“Hey, Sam, you want to get some lunch?” Daniel asked, poking his head into her office.
“I’d love to. Just give me a second to save this,” Sam replied, typing on her keyboard.
“Watcha working on?”
“No, really,” Daniel smiled, “is it that sample from P2R?”
“No, really, it’s my vacation,” she grinned, swivelling her monitor around so he could see.
Daniel peered at the monitor. “Costa Rica?”
“It’s a possibility,” Sam replied with a shrug.
“You’re going on a real vacation?” Daniel asked in awe.
“You’re impressed, aren’t you?” she grinned.
“Very,” Daniel nodded. “Does Jack know about this?”
“Does Jack know about what?” a curious, but familiar voice asked.
“Hi, Jack,” Daniel said.
“Colonel,” Sam acknowledged, swinging the monitor back towards her.
“Aren’t you supposed to be meeting with General Hammond?” Daniel asked.
“About what?” Jack frowned.
“New recruits,” Daniel said. “You forgot, didn’t you?”
“Crap, what time is … damn,” Jack muttered as he stared at his watch. “Why didn’t you remind me?” he snapped, glaring at Daniel.
“Last time I reminded you about a meeting you bit my head off insisting you didn’t need a babysitter,” Daniel replied defensively.
“That was then,” Jack muttered.
“And this is now,” Daniel said. “Why is it—” he stopped as the phone rang. “That’s probably the general looking for you,” he said impishly.
“Carter,” Sam said, answering the phone. “General Hammond,” she said, sitting up straight. “Colonel O’Neill?”
“Not here, not here,” Jack mouthed, waving his hands.
“Yes, sir, he’s right here,” Sam replied, giving Jack the ‘I’m not lying to the general’ glare.
Jack threw his hands up in defeat and reached for the phone.
“Yes, sir. I’ll tell him,” Sam said, pulling back from Jack’s reach.
“Tell me what?” Jack asked after she hung up.
“The meeting you were late for has been postponed until 1500 hours. He tried to reach you earlier, but your line was busy,” Sam explained.
“Had it off the hook again?” Daniel asked.
“No, as a matter of fact, I didn’t,” Jack claimed. “I was checking on the day’s menu.”
“Great, what’s on? Sam and I were about to go,” Daniel said.
“And you didn’t invite me?” Jack groused.
“You had a meeting, remember?” Daniel replied.
“Oh, right,” Jack muttered. “Hey, that reminds me. Does Jack know about what?”
“What?” Daniel frowned.
“When I came in, I distinctly heard you say, ‘Does Jack know about this?’”
“Oh, that. Um, well, Sam’s planning a, uh,” Daniel said hesitantly, looking at Sam.
“Go ahead,” Sam smiled.
“Vacation,” Daniel finished.
“Get out,” Jack said.
“No, really, she is,” Daniel insisted.
“Carter?” Jack queried, his eyebrows raised.
“Well, with Teal’c going away next month to visit Ishta and the Stargate scheduled for maintenance, I figured it would be a perfect time to take a vacation,” Sam explained.
“A vacation,” Jack said sceptically. “Like what, physics camp at Los Alamos? Or a Rubik’s cube convention? Do people still do that thing?” he asked, looking at Daniel.
“Why are you looking at me?” Daniel frowned.
“I don’t know,” Jack shrugged. “It’s a geeky scientist thing to do, isn’t it?”
“What’s your point?” Daniel asked with narrowed eyes.
“Uh, guys?” Sam said, “We’re talking about my vacation, remember?”
“Oh, right,” Jack said, looking at her. “So, no physics camp or Rubik’s cube?”
“No, sir. As much fun as they’d be, but I’m talking about a holiday as in: fun in the sun, relaxing, reading a book, you know, the traditional kind of thing.”
Jack's jaw dropped and he looked at Daniel.
“It’s true,” Daniel shrugged. “She was looking at Costa Rica when I came in.”
“Cost Rica? Nah, you don’t want to go there,” Jack said.
“I don’t?” Sam queried.
“It’s a rainforest. Rain, bugs, humidity,” Jack shuddered.
“Mayan Riviera?” Sam suggested.
“Too commercial,” Daniel said.
“Kauai?” she tried.
