Title: Wolf Author: ShooteM Email: ag4bk@juno.com (Feed me Seymour, Feed me!) Category: drama, angst, H/C, S/J RST, UST Spoilers: The Brocca Divide, Need, Legacy, D&C, Rating: R Season: 5th? Content warnings: Violence, Attempted rape, sexual situations Summary: Jack has a change of personality after visiting a planet. Status: Complete Archive: Samandjack.net, Jackfic Disclaimer: Stargate SG-1 and the characters thereof are the property of MGM/UA, Gekko, and Double Secret Productions. This was written for entertainment purposes only, and no money exchanged hands. A loose crossover with the movie: Wolf.

WOLF

The group loped silently through the forest. The trees were not close together and the ground was level covered only sparsely with tufts of grass and ferns making it easy going. A slight chill of winter was in the air, the forest was by far mostly pine and firs but the few deciduous trees were blazed in color and had started to drop their leaves with the seasonal change.

The leader stopped with one foot up on a fallen log, head aloft, taking in a breath of cool air. The scent of the forest was all around with the musty decomposing leaves from last year's fall, the mossy growth on the trunks of several trees and the sap exuding from the pines. He noticed a new scent, odd, fresh but with a chemical undertone.

He turned into the scent and led his group to investigate.

O'Neill was enjoying this forest. It was open enough to assuage his slight claustrophobia and the crunching of the pine needles underfoot was a pleasant sound. Teal'c was on point, Carter next with Daniel talking softly of ruins and theories. They had spent four days collecting samples and seen some rather bare ruins. Much to Daniel's dismay there was very little to translate, the place was ancient and the weather had eroded the rocks removing much of the writings. There were no structures, which may have sheltered other writings within.

So it was a good trip. They'd walked out two days earlier toward the rising sun through a wide plain and had decided to circle to the left on their way back. It would take them through the airy forest and give them a change of scenery at least.

They were a mile or so from the Stargate when Teal'c suddenly stopped, his senses alerting him to something not right. The forest was calm and quiet but the skin at the back of his neck was prickling slightly.

"What is it, T?" O'Neill joined him.

"I do not know. We are being watched."

O'Neill eyed his other team members and silently slid the safety off his weapon. They continued to walk forward now more slowly, weapons ready, wary for any movement around them.

The first sign was a blur of gray fur in front of Teal'c. He was ready for it though, he activated his staff weapon and discharged it in one fluid motion. The beast was too fast and only was singed in the tail.

The pack numbered fifteen and they were now circling and snarling, no care given to stealth anymore. As one they moved in. The forest ignited with the sound of gunfire as the humans stood their ground. Two of the beasts fell dead to the ground. O'Neill dropped and rolled as one of them came at him then pulled a short burst from the P-90 into it. Teal'c was using his staff weapon as a club now due to the close quarters of the assault. Carter and Jackson were down on one knee back-to-back and swinging their P-90's back and forth shooting at anything that moved. Bits of pine needles and bark were flying everywhere from the impaction of the lead projectiles.

The alpha and a second large male watched for an opening and sprinted for the leader of this now dangerous prey. O'Neill barely saw them coming. He swung the submachine gun toward the onslaught and took out the second, but as the animal went down it fell against his shoulder and knocked him to the ground. The alpha was on him in a moment. It went for his throat but was stopped from tearing into the soft flesh there when O'Neill raised his arm. The jaws clamped on his forearm and O'Neill felt the skin tear. The heavy fabric of his jacket offered little protection.

O'Neill screamed out, "Teal'c!" He was rewarded with the sudden release of his arm from the tightening jaws. The animal slumped to the ground unconscious and dying. With the fall of the alpha the others held back from their attack. The smell of blood was intoxicating but they stayed back, snarling. Teal'c offered O'Neill his hand and lifted him to his feet.

"Tighten up! Backs together!" O'Neill shouted. The team closed ranks with weapons pointed outward, waiting for the second wave. It did not come. Perhaps the loss of the alpha confused them enough, they stayed near but did not attack further.

"Move to the gate! Stay sharp, people! Muzzles up! Teal'c on six!" O'Neill barked his orders and began to move through the trees toward the Stargate sweeping his weapon as he walked. The beasts did not follow and soon the team was able to break into a trot covering the distance to the Gate quickly.

They made it back through the Gate with no further incidents from the beasts.

"Everybody okay?" O'Neill yelled a soon as the wormhole disengaged. He welcomed the returning nods. Only then did he remember he had be hurt and winced as he grasped his injured arm. The gashes were deep enough for the blood to run freely and it gushed between his fingers where he held the wound through his tattered sleeve. He let Teal'c relieve him of his weapons as the medical team inspected his arm. It really wasn't hurting all that bad; the adrenalin was still pumping through his veins.

In no time Dr. Frasier had him sewn up and bandaged. "Colonel, you're a lucky man. Just a little deeper and we'd be doing some major reconstruction on your tendons and arteries." She handed him two small bottles with pills, "Here's antibiotics and painkillers, please take them both. One more thing, stay on the base tonight. We're going to have to keep a close eye on that wound. Since it's from a bite we have to consider it to be 'dirty'. The sutures were placed loosely to allow it to drain so you'll need the dressing changed frequently."

"Got it, Doc."

"We've already given your first dose of the antibiotic through the IV so you should take the first tablet in four hours." He nodded. He was trying to be patient knowing that if he gave her a hard time she'd make him stay the night in the infirmary.

He went to his quarters by way of the labs. Daniel was in his, albeit asleep at his desk and Carter was typing a report on her computer. "Hey, Carter, doesn't anybody go home any more?"

"Hi, Sir. I was working on this report while it's still fresh in my mind and I've got a couple other things to catch up on. I figured I might as well stay here tonight."

He wasn't fooled. They had milled around the infirmary the whole time he was being checked over by the Doc, and now since he was restricted to the base, they were staying too. He smiled at the unwritten rules of interaction his team had adopted. He'd be doing the same thing but somehow he felt it was his duty as their CO. He was always a bit touched when they did it for him. Not that he'd admit it.

"Well, I'm gonna turn in. See you in the morning Carter."

"Night, Sir." She watched the doorway a moment longer after he was gone. She knew he'd be okay but it was a shame how he so often got hurt protecting the rest of them.

------------------------------------------- He slept fitfully, dreams and images of blood and violence. There was emotion with the images, rage, desire, and lust. Strangely there was no fear or hate. He woke early drenched in sweat and decided to ignore the bloody bandage and go shower. It would have to be changed after he showered anyway.

The briefing had been deferred until morning due to the late hour of their return. Carter went through her expectations from the samples she'd gathered and Daniel was now discussing the lack of viable artifacts for study.

O'Neill was frequently quiet out of boredom through briefings like this but usually doodled on his notepad or fiddled with a pen. This morning he was different; his hands were still, for one thing. He had watched Carter the whole time she spoke and was now looking at Daniel. He noticed the hand motions that always accompanied Daniel's speech and the subtle facial expressions he used. O'Neill's expression gave no indication that he was aware of much more than that this morning. He noticed the scent of his friend, coffee and musty books mostly. He could even smell his after shave and shampoo from across the desk.

His mind wandered briefly to Carter. Sitting beside her was almost intoxicating to his senses. She smelt of an herbal shampoo, aloe hand lotion and a light powdery scent from the fabric softener she used in her laundry. He could hear her breathe and the slight scratching sound as she jotted a note on her pad. He thought it was odd that he should be so aware of smells and sound but these were his friends and if anything his heightened sense of them made him feel safe and comfortable. He could smell familiar scents from Hammond and Teal'c also.

With their briefing over they began to pick up their things and leave. Hammond held up his hand. "One minute folks. I know you just got back last night and are due for some downtime but I need you to take over a short mission for SG-14. They were supposed to return to P8T 499 to retrieve some scientific recording equipment but half the team is on stand down with the Flu. It's just a short retrieval, you should be back tomorrow afternoon. That is of course providing Dr. Frasier releases you to go, Colonel"

Carter, Daniel and Teal'c all eyed the Colonel expecting an argument and probably something about a hockey game. He did make a bit of a face but then shrugged his shoulders and said, "Sure."

They gated out at 1300 to a wooded planet. The path was an easy walk but the Colonel seemed to have a great amount of energy and complained that they were moving too slowly.

"Sir, There really isn't a rush, we'll be there before dark and get a start packing up the equipment."

