Daniel took a cautious sniff of the air as he stepped out of the event horizon, remembering
the MALP shot of PC3-279 and the oversized gazebo-like structure that housed the
stargate. And more importantly, the mass of flowers that surrounded it. The smell
was pleasantly sweet, but not overly perfumed so he allowed himself a deep breath.
“Bless,” Jack called back off-handedly as he checked the immediate area for any unforeseen
“It’s beautiful, sir,” Sam answered but quickly amended at the smirk from her C.O.,
“I’ll check the soil for naquada.”
“No rush,” the colonel declared, “As long as we’re out of here by, oh, say, thirteen
“Playoff’s tonight, sir?” Carter asked as she scooped a tiny spoonful of the rich
earth into a prepared test tube and gave it a jiggle. “Bingo,” she crowed triumphantly.
“Now that’s beautiful. Just like we thought, this place is a gold mine.”
“Don’t you mean naquada mine?”
“Not yet,” Sam corrected. “We still have to barter with the locals for that.”
Jack grinned cheekily but didn’t answer. “Daniel?”
Daniel stifled a sneeze on the sleeve of his jacket. “The architecture looks almost
Byzantine, but not quite,” he observed, pointing out the columns that circled them
and supported the dome over the gate.
Teal’c, who had been scouting the outer perimeter, backed toward his teammates. “O’Neill,”
“Looks like we’ve got company,” Jack announced as the large open spaces between the
columns filled with young and middle-aged women.
“You’ve come looking for a bride?” the first girl asked as she moved closer to Jack
with a coy smile which faded as Carter shifted into a defensive position next to
“Uh, no,” Jack offered with an assessing gaze as the women surrounded his team.
“Then you have come to see the matchmaker?” another girl asked Teal’c, who happened
to be the next closest male.
“I have not,” Teal’c replied, turning towards them. A ripple of unease permeated
the crowd as they noticed the golden tattoo on his forehead. Several of the younger
girls began to back away in fear.
“It’s all right,” Daniel exclaimed as he pushed past his teammates, gesturing beseechingly
to the frightened women. “We’re peaceful explorers, we mean you no harm,” he assured
The women murmured among themselves but seemed to be appeased.
“You are already married?” the first girl again queried looking from Jack to Sam
and back, her disappointment evident.
“Yes, yes we are,” Jack grinned, slapping Carter affectionately on the back. “In
fact me and the missus here have six little curtain climbers waiting for us at home.”
“Jack,” Daniel murmured, as Sam shot her commanding officer an annoyed if not completely
“Let me handle this Daniel,” Jack replied under his breath but keeping a smile firmly
on his lips. “They seem like nice enough girls but I don’t really want to end up
accidentally married to one of them, do you?”
“We don’t have to lie to them,” Daniel answered just as quietly, also faking a smile
for their audience.
“Shau’re?” Jack prodded, reminding the linguist how he’d ended up married once before
without his knowledge.
“Kynthia?” Daniel shot back with a glare. “It is only for you,” he mocked, batting
“Ouch,” Jack swore with a wounded look. “Okay, but at least I learned my lesson.
From now on when a young alien lass asks me if I’m married the answer is yes.”
“I am wedded as well and have a son,” Teal’c chimed in unexpectedly, earning a proud,
completely smug smile of approval from Jack even though the Jaffa was actually telling
The fervor of the crowd seemed to wane slightly at the loss of two-thirds of their
prospects but they turned almost as one to the remaining man. “And you?” one of
them asked hopefully. “Are you married?”
“Uh…,” Daniel hedged nervously.
“Daniel,” Jack warned.
“Not any more.”
“To the matchmaker!” someone cried out as the happy throng surrounded Daniel and
jostled him out from under the shelter and into the sunshine.
“Oy,” Jack muttered as he shook his head and followed the parade. “Nice day for
“Goodness me, let the poor boy breathe,” a buxom older woman declared as she met
the hoard in the cobblestone street and pulled Daniel into the small shop she’d stepped
She slammed the door behind her, affectively separating the prey from the wolves
and seated her guest abruptly in an ornate chair in front of the large bay window.
Daniel glanced nervously over his shoulder at the multitude of noses pressed almost
against the glass.
The woman clapped her hands and announced in a loud, firm voice, “get away from the
window or I’ll remove your names from the brides list.”
The crowd reluctantly dissipated, leaving in front of the window the rest of SG-1,
complete with a peeved colonel wearing a very definite ‘I told you so’ look on his
face as he leaned an elbow on his P-90. With a huff the woman tugged on a cord and
closed the heavy red velvet drape in his face.
“Hello, dear. What is your name?” she asked as she pulled around another chair so
she sat knees to knees with her prospective client.
Daniel straightened his glasses with one hand and smoothed down his rumpled shirt
with the other. “Um…hello. I’m Daniel Jackson. You must be the matchmaker.”
“That’s right, you may call me Ranata,” she said with a pleasant smile as she reached
to the table for a massive book. Opening it on her lap, she wrote his name in it.
“Ranata, can’t my friends come in?” Daniel asked as he parted the curtain to wave
timorously at his comrades who still stood in the street.
The matchmaker tsked impatiently. “Do you not trust me to find you a wife? I assure
you I am very wise.”
“Ah, no, um, I mean… I’m not looking for a wife. We’re explores. We just came to
visit your planet from our planet, Earth,” Daniel babbled, pointing out the window
as if it made everything clear.
“But you aren’t married?”
“Well, I was but my wife died,” Daniel explained evenly as he dropped the drape back
into place. “And I’m really not ready to get married again.”
Ranata gasped. “Oh my, you poor child. And so young.” She leaned forward and captured
his hands to hold in her lap. “Reeda!” she called out without taking her eyes from
Another middle-aged woman came out of the back room and happily waited for further
instructions as she made eyes at the perfectly lovely man in the parlor.
“Earth you say,” Ranata mused quietly. “I’m not familiar with that one. How many
wives are you permitted on Earth?”
“Usually just one at a time,” Daniel replied apprehensively, “but like I said, we
just came to visit and talk about mining some… minerals. Is there a village leader
maybe we could talk to?”
The younger woman laughed and Ranata smiled fondly and patted Daniel’s hand. “I
am the leader here,” she said. “This village exists only that I may make the best
matches. I’ve never failed, though I must admit males are in short supply these
“Oh, I see,” Daniel said as he pondered what he had seen so far. “Where are all
the men?” he asked at last.
Ranata sighed sadly. “Too many wars, too many conquests to far away places. The
women continue to come, but we rarely see any men, not like in the old days. Some
of these women have been here a very long time. You can understand why they were
so happy to see you arrive through the circle.”
“About that mineral…”
“You really do not wish a wife?” Ranata inquired again almost pleadingly.
“No. Really, I’m fine. But you do understand that if you agreed to let us mine
the mineral, we would have to send some people, probably mostly men, to mine it.”
Ranata grinned. “You are clever, my boy. Reeda, bring us some tea. We will gather
your friends and discuss what it is you want from us.”
Jack was much happier now that he was on the inside of the window sipping tea and
eating cookies. They were ahead of schedule, it looked like they were going to get
a sweet deal to mine for naquada, and Daniel hadn’t gone and gotten himself engaged
yet; the mission was turning out better than he could have possibly hoped.
Carter was on one side of him and Teal’c on the other as they hashed out the details
with the old broad, but the ever-growing staff of the matchmaker’s shop had shrewdly
managed to single out the known bachelor. Daniel looked extremely uncomfortable
under all the attention as they skillfully plied him with their feminine wiles. The
competitive spirit was almost palpable and Jack half expected a cat fight to break
out any minute.
He caught Daniel’s eye and couldn’t help but grin at the miserable expression on
his face. “Help me,” Daniel mouthed as one of the girls ‘accidentally’ brushed her
bosom against him as she topped off his already full cup of steaming liquid. He
sneezed and the resulting jerk sent a tidal wave of hot tea into his lap.
Jack winced in sympathy as he placed a hand smugly on the back of Carter’s chair
and tuned into what Ranata was saying, ignoring the feeding frenzy.
Daniel sighed and turned his attention back to the sweet young thing who was asking
yet another personal question. He plucked absently at the still damp material of
his uniform, thankful that the burn was mid-thigh and everyone had finally stopped
trying to get him out of his pants.
“Are there no single women on your world?”
“What? No, of course, there are lots of available women on Earth,” Daniel assured.
“How is it you haven’t found a wife there?” another girl queried.
Daniel cleared his throat and took a sip of the strong tea, mostly to keep the level
down to a manageable level. “Well, I haven’t actually been looking for one. I don’t
get out much… at home.”
“Surely they must be looking for you.”
“No, I don’t think so,” Daniel explained carefully. “I’m not exactly a great catch.”
“You’re not? That’s ridicules.”
“No, really, I mean I get too wrapped up in my work and I’m gone a lot. Most Earth
women wouldn’t put up with that.”
“Are you not beautiful on your world?” the youngest of the group interrupted in a
“What? Beautiful? No,” Daniel denied with a startled laugh. “Certainly not, I’m
sort of a… geek.”