“Wrong time of year,” Jack said sagely. “Nothin’ but rain.”
“Well, “Sam said, looking at her monitor thoughtfully. “I can’t believe I’m going to say this, never mind think it, but maybe you and Daniel could help me decide?”
“Now you’re talking!” Jack said jubilantly.
“Jack, what do you know about holidays?” Daniel asked. “All you do is fish and catch nothing.”
“This coming from the guy who’s never taken a holiday since I’ve known him?” Jack retorted, “and convalescing does not count,” he added.
Daniel snapped his mouth shut and reconsidered. “Yeah, well,” he muttered.
“Yeah, well,” Jack countered.
“Look. just because I –”
“Both of you must have longed to go somewhere, sometime in your lives, haven’t you?” Sam interrupted hoping to get things back on track.
“Yeah,” Jack said.
“Sure,” Daniel replied..
“Good, we can talk about it over lunch,” Sam said brightly.
Jack and Daniel looked at each other and shrugged. “Sure, okay,” they said in unison.
“Maybe Teal’c could help” Jack suggested.
“What does Teal’c know about vacations?” Daniel said. “Besides, he’s busy doing yoga.”
“Yoga?” Jack said, pulling a face.
“For when he goes to P3X-955. He didn’t tell you about Ishta showing him the delights of tak’mah?” Daniel asked.
“No, is that some type of food?” Jack frowned.
“Uh, no, but food may be involved,” Daniel said, stifling a smile.
“What’s tak’mah?” Sam asked.
“Think Kama Sutra,” Daniel said.
“Oh,” Sam said, her eyes going wide.
“Yeah, only triple X- rated,” Daniel added.
“Yowza!” Jack exclaimed. “So, he needs to stretch so he can, uh, yeah, got it. No need to answer,” Jack said clearing his voice. “Okay, well, I’m up for, um, some lunch.”
“The Middle East?” Jack cried, almost choking on a french fry.
“I admit, things are a little turbulent there,” Daniel said, “but Iran has these amazing caves where you can –”
“I don’t think so, Daniel,” Sam said gently. “I’m not really into desert countries.”
“Okay, well that narrow things down a bit,” Daniel muttered, crossing out lines in his notebook.
“Tahiti,” Jack suggested. “Polynesian hospitality, half-naked women—”
“And men,” Daniel added for Sam’s benefit.
“You’re spoiling my image,” Jack groused, closing his eyes. “Swaying palm trees, nubile women, fresh fruit, fish—”
“Back to the fishing again,” Daniel teased.
“Hey, where there’s water, there’s fish,” Jack said. “It’s a rule of nature.”
“I guess nature missed your cabin,” Daniel said, smiling.
“Tahiti does sound nice, sir,” Sam said, jumping in to avoid another argument.
“See?” Jack smiled, looking at Daniel triumphantly.
“But it’s still hurricane season, and with my luck,” Sam shrugged.
“What about a golfing holiday?” Jack suggested, ignoring Daniel’s grimace.
“I don’t golf, sir.”
“Then how about a ‘learning to golf’ holiday?” Jack amended.
Sam shook her head and looked at Daniel with a ‘please, help me’ look.
“How about this,” Daniel said, hunching over the table. “It’s somewhere you’ve never been before, it’s exotic, there’s an ocean, language won’t be a problem, excellent food, you can do nothing or you can do a lot.”
“Yes, that’s it!” Sam cried.
“What’s it?” Jack groused. “He hasn’t said anything.”
“Yes, he has, sir. You’re talking about a cruise, aren’t you?” she asked Daniel.
“Exactly!” Daniel grinned.
“A cruise?” Jack scoffed. “Those are for the newly wed and the nearly dead.”
“How many cruises have you been on?” Daniel asked.
“That’s not the point,” Jack countered. “And have you ever been on a cruise?”
“I’ve worked on a cruise ship,” Daniel said smugly.
“Really?” Sam asked.
“You’re kidding,” Jack huffed.
“I worked two summers as a cultural expert on a Mediterranean cruise,” Daniel explained.
“Greece!” Sam cried. “I’d love to go to Greece.”
“Middle East,” Jack murmured.
