It was, but not quite for the reasons Daniel expected.
Jack had eventually given up on teasing him about therapeutic massage and other tidbits culled from the ridiculous gossip circuit. Sam, who knew exactly what had started all those rumors and was probably feeling a little guilty about it, spoke up in Daniel's defense and eventually succeeded in distracting the Colonel with some inane discussion about the proposed remodeling of one of the base's lower levels. Still, as Jack chatted easily with her about whether or not a high-voltage defense perimeter around the new brig might do more harm than good for some or another reason Daniel didn't quite catch, he continued to glance over at the archeologist and smirk.
Daniel could live with that. He'd resigned himself to being Jack's favorite target for the remainder of the mission, and Sam's sympathetic gift of a candy bar she'd smuggled into her pack for dessert more than made up for it.
Unfortunately, lying wide-awake, staring at the sloping tarp ceiling of the tent, he realized that Jack's ridicule wasn't what was really bothering him.
The problem was that the fake rumors Jack was teasing him about -- some of them, anyway, since he'd never been a big fan of restraints -- didn't seem quite as ridiculous as they should.
This was normal, wasn't it? He tossed and turned again until he ended up staring at the blonde ends of Sam Carter's short-cropped hair poking out from the top of her sleeping bag as she slept. After all, he was male. He was straight. And he hadn't been laid in... well, a long time. It would be perfectly normal for any red-blooded, straight man in that sort of position to find the mental image of Janet Fraiser in a hot tub with him attractive. Appealing. More than a little distracting.
Perfectly normal. And not at all related, surely, to him finding it impossible to fall asleep on an alien planet.
Next to him, Sam sighed and turned over, flinging a hand out of her sleeping bag. The tent was small, and her fingers landed merely inches from his nose. He focused on her face through the dim light seeping through the tarp from the campfire Jack was tending outside during his watch and his own less-than-20/20 vision. Asleep, she looked ten years younger, even more innocent than she had been when she'd first arrived on Abydos, eager to eat up all the wonder of the universe in big bites. See? It had nothing to do with Janet Fraiser. He could imagine any other woman ensconced in a hot tub with him, even Sam, and evoke the same reaction.
He had to stop himself from choking at that thought, not wanting to wake his tent-mates. Maybe Sam didn't count. She was very pretty, surely. The reactions of just about every alien they came across would have informed him of that, even if he was both blind and stupid. It wasn't that he didn't know she was a woman. He just... forgot, most of the time. Maybe after seeing her go weeks without a shower, or after the sixtieth time she'd crawled through the muck with a P-90 to haul his ass out of danger, it was impossible to see her as anything other than 'one of the guys' -- something that, he suspected, both pleased and annoyed her. If put on the spot about it, he could certainly rattle off all the reasons why she was wonderful; he felt proud of how kind and brilliant and even how lovely she was, but in a brotherly sort of way that made even thinking of her in a hot tub as a legitimate sexual fantasy completely ridiculous.
Besides, if he so much as thought something indecent in Sam's general direction, Jack would kill him.
Janet was different. When he thought about it, she was attractive. Devastatingly so, even. But, the truth was, he didn't think about it -- or he hadn't, until she'd done her best to make it look like he'd just ravaged her in her office and the entire SGC had jumped on the bandwagon, filling his head with ridiculous imagery. Hot tub, indeed. For God's sake, the woman was personally acquainted with most of his internal organs!
And he wasn't like this. He didn't get like this, not about women. As Sergeant Hawkins of SG-12 could certainly corroborate, it took drastic circumstances to even get him to notice that a member of the opposite sex might be eyeing him in a way that was less than purely friendly. When he was in "geek mode," as Jack called it, which was most of the time, he had tunnel vision -- nothing that wasn't directly in front of him and in a dead language could even penetrate his senses. Ancient, enigmatic runes kept him up nights -- that was more his style. Not contemplating what his doctor would look like, hair free and dripping wet, skin glistening with droplets of water and bubbles from jaccuzi jets, what she would feel like, warm and willing, her hands and arms soothing away the mission tension and the alien ground he'd slept on from his muscles, what her voice would do to him when she said-
His brain fizzled to a halt. For an insane moment, Janet was beside him in the tent on P7X-401, speaking in a husky, sleep-induced whisper.
Neural activity resumed, and his eyes focused on a sleepy Sam, frowning and rubbing her eyes before staring at him, clearly waiting for an answer.
