Joy's Fiction Stargate SG-1 Slash Fanfiction

Trinity 19

T


Trinity 19: Sweet Blood

Part 5 of 5 – Conclusion

Summary:  Pleasure before business; with business, danger.

Warning:  As with the previous four chapters, it isn’t strictly J/D/J.

The Residents (cont.)

As Jason opened the door to his room, Alex’s voice met him long before he had him in sight.

“For chrissakes, Major, would you please sing something else?”

Jason stopped his singing abruptly as he entered, then slowly closed the door.  He found Alex, sitting on the floor, his laptop on one of the short tables that could be considered a coffee table.  “And what would you have me sing instead?”

Alex looked over.  “I’m not going there so forget about it.”

Jason sniggered.  Alex then noticed that his team leader was holding two small liquor glasses containing a light green liquid.  “What’s that?” he pointed as he pushed up from the floor and walked over to him.

“Call it a nightcap,” Jason answered and handed him one glass.

Alex eyed it dubiously.  “A nightcap?”

“A nightcap…of sorts.  It’s a relaxant.  To help you, just in case you’re too nervous about meeting with one of Adriann’s family.”

“One?” he asked taking the glass and studying the liquid and Jason in equal measure.

“Well, only one person will be here in a while.  At least, that’s what I’m planning on telling Adriann when I get back to Daniel’s room.”

“Oh.  That’s a relief, I guess.  How long’s a while?” Alex asked as the news caused him to relax even more.

“Just after dark, I think.  Maybe half an hour.”

“Oh,” he said again as he held up the glass, examining the contents.  “What kind of relaxant is it?  ‘Cause if it’s like valium, I’ll just end up going to sleep.  You know I’ve never been able to handle–“

“No, Alex.  This is more along the lines of an…aphrodisiac,” he said carefully.  “According to Adriann, it’s supposed to be a mild one, makes one relax, but as it’s not made for humans, we’re essentially guinea pigs.”

Alex’s reaction was exactly what Jason expected.  “You’re kidding, right?”

Jason shook his head.  “Nope.  You don’t have to.  It’s only a suggestion.”

“Has anyone else had this?” he asked warily.

Jason gave him a crooked grin.  “I’m joining you.  Jack, Daniel and Sam just had theirs not five minutes ago.”

Alex studied him, staring long into his eyes.  “They actually — any side-effects I should know about?”

Jason smiled slowly, then cleared his throat.  “It’ll make us dizzy at first.  It did them.  After that, I’ve no clue about what to expect.  Adriann just said that it’s supposed to relax one’s inhibitions, so I thought that if you have any anxiety or…you know…about your feelings and…” Jason gave up on that track, not wanting to embarrass his second but he ended up doing just that anyway when he saw the man’s ears slightly redden.

“Sorry, Alex.  This is a bad idea.” He reached for the man’s glass but Alex pulled it back slightly, then abruptly clinked their glasses together.

“Aww, what the fuck.  Down the hatch,” he said.  Jason held up his glass hesitantly as he looked back into the brown eyes.  They tossed back the liquid in one synchronous movement.  Alex licked his lips, then wrinkled his nose.  “Licorice.  Yech.  I hate licorice.” Jason started to laugh and Alex frowned at him.  “What’s so funny?”

Jason told him the humorous bit with the name, anise.  Alex groaned.  “God.  I never – ever – expected to meet a Tok’ra bimbo.  I am so damn glad we weren’t her guinea pigs…except for that fucking zatarc test.”

“Tell me about it.”

“Did you notice how so many of the guys just couldn’t take their eyes off that pair she had?  Fuckin’ Christ.”

“I, for one, found that top she wore in extremely bad taste.  Talk about trying to get attention.” He was going to say that her tits hadn’t interested him in the least but left it alone.

“I heard she made a pass at Colonel O’Neill.  Was that true?”

Jason rolled his eyes.  “Yeah.  Kissed him in his holding room, too, from what Daniel told me.”

“Kissed him?”

Jason nodded.  “Daniel was also bit weirded out because Colonel O’Neill told him that the snake, Anise, liked Daniel for his mind.”

Alex frowned.  “Okay, now this just gets — Anise liked Daniel but it was Freya who wanted to jump in the sack with the Colonel?  That is just too weird.”

“Too weird is right,” Jason remarked as he took their empty glasses, set them on the room’s liquor table, then motioned at the sofa.  “We should sit down, Alex.  Right about…oh shit,” and he lost his balance slightly, thrusting his hand out to catch himself on the sofa back.

Alex swayed suddenly and reached out to steady himself as well.  “Shit, no kidding.” As they guided themselves to sit, they instinctively reached out for the other and used each other’s shoulders as leverage while they sat.

“It’ll pass quickly,” Jason remarked as he bent over.

Alex did the same.  “Damn, that’s one hell of a goddamned head rush,” came his muffled voice.  After a few moments, the two felt fine and sat up straight.

“Better?” Jason asked.

“Better.”

“Me, too.”

In fact, he was feeling a rush of warmth flowing through him now.  His heart began to race slightly and his skin felt flushed.  So did Alex’s, judging by the color of his cheeks and ears, once again pink.  What Jason didn’t realize was that the hand he had on Alex’s back, meant to soothe, was part of the cause for the man’s flush.

“Don’t you have to get back to…Daniel?” Alex asked quickly as he moved away to shut off his computer, using that moment to get away from Jason’s touch.

“Not right away.  I wanted to make sure you’d be okay before I went back to Daniel’s.”

“What about…what about the Colonel?  Is he staying in the same room while this…goes on?”

Jason bit his lip thoughtfully.  “He’ll be in the living room,” he replied.  He wasn’t exactly lying.  That’s where he’d left Jack.

“You don’t have to stay, Jason.  I don’t need a babysitter.”

Jason snorted.  “No, you don’t need a babysitter.  This is different.”

Alex turned round, and before he could stop himself, he said, “Then…stay.  Just for a bit.” He then moved further away, pacing the length of the room.

“Sure.” Jason watched him, wondering what was up.  He frowned slightly, wondering why Alex was nervous.  The liquor mixture, drug, potion, whatever…it was meant to relax, not heighten anxiety.  “Alex, why are you pacing?  You’re not supposed to be anxious.” Jason suddenly came to the wrong conclusion.  “Shit, it’s making you act that way, isn’t it?  I’ll get Adriann.” He rose and went for the door but Alex caught him by the arm.

“No.  It’s not the drug.  I want you to be here, Jason, but…I’m…” He let go of Jason then and took a step back.  “It’s you, I think.”

“Am I making you nervous?” Jason asked, reaching out, and was startled as Alex took another step back.  Jason persisted and took his arm just above the elbow.  The touch sent electric signals to Alex’s groin.

“The drug is working, Jason.  I’m feeling warm, tingly, and…maybe…maybe you should go.”

Jason’s brow raised as he snorted.  “Why?  You afraid you’ll attack me?  Not hardly, Alex.”

Alex swallowed and closed his eyes.  “Jason…for a smart guy, you can be incredibly dense sometimes.” He looked down at the hand on his arm.  “You’re touch…it’s…arousing.” He closed his eyes again and brought his hand up to Jason’s.  “Go.”

Jason looked down at his hand, and as he heard Alex’s words, he felt his own heart rate increase.  He wanted to let go…so why wasn’t he?  He remembered what Adriann said about the drug enhancing attractions.  His mind then went back to the conversation he and his second had had…about Alex’s erotic dream.  His mouth dropped open.

“You lied to me before.”

“Jason…don’t go there.”

“You lied to me before and I didn’t even see it.”

“Jason, it means nothing.  I got aroused then, fine, but I…”

“And you got off on…”

“Jason…don’t…it means nothing.”

“Like fuck it doesn’t,” Jason said, his eyes widening.  Still, his hand remained on Alex’s arm.  He needed to figure this out but what the hell was there to figure out?  His second had a thing for him.  It wasn’t just a simple attraction to watching men together.  This was a lot more complicated – and yet very simple.  “Jesus, Alex.”

“Jason?”

“What?”

Alex gave him an imploring look, but when Jason didn’t move away, his look changed to intense interest.  He stepped into his leader’s very personal space and slid his arm around his waist.  Jason’s eyes widened and his hands immediately went to remove Alex’s arm around his waist…except they simply stayed there.  His eyes flickered back and forth over his second’s face, trying to figure out what the hell was the matter with the man – but at the same time, he felt a frisson of heat from Alex’s arm as the contact continued.  He swallowed.

“Alex, what the hell are you doing?”

Alex worked his jaw soundlessly, looking as if to speak but couldn’t.  Then his eyes fixed on Jason’s lips as he slowly moved his leader backward…until Jason’s back hit the wall.

Jason watched, partly in fascination, partly in desire as Alex leaned in.  Why wasn’t he stopping him?  He could have moved quite easily…but he didn’t.  He was so surprised by his own reaction that he automatically dropped his mouth open.  Then Alex’s mouth was over his own, testing, almost savoring.  It seemed Alex was going to say something again, but Jason received another surprise as his 2IC pressed his lips to his, and yet another surprise as he returned the dry kiss.  Then came the insistent tongue between his lips.

Jason’s mouth opened again in further shock but the moment his tongue met Alex’s, his objections were quickly forgotten.

Fuck, the man could kiss, he thought.

Their kiss deepened, and while their tongues explored, so did their hands.  When Alex pressed close and their groins came into contact, along with their very real erections, Jason let out a moan of desire.

The sound seemed to break the spell and Alex suddenly pushed away, blushing furiously in astonishment.  “Jesus jumped up Christ on a goddamned horse!  I’m sorry, Jason!”

Jason licked his lips and tried to make light of it, but his heart was racing.  He didn’t know if it was from surprise or out-and-out lust.  “Don’t be.  Extenuating circumstances.”

Without another word, Alex stepped forward and kissed him again and with more passion.  Jason couldn’t figure out why he was kissing him back, why he wasn’t resisting, why he should be resisting.  This felt normal, right.  When Alex’s hand brushed over his erection, he moaned again.  As his own hand travelled over the clothed, hard cock of his 2IC, Jason felt a surge of power run through him.  He’d made the man hard – made him jerk off, in fact.  He’d made him moan and thrust his hips for more as he firmly caressed his 2IC over his fatigues.

The powerful thoughts also brought Jason round.  What the hell was the matter with him? he asked himself.  Could it be that damned drug?  Fuck, of course!  He shoved them apart, both of them gasping for breath as he stepped away from the wall and his 2IC.

“Fucking hell.  We can’t…we can’t do this, Alex.  It’s the drug.  That drug is…oh my God, talk about an aphrodisiac.”

“God, I’m sorry–” Alex replied, leaning forward and dropping his forehead against the wall.

“No, Alex, don’t be.” He ran a shaky hand through his hair.  “God…this is…”

“Weird.”

“Yeah.”

“You’d better–“

“Go.  Yeah.  Are you gonna be okay?”

“Fine.  I’ll be fine.”

“Fine, good, okay…I’ll just be going…now.”

When Jason was out in the hallway, he leaned back against the closed door and took a deep breath.  What the fuck had he just allowed to happen?  He knew better.  He knew what the drug had the capability to do…but he hadn’t really believed it, had he?  Well, he did now.  He remembered again about what Adriann had said about the drug, about how it brings out attractions already there.  Did that mean he held something for Alex?  He shook his head.  No, being attracted to someone doesn’t mean anything, he told himself.  A lot of men are attractive.  Doesn’t mean he’d fuck them.  He shook his head, telling himself that those kisses would not have happened if not for the drug.  And part of him actually believed it.

As he made his way back to the room, Jack’s exclamation brought him up short.  “What have you gotten yourself into now, Jack?” he whispered and turned the knob.

.

Adriann examined the hold on his ankle.  Their hands were warm, strong, arousing.  He had no idea what it was about these men, but they sure had a hold over him, literally and figuratively.  First was his quick flight with love for Daniel, which hadn’t diminished; then came the growing intoxication he felt with Jack; and then the bonding he had experienced with Jason.  His desires for each of them were growing stronger, and he knew it was love.  For all three.  But what he found most amazing was the pull towards Jack.  He had never gone for men who were as outwardly dominant as himself as Jack and Jason were.  He had always been drawn to the men with more subtle, more hidden, strengths – like Daniel.  A man like his late lover: one not in a position of leadership, but one who held a power, a strength, one who could have been the leader – but wasn’t.  Jack’s fingers tightened around his ankle, taking Adriann from his thoughts.

He looked down into the brown eyes so full of mischief.  “Are you trying to restrain me?” he asked, letting his amusement show.

“Well, my hand is around your ankle, so what does that tell you?” Jack pointed out.

“Our hands,” Daniel corrected.

Jack flickered a look down before correcting himself.  “Sorry, our hands.”

Adriann shook his head.  “How can I get things started with my family if you’ve got your hands around my ankle?” He really didn’t want to move, though.  Their touch was sending jolts of heat straight into his groin.

“You’re telepathic, Adriann,” Jack said.  “Figure it out.”

“Why didn’t I think of that?” Adriann replied sarcastically.  He closed his eyes and tilted his head, calling to them, telling them what had been said, who would be involved.  Jack and Daniel stared up in wonder at the strange yet fascinating silent communication.

Are you prepared?  Adriann asked his brothers and sisters.

We are, came one reply.  They will be with their mates?

All but one, Adriann replied.  Ophius?  Will you see to Alex?  He is…

Inexperienced with the males, said the man addressed.  Yes, I understand.

Take special care.  He is not just inexperienced.

Stop your worrying, came the irritated reply.

Introduce yourselves, then wait nearby and come in at the last.  You understood what that means, yes?

Yes, came the multiple replies.  Adriann heard the annoyance in their voices.  He sighed.  Even in his mind, they sounded both weak and disappointed.

What is it?  I sense something.  A question perhaps?

I would like to… came from Quessan.  You have seen them, tasted them.

I have tasted one.

Is he different?

A little.  You really wish to do this?

Yes, came from more than just Quessan.  Apparently more were just as curious.

Very well.  Ask them.  In the mood they are in, they will likely be cooperative, if they do not instigate it themselves.

One time only? came another, weaker, voice.

No, but one time only for tonight.  Will that be sufficient?

The voice said that it would have to be.

They do not like us.

That is only partly true, Pasha.  They still fear us a bit.  I am sure you understand that?

Yes.

Their voices went silent and Adriann finally looked down.  “They will be here to introduce themselves shortly.  Whatever interaction you wish to have, that will be up to you.” Jack’s hand tightened and he tried to pull Adriann closer.  Adriann resisted…easily.  “You cannot move me, Jack,” he said quietly, a grin on his face.  He knew they were teasing, playing.  He was growing to appreciate them more and more.  He missed this type of fun and games.  The effect of the drink was also increasing his willingness to be freer and more honest with them.  “I can, however, move you quite easily.”

