Getting To Know You

"Dr. Fraiser, you requested to see me?" General Hammond inquired.

"Yes, sir.  It’s about the colonel and Dr. Jackson,” Janet said, looking at her two patients uncomfortably. 

“Is there a problem, Doctor?”  Hammond asked, glancing at the two men.

“It appears that Ma’chello's device may have overheated, sir,” Janet informed him.

"Overheated," Hammond repeated dryly.

"What she's trying to say, General," Jack said glumly, "is that the damn thing ran out of juice."

Hammond looked at the angry blue eyes in surprise.  "Dr. Jackson?"

"Uh, no, I'm over here, sir," Daniel said hesitantly, his arms wrapped tightly around himself.

The general looked at the man who addressed him; a man who looked like Colonel O’Neill, but whose
posture was eerily like Dr. Jackson’s.  He gave his head a shake and looked at Dr. Jackson, who was now
lounging in a chair, playing with a bedpan.  It was wrong.  It was very wrong.

"Doctor?"  Hammond inquired, his blue eyes zeroing in on Janet.

"It's like Daniel, um, Colonel O'Neill said, General," Janet said, correcting herself.  "I'm happy to report that Teal'c is Teal'c again and Ma’chello is back in his own body, but in order to do the transfer, the colonel and Daniel had to exchange bodies.  When we tried to transfer them back, we, uh, experienced some difficulty with the machine."

"It crapped out, Doc," Jack said indignantly, "is what it did, and now I'm trapped in this-this—"

"Hey, it's no picnic for me either, Jack," Daniel said hotly.

Janet sighed and straightened her shoulders.  "General Hammond, I'm afraid Colonel O'Neill is presently trapped in Dr. Jackson's body and vice versa.  But the good news, sir, is that Ma’chello says it will recharge," she explained fervently.

"How soon?" he asked.

"Go on, tell him," Jack said bitterly.

"Well, General," she said, frowning, "it's been awhile since the machine has been activated.  It could be a few hours, or a few days, or, well, we just have to wait, sir."

"I see," Hammond said, clearly not pleased with the news.  "Well, Colonel O'Neill, Dr. Jackson," he said, looking at the two men, "you are confined to base until you are both back where you belong."

"Yes, sir," they mumbled in unison, glancing accusingly at each other.

"Try not to worry," Hammond said paternally.  "I'm sure Dr. Fraiser will have you right as rain in no time."

Jack glared sulkily while Daniel gave a short, tight little smile and hugged himself tighter.

Hammond shook his head again and looked at Janet.  "Take care of them, Doctor, and good luck."

"Thank you, sir," she replied, hearing the 'better you than me', in his voice.

Jack watched the general leave and then turned to Janet.  "Now what?"

"We wait, Jack," Daniel said wearily.

"Look, why don't you two go and get something to eat?"  Janet suggested hopefully.

Jack's eyes sparkled with interest.  "Today's Wednesday.  Chef's Chili Surprise," he said enthusiastically.

"Uh, no," Daniel said firmly.

"It's not Wednesday?"  Jack asked disconsolately.

"No, it is Wednesday," Daniel confirmed, "it's just that you can't have chili."

"Why not?  I love chili.  I'm hoping one of these days the cooks will take my suggestion and put Froot Loops in it."

Janet stifled a smirk at Daniel's pained expression.

"Jack, I don't do chili," Daniel said firmly.

"You won't be eating it, I will," Jack grumbled.

"Your mind may be eating it but it's my stomach that will suffer," Daniel explained patiently, "and trust me, you don't want the experience."

Jack frowned and looked down at his 'new' body.  "Ah, I see your point.  So," he said looking at Daniel, "what does your stomach want?  Coffee and chocolate?"

"Or a green salad and a toasted bagel," Daniel supplied helpfully.  "I, on the other hand, I think I'll have chili."

"Of, for crying out loud," Jack grumbled.  "Doc, shouldn't you be checking that damn machine again?"

"Yes," Janet said smiling.  "I'll go and do that while you boys get...acquainted." she said, waving her hand between them.

Both men glared at her as she hurried from the room.

"At least I don't have to worry about you shaving my head," Jack grumbled, scratching the unfamiliar long, soft hair before turning to leave.

"Wait, where are you going?"  Daniel asked.

Jack stopped and turned.  "If I'm going to be drinking all that damn coffee I have to make room," he said irritably.

"What do you mean?"  Daniel asked warily.

"I mean, Daniel, I have to pee.  Now, if you don't mind—"

"Do you have to?"  Daniel asked anxiously.  "I mean, can't you, well, wait for a few hours?"

"What the hell for?"  Jack barked.  "Oh, crap," he muttered, "you're not—will you stop that!"

"Stop what?"  Daniel said, blushing.

"That," Jack said, pointing to Daniel’s face.  "You're blushing.  I don't do that.  It doesn't look right," he said, grimacing at the rapidly reddening features looking wide-eyed at him.

"Sorry," Daniel mumbled, ducking his head.

"Damn it, Daniel," Jack griped.  "Look, I promise I won't look and I'll try not to...touch," he said, feeling his own skin beginning to tingle.  Oh, crap, now I'm blushing.

"No, no, it's all right," Daniel conceded with a martyred sigh.  "Do what you have to do, Jack.  Just be...gentle," he said, a small smile appearing on his face.

"Crap.  Never mind, I don't have to go now," Jack groused, suddenly finding the notion of handling Daniel's genitals unsettling.

"So, you don't mind if I-um-go?"  Daniel asked hesitantly.

"Yes, I mind.  You just keep it in your...my...damn pants," Jack grumbled.

"Oh, my God, Teal'c, it's true!" a familiar voice exclaimed.

Both men turned to stare at the astonished blue eyes of Major Samantha Carter and the dark and definitely bemused eyes of their Jaffa teammate, Teal'c.

"Oh, crap," Jack muttered, glowering.  “This day just keeps getting better.”

"Uh, hi guys," Daniel said, smiling uncomfortably and pushing up non-existent glasses.

"Um, Colonel," Sam said, biting her tongue as she looked at the young, blue-eyed man.  "How are you feeling?"

"I feel like crap, Carter.  How the hell do you think I feel?  I've got a killer headache and my stomach hurts."

"Um, Jack, that means you're going through caffeine withdrawals and you're hungry," Daniel explained helpfully.

"Peachy," Jack muttered.

"Daniel Jackson, what is your condition?"  Teal'c asked, addressing the silver-haired man.

"Me?  Well, um, let's see," he said seriously, pondering the question.

"Don't do that," Jack snapped.

"Do what?"  Daniel asked.

"That,” Jack said waving his hand.  “That thing you're doing with my face.  It was a simple question for God's sake."

"Fine," Daniel snapped in return.  "My knees ache, my back hurts, and I've got an insane craving for sugar."

Sam stared at the indignant look on the older man's face and stifled a guffaw.

"Carter," Jack said dangerously.

"Sam," Daniel said wounded.

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry," she said, getting her emotions under control.  "But you look so much like, well, yourselves, but in each other's body.  I feel like I'm in the Twilight Zone."

"Carter, do us a favour and see if you can help Fraiser," Jack said, exasperated.

“Yes, sir,” she said, looking uncertainly at the man who looked like her CO and then back to the man sounding like her CO.  “I’m sorry,” she said, sudden concern for her friends replacing mirth.

