Oil and Water and Other Things That Don't Mix (and Some Things That Do)


“Wow. A week of leave,” Colonel Jack O’Neill said with wonder in his tone after General George Hammond and Major Paul Davis had left the briefing room. He, Davis, and his three teammates Major Samantha Carter, Doctor Daniel Jackson, and Teal’c had just finished debriefing the general about the events that had occurred on the Russian submarine and Thor’s ship in regards to the Replicators. Hammond, in his wisdom, had taken note of the high level of stress his people had just been through and decided to give his premier team time to unwind.

“Yes, sir,” Carter agreed with a small smile.

Jack looked at her askance. “Are you going to sit around here working on experiments the whole time?”

She raised her eyebrows as she looked back. “Are you still going fishing?” she retorted.

SG-1's team leader was about to answer in the affirmative when he caught a tiny flinch from Daniel out of the corner of his eye. Crap. Daniel had just gone through a tough two weeks. Between an emergency appendectomy, nearly losing the rest of his team when they were forced to blow up the Asgard ship Beliskner to save Earth from the Replicators that had almost completely taken it over, the nine days of waiting to find out if their ploy to use the Stargate that they had beamed up to escape the impending explosion had worked, and the most recent additions of Sam being off in another galaxy facing the invasion of an Asgard planet and himself having to give the order to fire on Jack and Teal’c to keep Earth safe once again from the threat of the “techno-bugs” as O’Neill had dubbed them, it was a wonder that the archaeologist was holding it together as well as he was.

Jack still didn’t know exactly why he’d been so distant with Daniel when he, Sam, and Teal’c had finally gotten through to the SGC and come home from P4X-234, the planet the three of them had gated to from the Beliskner. He did have an idea, however. It wasn’t anything to be proud of.

When he’d walked through the gate and seen Daniel standing at the base of the ramp, he wasn’t surprised. In fact, it would have taken the younger man’s absence to shock him. He expected Daniel to be there. Now that he could look back on it, he remembered there had been such a look of happy relief on Daniel’s face... and he had practically ignored the man. He’d said more words cracking jokes at the general than in any kind of greeting for the man who was supposed to be his best friend. Teal’c had said he was happy to see him well. Even Sam had aimed her comment about having tried to dial home for a week at the other half of SG-1's brain trust - not the general. All in all, Jack had to admit to having taken Daniel’s presence for granted, something to assume was going to happen instead of take joy in when it did. Mind you, Daniel had let him by playing along with the usual banter after Hammond had subtly joined in the frivolity with his order to take a shower, but it was still no excuse for the dismissive behavior. He’d already learned by disastrous example with the collapse of his marriage that if you ignore a relationship, it will go away.

It was that thought, and his own selfish need to not let these three people, teammates who had become his surrogate family, out of his sight after thinking he’d never see them again, that prompted Jack’s answer to his second-in-command’s question. “Actually, Carter, I was thinking that it might be nice for the four of us to take a real vacation together. Kind of an unofficial team bonding thing. We just saved the world again - not to mention Thor’s - so I think we deserve to hang out together and revel in it.” He looked around at the others. “So what do you think?”

Teal’c raised an eyebrow while Sam and Daniel stared at him momentarily flabbergasted. “What kind of activity were you considering for the four of us to participate in, O’Neill?” the Jaffa asked when no response came from the younger half of the team.

Jack slowly smirked to cover up the fact that he hadn’t taken his thoughts that far yet. “I was thinking of booking a little get-away to the Bahamas at one of those all-inclusive places, maybe do some scuba diving and swim with the sharks,” he halfway blurted out the first thing that came to mind. Just before this whole mess with the Replicators started he’d read through a pile of travel brochures - the agent that had arranged things for his honeymoon years before periodically sent them - as a mental escape exercise. He’d needed the release after the whole crystal skull thing with Daniel being invisible and everyone worrying that he was gone for good. The one for the Bahamas had been the last one on the pile.

“Isn’t that a little too close to what you just went through?” Daniel asked a touch incredulously, although there was consideration in his expression along with a well-shielded look of relief that he wouldn’t be left alone.

“No, Daniel, I was nearly disintegrated by Replicator spit and blown up by a pair of torpedoes. Sharks and scuba diving were nowhere near a part of that equation.”

That brought a vicious scowl to the brown-haired man’s features, as well as the other two members of the team. “Thank you, Jack, for that lovely image. I didn’t have enough nightmare fodder from my own imagination of what you were going through on that sub. It’s just what I needed.” Daniel sprang to his feet with the obvious intention of storming from the room.

Sam was a half-beat behind him and managed to cut him off. “Daniel, wait. The colonel didn’t mean it that way. You know he didn’t. He was just...” She looked at him helplessly as she couldn’t really think of anything that would excuse the other man’s inexcusable behavior. She wasn’t exactly happy with what he’d said either. Daniel hadn’t been the only one imagining what was going on in the Russian sub; he’d just seen more real-life footage to spice things up.

“My mouth engaged before my brain, Daniel,” Jack offered contritely. This was supposed to be a pleasant offer to unwind together. The last thing he wanted was to make things worse. “You know how I am. I just meant that the stuff the resort offers for entertainment won’t bother me. If it’ll bug you we’ll find somewhere else to go. I’ve got a bunch of different brochures; we’re bound to find something agreeable.”