"Just... can't sleep," he told her with a frustrated, pitiful sigh.
"Well... stop thinking so hard." She rolled over so her back was to him and snuggled up in her sleeping bag again. "It's keeping me up."
It would have been funny, Sam Carter telling somebody else to stop thinking, if he'd managed to pull his mind out of the gutter long enough to appreciate it. He sighed and deliberately lay still, ignoring the uneven ground the tent was pitched on, not about to wake Sam up again. This was ridiculous. Pathetic, he amended, as the sultry, water-soaked image of Janet Fraiser in his mind morphed back into her more familiar state -- lab coat, clipboard, pen-light, syringe. She was a professional colleague. And she was a friend -- his, and Sam's, which explained what had happened the day before. It was all kinds of inappropriate, and maybe even a little disgusting, to be thinking about her the way he had been.
He closed his eyes and willed sleep. Mind over matter.
But some part of him refused to give up the idea that the day before, when she'd been merely inches away from him, her fingers in his hair and her own hair looking deliciously, thoroughly tousled, he should have kissed her. Just to see what would happen. Just because he could, and because some disloyal part of him, not content with archeological mysteries to keep him warm at night, was screaming for real, female, human contact. He should have kissed her, and pulled her hairclip free, and made the ravaged look she was aiming for all the more authentic.
He shouldn't have done any of that, of course, but he couldn't get it out of his head.
He sighed again and rolled over -- Sam Carter's sleeping patterns be damned.
Maybe he wouldn't end up getting any sleep after all.
"Major, this would be a hell of a lot easier if you weren't putting up a fight."
Jack's annoyed grumble captured Daniel's attention as a considerably worse for wear SG-1 hobbled back through the dense forest to the gate on P7X-401. The hobbling was actually almost entirely Sam, who had managed to steal Daniel's usual thunder by doing something nasty to her ankle when she slipped partway down the side of a ravine. Unlike Daniel, who usually caved in to his injuries and made a big show of them to anyone who cared, she had insisted that she was fine to walk on it unaided, resulting in a number of further injuries when she'd promptly fallen down the rest of the ravine, dragging Teal'c and Daniel, who were trying to be helpful, along with her.
Teal'c, as usual, was unscathed. Daniel had managed to thoroughly tear up his clothes, along with gashing open his arm and incurring a few nasty scrapes on his chest and back from the rocks he'd bounced off of on the way down. By some miracle of gravity, and a complete reversal of his normal luck, he'd managed to avoid any head trauma and was able to get up and walk just fine afterwards. Sam, on the other hand, had earned herself an ace bandage (Jack had insisted on dressing her ankle himself, muttering something about splints and payback) and was half hopping back to the stargate and half being dragged by Colonel O'Neill.
"I'm not trying to put up a fight, sir," she gritted through her teeth. Daniel suspected the tightness in her voice had less to do with the pain in her body and more to do with the undignified way she was being hauled around by her CO.
"Then stop squirming," Jack tossed back, neatly lifting her over a log that was in her path.
"I can walk myself," she argued, not because it was true but because she fervently wished it was. It was the closest to a whine that Daniel had ever heard out of her.
Jack snorted in response, pausing slightly in his step to readjust his pack and his grip on her. Teal'c had volunteered to carry Sam's pack and, since it had come off of her during the descent down the ravine and he got to it first, she was unable to stop him from doing so. "Your pride's going to kill you one day, Major," Jack was informing her. "You know that?"
Daniel laughed, but disguised the sound in a cough before either Jack or Sam could turn on him. Watching his teammates squabble was a welcome way to avoid looking at his own arm. Field bandages kept back the worst of the bleeding, but the dark red substance could still be seen on what was left of his sleeve, and he was doing his best not to pay attention to it. His years in SG-1 had, for better or worse, done a lot to allay his natural fear of blood, but when it was his own he still had something of a problem looking at it and not wanting to black out. At least Sam's sprawling incident had occurred on the way back to the 'gate -- on the downside, their packs were weighted down with ore and soil samples, and they were less than three miles from the stargate when it happened. And, as they'd been walking -- hobbling -- more or less steadily for the past hour, he suspected that the stargate should be right about-
"There!" Sam crowed triumphantly ahead of him, pointing through the thick forest. "I can see the stargate, sir!" Daniel doubted she'd ever been so enthusiastic to see their gateway home before when they weren't under enemy fire. And, because all the inanimate pieces of landscape on P7X-401 had seen fit to conspire against Sam Carter for one glorious day of embarrassment and torture, she immediately tripped, dragging her human crutch halfway to the ground after her.