“Greece is far enough away,” Daniel said dismissively. “It’s beautiful, Sam. The water is incredible, the food is amazing, and the people are engaging.”
“That’s it! That’s where I want to go,” Sam said decisively.
“Don’t you have to book those months in advance?” Jack inquired.
“There’s always last-minute deals,” Daniel said. “You know, what with the newly divorced and the recently deceased.”
Jack scowled, but remained silent.
“Daniel, why don’t you come, too?” Sam asked.
Jack and Daniel looked balefully at each other.
“Suddenly, you have an urge to go cruising, Jack?”
“Why don’t you, sir?” Sam asked. “You have lots of vacation time owing. It could be fun,” Sam enthused.
“I don’t know, Sam,” Daniel said doubtfully.
“So now you don’t want to go because I might go?” Jack accused.
“That’s not what I meant, and I never said I would go,” Daniel countered.
“Please, Daniel. We can tour the ruins. I’d love to hear your perspective on Ancient Greece.”
“Yes, I would,’ Sam smiled.
Jack held his tongue, but rolled his eyes.
“I’ll go if Jack goes,” Daniel said.
“What? Why?” Jack asked suspiciously.
“The culture will do you good,” Daniel insisted.
“Maybe Janet could come, too,” Sam said. “Cassie’s off at college, and it wouldn’t hurt to have our own private doctor.”
“A foursome?” Jack said, his eyes glinting.
“Me and Janet in one room, you and Daniel in the other. It’ll be perfect.”
Jack frowned and looked at Daniel. “Sharing a room for what, seven to ten days?”
“We’ve shared tents longer than that,” Daniel said.
“Yeah, but I got paid for that,” Jack replied.
“Look, you two think about it,” Sam said. “I’m going to ask Janet right now.”
The two men watched their teammate leave then sat back with puzzled frowns.
“I thought this was supposed to be Carter’s vacation,” Jack said.
“She does seem keen to have us go,” Daniel mused.
“Well, everyone should experience a cruise once in their lives,” Daniel said sagely.
“Hmm So, you game?” Jack asked, quirking his eyebrow.
“I am if you are,” Daniel said.
Jack pursed his lips then nodded. “What the hell, it’ll be an adventure.”
“It’ll be an adventure just seeing what Sam and Janet get up to,” Daniel smiled.
“Carter and Fraiser?” Jack frowned.
“Jack, they are two very attractive women. I bet they have a ball just driving the guys nuts,” Daniel laughed.
“What about us?” Jack asked.
“Drive the guys nuts?” Daniel frowned.
“No, no, women,” Jack said.
“I don’t know,’ Daniel shrugged. “I supposed there might be someone desperate enough to take an interest in you.”
“You’re such a comfort,” Jack drawled.
“I know,” Daniel smiled.
“Think Teal’c will be upset we all go on vacation without him?” Jack asked.
“Tak’mah,” Daniel said quietly.
“Ah, right,” Jack said, nodding. “Lucky dog. I think,” he added, wincing at the erotic images in his mind.
“Hey, you get at least a week of me just to yourself,” Daniel said brightly.
“Are you trying to get me to change my mind?” Jack grumbled.
“Sam would never let you get away with it,” Daniel said confidently. “Look, she’s back already. That was quick.”
“So, have you two decided?” Sam asked breathlessly.
“We’d love to come with you on your vacation,” Daniel smiled. “Right, Jack?”
“Wouldn’t miss it,” Jack said.
“That’s great, and Janet said, yes, too!”
“One thing, Carter,” Jack said, holding up a finger. “You will not call me, ‘sir’. God knows what people would think.”
“I’ll try not to, sir,” Sam said. “Let’s clear this with General Hammond and then we can start making plans,” she said, gathering up her plates. “This will be so much fun.”
Daniel and Jack looked dubiously at each other.
“In for a penny, in for a pound,” Daniel murmured.
“I’m not doing bingo,” Jack muttered.
“This is nice,” Jack murmured, checking out the stateroom, “Hey, we’ve even got a balcony!”
“That’s what our tickets indicated,” Daniel said.
“I know, but still.”
“You were expecting a broom closet with a tiny porthole?” Daniel guessed.
“Something like that.”