Daniel let his shoulders drop and the tenseness flow out of his body. “I’m sorry. I was just being a little oversensitive.” He turned to face the worried older man. “A week on the beach sounds fine. If you and Teal’c are okay with it, then I don’t have any problems. What about you, Sam, Teal’c?”

“A week on the beach sounds heavenly,” she said with a grin. “I can work on my tan.”

“I believe I would also enjoy the time at this resort, Daniel Jackson.”

Jack grinned at the others. This was starting to really come together. Not bad for an impromptu plan. “I’ll clear everything with the general. As long as you keep your tattoo and belly pouch covered, Teal’c, I don’t think there’ll be a problem.” His grin got wider. “This is gonna be so much fun!” He went into Hammond’s office after a brief knock as the rest of his team stared after him with light expressions. Sam and Daniel shook their heads. Only Jack O’Neill could exude such childlike glee over something like this. And they wouldn’t want it any other way.

* * * * * * * *

Everything had fallen quickly into place, and by mid-afternoon the next day the four members of SG-1 found themselves surrounded by the tropical beach atmosphere of the Sunset Bay Resort. Jack had arranged for a four-bedroom suite, and they had all been impressed with the luxury of the rooms when they had gone up to drop off their bags and settle in. Dinner was delicious, and they’d gone to bed that night looking forward to what the rest of the week would bring.

The next morning dawned bright and clear. Daniel, Sam, and Teal’c came into the main room of the suite to the glorious smell of a wide selection of breakfast foods, Jack O’Neill sitting smugly in the chair next the to cart that held it all. “Good morning, campers!” he announced as the others took it all in. “I thought I’d get everything ready for a great, exciting day here in paradise. You said you wanted to take it easy this morning, Daniel, so I figured you could lounge on the beach while Teal’c, Carter, and I did some scuba diving. We’ll get back together for lunch and then maybe take a little tour of the town before supper. What do you guys think?”

The other three shared a surprised look. “Uh, that sounds fine, Jack,” Daniel said slowly. “I think I can handle a leisurely morning like that.”

“Unfortunately you couldn’t have come scuba diving with us anyway, Daniel,” Sam explained regretfully. “You’re still on medication.”

“The Vicodin’s only for emergencies. Janet’s just playing it safe knowing I’ll most likely be pretty active. Which is the other reason I don’t mind lounging around this morning.” The archaeologist smiled knowingly. “Besides, I already knew I wouldn’t be able to do any scuba diving. My surgery’s too recent. The weight of the tanks could cause a set back.”

Jack and Sam gave him an odd look while Teal’c joined in with a curious one. “You sound as if you speak from experience, Daniel Jackson,” the Jaffa commented. “Is this so?”

The smile turned into a grin. “Not personally, but a friend of mine on the dig in the Yucatan was stupid enough to ignore our guide’s warning when he rejoined us after surgery for a hernia. He didn’t listen to me either. You’d think he’d have remembered the explicit warning from the class we took; the instructor said it five times.” A thoughtful look crossed his face. “And he kept looking at Roger when he said it, too. Odd.”

“You’re certified in SCUBA?” Jack asked incredulously.

“Don’t act so surprised, Jack. I’m sure I can do a lot of things you don’t know about. You guys have fun this morning. Take plenty of pictures.”

Sam shook her head and filled a plate with food before handing it to her friend. “Just eat, Daniel. Gloat later.” He laughed and accepted the dish.

It was a pleasant meal. The best part was the lack of pressure they all felt, knowing there was no world-threatening crisis they were expected to stop nor any other kind of threat they were expected to solve. Daniel collected their plates when they were finished. “Thanks for having that ready for us, Jack. I really appreciate it.”

“Me, too, sir,” Sam agreed. “That was really nice.” Teal’c nodded his silent gratitude.

“Not a problem,” Jack replied with a grin. “Your turn tomorrow, Danny-boy.”

Daniel sighed. “You do know I hate it when you call me that, right?”

“Of course I do. That’s why I do it.” He waited until the younger man had bent over to pack the plates with the leftover food then reached out to ruffle the short brown locks.

The linguist immediately straightened. “I hate that, too,” he said through gritted teeth.

Jack laughed. “I know that, too.” Without another word, Daniel extended an arm and gave his team leader a dose of his own medicine.

As Sam and Teal’c looked on, the blonde woman laughing nearly to the point of tears and the big black man with an amused expression, Jack and Daniel got into an impromptu wrestling match. The Jaffa was quick enough to get the food cart out of the way when the writhing pair got a little too close, their movements hampered by the same laughter that still had the astrophysicist incapacitated. It was a healing interaction that everyone enjoyed.

It was brought to an unfortunate end when Jack accidently planted a sharp elbow directly to the area of Daniel’s stomach where his appendix scar was located. The older man flew into a nearby chair thanks to a reflexive shove, and he stared confused as Daniel curled himself into a tight ball on the floor. “Daniel, what’s going on? You okay?”

“Not really,” Daniel grunted, beginning to rock. “But I will be. You’ve got really bony elbows, you know that?”

“What are you talking about?”

“Oh my God, Daniel. Did the colonel catch you in the stomach?” Sam gasped, her laughter cut off at the knees when she saw the position her fellow scientist had assumed. Daniel just nodded.

Jack flew to his knees next to his friend. “Shit, Daniel, I’m sorry. I had no idea.”

“No kidding,” was the short response. “Don’t worry about it. It was an accident.”

“Yeah, but this is supposed to be your vacation...”

