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Category: Episode tag, h/c, humour?
Series: Number 14 in Scribe's Shower
Season/spoilers: Serpent's Venom
Warnings: Can you have a shower scene without nudity?
Summary: Daniel receives an unexpected request.
Author's Notes: Would've had this out earlier but I believe Teal'c, Daniel and my boss are working together in a conspiracy to prevent me writing. Then again - maybe I'm just paranoid...
A summons from Teal'c? Daniel was more than a bit anxious as he hurried through the SGC corridors in the wake of the nurse who had delivered the message.
When he'd departed the infirmary the previous evening, Janet Fraiser had reassured him Teal'c would make a full recovery from the injuries inflicted on him by Ter'ok, Heru'ur's first prime. So why had Teal'c summoned him with such urgency now?
The nurse apparently trained for the 200 m sprint in her spare time. She glanced over her shoulder and gave Daniel a look that clearly suggested he was somewhat lacking in athletic prowess. Daniel grimaced as she turned away and resumed at a pace a Unas would've been proud of. It wasn't that he was purposely dawdling. It was just he was trying to figure out what was waiting for him and the nurse had been less than forthcoming with details. She was, as she had bluntly informed him, simply the messenger.
Daniel tried to force some optimism as he narrowly avoided colliding with Sergeant Siler at a corridor intersection. Maybe Teal'c was just bored? Except if that was the case, Teal'c would've summoned Jack. As Jacob had pointed out before they set off for the Tobin minefield, Jack was a lot of fun to have around. Not to mention that since Jack and Teal'c had spend several hours trapped together in a rogue deathglider the two of them seemed to have formed some kind of mutual warrior-brother thing that had triggered some uncomfortable memories of his early days on the team when he was very much the civilian member. Daniel hurriedly shut that line of thought down, it sounded too much like sour grapes even to his own mind.
So if Teal'c wasn't bored... The memory of Apophis' dying host, a terrified Egyptian scribe who had lived through centuries of unimaginable horrors, leapt into Daniel's mind. With it the melodic chant of the Egyptian death rites came unbidden, running through his memory like a black silk ribbon.
Was that why Teal'c had summoned him? What if Janet was wrong? Although Teal'c was human, the goa'uld symbiote he carried made his physiology entirely alien. Add in the effects of a goa'uld torture... Who other than Daniel could assist Teal'c in the rites of death?
Daniel felt his stomach twist at his thoughts. Please God, don't let that be the reason. He turned the final corner and the infirmary door came into view. Five strides ahead of him, the nurse was already holding it open, her face impatient as he slowed.
"Yes, yes." He cut her off with a wave of his hand, his index finger pointing upwards as though he was about to make some important comment. Instead he pulled in a long breath. "Just... give me a moment, okay?"
For the first time, a hint of sympathy showed on the nurse's face. "I'll tell Doctor Fraiser you're here."
"Daniel. Teal'c will be pleased you're here." Janet Fraiser smiled a welcome as Daniel stepped into the infirmary. Moving to his side, she laid a hand on his arm and lowered her voice. "We've ascertained his wounds are relatively superficial as far as surface skin damage is concerned so you don't need to worry..."
From across the infirmary a nurse waved a telephone receiver in the air, cutting across Janet's conversation. "Doctor Fraiser, you're needed in the Gateroom. SG-8's code has just been received and they're reporting casualties."
"Damn." Janet spun away from Daniel, shouting orders to her staff.
"Janet..." Daniel appealed, his need for information overcoming his desire to not get in the way of her dash to the Gateroom.
"I've given my permission, Daniel," Janet called over her shoulder. "Go talk to Teal'c. He'll explain."
"Permission? For what?" Daniel felt his stomach knot again. Was it really too much for someone would tell him what the hell was going on? He shook his head in dismay as Janet hurried out of the infirmary followed by what seemed to be her entire team. The only person left was the messenger nurse, who promptly vanished into Janet's office, closing the door behind her.
Somewhat reluctantly Daniel made his way towards the curtained-off bed that was Teal'c's current residence. He hesitated one more moment then, steeling himself for the worst, stepped through the curtain.