Jack snorted, and without thinking or remembering how Adriann had handled Tan, he dared him.  “Prove it.”

Jack’s eyes went wide in shock when the man’s hands gripped snugly about his waist and lifted him – with frightening ease – off Daniel.  He was abruptly thrown onto his back, and though slightly winded, he made a mental note that the move was not meant to hurt him – and that Adriann easily could have.  It reminded him in one moment how strong the man actually was.  He looked up into Adriann’s face, realizing that his hands were pinned, not just his body, and his urge to fight set in.

“Fuck me!” he exclaimed, using the words as a curse.

“If you insist,” Adriann replied.

Jack’s eyes widened as his cuss words came back to him.  His jaw worked soundlessly for a second before he was able to blurt out, “I mean…um…well, you know that I didn’t mean…oh shit.” He thrust up, then decided that was not the right move.  He pushed up with his hands, his legs, his feet, but nothing worked.  Adriann had him pinned…and was lowering his face, staring at his lips.  Jack held his breath, then looked over at Daniel, whose eyes were wide with surprise and astonishment.

“Some help you are.”

Daniel laughed.  “This is more fun.”

“You are in so much shit, Jackson.”

Daniel laughed again, then his eyes grew even wider as Adriann’s grin grew wolfish.

“I think it is you who are in deep…shit,” Adriann replied as he lowered himself quite comfortably.  Daniel felt the flush of arousal wash over him as Adriann let his body weight drop as he brushed his lips against Jack’s.

Jack stopped moving, staring at Adriann’s lips, then into the grey eyes, now dark with lust.  “Bring it on,” he whispered, tilting his head, and opening his mouth just as Adriann kissed him again, this time much more firmly.

Daniel couldn’t move.  He was fixated.  Watching Jack’s reaction was…hot.

.

“Okay, what the hell’s go…oh…fuck.” That last word was whispered.  Jason’s eyes travelled from Adriann kissing Jack – on the floor – to Daniel sitting nearby, shirtless and watching, with a shit-eating grin on his face.

Jason pointed at Daniel’s bare skin.  “Starting without me?” he asked.  Daniel didn’t dignify that with a response.  He nodded at Jack, so Jason walked over to him and Adriann and bent over, his lips curling into a teasing grin.  “I see you have Adriann just where you want him, eh Jack?”

“As a matter of fact…” Jack began, breaking the kiss.  “I’m working into it.  This is all part of the plan.”

“Ah huh,” Jason replied as he winked at Daniel.  “What plan is that?”

“I’m making it up as I go along,” Jack replied.  Adriann grinned at him and bent to share another kiss but Daniel’s words interrupted him.

Daniel got up from the floor, his eyes on Jason’s lips.  A heat welled within him as he approached him.  Without warning, he grabbed him about the waist and yanked his body against his own.  Jason felt desire rocket through him at the sudden possessiveness and judging where Daniel was looking, Jason knew exactly what brought this on.

With the tip of his index finger, Daniel traced Jason’s lips.  “Jace, what’s this?”

“Um…”

Daniel’s words brought Jack’s attention from Adriann.  He couldn’t see what Daniel was talking about and he pushed.  “Let me up.”

“Are you sure?” Adriann teased, knowing Jack was quite sure.

“Come on,” Jack said, pushing his hands against Adriann’s.  Adriann grinned and in one fluid movement, pushed up with his feet, pulling Jack with him.

Jack took his gaze from the man to stare at Jason.  He reached out and without comment, ran the tip of his own index finger over Jason’s lips.  The action made Jason’s cock twitch against Daniel’s groin, and as Daniel felt it, he smiled evilly.

“Another test kiss, Jace?” Daniel asked.

Jason closed his eyes and swallowed, hard.  “Um…I’ve just discovered that Alex really is um, attracted to me.”

“Seems the attraction is mutual,” Jack said tightly, trying very hard not to get jealous.

Jason opened his eyes and stared hard into Jack’s.  “Not that way.  He’s handsome.  Any idiot can see that.  But this drug…it just bypassed all my usual objections and I simply…let…him kiss me.”

“Let?” Daniel asked as his own jealousy – and arousal – kicked up a notch.  “Good was it?” he added sarcastically as his arm tightened about Jason’s waist.

Jason’s eyes narrowed.  “You’re better,” and his eyes went to Jack.  “And so are you.  Don’t make a big deal about this.  It’s the drug, dammit.” And damn it, if Daniel didn’t let go…not that he wanted him to let go…

“He’s right,” Adriann interjected, trying to forestall any bad feelings.  “It will make you susceptible to advances.  It was designed to do that.”

Daniel’s brow raised and he looked over at Adriann, his possessiveness abating somewhat.  “It’s a designer drug?”

Adriann didn’t understand that reference.  “If you mean that it is genetically altered, no. I meant that nature designed it to do that.”

“Oh.”

“Don’t be too hard on him,” Adriann went on.  “After all, Jack.  You were kissing me.”

Jack turned, snorting.  “Excuse me?  You kissed me.”

“You kissed back.”

Jason bit his lips, trying not to smile.  “I saw that, too.  The tail end of it, anyway.”

“The tail end is where it would have ended up had they had kept going,” Daniel said drily as he let Jason go and stepped back.  Jason reached out and took Daniel’s hand in his, pulling him back.

“Come here,” he said quietly, then put his arms around him and kissed him, deeply.

Daniel wound his fingers through Jason’s dark hair, deepening the kiss even more.  All he wanted to do right then and there was rip the man’s clothes off and fuck him stupid.

Taking a long look at his lovers, Jack couldn’t help but get very aroused.  In fact, if Adriann weren’t there, he be stripped and pulling his lovers into the bedroom.  He watched them, then caught Adriann watching him…watch his lovers.

“What?” he asked, clearing his throat.

Adriann tilted his head, regarding Jack, then Daniel and Jason as they continued to kiss.  “You are very passionate men,” and he cleared his throat suddenly.  “I can feel it.”

That abruptly ended the kiss.  Daniel and Jason broke apart, licking their lips together.

Jack let a slow smile spread across his face as one brow arched up.  “So, Adriann, what now?”

“What do you mean?” Adriann asked, matching his smile.

“What happens now?”

“What do you want to happen, Jack?”

“Well, I already know what will happen in a little while.  Sex is pretty much on the menu, isn’t it?  For all of us.  We made that choice, drinking that ‘fuck me’ potion.  So, I guess what I’m asking is, who…gets…whom?” Jason and Daniel tried not to look surprised as they snickered to themselves.

Adriann blinked, not sure what the hell Jack was getting at.  He then smiled.  “Do you always answer questions with questions?”

“You did.”

“So I did.  As I said before, my siblings will be here soon, we will get acquainted, then…” He shrugged.  “The rest is up to you.”

Jack exchanged glances with Daniel and Jason.  “Okay.  So…”

His lovers pulled him to them, each wrapping an arm around his waist.  “What’s the matter, Jack?” Daniel teased.  “It’s a little late to be shy.”

Adriann smiled.  “It is never too late, Daniel.  He can change his mind, if wants to.”

Jack looked over at him and stepped out from his lovers’ embrace.  “I’m not planning on changing my mind.  I guess what I’d like to know is…if we’re going to be together, how different are we?  Daniel, you never said if you–“

“No, Jack.  I never…that is, Adriann never took his clothes off,” and Daniel suddenly flashed Adriann a strange look.  He was mildly irritated by that fact, even though the situation had been different.  “Which means that, now that things have changed,” and he cleared his throat, grinning.  “You’ll have to show us what you’ve got, Adriann.” Daniel bit his lip and folded his arms, finding things amusing.

“I have nothing against that, Daniel,” Adriann replied as his fingers went to unlace his vest.  “Though me and my people are a lot less…embarrassed…about removing our clothes than you are.”

Jack, Daniel, and Jason stared as the man removed his vest, letting them get a good look at his upper body and torso.  He was built, Jack thought.  Well…built.

Adriann’s eyes assumed a wicked gleam as he focused his attention on Daniel.

Daniel became slightly suspicious.  “What?”

“I have not said this yet, but I meant to compliment you on how I find the hair between your legs deliciously different.”

Daniel’s jaw dropped…and he abruptly did something he rarely did: he blushed.  His lovers’ jaws dropped as well, but also because Daniel was blushing — and Jack was also gaining the quick image of Adriann and his kin…hairless.

“Daniel?” Jason asked at the same time Jack accused, “You never mentioned he was hairless,” his thumb pointing at the man in question while his eyes lasered holes into Daniel’s head.

“What the hell are you…?  Stop looking at me like that, Jack!” Daniel scowled.  “We didn’t…Adriann didn’t take his clothes off.  Things weren’t exactly mutual, if you remember?”

Adriann tried to appear contrite, but he couldn’t.  He could read their emotions.  None of them were angry, just a bit defensive, but underlying it was extreme curiosity and attraction, especially from Daniel.  Daniel looked at him, tilted his head as his eyes first settled on Adriann’s smooth chest, then unerringly went to his arms…or rather, under his arms.

Adriann smiled and lifted his arm.  “Is this what you want to check?” There was no hair.  Period.

Daniel’s innate curiosity took over and without thinking, he ran a finger over the hairless skin.  Adriann bit his lips together to keep from laughing and Daniel pulled his hand away.

“Sorry.  Ticklish?”

“A little.”

Daniel looked at Jack, then Jason.  “There’re no large hair follicles.  Just smooth skin with the usual fine hairs that cover our inner arms,” and he touched his own skin at the forearm.  “Like here.” He reached out and touched Adriann’s arm.  “Would you mind…once more?”

Adriann studied the blue eyes, keen with interest, and simply indulged him.  How could he not?  He lifted his arm, bending it at the elbow.  Jason and Jack looked closely but didn’t touch.  They were, along with Daniel, thinking the same thing: was Adriann just as hairless elsewhere?

Adriann smiled softly.  “Yes.”

They hadn’t spoken and Jack frowned.  “It’s damned annoying when you do that.”

“Yes, I know, but it also saves the time in asking.”

Jack couldn’t argue that one.  “So, you’re…bare?” and his finger waggled in the area of Adriann’s groin.  Jason found it amusing and snorted out a laugh.  Jack ignored him.

“I am,” Adriann replied.

Before he had a chance to show them, which is what he intended, his siblings came knocking.  There were ten, four of which remained in the hall.  When two of them went for Alex’s room, Jason stopped them, his manner suddenly very business-like.

“A problem?” Adriann asked.

Jason looked behind him at Jack and Daniel, then turned to the two in the hall.  “You are?”

“Ophius.”

“Calane.”

“Could one of you stay here, please?  I think it would be less awkward for him if it was just one on one.” He turned to Adriann then, the look in his eyes pretty much telling Adriann that what he’d said wasn’t a request.  “It is his first time – aside from…” and he gave a quick glance to his lovers, “me.  I don’t want him feeling overwhelmed, especially after the drug has worn off.”

Adriann nodded with understanding and motioned for Calane to step inside their room.  “Ophius, treat him well.”

“As if I would not,” Ophius replied, then went to Alex’s door.

When the other two, Pasha, a woman, and Ghanen, went to Sam and Teal’c’s door, Adriann closed the door to their room of seven new guests.

“Well…this is comfy,” Jack quipped, feeling suddenly like he should have a martini in his hand or something.

Daniel held out his hand to the man next to him.

“Daniel.”

“Quessan.”

Adriann made the rest of the introductions: Kaleon, Dorran, Oponna (a woman), Bersa, and Diran.  Counting Quessan and Calane, that made it seven.

Daniel noted that each looked just a bit different, but it was obvious that they were related.  What he found interesting was that they didn’t look quite like Adriann.  Adriann was just a bit taller and his hair was dark blond.  None of the residents that Daniel had seen had been blond; all had that rich auburn-brown hair color, like Kashan and Zeph.

“Why is it that you have blond hair, Adriann?”

“Genetic aberration,” Adriann replied.

“I think maybe it was a beast that scared him once.  His hair went blond after that,” Oponna remarked drily.  Adriann shot her a tolerant scowl before turning his attention back to Daniel.

“It is merely a mutated gene, nothing more.  There have been others but not since our numbers have dwindled.”

Daniel started to ask further questions about that but Jack came up behind him.  “Daniel, questions can wait for tomorrow.”

Annoyed that Jack knew him too well, Daniel rolled his eyes and nodded.

Gauging everyone in the now-crowded room, Jack saw the eyes on him and felt distinctly nervous.  He fidgeted, then wiped his palms on his pants.  Suddenly a few of the Residents smiled and others laughed quietly.  Adriann bit the corner of his lip, trying not to laugh.

Meanwhile, Jason and Daniel were annoyed and puzzled.

“What?” Daniel asked Adriann.

Adriann folded his arms, then pointed a finger at Jack.  “It’s Jack.  I’m sorry, Jack, but we couldn’t help but hear that rather loud thought and the accompanying image struck us funny.”

Daniel and Jason turned to their lover.  “What’d you say…er, think?” Daniel asked warily.

“Nothing…exactly.  I was just suddenly feeling…look, with all these guys – and er, gal – in the room, I got a bit nervous with having all of them here at once.  I suddenly felt like a…”

“Like a what?” Jason asked.

“Like a Big Mac.”

Daniel snorted, looked down and covered his eyes.  “For cryin’ out loud.”

Jason sighed and shook his head, then looked around the room.  “Okay…so, since Calane didn’t go with Ophius, I guess that means that one of us gets to be with three of you.” He turned to Jack and Daniel.  “Shall we flip for it or do rock-paper-scissors?”

Without hesitation, they decided on rock-paper-scissors.  Adriann and his family members frowned with confusion while they watched the three men perform some very odd ritual.  Though their minds told them what it meant, the meaning of the game itself was perplexing.  After a few rounds that cancelled the other out, it finally ended up with Daniel having three…partners.

“I suppose it’s only fitting,” he said as he made his way to the bedroom.  “I was the one that started our trinity.”

“Trinity?” Jack asked as he and Jason joined their lover.

Daniel shrugged.  “Sounds better than trio.”

With a moment of consideration, Jack nodded.  “So it does.”

Daniel scanned the room, then frowned.  “It would really be easier if we had three beds.”

“They’re not twin-sized, for chrissakes,” Jason said as he pulled Daniel onto one of the beds.  “They’re enormous beds.  I’m sure we’ll manage.” He kissed him, pushing Daniel onto his back, then felt Jack’s warmth from behind.  He looked back and smiled.

“I think we have to split up for the time being,” Jack reminded them.  Rolling his eyes, Jason then winked at Daniel as he pushed off him.

“Okay, so, what’s the plan?” he asked as he lay crosswise over the bed, propping himself on his elbows.

The man named Diran walked over to him, showing a somewhat calm but determined expression.  Without a word, he reached over and began to open Jason’s trousers.  Jason’s eyes went wide in shock…and arousal.  He shot a look at Daniel and Jack, who were watching with the same look in their eyes.  Then Calane approached Daniel while Adriann held his hand out to Jack and escorted him to the other bed.