“What bed do you want?” Daniel asked.
“Doesn’t matter. Pick the one you want,” Jack said.
“Okay, I’ll take the one by the window.”
“Oh sure, take the best one,” Jack groused. “Just kidding,” he said when Daniel glared at him. “I’m closer to the head. That’s always a plus.”
“I’m surprised you haven’t checked it out yet,” Daniel said.
“Good idea! Back in a sec.”
Daniel smiled. He hadn’t been on a cruise ship for years, but he suspected the toilets hadn’t changed much. He heard the flush and the simultaneous, “Holy shit!” He was still laughing when Jack emerged.
“You could’ve warned me,” Jack growled.
“I could have, but where would the fun be in that?” Daniel asked innocently.
“Christ, the damn thing nearly sucked my balls off.”
“You’re not supposed to linger,” Daniel said.
“I wasn’t lingering and is there anything else I should know about?” Jack asked, looking around suspiciously.
“Anything you leave lying around will get picked up and neatly placed somewhere more appropriate.”
“You mean if I leave my shorts on the floor, even dirty ones, some poor shmuck has to pick them up?” Jack asked.
“We’re talking once a day, right?”
“Every time we leave this room, someone checks it,” Daniel explained.
“For crying out loud, this isn’t a vacation,” Jack groused.
“Relax, you’ll get used to it,” Daniel laughed. “Come on, let’s call on Sam and Janet and explore,” Daniel said enthusiastically.
“No one’s going to unpack my suitcase, are they?” Jack asked.
“There are limits, Jack,” Daniel reassured.
“Well, that’s something,” Jack muttered, following Daniel out the door.
“So much for your ‘newly wed and nearly dead’,” Daniel whispered.
“Did you see the legs on that woman?” Jack murmured, nudging Daniel.
“The statuesque brunette in the lime green bikini and matching stilettos? That one?” Daniel replied.
“Crap, look at the gazoombas on that one,” Jack said in awe.
“Gazoombas, Jack? What are you, fourteen?”
“I just wasn’t expecting so many attractive women,” Jack murmured. “Damn, am I the oldest one on this ship?” he lamented as a gaggle of young, giggling women breezed past.
“There are all ages here, Jack, you’re just fixating on the jailbait,” Daniel said.
“I am not, holy shit, look at the biceps on her,” Jack hissed.
“Um, ‘her’ is coming this way,” Daniel said, coughing into his hand.
“Hello, I’m Inga,” the woman in question announced in a lilting Swedish accent.
“Of course you are,” Jack replied, unconsciously stepping back and onto Daniel’s foot.
“Ouch, Um, hi, I’m Daniel and this is Jack,” Daniel said, holding his hand out and shaking her hand. “Where are you from, Inga?”
“Sweden, and you?” she asked.
“The United States. Colorado,” Daniel replied.
“Both of you?” Inga asked.
“Yes, we’re, uh, together,” Jack said.
“Oh,” she said, her eyes widening.
“Uh, what he means,” Daniel said, “is—”
“We’re together,” Jack reiterated, placing his arm around Daniel’s shoulders.
“It’s always the way,” Inga sighed. “Why is it all the great-looking men are gay? I knew I should’ve gone for that sex-change operation,“ she laughed. “I hope you boys have a lovely trip and I hope to see you again,” she said brightly, taking her leave.
“We will,” Jack said jubilantly.
“Get your arm off me,” Daniel hissed.
“All right, I overreacted,” Jack admitted, releasing Daniel.
“Overreacted? You panicked. What the hell got into you?”
“She scared me,” Jack muttered.
“She scared you?”
“Didn’t you see the thighs on her? She could’ve crushed me like a peanut.”
Daniel didn’t know whether to laugh or to belt Jack, but the whole thing was so ludicrous he just shook his head and laughed.
“Crap, I’ve blown it, haven’t I?” Jack muttered.
“Ah, that would be a yes, and that’s all you’re going to blow, mister,” Daniel said.
“I can’t believe you just said that,” Jack frowned.
“And I can’t believe you told her we were gay,” Daniel countered. “Do you know how long it’ll be before every passenger knows we’re gay?”
Jack looked in horror at Daniel. “You’re kidding, right?”