“It’s all right, Carter, I don’t blame you.  It must look pretty weird to you,” Jack said.

Sam nodded uncertainly, but quickly left to find Janet.

Jack watched her leave, and then caught a motion to his left.

“Where do you think you’re going?” he said to the man inhabiting his body.

“I, uh, really have to go,” Daniel explained weakly.

“Damn it, Daniel.  Stop looking so uncertain.  It’s…disconcerting.”

Daniel straightened and said defiantly, “Okay.  I have to take a piss and I have to do it now.”

“All right, all right,” Jack grimaced.  “Just get it over with, will ya?”

Daniel bowed.  “Thank you, I’ll try not to linger,” he replied, a ghost of a smile on his lips as he closed the door behind him.

Jack stared at the closed door, scowled and scrubbed at his head furiously.  “Don’t think about it.  Don’t think about it,” he muttered.

                                    ********************

Jack’s eyes looked back at him from the mirror and Daniel shivered.

“This is too weird,” he murmured.  He looked down at his large, calloused hands and wondered what Jack would think of his long, slender hands.  He shook his head and walked over to one of the urinals, thankful there weren’t any mirrors on the wall.  He stared at the wall and closed his eyes.  This is stupid.  These are Jack’s hands that will be touching Jack’s penis.  Not mine.  It’s no big deal.  Sorry, Jack.  I didn’t mean you’re not, um, big.  I just meant—

“Oh, for God’s sake,”   Daniel grumbled, unzipping his fly and firmly grasping the cock within.  He couldn’t help it.  He had to look.  He’d seen Jack naked hundreds of times, but he’d never really ‘looked’.  Daniel looked down at the organ in his hands, Jack’s hands, he reminded himself.  It was soft, heavy and nicely proportioned.   He ran his fingers along the smooth length and then cupped the large, hairy testicles.  The organ suddenly twitched and Daniel flinched.  “Shit,” he muttered.  He could feel his cheeks flush and he quickly emptied his bladder and briskly stuffed the semi-hard organ back into its boxers.  God, I can’t believe I did that.  Jack would kill me.

                                    ************************

While Daniel was otherwise ‘engaged’, Jack took the opportunity to test out his new knees.

“Crap, I’d forgotten how it felt to do this without pain,” he murmured as he indulged in some deep knee bends.  He stretched and twisted, taking childish delight in the absence of creaks, pops, and snaps.  He smoothed his hands over the hard biceps and triceps and nodded approvingly.

“Nice, Danny, very, very nice.  Let’s see what they can go,” he said as he promptly dropped to the floor.

                                    ************************

Daniel stared in dismay at the sight of his body doing push-ups.  He hated doing push-ups with a passion.

“What are you doing?”  Daniel asked in horror.

“Testing this baby out,” Jack grunted.

“Don’t do that, Jack,” Daniel implored.  “My body doesn’t like it.”

“Feels pretty good to me,” Jack replied, showing no signs of stopping the torture.

“You’re getting me all sweaty.”

“Relax, I’ll shower you off.”

“Jaaack!”

“Okay, okay,” Jack said huffily, jumping upright.  “So, did you have a good time?”

“Excuse me?”  Daniel answered, furrowing his brow.

“What did you think?”  Jack asked, rolling his head around, luxuriating in the looseness.

“About what?”  Daniel asked, getting a sore neck watching Jack.

“Me.  The jewels.  Pretty impressive, huh?  Oh crap, you’re doing that blushing thing again.” Jack groused, waving his hand and looking away.  “Come on, Daniel, it’s a guy thing,” he explained, sneaking a peek to see whether his face was a neutral shade again.

“Not this guy,” Daniel replied a little too defensively.

“Ooh, a little touchy, are we?”  Jack teased.  “Well, never mind.  My turn,” he said, his eyes glinting.

“I thought you said you didn’t have to go?”  Daniel said, looking a little panic-stricken.

“That was then, this is now,” Jack shrugged, clapping Daniel on the shoulder as he breezed by him and into the washroom.

Daniel looked disconsolately at the closed door and blushed furiously at the wolf whistle coming from behind it, followed immediately by Jack’s off-key singing, “Getting to know you, getting to know all about you.”

Damn you, Jack.  You’re doing that on purpose.

Daniel paced the room, picking stuff up, scowling at it, and putting it down again.  Finally, he snatched up a magazine and tried to lose himself in its contents.  Anything to take his mind off what Jack was doing.

Oh, God.  If I did what I did, what in God’s name is Jack going to do?

“Don’t think about it,” he muttered, as he stooped to pick up a magazine he inadvertently knocked off the table.

“Ow,” he hissed as his knees protested strongly and noisily.  “Damn,” he murmured as he massaged the abused joint.  *Hell, Jack.  How do you manage those hikes?*  Daniel flexed the knee experimentally and was relieved not to feel any pain.  He would definitely be on Jack’s shit list if he blew out Jack’s knee.  Daniel heard the door open.  He turned and narrowed his eyes at a smiling Jack.

“What?”  Jack asked innocently and looking rather smug.

“What took you so long?”  Daniel demanded, regretting the words instantly.

“Hey, some things you just can’t rush, Danny boy,” Jack replied as he stretched his new, young body luxuriously.  “Got a cigarette?” he asked innocently.

 “You didn’t?”  Daniel asked indignantly.

“Didn’t what?”  Jack queried, his face the picture of innocence.

“You know what,” Daniel countered, his arms wrapping around his middle.

“No, what?”  Jack repeated, his eyes wide and appealing.

“That,” Daniel said adamantly.

“That?”  Jack said, his eyebrows rising in confusion.

“Yes, that,” Daniel snapped.

“What are you two going on about?”  Janet asked, entering the room.  “I’ve got patients trying to sleep.”

“Damned if I know, Doc,” Jack said, shaking his head, “but I think Daniel here’s led a sheltered life.”

Familiar brown eyes glared balefully at him and Jack grinned.

“Janet, please tell me the machine’s working now,” Daniel pleaded.

“I’m afraid not, Daniel, but it’s only been thirty minutes.”

“Yeah, what’s your rush, Daniel?”  Jack asked.

“Eat chili,” Daniel grumbled, flashing him a dirty look.

 “Listen, you two have the unique opportunity of living in the other man’s shoes.  It could be a real eye-opener,” Janet informed them.

“It is that,” Jack smirked, receiving an even darker glare from his teammate.

Oh, dear, Janet thought as she looked from one man to the other.  “I’ve changed my mind,” she said briskly.  “I think that perhaps you’ve spent quite enough time together.  I want you two to leave my infirmary and each other, and that’s an order,” she said firmly.

“Um, do you think that’s a good idea, Janet?”  Daniel asked.

“Yeah, Doc,” Jack agreed.  “What if something happens and our bodies reject us or something?”

“Ma’chello was in Daniel’s body for several hours, gentlemen.  Daniel suffered no ill-effects.”

“Well, now, we don’t really know that,” Daniel said, holding up a finger.  “I went from Ma’chello’s body to Jack’s.  I don’t know if there are any ill effects or not.  It’s been awhile since I’ve been in my own body,” he said unhappily.

“Come on, Daniel.  It’s gotta be a hell of a lot better being in my body than Ma’chello’s,” Jack protested.

“On the contrary, the similarities are striking,” Daniel said, massaging his knee.

“What the hell did you do to me?”  Jack demanded.

“Nothing a cane won’t be able to take care of,” Daniel answered demurely.

