Lectures and Sparring by Layton Colt

Sam and Daniel set each other up--and Jack gets jealous. Slightly s/j, despite my silent vow to never write it.

Spoilers: Some for Crystal Skull . . . I think that's it.

Author's Notes: This is a short, mostly dialogue (at least it STARTED as mostly dialogue), humor fic with an S/J slant--not exactly a romance, just lots of UST that can be blamed on -- the extremely talented shipper -- Emry Wild. I haven't jumped onto the love boat or anything, I'm not a shipper myself, but this *was* fun to write.

And for those of you reading A Traditional Stakeout, you have my apologies for the long wait. I've been busy with a couple other projects -- but hope to get to it soon, in the meantime, there's this story, and Still Waters which will be posted soon.
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Two weeks off. Jack smiled and headed out of his office. All of his paperwork was finished and SG-1 was on stand down for a long overdue rest. He was planning on going home to . . . well, he wasn't sure what he'd be doing with his time yet, but he'd think of something.

He took out his access card as he neared the elevator, but slowed his pace when he saw the light shinning out from one very particular room. He gave a long suffering sigh and smoothly changed course. Tapping once on the door, he swung it open.

"Don't you two EVER go home?"

Daniel and Sam looked up distractedly. Both were hovering over the SGC's latest acquisition. No one was quite sure what it was -- and they only had two more days to find out, or it would be shipped off to Area 51 labeled 'function unknown'.

The object of their study was a small brown cube. Sam had immediately taken it to her lab, Daniel right beside her as they speculated on its uses and origins respectively.

"What?" Daniel asked. His attention had already returned to the object. He ran his hand reverently along the side of it.

Daniel believed it was nothing more than a religious artifact -- dedicated to some deity who may or may not have been a Goa'uld. Sam, however, had speculated that it was an alien power source and was currently searching for the 'on' switch.

"Its downtime, kids. And we're not just off-world, we can also go off-base. Do you even remember what it looks like outside? One sun. One moon. Familiar stars. No aliens after our heads. Playgrounds and dog walkers -- joggers with walkmans."

"Sure, Jack," Daniel said distractedly.

"Sure what?"

"Whatever you say."

"Are you two even listening to me?"

Two pairs of blue eyes looked slowly up. One pair were deep in thought, the other held a familiar spark.

"Sure, Jack."

"I mean it! You need to get out more."

"We explore the universe -- how much more could we 'get out?'" Daniel asked.

"Get out on Earth, Daniel. EARTH. You know, the nice green and blue planet you LIVE on."

"We get out, sir," Sam spoke up. "We were outside just yesterday, in fact. Weren't we, Daniel?"

"That's right. We were out for hours."

Jack narrowed his eyes. "Why wasn't I invited?"

"Oh, we didn't think you'd have any interest in it, sir."

The eyes narrowed further. "Where were you?"

"A lecture on wormhole theory."

"And that was FUN?"

"It was . . . interesting," Daniel amended.

Sam turned on him. "You didn't have fun?"

"I didn't say that."

"You didn't say you did, either."

"Okay, I had fun."

"You're lying," Sam accused.

"I'm not! I had fun."

"Really? Are you sure? Because you didn't have to go, I only thought--"

"Sam, I had fun. Really."

"Oh, for crying out loud!" Jack cried. "Would you listen to yourselves? You two need LIVES. Desperately."

"Being an intergalactic explorer really isn't enough for you?" Daniel asked.

"No! That's our JOB. It isn't US. Don't you ever just want to forget about the Goa'uld and the danger in the universe and just be yourself?"

Daniel and Sam exchanged a look.

"No," Daniel drawled.

"Hopeless. You're both hopeless." Jack threw his hands in the air in a gesture of disgust before turning on his heel and exiting Sam's lab.

Sam watched him go with a frown. "Do you think maybe he has a point?"

"Who, Jack? A point?"

Sam rolled her eyes. "Seriously, maybe we should . . . I don't know . . . get out more. Date."

Daniel was quiet for a moment, staring at the small artifact laying on Sam's counter. "Maybe," he agreed reluctantly. "But we have to figure this thing out before we lose our chance."

Sam shook her head. "But that's what we ALWAYS do, Daniel. Just this one more artifact, this one more experiment -- and then we don't ever leave."

