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New Fic: Word Play

Word Play
Fandom: Stargate SG-1
Rated: PG
Category: Humor, Jack/Daniel Friendship
Season: Four or five or so.
Spoilers: None.
Summary: You know, even linguists forget words sometimes.
Disclaimer: Just playing in the gateroom. Don’t mind me.
Note: This one is 100%, completely and totally, without a doubt, all for taj_mahal07 .


Daniel Jackson glared up at his team leader. This wasn’t hard to accomplish, since Jack O’Neill was a full meter above him and standing on solid ground while Daniel was flailing around in a small gulley overgrown with leafy bushes of some sort. Just enough standing water to make everything around him a total mess pooled underneath Daniel, and he was soaked to his skin with the rancid stuff.

Jack looked down at Daniel with a bemused expression.

“What’cha doin’ down there, Daniel?” said Jack, clearly enjoying Daniel’s duress.

“You saw me fall, Jack,” said Daniel, glaring harder.

Jack brushed his fingernails casually on his jacket. “Yeah, well…”

Daniel sighed. “So are you  just going to stand there? Or are you going to help me out of this?”

“Actually,” mused Jack, “I was thinking of digging out the camera.”

“You wouldn’t.”

“Oh, I think I would.”

“Oh, come on, Jack! This isn’t funny! I could’ve been killed!”

Jack grinned. “But you weren’t. Barely a scratch on you.”

“That’s not the point!”

Jack’s eyebrows lifted. “Then what is the point, exactly?”

“The point is that it’s muddy down here and I keep slipping when I try to get out.”


Daniel gritted his teeth. “And I would appreciate it if you helped me out of here.”

“Fine. But for the record? I think the mud is an improvement.”

“Just get me out of here.”

“You got it. But I mean it. The mud is nice. Not so lovely as the leaves, though.”

Daniel’s brow furrowed. “The leaves?”

Jack grinned. “Yeah, you’re all covered in leaves. They’re stuck to the mud. Makes for a nice look on you.”


Daniel’s voice was laced with irritation, and Jack finally gave in to his friend’s pleas.

“Alright, alright. I’m coming.”

Jack laid down on the ground, braced himself by hooking his feet around two convenient trees, and extended a hand down to Daniel.

Daniel gratefully took it and slowly pulled himself out of the gulley with Jack’s help.

“Thank you,” he said graciously.

Jack stood up, dusted himself off, and nodded. “Sure thing.”

Then he took a really good look at Daniel and burst out laughing.

Daniel looked around and then down at himself. He saw what Jack found funny. Every inch of his body was covered in thick brown mud and tiny green leaves had firmly affixed themselves to all of that mud.

He looked like some sort of walking leaf monster.

Daniel ran a hand over his face in an effort to clear off whatever debris was stuck there and ended up smearing mud from his hands over his forehead and one cheek before realizing that his effort was in vain.

Jack’s laughter gradually died to a chuckle and he just shook his head.

“You know I’m never going to let you forget this,” he said.

Daniel sighed. “Of that I have no doubt.”

Jack smirked. “Good. Just making sure we were clear.”

“Crystal,” said Daniel. Sarcasm dripped from the word.

Jack smirked wider and started walking away. “Come on, Swamp Thing. Let’s get back to camp and meet up with Sam and T. We’ll get you cleaned up once we get there.”

Daniel fell in behind Jack and walked a few steps before responding.

“You know, in some areas, I’d be considered art.”

Jack stopped and turned around to face Daniel.


“Art. You know. A carving. A sculpture.”

Jack looked confused. “Made of leaves?”

“Yeah. You know. Like in parks and stuff.”

“No, Daniel, I don’t know. What the hell are you talking about?”

Daniel made nonsensical motions with his hands. “You know, those, um… those, um… those things!”

“Things?” asked Jack. “That’s very specific, there, Daniel.”

Daniel blew out a frustrated breath. “I know you know what I’m talking about. Those animal bush carving things?”

“Animal bush carving things?” echoed Jack.

Daniel’s gestures grew more frantic. “Yeah. Those things. They have a name, but I can’t remember it.”

“A name?”

“Well, they’re not called animal bush carving things, Jack.”

“Obviously not,” answered Jack, all mock seriousness.

Daniel glared at Jack. “You know what? Just forget it. Never mind.”

Jack shrugged and turned back around. “Done.”

A few steps later, Jack turned to Daniel again.

“You mean like bonsai?”

“Yes. No. Sort of.”

“Pick one, Daniel.”

“Well, yes, except bonsai is just for little trees in pots. It’s Japanese. Did you know it dates back to at least 1195 and was originally brought to Japan from China?”

“No, I did not, Daniel,” sighed Jack. “And you clearly are much larger than a little tree.”

“Well, yeah. That’s why I said sort of. I meant the big animals and hedges and stuff people carved in Europe. That has always been a completely different style and they call it something else, and…”

“And we’re walking,” interrupted Jack. He took an exaggerated stride toward their camp.