“You know the glasses, the allergies…”
“It takes six women to pour one man tea? I leave you unsupervised and you try to
drown the boy,” Ranata admonished as she rescued Daniel at last. “Come closer, my
dear. I’m sure you haven’t heard a word we’ve said with all that clucking going
“It’s fine,” Daniel muttered dismissively but none-the-less hurried to draw his chair
closer to his friends. He sighed in relief as his adoring crowd was shooed out of
“Poor Daniel,” Reeda whispered, peeking through the curtain. “We have to help him.”
“He said he doesn’t want a wife,” argued another woman.
“No, he said no one wants him,” the young girl corrected.
“If he is not beautiful in this place called Earth then I want to go there to see
what the other men look like,” the oldest woman declared defiantly.
“It’s possible their idea of beauty is different than ours,” Reeda pointed out. “To
me Daniel is at least as nice to look at as his friends.”
“I want a geek.”
“We have to help him.”
“What can we do?”
“Let me think,” Reeda said edgily.
“It’s too bad he doesn’t want one of us. I’d marry him.”
“So would I.”
“We all would, now hush before Ranata hears us,” Reeda cautioned as she ran her hand
along the bottles that lined the shelves on the back wall, stopping at last on a
tall, square bottle full of tiny pale yellow granules. She pulled the jar from the
shelf and blew the dust off the top.
“What’s that, Reeda,” one of the girls asked.
“You never study,” Reeda sighed sadly. “What kind of apprentice are you?”
One of the other women gasped. “You can’t use that,” she cautioned. “This crowd
is already love-sick for any man. They’ll tear him to pieces.”
“Not for here,” Reeda argued, “for when he gets home.”
“That used to be liquid anyway. It’s all condensed now.”
“It hasn’t been used in a while,” Reeda agreed. “But water should activate it, shouldn’t
it? Or perspiration?” she asked as she carefully poured a tiny amount into a small
“That’s not enough,” the eldest commented. “It’s very old; surely it’s lost its
“Or does it get stronger as it condenses?”
Reeda sighed and doubled the portion. “I don’t remember. But what harm could it
Daniel kept a close eye on the curtain that separated the shop from the backroom
where his groupies had disappeared. The lack of giggling was disconcerting as he
couldn’t track them as well, but he kept one ear on the negotiations and one ear
on the back.
“When will the miners come?” Ranata asked seriously.
“Well, there will have to be surveys done first,” Sam explained. “We’ll send an
advance team with geologists and a work crew but the miners won’t be too far behind
“Will you forbid them to interact with my clients?”
“Not necessarily,” Jack said cautiously shooting a questioning glance at Daniel.
“So there is a least some possibility of a match or two,” Ranata reasoned.
Daniel nodded thoughtfully. “It’s been my experience that where men and women gather
together romance usually follows no matter what the circumstances.”
Jack bit his tongue as he made a mental note to advise the general that all the miners
should be happily married or female. Unfortunately, within the Air Force, openly
gay wasn’t an option.
“Mistress?” one of the females called as she tentatively stepped through the curtain.
“Yes, Malis?” Ranata asked, on the verge of impatience.
“Should you not inform the crowd that there will be no match? They are starting
to gather at the back door.”
Ranata sighed and closed her eyes briefly. “Of course, tell them…”
“Mistress!” Malis begged.
“Fine,” Ranata snapped. “I’ll tell them myself. If you’ll excuse me for a moment,”
she added to SG-1 as she rose to her feet and headed purposefully to the back.
Malis bowed and followed her, looking over her shoulder to smile shyly at Daniel.
Reeda appeared in the doorway with the dreaded teapot and made her way to the guests.
“More tea, colonel?” she asked as she poured.
“No thanks,” Jack declined, sighing as his cup was refilled anyway.
The group of girls drifted one by one back to surround Daniel who flicked nervous
glances to where Ranata had disappeared.
“Daniel,” one of the women breathed softly as she sat on the arm of his chair and
stroked her fingers softly through his hair.
“Enough!” Ranata exclaimed as she burst back into the room. “Return to your quarters,
all of you.”
Reeda looked up ingenuously from pouring Teal’c another cup of tea.
“You may stay, Reeda,” Ranata amended.
With a nod and a small smile Reeda handed off the teapot and artfully accepted the
rolled napkin from Malis. They exchanged nods and Reeda moved to stand behind Daniel
as the rest of the girls dejectedly left the shop through the front door to mingle
with the disappointed crowd huddled in the street.
“I have decided. You may send your scientists,” Ranata granted graciously as she
took her seat.
“That’s great,” Sam enthused.
“Yes, thank you,” Daniel quickly agreed.
“And if you ever change your mind…” Ranata stated meaningfully with a wink at Daniel.
“I don’t think I will,” Daniel assured with a small smile, unaware of the dusting
of tiny granules Reeda sprinkled down the back of his neck with an incredible slight
of hand disguised as a stretch. Ranata frowned, but Reeda beamed back at her innocently.
“You know, if I ever decide to trade this one in…” Jack began before three looks
of female outrage shut him down. “Right. Well, we’re outta here.”
“Thank you, Ranata. You’ll be hearing from us soon I’m sure,” Daniel stepped in
“I’ll walk you to the circle,” Ranata declared as she pulled open the drape to the
sea of sad faces.
Jack stood impatiently next to the open wormhole as Daniel continued his conversation
with a particularly attractive woman about the right age, and heaven forbid, definitely
Daniel’s type… shapely and smart. “Daniel,” he called out. “The train’s leavin’.”
“Just… just one sec,” Daniel stuttered lifting a single finger in Jack’s direction,
never taking his eyes off the beautiful woman as she finished her tale.
“Now, Daniel. These girls don’t believe in catch and release and every minute we’re
here you’re that much closer to getting’ reeled in.”
“Thank you. That was very informative,” Daniel told the woman. He reached a hand
to rub the itch on the back of his neck just as another girl slapped a huge bouquet
of flowers into his arms. “Um, no. No flowers, I’m sorry. They’d have to be quarantined
and studied and then there’s the… achoo…”
“achoo… pollen.” He handed the flowers back and rubbed his hands together frowning
at the yellow dust that turned to a sticky paste in his sweaty palms. He held his
hands away from his body as if it were nuclear waste, knowing he didn’t have any
“Ladies,” Jack said with a nod of his head as he captured Daniel by the elbow and
steered him after Sam and Teal’c into the event horizon.
“Jack! I know where the men went!” Daniel exclaimed as they stepped out of the stargate
and into the SGC.
“The ones who weren’t on 279, that’s what Elyse was telling me when you forced me
through the wormhole.”
“Oh, Elyse was it?” Jack mocked, not denying what he had deemed as Daniel’s rescue.
“Where’d they go?” Sam asked with interest but shifting her weight from foot to foot.
“Just… uh…” Daniel held up a hand and looked up to the ceiling as he waited for the
impending sneeze. “Achoo.”
“We killed them,” Daniel said, sniffling and rubbing his nose on his shoulder.
Teal’c raised an interested eyebrow.
“Colonel?” General Hammond inquired as he met the team at the foot of the ramp. “How
did it go?”
“Sweet success, sir,” Jack chirped happily. “We’ve got a peach of a deal. All the
naquada we want and all we have to do is let nature take it’s course.”
“It’s not quite that simple, sir,” Sam cut in.
“Bless. And Daniel didn’t even offer himself up as a sacrifice for the cause, but
I think he wanted to.”
“Go on to the infirmary and we’ll debrief in one hour,” Hammond ordered with a smirk
at Jack and a sympathetic glance in Daniel’s direction.
“Yes sir,” Jack and Sam echoed.
“Wait. What about my story?” Daniel asked as he fought off another sneeze.
“You can fill us in when we get to the infirmary,” Sam said over her shoulder as
she unclipped her P90 and headed quickly for the door. “Right now I’ve got to go!”
“Me too. All that tea went right through me,” Jack agreed as he followed.
“Are you not coming DanielJackson?” Teal’c asked, pausing in the door.
“No, you go ahead Teal’c. I’m gonna hit the showers and wash off all this pollen
before I sneeze myself to death. I’ll be right there. Achoo.”
Teal’c inclined his head thoughtfully. “Bless,” he intoned with the slightest smile.
Daniel did a double take, then quirked a quick grin. “Thanks,” he replied as he
went one way and Teal’c went the other.
When he finally reached the locker room Daniel went straight to the sink and washed
his hands. Unfortunately, the yellow only spread and stained his skin making it
nearly impossible to work up a decent lather. After several minutes of applied elbow
grease and lots hot soapy water the substance finally began to break up and wash
down the drain.
Stripping off his shirt and tee-shirt he noticed the pollen had somehow gotten all
over the backs of them. Carefully bagging his clothes in a red plastic biohazard
bag, he sealed it up before dropping the whole thing into the laundry hamper as per
protocol with foreign substances.
