaking as the
elevator glided to a halt and finally the colonel stepped away,
turned away, walked away, leaving Daniel gasping and pale, slumped
helpless and mortified against the wall.
Teal'c was the first to move and Sam started violently, freed from
the intoxicating spell. They met at Daniel's side, they held him up
and he hung stupefied from their hands.
"Wha?" Daniel stuttered and swallowed painfully. He could say no
more than this. To Sam, he looked shattered.
"I do not know, DanielJackson." Teal'c was looking thoughtfully at
their insouciantly departing C.O., who hollered back for them to get
moving, for cryin' out loud. The general might have a briefing, but
he had a game!
"A game?" Sam abruptly found her voice. How could he? "Like nothing
happened!" She was spitting with shock and indignation.
"Should we inform General Hammond of this occurrence?" Teal'c
gravely asked Daniel.
It took Sam a moment to realise Teal'c was none-too-subtly stating
this particular decision was not up to her. She grasped he meant it
wasn't a matter for the team, the Air Force, to rule on and then her
face flamed. She wasn't normally stupid, not even about these
personal things. Teal'c wasn't appealing to her to respond as a
friend of the two instead of as an officer. He was implying it was
none of her business, that Daniel and the colonel were in a – a
Her racing thoughts balked at this. She could hardly conceive it to
"No," Daniel insisted, looking around him blankly, then dropping
like a stone to gather up his books. His hands were shaking and for
a moment, Sam felt almost sick with relief.
"This has never happened before," she asserted firmly, a tad more
sure of her ground.
"No," Daniel said softly, not meeting their eyes as Teal'c knelt
kindly and helped him with his books.
"We need to be careful," Sam suggested cautiously, with a hasty look
out into the bustling hallway. "The repercussions." She shouldn't
need to explain there were those around who would make Daniel's life
hell over an incident like this. The colonel's too, though that was
less likely. Few people would dare, at least not to his face.
"You're forgetting something," Daniel said woodenly, straightening
up. He was frighteningly pale and shocked. Worry creased his face.
He glanced up, over Sam's shoulder, and her heart sank as she
followed him from the elevator and into the thankfully quiet
"The camera," she sighed. That was too much. She couldn’t contain
that, protect her friends from that. Behind the cameras were the
security teams, inconvenient witnesses. "We get Janet involved," she
advised tersely. "There has to be some explanation."
Janet would be discreet, she was obligated to be, but more than
that, she was their friend and was fierce in defence of her
patients' welfare. Janet had been burned before where SG-1 was
concerned; she'd make no assumptions, and she'd look until she found
an explanation for this extraordinary lapse of the colonel's.
"A medical reason," Sam emphasised unnecessarily. "He – the colonel
- wouldn't just do this." She could hardly explain why it was so
important to her this be true, except that in all the time he was
missing on Edora, she had...missed him. It wasn't a problem, though.
It was not permitted to be a problem.
"No," Daniel said dazedly.
"We'll work out what to do when we get there," Sam promised as
reassuringly as she could when she had no idea where to start.
"Let's just watch the colonel for now." They had a briefing. It was
important. All missions were.
Teal'c stopped the elevator doors from closing and this galvanised
the three of them into hurrying after the colonel, piling into the
briefing room to find him sitting very much at his ease, jovially
chatting with the general.
Sam muttered a disjointed apology and slid into a seat, far more
certain that whatever had caused this, it was something medical,
something logical. The colonel was not this good an actor and he
couldn't kiss the shit out of Daniel, couldn't take his time, make
those delicate murmurs of appreciation, touch and taste and hold…Her
"Coffee?" Colonel O'Neill casually asked Daniel.
"Er." Daniel was stupefied for a second time, his mouth falling open
at this nonchalance.
Sam saw that his lips were swollen and for the first time wondered
how he felt. She tried to smile, but it took effort, it didn't quite
gel and she was glad she couldn't catch his eye.
General Hammond was talking but they were all watching the colonel,
blithely fixing coffee, taking his time, getting it just the way it
should be. Daniel loved his coffee and they all cared enough to get
it exactly right for him. Satisfied at last on Daniel's behalf, the
colonel ambled back to the briefing table, taking a drink, his
attention only partly on the general and the latest dry Pentagon
party line he was dutifully imparting to them before getting down to
the real business of the briefing.
Sam realised she was holding her breath as the colonel set his own
mug down on the table. She was so rattled, she was only now picking
up on the fact Teal'c was standing watchfully by the window, within
easy reach of the two men. Daniel looked up, not focusing on the
colonel, not really on anything at all, reaching out with unsteady
hands to take his coffee.
"Thank you," he said carefully.
"Sure," the colonel replied easily, stooping unthinkingly to kiss
"Colonel O'Neill?" Hammond barked at once, jarred right out of his
monologue and frowning darkly over what he'd just seen.
The colonel looked up enquiringly as he dropped into his seat.
Hammond looked at Daniel, who was paler even than before, then at
Sam and Teal'c, their faces like stone. Colonel O'Neill looked too.
He couldn't seem to see anything in his own behaviour but suddenly
he was frowning too; he certainly saw his effect on them.
"What's up?" he demanded, his blasé good humour evaporating.
Sam's mouth was open and she couldn't find a word to say.
"You embraced DanielJackson, O'Neill," Teal'c, never embarrassed,
The colonel looked round at Daniel, his eyes quizzical and a little
amused. "No, I didn't."
"Sir," Sam interjected uncomfortably, "You did."
"You kissed me," Daniel informed him, his soft voice almost steady.
"No, I didn't."
"Why would I possibly?"
"Colonel O'Neill!" Hammond snapped.
"This is the second such occurrence," Teal'c announced, moving over
to take the seat next to Daniel.
"Explain," Hammond ordered, his frown abruptly deepening.
"The first incident took place in the elevator a few minutes ago."
The colonel thought this was a joke. He made some crack about it
being April Fools.
They weren't laughing.
