Dead Man Kneels beside Osiris
 


 

Chapter Sixty Eight

"A ping pong paddle."
Janet smiled at her, grabbing a chance to have non-combative conversation.
"Anything else?"
"Actually, it's a quite common shape. It could be a pan, a beheaded beaver..."
"Yeck...Amber!"
"It could be."
*She's close.*
"Now, instead of just imagining what things it resembles, you try to come up with a funny or unusual description."
Jack was getting a bit impatient.
"For example?"
Daniel started to speak, but Janet motioned him quiet.
*Janet, here's the list of descriptions...page seven.*
*Thanks.*
"For example...it could be a grapefruit with a sight for aiming squirts."
Jack looked at it again.
"Okay...yes, it could be."
"A hairbrush with no bristles for bald men."
Amber's eyebrows raised a bit and she reached over to ruffle Jack's hair.
"I'm sure she didn't mean anything by that, Jonathan."
Daniel tensed, waiting for Jack to rise to the bait.
Seeing that, Jack smiled.
"It's okay. We worked out a deal and her end is getting to call me Jonathan."
"Oh...okay."
Daniel didn't look completely convinced, but wasn't going to push it.
*She calls him Jonathan. Talk about intimate.*
*I don't think it's the fastest way to his heart, Janet. He didn't exactly look like he enjoyed it.*
*True.*
"It could also be a cowardly tennis racket with no guts."
Jack looked like he was starting to regret asking, so Janet hurried.
"But it really is..."
She motioned to Daniel, who grinned.
"A sassy olive sticking out its pimento."
They both turned to Jack.
Both corners of his mouth trembled a bit and his eyes were twinkling.
"I think I may like this."
Janet took the book back and put Sam in charge.
*Umm...why?*
*If I don't, I'll kiss him.*
*Ah...understood.*
Everyone looked up expectantly.
"I'm just in charge...nothing special."
"Oh."
*Talk about big build up, small performance.*
*There was almost no dizziness with that switch. If it stays that way, we can just switch at will and they'll just have to get used to it.*
"There a reason why everyone's still here? Not that I'm complaining..."
Sam looked at Corvores, who shrugged.
"I don't tell him everything."
Sam smiled at the look the Colonel sent that direction.
"Sir, no one's allowed to leave the base for another forty five minutes because of a computer glitch at the first guard check."
"Ah...okay."
Jack took the book and pen from Sam and drew a swirly thing.
"Everyone take a good look at it and think of one for that."

They looked at it, all concentrating and then Jack shoved a small mountain of papers over to sit on his desk.
Sam kept half an eye on what the Colonel was doodling...not droodling...on the white paper.
Janet sat up in surprise.
*Janet heart Jack? I haven't seen that since I was in school. Wouldn't have expected the Colonel to, well...be so mushy.*
Janet smiled, blushing a bit.
*It's sweet. Cassie has it all over her notebook...Cassie heart Josh, and of course, each of her friends wrote whom they were currently drooling over on it, too. I never thought the Colonel...*
Janet started laughing as Sam indignantly took the pen out of the Colonel's hands and crossed out the "Sam heart Martouf", adding a "Sir!" to the paper since Daniel, Teal'c, and Corvores were in earnest discussion and she didn't want to alert them.
The Colonel snatched the pen back with a mock glare and continued writing.
Janet was still chuckling as she urged Sam to keep watching Jack.
Suddenly, Corvores looked over with a lot of suspicion.
Walking over, she looked at the paper, but before she could do anything, Daniel saw the "Danny-boy heart Amber" and hitting Jack's leg, he crossed it out and seeing Sam's written comment, added a "Jack!." to it for good measure.
Completely un-perturbed, Sam watched the Colonel simply write a quick "Daniel heart Sha're", "Jolinar heart Martouf", and as he was writing "Teal'c heart Drey'auc", Sam leaned her hip against his leg, causing the pen to jump a bit.
*That was not fair.*
Janet was laughing, fully trying to be indignant.
*Never know...might just be your body he's after. If so...*
Janet laughed harder at the glare Jack was giving Sam.
*Might want to mend that bridge, Sam.*
"It could be an invisible stargate with its wormhole undone."
Everyone turned to Corvores, everyone else having forgotten the Colonel's droodle.
Sam slowly started chuckling.
"It could be."
She took the journal from the Colonel before he could draw anything else and handed it to Daniel.
"I have a feeling it's a bit safer with you."
Daniel's grin widened to match hers.
"You're probably right."
A brief knock at the doorway announced Lt. Simmons.
"Dr. Fraiser, you asked me to tell you when departures to the surface were allowed again."
Sam just smiled, knowing from her brief experience in Janet to date, that people continually felt embarrassed when they addressed the wrong person.
Taking her smile the way she intended it, the Lieutenant ducked out of the room.
Daniel had been writing a few things on the black page, while Corvores edged out of the room.
*Wonder why.*
*She never sticks around for anything...meaningful, I guess.*
*Well, she's never pretended to like us.*
*True.*
Janet took over, as Jack and Teal'c exchanged a brief word before Teal'c followed Corvores out.
She perused what Daniel was writing, and took the pen to add a couple things to it.
He wrinkled his nose at her and then grinned.
"This is the first journal I've had that's been such a group collaboration."
Janet's eyes were amused as he took the book and pen back before waving to Jack and leaving.
As soon as they were the only ones in the room, Sam flipped over onto her stomach.
*Let me know when it's over.*
Janet dropped Sam's next book choice down.
*Thanks.*
Janet took the couple steps necessary to wedge herself between the Colonel's knees.
Shifting forward on the desk, his hands caressed her jaw before he leaned in and took her mouth in a shattering kiss.
Janet gripped his shoulders as she felt his arms slip around her to keep her from falling as her knees trembled and then quit.
Part of her mind was actively recording the little sounds he made as she angled her mouth over his.
Then, he was pulling back.
Her eyes slowly opened, happily noting his weren't quite open, yet, either.
His mouth was still slightly slack and she watched his tongue dart out to wet his swollen lips.
He started to say something, then closed his mouth, obviously changing his mind.
He pushed himself off the desk, gently moving her backwards, smiling at her curiosity.
Pulling her back to him, he wrapped one arm around her shoulders, his free hand splaying itself in her hair.
As soon as her eyes drifted half closed at the brief massage her temple was receiving, she had barely a moment's warning before he leaned in and captured her lips again.