His sinuses were aching and his nose continuously dripping when he finally stepped
into a hot shower. He turned so the spray pounded his neck and back but came nowhere
near the small red burn on his thigh. He closed his eyes and bowed his head to breathe
in the soothing steam until he felt his sinuses begin to clear, then took a few minutes
to wash his hair.
When he opened his eyes after he rinsed out the shampoo he was surprised to see thin
streaks of bright yellow snaking their way down the backs and sides of his legs all
the way to his feet. Now the consistency of paint, it clung tenaciously to his skin
as he bent to scrape at it just behind one knee with a thumbnail. With a deep sigh
he grabbed the soap and a washrag to laboriously go about ridding himself of the
Before he could begin he became aware of a sickly sweet smell which permeated the
cubical. Daniel all but fell as a wave of dizziness and nausea rolled through him.
He slid down the back wall coming to rest on the wet tile with a little splash in
the standing water around the drain. Placing his head between his knees he took
a few deep breaths and waited for the unpleasant sensation to pass. When he was
able to open his eyes again he examined the streaks more closely and realized with
a start that they were fading, not being washed away but rapidly melting into his
skin until they were completely gone.
Fighting back panic he struggled to his feet and staggered back to the dressing area
as he tied a towel clumsily around his waist. The thought that he ought to call
for medical assistance occurred to him belatedly as he dropped down to the nearest
bench but he didn’t think he could get back up without losing his lunch.
Another few minutes of deep breathing seemed to clear his head. The nausea subsided
and soon he felt well enough to dress. By the time he put on his tee-shirt and began
to tuck it in, the vertigo was gone as well and he felt as if nothing had happened.
He dug out a clean shirt and after a second thought grabbed the bio-bag to take
with him to the infirmary.
Pushing through the outer door in haste he stepped right into the path of Lieutenant
Cole and her fresh cup of coffee.
“Ow, ow, ow,” he cried as he caught at least half of the spill on his chest and abdomen.
He dropped his clothes and grasped his tee-shirt away from the burned skin.
“Doctor Jackson! I am SO sorry!” Cole exclaimed in mortification, grasping his forearm
with her free hand.
“No, no,” Daniel assured with a weak grin that looked more like a grimace. “Totally
my fault, I should have looked before leaping. Excuse me.” He ducked back into
the locker room pulling off the tee-shirt as he made his way to the mirror to inspect
“Doctor Jackson,” Cole called timidly as she followed. “Are you alright?”
“I’m fine,” Daniel insisted automatically as he resettled his glasses and examined
the angry red welt. He glanced up into the mirror when he realized how close the
shy young woman was standing behind him. The look of adoration and rapture on her
face as she checked out his bare back and shoulders startled him, a little too reminiscent
of the women who had crowded the matchmaker’s shop.
“Doctor Jackson,” Cole uttered breathlessly and ran the fingers of one hand lightly
down his back.
“Um… what are you doing?” Daniel asked in confusion as he pulled away and turned
to face her, inadequately covering his chest with the damp tee-shirt.
She wrenched the shirt from his hands and tossed it away before launching herself
at him, grabbing him into a fierce hug. The rough material of her uniform raked
uncomfortably across his newest burn and she dug her nails into his back to pull
him even closer as she suckled his neck.
“Lieutenant? You’re hurting me,” Daniel managed as he broke free pushing her back
a little harder than he’d intended and putting some space between them. “Sorry.
Are you okay?”
“What?” she asked, seemingly snapping out of whatever had possessed her to attack
him. “Oh my God, Doctor Jackson, I am so sorry,” she muttered again, aghast as she
“What the hell was that?” Daniel stammered in shock.
“I don’t know what came over me,” Cole swore in incredulity at her own actions.
“It’s okay,” Daniel soothed, noting her agitation. “Why don’t you come to the infirmary
with me,” he coaxed as he grabbed his last clean tee-shirt out of his locker.
“No sir, I’m fine. I’m just… I’m so sorry. I swear it won’t happen again,” she
promised. On the verge of tears she bolted from the room.
Daniel gingerly put on the tee-shirt but didn’t tuck it in this time. He ran a hand
through his wet hair and shook his head. Although Sam had let him know a while back
that the Lieutenant had something of a crush on him, Cole had never been anything
but professional around him, if a little tongue-tied at times.
After spending all afternoon with the absurdly fawning females of 279, Daniel might
have thought he had overreacted to the incident. But his back still stung along
the path of her nails and he decided he’d have to report the incident even if he’d
rather just forget it. Anyway, he would have to explain the obvious scratch marks
if he ever made it down for his physical.
Then there was the yellow sludge and the near-syncopal episode in the shower, not
to mention the two separate burns. He just knew he’d be spending a lot more time
in the infirmary than he’d planned.
Wisely looking both ways before stepping into the hall this time, Daniel gathered
the bag and fatigue top he’d dropped there. Feeling a little worse for wear he made
his way to the elevator and pushed the button. When the doors finally opened he
joined the new civilian tech advisor in the car.
“Hi. We haven’t met. I’m Daniel Jackson,” he began as he held out his hand.
“Where the hell is Daniel?” Jack questioned as he buttoned his shirt. “I thought
he said he’d be right down.”
“Indeed he did, O’Neill,” Teal’c agreed.
“I’d like to get outta here sometime tonight,” Jack groused. “Listen, you two head
up to the briefing room and stall the general. I’ll wrangle the archaeologist.”
“Yes, sir,” Sam said. Teal’c nodded and waited for her to gather her jacket before
leading the way.
Jack wandered aimlessly around the empty infirmary as he waited for Daniel to show,
absentmindedly touching things. Janet watched him from her office until she couldn’t
stand it any more and came out to confront him with her hands on her hips.
“What?” he asked as he cunningly slipped the neat clothespin thingy behind his back.
“Put the pulse ox down please, Colonel. Why are you still here?” she asked. “Never
mind, let me guess…”
“I’m here,” Daniel exclaimed as he blew through the door surreptitiously wiping a
drop of blood off his lower lip. “Sorry I’m late. I, uh… had a few problems. Here.”
He carefully showed the bio-bag to the doctor. “You may want to check that out.
I might have had some kind of reaction to it.”
“Did it get on your skin?” Fraiser asked, slipping on gloves and trying in vain to
see through the red plastic as Daniel held it up to the light.
“Oh, yeah. Thought I’d never get it off and… we probably need to talk,” he added
shooting a quick glance in Jack’s direction. He’d already had a bad day and the
last thing he needed was for Mother O’Neill to make an appearance.
Janet hid a smile and accepted the sealed bag as she moved away. “Have a seat and
I’ll send Captain Hess over to get started on your vitals,” she called over her shoulder.
“What’s going on?” Jack queried suspiciously.
Daniel climbed up on the nearest bed and tossed the shirt in his hand to the foot.
“Have you noticed anything weird since we got back from the planet?”
“Odd behavior?” Daniel asked with an evocatively raised brow.
“Just yours,” Jack replied flippantly.
“Jack, I’m serious.”
“What happened?” Jack frowned as he tilted Daniel’s face up to examine the split
“You know that new technical advisor? Anna Gordon?”
“The skinny one, right?”
Daniel nodded. “She kissed me in the elevator.”
Jack blinked in astonishment. “For real? She must be like… sixty.”
With an embarrassed sigh Daniel nodded again.
“And then what happened?” Jack prompted impatiently.
“Well, one minute I was introducing myself and the next she was checking my adenoids
with her tongue.”
“Well, if all that mouth breathing is any indication your adenoids are probably huge,”
“Jack!” Daniel squawked in exasperation. “Then she bit my lip!”
“I don’t know, but even before that…”
“Doctor Jackson, I need to take your blood pressure,” Captain Hess announced as she
rolled the Dinamap next to the bed and unwound the BP cuff.
“Daniel, I’ve got to get up there,” Jack said as he glanced at his watch. As soon
as you’re done here come to the briefing room. I want to hear all about it,” he
“Don’t leave,” Daniel blurted out as he eyed the nurse nervously.
Jack laughed. “I think you’re in good hands, Daniel,” he assured and turned to go.
Captain Hess smiled at the Colonel’s back as she wrapped the cuff snugly around Daniel’s
upper arm smoothing it with her fingertips before hitting the button. “Are you okay,
Doctor Jackson?” she asked. “You seem a little off.”
“I do?” Daniel asked in mild surprise. The machine hummed as the cuff began to tighten.
“Yes,” the captain answered sincerely. “It’s almost like… like… um… mmmm, Daniel,”
“Oh, God, not again,” Daniel exclaimed. “Doctor Fraiser!”
The captain hiked her skirt up and clamored up on the bed to straddle Daniel’s lap.
As she reached for his face he quickly grasped both of her wrists as he leaned his
head and shoulders back and away from her. Fully inflated, the blood pressure cuff
popped off of his arm with the sudden flexion of his bicep.
“Hess! Get off him right this minute! Guard!” Janet yelled. A burly SF rushed
into the room. “Get her off him,” Fraiser instructed harshly.