“A cane!  I am not…you are not using a cane!”

“Fine, I’ll just walk hunched over,” Daniel purred, exaggerating his injured condition.

“For crying out loud,” Jack muttered.  “Doc, I think Daniel’s needs to be sedated.  He’s clearly not himself.”

“That’s rather obvious,” Janet said, failing to hide her smile.

“You know what I mean,” Jack grumbled.

“Yes, Colonel, I know what you mean.  Unfortunately, there’s nothing I can do about it at the moment.  So, you either play nice or you confine yourselves to your quarters,” Janet insisted.

The two men looked at each other dubiously.  Daniel once again had his arms wrapped around himself and Jack, well, he just looked fed up.

“Fine,” Jack said.  “I’ll play nice if he will.”

“Fine by me,” Daniel replied.

“Besides, it’s the only way I can keep an eye on my body,” Jack grumbled.

“What are you afraid I’m going to do with it?  Get it in shape?”  Daniel retorted.

“You want a tattoo?”  Jack threatened.

Daniel opened his mouth to protest and then snapped it shut.  This was getting them nowhere.  “I’m going to get something to eat,” he said, waving his hands in frustration.  “Do whatever the hell you want, Jack,” he muttered as he headed for the door.

“Daniel, it was just a joke,” Jack said.  “Hey, wait up.”

Daniel stopped and turned, his face wary.

“Look, I’m just feeling a little uncomfortable with all this,” Jack said awkwardly.  “I mean, it feels great and all, not having all the aches and pains, but you know, as great a package as this is, it isn’t me,” he said, shrugging his shoulders.  

Daniel smiled and ducked his head.  “Yeah, I know.”  He looked up and his expression was thoughtful.  “I had no idea you were in such pain, Jack,” he said quietly.

“The knees?  That’s nothing,” Jack said dismissively.  “You should try me out in the winter.  Now, that’s a whole other story.”

Daniel smiled.  “Can I buy you some coffee?”

“I’d kill for an espresso,” Jack grinned, slapping Daniel on the back.

Janet crossed her arms and watcher her two patients leave the room, arm in arm.  “Men,” she muttered.

                                    *********************

The commissary was crowded and noisy.  Daniel stood with his tray, looking around for a seat when a young cadet suddenly jumped to his feet.

“Colonel O’Neill, please, have this table.  I’ve just finished,” he said eagerly.

Daniel stared blankly at the young man for a few seconds and then gave himself a mental shake.  Of course, he thinks I’m Jack.

 

“Um, thank you Tyler.  That’s very kind,” Daniel said.

“You’re welcome, sir,” the young man beamed, thrilled that the legendary Colonel O’Neill knew his name.  In fact, he was so thrilled with the colonel’s recognition that he almost knocked Jack’s tray to the floor.

“Easy there, cadet,” Jack growled.

“Oh, Dr. Jackson, I’m sorry.  I didn’t see you,” he apologized.

“Poor excuse, Airman.  Be more careful next time,” Jack grumbled.

Daniel watched the exchange and winced.  “God, Jack, did you have to be so rough with him?”

“Rough?  You call that rough?  He’s lucky I didn’t have him drop and do twenty.”

Daniel sighed.  “Jack, remember that everyone thinks you’re me.  Now Tyler’s going to avoid me like the plague, or worse, he’ll tell his buddies the ‘civilian’s’ getting uppity.”

“Who?”  Jack asked, gulping down his coffee.

“The cadet you just chewed out.  His name is Tyler.”

“It is?”

“Yes, it is,” Daniel sighed, “and he’s thrilled to pieces that you remembered,” Daniel said, inhaling the spicy chili on his plate.

“I did?”  Jack replied, salivating at Daniel’s chili.

“You did.”

“Oh.  Thanks.”

“You’re welcome.”

“Can I just have a little bit of your—”

“No, Jack, you can’t,” Daniel whispered harshly.  “I told you my body will reject it and you’ll be in a whole lot of pain.”

Jack sat back with a frown and jabbed at his chicken pie.

“Jack, I don’t stab my food,” Daniel informed quietly.  “Eat like this,” he said, demonstrating.

“If I eat like that my lunch will be cold before I’m half way through.  You’re acting like you’re afraid of it for crying out loud.  And stop waving your hands around.  People are staring.”

“If people are staring it’s because you’re making me look like—”

“A geek?”  Jack said helpfully.

Daniel’s face darkened and his eyes narrowed.  “Do you want to feel the after effects of fifty deep knee bends?”

“You do and I will give you such a hangover,” Jack promised.

Daniel sat back and pushed his tray away.  “This isn’t working,” he murmured, crossing his arms in front of him.  “I’ve lost my appetite.”

Jack sighed and put down his fork.  “We’ll be okay.  Doc will come up with something.  Come on, let’s blow this popsicle stand and go play chess.”

Daniel smiled and shook his head.  “The things that come out of my mouth.  Your place or mine?”

“There’s a difference,” Jack queried, arching his eyebrows.

“I have no idea anymore,” Daniel grinned, shaking his head.

                                    ************************

“Jack, what are you doing?”  Daniel asked.

“Hmm?  Nothing.  Just…nothing,” Jack shrugged.

“No, you were staring at your…at my hand.”

“I wasn’t staring.  I was just looking.  I’ve never had long, slender fingers before.  Must be great for nose-picking,” he teased, flexing his fingers.

Daniel scowled.  “Don’t even think about it.

Jack smirked and moved his rook.  “It’s pretty weird sitting here watching ourselves, isn’t it?”

“That’s one way to put it,” Daniel agreed.  “So, is it really that bad?  Being in my body, I mean,” he asked awkwardly.

“The truth is, you’re in great shape, Daniel and I hate to admit it, but I think you got the short end of the stick.”

Daniel ducked his head and moved his knight.  “Actually, Jack, if I feel this good when I’m your age I’ll be laughing,” he admitted.

“You make me sound ancient, but I’ll take that as a compliment,” Jack said amiably.

“Maybe you should consider a knee replacement,” Daniel suggested seriously.  “I hate to think of what our off-world treks must feel like to you.”

“You get used to it.  Why, is it acting up now?”

“A bit,” Daniel admitted.

“Here, put your leg, or my leg, I should say, up here,” he said, moving his chair and patting his thigh.

Daniel did as asked and soon luxuriated in the strong, but gentle manipulation of his knee.

“Now. This is definitely weird,” Daniel said, smiling to himself.

“You thinks this is strange, imagine how mind-blowing it’d be if we were gay,” Jack grinned.

Daniel’s eyes widened then sparkled with mischief.

“It would give a whole new meaning when you tell me to ‘go fuck myself’.”

“Yeah,” Jack snickered then narrowed his eyes.  “Hey, I’ve never said that,” he protested.

“Not in so many words, but the implication’s been there,” Daniel insisted.

“You know I don’t mean it though, right?”  Jack asked worriedly, his brow furrowed.

Wow, do I really look that beseeching? Daniel thought, staring at the concerned blue eyes.

“Right?”  Jack said more forcefully.

“Well, maybe,” Daniel conceded, “but sometimes…”

“I can be a little hard-headed,” Jack said ruefully.

Daniel smiled and nodded.  “A little,” he agreed, taking a sip of coffee.  He shook his head sadly, and put down the mug.  “It just isn’t the same.”

“You need beer,” Jack said simply.

“We’re still on base, remember?  How’s your head?’  Daniel asked.

