|Slash:||Jack and Daniel involved in a loving and committed relationship, which usually involves sex.|
|Category:||Established Relationship. Humour.|
|Season/Spoilers:||Season 5. No particular spoilers.|
|Synopsis:||Daniel is horribly itchy and Jack is ridiculously giddy on Friday, the 13th.|
|Warnings:||Take two Benedryl. A whole lotta scratchin' goin' on.|
“Stop it, Jack.”
“You’re going to have to be more specific, Daniel,” Jack says, knowing exactly what I’m talking about. Fine. I’ll play along.
“This.” I do my best simpering Jack-O’Neill-I-was-right-I-told-you-so face. He counters with his eyebrows-up-self-satisfied-I-don’t-know-what-you’re-talking-about face and readjusts his P-90 as he swaggers ahead of me on our way back to the Stargate. I can see his face through the back of his skull, and he’s smirking. I can tell. For a man who claims to love me “more than life itself” and, in fact, said so over and over again just last night, he can be an utterly infuriating bastard.
It is *not* my fault. Yes, I’m covered head-to-toe in this planet’s version of poison ivy. Yes, I’m half-crazed with itchiness as the blisters and welts grow before my very eyes, but it’s not my fault.
I was taking a closer look at what I thought might have been another one of the large stone disks we’d been finding near the edge of the temple ruins here on P59-G78. Leaning in, there was a sudden eruption of bright yellow feathers, flapping wings, and a beak the size of a football in my face. Startled, I fell back into that godforsaken heap of leaves and vines while the bird flew off. NOT my fault.
“I told you it was just a rock, Daniel.” Jack was standing there oh-so-casually looking down at me, head cocked to the side, the smug sonovabitch smiling in delight.
He was right. It was just a rock, but in all fairness to me, he thinks everything I look at is a rock, so I believed it warranted a professional opinion. Mine. And as Teal’c gave me a hand up, Jack continued to crow.
“I may not be a Ph.D. in Archaeology, but I know a rock when I see it.”
“Thank you for sharing, Jack.” I made no attempt to hide my sneer as I brushed off what looked like some powdery substance from my jacket sleeves and the seat of my pants. “Having fun at my expense, are we?” I snarl at him.
“Oh, yeah,” he said deliciously. Clasping his hands together and rubbing them vigorously, he walked away with an insufferable affirmation, “God, I *love* Friday, the 13th!”
As I was pondering how much Jack would *love* sleeping on the sofa tonight, I pulled my jacket off and swept away more of that powdery residue.
It didn’t occur to me that it might have been toxic — I thought I was pretty well protected in my BDU’s. Within minutes after putting my jacket back on, though, I became aware of a sudden and growing tingling in my hands, arms, and neck. Looking at my forearms and hands, I saw red welts beginning to form at an alarming rate.
As I held them out before me, Sam noticed the flare up at the same time I did. Acting quickly, she instructed me to take off my jacket again while she pulled her canteen out. If this was a form of poison ivy, its effects were almost instantaneous and every bit as intense. Perhaps even more so.
Sam did her best to flush the plant’s powder or whatever it was from my exposed skin on my arms below the sleeves of my t-shirt, and I bent forward so she could have better access to my neck.
Jack decided, as Sam was pouring the cold water across my neck, to pick that time to remind me that he’d told me he looked at that disk-shaped protrusion already, and if I’d listened to him I wouldn’t be in this mess.
I pointedly reminded him as the water ran across my chin and hit the ground that my clothes were still coated in whatever that crap was, and I’d be more that happy to beat him about the head and neck with my jacket if he didn’t shut the hell up. He did, but not before assuming that irritating air of superiority he’s been strutting around with for the last hour since Sam determined my reaction warranted an immediate trip back to the SGC.
Initially, I protested her assessment of the situation — we still hadn’t seen the inside of the temple — but now as I trudge along beside Sam, I don’t think I’ve ever been so miserable in my life. About five minutes ago, it became apparent that this poison . . . whatever . . . has somehow managed to penetrate the material of my jacket and pants, and now my back and my . . . butt are reacting to it.