Jack looked over his shoulder as his lovers were surrounded – and their clothing began to be removed.  He suddenly held up his hand.  “Hold on a minute,” he said as Adriann’s fingers rested on his trouser button.  “If we’re stripping, everyone does…besides, I want to know if we’re more or less the same…you know?” With that, he stripped off his trousers and shorts, then laid back on the bed, reclining like Jason, only letting his legs dangle off the bed at the knees.  He gestured with a finger as his eyes raked over the man’s muscular torso and naturally dropped to his covered groin.  “Show us what you got?”

With a soft smile, and quiet snorts from Jason and Daniel, Adriann removed his clothes.  He stood at the foot of the bed, allowing Jason and Daniel to see as well, then motioned to his family members.  They began to remove their clothing.  Kaleon and Dorran flanked Jack, momentarily surprising him as they lay their now-naked bodies next to him.  Jack swallowed, then eyed Adriann warily.

“Are you going to join me?”

Adriann smiled.  “Do you want me to?”

Jack looked over at Jason and Daniel, finding their eyes as they were surrounded by skin.  He swallowed again.  Daniel reached over and twined his fingers through Jason’s.  They exchanged a long look, then turned back to Jack.  A slow head nod was Jack’s answer.  He nodded back.  They’d just given themselves permission to do what they wanted.  Jack had no doubt that they would be having one hell of a discussion when they got home.  For once, he didn’t mind.

He turned his eyes back to Adriann.  “I want you to.” His looked down Adriann’s body, momentarily stopping at the man’s navel.  It was an inny.  Then his eyes travelled lower, to his soon-to-be lover’s cock.

He was different, Jack thought, but the same.  In fact, the only difference he could see was that the uncircumcised cock had a longer, slightly tapered glans.  He looked over at the two men beside him and saw the same.  The men’s balls also sat high; they didn’t drop into a large sac like human males.  They practically nested against the perineum.  Jack reached out and touched him.  Adriann felt like any other human male.

Adriann suddenly leaned over and kissed him softly.  “Move back,” he whispered.

Jack crawled backward, eyeing the other two men as he went.  He couldn’t get over how they all looked alike – but were different.  The similarity between Adriann and his brothers was startling.  There was a sister here, Oponna, and she was currently feeling Daniel’s chest.  Lucky bitch, he thought.

Adriann carefully knelt between his thighs, then glided his hands over them.  He looked at Kaleon and Dorran, then over at his other siblings.  “They’re very interested in how you are built.  May they feel?” he asked.

Jack arched a brow.  “Isn’t that what they’re here for besides,” and he waved his hand, “the usual?” The two men beside him smiled, then began to caress his skin, exploring the texture of the pubic hair and the shape and size of his cock.  Jack bit his lips together, and as his eyes looked over at his lovers, he suddenly felt a powerful surge of possessiveness.  “I hope you don’t think that we’re all going to…you know.” He suddenly didn’t want that – not now.  His assumption was greeted with gentle, amused smiles.

Adriann cocked his head.  “No, Jack.  We’re here to give and receive.  No…sexual…”

“Intercourse,” Jack finished.

Daniel looked up from the hands that glided over his cock and caught Jack’s eyes.  “I know we should be feeling a bit weirded out here, Jack, but honestly, I don’t mind this.”

“Just as long as we’re straight on the uh, rules, Daniel,” Jack replied, sucking in a breath as Kaleon’s fingers encircled his cock and stroked.

“There are rules?” Jason asked, closing his eyes as Calane’s mouth descended between his legs, nuzzling the hair, and moving his lips over the base of his now-throbbing erection.

“The only fucking that goes on will be between us,” Daniel replied, copying Jason’s actions as Oponna’s mouth tantalized his skin.

“You are very wide compared to us,” she whispered before taking him into her mouth.

“Ah,” Daniel gasped, “I hope that’s a good thing?”

She only moaned an affirmative note a second before taking him all the way down her throat.

After that, all conversation ceased.

.

Alex paced in the bedroom, moving back and forth, feeling the effects of the drink.  He couldn’t believe how horny he was and briefly allowed himself to wonder if Jason was currently fucking his gorgeous behind off.  Then a knock came at the door, interrupting all thoughts.  He opened it, finding a handsome man, resembling Kashan.  He stepped aside, letting the man in.  He was tall, with the same shoulder-length auburn-brown hair, grey eyes, large white teeth.  His skin, however, seemed just a bit sallow and his face, tired.

Without questioning, Alex took the man’s hand in his.  “Alex.”

“Ophius.”

Without further conversation, Alex led him back to the bedroom, then started to undress.  Ophius reached out and shook his head.

“It is not necessary.”

Alex froze.  His plans, his need, were suddenly being shot to hell because he’d assumed.  “I’m sorry.  I thought all of you were attracted to…um, never mind.  We can do this however you want.”

Ophius tilted his head.  “I’m aware that you’ve taken the powder, but do you really wish something to happen between us?”

Alex looked at Ophius steadily.  “Quite.”

“How much?”

“Pardon?”

“How far do you want to take our intimacy?”

Alex considered the question, then answered with certainty.  “I don’t know, but I need…”

“Then I will give you what you need,” Ophius replied as he stretched out his hand and in one smooth, very romantic movement, took Alex into his arms and kissed him.  Deeply.

.

Sam thrashed and bucked.  Teal’c was so goddamned good at his loving, what with his deep, humming voice taking her into one long, seemingly endless orgasm.  Then Pasha’s and Ghanen’s mouths covered her breasts, the lips and tongues sucking the nipples hard just as the teeth sank into her flesh.  An indescribable heat suffused her body, combined with the pleasure between her legs, and her world was gone.

.

“Yes,” Daniel choked out, then repeated both his lovers’ names over and over.  The wet heat of Jason’s mouth over his cock drove him higher and higher until his third orgasm exploded.  The pleasure was so intense, he didn’t think he could stand any more…until the teeth sank into his flesh.  The heat from their drinking sent another spasm of pleasure through his dick.

Jason growled and sucked harder as Daniel came down his throat, then was forced to pull back as the mouth on his own cock sucked him to release.  It was nearly a religious experience when Calane’s and Diran’s teeth sank into the soft inner flesh of both thighs.  He came hard, nearly screaming from the tremors of acute pleasure.

As he watched his lovers come, Jack’s body jerked and shuddered.  Adriann’s head bobbed up and down over his cock and the man’s fingers were also inside him, rubbing, thrusting, pulling the orgasm from him.  When he came, the teeth sank into his flesh, lengthening his orgasm.  “Ah God,” he gasped through the shudders.  “You weren’t fucking kidding, Daniel.” It was then that Jack finally passed out.

.

Alex clutched at the bed sheets, holding on tightly as he spilled his seed over Ophius’ hand while the man sank his teeth into his throat.  Fifteen minutes later, he was hard again, and Ophius mouth was sucking him to yet another orgasm.  When he came, Ophius’ bit into his thigh, bringing him a much stronger release.  Both Cari’s and Jason’s names were on his lips as Alex choked back his need to scream.

.

“So, you think they’re…okay?” Connor asked as he finished his video game.

“It was what they wanted to do.”

“Still, I feel guilty for saying no.”

“Well, don’t.  Major C told us not to worry, so we won’t.  I’m having a bit of a time wondering what they’re doing other than the obvious, so I’ve decided not to think about it at all,” Al told him.

“Sounds like a plan.  I’m a bit worried about–“

“Don’t go there, Connor.  Whatever…it’s his business and it’s not interfering with anything.  Let’s give him the respect he’s due, shall we?”

“You’re right.”

“So…feel like a few games or would you rather go raid the kitchen?”

Grinning like a juvenile, Connor got up.  “Let’s go.”

They hurried downstairs and made themselves at home in the kitchen.  After preparing a few makeshift sandwiches, they sat next to the FREDs, taking turns with the binoculars they’d brought to watch the bor’cha beasts roam beyond the fence.

“Fucking creepy,” Connor said after a while.  “Did you ever see that film, An American Werewolf in London?”

Al snapped his fingers in recognition.  “That’s what I’ve been trying to compare them to.  Only these guys,” he said pointing outside, “are a fuck of a lot larger.”

“They don’t howl, so that’s something.”

“Maybe they do and we just haven’t been close enough to hear it.”

“Remember that growling in that film?” Connor asked.

Al shuddered.  “As if I needed reminding.  Scary goddamn sound.”

“I wonder if they sound like that?” Connor asked through a mouthful of food.

“This is one question I will be happy to leave unanswered.”

“You and me both,” Connor agreed.

~

Jack opened his eyes as his watch went off.  He had to orient himself for a moment, but it didn’t take long.  He looked at the time, 1830 hours, then looked up into the sky light.  The sun was just coming up.  Nice timing, he thought as he dragged himself out of his…very empty bed.  Frowning, he looked around.  Jason and Daniel were cuddled up together.  Like a pretzel, damn near, Jack thought with amusement.  He let himself watch them for a moment, then looked about the room for Adriann.  The man wasn’t there, but he had been when Jack had fallen asleep for the third time.  Damn.  That had been some night.  It must’ve been for his lovers, too, judging by the fact that they were still asleep.

Daniel – well, that was to be expected.  He wasn’t a morning person.  But Jason?  The man had a ritual in the morning, same as himself.  Smiling, Jack padded over to their bed, then leaned over and nuzzled, then kissed Jason’s temple.

“Time to get up.”

On cue, Jason’s alarm, on the dresser, went off, and the man’s eyes opened.  Upon turning his head and seeing Jack’s face, he grinned.

“Hey,” he said sleepily as he pulled Jack down for a sideways kiss.

“Sun’s up.  Time to get washed up and call in.”

“Right,” Jason groaned, then extracted himself from Daniel’s grip.  Jack bit his lip as he looked down at Daniel’s ass.  Jason followed his line of sight and grinned.  “Nice view.”

“Isn’t it?”

On his stomach, Daniel growled.  “I can hear you.  Either get me some coffee or go away.” He then turned his head away from them.

Jason’s grin widened.  “That’s just too good to pass up, Daniel,” but instead of leaning over and kissing him, or biting him on the ass, which is what Daniel expected, Jason brought his hand down.

The sharp slap brought Daniel onto his backside, away from the offending hand and he pushed up on his forearms, glaring.  “You are so dead.”

Jack gave Jason a look of surprise.  “Are you insane?”

Jason shrugged.  “Maybe.  But I can take him,” he boldly returned Daniel’s glare.  “And he knows it.”

Jack looked down at Daniel and smirked while he twirled his pinky in the air.  “He’s so got you.”

“Like fuck he does,” Daniel growled, then yanked Jason onto the bed and smacked him, hard, right on the ass.  A second later, he was up and out of bed, racing for the bathroom.  “I got first dibs.”

“Hey!” both his lovers objected as they went after him.

As they stopped in the door, Jack looked down.  “Um, Jace.  Something you wanna tell me about spanking?”

Daniel looked over his shoulder as he relieved himself and saw his lover half-hard.  An eyebrow went up as he sarcastically grinned.  “Yeah, something you wanna tell me?”

Jason returned the grin and walked up behind him.  “Whenever you touch me, I get hard.”

“And me?” Jack asked as he walked over to the vanity.

“Growl at me, Jack, and find out,” he replied silkily as he nipped at the back of Daniel’s neck, making him laugh.

“Stop it, Jace.  I can’t piss and laugh at the same time.”

Jason smiled at his effect on his lover as he backed away a step, waiting for Daniel to finish.  Meanwhile, Jack was trying to figure out if Jason was kidding about the growling.  He turned from the sink and walked up behind him, then without touching him anywhere but at his neck, he snuffled, then growled behind his ear.  Daniel turned and looked down.

“He wasn’t kidding, Jack.”

.

After getting dressed, Jason hesitated at the door, giving Jack and Daniel a worried look.

“What is it?” Jack asked gently – but he knew.  So did Daniel.  Alex.

“I’ve got to go check on my guys but…I may be a while.  I’ll meet you downstairs.”

After he left, Jack gave Daniel his own worried look.  “Must’ve been some kiss if he’s got to go and apologize for it.”

Daniel shook his head.  “I think they’ll both be apologizing, Jack.  That was some kind of aphrodisiac we took.  How many times did you come last night?  Three?”

Jack nodded.  “Same as you, I believe, if my aural senses are to be believed.”

“Oooh, nice word usage,” Daniel teased.  “Yes, Jack, three times.  Jason, too.  Those guys certainly know how to…”

“Tell me about it.  And you were right.  Adriann sucks like a wind tunnel.”

Daniel groaned at the memory of his own experience, then at the memory of vaguely hearing Jack yelling.  “God, that was such a fucking turn on, listening to you.”

“Me?  What about you?  You could fuel a thousand one-handed nights with that mouth of yours.  Fuckin’ A, Daniel.”

“What?” Daniel said before going to the door.  “Are you saying I got you–“

“Off, yes, Daniel.  You did.  You so did.  Now, c’mere,” and Jack kissed him quickly.  “Let’s go get you some coffee before that mood of yours evaporates, and I’ll call the office and tell them our plans for the day.”

Daniel smiled secretively.

“What?”

“Happy Birthday,” he told him quietly, then kissed him hard.

“Dammit, Daniel,” Jack lamely protested as they broke apart.

“I’ve got a present for you today.  Something I arranged with Adriann.”

Jack’s brow raised as they walked out of the hall and toward Teal’c and Sam’s room.  “What?  Last night wasn’t it?” he teased.

“Funny.  No, last night wasn’t it.  Got something different in mind.  Adriann’s going to take you someplace while the rest of us move out to gather plants.”

His interest now piqued, Jack started pushing.  “What?  C’mon, tell me.”

Daniel shook his head.  “Nope.  It’s a surprise.  You’ll like it, Jack.  I swear.”

Jack gave him a wary look as he knocked on the door of his teammates.  Sam and Teal’c were dressed and ready to go downstairs, each wearing the same satisfied expressions on their faces.

When Janet opened her door at the noise, then stepped out with her assistant, she spied the looks and knew what they meant.  “Fucking figures,” she said, rolling her eyes in disgust as she pulled Carla along down the short corridor and turned right.

The quartet grinned to themselves, then Jack winked at Daniel and hurried to catch Janet.  “Want me to fix you up with someone?” he asked, and received a backhand across the stomach.

“Do your shot records need updating, too?”

.

Jason entered his room and once again heard Alex in the bathroom.  He quickly changed into a fresh uniform, and as his boots were re-fastened, he called out to his 2IC.

“Alex?”

The brushing in the bathroom stopped.  “Out in a minute, Major.”

Jason went through his things, absently sorting.  He had to fix the awkwardness he felt with his 2IC and he hoped his second would cooperate.  If not, things between them would be difficult for a while.