"It's not my fault, sir!" she exclaimed, sounding pained as she grasped at her previously uninjured ankle and bit down on her lip against reflexive tears. "There's... a hole or something. Under the leaves."
"Sure," Jack hauled her up from the ground and then, like she was so much a blushing bride about to be carried over the threshold, up into his arms.
"Sir!" she squawked, struggling against him as best she could without actually striking her superior officer.
Jack won out, since Sam literally had been left without a leg to stand on after her latest encounter with the ground of P7X-401, but she was clearly and loudly unhappy about it the remaining few minutes to the stargate. Carrying a full-grown, unwilling woman along with a field pack was no easy task, but Jack bore it with a grin and a series of questionably smart comments, knowing exactly how long he would be able to torment his second-in-command for this little incident. Daniel didn't envy her.
At the stargate, she made one final plea to be allowed to limp back to the SGC under her own power, but, with a final grin tossed back at Daniel and Teal'c, and a curt "Request denied, Major," Jack carried her the rest of the way home.
With a sigh, Daniel could only imagine what the rumor mill would make of that.
"Colonel? You want to explain this?" General George Hammond took in his bedraggled troops with wide eyes after calling for a medical team to tend to them and letting a pair of SFs relieve them of their packs and weapons. "According to the MALP, P7X-401 is uninhabited."
"Oh, it is," Jack said, barely containing his mirth. "Carter had a minor... disagreement with the ground, sir. Daniel tried to rescue her. Nothing to worry about."
Sam squirmed unhappily in her CO's arms, face bright red and looking daggers at anyone and everyone, but especially Jack. "You can put me down now, sir," she practically spat.
Grinning, he gently dropped her feet to the ground. She hissed in pain and he supported her weight as she sat down on the bottom of the ramp, looking thoroughly mortified. She turned to Jack and opened her mouth, probably intending to whisper an insubordinate threat of one kind of another, but was cut off when Janet and her medical team barreled through the door.
Daniel should have expected it. After all, he knew she was on her way as soon as Hammond had ordered the medical team, but her presence still startled him. She looked different, somehow, but he couldn't pinpoint any specific change in her appearance as he looked her over. Not that he was staring, of course. She just looked... different.
No one else around him seemed to have noticed. "They're all yours, Doctor," Hammond said, with a glance at Jack, still hovering over Sam's shoulder, that suggested that he was more than happy to be rid of them for a few hours. "Briefing at 1500."
Janet sized up the situation on the ramp in less than a second and approached Sam first, since she was the one on the ground. "How are you doing, Sam?" After the initial fall down the ravine, Sam had been forced to remove one of her boots when the swelling and the weight of the boot had made wearing it intolerable, and Janet knelt down in front of her friend to examine the stocking foot.
"I think it's sprained," Sam offered, biting down on her lip as the doctor poked at the injury. "Maybe... the other one, too," she conceded with a pained sigh when Jack prodded her shoulder and pointed at her still-booted foot.
Was it her hair? Daniel frowned down at Janet as she knelt down, her back to him. She usually wore it up, he thought, although he rarely paid much attention to women's hair, but he didn't remember that her hairstyle normally left the pale back of her neck so exposed. Something thin and gold, a necklace chain, glinted underneath the collar of her uniform blouse and caught Daniel's attention. Jewelry of any kind was frowned upon by the military dress code, he knew, and that meant it was probably of sentimental value for her to be in violation of that rule just to wear it to work. A gift, probably. He felt strangely uneasy at the thought of who might have given it to her.
"There's a lot of swelling," Janet observed of Sam's ankle. "We'll x-ray it -- and the other one -- to make sure you haven't fractured anything. Dobbs, Bentley, let's get her to the infirmary."
Being hauled out of the 'gate-room on a stretcher for only a sprain was clearly another intolerable indignity to add to the list Sam Carter had suffered that day, but Daniel couldn't spare her any sympathy for it because Janet Fraiser had now turned all of her attention on him.
Confident hands peeled back enough of the bandages to make a cursory examination of his wound. She felt different, too, somehow. The action itself was nothing unusual -- Janet patched up his wounds more often than he wanted to think about -- but something in her touch was almost shocking.
"Does that hurt?" He'd actually pulled away from her in surprise, and she'd misread his actions.
"Uh, a little." He wasn't lying. After all, his arm had been dug through with a rock, which wasn't exactly pleasant.
