Compromising Positions: A Very Sticky Situation
Author: Kate McCaye
Pairing: S/J UST
Summary: The end of the 'Compromising Positions' series is, of course, the most embarrassing of all.
A/N: This was actually the first idea I came up with for this whole series, but I know how I want this one to end, so I had to save it till last... I've had this one chapter written for ages, but I figured by posting it now I will be trying very hard to get it finished within the next couple of weeks, at which point you probably won't hear from me for many months. So no pressure for this one to be good or anything, right?
Ch 1: Stuck on you... and you and you
Jack O'Neill figured all in all, he really shouldn't be complaining. Sure, the 'mission' was really just a game of fetch taken to the far reaches of the universe, with SG1 essentially functioning as General Hammond's Labrador retrievers as they searched for a crashed UAV.
But nobody was shooting at him, so that was good. And the planet apparently had been unoccupied for thousands of years, so the odds of being shot at on this mission were actually pretty slim. Still possible, of course, given their track record with being ambushed on 'abandoned' planets. And there was always the risk of 'friendly fire,' if you factored in the look his 2IC had shot him while he tried to pass the time singing 'This is the song that doesn't end' as she took samples of all things flora. Fauna? No, flora.
The planet was... damp. Marshy. The ground felt spongy. But it was still hurting his knee, possibly because they had been walking for... he glanced at his watch. Four hours now. At least they were getting close. He was getting sweaty and really wanted a shower.
Still not complaining though. That would be unprofessional.
"So, Carter, what's the theory?" he asked.
"Theory about what, sir?" she asked, walking beside him.
"You've always got a theory."
"Did you have a particular subject in mind, sir, or will any theory suffice?"
Apparently Carter was getting a bit irked as well.
"The UAVs. Siler's always 'improving' them and they still always crash."
"They don't always crash, sir. At least not as much as they used to, lately."
"Well... why can't you design a new one or something? One that runs on Gatorade maybe."
She laughed and said, "Interesting idea, sir, I'll take it up with the General when we get back. In the meantime, let's just concentrate on finding the one we're missing now."
"What happened to it, exactly?"
"It just ran out of gas."
"Oh for cryin out loud, aren't those things programmed to turn back towards the gate when they get down to half a tank?"
"Yes, sir, they are but sometimes things on other planets interfere with the communications systems... I'll have to check the flight log when I get it up and running again."
He winced as his knee twinged particularly sharply.
Carter glanced at him out of the corner of her eye and said, "We're almost there, sir."
"These ruins actually aren't very interesting," Daniel commented.
"That is interesting in and of itself, is it not?" Teal'c asked.
Daniel smiled. "I guess in a way it kind of is... we know whoever lived here thousands of years ago was really, really boring. I mean, this entire panel is a description of 'typical morning cleansing rituals.' And brushing your teeth and showering seem to be pretty universal."
"Indeed. Perhaps we should move on to the next building."
"Yeah, good idea. I wonder if Jack and Sam have found the UAV yet."
Teal'c clicked his radio on and said, "O'Neill."
"Go ahead, Teal'c," his radio crackled.
"Have you located the UAV?"
"Yeah, Eagle-eyes Carter just spotted it. It's up a tree."
"Do you require assistance retrieving it?"
"Bored, huh? Nah, that's okay, Carter's about to impress me with her climbing abilities. Daniel staying out of trouble?"
"Of course, Jack," Daniel answered impatiently.
"Well, you never know, Danny, you seem to find trouble in the most innocuous places..."
"Jack! Now you've jinxed me!"
"Have fun! O'Neill out."
Teal'c and Daniel just looked at each other and started gathering their things. It seemed strange to complain about a mission where nobody was in danger, but they were all bored.
Jack took the P90 his 2IC was handing him as she started taking off gear. "Carter, are you sure about this, it's pretty high up there..."
"I climbed trees like this all the time when I was a kid, Colonel," Carter assured him with a shrug. "And I was a lot smaller then; it'll be easier now that my legs are longer."
"Er... right." He reminded himself that she had in all probability not meant that as an invitation to study her legs and turned his attention back to her face.
"Plus you'll be down here, just in case. Much safer than climbing out my window and down the tree that was beside it in the middle of the night," she said with a bright smile, knowing the story would intrigue him.
"Yeah? You really did that with General Jake in the house?"
"Oh yeah. For years." She shrugged out of her field jacket, as it was hot and she wanted to be able to move as freely as possible, and moved over to the tree trunk, peering up at the UAV, which was lodged in the branches some thirty feet in the air.
She put her hand on the trunk and pulled it back with a frown.
"What's wrong?" Jack asked quickly.
"The tree's covered in some kind of sap or something, it's just kind of unpleasant."
"Oh. Want a boost up to that first branch?"
Jack set down all the stuff he was holding and shrugged out of his own jacket as well, just because it was so warm and humid on the planet. He joined her next to the tree and cupped his hands together, leaning over for her to put her foot in. "Don't get my shirt sticky with that sap junk," he instructed.
"Yes, sir." She pushed off of his shoulder with her still-clean hand as he helped boost her up to the lowest branch. She pulled herself up onto it and stopped, sitting on it. "Okay, here I go."
"Be careful," he called, craning his neck up to watch her progress up the tree.
"Yuck," Carter muttered as she climbed. The tree was oozing sap in several places. It was gross. On the other hand, they should take a sample of it back with them, just in case it turned out to cure male pattern baldness or something.
Daniel let out a rather undignified yelp as he tripped over a log and fell, landing hard on his bum.
"Are you injured, Daniel Jackson?"
"No, I'm fine, thanks," Daniel muttered. At least Jack hadn't been around to see that. He put his hands down to push off the ground and wrinkled his nose. "Ew, I just put my hand in something sticky."
