A little piece of paradise
All publicly recognisable characters and places are the property of MGM, World Gekko Corp and Double Secret Productions. This piece of fan fiction was created for entertainment not monetary purposes and no infringement on copyrights or trademarks was intended. Previously unrecognised characters and places, and this story, are copyrighted to the author. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.
Category: Humour; episode tag; h/c
Season/spoilers: Season 4 - Tangent
Series: Part of Scribe's Shower Series
- I've kind of lost count so let's call this one number 12<g>
Warnings: Maybe... possibly.. perhaps.. some nudity?
Summary: Jack and Daniel take time out
Archive: Please link to my websit Author's Notes: This is for all those who weren't able to join in the fun at MediaWest - hopefully this give you a smile or two this weekend<g>
"No luck?" Daniel's voice was low and urgent as he moved to where Sam was working on one of the Tok'Ra scout ship's control panels. He sighed heavily as she shook her head. "What are we going to do? He smells like a rancid yak."
"There's nothing we can do," Sam replied, straightening up.
"But it's five days to the nearest planet with a Stargate." Daniel mentally cursed the fact they couldn't simply go back to P2C-527 where he and Sam had originally rendezvoused with Jacob nor return straight to Earth thanks to the ship's cloaking device having blown when the hyperdrive engines burned out. "You have to tell him."
Sam shot Daniel a hard look.. "Me? Tell the colonel... No way!"
"You're second in command," Daniel said, pointedly. On the periphery of his vision he caught amusement on the face of Jacob Carter as the Tok'Ra pretended to be busy with the scout's controls. In comparison, Teal'c was apparently oblivious to the conversion as he sat beside Jacob, his face its usual inscrutable mask.
Sam shook her head at Daniel and returned her attention to the damaged control panel. "That' s exactly why I'm not going to tell him. Besides, unless I can fix this..." She gestured at the panel. "There's no point in telling him."
"There must be something we can do." Daniel turned to Jacob. "Surely you carry a spare set of clothes?"
Jacob shook his head. "This mission was arranged in haste. Luxuries such as toiletries and..." His gaze moved to the panel Sam was working on. "A working shower were not high on the agenda."
Teal'c tilted his head. "Our symbiotes are capable of regulating natural bodily functions, Daniel Jackson. The need for daily cleansing is not a necessity for either Jaffa or Tok'Ra."
"Like self-clean ovens?" Daniel asked sarcastically. He blew out an exasperated breath and folded to a sitting position on the floor, his arms over his head.. "This is worse than travelling tourist class in Madras."
"C'mon, Daniel," Sam protested. "It's not that bad."
"Easy for you to say," Daniel retorted. "I'm the one sharing sleeping quarters with him."
"Wait a minute." Jacob started tapping his control panel. "I think I may have a solution to your problem, Daniel."
"Really?" Daniel scrambled to his feet, his eyes on the shimmering patch of air above the control panel that indicated Jacob had fired up the holographic projector. As he took a step forward, Jack's voice sounded from the doorway behind him, making him start.
"You have a problem, Daniel?"
"Jack! You're awake." Daniel's heart sank as he saw Jack was not only awake but clearly feeling a whole lot better than he had been a couple of hours earlier. In fact - oh, crap - it looked like Jack was on an 'I've narrowly avoided death' high. Not that he wasn't glad Jack had narrowly avoided discovering a new meaning to the term 'death glider', it was just that post-near-miss Jack could be a little hard to take.
Sure enough the colonel grinned with enthusiasm as he covered the distance between himself and Daniel and casually tossed his arm around the younger man's shoulders. "Yep. Wide awake, Danny-boy. Now - what's the problem?"
"Actually Jack..." Daniel wrinkled his nose and squirmed out from under Jack's arm. As the colonel turned innocent brown eyes on him, Daniel felt his nerve fail. "You tell him Sam."
"Daniel." Sam tilted her head to one side, her expression and tone one of warning.
"Sam." Daniel retaliated, raising his eyebrows and throwing in a quick bat of his eyelashes for good measure.
"Tell me what?" Jack demanded, his gaze flicking from one to the other.
Sam narrowed her eyes at Daniel before speaking. "The shower isn't working, Sir."
This time Daniel knew from Sam's face he wasn't going to get away with any more. He wrapped his arms around his chest and shot Jack an embarrassed smile. "Thing is Jack...ummm... well it's... you know when..."