“Jack,” Daniel said sharply, cutting the man off as he brought his head up to look him in the eye, “it was an accident. I know you didn’t mean to hurt me. And it’s getting better already. I’ll just take half a pill of Vicodin, lounge on the beach while the rest of you go diving, and we’ll have lunch and go shopping - just like you planned. I don’t have to go home, I don’t have to have emergency surgery, I just have to wait for the pain to die down. And it will. It did when I got nailed on my way to the gateroom when you guys got back after we finished installing the new gate. In fact, it’s already started to fade a bit. I. Will. Be. Fine.” He pushed himself into a sitting position as he carefully enunciated every word of his last sentence.

The greying colonel gave the other man a thorough once-over then smiled slightly and nodded. “Okay, Daniel. I’ll just get your medicine.”

“Are you really okay?” Sam asked after Jack disappeared into Daniel’s bedroom.

The young man winced as he tried to stretch out his injured side. “Yeah. Like I told Jack, the pain will fade. The Vicodin will make sure I’m comfortable until it’s gone. I’m just glad I managed to derail that guilt trip before it got started. Can you imagine Jack in Super Mother Hen mode for the rest of this vacation?”

Sam laughed as Jack’s voice rang out from the other room. “I heard that!” Daniel joined in the laughter and Teal’c gave one of his rare smiles. Things were still looking good for a terrific day.

* * * * * * * *

An hour or so later, Daniel stretched his legs out into the sand and leaned back in the low beach chair he’d gotten from the resort’s front desk as he tossed his bottle of sunscreen to Sam and adjusted his glasses on his nose. The clip-on shades protected his bright blue eyes from the harsh sunlight and conveniently hid the true direction of his gaze as his female friend began to rub the lotion into her skin. She looked good in the dark blue one-piece swimsuit she wore with the sheer, multi-colored sarong tied around her waist.

Jack wasn’t nearly as subtle about his gawking. “Looking good, Carter. Be sure to save some of that stuff for me.” He leaned back on the beach towel he’d placed next to Daniel’s chair and rested his weight on his outstretched arms.

“Yes, sir,” Sam replied with a sigh from her own towel on the other side of the brown-haired man. “And thank you for the compliment.” Her parents had taught her manners after all. “You, Daniel, and Teal’c don’t look so bad yourselves. Black is really your color.”

“I thought so.” The colonel straightened his posture as he smirked and brushed some sand from his baggy black swim trunks.

“It makes such a drastic contrast to the top of your head,” Daniel murmured, the corners of his mouth twitching.

“And I blame that entirely on you, Jackson,” Jack retorted. “I didn’t have a single grey hair until after I met you. Keep that in mind.” He let his head move up and down in an exaggerated once over of his friend since his own eyes were shielded by his own pair of sunglasses. “Maybe you should have thought about going with black yourself. They say it’s slimming.”

The archaeologist smiled serenely. “I’ve heard that. I prefer my choice.” Here he gestured to the blue trunks he wore. “I was told by an old girlfriend that they bring out the color of my eyes.” His smile turned wicked. “We didn’t talk very much for a long time after that announcement.”

“You’re such a dog, Daniel,” Jack replied after a brief, surprised silence, recovering faster than Sam.

“Are you certain this shirt will be sufficient for concealment, Major Carter?” Teal’c asked from Sam’s left, referring to the black tank top he wore with a pair of red swimming shorts. A black bandana covered the gold tattoo in the middle of his forehead.

Sam considered it, her short blonde hair drifting into her face slightly when she tipped her head to the side. “Yeah, I think so, Teal’c. If we had gotten one any tighter your mark would have shown through the fabric, and that would have made the whole effort pointless.”

“And you can still feel a breeze,” Daniel added. “That’s very important in this kind of heat.”

“Which won’t matter while we’re underwater anyway,” Jack refuted with a negligent shrug. Daniel rolled his eyes. The older man caught the bottle of suntan lotion as Carter tossed it over the man between them. “Is this really necessary right now?” he asked almost petulantly.

“It’s waterproof,” Daniel assured him.

Sam nodded her agreement. “That and the water can amplify harmful UV rays. You can get burned underwater and not even know it.”

Jack scowled as he started to rub in the white cream. “Figures. Nothing’s safe anymore.”

He’d just finished and tossed the bottle into Daniel’s duffle bag when a petite brunette waitress dressed in a skimpy green bikini and matching sarong with the name of the resort written repeatedly on it in an almost hypnotic pattern walked up from the bar a little ways to their left wearing a big friendly smile. “Hi there,” she greeted them, her notebook at the ready. “My name’s Misty. Is there anything I can get for you folks?”

“I don’t know,” Jack drew out as he considered it. “Got any specials?” Both Sam and Daniel rolled their eyes.

“We have a few,” the girl confirmed. “The one I’d recommend would be a Peach Swizzle. That’s got vodka, peach schnapps, and margarita mix.” Her smile got a bit wider. “They’re my favorites.”

Daniel couldn’t help but laugh at her enthusiasm. “Do you have a non-alcoholic version?”

Misty nodded. “Sure do.” She leaned forward a bit, causing Jack to cough a little and adjust his seating. “That’s what I drink while I’m working,” she whispered.

“I’ll have one of those,” the archaeologist confirmed with a smile. Jack didn’t know how he did it, but he would have sworn Daniel’s eyes never left the girl’s.

“I think I will, too,” Sam added thoughtfully when the young woman was done writing it down. “But you can add the alcohol to mine.” Misty nodded again and noted the order.