“Trust me, this is not a big ship and by dinner time our secret will be known by everyone,” Daniel said.
“But we’re not gay!” Jack cried.
“Quiet, Sam and Janet are coming this way,” Daniel hissed.
“Well, boys, are you two having a good time?” Janet asked, handing them each a cocktail.
“Thanks, Janet,” Daniel said taking his glass.
“We’re having a great time,” Jack reiterated.
“We were just talking to his lovely woman called Inga,” Sam said, her eyes twinkling.
“Oh, God,” Daniel murmured.
“Congratulations on your ‘coming out’” Janet said, holding up her glass for a toast.
“To true love,” Sam snickered.
“I can explain,” Jack said.
“No, no, it’s none of our business,” Janet said, shaking her head. “Don’t ask, don’t tell,” she winked.
“For crying out loud,” Jack muttered.
“It was the colonel, wasn’t it?” Sam whispered to Daniel, taking pity on her friend.
“She scared him,” Daniel whispered back. “Thought his family jewels would be crushed or something.”
Sam giggled and snorted into her drink.
“What? What’d you say?” Jack demanded.
“Don’t take that tone with me, Jack O’Neill, or you’ll be sleeping on the couch,” Daniel warned.
Janet screeched with laughter and bumped into Sam, who then spilled her drink on Jack.
“Oh, sir, I’m sorry,” Sam laughed, pawing at his shirt.
“Hands of my man, you hussy,” Daniel said, pulling Sam back.
Janet screeched again and Jack blushed to his toenails.
“Damn it, Doc, you’re attracting attention.”
“Oh, God, I need another drink,” Janet wheezed, dabbing at her eyes.
“I’ll come with you,” Sam said, wiping her own tears.
“You two play nice, you hear?” Janet laughed over her shoulder.
Jack and Daniel watched the two women walk away leaning on each other and giggling.
“How many days is this cruise?” Jack asked dully.
“Ten,” Jack muttered.
“This is day one,” Daniel sighed.
“Crap, I think I have a headache,” Jack groaned.
“Oh, it’s going to be like that, is it?” Daniel pouted. “Our first holiday and it’s ‘not now, I have a headache’.”
“Daniel,” Jack said, his eyes narrowed.
Jack couldn’t suppress a smile. Daniel’s eyes were laughing in spite of his serious visage.
“Buy you a drink, sailor?” Jack asked, draping his arm across Daniel’s shoulders.
“Thought you’d never ask,” Daniel said with a grin.
“I don’t think I could do another dance if my life depended on it,” Jack murmured, sitting down with a groan.
“For a gay couple, we’ve danced with a hell of a lot of women,” Daniel said, massaging his calves.
“That’s because you’re safe,” Janet said.
“Safe?” Jack frowned.
“Isn’t it obvious? They just want to have a good time without the pressure,” Sam explained.
“You mean they’re not worried that we’ll try to sleep with them?” Daniel asked.
“Exactly,” Sam said. “By the way, I never knew you two could dance.”
“Wait till you see me in a Greek restaurant,” Daniel grinned.
“You’re not going to belly dance, are you?” Jack asked.
“He might not, but I might,” Janet said, standing up and swivelling her hips.
“Wow,” Daniel said, his eyes round as saucers. “How do you move like that?”
“Pilates and belly dancing lessons from my misspent youth,” Janet laughed.
“Doesn’t that hurt?” Jack asked.
“Not till the next day,” Janet laughed.
“Sam, do you have any hidden talents?” Daniel asked.
“I do a mean limbo,” Sam admitted.
“Suddenly, I feel very old,” Jack muttered, feeling every part of his body ache.
“Age has nothing to do with it, Jack. Just look at those two,” Daniel said, gesturing to an elderly couple finishing a lively salsa.
“Drugs,” Jack huffed.
Daniel laughed and patted Jack’s arm. “You’re still number one in my book.”
Jack smiled good-naturedly then perked up when the band struck up a Strauss waltz.
“Now, this is dance music,” he enthused.
“It is lovely,” Janet agreed, swaying to the music.
“Daniel, who are you staring at?” Sam whispered.
“That woman over there. She reminds me of Catherine,” Daniel replied quietly.