To his relief, Jacob intervened. "What Daniel is trying to say, Jack, is that you could use this. In fact we would all greatly appreciate it if you used this." A holographic image of a tree-fringed pool of sparkling water appeared above the control panel. Water cascaded into the pool via a fifteen foot waterfall at the far end. "We call it Oasis."
"Imaginative name," Jack commented. He sniffed at his armpits before pinning Daniel with a questioning look. "Bit strong, huh?"
"I've smelt worse," Daniel offered, trying to make amends. "Abydonian mountain goat, for example. Or two-week-old yak milk. Then there was..."
"Thank you, Daniel." Jack cut him off. "So how far is this Oasis place?"
Jacob turned to his control panel. "ETA... two hours from now."
"How about I drive?" Jack ousted Teal'c from the co-pilot seat with a simple nod of his head. He surveyed the controls with relish. "Sweet."
Beside him, Teal'c drew in a noisy breath, his chest filling to its full extent. His solemn gaze fell on Jack. "On the contrary O'Neill, I think the word you require is 'sour'.">
Daniel sighed as Jack surveyed the pool for a second time while holding a zat gun at the ready. Maybe Jack had developed an aversion to water? That had to be the only explanation for the overly cautious approach he was taking to the idea of stripping off and showering al fresco. After all both Carters had reassured him the place was safe.
"You're sure there's no dangerous wildlife here?" Jack asked for the third time.
Of course he could be brain-damaged. Daniel winced at his own sarcasm - okay, that wasn't even remotely funny. Jack was just being cautious because he nearly died in a booby-trapped death glider. Things like that tended to shake a guy up. Hell, it had shaken Daniel enough and he'd just been part of the rescue team. He pulled in a breath, determined to be patient. "You heard what Jacob said, we're not likely to come across anything other than the occasional parrot-like bird - and apparently they're really shy."
"Haven't you seen Barbarella?" Jack demanded.
Daniel raised his eyebrows in question.
"Your education is sadly lacking," Jack chided. "Jane Fonda? Classic Sci-Fi?" As Daniel shook his head, Jack continued. "There's this scene where the killer budgies..."
"Killer budgies?" Daniel tilted his head to one side and pulled a disbelieving expression.
"Never mind." Jack changed tack. "It's a great movie. I'll rent it for you when we get back." His gaze returned to the water. "What about insects?"
"Nothing that bites or stings." Daniel tried not to sound weary, but the pool was glistening, the sun was hot and the appeal of getting out of the clothes he'd been wearing for over twenty-four hours was almost overwhelming.
Jack's gaze swept across the shimmering surface of the pool. "Pirahanas?"
"Just get in the damn water, Jack!" Daniel gave up with the patience thing, convinced now Jack was being deliberately awkward. He began to strip off his own clothes, quickly shedding boots, socks and tee-shirt. "This place is a paradise with the sole exception of the smell wafting from your direction."
"No need to get personal," Jack retorted, finally following Daniel's lead and removing his clothes.
"You'll probably want to wash those first," Daniel commented, indicating Jack's flight suit and underwear. "Lay them out on that rock and they'll be dry in no time."
"Sheesh," Jack complained. "Who made you laundry monitor?"
"Just trying to help," Daniel retorted as he kicked off his boxers and made a run for the water. He raced knee-deep and then dived. God! He broke the surface and gasped for air. The water was freezing. Bone-numbing, teeth-chattering, even, to borrow a phrase from an old friend, willy-shrinking cold!
Crouching on the strip of sand that served as beach, Jack seemed oblivious to Daniel's plight. He was too engrossed in complaining about the laundry service as he moved to the water's edge carrying his filthy flight suit. "You're the one who went native on Abydos, you ought to be doing this. My washing skills don't go past selecting the right program on the machine."
Three strokes of over-arm and a couple of stumbled steps brought Daniel back to knee-deep water. "Right," he replied slowly, wondering if blue was a flattering colour for him. "They don't cover personal hygiene on black ops survival courses then?"
Jack dumped his flight suit in the water. "We learn how to cover ourselves with animal dung to confuse sniffer dogs..."
"That's disgusting," Daniel protested. He wrapped his arms around his chest and tried not to shiver as the icy water lapped around his legs. So much for his plan to swim to the waterfall. A different idea formed. "Look, how about I do the laundry while you shower."