"Yeah, well you guys are always wanting to check out one more thing so there's no telling what we'll get into. I'm gonna scout on ahead. Catch up with you later."

Carter couldn't believe her eyes as her CO took off and left them alone. It was not like him to ignore any possible threat to the team. She even felt he was over protective at times, apparently just not today.

Daniel was incensed, "So he's just going to leave us here? Am I mistaken but isn't he supposed to be watching out for us?"

"I am still here Daniel Jackson. You will be watched."

"Well thanks for that, at least someone will be paying attention."

They walked on to the site and set up the camp. Carter and Jackson set to taking final readings and downloading what they needed to from the equipment before it could be packed up. The Colonel had still not returned by dusk and Carter was getting concerned. "Anybody have an idea where the Colonel is?"

Daniel shook his head but Teal'c nodded. "What? You do? So where is he?"

"In fact Colonel O'Neill has returned to 'check' on us several times. He is currently several hundred feet in that direction." He nodded his head toward the setting sun. Carter sometimes envied Teal'c's ability to see and hear better than the average human, she stood up on tiptoes to scan the horizon and spotted O'Neill. He was sitting on a rocky outcropping, watching the last rays of the sun. She shook her head, was it her imagination or was he acting strange lately?

Presently O'Neill rejoined the group still quiet. He accepted the MRE Carter had prepared for him but ate only a few bites. He stood up from his place beside the fire and walked slowly around the camp, peering into the darkness. "I'll take first watch, Carter you're next, then Teal'c and Daniel."

Teal'c nodded and moved to a spot away from the firelight to meditate. Carter nodded but caught Daniel's glance with a look of concern in her eyes. She shrugged her shoulders and went to her tent.

Daniel cleared his throat, "So Jack, where'd you go today?"

"Oh, here and there. Just felt like walking, you know."

"You've been awfully quiet, are you okay?"

"Yeah, I little restless I guess."

Daniel felt like he was pulling Jack's teeth out one by one. When the guy wanted to clam up he could be impossible! Well, he could drag out the small talk for a while if that's what it took. "Yeah, you were a bit energetic today. Anything going on?"

O'Neill looked at him with a hint of irritation. He mellowed at the concerned look from his friend. "I didn't sleep too well last night. You'd think I'd be tired today but instead it's like I'm hyper. I'm not jumpy but it's like my senses are in overdrive." He rubbed his bandaged arm; "Maybe that wolf thing shook me up more than I thought."

Now Daniel was getting concerned, Jack did not admit to things like that very often, it was considered to be a weakness. He opened his mouth to continue the impromptu interrogation when O'Neill stopped him. "Listen I really am okay. You've got to get up early so why don't you get some rest. Go on."

With some hesitancy Daniel rose and went into his tent. O'Neill stayed by the fire for a while then got up and slowly walked the perimeter of the camp. It was exhilarating to be able to sense so much of the night. He could hear and smell it all. Several small animals were rousing to search for food. Somewhere not too far away water trickled. A flowering plant's sweet odor was on the slight breeze. Daniel was already snoring slightly and he could hear Carter turn over in her sleep.

At the proper time he woke Carter for her shift. "There's fresh coffee, Carter. Want some?"

"Yeah, that would be great, Sir." She accepted the cup and held it for a few moments warming her hands. "Mm. That smells good."

"Yeah, that's half the enjoyment of coffee, just smelling it." It was an odd observation for her CO to make but she let it slide.

"I'm gonna walk around a bit before I lie down."

"Don't you think you should stay here?" She didn't want to sound like a mother hen but it came out that way anyhow.

"It's okay. I just want to stretch my legs a little. I'll be back soon." With that he headed off.

She stared after him. That was not the O'Neill she knew. Maybe he had gotten some bad news and was trying to sort it out? She felt a wave of helplessness and turned back to the fire. When he got back she'd make sure he knew she would be there if he needed her, they all would.

O'Neill walked for a while in a straight line away from the camp. He continued to take in the sounds and smells of the night and was soon meandering along a trail made by some wildlife of the planet. He sensed the presence of the small creatures and picked up his pace. For some reason he was impelled to follow the scent, to hunt them. To find the prey.

He silently came upon a trio of rodents not unlike small rabbits. He carefully approached so as to not give away his position and came to rest only a few feet from them. His heart was pounding causing the blood to rush through his veins with heat, the feeling made him lightheaded. He knew what he had to do, he chose a target and sprung from his hiding place.

O'Neill awoke hours later but still before dawn and rubbed his face. Something sticky was there. He opened his eyes and was shocked at the sight of his own hands. He was covered with blood. His arms and hands were sticky with it as well as his jacket. He was lying in a patch of soft grass beside a small stream and moved to it to wash his hands. He looked at his face in a puddle of calm water and found blood there too. Quite a lot of blood.

He quickly washed up the best he could and wadded up the jacket, leaving it under a tree. What in God's name had happened to him? He had to figure this out and he had no intention of talking to anyone about it. He had to admit though he was scared.

He returned to the camp and managed to sneak into his tent without being seen by Daniel who was on watch by now. He lay down and stared at the tent above him. No more sleep took him that night.

An hour later Daniel stuck his head in the tent. "Jack, you awake?"

"Yeah, Daniel." He crawled out of the tent and stood to stretch. "God, Jack, you look awful! Didn't you sleep any last night?" Daniel noticed the Colonel's unkempt appearance and saw that somehow his hair had gotten wet too.

"Daniel, not now, okay? Have some breakfast and then you and Carter get on with your stuff. I'd just really like to head on home as soon as possible."

Carter heard their exchange and touched Daniel on the arm. She nodded her head away from the Colonel. If he wanted some breathing room she was going to give it to him.

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They returned with the equipment as scheduled and cleaned up before heading to the infirmary for their usual check-ups.

Frasier gave them all a clean bill of health except for rebandaging the Colonel's arm. He noted they were alone in the room and spoke. "Doctor, I need to report something, maybe nothing, I don't know."

She looked up from her notes, giving him her full attention. "Colonel?"

"Ah, well, it's nothing really."

"If it's nothing then it shouldn't be hard to say, now should it?" That came out a bit harsh, she chided herself. She touched his arm. "Go ahead," she added softly.

"It's just, I've been edgy lately and not sleeping well either. I can't put my finger on it, I just don't feel like myself." He shrugged at his inability to communicate any better than that.

"You're still taking the antibiotics and painkillers, right?"

"Well, no. I mean I took the antibiotics."

"Take something for the pain tonight. It should help you rest better. We'll see how you feel in the morning, okay? And stay on the base tonight?"

"Only if I have to."

"You have to."

He walked to the commissary with the intent of eating a meal but nothing seemed appetizing so he just got a coffee and took it back to his quarters. He was a little warm so he changed into just a pair of the infirmary issue scrub pants. He downed a couple of Frazier's little pills and finished the coffee before stretching out on top of the bed.

Some hours later Carter locked up her office for the night and realized the Colonel had not come by to bother her even once. She decided to go by his quarters and found the door ajar and no Colonel. Next she went to the commissary and found only Daniel and Teal'c relaxing in a corner.

"Have either of you seen Colonel O'Neill tonight?"

"He came down here and got a coffee earlier. He said he was going back to his quarters."

"I just went by, he's not there. I guess he went on home. I was a little worried about him today, just paranoid, I guess."

"Then maybe we both are. He seemed a bit off to me, too."

"I have also noticed Colonel O'Neill to be unlike himself for two days."

Carter had a thought; she went to a phone on the wall and called the parking gate station. A pert young voice answered her call. She asked if Colonel O'Neill had left for the night and after a moment the voice responded back to her, "No, Ma'am, his truck is still here." "Thanks."

Carter returned to her teammates table, "His truck is still in the lot. I'm gonna go talk to Janet. See you later."

Before she made it to the door Daniel and Teal'c were at her side, "We'll go too."

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"Janet, have you seen Colonel O'Neill?"

Dr. Frazier turned to unexpectedly face the three members of SG-1. "Yes. I rebandaged his arm and told him to go get some rest. But that was hours ago."

Carter's mouth pressed into a thin line. "Janet, his truck is still here, but he's not in his quarters. We don't know where he is. Was there anything else we should know about?"

Frazier was thoughtful. Barring breaking confidentiality, she couldn't really say. "No, but let me know when you kind him, let's just say I have a vested interest in his well-being." She thought she might regret telling him to take those painkillers.

