In Puris Naturalibus

Author: Orrymain
Category:  Slash, Humor, Romance, Established Relationship
Pairing:  Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Rating:  NC-17 (mild)
Season:  3 - very early
Spoilers:  The Nox (minor)
Size:  50kb, short story
Written:  November 16-17,19, December 27, 2005, January 15-18,22-25, 2006
Summary:  Jack goes to unusual lengths during some hard-core negotiations with a potential new ally.  Later, Daniel gives his lover some strokes of his own!
Disclaimer:  Usual disclaimers -- not mine, wish they were, especially Daniel, and Jack, too, but they aren't.  A gal can dream though!
1) 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.**
2) Silent, unspoken thoughts by various characters are indicated with ~ in front and behind them, such as ~Where am I?~
3) This fic stands alone, but it does reference my other fics, “Skinny Dipping”
4) Thanks to my betas who always make my fics better:  Claudia, Linda, QuinGem, Jodi!

In Puris Naturalibus
by Orrymain

“So, you think these guys are worth checking out?” Jack asked as SG-1 headed for the briefing room.

Walking briskly next to the leader of SG-1, Sam nodded as she replied, “Yes, Sir.  The preliminary report SG-2 brought back showed the planet has intense mineral deposits, and the inhabitants have a high degree of medical technology.”

Keeping pace just behind his teammates with his left hand in his pocket, Daniel brought his right hand up, waving it about slightly, and interjected, “It's, uh, strange, actually, because their social development is very primitive, but somehow they've acquired medicines that put them way ahead of us.”

Just before reaching the conference area, the teammates saw SG-2 exit the room, chuckling.  Jack immediately made eye contact with his friend, Major Lou Ferretti.  He couldn't miss the prankster-like expression on the man's face.

“Lou,” Jack said in passing.

Daniel politely nodded and brushed by Ferretti, following Sam into the briefing room.  Teal'c nodded and went in as well.  Jack, however, had paused, intrigued by his friend's manner.

“Hey, Jack, how's it ... hanging?” Lou smirked.

“Lou, you feeling all right?” Jack inquired, curious about Lou's smirk.

“Better than you're gonna be in about five minutes.  How's your tan?” the Italian man asked.

“My tan?” a clueless Jack asked, looking down at his currently fair-skin hands.

Smugly, Ferretti quipped, “There's lots of sun on Laksma One.”

“Laksma One?” Jack echoed.

“That's what the folks on PR2-857 call their little world,” Lou explained.  “You're going to love it.”  Leaning in, Lou whispered, “I'd tell you to dress warm, but what's the point?”

As Lou walked away, cackling, Jack turned and called out, “Why, is it cold there?”

“It's hot, Jack, very, very hot,” Ferretti answered, his loud laughter echoing down the corridor of the SGC.

“Colonel, would you care to join us?” General Hammond asked as he sat down at the head of the long, rectangular conference table.

“Yes, Sir,” Jack responded, glancing back once more at Ferretti as he disappeared from his sight.  ~I think Lou's been out in the sun too long.~


“Their medicines could help us tremendously,” Janet Fraiser noted as she reviewed the preliminary report from SG-2.  The length of the briefing was thirty minutes and counting as Hammond and SG-1 discussed SG-2's findings and recommendations.  “I'm particularly intrigued by their carmonka.”

“What is that, Doctor?” Hammond asked.

“According to SG-2, it's a type, or form, of nerve regenerator.  This would be of major use to us, *if* it's what the people on the planet claim it to be.  Imagine being able to repair or regenerate a dead nerve ending just by a taking a pill.”  The SGC physician shook her head in amazement, adding, “This could be revolutionary if it works.”

“That's great, Doc, but if this is a medical mission, why are we going?” Jack asked.  The colonel wasn't fond of meetings of any kind, nor did he particularly enjoy visits to planets where he essentially did little more than guard the scientists on duty.  ~I have better things to do with my time.~

“Because, Colonel,” Hammond answered sternly, “the leaders on Laksma One insist on dealing only with the leaders of Earth.”

“We could send the President,” Jack joked.  Seeing the glares from Hammond and his teammates, Jack weakly added, “It was just a thought.”

“Captain Carter, you'll be excused from the negotiations with the leaders,” Hammond announced.

“I will?” the blonde asked, sitting up a little straighter as she showed her surprise.

“She will?” Jack and Daniel asked in unison, each glancing at the other upon uttering the same question.

“The leaders on Laksma One have very strict rules and procedures for any negotiation,” Hammond said.

“Tribal rituals and traditions probably,” Daniel interjected.  “I don't see anything in the report about the segregation of men and women, though,” the anthropologist announced as he flipped through several pages.

“No, Doctor, you haven't missed anything in that regard,” the major general replied.  “They do accept both men and women on an equal level; however, it's our customs and traditions that I'm considering in this case.”

“Sir?” Sam asked, still not understanding her exclusion from the mission.  ~This is annoying.  It reminds of when I first got here.~  She stared straight into Hammond's eyes as she appealed, “I'm more than capable of doing anything the colonel and my teammates do.  I do ...”

“Not the hormone speech again,” Jack quipped, earning more glares from everyone in the room.

“What I meant was ...” Sam began.

“Captain Carter, you are excused from this mission,” Hammond repeated more forcefully.

“Sir,” Jack interjected on his 2IC's behalf.  “With all due respect, Carter can hold her hold own out there.”

“I am well aware of that, Colonel.  If I didn't have complete faith in Captain Carter's capabilities, she would not be a member of my flagship team,” Hammond snapped.

“Then why am I excused from the mission?” Sam dared to inquire, her unhappiness at the situation evident.

Hammond opened a file and pulled out four papers, handing one each to Jack, Daniel, and Teal'c and keeping the other in front of him.

Sam stared at her teammates, feeling left out.  She watched as they read the summary report.