"Perhaps we should send for Dr. Fraiser?" Teal'c suggested
"You're acting like there's something wrong with me," the colonel
"You kissed me!" Daniel snapped, getting a little of his colour
Whatever the colonel was about to say, he swallowed, because he saw
how strained Daniel looked and then he took his hand.
"I rest my case!" Daniel said angrily, trying to tug free.
"Sir, I don't think you understand," Sam tried to explain
desperately. "The kiss - it wasn't a - a peck." Hammond was staring
and she couldn't say any more, not about that. "It wasn't normal."
She was struggling to make sense. "It was wrong," she said more
certainly. "Something is wrong."
"I kissed you?" the colonel asked Daniel, looking punch-drunk and
confused. "Kissed?" he repeated blankly as if he couldn't take it
"You tried to give me a tonsillectomy with your tongue," Daniel said
"It was indeed a most passionate embrace," Teal'c agreed with due
consideration of the facts.
Hammond blinked at Teal'c, then immediately ordered the colonel to
the Infirmary for tests. He went himself to make the call to Dr.
Fraiser and Sam didn't blame him. She wanted to bolt herself. This
was too weird, she could barely look at Daniel's bewildered face and
as for the colonel, it was wrong.
There was no way Colonel Jack O'Neill should be kissing Daniel
Jackson. No matter what the circumstances were. However right it
might look, and Sam was going to be struggling with those images for
quite some time to come, it was wrong. It should never have
"I've been hammered, forked, poked, prodded, needled, blinded,
deafened and scanned. Repeatedly. There's nothing wrong with me,"
Jack pronounced flatly.
"You have abnormally high dopamine levels," Dr. Fraiser corrected
him calmly, mostly for the benefit of her audience rather than her
patient. "Dopamine affects brain processes which control movement,
emotional response, and ability to experience pleasure and pain.
While the other tests were normal, the MRI and particularly the PET
scan show that the limbic system of your brain is wildly
"Limbic system?" Daniel queried.
Leaning past Fraiser, Jack made a point of scowling at his so-called
friend. Whatever Jack was supposed to have done to him, Daniel
blatantly hiding out behind Teal'c and hugging the crap out of
himself was, quite frankly, overkill as responses went.
"The limbic system links the brain stem with the higher reasoning
elements of the cerebral cortex," Fraiser responded. "It affects a
wide range of behaviours including emotions, motivation and memory."
"Ooo-kaaay," Daniel drawled thoughtfully. "That almost makes sense.
The, um, way Jack's been behaving?" Wincing in embarrassment, he
kept his gaze fixed firmly on the floor.
Jack was starting to feel like a dog which understood it had just
humped someone's leg. In company. Frankly, it was pissing him off.
"Actually, it doesn't make sense," Fraiser countered briskly.
"Hyperactivity in the limbic system is more typically associated
with violent and aggressive behaviour." She glanced broodingly from
Jack to the many and varied scans she'd insisted on taking of his
brain. "The fact the colonel has no memories of these affective
states suggests his hippocampus is also affected. The hippocampus,"
she began to lecture automatically, before anyone else could ask
dumb questions, "is considered the area of the brain where
short-term memories are converted to long-term memories for storage
in other areas of the brain. It also forms part of the limbic
"If I can get a word in edgeways," Jack snapped, "I have to say that
I feel pretty good for a man with weird-assed, alleged brain
"That would be the dopamine," Daniel retorted, refusing to look at
him. "It's like a drug."
"In a sense," Fraiser said slowly. "Dopamine is a neurotransmitter.
As a chemical messenger, dopamine is similar to adrenaline. If I can
use a simple analogy?"
Shifting his numb ass uncomfortably on the hard Infirmary bed, Jack
patted her shoulder encouragingly. "Please!" he begged.
"In simplest terms, dopamine is like the steering in a car, 'where
are we, the body, going to go?' Norepinephrine is the gas."
"So Colonel O'Neill's brakes are shot?" General Hammond summarised
Jack was starting to take this stuff personally. They were way past
surreal and headed at speed towards completely whacked.
"Why is he steering for Dr. Jackson?" Hammond asked, even more
carefully than before.
Everyone looked at Jack. He glared back at them. Like he had any
"The limbic system is also where the sense of smell is located. The
scent which Colonel O'Neill associates with Dr. Jackson could be
what is triggering these episodes," Fraiser suggested a trifle
dubiously, eyeing Daniel.
Episodes? Jack wondered if he'd just been upgraded. He'd never
wasted much time thinking about this particular issue, it had never
actually come up, but he was pretty sure it had never occurred to
him Daniel Jackson smelled all that good.
Fraiser nodded at some thought she wasn't choosing to share and
looked brightly up at Teal'c. "Kiss him," she ordered
authoritatively, nodding at Daniel.
Teal'c inclined his head in acknowledgement, turned smoothly and
obediently took a startled, objecting Daniel into his arms.
Jack didn't remember moving. One minute he was telling Teal'c to get
his hands the hell off and the next, his face was being ground into
the floor, a terrific weight lodged between his shoulder-blades.
"I do not wish to hurt you, O'Neill," Teal'c's voice warned him
sternly. "There is no danger to DanielJackson. Hear me and be
"Ugh," Jack choked into the concrete.
"You tried to kill Teal'c," Daniel told him shakily.
"Kill?" Jack grunted disbelievingly.
"Kill," Hammond reiterated grimly.
"Okay, we learned something here," Fraiser announced, her voice taut
with excitement. "The amygdala is an important component of the
limbic system. It appears to specialize in modulating reactions to
objects and events of special biological significance, specifically
those that warn of pain or danger, or signify the presence of food
or water, potential mates or rivals, or infants in need of support."
"These are powerful motivations for all living creatures," Teal'c
soberly observed, easing his weight off Jack a tad.
"The amygdala, in relation with other regions of the cerebrum,"
Fraiser went on, "provides the basis for modulating aggressive,
defensive and reproductive behaviour."
