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Category: episode tag, humour
Season/spoilers: Season 3 - Foothold
Summary: Jack's obsession with base security lands Daniel in hot water
Author's Notes: I've been feeling the need to write something grutuitously fluffy and silly and I think this fits the bill. A big thanks to Deborah Kraft for the inspiration. Apologies for any formatting problems - you won't believe the problems I've had extracting this story from my work computer! Shhhhh.... Don't tell the boss<g> Please disengage brains.... Buckle up, and enjoy...
"Okay kids. The base is on alert. So keep your eyes and ears open for anything unusual."
"We do know what an alert means, Jack," Daniel complained. "We've had four in as many weeks."
Daniel was seriously unimpressed at being dragged away from his translation work just as he was beginning to make a break through. It wasn't even as though the alert was real. The incident with the aliens who had impersonated SG-6 and very nearly taken over the base given everyone a bad attack of nerves over future foothold situations, but Daniel secretly believed Jack was going slightly over the top with the number of security drills he'd implemented.
As Jack shot him a sharp look across the briefing table, Daniel returned it with one of his own. "Some of us have real work to do."
"Really, Daniel," Jack's tone dripped sarcasm. "I'll bear in mind the importance of translating goa'uld shopping lists the next time some reptile is running around DC in your clothes while you're attached to a ceiling by alien snot."
"Actually, sir," Carter interrupted. "Daniel's clothes would've been part of the image generation and the secretions were more like spider's silk than..." She stopped as she received the full heat of the colonel's glare. "But I guess that's not important right now."
"No Carter, it isn't. And neither is Daniel's shopping list."
"Actually it's an inventory," Daniel muttered. "That's what you get *after* you've been shopping."
Jack ignored him. "Right now, the most important thing is base security. Agreed, Teal'c?"
The Jaffa raised an eyebrow. "The security of the base is indeed a high priority, however, I believe Daniel Jackson..."
"Ah-ah! Don't want to hear it." Jack pushed his chair back from the table. "Now, if you'll excuse me - " He fixed Daniel with a scathing look. "I have some real work to do too."
As Jack left the room, closely followed by Teal'c, Daniel shot Sam an appreciative look. "Thanks."
"For what?" she asked, gathering up her papers.
"Trying to distract Jack from doing me severe harm."
Sam smiled. "Sometimes Daniel I think you get off on provoking him."
"And sometimes, Major, you have a very perverted mind."
"Who? Sweet little me?" Sam shot him a look of mock innocence. She headed towards the door. "I'm heading for the commissary. You want to grab lunch with me?"
Daniel glanced at his watch and grimaced. A whole hour wasted on Jack's pet project. "Actually..." He was itching to return to his translation. "I need to... but I could really use your help on something. Want to drop by my office when you're done?"
"Oh, and Sam..."
"If you could bring me a tuna fish sandwich and a large..."
"Coffee," Sam finished for him with a long-suffering sigh. "White. No sugar. Double strength. Yes, Daniel. You know, sometimes I do sympathise with Colonel O'Neill."
Sam headed for Daniel's office muttering quietly to herself. It was bad enough she had to wander the base fully armed because of the mock alert without Daniel getting her to play delivery girl. She swore softly as the heat of the coffee began to make its presence painfully known and she had to juggle the mug, the sandwich and the files she was carrying. Daniel had better have something interesting for her or this tuna sandwich was going straight to the base cat.
She was two steps from his office door when she heard the explosion. Gun shot! Shit - from Daniel's office. Fear skittered up her spine, but then instinct kicked in. She dropped everything - papers fluttered to the floor like autumn leaves and coffee spilled in a streak of fragrant brown liquid as she drew her gun with one hand and hit the nearby alarm button with the other. Blood pounding in her ears, adrenaline surging, she cautiously approached Daniel's office, suddenly fearful of what she might find. One shoulder against the wall, she curled her body around the doorframe, gun at the ready.
Oh God! In the dimly lit office she could see Daniel was standing by one of the filing cabinets, gun still in the holster on his hip, one hand clutched to his forehead. His face was streaked with blood - glistening wet and obscene in the light from the computer monitor on top of the cabinet. Globules of dark red oozed slowly down the lenses of his glasses, dripping onto his ashen cheeks. Hi head jerked up as she stepped forward.