“These, Gentlemen, are the procedures for the negotiations.  The line of interest is number eighteen,” Hammond announced, pausing to give his team a chance to get there.

Nervously and curiously, Sam waited as well.

“Holy Buttocks!” Jack exclaimed.

“Oh,” Daniel sighed.  “Uh ... oh.”

Teal'c said nothing and wore only his usual calm, confident expression.

“Will someone please tell me what number eighteen is?” Sam requested.

“You're not going, Carter,” Jack answered firmly.

“Uh,” Daniel began, slowly scooting the paper over to Sam, who was seated on his right.  “Number eighteen,” he said shyly.

Miffed by the lack of disclosure, Sam glared as she pulled the paper closer to her, using the tips of her fingers.  She was prepared to make an argument and opened her mouth to do so when the words sank in.

“Oh, my!” the female exclaimed, her cheeks reddening as she began to blush.

“You're so not going, Carter,” Jack repeated.

“No, Sir.  I mean, yes, Sir.  Not going, Sir,” Sam spoke nervously, scooting the paper back towards Daniel.

From her seat next to Jack, Janet looked over at Sam and asked, “What did it say?”

“The negotiations are done, uh, well, they're done ...” Sam stuttered.

“In puris naturalibus,” Daniel completed for her.

“That sounds like Latin; I've studied that a bit,” Janet intoned.  “In puris naturalibus,” she quietly repeated.  “Puris would be clean or pure, and naturalibus would be natural,” Janet noted.  Then she shrugged as she nonchalantly translated, “Purely natural or clean.”  All of a sudden, the physician put all the pieces of the puzzle together.  “Oh,” she said, staring down at SG-2's report.

“Yes, well.  Why us, Sir?” Jack asked Hammond again.

“Review the procedures carefully, Gentlemen,” Hammond responded, purposely ignoring Jack's question.  “The first meeting commences at 0800 tomorrow morning.  Doctor Jackson, if you have any questions concerning the unusual aspects of the negotiation ritual, please confer with Lieutenant Tyson.  She's the one who got the information from Laksma One.”

“She?” Daniel mumbled.

“Is that a problem, Doctor?” Hammond questioned.

“No, not a problem, General,” Daniel responded softly.  “Lieutenant Tyson,” he restated.  “No problem.”

“GeneralHammond, are the inhabitants of Laksma One aware of the Jaffa?” Teal'c inquired, concerned about the pouch in his abdomen that would easily visible if he were to disrobe.

“Yes, Teal'c, we already double-checked with the people there,”  Hammond answered.  “They have no problems with your being a part of the negotiations.”

Teal'c nodded in complete acceptance of the statement and happy that, for once, the symbiote he carried wasn't making potential new allies reticent about his presence.

“Dismissed,” Hammond ordered, standing and quickly heading for his office.

Janet chuckled, saying nothing as she left the briefing room.

Sam looked down, then broke out into laughter and teased, “I understand it's cold at 0800.  I think I'll go get a cup a coffee.”

“You do that, Carter,” Jack agreed.  Jack looked towards the end of the table and commented, “Teal'c, you're taking this well.”

“Is there something to be ashamed of, O'Neill?” the Jaffa asked with intensity.

“No, nothing at all,” Jack responded, rolling his eyes as he stood and headed for his office.


“Daniel, isn't there ...”

“No, Jack,” Daniel answered flatly as he sat on the floor of his apartment, papers strewn all around him.

From the sofa, Jack leaned forward and asked, “But what about ...”

“No, Jack,” Daniel answered, making a note on his legal pad.

“Okay, well, what if we ...”

“No, won't work,” Daniel stated definitively.

“But ...”

“Jack,” Daniel said, looking over at his lover.  “This ritual is set in stone.  If we want the medical technology, we have to play by their rules.”

“But we'll be naked!” Jack objected.

“Don't worry, Babe; I've, uh, seen it all!” Daniel quipped with a sly smile on his face.

“That's not what I'm worried about,” Jack snapped.  ~I may have to kill them, and that won't help the negotiations.~

“Why are you looking at me?” Daniel asked innocently.

“That's the problem; they'll be looking *at* you,” the older man lightly barked.  ~And then I'll kill them and be court-martialed, and we won't get the medicines anyway.~

“Gawd,” Daniel sighed, shaking his head.  “Jack, it's a ritual.  Just think of it that way.  I mean, uh, it's not like it's a ... a ...”

“Bath house?  Brothel?” Jack sarcastically retaliated as he dipped a potato chip into the dip.

“We have a job to do, Babe; just focus on that,” Daniel advised, returning to his work.

“Yeah, right, focus ... on my ... work,” Jack replied, eating his chip as he leaned back against the sofa, still dreading the upcoming mission.


At 0600 the next morning, as Sam chuckled at the foot of the ramp, Jack, Daniel, and Teal'c stepped through the Stargate to Laksma One where three of the locals, all males, stood waiting.  Behind them, a group of twenty men and women stood, all dressed in colorful ceremonial robes decorated with symbols of animals and trees.

“With respect and humility, welcome to Laksma One,” the man in the center greeted, bowing.  “I am Carilon.  This is Jamal and Igtoo.  We are the Trebolo.”

Daniel stepped forward and bowed, greeting, “I am Daniel Jackson.”  Pointing back, he said, “This is Colonel Jack O'Neill, and this is Teal'c.  We are SG-1.”

“Come,” Carilon instructed, extending his hand out in a motion for the Tau'ri and the Jaffa to follow them.  “You must change into your robes.”


Jack, Daniel, and Teal'c were escorted to a small shelter, which had been divided into three rooms by large dark pieces of cloth.  There was a center room that served as a lobby and two changing rooms.  Teal’c went to the room on the right while Jack and Daniel chose to share the room on the left.

“Daniel, are you sure?” Jack asked again, whining as he tied the orange sash around his robe.