"I think Jack just successfully demonstrated all three," Daniel said
"Forgetting something?" Jack asked sarcastically, holding his face a
scant inch from the Infirmary floor.
"Yes, thank you!" Fraiser responded outrageously. "The amygdala is
involved in mediating the effects of pheromones on reproductive
physiology and behaviour while the basolateral amygdala appears to
stimulate defensive attack."
"Pheromones?" Hammond asked. "Is that where Dr. Jackson's scent
"Possibly," Fraiser shrugged. "There has been a great deal of
research, but the findings of these studies are controversial at
best. No one can explain why we would be affected by chemicals we
can't actually smell."
"We're beginning to get an idea of what the problem is," Hammond
responded almost impatiently. "But what I need to know is how, or
should I say why, Colonel O'Neill has been affected this way and why
it's only him."
"Get. Off. Me!" Jack's voice rose to window-rattling volume.
As Teal'c helped Jack to his feet, Fraiser moved nimbly out of the
way, still yakking to the general. "There is no doubt the colonel's
affective behaviour is fixated on Dr. Jackson," she confirmed
Once he was on his feet, Jack irritably shrugged off Teal'c's
helping hand and immediately oriented himself on Daniel, who almost
surprised him by not having budged an inch during the fracas. Daniel
stared right back at him, his chin tilting stubbornly.
"How bad?" Jack snapped, knowing Daniel at least would tell him
Daniel's gaze flickered to the impassive Teal'c as he again took up
his defensive position firmly between Daniel and Jack. It cheered
Jack a little, knowing it hadn't exactly been Daniel's choice to
"Bad," Daniel answered quietly.
"I don't remember," Jack went on brusquely, as close to an apology
as he could get.
"It is of no consequence," Teal'c replied. "No harm was done."
Jack was not talking to him.
"This might help," Carter responded from the doorway. She marched
in, waving a video tape. "The footage from the camera in the
Hammond lowered his head and said something quietly to Fraiser, who
promptly ordered her nurses out of the room.
Jack hesitated, then defiantly walked over to stand where he
normally would beside Daniel as Carter cued up the tape. Teal'c
weighed him up for a long moment, then simply stepped out of his
way. Daniel shifted awkwardly foot to foot but made no other move.
He couldn't even look at Jack, he was so desperately embarrassed.
The video footage was rolling and there was nothing to see. Everyone
was standing around in the elevator like they'd done a thousand
times. Then Jack watched himself straighten up from the wall and
turn around, take hold of Daniel and smile before he kissed him.
"Oh my god," he whispered.
He knew that smile. He'd seen it a time or two before, on home
videos, where he'd be filming Sara and then the camera would drop,
he'd go over, get close, get serious with her. Like he was getting
serious here with Daniel, all over him.
The Jack on the film was getting heavy, going at it, going at
Daniel, wanting sex right there, right then. Jack knew what he was
seeing, he just couldn't seem to take it in. There were times, not
Daniel's fault, he never did anything, just times Jack would more
than see Daniel was attractive, times he would be aware, when he
would feel it. There was nothing that would lead him to this. He'd
"Jack!" Daniel protested, tugging at Jack's arm, the arm he'd
clamped around his shoulders.
"Step away from Dr. Jackson, Colonel," Hammond ordered, firm but not
cold. Not quite.
Jack opened his mouth and could say nothing. He couldn't remember
doing these things, he had no idea why he was, but he was starting
to feel all the gaps. He looked at Daniel and then he looked away.
He had to make himself let go and when he stepped back, his legs
shook. Daniel didn't look much better than he felt, and now he knew
Hammond looked worried. "He doesn't seem able to control himself at
all," he confided to Fraiser.
Jack realised with a shock that this was it. They'd stopped talking
to him. Now, it was about him. He was officially out of the loop,
reduced to a cipher, a nasty little problem that needed to be
"What about Psych?" the general asked without much optimism.
"I'm not nuts!" Jack fired at him, his rage sudden and explosive.
Guilty conscience. He kept seeing himself, touching Daniel that way.
If he hadn't been snapped out of it when he was, what would he have
done? How far would he have gone?
"Colonel?" Carter's voice intruded, thinner and more strident than
it should be.
Jack saw Daniel's wavering smile and put his head in his hands,
roughly scrubbing at his face with suddenly sweating palms, trying
to snap himself out of this.
They looked hot, Jack thought, going at it, and felt sick. He
couldn't remember this, he couldn't feel this, but he knew Daniel
about as well as he knew himself and he could see, the frame frozen
accusingly on screen, how badly he wanted Daniel and how hard he was
pushing him. He felt frighteningly out of control and he hated it.
He wasn't rational. He wasn't safe.
Jack straightened up. "How do we fix this?"
Fraiser looked around at her scans. "There's no indication of
physical trauma, of lesions, ablations or implants, no neurological
condition or chronic brain disorder I'm aware of that fits these
"Perhaps some alien technology?" Teal'c suggested, generously buying
the 'not nuts' line.
"Or a drug," Fraiser said briskly. "An unknown agonist which binds
to the dopamine receptors and directly stimulates them, resulting in
this euphoric, altered state the colonel is periodically
experiencing. What about your recent missions? Have you experienced
"Every time we go through the gate!" Jack snapped.
"Anything that might explain this," Fraiser elaborated with rigid
patience. "A plant, a chemical, some piece of alien technology?"
Jack gave this his careful consideration for maybe two seconds.
"Nothing comes to the mind I'm apparently going out of. If we had
run into anything like that, wouldn't we all be sick?"
Fraiser looked at Carter and Daniel, who both gave a brief negative
shake of the head in response.
"Is it going to get worse?" Carter asked worriedly.
"I have no way to determine that."
"I don't care. I want it stopped," Jack said flatly. It flashed into
his mind again, how hot Daniel was, how good they looked together.
He swallowed hard and decided maybe he'd even try Psych. "Now.
Whatever it takes."