“Would it be possible to obtain a glass of apple juice?” Teal’c asked solemnly.

Misty’s grey-green eyes widened as she took in the Jaffa’s form. It was obvious she’d just found her favorite of the bunch. “For you, anything,” she enthused then turned her attention to Jack. “And you, sir?”

He considered it. “Why don’t you get me a... Pissed Off Japanese Minnow Farmer. That’ll do me for a while I think.”

O’Neill’s three teammates looked at him oddly while their waitress never batted an eye, finishing up the order and tucking her pencil behind her right ear. “I’ll be back as soon as I can with these,” she assured them and left to return to the bar.

“It was my understanding you desired an alcoholic beverage, O’Neill,” Teal’c commented once the girl was out of hearing range.

“I have to admit, sir,” Sam said ruefully, “I’ve heard of a lot of drinks, but you threw me with that one.”

“What the hell did you just order?” Daniel completed the set, his incredulous expression the capper to the whole thing.

Jack laughed at the others’ confusion. “A Pissed Off Japanese Minnow Farmer is made with vodka, peach schnapps, amaretto, raspberry schnapps, sweet/sour mix, and cranberry juice. Midori is optional.”

Daniel blinked. “Christ, Jack! That’s nothing but alcohol!”

“There’s cranberry juice and sweet/sour mix!” the older man retorted defensively.

“It’s nothing but alcohol!” the linguist repeated.

O’Neill let out an explosive breath. “For crying out loud, Daniel, it’s just one drink. It’s not like I ordered a six-pack. Besides, it’s a real drink compared to those fluff things you and Carter ordered.”

“It is only ten-thirty, sir,” Sam reminded him. “I thought I’d save the heavy drinking for later. Like after dinner.”

Daniel backed off with a sigh when Jack’s annoyed expression didn’t fade. “We know you can handle it, Jack. It just surprised us, that’s all.” He paused for a moment. “If you get another one later you’ll have to let me try it. It actually sounds kind of interesting.”

That finished off the colonel’s bad mood. “Sure, Daniel. I think you might like it. You, too, Carter.”

“I’ll think about it, sir,” she said as she rose to her feet. “I think I’m going to stretch my legs, maybe wander over to the bar and help the girl with our drinks.” She grinned at her superior officer. “Maybe I’ll even get to see how they put together yours.”

“I believe I will accompany you, Major Carter.” Teal’c also rose to his feet and the pair of them headed off in the direction Misty had gone earlier.

Once they were gone, Jack watched as Daniel sank back into his chair, relaxing even further than he had before, a small smile playing at the corners of his mouth. It was really good to see, especially after everything the man had gone through since he’d known him. The older man started cracking jokes, getting more and more outrageous the more Daniel, in his relaxed state, reacted more than he normally would, laughing out loud when he would usually just grin. It was one more factor in a terrific morning.

* * * * * * * *

Sam was disappointed when she and Teal’c got to the bar as the bartender had just finished the colonel’s drink and was looking at the list Misty had left him. The girl was about to go collect some empty glasses from the tables around the bar when she noticed the new pair. She smiled and pointed them out to Randy, the bartender.

The man gave them a welcoming smile and started on their drinks, quickly sliding Teal’c’s apple juice across the bar. “Will we see sharks in this lagoon when we begin scuba diving, Major Carter?” the Jaffa asked before taking a small drink.

Sam nodded. “We should. They’re cordoned off from the main section of the lagoon by a steel mesh fence from what I understand. The brochure the colonel showed me last night said we’ll be swimming by there.”

“I am very interested in seeing these creatures. I have not experienced anything like them previously.”

“I always thought they were neat myself,” the blonde woman agreed. She smiled and nodded a thanks to Randy as he placed her drink in front of her. “I’ve read a few articles that said there’s scientific evidence that sharks haven’t changed very much over millions of years of evolution. So, basically, the animals we’ll be looking at today are almost exactly like the ones that swam in the oceans during the time of the dinosaurs. Completely fascinating.”

“Major Carter, is everything all right?” Teal’c asked after Sam had taken a drink and coughed, her eyes widening in surprise and blinking furiously.

Sam took a moment to catch her breath and clear her throat. “Yeah, I’m fine. My Peach Swizzle is a bit stronger than I expected, that’s all. Wow.”

A dark eyebrow rose. “Should I get the bartender’s attention?”

The physicist shook her head as she realized Misty had disappeared into the crowd with Daniel and Jack’s drinks even as Teal’c turned around to do as he had suggested. “No, no, Teal’c, really. I’m fine. I just wasn’t expecting that much alcohol in my drink. I’ll take it slow.”

“Did Daniel Jackson not request the non-alcoholic version of your beverage, Major Carter?”

“Yeah, he did. Why?”

The big man pointed to a bottle the bartender had just replaced on the rail behind the bar. “Is that not an ingredient in your drink?”

Blue eyes narrowed as Sam read the label. “Yeah, that’s peach schnapps. Pretty good brand, too. Why do you ask?”

“I believe the bartender has just finished replacing the ingredients he used in the making of Daniel Jackson’s beverage. This would suggest that he used peach schnapps. It contains alcohol, does it not?”

