Beach Blanket Blond

Author: Orrymain
Category: Slash, Humor, Romance, Established Relationship
Pairing: Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Rating:  PG-13
Season:  2 - immediately before “The Fifth Race”
Spoilers:  None
Size:  59kb
Written:  December 16-19, 2003, January 9-10, 2004  Revised:  January 13,31, February 3, April 7, June 12-13, July 28, August 10-11, September 29, 2005
Summary:  An unexpected event upsets Daniel, but turns on several of the SGC personnel.  It's up to Jack to save the day for his lover and, at the same time, prevent himself from committing murder!
Disclaimer:  Usual disclaimers -- not mine, wish they were, especially Daniel, and Jack, too, but they aren't.  A gal can dream though!
Notes:  
1) See notes at the bottom (spoiler type stuff in them).
2) Sometimes, Jack and Daniel speak almost telepathically.  Their “silent” words to each other are indicated by asterisks instead of quotes, such as **Jack, we can't.**
3) Silent, unspoken thoughts by various characters are indicated with ~ in front and behind them, such as ~Where am I?~
4) This fic stands alone, but it does reference my other fics, “Silver Linings”
5) Thanks to my betas who always make my fics better:  Drdjlover, Suzanna, Sheryl, QuinGem, Claudia, Gail, Allexandrya, Linda, Robert!

Beach Blanket Blond
by Orrymain

Daniel dragged himself through the door of Jack's country-style home.  He dropped his suitcase to the floor and let the shoulder bag and smaller totes slide off his arms.  As if walking the last mile, the shaggy-haired man laboriously walked over to Jack's favorite armchair and fell into it.

Jack chuckled, carefully placing his own suitcase and accessories next to Daniel's in the entranceway.  He walked to the sofa, and sat on the end closest to Daniel.  He shook his head, seeing Daniel's forlorn look.

“Danny, you can take that ridiculous hat off now,” Jack chuckled.

“I'm doomed,” Daniel whined as he removed the lime-colored beach hat and tossed it onto the coffee table.

Jack immediately picked it up and commented, “I can't believe you'd rather wear this silly looking thing with polka dots and a wooden fish than be seen.”

Daniel leaned his head back and stared up at the ceiling.  He groaned, especially when he heard Jack's laugh.  The archaeologist glared at his soulmate.

“How would you feel if your hair turned ... turned green?”

Trying to hide his chuckling, Jack replied, “Your hair isn't green, Danny, and the truth is that I think it's adorable.”

Daniel jumped to his feet and stood with his hands on his waist as he confronted his lover.

“And I think you are out of your mind!  *Why* did you let this happen?”

“Me?” Jack asked innocently, his shoulders raising with his question.  “I didn't tell you to lay out on the beach practically twenty-four/seven all week!” Jack argued in his defense as he continued to play with the lime hat he held.

The archaeologist waved his right hand in front of him as he tried to answer the question.

“You could have ... have ... nagged me ... done that possessive mother hen thing you usually do, but, oooooh no, you *had* to sit there and let,” Daniel looked upward, his right hand waving to his head, “*this* happen!”

“Daniel, I wasn't even there most of the time!  I was locked up in what should have been a padded cell with a roomful of lunatics who think they know how to run a military operation.  This was hardly a vacation for me, you know,” Jack reminded as he tossed the hat back onto the coffee table.

“Any other time you would have found a way.  Since when do you let the Brass get in the way of mother henning me?” Daniel pouted as he folded his arms across his chest.

“I don't mother hen,” Jack refuted.  ~Much.~  “Besides, you knew when we left that this was a business trip.  You hood-winked Hammond into giving you time off under the guise of studying ancient sunny children or something ...”

“Children of the sun,” Daniel corrected, adding, “And I didn't hood-wink anything.  I studied plenty!”

“Yeah, I'm sure you did.”  Jack stood up and seductively approached his lover.  “Um, now just when did you do that?  Was it before or after you developed that sexy little tan line there ...?”

Jack leaned over, reaching for his lover's six underneath the tails of his untucked blue shirt and winked.

“Jaaaack!  Stop it!,” Daniel responded, backing away and slapping his lover's hands.  “This isn't funny.  You *have* to do something!”

“Such as?”

“I have no idea ... b...b...but you're the team leader so *you* think of something, and you'd better think of it soon, or you'll be going on the next mission without me!” the younger man threatened in desperation.

“Actually, I thought it would be an ideal time to do a little research,” Jack said seriously.

“Reesearrchh,” Daniel screeched.  “And just what were you going to research?” he asked in an agitated tone.

“Whether or not it's true that blonds have more fun,” Jack quipped dryly as he glided toward Daniel again.

Ignoring his lover for the moment, Daniel walked hurriedly by Jack to the opposite end of the room.  He turned and stared vacantly at the books and knick knacks on the shelves in that area.

Jack pleaded, “Danny, calm down.  This isn't exactly a disaster.”

Daniel turned around to respond, saying, “I still say you could have prevented it.  You had to have noticed it changing ... the .... the, uh, way you're always look...looking at me.”

Daniel had meant to frown, but all of a sudden the thought of his lover's gaze and touch made him all warm and soft inside, and a smile threatened to come out.

“But I didn't, Love.  I swear I didn't,” Jack maintained.  “The little we were together we were usually in the dark.”

Jack grinned mischievously at the memory, and then Daniel blushed, knowing what Jack was grinning about.  Jack's grin became larger because his lover was so shy about talking about love and sex and yet so bold and daring in their lovemaking, a conflict of character that fascinated the older man.  Daniel rolled his eyes, wishing he could hide under a rock somewhere.

“Danny, trust me; you look adorable.”

“I don't want to look adorable, Jack.  I want ... I ... I want to look like *me* and not ... not ...”  Daniel didn't finish his sentence.  Instead, he paced the room, his arms still folded, only stopping when he saw his reflection in the patio door window.  “Oh gawd!  I look like that horrid movie you made me watch last month.”

“Which one?” Jack asked, his curiosity piqued.

“That ... Flash Gordon thing ... that guy had the worst hair.  Look at me, Jack!  I look like that actor who played Flash Gordon!” Daniel whined, reaching up and running his hand through his hair.

“Sam Jones, and I wasn't fond of how you looked at him, by the way,” Jack reminded, his Mr. Jealousy on the verge of surfacing.

“It was a movie, Jack.  I'd never seen hair like that before, and now, gawd, it's my hair,” Daniel complained and then sighed dejectedly.

“You batted your eyelashes at the screen when he was on,” Jack accused.

“IT WAS A FREAKIN' MOVIE!  Oh for ...”  Daniel was livid with frustration, jumping up and down in anger, especially since he had absolutely no words to express himself except, “YOU HAVE TO FREAKIN' DO SOMETHING BECAUSE I LOOK LIKE SOME ... SOME ... FREEEEEEAK!”