Teal'c offered a solution. "Perhaps we should separate and search the more likely places O'Neill may frequent?"

"Okay." Carter was game. "You check the Gateroom and lower levels, I'll check the offices and Daniel check the locker room and living quarters again."

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O'Neill had dozed only a few minutes when he felt an urgency to get out into the open air. It was too warm here and closing in on him. He easily got past security and exited to the cool night air above the base. He walked for a while then began feeling that same lightheaded high as before. The stars were bright as sparkling gems and he felt more alive than he could ever remember.

He could sense numerous creatures in the area. Rabbits and mice were out of their holes and munching on various tender plants. He picked up a stronger scent and began to follow it. He felt it fill his lungs and raise his adrenalin level. Soon he was running silently through the grass and came to a stop just at the edge of the trees. He crouched to the ground, aware that the prey would spook if they saw him. He approached them from downwind. They suddenly were alerted to his presence with their white tails raised in alarm and took off. He was faster. He grabbed for one and took it down easily. With a quick motion he twisted and snapped it's neck.

He wasn't done yet though, he wanted its blood. Its heart had not yet stopped beating and the warmth of the body drove him to a breaking point. He turned the limp form over and with his teeth and hands ripped a gash through the soft underbelly. The blood spilled out and he relished the smell and taste of it, let it consume him.

The thrill of the hunt waned and he felt the need for water and a cool place to rest. He knew just the place.

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Daniel entered the locker room and heard water running. As he neared the shower area he noticed some dark smudges on the floor, strangely they reminded him of blood. He stepped into he shower room and saw the one shower still running. Beyond the spray curled up in the corner was a man's figure. He was clad only in scrub pants and was dripping wet with water and blood. A lot of blood.

He raced to Jack's side and quickly checked for a pulse. It was there, slow and steady. Daniel was nearly repulsed form touching him however due to the massive amount of blood. It was all over O'Neill mostly on his chest and hands but also liberally on his face and some everywhere else.

He had to make himself think. What to do now? He left the shower area and grabbing a towel wiped the blood from his hands from where he'd touched O'Neill. He picked up the phone on the wall and called the control room.

"Control." The young sounding voice of a junior officer answered.

"Hi, This is Dr. Jackson, is Teal'c there?"

"Yes, hold on."

"Daniel Jackson, it is I."

"Teal'c I've found Jack. Listen, there's something I need you to do. Go by the infirmary and pick up a couple pairs of those scrub tops and bottoms, and bring them to the locker room, okay?"

"I will do as you ask."

Daniel clicked the phone on the holder and quickly removed his jacket as he kicked off his shoes. He took off his glasses and folded them into the jacket pocket, then headed back to the shower room grabbing a handful of towels, washcloths and a bar of soap.

O'Neill hadn't moved so Daniel turned up the shower to full spray and dragged O'Neill under it. He was soon as wet as the Colonel but he didn't care. He knelt under the pounding water and pulled O'Neill's head and shoulders into his lap. He soaped up the cloth and methodically began to scrub away the offending red blotches from O'Neill's skin.

"Daniel! What are you-" O'Neill started to come around but the water in his face was making him sputter.

"Jack! Look at me. You know where you are?" The dazed look from O'Neill told him the answer. He continued the washing with very little help. O'Neill kept coming and going, mostly speaking incoherently. He'd managed to get his upper body clean and laid him down flat on the floor. He untied the blood soaked scrub pants and yanked them off. He flushed a bit with embarrassment for his friend, but was reminded of the sarcophagus incident. When he'd been going through withdrawal from that thing, Jack had done far worse than this for him. About the only thing Jack didn't have to deal with was blood. Just about every other bodily fluid, function or excrement had come out of Daniel in those days and O'Neill took every bit of it in stride. It had even gotten bad enough a few times O'Neill had dragged him off to the showers.

He tossed the bloody pants away and finished scrubbing O'Neill's body and legs. O'Neill was coughing and sputtering again and he helped him to sit up getting his face out of the spray.

"Daniel Jackson. Do you require assistance?" Teal'c spoke from the doorway.

"Ah, no. Just a minute." He made sure Jack was okay to sit for a few minutes and went to the locker room with the Jaffa. "Teal'c I need you to do something else. It's important. I need you to guard that door and not let anyone through, okay?"

Teal'c raised an eyebrow and thought of the most senior officer on the base, "And if General Hammond should arrive?"

"Especially General Hammond! Just keep everybody out." Jackson's hands were shaking as he made his point.

"I will do as you ask." With that the Jaffa exited the room, closing the door quietly behind him.

Daniel returned to the shower to find O'Neill standing with one hand heavily against the wall, the other pressing into his temple. He'd managed to turn off the water.

Daniel picked up a towel and went over to the older man. "Daniel, I remember, some."

"It's okay, Jack. We'll sort this out." O'Neill turned toward him but made no effort to take the towel so Daniel proceeded to dry him off. He'd gotten his head, arms, chest and back done before O'Neill finally grabbed the towel and growled at him, "I can do that."

"Well you've not been making a lot of effort here. You're a mess, Jack."

O'Neill glanced at the blood still washing down the drain and the blood soaked pants by the wall. "Sorry, I guess I am."

Daniel was feeling a chill from being wet himself and with another wave of embarrassment stripped off his clothes and proceeded to dry himself.

O'Neill finished and wrapped the towel around his waist. "Ah, Danny? I don't think I have any clothes here."

"S,okay. Teal'c brought some scrubs from the infirmary."

"Just who all knows about this?"

"Probably half the base by now."

"Ah, shit." Daniel nodded, yep that was a pretty fair assessment.

He joined O'Neill in the locker area and donned the remaining scrubs. O'Neill was sitting on the bench staring at the floor.

"So, anything you want to talk about?"

"No. Yes. Shit." O'Neill hadn't felt this out of control in a long time.

"If I have to pick one, I'll go with 'yes'."

O'Neill sighed and let his shoulders visibly slump. Without looking up he began, "I remember, things. Images mostly. Running and hunting, and the blood." He pressed the heels of his hands into his eyes to push the images away. "I felt like I could do anything, like I was invincible."

"Like you were high on something?" O'Neill winced at Daniel's statement. "Yeah, maybe."

"Listen, Daniel, you've got to promise me you won't say anything to Hammond about this, or Frasier."

"That may not be possible, Jack."

"I just need so time to get a grip on what's happening here. I don't want to end up in Mackenzie's padded cell." That pushed the right button in Daniel. He wouldn't wish that on anyone, ever.

"Okay, but not forever. At some point all of this is going to come out."

"Thanks, Daniel."

Luckily no one but a couple non-com airmen had wanted to enter the locker room and were easily dissuaded by Teal'c. Doctor Frasier was another matter. She was standing across the hall tapping her foot impatiently as they emerged. She eyed the two scrub clad men. Carter was standing there too with a worried expression on her face.

"Colonel, I see you could use a fresh bandage on that arm. Tell me you just had a craving for a late night shower." Frasier's voice was icy.

"Ah, yeah, something like that." O'Neill followed her to the infirmary sheepishly and permitted her to re-bandage his arm. She was surprised at how quickly it was healing; there was no drainage and so sign of infection. She finished and handed him a pair of infirmary issue slippers. "Now please, go get some sleep."

He looked down at his feet. Funny he hadn't even realized he was barefoot. He returned to his quarters and was just getting settled when the overhead claxons began blaring, "Unscheduled off world activation!" He started for the door but stopped himself realizing his attire would not be appreciated by the General. With a silent curse he quickly dressed.

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Hammond ordered the iris to be opened as they received SG-7's code. Two haggard looking soldiers stepped through and yelled for the iris to be closed. O'Neill arrived just a moment behind Teal'c and Carter who gave him a questioning look. After Frasier gave the okay to defer medical till later, Hammond ordered them all to the briefing room.

SG-7 was the scientific corps of the command and had been assigned additional scientists for this mission. They were busy working on their studies when the Jaffa appeared. All but these two had been taken prisoner. It was unknown how many might be dead.

"SG-1, I know you'll probably be walking right into a fight on this one but we've got some pretty high level civilian scientists on that planet. I'm authorizing a rescue mission and am ordering you to use extreme caution. SG- 5 will go with you."