"I am not concerned for DanielJackson's physical well-being," Teal'c
"You should be," Jack snapped, unreasonably angered by this cosy
"I agree." Fraiser crossed her arms over her chest. "This is not a
rational state of mind we're dealing with. Whatever is affecting the
colonel is tapping into intense, instinctive behaviours,
particularly his sexuality. He isn't even aware of his actions
during the episodes, let alone capable of controlling these
powerful, aggressive drives."
"Jack won't hurt me."
Daniel's soft, stubborn voice silenced them.
"I'm more worried about him."
Jack's hand was there, on Daniel's skin, curled warm around the nape
of his neck. Around him, everyone tensed. Daniel's gaze was still
fixed on the floor, but he gently smiled.
"Can we start by finding out what effect my proximity has?" Daniel
suggested to Dr. Fraiser. "Am I harming Jack by being close? Would
it help him if I stayed away?"
"Colonel?" Fraiser looked up at him questioningly.
"I wouldn't want him to go on a good day," Jack said impatiently.
Then he cringed, totally unable to believe he'd just said that.
"You could try letting go of him," Carter retorted sharply.
"It would be a good start," Fraiser added dryly, taking everyone's
aggravation in her stride.
"Colonel?" Hammond hinted heavily, still doing his damndest to give
Jack the benefit of the doubt.
Jack took away his hand, his relief undisguised that he could
actually do it. It lasted until Daniel took a slow step away and he
found he'd snatched him back. Not hurting, just holding, and mostly
uniform, not Daniel. "Shit." He scowled at Teal'c. "Get over here!"
"I do not think that would be wise, O'Neill."
Carter moved, though. If looks could kill.
"Sam!" Daniel said warningly.
"Why don't I just keep you both under observation?" Fraiser
interjected in a tone which pulled rank. "I'll need to schedule an
evaluation with the duty psychiatrist," she informed Hammond.
"I thought you said-" Jack began to object.
"I'm not sure," Fraiser retorted, unequivocally silencing him.
"I'll stay with you," Carter told Daniel.
"As will I," Teal'c seconded her.
"No, thank you," Daniel countered immediately. "That won't be
"I disagree," Carter insisted.
"I'd like some privacy."
"Understandable, son," Hammond said warmly, ending the argument.
Carter pulled a face but could say nothing more.
"Major Carter and Teal'c, I'd like the two of you to begin reviewing
recent mission reports, see if you can’t identify any possible
window of opportunity for Colonel O'Neill to have been exposed,
however briefly, to an alien organism or drug of some kind," Hammond
instructed his flummoxed flagship team with constructive kindness.
"As for you," he turned to Jack. "I'm confining you to your quarters
here on base to rest under Dr. Jackson's supervision, while Dr.
Fraiser arranges for a Psych evaluation and any other physiological
tests she feels are necessary." He smiled at Daniel. "There'll be a
security detail right outside the door at all times, son. Let's get
on this, people."
"Give me an hour," Fraiser confided quietly to Daniel, gently
touching his hand. She smiled and Jack felt as if he'd passed some
unspoken test when he didn't knock her teeth down her throat. He
shoved his clenched fists deep in his pockets and hoped Fraiser
couldn't see him sweat.
The SFs were waiting right outside to escort them, making Jack smile
every time they called Daniel 'sir', looking through Jack like he
wasn't even there. It wasn't the first time this had happened and he
was sure it wouldn't be the last, not for SG-1. They were known
around base as SG-911, sometimes for good reason.
He wanted to tell Daniel something silly, like 'be gentle with me',
but he sensed nothing would lighten the mood.
Of all the frickin' things.
His luxury on-base pad was awaiting and Jack did great until the
door was eased shut behind them. Then he took hold of Daniel's
shoulders. "I'm sorry," he promised, low-voiced and without his
regulation bullshit. He meant it. "I would never!" He couldn't go
on. He just couldn't say it. He hoped Daniel knew.
Daniel looked up then, his eyes strained. "There's something we need
to do. A logical step in the process of elimination. A control in
the experiment." He was rattling the words out at a hundred miles an
hour. "A placebo, if you will."
"I want you to kiss me," Daniel explained earnestly.
Jack's jaw dropped.
"It's the logical thing to do."
"I don't want to!"
"Yes, you do," Daniel argued patiently, stepping closer. Jack moved
away. "That's the problem. You fixated on me, Jack. You kissed," he
tapped his chest for emphasis, "me."
"Do you have to keep saying that?" Jack snapped irritably. "I didn’t
know what I was doing!"
"What's that supposed to mean?" Jack looked as if he were reeling.
"It means there must be a – well - an underlying attraction to me or
you would've grabbed Sam."
Jack needed to sit down. The chair was a lucky accident. It met his
behind before the floor did.
"Dr. Fraiser explained that you're acting on intense feelings and
biological drives, which alone would not make your sexuality reverse
itself," Daniel explained kindly, hunkering down before him. "The
opposite, in fact. I think that was why she was buying a little time
before exposing you to a Psych evaluation. Dr. MacKenzie isn't
exactly sympathetic," he said darkly, then Jack's hand touched his
Jack slid from the chair to his knees, took hold of Daniel's face in
both his hands and kissed him, leaning heavily into him as he took
him down to the floor and held him there.
Jack knew how to kiss Daniel, he knew how to touch. He kissed like
he couldn't stop, like he couldn't get enough, all heat and passion
but with enough disarming warmth Daniel felt helpless.
He couldn’t fight Jack and because it was Jack, he couldn't turn
off. He tried hard not to return the ecstatic, gorgeous pressure
deep in his mouth but then he did, stroking tongues with Jack. He
tried to be still, and lost that too, trembling violently as Jack
touched and explored him through the fabric of his uniform with
urgent, shaking hands.
Jack was losing it and Daniel was lost too, groaning out a
shuddering protest as Jack rolled on top of him. He struggled then,
frightened for Jack, for them both, how they would be when Jack came
back to his senses. Jack liked this and read it wrong, letting
Daniel push him away only to laugh out loud and wrestle him down
again, knees forcing his thighs apart.