The guard grabbed the nurse around the waist and as he pulled her back Daniel released
her arms and rolled off the bed and away from Janet. Unfortunately he bumped his
head on the corner of the blood pressure machine on the way down. “Ow.”
“Doctor Jackson?” Janet asked as she moved forward to help him.
“Stop! Don’t come any closer!” Daniel shouted as he rapidly scooted backwards on
his butt until he was trapped between two beds by the wall.
“Daniel, you’re bleeding,” Janet argued.
“Please,” Daniel pleaded. “I need to talk to you and I need to do it before you
get any closer.”
“Doctor?” the guard called out as the woman in his arms stopped struggling and pulled
her skirt back down to her knees, her mortification written clearly on her face.
“In a minute,” the doctor snapped. “Daniel, what’s going on?”
Daniel pressed a hand to his forehead to stem the flow of blood. “That’s the third
person… make that woman… female… whatever, who has attacked me since we got back
from the matchmaker’s planet. That’s every female I’ve come into physical contact
with, Janet. And, well you are a woman…” he trailed off.
Janet moved to a cabinet and grabbed a handful of un-sterile gauze which she tossed
to Daniel who gratefully applied it to the wound. “Who else?” she asked.
“Um… Anna Gordon and Lieutenant Cole, but I’m sure it’s something from that planet.”
He stopped and licked his sore lip thoughtfully.
“Isolation,” Janet instructed the guard with a nod to Hess. “And round up the other
two as well. Daniel, get back on the bed. I won’t touch you,” she added as she
backed away. “Henderson!” she called.
“Yes ma’am?” the strapping young airman asked as he bounded into the room.
“Please help Doctor Jackson onto the bed. Then I want you to clean and dress that
cut and take his vital signs.”
“Yes ma’am,” Henderson responded as he held out a hand to Daniel.
Daniel hesitated for a second then grasp the hand and allowed himself to be hauled
off the floor.
“I’ll be right back,” Janet announced and headed for her office to pick up the phone.
“I realize the implications, Colonel, but we can’t start bringing back a bunch of
alien wives,” General Hammond argued. “The security risks would be enormous.”
“That’s why I’m saying only women and married men on the detail, Sir,” Jack pointed
Hammond’s secretary quietly entered the room and whispered into his ear. “I need
to take this,” the general said as he got up, headed into his office and closed the
“What do you think that’s about?” Carter asked inclining her head towards the office
where Hammond could be heard raising his voice.
“Who knows,” Jack sighed. “At least we know whatever it is hasn’t got anything to
do with us this time.”
“How can you be so sure?” Sam disagreed with a slight smile.
“Because our mission went fine, we all made it home in one piece for a change, and…”
Teal’c glanced meaningfully at the empty chair next to him then back to Jack.
“Crap,” Jack conceded.
General Hammond stormed back into the room with a sour look on his face. “Apparently
Doctor Jackson has been compromised. It’s possible you’ve brought back some sort
of contagion. No one leaves the base until we figure out what’s going on.”
“Crap,” Jack reiterated.
Janet hung up the phone and sighed. She walked back to where Daniel was getting
a butterfly bandage on his forehead and slipped on a pair of gloves.
“Ah, Doctor?” Daniel queried, dropping his gaze briefly to her gloved hands.
“I’m not going to touch you,” Janet assured as she took the clipboard from the airman.
“Your heart rate’s a little fast and your pressure is up some,” she stated as she
read the results. “We’ll need to draw some blood.”
“I’m on it, doc,” Henderson said with a nod of his head as he went to gather supplies.
Daniel automatically took off his glasses when Janet clicked on her penlight. “I’ve
called in Doctor Warner,” she advised as she shined the light first in one eye and
then the other, careful not to touch him. “And all of the nurses have been put on
stand down unless we have some sort of emergency, but we’ll put you in an isolation
room just in case after we’ve finished the usual battery of tests.”
“Okay,” Daniel granted unenthusiastically, never-the-less relieved that the problem
was being addressed and wasn’t just a figment of his imagination.
“I’d really like to listen to your heart and lungs,” Fraiser complained feeling uneasy
with the limited exam. “I know you had some problems earlier with your allergies.
How do you feel now?”
“Still a little congested, actually,” Daniel admitted. “Janet?”
“Thanks for listening to me,” he said solemnly.
Janet smiled and patted his arm unconsciously. “Oh, no,” she whispered as she pulled
away and ripped the glove off. “What a stupid thing to do,” she chastised herself.
Daniel tensed and watched her apprehensively. “Anything?” he asked after they stared
wide-eyed at each other for a moment.
“I don’t think so,” she sighed with relief. “Maybe it has to be skin to skin contact?”
“Maybe,” Daniel agreed. “But I don’t know if Captain Hess actually touched me, I
mean before she touched me. If she did it was when she put on the blood pressure
“Okay, I think we may be all right here,” Janet decided as she double gloved. Holding
the stethoscope with her fingertips she pressed it to his chest in several different
places. “Good,” she said at last. “Do you have any other injuries?”
“A few,” Daniel admitted hesitantly.
“What and where?” Janet asked as a strange shiver coursed through her. She stared
at Daniel, watching his lips as he spoke.
“Um… burns here and here, from tea and coffee,” he said indicating his chest and
thigh. “Well, no, actually coffee here and tea here. Then I think I have some scratches…”
The doctor stepped back and groaned.
“Janet?” Daniel asked worriedly.
“No, it’s okay. I mean, I know what’s happening, sort of. I should be able to fight
“Fight what exactly?” Daniel queried, narrowing his eyes.
“This, um, urge to… never mind,” she said shaking it off. “I’m okay. Let’s see
your chest first.”
“No, really, I’m fine,” Daniel hedged as he jumped off of the bed. “Maybe we should
just wait for Doctor Warner.”
“Don’t be silly, sugar,” Janet drawled seductively as she advanced, removing her
gloves one at a time. “I’m not gonna hurt you.”
“Doctor Fraiser?” Airman Henderson asked as he returned ready to draw the needed
Janet snatched the trauma shears from the medic’s pocket and grabbed the hem of Daniel’s
tee-shirt. With a quick snip at the bottom she drug the scissors up the fabric almost
to the neck before Daniel could get away. Henderson grasped her in a bear hug from
behind just as the general and the rest of SG-1 came through the infirmary door.
“Doctor Fraiser!” Hammond admonished.
“It’s not her fault,” Daniel explained quickly, still a little wild-eyed from the
attack as he pulled the edges of his tee-shirt together. “That’s been happening
ever since we got back from the planet. Just take her to her office to, uh… cool
off,” he told Henderson.
As Henderson complied Janet’s struggles slowed the further away they moved. When
they reached the office she dropped into a chair and cradled her head in her hands.
The airman didn’t close the door but remained standing anxiously in front of it.
“Are you okay?” Sam asked with concern as she rounded the bed to check on her teammate.
“Sam! Please, don’t come any closer,” Daniel begged, holding up a hand to ward her
“You were gonna tell me about this earlier, weren’t you?” Jack asked, insinuating
himself between his wary archeologist and his 2IC.
“Maybe you’d better explain,” Hammond urged.
“Okay,” Daniel took a deep breath and sat back on the bed when he was sure Sam was
safely across the room and was going to stay there. “I think it’s the pollen from
“The pollen?” Carter asked, frowning at the incongruity.
“That’s the only thing I can think of. I mean, it is the matchmaker’s planet, right?
What if there’s something in the pollen in all those flowers that puts the clients
in a more receptive mood?”
“It had no effect on the rest of us, DanielJackson,” Teal’c pointed out reasonably.
“Well, it probably wouldn’t affect you anyway and no one else touched it. I was
literally covered with a yellow substance when I got to the showers.”
“And you think it was the pollen,” Sam surmised.
“Yes, either that or Ranata slipped me something.”
“Love potion number nine?” Jack queried, raising both eyebrows.
“Or something,” Daniel sniffed. “But whatever it is, every female I’ve come into
contact with since we got back has literally jumped my bones.”
“So how does it work?” Sam asked. “I mean I was with you the whole time and I don’t
Daniel furrowed his brow. “Um, it seems to be facilitated by touch,” he explained.
“I believe there’s a proximity issue as well,” Janet announced from the door of her
office as Henderson hovered nearby. “At this moment, I feel fine. A little wound
up, but fine.”
“Should we go back and get some of the pollen?” Jack inquired looking from Fraiser
“We don’t have to,” Daniel said and thumbed toward the lab.
“The bio-bag,” Jack answered with a snap of his fingers.
“Daniel already turned his uniform over,” Janet explained to the rest of the group.
“There’s plenty there for analysis. The lab is already working on it, but I probably
need to have them put a rush on it.”
“Let’s do an experiment,” Sam suggested moving to the middle of the room.
“I don’t know,” Daniel replied uneasily.
“We’ve got a controlled environment. What’s the worst that could happen?”
“We could both die of embarrassment,” Daniel shot back unrepentantly, still a little
red in the face from his encounter with Janet.
“Let’s see what happens, son,” Hammond encouraged.