When Alex emerged from the bathroom, he moved directly to the bedroom with Jason following, staring long and hard at him, as if looking for some change.

“What are you staring at?  I didn’t turn into something else overnight.”

Jason gave him a tolerant look.  “No, I didn’t expect you to.  And though I’m curious about that, it’s your own business.  I’m trying to find out if you and me…if we’re okay.”

Alex paused as he pulled on a boot, then took a deep breath and sighed.  Jason sat down on his bed, opposite to Alex, then leaned forward, resting his arms on his knees.  When Alex didn’t speak, or look at him, Jason tried one more time.  If Alex was going to avoid him, then so be it, but he couldn’t say he didn’t try.  He got up and walked the few steps to the other man, then bent down and tapped his knee.

“Talk to me.”

Alex shook his head.  “Nothing to talk about.”

“There is.  We can’t have this awkward shit hanging over our heads.  We need to talk.”

Alex looked up at him.  “Why?  I feel like a fool, Major.  I shouldn’t have done that – or what happened earlier yesterday – and I’m sorry.  If you want me off the team, I’ll under–“

“Whoa, whoa, hold on there.  Don’t jump to conclusions, Alex.  I don’t want you off the team.  You’re my second-in-command, and the best one I’ve ever served with – when I had one, that is.  I’m not going to ask you to explain yourself because I don’t see that what went on was…well, wrong.  I just want you to know that I’m okay with it all but only if you are.  Do you want to leave the team?”

“No,” Alex said, the realization of it hitting him like a wet towel.  “I don’t.  I just thought that maybe you’d hate me for…you know.”

Jason gave him a kind smile, then altered it to a smirk to make sure the man knew he was going to tease.  “I’d hug you right now, but that’s probably more than we could handle…and too close to feeling like it did last night.  How about we just agree that last night was a one of a kind thing and leave it at that?  If you ever want to talk, however, I’m there.  If not about last night, then maybe about other…things that you won’t be able to talk to the other guys about.  Daniel might be the better choice though.”

Alex blinked.  “Why?”

Jason took a breath and went for it.  Considering the circumstances, how could he not?  “Because he’s bi.  I’m…not.” He let the words hang in the air.

Alex blinked again as the enormity of the revelation set in.  “But you kissed Cari at the party.”

“That was her idea and it was just for show.  Would you believe me if I told you that that was the first time I’d ever kissed a woman?”

Alex guffawed, disbelieving.  “No way.  You’re forty years old, Major.  How could that be your first…” He paused, seeing the sincere look on Jason’s face.  “Jesus, you’re not kidding are you?”

Jason shook his head.  “I’m not straight, Alex.  I’ve never even gotten close to a woman.  I’ve always managed to avoid it.”

“How?  In our business, Jason?  With your career?  How?”

“A lot of special ops assignments, leaving no time for ‘fucking around’,” and he gestured quotes in the air at the last two words.

“But…you never got questioned?  Not even once?”

“Sure I did.  But I’ve always maintained an illusion.  Pretended I was more into books, music, mechanics.  I even had the nickname of ‘monk’ when I was in college.  But all my life, I’ve let guys think that my women friends were girlfriends.  I’ve always been extremely lucky to find women willing to be just my friend.  And they always played along.”

Alex snorted in envious disgust.  “You have the luck of the Irish, as Connor would say.”

“He has said that, too, only about other things.”

“Yeah, like always getting us out of trouble when there doesn’t seem to be any.”

Jason smirked, then became serious again.  “Because of how I am, it’s why I said that maybe Daniel would be a better choice to talk to about anything.  He’s been actively bi all his life…and I probably shouldn’t have told you that.  He’ll probably hang me by my balls, mostly because I didn’t tell him about what happened yesterday…you know, in the bathroom.”

Alex swallowed uncomfortably.  “So…if I have a question about say, conflicting feelings?”

“He’ll be the one to talk to.”

“Okay, I’ll remember that.”

They were finished for the moment, but things did seem a bit easier, even if there was still a bit of awkwardness in the air.  They left their room and were met by their teammates.

Al and Connor regarded them carefully.  “So…” Connor began.

“How’d it go last night?”

Alex rolled his eyes, then exchanged glances with his team leader.  “It went fine, boys.  You expected otherwise?” Jason asked, arching a brow.

“No,” Al said, showing a smirk.  “Just wondering, is all.”

“If you want to know what happened, ask Adriann to fix you up,” Jason teased.

“No, no, that’s okay,” Al said quickly.

“Then mum’s the word.”

“Mum’s the word?” Connor replied, winking at Al as they reached the stairs to join up with their 2IC.

“You know, good ol’ mum,” Al shot back.

“Ah, but whatever happened to good ol’ pop?”

“Ah, he went out with the weasel,” Al snickered.

Jason and Alex snickered behind them.  “So, what’d you two get up to last night?”

“What?” Connor asked, his eyes widening.

“C’mon, fess up,” Alex joined in.

“We went on a kitchen raid.”

“Damn, and I missed it,” Jason teased further.  “Then what?”

“We watched those overgrown hairy hounds through the windows.”

Jason sniggered, shoving them both in the back of the head as he descended the stairs behind them.  From across the large room, their voices carried to the long table where everyone else waited.

“Come on, Major, don’t you think that’s what they look like?”

Jason’s grin spread conspiratorially.  “Well, guys, I’ll be frank–“

“I’ll be Tom,” Connor replied quickly.

“I’ll be Gladys,” Al followed, affecting a falsetto.

“Gladys?” Alex asked, perplexed, certain his teammates needed medication.

Jason saw the look of confusion and laughed.  “Pay no attention to the goons, Alex.”

Alex shook his head, smirking at his teammates.  “You’ve just named them, Major.  Goons it is.”

Al and Connor exchanged amused, even pleased, expressions as they crossed the room.  The smells from the breakfast foods greeted them, along with the distinct odor of coffee.

Jason’s stomach growled at it.  He looked for Daniel but didn’t find him at the table as he nodded to the others.  Touching Jack’s shoulder, he asked after Daniel.  Jack paused in the act of peeling one of the local fruits and pointed at the kitchen door with his knife.

“Making more coffee.”

“Ah,” Jason replied and made his way to the kitchen.  When he entered, he found himself in what appeared to be a nearly medieval kitchen.  ‘Nearly’ because it also seemed to hold strange looking appliances.  The room was immense, with three fireplaces, meant obviously for cooking.  There were long tables along with counters and cabinets.  The room was also occupied by four of the Brethren, three women and one man – the man was Rone.  They smiled and nodded at him as they prepared the morning meal.  Jason craned his neck, looking at what they were doing for a moment before he spied Daniel.

His lover stood at one counter at the far end of the room, tapping his fingers impatiently.  Jason smiled and silently walked up behind him, taking a quick look over his own shoulder to make sure he wasn’t followed before he planted a quick kiss on Daniel’s neck.

Daniel turned his head in surprise.  “Jason, goddamn it.  Don’t sneak up behind me.” He too looked back at the door before returning his attention to the filtering coffee.

“I didn’t sneak up on you.  Your mind was elsewhere.”

Daniel growled.  “Fucking coffee won’t hurry the hell up.”

Jason grinned and fought off the urge to put his arms around his lover’s waist.  “Aww.  You had such a good start to the morning, too.”

“Here,” Daniel replied as he picked up a slice of yellow fruit from a nearby bowl and stuck it in Jason’s mouth.  “Keep that mouth of yours occupied until I’m in a more civilized mood.  There’s no telling what I’ll do if you start winding me up.”

Jason chewed the fruit, snickering at the double entendres.  “Want some help with this?” he asked, gesturing at the coffee, and leaving off the teasing for later.

“I think I’ve got it.”

“Okay.  I’ll just leave you to it then.”

“Here, take these out,” he said, handing him two cloth-covered ceramic bowls.  They smelled of freshly baked breads, making Jason’s stomach growl.  He turned round and made his way for the door, but paused, letting one of the women go before him.

“I’m Jason.  What’s your name?” he asked, briefly admiring the comb that held her long black hair in place at the nape of her neck.  He was suddenly reminded of his grandfather’s adopted family.

“Neva,” she said with a warm smile.  She gestured to the two women behind her.  “This is Mira and Juel.”

Jason gave them his most engaging smile as he bowed his head.  From across the room, Daniel looked over his shoulder.

“Jason, no flirting, they’re working.”

“Don’t be a wife,” Jason said quickly as he hurried through the open doors.  A piece of fruit hit him in the back of the head, making him laugh.

At the table, Jack paused as he chewed, then narrowed his eyes.  “You know you’re not supposed to wind him up before he’s had a pot of coffee in him.”

“Not my fault.  He started it,” Jason replied as he set the bowls down on the table.  He spied the pale yellow spread in one small bowl, taking it for butter as he leaned over to smell it.

“Probably, but you still know better, Major,” Jack chastised through a grin.  Mira and Juel set down platters of light meats and hard-cooked eggs.  Though the meat smelled great, something similar to beef, it was a far cry from the bacon and sausage the two teams were used to.  Daniel finally appeared with the coffee pot while a cup of the stuff surrounded his mouth.  Without pausing for air, he drank it down, then poured another before setting the pot down on the table.  He took his customary seat next to Jack, then looked across at Jason and softly kicked him under the table for the ‘wife’ crack.  Jack noticed.

“What’d you say?” he asked Jason.

“Repeat it and risk death,” Daniel said as he dished up his plate.

Knowing smiles were exchanged as Neva set down the second pot of coffee as well as two bowls of fruit preserves.  The two teams dug into their breakfast, not talking about anything important until Adriann, Talen, Kashan, Calane, and Oponna joined them.  The conversation became just a bit more animated as Talen brought up the discussion of harvesting the plants.

“We will escort you outside of the perimeter to gather some of the plants that cannot be harvested nearby,” Talen told them, gesturing to her present siblings.  “Except for Adriann.  I believe he’ll be occupied elsewhere.”

Jack raised a brow, and noted with some suspicion Daniel and Jason’s secretive smiles.  “What would that be, Adriann?”

“I thought I’d take you fishing,” Adriann told him matter-of-factly.

Jack choked on his coffee and glared at the snickers that followed.  “Fishing?”

Adriann shrugged.  “Thought to have some for evening meal.  Do you not wish to accompany me?” he asked, knowing damn well that Jack wouldn’t refuse.

Jack sipped at his coffee, then set it down.  His eyes slid over Daniel and Jason’s expressions, then he took in the looks of the others.  “Sure, Adriann, no problem.” The idea had a lot of appeal to it.  He’d actually been seeing the day as rather boring but not anymore.  He was also quite certain that Daniel had put Adriann up to this.

“Good,” Adriann replied.  “After we are through with giving Janet our blood samples, we will go.”

At the mention of the blood samples, Janet assured the present Residents that the action was merely voluntary, that it wasn’t required.  After a few silent exchanges, Adriann told Janet that they would be more than willing to give them their blood samples.

Janet nodded, then looked down the table at Jack.  “Colonel, Lieutenant Vasquez and I will head back home with the samples and begin our work.  Adriann, a medical history would be helpful, so if you could provide Daniel or Sam with it, it would certainly help.”

Adriann sighed.  “I will have to give Daniel an oral history because our written records have been destroyed.”

“Anything that will help, certainly,” Janet told him.

.

After breakfast wound down, Janet stood up.

“Well, thank you, Adriann,” and she nodded to him and his siblings, “for the wonderful fare, but it’s now time for me to get to my job.”

“Already?” Daniel asked as he saw the somewhat startled looks on the Residents’ faces.

“‘Fraid so, Daniel,” she answered as she and Carla made their way over to the medical FRED.  “I’ve got to get these samples and head back.  Much as I’d love to spend some time here, I’ll have to take a rain check.  I have work to do back at the base, then I’ve got to get home and check on Cassie.”

“Who’s Cassie?” Adriann asked.

“My daughter,” Janet replied as she and Carla removed the blood kits and paused, wondering where to set up.  Deciding that the kitchen table would have to do, she started to set up, then found herself the center of attention because of her mention of a ‘daughter’.  The Residents, except for Adriann, were fascinated.  They’d been so long without children that it simply hadn’t occurred to them that others might have them.

Janet seized the opportunity and decided to tell them ‘tales’ of Cassie’s adventures and misadventures while she and Carla took four vials of their blood.  It was a somewhat dampening note when they found out that Cassie wasn’t her natural daughter, but they wanted to hear everything, nevertheless.

When Janet was finished, the teams armed up and escorted her and Carla, along with their FRED, to the gate.  As the signal was sent, Jack took Janet aside.

“When you make your report, do me a huge favor and leave out what Major Coburn discussed with you last night.”

Janet’s lips twitched slightly.  “I didn’t see him at all, Colonel.  Besides, I think you know damn well I can keep a secret.”

It was Jack’s turn to hold back a smile.

.

“Okay, no one goes out without P-90s and zats.  I don’t care if you’re inside or outside the perimeter.  As the cliched saying goes, shit happens.”

Obeying Jack’s instructions, the teams divided up into two groups; three, if you counted Jack and Adriann.  Jason and his team parted with Talen and Kashan, while Sam, Daniel, and Teal’c parted with Oponna and Calane.  Accompanying them were a few of the Brethren, who normally gathered the plants: Neva and another, Rina, went with Jason’s team; Tana, Sela, and Poul went with Sam’s.

With once last protective warning from Jack, the teams headed out, riding off on the cha’pac animals.  They had six places to harvest, and it didn’t take them long to reach the first of their destinations.

.

As Jason’s group bundled the green opher’nia root, he turned to Talen.

“What is this one again?”

“This is the medicine that helps reduce swelling and infection.  You would call it an antibiotic,” and she touched his shoulder where the dart from Tan had penetrated.  “You were asleep at the time.  You would not remember.”

“Ah.  Okay, so what’s next?”

“We’ll gather the Cavro Flower.  It is the flower responsible for the drug you took last night.” She smiled secretively at him as Jason cleared his throat.

“Well, let’s get to it then.”

When his group reached the three-petalled blue flowers, Talen and the others showed them how to harvest them properly, roots and all.

“By the way,” Jason asked as he stood up to wrap the vine ties around his bundle.  “What about the moonflower?  Are we going to harvest that, as well?  I’m sure Janet would like to study it.”

Talen bit her lip as she thought about it.  “It’s too dangerous, Jason.  Maybe another time.”

“Why?” he frowned.

“I do not know if it will have the same effect on your people as it does on the Brethren.  But…even if it does not, it is a poison.  It would only kill those who experiment with it.  What would be the gain from killing those you experiment on?”

“Good point.  What do you use it for if it’s so lethal?”

“Sometimes…only sometimes…we will come across another poison or toxin, usually by infection,” Kashan spoke up.

“Moonflower is the only toxin we have that seems to kill another.  We do not know how it does this,” Talen further explained.

“Adriann was rather vague about how it turned Tan into that…creature,” Jason told them.  “Can you explain it better?”