"But, Sam."

"No. You know what? Let's let the scientists over at Nellis figure this one out. We should go DO something."

"Alright," Daniel said halfheartedly. "One of my old professors is giving a lecture on the . . . what? Why are you shaking your head?"

"The Colonel's right, Daniel. We need to get lives. We need fun."

Daniel frowned. "Lectures are fun."

"I know. I think so to. But, apparently, that isn't normal. We need to have the Colonel's kind of fun, you know, normal stuff."

"Jack's the normal one? God help us all."

Sam rolled her eyes again. "Look, we should start dating again. We can't stay down here for the rest of our lives. I know a woman . . . she'd be perfect for you."

"Ah, no. I don't think so. I'm not going on a blind date."

"Not a blind date, exactly. I'll be going too, because you're going to set me up with someone."

"With who? The only eligible guy I know that is even remotely your type is Jack."

Sam smiled slightly and turned away. "Surely you'll be able to find someone else. You know lots of people, Daniel. You make friends everywhere you go."

"Huh. You're right. There was that prince on PX4275."

Sam sighed heavily. "Preferably someone from THIS planet, Daniel."

"Oh. Right. Sure . . ."

Sam smiled patiently. "Think it over. We can work out the details later. I'm going to go ahead and head home. It really has been a long time since I've left base." When she reached the door she turned back towards Daniel with a worried frown. "You should really go home too, Daniel."

"I will," Daniel said with a bright smile. Satisfied, Sam left her lab. Once she was out of sight Daniel added a quiet 'eventually,' under his breath.

"I heard that, Jackson!" Sam called back to him from the hall.

Daniel winced. "How does she do that?" he muttered.

* * * *

Daniel leaned back in his office chair. He couldn't think of ANYONE who would be good for Sam. Maybe the prince would have been a good choice, but limiting the choices to bachelors on Earth greatly reduced his possible candidates.

He knew it would have to be someone smart. Someone who could keep up with Sam, and that made the list of possibilities get smaller still.

"Daniel?"

Daniel looked up to see Robert Rothman standing in his doorway. He distractedly waved him in.

It would have to be someone without a huge ego problem. After the situation with Jonas, Sam had been wary of power hungry men. It would have to be someone quiet . . . someone more reserved.

"Uh . . . Daniel?"

Someone who was nice and unobtrusive, but who could be engaged in intelligent debates. Someone like . . .

Daniel looked up at his friend and a smile spread slowly across his face.

Robert smiled back nervously and gave a quick look behind him to see if there was someone else there.

"Hello, Robert."

"Ah . . ."

"Say, are you seeing anyone?"

"Ah . . . seeing anyone?"

"Yes, you know, dating. I know someone who would be good for you."

"For me?" Robert asked incredulously.

"Yes," Daniel smiled. "You interested?"

"I-I don't know. Am I . . . I mean . . . am I going to have to -- to make conversation with her? I'm . . . not real good at that whole . . . talking thing."

"I've noticed."

"Right," Robert said with a nervous laugh. "I mean . . . of course."

"Robert, calm down."

"I'm calm."

"Look, if it will make you feel any better, I'll be there too. It's a double-blind date, apparently."

"Oh . . . okay. Well, who is it? Anyone . . . anyone I know?"

Daniel hesitated. The one time he'd seen Robert and Sam interact they hadn't exactly hit it off. Sam had been upset and worried because of the small detail of Daniel being invisible. Rothman had been stressed and panicked because he was the only one they had qualified enough to work on finding him.

He got the idea if he told Robert who it was now -- he'd back out.

"I'm sure you'll get along with her fine," Daniel said evasively. "I'll call you later about the where and when. So, you needed something . . .?"

"Huh? Oh, right. Yea. I finished the translation on those Mayan tablets you brought back from PX-59992 or, as me and my assistants like to call it, Merida."

"Good. Great job." Daniel took the tablets and smiled at his friend. "Was that all?"

"Well, yes, but . . ."

Daniel had already started flipping through the translation. "This looks great, Robert."

"Thanks, but about this date-"

"Don't worry about it, Robert. You'll have fun."

"Fun? Lectures are FUN. But a date?"

Daniel's lips twitched upwards. "I really think you should go, Robert. You don't get out enough."