“It does look like the old girl,” Jack admitted.
“She looks sad,” Sam said thoughtfully.
“She’s been sitting alone since we came in,” Daniel commented.
“Daniel?” Jack said, when Daniel abruptly stood up.
“Excuse me,” Daniel said.
“What’s he doing?” Jack asked, watching his friend leave.
“I think he’s going to ask her to dance,” Sam replied.
“Don’t look now, but I think Daniel’s two-timing you,” Janet teased.
“Will you cut that out,” Jack groused.
“Eventually,” Janet smiled wickedly.
“Look, he has asked her to dance,” Sam said. “That is so sweet. God, I love Daniel,” she sighed, her eyes shimmering.
“Careful, Sam,” Janet warned. ”I think the colonel’s the jealous type.”
“You two are impossible,” Jack muttered.
“I have to take pictures of this,” Sam said, pulling out her camera.
They watched Daniel and the old woman dance and talk. Both were smiling and laughing. They started a second dance when an elderly gentleman politely ‘cut in’. Daniel graciously handed his partner to the man, bowed slightly, and left.
“Well?” Jack said with a raised eyebrow as Daniel returned to his seat.
“Well what?” Daniel replied.
“I’m thinking widow, first trip out,” Jack said.
“Her name is Anna. Her husband died ten years ago and she hasn’t been on a trip since. A friend convinced her to go on this cruise. Said she needed to start living,” Daniel explained.
“Where’s her friend?” Sam asked.
“She had to cancel for medical reasons, but she insisted Anna go on this cruise and take lots and lots of pictures,” Daniel replied.
“I’ve got some doozies here,” Sam said, holding up her camera. “I can send them to her. They’ll make her friend so jealous.”
“That was a nice thing you did, Daniel,” Jack said seriously.
Daniel blushed and ducked his head.
“But remember, you’re mine,” Jack warned in a low voice.
“How could I forget?” Daniel snickered.
“So, you can tease him, but we can’t?” Sam asked, her eyes sparkling.
“Damn straight. He’s mine,” Jack grinned, ruffling Daniel’s hair.
“God, help me,” Daniel murmured.
Daniel stretched out on a deck chair, book in hand, and a fresh cup of coffee beside him. The sun was just rising and a warm breeze washed over him. “Life is good,” he sighed contentedly.
“Is the book that boring?”
Daniel jerked awake. “Wha-? Oh, hi Sam. I must’ve dozed off,” he said, sitting up. “What time is it?” he asked, stifling a yawn.
“Just about 7:30. Here, I figured you could use another one of these,” she said, holding out a hot cup of coffee.
“Sam, have I told you how much I love you?” Daniel said, taking the coffee gratefully.
Sam laughed and sat down beside him.
“I’m glad you found me and not Jack,” Daniel said. “God knows what he would have done.”
“Just how long have you been up?” Sam asked.
“A couple of hours,” Daniel shrugged. “When I’m on holidays, I seem to get up early. Ever since I was a kid.”
Sam said and stretched her legs out. “It is beautiful, isn’t it?” she murmured, gazing at the azure Aegean Sea.
“Mmm,” Daniel replied, admiring his coffee and the view. “How’s your vacation so far, Sam? Are you having fun?”
“Are you kidding me? I’m having a ball! And if you hear any rumours about the crazy blonde and the little brunette doing the limbo last night, they’re all true.”
“Oh, God, and we missed it?” Daniel asked aghast.
“I don’t think my back will ever be the same again,” Sam grimaced, shifting in her chair.
Daniel winced in sympathy then sat up. “Good God, is that Jack and Janet?”
Sam glanced to her right and saw a mismatched pair jogging towards them. “Where does she get her energy?” she muttered.
“I guess it’s too late to hide,” Daniel mused.
“Hey, you two! Get off your butts and join us,” Jack said, running energetically on the spot.
“No, no, we’re fine, thanks,” Daniel said. “I did mine two hours ago.”
“And I’m the pope,” Jack drawled. “Why didn’t you wake me?”
“I was up before five,” Daniel said.
“What?” Jack cried. “Okay, who are you and what did you do with the real Daniel Jackson?”