"I think you're going to be all right, Doctor Jackson," she looked right into his eyes and smiled, gently squeezing his uninjured arm, and his heart did something strange in his chest. "We'll get you cleaned up and see if you need stitches."
She let go, and he felt oddly... bereft. The thought spun him sideways. He wanted her to touch him? To smile at him again? Since when? What in the hell was going on?
It was all Jack's fault. Jack, or the people who had started the rumors. It was Janet's fault, too, for coming up with the addled scheme in the first place and for looking so... so... unprofessional with her hair tousled and blouse undone in her office trying to make everyone believe that she and he had done... something... together. Which she never would have had to do if Jack didn't constantly fuel the Sam-and-Jack rumor mill by doing things like carrying Sam into the 'gate-room like he was some dashing knight rescuing his princess of choice, so perhaps it was Jack's fault after all.
He had plenty of people to blame, but in the final account, he was the one standing paralyzed on the 'gate ramp trying vainly to figure out what on Earth he was feeling about Janet Fraiser and attempting -- even more vainly -- to stop feeling it. Immediately.
"Daniel?" When he didn't follow her down the ramp she turned back to him, large brown eyes suddenly scrutinizing him with medical concern.
Good God, she was right there! It was one thing -- still an inappropriate thing, of course -- to be thinking about her like that when he was half a galaxy away on P7X-401, but now she was standing all of six inches away and he was bleeding all over the ramp and in no condition to be entertaining romantic thoughts of any kind. Yes! Blood loss! That had to be it. The pounding in his chest, the way the air felt strangely too thin... definitely blood loss.
"Come on," she encouraged gently, placing a gentle hand on his back to guide him along with her to the infirmary.
He started at the contact. He didn't mean to, but his skin felt like it was burning off beneath her touch, even through his jacket. It wasn't entirely unpleasant. But, with the armed guards staring at them and the complicated situation they found themselves in -- friends, colleagues, the fact that the only interest she'd ever shown in him was quite plainly intended as a joke -- it wasn't entirely pleasant, either.
Blood loss, he chanted in his head. Blood loss, blood loss...
She slipped her fingers into his unhurt hand to steady him. That wasn't helping. "You'll be fine. It's not that far." She turned her face up to his and smiled again, a friendly, reassuring, bedside-manner sort of smile.
His fingers squeezed hers, entirely without his consent.
This was bad.
She squeezed back, reflexively, and his heart did that strange thing again.
This was very, very bad.
Between the 'gate-room and the elevator, they passed one airman whispering to another, "Did you see Colonel O'Neill and Major Carter come back through the Stargate? He was carrying her! And it looked like they'd been kissing!"
Janet, in doctor-mode, was too focused on her patient to do any more than sigh in a tight way that almost sounded like a curse. It wasn't a sigh of resignation, and Daniel could almost see the part of her brain not currently occupied by his wounded arm or Sam's impending x-rays scheming something that he almost certainly wouldn't like.
Or like too much.
Oh, yeah, this was bad, and Daniel had a feeling it wasn't going to get better anytime soon.
This was definitely, definitely not getting any better.
On the upside, he was no longer bleeding. Fortunately for his suddenly unreliable emotions, Janet hadn't stitched him up herself, deciding it was a better use of her time to tend to Sam's injured ankles, soothe her mortified ego, and convince her that homicide was not an option. She had, of course, wanted to check him over herself before releasing him to the briefing, and that was when she'd dropped the bomb.
"Come by my office after your briefing." She slid her lips far, far closer to his ear than was absolutely necessary, and, totally against his will, his eyelids slid closed as her breath breezed against the skin of his neck. Every hair on his body felt like it was standing on end. "We need to... make plans."
She backed away to check his chart like nothing at all had happened, leaving him confused and, to his horror, actually leaning after her, like his body had taken it into its own mind that it would continue to be as close as possible to her whether she moved away or not. The wide eyes of an eavesdropping nurse who quickly scuttled off to report back to her cronies on the other side of the infirmary, and Janet's corresponding self-satisfied smirk, shook him back to reality. And, as soon as Janet declared him medically able to leave the infirmary and not die, the whole unnerving situation shook him right off the bed and toward the briefing room at high speed.
Only to be called back to collect a sulking Sam, who had been unceremoniously dumped in a wheelchair.