Daniel got the point. Jack obviously wasn’t in the mood for a lecture on the historic aspects of plant carving. He shut up and followed Jack once again. He couldn’t wait to get this little recon hike over with.

It wasn’t long before the two men reached the clearing where Sam and Teal’c were waiting for them after their own recon of the area on the opposite side of the camp. After listening to Jack tell the story of how he fell in the muddy gulley in all its glory, Daniel headed for the small river nearby to clean up.

He carefully hung his clean BDUs in a tree and stripped off his filthy uniform. He found a deep spot in the stream, and as he waded into the icy water, he shivered. To stave off the cold, he kept busy. He quickly submerged himself in the water and started lathering up with his standard-issue bar soap.  It left a lot to be desired in terms of skin care and fragrance, but at least it would get him clean.

Two minutes later, Daniel was spotless from head to toe. He’d had a lot of practice at field bathing, and he wasn’t about to stay in the frigid water for one second longer than he had to.

When he climbed onto the river bank, though, he realized he’d somehow forgotten one thing despite his experience: his towel. Daniel sighed. This wouldn’t be the first time he’d pulled dry clothes on over wet skin, but he hated that feeling. He didn’t look forward to it one bit.

There was nothing to be done, though. He’d just have to tough it out. Sighing again, he pulled his dry underwear on. As he did so, he spotted an unexpected flash of white through the trees.

He parted the tree branches directly in front of him and the white became much larger.

Daniel reached through the branches and grabbed at the area. When he pulled his hand back, he found it was holding a sparkling clean white towel.

Daniel grinned, then frowned. He was glad to have the towel, but certain he hadn’t brought it.

Where had it come from?

He found his answer as soon as he started using the towel.

A rough slip of paper crinkled against his skin. It was pinned to the towel with a safety pin, and the handwriting on its underside was unmistakable. Daniel flipped it over and read it.

Forget something, Daniel?

Oh, and by the way… that word you were looking for?

It’s “topiary."

Daniel started to yank the note off the towel. He had every intention of throwing it on the ground. Halfway through his motion, though, he stopped and just started to laugh. This was so typical of Jack that he couldn’t help it. Jack had let him flounder and struggle and in the end fail to come up with the word he was looking for, even though he knew it all along. That was classic Jack O’Neill right there. And the fact that he used quotation marks? Oh so perfect. While Daniel had long ago stopped believing in Jack’s “clueless Colonel” façade, the correct syntax just killed him. He wasn’t sure whether to be amused or really irritated.

In the end, he settled for amused for three reasons. One - Jack was nowhere to be found; two - Jack had had the decency to bring him a towel, even if that was most likely only to deliver his message; and three - he really didn’t feel like trying to kick Jack’s ass in his underwear.


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 5th, 2010 01:27 pm (UTC)
OMG that was awesome! I loved every word!! Deliciously in character!
Oct. 6th, 2010 03:01 am (UTC)
Thanks, mum! "In character" always means the world to me. Thank you so much. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Really, though, you should thank Taj. But that's a long story for another time.
Oct. 5th, 2010 02:57 pm (UTC)
Yay! Great to see writing from you aqain!
Oct. 6th, 2010 03:02 am (UTC)
Thanks, babe. Believe me, it feels fantastic.
Oct. 7th, 2010 01:50 am (UTC)
Yay a Jack and Daniel story! Great interaction between the two of them. I loved it. I had a flashback of when I did almost the exact same thing Daniel did and my field partner spent a little too long laughing instead of helping me out of the slough. Grrr
Oct. 7th, 2010 02:01 am (UTC)
Thanks! I'm glad you liked it. And yeah, it's fun when you can relate to fic, isn't it? Well, sort of. *grin*

This one is linked inexorably with a certain friend and a certain trip to a certain bar in a certain town that occurred about two weeks ago. Makes me smile even now.
Oct. 11th, 2010 12:47 am (UTC)
Yep, the squee factor never goes away! :)
Oct. 11th, 2010 01:54 am (UTC)
*big cheesy grin*

So glad you like it, luv!
Nov. 17th, 2010 08:22 pm (UTC)
Awesome. *giggle* Great little story, so fun! Meanwhile I shouldn't be reading it while at work, so I will be going now. *leaves* (*giggle*)
Nov. 18th, 2010 02:40 am (UTC)
For shame! Reading fic at work! *gasp*

I was off today, but you can rest assured that I have read much fic while at the office. *ahem*

Now on to more important things:

Hee, hee! I'm glad you liked it! I had a blast writing this one, because it has a personal inspiration and it had been a while since I wrote longer fic (yes, to me this is longer fic - I'm a drabbler all the way, with rare exception of the massive SG novel), so I really appreciate the kind words.

There's plenty more to be found 'round these parts, so come sit a spell! Welcome, welcome!
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )


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