“No, you don't.”  Jack tried to approach Daniel to kiss him, but the younger man swatted him away.  “You keep doing that, and I'm going to feel like a fly.  Of course, if you're the spider, I'd happily get lost in your web anytime,” Jack spoke with a low voice, his hands attempting to get under Daniel's shirt once again.

“No touching until you fix this!” Daniel stated.

~That's a bit irrational.~  Jack tried again to reel in his soulmate.  “You're beautiful, absolutely beautiful,” he spoke softly.

“I am not.  I'm ... a surfer bum,” Daniel whined in a depressingly resigned tone.

“A wha...what?” Jack roared with laughter.

That was not an expression he'd ever expected to hear from Daniel.

“I feel like those guys in the sixties movies; those silly, unrealistic bingo bleach ... beach ...  bingo ... blanket .. oh, whatever they are that you make me watch,” Daniel intoned unhappily.

Jack laughed again, so much so that Daniel's stance straightened and he began to self-hug.

“Ah, the Beach Blanket Bingo movies, and geez, Love, you make it sound like I nail you down to watch them.”

“You do!”

“Do not!” Jack insisted.

“Do, too!”

“When?”

“All the time!” Daniel responded.

“I don't force you!”

“YES, YOU DO!” the younger man argued loudly.

“NOT!  Daniel, tell me *how* I manage to make you watch something you don't want to watch.”

“You ... you hold my hand ... and ... and nibble on my ear ... and ... and your hands ... IT'S BLACKMAIL!” Daniel said, his body beginning to quiver just thinking about his lover's delightful distractions.

Jack shook his head at his wonderfully irrational lover and joked, “Okay, Tab Jackson, or would you prefer Troy?”

“What I'd prefer,” Daniel said stiffly, walking over and picking up his luggage, “is to be left alone.”

“Whoa there, Blondie!” Jack ran to Daniel, taking the suitcases from him and setting them aside.  “Just where do you think you're going?”

“Blondie?  BLONNNNDIE?  You are so *not* ... let me repeat this ... *not* getting any until my hair is back to normal, and from the looks of it, Colonel O'Neill, that could be ... A ... VERY ... LONG ... time!”

“Come on, Danny. It's not that bad,” Jack spoke with a bit more desperation than before.

“I'M BLOND, Jack!  ARE YOU FRIGGIN' BLIND or something?” Daniel shouted.

Putting his hands on Daniel's upper arms and rubbing gently, Jack tried to calm his love.  Daniel began to swat him away again, but this time, Jack was determined and didn't let go.

“You're beautiful, Babe,” Jack said, his eyes backing up his words.  “Don't you think you're overreacting just a tad?” Jack asked, immediately regretting the question.

“I'm *what*?”  Daniel's eyes were spitting fireballs at his lover, at least for the moment.  “Aren't you the one who went ballistic only a couple of weeks ago over a teeny tiny bit of,” Daniel sighed at his thoughts, “silver-gray hair that,” Daniel's eyes softened as his breath hitched, and he began to unconsciously bat his eye lashes, “makes you look so dang ... sexy.  Gawd, I love your silver hair ... and ... oh gawd, in dress blues.  Gawd, I want you.”

Daniel lunged at Jack, his lips pressing hard against Jack's, his tongue demanding entrance into Jack's mouth, dueling with Jack's.  He had gone from anger to lust in all the time it had taken him to think of his lover's silver-gray hair.  His kisses were immediately full of need and raw lust, and he had no desire to put off fulfilling his need.

“Love you, Danny.  You're so beautiful,” Jack gasped between kisses.

“I hate you,” Daniel moaned, frustrated that he was so enthralled in his lover that he didn't care anymore about his hair.

“I love you,” Jack repeated softly.

“I hate you,” Daniel insisted, refusing to lose ground in spite of his treacherous lustful tongue, not to mention his hands that were fondling Jack, or his mid-section that was totally betraying Daniel's brain.  ~When did my pants get so tight?~  Of course, he knew it had nothing to do with tight-fighting jeans, but rather the bulge near the zipper that was rapidly demanding more and more attention.  ~Not fair.  Want him -- bad!~

“Love you,” Jack said yet again.  “Love you forever.  Need you; want you.”

“Gawd, I love you, too.  Love you so much,” Daniel admitted.

Jack slowly moved the kissing duo to the sofa.  Daniel took the bottom position as their make-out session continued.  Their lip-lock had gone on for several minutes.  Jack had just nibbled that spot right above Daniel's right ear that always sent his lover to another plane of existence, but it was his misfortune to have a strand of the now-blond shaggy hair fall on his nose.  Jack laughed, and in that instant, Daniel's plane crashed to the ground.

“STOP!  You're laughing at my hair!”

“Love you,” Jack said, trying to ignore his mistake.

“STOP TRYING TO DISTRACT ME YOU ... YOU ...”

“Charming, adorable, sexy ...” Jack began, hoping to once again distract his lover.

Jack continued to kiss and nibble on his partner's ear in between whispering endearments.

“Grrrrrr,” Daniel grunted.  “You're trying to keep me from being angry!”

“Sure, and why shouldn't I?  It's working, isn't it?” Jack said, pulling back to look into the blue eyes he loved so much.

“Gawd, yes.  Come here.”  Daniel pulled Jack back down to him, their tongues again dancing together in a waltz where each fought to take the lead.  “Jack,” Daniel said softly in more of a whine than a normal tone, “I can't go to the SGC like this.  I'll be even more of a laughing stock than I normally am.”

“Daniel, you're not a laughing anything,” Jack responded seriously as he realized what the root of the problem was.

Daniel rolled out from under his partner and stood in front of the kitchen, his arms folded.

Jack sat up, saying, “Danny, you know better, so does Hammond, and your teammates ... and so do I.”

“Yeah, that's why you listen so well when I'm leading a briefing,” Daniel remarked.

With a groan, Jack responded, “Danny, come on.  Science isn't my thing.  You know that, but I do listen!”

“Fine.  Then tell me what I was talking about during the last briefing, just before the trip,” Daniel challenged, raising his eyebrows momentarily and nodding his head just a tad.

“That was ten days ago, and I could ask you the same thing.  What was my concern before our trip to P9S-RR2?” Jack smirked, confident the younger man wouldn't have a clue what the answer was.

Daniel faced Jack, his face stern, and stated calmly, “You were concerned about our tactical position, about going in so openly.  You said something about the inhabitants moving too stealthily, that they seemed to learn how to handle the rifles a bit too quickly for a group that was supposed to be as primitive as they had led us to believe.  You wished we had air cover because there was so much open land.  You said ...”

“Okay.  Okay!  You were listening,” the military man admitted.

“Yes, I was.  Were you?” the archaeologist challenged.

~Smart-aleck genius.  I hate this, but I do love to hear your voice, especially when you're passionate about something.  You get this little lilt.  Your voice sounds like music to my soul.~  Jack coughed, as he knew he had no choice but to admit he knew exactly what Daniel had been talking about in the briefing.  “You rambled on about them, their being like Assyrians, with all the symbolism to kings and dictators or something.”