The briefing itself wasn't quite as dull as the planet had been, but only because Sam put up such a valiant struggle against being sent on medical leave while her one fractured and one sprained ankle healed up. Jack, perhaps to atone for his earlier misdeeds, backed her up ("She doesn't really need ankles, sir, to sit in her lab and think stuff, does she?") and promised to personally ensure that she didn't work herself to any state of death she hadn't previously reached and survived. The General was forced to relent and allow her into her lab for "limited duty."
From the confused looks exchanged around the table, Daniel doubted that any of them actually knew what "limited duty" was supposed to mean.
And then he was outside Janet's office, getting looks from her colleagues, his heart actually racing as he knocked on the door. He wasn't sure if the unfortunate heart-racing was due to nervousness or anticipation, and he wasn't about to look into that further if he could help it.
"Doctor Fraiser?" he called, tapping at the door again. Best to keep it professional.
"Come in, Doctor Jackson," she called back in kind, although her lilting voice made it sound like his salutation was more of a joke than anything else. "It's open." His mind flashed helplessly to the less than platonic thoughts he'd had about her off-world, and he wondered, before he could stop himself, what this would feel like, what she would feel like, if this wasn't just a charade.
He actually fumbled with the handle. Thank God Jack hadn't been around to see.
"That was fast," Janet observed distractedly as the door closed behind him, blocking off his route of escape. Had her office always been this small? "Briefing go well?"
She licked one finger and used it to page through a stack of loose paper at lightning speed, sticking the chosen pages into two separate file folders and then scrawling labels on the tabs. When he still didn't answer her question, she finally looked up at him.
"Daniel, are you okay?"
She actually looked concerned. He yanked in a breath, and the rush it gave him made him wonder if he'd stopped breathing entirely upon entering her office.
"Fine, yeah. Why do you ask?" He felt dizzy.
She lay her file folders down on the desk and stood up. He mentally willed her to keep back, but she ignored his silent pleading and came to stand right in front of him. For all her diminutive height, she was still a frightening, imposing figure. "I ask because I can take your pulse by looking at the side of your neck," she observed, her wry humor filled with practiced medical calm. "Come on, sit down."
Her hand around his arm leading him to a chair sent a hundred confused butterflies catapulting around his body and brain, confused because her touch was so familiar, in a medical way, and because this touch, though no different objectively, felt a hundred times more intimate.
It did feel good to sit down.
"Have you eaten anything today?" she asked, arms crossed and fully prepared to launch into twenty-medical-questions mode.
He was used to her like this. He could do this. "Er... no. Not really." Better she think he was a complete flake than... interested.
She rolled her eyes and went for her desk drawer, where she pulled out an energy bar and tossed it to him. "Come on, Daniel, you know better than that. In fact, I distinctly remember telling you to eat something when you left the infirmary, something besides coffee, because you'd lost blood. Remember?"
He didn't actually remember much of anything she'd said after her sultry invitation made for the listening nurse's benefit to join her in her office. "Sorry. Must've slipped my mind before the briefing."
"Eat," Janet commanded, and waited while he opened the foil wrapper and took a bite. "How did the briefing go? Sam successfully weasel her way out of medical leave again?"
Daniel had to smile at that. "Well... there may have been more begging and less weaseling, but yes. Jack took her down to her lab, and he's going to move her furniture for her to make it more wheelchair-accessible."
A frown darkened Janet's features. "I was hoping she'd go home for a day or two."
"You know Sam."
"So he's pushing her wheelchair around the base now? They're not exactly making it easy on themselves, are they?"
"Teal'c's there, too," Daniel replied with a shrug. "I think he's the one actually doing the pushing."
"I guess that's something," she sighed, perching herself on the edge of her desk closest to Daniel. "On the upside, you and I are apparently quite an item now."
There was a beat of something in his chest that felt almost like... longing. Naturally, he ignored the hell out of it. "That's... good."
"Well, some people say we are, and some say we aren't." She was grinning, and it was a horribly endearing expression on her. "Best to keep them guessing, I suppose."
Best to get this over with. "You wanted to... uh, make plans?"
She frowned, apparently noticing his unease for the first time as apart from a misdiagnosed medical condition. "Daniel... if this makes you uncomfortable, we don't need to go ahead with it. I was just having fun. I'm sorry."
Her apology and the genuine sweet concern on her lovely (lovely?) face distracted him, and suddenly his mouth was talking completely without his consent. "It's really okay, Janet. It is kind of... fun."