Jack looked up and his eyes widened.  “Actually, now that you mention it, not so good.”

“Here,” Daniel said, holding out his coffee.  “You need this.”

“Crap, you are addicted aren’t you?” Jack said, taking the mug and downing half of its contents.

“I prefer ‘fond of’ rather than addicted,” Daniel said neutrally.

“Semantics,” Jack shrugged, inwardly chastising himself for probably just dredging up some nasty memories of a sarcophagus.  He continued to massage the knee under his fingers, but he could feel dark eyes on him.  He looked up.

“What?”

“When we get back into our own bodies you’re not going to expect me to do this, are you?”  Daniel asked, nodding towards his knee.

“And feed the rumour mill, are you nuts?  There, how’s that,” Jack said, giving Daniel’s knee a final squeeze.

“Much better,” Daniel said, tentatively flexing the knee.

“Good, you can test it out by making some more coffee.  This is good,” Jack said, draining his mug.

Daniel smiled and happily indulged his friend.  He had to admit the coffee smelled good, but it just didn’t taste like it should.  He needed something else, or, to be more correct, Jack’s body needed something else.  On a whim, he opened the few cupboards that Jack had.  You have to be hoarding something here, Jack.  Aha, I knew it!  Daniel eagerly retrieved the box of Froot Loops and returned triumphantly to his seat, clutching the motherlode.

“I see your taste in haute cuisine has finally improved,” Jack smiled as he watched Daniel pop the sweet cereal into his mouth.

“As god-awful as these look, they’re really quite good,” Daniel admitted.

“Ah, that’s because you now have the discriminating palate of a cereal connoisseur,” Jack grinned.  “Speaking of which, I really need to get Stores to put in for better coffee when we go off-world.”

“You can do that?”  Daniel asked, crumbs dribbling down his chin.

“Don’t talk with your mouth full.  Of course, I can do it.”

“Damn it, Jack,” Daniel said, swallowing the dry cereal with difficulty.  “I’ve been trying to get decent coffee here for years,” he said, scowling.

“I thought you were just a coffee snob,” Jack said dismissively.  “I mean, they’re just beans.  But now,” he said, swirling a dark mouthful around in his mouth before swallowing, “yes, I think we can do better.”

Daniel stood up and retrieved a pen and piece of paper.

“Here, put it in writing.”

“That’s not a requisition form,” Jack pointed out.  “If it’s not on the proper form it gets thrown directly into the trash.”

Daniel frowned and said, “Just write yourself a reminder then.”

“I’m hurt,” Jack said.  “You think that once I’m back in my own body and coffee tastes like, well, coffee, I won’t bother.”

“Something like that,” Daniel admitted.

“Ye of little faith,” Jack said sadly, picking up the pen.  “What the hell?  These damn fingers of yours may be long but they can’t hold a pen.”

“That’s because you’re holding it wrong,” Daniel sighed patiently.

“For crying out loud,” Jack muttered, concentrating as he painstakingly scribbled a note.

Daniel leaned over and perused the note. 

“Well, if I can translate cuneiform, I guess I can read that,” he said glibly.

“I’d like to see you do better,” Jack grumbled, shoving the pen and paper under Daniel’s nose.

Daniel picked up the pen just as the phone rang.  The pen fell from his uncooperative fingers and he glanced up to a smirking face.

“The phone startled me, and I don’t smirk,” he said flatly.

“Whatever you say, Danny boy,” Jack grinned, getting up to answer the phone.

Daniel picked up the pen again and frowned at his traitorous fingers.  His thumb, or Jack’s thumb, seemed to have a mind of its own.

“Not so easy, is it?”  Jack inquired, peering over Daniel’s shoulder.

“Jack, what the hell happened to your thumbs?”  Daniel frowned, watching the digits bend unnaturally.

Jack shrugged.  “That’s what happens after they’ve been broken a few times,” he said quietly.

Daniel shivered at the tone in his friend’s voice.  Oh, God, he’s talking about being tortured.
“Jack, I’m sorry,” he whispered.  “I didn’t think—”

“Don’t worry about it.  Oh, that was Janet on the phone.  She thinks she’s ready to do the old switcheroo.”

“Thank God,” Daniel said, standing up.  “I really need a shower, and I didn’t want to have to take one with, uh, your body.  If you know what I mean.”

Jack laughed and clapped Daniel on the back. 

“The same thing crossed my mind too.  It’s one thing taking a shower together, but this…” he said, looking down at the young body he currently inhabited.

“I guess we could’ve washed each other,” Daniel suggested.

“You’re really anxious to get those rumour mills buzzing, aren’t you?”

“It was just a thought.  I mean, if you think about it—”

“Don’t,” Jack said.

“Don’t what?”

“Think.  It doesn’t look good on me,” Jack scowled.

“I’ll stop thinking if you’ll stop scowling,” Daniel reciprocated.

“I don’t scowl,” Jack retorted.

“Oh, please.  I’m going to have permanent wrinkles the way you keep scrunching your—there, you’re doing it again!” Daniel accused.

“You’re paranoid,” Jack said.

                                    ***********************

Jack and Daniel quickly traversed the endless corridors of the SGC, making a concerted effort to act in character whenever they encountered someone who was unfamiliar with their predicament.  Fortunately, the encounters were few.  As they rounded the last corner they met a familiar face.

“Tyler,” Daniel said in greeting.

“Colonel,” Tyler replied, snapping a smart salute.  “Dr. Jackson,” he added in a subdued voice, looking at Jack.

Jack nodded as they passed then noticed the resigned look on Daniel’s face.  He stopped and turned.

“Hey, Tyler, wait up!”  Jack called.

Daniel glanced sharply at Jack, but Jack held up his hand in a ‘Relax, I know what I’m doing,’ gesture.

The airman stopped and turned around, surprised to see Dr. Jackson walking purposefully towards him.

“Uh, look,” Jack said, “I just wanted to apologise for my earlier behaviour in the commissary.  I’ve been feeling a little…out of sorts.”

A large smile lit up Tyler’s face, and Jack marvelled at what a few kind words could do.

“It’s perfectly understandable, Doctor —”

“Please, call me Daniel.  Doctor makes me sound…stuffy.”

Tyler grinned.  “Whatever you say, Daniel.  I hope you feel better soon.”

“Thank you.  I’m sure I will,” Jack said.

Jack smiled and watched the airman walk away.  That wasn’t so hard.

“What did you say to him?”  Daniel inquired as he approached Jack.

“Just setting the record straight,” Jack replied simply.

Daniel looked at the relaxed gait of the departing airman, then looked at Jack thoughtfully.

“Thank you,” Daniel said.

“Well, I figure you make enough enemies on your own, you don’t need me adding to it,” Jack explained.

Daniel frowned slightly.  “Thank you…I think.”

“Come on, let’s get this show on the road,” Jack smiled, clapping Daniel on the back.

                                    ********************

“So, what was it like?”  Sam asked in a conspiratorial whisper.

 

“What was what like?”  Daniel responded casually, sipping his coffee.

“You know.  Being in the colonel’s body.  What was he…well…like?” she prodded.

“Sam,” Daniel said in mock horror, “are you asking me about his attributes?” he asked, reaching for a banana.

“No, she said, flushing furiously.    “I mean, well, maybe.  Never mind I asked,” she said, waving her hand dismissively.

“Okay,” Daniel said, nonchalantly peeling his banana.