"Sam? I..." he began shakily, lifting his hand to touch the red gore covering his shirt.
"It's okay, Daniel," Sam blurted out automatically, knowing it was anything but okay. She'd only heard one shot but it looked like Daniel had been hit more than once. How in hell he was still upright defeated her, but she had more important things to worry about. Like where Daniel's assailant had gone. Nobody had passed her in the corridor and the office appeared empty except for Daniel himself.
Two strides took her to his desk. She snatched up the phone and hit a single digit, barking out the words the moment the phone connected. "Medical emergency, Doctor Jackson's office."
The sound of distant running feet in the corridor told her security would be here any second. She glanced around the office and reassured herself that it really was empty except for herself and Daniel and any stray Retu. Since there wasn't much she could do about the latter she shoved her gun into its holster and hurried to Daniel's side.
"Really - I'm..." He licked his lips, looking somewhat nauseous. "Fine."
"Let me take a look at you," she said softly. As she gently began to unbutton his shirt, his hands flew to hers.
"Ummm... Sam, what are you doing?"
"It's okay, Daniel." She extricated herself from his grip and renewed her assault on his buttons. "I need to see your chest, Daniel." He was obviously so deeply in shock he hadn't registered the fact he'd been shot yet. She should really get him to lie down before he fell down.
"Really, that isn't necessary. I'm... " He pulled in a sharp breath as she succeeded in her task of unbuttoning his shirt.
"Whoa! Daniel!" She blinked in astonishment at the perfect, lightly tanned skin she had just revealed, her surprise having nothing to do with the impressive display of pectoral muscle and everything to do with the lack of bullet holes. She ran a hand over the smooth skin in disbelief.
"I work out with Jack sometimes," Daniel offered awkwardly.
Her attention jerked upwards, but she was almost immediately distracted from his comment. Cautiously she reached out and brushed her fingers against his blood-spattered forehead, wiping the gore away and finding more undamaged skin beneath. A sweet, fruity aroma reached her nose and she stared at her fingers in disbelief.
Daniel shifted his weight from one foot to the other, an embarrassed look on his face. "I think it's a blackcurrent smoothie."
"A blackcurrent smoothie?"
Daniel was beginning to turn as red as the liquid dripping down his face as he began to do up his shirt. "Umm... yeah."
Sam's eyes narrowed as the penny dropped. Of course! The base was on alert awaiting the latest of Colonel O'Neill's emergency exercises to bit them in the ass. And she, stupidly, had walked right into it and immediately assumed it to be real because it was Daniel who was apparently dripping blood all over the floor. "Oh I get it. You're in on this with Colonel O'Neill. God, Daniel. You scared me half to death there."
"W...what...?" Puzzlement flickered across Daniel's features.
Sam leaned forward confidentially as the security team burst into the office. "Don't worry, Daniel. I'll play along." Her gaze swept Daniel from head to toe and then she spun on her heel, barking orders and waving her red-stained fingers in the air. "We have a biohazard containment incident. Seal off the corridors. We need to get Doctor Jackson to the infirmary ASAP and we need a clean-up team in here."
"Sam!" Daniel grabbed her arm, looking more than a bit alarmed. "I don't think you understand. I'm fine. Really. It was just a -- "
She gave his arm a reassuring squeeze. "That's it, Daniel. Keep on with the act." She steered him towards the desk. "Maybe you should sit down or... tell you what , lie on the floor. You could roll around a little, clutching at your chest and moaning. You've seen Alien, haven't you?"
"Excuse me?" Daniel looked totally confused.
"Never mind," Sam said. "Why don't you just sit down and look distressed or something. Actually that nauseous look you did a couple of minutes ago - that was a good one." Giving his arm a reassuring squeeze, Sam turned back just as a medical team dressed in full environment suits arrived. "Boy. You guys were fast."
A petite figure stepped forward. Janet's voice sounding somewhat warped through the face mask. "The base is on alert, Major. We're ready for anything."
Sam nodded, and then waved towards Daniel. "I don't know what we're dealing with but it appears the substance is causing some confusion in the victim."
Fraiser stepped forward and took a firm grip of Daniel's arm. "I'll take it from here, Major. Doctor Jackson, if you would kindly lie on the gurney."