Teal'c was propped upright on the bed by several large pillows. His eyes were closed; his expression the passivity of kel'noreem. The apparent peacefulness was belied by the ashen pallor of his skin, however, that and the cut and bruised nature of his generous lips, both stark reminders of the suffering he had gone through.
"Teal'c. Hi." Daniel wrapped his arms around his chest and tried not to react to the sight of Teal'c's battered body. "You ummm.... called for me?"
Teal'c opened his eyes and focused on Daniel with obvious effort. When he spoke his voice sounded harsh - Daniel could imagine only too well the agonized screams that had been ripped from him during the torture and which had now taken their toll.
"I am in need of your assistance, Daniel Jackson."
"Oh?" Daniel cursed himself for the non-commitment, but seeing Teal'c looking as weak as a day-old kitten was still a shock and the memory of the Egyptian scribe simply refused to budge from his mind.
Teal'c studied him with serious brown eyes. "My symbiote was badly hurt by Ter'ok's punishment..."
"He didn't punish you, Teal'c. He tortured you." The words were out of Daniel's mouth before he could stop them. Aware he was being less than tactful and that Teal'c was no doubt a long way from coming to terms with what happened to him, Daniel chewed at his bottom lip. Teal'c, however, merely inclined his head and continued as though Daniel hadn't spoken.
"As a result it may be some time before I am fully healed. That is why I need your help."
Daniel raised his eyebrows not seeing how he could possibly assist.
Teal'c continued. "I need to bathe, Daniel Jackson."
Daniel blinked, still not understanding why he was there. "You want me to tell one of the nurses?"
"No!" Teal'c's expression made it clear to Daniel that the Jaffa relished bed baths just about as much as he did. However, he wasn't prepared for Teal'cs next request. "I wish you to assist me in bathing."
Daniel's jaw dropped opened and he wrapped his arms tighter around his chest. Eyebrows dancing he somehow managed to squeak, "Me?"
"I have asked Doctor Fraiser's permission."
"You want *me*... to help *you*... wash."
Another look, this time with hints of an adult being patient with a child. "No, Daniel Jackson, not to wash. I require your assistance to shower."
Teal'c began to swing his legs out of bed, the action slow and apparently painful. "Doctor Fraiser said I would find soap and towels in the washroom."
"Soap and towels."
Teal'c inclined his head towards Daniel. "And shampoo."
A hint of a smile tugged at Teal'c's lips and Daniel felt himself colour.
"Shampoo." His gaze drifted to Teal'c's bald head. "That's a joke, right?"
"You appeared to be repeating everything I said," Teal'c observed.
"Repeating everything? I was? Oh." Daniel considered for a moment. "Yes. I guess I was. Sorry. It's just that..." He shifted uncomfortably under Teal'c's calm expression. Okay it was no big deal. Teal'c needed help in the shower and, for reasons Daniel could totally empathise with, didn't want the assistance of the infirmary staff. He could handle that. It wasn't like he'd never seen Teal'c in the shower before. He shrugged his shoulders, trying to convince himself as much as Teal'c. ""It's nothing. Everything's fine. Let's ummm...." He gestured towards the washroom, then hesitated. "Soap. You said soap?"
Teal'c didn't reply as Daniel suddenly became animated.
"Wait, right here."
"I am not going anywhere," Teal'c replied as Daniel turned away.
"Right. Of course not." Daniel gestured with his right hand as he turned back, his index finger wagging in the air as though chastising himself for his own foolishness. He shot Teal'c the briefest of smiles. "I'll be... right back."
"Jack! I didn't know you were back on the base." Daniel blinked in surprise as he burst into the communal changing area and found not only Jack but four new recruits stripping off for the showers.
"Oh yes, I'm back," Jack replied, favouring the recruits with a sour look. "Back and in need of distraction. Intelligent distraction. What do you say - you, me and the chess board? Thirty-minutes from now?"
"What?" Daniel headed towards his locker.
"You. Me. Little black and white pieces on a board?"
"What? Oh, chess. Ummm... Not now, Jack. Damn!" Daniel swore as he dropped his locker key into a puddle of water in the changing room.