“Yes, Jack, I'm sure.  The people here believe in the purity of cleanliness and the symbolism of, uh, well ...” Daniel stumbled, his words trailing off.

“Being naked?” Jack completed.

“They believe that clothing inhibits purity.  It's, uh, kinda like saying that if you have nothing to hide, then why hide?” Daniel explained as he pulled his robe taut with its purple sash.

**At least they could have given you a blue sash,** Jack bemoaned.  “Ouch!” he reacted when Daniel's elbow made contact with his abdomen.

“Oh, sorry,” Daniel apologized with a disingenuous grin.

“Sure, you are,” Jack responded doubtfully.

Jack and Daniel exited their room and were joined in the lobby by Teal’c a few moments later.  Seeing their friend, both Jack and Daniel tried to resist the urge to laugh, but failed miserably.

“What is amusing?” Teal’c inquired, confused by his teammates' laughter.

“Ah, Teal’c, pink is traditionally a woman’s color on Earth,” Daniel informed the brightly-attired Jaffa.

“On Chulak we have no such restrictions on the colors one can wear,” Teal’c replied, looking down at his neon pink robe.

“It’s not a restriction, but more of ... of a preference,” Daniel replied, giving Jack a warning glance not to say anything.

“I have observed many males on your world attired in similar hues,” the Jaffa pointed out.  Then with an air of importance, he added, “We are not on Earth,” raising an eyebrow as Jack chuckled again.

“You're right,” Daniel agreed, nodding.  “Uh, anyway, it's important to remember the guidelines I told you two about earlier.”

“I remember, DanielJackson,” Teal'c calmly assured.

“What guidelines?” Jack teased.

“Jack, you can't ... I repeat, you *can't* ... look,” Daniel commented hesitantly.

“Look at what?” the older man not-so-innocently inquired.

“You know at what,” Daniel responded.

“Daniel the only ...”

“Jack!” the archaeologist warned.  **Teal'c's here.**

**Oh, yeah.  I forgot,** the colonel silently admitted.

Daniel continued, “Anyway, eyes forward.  They consider it impolite to, uh, ...”

“Look,” Jack and Daniel spoke together.

**Can I look at you?** Jack covertly asked his soulmate.

**No, Jack,** Daniel replied, taking a deep breath as he looked away, shaking his head.

“I'll remember,” Jack promised a bit sarcastically about Daniel's reminder.

**You're awfully calm about this, Daniel.  I thought you didn't like showing off your *assets* in front of others,** Jack silently commented about his lover's shyness, which seemed for the moment to have disappeared.

**It's not the case here.  Besides, no one will be looking; that's part of the custom, remember?  This is business, Jack,** Daniel replied.

~Right,~ Jack thought with a deep sigh, still not happy about this mission.

“It is time to begin,” a man called out from outside the tent.

“On with the show,” Jack instructed, leading Daniel and Teal'c out of the tent where they had changed into the robes.


Led by two men ringing hand-held bells, the Trebolo walked side-by-side towards a large circus-size tent that stood about a quarter of a mile west of their camp.  Jack, Daniel, and Teal'c had already been taken there and stood quietly as they waited by the entrance of the tent for the Trebolo to arrive.


**No jokes, Jack,** Daniel warned.

**Spoil sport!**

The men ceased ringing the bells, placing them on a stone tableau that was about two feet wide by three feet long.  The bells fit snugly into holes on each side of the tableau.

“I, Carilon, will speak for Laksma One.  Counsel is commanded to make the Arena of Truth.”

Upon hearing the words, the twenty men and women that had met them at the Stargate formed a large circle with roughly six feet of space between each person.  The stone tableau was the centerpiece of the circle.

“Prepare for the Trebitron,” Carilon advised, after which the twenty removed their robes.

**Don't look!** Daniel said sternly.  “Eyes straight ahead,” Daniel whispered.  “They value eye-to-eye contact.”

“Jamal, our friends,” Carilon said, nodding.

Jamal walked over to the three members of SG-1 and requested, “Please come into the Arena of Truth.”  He led them to the tableau and instructed, “You must ring the bells and state your desires.”

Daniel picked up the first bell and rang it.  Then he picked up the second bell, ringing it and putting it back into its place.

“I'm, uh, Daniel Jackson, and I come to speak of the truth, that our two cultures can be friends, that we can learn about each other and share our technologies so that we will all benefit from what we've learned in the past,” Daniel stated and then returned to his position.

Teal'c rang the bells and intoned simply, “I am Teal'c, and I have come to attest to the truth that DanielJackson speaks.  The Tau'ri are good and loyal.  I am honored to share their friendship and meet the people of Laksma One.”

Jack moved forward and rang both bells, stifling the urge to do a little ditty as he did so.  He said, “I'm Colonel Jack O'Neill, and I've come to make sure Daniel doesn't get into trouble.”


“Look, you people want honesty and all of that?  Well, I'm not good with words, but Daniel is, so I'm here to tell you that you can trust him.  He's the most honest person I know,” Jack proclaimed before stepping back to his spot.

**Don't ad lib, Jack.**

**Danny, you know me and diplomacy.  I'm not good at this stuff,** Jack whined.

**Just remember what I've told you.  Don't mess this up; we need those medicines,** Daniel admonished sternly.


“Igtoo,” Carilon commanded, a nod telling him it was time for his part of the preliminaries.

Igtoo walked to the tableau, pausing in front of it and bowing.  He silently mumbled a few words, none of which SG-1could distinguish, and then he smiled.  Leaning over, he pressed his fingers against three indentations on the tableau.  When he did, the tableau rose up several feet, revealing that it was also a cabinet.

Igtoo opened the doors, pulling out what looked to be two large, red blankets.  He bowed and walked four feet away where he carefully spread out the red material.  Walking an equal distance on the other side of the tableau, he repeated his actions.