"What is it?"
"I don't know - it's on this log, some kind of fungal growth or something? Sap maybe?"
Teal'c offered Daniel a hand getting to his feet. Daniel grasped Teal'c's hand firmly and was yanked to his feet without having to put much effort into the task himself.
"Anytime, Daniel Jackson... you may let go of my hand now."
Daniel stared down at their hands and tried to separate his fingers and palm from his friend's. "Actually... I can't," he said carefully.
"Carter, watch out, you're shaking the branch the UAV is on, I don't want it to fall on your head!" Jack called up the tree.
"Okay, sir, I'm almost... crap!"
The UAV started slipping from where it was lodged, smaller branches snapping loudly as it began to fall.
"Carter, get down here, now!" Jack ordered, but she was already descending the tree as quickly as possible.
"Oh gross, this is so disgusting! Next time I volunteer to climb a tree, just shoot me, please!" she called as she scurried down the tree. She felt like she'd taken a bath in syrup.
"I think you've been around me too long, it sounds like I'm rubbing off on you," Jack commented, responding only to try to keep her calm. His eyes kept darting back up to the UAV, which had stopped falling but was wedged precariously as though it could fall again at any moment. Sure enough, it slipped off the branch it was resting on just as he was watching it.
"Carter, it's crashing again, just slide down the rest, I'll catch you!"
She wasn't too far above him at this point and the UAV was now picking up a lot of speed, looking very much like it wanted to squash his 2IC.
Carter looked down and let go. Jack caught her awkwardly and rolled them out of the way, to safety. The UAV crashed to the ground next to them in a loud cacophony of metallic clangs and bangs.
They lay on the ground trying to catch their breath. Actually, Jack lay on the ground, flat on his back, with his 2IC completely on top of him, also on her back. He had an arm around her from behind, stretching diagonally across the front of her body, his hand curled around her waist. His other arm had tried to protect her head while they rolled.
"Um, sir," Carter finally said once she got over the shock of being up in the tree, climbing down it, falling, and being rolled away from a crashing mini-plane. "Could you move your hand?"
"Actually, Carter, funny you should ask... I can't."
"Colonel," she stated in her 'this isn't funny at all sir' voice.
"I'm serious. I'm trying. I can't. I'm... stuck."
Daniel and Teal'c stared at their joint hands for several moments before Daniel snapped into action. "It must have been that sap, we'd better tell Jack and Sam to watch out for it," he said quickly, fumbling for his radio. "Jack, Sam, come in... Jack, Sam, do you copy..."
Across the forest, still lying on the ground, still feeling up his 2IC, Jack craned his neck to look at their pile of removed clothing, where his radio crackled and Daniel tried to make contact.
"Okay, let's try... getting to our feet," Jack proposed, rolling onto his side and taking Carter with him.
"Well, if you can hear this, watch out for this sticky stuff, I think it's sap or algae or something, and anyway it's very adhesive so don't touch it! Teal'c and I are going to head your direction, Sam you'll need to get a sample of this stuff..."
"Shouldn't be a problem," Sam muttered dryly.
"Why didn't my other arm get stuck to your head?" Jack wondered aloud. Luckily, the arm that had gone protectively in front of her face wasn't stuck to anything, so at least he had one free.
"I didn't have any of the sap stuff on my face, sir," she pointed out. "Luckily."
"Here come Danny and Teal'c," Jack stated unnecessarily.
Normally, Jack would have found the sight of Daniel and Teal'c approaching hand in hand (but still in full uniform and carrying their respective weapons) to be highly entertaining. But he had his own problems at the moment. Namely, he was plastered to his 2IC and all attempts to wriggle, slide, or break free had been unsuccessful, although not entirely unenjoyable. They had finally, after much rolling and fumbling, managed to get to their feet, but that was about it.
Daniel and Teal'c stopped as they saw Jack and Sam. "How did you get stuck like THAT?" Daniel asked.
Sam rolled her eyes.
"It's a long story," Jack started.
"I jumped out of a tree," Sam explained.
"Okay, I guess it's not that long. So, you guys..."
"Tripped over a log. Teal'c helped me up and... well, we can't let go of each other's hands. Although your problem seems a little... more severe."
"Ya think?" Jack and Sam both said at the same time.
"Well... you're touching her through her clothes, can't you just... take them off?"
Jack suppressed a groan and thought, yes, Daniel, this isn't awkward enough. Please suggest that the extremely hot woman I'm stuck to get naked.
"It won't work, it feels like we're stuck together right through the fabric somehow," Sam explained.
"Not just your skin?" Daniel asked.
"So... everywhere you're touching?"
"Daniel, what difference does that make?" Jack barked.
"I guess it doesn't really. So, your entire back is stuck to Jack's chest?"
"Yes," Sam said impatiently. "Daniel, stop gawking at us and grab a sample of that stuff."
Daniel did as instructed, of course he needed Teal'c's help, since they both only had the use of one hand at the moment.
"Maybe we could try pouring water on it and see if it dissolves," Daniel suggested, pulling out his canteen. He poured its contents out over their joint hands but nothing happened other than now their hands were wet and stuck together. "Hmm... looks like we'll have to go back to the SGC and get Dr. Fraiser to determine what this stuff is and hopefully, find a way to get it off of us."
They all knew that's what they had to do, but they really, really didn't want to do it. SG-1 had been in some embarrassing situations over the years, but this had to be the worst. Especially for Jack and Sam. Hammond was going to have a hard time buying this one... and the rest of the SGC was going to have a field day when Colonel O'Neill and Major Carter returned from a routine mission stuck in what was their most compromising position to date.
A/N: You should have seen where their hands were stuck in the first draft of this... definitely not suitable for primetime.