Sam’s face flushed even further and she hastily stuffed some omelette into her mouth.

“Mmm, nice and firm,” Daniel sighed, chewing his banana in a way that made Sam feel suddenly hot.  “Not too big and not too small,” he crooned.

Sam giggled in spite of her discomfort.

“All right, so sue me,” she grinned, “but I am a woman.”

“Never doubted it for a second, Sam,” Daniel replied, his eyes twinkling.  “But, just to ease your curiosity, you know that smug look Jack gets on his face?”

“Yes.”

“He comes by it naturally,” Daniel whispered, taking another exaggerated bite out of his banana.

Sam chuckled and then her eyes grew large.

“Oh, God, here he comes,” she whispered, attacking her omelette with a vengeance.

“Kids,” Jack said, setting his tray down and pulling out a chair.

“Jack.”

“Mmph, Colonel,” Sam acknowledged around a mouthful of omelette.

Jack glanced between Sam’s red cheeks, and Daniel’s cheeky look and the ubiquitous banana.

“Daniel.”

“Jack.”

“Is there something I should know?”  Jack inquired with a lift of his eyebrows.

“Nothing you don’t already know, Jack,” Daniel answered, waving his banana nonchalantly.

Jack considered Daniel’s cryptic words and his eyes widened.  He looked at Sam.

“Carter, you didn’t?”

“Excuse me,” she sputtered, choking down her food.  “I need some more water,” she explained hurriedly, quickly leaving the table.

Jack looked at Daniel, a rakish smile on his face.

“She didn’t,” he said, shaking his head.

Daniel smiled and shrugged.  Hell, Jack, even I looked.

”What’d you tell her?”  Jack asked.

“The truth.”

“The truth,” Jack repeated, pondering the reply.  “Is that good?”

“No complaints from me,” Daniel smiled.

Jack grimaced and asked, “Can we change the subject?”

Daniel laughed.  “Please, let’s.”

“So, how are you feeling?”  Jack asked, pushing Sam’s plate aside as he was quite sure she wouldn’t be back any time soon.

“Like myself.  You didn’t have me long enough to do any permanent damage,” Daniel answered mischievously.

“Very funny.  Don’t quit your day job,” Jack grumbled.

“How about you?”  Daniel asked.

“Same old, same old,” Jack said, stretching out his leg gingerly.

“You really should considered knee replacement surgery, Jack.  I’ve heard it can do wonders.”

“It’s not that bad,” Jack insisted, “although I’m tempted to ask Jacob to do a number on it the next time we see him.”

“I’m sure he’d be happy to,” Daniel said.

“Yeah, but it sets a bad precedent.  We get enough injuries as it is.  The last thing we need is for you to feel free to fling yourself in front of staff blasts because Jacob’s waiting in the wings with a healing device,” Jack said sagely.

“I don’t fling,” Daniel protested.  “Besides, I only did that once and I have no regrets.”

Jack shifted uncomfortably in his chair.  Crap, I didn’t even thank him for that.

“Well, your timing was appreciated,” Jack admitted awkwardly.  “I probably never thanked you for that.”

“You did, in your own way,” Daniel said easily.

“Right,” Jack grunted dubiously, wincing as his knee twinged painfully.

“God, Jack, I can’t stand it.  Give it here,” Daniel demanded, pushing his chair back and then up towards Jack.

“What?”

“Come on, right here,” Daniel insisted, patting his thigh.

“Here, in the commissary,” Jack asked, glancing around dubiously.

“Why not?  The rumour mills have been a bit lax lately.  Time to spice things up,” Daniel said with an impish smile.

“Crap, why do I listen to you?”  Jack sighed, easing his leg across Daniel’s lap.

“Because I’m usually right,” Daniel countered, gently massaging Jack’s knee.

“Besides that,” Jack sighed, instantly giving in to Daniel’s agile and talented fingers.

“Because I’m good.”

Jack closed his eyes and leaned back. 

“Mmm, if you ever want to give up your day job.”

“You couldn’t afford me,” Daniel quipped.

Jack cracked one eye open, but just smiled.

“Was Teal’c really going to shave your head?”  Daniel asked, his fingers working deep into Jack’s muscle.

“He had the damn scissors poised in his hand when I caught him,” Jack grumbled.  “I had to put up with Junior; you think he could handle a bit of hair for crying out loud.  But I’ll tell you one thing.  I’m sure as hell glad Teal’c went back with me to get that device and not Carter.  Crap, can you imagine?”  Jack asked, shuddering at the possibilities.

“Oh, yes, I can imagine,” Daniel replied.  “Sam really came through for me though,” he said quietly.  “Being in a dying body was unpleasant to say the least.  Sam wouldn’t let me give up.”

“You wouldn’t have given up,” Jack said gravely, fixing Daniel with a determined gaze.

Daniel looked at Jack and shook his head. 

“You don’t know what it was like.”

“Maybe not, but I know you,” Jack said sincerely.  “You’re too stubborn to die.”

“Maybe,” Daniel said with a thoughtful smile.  He patted Jack on the knee to indicate that was all the massaging he was going to get.

“Thanks,” Jack said, bending his knee carefully and smiling at the results.  “Feels great.  So, how many double-takes did we get?”

“Three that I noticed,” Daniel answered with a grin.

Jack reached for his empty coffee cup and toyed with it absently.

“I’m glad Carter was there for you,” he said quietly.  “I would’ve been there if—”

“I know that, Jack,” Daniel interjected softly.  “You had your own problems.  Sam told me it got a bit dangerous for you.”

Jack looked at the serious blue eyes and nodded.

“Yeah, Junior didn’t take kindly to being ignored.  I didn’t realize how important Teal’c’s meditation really was until Junior started acting up.  Man, it gave a whole new definition to indigestion,” Jack said, wincing at the memory.

“I guess we all learned a little more about each other,” Daniel mused, staring at his own empty cup.

“A lot more,” Jack added with a devilish grin. 

Daniel glanced up. “Ditto,” he said, blushing slightly.

“Relax, Daniel.  We’re guys; it’s what we do.  Besides, don’t you think Doc and Carter would have checked each other out if they’d been switched?”

Daniel smiled and relaxed.  Jack was absolutely right.  It was human nature.

“All in all, it was a memorable experience, and a not altogether unpleasant one,” Jack said, winking conspiratorially.  “Here, I’ll get us a refill,” he said, taking Daniel’s cup.

“Thanks.”

Daniel watched Jack leave, and his mind raced with everything that had happened in the last few days.  He had nearly died, as did Jack.  Ma’chello did die.  The man had sacrificed his life fighting the Goa’uld. 

“Don’t,” Jack said, setting the coffee cups down on the table.

“What?”  Daniel said in puzzlement.

“You’ve got that ‘I’m feeling guilty, I should’ve done more’ look.”

“He gave up so much, Jack.  For us.  For everyone.”

 

“And you haven’t?  We haven’t?”  Jack countered quietly.

Daniel remained silent so Jack continued.

“Daniel, you couldn’t save Ma’chello.  Not without turning him into the one thing he fought against all his life.  Thank God, you made him realize that before it was too late for both of you.  But, you did give him one hell of a treat,” Jack smiled.  “He looked pretty damn happy there at the end.”

Daniel smiled and accepted Jack’s words.  He arched his eyebrows and asked, “I wonder what kind of trouble I got into?”