I’m miserable — completely and totally miserable. It was decided best to leave my jacket back in the area where I’d encountered the plant, and my stupid pride kept me from accepting Jack’s when he offered it. So now I’m intensely itchy, damp, cold, and sorry and trying desperately to come up with a reason not to strip, run up to the nearest tree with the roughest bark and in a frenzy of scratching elation, scrape off my epidermal layer.
Sam gives me a sympathetic smile as she walks beside me. “Are you doing okay, Daniel?” she asks. I notice Jack casting a glance back in my direction. I nod and try to smile at her. Unlike Jack, she’s gracious enough not to laugh at my unintended imitation of Frankenstein’s monster as I plod along stiffly, arms out to my side.
“Teal’c, about how far away are we from the gate?” I refuse to ask Jack.
For the record, Jack does a shitty Boris Karloff. Ass.
Teal’c’s piercing glare and Sam’s narrowed eyes effectively wipe that stupid grin from his face, and I manage a weak smile. “We are very close, DanielJackson. Perhaps less than one hour.”
Gawd. Another hour. It may as well be another day. There’s got to be something I can do. I’ve already counted to 100 in every language I know. Then I did it backwards. I mentally recited several French poems and two Shakespearean sonnets and Arlo Guthrie’s Alice’s Restaurant. With every passing second, I’m weakening.
Maybe if I just rub and not scratch. Rubbing can’t hurt. I’ll just start with my left arm. Ooooh, that’s it. Rubbing is good — very good. But scratching would be better. I could scratch . . . if I’m gentle about it — and sneaky. Yeah, I’ll just go real easy. Oh, yes, ooohhh. Oh, God, yeeeessss. Now, the neck. Oh, yessss. Christ, this is better than sex. I’m sure Jack would take offense to that remark. Too bad. This is better than sex with Jack. Okay, maybe not, but I’m pathetic and vulnerable right now. Come on. That’s it. Come on.
I should have done this an hour ago. Scratching is good. Scratching is great. Scratching is ecstasy. Ecstasy is scratching. Bliss. Paradise. I’m all over my back now, and I’m scratching. I can scratch. I deserve to scratch. I’ve done pretty well in the past hour to focus my mind on other things and not scratch, but no more. I admit it — I’m a whore for itch relief right now. I will scratch. I will scratch, scratch, and scratch some more. Oh, God, that feels soooo good!
Damn it! I glare at Sam. Not just because her outburst interrupted my orgasmic epidermal offensive, but — and I’m sure this was by design — it also ratted me out to Jack whom I see has already stopped to check out the fuss.
“Daniel?” he says coming closer. “Whatcha doin’?”
I send another piercing look Sam’s way, and she lobs it back at me in an I-did-it-for-your-own-good frown. Whatever. I’m back to scratching. “I’m launching the space shuttle, Jack. What does it look like I’m doing?”
Not surprisingly, he narrows his eyes at me. “Stop scratching, Daniel. You’ll get it infected.”
On the one hand, I’m relieved that his countenance has sobered, and he is no longer gloating. On the other, I’m not in the mood for any patronizing mother-henning from him either.
“And?” I reply with all the sensibility of a 10-year-old. I hiss and burrow into my upper right arm as a wave of itchiness hits again. I’m sure I must look like a dog with fleas.
“Sir, if this is an indigenous variant of poison ivy, it’s a very potent form of it. It must be horribly irritating.”
“Ya think?” I say petulantly and dig into my right elbow.
Jack scrubs his face with his hands. “Carter, run ahead and dial home. Get Fraiser on the horn, and tell her to stand by. We’ll be along shortly. Teal’c, go with her.”
“Yes, sir!” Sam says and she and Teal’c start an easy jog down the path.
Jack turns to face me. “Daniel, I know this is difficult, but you have to stop. You don’t know what that stuff is for sure, and I don’t want you to take the chance of making it worse.”
I look at him, taking in his genuine concern. God, I love this man. Then I reach behind my back and go after a particularly irritating bit of flesh back there, moaning in sheer bliss at the momentary respite my scratching provides.
“Daniel, where is your hand?”
“Jack, you don’t understand,” I plead for his indulgence. “I’m about to go insane.” I redouble my efforts to dig into my right butt cheek and groan luxuriously. Oh, God. What I wouldn’t give for a belt sander right now.