“Come on, Sir,” Jack objected. “It looks like he’s already taken a beating.”
“I will endeavor to see to Daniel Jackson’s safety,” Teal’c declared seriously. After
a nod from the general he moved to stand next to Major Carter.
Jack threw his hands up in resignation. “Go on, Daniel. Maybe you’re not as irresistible
as you think you are.”
“I’m never gonna hear the end of this, am I?” Daniel grumbled, shooting Jack a venomous
look as he moved to stand several feet in front of Carter.
He tensed when Sam took one step closer to him. They waited for several seconds
in silence. Sam finally shrugged and took another step. Again they waited and nothing
happened. Daniel tried to cross his arms over his chest but the burn made it uncomfortable
and he dropped his hands to his sides as Sam continued the sequence of stepping forward
and waiting. Finally she was close enough to touch.
“For crying out loud,” Jack muttered, becoming bored with the proceedings. “Anything,
“No sir. I don’t feel… whoa.”
“What?” Daniel asked, his eyes growing wide as he took a step back, holding his hands
in front of him protectively.
“I don’t know,” Sam breathed hesitantly. “It was just a strange feeling of… ohmygod…
Daniel,” she moaned taking another shaky step forward.
“Very funny, Carter,” Jack scolded lightly. “Stop kiddin’ around.”
“Sir, I’m not kidding. I really feel something,” Sam muttered, starting to breath
heavily. Teal’c wrapped a large hand around her elbow and gently pulled her back,
much to Daniel’s relief.
“So I’m guessing there doesn’t have to be physical contact,” Janet surmised from
the door. “Apparently it just speeds up the process.”
“You think Ranata did this?” Jack asked.
“I don’t know. Why would she? I thought I had finally convinced her I didn’t want
to get married.”
“I’m fine now,” Sam said to Teal’c with a reassuring smile, waiting until he dropped
his hand to make her move. She jumped an unsuspecting Daniel and took him down with
a sweep of her leg, landing squarely on top of him. Wrapping her arms around his
neck she attempted to kiss him, but Teal’c was on her too quickly, pulling her away.
“Carter!” Jack shouted as he moved to help Teal’c restrain the writhing body.
“Daniel!” Sam screamed as they pulled her away. “No! Let me go! I need… Daniel!”
The general moved quickly to the downed man’s side and helped him up. “Are you all
right, Doctor Jackson?”
Wiping at his once again bleeding lip with one hand and his now sore behind with
the other, Daniel managed to nod. “My bruises are gonna have bruises,” he complained,
“but otherwise, I’m okay.”
Sam quieted down shortly after they got her to the other side of the room. “Wow,”
she murmured. “That was intense.”
“Yeah,” Janet agreed, joining her to check for injuries from the scuffle.
“What in the world?” Doctor Warner asked as he entered the door.
“See to your patient, Doctor,” Hammond ordered with a nod in Daniel’s direction.
“Everyone else, let’s get to work. I want all the female personnel that have been
in contact with Doctor Jackson checked out and interviewed and I want that substance
analyzed ASAP. I want to know exactly what we’re dealing with here.”
“First of all, it’s not pollen,” Sam said as she clicked the remote to bring up the
PowerPoint presentation. A magnified image of a lumpy, pale yellow granule appeared
on the screen.
“Then what is it?” O’Neill asked edgily.
“It’s a highly condensed, synthetic enzyme very similar in composition to human pheromones
that seems to be activated when it comes in contact with testosterone. When it is
active, it reacts strongly in the presence of estrogen,” Janet lectured.
“So if it’s in him, how come it’s affecting you guys… gals,” Jack corrected himself
with a flutter of his fingers in Janet’s direction.
“That’s where the estrogen comes in,” Janet explained. “Although men’s bodies do
produce trace amounts of estrogen in the adrenal gland, it’s not sufficient to interact
with the enzyme, or set it off if you will. But any female who comes into contact
with it… reacts strongly.”
“So how do we get it out of Daniel,” Jack asked worriedly.
“Well, although Dan… Doctor Jackson,” Janet corrected, trying to keep a professional
mindset, “has a huge amount of the stuff in his system, his body is already working
hard to get rid of it. His kidneys and liver are filtering it, he’s secreting it
through his sweat glands, and he’s even exhaling tiny amounts of it when he breathes.”
“And that’s where the proximity factor comes in,” Sam pointed out. “After it’s been
activated, any estrogen producing female sharing breathing space with Daniel eventually
gets a large enough buildup to get a reaction. It’s faster if there is skin to skin
contact because it’s more concentrated in the form secreted from Daniel’s sweat glands
than what he’s exhaling. And the concentration in his saliva is even higher.”
“Yeah, but Anna Gordon? Surely she’s… you know.”
“Estrogen patch,” Janet provided.
“There were a lot of the granules on Daniel’s uniform, specifically on the back of
the tee-shirt, almost as if someone had dumped it down his neck. It probably began
being slowly absorbed almost immediately after coming in contact with the moisture
from his skin. He was able to wash off the small amount on his hands, because of
the tougher skin, but when he got in the shower he practically overdosed on it as
it became viscous and came into contact with the larger, smoother surface area.”
“Just add water,” Sam mused quietly.
“Yeah, but Daniel started sneezing his head off the minute we hit the planet,” Jack
“Well, sir, there were a lot of flowers, but they’re almost certainly not the source
of the pheromones.”
“So it was the matchmaker,” Jack sighed.
“That may be good news, sir,” Sam declared.
“How so, Major Carter?” Teal’c asked.
“Well, if she gave it to Daniel, she may have an antidote.”
“SG-1 you have a go to return to PC3-279,” Hammond ordered.
“What about Daniel?” Sam asked.
“He’d better stay home for this one, Major,” Hammond replied with a half-smile. “He
hasn’t had a lot of luck with the ladies lately.”
“On the contrary, sir,” Doctor Fraiser corrected, studying the tabletop intently.
“What about Carter?” Jack asked, hiding a grin at the doctor’s discomfort. “She’s
definitely been compromised, too.”
Sam flushed. “I’m fine, sir... Doctor Warner,” she interrupted herself as the other
physician entered the room.
“How is Doctor Jackson?” Hammond asked.
Warner adjusted his lab coat as he sat in Daniel’s usual chair. “He’s sleeping now.
I’m a little worried about his blood pressure, it’s been consistently high. I’d
hoped after all the excitement settled down so would he. Unfortunately, I had to
“Why?” Jack growled protectively.
“Easy, people,” Hammond soothed as he watched the members of SG-1 tense at the news.
“The sheer level of the enzyme in Doctor Jackson’s body is causing him physical stress.
Besides, after the day he’s had, he really needs the rest. I prescribed a mild
oral sedative and it seems to have been most effective.”
“Oh,” Jack replied sheepishly. “I guess that’s okay then.”
“Where is he?” Janet asked innocently.
“In an undisclosed location,” Warner said with a knowing smile.
“He has to be on base,” Sam muttered under her breath.
“Ladies?” Jack snapped. “Let’s try to keep those hormones in check, shall we? Besides,
I thought it was a proximity thing.”
“It is,” Janet said. “For the most part. But I still remember how it felt.”
“Kind of like a narcotic,” Sam agreed languorously. “A really, really good narcotic.”
“Major, I think maybe you’d better sit this one out, too. And you should get going,
Colonel,” General Hammond suggested. “I’d hate to see what happens when these two
go into withdrawal.”
“Five,” Jack corrected.
“Seven,” Warner chimed in.
“A lab tech slipped in before I fully realized the situation and when I sent for
a couple of SFs to guard the door, one of them was female,” Warner explained shamefacedly.
“Go,” Hammond ordered as he pointed to the door, “Before the whole female population
of the base is infected.”
“Yes, sir,” Jack responded. “Teal’c, let’s gear up.”
“He’s not in any of the isolation rooms,” Janet mused quietly, sipping her coffee.
Sam nodded before studying her friend distrustfully. “He has to be in a VIP room,”
she surmised. “Not that it matters.”
“It’s not like we should actually try to see him or anything.”
Janet finished her coffee and ran a hand through her hair. “Well.”
“Yeah,” Sam agreed uncomfortably. “I suppose I should find something to keep me
“Lord knows I’ve got a ton of work to do,” Janet replied. “I should get back to
the lab and work on this thing. Poor Daniel.”
“Mmmm, Daniel,” Sam echoed absently, going over the base’s blueprints in her mind.
Janet made her way to the door but stopped to glower at her new found rival. Without
another word she turned and walked away. Fortunately, Sam didn’t even notice she
“How dare you!” Ranata huffed indignantly.
“We’re not trying to blame anyone,” Jack insisted, setting his full cup of tea back
on the small table. “We just want to know if you can do anything about it.”
“Why do you think this has anything to do with me?” Ranata asked, still obviously
very displeased with the line of questioning.
“You are the Matchmaker,” Teal’c replied succinctly. “Is it not logical to assume
Daniel Jackson has gained his unfortunate affliction from you?”
“No one here attacked him,” Ranata pointed out. “It seems to me that the problem
arose on your planet.”