“I’m in holiday, mode, Jack. Get used to it. If you like, I promise to wake you tomorrow morning.”
“Uh, no, that’s okay,” Jack said. “Come on, Doc, let’s roll.”
“Breakfast at 8:30?” Janet called, glancing over her shoulder as they jogged away.
“We’ll be ready,” Sam promised.
“They actually jog for fun?” Daniel asked, perplexed.
Not this soldier,” Sam said, lying back and closing her eyes.
“Excuse me, Dr. Jackson?”
Daniel looked up in surprise. “Inga, um, hi, but please, call me Daniel.”
“I’m sorry if I embarrassed you and your partner the other day.”
“No, no, you didn’t. Jack just gets a little, um, overprotective sometimes,” Daniel said,
“I’m not surprised,” Inga sighed. “I hate to bother you, but is it true you’re an archaeologist?”
“Ah, yes, yes it is,” Daniel said, wondering how that tidbit got out.
“I also understand you used to give cultural tours of the Greek islands?”
Okay, Sam, Jack, or Janet. The Holy Trinity.
“That was a long time ago,” Daniel said. “Where did you hear that?” he asked curiously.
“A friend of mine heard it from someone, who heard it from someone. You know how it is,” she smiled.
“News travels fast,” Daniel nodded.
“I know this is awfully presumptuous, but could a few of us tag along with you and your friends when we visit the Acropolis? I’m sure the tour guides are knowledgeable, but we’d love to hear your perspective.”
“We’d pay you, of course.”
“No, no, God, no,” Daniel said emphatically. “I’d be delighted, although I have to warn you, I’ve been accused of prattling on and on ad nauseum.”
“I can hardly wait,” Inga said. “I’ll go tell the others. They’ll be so thrilled,” she said hurrying off.
“Look at him, he’s like the freaking Pied Piper,” Jack said as he and Sam sat in a shady corner of the Parthenon and watched Daniel entertain his entourage.
“He’s even got the guide taking notes,” Sam laughed.
“And they have no idea who he really is,” Jack said quietly, bitterness in his voice.
“He hates the limelight, sir, uh, sorry,” Sam said, wincing.
“No one here but us chickens, Carter,” Jack smiled. “You’re right, he hates the limelight, but I sure as hell want to see the faces on those bastards who snubbed him when the truth does come out.”
“I want front row seats,” Sam grinned, “and when the truth does come out, that whole group there is going to run to their photo albums. Every one of them has had their photo taken with him,” she laughed.
“He is a popular guy,” Jack agreed. “Here he comes, maybe we should ask for his autograph.”
“What are you two smirking at?” Daniel asked as he and Janet joined their friends.
“Just saying what a popular guy you are,” Jack said.
“I think they were even listening to me,” Daniel smiled, looking back at his ‘group’.
“Personally, I think they were ogling your ass,” Janet said.
“What?” Daniel cried, “and don’t encourage her,” he added, glowering at his laughing teammates.
“You do look lovely in white, Daniel,” Sam said.
“Um, thanks, but these are loose,” Daniel said, looking at his white cotton slacks.
“Not when you put your hands in your pockets,” Janet sing-songed.
Daniel frowned and put his hands in his pockets.
“You see, when you do that you pull the material forward, thus tightening the material at the back,” Janet explained.
“Daniel, turn around,” Jack said, giving a twirling gesture with his hand.
“Just turn around, for crying out loud. This is science.”
“Science, my ass,” Daniel muttered, turning around.
“Whoa, mama,” Jack whistled.
“Pretty nice, Daniel,” Sam agreed.
Daniel plucked his hands out and hugged himself.
“Ooh, now that accentuates your broad shoulders,” Janet murmured appreciatively.
“Look, can we talk about Jack for a change,” Daniel huffed.
“What’s to say?” Jack frowned.
“Apparently, or so I’ve been told by a number of women, you’re hot,” Daniel stated.
“Really?” Jack said, clearly pleased.
“Yes, and if you ever decide to go straight, you’ll be a busy man.”
“Oh, so they still believe that, huh?”
“And don’t think of dumping me because they’d hate you forever,” Daniel warned.
Jack grinned then motioned to Janet and Sam. “So how come no one thinks you two are gay?”