Daniel laughed, raising his hands in surrender. "Okay, I get it now. This is Jack's way of getting back at me for being pissy with him earlier, right? You can tell him he won. I really do have work to do - not to mention I need a clean shirt."
Janet leaned towards Sam. "He's no Hamlet, but he's not bad."
Sam nodded. "He had me fooled for a while there. Even managed to make himself go pale. Very impressive."
Janet turned her attention back to Daniel, her voice firm. "Doctor Jackson, you may be suffering from the effects of a potentially toxic substance. Please co-operate or we will be forced to restrain you."
"Restrain me? Janet. It's blackcurrent smoothie. Look." Daniel swiped a finger across his cheek, scooping up fruit flavoured gloop, and went to shove it in his mouth. "Hmmmpppphhh!"
He was knocked flying by two well-muscled airmen. Janet leaned over him as he stared up from his new position flat on his back on the floor, his arms pinned over his head. "You really don't want to digest that, Doctor Jackson. Not unless you want to get acquainted with a stomach pump. Okay gentlemen. Let's get him to the infirmary."
Moments later Daniel found himself securely strapped to the gurney. Oh boy! This was not happening. He twisted his head round, trying to give Janet an appealing look. "Janet, listen. This isn't what you think. Somebody left a half-finished smoothie in my office. It must've fermented, and I was unfortunate enough to be standing in range when the bottle blew."
Janet cocked her head at him. "Colonel O'Neill is getting quite inventive with these little drills. I thought the twenty dead bodies in the Gateroom was good, but this... Clever, very clever."
Daniel groaned in frustration. "I'm not playing a role in one of Jack's drills!"
"Nice try, Daniel, but we aren't going to fall for Colonel O'Neill's double bluff." Janet replied sweetly.
"Double bluff?" Daniel sighed. "Oh pur-lease. Don't tell me you think I'm trying to trick you into bailing half-way?"
"He hauled us over the coals for not sticking strictly to protocol last time because we knew it was a drill. We won't make that mistake again."
"Colonel O'Neill can be quite inspired at times," Janet interrupted. "And getting you to act on his behalf was good. But not good enough. We've got his number."
"But you haven't," Daniel protested. "I really did get in the way of an exploding smoothie bottle."
"No, Daniel," Janet replied firmly. "We're playing by the colonel's rules now. And that means you got in the way of some substance with, as yet, unknown properties. The base is now contaminated with goodness knows what and you..." The infirmary doors banged open as Daniel was wheeled in. "...have a date with the decontamination shower."
"Oh no. Janet, please... no." Daniel closed his eyes, screwing up his face in horror. "You're not going to put me through that. It's a drill for heaven-sake."
"Ah-ah!" Janet was triumphant. "So you admit it. You are part of Colonel O'Neill's drill."
Daniel groaned again. "He's going to pay for this."
Janet's eyes crinkled in amusement behind her mask. "I'll be kind, Daniel. I won't insist on the ice water cycle. Now how do you want to play the next scene?"
"I'm sorry?" Daniel looked confused.
"Well you can either be the co-operative patient who strips off his clothes and helpfully drops them straight into an incinerator waste bag or..." Janet raised her eyebrows. "You can play being out-of-your-head due to a dangerous alien... blackcurrent smoothie, in which case my nurses will be happy to remove your clothes for you."
Despite the colourful nature of Daniel's response, Janet's professional demeanour didn't waver. She nodded to the aides, who began to unstrap Daniel from the gurney. "I'm not quite sure that Colonel O'Neill's parentage is a relevant factor here, Doctor Jackson, but I think you've made the right choice. We much prefer co-operation."
He was wet. He was naked. And he was going to kill Jack O'Neill.
Daniel had quickly realised he was in a no-win situation, but he really couldn't believe that an exploding smoothie could land him in quite so much trouble. If he played along, everyone would assume he was a willing participant in one of Jack's drills and he'd end up in the decontamination shower. If he objected, the assumption would be that he was being deliberately difficult as part of the drill and he'd still end up in the decontamination shower only with a couple of infirmary goons for company. Yes, he was definitely going to kill Jack.
"Just one more cycle, Daniel," Janet called out cheerfully from the other side of the glass partition.