“Yeah,” Jack agreed, “but only after his visit with you.”
“Why? Why would I do something like that? I would love to find him a mate from
one of my girls, but why would I send him back to his own world cursed with a burden
such as this?”
Jack shrugged and shook his head. “Revenge?” he asked contritely even as he said
“Get out,” Ranata demanded, rising to her feet.
“I’m sorry,” Jack declared quickly, getting up as well. “I’m not trying to insult
you, but Daniel’s problem started here, I’m sure of it. Please, help him.”
Ranata sighed and tried to get her anger under control. “Tell me again exactly what
happened,” she finally instructed, allowing Jack to help her back to her chair.
“There was a yellow substance on Daniel Jackson’s clothing. Upon mixing with water,
it was absorbed into his skin…”
“Airman,” Janet greeted as she approached the only guard in the hall outside the
VIP rooms. She snapped on a pair of gloves then adjusted the mask on her face.
“I’m sorry, ma’am,” the SF replied. “I’m under orders not to allow any female personnel
into Doctor Jackson’s room.”
“Does that include his physician?” Janet queried haughtily.
“I… yes, ma’am. By my way of thinking… yes ma’am, it does.”
Janet harrumphed and crossed her arms over her chest. “Airman, I am perfectly capable
of adhering to the isolation policies. I assure you, I am in no danger from Doctor
“Yes ma’am,” the Airman replied, remaining stubbornly in front of the door. “As
I understand it, ma’am, Doctor Jackson may be the one in danger.”
“Airman…” Janet began angrily with an edge of desperation.
“I have my orders, Doctor Fraiser. Until I hear differently from someone in my chain
of command, I will carry them out.”
“Let me in,” Janet snarled, rushing the guard and grasping for the door handle.
The large man intercepted her, capturing her easily in one arm. “Please settle down,
ma’am,” he insisted fervently.
“Daniel!” Janet called frantically as the guard half carried her down the hall to
the nearest phone. “Daniel!”
As Jack and Teal’c continued to detail Daniel’s misfortunes after he returned to
Earth, Ranata grew quiet. Finally she rose to her feet and padded silently into
the back room.
Exchanging concerned glances, the two men followed. They found the woman running
her gaze across a shelf filled with old bottles of colorful potions.
“Oh, my,” Ranata exclaimed as she pulled down a large square bottle of yellow granules
from the shelf. “This should be covered with dust. It hasn’t been used in years.”
Jack examined the recently cleaned bottle. “This looks like the stuff they got off
of Daniel’s uniform. What is it?”
“It was once used for arraigned marriages when the bride was unreceptive or the groom
was particularly undesirable. I have never used it. It is barbaric.”
“Love potion number nine,” Jack muttered. “I knew it.”
“This poison has nothing to do with love,” Ranata scoffed. “In very small doses
it makes a homely man desirable to a woman. I can’t image what a large dose would
do to someone as attractive as our Daniel.”
A small gasp from behind the curtain drew the group’s attention. Teal’c reached
around the fabric barrier and grabbed a slender wrist, tugging Reeda into the room.
“I am so sorry,” Reeda cried remorsefully. “We only meant to help.”
“What have you done?” Ranata demanded.
“When Daniel told us that he is not considered beautiful on his world… we only meant
to help,” the tearful woman repeated.
Jack sighed and pulled off his cap to run a hand through his hair. “So. Don’t you
have anything to counteract the effects?” he asked.
Ranata shook her head sadly, patting her distraught assistant gently on the back.
“I’m afraid not. But I can assure you it will wear off. Eventually.”
Sam crawled along the ventilation shaft silently, stopping to glance through each
vent she passed until finally she spotted a familiar bare foot sticking out from
under a blanket on one of the beds.
“Yes!” she exclaimed happily as she attempted to work the metal covering off of the
vent from inside the shaft.
With her prize in sight, Sam’s patience with the grate quickly vanished and she pounded
on it with the side of her fist. A commotion outside of the VIP room door caught
her attention and she paused to listen.
“Daniel! Daniel!” Janet’s voice rang out from the other side of the door getting
further and further away.
The foot in view never moved in spite of the racket and Sam used the distraction
to backup and kick out the screen. No one came bursting in at the noise and as she
dropped into the room, Sam shot a quick glance in Daniel’s direction. He remained
on his side and his slow even breaths never wavered so she moved to the door to lock
it before approaching him.
The urge to touch him was overwhelming, but Sam bit her lip and merely looked on
instead. Inhaling deeply, she felt the enzymes begin to enter her system and savored
the sensation like a junkie taking a hit. Careful not to wake him, she pulled back
the covers and crawled in behind him, wrapping her arm around his chest. Since he
wasn’t fighting her at the moment or trying to get away, Sam closed her eyes and
revealed in the feeling of contentment.
“All mine,” she murmured, drifting off into a drug induced sleep as she continued
to inhale the build up of the pheromones floating around the enclosed space.
“How’s Daniel?” Jack asked as he and Teal’c joined General Hammond and Doctor Warner
in the briefing room.
“He’s still sleeping,” the doctor informed them. “I don’t think he’s in any danger.”
“Did you speak to the Matchmaker?” Hammond asked anxiously.
“Yes, sir. It seems some of her apprentices took it upon themselves to help Daniel
catch a wife by sprinkling him with pixie dust. They gave him an insane dose of
the stuff. Ranata says it won’t hurt him and that sooner or later it will wear off.”
“How long will that take?” the general asked in exasperation.
“The Matchmaker was unable to give us an indication of the longevity of the drug.
It varies by the individual’s metabolism and by the dosage,” Teal’c explained.
“If Doctor Jackson’s blood pressure stabilizes, perhaps it might be of benefit to
have him perform some type of physical exercise to speed up the elimination process,”
Doctor Warner offered.
“We’ll sweat it out of him,” Jack declared.
“Do anything you can to get things back to normal without risking Doctor Jackson’s
health,” Hammond agreed unhappily. “This little problem is turning the SGC upside
down. We’ve had incident after incident with the affected females all afternoon.
Short of restricting the base to males only, I don’t know what else to do to contain
“So where are Daniel’s victims now?”
“We’ve managed to round up six of them up as they attempted to locate Doctor Jackson,
however…” Warner trailed off uneasily.
“Like I always say,” Jack replied, “I’m glad she’s on our side.”
“Doctor,” the guard greeted.
“Any more trouble?” Warner asked as he approached Daniel’s door.
“Not since we got Doctor Fraiser under control, sir.”
Warner nodded and tried the handle. “It’s locked,” he observed worriedly.
The SF turned and rapped on the door with his knuckle. “Doctor Jackson?” he called.
When no answer came, the guard reached into his pocket and produced a key. Cautiously
he opened the door and turned on the small lamp on the desk next to the door only
to find the archaeologist slumbering peacefully. Exchanging a relieved look with
the doctor, he backed out of the room.
“Major Carter,” Warner exclaimed as he moved closer to the bed to discover his patient
had a roommate. Neither of the sleepers responded to his voice. “Doctor Jackson,”
he said a little louder, reaching out to shake the man’s shoulder firmly.
“Huh? What?” Daniel called out as he jerked awake, his attention drawn to the arm
tightly wrapped around his burned chest. “Ow. What’s goin’ on?”
“Major Carter,” Warner repeated firmly, helping Daniel to pry the arm away.
“Sam?” Daniel asked sleepily, rolling over to see for himself. “Is she breathing?”
he asked fearfully when he saw the pale, still form of his friend. He fumbled to
find a pulse.
“Airman! Get a medical team down here with a stretcher,” Warner ordered loudly as
he rounded the bed to help Daniel roll the woman onto her back. “She’s breathing
but her pulse is slow,” the doctor confirmed as he rechecked Daniel’s findings.
“What happened?” Daniel questioned urgently as he rested a hand on Sam’s clammy brow.
“What’s wrong with her?”
“I’ll have to run some tests to be sure,” the doctor exclaimed, “but if I were a
betting man, I’d say she overdosed… on you.”
Daniel yanked his hand back and stumbled away from the bed just as the all male medical
team arrived. Jack appeared in the doorway behind them and anxiously scanned the
room, surprised to find Daniel upright and apparently well.
“What’s goin on?” Jack unknowingly echoed Daniel’s earlier question.
“It’s Sam,” Daniel muttered, unable to take his eyes off of her as she was loaded
onto a gurney and rushed from the room.
“What happened?” Jack questioned again, suddenly understanding as he took in the
twisted vent cover lying on the floor.
“I don’t know,” Daniel tried to explain. “She was already out when Doctor Warner
woke me up. I don’t know how long she’d been in here but she… she must have gotten
too much of this damn stuff,” he said, indicating his breath with the wave of a hand.
Jack shared a concerned look with Daniel and then glanced at the door.
“Go,” Daniel urged. “But let me know as soon as you find out anything.”
With a nod and a quick pat to Daniel’s back, Jack followed the medical team.
Daniel sank down to the edge of the bed and resignedly rubbed his face, well aware
he couldn’t go with them.