Jack avoided Daniel's stare.  He really felt very uncomfortable, like he was throwing away a protective mask.  Still, he continued.

“It was some crazy place not that far from Babylon, got its name from some god named Ashur.  It was a place that focused on warriors.  You said it had connections to Chulak and the Jaffa.  You even made a joke about Worf and Klingons which just about had Hammond on the floor in shock.”

Jack finally looked at Daniel, who was gaping at him in total surprise. He shrugged.

“You said the presence of limestone had something to do with it.  Their art featured those limey slabs ... or something.  Danny, do I have to keep mumbling on about this stuff?” Jack asked, begging for a reprieve.

~Geez, he listened.~  The younger man was in shock.  “No,” Daniel snorted.  “Who knew you listened to me?  Usually, I'm just ignored ... or ... worse.”

“I do it all the time, Love, listening to you, I mean.  I just don't like to admit it,” Jack teased.  “Look, Daniel, I always try to listen to you.  We all do, even if sometimes it seems like we don't quite believe you.”

Remembering the whole quantum mirror incident left Jack suddenly feeling drained.  The joke about Daniel's hair had led to a subject he hadn't anticipated or wanted.  Without saying a word, Jack picked up as many of their suitcases as he could and went upstairs.

“Jack?”  Daniel stood quietly.  ~What did I miss?~

The archaeologist grabbed the remaining bags and joined Jack in the bedroom where Jack was unpacking.

“I'm sorry,” Daniel said with regret.  “Sometimes it feels like no one cares what I say.  I'm always having to prove myself, even to you.”

Jack tossed a shirt into a drawer, emphatically saying, “You have nothing to prove to me.”

“Don't I?”

Jack faced Daniel, pointedly asking, “You don't really believe that, do you, Danny?”

“You didn't believe me about the quantum mirror.  I was wounded.  I had a freakin' staff blast in my arm, Jack.  How the heck did I get that if I hadn't been telling the truth?  What were you thinking?  That Teal'c had cloned himself and shot me?”

Jack sighed, sitting down at the foot of the bed.

~He's right, but ... but what, O'Neill?~  “I'm sorry, Danny.  It just seemed so surreal.”

“With all that we'd already seen?  I guess that's what I don't understand ... tha...that it was easier to think I was crazy than to believe there was something like the quantum mirror in existence, even though I had the injury to prove it.”

“We, I never thought you were crazy,” Jack stated truthfully.

“What did you think?” Daniel asked.

“Actually, I tried not to think about it, but I believed you in the end, even if it wasn't soon enough.”  Jack's voice was low; his expression had turned solemn.  He hunched forward, clasping his hands together as he sat quietly, almost whispering his next words.  “I just couldn't make any sense of what you had said.  I'm sorry.”

As Daniel moved to sit next to his lover, he realized that Jack's mind had traveled somewhere else, to the mother ship where Daniel had almost died.  Daniel could see Jack wondering whether if he had instantly accepted and supported Daniel's story of the quantum mirror, that whole incident on the mother ship could have been avoided.

~Don't go back there, Babe.  I didn't mean to bring this up.  Gawd, it's just this ... this stupid hair!~

Daniel knew Jack believed in him, or at least he was trying to get used to the idea of Jack believing in him.  Having people who cared about him and valued his words was still foreign to the younger man.  A childhood of abuse and neglect followed by rejection and humiliation in his chosen career had left their mark on his psyche.

The mild-mannered archaeologist had been ignored for too many decades to believe he had a right to be heard and his views accepted.  Daniel also knew that his lover was a man trained not to question but to deal only with facts and orders.  He was learning, though.

~I am proud of you, of how you've grown, and I do know that's not easy, Jack.~

Daniel had to admit that Jack wasn't so quick to act without looking at all the options as he had once been.  There was still room for a ton of improvement, but he was better; and, Jack had proven he did listen to Daniel, even if he did pretend not to.

Now, watching Jack, Daniel's heart ached, because he knew where Jack's mind had gone.  He took his lover's hand with his right one, and with his left, he reached around to turn Jack's face towards him.

“Hey, I'm right here, Love,” Daniel quietly reassured.  “We're both alive and together.  Get off that ship, Jack.  It's old news.”

“Space Monkey,” Jack said softly.

This time, Daniel decided that he wouldn't argue about the nickname.

“Yeah, that's me, and I'm here.  Feel this,” the resurrected archaeologist said as he squeezed Jack's hand.

“I'm so in love with you, Danny, and I'm so sorry I doubted you,” Jack confessed.

“Just don't do it again,” Daniel warned.  “I ... Jack, I need you to trust.”

“I do; I swear I do, Danny,” Jack sighed.

Daniel smiled at his worried partner and then leaned in for a kiss.  Jack brought Daniel's hand to his mouth and kissed it, gently rubbing it against his cheek for a second.  Then he stood and continued to unpack before speaking again, a full minute later.

“I may not always believe you, but I always believe in you, and I'll keep reminding you of that every time you start to think that you don't matter, or that you aren't valuable, not just to me, but to the SGC.  Belief, Danny, it's not always easy.  I can believe a lot of things in life, but I don't believe in many people.  I do, however, believe in you and always will.”

Daniel smiled as he sought the truth in his soulmate's eyes.  Finding it, he replied, “I know, Jack.”  He paused for a moment.  “I come up with some off-the-wall theories sometimes,” Daniel said, taking the blame for the entire discussion.

“You're always right, though,” Jack admitted.

“Jack, I'm sorry I got so ...”  Daniel shrugged, not knowing how to describe his behavior.  “It's just ... this hair.  I really hate it.  What am I going to do?”

Jack approached Daniel, pulled him into his arms, and intoned, “I love you, no matter what color your hair is.”

“I'm not worried about you, but what about the Marines ... gawd ...”

~Got it!~  With a grin, Jack announced, “I'll be back in a few minutes.  Finish unpacking, okay, Love?”

“Wait ... where are you going?” Daniel asked as Jack walked out of their bedroom.

“I'm going to do what I always do!” Jack stated smugly.

Daniel smiled, asking shyly, “Fix it?”

“Yeahsureyoubetcha!” Jack called out as he went hurriedly down the stairs.

“Gawd, I hope so,” Daniel sighed as he turned to continue unpacking, nearly shrieking when he caught an image of the platinum-blond stranger in the mirror as he turned.

Daniel really didn't want to face the Marines on base with ridiculous blond hair.

====

“Danny, Love, I found the solution!” Jack said, entering the home with a smile on his face.  ~He's gonna love this!~

“Great, but we have to go,” Daniel sighed as he stood with his arms folded and looking like a lamb going to the slaughter.

“Go?  Go where?  Why?” Jack asked as he placed the brown bag he'd been carrying down onto the sofa.

“General Hammond called,” Daniel explained as he sat against the arm of the sofa, looking over his shoulder at the bag Jack had tossed onto the couch, his curiosity aroused about its contents.