Kashan shook his head.  “No.  It is a mystery.” He and Talen looked over at Neva and Rina for confirmation and they both nodded.

“No knows why our people change instead of die,” Neva told him.  “Because we have a distant relationship with the beasts, the effect is similar.  We do not know why it happens, only that it does.”

The wind suddenly picked up and Jason looked to the north and noticed a purple smudge over the horizon.

“Looks like we have a storm coming,” Alex surmised as he walked up next to him.  He and Jason then noticed the worried faces on Talen, Kashan, Neva, and Rina.

“What?”

.

As Jack and Adriann, also riding the animals, arrived lakeside, Jack took a long look around.  It wasn’t just a lake, cut off from its source.  At its northwest, Adriann pointed out the small river that fed the lake, and the even smaller tributary, a wide stream, that wound its way southeast.  Dotted with trees, small shrubs, and a variety of short grasses, the area was striking in its purity.

“It’s a beautiful place, Adriann,” Jack remarked, just before they dismounted and walked toward what appeared to be a short pier.  It was then Jack noticed the watercraft.  It resembled an old sailing ship but its sails were brown and made of something Jack was unfamiliar with.  The boat itself was made of wood, highly seasoned and polished, and big enough to carry a compliment of four.

“Nice,” Jack said as they climbed aboard.  Adriann stowed the gear, then set about showing Jack the minor mechanics of handling the craft.  In ten minutes, they were on their way out to a section of the lake where Adriann said the fishing would be best.

They sat down on the benches at the bow of the boat, then Adriann opened a long wooden box and brought out the gear.  Jack was like a kid in a candy store.  It was at these times, he mused, where he could understand Daniel’s fascination and enthusiasm in learning how to use something old, ancient, and slightly familiar, yet alien.  He couldn’t help but compare the rod and fishing line equipment to the ones at home.

As the two lines were cast, they settled down to wait.  Jack scanned the skies.

“It looks like it’ll be cloudy soon.”

Adriann pointed directly northward and Jack spied a smudge of dark purple on the horizon just east of a crop of tall trees.  “That is what’s coming.  It’s our mid-season, when we get these storms.  They can sometimes pop up without warning, too.  Sometimes it adds a bit of…what you might call, spice, to the boredom that we have here.”

Jack didn’t reply; he merely nodded.  He could understand that the lack of anything new to do would make one create excitement wherever one could.

“It’s a game,” Adriann went on.  “How fast can one fish, or harvest, before the weather comes in to spoil the fun.  And then sometimes the weather, too, is fun, but only when it is ordinary rain.  The storms that come now, and will come for a time, hold what you would call lightning.  The house is automatically grounded but some areas have been known to shatter from unusually large strikes.”

Jack lifted a brow.  “So that’s the reason for the unusual amount of spires on the roof?  The spires that seemingly have no purpose?”

Adriann nodded.  “I never did get around to explaining those to Daniel, though I believe he was going to ask.”

Jack scanned the horizon again and it seemed as if the dark purple had expanded already.  “Will the teams be safe if the storm system moves in, catching them out of the perimeter?”

“Only if they’re near the ruins.  If they’re too far away, they’d be in danger.”

“From lightning strikes?”

“A little, but they’d be in more danger from the Bor’cha beasts.”

“What?” Jack asked, his voice raising in alarm.  “You told me it was safe during the day!” he accused.  Adriann held up a consoling hand.

“And so we are, Jack, normally.  The storm is a long way off and they shouldn’t be gone for more than two of your hours.  The storm that is on the horizon should take longer to get here.”

“Should?  Are you sure?” Jack asked tightly.

“I am as sure as I can be, Jack.  As I said, sometimes they come over the tops of the trees where we cannot scan the horizon.”

“And if there’s a system coming from that direction as well as the one to the north?”

“Then the teams will have to hurry.”

Jack sighed and grabbed his radio.  “Carter, Coburn, come in.” They called in and he gave them an updated weather report.  “Don’t screw around.  And if you see any ruins, Daniel, the answer is no.”

“Ruins?” came the reply.

Jack winced.  “Me and my big mouth.”

Adriann smiled and held out his hand for the radio.  Jack handed it to him.  “Daniel, this is Adriann.  The ruins are just what they sound like.  An old abandoned building.  If you wish to examine it, you’ll have to wait until tomorrow, providing the storms have passed.”

Okay,” came the short reply.  Jack sighed, then Daniel’s voice came back over the radio.  “Oponna already told us about the ruins, Jack.  Gotcha.”

“Bastard,” Jack grumbled even as a smile tugged at the corner of his mouth.  He keyed the radio as he took it back from Adriann.  “Payback’s a bitch, Daniel.”

“Promises, promises.  Daniel out.”

“O’Neill out.”

Adriann’s line twitched a little, then was still.  The fish were interested but not interested enough.

“Jack, would you mind if I asked you a personal question?”

Jack smiled slightly, his eyes twinkling.  “After getting up close and personal last night, Adriann, I’d say that’s a no, but I can’t guarantee I’ll give you an answer.”

“Fair enough.  This may seem a bit uncomfortable and I do not wish to cause you any–“

“Adriann, just spit it out.”

Adriann cleared his throat.  “How do you keep a relationship with two men such as the one you have with Daniel and Jason?”

Jack lifted his brows.  “Shit, you don’t ask the easy ones, do you?”

“My apologies,” Adriann asked with a soft smile.  “I can see why you love them both.  They are fine men.”

“They are.  I guess the simple answer is just that.  They’re fine men and I love them both.”

“I get the feeling that your relationship is not so normal.”

“No, it’s not.  It’s not just the three-way relationship, either, Adriann.”

“You mean the homosexual relationships within your military.”

“Yes.  I take it Daniel said something?”

“He did, more or less.  I read it in his mind,” Adriann said somewhat sheepishly.

“Ah.  I’ll assume from that tone that you read without asking.”

“Yes.”

Jack sighed.  “Yet, now you ask.”

“I did not expect to become so…attached.” Adriann tried to explain how attracted and fascinated he was by all of them, but mostly by Daniel.  He then told Jack how that fascination transferred to Jack.

“Why me?”

“We have a lot in common, Jack.  But you are a very enigmatic man.”

Jack shook his head, dismissively waving his hand.  “No, I’m not.”

“You are.  I believe you have most people fooled, except for those who know you, like Daniel and Jason.”

“And you, apparently,” Jack said wryly.

Adriann smiled and looked across the water for a moment before returning his gaze to Jack.  “I do not know you, Jack.  You still surprise me.  And maybe even your lovers as well.”

“I don’t surprise them as much as they let me surprise them.  They know me.  All the bad, some of the good, and even then, they still…”

“Love you?”

Jack nodded.  “I don’t know why they do, either.  Especially Daniel.”

Adriann frowned slightly, confused.  Jack went on to explain about how his friendship with Daniel began, how difficult it was at the beginning.

“Then we were fine, we got along great.  Then it all fell to shit and I ended up alienating my best friend.”

“Why would you do that?”

Jack was silent for a moment, then he took a deep breath and exhaled slowly.  “I was afraid of my feelings for him.  Afraid of taking personal risk.  You see, because of my career, I’d mostly dismissed my attraction to men.  It was safer.  I then married, I had a son…”

Adriann started.  “A son?”

“He’s gone now.”

Adriann immediately knew that this was the reason for Jack’s look of sadness as Janet had talked about Cassie.  He also sensed it a very painful subject so he didn’t press.

“I’m sorry.”

“So’m I.  Anyway, I met Daniel not long after my son passed away.  He helped me through my depression, which I still find absolutely amazing.  I mean, I disliked him on the spot.  He was geeky, quiet, and extremely intelligent, and though I found out that the intelligence was more than real, the quiet part of his nature was not.  The man thinks things through.  He doesn’t run off at the mouth like I sometimes tend to.” He paused a moment.  “Daniel can also get blindingly angry – but it’s mostly a quiet anger.  Add fear to that and he’ll kill, especially when others’ lives are threatened.  He saved my life by sacrificing his own.”

Adriann frowned.  “But he’s…”

“Alive, yes.  Thanks to the Goa’uld’s sarcophagus.”

“Ah.  I have heard of those.  So…he saved your life and…what, you were not all that grateful or…?”

“Actually, I was.  But then we left him, as I told you.  I don’t know when I started to fall in love with Daniel, but I’m willing to bet it started when he saved my ass.  He’s been doing it ever since.  Over the next few years, we went about trying to find Daniel’s wife and our friendship grew.  A few months after she died, it was at that time that I started to drift from him, little by little.  It wasn’t until last year when I realized what the hell I was doing.”

“And what was that?”

“Alienating him, keeping my distance because I’d fallen in love with him.”

“But you still did not do anything about it, did you?” Adriann asked, sensing that.

“No.  It wasn’t until I saw him in a restaurant…um, that’s a community eating establishment…with Jason.  Daniel was laughing.  I hadn’t seen him laugh in a long, long time.  I spoke with him, sensed his distancing.  I then left and thought about it; thought about my feelings for him.  I realized that if I didn’t do something, I’d lose him forever.  So, I told him everything.  How I felt, how sorry I was.  Needless to say…”

“Let me guess.  He was mad.”

Jack grinned.  “You’re getting to know him a bit, aren’t you?”

Adriann shrugged.  “It is easier when you can read feelings and thoughts.  With Daniel, I do not see him as easily forgiving, even if he is a kind and generous man.”

“No, he forgives.  Too easily in my case.  But he’s no pushover.  He makes you earn that forgiveness, which is what I tried to do.  I learned that he loved me as much as I loved him, and not just in the friendship sense.  I still don’t understand why but I’m very thankful that he is who he is.  With anyone else, it wouldn’t have been possible.  They would have written me off.  He didn’t.”

“Maybe because he loves you very much.”

“Maybe.”

“And Jason?”

“Jason.” Jack’s face became thoughtful for a while.  “Jason is an amazing man.  He has things in common with Daniel that I never expected until I got to know him better, as a friend, and as Daniel’s lover.  They were lovers for a while before I…joined them.  Or rather, before Daniel pulled me in.” He paused, smiling at the memory.  “Jason was…is…Daniel’s lifesaver.  He went to him, loved him, helped Daniel out of the depression that was enveloping him, something which I caused, by the way.  Jason was already in love with Daniel, but I didn’t know that at the time and neither did Daniel.  All I saw was that I was too late.  I liked the man…a lot.  I appreciate his skills as a leader and a fellow warrior.  I couldn’t begrudge Daniel his happiness with Jason so I tried to mend the friendship as best I could – and along with that, try to become a friend to Jason.

“Then one night, Daniel was attacked and Jason acquitted himself beautifully by helping him…and killing most of the bastards that did it.  He earned my eternal respect that night and has ever since.  Jason was quite angry with me, too, because of how I treated Daniel before I took my head out of my ass.  It took him a long time to forgive me, about as long as it took Daniel.  Maybe he figured if Daniel was no longer angry, he shouldn’t be either.  I don’t know.  I really never asked.  Afraid of the answer, I guess.”

He became quiet for a while until Adriann broke the silence.  “But you didn’t care for him at first, not like you did Daniel?”

Jack was going to say no, but that wouldn’t have been accurate.  “Because of Daniel, I let my eyes see past the warrior, past the fact that he was someone Daniel loved.  I saw a man I was attracted to; a man I liked and respected.  Daniel, the smart bastard, saw it too.  On his birthday, he brought the three of us together.  When I kissed Jason…I don’t know.  Something clicked.  He felt…right.  Problem was, I resisted that feeling.  I fought it.  I loved Daniel, and though I cared about Jason, I didn’t want to love him.  I couldn’t see how loving more than one man could work and I was also rather possessive of Daniel.  Honestly, Jason was too.  He couldn’t see loving two men, either, but it was Daniel who helped us make our relationship work.”

“How?”

“Daniel has a way of putting things.  He would purposely force us, Jason, and me, to be together – just us two.  He’d leave us alone for long periods of time.  He’d separate from SG-1 and go off with other teams for archaeological field work.  During one long archaeological dig, Jason and I bonded.  We grew a lot closer than either of us realized.  I knew Jason was attracted to me from the beginning, but like me, he wasn’t ready to love me.  I don’t think so, anyway.  However, he is different than me in that he’s a lot more emotionally open than I am, except when we’re…you know.”

“Intimate?”

“Yeah, that.”

“He seems just as open emotionally in that way,” Adriann commented, confused.

“No, I meant that when we’re together, we’re both emotionally open.” Jack’s small smile told Adriann all he needed to know about how much Jack loved the man.

“You are being open with me now.  I think that you are too hard on yourself.”

Jack shook his head.  “I…can’t explain this, either.  I only know that I feel comfortable talking to you.  I never could with anyone else besides Daniel, then Jason.  Not even Carter and Teal’c rate this kind of conversation.”

Adriann smiled, appreciative that he could get Jack to talk.  Instead of focusing on it, he moved on.  “So there was possessiveness at first, with Daniel?  But now, there is none?”

Jack shook his head.  “No, it’s still there.  Only it now includes Jason.  It was awkward at first, realizing how possessive we were for each other.  But we’re accepting of it now.  I can no more stop being that way toward Daniel and Jason than they could about each other and me.  There is a such thing as being overprotective and we try not to cross that line.  It can destroy a relationship.”

Adriann nodded as he considered his words, thinking, then Jack’s line started to twitch repeatedly.  “Looks like you have one on the line, Jack.”

“We call it ‘a bite’, Adriann, and I’m glad, because I’d like to talk about something else.  I’m not–“

“Comfortable with talking about and analyzing relationships, I know.  You said that.”

“Still have no clue why I opened up to you.”

Adriann smiled, but instead of replying, he pointed to the line.  “Here, grab the rod and hold the base under the caster,” Adriann instructed.  He moved behind Jack and helped him hook and pull.

“Heavy sonofabitch,” Jack cussed as he pulled back.  Adriann had a hold of part of the pole and with effort, the two rewound the line and pulled until the fish was finally yanked out of the water.  It flew at them and Jack ducked in surprise as it hit the deck over his head, flopping madly.

Jack stared, his mouth gaping in exact imitation of the fish.  “That’s a…?”

“A striperfish.”

“Christ, it’s a fucking angelfish on steroids.” The silver, triangular fish had the same elongated dorsal and tail fins but instead of black vertical stripes, the colors were alternating yellow-gold and dark red.

Adriann laughed.  “What?  What is an angelfish?”

Jack described the silver and black tropical fish, then showed Adriann how big the ones on earth actually got.  Jack shook his head.  “This version is as big as a tuna or a halibut.  That’s one big, honkin’ angelfish…er, striperfish.”

Adriann chuckled and deposited the fish into a wooden cask filled with water, then placed a lid over it.  Jack raised his brow at the lid.

“They tend to get a little…”

“Rambunctious?”

