By Lorraine Anderson
Jack O'Neill stepped through the gate, frowned, then wiped his lips. "Okay. Daniel, that was plain nasty. Really?"
Samantha Carter had a dreamy expression on her face. "Oh, sir, I don't think it was so bad," she said.
"Carter, you wouldn't. You kissed the second in command, who was a handsome young man. I had to kiss the Centurion, who, apart from being male, was incredibly ugly and stuck his tongue in my mouth. And Daniel, you had to kiss the Chief's daughter, who," his face softened in remembrance, "was gorgeous."
Daniel Jackson still had a dreamy expression on his face. He walked down the ramp, oblivious to Jack.
"Daniel, have you heard a word I said?"
"What?" He blinked.
"Did we really have to kiss those guys? Couldn't we have begged off? And why the hell didn't you tell me ahead of time?" He stalked off of the ramp, then looked up at Hammond, who was grinning.
"Because," he shrugged, "you would've made some excuse, which would have been incredibly rude to the natives."
"You said they were descended from the Romans?"
"Yes, of course," Daniel said.
"The Romans really went around kissing each other?"
Daniel shook his head, snapping his attention all of the way back. "Yes, actually, although I suspect this culture has differed enough from our Romans to take it to the extreme." He smiled, almost maliciously. "You would have insulted them terribly if you had refused."
"You know," Jack said to no-one in particular, "sometimes I would love not to have to bend to somebody. It seems that every time we turn around, we have to do something ridiculous to ingratiate ourselves with the natives. Next time, I want them to ingratiate themselves with us!"
Daniel shook his head. "Jack, you know it doesn't work that way. If we want to get something from them, we need to show them that we can be respectful of their customs."
Samantha shook her head. "Not that I don't disagree with you, Daniel, but you do have to admit that bowing to local customs got me in trouble once."
Daniel shook his head. "Well, yes. I am sorry about that. I hadn't realized that wearing a dress would get you into so much trouble."
Sam shook her head. "I shouldn't have let you talk me into that."
Jack looked at Daniel. "And next time, let me know about customs like that."
Daniel smiled. "But kissing seemed so benign."
"General!" Jack said, looking up at the control room. General Hammond looked down with amusement. "Next time, can I excuse myself from French Kissing a guy?" The guards in the gate room snickered, and Jack glared at them. They put themselves immediately on their best parade best.
Hammond smiled broadly. "Jack, I'm afraid I'm going to have to defer to Mr. Jackson on this matter. But if it makes you feel any better, I can have you report to Dr. Fraiser before your debriefing."
Jack sighed. "We always do that anyway. That's not going to make me feel…."
The next thing he knew, he was staring up at the infirmary ceiling. He blinked. "What happened?"
Janet Fraiser blinked at him. "What do you mean?"
He sat up and took inventory. Nothing seemed to be out of place, hurting, or bandaged - well, maybe his trick knee, but that was it. "Why am I in here?"
Fraiser frowned. "You're here for your usual post mission physical. And I'm happy to tell you that you do not host a Goa'uld, but now I'm beginning to wonder whether you need to get an MRI."
Jack felt a shiver go down his spine. "You mean to tell me that I just walked in here, normal as usual, had an x-ray, and I don't even remember it?"
"Well," Janet said, "yes. I saw nothing out of the normal. You were even kvetching as much as usual."
"Which I don't remember," Jack said. He looked up. Carter was looking at him, a concerned expression on her face. He looked down. A bowl of Frooty Loops were in front of him.
"Don't remember what, sir?" Carter said. She took a bite of cereal.
Jack took one, out of habit. "A moment ago, I was in the infirmary. Did Janet clear me?"
Carter started to look alarmed. "She told us that you had developed a bout of amnesia, but when she couldn't find anything that would cause it, she released you." Her blue eyes got bigger. "Sir, that was a day ago."
"Damn." He took another bite of cereal, out of reflex. "I think I had better get back to Fraiser..."
A moment later, he was stepping through the gate, supporting Daniel, who was stumbling, pale, beside him. "What the hell happened to you?" he said. Carter and Teal'C rushed through beside him, their guns out. They were all sweating.