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In less than an hour they were geared up and ready to go. They expected heavy resistance at the gate so sent through explosives and shock grenades first.

They made it away from the gate without incident, neutralizing the several Jaffa there and headed to the only nearby structure. The most likely place where the captives might be held. Hopefully they had not been 'ringed' up to a ship.

There was a squad of Jaffa and O'Neill gave orders to surround the site and who was to target which of the Jaffa.

O'Neill gave the order to attack as he and Teal'c headed for a side entrance and went in. The Jaffa were waiting for them and fired heavily upon them. Teal'c was against he wall, his staff weapon almost continuously bursting with energy. One Jaffa got too close to O'Neill and took several rounds from the P-90 in the chest. He fell at O'Neill's feet. O'Neill was taken aback by the scent of blood in the air. It made his head swim for a moment then he was filled with rage. He wanted more blood.

He slinked along the wall closer to the Jaffa and abandoning his P-90 took out his knife. He was just behind a wall divider from the Jaffa as he pounced. The knife blade penetrated the pouched womb and was driven upward to slice the beating heart. The symbiote was sliced in two as the blade withdrew. A gush of hot blood followed O'Neill's hand out of the man's body.

O'Neill moved further down the hall under the cover fire Teal'c was providing and took another Jaffa in a similar manner. He picked up the staff weapon of the fallen warrior and slid along the wall toward his next victim. As the man leaned out to take a shot at Teal'c, O'Neill drove the muzzle of the weapon into his throat and pressed the trigger. The point blank contact of the energy blast nearly severed the Jaffa's head from his body sending smoldering bits of charred flesh everywhere as he went down in a thud. O'Neill reached the door at the end of the hall and pushed through, ready to kill anything on the other side. Teal'c grabbed his shoulder and the Colonel spun with knife raised to attack. With a gasp and a great exhale he realized it was his friend and lowered the weapon.

"It is over, O'Neill. They are all dead." Teal'c could barely conceal the horror in his eyes of the brutality by which the Jaffa had been slaughtered. He'd never believed his friend to be capable of this level of violence.

The remaining members of SG-7 and the scientists were led out and back to the gate. Upon arriving they found it was no longer secured. Several Jaffa leapt out at them from the trees and an ornately dressed young man came to stand at the base of the Stargate.

Teal'c and O'Neill were singled out to go before the Goa'uld. The Jaffa gave them the obligatory strike to the backs of their knees while ordering them to kneel. The rage was back in O'Neill's eyes. He slowed his breathing and allowed his once again heightened senses to take in information. He could feel the location of each Jaffa and how many there were just by their body heat and sound of their breathing. He could tell the exact distance he was from the Goa'uld and was sickened by some sweet smelling perfume from the beast.

"You will die for this!" The Goa'uld raised his hand and the ribbon device glowed menacingly. Just as the beam began to flow toward him, O'Neill was on his feet, running. He went straight for the Goa'uld and as they tumbled to the ground together he forced its arm to twist until he felt the bones give way. There was an awful snapping as the Goa'uld screamed in pain and rage.

The diversion was adequate, as the Jaffa had not yet relieved their captives of all weapons. Teal'c and Carter took out the Jaffa on the left and the SG-5 men went after the ones on the right. The firefight was short. Carter ran to her CO's side and was horrified at the sight. O'Neill was bending over the now dead Goa'uld. He'd snapped its neck after dealing with the ribbon device. The head was lying at a grotesque angle to the body showing where the neck had been sliced open. O'Neill still held the bloody knife in one hand and in the other the crushed and twisted symbiote. His hands were covered with a greenish slime dripping onto the now cooling body of the host. Carter turned away in a wave of nausea.

She finally collected herself and turned back to him. He was still seething with rage his fists clenched on the dead mans body. "Colonel?" She put her hands on his shoulders. "It's over, it's okay." She felt him relax under her touch. His face remained grim as he forced his composure to return.

"Sorry, Carter. I didn't mean for you to see this. Why don't you go get those people organized? Get Teal'c over here to help me move this body out of the way."

She nodded even though he couldn't see and went back to the group behind them. She met up with Daniel who was heading toward Jack. "You don't want to go there, Daniel. Believe me. I guess I never gave enough credit to the Colonel's Special Ops training before."

Daniel looked over her shoulder and saw enough. O'Neill covered in blood for the second time in less than eight hours! He was starting to regret the promise he made.

---------------------------------------------

After hearing some of the details of the mission Hammond's relief at the scientists return was diminished. The outright savagery of O'Neill's actions was too much for him to handle.

"And you didn't even find out who this was you were dealing with?"

O'Neill was annoyed. "No, I don't generally make it a habit to ask for ID when a Goa'uld is trying to kill me!"

"Colonel I am well aware of the circumstances. But what about the host? Did you think about him? And what about the Jaffa back at the compound? Don't you think your actions were a bit excessive?"

With that O'Neill stood and leaned over the table toward Hammond, nearly spitting as he spoke, "Excessive! You don't know the meaning of excessive. I neutralized the threat, I did what I am paid to do."

Hammond craned his neck in his collar and spoke with a low voice, "You will stand down, now airman!"

O'Neill did not move, but just glared at the General. For just a moment Hammond thought O'Neill might actually strike him. Every eye in the room was on O'Neill. The seconds ticked by and Daniel was the first to breach the silence, "General Hammond? Would a recess be in order?"

The General gladly broke eye contact with O'Neill and answered the younger man, "It certainly would. We will resume this briefing at 0800 hours tomorrow. Everyone will be prepared to discuss the events of this mission in a calm and orderly manner. Is that clear?" Without waiting for anyone to answer he added, "Dismissed," and turned to his office. Now with a bit of distance between himself and the Colonel he said, "Colonel, you will consider yourself off duty until further notice." O'Neill was out of the room before he'd finished speaking the words. The rest of his team sat open- mouthed in disbelief at the altercation that had gone on before them. ---------------------------------------------

O'Neill was furious at everything and everyone. He was feeling closed in and needed to get some air but when he headed for the surface he remembered the events of the night before. He wasn't easily frightened but that had done it. Nothing like waking up covered with blood and having a fairly good idea how it got there, just not why.

He believed he was still able to think through the problem even though his emotions were haywire right now and decided it was in his and everyone's best interest if he stayed on the base and underground for the time being. God help the stray dog or cat that got in his way if he went outside again.

So, O'Neill prowled the halls. He often made 'rounds' through the various levels and labs, just keeping a watchful eye on everyone. Usually it was a comforting thing, knowing that the SGC was a well-oiled machine, with everyone busily doing his or her job. His 'job' was of course to protect them so they could get on with theirs.

This evening he was met with the usual 'hello' and 'good evening, sir' but returned none of the pleasantries. If anything he was still irritated from the briefing and it was getting worse. He was full of pent up anger and energy and nowhere to release it. As he made his way through the lab level he found it was deserted as usual for the lateness of the hour. Only Carter and Daniel haunted the labs this late.

He thought of Carter and felt a swell of desire. He tried to think of something else but his presence of mind had already left him. As he silently made his way to her lab he drifted away from rational thought and into a feral mindset, becoming more savage as he moved along.

Carter was working intently at her computer when she heard the click of the lock on her door. She momentarily glanced in that direction but assumed she was mistaken and went back to her work. A minute or two later there was a great crashing from the far upper wall of the room. This time she did completely stop to see the cause of the disturbance. What she saw caused a chill to run down her back, the security camera had been smashed. She was on her feet instantly and heading for the door only to be stopped mid stride by O'Neill stepping in front of her.

She bumped into his chest and was about to voice the customary 'oops, sorry' but when she looked into his eyes it was not her CO that she saw. She knew fear in that moment. His dark brown eyes were black as coal and glinted unblinking at her. She took an involuntary step back only for him to advance a step. After a hard swallow she tried to speak but was suddenly stopped when he lunged for her.

He shoved her to the floor, straddling her legs and held her wrists to either side of her head effectively pinning her down in two seconds flat. She struggled and wiggled as best she could but he allowed his weight to rest upon her heavily and she soon was more concerned with getting a breath than getting away. He leaned forward onto her and drank in her scent allowing it to ignite him even more. He then began to kiss her with the passion of a beast. His pressure to her mouth was hard enough to cause her lips to begin to bruise and swell. She kept shaking her head to get away and was crying out every chance she got. "Colonel! No! Oh, please, no! Don't please! You can't! No!"