“With you, anything’s possible,” Jack replied, swirling the coffee in his cup.

Daniel watched Jack playing with his coffee and furrowed his brow.

“So, what’s bothering you?”

“Me?”  Jack asked, glancing up in surprise.  “Nothing.”

“Jack,” Daniel sighed.

“All right.  Well, there’s one thing that’s been bothering me,” Jack confessed.

“What’s that?”  Daniel asked.

“Your sister,” Jack said.

“I don’t have a sister,” Daniel replied, aware of where this was going.

“I know, but if you did, you said—”

“Jack, I trust you with my life.  I’d trust you with my sister.  I was just teasing you.”

“Oh, okay,” Jack said relieved.  “I knew that.  I think.  I just wanted to make sure because I would never, you know…”

“I know,” Daniel said.

“Good,” Jack said, nodding uncertainly.

“Besides, if I had a sister, can you honestly see me telling her what to do?”  Daniel asked with a smile.

Jack thought of a female version of Daniel, smiled, and shook his head.  “Not a hope in hell.”

“Exactly,” Daniel agreed.  “I have enough trouble keeping you, Sam, and Teal’c in line.”

“You wish,” Jack laughed.  “Speak of the devils,” he murmured.

Daniel followed Jack’s gaze and smiled as Sam and Teal’c drew up to their table.

 

“Thought you bailed, Carter,” Jack said.

“We’re all adults, sir,” Sam replied, blushing in spite of her best efforts.

“Meaning?”  Jack queried.

“Meaning that, as a healthy, adult woman, I-um-well…”

“Sometimes wonder about healthy, adult men,” Jack finished.

“Something like that,” Sam murmured.

“Relax, Carter, I find it flattering.  So, have you wondered about Daniel?” he asked, arching his eyebrow.

“Jack!”  Daniel said indignantly.

“What?”  Jack said innocently.  “Don’t you want to know?”

“No,” Daniel insisted, but he frowned and looked at Sam.  “Have you?”

“No, I haven’t,” she replied, blushing again.

“Oh,” Daniel said, trying not to sound disappointed.  “Well, that’s good then.  I think.  Um, why haven’t you?  Not that it’s important or anything, but…”

“Yeah, Carter, why not?”  Jack asked.

“Because she has already seen Daniel Jackson in the nude, O’Neill, and has no need to wonder,” Teal’c explained helpfully.

“She has?”  Jack asked intrigued.

“You have?”  Daniel asked, horrified.

“I was with Janet,” Sam explained hurriedly.  “Remember that flu epidemic that virtually shut down the mountain, and you collapsed in your office?  Well, she was short-staffed, and I was there, and well…”

“Wait a minute,” Jack said, frowning.  “Doc’s seen all of us naked as jaybirds hundreds of times.  Why didn’t you just ask her about me instead of Daniel?”

“That would be unprofessional, O’Neill,” Teal’c stated on Sam’s behalf.

“Exactly.  Thank you, Teal’c,” she said, relaxing for the first time since sitting down.

Jack shook his head and looked at Daniel.

“It must be a woman thing,” Daniel shrugged.

“Or a conspiracy,” Jack mused, looking suspiciously at Teal’c.

Teal’c blinked impassively and asked, “Why are you upset that Major Carter wondered about the size of your—”

“For crying out loud, Teal’c,” Jack whispered harshly, “we’re in the cafeteria.”

“I am aware of that, O’Neill,” Teal’c said dismissively.  “Are not Taur’i males fascinated by the size of women’s breasts?”

“Jesus, Teal’c.  Keep it down will ya?”  Jack hissed.

Teal’c looked down at his lap.  “It is not up, O’Neill.”

Daniel snorted into his coffee and Sam stifled a guffaw.  Jack’s ears flamed red.

“Give it up, Jack.  You’re way out of your league,” Daniel snickered, grabbing a napkin to sop up the coffee he spat out.

“I’m sticking to my conspiracy theory,” Jack muttered.  “Come on, Daniel,” Jack said, standing up.

“Where are we going?”  Daniel asked, draining his coffee.

“Just come with me,” Jack replied.

“Yes, dear,” Daniel muttered under his breath, and winked at Sam as he stood up.

“Don’t encourage them,” Jack groused over his shoulder.

“So, Jack, where are we going?”  Daniel asked.

“Away from here before they bury us,” Jack said.

“Us?”

“Oh, come on.  Don’t tell me you weren’t embarrassed back there?”

“No,” Daniel replied.  “Well, maybe for you,” he amended.

“Crap, I didn’t hold up my end very well, did I?”  Jack sighed.

“Um, no,” Daniel smiled, “but that’s okay, Jack.  I’ll still respect you in the morning.”

“For crying out loud, they’ve got you doing it now,” Jack grumbled.  “Not too long ago you were embarrassed as hell to even go into the bathroom with my body.  What the hell happened?”

“I guess it’s you,” Daniel shrugged.

“Me?”  Jack asked warily.

“I think being in your body has made me feel a bit like you.  Think a bit like you,” Daniel surmised.

“Ya think?”  Jack asked, intrigued.  “I guess that would explain why I got so uncomfortable back there.  Some of you must’ve rubbed off on me.  Yeah, that must be it.”  Jack’s eyes lit up and he shook Daniel’s shoulder affectionately.  “Thanks, Daniel.”

“Anytime, Jack,” Daniel replied.  Daniel knew Jack knew he was full of crap, and he knew Jack knew he knew, and that was okay, because that’s what friends did.

“So, do you think Carter and Teal’c have a thing going?”  Jack asked as they stood waiting for the elevator.

“A thing?”  Daniel replied.

“Don’t play innocent, Daniel.  I know you too well.  Do you think they talk about us?”

“You mean, like we’re talking about them?”  Daniel asked.

“Yes.  No.  Hell, I don’t know,” Jack sighed.  “My head hurts.  Damn it, Daniel, if I’m addicted to caffeine…”

“It doesn’t work that fast, Jack.  It’s just our minds adjusting to our bodies, and vice versa.”

Jack looked at Daniel sceptically.

“You believe that?”

“Do you?”  Daniel countered, his brow furrowed.

Jack frowned, and stepped into the elevator.  After the doors swished shut, he looked at Daniel.

“Works for me,” he admitted.  “You?”

“I can live with it,” Daniel nodded, pulling a handful of Froot Loops out of his pocket.  “It’s the only explanation for this,” he muttered.

Jack looked at the colourful cereal in Daniel’s hand and laughed.

“A closet Froot-Looper!  I always suspected you, Danny-boy,” he grinned, ruffling the younger man’s hair affectionately.

“God, I hope this goes away soon,” Daniel murmured dismally as he popped the cereal into his mouth.

                       
Two weeks later

“Colonel O’Neill, Dr. Fraiser has cleared you and Dr. Jackson fit to return to active duty,” Hammond announced.

“Yes!”  Jack said jubilantly.  “Sir,” he added hastily.

“Try to contain yourself, Colonel,” Hammond said dryly, but obviously enjoying his second’s elation.

“Have SG-1 in the briefing room at 0900 tomorrow.”

“Yes, General,” Jack smiled.

                                    **************

“I figured I’d find you two here.”

Sam and Daniel whirled in surprise, and stared at Jack standing a few feet away, hands in his pockets.

“Colonel.”

“Hey, Jack.”

“What’s got you two kids looking like you’ve been caught with your hand in the cookie jar?”  Jack asked casually, pulling up a chair to sit down.