“We just got home,” Jack said.  “Geez, we've only been back a couple of hours.”

Daniel shrugged, saying, “Well, he knew when we were due back.”

“Um, was he expecting you to be here?”

“No, cell phone.  I heard the message left for you, and then my phone rang.  I ... shouldn't have turned it on.  But you left, and I thought you might call and ... and ... Gawd, Jack, I'm doomed.”

Jack moved the two feet necessary to stand near his lover.  He hunched over and kissed him, his hands cupping Daniel's face.

“You're beautiful, Danny.”

“Jack, you've said that about twenty times since we've been home.  Who are you trying to convince?” Daniel asked, feeling extremely self-conscious.

“You, because it's the absolute truth,” Jack said without even a trace of laughter.

Daniel blinked several times, seeing the sincerity in his soulmate's eyes.

“You're prejudiced ... and you aren't the one looking like a male Marilyn Monroe,” the younger man quipped.

“Whoa?  Marilyn?  I hope not.  You aren't hiding anything under there, are you?”

Jack backed away, looking suspiciously at his lover.  In response, Daniel stood and swatted Jack with his right hand.

“What's under there, Spidey?” Jack asked, continuing to try and make contact with Daniel's skin as Daniel fended him off.

“You ... geez, stop that, Jack.”

Daniel couldn't help but laugh, soon leaning into Jack's tender embrace.

“So ... what's the crisis?” Jack asked.

“Military nincompoops,” Daniel responded, not wanting to leave the house and hating that they were about to.

~That's at least two-thirds of the bunch.~  “Be more specific.”

“I don't know.  General Hammond said it had something to do with the NID putting on pressure to gain more control of our missions and anything we bring back.  Kinsey is involved, I think.”

Jack snorted, “You're right.  Nincompoop!”

“Anyway, there's a big meeting of the Brass, and we both have to go.  Gawd, Jack.  Look at me!” Daniel exclaimed, disheartened by his appearance.

“I love looking at you,” the older man crooned.

“But ...”

“Danny, no one will notice,” Jack said, hoping his lover would believe him.

“You said you were going to fix it,” Daniel sighed.

Jack felt like a king again.  Daniel was looking at him with those cerulean blue eyes full of hope, trust, and faith.  Daniel never looked at anyone else that way.  Of course, that kept Jack on his toes.  It wasn't easy being Daniel's personal Mr. Fix-it, but the older man was definitely not complaining.

“And I can, but how long do we have before Hammond wants us at the Mountain?”  He heard Daniel's frustrated sigh, and that gave Jack his answer.  “I guess we'd better go,” Jack stated quietly, planting a kiss on Daniel's forehead.  “Danny, no one will notice, and if they do, so what?  You are gorgeous and sexy and mine.  You just remember that!”

“Geez, Jack, you make it sound like ...”

“Like what?  Like you look good enough to eat?  Which you do, and which, for the record, I plan on doing as soon as we get home,” Jack said lasciviously.  When Daniel looked downward shyly, Jack raised his lover's chin with his right hand and leaned in for another kiss.  “I love how you look. In fact, you might even think about keeping the color for a while.”

“You've lost your mind,” Daniel accused, leaning into Jack, wanting and needing at least a few moments of safety before leaving for the Mountain.

“Again? That makes just twice today,” Jack quipped, adding, “It's a good day.”  Jack held Daniel close and placed a kiss atop his temporarily blond head.  ~Geez, I love this man.~

“Let's go,” Daniel reluctantly stated.

Daniel moved out of Jack's hold, took a breath, and walked towards the door.
Jack shook his head slightly for a moment, stared down at the shopping bag, and smirked, “Later.  Definitely later!”

====

“Danny, you have to get out of the truck,” Jack said after Daniel hadn't budged for three minutes.

“I know that, Jack,” Daniel said sharply.  “Maybe ... maybe there's a secret entrance?”

“Daniel, we don't have time to hike around the Mountain to use the access shaft.”  Jack laughed as he got out of the truck and walked to the passenger side, opening the door.  “Danny, people are going to talk.  I just opened your door for you.”

“Oh, gawd,” Daniel said as he moved to exit the black truck quickly.

“Just grin and bear it, Daniel,” Jack said, converting to a more formal tone since they were about to enter the SGC hallways.

Daniel decided to pretend he was back in school.  He walked staring at the ground, not wanting to make eye contact with anyone.

Having passed through the security gate, the two were heading down the SGC corridors headed for the locker room to change when Jack noticed the looks his lover was getting.  Gazes were following the blond man.

~Hmmm.  What is going on here.  He's spoken for.  Eyes off my archaeologist!~

There were a lot of double takes which Jack had anticipated, people wondering what was different about the head of the Archaeology Department or if they were seeing correctly, but what Jack hadn't foreseen were the wanton looks of approval.

As they passed by two female civilians, Jack sneaked a glance back over his shoulder.  The two were giggling, not in a negative way, but in more of a flirtatious manner.  He saw one of them shaking her limp hand at the wrist, saying, “Wow - now that's hot!”

Entering the locker room, the two changed quietly.  Again, Jack witnessed the expected looks of surprise, but it was the gleam in the eye of John Carpenter that set Jack on edge.  The civilian was exiting the shower area, only a towel wrapped around his waist, and Jack couldn't help but notice the reaction of the man's lower half when he caught a glimpse of Jack's archaeologist.

~Get that in check fast, or I'll make you regret you ever entered this room!~

Buttoning the last of his shirt buttons, Jack was about to make Carpenter regret having his eyes popping out of his head, which they definitely were, when Daniel, totally unaware of the other man, casually walked to Jack and asked, “Ready?”

“What?  Oh, yeah.  Let's go.”

Still trying to get his wayward body part in check, John Carpenter couldn't ignore the death stare Jack had given him, but he also couldn't help but smile at the sight of a blond-haired Daniel Jackson either.

====

“People, we have a problem and we need to ...”  The general paused, seeing Jack and Daniel enter.  “Welcome back, Colonel ... Docccctor Jackson?  That is you, isn't it, Son?”

“Yes, General.  Please don't ask,” Daniel requested as he slid down onto his seat, feeling like the child made to wear the dunce cap in front of the class.

Everyone in the room was staring at him, and Daniel hadn't felt so self-conscious in, well, since Jack had gotten him to admit on Abydos (the first time) that he didn't know how to get them home.

“Daniel, what ... ouch!”

Sam reacted with surprise when she felt her leg get a tap on the shin, courtesy of her CO in a covert operation that fooled everyone except Sam and Daniel.

“Carter, we're here for a briefing, right, General?” Jack asked as innocently as he could, which wasn't much.

“That is correct, Colonel, and we need to get down to business.  Colonel Maybourne and the NID are about to make our lives a little more chaotic around here if we don't come up with a darn good argument and game plan, to keep the NID out of this facility and out of our,” the general looked at Daniel and shook his head, “hair.”