“That would be a fair description,” he said grinning, his face revealing that he’d had to fight to keep his catches.  He walked over to his side of the bench and started to reach for the pole when it jumped, nearly dislodging itself from its placeholder.  Jack got up quickly and assisted as another striperfish was caught and dumped into the wooden cask.  As the lines were rebaited and cast, Jack looked into the small jar that held the bait: fat, bright red worms, an inch, and a half in length.

“These seem to work.  What the hell are they?” he asked, nudging the squirming creatures.

“They are insect larvae.”

Jack grimaced.  “I thought they were just fat, stubby worms.  Ours aren’t so brightly colored.”

“These are normally an off-white color, but we drop them into a dye solution that turns them bright red.  The striperfish wouldn’t bother with plain-colored bait.”

“Picky are they?”

Adriann nodded.  “Extremely.” Jack’s line started to twitch again and in less than five minutes, they had a third striperfish in the wooden cask.

“Damn, they’re biting today, aren’t they?”

Adriann suddenly frowned with worry.  “I had not realized but yes, they are.  They normally do this when a storm comes.  Electrical currents in the air or something, but the storm is still a far distance…” His voice faded as he felt the hair against his neck rise.

Jack looked at him in alarm as he felt the same thing.  Adriann turned quickly, looking to their left, toward the west and through the trees, the blue sky was no longer visible.  He looked behind them toward the house and spotted the dark purple just edging the tree line.

“Fuck,” Jack swore.  “You’ve got one big front coming in.” No sooner had the words left his lips, then a bright light flashed in the distance, with thunder following.

“A front?” Adriann asked as he hurriedly reeled in the line from the water.

“The edge of a large weather system, like that one,” he said, gesturing at the clouds over the tree line behind them and to the north.

“Three striperfish will have to do us, Jack.  That storm is coming up too fast.  Though my people will already know what is happening, you should reinforce it with a call to them.”

Jack caught the tone of Adriann’s words and as he keyed his radio, he felt the wind blow up his back, sending chills over his spine.

.

“Are we missing anything?” Sam asked as they bundled the harvested tanna and hallia plants onto their animals.

“Nothing,” Oponna and Sela said simultaneously.  “We have all we need.  We have to get back within the perimeter fence right away.”

Though their harvesting had been quick, the clouds were rolling in faster than any of them could have expected and the sky began to darken.  Wind picked up, and the electricity in the air began to spook the animals.  As the lightning and thunder closed in, Teal’c’s symbiote began to worry Teal’c.

“My symbiote will not calm.  We have to leave…now,” Teal’c said as he mounted his cha’pac.  Daniel and Sam followed suit.

“Is the lightning really that dangerous?” Daniel asked Calane as the man mounted next to him, continually scanning the encroaching storm.

“Yes, it is, Daniel, but only when the storm is upon us.  Right now, it is the threat from the beasts,” the man replied as he pulled an arrow from his quiver and notched it across his bow, readying for use.  “The electricity from these storms brings them out from their day sleep.  Caught out, our weapons will matter little as we will be killed by overwhelming numbers.”

That was all the information they needed as the seven were quickly galloping hard for the rear entrance of the fence.

.

Jason and his teammates had finished their harvesting and stood with Talen and Kashan and their Brethren, waiting just outside of the open gate.  Already warned about the approaching storm and the reason for concern, Jason tapped nervously on his P-90.  He glanced at his men and frowned.

“Alex, guys, we’re too scrunched up.  Fan out along the fence.  If we see any of those bastards, shoot.  No quarter.”

Talen turned her head, nodding approvingly from her position further away from the fence, still astride.  Her attention returned to the direction where the other team would be coming from and anxiously drummed the pommel of her saddle.  “Please hurry,” she whispered.

.

Daniel took a moment to look over his shoulder as his mount bounded ahead.  His eyes widened in fear.  Having put away his glasses, and from the movement of his mount, all he could make out were brown, blurry animals coming from their right.  It really didn’t matter that he couldn’t see them clearly.  It was enough that he did see them.

“Fuck!”

The animals panicked and ran faster.  In the distance, the fence came into view and Daniel could just make out Jason’s body standing near the open gate.  They were perhaps three hundred yards away now.

Calane notched his bow and fired.  The arrow found a beast and it screamed, going down.  The beasts closest fell upon it, distracted momentarily by the blood.

“Like sharks,” Daniel muttered, grimacing, and turning his head away.

As they drew closer to the fence, Sam’s mount to veered as growling beasts emerged at her left some fifty yards away.  “Whoa, goddamn it!  Whoa!”

Oponna turned her mount to catch the bridle of Sam’s mount but the animal shied right in fear, making the capture difficult.  The others, seeing the difficulty, tried to make their own frightened animals slow to surround Sam’s mount and guide it straight ahead.  Teal’c’s and Daniel’s hearts were in their throats as they struggled desperately to get to their friend and teammate.

They weren’t quick enough, however.  One of the beasts was quicker than the others.  Sam’s mount screamed as claws and teeth sank into its rear shank and the animal went down, taking Sam with it.

.

Jack and Adriann hurried to the house with their catch.  They were unaware of the danger until Adriann heard Calane and Oponna in his mind as they reached the courtyard.  He whirled at the distant screams, just as Jack did.  They dumped their fish into the arms of Rone and his brethren before they sped off toward the rear gate.

.

Sam flew through the air, then landed hard, tumbling end over end.  She smartly corrected herself to roll with it, just as she was trained, but the momentum of the fall was hard to stop.

An arrow shot out, whizzing by the muzzle of Daniel’s mount as it speared the beast attacking Sam’s riderless mount.  The beast screamed in fury just before it slumped over, dead.  Other beasts were nearing quickly, some heading for the fallen beast but most heading straight for the struggling cha’pac – and Sam. Calane dispatched another arrow, putting Sam’s mount out of its misery.

As Sam swung her P-90 around to fire at the oncoming beasts, Teal’c reached her finally, tugged sharply on the reins of his animal.  He bent down low and literally scooped her off the ground just as she fired the P-90 off to her left.  Letting the weapon dangle around her neck by its strap, she grabbed hold of Teal’c’s arms and back and scrambled in behind him.  With that, the seven were off once more.

As Daniel rode hard behind them, he felt the hairs on the back of his neck rise as the beasts began to howl in rage as it looked like their quarry was escaping.  Calane was soon riding next to him, firing arrows one after the other behind them and to the side.

Following Calane’s lead, and careful that the bounding of his animal didn’t cause his aim to waver, Daniel removed his zat and began firing.  He discovered to his dismay that he had to use continuous fire; the first shots barely slowed the creatures down.  A scream came from his left and he turned his head just in time to see Oponna’s mount being attacked from the side.  The others veered toward her but when the animal went down, she became trapped underneath.  Daniel froze as he saw the beast responsible leap at her.

.

Riding over a small hill, the two men spotted the open gate no more than thirty yards away.  And the beasts that were closing in from all sides.

“Jason, three o’clock!” he shouted, his P-90 coming up as animals appeared through the foliage thirty yards away.

.

“Fucking hell!” Jason declared as he flicked his safety off and began firing.

.

“Oponna!” Sela screamed as she flung herself off her mount to pull Oponna free of her animal just as the beast went for the trapped woman.  An arrow from Tana lodged into the hindquarters of the beast, slowing it down, but it still kept coming.  Poul aimed his arrow, but wasn’t quick enough as the beast charged, swiping a large heavy claw down Sela’s arm and shoulder.  She screamed just as an arrow penetrated the beast’s skull, killing it instantly.  Unfortunately, more beasts were coming.

“Get to the perimeter fence!” Daniel yelled to Sam and Teal’c as he leapt off his mount, firing again and again with his zat as he helped the other Brethren pull Oponna free.  Hurrying to remount their animals, Daniel looked around and found that Sam and Teal’c hadn’t listened to him.  They were in fact, saving his life as three beasts were killed mere yards from him.  More zat fire was discharged as they bolted the last fifty yards to the fence gate.

.

Jack tossed Adriann his zat as the both pelted through the gate; Jack went right, Adriann left.  The rest of his team was only twenty yards away when the lightning struck.  A large bolt struck the ground between them and Daniel’s group.  The beasts were only momentarily deterred but when Al and Adriann used their zats soon after, the electrical field from the zat crawled from one of the downed beasts like spreading fire.  It made its way toward the smoking hole where the lightning had struck.

“Inside the gate!” Adriann called out and made his way for the gate.  The others followed but Al and Connor paused, waiting for orders from Jason or Jack.

“You heard him,” Jason shouted as another bolt came down, electrifying the fence, and was immediately followed by loud, cracking thunder that exploded over their heads.

Jack instinctively went to cover his ears, just as everyone else did, then looked up with relief as Daniel and the others rode through the gate.  Jack went to close it when Adriann screamed in warning.

“NO!”

Then Jack remembered the lightning.  He kicked out, closing the fence with his protected boot soles.  Jason and his team followed his lead.  The fence was not locked, however, and their gear was too far away to go for protective gloves.

“Fuck!” Jack swore.

“Here!” Daniel called out, tossing him a pair of workman’s gloves – gloves with rubber palms and fingers.  Jack frowned, perplexed, though relieved.  How the hell did Daniel have the wherewithal to bring these gloves with him?

Seeing Jack’s expression, Daniel shrugged.  “I grabbed them on the off-chance that the plants we gathered had nettles or thorns.”

Jack quietly thanked whatever in the universe was responsible for Daniel Jackson.  He pulled the gloves on, then latched the gate and snapped the V-lock closed.

“Now!  We must get inside!” Adriann shouted, and as if to remind them, lighting struck again.  Remounting, they charged for the safety of the house.

.

As the groups gathered into the main hall, the bright flashes of light and crashing thunder jarred their nerves.  Sam flinched as one particularly loud explosion of thunder boomed overhead.  Teal’c guided her to sit on one of the sofas in front of the main hall’s fireplace while Teal’c and Talen applied healing paste to her abrasions and bruises.  Her t-shirt was hiked up just enough to get to the ones on her back; any others missed, Teal’c would get to in their room upstairs.  For now, he copied the method of application Talen used, taking special care over some of the more painful ones.

When she flinched again as another clap of thunder sounded overhead, he asked, “I thought you liked the thunder?”

“Normally I do, but today is different, you know?”

“That is understandable,” Teal’c replied, showing a soft smile.  “Yet you have handled a lot worse.  You will be fine.”

She smiled back at him.  “I will, but I’ll need the rest of these cuts seen to upstairs.”

“Of that I am certain.” His slight grin made her smile impishly as she pushed at his knee.

On the opposite sofa, Sela was not a cooperative patient.  She sat fidgeting as Kashan cleaned, medicated, and bandaged her wounds.

Across the room, Jason walked up next to Jack as his mission leader stared through his binoculars out of the immense front windows.  It was now pouring outside and there was just enough light through the dense cloud cover to see in the distance, beyond the fence.

“See anything interesting?” Jason asked.

“Just those goddamned beasts,” Jack replied irritably.  He hated having this storm, and the beasts, interrupt his fishing.  At home, he wouldn’t have cared.  He’d fished in the rain before; it wasn’t a bother.

Daniel walked out of the kitchen and over to Sam, handing her a cup of coffee.

“Thanks,” she said, then winced as Talen rubbed a stinging cut.  The woman sent her a silent apology and continued her care.

“You okay?” Daniel asked.

“Daniel,” Sam warned.  “For the thousandth time, I’m fine.  Stop mothering me and go play with the guys.  Besides, Teal’c’s doing enough of the mothering.” She sent him a loving look of annoyance.

“Gotcha,” Daniel replied.  He moved away, joining Jack and Jason at the window to see what they found so fascinating.

“What are you guys lookin’ at?” he asked just as Alex walked up as well.

Lightning took that moment to strike, hitting a crop of bushes…and beasts.  Jack winced and handed the binoculars to Jason.  He looked through them and found the smoking remains of one of the beasts.  Others were setting upon it, feeding.

Jason grimaced.  “Here, have a look.”

“What?” Daniel asked as he took the binoculars.

“Barbecued werewolf.”

Daniel made a look of disgust and passed the binoculars immediately to Alex.  “No, I think I’ll pass.”

Alex looked.  He made a snorting sound as he grimaced.  “Jesus, talk about your burnt dog hair.”

“That’s just disgusting, Alex,” Jason said laughing.

Jack sniggered as he agreed.  “That is disgusting, but pretty accurate.”

“What was that about burnt dog hair?” Al asked as he and Connor walked over.  Alex handed him the binoculars and pointed.

Daniel shook his head at the following remarks, which seemed to be worse than Alex’s, then turned and walked over to the fireplace where Adriann stood.  “How’s Oponna?”

“She’s just fine,” Calane replied as he descended the stairs.  “Resting in the sunroom.  She has a bruised leg but she’ll recover.”

“That’s good.  So, Adriann…now what?” Daniel asked just as another clap of thunder went off, causing him to wince at the noise.

“We wait,” Adriann replied with a sigh.  “We may as well have an early evening meal.  This will go on for hours.”

Daniel smiled.  “The fish?”

Adriann nodded.

“Did he enjoy himself?” Daniel asked, referring to Jack.

Adriann smiled.  “He did, until that storm blew in.”

“Good.” He looked across the room at Jack, watching him banter with Jason and his team.

“You took a great risk today,” Adriann told him.

Daniel shrugged it off.  “I did what I had to.  I’m used to that sort of thing, unfortunately.  It’s probably why the eight of us aren’t freaking about this.  It doesn’t matter how scary the beasts are when we’re in protective mode, you know?”

Adriann agreed with a nod.  “Still, you risked a lot to help Oponna.”

Daniel shook his head.  “Any one of us would have.  Risk was not a factor.”

Jack strolled over, his expression one of worry.  “Yeah, caught that jumping out of the saddle thing in the distance.  Very heroic.  Don’t do it again, please.  I can only take so much grey hair.”

Daniel smiled then looked over at Sam and Teal’c and winked.  “Earned every one of them too, I’ll bet.”

“The way he tells it, Daniel, you’d think you were the one who caused them all.”

Daniel rolled his eyes dramatically.  “Tell me about it.”

“Well, if you will excuse me, I’ll see to the meal,” Adriann said as he made his way for the kitchen.

Jack’s face suddenly became animated as he gave Daniel a kid-like grin and shot another one Jason’s way.  “Hey, wanna see them?  They’re amazing looking.”

“The fish?” Jason asked, suddenly reminded what Jack had been doing earlier.  “Yeah.  What’d you get?” he asked as they followed Jack and Adriann into the kitchen.

Adriann looked over his shoulder, smirking with humor at Jack.  “I believe he said they looked like angelfish on steroids.”

Daniel and Jason laughed outright.  “Angelfish on steroids?”

“Trust me,” Jack replied.

“Don’t mind me,” Sam called out, irritated.

Daniel stopped, making Jason bump into him in the doorway as he looked back at Sam.  “You can walk, Sam. Get your ass in here.”