“All here must close their eyes and revel in the unity of friendship.  You must think of your desires and hopes for the Trebitron, and if they are true, the Arena of Truth will be born,” Igtoo stated.  “Trebolo, think as one.  Visitors from Earth, the Tau'ri, the Jaffa, think as one,” he instructed.

**Danny ...**

**Jack, do as he says -- NOW!**

Not really believing in what was happening, since it sounded like mumbo jumbo to him, Jack nevertheless went along.  He listened carefully for sounds of movement, but heard nothing.

“The Trebitron can begin,” Igtoo announced just a few seconds later.  “The Arena of Truth has been sanctioned by the Puresma.”

Opening their eyes, Jack, Daniel, and Teal'c were surprised to see that the red blankets were glowing.

Carilon walked to his place, soon joined by Jamal and Igtoo.  They were standing opposite SG-1.

“Be pure, and we can share,” Carilon declared calmly as the three who comprised the Trebolo disrobed, placing their robes on the ground in front of them.  They sat down on the glowing red substance, which conformed to their bodies.  “Visitors, be pure, and we can share,” he repeated.

A bit hesitantly, but following Daniel's lead, Jack and Teal'c removed their robes, placing them on the ground in front of them.  Like the Trebolo, they sat down, realizing the red material was quite comfortable.  Jack had no problems maintaining eye contact, just as long as their hosts didn't look at his lover's mid-section.

“The Trebitron begins.  How may we be of service?” Carilon asked.


“So you're saying that your medicines were handed down to you from Asclepius?” Daniel asked incredulously.

“That is so, Doctor Jackson,” Jamal affirmed.  “Asclepius is our patron.  It is he who has given us the power to heal and maintain the goodness of our bodies.”

“Who is Asclepius?” Jack asked.

“He's, uh, from Greek mythology, also known as Aesculapius to the Romans.  The story goes that his father, Apollo, sent him to the centaur Chiron, who raised him.  Chiron taught Asclepius surgery and all about drugs, potions, incantations ...” Daniel expounded.

“Incantations?” Jack quizzed.

“The rites,” Carilon interjected.  “We speak to the medicines, and they give us their purity.”

Jack nodded, not really understanding.

“I think what he means,” Daniel supposed, “is that when they follow the rites, the medicines ... heal.”

“That is correct,” Jamal confirmed with a nod.

“Anyway, Asclepius also brought people back from the dead,” Daniel noted.

“That's convenient,” Jack responded.

“Yes, but Zeus didn't think so,” Daniel replied.  “According to the myth, he was angered by Asclepius interfering with the natural order of life, so he killed him with a thunderbolt.”

“I'd like to have one of those,” Jack stated lightheartedly.  Seeing Daniel's glare, Jack whispered, “Sorry.”  ~But it would come in handy.~

Daniel continued, “The last piece of the story says that Zeus felt that Asclepius had done some good, so after he killed him, he transformed him into Ophiuchus.”

“The serpent-bearer constellation?” Jack questioned, being somewhat familiar with the name since one of his hobbies was astronomy.

“Exactly,” Daniel confirmed.  He added, “Some people believe that Hippocrates is a descendent of Asclepius.”

“And what does all this mean?” Jack asked.

Daniel shrugged, giving off a smile as he answered, “It's interesting.”

“That's informative, Daniel,” Jack replied dryly.

**It means these people may have been brought here by the Goa'uld, if they have a similar mythology to ours,** Daniel communicated.

**I haven't seen anything ...** Jack responded silently.

**Goa'uldish?  Me, either, but it doesn't mean they weren't here at some point.**

“What do you offer for the benefits of our world?” Carilon inquired, continuing with the negotiations.

“We can offer you goods and building materials that are stronger and more weather resistant than the wood and canvas you are using now,” Daniel began.  Seeing the Trebolo expectantly waiting for more, he added, “We can also send scholars to help educate your people in new technologies and ways to construct buildings so that they'll be stronger and better.”

When the three men continued to stare, Jack added, “And we'll toss in a few weapons that will help put food on your table.”

“Jack!” Daniel admonished.

“That's what you want, isn't it?” Jack challenged.  “Be pure and true of heart,” he quipped.

“You are correct, Colonel.  While we would value the materials you speak of, Doctor Jackson, we do not have much weaponry with which to kill our prey.  We have only simple knives, but have seen you with powerful weapons.  We wish to have those,” Carilon avowed.

“Uh ... Jack?” Daniel asked, uncertain if that would be a good idea at this stage of the game.

“We can't give you those,” Jack stated.  “But we do have other weapons we can discuss.”

“You believe the weapons you carry are too advanced for us?” Igtoo challenged.

“In a word, yes,” Jack opined.  “Look, you people say you want the truth.  A couple of years ago, a race called the Nox told us that we were too young to know how they make things work.  It bugs the living crap out of me when they say that, but you know something?  They're right.  I wish we had their knowledge and capabilities, but in the wrong hands on our world, I'm not so sure we wouldn't end up in a worse mess.  So, we're going to learn from those folks.  You're not ready for the big guns, but we can help you, if you'll let us.”

Carilon looked at Jamal and then at Igtoo, receiving confirming nods from both.

“Our agreement must be bonded.  Stand,” the leader of the Trebolo commanded as he and the other two quickly got up.

“Bonded?” Daniel asked, not having seen that on the list of procedures for the negotiations ritual.

“Yes, it is a solemn rite that will bond our two peoples forever in purity, trust, and friendship,” Carilon stated informatively.

“And just what exactly is involved in this bonding?” Jack asked cautiously.

Igtoo explained, “A representative of the Trebolo and a representative from the others, in this case, *you*, participate in bonding.  It is private and not to be spoken of.  Who will represent you?”

“I'll ...” Daniel began.

“Over my dead body,” Jack lashed out.

“Jack ...”