I hear a murmured “to hell with this” and suddenly Jack wraps his jacket around me and pulls me into a bear hug pinning my arms to my sides.
“Jack, don’t!” I grimace at the sensation of that pressure on my skin and try to pull away. “You’ll get it on you!”
“I don’t care, Daniel,” he says hanging on.
“Well, I do!” I say and try again to shrug him off, but he won’t budge.
“Too late. I’m already exposed, and I’m not letting you scratch anymore.” He puts his warm lips to my ear and croons, “If you’ll recall, that beautiful ass of yours is mine, and I don’t want it or any other part of you getting infected, so knock it off.” He releases me from the bear hug and quickly puts his right arm around my shoulder, grabbing up my right wrist and holding it decisively against my chest. His other hand has a firm lock on my left wrist, and tugging me along, we start back down the path toward the gate. “Come on. Let’s get you home.”
He’s completely disarmed me, and I’m surprised to find myself suddenly with no energy to protest his attempts to immobilize me anymore. I know he’s right to stop me from scratching, but I’m still about half-mad with the need to flay myself. I grit my teeth and close my eyes as he leads the way.
We don’t get twenty paces before he breaks into a bad rendition of “Bare Necessities” from The Jungle Book. Bad. *Really* bad.
“You’re not funny,” I yell over his caterwauling.
“Am so,” he says before resuming the assault on my eardrums. And to make matters worse, he starts bobbing to the rhythm as he walks. Under normal circumstances, I find his attempts at singing to me endearingly sweet, if not somewhat pathetic. Not today.
“Unless you’re planning to uproot a tree and scratch my back with it, I’ll thank you to not conjure up a Disney image of it.”
Jack stops the shrieking and sniffs, “You’re no fun.”
He has no idea *how* ‘no fun’ I am right now. Another ten minutes down the path and I need to scratch again. *Really* need to scratch. I pull at my hands, but Jack grips them tightly.
“Nothin’ doin’, Danny.”
He doesn’t even look at me as he tugs me along. But he is close enough that I can feel the movement of his chest against my back as we walk. It . . . it feels kind of . . . good. He . . . he . . . if he moves a little to the right and down, I could . . . Come on, Jack. Maybe if I just— I shift a bit in his grasp and start rubbing my back against his— Oooooh, there! Yes. Ooooh, that’s good. Gotta get my butt in there, too. I push my ass against his groin. Mmmmmmmm.
“Whoa, Daniel!” he gasps as I bring to a halt our forward progression. Drawing his arms tighter around me, I burrow my butt into him with more zeal as he protests, “Stop that!”
“Move to the right a bit, Jack.” He’s not a tree, but he’ll do.
“What? No!” He’s trying to loosen the grip I have on him.
“Come on, just a little.” I grind my ass back into Jack even more. I feel the little colonel coming to attention, and I hear a sob in my left ear.
“Damn it, Daniel!” he yells and moves away from my body still holding my hands.
“WHAT!!!” I yell back in utter frustration, twisting my head around to glare at him. I take in Jack’s look of frustration and annoyance.
He glares back at me, then his face softens. “Just . . . just don’t let your butt write a check it can’t cash right now, Daniel.”
I thoroughly fail to suppress a triumphant little smirk to which Jack rolls his eyes and resumes his from hold on me — this time with a bit more distance between our bodies than I think is necessary. And as we continue this never-ending march to the Stargate, he grumbles, “That was dirty pool, Daniel.”
Yeah, I’m no damned fun, am I? Serves him right.
Mercifully, we arrive at the gate a short while later, and Sam and Teal’c are waiting. Sam looks at Jack disapprovingly.
“Colonel, are you sure you should be holding him like that?”
“Never mind, Major. Is Fraiser standing by?” Jack says as he lets go of my wrists but keeps his arm around my shoulder.
“Actually, sir, she’s on her way.”
“Wha . . .?” I squint at her and say incredulously. “I thought we were heading home.”
“What do you mean she’s on her way?” Jack demands. I flinch at the volume, and he whispers a quick “sorry” and continues urgently, pointing forcefully towards the Stargate. “We’re supposed to be going that way!” I take advantage of his momentary lapse to claw at my neck, but he catches my hand and pulls it away.