Sam rolled her eyes and looked at Talen and Teal’c as they both grinned from Daniel’s comment.  “Okay, I’m done for now.  Teal’c can finish later.  I’ve got to see these damn fish or I’ll never hear the end of it.  ‘You didn’t see them’ the Colonel would say as an excuse to go on and on.”

“I believe you are correct,” Teal’c said as he pulled her to her feet.

She straightened up her shirt, then gave Talen a smile.  “Thanks.”

“You’re welcome.” The three of them went into the kitchen to join the others and found everyone in there, peering around the large preparation table at the large fish.

“Wow,” Sam said.  “They do look like angelfish, only I’d have said plutonium-fed.”

Jack gave her a sarcastic look.  “You would.”

Sam chose to ignore that as they watched Mira and Juel prepare the fish.  Another of the Brethren, Kiva, spread a white granular substance over the fish and Jack leaned over to smell it.

“Isn’t that salt going to dry out the fish?” he asked her, frowning.

“No,” she said with a tolerant grin as the fish were covered with it before being laid onto large wooden boards.

“It is not salt,” Adriann told him.  “It is a spice used to add flavor, but it does not dry out the flesh of the fish.”

The assembled group stepped out of the way as Juel opened a door next to one of the fireplaces, revealing a deep oven, like one used for baking large amounts of bread.  And as with bread ovens, long paddles were used to place the fish deep inside.  Once finished, the Brethren then cleaned off the table and began to prepare vegetables, stored in wooden buckets underneath.

Talen looked around at the two teams.  “As you’re all in here, would you care to help prepare the meal?”

Before they could escape, they were given tasks, such as washing, peeling, and cutting.  Another of the Brethren, Rina, tugged on Daniel’s arm.

“Do you know how to prepare bread?”

He shrugged.  “A little.  Jason knows more,” he said with a mischievous smile to his lover.  Jason smirked, then nodded at Rina.

“I know a little.”

“Carter, isn’t bread the one thing you don’t know how to ruin?” Jack asked as he peeled long, narrow tubers resembling sweet potatoes.

After a withering look, she moved over to join Daniel and Jason as flour was dumped onto the table in mounds.  After washing their hands, they followed Rina’s methods, using the spices she pointed to and the eggs she set down in front of them.  The three of them were soon mixing with their fingers.

Jack, Teal’c, and Alex worked on the tubers while Al and Connor were given a sink to rinse the leafy greens free from dirt and sand.

Leaving them to it, Talen, Adriann, and Rone went toward the back door.

“Adriann,” Jack called after them.  “You’re not helping?” His expression was amused.

“We are seeing to the animals, making sure they are tethered and under cover.”

“Ah.  You’re going outside?” he asked, showing a bit of concern.

Adriann smiled and shook his head.  “There are underground passages to the stables.”

Jack shook his head in disgust.  “We really know very little about this place.”

“You may join us, if you like,” Adriann offered.  “Mira can take your place.”

Jack grinned and wiped his hands off on a coarse towel before moving over to them.  “Lead on then,” he gestured.  Before leaving, the radio on his vest screeched, then crackled.

“SG-1, this is General Hammond, do you read?  Over.”

Daniel halted his questions about Jack’s appearance.  He exchanged frowns of worry with Jason about it, and the reason for the radio call.  Hammond wouldn’t be calling if there weren’t a problem.

Jack keyed his mic.  “This is SG-1.  General, is there a problem?”

“You could say that, Colonel.  I need your team back here as soon as possible.  SG-2 can remain behind, as they are the back-up team.

“What’s going on, sir?”

“It’s the Tok’ra, Jack.  Apparently the whereabouts of a weapon belonging to the Ancients has been discerned by both the Tok’ra and the Goa’uld.  The Tok’ra have asked for our help in retrieving it.  SG-1 is needed because yourself and Doctor Jackson are the only ones who can fluently read the Ancient’s language.”

Jack looked down at his watch.  It was nearly 3 a.m. at home.  “Is this why you’re there so late, or early, General?”

“It is.  This is pretty much a matter of who gets to the weapon first, Jack.  You’ll have to return, get refitted, then your team will be sent back out.”

Jack rolled his eyes.  “Well, the timing for this sucks, General.” He went on to explain about the electrical storm and the beasts’ emergence.  “We can’t get to the gate until the beasts clear out and the storm moves on or dissipates.”

“Understood, Jack, but if you can’t return in less than five hours, we’ll have to come get you.  The Pentagon was briefed on this and they want that weapon.”

Jack rolled his eyes in disgust.  “Did you have to tell them, sir?  It’s that important?”

“I did and it is.”

“Very well, General.  I’ll check back in three hours.  It should still be daylight,” and he received a confirmation nod from Adriann, “so it’ll give the folks plenty of daylight left, just in case you send back-up.”

“Understood.  SGC out.”

“The storm may or may not pass,” Adriann told him.  “One can only tell by the color of the sky.”

“Okay, well, we’ll have to wait and see.  In the meantime,” and he gestured at the door.

“Jack, you be careful,” Daniel said.  His tone was matter-of-fact, but the look he gave Jack made it clear that it was an order.

With a two-fingered salute, and a silent order to Teal’c to keep an eye on things, Jack disappeared through the wooden door.

“Speaking of careful,” Jason said as he looked up from his work.  “You scared the crap out of me, you know.  Jumping off that cha’pac.”

Daniel let his eyes roam over Jason’s face.  He could see the worry and the stress.  “I’m sorry, but I had to–“

“I know, I know.  I saw.  It’s okay.  I’m just sayin’.”

Sam snorted at Jason’s use of that specific phrase of Jack’s.

“What?” he asked.

“You guys.  You’re sounding like each other, do you know that?”

Daniel dropped his mouth open.  “We do not.”

“Yes, you do,” she argued and tossed a pea-sized ball of dough at him across the table, hitting him in the face.  Jason snickered, watching the ball of dough bounce across the table.  That earned him a piece of dough from Daniel.  As they worked, the dough lobbing continued, making Rina laugh at them.

When Teal’c left his chore and walked over to check on Sam, she thanked his attention to duty by reaching up with a floured, dough-covered finger and dirtied his nose.  This earned quiet laughter from around the room as Teal’c looked cross-eyed down his nose at the specks of dough and flour.  The laughter rose as Sam received payback.

.

Jack followed Adriann, Talen, and Rone down a short hallway to another door.  Through that, they walked through a large, plain room which Jack took for a slaughtering room, judging from the stains on the floor.  He shuddered at the hooks on walls.  Adriann passed him a comforting look.

“Where we butcher our meat, Jack.  It’s cleaner here.” Jack only nodded as they left and made their way down a short flight of stairs that emptied into a wide corridor, lit with wall sconces.  The corridor then emptied into an even wider tunnel that sloped downward slightly.  They came to yet another door, only this one was wide and heavy, like the front door of the mansion.  Stepping through, Jack found himself inside an immense room – an underground stable.  Several rows of stalls were separated by walkways strewn with dirt and straw.  The large room had an earthy, animal smell, reminding Jack of horse stables.  At the center of the stables, across the room, was another wide tunnel that sloped upward, disappearing from sight.  Jack took that to be the entrance from the outside.

He looked around while the others immediately saw to the cha’pac, making sure their stalls were properly equipped with food and water.

“May I help?” Jack asked, unsure what to do other than stand around and gawk.

Adriann smiled approvingly and pointed in one of the filled stalls, then pointed to another section where bales of hay were stored.  Next to them, empty buckets.  He showed Jack how to apply the straw, then fill the small water troughs in each stable.  Jack found only a few that were empty and after removing his field vest and setting it by the door, he bent to task, finding himself enjoying the work.  He was greeted with friendly whinnies by the cha’pac he attended to and occasionally stopped to pet a muzzle or scratch behind an ear.  He came upon a few empty stalls and figured they belonged to the few fallen animals.

“Want me to see to the empty stalls, too?” he called out, then was surprised as Adriann walked up behind him with two wide brooms.  “Jesus Christ, Adriann!  Don’t do that?”

“Do not do what?” Adriann asked grinning as he handed Jack a broom.  “I walked up behind you.  There was no stealth required.”

Jack gave him a glowering look as he looked at the broom.  “I must be slipping.  This is not good.  So, I take it these stalls get cleaned out?”

“Correct,” Adriann grinned as he moved to one and left Jack to the other.

Sweeping the mess into a center pile, he asked, “Where are the other Brethren?”

“Seeing to the zha’ren.”

“The what?  Oh, the buffalo.”

Adriann laughed.  “The what?”

Jack paused and leaned on his broom as he looked over the stall partition.  “That’s the name of an animal on my world that your animals reminded me of.  The smell of the meats at dinner yesterday.”

“Ah, at evening meal, yes.  Buffalo.  Funny name.”

“So is zha’ren.”

Adriann smiled and continued sweeping.

Jack finished and went to help Adriann.  “Christ, give yourself the messier stall, why don’t you,” he commented as he started on a thick matting of straw.  He sniffed a bit then turned a curious eye to Adriann.  “You know, this stuff doesn’t smell musty or old or full of horseshit, so why clean it?”

Adriann frowned, looking around, then shrugged.  “Habit, I suppose.”

“Huh.  Well, the one I cleaned did need it, so where do I dump the mess?”

Adriann made a noise of disgust.  “I knew I had forgotten something.” He retrieved an implement resembling a wide hearth pan and then pointed to a tall, wide bin.  “There.  We use the decomposing material for planting.”

“Ah, we call it composting on Earth,” Jack said approvingly as he set about dumping the refuse into the bin.  After he finished, he set the pan down, then returned to Adriann, who was still sweeping.  “You know, you don’t have to clean it if it doesn’t need it.”

Adriann stopped sweeping, then looked around him.  “I know.  Like I said.  Habit.”

“Yeah, you said that,” Jack told him teasingly as he took a look around the stables.  The only noises he heard were from the animals.  Talen and Rone had disappeared.  “Where’d they go?” he asked, puzzled, as he looked back to Adriann.

Adriann raised his brow and walked out of the stall to look around.  He tilted his head, as if listening, and Jack figured he must be talking to Talen.  He watched as Adriann suddenly cleared his throat.

“What?”

Adriann looked at him, startled.  “What?  Oh, my apologies.  Talen and Rone are helping to secure the zha’ren, leaving us to do what little there is to do here in the cha’pac stables.  Come, help me finish this.  Then we can lay down new straw for the animals whose stalls need cleaning.”

Jack looked around, then sighed.  “Okay.  And you keep the straw…where?”

Adriann pointed to a far corner to Jack’s left and the two made their way over.  With tools similar to the hooks used for moving hay and straw bales on Earth, the bales were dumped onto an open cart and wheeled over.  As the bales were torn open and the straw spread, the two were soon feeling the sweat rolling down their backs, gritty from the dust churned up by the straw.

Jack paused, resting his hands on his knees to catch his breath.  “There wouldn’t be any drinking water, would there?”

With yet another noise of disgust, Adriann motioned Jack to remain there and a moment later, returned with a container similar to a bota bag.  “Here,” he offered first.  Jack took it and drank deeply, then wiped the back of his hand across his mouth.

“Thanks.”

“You are welcome.” Adriann took a long drink, then sat down in the fresh straw and leaned against the wall, taking an obvious rest break before starting on the other stall.

“Did you enjoy the fishing today?” Adriann asked, “Despite the interruption?”

Jack sat down across from him, wincing as a few muscles complained.  “I did,” he answered, grinning broadly.  “Thank you.”

“What is the general greeting for celebrating one’s birthday?”

“Happy birthday,” Jack replied as he regarded Adriann with a speculative look.  “Is that why the fishing?  I thought so.  Daniel really did put you up to that, didn’t he?”

Adriann only smiled.  “I was glad of the company.  I would have gone fishing anyway.  And…happy birthday, Jack.”

Jack smiled back.  “Thanks.” He suddenly pushed up from the floor.  “Well, let’s get this job done before my muscles start screaming at me.”

He held out his hand and helped Adriann to his feet.  As they worked, the two of them became more and more distracted by the smell of sweat coming from the other, mixed with the sweet odor from the straw and the slightly acrid odor of the earth.  As they finished, Jack leaned back against the stall wall, wiping his hands over his trousers.  He took in Adriann’s now very dirty dark brown leather vest and pants, his disheveled hair, then looked down at himself.

“I’d say we’ve definitely gotten dirty.”

Adriann ran his fingers through his tangled hair and removed a few short pieces of straw.  He laughed.  “Yes, I agree.  We are what you would call, ‘a mess’.” Leaning against the wall next to Jack, he reached up into the man’s hair and pulled out a piece of straw.  He showed it to him, chuckling.  “Long or short hair never escapes the straw.”

Jack couldn’t seem to take his eyes off Adriann.  The man seemed suddenly boyish, with his mussed hair and the few dirt smudges along his jaw and forehead.  The light in his eyes was in complete contradiction to the light he’d seen there upon his first arrival.  Adriann had looked older then, certainly wiser.  But the man before him seemed almost coltish.  Jack felt a warm flush of arousal move through him as the thought of having sex right then and there popped into his mind.

He cleared his throat.  “I um, haven’t said this, and maybe I should.  It seems rude not to.”

“What is it, Jack?” Adriann asked.  He could sense the arousal emanating from Jack and felt that same arousal himself.

“Thanks…for last night.  You were amazing.”

Adriann flushed, but not from embarrassment.  Jack’s words only reminded him what he wanted to do again.  “You are very welcome.  I quite enjoyed myself.” He paused for a moment, then, “I sensed from you that you don’t really like to be…what would you call it…soppy?”

“Sappy.  And?” Jack drawled.

Adriann carefully gauged Jack’s reaction, but decided he had to say this before he lost his nerve.  “You see, I…I didn’t think I could feel anything.  We have been…I have been…cut off.  Until your people came through that stone circle…um, stargate…I never thought to feel anything again.  Then there you were and you were like…”

“A moth to flame?” Jack teased, but he had no idea how right he was.

“That is it.”

“You’re kidding?”

“I am completely serious.  With Daniel, it was my need to know, to feel.  He is so open.  But it was more than just emotions, Jack.  With your willingness to help us, I think that you have given me quite a lot of hope, and I just wanted to thank you.”

Jack stared at him, speechless.  He had no idea what to say.

Adriann saw him flush slightly in embarrassment.  Instead of apologizing, as he might have done at another time, he instead leaned toward him.  The need to feel his tongue in his mouth was almost overwhelming.  And it would have been, had the thunder from far above not echoed down the entrance tunnel and scared one of the cha’pac into kicking it’s stall door off one hinge.  Cursing under his breath, Adriann grabbed Jack’s hand briefly, squeezing it, before he ran off toward the stall.  Jack took a deep, shaky breath and followed.

