Franbu Juice

Genres: Humour, Holiday
Pairings: Sam/Daniel, like, duh.
Spoilers: Foothold, Smoke & Mirrors, Babylon, 200
Season: Nine, a little after Arthur's Mantle
Rating: K+, for a bit of potty mouth.
Disclaimer: I don't own Stargate, blah, blah, blah. I'm just playing with them for a little while. I'll give them back when I'm done. Promise.

Summary: SG-1 participates in an off-world ritual with unexpected results. Just in time for Halloween!

Note: Thanks a million to my beta extraordinaire, Thraesja. I can always count on her to point and laugh at my mistakes. What would I do without you, Thrae?

-- Chapter One --

"I'm very sorry," said the village elder. "I thought you understood the purpose of the ritual."

Daniel wrinkled his nose and stared down at his muddy boots. He really should have figured it out sooner. Certainly before the entire team had consumed multiple cupfuls of the ceremonial juice.

Mitchell waved a hand at the elder. "You know what? Don't worry about it. This is kinda cool."

Teal'c raised an eyebrow. "Cool?"

"Yeah! This is like a dream come true!" Mitchell jumped into a puddle left by the rainstorm the night before and looked up with a broad grin. "I mean, think of the fun we can have!"

"The newbie's right," Sam giggled. "This could be fun." She turned her face up to the sky and outstretched her arms, spinning around in a circle.

Daniel caught her when she stumbled. "You're kidding, right?"

She beamed up at him as she regained her footing in the slippery mud. "Come on, Daniel. Live a little."

"I am certain someone will notice," said Teal'c.

"Nuh-uh!" said Mitchell. "We can pretend! No one will notice anything."

"Yeah, and it'll wear off by tomorrow." Sam looked over at the village elder. "Right?"

The old man nodded vigorously. "Oh, yes. The effects of the franbu juice always go away after one sleep." He gave them a broad grin. "Every year, the Ritual of Rejuvenation gives all of us a chance to get reacquainted with our inner— Hey!" With arthritic fingers, he scraped a glob of mud from his cheek.

He turned to an elderly woman standing some distance away. Her hand was covered in mud, and she was grinning wickedly at him.

"I'll get you for that!" he shouted. The woman let out a scream of laughter as he began to chase her through the village.

Mitchell snickered at them. "Look at 'em go!"

"I believe we should return to the stargate," said Teal'c.

The four members of SG-1 nodded and started on their way.

"This is weird," said Daniel.

"It is indeed most unusual."

"Come on, Teal'c! Talk normal!" moaned Mitchell. "'It is indeed most unusual!' Give me a break! And yeah, Jackson, it's weird, but it's also cool." He jumped into another puddle, this time splashing Sam with muddy water. "Whoops!" He clamped a hand over his mouth but failed to stifle his laughter.

"Hey!" Sam tried to brush off her uniform but only succeeded in spreading the dirt to her hands as well. She looked up at Mitchell, her eyes narrowing. "Oh, you are so goin' down!"

Daniel couldn't help but laugh as he watched Sam chase Mitchell across the muddy landscape. The forest was particularly dense between the village and the gate, and the trail through it was narrow but picturesque. Or it would have been if there wasn't two inches of squishy mud everywhere. At least the trees lining the trail had branches that were perfectly-spaced for climbing. Daniel tried to remember how long it had been since he'd climbed a tree.

Teal'c laid a hand on his shoulder. "I am pleased that you have decided to enjoy the opportunity presented by our current situation, Daniel Jackson."

Daniel shrugged as Sam and Mitchell scrambled around a corner in the tree-lined trail. "I don't know if I'd go that far, Teal'c. This didn't go so well for me the first time around, you know."

"Then perhaps you should look at this situation as a chance to experience some of the joyous events that you missed."

"Y'know, Mitchell's right. You do talk funny."

Teal'c stuck his lower lip out. The sight of the Jaffa so obviously pouting was enough to make Daniel double over in laughter. "Okay, you're right," he said once he had caught his breath again. "How often do we get a chance like this? We can have a lot of fun."

Sam and Mitchell were certainly loving the situation. Even Teal'c seemed to be taking advantage of it. Daniel decided to make an effort to relax and enjoy himself.

The two of them rounded the corner to find Mitchell sprawled face down in the mud and Sam sitting on top of him, wrenching his arm behind his back. A triumphant grin lit up her face. Teal'c and Daniel both laughed at the sight.

"Come on!" Mitchell said, squirming underneath her. "Ow! Let me up!"

Sam bopped him on the back of his head with her palm. "Not 'til you admit it!"

"No way! I won't do it!"

Sam smirked at Daniel and Teal'c and began poking Mitchell's sides with her fingers. "I'm not getting up until you say it!"

"Stop! That tickles!"

"Say it!"

"Okay, okay. Girls rule!"

"And?"

Mitchell groaned and made another wriggling effort to free himself. "And boys drool," he finally mumbled into the mud.

Sam grinned and bounced once on top of him. "You better believe it, buster."

"Now let me up before you give me your cooties!"

She rolled her eyes melodramatically and reached out to Daniel. He took her hand, helping her up.

"Don't touch her!" said Mitchell. "You'll get infested!"