“Well, yeah. It...” Sam’s breath caught as she finally realized what Teal’c was getting at. “Oh my God! Daniel’s drink has alcohol in it!” She looked toward where Daniel still sat with Jack, his drink resting in the sand beside him as he laughed uproariously at something the smug-looking colonel had obviously said. “I’ve got to stop him from drinking it!” She started waving her arms in a desperate attempt to get Jack’s attention, as he was the only one facing her at the moment. The greying-haired man finally looked up, and Sam pointed at her drink then at Daniel’s, shaking her head.

Apparently he misunderstood. Jack just smiled and gave her a thumb’s up, also pointing at the drink on the other side of the still-laughing archaeologist. Sam sighed and tried again. These signals weren’t nearly as easy as the ones they used in the field. Of course, “don’t let Daniel drink that drink” was a lot harder concept to get across than “two guards around the corner to your left”. Maybe they’d have to work on that. She kept trying.

* * * * * * * *

Jack barely paused for a moment when Misty dropped off their drinks. He was in the middle of the most outrageous joke he’d told yet, and was building up toward the weird but hilarious punchline. Daniel’s face was being split more and more by a growing grin as he waited for the big finale, absently filling his mouth with a big swallow from the recent arrival.

The younger man paused in swallowing as he listened to the strange conclusion, not having expected things to go that way, and only noting in the back of his mind that there was a little more bite to his drink than he thought should be there. Then everything clicked. He choked down the peach-flavored liquid, took another big drink, somehow managed to set his glass down, and started laughing harder than he had in a very long time.

Jack sat back proudly as he took in the sight before him. Daniel had completely cut loose. This was something he never expected to see in his lifetime - and he, Jack O’Neill, was the cause of it. Life was good. Hell, life was better than good. He was sitting on a beach in the Bahamas next to his best friend, looking forward to five more days of vacation with him and the other two people in the galaxy he was closest to, knowing when it was all over they’d be returning to the most satisfying job he’d ever had the privilege of taking part in. It was a glorious thing.

He looked up at that point and saw Carter in the bar next to Teal’c frantically waving her arms in what he assumed was an attempt to get either his or Daniel’s attention. Seeing she’d gotten it, she pointed at her drink then at Daniel. Oh, well, yeah. Danny’d gotten his drink. Jack smiled and gave her a thumbs-up, pointing at the drink resting in the sand on the other side of the chair.

Carter didn’t stop waving. What the heck did she want? He’d ask Daniel, but the other man was in no condition to answer. Instead of calming down like he probably should have by that point, the laughter in appreciation for what O’Neill was confidently sure was a very funny joke quickly turning into a full-fledged laughing fit. Oh, boy. Maybe he should let Daniel laugh himself out without any more stimuli - before the man hyperventilated. While he was at it he could find out what had Carter’s panties in a bunch.

“Hey, Daniel?” he asked with a gentle hand on the laughing man’s shoulder after he got to his feet.

“Yeah, Jack?” Daniel replied through his giggles. Tears were streaming down his cheeks as he gasped for air.

“It looks like you’ve reached the laughing fit stage, so I’m going to go for a little bit and let you calm down, okay?”

Daniel tried to wave a hand dismissively. “Sure, Jack. Whatever you say.”

“I’m just going to go over to the bar and find out what Carter’s practically trying to take flight to try to tell me.” That set the seated man off again. Jack rolled his eyes. “Look, Daniel, the only way you’re going to calm down and not hyperventilate is to just sit here. Don’t talk to anybody, don’t look at anybody...” He looked at his friend critically. “In fact, why don’t you just sit there and stare at the sand?”

Another wave of laughter was the response. Daniel gave the standing man an exaggerated thumbs up. “Can do, Jack!” he assured his friend cheerfully before sticking his head between his knees and doing as requested, his nose maybe three inches from the sparkling white sand.

Jack couldn’t help but chuckle as he turned and headed for the pair of friends he could no longer see thanks to a group of people that had just walked up to the bar. He was never in a million years going to let Daniel live this down. Never.

* * * * * * * *

Jack had barely gotten out of hearing range when one of the locals walked up to the ridiculously positioned Daniel. “Hey, mon,” the dark-skinned man greeted the obvious tourist. When he didn’t get a response, he leaned over to see just what was so fascinating. “Whatchu lookin’ at?”

Daniel’s head popped up, a wide grin on his face. “Shhh,” he admonished through a giggle, bringing an uncoordinated finger up to his lips for a brief moment. “Sand! It’s everywhere!” He giggled again. “And if you think this is a lot, wow... Did you know there are planets out there that are completely covered in this stuff?”

The native gave him an odd look, but figured this could still be worth his while. “Uh, sure, mon, whatever you say. Why don’t you forget the sand? Let’s go parasailing!”

The loopy archaeologist sat bolt upright at the suggestion. “That sounds superb, my good man! Lead me on!” He jumped to his feet, tore off his glasses completely, tossed them onto his chair, and followed his new friend toward the water line, barely managing to avoid a large crowd of college students that were heading for the beach volleyball courts.

The pair of them made their way to a platform sticking out into the water just on the other side of the steel mesh fence Sam had mentioned to Teal’c. A widely smiling Daniel was helped into a harness attached to the parasail while two other men sat in the boat barely paying attention to the proceedings and drinking beers. It didn’t take long before the rope was securely attached to both man and boat, and Daniel’s buddy hopped into the driver’s seat and started everything up.

There was no warning before Daniel was jerked off his feet and was sailing into the air. The brown-haired man giggled as he took in the view, looking around with gleeful amazement. “Look at the fishies!” he called out, pointing at the forms he could see swimming in the water next to the launch platform he’d just taken off from. “Hi, fishies!” He couldn’t help but think that this was the best time he’d ever had.

