Latin for the Novice

BY: Delilah


Notes: In honor of sideburns who said Daniel set the aestus and causes Jack to affluo – which I think means Danny is hot and Jack comes in haste. Either that or Daniel set the lunar tide … and Jack still comes in haste. *g* Thanks to C for laughing whether it was funny or not and to Lyn for the beta (as always!).

Warnings: Everything I learned about Latin I learned despite spending every Latin class melting over the desk into a puddle of teenage lust because Justin Scott was translating The Odyssey two desks over. Whoever said smart can’t be sexy never saw this guy. Uh, in other words, about Latin, well, I don’t remember a damn word.

Disclaimer: Don’t own the guys. No copyright infringement whatsoever is intended. The story is for entertainment purposes only.

(If you’ll remember Jack learned everything he knew about Latin from Latin for the Novice by Joseph Mallozzi, PhD. Although I’m sure Daniel helped, too.)





"What did you just say?"

"Vah! Denuone Latine loquebar? Me ineptum. Interdum modo elabitur."

The look of a stunned, completely speechless linguist was worth every agonizing ever-repeating minute in which Jack had not fulfilled his fantasy of throwing Dr. Mallozzi’s book (and Dr. Mallozzi if the bastard turned out to still be alive and kicking) through an open ‘gate.

"Okay ..." Well, almost completely speechless, as complete speechlessness was a Daniel-impossibility. "What do you mean ‘it just sort of slips out’?"

Wide blue eyes blinked and blinked again as the linguist realized his brain had just unknowingly slipped itself – into automatic translation mode - which was never, ever something that happened to him where Jack was concerned. "Latin? Latin just sort of slips out?"

Which called for a shrug and a smile. "Sola lingua bona est lingua mortua."

"Jack." Daniel’s hand wavered indecisively between bringing the Daniel-making-a-point index finger to his lips and pushing back the wire frames slipping down his nose. "You’re not having some kind of Ancient flashback, are you?"

"Labera lege…"

A flustered Daniel was an amazing thing to watch. The little worry lines creased his forehead and he looked up from where he sat, his head slightly ducked down and his eyes doing that little shy-look thing from behind his glasses that anyone would swear was flirting. Only civilian linguists don’t flirt with Air Force colonels. Damn them.

"Maybe we should let Janet check you out."

"Ut si!"

‘As if’ was right. Three fucking months of Fruit Loops. And it had almost been bearable. Right up to Daniel’s little innocent "Gee, Jack, just think – you could do anything ... for as long as you want without having to worry about consequences." Yeah, right. There’s no way in hell Daniel was going to ruin what little fun was to be had out of the whole sorry experience.

"Then you want to tell me why you’re suddenly speaking the linguae Romanae?"

"Quid latine dictum sit, altum viditur."

"Uh, yes, well … things do sound more profound in Latin."

Of course a completely flummoxed Daniel was even more fun than a flustered one. Until the long-fingered hand moved to the phone and it was time to voice a protest before even the little fun was cut short.

"Minime vero!"

"You don’t want me to call Janet."

Like anyone should have to ask.


"And there’s nothing wrong with you."

Oh, there were a few things wrong with Jack, but none of them had anything to do with being able to converse in a dead tongue.


"So this has something to do with P4X 639."

They don’t give them two doctorates with honors for nothing, even if they do have the most incredible blue eyes.

"You really learned to speak Latin."

Jack bristled just a bit that even Daniel had taken his stupid act as being more stupid and less act than Jack was originally going for.

"Vescere bracis meis."

"Jack, you just said ‘eat my shorts’. Even if it technically is Latin I don’t think –"

Three solid months of looking into those blue eyes and knowing that ‘no consequences’ might lead a man to kiss his 2IC but never his linguist because there would be consequences, dammit. There’d be fucking consequences out the yin-yang.

Then there was Daniel, just being Daniel. Asking that damn unanswerable question every loopy morning like the fate of the world depended on it. Actually, hell, maybe it did. There were days the fate of the world was regular SGC conversational fodder. And now he had on his linguist-look and was taking in Simpson’s quotes with the utter seriousness he usually reserved for crumbly, rocky, Goa’uldy … things.

"Certe, Toto, sentio nos in Kansate non iam adesse."

The finger made it to the lips then was moved slightly outward in Jack’s direction, waving metronome-like before Daniel managed to put most of it together. "You learned Latin. In three months. Which you used to translate … the Wizard of Oz?"

"Imus ad magum Ozi videndum, magum Ozi mirum mirissimum."

Not that there wasn’t that small thing about translating the altar and cutting off the fucking time-loop machine that had created the literally perpetual hell of Carter’s coronal mass emission briefing.

"You couldn’t find anything more … productive?"

Fun – as conceived by Jack, and therefore, most normal people, continued to go tragically unnoticed in Daniel Jackson’s world.

"Quantum materiae materietur marmota monax si marmota monax materiam possit materiari?"