Daniel made a face as Teal'c pulled Mitchell out of the mud. "Sam's cooties don't bother me." Quite the opposite, actually. They filled his tummy with wonderful butterflies, but he wasn't about to tell Mitchell that.

"You mean it?" asked Sam.

Daniel felt a blush creep up his neck and across his face. He ducked his head to try to hide it. Sam gave a cute little laugh and linked her arm with his.

They both turned at the sound of a shout followed by a splat. Mitchell was in the mud again. This time, he had fallen on his rear end. And he was scowling up at Teal'c.

"You did that on purpose!"

Teal'c ducked the handful of mud that Mitchell lobbed at him. "I believe you are mistaken."

Mitchell narrowed his eyes at the Jaffa and climbed out of the mud once more.

"We better get back to the gate," said Sam. "Landry's gonna be so mad that we're late!"

A few minutes later, the stargate was in sight. Teal'c nudged Daniel's arm and nodded in Mitchell's direction. Daniel watched as Teal'c tipped his staff weapon to tangle in Mitchell's feet. The Colonel fell headlong into the mud. Sam snorted.

Mitchell's face was probably red with anger, but Daniel couldn't tell through all the mud. "Will you quit doing that?" Mitchell shouted. He sprang to his feet and charged at Teal'c.

Daniel laughed as Mitchell literally bounced off of Teal'c's solid form and landed yet again on the ground. "That musta hurt."

Mitchell grimaced and rubbed his backside as Teal'c chuckled at him.

"What did you expect, you big doofus?" asked Sam. "He's a Jaffa. You're just a wimpy little boy."

"Hey," Daniel said. "I'm a boy, too."

"Yes, but you're a nice boy. And not stinky like the newbie." Sam smiled at him and squeezed his arm. "And I like you," she finished softly.

Daniel raised his eyebrows. "You do?"

"Uh huh." She nodded solemnly. "A whole lot. But it's a secret, okay?"

Daniel was blushing again. "I like you a whole lot too," he whispered.

"Really?"

Daniel licked his lips and nodded. Sam smiled broadly and took his hand in hers.

Mitchell groaned loudly. "Gross!" Then, he took off down the trail, shouting over his shoulder. "Last one to the gate's a rotten egg!"

Sam dropped Daniel's hand and sprinted after Mitchell. "Hey! No fair, you big cheater!"

Teal'c and Daniel followed them, and Teal'c quickly caught up to Mitchell. With a deft nudge of his hip, the Jaffa managed to knock Mitchell off course and into a tree. Sam leapt over him as he fell, and she reached back for Daniel's hand after he'd done the same. Daniel, Sam and Teal'c exchanged a round of high-fives when they reached the DHD.

A few moments later, a grumbling Mitchell joined them.

Sam grinned at him. "So, Rotten Egg, what are we going to tell everybody?"

"Assuming that I ignore your obvious mutiny..." Mitchell glowered at Teal'c briefly before continuing. "We'll just tell them that we had a good mission, and that nothing bad happened, and we're really tired, and we want to go home to rest."

"Are we sure that's the responsible thing to do?" asked Daniel.

"Oh, please!" Mitchell tilted his head back and stared at the cloudy sky. "I hate always having to do the responsible thing. This time we have the perfect excuse not to!"

Daniel looked at Teal'c, who shrugged, and then at Sam.

She shrugged too. "If we're not back to our old selves by tomorrow, we'll tell them what happened. No biggie."

"Okay, so we're all good with the plan, then?" asked Mitchell. "We all look completely normal. We just won't tell anyone that we drank personality youngifying juice stuff."

Daniel wrinkled his nose at the word 'youngifying', but decided not to comment.

"We don't all look normal." Sam poked at Mitchell's grime-encrusted uniform. "You don't usually look like a mud monster."

Mitchell slapped Sam's hand away. "My point is, tonight's Halloween and I wanna enjoy feeling like a kid again."

He crossed his arms across his chest and seemed to be trying to look authoritative. But a blob of mud fell off his forehead at that moment, completely ruining the illusion. Daniel snickered.

"I think the newbie's right," Sam said. "Halloween could be so cool!" Her eyes widened, sparkling with sudden excitement. "Ooh, I just had a great idea for costumes!"

"We all have to agree." Mitchell put out one hand out, palm down. "Are you in?"

Sam smiled and put her hand on top of Mitchell's. Teal'c gave a broad grin and placed his hand over Sam's.

Daniel scratched his head. There was something he was supposed to do that night, but he couldn't remember what it was.

"You in, Jackson?" asked Mitchell.

Sam looked eagerly at Daniel and he smiled as the butterflies started dancing again. Whatever he was forgetting, it could wait. It wasn't often one was given the opportunity to be a kid again. And Sam had said she liked him. A whole lot.

He put his hand on top of Teal'c's.

Mitchell nodded. "Good. It's settled then. We'll pretend everything's normal, and then go have the best Halloween ever!"

They broke their huddle and Daniel went to dial the gate. After it whooshed to life and they sent their IDC, the four of them started up the steps to the wormhole.

"Oh, man!"

Everyone turned to look at Mitchell, who had stopped a few steps behind them.

"What now?" asked Sam.

"We should have gotten some of that juice stuff for the General!"

To be continued...
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