Daniel sank a little lower in his seat as Hammond continued to fill in his flagship team about the situation.  They spent forty-five minutes doing an initial review of the matter and then divided up to brainstorm and research ideas with other personnel.  When they separated, Daniel hurried to his office, pretending not to hear Sam's call to him.

“Carter, you want some advice?” Jack asked smugly as she sighed in the doorway.

“Sure.”

“Don't ask!” Jack quipped with a smile.

Jack left his 2IC to discuss the situation more quietly with Hammond and a few others in the major general's office,  Still, wayward thoughts about his lover and all the seductive looks he was getting, especially from John Carpenter, couldn't help but enter Jack's mind during the session.

~Focus, O'Neill,~ the colonel had to remind himself from time to time.

====

“Doctor Jackson, would you like me to help you with that?” Joanie Campbell asked.

“Um, sure.  Here.”  Daniel handed the pert shoulder-length blonde a few papers, pointing to a reference source.  “Check this out, and see if you can find out any information online about any of these names.”

“No problem.  I'll get right on it, Doctor Jackson,” the young woman replied.

In fact, she kept smiling, holding the papers.  Daniel looked nervous, dropping his pen to the desk as he squirmed under her intense smile.

“Did ... you have a question, Joanie?” Daniel asked.

“Oh ... no ... just wondered if I could do anything else ... for ... you?” Joanie answered, her smile confident and her eyes boring into her bosses'.

Daniel's eyes darted around the room in response as he stuttered, “Um, jus...just that research would, uh, be good.”

“Can I use your computer, Doctor Jackson?  I mean ... this one, right here?”

Joanie reached her hand out, accidentally on purpose sliding against Daniel's long currently-blond hair.

“Okay, fine.  I'll ... I'll ...” Daniel moved quickly to the other part of his office, “be over here looking up some information, if, uh, you have any questions.”

“Yes, Doctor Jackson,” the blonde crooned seductively.  “Anything you say.”

Daniel nodded and tried to focus on his work.  He was trying to gather support for his view that having relics found off-world turned over to the NID right away or taken directly to Area 51 would prove ineffectual in their pursuit of weaponry.  He knew neither the NID nor the Brass were interested in the cultural aspects of SGC missions, so as he reviewed his list of items brought back through the Stargate over the past months, he concentrated only on those that had proved to either be some type of weapon or material conducive to producing a weapon or was found to be an energy source.

====

Sliding up as close as she thought she could get away with, Joanie put the results of her efforts on the desk.

“This is all I could find, Doctor Jackson.”

Feeling a bit uncomfortable by the closeness, Daniel moved away slightly, ostensibly to pick up a file folder, and replied, “Thanks, Joanie.  Um, that'll be all for now.”

“Oh, but isn't there *anything* ... else ... I can do ... for ... you,” the sultry civilian asked, again broaching Daniel's personal space.

“No, uh, I don't ... I mean, no, that's all ... thank you,” Daniel said, again moving away.  ~What is going on with her today?  Maybe ... I know, she's just trying to make me feel better.  I hate my hair.~

Joanie reluctantly left the office, leaving Daniel grateful she was gone.  He was sure she was just trying to make him feel better.  He felt so conspicuous with his hair the way it was, but he didn't have time to think about it as he was due to meet with Sam and some others.  He grabbed a few files that he thought he'd need and headed for Sam's office where the meeting would take place.

====

“Good idea, Carter,” Jack said as he headed for the door.

“Hi, Jack,” Daniel said brightly, automatically smiling.  ~Crap, I shouldn't react like that.~

“Hi, Daniel.”  Jack returned the smile, and for a moment, both locked onto the other, almost forgetting where they were until Jack coughed to break the spell.  “Carter has a good idea about how to roadblock Maybourne.”

“Oh?  What's that?” Daniel inquired, looking over at their teammate and friend.

“Technobabble him to death!  He wouldn't last thirty minutes in a full scale doohickey doodad meeting!” Jack quipped humorously.

Sam shook her head at her CO, a small smile on her face.

“Right, Jack.”  Looking at Sam and moving towards her, he said, “Sometimes, you just have to ignore him.”

Before she could respond, five others of the relatively small SGC scientific community walked in, including John Carpenter who immediately pushed his way in next to Daniel and was positively ogling him.  Daniel was, as always, totally clueless, but Jack wasn't, intentionally postponing his exit for a few minutes under the guise of listening in so he could give Hammond a status update.

Jack was so focused on Carpenter that he didn't notice Cliff Johnson's constant staring at Daniel, at least not until the man hunched over to point out a reference on some papers, his hand brushing against Daniel's

~Whoa, cowboy!~  Jack stood totally erect, his head scooting around to get the best look possible.  ~Move it, or lose it.~

Cliff's hand lingered until Daniel moved his hand away, aware of the contact, but not the intention behind it.

~What is going on today?  Everyone is in my space.  I ... I don't like it.  Gawd, I want to get out of here,~ Daniel thought silently.

Jack's eyes widened as he looked back and forth between Carpenter and Johnson.  Both were practically drooling.

~Coming to the Mountain today was a bad idea.  Emergencies go hang, this is my lover they're gaping at.~

When Carpenter began to lean against Daniel slightly as they continued to study their notes, Jack intervened, loudly requesting, “Daniel, a moment of your time, please.”

Not sensing anything was wrong, Daniel excused himself and followed Jack out of the room.

“What?” Daniel asked.

“You're totally clueless, aren't you?” Jack asked in a low but raised voice.

“About what?” the younger man inquired.

“Nothing,” Jack said, shaking his head.  “Listen, I have to meet with Hammond.  How long is this little shindig supposed to go on?”

Daniel answered, “Probably an hour.  Why?”

“Meet you in the commissary after.  I'm starved.  We haven't eaten all day, in case you've forgotten.”  Daniel just stared.  “Daniel, sheez.  How you ever survived before me I'll never know.”

“Me, either,” Daniel said with a cute smile.  Smugly, he returned to his meeting.  ~I do love him.~

Shaking his head in loving bewilderment, Jack chuckled and thought, ~I do love him.~

====

Sometime later, Daniel walked into the commissary, which was bustling with activity.  Sam and Teal'c were seated at SG-1's favorite table.  Sam smiled and waved him over.  Daniel acknowledged her, but headed for the counter to grab a coffee and a pastry before joining her.

“Daniel, is that you?” asked a grinning Lou Ferretti, who was standing nearby with a group of Marines.

“Nah, I'm just a figment of your imagination,” laughed Daniel, trying to shrug off any discomforting reminder of his change of hair color.

“Come over here and let me introduce you to a friend of mine.  Casey Hemmings, Doctor Daniel Jackson, our resident genius.”

“Lou, you're beginning to sound too much like Jack,” Daniel said shyly before turning to the friend.  “Casey,” Daniel acknowledged, smiling and extending his arm to shake the man's hand.  “I hope Lou isn't filling your head with too many misconceptions.”