* * * * * * * *

Jack finally made his way through the suddenly crowded bar just in time to catch Sam and Teal’c before they could start elbowing their way through the overabundant college students. Apparently it was time for all good university-bound young men and women to get up and swarm to the beach. Jack couldn’t help but wish they’d waited another half hour.

“Colonel! Finally! You can’t let Daniel have that drink!” Sam announced, desperation and relief warring for supremacy in her tone.

“Why?” Jack retorted. “It’s not like he’s allergic to peaches or anything.”

The blonde woman fought the urge to shake the man. “It’s not the peaches, sir. Here,” she said offering him her glass. “Take a sip. You’ll understand what I’m talking about.”

The colonel raised a skeptical eyebrow. “There’s a reason I didn’t order a Peach Swizzle, Carter.”

“Please, sir!”

“Do as Major Carter requests, O’Neill,” Teal’c seconded seriously.

“Okay, okay, since it’s so important to you...” SG-1's team leader took the glass and took a sip, coughing immediately after swallowing. “Jesus! How much vodka did they put in this thing, anyway?” He thrust the drink back at its owner.

“I don’t know, sir. What I do know is that the bartender made a mistake and made Daniel’s Peach Swizzle the same way.” Sam looked her CO right in the eye, willing him to understand.

He didn’t. “Oh, God, Daniel’s not going to like this. He hates it when his drinks are heavy on the booze.”

The Air Force major took a deep breath to control her frustration. “Colonel O’Neill, you remember your little tussle with Daniel this morning?”

Jack flinched with the remorse he still felt over the incident. “Of course I do, Carter. I had to go and get Daniel’s prescription for... him...” His brown eyes widened as the light bulb finally went on. “Oh, shit! He took half a pill of Vicodin before coming down to the beach!” He glared at his 2IC. “Why didn’t you just tell me?”

“I thought you’d get it when you tasted how much alcohol was in my drink. Where’s Daniel now, sir?”

“And I thought he was just caught up in a laughing fit...”

“O’Neill? Daniel Jackson’s location?” Teal’c prompted.

“I left him in his beach chair staring at the sand. It seemed the best way to keep him from hyperventilating while he avoided noticing anything that would keep him going. He’s probably still there.” Just then, as though the Fates had parted them to taunt the members of SG-1, the herd of students cleared a path to where they had laid out their towels, revealing the absence of one Doctor Daniel Jackson, trouble magnet extraordinaire. “Or not,” Jack finished with a resigned sigh.

“We’ve got to find him, sir,” Sam said, a resigned look of her own shaping her features.

“Well, that’s just a given.” Jack led the three of them back to the abandoned beach chair.

Teal’c picked up the lonely, clip-on covered glasses. “Daniel Jackson will not be seeing clearly,” the Jaffa commented.

“Oh, that just makes things so much better,” O’Neill griped as he picked up the abandoned mixed drink and realized his friend had tossed back about half of it.

“With the number of people who have recently passed this position, I will not be able to track where he has gone,” the big man continued.

The colonel nodded, putting the glass back down. “That doesn’t surprise me. Sand’s not all that great at holding tracks in the first place.” He took a deep breath and released it. “I suppose we’re going to have to split up to cover the beach. Something must have caught his attention - which is easy enough to do when he’s not as high as a kite, and I have a hard enough time stopping him from wandering off then. Carter, you go...”

Jack never got a chance to tell Sam where to head as a loud, high-pitched scream rang out from high above them. The three galactic explorers - along with a large number of other people on the beach - immediately looked up. “I believe I have located Daniel Jackson,” Teal’c said with a straight face.

With the Jaffa’s superior eyesight, there was no doubt he was sure. “You know,” Jack drew out, “when I said he was as high as a kite, I didn’t think it was literally.” The other two shot him a quick, exasperated look, then returned their attention to their flailing friend floating so high above them. Only Daniel...

* * * * * * * *

As he admired the view, Daniel didn’t notice himself reaching the limit of the length of rope attaching him to the boat zooming around the lagoon below him. With a jerk, the rope went completely taut; what also came with the jolt of the expanse of nylon was a return to reality. Daniel blinked and took another look around him. And just like that, his fear of heights rushed back with a vengeance.

Even the archaeologist was surprised by the volume and pitch of the involuntary scream that tore out of his throat. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw that the two guys that had been drinking beer when this whole fiasco began were still paying next to no attention to him, but the driver gave him a quick grin and thumbs-up. “No!” Daniel yelled frantically. “Bring me down! Bring me down!”

Down on the boat, the driver looked back at his two friends. “What did he say?”

The two beer drinkers shared a look. “Take ‘er around,” one of them answered.

“Around the lagoon it is!”

On the third circuit of the lagoon, Daniel, who had long since given up on getting them to understand his pleas, squinted at the dark shapes swimming in the water. There seemed to be an awful lot of large fish... His bright blue eyes widened as he realized the creatures he’d previously thought were fish were in actuality the sharks that Jack had been so eager to swim with that morning. He also realized that the platform he’d taken off from in his drug-induced stupor was on the wrong side of the barrier that kept the vicious meat-eaters from sharing swimming space with the tourists. Could they sense that he’d recently had surgery? He could only hope that Jack hadn’t ruptured anything with that elbow to the stomach. God, what else could go wrong?