“You okay, Doctor Jackson?” the guard asked from the hall.
“Yeah, thanks,” Daniel replied unconvincing. “You might want to close that,” he
muttered, pointing towards the door. “My pheromones are getting out.”
The guard nodding understandingly and pulled the door shut behind him.
“Let me out of here!” the diminutive doctor shouted up at the observation booth as
soon as the general entered. “You can’t do this to me!”
“There’s been a mishap,” Hammond informed her softly through the microphone. “I
thought you should know.”
“Daniel?” Janet asked fearfully.
“Doctor Jackson is fine. I’m afraid it’s Major Carter this time.”
“Apparently she entered the VIP room through the air duct…”
“Damn, I didn’t think of that,” Janet murmured angrily to herself. “I’m sorry, is
Hammond sighed. “She’s still unconscious. Doctor Warner says that her blood levels
of the activated enzyme reached dangerous levels.”
“We didn’t stop to think about prolonged exposure. Sir, please,” Janet begged. “I
“I’m sorry,” the general swore as he turned to leave. “I can’t risk another incident.”
“Please! Sir! Assign me a guard, lock me in the infirmary, anything,” Janet pleaded.
“Let me help.”
After a short pause, Hammond nodded. “One shot, Doctor, that’s all you’ve got. I’ll
allow you access to Major Carter, but not Doctor Jackson.”
“Yes, sir! Thank you, sir,” Janet beamed, trying to overcome her obsession and think
like a doctor.
Daniel spun around apprehensively as a thump sounded out in the hall. “Easy,” Jack’s
voice ordered. He stepped back as another, louder thump sounded and the door flew
open. Teal’c manhandled a large treadmill into the room with Jack following behind
giving unsolicited advice.
“What’s this?” Daniel asked ingenuously.
“It’s a treadmill, Daniel,” Jack smirked, setting the six-pack of bottled water he
carried on the table. “If you ever went down to the gym you’d know these things.”
“I know what it is. What’s it doing here?”
“Doctor Warner believes you can speed the elimination of the drug from your body
if you exert yourself,” Teal’c explained, plugging the device into the wall.
“Really?” Daniel asked, already moving toward the exercise machine. “That’s all
I have to do?”
“It won’t be easy,” Jack replied. “You’ll have to keep it up for awhile. Here,”
he added tossing Daniel’s sneakers to him.
“How’s Sam?” Daniel queried as he sat on the edge of the bed and began to undo the
laces of his boots.
Jack shook his head. “Warner says she’s stable, but she’s still out. Looks like
you fried her circuits.”
Daniel flinched at the comment as he crammed his feet into his gym shoes without
unlacing them. “What about the other women?”
“Acute withdrawal,” Jack grimaced. “It’s getting’ ugly.”
“You think this will work?” Daniel asked as he got on the treadmill and turned it
“Ranata says it’ll wear off,” Jack replied with a doubtful shrug. “And Doc Warner
seems to think this’ll speed things up.”
“You went back to the planet,” Daniel guessed, upping the pace to a run.
“We did,” Teal’c supplied, standing at parade rest next to the machine.
“Unfortunately, there’s no magic potion to turn you back into a mere mortal,” Jack
added. “You’ve just gotta flush it out of your system.”
Daniel saved his breath and nodded as he found his stride.
Jack sighed and watched his friend for a minute before turning to Teal’c. “Make
sure he drinks plenty of water, T,” he advised. “If you need me I’ll be in the infirmary.”
“Very well,” Teal’c said with a slight bow of his head as Jack slipped out of the
Sam tried to reach for her aching head but her hand seemed encumbered by a multitude
of wires and tubes. “Janet,” she muttered past parched lips as she squinted at the
blurry face hovering over her.
“Easy, Sam,” the familiar voice soothed. “Here, sip this.”
Fumbling for the straw placed near her jaw, Sam managed to draw up a mouthful of
the cool water. “Oh, that’s heaven,” she sighed, taking the cup.
“Go slow,” Janet advised wearily.
“What’s wrong?” Sam asked, now more aware of her surroundings. “Why am I in the
“You don’t remember?”
“No, I… Oh, God. What did I do?” Sam asked, mortified by the memories of her last
“He’s fine,” Janet murmured wistfully. “Locked away from us, but fine.”
Mindful of the spaghetti of wires around her, Sam sat up in the bed. “I’m okay,”
she said with surprise.
“We’ll see,” Janet replied, pulling out her pen light.
“No, I mean I’m cured,” Sam insisted impatiently.
“Lost your Danny-addiction?” Jack asked from the doorway.
“Yes, sir,” Sam assured with a tiny smile. “I don’t feel the need to…” she stopped
to clear her throat. “You know.”
“You’re sure?” the colonel asked, moving closer.
“I’m positive. Believe me, the only thing I’m feeling about Daniel right now is
embarrassment… and remorse for hurting him,” Sam sighed apologetically.
“Maybe the stuff finally wore off,” Jack surmised.
“You’ve been with him,” Janet declared, grabbing Jack by the collar of his shirt
and sniffing him deeply.
“Maybe not,” Jack corrected, gently but firmly disengaging the small woman from his
“Nothing,” Sam confirmed shaking her head after taking a deep, exploratory breath.
“Mmm,” Janet purred, rubbing the colonel like a cat.
“Doc!” Jack complained, capturing her arms and trapping her back against his chest.
“Threshold,” Janet murmured distractedly leaning her head back against Jack’s shoulder
and closing her eyes.
“That must be it,” Sam agreed excitedly. “What if once you reach a certain threshold
the drug cancels itself out?”
“Is that possible?”
“I volunteer to find out,” Janet declared. “Take me to him!”
“Sir?” Jack asked apprehensively as he led Carter, Janet, and their respective SF
babysitters down the hall toward the VIP rooms.
General Hammond glanced up tersely from his conversation with Sergeant Siler just
on the other side of the barricade the guards had set up to keep the sea of female
admirers from stampeding Daniel’s room.
“Apparently the enzyme has been circulating through the ventilation system,” Hammond
explained unhappily. “Every female up to level twenty-two has been affected. How
are you Major Carter?”
“Much better, thank you, sir,” Sam responded respectfully. “In fact, I think we
have a solution.”
“Thank heaven for that,” Hammond sighed. “What ever it is, do it!”
“Yes, sir,” Jack replied, pulling a giddy Janet Fraiser along by the wrist. “These
two are with me,” he told the guards as they broke through the barrier, followed
by a surge of frustrated and very vocal females.
“Clear this hallway!” the general ordered loudly as the SFs fought to get the crowd
Jack opened the door and pulled his entourage through. They found a tired, sweat
soaked Daniel wiping his face with a towel on the other side. He froze with a bottle
of water half-way to his mouth and stared in horror at the two women. “Jack?”
“Easy, Momma,” Jack instructed, getting a firm grip on the scuff of her neck. “It’s
okay, I’ve got her.”
Teal’c stepped smoothly in front of Daniel who couldn’t stop himself from peeking
around the larger man’s back to keep an eye on the possible threat. A couple of
maintenance men were boarding up the ventilation shaft and Sergeant Siler returned
to adjust the settings on the three large in-room air filtering systems.
“Sam?” Daniel ventured. “Are you okay?”
Sam spared a glance at Janet who began struggling against the colonel’s hold. “Yeah.
I’m really sorry, Daniel. About before.”
“It wasn’t your fault,” Daniel assured.
“No, it was Daniel’s fault for giving those poor women the ugly duckling routine
back on the Matchmaker’s planet,” Jack insisted.
“What?” Daniel sputtered. “I did no such thing!”
“Whatever,” Jack cut him off. “If you’d clamp down on those overdeveloped scruples
of yours every once in a while we could avoid these things.”
“I didn’t see any reason to lie to them,” Daniel argued.
“Enough,” Teal’c declared, raising his voice slightly. “For what purpose have you
brought them here, O’Neill?” he asked, still hovering over his friend in full protective
mode. He eyed Major Carter suspiciously, but relaxed a little at her much more relaxed
“Come here, baby,” Janet called sweetly, reaching out with both arms in Daniel’s
“I’m better, Teal’c,” Sam assured, reading him correctly. “We believe that once
a female’s blood level of the drug reaches a certain point, it cancels itself out.”
She glanced nervously at the increasing struggle between the colonel and Janet.
“But Sam, you were out for hours,” Daniel pointed out worriedly, watching the show
as well. He jumped back as the button on Janet’s lab coat popped off and she slid
“Daniel,” Janet cooed, trying to circle around his guardian in the crowded room.
Teal’c crouched slightly and turned with her. Daniel used him as a shield while
moving in counterpoint to her every movement.
“I need to touch you.”
“She really does,” Sam put in sheepishly. “That would be the quickest way to elevate
her blood levels and seeing as how you’re already sweaty…”
“Ew,” Jack blurted out, catching the unsuspecting doctor as she stalked her prey,
stopping the odd circular, three-way dance.