"Really?" Jack looked up from the sodden material of his flightsuit.
"Sure." A pang of guilt speared Daniel as Jack smiled appreciatively, unaware of his ulterior motives. "Well... you are the one in need of a shower." He hurriedly began to wade back to dry land... and warmth. He was so cold he actually had to look down to check everything was still there.
"So... what's it like?" Jack asked.
"Like?" Daniel's eyebrows danced again.
"Oh." Daniel pulled a face. "Kinda... cool."
The two men gazed at each other for a moment, Daniel trying not to feel uncomfortable about his bare-faced lie. Breaking the eye contact, Daniel scurried to his discarded clothing, fumbled in a pocket and then tossed a small bottle to Jack.
"Camomile and lemon shampoo. Put sunlight into your hair." Jack raised his eyebrows as he read the label.
"I...ummm... borrowed it." Daniel said, adding hastily. "From Sam's pack. She won't mind."
"Ahhh." Jack turned towards the water.
Daniel grimaced behind Jack's back as the colonel stepped into the pool. Jack's shoulders stiffened as the water washed over his bare feet. Turning his head, he met Daniel's gaze. "Cool?!"
Daniel decided this was a good moment in which to be thoroughly engrossed in washing Jack's flightsuit. Ducking his head down he set too with vigour. A couple of feet ahead of him he heard a murmured swearword, a loud splash and then an even louder curse. He risked glancing up and saw Jack swimming towards the waterfall as though a school of piranhas really were on his tail.
Jack kicked out for the waterfall, trying to ignore the icy chill that was making his muscles feel like lead. Daniel was so going to pay for this. He should've known the sudden offer to wash his flightsuit had an ulterior motive behind it.
He sucked in an urgent breath and kicked his feet harder, both to increase his speed and to just reassure himself his toes hadn't frozen hard and dropped off. Damn, but it was... The thought stopped. Actually it was getting warmer.
Jack ducked his head into the water just to be sure. Yep, the temperature was definitely above frigid here. Three strokes further on and it was almost bearable. Another two and it was pleasantly cool, rather than brass monkey cold.
It dawned on Jack it was shallow too. Tucking his legs under him, he found smooth, if somewhat slippery, rock beneath his feet. He was only a couple of yards from the waterfall now, the water chest high. Pushing his way against the current he headed towards the cascading white water. It was definitely warmer here.
A quick survey of his surroundings told him why. The water cascading over the fall came from a shallow surface stream that was being warmed by the sun. A second, more powerful stream, entered the pool to his right from what appeared to be an underground source. Jack smiled to himself as he glanced back to where Daniel was being industrious with the flightsuit. This was one bit of information he was definitely not going to share. In fact he might just tell Daniel the waterfall was even colder than the rest of the pool before insisting that since he'd washed and showered Daniel had better do the same - in the nice icy water near the beach.
With a sigh of delight, Jack stepped beneath the spray, relishing its power as it washed the stench of his experience in the deathglider from his body. Now this was a real shower!
Flipping the lid on the shampoo, he squeezed out a generous portion and began to massage it into his hair. Boy, but that felt good. The smell was kind of feminine but he could live with it in exchange for feeling clean. As for the promise of sunlight in his hair - that was going to be tough to deliver. Thanks in no small measure to working with Daniel for four years his hair had more in common with Welsh slate on a rainy day than sun-kissed lemons.
He ducked his head under the curtain of water to rinse the shampoo off, rolling his head as the spray massaged the back of his neck. What the...? As he opened his eyes, he realised he was looking into a cave. Neat. There was nothing Jack liked more than exploring caves. Well, except for when it also involved hunting for an archaeologist who was about to feature on the menu for a hoard of hungry Unas of course. That particular cave exploration hadn't been anywhere close to fun. This, however, was.
Satisfied Jack's clothes were as clean as they were going to get, Daniel wrung them out and headed to the tall rock he'd designated for drying them. It stood slightly higher than his head, one flat surface angled a few degrees off vertical to create the perfect surface for catching the heat of the sun. Pressing his right hand against the smooth, black surface he relished the warmth that radiated into his frozen fingers. Yep, Jack's clothes would dry in no time spread out here in the sun.