"You know you could just write in the log that we did this without actually doing it! " Daniel protested for the tenth time in as many minutes.
"Colonel O'Neill was most insistent we go by the book after the last drill," she replied.
"You know damn well he only meant up to a point," Daniel retorted. "If I'd been playing a gunshot victim you wouldn't have actually carried out surgery on me, would you?"
"True. Very true. But you're not a gunshot victim, Daniel. You've come into contact with a biohazard and the treatment for that lends itself to a practice drill quite admirably."
"Admirably for you maybe," Daniel muttered, wrapping his arms around his chest and hunching his shoulders in anticipation of another ferocious blast of soapy water. "I'm the one stuck in the wash cycle from hell."
"Sorry , Daniel." A hint of sympathy crept into her voice. "But given the choice between having you ticked off at me or being on the wrong side of Colonel O'Neill. .."
Daniel sighed. "I know. I know. Hit the button."
As he was once again deluged by hot, soapy water, he peered miserably down at his skin, red from the heat and the water pressure. God, he looked like a prune. He supposed he ought to be grateful Janet had stuck to nothing worse than soap and water -a real decontamination shower involved a host of chemical cleaners that had a tendency to actual strip the top layer of skin - but even so, five shower cycles was no fun and the thought that he could now win the award for cleanest member of staff was hardly a consolation. He wasn't going to wash for a week after this as protest.
He ran a hand through his hair as the water finally shut off. Yuck. It felt like straw, any natural oils thoroughly stripped from it.
"Can I get out now?" he appealed sourly, blinking soap-sore eyes at Janet through the glass. "I do have work to do."
" Nurse Kraft has been warming a towel specially for you," Janet replied sweetly. "But as for work. .."
Daniel glowered at her as the shower door lock released. "Janet. ..' His voice was low and warning.
"By the book, Daniel. And that means we have to keep you in for observation. At least until the end of the drill."
"Fine!" Daniel snapped the word and snatched the towel from the waiting nurse, trying to ignore the fact that he could add another name to the list of people who had seen him naked today. " Can I at least get something to. .."
The sound of the base alarm cut off his request for food.
Janet spun round as a medic burst into the room. "Medical emergency in the Gateroom, Ma'am. We have alien hostiles. .."
"Really?" Janet shot Daniel a surprised look that almost immediately moulded into one of embarrassed apology, but she was already heading out the door as he responded.
"See. See. See. See!" Daniel jumped up and down in exasperation, holding the towel precariously in place around his hips and gesturing wildly with his free hand. "I told you I wasn't part of the drill!"
"So Colonel," General Hammond leaned back in his chair as he flipped the report from the latest drill closed. "I take it you have some recommendations for us."
"Yes, Sir," Jack straightened up, ready to launch into a dialogue. Across the table, however, he heard the distinctive rumble of a grouchy archaeologist. He smiled sweetly at Daniel, ensuring every eye was now focused on his team-mate. "I'm sorry , Daniel, I didn't quite catch that comment you mumbled to your boots. Do you have something you wish to share?"
Daniel glared at him - a look that combined with the way his hair was sticking up in unruly spikes to make him look every bit the sulky schoolboy. "I said - my recommendation would be to ease up on the drills so some of us can actually do some work."
Jack's smile widened and he turned to Hammond. "Actually Sir, that is exactly my recommendation - well the bit about the drills anyway."
"It is?" Daniel sounded surprised.
"Yes, Daniel." Jack glanced at him and raised his eyebrows meaningfully. "The last drill was a resounding success despite some rather unusual circumstances involving the SGC medical staff."
General Hammond nodded his approval. "I'm glad to hear it, Colonel. I think we've all learnt our lesson regarding the potential dangers of a foothold situation. Hopefully these recent drills will ensure we're more alert in future." He glanced around the briefing table. "Now, if there's nothing else..."
"Well, Sir," Jack said quickly. "I do have one or two specific recommendations I'd like to draw to everyone's attention while we are all here."
"Very well, Colonel. " Hammond leaned back again.
Jack flipped open the file in front of him. "Well first I'd like to suggest we add an extra member to each security team. I have laid out my detailed reasons for this in my report."
Hammond nodded and Jack continued, ignoring the way Daniel was pointedly looking at his watch.