He shouldn’t have asked. The boat driver finally decided the fun and games were over and started to bring them back in. Daniel offered up a prayer of thanks to whoever or whatever might be listening before some motion from the boat drew his attention. The two men who had up to that point been pretty much ignoring his existence wore nearly identical panicked looks on their faces, and were alternately poking the driver and pointing up at him. Wondering what in the hell could be freaking them out so badly, Daniel looked straight down at the water - and very quickly put two and two together.

They were going to miss the platform.

Not by a whole lot, mind you. But enough.

Soon afterward, the linguist’s toes were skimming the top of the water, and his entire attention was focused on the platform, fully determined to make his dunking in the lagoon as short as possible. “Just poke ‘em in the eye!” the driver yelled out frantically.

“Who?” Daniel yelled back, momentarily confused.

“The sharks!”

“Oh my God, the sharks!”

Daniel’s teammates came to a screeching halt at the edge of the beach at the end of the platform the young man was heading for, all of them aware of his situation. Their breath caught as Daniel somehow managed to take advantage of his momentum and practically ran across the top of the water, diving with amazing accuracy onto the landing platform. Jack hit the ground rolling with hysterical laughter at the other man’s antics as Daniel tore off the harness and immediately strode off toward the beach, his whole body shaking. The archaeologist glanced over at the odd commotion, saw it was caused by his friends who weren’t even looking in his direction, and took off running with a hurt expression.

Sam, who had glanced down at her commanding officer in amazement at the exact wrong moment, looked up in time to see the figure of her friend disappear into the crowd. Then she got angry. “Really, sir, how could you?” Jack was laughing so hard he couldn’t respond.

“O’Neill, should we not check on the condition of Daniel Jackson? He appeared to be quite upset,” Teal’c added, mystified by the laughing man’s behavior.

“I’m... I’m sure... he’ll... be fine... once he has... a chance... to calm down...” Jack managed to gasp out. “Did you... see... that dive?” And he was gone again.

The driver of the boat came running up at that point, keeping Sam from taking an action that would have been sure to get her severely disciplined, if not outright court-martialed. “He did not pay for the ride!” he exclaimed, outraged, looking off in the direction of his missing fare.

Teal’c and Sam stared daggers at the man, making him flinch, but not back off. Realizing he wasn’t leaving without his fee, whether or not he had taken advantage of someone in a drug-induced haze, the frustrated astrophysicist took a quick look around and snatched the wallet that was about to fall out of the pocket of Jack O’Neill’s swim trunks. “Here,” she said shortly, stuffing a wad of bills into the islander’s outstretched hand. “Consider the rest an incentive to stay away from us the rest of the time we’re here.”

The native did a swift inventory of his good fortune and grinned. “Of course, lovely lady. Consider it done.” He did an about face and headed back to his boat where his two friends were packing up the parasail.

“Now, Teal’c,” the major said to the Jaffa at her side as she handed him the nearly empty billfold and took Daniel’s glasses, “why don’t you stay here and make sure the colonel doesn’t hurt himself laughing too hard at Daniel’s expense? I’ll go check on Daniel.”

“Of course, Major Carter. Is there a time and place you will meet us later?”

Sam considered it. “Daniel’s going to have to sleep this off, I think. How about dinner tonight at the hotel restaurant? Say, seven o’clock?”

“Damn, Carter, it’s only eleven in the morning,” Jack said from the sandy ground.

The other two ignored him. “That will be acceptable,” Teal’c agreed. “We will meet you then. Assure Daniel Jackson that I am most concerned for his welfare.”

“Uh, guys, what about what I think?” O’Neill asked, looking from one teammate to the other as he sat up, his laughter over.

They still ignored him. “I’ll do that, Teal’c. We’ll see you later.” Sam turned and walked off toward the hotel, figuring Daniel was most likely headed there.

There was a long moment of silence. “I really screwed this one up, didn’t I?” Jack said at last, his eyes on the place where he’d lost sight of the upset woman. “I’m going to have to apologize when they come down.”

Teal’c looked down on him, eyebrow raised. “Indeed.”

* * * * * * * *

When Sam keyed herself into the team’s suite, she was happy to find her guess had been correct. Daniel lay stretched out on the couch, absently staring at the Animal Planet on the television. And he was still upset. He completely ignored her entrance, seeming to pay even more attention to what was happening on the screen.

“Daniel, are you all right? I was worried when you ran off like that.”

“Sure you were,” Daniel drawled. “That’s why you couldn’t tear your eyes away from Laughing Boy O’Neill rolling around in the sand instead of seeing if I’d made it okay. I really appreciated the concern.” He still hadn’t looked at her.

Sam sighed. “The colonel surprised both me and Teal’c by doing that, Daniel. You ran by before we could look back. Neither one of us meant to hurt you.” She paused. “I don’t think the colonel meant to hurt you either, not really. This was another one of those ‘act before you think’ moments of his.”

There was a long stretch of silence. “I guess you could be right,” the lounging man finally conceded. His mouth began to twitch. “I even suppose it was pretty funny to see.”

The physicist let herself relax and moved over to stand at the end of the couch, placing the eyewear discreetly on the end table. “Maybe, but I’m sure it wasn’t funny to go through. Are you all right?”

Daniel finally made eye contact and smiled. “Yeah, I’m fine. I think I pulled something during my mad dash for the platform, but I took the other half of the Vicodin pill so it’s nothing to worry about.”