Daniel could just hear Jack's voice chanting 'hypocrite' in his head.

"Alright," Robert agreed reluctantly.

"I'll talk to you again tomorrow," Daniel said.

Robert nodded and moved to the door. He turned around at that last moment and raised a finger. His mouth opened to speak, but then closed with a sigh. With one last bemused shake of his head Robert left the office.

Daniel smiled. Robert wasn't a PERFECT match for Sam. But they had SOME things in common. They were both smart and . . . well, they were both smart.

He picked up the phone on his desk and dialed Sam's house.

"Hello?" Sam answered on the third ring.

"Hey, Sam, I found someone."

He could hear her smile as she answered, "That's great. Let's meet at O'Malley's tomorrow -- eightish, alright?"

"Sounds good."

"So, did you ever make it home?"

Daniel looked guiltily at his desk. "Yep."

"Good. We have to stop working ourselves so much. I actually took a bubble bath tonight. Do you know how long it's been since I had a bubble bath?"

"Can't say I do."

"Well -- it's been a while."

Daniel was about to respond when the Klaxons started blaring. SG-6 was returning. Daniel winced.

"So . . . you're at home, huh?"

"I'm watching Star Trek. They've just gone to Red Alert."

"Uh huh. Which series are you watching?"

"There's more than one?"

"Go home, Daniel."

"I will. I just-"

"HOME, Daniel."

Daniel grinned. "You know, you're starting to sound an awful lot like Jack."

"Daniel Jackson, bite your tongue."

"I'll see you tomorrow, Sam," Daniel said amusedly.

"Bye, Daniel," Sam laughed.

* * * *

An hour later, Daniel finally put down Robert's translation and decided to head home. He grabbed his jacket and started down the hall.

"Hey, Daniel!"

Daniel stopped and turned around. "Jack? I thought you were going home."

"I thought you were."

"I am."

"Well, so am I."

"What have you been doing?" Daniel asked as he continued back on his way to the elevator.

"I got talked into sparring with Teal'c."

"Sounds like . . . fun."

"It is!"

Daniel grinned in his friend's direction.

"What are you grinning at?" Jack demanded. He stopped walking and glared at his young team mate.

"You don't have any more of a life than I do."

"That is SO not true."

"Your idea of fun is getting beat up by a six foot five former Jaffa first prime. Mine is lectures. Which is worse, Jack?"

"Okay. So we all need lives."

"Well, Sam and I are getting a couple tomorrow night," Daniel said.

"Really? Going to another lecture, are you?"

"No, we're going on a double date."

Jack tensed. "You're going out on a date together?"

"Well, no, not exactly. WE aren't going together. We're setting each other up."

"That doesn't sound like a good idea."

"But you said you wanted us to get out more."

"Did I?" Jack asked tightly. "I meant you. You need to get out more. Carter gets out enough."

Daniel smirked. "You're jealous."

"Excuse me?"

"You don't want Sam to go out on a date! You're jealous."

"I am not," Jack snapped. "I just don't want you setting her up with one of your geeky friends. She'll die of boredom."

"He's not a geek." Daniel paused for a moment and looked over at Jack. Maybe he'd have a little fun. "He's my mechanic."

"Your mechanic!" Jack cried. "You're setting her up with your MECHANIC?"

Daniel snorted. "You are SO jealous."

"Dammit, Daniel, you can't set her up with some guy you barely know!"

"I know Ben. We've hung out."

"You've hung out with your mechanic!" Jack's voice was incredulous.

Daniel frowned. "Doesn't everyone?"

"My god, Daniel! You have GOT to be kidding me!" There was a twinkle in Daniel's eyes and Jack pointed an accusing finger at him. "You ARE kidding me. You little punk! Who are you setting her up with, Daniel, who?"

Daniel bit his lip to hold back another smile. "Colonel Makepeace?" he tried innocently.

"Daniel!" Jack snapped.

Daniel recognized the warning in the tone, Jack was reaching the limits of his patience. Daniel didn't quit however, he enjoyed baiting Jack too much. Jack did it enough to him.

"Okay, don't worry. I'm setting her up with a PhD, he's a perfectly respectable guy."

"A geek. He's a geek."

"He's intelligent, that doesn't mean he's a geek."