"More speed, less haste," Jack observed from across the room. He frowned thoughtfully. "Or is that more haste, less speed? Never can remember." He picked up his towel and began to move past Daniel towards the showers. "So which is it, Daniel? More speed..."
"Not now, Jack," Daniel repeated as he shook the water off the key and fumbled with the lock. Damn thing never did open smoothly.
"Let me." Jack's hand folded over Daniel's. Much to Daniel's chagrin, the locker door flew open as Jack twisted both their hands to the right. "All in the wrist action," Jack said with a smirk.
"I had it," Daniel replied ungratefully.
Jack's smirk merely widened. Determined not to rise to whatever game Jack thought he was playing, Daniel rummaged through the contents of his locker. He couldn't resist a triumphant 'Got it' as his fingers folded around the object he was seeking.
"Little shower gel emergency, Daniel?" Jack asked obviously bemusedas Daniel produced a bottle of bright green gel.
Daniel closed his locker and yanked out the key before turning to Jack. "Actually..." He shook his head. "You wouldn't understand."
"Try me?" Jack called as Daniel headed for the door.
"Not now, Jack," Daniel repeated his mantra. "Not now."
"Got it!" Daniel arrived back at Teal'c's bed breathless but triumphant. "Mint and tea tree. Naturally antiseptic and smells great." He felt himself colour as Teal'c raised an eyebrow, but quickly regained his composure. "Sam gave it to me last time I was in here." He waved towards the infirmary shower. "Trust me - it smells way better than the stuff in there."
"I see." Teal'c began to push himself off the bed again.
"Ummm, Teal'c... Jack's back. You want me to get him for you?"
"For what purpose?"
Daniel grimaced. "Well I just figured, maybe... you know... you'd rather Jack helped you with this."
Teal'c's head jerked upwards. "No! Colonel O'Neill cannot assist me with this matter."
"Oh." Daniel's eyebrows danced at the vehemence of Teal'c's refusal. "Sorry... I... ummm..."
"Daniel Jackson, do you not wish to aid me?"
"No. I mean, yes. I mean... God. It's fine Teal'c. Really."
As Daniel moved to his side and slid an arm around Teal'c's waist he mentally kicked himself. Teal'c probably didn't want Jack to see him in his current debilitated state. After all, they were both soldiers - it probably went against some military code of honour, or at least some Jaffa code. He ducked beneath Teal'c's shoulder preparing to take the Jaffa's weight across his shoulder and biting back the sour little voice in his head that was once again whispering that of course it was okay for him to help Teal'c - he was just a civilian. Jeez, Jackson. Just get over it, why don't you?!
A groan escaped Teal'c's lips dragging Daniel's attention back to the here and now. He peered into Teal'c's face, trying to judge just how much pain the Jaffa was in. "Are you sure you're okay?"
"I am... fine." Teal'c slowly moved his right arm so it rested along Daniel's shoulders. "I was suspended in chains for many hours."
"Oh God. Sorry." Daniel suddenly realised Teal'c's arm muscles had to be incredibly sore. He moved to pull away but Teal'c's large fist closed around his upper arm.
"I shall be fine. Please assist me to the washroom."
"Are you really sure about this?"
Reluctantly Daniel took a step forward, trying to take as much of Teal'cs weight as possible. A shudder ran through Teal'c as he took his first step and Daniel felt him suck in a sharp breath. Two steps further on, however, Teal'c began to relax much to Daneil's relief.
"How is Rak'nor?" Teal'c asked as Daniel risked shifting his shoulders to take more of his weight.
"Oh, he's okay. Jack's been debriefing him in between scaring the hell out of the new recruits," Daniel replied, glad of the change of subject. He adjusted his stride to Teal'c's unusually slow amble. "Mind you Jack can't decided whether to shoot him for betraying you or kiss him for your rescue."
Teal'c gave a small smile. "I believe a public kiss from Colonel O'Neill would serve as both punishment and gratitude."
"I'll let you be the one to suggest that to Jack," Daniel replied with a soft laugh as he kicked open the shower room door and assisted Teal'c into the cool interior. "Okay... now exactly how much... assistance... do you need?"