He ignored her pleas to stop and gave way to the primal urges from within. He leaned back and looked at her. She at last could breathe and hungrily gulped air as she felt the trickle of tears start to roll from her eyes. When he leaned forward to continue she tried to butt his head with her own. He was too fast though, so she tried a couple other moves he had taught her in their practices in the gym. She never thought she'd be using any of them on him. He chuckled a bit as he recognized what she was doing and easily avoided every move she made. Tiring of her struggle her released one of her hands and slapped her hard in the face. Luckily his hand was open and not fisted at the time for he would surely have broken her jaw.

She was dazed but did not pass out as he freed her momentarily. He unbuckled her belt and unzipped her trousers and pulled them down part way. He turned her over and holding her shoulders down with a knee, removed her shoes and took the pants off completely.

She was starting to struggle again and he turned her onto her back, pinning her as before. This time he held both her arms above her head with one hand and held his other tightly across her mouth. His weight was across her thighs and he shifted to allow himself to slide one knee between her legs, forcing them apart. He moved again pressing his hips to hers.

She looked with horror into his eyes and knew it was going to happen. He wasn't going to stop. Her tears came freely and she gasped in erratic sobs. He forced his mouth to hers again and used his free hand to squeeze and explore her body.

She was exhausted and felt him relax slightly as she stopped struggling against him. His body was tight against hers as he moved his mouth down to her shoulder, half kissing, and half biting painfully. She found her voice again and quietly spoke to him. "Jack, you don't want to do this. Think about what is happening here. You don't want to hurt me. Please, Jack, please stop."

He stilled for a moment and looked into her eyes. He seemed to calm as he gazed at her and she felt a glimmer of hope that the man she knew was still there somewhere. Her hope was dashed as he forcibly kissed her again.

At that moment the door suddenly burst open. Teal'c was first into the room apparently already prepared for what he saw. O'Neill rose up to fight when Teal'c hit him hard knocking him down. Daniel was a step behind with a Zat leveled at the Colonel and fired off one shot.

---------------------------------------------

Carter was whisked to the infirmary in Teal'cs arms as Daniel stood watch over O'Neill waiting for the SF's to come take him away.

Frasier was horrified at the condition of the Major and after quickly assessing her injuries gave her painkillers and a sedative. She cleaned and dressed several abrasions and what looked like a bite mark on her shoulder and gave her an ice pack to hold to her face. Hopefully she would be comfortable enough to go through the several x-rays that were ordered.

Daniel joined Teal'c in the infirmary as soon as the Colonel was secured. Frasier got up from her desk when he came in and stalked over to him. "Daniel, I want to know what happened, right now!" She turned to Teal'c, "Both of you, in my office."

She closed the door, assuring herself she'd get a more truthful answer. "Daniel, Teal'c, anyone?"

Daniel raised his hand with resignation knowing he had to be the one to start. " I was working late in my lab and ran out of coffee. I went to see if Sam had some and found her door was locked. I knew she had been there just a little while before and I heard some noise through the door. I listened hard and realized someone else was in the room and heard her asking them to stop."

Frasier listened closely. "And you called for help."

"Ah, not exactly. I knew I could get Teal'c and it would be better to have him do it."

"Don't you think it would have been faster to call an alarm?" She was angry now that her friend had possibly been hurt more due to a delay.

"Well, given the circumstances, I thought it should really be Teal'c and myself."

"What circumstances?"

"Um, you know Jack hasn't been himself lately?" Daniel winced. "I kinda thought it might be him."

Frasier's mouth dropped open. Sam had said nothing of the identity of her attacker.

Teal'c took the opportunity to add his observations. "Indeed Colonel O'Neill has been exhibiting violent tendencies of late. He is a cunning warrior and if he has been compromised in some way he would be extremely dangerous."

"So it was the Colonel?" She couldn't believe she was saying it.

"It was."

"Don't worry, he's locked up now."

Frasier spat at him, "Don't you think it's a little late?" She pressed one hand to her forehead thinking and a realization finally hit her. "Oh, shit."

Jackson and Teal'c both raised their eyebrows at the expletive from the Doctor. She was well known for maintaining her professionalism. "What?"

She sighed deeply. "I just realized I am just as much at fault as you guys were. Probably more so. Yesterday when I was doing his post-mission check the Colonel told me he thought something was wrong, that he didn't feel like himself. I didn't follow up on it."

"Well, to tell you the truth, ah, you're not as much to blame as you think you are." Daniel's face flushed as he realized just how angry the Doctor was going to be in another few minutes. "During the mission to P8T 499 he was acting a little odd. He didn't stay with the group like he normally does. He kind of did his own thing."

"You mean he neglected his duty?" She was shocked.

"That would be incorrect Doctor Frasier. He did indeed stand watch and give routine orders. He only spent time away from the rest of us. He did, however, keep watch from a distance."

"Right, Teal'c. And that night he must have not slept at all, he looked awful in the morning."

"That's pretty vague symptoms. He might have just had something on his mind."

Daniel was rocking slightly with his arms wrapped around himself. He knew he had to tell about the other incident. Frasier was watching him intently, sensing there was more.

He caught her eye and flushed. "Spill it, Daniel."

"Okay, okay. You remember the shower thing? Well it wasn't just a shower, it was other things."

"Daniel you aren't making sense. Start at the beginning."

"Okay. We couldn't find Jack. So we split up. I eventually found him in the shower. But he wasn't showering. He was lying on the floor curled up and covered with blood. He was incoherent and I got him all cleaned up. He came around slowly and said he remembered doing some stuff like hunting and maybe killing something. He said he felt high, like he might have been drugged. He had been off the base. And the blood on him wasn't his, I couldn't find any wounds. He asked me to not report the incident. He was afraid he'd be thrown in one of McKenzie's padded cells."

"Daniel Jackson, are you saying that O'Neill was displaying animalistic behavior?" Teal'c inquired.

"I don't know, maybe, yeah."

"I would agree with that assessment. I have noticed O'Neill being increasingly cognizant of his surroundings as well as displaying increasing physical strength. His stealth and quickness in battle far surpassed my own during our last mission, as did his ferocity. The violence of the attack on Major Carter would not conflict with these other observations."

Frasier looked at them both. "I think we are all to blame for letting this get out of hand. It's just so easy to forget how vulnerable we all are and how many strange things are out there."

" Yeah maybe there are werewolves after all. You know this all started after he got that bite."

Frasier and Teal'c both looked at him. "What? What did I say?"

"That's not a bad analogy Daniel. It may be caused by a virus like what happened when you went to the Land of Light, but the effect is more animalistic than humanoid. A bite is always considered to be a dirty wound because of the large numbers of bacteria, and I did give the Colonel antibiotics. If this was caused by a virus, the antibiotics wouldn't have stopped it."

"What is this 'werewolf'?"

"Daniel, you explain it to Teal'c elsewhere and if you come up with anything useful, let me know. I have a patient to attend to now. And don't beat yourselves up over this, let's just all get through it. We've still got to figure out how to reverse it. Hopefully it's not something that can spread."

---------------------------------------------

Frasier ushered the men out of the infirmary and concentrated on Carter. She was back from the x-rays and awake. She was lying curled up on her side.

Frasier touched her arm. "Hey Sam. How are you feeling?"

Sam looked at her friend and began to sob uncontrollably. Janet reached out and hugged her tightly. "It's okay, there, there, settle down, it's okay. It's over."

Sam had hugged her back and leaned back a bit to look at her. "You know?"

"Yes. Daniel filled me in." Before she could offer any explanations Carter was crying again. "How could he do that to me? It was like I didn't even know him. Janet, I was so scared. I tried to stop him but he was too strong. How could he? The worst was when he looked at me and I knew he wasn't going to stop. He made the decision to do it, he didn't care." She wept bitterly.

"Honey, whoa. Slow down. You've got to listen to me now. This is important. He does care about you. He wouldn't knowingly hurt you." Carter started to object but Frasier held her hands and looked her in the eyes. "Do you remember the virus you contracted on the Land of Light? This might be something similar. The Colonel was bitten recently by an animal, remember?"

Carter looked at her trying to absorb the information despite the emotional upheaval she was going through, "What? You mean he didn't mean to, hurt me?"

"I don't think so. As a matter of fact I think if we follow the primitive instinct track, he may have come after you because he thinks of you as his mate."