For a moment he considered soaking up the sun's rays himself. He wasn't one for sunbathing as a rule but with the promise of five days in the cramped confines of the Hatak to look forward to, he'd grab whatever pleasure was available. Then again, a bad case of sunburn wasn't going to make the journey more bearable - he should probably get a move on in washing and dressing, although the idea of fully submersing himself in the aching cold of the pool for a second time held about as much appeal as a visit to the infirmary. Perhaps he could just get away with a quick rinse in the shallows...
Sudden movement in the bushes behind him and to his right startled him. Damn it. Jack's wariness had rubbed off on him. He glanced over his shoulder, saw nothing and reminded himself sternly that there was nothing dangerous on the planet. Killer budgies indeed...
A shadow fell across the rock. A very tall human-shaped shadow. Daniel turned round very slowly. Oh shit! He'd gladly trade killer budgies for the six-foot, spear-wielding natives who were now standing between him and his clothes.
The cave was just that. A hollow in the rock. Nothing more. Nothing less. Slipping back into the water, Jack ducked under the curtain of water intent on nothing more strenuous than ensuring Daniel got thoroughly cold and wet before they returned to the scout ship.
As his gaze scanned the shoreline, his stomach lurched. Oh crap! What the fuck happened to no danger?
Daniel - a very naked Daniel - had his back pressed up against a large flat rock, the wrong end of a spear waving dangerously close to the hollow at the base of his throat. A quick head count came up with six natives - six huge, angry looking natives - and one very vulnerable looking archaeologist. From the looks of it, Daniel was doing his best to talk with the leader - an ugly-looking goon with feathers in his hair. Jack stood motionless not knowing whether calling out would result in Daniel being skewered or whether remaining quiet would have the same effect, albeit less obviously his fault.
As Jack wrestled with his option he saw Daniel cautiously reach behind him and then hold out the wet flight suit. The goon snatched it up and passed it to one of his cohorts, who made some weird whooping sound that was indistinguishable as being delight or disgust. Whichever it was, the spear didn't move from Daniel's throat. Damn it.
Okay, think. He was black ops trained. He could get Daniel out this situation alive and unscathed. Yeah, sure, his mind snickered. If you had a knife or a freaking zat gun. Just what the hell could he achieve given he was currently standing stark naked under a waterfall? His gaze scanned the pool, desperately looking for something, anything that would act as a weapon. Nothing except Carter's shampoo. Great!
A yelp of pain from the shore wrenched his attention back. Jack swore. Daniel was now sprawled face down and on the wrong end of no less than four spears. As Daniel cautiously began to straighten up, he pressed the heel of his hand to his forehead, just above his right eye, but not before Jack caught a glimpse of dark red. The big ugly guy with the feathers had obviously knocked him down with the handle of his spear.
Jack clenched his jaw in frustration. He had to do something! Okay - he could get closer. That would be a start. His gaze swept the foliage. There! A branch hanging low over the water, barely four feet from the shore and, judging from the shadows, resting over deep water. Taking a breath Jack dived beneath the surface and kicked towards the site.
Surfacing as silently as possible, his attention was riveted once more on the scene on the beach. From here he could here Daniel's voice, the calm tones belying the tension he must be feeling.
"...will rise up from the lake if you hurt me again."
What? That didn't sound much like Daniel's usual peaceful explorer speech. Jack's eyes narrowed as Daniel risked glancing over his shoulder in the direction of the waterfall. The unspoken appeal in Daniel's eyes bit into him as the younger man's gaze searched the apparently deserted pool. The prod of a spear against his collar bone drew Daniel's attention back to Feather-goon.
Daniel licked his lips, a sure sign he was nervous. "I'm telling you - the water god will rise up with foaming hair and face..."
The water god? Jack peered around the lake almost expecting to see this mythical being.
Daniel was beginning to sound desperate, his voice rose louder. "The great water god - the one known as O'Neill - will rise from the depths with *foaming* hair!"
Oh boy! Daniel couldn't be serious? The sight of the spearhead wavering close to Daniel's jugular convinced Jack he had no choice. He flipped the lid off the shampoo, suddenly incredibly grateful he'd held on to it, and squeezed out a generous handful which he lathered his hair. Just for good measure he spread the foam around his face and shoulders.
"...roaring and snarling..."