"Yes, it does."

Daniel sighed and rolled his eyes to the ceiling. "Don't worry, Jack. We're going out together. I'll keep an eye on Sam for you, and be sure that she gets home by ten."

"Are you mocking me?" Jack said affronted.

"Are you?"

"What?"

"What?"

Jack paused, unsure when he had lost control of the conversation. "I want a name. I should do a background check."

Daniel raised an eyebrow. "For security purposes, I'm sure."

"Of course," Jack snapped. "Well?"

"Well what?"

"Give me his name."

"No."

"No?"

"No."

"Daniel."

"Jack."

"I want his name."

"I don't think that would be wise."

"Daniel!"

"Jack?"

"Stop that!"

"Stop what?"

"Just tell me his name!"

".Robert Rothman."

"WHAT! That loser? Huh, and I was worried. She's going to kill you."

Daniel smiled sweetly. "Sam wouldn't hurt me. She'll probably take out any frustration on you."

"And here we thought you were just this innocent little archeologist."

Daniel's smile grew. "And everyone really believes that you're nothing but a stupid juvenile arrogant-"

Jack held up a hand. "I get the picture."

"I'm going home now, Jack."

"I'll walk you out."

"I'm not telling you where we're having dinner," Daniel said bluntly. "I'd prefer to eat without having you lurking around the windows."

"Ha. You know me better than that. Hide in plain sight, Daniel. That was the first thing I taught you. I'd be your waiter and you'd never even know."

Daniel snorted and began to move back towards the elevator. "Sam needs this as much as I do, Jack. You can't have it both ways."

"What are you talking about?"

"You want Sam to get out -- but the minute you find out it won't be with you, you flip."

"I have NOT flipped."

"I can see the vein in your neck."

Jack glared at him. "So I'll be seeing you then?" he asked. "Tomorrow night at O'Malley's? At about, what, eight?"

Daniel stared at Jack in disbelief. Jack smirked.

"I know everything, Daniel. I see and hear all. Remember that."

As Jack walked away Daniel smacked himself in the forehead. He might as well make reservations for five.

* * * *

"Stop it," Daniel whispered.

Robert quickly placed a hand on his leg to still the shaking.

"They aren't even here yet," Daniel said exasperated.

"Won't you even tell me her name?" Robert asked nervously. "I'd like to know a name."

Daniel hesitated. "Samantha."

Rothman smiled. "Samantha? That's a pretty name."

"Yep."

"Hey, isn't Major Carter's name Samantha?"

"What?"

"Major Carter . . . oh . . . no. No, Daniel, you wouldn't. Oh god, you did. You set me up with Major Carter. I've got to get out of here."

Daniel placed a hand on Robert's shoulder to push him back down into his seat.

"I don't think standing up a major in the air force sounds like a very good idea, Robert."

"Oh god."

"Sam's very nice."

"Nice! You should have seen the look she gave me when you were out of ph- town. She looked like she was going to kill me."

"I, ah, I actually did see that look. I admit Sam can be slightly . . . intimidating to someone who doesn't know her. But trust me, she's great. You'll like her."

"She HATES me," Robert complained. "Oh god. She doesn't know, does she? She doesn't know you're setting me up with her?"

"Sam does not hate you," Daniel said calmly. "You just haven't gotten the chance to hang around with her in a relaxed environment. You've only met Major Carter, not Sam."

"Yea, well -- Major Carter scares the hell out of me."

"Daniel!"

Daniel looked up to see Sam approaching the table. There was an attractive young brunette with her -- who appeared to be trying to disappear behind Sam.

As Sam grew closer and she spotted Rothman, her eyes widened. "Ah, Robert. What a surprise, I hadn't been expecting you."

Robert smiled and laughed nervously.

"Daniel," Sam said the name coldly before schooling her features into a pleasant smile. "This is Teresa Reynolds. She's an-"

"An anthropologist," Robert finished disbelievingly.

Teresa shyly moved out from behind Sam. "Robert?" she asked quietly.

Robert smiled widely. "God, it's been years! How have you been?"

Teresa smiled also, and quickly moved passed Daniel and Sam without a second glance. She sat beside Robert. "Wonderful. I got a book published!"