"Oh, my God." The realization slowly sunk in Carter's mind.

"Honey, I know this is a lot to handle right now. Daniel and Teal'c are working on the problem and you have got to get some serious rest. I'm giving you enough sedation to let you sleep through the night."

"I want to see him."

"Uh, uh. Not right now. Sleep."

--------------------------------------------- Carter tossed and turned fitfully in her sleep. Her mind was inundated with images of violence and passion. She woke in a cool sweat. In her mind she saw only one thing, Jack O'Neill. She had to see him, now.

She was clad only in a tank top and infirmary issue scrub pants but made no effort even to locate a pair of slippers as she headed off through the dark hallways to the detention level, he would be there.

She silently crept along until she came to the corridor just beyond the holding cell. There were two guards on duty, relaxing at the desk. She made a small noise and as expected one of the guards rose to investigate. She deftly knocked him unconscious and picked up his weapon. As the second guard came around the corner she swung the butt of the gun into his chin and he went down just as easily. She removed his keys and card to activate the door.

Her heart was pounding in her chest as she neared her goal. She slid the card through the slot and entered the outer cell area.

O'Neill was pacing slowly along the laser just within the cell bars. He had taken off his t-shirt and tossed it in the corner. He was left wearing only his BDU trousers; his boots and belt had been taken as part of the 'suicide watch' protocol although harming himself had been furthest from his mind.

He froze as she slid into the room. She could see his chest rise and fall slowly in the dim light as he breathed. Her keen sense of smell took in his scent and gave her a lightheaded feeling. Her breathing increased and her pulse quickened. She quickly deactivated the laser and unlocked the cell door, swinging it wide. The she backed up several steps allowing O'Neill to exit the cell. Their eyes stayed locked as he moved toward her.

They moved as one to the door only to find it secured. Teal'c had followed the Major and was now baring the door. O'Neill yelled at him to let them go but his request was ignored by the Jaffa. He turned and with his back to the wall slid down to the floor. That briefest taste of freedom had been snuffed out far too quickly.

He looked at Carter who was watching him with all of her senses raging. The sight of his tanned chest with the soft light hairs glistening with moisture, the slightly musky sweet scent of him and the sound of his breathing were almost unbearable. She yearned for her other senses, those of touch and taste to be equally overwhelmed.

He stood slowly and took a step toward her. She looked upward to the corner ceiling and eyed the security camera there. With one motion she picked up a chair and swung it at the offending device leaving shards of plastic and metal to fly across the room. Satisfied, she continued to circle toward the cell. She stood tall and moved fluidly allowing her shoulders and hips to sway as she walked. Her bare feet were silent on the cold concrete floor. He also circled, watching her, never breaking eye contact.

She backed into the cell slowly, stopping only when her legs touched the side of the bunk. He followed her in, closing the distance between them. She crawled into the bunk, still watching his dark eyes and settled her back against the side wall. He kept moving until he was mere inches from her, his breath coming heavily now. He licked the dryness from his lips.

He was drunk with desire for her but paused a moment seeking something in her deep blue eyes. "Sam." He spoke her name low with a growl and she knew it was a question seeking her approval. She knew he would stop if she did not want this. Somehow he had pushed through all the alien influence and altered chemistry of his body and a part of himself had emerged. It was requiring so much restraint that he shivered slightly.

Her eyes softened and she leaned forward closing the inches between them. He waited for her lips to meet his and then press more firmly deepening the kiss. He responded in kind, pulling her away from the wall to lie beneath him. She wriggled under his weight but this time it was not in an attempt to escape but rather to solidify the contact between them. She felt him smile through the kiss.

They made love with the fierce abandon only an untamed heart could know. Gentleness and brutal power combined in a torrent of passion.

Teal'c stood guard at the door, not allowing anyone to even get close. He considered it to be the only honorable thing to do. He just wished Doctor Frasier and Daniel Jackson would be able to come up with an answer soon.

---------------------------------------------

Hammond could not believe his ears this morning. Instead of continuing the briefing of the day before and being prepared to deal with his unruly 2IC, he was being informed of an attack on Major Carter, the imprisonment and subsequent near-escape of Colonel O'Neill (at the hands of previously said Major Carter) and the current detainment of both behind the impenetrable wall of a Jaffa. Add to this the Doctors Jackson and Frasier were going on and on about werewolves making him certain his head would explode at any minute.

He finally slapped his hands on the table. "Doctors!" They both shut their mouths. "You realize it is 0710 hours and I have had two sips of coffee this morning. Now this is what I want you to do. First get me a fresh cup of coffee. Second, start at the beginning and slowly, I emphasize that word, explain to me just what hole the SGC fell through since yesterday afternoon."

Daniel fetched the coffee and Frasier calmly began to fill the General in on the details of the past several hours. She had to back track a few times to explain the possible examples of alien influence the Colonel had exhibited over the last three missions. Daniel occasionally added his thoughts but the General got that look in his eye that said he was only able to handle information from one direction at a time right now.

"And then it all made sense when Daniel came up with the werewolf analogy." Frasier concluded with a nod of her head that she had explained the whole situation to the best of her ability.

Hammond rubbed his face with his hands. He was still reeling from the animal killing thing off the base. "People, if things get any more out of control around here I will shoot Colonel O'Neill myself."

"But it's not his fault!" They chorused in unison.

"All right, I see your point. Is there any possibility you have figured out how to counteract this infection, virus, exposure or whatever it is that has affected O'Neill and now Carter? And please do tell me there won't be any more!"

"Yes, Sir. It seems to be spread only through bodily fluid contact, saliva and blood that is, Sir."

"And a cure?"

Frasier looked to Daniel, at this point thoughts would only be a guess.

Jackson cringed a bit under the scrutiny of both them. "Well, I, er, have an idea about that. I've been brushing up on wolf, rather werewolf mythology on the Internet and silver is mentioned frequently as something used to kill them. Now we wouldn't want to kill Jack or Sam, I'm sure so a bullet or spike would be out of the question but maybe there's some other way to get it into their systems. I mean maybe just the presence of silver could reverse the infection." He looked hopefully at Frasier.

"General, years ago colloidal silver was used as an antibiotic. It's the only thing even today with antibiotic properties that no microorganism can develop an immunity to."

"Doctor, that is to say what?"

"That it's worth a try, Sir."

"Good enough, people. Keep me informed of your progress."

---------------------------------------------

Later that day Frasier had the silver ready, it would need to be given intravenously so the Colonel and Major would have to be tranquilized first. She and Daniel went to the detention cell followed by a group of SF's.

"Paranoid bunch aren't they? I mean Jack and Sam are gonna be knocked out, right?"

Frasier smiled, "And if the Colonel should get loose, would you like to catch him again?"

"I see your point."

"Okay here we are. Teal'c we've got a job for you." She handed the dart gun over to him and briefly outlined their plan.

Teal'c understood and took a position at the door as the SF's prepared to open it.

Inside O'Neill and Carter had been curled up together, asleep. O'Neill stirred slightly and opened his eyes. His thoughts were muddied with images from the past few days but he remembered clearly what had happened last night. Her head was pressed against his chest and he could feel her warm breath against his skin. He relaxed and let his thoughts wander.

His sanity teetered on a fine line, on one side his humanity and on the other the beast. How different were they really? With his Special Ops background he'd been brutal and ruthless on many occasions. He'd disliked that side of himself that the Air Force found so useful and necessary but now under this influence it seemed almost desirable. The physical effects were just as intoxicating; he could feel the increased tone of his muscles and noticed the gash on his arm was almost healed. He couldn't seem to keep his thoughts ordered and found himself fighting confusion.

He slipped out of the bunk and went to the small sink against the wall. After splashing some water on his face and rubbing some on the back of his neck, he felt a chill from the cool air in the cell. He located his BDU's and put them on. He went back to the bunk and sat by his partner's side, looking at her sleeping form. It was impossible to separate his thoughts where she was concerned for he desired her both as he was before and as what he had become. It all jumbled together in his mind.

Just then he heard voices outside the cell. Someone was coming. He moved to place himself between the door and Carter, all the instincts of protectiveness kicking in. His pulse raced and the hairs on the back of his neck were tingling. He would kill to prevent her from being harmed.