Jack's body was pounding, as giving as a concrete slab. Heat was
between Daniel's sprawled legs and Jack was moving, triumphantly
pinning his hands, driving into him with a deep moan of satisfaction
as hips and rough fabric rubbed.
No, Jack! No.
Daniel couldn't speak, couldn't make a sound through this passion,
Jack reaching between them to tug at his zipper, not even bothering
to bare skin, just going to do him like this.
Daniel was beginning to panic in earnest when abruptly Jack went
still. Brown eyes bored into him, filling with the dark shock of
recognition. Then Jack's weight shifted fast and he sat back on his
haunches, his hands held out in conciliation as Daniel used his
elbows to scramble out from under, backing up until his shoulders
hit the door.
Daniel lifted his arm, pressed his bruised mouth against the back of
"Get those SFs in here," Jack ordered in a tone Daniel hadn't heard
since the earliest days he'd known him.
Daniel shook his head, no. No.
"I'm losing it," Jack hissed, his face and his voice stark and
scared. He sank down too, until he was sitting on the floor with his
back braced against the foot of the bed.
There was no sound then but their quick, panting breaths and no
place for them to look. They sat and stared.
Although it hurt Jack to look at Daniel, he wouldn't look away.
"I tried to rape you."
"No," Daniel argued, finding his voice. "Not you." Jack was more
than what was happening to him. That wouldn't change, not for
Daniel. He refused to stop seeing his friend in all this, no matter
how overwhelming or confusing the symptoms of whatever had struck
"I snapped out of it barely in time. I know!" Jack retorted
fiercely, crudely squeezing his crotch. "I know."
"Brain chemistry," Daniel gasped out. His heart was hammering and he
had to admit he was scared. He'd badly underestimated how little
control Jack had. Or how little he had. His body was reacting,
aroused despite his confusion. He felt horribly guilty for getting
them into this mess. Making everything so much worse for Jack.
"Chemicals, not you." Not Jack. He had to keep seeing Jack, his
friend, at the heart of all this. For both their sakes. For when
they fixed this.
"Some of it." Jack closed his eyes in pain. "I guess you were right
about that too."
"Jack," Daniel said gently, uncertain whether it would help at all
to admit he hadn't been prepared for this. His recognition of Jack's
innate attraction to him had been an intuitive step in this puzzle
he was unravelling. An academic construct, a hypothesis of his. In
his rush to help, he hadn't thought about the consequences. He
hadn't thought clearly at all. "Jack, please."
Jack threw up a hand. "I want you. Despite what just -" He dropped
his head. "All I want is to get you into this bed and finish what we
- I - started," he confessed bitingly.
"Just let me talk," Daniel pleaded.
"Don't you get it? I want you!" Jack spat, rigid with self-loathing.
"This isn't going to go away."
"We don't know that!" Daniel felt numb and shivery, realising dimly
he was in shock. He had to use the door for balance, but eventually
he made it to his feet. Jack looked torn but made no move to help
him as he wove drunkenly over to the bed and sat heavily on the
floor beside him. He was thinking about getting warm and then he
could think of nothing but Jack. He didn't want him to be on his
"Are you out of your frickin' mind?" Jack stormed, infuriated, as
Daniel dropped down beside him. "You've got no sense at all!" He
jerkily moved away but was stopped in his tracks by Daniel's
hesitant grip on his wrist. Glancing back at him, Jack grimaced but
instead of pulling away, he reached up behind him to yank at the
blankets on the bed until they tumbled onto the floor, then pulled
them over Daniel. Jack put his arm around him. "You kill me," he
said roughly, smoothing out Daniel's rumpled collar.
"Do you love me?"
Jack's other arm came around Daniel and hugged him, blankets and
"I don't know."
"But you're attracted." Daniel was having as much difficulty as Jack
taking this in. The whole experience was eerily unreal.
"Apparently." Jack looked terrible. "It's as if something knocked
down all those walls hiding you from me. In here." He tapped the
side of Daniel's head. "And now I know how much I've been lying to
Distressed by Jack's desolation, Daniel turned to him, leaving them
nose to nose. Looking like he was putting his hand into a fire, Jack
touched his face, leaned in almost blindly and then stopped,
thwarted and needing, as Daniel instinctively jerked away.
"I'm sorry," Jack bit out with killing anger. "I look at you and all
I see is skin and sweat. It's all I want, all I can think about. I'm
barely in control."
"I don't know what to do to help," Daniel complained impotently.
"Sleep with me," Jack demanded through clenched teeth. "Give me
"Then get the hell out."
Daniel said no again but it didn't matter. Jack couldn't let go, and
he knew it.
"How do you feel?"
The question, fired at him, made Daniel jump.
"In any movie of the week," Jack said sleekly, "this would be the
part where you tell me 'I want you too, Jack, but not like this!'"
"I want my friend."
"In the biblical sense?"
"Jack," Daniel sighed. "I was not prepared for this, okay? I don't
have any pat answers. I'm sorry to inconvenience you, but I don't
have any answers at all."
"Do you have much experience with men?"
"That's none of your business!"
"Oh, come on, Daniel, spill. Did you disappoint all the guys
circling you, wanting a piece of your perfect ass? You ever let
another man have you or am I the first?" Jack's voice was low and
tight, his eyes glittering.
It was the aggression talking, not Jack. His sexuality was predatory
right now, his control slipping as his physical frustration grew. It
was a neat intellectualisation but reality could eat Daniel alive.
Or tear them both apart. Fear was making it harder and harder for
him to think, fear so strong now he could taste it, bitter metal in
"It's good to be the first," Jack said thickly, restlessly rubbing
his face in Daniel's hair. "I have to be the one who fucks you
first. The only one." He lifted some of the strands and buried his
nose in them, breathing the scent of Daniel in. "You need the guards
now," he said, his tone strange. "Daniel, please. " His arms were
tightening. "You need the guards!"