“I know, sir,” Sam says helplessly.
Teal’c steps in. “Dr. Fraiser’s concerned about the plant’s toxicity. She does not wish to risk bringing it back to the SGC, so she is coming here to treat DanielJackson.”
“How the hell is she going to do that?”
As if in answer, the chevrons of the Stargate begin to activate. As we just manage to conceal ourselves behind the treeline, the wormhole establishes itself. Moments later, Janet and two corpsmen dressed for level-two biohazard emerge from the event horizon. The corpsmen are carrying two five-gallon jerry cans each, presumably filled with water, and Janet is carrying a large medical kit.
“Hey, doc!” Jack says brightly. He pulls me up out of the copse of trees and over to Janet, never once relinquishing his grip on my hands. Sam and Teal’c also rise up from their hiding places.
“Colonel,” she acknowledges as the wormhole disengages. Then she looks me up and down and shakes her head in pity like some school marm. I roll my eyes in response while she kneels down and cracks open her med kit, directing the two corpsmen to set the jerry cans down.
“Colonel, you can let go. I think Dr. Jackson will exercise some self-control for me, if he knows what’s good for him,” she looks at me pointedly as she stands putting on her mask and plastic gloves. She gets the same glare I gave Jack earlier when she begins probing my arms and neck gingerly. “Daniel, give me your symptoms.”
I sigh as Jack lets go of my hands. “Well, other than the welts, the blisters, and the desire to throw myself into the nearest threshing machine, I’m dandy,” I answer.
“Uh-huh,” she says lifting up my shirt and poking around my back. “Any problems breathing?”
“No.” I notice that Jack is peeking around to take a look and grimacing. Great.
“Anyone else have any problems or come near that plant?”
“I assisted DanielJackson to his feet, Dr. Fraiser,” Teal’c volunteered. “But I do not have any symptoms.”
Janet turns to Sam and Jack. “How about you two?”
“I tried to flush whatever I could from his exposed skin when he first started to react, Janet," Sam informs her brightly. "But I’m not having any problems at all.”
“O’Neill, by having your arm around DanielJackson, you may have exposed yourself to whatever is affecting him. Are you experiencing similar symptoms?” asked Teal’c.
Jack holds out his arms for inspection, flipping them up and down. “Nope. Doesn’t look like it.”
“Perhaps the toxin is no longer potent,” Teal’c postulates.
“Or it could be an allergic reaction exclusive to Daniel’s system and not anything that can spread,” suggests Sam.
“Either theory is certainly possible,” Janet says as she focuses her attention back to me. “Okay. Strip,” she orders. “Sam, why don’t you head on back to the SGC?”
Janet’s order for me to strip prompted Jack’s and my matching responses, but Sam’s unrestrained “why” surprised us both. The two corpsmen, Janet and Teal’c join us in looking at Sam as she turns seven shades of red.
“Er- I mean, don’t you need some assistance, Janet?”
Janet smiles and shakes her head. “That’s why I have Lieutenants Barry and Kuhlman here. I think Daniel may want some privacy.” She looks back at me and says, “We’re going to wash you off, Daniel — soap and water. It’s obviously too late to prevent your reaction to this, but I don’t want to take a chance with whatever this is going back to the SGC.” Looking over her shoulder at Sam, she shoos her away. “We’ll be along in a bit, Sam.”
“Sure.” Sam looks at me while she dials up the DHD and smiles sheepishly. “Sorry, Daniel. I’ll see you back home.”
I nod and smile back. “Thanks for your help, Sam.” I reach up to scratch my back only to get it swatted back down by Jack. And as Sam punches in the GDO code, I’m pulling off my t-shirt. The wormhole stabilizes, and with a backward glance, she goes through.
In a few moments, all my clothes are piled in a heap, and I’m buck naked and chilled in the mid-day sun. It’s my turn to blush surrounded by Jack, Teal’c, Janet and the two corpsmen who are each unscrewing the lids of the jerry cans. I doubt they can see the blushing under the rash and irritation, but it’s there.
“Okay, Daniel. You ready?” Janet asks, handing Jack a bottle of liquid soap.
