The Challenge

By Annie

EMAIL: Annie

Category: Slash

Rating: M

Pairing: J/D

Written for Deb Terry, who wanted Jack and Daniel involved in a challenge on a quiet day at the SGC during a non-lifethreatening lockdown. Hope you like it, Deb.

Daniel Jackson is going to die… again. I know this because I'm going to kill him. I just need to find a way to do it and somewhere to hide the body without anyone noticing he's gone and asking awkward questions.

I sneak a quick glance across the briefing room table at him just in time to see him lick his forefinger delicately, the pink tip of his tongue meeting the pink tip of his digit momentarily. He flicks a quick glance up at me through his ridiculously long eyelashes and then uses the moistened fingertip to turn the page of his notes.

I shift in my seat to ease the restriction in my suddenly too tight pants and turn my attention to Carter, leaning forward and looking at her with such focus that she blinks and stops her briefing. "Sir?" she asks. "You okay?"

"Fine, fine." I flap a nonchalant hand at her. "I'm just interested in what you're talking about," I say, giving a subtle wiggle to get more comfortable.

"You are?" she says. "Really?"

"Of course. Fascinating stuff. Continue."

"Um, I'm finished actually, sir," she says. "That's why I just said, 'There's not much more I can tell you about this device till the lockdown's over and we can return to the planet where it was found.'"

"I knew that." I glare over at Daniel, trying to make him stand up and leave before I do but he ignores me in favor of sticking his pen in his mouth and sliding it in and out between his lips. I groan inwardly, stand up, turning self-defensively sideways as I do, and head from the room at a jog. "Great briefing, Carter," I call over my shoulder. "Gotta run. People to see, places to be."

I hear chairs scraping back from the table and chance a quick look over my shoulder to see Daniel on his feet now, a speculative look on his face. He starts to head for the door in my wake and I put on a turn of speed I would have been proud of in my teens. I head for the elevator, grinning gleefully as I hear Sam stopping Daniel from following me. "Daniel, can I ask you something about these writings…"

I can almost feel Daniel's frustration as I slide my card into the reader and step into the lift, heading for the labs. They're the last place Daniel will think to look for me.

~oOo~

I finally manage to make my excuses and slip away from Sam, promising I'll come to her lab later to go over the translations. Now, I head for the elevator and stop while I think about where Jack would go. He'd expect me to look for him in his office, or the mess hall but I've known him too long and intimately to fall for that so I head for the last place I'd expect to find him - the labs.

Bill Lee's talking to someone as I approach his lab and I slow my footsteps, trying to walk as quietly as if I was sneaking up on a company of Jaffa. Poking my head around the doorway, I see Bill, a staff weapon in his hand.

"Hey, Daniel," he calls.

"Hope you're not planning on using that on me," I say, edging into the room and glancing around. No Jack, dammit.

"Nope, just seeing if the energy crystal can be adapted for another little weapon we're working on," Bill replies. "What brings you down here, Daniel?"

"Um, have you seen Colonel O'Neill?" I ask casually.

"Nope, no way, haven't seen him at all," Bill answers, just a little too quickly.

I smile and take the staff weapon from his hand, running my hand up and down the shaft then letting my thumb drift slowly over the tip.

I hear a stifled groan from somewhere to my left and looking down, I can see the toe of a boot sticking out from under Bill's desk. "Oh well, that's fine. Just thought he might have been here. I needed to catch up with him about something." I give the staff weapon one final caress then hand it back to Bill. "If you do see him, tell him I was looking for him. He and I have a few things to go over."

Bill clears his throat nervously. "I'll definitely do that, Daniel."

I walk outside and let myself into the storage room next door. If I know Jack, and believe me, I do *know* Jack, in the literal and Biblical sense of the word, he'll be passing by this doorway in about three minutes from now, trying to find a new place to hide from me.

So when I hear footsteps getting closer, I make my move, opening the door quickly and reaching out a hand to snag his shoulder and haul him back into the room with me.

There's a scuffle of feet and then my legs get tangled up and I feel myself falling backwards. Just before my head slams into the floor, I see Sergeant Siler's surprised face above me, blood dripping from his nose onto my face. Then linoleum and cranium connect and the world blinks out.

~oOo~

I can see Daniel's eyes flicker open from my seat next to the infirmary bed. He looks around blearily then his eyes snap shut again and he groans.

"I know you're awake, Daniel," I say. "I can see you blushing from here."

His eyes open again and he fixes me with a somewhat clearer gaze. "What happened?" he mutters.

I sneak a look around to make sure no one's nearby then lean in close and peck his lips with mine. "You grabbed Siler and dragged him into the storage room, fell over your own feet, banged your head on the floor and knocked yourself out," I whisper.

"Oh crap. Siler?" He looks up at me. "Please tell me I was dreaming that part?"

I sit back up as Fraiser marches towards us, her high-heels tapping on the floor. "Nope. Sorry. Siler's pretty touched by it all. Seems no one's ever wanted him enough to haul him into a storage room before."

Daniel groans again and pulls one of the pillows from under his head and places it over his eyes.

"Daniel?" Fraiser asks as she reaches the bed, "do you have a headache?"

The pillow nods up and down and Fraiser holds out a couple of pills to me. "Help him take these, Colonel. I'll be back in a minute to check him out again. I just need to go see to Sergeant Siler. He just regained consciousness too."

"What happened to Siler?" Daniel mumbles from under the pillow. "Oh shit, he was bleeding."

I reach down and take the pillow away and stuff it back behind his head, helping him to lean up on an elbow. I hand him the pills and hold a glass of water to his lips and wait till he swallows the meds before answering. "He hit his head on yours when you collided. Broke his nose and passed out on top of you. We found you both in a very *interesting* position," I tell him, grinning lasciviously.

Daniel flops back to the pillows and glowers at me. "This is your fault," he grinds out between clenched teeth.

"Mine? How do you figure that?" I ask, trying to sound indignant and not laugh out loud.

"This whole stupid challenge was your idea," he says grumpily.

"You were the one who said you could stalk me around the base and get me so wound up I'd drag *you* off into a storage closet to have my wicked way with you," I point out reasonably.

"Yeah, but you were the one who dared me to try it," he retorts.

Checking the perimeter for prying eyes and seeing none, I lean forward again, this time just touching my lips to his cheek. "I win," I say softly. "But then again, that means *you* win too. Let's face it, Daniel, this challenge was a win-win situation."

I watch as he tries to stop the smile creeping across his mouth and remember why I love him so much.

"Smartass," he says, grinning broadly now.

"Your smartass," I reply, winking.

"It will be when I get home."

The End

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