Teal'c nodded towards one of the benches. "Please help me sit. I can undress myself."
Daniel did as he was asked. He blew out a loud breath as he bent his knees and even more of Teal'c's weight transferred to his shoulders. "There... you go!" Phew! It had never occurred to Daniel just how strong the nurses and orderlies had to be - it wasn't even as though Teal'c was unconscious.
He turned his back as Teal'c reached for the hem of his white infirmary-style pyjama top, feeling uncomfortably voyeuristic at Teal'c stripping off and also worried about what injuries might lie beneath the clothes. The last thing Teal'c needed was him standing there looking shocked. Fortunately the ideal distraction was right in front of him and with barely covered relief he headed into the nearest shower cubicle. "How hot do you like your water?"
Without thinking he yanked the water control. Cold water exploded from the showerhead, hitting him squarely in the chest. "Arggghh! Damn it!" Daniel beat a hasty retreat. "What the hell was I thinking?" He snatched up a towel, mopping futilely at his soaked tee-shirt.
He glanced up and saw Teal'c had succeeded in removing the top and was now kicking off his pants. For one brief moment he was unobserved as he took in the extent of Teal'c's injuries - the intense bruising focused around his larval pouch, the chafed and bruised skin around both wrists and a catalogue of other bruises and scrapes. Daniel bit down hard on his bottom lip as his anger flared against Teal'c's abusers. For one dizzy moment he was tempted to search Jack out and tell him shooting Rak'nor was definitely the better of the two options.
Teal'c caught and held his gaze as though reading his mind. "Rak'nor cannot be blamed for my injuries, Daniel Jackson. When I went to Chulak I knew there would be risks. There are many like Rak'nor who know the truth and yet struggle to accept it. I knew my return might lead to torture or even death. Could I ask others to join me, if not willing to pay the price myself?"
Daniel wrapped his arms around his chest, a shiver running through him that had nothing to do with the cold damp cotton pressed against his skin. "I understand that Teal'c. But knowing you were prepared for this..." Without releasing his self-hug Daniel made a small gesture towards Teal'c's injuries with his right hand. "Doesn't make me feel any better about it happening."
Teal'c inclined his head. "You, of all people, know we are at war, Daniel Jackson."
Daniel sighed, his weariness with all the pain and anguish coming to the fore. His voice was soft, barely more than a whisper. "I know." Closing his eyes, he drew in a deep breath and mentally set his resolve back in place, the roundness in his shoulders disappearing and his back straightening. "So..." He opened his eyes and studied Teal'c. "You ready for this?"
"Indeed I am." Teal'c held out his right hand indicating Daniel should help him to his feet.
Once again Daniel slid beneath Teal'c's shoulder, taking the Jaffa's weight as they moved into the cubicle.
"Thank you." Teal'c's voice was rich with gratitude as the first drops of warm water splashed against his bare skin.
"Can you stand on your own?" Daniel asked, trying not to let his doubt show in his voice.
"Yes." Teal'c breathed the word out with a sigh of pleasure.
With a small smile, Daniel slipped from his arm and escaped the cubicle, turning his back to allow Teal'c his privacy once again.
The fresh aroma of mint filled the air together with the woody tang of tea tree and the ever-present sharpness of infirmary disinfectant. Daniel breathed it in, the scent bringing back memories of the last time he was in the infirmary - a stay courtesy of Osiris and the dreaded ribbon device. Sarah... Sha're... Oh God - so many 'victims' of war. Teal'c was right - he knew what it was to be at war, battling on and on even when at times there seemed to be no hope...
"Yes?" Daniel jerked from his dark thought.
"I am again in need of your assistance."
"Oh?" Daniel turned very slowly.
Teal'c held out the shower gel to him. "I cannot reach my back."
Daniel blinked. Oh boy. Jack should really be here doing this. He was the one who didn't think twice about stripping off his clothes, not even in front of a bunch of new recruits all of whom were a good twenty years younger than him. But... Jack wasn't here. Teal'c had asked - no, demanded - his presence. So unless he was planning on risking serious insult, he'd better get on with it.