Jack needed help, he needed Fraiser, and so Daniel called out. This
was enough that Jack freaked, hooking his elbow tight around
Daniel's throat and holding him hard. Not hurting, holding, but
getting closer to that edge.
"It's okay, Jack," Daniel promised, breathing shallow and just this
side of choking. "We're okay."
"Why can't I stop this?" Jack pleaded. "It's too fast." He dug the
heel of his free hand into his eye. "God! What is wrong with me!" he
burst out passionately.
"I don't know, Jack, but whatever it is, I'll help."
"Don't leave me."
"Need the guards!"
"You won't hurt me," Daniel whispered shakily because he didn't
know. He was far beyond the point of being sure. He'd got everything
wrong, buying time Jack didn't have. His intentions had been the
best, but what did that matter now? He was wrong and Jack was
suffering for it. Daniel was appalled at his own arrogance.
"I'm losing you."
"No, Jack, no!"
The sergeant that Hammond had assigned to the security detail was
smart and it was Janet Fraiser who came in, smiling and
gentle-voiced, getting down on her knees before the two of them, a
syringe in her hands.
Jack looked at her and shook his head. "Daniel," he said thickly,
slurring his words. His elbow tightened cruelly and despite himself,
Daniel began to fight, his hips arching from the ground as he clawed
at Jack's arm. "Daniel," Jack said again, reaching around to kiss
Daniel fiercely on the mouth. It was all brutal pressure and the
fight for breath and then Jack's face slackened, his feverish eyes
dulled and he slumped forward, knocking Daniel to the ground.
He lay there, coughing and choking, holding Jack's weight.
"Let's get him to the Infirmary!" Fraiser hollered and her med techs
barrelled in. She reached for Daniel as Jack was lifted clear, her
hands deft as she checked his throat. "Daniel?"
"He didn't mean to hurt me, he's just afraid," Daniel said hoarsely,
anxiously straining past her to watch Jack as he was lifted onto the
"We made a lot of assumptions," Fraiser responded grimly as she and
the SF sergeant helped Daniel to his feet.
"Myself, most of all," Daniel said regretfully, pushing away from
them both on rubber legs to be at Jack's side as he was strapped
Fraiser moved past him to perform some rapid checks on Jack. Pulse,
respiration, pupils. Satisfied, she nodded sharply and led the med
team out, she and Daniel walking either side of Jack.
"Do you have any idea what's happening?" Daniel asked her.
"I already explained," she began.
"I'll take that as a no," Daniel interrupted curtly. "What about our
allies? The Tollan? The Tok'ra?" Who had the best medical
technology? Who could he get to help?
"You're overreacting, Daniel," Fraiser snapped. "I still have some
tests and observations to make."
"Well, you didn't see this coming!" Daniel lashed out. "That Jack
would deteriorate so fast."
"I'm dealing with a completely new pathology, Daniel," Fraiser
explained in frustration. "I don't have anything to map this
against, I don't have any treatment for it. All I can do is
alleviate Colonel O'Neill's symptoms."
"I'm sorry," Daniel gasped contritely, realising he couldn’t shift
the blame. He was the one who was responsible. "We were both
concerned about the same thing, I think." Jack's sexuality, the
truth of his feelings, the end of his career and all things even if
this crisis were to be medically resolved.
"Yes," Fraiser agreed. "We were. And no," she added, biting her lip.
"I had no indication the colonel's condition would deteriorate. If
he was exposed to a drug or toxic substance, then maybe he's reached
the stage of withdrawal and his erratic behaviour is his body's way
of battling to adjust. For now, I want to re-check his dopamine
levels and monitor his condition."
There was a certain finality to her tone. "So we just sit here and
wait?" Daniel demanded with sarcastic incredulity.
"Yes. We wait." Fraiser glanced across at him, her face calm. "I
don’t know what gate travel would do to the colonel at this point.
Daniel opened his mouth but there was no answer he could give and
she knew it.
"Now, do I need to review the security footage, or are you going to
tell me what happened between the two of you in there?"
The question effectively silenced him and Fraiser knew that too.
As they stepped onto the waiting elevator, Fraiser's face softened
and she smiled. "I'll do the best I can."
Hard to believe anything could make Daniel feel guiltier than he
already did. "I know. You always do."
Jack arched up, his fingers flexing like claws. "Daniel!"
"Oh, my god!" Fraiser was so startled, it took her a moment to
react, then she pounced, calling to her team to help hold Jack down
as he struggled.
Daniel darted around to the head of the gurney and bent over,
running agitated hands through Jack's hair. "It's okay, Jack, I've
got you, I'm here."
"Hurt," Jack croaked.
"Where?" Fraiser demanded urgently.
"No," Daniel cut her off and bent lower, understanding Jack's fear.
"I'm fine," he promised gently. "We're fine."
When the elevator doors opened, Sam and Teal'c were waiting,
crowding in either side of Daniel as they dashed into the Infirmary.
"What happened?" Sam demanded, fuming, as they were impolitely held
back out of the way.
"Jack's condition is deteriorating," Daniel explained rapidly,
craning to see Jack through the personnel clustered tightly around
him. "Janet isn't sure why. It could be cold-turkey withdrawal from
whatever is affecting him or it could just be the start of a
worsening infection. It won't be clear until we know what Jack's
dopamine level is."
"Daniel!" Fraiser called imperatively and he went at once, rudely
shoving through when her team didn't scatter fast enough.
"What?" he asked tensely.
"Talk to him," she ordered, busy with some readout on a monitor.
Daniel did what he'd done before, leaning down so Jack could see him
if he woke, stroking his hair and talking about nothing as
soothingly as possible, the soft, empty words tumbling out. He was
choked and furious and hurting. He was scared to death.
"He's burning up!"
"Not now, Daniel. Just keep talking."
All he was good for was keeping Jack calm. His presence was needed,
but for what sense he was making, he might as well not be here at
all. The medical-speak was going over his head but he could see the
results. An inhalator was placed over Jack's face as Fraiser's
fast-moving team stripped him, cutting his uniform from his body to
allow wrapped cold packs to be slipped beneath his arm pits, at his
neck and groin, then a nurse came running with a saturated sheet to
wrap him in.