Adriann set a temporary bridle on the animal and led it to one of the empty stalls, then removed the bridle and locked the stall door.  Jack was already busy trying to repair the locking mechanism and when Adriann returned to him, they set to repairing the door.  Once finished, the animal was returned to its stall.

With a heavy sigh and a tired smile, Adriann took Jack’s hand and squeezed it once more.  “Thank you.  I guess we should head back to the kitchen, make sure they have not made a mess.”

Jack watched as Adriann cleaned up and put away their tools and cart.  He couldn’t take his eyes off the man’s body and the way it moved, the way it smelled.  He knew that once he left the planet in a while, he’d probably not see Adriann for a long, long time…if ever again.  The opportunity would never present itself again and Jack decided to seize it, knowing damn well that if Daniel or Jason were in his place, they would do the same.  He grabbed Adriann by the hand and led him over to the fresh stall and closed the door.

“Jack?” Adriann asked, mostly just to say his name.  Jack’s intentions weren’t ambiguous.  They were very clear.

Jack removed his t-shirt and laid it over the stall door, then began to unlace his boots.  Adriann didn’t need any explanations as Jack looked up at him, removing a boot.  He swallowed and began to undress.  Jack kept his eyes on him as his trousers were pushed off, along with his briefs, and laid next to his shirt.  When both were nude, Jack pulled Adriann to him and unceremoniously dumped them to the padding of straw on the ground, his body over Adriann’s.  Holding the man’s head firmly by his hair, Jack kissed him deeply, giving Adriann his tongue.  The man moaned in appreciation as the kisses seemed to go on forever.  Hands caressed and massaged, seeking out the places they hadn’t the night before, pulling the other’s arousal to a fine edge.

Jack broke their kiss, breathing heavily, then suddenly pushed up and knelt between Adriann’s thighs, pushing them wide with his knees.  He smiled at the man’s flush of want as he bent over for one more kiss.  He looked down and took hold of Adriann’s long, narrow cock, his thumb grazing the tapered head.

“I can’t tell but…are you…aroused?” Jack teased as his hand moved up and down what seemed to be a very good-sized erection.

“Very,” Adriann breathed as he closed his eyes.

“Like that?”

“Yes.”

Jack’s eyes suddenly widened as the man’s cock lengthened slightly.  “You’re getting…longer.”

Adriann opened his eyes and looked up into the warm brown irises, darkening with increasing excitement.  “I would grow even longer if I were…inside you.  But I think not today.”

“No, not today,” Jack replied as he kept his hand moving.  “I have something else planned.” Adriann’s hand was on his own cock now, matching the rhythm Jack’s hand had created.  Jack suddenly hitched his breath as Adriann’s hand twisted lightly, the thumb moving in gentle, teasing circles over the head.

“Like that?” Adriann asked, copying Jack’s question.

“Yes.” Jack imitated the movement on his dick with his own hand and Adriann hissed in pleasure.  “Are you built the same?” he asked as his other hand reached underneath.

Adriann grinned knowingly.  “Oh yes.”

Jack felt wetness and pulled his hand out to check, but he found only semi-translucent fluid.  “Did you prepare before?”

“No, Jack.  We have natural lubrication.”

Jack closed his eyes.  “Damn, I’m jealous now.  What about that pleasure spot we have inside?  Do you have one?”

“We have something…similar.”

They continued to masturbate the other slowly, teasing the pleasure from their bodies.  Jack’s breathing quickened as Adriann’s hand sped up.  “Slow down,” he said though another gasp.  “If you keep that up, I won’t last.”

“You’ll last,” Adriann said enigmatically.  “Trust me.”

“I trust you,” Jack replied, then Adriann’s free hand was rubbing his belly as his hand sped up, twisting, and pulling with great efficiency, designed for only one thing.

“Fuck!” Jack gasped, dropping his head back as his hips jerked forward, thrusting madly through Adriann’s fist.

“Yes, Jack.  Get ready.”

“Oh god, that feels…fucking good!” Jack cried out, letting go of Adriann’s cock as he fell forward, his hands bracing himself over Adriann’s body.

“Ready?” Adriann asked as he stroked rapidly.

“God, yes!”

Adriann lifted up and in mid-stroke, Jack found his cock surrounded by tremendous amount of wet body heat as he was sheathed deeply inside Adriann’s ass.  “Oh my fucking god!” he gasped as his hips halted their rocking thrusts.

Adriann arched his head back, both hands now gripping Jack’s hips as he raised and spread his long legs.  His mouth dropped open, taking in gulps of air; his expression was one of bliss.  “Do not stop, Jack.  Do not stop.”

“Fuck no!” Jack cried as he felt the keen pleasure ripping through his body.  His legs, his ass – they felt on fire, but it was a wonderful fire, spreading through him, increasing in heat.  “I can’t stop, no fucking way.” He was thrusting madly now, his cock buried as deep as he could go.  Rivulets of sweat now ran down his back, his neck and chest.  Beads of it collected over his lip, his brow.  “Goddamn it, you feel so amazing.”

“Time to release,” Adriann said suddenly as he lifted his ass, then wrapped his legs around his waist, making Jack shorten his strokes.  “Time to…beg completion,” he gasped.

“Beg…” Jack panted, wondering what that meant for there certainly wasn’t any begging here.  Adriann’s hands were suddenly around his neck, pulling him down for a deep kiss.  When the man’s tongue entered his mouth, it was then that Jack felt it.  At first, he wasn’t sure.  It was a tight heat around the head of his cock, easily explained by the body that surrounded it, but the heat increased.  Adriann suddenly broke from the kiss and howled, he head dropping back.  Jack looked down at him, astonished, then felt something grab – no envelop – the head of his cock.  It was almost like being sucked.  Fright momentarily filled him, but Adriann’s reassuring hands roamed over the small of his back, calming him.  It wasn’t like he had a choice.  Whatever that was that had a hold of him, it was good.  Fucking good.  It also now rode with him, and as he corkscrewed his hips against Adriann’s ass, the feeling intensified.  Why the hell wasn’t he coming, he wondered briefly as a violent shudder of pleasure passed through him.

The answer was: because he didn’t want to.  Not yet.  This was fantastic.  “More, more!” His head dropped down next to Adriann’s, his mind set only on the attention his dick was receiving.  His hips ground furiously, as if trying to bore a hole through Adriann’s body.  “More, oh fuck me, more!” he whispered, then bit down over the strained cords of Adriann’s shoulder.  Hard.

Adriann cried out and thrust upward madly as Jack’s teeth attached to his shoulder drove him out of his mind.  “Harder,” he cried out.  Jack bit harder.  “Yes, Jack, yes.”

All Jack heard for another minute was the high moaning sounds escaping from their throats.  Then Adriann’s arms surrounded him and held him tight while their hips continued to grind into the other’s.  His lover pulled his hips back and slammed upward, again and again, fucking Jack in return.  Jack’s teeth began to worry the spot he’d latched onto and the slight pain had Adriann thrusting faster.  Adriann’s inner sheath or whatever it was that took a firm hold of the head of Jack’s cock, closed tighter, making Jack cry out.

“Fuck yes,” and he ground down, wanting more of that strange and acute pleasure.

His orgasm took Jack by surprise.  He cried out again and bit down hard as he spurted copious amounts of semen into his lover’s ass.  Jack’s climax kept going.  He was shouting now, cursing, wanting the pleasure to stop – yet wanting it never to end.  It was then that Jack felt Adriann’s teeth sinking into his neck as the man came hard, spilling his fluid over their skin.

The heat and pleasure from Adriann’s body, and the contact from the teeth buried inside him, rocketed through his body and he came harder than he ever had in his life.  He thought he could have screamed, but knew he’d been silent.  In fact, he couldn’t find his voice at all as he sucked hard at Adriann’s shoulder.  His ears seemed to fill with the rush of ocean waves as his orgasm evened out and then waned.  When the last of his semen was spent, he dropped bonelessly.  For a moment, part of him thought it was such a rude thing to do, dropping his weight down on Adriann, but the man held him so tightly that Jack allowed himself to be held.

.

As Jack returned to the kitchen, his appearance, as well as that of Adriann, caused a few frowns.

“What the hell happened to you two?” Daniel asked as he, Sam, Teal’c, and Jason walked over to him.

“Nothing bad, Daniel.  I helped clean stalls, then one of the animals kicked their stall door down when a particularly loud crack of thunder echoed through the underground tunnel.” The look he then sent Daniel and Jason told them that that hadn’t been all that had happened.  They knew it, too.  Jack had straw everywhere, which the others took for simply getting dirty, cleaning stalls.  But Jason and Daniel knew better.

“So, what’s goin’ on here?” he asked as he and Adriann crossed the room.

“We’re done,” Sam said, holding up her hands, showing that they had had a little fun with the food.

“Looks like you need a bath, Major,” Jack teased.

Sam blew out air between her lips as she walked past him and out of the kitchen door.  “You’re one to talk, sir.” Teal’c followed with a smug smile – and a floured nose.

“She’s right.  You’re a right mess,” Jason remarked.  He moved over as both he and Daniel grabbed Jack by the arms.

“Come on,” Daniel scolded lightly.  “Let’s get you cleaned up.  Can’t very well go home looking as if you’ve been rolling around in the hay.”

Jack shot Adriann a knowing smile – a quick thank you that said more than either could say in an hour.  He then cast a look at Jason’s team members.  “Does the Major do this shit to you guys?”

They rolled their eyes heavenward.  “All the time,” they said collectively.

.

Jack watched his lovers silently fill the bath, then strip down.  They surrounded him, removing his dirty clothes and Jack couldn’t help the guilt he started to feel.  As they pulled in into the tub, Jack found himself sandwiched, with Jason behind, Daniel in front.  With sponges and an oily soap with a mild flowery fragrance, they set to washing him.  He watched Daniel’s face, trying to gauge the emotion there, but all he saw was understanding.  He felt Jason’s body behind him, felt the loving hands washing him.  All of it made him feel all the more guilty.

“I’m sorry.  I’m–“

Daniel dropped the sponge and grabbed his face, kissing him passionately, thrusting his tongue in and out of Jack’s mouth, then abruptly went exploring.  Jack felt Daniel’s cock hardening so he wrapped his wet hand around the shaft and began to pump.  Daniel moaned into his mouth as he began to thrust through the water, wanting more.  From behind, Jack became aware of Jason’s hard cock against his ass as the man’s mouth nipped and sucked over the skin of his shoulders.  Jack leaned forward slightly, invitingly, and Jason wasted no time.  With little effort his cock slid inside.

The three of them created a wave of motion, slopping the water of the bathtub over its edges as their rhythms increased.  Both Jason and Daniel’s movements were synchronous now and as they neared their release, their bodies moved faster.

With harsh moans, they came, and through the touch of their bodies and the sounds they made through their release, Jack’s lovers reminded him just who it was he belonged to, just as they belonged to him.

.

Nearing the end of the mid-afternoon meal, a stream of sunlight filtered through the large windows, highlighting the dishes and glassware upon the table.

Everyone turned and looked as Adriann got up from the table walked outside.  With the slight sadness of inevitability, he came back inside, leaving the door open.

“I believe it is now safe for you to travel back home.  Several of us will escort you to the stone circle.”

.

It was decided that both teams were to return home.  They would come back later on or they would send a message through if they were unable.  A dialogue would be maintained as well as a formal declaration of treaty between the two planets.

Adriann stood before the DHD with Talen and Kashan, Rone and Neva.  The FREDs and MALP were sent through first, then Al and Connor, with parting handshakes to the Residents and their Brethren, stepped through.

Talen handed Sam a few jars of the ointment she’d used on her cuts.  With a strong hug from Sam and a bow from Teal’c, the two members of SG-1 went through the gate.

Alex walked up to Kashan and pulled out his monocular scope and handed it to him.  “Would you please give this Ophius.  I believe he would like it.  It is my way of saying thank you.  He will know what I mean.”

Kashan gave Alex a curious look, then leaned in and hugged him.  “He will miss you, as will I.”

With an embarrassed clearing of his throat, Alex nodded at the others, then left through the gate.

That left Jack, Daniel, and Jason.  Nothing was said at first so Jason broke the silence.

“While these two are off gallivanting and looking for treasure, I’ll probably be back with my team, but I cannot say when as we are sent on missions frequently.” He held out his hand to shake Adriann’s, then Kashan’s and the others.  “I hope that our time away is not too long.”

“I hope so, as well,” Adriann replied.

He took a step back and waited for Jack and Daniel to say their goodbyes.

Adriann suddenly became misty-eyed and turned away, blinking rapidly.  Jack and Daniel felt like crap for leaving him like they were, but it couldn’t be helped, pressing mission or no.  When Adriann turned back, he looked a little sheepish.

“Forgive me.  I do not know what to say.”

“Then say nothing except, ‘later’,” Jack replied as he pulled the man into a bear hug.  Before letting him go, Jack kissed him.  When he started to release him, Adriann showed his strength and desire and kissed Jack back, passionately.  When Jack finally stepped away, he could say nothing.  The kiss had pretty much said it all.

When Daniel went to hug Adriann, the man swept him into his arms and kissed him just as passionately as he’d kissed Jack.  Daniel felt that weakness behind his knees, just as he’d felt it the first time.  Damn, but the man could kiss.  When he broke their kiss and stepped back, he bit his lips together, feeling their manipulation from the kiss warming them considerably.

“As soon as I can arrange it, I’d like to come back for a longer stay, maybe help you with the histories.”

“I would like that,” Adriann said softly, knowing that it would likely be a while.

With more parting hugs to the others, the trio stepped through the gate.

When the gate shut down, Adriann turned round and was abruptly hugged by Talen.  “Do not worry.  They will return.”

“I know, Talen.  It is only a matter of when that bothers me.”

~

With a quick shower and a change of clothing and gear, SG-1 gathered in the gateroom and received the few instructions and information that General Hammond had been given by Jacob and Selmak via radio transmission.

As General Hammond gave them a few more orders, the gate was dialing their Tok’ra destination.  Jason stood by in the control room, his arms folded and his face frowning worriedly.  As SG-1 saluted the General and walked up the ramp, Jack turned to take a look at Jason through the control room’s glass.

“Would you stop worrying!” he called out.  Jason grinned and gave a short salute as he turned on the mic.

“I know you, Colonel.  Behave yourself.”

“Very funny,” Jack grumbled.  “I always behave myself.” When his teammates didn’t back him up, he growled to himself.

Daniel grinned, then turned to the control room.  “Keep the light on!” he called out, and with that, SG-1 departed through the gate.

When the gate shut down, Jason stood there, staring at the empty space.

“Something wrong, Major,” Hammond asked as he returned.

“No, sir,” Jason replied.

Hammond gave him a paternal look.  “Spit it out, Major.”

“I’m just worried, sir, that’s all.”

“You’re not alone, Major.  I would have preferred a lot more information than they were given.”

“Me, too, sir.  Me, too.”


 

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