The cell door swung open and the big Jaffa came in, his weapon raised and ready. O'Neill felt no recognition whatsoever of him. He saw only threat and lunged for the man. The dart hit him squarely in the chest and after two steps he fell, the red tufts sticking out of his skin. Carter was awake as soon as the door opened and saw O'Neill fall. Teal'c took advantage of her moment of confusion and darted her before she could untangle herself from the bed sheets and get up. In minutes Frasier's staff had them on gurneys and on the way to the infirmary.

Once there they were placed on beds and in leather restraints. Daniel paced nervously near the doorway. He'd seen these restraints used more often than he wanted to and it seemed cruel to subject his friends to this kind of treatment. Teal'c stood by stoically, he had experienced the leathers himself and though extreme he understood the need at that time as well as now.

Doctor Frasier's crack staff had gotten the two unconscious patients hooked up to monitors and inserted IV lines within minutes. Frasier administered the drug herself. There was no way to predict the effect it would have or how fast or extreme it might be. If it turned bad she would not have one of her nurses feeling guilty for administering the cause. They all understood the research and investigative component of their work here at the SGC but she still performed certain duties as her prerogative. She rather liked the more hands on approach to care anyway.

Hammond walked in, "Doctor?"

"General, I've just administered the silver. All we can do now is wait. They should be waking up from the tranquilizers in a few hours and then we'll see."

"All right, then. Call me when they wake up."

After he left she joined the two remaining members of SG-1 leaning against the back wall. "You two should really go get some rest." She spoke without looking at them. Hearing no response she sighed, she wasn't about to leave either.

A few hours later Frasier was checking Carter's vital signs and making some notes on her chart when she noticed Sam moving slightly. She moved her head a bit to one side and twitched her eyebrows slightly. He pulse increased and Frasier took her hand and squeezed it. "Sam? Come on, time to wake up."

Daniel and Teal'c immediately came to the foot of the bed expectantly. Carter's eyelids fluttered and she opened them slightly, squinting at the overhead lights. Frasier motioned for one of the nurses to lower the lights a bit.

"How are you feeling?"

"Hm, Janet?" He voice was raspy and dry. She coughed and felt the thick collar around her neck. "What's this?"

"You're in the infirmary. You've been restrained for safety reasons. Do you remember what happened?"

"Yeah, I think I do." She made an effort to raise her hand to rub her face and groaned as she felt the tug of the restraint. "I think I remember a lot actually."

"So, how do you feel?"

"Besides black and blue all over with the mother of all headaches? Peachy." Frasier smiled at the O'Neillism. She took a key out of her pocket and began to loosen the restraints. Carter was sounding enough like herself for her.

"Don't try to sit up yet. I'm going to give you a mild analgesic and we need to keep you under observation for a while yet. You and Colonel O'Neill took us all on a merry ride you know."

Carter started at the mention of O'Neill's name. "Is he okay?" She immediately tried to sit up and turned to look for him.

Daniel touched her shoulder, "He's here, Sam. He's not awake yet though. He's right over there." He motioned to the next bed with the still unconscious O'Neill.

Carter looked to Frasier with questioning eyes. "It's okay, Sam. He's stable. I calculated the antidote according to body weight and gave him a much heftier dose than you; also he was exposed for a much longer time. It might take a while to counteract it. Now you, lie back and try to relax, we're going to move you to a more private area to rest."

Quickly Carter countered, "No." Then more quietly, "Can't I stay here?"

Frasier looked at her and then around to the seeming roomful of SG-1 members and shook her head. The dictionary should have them listed under 'inseparable'. "Okay, but you have to rest."

Sam nodded and Daniel pulled up a chair to her bedside between her bed and O'Neill's. Teal'c took up a position near the head of O'Neill's bed, not needing to meditate anytime soon.

Hammond came and went again, after briefly ascertaining that the Major was well. He agreed with Doctor Frasier's decision to keep her at least 24 hours for observation and would have ordered it himself. He left after giving O'Neill a concerned look. He hated those damn restraints, especially the neck collar; it made him look like a chained animal.

Doctor Frasier had decided to administer an additional dose of the silver to O'Neill. It had been four hours and the tranquilizer should have worn off long ago. She could only conclude that something else was keeping him from coming around. The silver colloid should be safe enough and she saw no reason not to do it.

She went to his bedside and injected the solution into his IV slowly. She nodded to Carter who had been up and about already, being allowed a trip to the bathroom and a short walk around the infirmary to stretch her legs. She was now lying on her side resting. The head of the bed was elevated and she could look over Daniel's head to see the Colonel. Daniel was half reading, half dozing in his chair and Teal'c was sitting on the floor against the far wall.

Another hour passed and Daniel was now sound asleep. Carter slipped the book out of his hands and closed it before he dropped it on the floor. She looked at Teal'c who had decided to meditate, as there was no help he could offer for now. She eased off the bed and put her feet into the slippers on the floor, padding quietly over to O'Neill's side and sat in the chair beside him, so still and pale, the infirmary lighting not helping at all. His face was not relaxed but lined with worry and she lightly brushed a few hairs back from his forehead. With her other hand she held his gently wanting him to awake yet oddly feeling that if she made her presence known too much she'd somehow be disturbing him. Feeling tears beginning to form in her eyes she blinked hard several times and sniffed with a shaky breath. Was the antidote given too late? Was he dying after all they'd been through? She held her hand to her mouth stifling a sob and moved to turn away from the bed when a solid hand gripped hers and would not release her. She turned back to him and whispered, "Jack?"

His eyelids fluttered first and as his eyes opened he squinted at the light. After a moment he was able to focus and looked toward her. "Carter, what a hell of a dream."

"Not a dream, Sir. It was real, but it's over now." She let a few tears slip out and down her cheek. He released her hand and reached for her face, pulling at the restraint to touch her moist cheek with the back of his fingers. "It's over now," he repeated back to her.

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Forty-eight hours later O'Neill was released from the infirmary with Doctor Frasier's blessings, he had been a grouch for more than three quarters of that time not understanding why a perfectly healthy person should have to stay in a place meant for sick people. At least he was given a laptop to work on and had caught up on his paperwork from the last several missions. After finally leaving, he intended to make his usual rounds of the place and see what everyone had been up to but found himself instead going topside.

It was evening and the stars were just beginning to peek out in the still gray sky. He sat for a long time, thinking about the recent events. Unfortunately, he thought, he remembered quite a bit of it, that meant Carter would too. He thought about the night he went to her lab and shuddered. How could he do that to Carter? And the whole time she was begging him to stop. Begging! He'd never seen her beg before. Well that wasn't true, there was the time with the force field, she'd begged him to leave. "Shit, shit, shit!" He spoke aloud and rubbed his hands over his face. How did things always get so complicated? All he ever wanted was to feel useful, do something for his country and maybe, just maybe have a few people around him whom he cared about and who cared about him. They didn't have to be real family, just people with whom he could connect. His team would do just fine. But he'd screwed that up now.

There was no way to keep the team together now, Daniel would forgive him, no doubt there, and Teal'c would understand, but Carter was another thing. How could she ever trust him again? Hadn't she been avoiding him for the past two days? She didn't even come to the infirmary once since he woke up. Apparently she could stand to be around when he was unconscious but when he was awake and alert he was a threat to her. No blame on Carter for that.

He heard footsteps and looked up to see Daniel approaching. "Hey, I've been looking all over for you! I figured you'd be long gone home but when I saw your truck in the lot I thought I'd go find you."

"So, you found me." O'Neill stared straight ahead.

Daniel sat beside him and ran his hands through the soft grass. He'd always appreciated grass since his stay on Abydos, there was something about the touch and smell of it that made him feel invigorated. Even during time spent in Egypt he hadn't missed it as much. "So." Daniel repeated the word, "It's been a long week huh?" O'Neill didn't answer or move.

"You want to talk about it?"

"No."

"You need to talk about it."

"No."

"Okay, Sam needs you to talk about it."

O'Neill swung his glare towards Daniel, "I don't think so."

"That's where you're wrong, she was a victim here and she needs to..." O'Neill cut him off, "You think I don't know she was a victim? For God's sake Daniel, I was the perpetrator. *I victimized her!* I don't expect her to ever want to look at me again let alone talk to me."

"Or work with you?"

"Yeah."

"You're angry with Sam, aren't you?"

"I am not. What kind of stupid thing would that be?"

"It would be the normal thing. Jack, you were a victim here, too. You're angry that you were too weak to stop it, and you're angry with her for not stopping it."