His gazed moved to the cascading water. Should he remove his clothes? Even though they were in the privacy of the infirmary he really didn't fancy being caught half-dressed in the shower with Teal'c. Besides he'd seen the way those recruits had looked when Jack had helped him open his locker - if this was added to the SGC rumour mill as well... Daniel sighed. Since when did he give a damn what other people thought about him?
Turning his back on Teal'c he quickly stripped of his pants. His tee-shirt, although already wet, joined them on the bench. For a moment his hand went to the waistband of his boxers... No, he decided, the boxers stayed. Finally ready he took the gel from Teal'c and stepped into the cubicle. Carefully he squeezed out a dollop of gel and began to massage it into Teal'c's broad shoulders, taking care to be gentle where colourful bruises marred the ebony smoothness.
"Sorry!" Daniel winced as the soap mingled with the water and escaped his control causing Teal'c to hiss as it reached an area of raw abraded skin.
"I am fine. Please continue." Teal'c replied, only to hiss again moments later.
"Sorry!" Damn it. Daniel hadn't expected the task to be quite so difficult. "Oh... Owww!"
Teal'c turned his head towards Daniel. "Are you hurt?"
"No." Daniel grimaced. "That was just an empathy owww."
"I see." Teal'c turned away. "Perhaps I should point out then that Jaffa do not say 'owww'."
"Indeed not. We growl."
"Growl?" Daniel considered the idea.
"No Daniel Jackson. I was demonstrating."
"Oh." Daniel couldn't help but smile at his own mistake. "You growl, huh?"
"Right." Daniel licked his lips and decided to give it a try. "Grrrrrrrr."
"You are a most proficient student."
"I had another teacher before you. Big smelly Unas. You'd get on famously. Grrrrrrrrr."
A female voice sounded from the doorway. "Is everything okay in here?"
Daniel dropped the shower gel and spun round to see the messenger nurse peering through the doorway. "Yes! Yes, everything's just fine. Really. Just fine."
The door closed with a gentle click.
Beneath his hand, Daniel could feel Teal'c shaking with laughter.
Seconds later a deeper sound vibrated through the Jaffa's body. "Grrrrrrr." Uh-oh. The growl sounded only too genuine. Sure enough Teal'c pulled in a sharp breath. "It appears to hurt more when I laugh."
"Yeah," said Daniel. "That happens." He still feel the heat of colour that had flared up his face at the nurse's interruption. "Kind of serves you right, though."
"Perhaps so," Teal'c admitted.
"So..." Daniel retrieved the shower gel. "You done here?"
As Teal'c stepped out of the cubicle, Daniel quickly fetched him a towel, noting as he did so that it wasn't in the least bit fluffy. He really ought to have words with Janet about the infirmary laundry. Then again Jack was probably the one who ought to do that - he probably had the power to requisition large, fluffy towels especially for SG-1. Thinking of Jack, though, reminded him of something else...
"Teal'c... you do know Jack would've been okay helping you out here." The words were out of Daniel's mouth before he could stop them. He wrapped his arms around himself again. "I'm just saying... you know... given you and Jack are... friends."
Teal'c studied him closely. "You think I asked for you because O'Neill is a warrior and you are not? That I would not choose for another warrior to see me in this weakened state?"
Daniel winced inwardly at Teal'c's sharp perception. "It crossed my mind."
"You are wrong."
"Daniel Jackson, your own dictionary describes a warrior as a man or soldier experienced in war. Are you not therefore a warrior?"
Daniel hesitated. "Well... I suppose. If you define it that way."
A warrior. Daniel tried the word out for size and shook his head. Sure he was willing to fight for what he believed in. Willing to die for it even. But a warrior? That would take some thinking about. Another thought came to him.
"So if it wasn't that, Teal'c. What was it?"
Teal'c gave a small smile. "I do not like the smell of Colonel O'Neill's shower gel."
"Oh." Daniel felt his own lips twitch in amusement, but then something occurred to him. "Wait a minute. You didn't ask me to get my shower gel."
Teal'c's smile evolved into a distinct smirk. "Have you not heard of warrior cunning, Daniel Jackson?"
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