Slash: Jack and Daniel involved in a loving and committed relationship, which usually involves sex.
Rating: PG-13
Category: Pre-Slash.  Humour.  Romance.
Season/Spoilers: Season 3.  No spoilers.
Synopsis: Daniel's foray in loco parentis isn't entirely successful as a tumble into the 'fountain of youth' has Jack and Sam acting like five year olds.
Warnings: Sheer unadulterated warm fuzzies.
Length: 32 Kb Download a printer-friendly PDF version of the story

"Sit down!" I yell.

Both combatants freeze, shoot apologetic looks at me and hateful looks at one another, then sullenly subside onto the log I indicated.

"You are being VERY naughty and I'm very disappointed in you both," I say sternly.

"BOTH? Ha! SHE started it. She pushed ME first!" The brown eyes are filled with mean spirited triumph.

Big blue eyes swim with tears as a shamed blonde head is dipped to avoid my gaze.

"That's unkind, Jack. If you hadn't been teasing Sam, she wouldn't have pushed you."

Jack folds his arms across his chest and pouts.

"He was MEAN," Sam supplies in a trembling voice.

It's been a very long, very trying day. In a way, you could say we've found the 'fountain of youth'. Certainly to the extent that after falling into it, the behaviour of Colonel Jack O'Neill and Major Samantha Carter has bottomed out somewhere around kindergarten level. I 'm doing my best in loco parentis, but really, I quite lack Teal'c's gravitas.

I know he's out there, laughing at me, doing the grown up stuff collecting those samples of the local flora the biochemistry people wanted, while I - I'm stuck here with the little ones.

A surreptitious shove catches my eye. "Jack!"

Sam realises she has the upper hand and lets out an unconvincing wail.

Jack eyes her critically. "If you don't shut up I'll give you something to cry ABOUT, Samantha Carter!"

Sam whirls around and sort of karate chops Jack high in the chest, knocking him clean over the back of the log and sprawling onto his butt.

Jack's open mouthed fury and astonishment at being bested by a 'GIRL' are so irresistibly cute I can't help grinning, while Sam's tears are instantly replaced by giggles.

"Sam!" I quell her gloating as Jack boils up to retaliate. I move smoothly between them and place my arms carefully on his shoulders, patting his cheek to gain ALL of his attention. Jack gives me a sweet little smile then hugs me close before I can fend him off. We both hear the indignant snort from somewhere around log level behind my back, which only makes Jack redouble his exuberant efforts.

Did I mention they were squabbling? Relentlessly. Every agonisingly slow step back to the gate for over four hours. And just what is it they are squabbling over?

Teal'c and I had been a short distance away from Jack and Sam, and were only alerted to their condition when an argument reverberated through the clear, carrying air of the valley we were surveying. The main constituents of that argument being 'does - does not - does too - a few distressing thuds - an OW! and an I'm telling DAD!' at varying levels of volume, shrillness and indignation.

Teal'c and I rushed to their assistance and in the general mêlée of confiscating weapons and anything with which two combat trained small children could hurt themselves, or, to be more accurate, each other, the reason for the battle became clear. Sam was very upset when I firmly removed her MP5 from her grasp, though I insisted because the look on her face strongly suggested Jack only had seconds to live. In fact, she burst into tears, and in a desire to console the heart rending sobs I made a fatal mistake. I put my arm around her and hugged her in tight to my side. Next thing I knew she was sing songing "Toldya!" in accents of unmistakable triumph while Jack's little face just fell. He was crushed.

Teal'c had the Jaffa equivalent of hysterics, quirking an eyebrow and ordering me gravely to hug Jack as well.

I did so. Who wants the responsibility of a Black Ops trained pseudo-five year old with a grudge? Jack snuggled in enthusiastically, but then got a little carried away and picked me up off my feet. He took a lot of convincing to let me go. I had to threaten to kiss Sam before he grudgingly submitted, with an ostentatiously ill-tempered grunt.

After watching me - er - manipulate those two for a short while, Teal'c threw me to the toddlers and strode off to complete our mission.

It has not been easy. We stayed by the waterfall for a while, and they both very much enjoyed helping me collect water samples. They were quite competitive over it, but just so long as I divided my attention between them, not actively hostile. I praised them extravagantly for being good and peace reigned.