“Nothing, sir,” Sam said, shaking her head.

“Daniel?”  Jack inquired.

“Like she said, Jack,” Daniel mumbled, not quite making eye contact.

*Ah, Daniel.  Still can’t lie worth a damn, can you?* Jack thought fondly.

“Daniel?”  Jack repeated, his eyebrows raised.

Daniel frowned and looked at Jack.  “Well, all right, but keep an open mind,” he sighed.

Jack’s eyes widened in puzzlement.  “What the hell are you up to?”

Daniel looked at Sam and shrugged.  “Show him.”

Sam turned and picked up the object she had concealed behind her back.

“It looks like a knee brace,” Jack said neutrally, glancing suspiciously at Daniel who looked away.

“It’s more than a brace, sir.  Feel it,” Sam said, handing the item to Jack.

Jack took the brace and couldn’t hide his surprise at the lightness and the surprising flexibility of the material.  Certainly not like any brace he’d been subjected to before.  This one fairly hummed in his hand.  It felt soft, malleable, and warm.

“What the hell is it?  It feels alive,” Jack said, shuddering involuntarily as he squished the material between his fingers.

“It’s really quite simple, sir,” Sam said excitedly.  “SG-5 brought back this amazing crystal from P2G 174.  It’s composed of highly charged, but tiny electromagnetic—”

“Carter,” Jack interrupted.  “Is it alive?”

“No, sir,” she sighed, “it’s not alive.”

“Good.  So, Daniel, how does it work?”  Jack asked.

Daniel’s eyes widened in surprise.  “Oh, um, here, I’ll show you,” he said, looking at Sam apologetically.

Jack passed the brace to Daniel.

“Roll up your sleeve and hold your arm out,” Daniel requested.

Jack glanced over at Sam who visibly relaxed at the warmth in the colonel’s eyes.

“It’s more a bandage than a brace,” Daniel explained as he began wrapping it around Jack’s forearm.  “You see this little button?” he asked, indicating a small silver dot.  “You want that on top.  Press it once, like this.  Do you feel anything?”

“Like a tingle?”  Jack said.

“Yes, exactly,” Daniel said.  “They’re minute electro-magnetic pulses.  If you press it again the sensation should increase.”

Jack pressed the button and felt an immediate increase in tension.  “Cool.”

“It responds automatically to inflamed tissue, Colonel, or at least, theoretically,” Sam said.  “The button is kind of a fail-safe.”

“It’s not going to explode on me or anything?”  Jack asked dubiously, flexing his arm and rotating it.

“No, sir.  It’s perfectly safe, and Janet’s helped us so it’s medically sound.”

“Your idea?”  Jack asked, looking at Daniel.

“I just thought, well, I mean, there had to be something…damn it, Jack, your knee hurt like hell,” Daniel said flustered.

“You know what I think?”  Jack asked.

“Mind my own business?”  Daniel guessed.

“I think we should’ve switched bodies years ago.  This feel great.  Massage-on-the-go,” Jack mused, flexing his arm enthusiastically.

Daniel smiled in relief and shared a ‘hallelujah’ look with Sam.

“Janet and Sam did all the work,” Daniel explained.

“You just came up with the idea,” Jack said quietly, smiling affectionately.

Daniel shrugged and smiled back.

“Well, come on,” Jack said.  “Let’s go to the gym and test this baby out.”

“Sir, it may feel good, but that doesn’t mean—”

“Carter, I’m not about to blow out my knee just when we’re going to go back in the field.”

“Colonel, that’s wonderful,” Sam said jubilantly.

“Janet cleared us?”  Daniel asked.

“Briefing at 0900 tomorrow,” Jack replied.  “This is your last day to goof off, kids.  Carter, you coming to the gym?”

“Uh, no, sir.  Thank you, but I have some things I want to wrap up before tomorrow,” she said diplomatically.

“You know what they say about ‘all work and no play’, Carter,” Jack warned.

“I’ll take my chances, Colonel.”

“Suit yourself.  It’s you and me, Daniel, unless you’ve got things to wrap up too?”

“Actually, Jack, I do have something, um, some time on my hands,” Daniel said, changing his answer at Jack’s reproachful look.

“Have fun,” Sam said as the two men left her lab.  Poor Daniel.

“We’ll find Teal’c on the way and tell him about the briefing,” Jack said.

“Sure,” Daniel replied, his voice glum.

Jack glanced sideways at his companion and smiled.

“Don’t worry, we’re not really going to the gym.”

“We’re not?”  Daniel said, looking at Jack with a hopeful, but wary look.

“Nope.”

“Where are we going?”

“To see Teal’c,” Jack answered.

“And then?”  Daniel prompted.

“And then, you’ll find out.”

Daniel frowned, but Jack did seem to be in a good mood, but then, Jack in a good mood didn’t necessarily mean good news for Daniel.  He was still mulling over Jack’s behaviour when he was brought up short by the solid weight of Jack’s back.

“Jeez, Daniel, watch where you’re going,” Jack groused.

“Sorry,” Daniel mumbled.  “Why’d you stop?  I thought we were….oh, we’re here,” he said looking at Teal’c’s door.

“Stay with the program, Daniel,” Jack muttered as he rapped firmly on the door.

“Enter,” a voice boomed pleasantly, albeit a little distorted.

Jack and Daniel exchanged puzzled glances.

Jack opened the door and the two men stared at their friend.

“Well, that explains it,” Daniel murmured.

Jack tilted his head to the side.  “Teal’c, why are you standing on your head?”

“I read in one of your Earth magazines that this is a desirable position for meditation,” Teal’c replied.

“And?”  Jack asked, arching his eyebrow.

“And what, O’Neill?”

“Is it a good position?”  Jack asked huffily.

“It is too early to tell.  I have only been in this position for one hour.”

“One hour?”  Daniel said, visibly impressed.  “Doesn’t it, well, hurt?”

“Indeed not, Daniel Jackson.  Perhaps, you would care to join me?”

“Uh, no, Teal’c, but thank you.  Maybe another time,” Daniel answered, suddenly feeling his recently ingested cereal preparing to re-appear.

“As you wish.  O’Neill?”  Teal’c said, offering the same invitation.

“Thanks, big guy, but I prefer to keep my feet on the floor,” Jack replied.  “So, what does Junior think of this?”

“My symbiote seems quite fascinated by this new perspective,” Teal’c said solemnly.

“Like a new outlook on life kind of thing?”  Jack suggested.

“Indeed.”

“Listen, it’s a little awkward talking to you like this.  Do you think you could, maybe, stand up?”  Jack asked hopefully.

“As you wish, O’Neill,” Teal’c said, dropping gracefully to his feet.

“Thank you,” Jack said, finally able to look his friend in the eye.  “I came to tell you that Doc cleared Daniel and me for duty.  We have a briefing at 0900 tomorrow.  SG-1 is back in business.”

“That is indeed good news,” Teal’c said.  “I am pleased for you both.”

“Thanks, Teal’c,” Daniel replied.

“It does not appear he wrapped it around your neck, Daniel Jackson,” Teal’c said, observing the brace in Jack’s hand.

Daniel winced.  “Uh, no, at least, not yet.”

“Excuse me, but ‘he’ is standing right here,” Jack grumbled.  “You thought I was going to be mad at you for this?”  Jack asked, holding up the brace.