“Hello, Doctor Jackson, I've heard a lot about you,” Casey said warmly. “You're quite the legend around here.  I doubt Lou could exaggerate too much, from what I've heard.”

“Don't listen to anything they say.”  Daniel grinned.  “It's probably all in their minds.”

“Hey, I speak as I see it, Doc,” laughed Ferretti.  “And on that note, I have to get back.  See ya later, Casey.  You, too, Doc!”
 
Ferretti walked out of the room, leaving Daniel and Hemmings alone together.  Daniel wanted to go over and speak to Sam and Teal'c, but didn't want to appear rude since Lou's friend seemed to want to chat.

Casey Hemmings was a handsome, lean man, about six-feet-one.  He had wavy brown hair and hazel eyes that sparkled when he talked.  He was also Daniel's age.

“So Doctor Jackson,” Hemmings began as his eyes twinkled with interest for the man he was talking to.  “I must say it's much nicer meeting you in the flesh. The stories don't do you justice.”  ~Neither did the description.  Steeeeeamy!~

“Stories?” murmured Daniel in surprise.

“Well, I heard quite a few of the nurses here admit to having a crush on you, and the grapevine says that goes for SGC personnel as well.  I can certainly see why.”  Hemmings' eyes stared intently at Daniel.  “That's a nice tan.  Is there a beach around here I don't know about?”  ~And how about we explore it together?~

“Um, no.  I had a ... business trip recently, but I did manage to catch some sun while I was there.”  Daniel wanted to change the subject so he quickly continued to speak.  “Welcome to the SGC, by the way.  Uh, how, uh, do you know Lou?”

“I'm a nurse, and I've known Lou for years now.  We used to hang around together when we were younger,” Casey explained.

Hemmings had slowly moved closer to Daniel, gradually entering his personal space, and in fact, he had his hand on Daniel's arm as they talked.

“Did you attend the same college?” Daniel asked, trying to figure out where Lou and Casey could have met.  ~And please remove your hand.  Nothing personal, but everyone is so touchy today.~

“Nah.  Lou's family and mine have always been close.  My older bro, Randy, and Lou hung out together growing up and through high school.  I was the tacky little brother, but they humored me in spite of the differences in our ages; let me hang out with them, too.  When I got assigned to the Academy a couple years back, I found out Lou was stationed here.  We've become pretty good friends in our own right.”

“He's a good man,” Daniel acknowledged, casually moving away from Hemmings.  ~Wish there was a polite way to say, 'Get your hands off me'.  After all, he's just being friendly.  I ... I just don't like being touched, un...unless it's Jack, of course.~

“One of the best,” Casey agreed.

Aside from the touching, Daniel liked Casey and felt he had a genuine air of friendliness about him.

~Nice guy; Jack will like him; uh, as long as he keeps his hands off of me,~ Daniel thought while smiling shyly.

====

As Jack entered the commissary, he waved at Sam and Teal'c and then glanced around the room.  He caught sight of Daniel, who was in conversation with a man he didn't recognize.  Unfortunately for all, Casey's hand had once again found its way to Daniel's arm.

~Whoa!  Okay, who's that, and why is he cuddled next to *my* lover?~

Of course, Jack's observation wasn't completely accurate.  While Casey was standing close to Daniel, they were nowhere close to cuddling.  Still, Jack sensed an air of confidence about this newcomer, and clearly, the newcomer was civilian.

~No way!  Back off, you hussy!  He's mine!~  Jack couldn't miss the lustful look in Casey's eyes or the fact that his hand was on Daniel's arm, both of which were a big no-no in Jack's book.  ~I hope you filled out all the military forms; we'll need to contact your next of kin.~

Jack had his own version of The Seven Deadly Sins, honed from ... months ... of experience, beginning with their relationship as best friends and now as lovers.  Each 'sin' had been culled from some event or from someone else's advances on Daniel.  If people knew what was good for them, they'd pay heed to the Jack O'Neill version of the sins:

Thou shalt not be tall, dark, and handsome ... or good looking, period!
Thou shalt not laugh too hard at my lover's jokes!
Thou shalt not let thy gaze linger on my sexy soulmate!
Thou shalt not stand too close to my Danny unless saving his life!
Thou shalt not harbor secret lustful thoughts about my handsome hunk!
Thou shalt not touch my precious love in any way without my permission!
Thou shalt not make a move into MY territory ... ever!

Jack reviewed his list.  While he might not be able to control the tall, dark, and handsome factor, he could control those who sought to invade his lover's personal space, space that had only one name on it:  Jack!

The jealous lover swept over to the two men with a smile on his face and a gleam in his eye.  He walked up to Daniel and grasping his other arm, he swung Daniel around.

“Hey Daniel, I've been looking for you,” Jack said casually, his smile covering up his possessiveness.

If Jack could have done it, he would have patted himself on the back for a job well done.  Not only had he pulled Daniel from the touch of the infiltrator, but he'd done it without Daniel knowing his motivation or making a scene, and yet, looking at the young newcomer, Jack noted the message had been received.

~Nice move.  Hmmm, what's the story here?~ Casey wondered, his eyes enjoying Daniel's six.

“Well, you've found me,” Daniel said, barely able to stop a huge smile.  “What's up?”

They'd only been apart for a short while, but Daniel had missed Jack and seeing his lover made the archaeologist feel warm and gooey inside.

“So are you going to introduce me?” Jack inquired.  ~I'll need to know what name to put on the death certificate.~

Turning back around, Daniel said, “I'm sorry.  Jack, this is Casey Hemmings, a friend of Lou's.  Casey, Colonel Jack O'Neill.”

“Nice to meet you, Colonel,” Casey said, shaking Jack's hand and smiling.  ~You are trying to stake your claim, aren't you?  You can't fool me; the military is full of closets.~

“Nice to meet you to, ah, Hemmings.”  Jack smiled formally.  ~Take note: Daniel Jackson is off limits, got it?~

“Casey will do just fine.”  Hemmings smiled as he thought, ~Hmm.  Was I wrong, or was that a threat behind that smile?~

“Well, *Hemmings*, Daniel and I have some stuff we have to go over with the team.  You know, doohickeys and squiggly lines, et cetera.  It was nice meeting you.  Come on, Daniel,” Jack said, steering his lover to safety.

“We do?  Oh, okay.  I'll see you later, Casey,” Daniel said as he half walked and was half-dragged over to the table.

~Don't hold your breath, sin-breaker,~ Jack thought.

“Count on it,” mumbled Casey under his breath, deciding to ignore the warning glance he thought he had gotten from the colonel.  ~Daniel is too yummy to give up on that easily.~  He watched the two men walk away.  ~He is a colonel; maybe I'm misreading.~  Casey continued to observe Jack and Daniel as they walked away.  ~That Daniel is a looker, and I love that hair.  Totally yumalicious!  Watch out ... Doc ... Casey has come to town!~

====

Jack and Daniel took their spots at the table.  Jack was across from Daniel, next to Teal'c, while Daniel was next to Sam.
 