“No, Daniel,” Jack interrupted.  He looked at the three men who comprised the Trebolo and crustily asked, “Why weren't we told about this part of the negotiation process?”

“The bonding is sacred, Colonel.  No outsider is made aware of it until they prove their purity in the Trebitron,” Carilon explained.

“The negotiations,” Daniel translated quietly.

“I know that,” Jack quietly muttered.

“And what exactly does everyone else do while this bonding takes place?” Jack inquired pointedly.

“The four who remain meditate together, under the cloth of unity,” Carilon explained.

**Danny, I don't like any of this.**

**I'm not fond of it, either, but what else can we do?** Daniel asked via their non-verbal communication.

“Who will participate in the bonding?” Carilon asked.

Daniel once again began, “I'll ...”

“No!” Jack barked.  “I'm the leader and ...”

“I don't think so, Jack,” Daniel interrupted, suddenly feeling a twinge of irrational jealously even though he really had no idea what the bonding consisted of.  ~Think fast,~ he told himself.  “I mean, uh, we can't take ... chances.”

“You're not doing it, Daniel,” Jack argued.

“But ...”


“But ...” Daniel said again.

“No!” Jack repeated.

“I shall participate in the bonding,” Teal'c announced, a smug expression on his face.  ~I do not understand these Tau'ri at times such as this.~  When Jack and Daniel both turn their heads to face him, he stated unemotionally, “It is a simple ritual, is it not?”

“That is correct, Teal'c,” Jamal answered.  “I, too, shall participate in the bonding.”

“Are you sure about this, Teal'c?” Jack asked quietly.

“I will step aside if you would prefer to go, O'Neill,” the Jaffa offered.

Jack looked over at the large man named Jamal.  His stature was as tall and broad as Teal'c.

~I might die,~ Jack thought.  “No, no,” he responded.

With a nod, Teal'c repeated, “I will do what is required for the bonding.”

Carilon closed his eyes and raised his arms over his head, saying, “We call on the power of the Trebolo to ensure the bonding is true.  If either participant is impure or deceives the other, let the bonding be void and the consequences unfold.”

Suddenly, the ground beneath the tableau rumbled.

“What's going on?” Jack asked Daniel as he looked all around, noticing that those making up the Arena of Truth didn't appear to be the least bit concerned about the shaking ground.

“I have no idea,” Daniel answered, watching in fascination and wondering what had triggered the action.

As suddenly as it started, the rumbling stopped, as did the shaking.

Carilon lowered his arms and opened his eyes.  He nodded to Jamal, who went to the tableau and opened the cabinet.

“The chamber of bonding,” Jamal revealed as he began to set up a small rainbow-colored tent.  When he was done, he said, “Teal'c, the bonding occurs here.  It is sacred.  What goes on here can never be revealed to anyone.”

Teal'c nodded his consent and walked to the tent.  He glanced over at Jack, who mouthed, “Good luck, Buddy,” and then went inside, followed by Jamal.

“Colonel, Doctor Jackson, you may sit again,” Carilon stated.  He turned to the other man and instructed, “Igtoo, the cloth of unity.”

Igtoo went to the tableau, opened the cabinet, and returned a minute later with a thin purple cloth.  He called out something in their native tongue, and two from the circle walked over, taking the cloth.  Igtoo sat down.

Carilon explained, “We must touch.”

“Touch?” Jack repeated.

“We believe that communication is as much physical as it is spoken.  There are many ways in which to share, and one is touch.  The feet carry us throughout our days; they are the support that helps us to do what is good, true, and righteous.  Our feet will touch,” Carilon ordered, extending his legs in front of him.

Igtoo did the same thing as he sat opposite Daniel.

“So, we touch ... with our feet?” Daniel verified.

“That is correct,” Igtoo responded.

Daniel extended out his legs, causing Jack's eyes to pop slightly.

**Jack, I told you -- don't look!**

**But ...**


A minute later, they were all in position as Carilon instructed.  Jack's and Carilon's feet touched as did Daniel's and Igtoo's.  In addition, they had to sit very close to each other so that the side of Jack's feet touched Daniel's and the same for Carilon's and Igtoo's.  In this way, all four were connected.

Carilon informed them, “Until the bonding is complete, we must meditate and chant, offering our prayers for a successful conclusion to our rite.”

The leader nodded to the two men who very carefully unfolded the purple cloth, revealing four large holes.  The men placed the cloth over the participants by putting their heads through the holes, effectively covering the rest of their bodies.  The cloth hung down their backs and sides, extending all the way to the ground.  It was drawn taut from shoulder to shoulder and man to man.  From a distance, it looked like a square purple table with four heads sticking out of it.  No other part of the body was visible.

“What, uh, kind of chant?” Daniel asked, feeling a bit like an animal head mounted on some hunter's wall.

“Ummm ... Mmmm ... Praise Be ... Ummm ... Mmmm ... Praise Be,” Carilon said, his eyes closed as he offered the chant.  Opening his eyes, he said, “All here must participate.  The eyes should be closed, and your spirit set free.”

~Oh, for crying out loud.  This is getting ridiculous,~ Jack silently whined.

Jack listened as the chant began.  He looked at his lover incredulously as Daniel began the chant.  As he listened, Jack's heart began to beat faster.  Daniel's eyes were closed, his voice steady, and his face as alluring as ever.

“Ummm ... Mmmm ... Praise Be ... Ummm ... Mmmm ... Praise Be,” the three men said, not in unison, but scattered voices.

Jack looked at the circle surrounding them, noticing all the people's eyes were closed.  The two men who had broken from the circle had moved back, standing halfway between the circle and where the four men were sitting.  Their eyes were closed as well.

“Ummm ... Mmmm ... Praise Be ... Ummm ... Mmmm ... Praise Be,” the chant continued.