Roaring and snarling? What did Daniel think he was for crying out a loud? A one-man special effects team? Another yelp of pain from the beach silenced Jack's complaint. Without further thought he launched himself from the cover of the branch, doing his best to roar, snarl and look suitably god-like while smelling like a refugee from Carter's bathroom.
To his amazement the natives seemed to buy the act. Feather-goon stared open-mouthed, his eyes wide with fear before he abruptly turned on his heel and headed into the bushes. For an instant Jack held his breath as the other natives seemed to be considering the options of following his lead or turning Daniel into shish kebab. It suddenly occurred to him to put the breath to good use and he let loose a roar Daniel's Unas friend would've been proud of. It worked. The natives dissolved into a disorganised group, squawking in open terror as they fled along the narrow strip of beach, tripping over each other in their hurry to escape.
Blinking furiously as shampoo slid down his forehead and into his eyes, Jack splashed ashore just in time to help an extremely shaky Daniel to his feet.
Jack angrily swiped at the shampoo as he peered round for the zat gun. He spotted it lying on a small rock where he'd left it before stripping off his clothes. Two quick strides and it was in his hand. Two strides back and he was ready to start fussing over the condition of his teammate. Carefully easing Daniel's hand away from his forehead, he winced sympathetically.
"That might need a stitch or two." His gaze swept Daniel up and down. A bruise that looked far too like a spear handle was colouring up nicely on Daniel's ribs and blood was oozing from a deep scratch along his collar bone. Jack turned towards the bushes, wishing there was something he could zat to ease the anger he felt. Goddamn it! This was supposed to be a paradise. A quick shower in an idyllic setting. Not a game of beat up the naked archaeologist.
Daniel's hand rested on his arm, the touch reassuring. "Jack, I'm fine. This was all my fault."
"Your fault?!" Jack turned to face Daniel in astonishment. "The way I saw it they were the ones poking sharp weapons in your face."
"They were just frightened. From what I could gather Heru'ur recently uprooted them from their home and dropped them here. I should have expected them to be hostile when I mentioned his name." Daniel sighed heavily and waved his hand towards the water. "Now I've made things even worse. They'll probably never come near this pool again."
Jack couldn't resist a smile. "Oh yeah. The foaming water god - real scary."
Daniel gave a small smile. "Hey, it worked didn't it?"
"You know what, Daniel? You and I have to work on your cover stories." Jack pulled in a shaky breath as it suddenly hit him just how much of a long shot they'd pulled off. He pushed the thought aside, not liking the image his mind was only too willing to supply: Daniel lying dead on the beach. He shook his head, repeating the name with derision. "The foaming water god?"
"Yeah well, I was thinking on my feet," Daniel protested. "I bet you couldn't have come up with anything better."
"Sure I could."
"Oh? Like what?"
"Like..." Jack pursed his lips as he desperately tried to come up with something. Ah! He had something. He smirked triumphantly. "Like the 'Great and Powerful Oz.'"
Daniel's jaw dropped open, but he quickly snapped it shut. Much to Jack's disappointment he clearly wasn't going to rise to the bait.
"The Great and Powerful Oz?" Daniel repeated as though he'd never heard the name before. He adopted an unimpressed expression. "Pur-lease. I'd have to be really desperate to use that!"
Jack simply smiled knowingly, passing up on the obvious reply that Daniel seemed to make a habit of getting into desperate situations. A rustling overhead startled him and he whirled round, zat gun at the ready. As though aware of the danger, a brightly coloured bird squawked in indignation and took flight.
"Killer budgie?" Daniel asked, apparently now finding their situation highly amusing.
Jack glared at him, but then his gaze moved to the gash on Daniel's forehead and his expression softened. Time to get Daniel back to Carter - her medical skills were considerable better than his own, and if Daniel was concussed... "Let's get dressed and get the hell out of here, okay?"
"Right." Daniel turned towards the rock. "Ummmm..."
Still half-blinded by the shampoo, Jack felt heart sink at Daniel's tone. "Daniel?"
"About your clothes..."
"I thought a gift might help..."
"I'm not going back to the ship naked, Daniel. You gave my clothes away, I get to have yours. It's in the Regulations."
"Like hell it is."
" Rule 25, Sub-paragraph A, section 2.2."
"You just made that up."
Jack spun round, determined to get his hands on the one remaining set of BDUs before his team-mate. "Errr... Daniel?"
"Where are your clothes?"
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