“No.” I look over at Jack for support, but he’s glaring sharply at Lt. Barry who’s holding a washcloth and seems to be surreptitiously running his eyes up and down my body.
“Ahem, Lieutenant,” Jack says through gritted teeth. Barry starts at Jack’s attention-getting and somewhat threatening utterance, and Jack seizes the washcloth from him. “I’ll do it.”
I grab it from Jack. “I’ll do it!”
“*I’ll* do it, thank you very much,” declares Janet, snatching it from me.
“Do not be concerned, DanielJackson,” Teal’c gently takes my glasses from my face and pockets them for safekeeping. “The water seems to be warm.”
As Lt. Kuhlman and Teal’c upend the jug over my head, I blink and sputter through the warm cascading water. “Janet, you did bring something for me to wear, right?” She looks up from her task of lathering up the washcloth with a mixed expression of both alarm and sudden realization.
Jack sees her face and flashes a huge grin, again proclaiming, “God, I *love* Friday, the 13th.”
I close my eyes. “Crap.”
It should be noted for future reference that gate travel when one is wet, barefooted, and wearing only a bath towel and a space blanket is a most uncomfortable and degrading experience. Of course, that probably goes without saying.
Re-entry on this side of the wormhole gave me a nice case of the chills and a three-second reprieve from the itching. Sadly, now I’m back to playing irritated lunatic and Jack is holding my wrists in place again. Despite having his arm around me, I’m shivering as we head down the ramp and towards the infirmary. Teal’c, Janet, and the lieutenants follow.
“Dr. Jackson?” General Hammond greets me at the entrance to the gate room with a genuine expression of concern. “How are you, son?”
“I’ll be fine as soon as someone points me in the direction of the nearest briar patch, sir,” I said through chattering teeth with a little more exasperation in my voice than necessary.
“Daniel had a run-in with Big Bird, sir,” Jack chimes in squeezing my shoulder. “He’s a bit grouchy.”
I am not amused, but the general chuckles warmly. “Well, let’s get you taken care of. We’ll debrief later.”
“As you can see, sir, Daniel is way ahead of us,” says Jack wryly, pulling me along toward the infirmary.
God help me, he is *so* going to pay for this.
Moments later, I’m lying face down on an exam table, naked under an overly starched linen sheet and convinced that skin is an overrated organ. Janet and I nearly got into a shouting match as she threatened to put me in restraints if I didn’t stop scratching. I countered with warnings of imminent malpractice suits if that antihistamine she’d just injected into my ass wasn’t strong enough to stop a charging rhino.
Jack was there, of course, gleefully enjoying the exchange while Sam stood by uncomfortably shuffling her feet and chewing the inside of her cheek. I think Teal’c grew tired of my belligerence and left.
“I promise, Daniel, this will make you drowsy. You’ll get some relief, and *I’ll* get some peace and quiet,” Janet said trying to be upbeat but rolling her eyes. “You’re lucky, you know.”
Knowing Jack’s almost pathological giddiness regarding Friday the 13th, I glare at her suspiciously with no intention of hiding my utter disdain for her bubbly assessment. “How do you figure that?”
“Your arms and hands are affected the worst, but the rash on your face, back, neck, and butt are pretty mild by comparison. Just be glad those areas aren’t blistered, too.”
I fail to see the bright side as I eye the IV stand and ponder the practicalities of its use as a backscratcher.
“Cool showers,” she continues cheerily, “or soaking in a bath with lukewarm water and oatmeal or baking soda added to it will help dry the blisters and rash and make you more comfortable. I’ll also prescribe some oral corticosteroids and antihistamines for you to take at home.”
“Home?” I lift my head from the pillow. Well now, that’s more like it.
“Tomorrow,” she appends with a look of pure evil on her face. She did that on purpose, and I plop my head back down. “I’ll be back in a half hour to check on you,” she says yanking the curtain closed.
“And don’t come back,” I mumble into the pillow. I know I’m going to have to grovel for her forgiveness after all this is over — maybe a dozen roses — but for now I get to gripe. After all, she *did* neglect to bring me a change of clothing.