O'Neill stood up and shoved his hands in his pockets. He winced and looked up at the sky. "I don't know, Daniel. What I do know is that I screwed up something that I cared about and there's no going back. It's over."

"What? You and the Air Force? The team, SG-1, or you and Sam?" O'Neill waved a hand at Daniel and turned to walk away.

"So, you're just gonna walk away. Just like that. Well you can't. What happened affected all of us and believe it or not we need you to help us all get through it. You think it's been easy for me? You think I didn't want to walk away from you in that shower? I stayed because you would never walk away from me. And when Teal'c had to pull you off Sam. You think that was easy for him? You know when you and Sam were in the cell; he stood guard at the door the whole time. He said it was the only honorable thing to do, he even stood up to Hammond!"

O'Neill grimaced at the memories Daniel brought up. Being covered with blood and confused was something he could get over but attempting to rape Carter was not. Then later in the cell, he recalled trying to give her a choice, but in reality, if she'd said 'no', he was certain he would not have been able to stop. He rubbed his face again and felt the moisture in his eyes. Daniel was wrong, it wasn't anger, it was fear.

O'Neill kept walking, Daniel walked beside him, trying to figure out what to say to get through to his friend. They went back down to the lower levels and O'Neill went to his office, intending to lock up and go home. Suddenly the overhead claxons sounded an unscheduled gate activation and out of pure habit he ran to the control room.

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SG-2 had been preparing to return through the gate and was ambushed by some unfriendly natives. No Jaffa, just pissed off locals. Two of the men had gotten themselves pinned down and couldn't make it to the gate. After giving the returning soldiers time to relate their circumstances, Hammond looked to O'Neill. "Apparently it's time for you to return to duty, Colonel. Get a team back there as fast as you can and get those men out."

"Yes, Sir." O'Neill was already on his way. In mere minutes the gate room was a flurry of activity with SG-1 and 4 geared up and ready to go. The Colonel was somewhat surprised to see Carter among the group. He chided himself, 'of course' she'd be here, she's a soldier and it's her duty. It would be a mistake to think Carter would shirk her duty.

They arrived on the planet and secured the gate area quickly. The native men had fought bravely earlier but when the ten fully armed soldiers emerged from the gate, found themselves with no stomach for it and fled. The two men of SG-2 gladly came out of hiding at the sight of their comrades. Instead of a directing a firefight O'Neill found himself ordering men to assist wounded villagers. Even though they had been the aggressors only a few minutes ago, they were now people who needed help. How quickly things could change.

While the injured were being bandaged up, Daniel managed to find one man who was some kind of leader among them. In minutes they had a dialog going. The man was apparently impressed that they hadn't been left to die. Mercy to one's enemies was a rare thing to them.

O'Neill didn't have much to do as the loose ends were cleaned up. He'd already sent the other SG teams back with orders to return a small group of linguists and medical personnel to assist. He sat up against a rock and waited for his replacement command to arrive, probably in three or four hours.

Carter finished with orchestrating transport of the injured back to their village and saw the Colonel sitting and staring into space. She walked over to his position. "Colonel?"

"Major. Report."

"Sir, we're just about done here, at least until more medical supplies come through the gate. No one was very badly injured but a few have wounds that will require suturing. They're really quite grateful for our help."

"Of course." He was looking at the ground now.

"Sir, is everything okay?"

"Fine."

She felt a twinge of something. Ever since the incidents between them she felt like she could read him even better than before. He wasn't fine. Far from it, he was sad and upset. She sat down beside him, gingerly, not wanting to get too close. She sensed that if she so much as touched him, he'd get up and run off.

"Sorry I didn't get back down to the infirmary to see you, I was pretty backed up and never did finish cataloging the last samples I brought through."

"No need to apologize Major."

"How's the arm?"

"Good."

She knew something was wrong, she was carrying this conversation completely on her own and he'd offered not one sarcastic comment, as a matter of fact he hadn't spoken one all day. She decided to be a bit more bold. She nudged him with her shoulder, "Come on, you're acting like you don't want to talk to me. What's up?"

He drew back from her touch and turned his head toward her. For a long moment he didn't speak, thinking of the best way to put it. "I thought that would be the other way around."

"I think I missed something here. What other way around?"

He sighed, hating to be forced into a more detailed explanation. "I thought you'd rather not, you know, see me, talk to me."

She thought for a minute, wondering how he could think that then realized she hadn't talked to him at all for two days. 'Oops.' she said to herself. Maybe she had been avoiding him subconsciously.

"Sir, we've certainly been through a lot lately, but I didn't mean to avoid you."

"I didn't mean to imply you were." He stood up, pushing one hand against the large rock.

"Wait!" She quickly stood beside him. Flushed suddenly with embarrassment, she asked, "Could we go for a walk?"

He nodded slowly and gestured to a path leading away from the Stargate and the people still milling about there.

They walked together in silence for some time before she decided to speak. "I know you didn't mean to hurt me, I don't blame you for anything."

His stride noticeably slowed. "How could you not?"

"That should be 'how could I?' After all you were under an alien influence, so was I."

"Carter don't make excuses for me. I should have been able to stop it. I couldn't believe I was hurting the one person I never would." He stopped walking and with his head bowed leaned one hand against a tree.

Her eyes widened, she was surprised even now, he'd admit how important she was to him. "I don't blame you. I forgive you."

"I shouldn't be forgiven, for that."

"And so you think I shouldn't be forgiven for breaking into your cell, for adding 'fuel to the fire' as it were?"

"That was that 'alien influence' stuff. You're not responsible."

She took his arm. "Neither are you."

"Carter." He sighed as he turned to her; he gingerly reached for her shoulder then thought better of it and pulled away. He was thoughtful for a moment and chewed his lower lip. He knew he'd have to make this confession, he just hoped it wouldn't be this soon. "There's something I should tell you. The first time, in your lab, Teal'c had to stop me, I wouldn't have."

"I know." She blew out a deep breath. "And I admit it still scares me a little, but whether you stopped or he stopped you, it didn't happen. It's just not worth dwelling on something that did *not* happen."

"But it did happen the next night."

"That was different. For one thing I asked for it." She raised her eyebrows and grimaced thinking about her actions at the time.

"No it wasn't. Not really. Look, I know I tried to give you an 'out' if you wanted but-" His voice trailed off and he had to take a few breaths before he could continue. "But to be honest, I don't think I could have stopped if I had tried. It would have been just like the other time." He pressed his lips into a tight line forcing himself to maintain composure and turned away from her gaze.

Her face softened as she took in his sadness. "You're wrong. When I looked into your eyes I didn't see a beast looking back at me, I saw Jack O'Neill and I have a confession to make, too. When I consented, I hadn't completely lost myself to that alien influence. I had enough presence of mind to say no if I wanted to. I just *didn't* want to."

Hope flickered in his eyes as he realized they both had made a decision in that cell that was way beyond the effect of the infection. They both had been excessively libidinous, but had chosen each other, not gone elsewhere for satisfaction.

"Sam." He turned back to face her and this time he did touch her, running his fingertips from her temple gently down to beneath her chin. He whispered, "So, where do we go from here?"

"I guess we just go on. I mean we already knew where we stood with each other. It's just beyond denial now."

"You could say that again. Are you, really, going to be okay with this?"

She nodded. "Are you?"

"Yeah, but don't ask me about regrets for a while okay?"

She reached up and pressed his hand to her cheek, her eyes were dead serious, and she whispered, "Never forget."

"Oh, you don't have to worry about that, after all it was *incredible*."

She broke into a smile and blushed deeply. "Yeah, it was."

They returned to the Stargate and met the just arriving medical team. Teal'c was helping them with their packs and Daniel finished giving them directions to the village. As they left he turned to the Colonel and Major noticing a difference in their demeanor immediately. "You two look better." He said guardedly. "You talked, didn't you?"

O'Neill just smiled and with a raised eyebrow went to find something to do and Sam suddenly needed to go talk to someone in the opposite direction. Teal'c frowned in O'Neill's direction then looked back at Daniel. Daniel glared at O'Neill's retreating form and then to Sam and back to O'Neill. With exasperation the young man let his hands fall and slap against his thighs. "You're not gonna tell me are you?"

As O'Neill moved away a broad grin stretched across his face. They were back to business as usual, surviving yet another bump in the road and becoming stronger for it. It was something families just did.