Daniel didn't answer. "Colonel O'Neill," Teal'C said. "He was hit by a zat gun while we were fighting the Goa'uld of Apophis."
"He was? Dammit, I don't remember. Look, Teal'C, Carter..."
He was sitting at the interrogation table. Hammond was staring at him. "You need to go back to P4X922?"
Jack shook his head. "And what planet is that?"
Hammond looked at him.
"General, you know I can't always remember that alphabet soup."
"The Roman planet," Hammond said, smiling. "You were saying that you need to go back there."
"Okay." Jack, sadly, was starting to get used to the blackouts. "General, I believe that they did something to me there. I've been having blackouts since I went there."
"You've been acting quite normal. You claim to have blackouts, then the next minute, you're fine and claim you can remember everything," Hammond said. "Dr. Fraiser keeps giving you a clean bill of health."
"Sir," Jack said, almost amazed that he was around this long, "They must have done something to me there. If Janet can't find it, then perhaps they know what's going on..."
The Centurion was seated in front of him at a low-slung table. The man was looking at him with concern. "Please, be assured, Colonel," he said. "That our recording devices were intended for the most peaceful of reasons. We felt that we couldn't be too cautious, especially when you had a Jaffa," he nodded to Teal'C, "with you. If you had been Goa'uld, our recording devices would have told us, and we would have broken off contact." He glanced around the table at SG-1. "In fact, you all have recording devices in you. They are designed to pass through you in a month."
"Well," Jack said. "I just woke up from one of your peaceful recording sessions - just this second." He turned to Daniel. "What happened?"
"Centurion," Daniel said, ignoring him, "is there a way to turn this thing off?"
"As I said, the device should have passed through you by now." The man said. "However, we do have an – antagonist, so to speak. Completely harmless to you, but it will turn off the chip until it goes through you."
"So," Jack said, "this show of tents that we're in is just a front for the Goa'uld? You have technology in your back tents?"
The Centurion looked uncomfortable. "I'm afraid we do. Once again, I apologize."
"Why should I trust you?"
The Centurion looked at him. "You shouldn't." He sighed. "I wouldn't trust you if you did something like that."
"Well," Daniel said, "that was direct."
The Centurion shrugged. "I wouldn't trust anyone who spied on me." He cocked his head. "Why should I expect you to be the same?"
"Would you have told us, had you decided to trust us?" Sam said.
He sighed. "Sometime down the road. I think. The situation hasn't come up before. Nobody has come in peace with a Jaffa."
"I'm afraid," the man said, "that one of us shall have to kiss the Colonel again to introduce the antagonist. It needs to be placed carefully, so you can't just swallow it." He smiled. "I'm also sorry that we imposed our customs on you. We had not realized you were uncomfortable with our kiss of friendship. If it would make you feel any better, my daughter could kiss you to introduce the antagonist."
Jack looked over at his daughter. She was young and of marriageable age - too young for him, but still an adult. "I'll force myself," he said, dryly. Carter snorted beside him. He looked at her. Her face rapidly schooled itself into disinterest, but her eyes were dancing.
"We'll give all of you the antagonist," the Centurion said, "in a show of good faith. I can't apologize for spying, but I can apologize for doubting you."
"Thank you," Daniel said.
Jack glared at him. Daniel shrugged.
"Centurion," Carter said, "I would like the specifications on this device."
"Of course," he said. "I had planned on that." He motioned to someone in the room, who brought forward some papers and gave them to Carter. Four other people put something else on the tips of their tongues, then approached each of the team members.
"You realize," Carter said, "that if the Colonel hadn't had an idiosyncratic reaction, we never would have known about it."
Jack pulled back. "Wait a minute. How do I know that this new chip won't make me act like a chicken or something?"
"I give you my word," the Centurion said.
"Jack?" Daniel said.
"Shut up and kiss the girl."
"So," Janet Fraiser said, after they had gotten back to the base and into the infirmary. "Any blackouts? Any odd reactions?"
"B'kawk," Jack said, glaring at Daniel.
"What?" She drew back and looked at them critically.
"He's joking, Janet," Daniel said. "I think. You aren't ever going to let me live that down, are you, Jack?"
"That's what I thought."