"I know, I read it, it was brilliant. You put all my own thoughts into words in a way I never could."

Daniel and Sam exchanged a look as the two friends got to know each other again. Sam mouthed 'Robert?'

Daniel shrugged, then leaned over to whisper back, "Well, you were the one who turned down prince charming."

"Can I take your orders?"

The four looked up at the red haired waitress. Daniel eyed her suspiciously for a moment, reassuring himself that there was no way his commanding officer would look that good in a skirt.

"A rum and coke for the lady," Robert said with a smile at Teresa.

Teresa smiled at him. "You remember my drink!"

"I remember everything about you," Robert said lovingly.

Sam and Daniel rolled their eyes simultaneously.

"You know what," Daniel said. "I think I'll just have water."

"Me too," Sam said.

"Robert will have a ginger ale," Teresa said proudly. "I remember your drink as well!"

Daniel's eyes threatened to roll upwards again, but he valiantly fought the impulse. As he focused his vision ahead of him, another patron caught his eye. A rather suspicious looking patron, as a matter of fact.

"I'm going to go to the bathroom."

Sam gave him a desperate look that screamed 'don't leave me here with THEM!' and grabbed his sleeve, almost tempted to offer to join him.

Daniel carefully pried her fingers loose from their hold on his jacket. "I'll be right back," he reassured her.

He made his way down one row of tables and approached the booth at the back. The only occupant at the table, a silver haired man with sunglasses and a menu held in front of his face didn't notice his approach.

Daniel slid into the seat across from him. "You were in Special Ops and this is the best you could come up with?"

Jack brought the menu down and glared at his friend. "You left Sam alone with that geek? Get back there. He might try to make a move."

"I think he's a little busy feeling up my date," Daniel said seriously.

"Wh-what?"

Jack turned back to the table and sure enough, Rothman was leaning into Daniel's date, no doubt whispering sweet nothings about some mythological goddess of love.

Daniel leaned back in the booth. "So I guess you got what you wanted."

"Daniel, I didn't want your date to go bad."

"You just wanted Sam's to?"

"No. I didn't say that. I just . . . ROTHMAN, Daniel?"

"You were upset before you even knew who it was, Jack. Maybe you ought to think on what that means."

"Dangerous ground, Daniel."

"We walk on dangerous ground all the time, Jack."

"This is different and you know it."

Daniel nodded. "Sure. I understand. It's easier to take chances with your life than with your heart."

"You should get back to your date, Daniel."

"I don't think she even knows I'm gone. We should talk about this."

"Carter's my friend, Daniel. I don't want to see her hurt."

"It's more than that."

"It's not."

Daniel shook his head. He knew he shouldn't push. It wasn't his business. "You should go home."

"Why?"

"Because Sam and I are going to come for a surprise visit."

"Daniel-"

"Your friends are coming over to watch videos, Jack, nothing more. We'll call Teal'c on the way."

Daniel got up and headed back to the table. Jack watched as he left. He placed the menu on the table and threw a couple bucks down for his drink. Then with one last look at his team mates, he slipped out the door and headed for his truck.

Sam glared at Daniel as he approached. 'Traitor,' she mouthed.

Daniel took out his cell phone and tossed it up. "The base called. We're needed there."

Rothman looked up nervously. "Now?"

"Not you, Robert. Just Sam and I. Would you guys mind if we leave?"

"Not at all," Robert said quickly. "Is everything alright?"

Daniel nodded. "It's nothing serious. Just something they want us to look at."

Robert nodded. "Okay, well, you can call me if you need anything."

And that was one of the LEAST sincere tones Daniel had ever heard.

"Sam?" Daniel prompted.

Sam jumped up gratefully. "I'll call you later, Teresa," she said as she took Daniel's arm and started for the door.

"So," Sam started. "Did the base really call?"

"That would be a no."

"So much for getting lives, huh?"

"I don't know. I've been thinking -- and I don't really see anything wrong with the ones we have. What do you say we call a team night? We can call Teal'c and meet at Jack's. We'll have popcorn, watch movies, look at the familiar stars."

Sam grinned at him. "I'd like that. But are you sure the Colonel will make it home in time? He only left a couple minutes ago."

Daniel sighed. "Let me guess, you see and hear all."

"And don't you forget it."

The End.