Then Jack heard, “Everyone must chant, Colonel,” but he wasn't sure who said it.  At the moment, he was mesmerized by his lover, who continued to chant, “Ummm ... Mmmm ... Praise Be ... Ummm ... Mmmm ... Praise Be.”

Daniel's chant was pulling Jack in, causing his blood pressure to rise.  He knew it was wrong, but his body was taking over his mind.

~I shouldn't, but look at him.  Want -- want bad,~ Jack thought, knowing he could only do so much, and yet wanting just that much.  ~No one will know.  Danny's a good talker; he can talk us out of anything, even this.~  As Daniel's mouth opened, Jack just had to act.  He knew he hadn't been drugged, but it was as if his partner's chant was having a hypnotic effect on him, saying, 'Do me!  Do me'!  ~Oh, yeah, I just have to.~

“Ummm ... Mmmm ... Praise Be ... Ummm ... Mmmm ... Praise Be,” Daniel continued.  “Ummm ... Mmmmmmmmmmmmm.”  Daniel's eyes popped open.  “Prai...Praise ... praise be,” he struggled to get out.  He didn't dare look at Jack, whose hand had gravitated over to Daniel's shaft and was now stroking it in unison with the chant.


**Quiet, Danny, I'm chanting.**

**Jack, please.**

**All in good time, Love,** Jack promised.

Daniel scowled, **That's not what I meant!**

“Ummm ... Mmmm ... Praise Be ... Ummm ... Mmmm ... Praise Be,” Jack spoke, a smirk on his face as he continued his work with his hand.

Daniel didn't dare move.  His breathing hitched as he tried to come to grips with what was happening.  Gingerly, he moved his hand down to try and remove Jack's hand, but was surprised when Jack simply put his hand over Daniel's and used both of their fingers to stroke and press against the younger man's length.

~Oh, gawd,~ Daniel thought, clueless as to how to get out of this predicament.

Jack's fingers intermingled with his lover's as they continued to send Daniel into a bit of a gasping tizzy.

“Ummm ... Mmmm ... Praise Be ... Ummm ... Mmmm ... Praise Be,” Daniel chanted, trying not to draw attention to them.  “Um*mm*mm ... Mm*mmmm*mm ... Praaaaaaaise Be ... Ummm ... Mm*mmmmmm*mm ... Praisssssse Beeeee,” he moaned, trying to make it sound like a chant.

Jack joined in, getting louder with each repetition of the chant, and as if he was a speaker whose volume had been turned up, Daniel's voice grew in timber and loudness, each chanted moan coinciding with a stroke of their hands, until finally ...

“Ummm ... Mmmmmmmmmmm ... Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.  Oh, gawd, praise,” Daniel gasped as his release filled their hands.  ~Oh, gawd,~ he thought.  ~That was sooooo good, but uh ... oh, gawd, how are we going to get out of this?~

Daniel glanced at his wicked soulmate, wanting to slap the smirk off his face, but he wasn't sure which hand to use -- the sticky one or the clean one.

~I'm going to kill him,~ Daniel thought.


Fifteen minutes later, Jamal and Teal'c emerged from the tent, Jamal bowing and speaking loudly, “Ummm ... Mmmm ... Praise Be ... Ummm ... Mmmm ... Praise Be, the bonding is concluded.  The Trebitron has been a success.”

Carilon and Igtoo ceased their chant, both of them smiling as they watched Jamal.

“Carilon, I believe our guests to be of good intentions.  Our negotiations should be affirmed with good faith,” Jamal spoke.

“That is good,” Carilon replied, nodding over at the two helpers.


Just as the two men were undoing the cloth, preparing to remove it, Jack interrupted, saying, “Hey, not so fast.  We have our own custom that needs to be followed.”

Receptive to the colonel's words, Carilon inquired, “And what is this ritual?”

“It's called 'covering all the bases',” Jack said as Daniel raised his eyebrows.

“Please explain your needs,” Carilon requested.

“In our corner of the universe, when we meditate, do mumbo ...” Jack began.


“Perform chants and things of that nature,” Jack corrected and then continued, “afterwards, our naked bodies can't be seen.  It would distort the frequency of our harmonic body resonance and unalpha our brain waves.”

Daniel's head nodded forward as he looked at Jack, totally stunned by the nonsensical hogwash he was speaking.  His mouth was open, gaping even as what he was hearing.

“We do not understand,” Igtoo replied.

“It has to do with the gizmos and doohickeys that coordinate tiny little nanites and hystomine.  It's very serious,” Jack spoke solemnly, his serious expression and tone making it seem as if he were speaking the total truth.

**Hystomine?** Daniel questioned.

**You want to get us out of this?** Jack asked.

**Carry on, Colonel,** the archaeologist agreed.

“What is to be done?” Carilon asked.

“Our bodies must remain covered for the rest of our visit, or the consequences would be dire,” Jack said.  “Very dire.”

“Very dire,” Daniel added softly, looking over at their hosts, a weak smile on his face.

“We can just use this to go back and dress, if you two don't mind getting out of it,” Jack spoke about the material that was still covering all four of their bodies.

Teal'c stood, his head held high, but silently thinking, ~O'Neill is not making sense.  I must speak with him later and learn more about this ritual.~

Daniel sat nervously, thinking, ~This had better work, or I'm going into hiding for at least a year.~

Jack waited, smirking as he thought, ~That prattle was so ridiculous that I almost convinced myself.  It's too dumb not to be ignored.~

“We can accommodate you, Colonel,” Carilon agreed, nodding to the two helpers who slipped the cloth over his head and then over Igtoo's.

Jack and Daniel stood.  Daniel had a nervous smile on his face.  His hand and thighs were very sticky, but he hoped the 'residue' had stayed on his body, or they could still be very embarrassed in a matter of moments.

Speaking in his native tongue, Carilon concluded the Trebitron and then said, “Follow these two back to the place of changing.”