Daniel kept talking, saying anything, touching Jack always as
Fraiser took bloods and ran a thousand tests. She was talking
rapidly, explaining, to Hammond, he guessed. He knew the voices of
his friends, a buzz in his ears, but the only sound he heard clearly
was Jack's harsh breathing, assisted by the nurse. The frenetic
activity seemed to pound on and on and then it was over, people were
stepping back, Fraiser was tired and smiling, Sam, Teal'c and
Hammond solemnly gathering around, staring up at him from their
place at Jack's feet.
"How are you, son?" the general asked him kindly, as if that
mattered at all.
Daniel blinked hard. "I have no idea."
He'd maybe know when Jack was awake.
This face was not the one Jack needed to see. He greeted Teal'c's
gracious presence with an unenthusiastic grunt which didn't bother
his stoic friend one bit.
"DanielJackson is not here," Teal'c reported, looking a trifle smug.
"Do you still desire to kill me, O'Neill?"
"I'll take a rain-check."
"Do you remember the events which transpired in the..."
"Yes," Jack cut him off curtly.
"DanielJackson took little harm."
"Little harm?" Jack spat venomously, raw and ashamed.
"He bears you no ill-will," Teal'c assured him.
"He's losing it." Jack vented some of his fury on his hapless
pillows, hating the world and himself.
"You were not yourself, O'Neill. Do not fault DanielJackson for his
"And you?" Jack asked keenly, staring up at the stony face.
"I am not so forgiving." Teal'c watched Jack enigmatically. "But
there is no vengeance to be gained from an illness of the mind now
"It passed with a great fever. For a short time, we were concerned."
Teal'c bowed his head gracefully, refusing to acknowledge Jack's
"Where is he?"
"General Hammond has returned to his home."
"Do you see me laughing?" Jack demanded dangerously. "Then don't try
to be funny."
"DanielJackson is resting. You have been unconscious for several
days. He would not leave your side until Dr. Fraiser took steps."
"What kind of steps?"
"She forced him to imbibe a substance called 'Michael'."
"Slipped him a Mickey, eh?" Jack had no difficulty reading between
Jaffa lines even if the Jaffa in question had a whacked sense of
humour. He swung his legs out of bed and experimented rashly with
gravity. When he didn't fall over or faint, he decided to roll with
it, bundling up the fabric of his gown over his bare ass. "Show me,"
A sceptical eyebrow was raised.
"I need to see if he's okay." And he was not about to explain.
Teal'c considered this, then stepped back with an almost courtly
gesture to let Jack past him.
It wasn't the fact Jack had tried to rape Daniel. It was why. Not
the - whatever it was that made him sick in the head, but all the
other stuff, that stuff he'd said. He remembered enough to know
Daniel wouldn't shake that off. It would be eating him up and there
was only one way he could help. The one way he couldn't. They'd both
worked their asses off for a friendship Jack needed to end up in the
"Solid foundation, huh?"
"So it would seem," Teal'c responded quietly, surprising Jack with
He didn't understand and Jack didn't correct him. It was nothing,
really, but Jack needed to see Daniel's face when he said he was
sorry and that he understood - it was okay they couldn't be friends.
They were past that now and Jack couldn't take it back.
They didn't have far to walk. Daniel was tucked away in a room right
down the hall, sleeping like the ungrateful dead, face down in his
pillow, one hand outstretched, palm up, his fingers curled, the
other under his cheek.
Teal'c stood at Jack's side and watched him watching Daniel. They
stood there a while, then Jack told Teal'c it would keep.
He was tired.
Jack was stronger when he woke. Clear of confusion, he was finally
focused. He slid out of bed and slipped out of the room, keeping to
the shadows, his bare feet noiseless. There was no activity in the
dimmed hallways of the Infirmary, the few patients were sleeping
soundly. Jack didn't need the clock to tell him these were the dead
hours before dawn. The lowest ebb.
The nurse at the duty desk had her back to him and was easily
subdued, passing out within seconds. A textbook chokehold. He used
her keys to open the drug cabinet, efficiently administered a
sedative and tucked her neatly out of sight. There was a note
sitting on the desk, handwritten. Back In Five. He thanked her for
Only a fool would saunter through the hallways of the SGC with his
butt hanging out for the cameras. Jack smiled and went to wake
Daniel. He sat on the bed and put his hand on Daniel's shoulder,
admiring the long, clean curve of his spine through the thin black
fabric of his T-shirt. It wouldn't be long now, and he'd have Daniel
safe. Home, where he could make love to him and give him everything
he'd been deprived of.
Daniel jerked beneath his hand, shocked awake.
Jack removed his hand at once and smiled. "Hey," he said softly.
Daniel shook his head dumbly, tentative joy on his face at seeing
Jack whole and healthy.
"I'm sorry," Jack said soberly. He was sincere in his sorrow. "You
know I would never hurt you."
Daniel's smile lit his eyes, shy and enchanting and he accepted
Jack's help to his feet.
Jack wanted to kiss him so badly but he had to wait, just a little
longer. Until they were safe.
"Everyone can see my butt in this thing," Jack complained, jerking
an irritable thumb towards his rear echelon. "Grab me some BDUs and
spring me, please?" He clasped his hands together as if in prayer.
"Must eat pie."
It was all Daniel said but it was all that was needed. He picked up
his glasses by one arm and wandered out, pinching the bridge of his
nose and blinking to wake himself up.
Jack sat neatly on the bed and waited, confident the nurse would not
be seen. His only concern was a medical emergency on the base. She
would be missed then for sure, but he could use the distraction if
necessary. He idled away the time thinking about Daniel, about what
would be good for him in bed. He wouldn't push him into fucking,
that much was certain. They would start slow and gentle and Daniel
would lead. Jack could pleasure him with his hand or his mouth, and
when he was comfortable…
It was late but Daniel wasn't particularly quiet. He wasn't
inconsiderate, merely oblivious. Daniel being Daniel would get Jack
all the way to the gateroom if he played it right.