"How … much … wood … could …" And to Jack’s surprise Daniel growled. Really growled. "I don’t believe this!"

And when Daniel didn’t believe, he didn’t believe with his whole body. The little dance he did on the planet with the naked mushroom guys over mythology being, in the words of a certain Air Force officer, "rumors …lies … fairytales," sprang uninvited to Jack’s mind as Daniel jumped up to pace, then spun around and paced some more in the confines beside his overburdened desk.

"You learned Latin and you really used it to translate movie quotes and nursery rhymes?"

If shoulders could be said to shrug in a foreign language, Jack’s shrugged in the pluperfect passive.

"While I appreciate the show of intellectual power it took to learn a whole new language—"

When the realization of what he’d just said (and who he’d just said it to) sank in, the blue eyes narrowed in suspicion. "You had some kind of head start, didn’t you? Something still in there from the Ancients."

The hand did a demi-wave that was scarily akin to the nervous tics McKenzie’s drugs had left in Daniel’s system after the whole Machello mess. The ones that had taken weeks to fully work their way out. "Never mind. You just – disappoint me, Jack. You, of all people, were given the opportunity to act solely without consequence and you--"

"Basiavi Sama Carterius."

It was strangely easier to say those kinds of things in Latin. Assuming he’d said it right.

"You kissed Sam? What the hell were you thinking? Oh, wait … I know what you were thinking, that there were no consequences, right?"

Oh, apparently he’d said it right.

"Ita est."

"Have you told her?"

Did he tell her? Did he look like he wanted to be court-martialed?

"Non Hercle vero!"

"Yeah, you may be right. I don’t think telling her would be a good idea."

The mention of Sam brought to mind things physic-ish and that a body in motion staying in motion pretty much explained why Daniel was still working hard at wearing a hole in the reinforced concrete that separated him from Level 19. He didn’t stop but he scrunched his face in that I-really-know-I-shouldn’t-say-this-but-I-just-have-to-anyway look that usually sent shivers down Jack’s spine. Because what Daniel was usually going to say was something so self-apparent to anyone moral and decent and kind that it was bound to cause trouble – being that moral and decent and kind did not somehow describe the majority of the citizens of the universe.

"Uh, Jack," Daniel folded his arms and hugged himself protectively before managing to continue. "Why Sam?"

Why Sam? Didn’t they just talk about the whole no-consequences thing? Jack could kiss Sam. Jack could have kissed Janet. Hell, Jack could have kissed Hammond if he’d wanted to. The only two people in the whole damn mountain he couldn’t kiss were, one, Teal’c – for obvious reasons (primarily being that the man was so damn scary looking when annoyed) - and, two, one blue-eyed linguist - because there’d be damn consequences.

If possible, Daniel hugged himself even tighter. "What I mean, Jack … um, what I mean is … why not me?"

Jack’s mind suddenly failed to conjugate. "Excuse me?"

"No, really. Why Sam and not me?"

"What?" The gray hair shook as Jack tried to rattle his thoughts back into place. "Are you saying you expected me to walk in one loopy morning and say ‘Estne volumen in toga, an solum tibi libet me video?’"

"That should be ‘tibi libet me videre’. ‘Is that a scroll in your toga, or are you just happy to see me?’ And, yes, I would expect you to do that, Jack. I figured the only thing that was holding things up was, you know, ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ And you had ‘won’t remember’ and didn’t use it? You kissed Sam? Why?"

"Hey, I like Sam." Which from the expression on Daniel’s face was not the right thing to say just then. "I, uh, just like you … more."

"So, because you like me, you kiss her."

"Of course!"

"Oh, that makes perfect sense, Jack."

"Well, it does make perfect sense, Doctor, if in the morning I remember kissing someone I cared for and all they’re going to do is say ‘Anyway, I'm sorry. But that just happens to be the way I feel about it. What do you think?’"


"That’s what you said."

"I said ‘what’?"

If there was a look past "flummoxed" Jack had accidentally managed to induce it.

"No. You said ‘Anyway, I'm sorry. But that just happens to be the way I feel about it. What do you think?’ Something like a hundred times. And I don’t even know what the hell you were talking about!"

"You … you’ve lost me, Jack."

"Every friggin’ time we snapped back into the start of the loop you’d be leaning across the table saying, ‘Anyway, I'm sorry. But that just happens to be the way I feel about it. What do you think?’ Do you know how nuts that can drive a person?"

"Um. Yeah, I guess, but could we get back to the part about--"

"Kissing? Basio. Basiare."

Daniel hadn’t let go of the tight hold he had over his own biceps. "So you didn’t want to kiss me?"

"Oh, don’t think it didn’t tempt me."

Something like four hundred times a day.

"So, you did. But you didn’t because I wouldn’t remember it?"

"No, Daniel." Jack picked up an ugly little statue of something that looked like a squashed toad, desperate to have something to look at that wasn’t gazing at him from behind once-again drooping wire frames. "Because I would."

He hazarded a glance in Daniel’s direction.