Several minutes later he was just about done. " And finally, Sir, I'd like to recommend that we increase the number of cleaning staff assigned to Doctor Jackson's office."
"W..w..what?" Daniel had been tilting his chair back at a dangerous angle and he came upright with a crash. "Increase the what to where?"
"The cleaning squad for your office, Daniel." Jack smiled smoothly, mischief in his eyes. "It's clearly a health hazard in more ways than one."
"Oh very funny," Daniel retorted, turning to Hammond. "Can I be dismissed now, Sir? I'm somewhat behind on my translation."
"Yes, Doctor Jackson." Hammond took pity on Daniel and shot Jack a warning look.
There was more than an air of long-suffering in Daniel's tone as he muttered his thanks and headed towards the door.
Despite Hammond's warning, Jack couldn't resist calling. "Can't wait to read the shopping list, Daniel. I just love knowing what old Apophis keeps in his bathroom closet."
He smirked as Daniel drew back his shoulders and stalked off.
Daniel was still in a funk two hours later when Jack arrived in the doorway of his office.
"If you've come to annoy me further, Jack, please do us both a favour and go away."
"Daniel. I'm hurt that you would think my intention is so shallow." Jack strolled through the door and perched himself on the far end of Daniel's desk. " Actually I've brought you something."
"Whatever it is, I don't want it," Daniel snapped, refusing to look up from his translation.
"Suit yourself," Jack replied, sliding apiece of paper into Daniel's line of vision.
"For goodness sake." Daniel snatched up the paper and started reading. " Jack's shopping list?" He glared at his teammate. "I really don't have time for this."
"Keep reading," Jack replied calmly.
Huffing out an irritated breath, Daniel turned his attention back to the paper.
"Beer. Bread. Cheese. Olives. One. .." He stopped and glanced at Jack, who was now gazing at the far wall, swinging his legs and looking nonchalantly pleased with himself.
Daniel cleared his throat and continued. "One bucket load of gratitude for Daniel for providing an excellent distraction from the real drill and thereby increasing its effectiveness." He made an exasperated snort.
"Keep reading." Jack said.
"One apology for leaving a half-consumed bottle of. ..Jack! That was you."
"Oops?" Jack offered, his face apologetic.
Daniel pulled in a long breath and kept reading. "One meal at a restaurant of Daniel's choice to repay him for a missing lunch. One new shirt to replace the one ruined by said bottle of exploding smoothie."
Daniel put the list down, a smile tugging at his lips. "If you think this lets you off the hook..."
"Well. ..I did bring something else by way of peace offering."
Thrusting his hand into the pocket of his pants, Jack produced a bottle and handed it to Daniel.
Daniel's eyebrows danced as he read the label. "Strawberry smoothie hair conditioner?"
"Carter told me about it." Jack grinned. "It's pink. Doesn't look anything like blood, and I figured it might help with your ummm. .." He leaned forward and ruffled the short spikes of Daniel's hair. "...problem. So, am I forgiven?"
Daniel considered for a long moment. "Dinner at *any* restaurant of my choice?"
Jack sighed and nodded. "Yes."
"Even that outrageously expensive seafood place?"
"Even that one. And yes, I'll wear a suit if you insist."
"Well, I don't know, Jack." Daniel tilted his head to one side, his lips forming a pout as he considered the apology.
Jack's confidence in his attempt to make the peace wavered. "Oh c'mon, Daniel. You know I didn't mean for my orders to result in Fraiser putting you through the wash-rinse cycle."
"It was *five* wash-rinse cycles," Daniel replied sharply. He picked up the bottle of conditioner, undid the top and sniffed cautiously. "To be honest, Jack, given the choice between dinner with you and this... I think I'd prefer to stay in and wash my hair tonight."
Jack caught the wicked gleam in Daniel's eyes as Daniel glanced up at him, head still bend over the bottle. The rat! Daniel wasn't just trying to make him sweat, he was damn well succeeding.
"Just can the protests, Jackson," he said, giving Daniel's hair another ruffle for good measure. ''I'll pick you up at seven."
He headed towards the door as the smile finally broke out on Daniel's face.
"In your best suit, Jack," Daniel called after him. "I expect nothing but the best! "
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