I yawn as it looks like the antihistamine is beginning to take effect. I start to reach over to scratch my arm when Jack steps into the curtained off area dragging a chair with him. I look up at him and see he’s got that smirk plastered on his face again. He and I may be lovers, but that won’t save him today. “Is there something I can help you with, Jack? Step on a rake? Fall into a gopher hole? Slip on a banana peel?”
“You know, if you weren’t equipped differently, I could swear you were suffering from PMS,” he says lifting the sheet covering my ass and bending down to peak. Sam is just outside the curtain, and I swat his hand away.
“I can’t look?” he pouts.
“Where’s Sam?” I ask sharply, in a pointed attempt to remind him where he is.
“She went to go help Teal’c with the soil samples,” he says, his eyes never leaving my butt. “She’ll be back when you’re asleep. I think she said something about enjoying your company better then.”
Great. I guess I’ll be sending a dozen roses to Sam, too. I look over at Jack who’s still pouting and angling his head in the direction of my butt. I sigh, “Fine. Look, but don’t touch,” and he cheerfully lifts the sheet.
Then he looks back up at me at me and proposes, “Just a little touch?” holding up two fingers close together. The pout was a rousing success the first time, so I’m not surprised that he’d try it again.
“Not without a wad of cotton soaked in calamine lotion.” Those are my terms. Non-negotiable.
“Be right back,” he says, and he enthusiastically leaps out of the chair knocking it over. A nanosecond later, he pops back into my line of sight and says, “Don’t move,” and disappears again.
“Jack!” God, he’s so obnoxious!
Through the parted curtain, I see Lt. Barry practically skipping over in this direction with a bottle of calamine and a bag of cotton balls until he hits a six-foot two-inch wall of colonel who swipes them from his grasp and growls. Barry backs away and slinks off in another direction.
A moment later, Jack’s face is a picture of glee as he steps back in and pulls the curtain closed. Picking the chair up from the floor and sitting down, he opens the bag of cotton balls and starts shaking the bottle. He notices me eyeing him suspiciously and cocks his head. “What?”
I narrow my eyes. “I don’t know, Jack. It just seems you’re enjoying this way too much.”
“What? That you have the worst case of diaper rash I’ve ever seen? Or the fact that we have two weeks of downtime giving us lots of time to bathe in oatmeal together?” he leers in a low voice, tipping the lotion onto a cotton ball.
My mouth drops open as I consider some very interesting forms of itch relief. “Uh,” I respond intelligently.
He stands and says, “That’s what I love about Friday, the 13th. I don’t know what it is, but ever since I was a kid, I always somehow ended up being the recipient of good fortune. Like right now. You get poison something-or-other. We get downtime. I get to spend the next two weeks in bed with you smearing stuff on your butt. ‘Course, I’d prefer it if it were caramel sauce rather than calamine, but at least I get to be with you. I can’t think of any place I’d rather be.” He bends down and plants a kiss on my nose then dabs calamine there and on my cheeks and chin. “You see? Lucky.”
He’s a charmer, isn’t he? Annoying as hell one moment, then absolutely taking my breath away the next. I just can’t resist this infuriatingly wonderful man, and my throat tightens as I’m reminded of how much I love him and how truly lucky I am. I stretch myself up to him for a kiss, and he happily obliges. “I love you,” I whisper.
“I love you, too, Professor,” he smiles at me and pulls the sheet off my behind while I yawn. He then begins to very gently pat the lotion on my back. “Hey, have I ever told you about the time I got Poison Oak? I was nine-years-old and at Camp Tuck-a-hoe.”
“Tuck-a-hoe, Jack?” I say sleepily and burrow into the pillow. “Sounds positively pornographic.”
“See, I knew you’d say that,” he says dabbing gingerly along my right shoulder. “It was overnight camp, and Billy Krieger and I were looking for lizards. He got this great idea to collect a bunch of them and dump them all in the girls’ huts.”
Jack continues to weave his tale and his soothing narrative becomes a lullaby to me. Janet’s promised “stop-a-charging-rhino” antihistamine is pulling me under, and soon I’m dreaming of bathing in oatmeal with an insufferable Air Force colonel, whom I love with all my heart and wouldn’t trade for all the calamine in the universe.