* * * * * *

"Your face might freeze that way, you know."
Daniel grinned at the disgust on Corvores' face.
They stood outside Jack's office, knowing how Jack and Janet were saying good-bye and a small, very evil part was enjoying the fact Corvores was forced to listen to every thought and feel every emotion Jack was going through.
He could just imagine where Jack's mind was at the moment.
Yet another part of him was ecstatic his friends had found each other and were slowly walking down that well-traveled road together.
Another part was so envious he could hardly stand it.
*We will find her.*
*I know...it's just taking so long*
*I understand.*
"I do not believe that would happen, DanielJackson."
"It's just a figure of speech, Teal'c."
"I see."
Daniel slanted him a glance.
"You okay?"
"I am well."
"You gonna wear that cap Cassandra made for you?"
Teal'c turned to him.
"I will stay here with O'Neill. Dr. Fraiser, Capt. Carter, and you will be safe, but I do not believe O'Neill and Dr. Corvores are out of danger. I will not leave them unprotected."
Daniel couldn't think of a single reassurance with so many strange things going on.
He looked over at Corvores, the sheen from the glaze on her eyes still catching his attention each time.
"How are they going to have you explain the way your eyes are?"
Corvores looked up at him, confused.
"I don't know. Excuse me."
Daniel froze as she walked briskly down the corridor.
*Did I do that?*
*I do not believe so...but if you did, you might wish to try to fix it before it, too, is irreparable."
Daniel shook his head, trying to empty his mind of the picture of the tears in Corvores' eyes.
"Do you not wish to follow her?"
Daniel looked into Teal'c knowing eyes.
He, of all people, knew how observant Teal'c was when it came to emotions.
"Yes, I do. Tell Janet I'll meet her at the car, okay?"
"Of course."
"Thanks, Teal'c."
Sighing quietly, Daniel started off after Corvores, finding her about to enter the lab.
Seeing the nearby storage room, he grinned.
Semi-privacy and continuing a tradition.
Jolinar's amusement was wordless as she shuffled through each of his memories involving the storage room.
*Why are you interested in my experiences in the storage rooms?*
*They hold a special place within you.*
Daniel felt a measure of very wry humor rise in him at the things that continually got him into a storage room.
Tonane, when the "Spirits" were making everyone disappear, with Jack...well, lots of times with Jack, and of course, with Corvores.
What was one time more?
Corvores had stopped as Daniel touched her arm.
"I'd really rather be alone, right now, Dr. Jackson."
*Do it.*
*I'm not sure...*
*You tell complete strangers, yet not a potential friend?*
"Call me Daniel...okay?"
Corvores turned to face him.
"Why?"
"Why?"
"Yes, why? Why would you want me to call you anything at all except as a way of identifying that you're who I'm speaking to?"
It suddenly hit Daniel how lost she looked.
"I'm just thinking that if we're going to have to spend time together..."
Corvores face blanked, the only sign of past emotion were the small tears that cleared her bottom lid, before descending in deceptively random trails across her cheek and nose before dropping to the collar of her blouse.
"Fine. Daniel. Call me Amber if you wish."
Daniel sucked in a breath, all too aware that had not gone the way he wanted it to.
"Listen..."
"Actually, Daniel. I need to start work on a few things since the General has made it clear that Jonathan and I have a curfew. So if you'll excuse me..."
Without waiting for another sound from him, she gracefully pivoted and walked into the lab.
*Well that went well.*
Jolinar was silent.
*Jolinar?*
*You are a fool. You closed and locked the door, then tried to walk through it. Of course you failed.*
Daniel was stunned.
*Explain.*
*She is an ally. Nothing more. Not a friend. Each time she has reached out, she has been re-buffed or misunderstood, with no apology forthcoming when the blunder was revealed. Now, you seemingly reach out to her, then clarify your action by saying it did not matter who she was...only that if you were going to be forced to spend time with her, you should pretend to be friends.*
Daniel was silent, now.
He hadn't thought of it that way, but reviewing his words, he could see how that would come across.
*She will not be receptive to you now. Wait for another time...then take it.*
Daniel didn't answer, mentally analyzing his actions and attitudes for the past few days.
Jolinar took control and walked down the corridor to meet the doctor, allowing her host his private thoughts.

* * * * * *

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