“Thank you,” Jack said, smiling.


**That was *not* funny, Jack,** Daniel yelled in their minds as they walked down the ramp from the Stargate.

**It wasn't supposed to be funny,** Jack smirked.

Daniel shook his head, passing by General Hammond without saying a word.

Standing at the base of the ramp, Hammond asked, “Colonel, how did it go?”

Jack gave a quick look at Daniel's fleeing back as the archaeologist exited the gate room, followed by Sam and Teal'c, and then smiled, “It went swimmingly, Sir.”

“No problems?” Hammond asked.

“Things were hard there for a moment, but I pressed the issue, and I'm happy to report that I released the tension,” Jack said, smiling.  “It was a real hands-on experience, General.”

Hammond nodded, saying, “I look forward to reading the details in your report.  We'll debrief at 0800 tomorrow morning.”

“Yes, Sir,” Jack acknowledged.


In his apartment later that evening, Daniel was scrubbing the bathroom floor when suddenly a box of chocolate truffles, opened so that the aroma would immediately get his attention, was placed under his nose.

“Sweets for my sweetheart,” Jack said with a huge smile.

“That's a cliché, Colonel,” Daniel said sternly, silently vowing not to give in to the aroma that was already turning his willpower to mush.

“Danny ...”

“Jack, get out of my way.  I'm trying to clean the bathroom,” Daniel interjected harshly, pushing Jack's arm back and ignoring the box of chocolates in his hand.

“It just sort of happened,” Jack rationalized, shrugging without moving back a step.  “You were so radiant, the way you were chanting.  It got my ...”

“Then you should have done yourself, Jack!” Daniel argued, scrubbing the floor harder than he ever had before.  ~Unthinking, undiplomatic, unfeeling, totally infuriating military macho sex addict.~

Daniel was fuming.  They'd barely gotten away with not being discovered, and then at the SGC, he'd had to sneak into the shower to rid himself of the evidence prior to the post-mission examination, something Janet hadn't been happy about.  Every crack in the tile was Jack's face as he scoured the floor.

“Danny, give me a break,” Jack pleaded.  He sniffed the box and said, “Chocolate truffles.  Mmmm ... chocolate!”

The younger man stood up and walked to Jack, a smile on his face.  He took one of the truffles and brought it to his mouth as if he were going to bite it.  Then he shoved it into Jack's mouth.

“Go stuff yourself, O'Neill,” Daniel said harshly, turning around and going back into the bathroom, slamming the door behind him.

~Okay, I think I might be in trouble,~ Jack thought as he bit off part of the truffle and chewed it.


In the bathroom, Daniel scrubbed the floor tile extra hard, each tile a representative of his soulmate.  Then he stopped, sitting up on his knees and letting his arms hang down loosely.  A smile began to appear on his face as a plan formed in his mind.

“That's perfect.  No one will be there.  The chance of anything going wrong is slim.”  He chuckled, “My poor Jack -- his impatience is going to play right into my hands ... literally.”


Impatiently, but having no choice, Jack sat on the end of Daniel's bed, twiddling his thumbs and staring at the closed bathroom door.  All attempts to talk with his lover, verbal or otherwise, had been completely ignored.  Twenty-five long, lonely minutes passed for the Air Force colonel.  Finally, Jack's heart beat joyfully when he heard the lock on the bathroom door click.

Daniel calmly walked out of the room, cleaning materials in his hands.  He ambled up to his soulmate, smirked and said in a sultry voice, “Paybacks, Jack.  *Pay-backs*!”

The younger man ran one finger under Jack's chin and smacked his lips in a kissing motion as he turned and walked out of the bedroom.

Jack shifted his stance, looked downward, blinked a couple of times, and then looked around the room, lamenting, “What happened to my mild mannered geek?”

Jack decided to soothe his lonely body with another piece of chocolate.  He picked up the box that he had placed on the bed earlier and was about to open it when Daniel suddenly returned, grabbed the box with the remaining truffles in it from out of his lover's hands, and walked back out of the room without having spoken another word.

~Okay, I don't think I'm in trouble, I *know* I'm in trouble -- big, big trouble,~ Jack silently surmised.


Things had been cool, cold even, for the military lover over the next few days, and he didn't like it at all.  Daniel had essentially cut him off at the quick, always too tired or too busy, and once even saying, “Not now, Jack.  I have a headache.”

~Payback,~ Jack had mentally whined several times, not liking this kind of retribution by his sexy soulmate.

For the lovers who made an almost nightly ritual of making love, the sudden celibacy was too hard for the older man to take.  They hadn't even had any 'quickies', and fondling had been discouraged by Daniel, who claimed he needed to focus on the abundance of work he always brought home.

That was another thing.  Daniel was insisting on staying at his apartment, and that irked Jack, especially since it was easier for the younger man to get lost in his translations when he was surrounded by the artifacts that decorated his loft.

The colonel would have been worried about something being seriously wrong with the younger man, but Daniel wasn't sending him away; rather, he was just refusing to make love or even make out under the guise of having work to do.  In fact, Daniel would often give his lover a teasing glance, wetting his lips, and sometimes even arching his eyebrows seductively as he apologized for all the work that was keeping them apart.

Thus, Jack had been kept on a very tight string since his covert act on the planet, only occasionally treated to a chaste kiss, a teasing nibble on the lip, or a touch of fingers along his backside.  He was certain Daniel's revenge was to turn him into a monk.

All of this made for one snarky, snarly colonel when SG-1 went on a mission to PT1-843.  It was another highly forested planet with no sign of inhabitants, but potentially rich in naquadah, if their readings were correct.

Sam and Teal'c had been conducting tests for several hours when Sam reported that it was going to take longer than expected.

“I don't understand it, Sir, but the gauge doesn't seem to be working.  I'm going to have to retest everything,” Sam said.

“Now that's just great, Carter.  Five more hours on this paradise,” Jack snapped angrily.