He took the uniform Daniel proffered, touched and a little amused
when his nakedness led to a blushing, confused retreat. Maybe they
could start with some kissing. Or something. There was no rush and
right now he had a lot to make up for.
Jack dressed swiftly and joined Daniel outside, walking beside him
right out of the Infirmary. The need for authorisation didn't even
occur to Daniel, who was exhausted and so pleased to see him, making
every effort to show they were A-OK, no problems here, even if he
did flinch if Jack moved too fast and he didn't see it coming. Jack
apologised again, feeling useless, and Daniel briskly told him he
was an ass. Smiling, telegraphing the move, Jack ruffled Daniel's
hair and they made it onto the elevator.
He looked around, rolled his eyes theatrically and made a joke about
Daniel being cute when he was molested. Daniel was never going to be
so in love with him he would laugh at his jokes, but he made with
the energetic eyebrows and the face pulling just like everyone was
used to, which got them off the elevator on Level 22 without
"I need to pee," Jack confided, stopping Daniel before he could set
off in the direction of the base mess.
"For cryin' out loud," Daniel sighed, planting himself outside the
elevator with a scowl which didn't fool Jack for a second.
He apologised meekly and strolled off down the hallway, hoping he
didn't have to kill some poor schmuck drawing nightshift near the
base Secondary Armoury. He was hoping that with the speed of his
sudden collapse, it hadn't occurred to Hammond to relieve him of
command. His security pass should still work and he should be able
to swipe himself in and out. Rank did have its privileges.
When he reached the next bank of elevators, his pass, praise the
lord, gave him access and he rode up to Level 19, confidently taking
an oblique route to the less secure Secondary Armoury. No guards to
deal with, only the weapons vault. He was inside within seconds,
loading for bear. The place was designed for rapid access to weapons
and defensive deployment when the base was under threat. Jack had
everything he needed to hand, right down to cable ties for securing
prisoners taken on the run. It was too risky for him to try for the
larger assault weapons, but he took a sidearm and as much ammunition
as he could carry, as well as the other essentials.
A Zat went into his pocket, accessible for when he needed it. There
was no point in using lethal force. He owed something to these
people, even if he and Daniel were leaving them behind. A blast
would fry the dialling computer in the control room so Carter
couldn't retrieve their destination. It was quickly and easily
Jack's luck held and he was glad. The hard part was going to be
getting Daniel to the Stargate after he'd zatted the techs in the
control room. He felt Daniel would fight, and it was this he
regretted most of all. It was tough love, though, and Jack was
feeling strong. They were going to have plenty of time to rebuild
trust after he had him safe.
His friend was waiting, not patiently, but still there, and he got
very voluble when Jack said he wanted to check out the gateroom
before he ate. Daniel wanted Jack to go let Janet check him out.
He'd been gone too long, Daniel was wide-awake and wary. Jack
covered. Daniel got very quiet, in fact he shut right up, when Jack
hinted that the sooner he found out if it was all over the base he
was an attempted rapist, the better, and from the fewest people
possible. If the nightshift in the control room knew, Jack was dead
meat. That was all she wrote. There was a look on Daniel's face
which suggested this was in fact the case.
What little conversation there was between the technicians died when
Jack bounded up the stairs and gave the graveyard shift a big hi
there and hello. There was a few seconds delay between them all
seeing Jack take out the security cameras and reaction. Fatally
slow. Jack neutralised Harriman and smoothly turned on the other
technician, standing poleaxed at one of the rear computer banks.
Then he went for Daniel, who didn't know what the hell to do except
try to get help. Jack caught his hand an inch from the red alert
button and yanked Daniel away, turning him fast and crowding him
into the console.
"Easy, Daniel," Jack whispered as he snapped on a cable tie around
The unbelieving protest cut at Jack and he took a moment to hug
Daniel to his chest.
"Jack, stop, please. Stop. Oh, god. You don't know what you're
doing!" Daniel pleaded. He shuddered as Jack kissed his throat.
"You've been affected by an alien substance," he argued as Jack
reached around him and began to lock down the security doors which
surrounded the gateroom, then accessed the dialling computer.
"Where do you think you can go?" Daniel demanded, bewildered, gaping
down at Harriman's limp body, sprawled at their feet.
But Jack was dialling, the symbols flowing. "We," he corrected
Daniel. "We're going home."
"Jack, we are home."
"No. You're not safe here," Jack explained patiently. "I have to
have you safe."
He had to drag Daniel away from the console, practically a dead
weight in his arms. Passive-resistance and quite effective as a
delaying tactic with the little time Jack had left. Teal'c would get
in here. Nothing would stop him for long. "Sorry, big guy," he said
grimly, firing his Zat at the console, blue light arcing and hissing
as circuitry fried. No way Carter could get his keystrokes or read
their destination from the gate telemetry. Jack was pretty good at
what he did.
Then he spun Daniel around and grabbed him by the shoulders. "You
have a choice here. You can let me walk out of here alone and wonder
for the rest of your life what happened to another person you love,
or you can come with."
"You sonovabitch," Daniel whispered, deathly-pale.
Jack moved him then and he was too shocked, too hurt to resist,
stumbling numbly down the stairs and around to the gateroom. He
balked when the Stargate activated, struggling in earnest as Jack
dragged him onto the ramp and the base red alert sounded. Too late,
"Took them long enough," Jack commented grimly. He didn't have time
to fight and he couldn't hurt Daniel so he did the only thing he
could and lifted him off his feet, practically carrying him as he
backed up the ramp.
"Jack! Don't do this!" Daniel said desperately, his feet scrabbling
There were things Jack would've done in his position, but for Daniel
there were none. He could not hurt Jack, would not, and so he was
forced to move when Jack did, and then they were gone.
| Part 1 | Part
2 | Part 3 |
Part 4 |
Part 5 |
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