“What was that all about Jack?” Daniel inquired.  “I didn't know there were any translations outstanding.  Besides, aren't we supposed to be working on the NID thing?”

“There aren't,” muttered Jack.  “I just thought it would be nice for the whole team to sit down together for once.  We've all been busy doing our own stuff for ages.  Time to catch up.”

“Oh.  Hi, Sam,” Daniel said, turning his attention to her.  “Anything interesting been happening while we were gone?”

“Nothing to write home about.  It's been pretty quiet actually.  We missed you both though; it wasn't the same here without you.”

“Shucks, Carter, who knew you could be so sappy,” laughed Jack.
 
Jack leaned back in his chair and observed Daniel.  The man was like a god -- bronzed with rippling muscles.  The blond hair just set it all off.  Jack realized his 'eye candy' thoughts were affecting his lower body.  Quickly, he reeled in his silent ramblings, but he hoped he and Daniel didn't have to be at the SGC for much longer.  He wasn't sure he would last if the day didn't end soon.

As he looked closer, Jack suddenly noticed that Sam was twiddling with the hair at the nape of Daniel's neck absentmindedly as she spoke to Daniel about his temporary hair color.

“I like it, Daniel,” Sam commented.

Jack, however, had no idea what Sam had said, having been lost in the shock of his 2IC's shocking movements in the middle of the commissary.  The older man fidgeted, almost reaching across to stop the action, but he decided against it since his lower body was still a bit too 'involved' for movement as yet.

~Geez!  Has everybody got the 'I need to touch Daniel' virus today?~

Almost if on cue, Sam suddenly removed her hand, smiling, and saying, “Gee, I'm sorry,” though she was unable to hide her giggle.  “It really looks great, Daniel.”

Daniel rolled his eyes, and Jack was flooded with relief that he didn't have to kill his second-in-command after all.

====

Thirty minutes later, Teal'c excused himself to get back to his assigned task.

“We probably should get back to work, too,” Sam admitted, staring at Daniel. She smiled and said, “You know, I really like it, Daniel.”

“Gawd, Sam, don't even talk about it.  I hate it,” Daniel responded, bowing his head.

“Yeah, but it's different.”  Sam took her hand and ran her fingers through the shaggy hair.  “And I love how it feels; besides, it brings out your eyes more.”

Jack was on the edge of his seat.  Sam's fingers were on Daniel's forehead, still walking through the hair, playing with it, pushing it to one side, and then the other, all on the pretense (in Jack's mind) of touching the silky strands.

“Carter, don't you have *something* to do somewhere *else*?” Jack asked tersely.

“Jack, what's wrong with you?” Daniel asked, still clueless about the lure of the blond hair.

“Nothing, Daniel,” Jack whispered.  “I just love to watch my 2IC being intimate with my lover.”

Sam spit out the coffee she had just imbibed, and Daniel shouted, “WHAT?”

The entire personnel in the room turned and looked.

“What?  What?”  Jack shrugged his shoulders, seeing the two incredulous looks.  “What's wrong with you two?” Jack accused, trying to shift the blame.

“Jack, get a grip, and remember where we are!” Daniel admonished.

“I know exactly where we are.  Do you ... Captain?” Jack challenged.

Jack's glare got through successfully as Sam replied, “Yes, Sir.  Sorry ... what was I doing?”

“You were being ...”

“Jack,” Daniel warned, his piercing eyes saying more than words could.

“Just ... keep your fingers to yourself, Captain.  We need to get back to the reason we're here, and it's not so you can,” Jack stopped just in time, and redirected his comments, “spend the day in the commissary.  Let's go!”

Daniel rolled his eyes and exchanged shrugs with Sam as the trio stood up.

Facing his lover, Daniel glared and communicated, **Behave, Jack.**

**I am.**

**Try harder,** Daniel warned with glaring eyes.

**Hard is definitely the word.**

Daniel had already turned around and reached the doorway of the commissary, and Jack wasn't sure his last line was heard.  He was never sure about this strange non-verbal communication of theirs.

====

Jack had just come from the general's office.  They had one more hour and then everyone would gather for a final briefing to see what their plan of attack would be.  As he made the way down the hallway, towards the infirmary, Jack saw a large group huddled together.  There was a lot of laughter and commotion.  As he advanced, he saw his 2IC on the fringe of the small crowd of eight or nine.

“Carter, what the blazes is going on?” Jack asked.

“Oh, hi, Sir.  Daniel had a little problem with the soda machine,” Sam explained.

“Huh?”

“Take a look, Colonel,” Sam suggested, motioning in the direction of Daniel and the crowd.

Jack moved closer, walking through the group.

“DANIEL!  What the heck did you do now?” Jack exclaimed loudly.

Daniel sighed.  This was definitely not one of his brighter moments.  He had tried to laugh it off with those gathered around, to joke and tease and act like it was nothing, but what he didn't need was Jack's criticism at the moment.

“I was trying to get the can out of the machine, Jack, and it got stuck,” the archaeologist answered matter-of-factly.

“So you reached in to get it?” Jack inquired with big eyes.

Daniel nodded shyly, wishing he could just sink right into the cold floor.

“Give him a break, Jack,” Lou jostled, returning to the group with some tools.  “We'll have the Doc freed in a jiffy.”

This particular machine was located just outside the infirmary, and Daniel had come down to ask Janet about her involvement with one of the relics they had brought back last year, one that had ended up emitting radiation, causing several SGC workers to become sick for a time.  He'd decided to get a drink and inserted his money, but when the can didn't eject all the way, he reached his right hand inside.  He had taken hold of the can only to discover he couldn't remove his hand.  It hadn't taken long for passersby to stop.

“Don't worry, Daniel, it'll only take a minute,” Casey Hemmings said.

Jack's feathers ruffled as Hemmings touched Daniel on the shoulder.

“That'll be all, Hemmings,” Jack barked as he moved forward, his colonel wings demanding attention.

“But, Sir ...”

Jack glared, his blood pressure having risen tremendously during the course of the day at the SGC.

“DISMISSED!”

Hemmings practically jumped, dropping the tool he held and fled in fear.

~Geez, he's loud!~ Hemmings thought as he hurried away, having heard stories about Jack's fury from many of his new co-workers.

Jack turned, his Special Ops self on the surface.  One look to each of the assembled personnel had them scattering within seconds.  Sam flinched, but held her ground even after Jack gave her an extra long glare.

“Jack, you going to help here, or what?” Lou asked in an amused tone.

“Oh, yeah, sorry,” Jack said, bending over to retrieve the instrument.

====

Within minutes, Daniel was free of the hand-eating soda machine and in the infirmary while Janet examined his hand.

“Nothing's injured, Daniel,” Janet reported with sympathy for the young man's predicament.

“Except for my pride,” Daniel said sadly.