That made Sam stiffen again. “Oh, Daniel. You do realize you didn’t get loopy just on the Vicodin, don’t you? The bartender accidentally made you an alcoholic Peach Swizzle. It was the combination that set you off.” She bit her lower lip. “I hope it’s out of your system before that other half hits.”

The archaeologist’s eyes widened. “There was alcohol in that drink? Oh my God. Although that does explain why I felt such a kick...” His brow furrowed in consideration. “I think adrenalin took care of most of it, but I’m still feeling a bit light-headed.” He sighed. “I better sleep this off before I do something even more stupid.”

“I thought you might have to. I told Teal’c we’d meet him and the colonel for dinner at the hotel restaurant at seven. Are you okay with that?”

Daniel nodded. “That should be more than enough time. But I don’t want to keep you from enjoying your first full day in the Bahamas. Go ahead and find something fun to do in the sun. Take lots of pictures and tell me about it later.”

“I don’t want to go off by myself, and I’m still a little upset with the colonel for the way he treated you. I think I’d rather just spend some time with you, maybe watch a movie or two, relax.” She gave her friend a tentative look. “That’s okay, isn’t it?”

A slight giggle escaped her friend’s lips. “As long as you’re okay with it, I don’t have a problem. It’ll be nice to spend some time alone with you.” Bright blue eyes widened as he realized what he said. “I don’t mean that way. I mean, we don’t get to do things together alone a lot anymore, as friends or anything, you know. Not that I wouldn’t like spending time that way with you, because you’re a beautiful woman and everything, but we’re friends so I wouldn’t and I try not to think of you that way since I don’t want to be uncomfortable and I don’t want you to feel uncomfortable so don’t worry I’m usually really successful at not thinking about you that way and I feel really guilty when I do because I know you don’t think of me that way and I’m still not quite over Sha’re but I think she liked you when she met you on Abydos and I think she just would have liked you more had she gotten a chance to know you better like I do and I don’t think she’d have a problem with me moving on now that she’s gone and, and, and... well, you know.” Daniel lay there almost breathless at the end of his long tirade.

Sam had listened to it all with her jaw practically on the ground. Apparently there was still a little bit of alcohol in his system after all. She never would have guessed that Daniel had ever even thought about thinking about her that way. Sam herself had shoved away thoughts like that about Daniel after Sha’re had planted that incredibly possessive kiss on him after the physicist had been introduced to the scientist she’d only read about previously. Not that she’d always been successful. But she’d done her best to try. Now, thanks to a drug-induced loosening of the tongue, she was beginning to think those thoughts might not be quite as taboo as they used to be.

But she wouldn’t take advantage of the situation. “Daniel,” she said with a gentle, accepting smile, “I think you need to sleep the drugs off before we talk anymore about this.”

“You’re probably right. If I keep talking, I’ll end up telling you how much I’ve wondered what it would be like to kiss you lately, and then I’d be embarrassed.” He stopped and considered what he’d just said. “Oops. Too late. I think I’ll just go to sleep now.” He closed his eyes.

“Daniel, you should probably move to your bedroom.” Sam looked down at her friend with an amused look and shook her head at the position he was in. His six-foot frame was a little too long for the sofa, making him rest his ankles on the arm rest closest to her while his neck was situated at an uncomfortable angle against the other one. “Daniel?”

“Don’t wanna move,” he mumbled. “Wanna have background noise from the TV.”

“Then if you can move off the couch for a minute, I can pull out the sofa-bed.”

That made him open his eyes. “Okay!” he chirped, then flopped onto the floor. Before Sam could ask if he was all right, Daniel crawled around the far end of the davenport and poked his head back up above the arm rest. “All yours, Sam.”

There was nothing that could be said in response to that, so the blonde major made short order of the rearrangement of the common room furniture, finishing it off with the blankets and pillows from Daniel’s bed. “There you go, Daniel. Get comfortable.”

“Thanks, Sam.” The archaeologist jumped under the covers and snuggled into the thin mattress. “There’s only one thing that could make this better,” he sighed, his eyelids drooping.

“What’s that?” Sam queried, sitting on the arm rest.

Daniel gave her an impish grin. “Company.” He patted the space next to him. “You can’t tell me you don’t want to watch...” He looked at the screen, frowned, and changed the channel. “... a special about the history of ice cream. I know you can’t.”

Sam laughed. “How can I with that kind of invitation?” She took off her sarong and sandals then laid down next to her friend, accepting the pillow she was offered. “There we go. Comfort at its best.”

“You know it.”

The two of them watched the show for a long while, a comfortable silence having settled over the pair. Then, out of the blue, Daniel turned his head and captured Sam’s regard when she investigated the movement. “I know what I want now, Sam,” he breathed, his gaze deep and intense.

The woman’s breath caught as he raised himself up onto his left elbow and slipped his right arm across her stomach. Her eyes widened as his face came closer and closer to her own, then closed as she waited for what would happen next. They sprang back open when she felt him snuggle his face into the crook of her neck, his left arm sliding underneath her and pulling her extremely close. She couldn’t help but feel like a giant plush toy.

She felt the smile against her skin. “I can’t wait to talk to you about everything later, Sam,” Daniel whispered, obviously barely hanging on to consciousness. “It’ll be a good talk.”

“Yes, it will, Daniel,” Sam murmured as she laid her head on the one so close to her own and returned the embrace. “I’m really looking forward to it.” It wasn’t too long before she had joined the archaeologist in slumber, both of them dreaming about what the future would hold. 

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