My best guess is that some constituent in the water is disrupting their brain chemistry. The language centres of their brains, their memories and skills, all seem unaffected. The impact is behavioural. Quite fascinating. It's as if the whole process of socialisation has been undone. They aren't really behaving like children, their ruthless self-interest merely translates as the behaviour patterns we associate with small children. They want what they want and they want it now, with no thought to the consequences or to the needs of others.

They want me.

Sam wants her kiss. If Sam gets her kiss, Jack wants one too. He won't be moved on that, and I refuse to kiss Jack so Sam is going to have to do without too. So they've been pouting, arguing and squabbling endlessly, jockeying for my attention, gloating offensively when they get me, and crowing over the discomfiture of the forlorn reject. It's VERY trying. A tiny, tiny part of me wishes it wasn't morally objectionable or psychologically damaging to put them both over my knee and smack them soundly. Reason doesn't work at all. They don't know the meaning of the word. I've done so much yelling I'm starting to feel like Jack in full-on military hardass colonel mode.

Sam's motivations for wanting her kiss are very much sisterly affection cum getting one over on Jack. Crystal clear.

Jack's motivations are less obvious. Um - well, they were pretty damn obvious when he was hugging me. So blatantly obvious I couldn't miss it, pressing up against me - um - He might be acting like a five year old but he's a five year old with a very specific agenda. A very grown up agenda.

It's not an agenda he has hitherto chosen to share with me, so I'm doing everything in my power to help him emerge from this little fiasco with his dignity intact and his secret preserved. I have a firm belief you should allow no confidences you know a drunken friend would not share with you while sober. This is exactly the same.

Ah. I'm wrenched free of my reverie. Jack's getting a little carried away again. Okay. A LOT carried away. "Um - Jack? Put me down now, okay?"

Jack pouts. "Don't WANT to."

"Well, I want you to," I insist.

"See! Daniel loves ME more!" Sam crows.

"Do you, Daniel? Do you love Sam more than you love me?" Jack asks anxiously.

"No. I - er - I love you both, Jack. Okay?"

"'kay," he mumbles.

Doesn't sound entirely convinced. Certainly makes no move to put me down.

"Sam, why don't you pick some flowers for Daniel? He likes flowers," Jack wheedles. "Don't you, Daniel? Wouldn't it make you happy if Sam picked you some flowers?"

"Yes. Yes, it would, provided you stay where I can see you, Sam."

"Okay!" Sam calls sunnily, scampering merrily off.

"I'll put you down if you give me my kiss, Daniel," Jack says triumphantly.

So he's a very sneaky five year old. "Jack. That's not very nice," I sigh and kiss his forehead gently.

"Not very nice at all, Daniel," Jack agrees, setting me down. "And that wasn't a proper kiss."

His hands cup my jaw and draw my face to his as he leans in to suck gently on my lower lip, nibbling it a little before insinuating his tongue between my parted lips. His kiss is a sweet, tender exploration of my mouth, a warm and open invitation to participate. Telling myself I can help him rationalise his actions away if he remembers them, I accept his invitation and kiss him back urgently. His hands slip down to my waist and pull me close before wrapping around the small of my back, my own trembling fingers tangling in his hair. I cling to him as his tongue softly strokes against mine, overwhelmed by the exquisitely erotic sensations he's sparking clean through me.

My God, where did an Air Force colonel learn to kiss like THIS? Momma. Damn good reason I didn't want to kiss Jack. Didn't think I could stop. Jack pauses, takes a breath, gets us both comfortable again, and dives back into my mouth. I'm totally lost as tenderness shades into passion, have no idea how much time has passed me by, safely here in his arms, before a sulky voice close by insists, "My turn! You promised."

Jack releases me unhurriedly, a huge smile on his face. "There ya go, Carter, he's all yours. Just keep it clean, understood? He's spoken for."

"Yes, sir!" Sam agrees with alacrity, taking ruthless advantage of my dazed state to plant a sound smacker on my cheek and snatch a quick, gleeful hug.

"Wh - what?" I say intelligently, one or two suspicious facts clamouring for my completely blissed out attention span. Like I never heard of a five year old let alone a colonel who could kiss like THAT. My thoughts scatter even more as Jack spoons up behind me, wrapping his arms snugly and possessively across my chest. I feel his lips in my hair before he complains, "Jesus, Carter, you've got a hard hand."

Sam sniffs. "Serves you right, sir. I wanted to say 'judo chop' but you wouldn't let me, so I just had to let actions speak louder than words."