"And if I did it once I’d have to do it again. And if I did it twice …" Jack put the breakable down. "You see my problem."

"Mmm." Daniel worried a minute at a pile of paper on his desk. "So, your problem was that you didn’t want to be the only one who remembered our--"

"Locking lips," provided Jack.

"Assuming I can buy that, and, oddly, I think I can. I’m still wondering why you’ve been standing there now this whole time and haven’t taken the opportunity to--"

"Ah." Jack buried his hands in his pockets and tipped up on his toes. "Well, there’s a camera, Daniel."

"And if there wasn’t?"

Jack quirked a scared eyebrow. "Romani quidem artem amatoriam invenerunt."

"I think the Egyptians might have something to say about that."

This time Jack didn’t mind the little smile and the look that he was getting from beneath fringed lashes that he could swear was flirting. Because it was … flirting.

Which was probably why when the heavy knock shook the door they both jumped back at least two feet; Daniel ending up in the farthest corner, gulping convulsively, and Jack pressed against the cool wall.

"Come in!" Their unison was damningly shaky.

"O’Neill." Only the Jaffa could make one word sound like an indictment. "Danieljackson."

"Teal’c!" Jack hadn’t realized Daniel could turn quite that shade of pink. "Jack was just showing off his Latin."

The Jaffa set his face in the stoic expression he’d determined most likely to halt whatever Tauri nonsense that O’Neill, lacking a situation which needed his warrior skill, was currently perpetrating.

"The language you helped us translate during the time loop was a Latin root. Your copy of Dr. Mallozzi’s book proved most beneficial."

"Really? Mallozzi? Well, I’m just glad I could be of help. So, you can speak it now, too?"

"I am not as proficient as O’Neill."

Jack puffed with pride.

"Oh, I’m sure you are," wheedled Daniel, watching Jack’s posture deflate ever so slightly. "Say something."

Inclining his head, Teal’c responded with dignified gravity. "Credo Elvem etiam vivere. I believe Elvis lives."


The gray head snapped in Daniel’s direction. "What?"

"You did this, didn’t you? There’s a copy of The Iliad sitting on the shelf over there and I bet you never touched it."

"It’s boring. It’s dumb. It took Ulysses twenty years to get home ‘cause he wouldn’t stop to ask for directions. A mistake *I’d* never make."

"But on P5W-683 you, yourself, O’Neill, would not ask the way back to the Stargate."

"Teal’c," Jack waved his hands to break the stolid stare that had been fixed on him, "you *wanted* something?"

"Yes, General Hammond requests the presence of both you and Danieljackson in the briefing room."

The back of Jack’s hand slapped against frighteningly solid muscle. "Tell the General we’ll be there immediately."

Teal’c expression changed infinitesimally. "If you are to come ‘immediately’, should you not also accompany me?"

"Almost … almost immediately," corrected Jack. "Just let me and Daniel finish up here."

After a brief moment in which Teal’c appeared to be judging, not Jack’s obvious desire for him to go, but Daniel’s possible desire for him to stay, he solemnly agreed. "I shall convey your message."

Jack firmly closed the door behind him.

"You have something left to say, Jack?"

"Well, I haven’t tried out all my Latin." Jack cleared his throat. "Ego te amo. Dormi mecum."

Daniel raised both eyebrows as he reached for the door knob. "Oh, I can top that one. ‘Ego te amo’ to you, too. And ‘pedicabo ego vos et irrumabo.’"

Jack frowned, working it out. "Give me head and I’ll …"

From partway up the corridor, the linguist could hear him sputtering. "Daniel!"

Daniel turned back around, a wicked smile on his face and a finger waving warningly.

"Daniel, come back here, I have something to say to you!"

"Save it, Jack. Save it. Besides I know what you want to say and ‘Illiud Latine dici non potest.’"

Still trying to catch up, Jack huffed a little and muttered under his breath. "I can too say it in Latin. I can say ‘lambes meus globi’. I can say ‘bibe meum semenum e baculo’ and ‘podex perfectus est’ and--"

He was brought up short by the stare he was receiving from a couple of biochemists he’d seen hanging around Carter from time to time. Shit. He could say it in Latin all right …just somewhere other than the geek levels.

He saluted the stunned scientists. "You wouldn’t believe what those Goa’ulds write on bathroom walls."

Then he whistled all the way to the briefing room. Yep, vita bona.

Life was good.




For the interested:

The Jack O’neill and Daniel Jackson Guide to Dirty Latin

Romani quidem artem amatoriam invenerunt – You know, Romans invented the art of love.

Ego te amo -- I love you.

Dormi mecum -- Sleep with me.

Pedicabo ego vos et irrumabo -- Gimme head and I'll fuck your ass.

Illiud Latine dici non potest -- You can't say that in Latin.

Lambes meus globi -- Lick my balls.

Bibe meum semenum e baculo -- Swallow my cum from a cup.

Podex perfectus est -- You are a complete asshole.