“Because we never said we were,” Janet replied.
“Either did we,” Jack said defensively.
“No, you just grabbed me around the shoulders and told an attractive and interested woman that we were together,” Daniel grumbled.
“And we are together,” Jack claimed. “Just not ‘together’.”
“I’m afraid you two are stuck with each other for the duration,” Sam said. “Janet and I could start a rumour you were pretending, but your popularity would go down the toilet.”
Jack and Daniel looked at each other then shrugged.
“I didn’t come here to get laid,” Daniel said.
“Me neither,” Jack agreed.
Both men looked at their female companions who looked at each other, smiled, and said, “Don’t look at us!”
Jack and Daniel’s eyes grew large.
“Wait a minute,” Jack said. “Have you two been, you know, doing it?” he asked hesitantly.
“We don’t kiss and tell,” Janet crooned. “Shall we go explore, girl?”
“Right behind you,” Sam grinned.
“They’re pulling our legs,” Jack scowled.
“Maybe,” Daniel pondered, sitting next to Jack.
“Come on, you don’t think they’re really, you know?”
“Sex, Jack. It’s called sex,” Daniel said.
“Shh, keep your voice down,” Jack hissed.
Daniel laughed and patted Jack on the knee. “You worry too much, Jack.”
“It’s my job,” Jack grunted.
Daniel smiled and leaned back on his elbows, his face up to the sky. “I love it here,” he said softly. “You can just smell the history.”
Jack glanced at Daniel and felt a rush of love for his friend. Jack’s life had changed in more ways than he ever thought possible when the young archaeologist walked into his life.
“Contrary to my grumblings, I am having a good time,” Jack said.
Daniel looked sideways at Jack and smiled. “Me, too.”
“So, I’m not cramping your style?” Jack asked seriously.
“My style?” Daniel snickered. “Ah, no, but if any alien women beam down to seduce me, I may reconsider.”
“You could if you wanted to,” Jack said. “Have sex, I mean.”
“With you?” Daniel asked sitting up abruptly..
“Not with me,” Jack huffed. “With a woman, and you knew what I meant.”
Daniel grinned and leaned back, looking up at the sky. “You could, too.”
Jack shrugged and leaned back, mimicking Daniel’s pose.
“Are we a couple of puds, or what?” Daniel murmured.
“Yeah, life is good,” Jack said, closing his eyes.
“I can’t believe this is our last night,” Sam said, gazing up at the stars.
“The time went by so fast,” Janet commented.
“I can’t believe Jack won at bingo again,” Daniel chuckled. “but you’re right, it did go fast, in spite of a certain someone’s attempt to kibosh it right from square one.”
“Hey, I resemble that remark,” Jack said.
“As partners, you realize you have to share your bingo haul with me,” Daniel said.
Jack laughed and swatted Daniel playfully on the head. “When Teal’c gets back I’ll treat us all to dinner. How’s that?”
“That’s my man,” Daniel smiled.
“What are you two grinning at?” Jack asked, eyeing Janet and Sam dubiously.
“I don’t think I’ve seen either of you so relaxed before,” Janet remarked.
“Janet’s right,” Sam agreed. “You should do this more often.”
“What, pretend we’re gay?” Jack scowled.
“I think she means, take more vacations together,” Daniel said.
“Daniel’s right, as lovely a couple as you make,” Janet laughed. “It doesn’t have to be a major holiday. Just a weekend here and there. It would do you both a world of good.”
You mean like fishing?” Jack asked.
“Oh, God,” Daniel moaned.
“Maybe not fishing, exactly. Canoeing might be an option,” Janet said diplomatically.
Jack looked at Daniel with a raised eyebrow. “We could always just float around,” Jack said. “You could read and I could throw a line in. We could both sit back and enjoy a couple cold ones.”
Daniel shrugged. “I could do canoeing. Sam, what are you doing?” he asked as Sam began rummaging in her bag.
“Returning the favour!” she grinned, pulling out a notebook and pen.
|Summary:||Jack and Daniel help Sam plan a vacation and go along for the ride.|
Author's Chapter Notes:
This story is in response to a challenge at Ancient Obsessions called 'Sam's Vacation'. It was a real challenge, too, to come up with something!