“The thought had crossed my mind,” Daniel confessed.  “You can be a little stubborn when—”

“Stubborn?  Me?  Look who’s calling the kettle black.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Daniel asked, his back stiffening.

“For crying out loud, Daniel.  When it comes to stubborn you—”

“I believe you should both stand on your heads,” Teal’c interrupted.

Jack and Daniel stared at their teammate in silence.

Teal’c eyes stared back impassively.

Daniel’s lips twitched into a smile.  “Point taken,” he acknowledged.

“Yeah, yeah, whatever,” Jack said, waving his hand, “but I prefer to keep my head up here.”

“If you should reconsider, O’Neill,”

“You’ll be the first to know,” Jack said.  “We’ll let you get back to your head thing.  Daniel has some work to do.”

“I do?”  Daniel asked in surprise.

“You do,” Jack replied.  “Let’s go.”

“Um, maybe I should stay here and try—”

“You’re coming with me,” Jack said, grabbing Daniel’s arm and tugging him towards the door.

“I’m, uh, going with Jack,” Daniel said to Teal’c.  “I’ll see you later.”

Teal’c bowed his head to hide his smile as his teammates took their leave.

                                    ******

“Where are we going?”  Daniel asked again as Jack strode down the hallways like a man on a mission.

 “I thought you archaeologist types were supposed to be patient,” Jack grumbled.

“We are.  I am,” Daniel said.

“Well, I ain’t seeing it.”

“Jack, if you’d just—” Daniel stopped in his tracks, his nose sniffing the air.

“What?”  Jack asked, suppressing a grin.

“Can’t you smell it?”  Daniel whispered, afraid if he spoke too loud, the delicious aroma would vanish.

“What?  Oh, you mean the coffee?  We’re near the kitchen,” Jack said reasonably.

“No, no, no, no,” Daniel said, waving his hand.  “That’s not coffee, that’s…coffee,” he said, closing his eyes and inhaling deeply.

Jack chuckled and shook his head.  “You, my friend, are one sick puppy.  Follow me.”

“Hmm?”  Daniel said distractedly.

“Crap, you’re getting stoned on fumes,” Jack said incredulously.  “Come on, this way.”

Daniel followed obediently, his eyes widening as the heady aroma of fresh ground beans became stronger.

“Jack?”

“No more questions, Daniel,” Jack said dismissively as he walked into the kitchen.

“Colonel O’Neill, everything’s ready.”

“So I can smell.  Thanks, Turner,” Jack said to the burly cook.  “We can take it from here.”

“Jack, what is this?”  Daniel asked quietly as he surveyed six pots of black, steaming coffee.

“What do you think?  It’s a taste test,” Jack answered.  “Turner selected six brands of coffee beans, ground them minutes ago, and you are going to choose three.”

“Choose three?”  Daniel asked, puzzled.

“Yes, three.  Work with me here, Danny.”

Daniel gazed at Jack, comprehension dawning in his eyes.

“At last, the light bulb goes on,” Jack smiled.  “You can pick out two brands for us to take off-world, and one for your office.”

“I can do that?”  Daniel asked, bewildered.  “I mean, it’s allowed?”

“I pulled in a few favours,” Jack shrugged.  Daniel didn’t need to know the brunt of the cost was coming out of Jack’s pay cheque.  “I’m just sorry I didn’t do it sooner.”

Daniel felt a lump in his throat and looked at Jack with liquid eyes.

“Hey, it’s only coffee,” Jack said, pleased with Daniel’s reaction.  “Come on, taste them while they’re fresh.”

“I don’t know what to say,” Daniel murmured.

“Daniel,” Jack said, placing his hand firmly on the younger man’s shoulder.  “Why did you make this for me?” he asked, holding up the knee bandage.

Daniel stared at the bandage.  He knew why he wanted to make the bandage.  He wanted to help.  He literally felt Jack’s pain and it appalled him.  He blinked rapidly and looked back at the waiting pots of coffee.  They shimmered through tear-filled eyes.  Ma’chello’s device had nearly cost him his life, but it had also opened his eyes to another’s suffering.  More importantly, it had strengthened a bond of friendship that was so important to him that the need for it sometimes terrified him.  He felt Jack’s hand tighten on his shoulder followed by a gentle shake.

“I see you understand,” Jack said, his own voice suspiciously thick.  “Now, drink up.”

Daniel smiled and swiped at his eyes then lunged for the first pot.

“And pick out something strong because with this baby on,” Jack said brandishing his brace, “you’re gonna need it to keep up with me.”

Daniel turned and flashed a grin that made Jack go all warm and mushy inside.  Damn, how do you do that?

“Come and join me, Jack.  Maybe you’re taste buds haven’t reverted yet and you can help me choose.”

“Okay, but start with something mild.  I don’t have the iron-clad stomach that you have,” Jack warned.

“Oh, and this coming from the man who’d eat chili for breakfast if it was available,” Daniel snickered.

“Excuse me, Colonel O’Neill?  Dr. Jackson?”

The two men turned to see Turner filling the doorway.

“Hey, Turner, what’s up?”  Jack asked.

The cook glanced nervously over his shoulder then set desperate eyes on Daniel.

“The smell in here is attracting a bit of a mob back there.  You’re, uh, not going to drink all of this are you, Dr. Jackson?” he asked worriedly.

Jack laughed and said, “Relax, Turner, even Daniel has a coffee threshold.”

“And Colonel O’Neill will be delighted to serve the coffee himself when I’m done, won’t you, Jack?”  Daniel said, the light in his eyes dancing merrily.

“Why not,” Jack shrugged.  “Turner, tell that mob of yours to settle down.  Daniel and I will be out shortly with the goods.  Right?”  Jack added, looking at Daniel.

“Wouldn’t miss it,” Daniel smiled.

“Thank you, sirs,” Turner said, exhaling a relieved and grateful breath before returning to his domain.

“Hell, I didn’t think anything could faze him,” Jack murmured, his curiosity piqued.  “Back in a sec.”

Daniel merely nodded as he was absorbed in picking out the right blend to start with.  His e
yebrows arched when Jack came back, chuckling to himself.

“What?”  Daniel inquired.

“Now I now why his apron was all tied in a knot,” Jack snickered.  “That mob out there?  Hammond and Teal’c are at the head of the line.”

“Ouch,” Daniel said, wincing in sympathy.  “We better make this quick then.”

“No, this is for you, Daniel,” Jack said seriously.  “The general and Teal’c will keep that lot under control.  I don’t want you to rush things and make a hasty choice.”

“Jack, the worst of this lot will be so much better than what we already have,” Daniel said, pouring out two samples from one of the pots.

“No, I don’t want to hear it,” Jack said, holding his finger up for silence.

“Okay,” Daniel conceded.  “Here, try this one,” Daniel said, handing a cup to Jack.

Jack took the cup and held it up.   “To good knees and to good beans.”

Daniel grinned and held his cup up next to Jack’s.

“And to good friends,” Daniel added.

“Best friends,” Jack corrected, his dark eyes infusing Daniel with warmth that rivalled the coffee in his hand.

“Best friends,” Daniel agreed, smiling broadly as they clinked their cups together noisily in friendship and in love.

 

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Disclaimer: Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of Stargate (II) Productions, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions. This story is for entertainment purposes only and no money exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. This is a parody for entertainment purposes only. The original characters, situations, and story are the property of the author. This story may not be posted anywhere without the consent of the author.