“It can't be that bad,” Janet chuckled.

“Have you looked at me today?” Daniel asked, almost regretting that he had asked.

With a smile, Janet answered, “I think you look adorable.”

“I don't want to be adorable!” Daniel argued.

Janet laughed as she jotted down a few notes on the chart.

“How's he doing, Doc?” Jack entered, having returned from a phone call that had required his immediate attention.

“He's just fine except ...”

“... For my pride,” Daniel whined, not caring that Janet heard him.  “You know what's even worse?”

“What?” Jack and Janet asked within seconds of each other.

“I still didn't get my Pepsi,” Daniel informed them.

Jack and Janet shook their heads, and then Jack offered, “I'll get you one upstairs.”

With a sigh, Daniel replied, “No, I'm not thirsty any more.  Gawd, I hate this day.”

“Sir, time for the briefing,” Sam said, entering the infirmary.  “Hand okay, Daniel?”  Daniel nodded, and the three began to walk towards the briefing room.  “So, Daniel, you going to leave your hair ...”

“Maybe ...” Daniel said.

“No, he's not,” Jack said at the same time as Daniel spoke, causing Daniel to turn and stare.

“I thought you said ...”

“I changed my mind,” Jack responded gruffly.

“But I don't know,” Daniel said hesitantly.  “You like it so I thought I'd ...”

“No, never,” Jack said with certainty.  “No way.  I want you back the way I found you.”

“Penniless?” Daniel teased.

“Very funny, Daniel.”

“Actually, that was Catherine.  Then again, I never did get paid until we came back from Abydos,” Daniel commented.

“Must have been some paycheck, Daniel,” Sam laughed.  After Daniel shrugged, she added, “I think you should keep it this way.”

“So, Carter, bags all packed?” Jack asked, his eyes speaking volumes.

“Sir?”

“Elmendorf,” Jack said commandingly.  “I'll have the orders ready by the end of the day.”

Sam gulped, “On second thought, Daniel.  Don't keep it this way.”

Daniel groaned.  He was truly miserable.  He hated the hair, and it seemed to draw people like ants to a picnic basket.  All the touching and looking was unnerving.  Besides, even though he seemed to be more popular today, he wondered if, in reality, everyone was really just laughing at him.

“Yeah, actually Sam, I think I've had about all I want of this experiment,” Daniel said decisively.

“Experiment?” Sam questioned.

“Yeah -- that blonds have more fun thing.  From my experience, it's a false theory,” Daniel opined.

Sam laughed as the three entered the room for the briefing.  Jack was glad the day was almost over.

====

“Daniel, let's go.”

“I'm not arguing, Jack, but Joanie asked if I'd help her with her figures,” Daniel replied as he hesitated to leave the SGC.

“No way, Doctor Jackson.  I've seen her figure, and she doesn't need any help from you!” Jack said, having known Joanie was interested in Daniel, regardless of hair color.

“Jack, that's not what she means, and you know it!” the archaeologist insisted.

“Danny, it may not be what you mean, but trust me, it's exactly what she means!” Jack advised.

“You're kidding me, right?  No one in their right mind would want me looking like some platinum ... lunatic,” a disbelieving Daniel responded.

“I want you.”

“I rest my case,” Daniel said with a smile.

“Oh, you think you're cute, don't you?” Jack said teasingly.

“Not today, no.”

“Well, I do, Love, and so does everyone we've come into contact with today.  We're getting out of here now, and I'm going to fix this little problem!” Jack promised.

“I thought you wanted me to keep it like this a while?” Daniel asked.

“I told you earlier that I've changed my mind,” Jack intoned.  “I want you back to your original color.”

“Why?”

“Because otherwise I'm liable to commit several murders.  You wouldn't want that, would you?” Jack asked, in a tone that suggested he wasn't exaggerating.

“Jack ... let's go; and you never told me your solution for the problem, not that it matters much after this fiasco of a day.”

“You'll see!” Jack chirped as they headed for his truck to go home.

====

“Jack, I'm not so sure this is a good idea.  Have you ever done this before?” a wary Daniel asked.

Having just finished trimming Daniel's hair slightly, Jack was following through on his solution.  Adamantly, he responded, “It's this or Flash Jackson!”

“Gawd.  Go on, and get it over with,” Daniel sighed, hoping Jack's solution wouldn't make it worse.

Jack laughed as he applied the rich gel to Daniel's hair and said, “Count your blessings, Love.  At least it's not Grecian Formula.”

Daniel groaned and replied, “Somehow, knowing it's Clairol doesn't make me feel any better!”

Stopping for a moment to kiss his soulmate on the cheek, Jack looked at his youthful lover and said, “Danny, you are beautiful, no matter what color your hair is.”

“Your bias, Jack,” Daniel replied softly.

“Yes, I am, my Love, but it is also the truth,” Jack said, smiling as Daniel gifted him with a beautiful smile.

====

“See, it's better,” Jack stated a bit cautiously.

Daniel glared as he complained, “Gawd, what a nightmare.”

“Danny, it's better than it was, and in a few days, your hair will be back to its lovely brown shaggy self,” Jack promised.

“Yeah, but in the meantime, I look like I've streaked it ... or bleached it or something,” Daniel said, feeling a little disheartened by the whole thing.

“It was that or ...”

“Flash Jackson,” both said in unison.

Jack laughed, and after a few moments, Daniel did, too.  Daniel fell into Jack's waiting arms as their laughter continued.  It had been a long few weeks, with Jack's aging paranoia and now Daniel's reaction to the accidental bleaching of his hair.

“Jack?”

“Yes, Love?” Jack asked.

“The next time we go somewhere for any reason, don't let me go out in the sun!  Keep me locked up in the dark,” the younger man requested.

“Now that I can promise,” Jack said, as he began to ravish his lover.

Within seconds, any thoughts of aging, hair color, or the sun had long gone.  The only thing the lovers cared now was the entwining of their bodies in a joyful bliss that would give both the strength to endure any and all obstacles that may appear, no matter how big or small.

As they worked their bodies to completion, Jack called out, “Danny?”

“Hmm?” Daniel managed to respond.

“Let's ... goooo ... geez ...  to the beach and ...”

“Jack!” Daniel exclaimed, swatting his joking lover as they merged their bodies together.

“Whoa!  That was ... geez, do that again!” Jack requested, liking the sensation of the swat that was in unison with his thrust.

All was well for Jack and Daniel as silver-gray hair and streaked bleached blond and brown hair tangled happily together until both were sweat-soaked and limp.  Life just didn't get any better than this!

~~Finis - Finished - Done - The End - But is it ever Really?~~

Notes:  For those unaware, the references to Tab and Troy refer to Tab Hunter and Troy Donahue, two of the most well-known fifties and sixties heart throbs who were very blond.  Also, in case you missed it, Sam Jones who played “Flash Gordon” is the same Sam Jones who played “Aris Boch” in the SG-1 episode, “Deadman Switch.”

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