“I'm sorry, Sir,” the captain spoke apologetically as she backed away.

~Gawd, I want him,~ Daniel thought as he turned around.  ~But he's so predictable.~

Daniel was eager for their lovemaking drought to be over, but difficult as it had been for him, too, he just had to exact his loving revenge.  If he didn't, Jack might risk a repeat of what had happened on PR2-857, and Daniel didn't want that.  Taking chances in their offices or favorite storage closet at the SGC was one thing, but hanky panky amid negotiations and rituals in the presence of others on another planet was definitely not acceptable.

“Teal'c, can you help me reset the calibration?” Sam inquired.

“Look, while you two keep playing with the toys,” Jack scowled, “Daniel and I will report back to Hammond so he won't send out the Marines.”

The team was due back in an hour, which was about how long it took to walk to the Stargate from where the testing was being done.

“Daniel, let's move,” Jack barked.

“Anything you say, Jack,” Daniel replied, a wicked smile on his face, though no one else could see it.


The walk to the Stargate was hardly silent as Daniel talked up a storm about some ruins SG-11 had uncovered two days earlier.  Jack was sure Daniel was lecturing him on purpose.  The archaeologist was talking so fast that Jack couldn't get a word in edgewise, until they reached the MALP.

“...and it looks like there may be a tie-in to the ...”

“Daniel, dial her up,” Jack interrupted, having no clue what his lover had been prattling on about.

“Happy to,” Daniel responded with a smug expression.

Holding his weapon as he waited near the MALP, Jack felt a bit uneasy at Daniel's demeanor, but he couldn't quite get a handle on why.  As the towering Stargate kawooshed, Jack walked in front of the communication device that was on the vehicle.  It was a one-way video transmission with General Hammond and those in the control room able to see Jack through the camera.

“Colonel O'Neill, report,” Hammond ordered when the transmission was established.

Jack leaned forward as he usually did when speaking into the MALP so that almost all that Hammond and the SGC saw was his face.  It was one of Jack's little games.

“Carter and Teal'c are having to redooooooooo ...”

Jack's eyes went wide, and he stood up straight as he realized his lover had just grabbed his crotch and squeezed.  As the Special Ops-trained colonel suddenly found himself in an unimagined situation, Daniel silently smirked, **Paybacks, Love.  *Paaaay-backs*!**

The archaeologist had crawled over undetected by his unsuspecting soulmate to do the deed.  When Jack stood up, Daniel reached over and tilted the camera up, ensuring that it would not pick up his presence.

“Colonel?” an alarmed Hammond called out.

“Nothing to, ah, worry about, General.  Frog ...” Jack began, swallowing hard.

“Frog?” Hammond repeated.

Jack's hands pressed hard against his MP-5 weapon as Daniel got his payback, big time.  The colonel's pants were now unbuttoned and slightly lowered as Daniel found his target.


“Colonel, are you all right?” Hammond asked again.  “Where's Doctor Jackson?”

“He's getting a ... drink, General,” Jack answered as he struggled not to change his facial expression.

Daniel was sucking hard on Jack's length, which was cooperating nicely with his plan.  It seemed their days of enforced abstinence had done its job.

“Colonel O'Neill, I'm sending a team through to ...” Hammond began, certain something was wrong with leader of his flagship team.

“NO!  No, Sir, that's not necesssssssssary,” Jack insisted, his breathing hitching slightly.  “Car...ter is still dooooing her tests ... Sir.  She had problems with her”

Jack would have threatened Daniel with their silent non-verbal communication, but he was having to work too hard to maintain some type of normalcy in his facial expressions and tone with the transmission, especially since Daniel wasn't moving at a slow pace.

Daniel sucked, licked, and flicked his tongue against his lover's length, and Jack was having a hard time keeping in control.

“Four more hours, Sir,” Jack added.

Hammond watched his 2IC a bit skeptically.

“Dannnniel!” Jack suddenly called out as his release flooded Daniel's mouth.

“Colonel, what's wrong?” Hammond shouted out.

“Nothing now, Sir,” Jack said, a sappy expression on his face.  “Daniel ... got his drink, General.”

Having moved away, Daniel wiped his mouth and face, and then grinned at Jack.  He walked over to the MALP, threw his arm around Jack, and, facing the camera, said, “General Hammond, everything is just peachy here.  Isn't it, Jack?”

Jack glared at Daniel, but agreed, “Peachy.”

**The general, Jack,** Daniel reminded.

“Yes, Sir, General, Sir, everything is peachy.  Don't send in the troops.  We'll be home in four.  O'Neill out,” Jack stated, reaching over to turn off the camera.  As he buttoned up his pants, Jack exclaimed in a loud voice, “DANIEL, WHAT IN THE FRIGGIN' CRAP DO YOU THINK YOU WERE DOING?”

“Paybacks, Babe,” Daniel responded, leaning over and kissing his lover.  “Now, we're even.  Remember this, Jack.  You make it ... hard ...” Daniel raised his eyebrows quickly two times, “and I'll make it ... hard ... on you.”

Giving Jack another kiss, Daniel headed back towards the testing site, wiggling his six intentionally.

“That ... that ... that adorable, sexy, wonderful geek of mine,” Jack crooned sappily with a smile.  **Danny?**

**Yes, Love?**

**I love you,** Jack communicated silently.

**I love you, too, Jack.**

“Daniel?” the older man called out.

“Yes, Jack?” Daniel responded, turning around and walking backwards for a few steps.

Jack quickened his pace to catch up with his lover and asked, “Tonight?”

“Oh, yeah,” Daniel nodded.  “Until it hurts,” he promised.

With a grin, the lovers headed back to the testing site, making one quick stop at a lake that was nearby to make sure they were 'clean'.  It may have been a cold week for Jack, but tonight was going to be hot and steamy for sure.

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