Page 36

    "What do I get if I do it?"
    She noticed that Dr. Jackson immediately shut up and stared at the Colonel, startled he was even considering it.
    "These are the terms."
    Sink or swim time.
    Both men were looking at her as if she had the power to destroy them.
    "First, you have to send me an even bigger arrangement of flowers than the one Col. Maybourne sent. Second, mention that we're together to Dr. Jackson just outside his office where the Grapevine listening device is planted."
    Both men looked at each other sharply, trying to remember how many things they'd said in the doorway of Daniel's office.
    Jack felt a noose tightening around his neck with each word Corvores said.
    Daniel was going to die a really humiliating drowning in a coffee mug or something only Daniel could do.
    The flowers wouldn't be a problem, Janet would...
    Oh for cryin' out loud...
    There goes any chance there.
    Not that there was any...
    Oh doesn't matter.
    There isn't any now.
    It's just one thing of flowers and a casual word in front of Daniel's office.
    Then an accidental hole in the wall as soon as I find the listening device.
    Then completely coincidental security sweeps along that entire corridor from then on.
    Her next words made him gag.
    "We'll pretend to meet secretly a couple times, but deny it vehemently and let General Hammond, who probably knew all about this, catch us and pretend to be upset about it. Then, we stop any and all unnecessary contact from then on. Let the rumor-bees do what they will with it."
    "Are you insane? Jack can't do that!"
    Corvores stopped and looked like she was considering his words.
    "Okay. I'll just go let General Hammond know what I know, see how he reacts, and bring a formal complaint against the both of you as well as the General since it would've taken his authorization to tamper with the tape which will bring up a completely different complaint..."
    Jack forced his stomach to still.
    "I'll do it."
    Corvores just looked at him, no expression.
    No relief, nothing.
    "Good. Thank you, sir."
    She then walked right past him and out the door.
    Daniel just looked at him, obviously feeling so guilty he would probably spring for the pizza and anything else Jack mentioned needing for the "Welcome Home" party the gang had been planning for when Cass came home.
    That was fine with Jack.
    Daniel could pay for the stupid flowers and the repair of his office wall, too.
    Jack was going to go spend some time with a porcelain buddy.
    Until his stomach was empty enough to deal with the thought of people thinking he and that...his mind failed him.
    Jack just dropped his head back into his hands as nausea rolled over him again.
    Daniel's hand on his shoulder did nothing to help, for once.
    It was his fault.
    He felt Daniel settle in beside him.
    Jack hunched over just to make Daniel feel even more guilty.
    "You are both fools. I do not understand why you do not remove her."
    Jack's head shot up and he glared at Daniel.
    "Don't you know what she's going to say before she says it?"
    Daniel winced.
    "Sometimes, but it's not like I read her mind, Jack. She is a soldier who has fought for over a hundred years and thinks in that context. I don't think she actually meant to kill her...oh, scratch that."
    Jack just lifted an eyebrow.
    Daniel shrugged.
    "She's completely different from me. Totally separate views."
    Jack tried to care, he really did, but his stomach was losing the battle.
    "I'm gonna puke."
    Daniel jumped up and out of the way so fast, Jack almost laughed.
    He slowly pushed his way up the wall, a bit dizzy.
    Daniel stepped behind him, well out of harm's way and gently guided Jack to the infirmary where they obviously interrupted a serious discussion.
    Jack barely made it to a bedpan before getting sick and then dropping to the floor, exhausted.
    Dr. Warren took barely a step before Teal'c lifted Jack onto a bed.
    A nurse moved SG-1's chair to Jack's bed and Daniel slumped into it.
    It was the least he could do.
    Guilt just swamped him, drowning out Jolinar's amusement.

        * * * * * *

George glanced around him.
Col. O'Neill was now in an infirmary bed.
 All he could do was hope another body swap wasn't in progress.
 As soon as he thought it, he realized his decision was made.
 "They're staying here. You're leaving."
Jacob and Martouf both moved to speak, but George held up a hand,               cutting off their protests.
"You became a Tok'ra willingly. Both of you. None of them did except for        maybe Jolinar. Until I'm sure they're healthy and ready for duties of any kind, they're not even leaving this planet much less going into a danger zone."
Lantash turned to Jacob.
"He is right. You did not have to agree to the conditions, but you did. You must..."
"Oh shush up."
Martouf laughed inside at Lantash's astonishment.
*Selmac has obviously decided to adopt some of Jacob's odd terms.*
Jacob smiled slightly, but the grimness wouldn't be overshadowed.
"George, if you order me to leave, I will, but I don't want to leave Sam. Not with her like this."
Martouf took back over as Lantash retreated, watching warily to see whether he'd be forced to leave alone.
The General looked at Jacob, regret shining in his eyes.
"I know you've both had a horrible shock and I promise to do everything I can for them. You're more than welcome to return once you've assessed the situation, but unless something changes when Capt. Carter wakes up, I think you should both leave when you were already scheduled to do so."
Martouf sighed in relief.
Daniel had listened to everything and vacated the chair for Teal'c to sit watch.
He grabbed another one from inside Janet's office and put it beside Sam's bed for her dad to sit watch for her.
Jacob gave him a sad, grateful smile as he sat down.
*May I..*
*Yes, absolutely. Just remember the ground...*
*Rules, yes, I know.*
Jolinar looked at her husband, unable to contain how much joy being with him again brought her.
She blocked out Daniel's natural envy at her reunion with the one she loved, knowing he was trying to hide how much he wished it was his wife that had come back.
She didn't believe Sha're would be retrieved, but she also hadn't believed she would look at her husband again, much less talk to him or touch him, so she wasn't sure where she stood.
Kissing her husband lightly on the cheek, she grinned at Daniel's protest and the General's shocked face.
*It was not a real kiss.*
*Whatever...just don't let Jack see, okay?*
They were both amused and Daniel retreated, filling his head with thoughts of creating his own language...anything to give Jolinar privacy with Martouf so he wouldn't actually know what they did.
"Come with me?"
Martouf just nodded, trying to keep tears out of his eyes as he followed his wife from the infirmary.

* * * * * *

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