“Get over here,” Janet commanded through clenched teeth. “I can’t stand this anymore.”
The desperation in her voice pushed Daniel into action and he cautiously moved towards
“I’ve got her,” Jack assured seriously.
“And I’ve heard that before,” Daniel complained, as he stepped forward. “What do
“Just touch her,” Sam urged.
“Yeah, just don’t get any of that crap on me,” Jack insisted. “That mob outside
would tear me to pieces.”
“Yes, yes,” Janet whispered in anticipation as Daniel drew closer, causing his cheeks
to grow pink with more than the flush of his prior exertion. She reached out and
grasped his still moist forearm with both of her hands.
“Jack?” Daniel panted, trying to pull out of her grasp as she began to quiver. “Jack,”
he repeated urgently when she collapsed.
“Janet,” Sam called out, dropping down beside the doctor and feeling for a pulse.
Still slumping against the colonel, Janet let out a long, relieved sigh. “What a
rush,” she declared as she closed her eyes.
“Need a smoke?” Jack quipped.
“Did it work?” Daniel asked, shooting a dirty look in Jack’s direction.
Taking a deep breath as she wiped her hands on her pants, Janet nodded. “Yeah. I
think it did,” she replied unsteadily. “Daniel, I am so sorry.”
Daniel managed a quick, embarrassed smile as he nodded and moved away, crossing his
arms over his chest.
“It can’t be that simple,” Jack argued, helping the extremely shaky doctor to her
“I can’t explain it, Colonel,” Janet replied, “except to say that it’s an alien enzyme,
and so far, the overload method seems to work.”
“Okay, so now all Daniel has to do is get up-close and personal with every woman
“Great,” Daniel muttered, already feeling exhausted.
“And in the meantime,” Jack added with a nod toward the treadmill, “maybe you should
get back to work.”
“You’re all set, Doctor Jackson,” Siler assured patting the top of the closest air
With a weary sigh Daniel stepped back onto the machine and switched it on. “Getting
nowhere fast,” he mumbled as he picked up speed.
“I need a drink,” Janet replied, letting herself out.
Sam smiled at her teammates and followed. She and Janet had a lot to talk about.
Daniel growled at the tentative knock and sat up on the bed. “I thought we were
finished,” he lamented.
“Hi,” Sam said, peeking around the door. “I just wanted to make sure you’re okay.”
“Oh, Sam, it’s you. Come on in. I thought it was another one of them,” he replied,
waving his hand towards the door before rubbing his eyes. “God, I’m tired.”
“I was on my way out,” Sam explained, leaning in the doorframe. “I thought I’d stop
and see if you needed anything before I left since you’re going to be stuck here
“Feed my fish?”
“Sure. Anything else?”
“Lip balm?” Daniel requested hesitantly.
“No problem,” Sam started. “Uh, why lip balm?”
Daniel snorted softly. “Well, after futzing around with the first three or four
women I had to, uh, deprogram if you will… Frankly, the fastest, easiest way turned
out to be just to kiss ‘em.”
“You kissed every woman on base?” Sam asked in amazement.
“Give or take,” Daniel shrugged. “A couple times we had to resort to prolonged skin
to skin contact… holding hands,” he clarified quickly, “but mostly the kissing worked.”
“Talk about kissin’ a toad,” Jack teased from behind Sam. She smiled and made room
for him in the doorway.
“Prince Charming I ain’t,” Daniel agreed with smirk. “Please tell me we’re done.”
“We’re done, but Fraiser is banning any women who haven’t been exposed from the base
‘til this thing blows over, just in case. Oh, and Warner wants you to keep up the
treadmill, at least a little every day.”
“For how long?” Daniel pouted.
“Until your blood work is clean,” Jack confirmed. “It’ll be good for you so stop
“Look on the bright side,” Sam put in. “Think about all the work you’ll get done
while you’re stuck here. By the way, you never did tell us where the men from 279
“That’s right,” Jack remembered. “You said we killed them.”
“Yeah, uh, that woman…”
“Elyse,” Jack filled in, looking at Carter with a shrug. “What? I noticed her.”
“Yeah, Elyse. She told me how the serpent guards came and took all the men away
about three years ago.”
“So that was about the time Apophis would have been rounding up slaves for his trip
to Earth,” Daniel extrapolated.
“They weren’t Jaffa,” Jack countered.
“No they weren’t. They were just battle fodder. Remember, Teal’c said it’s not
uncommon for humans to be used in war when things got rough.”
“And we destroyed both motherships with everyone on board,” Sam completed the thought.
“So it’s sort of our fault there’s no matchmaking going on on 279,” Jack muttered
“Well if you’re feeling guilty, sir,” Sam began with a grin. “I’m sure Ranata can
work you in…”
“No. No, I’m good,” Jack backpedaled. “I’ll leave the mushy stuff for Danny.”
After being quarantined in the mountain for over three weeks, although he had managed
to catch up on some of his backlog of work, Daniel was thrilled to be outside. He
happily carried his two bags of groceries home from the corner market, surreptitiously
avoiding any female passers-by on the street, just like he’d avoided them in the
store, just in case. A tiny thread of uncertainty remained and he knew it might
be a while before he could look any woman in the face without flinching.
Although he hated to admit it, and he would never ever tell Jack, the incessant daily
workouts had paid off. He felt great. Smiling at the doorman, he made his way to
the elevator, looking forward to relaxing with a book after putting away the produce.
The doors slid open and he stepped inside, preparing to hit button number eight.
“Hold the door, please,” old Mrs. Lancaster called, hurrying across the lobby with
an armful of mail.
Without a second thought, Daniel stuck his foot out and stopped the doors from closing.
“Hello,” he greeted the elderly widow who lived a couple of doors down.
“Doctor Jackson! It’s so good to see you,” Mrs. Lancaster said sweetly. “I’ve missed
Slowly the elevator began its ascent and Daniel frowned as he took in the enclosed
space. “I’ve been gone,” he explained simply, trying not to exhale too much, just
“Um hmm,” Daniel answered vaguely, keeping his mouth clamped tight. He narrowed
his eyes and studied the much older woman as she clandestinely looked him up and
Taken aback, Daniel cleared his throat. Surely he wasn’t still emitting fumes, as
Jack had so bluntly put it a few days back. But his neighbor hadn’t ever checked
him out like that before either. Had she? Or was the whole thing just a figment
of his overactive imagination? Stress, he decided, never-the-less inching his way
into the opposite corner, just in case.
The elevator dinged heralding the arrival at the eighth floor. Daniel nodded and
politely allowed the woman to exit first before bolting for his own front door. Glancing
up as he fumbled for his keys, he faked a smile as the aged dear wiggled her fingers
at him before disappearing into her own apartment. Laughing at his own paranoia,
Daniel vowed to avoid her for a few days anyway. Just in case.
Lattice Lancaster deposited her mail on the table and absently fluffed her hair as
she thought about that sweet, lonely Doctor Jackson. Only after delicate yet extensive
inquiries had she discovered that the poor man was a young widower. She’d never seen
him with any women except for the beautiful blonde woman that visited frequently,
but most notably in the past few weeks while Doctor Jackson had been away, ostensibly
to feed his fish. But the woman had insisted repeatedly that she was only a friend
when confronted on the issue.
Not for the first time Lattice considered what a lovely couple Doctor Jackson and
her twice divorced niece, Lynette would make. Meddling in other people’s affairs
had never been her style, but the thought of making two such wonderful people happy
was overwhelming. She simply had to do something about it. Making up her mind,
Lattice marched out the door and down the hall.
“Doctor Jackson,” she called as she tapped insistently at his door.
After several minutes the door cracked marginally and one blue eye peered out at
her. “Yes?” came the reluctant query.
“Please, Doctor Jackson… Daniel, forgive me for being forward. I was just wondering
if you were currently involved with anyone.”
The door slammed shut and she was certain she heard the normally mild mannered archeologist
mutter “for cryin’ out loud,” followed by several loud thumps on the other side of
Abruptly the door flew open again and a wild-eyed man with a reddened forehead stepped
out. “Come here,” he demanded.
Thinking that maybe she had somehow overstepped her boundaries, the frightened woman
took an involuntary step back. Undeterred, Doctor Jackson took two swift steps forward,
placed one hand gently but firmly on either side of her face and kissed her square
on the mouth.
Dumbfounded for a moment, Lattice couldn’t think. Or breathe. Suddenly there were
hands on her shoulders and a concerned voice in her ear, “Don’t worry, the shakiness
will pass. I suggest you lie down for a few minutes.” There was a long pause and
a sigh. “If that didn’t work, come back later and we’ll try something else.”
The next thing she knew the door was summarily slammed in her face and the sound
of a lock snicking in place echoed down the hall. As her keys clattered to the floor,
Lattice realized he was right about the shaking. Although she had no idea about what
might or might not have worked, trying something else, anything else, with the young
doctor sounded intriguing.
“You’re on your own, Lynette,” she muttered before beating urgently on the door with
both fists. “Doctor Jackson!” she called. “I’m almost certain it didn’t work!”