"Karate," I offer. Sam looks slightly insulted.

Jack nibbles at me ear, making me shiver. "Judo, Daniel. It was definitely judo. Okay, Carter, okay. Cut him some slack. The distinction is a little subtle for a linguist."

"You - you were ACTING? Both of you?" The whole time? I'm impressed. They were VERY good.

"Tactics, Daniel," Jack insists.

He sounds smug. Smug as Sam looks.

"Can't tell you how close I came to putting you both over my knee and smacking some sense into you," I inform them grimly. "You do the excruciatingly annoying infantile thing very well."

The smugness eases down a notch. I await developments with interest.

"Permission to speak freely, sir?" Sam asks brightly, after a respectful pause.

"Granted," Jack graciously consents. He's snuggling again and it's very distracting.

"I was so tired of the colonel bitching and moaning all over the -"

"Excuse me?" Jack snarls.

"Expressing his anxiety and emotional deprivation in a voluble manner," Sam corrects smoothly, "All over the - "

"Cut to the chase, Carter," Jack snaps.

"We agreed that since you were clearly in love with the colonel and yet also clearly unable to see your feelings were not only reciprocated but were in fact being broadcast all over the -"


"You needed a gentle nudge," Sam concludes with a snarky look at our glorious leader.

"Dunno about gentle," Jack grumbles. "Lucky you didn't knee me in the balls, that's all I can say. Might never have functioned again."

"You set me up? Tricked me into admitting I love you? Trapped me into kissing you?" I can't take it in. The prick! Thanks.

"Well, you weren't going to do it on your own," Jack says reasonably. "Had to do something. You were driving me slowly insane."

"Yes, sir," Sam agrees emphatically, "Honestly, Daniel, we couldn't take him much worse than he's been -"

"Hey! Show some respect, here!"

"I did! If you want the unedited critique, sir, I'd be happy to -"

"Never mind, never mind!" Jack interrupts, "Move it along. Swiftly," he adds, correctly interpreting the gleam in Sam's eyes.

"We just thought if we laid out a little scenario that offered the opportunity for a little no consequences interpersonal,"

"Lip lock?" I suggest sweetly.

"Interaction," Sam finishes. "You'd take it." She looks at my face. Jack looks at her face. Then he turns my head so he can look at my face. Then he lets go and retreats to a safe distance. Behind Sam. Like I won't hit a girl. What was I saying about infantile? I curl my lip.

"He refused to put me down until I kissed him." I inform Sam. She glares at Jack, like she had nothing to do with this. "Really gotta work on those people skills, Jack. Perfect foundation for a relationship." Oops. Didn't mean to let that slip, "Deception, coercion," I snap, recovering.

"Affection, passion," Jack sing songs, blithely ignoring the negative and accentuating the positive.

"Getting me to kiss you ONCE was the easy part, Jack. Easy. The trick will be pulling it off a second time," I throw down the gauntlet. Bring it on, colonel-mine. Show me what you've got.

Jack's eyes never waver from mine. "Carter? Go and check on Teal'c. Pick flowers. Whatever."

"Yes, sir!" Sam raps back smartly, turns on her heel and marches away. After she gets far enough away from Jack, I can hear her humming. I'm quite sure it's 'I got you, babe'. I make a firm mental note to speak to my 'big sister' Sam the moment we get back. If she doesn't feel guilty now, she will by the time I'm done with her. This should keep me in cookies for months to come. In the meantime, I've got a loaded colonel on my hands and about to get rather pleasurably in my face.

Jack closes in, flashing me a predatory smirk I want to smack right off his face. "About that second kiss, Daniel?"

I back up step by step. Not too far. Not too fast. Don't want him to get discouraged. "Yes?" I say warily, angling gently towards an invitingly leafy tree.

Jack pounces and pins me up against the broad trunk, eyes devouring my face. "Child's play, Daniel."

I'd have to agree. You can lead a colonel to Daniel, but you can't make him kiss. I've been beating my head off that particular wall for longer than I care to remember. If Jack has suddenly decided to do the chasing, then who am I to argue? If he's getting all Alpha Male on me I guess I'm honour bound to indulge him and lead him a merry dance. I haven't driven him COMPLETELY insane. Not yet. There's still time.

"Mmmph," I agree equably as his lips meet mine. He's got me right where I want him. Child's play indeed.


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