Fun? Fun!? He had to have been possessed, somehow, on P7X-whatever-it-was, in some way the usual battery of tests had missed, because he certainly didn't buy a syllable of what he'd just said aloud. This wasn't fun. He could see, objectively, how this was supposed to be amusing, how it had been forever and a half since he'd simply goofed around with someone, but this... this was terrifying. It shouldn't have been. It could have just been a good laugh, as Janet seemed to think it was, and a nice way to help their dearest friends out of gossip quicksand, if only parts of him weren't taking this game way, way too seriously.
Good lord, he needed a date. Maybe that was it. Jack had hypocritically made some offhanded comment about it a few weeks ago, about how he really needed to get out more, and maybe the man had the right idea, maybe-
"It is a bit weird." Janet interrupted his silent panic attack. "I probably just need to get out more." He started at the echo of his thoughts. "Hanging around with Cassie too much. Sometimes I feel like the only thing I do outside of work is drive teenagers around. You know I'm actually beginning to like the music she and her friends are listening to?"
He said it without thinking. "We should go out sometime." She blinked at him in surprise, and common sense, thankfully, finally reared its head and rejoined the conversation. "Uh... all of us, I meant. It's been awhile since we've done that." Actually, they'd probably never done that, certainly not without a birthday or a recent near-miss of total planetwide annihilation to celebrate.
Janet seemed aware of how odd an invitation it was, but she only shrugged. "You're right. We should."
"Sometime. Whenever." He was aware that he was babbling, but somehow seemed physically unable to stop himself from doing so. "You know, I'm sure you're busy, so..."
"You know..." She wasn't listening anyway. She tapped a finger against her lips between thoughts in an almost cliched portrait of devious scheming. "That's not a bad idea. Being seen off-base together."
"Just... the two of us?" He hoped that didn't sound rude. He hadn't intended it to sound like he didn't want to spend time with her or anything. He hadn't actually intended to say it at all, but it seemed like all his skills of careful, thought-out phrasing that came in so handy on alien planets had abandoned him at the threshold of Janet's office.
She gave him a strange look, but she didn't look offended, exactly. That was good. "I guess not. I mean... if we were having an affair, it would make sense that we would try to hide it."
"So... we should pretend that we're pretending that we're not..." At least ten different images popped into his mind simultaneously, but it seemed like a bad idea to give any of them voice.
"... sleeping together," she finished his sentence for him benevolently. Hearing her say it was far, far worse than just thinking it in his own mind. She laughed, bringing a hand to her mouth in a way that was far too charming for comfort. "We should probably be writing this down."
He reached for something witty to say.
"Uh... yeah, maybe."
That wasn't it.
"So, yes, Daniel, we can bring chaperones if you're worried I'll talk about nothing but antibiotics and teenagers all evening."
"I'm more concerned that you'll pick on the nutritional value of everything I eat." Finally! A complete sentence.
"Seeing you eat anything besides coffee and candy bars would make me happy."
She smiled at him to show she was only -- well, mostly -- joking, and he smiled back, because it was nice to talk like this with someone who wasn't on SG-1, even if it was awkward, and for a moment, neither of them did anything except smile rather goofily at one another.
Her voice startled him out of the warm moment. This time, she was the one fumbling for words. "I... I was going to suggest drinks, but Sam's on..." she took an odd breath, "... anti-inflammatories for the next few days. Dinner?"
"Where?" He probably ate restaurant food a lot more than Janet did, since rumor had it that she used her kitchen for actual cooking and not just as a convenient place to store boxes of microwavable dinners, but given the crazy hours he tended to keep, he rarely ate out like a normal person. A restaurant qualified as good to him if it had a take-out menu or was open 24 hours.
There had been a time when, with the circles he ran in, he'd at least known how many stars a restaurant possessed and had even been fairly adept at making impressive selections from a wine list. At that time, he'd also been tracked for tenure.
Even then, he'd been addicted to take-out.
"O'Malley's?" she suggested. "There are always people there from the SGC... what's that look for?"
She remembered, and almost swallowed her lips trying not to laugh out loud. "Right... the, uh, ban by the management. Never to show your faces again."
"What about the Mountain Hearth, then? Every time I've been there, there have always been people I recognize at the bar. Sam will eat there, at least, although she complains every time that it's just not the same." Janet rolled her eyes affectionately.
"Should I go find the others?" He checked his watch. They had at least an hour before it could reasonably be considered dinnertime. SG-1 was technically off-duty already, but it wasn't as if any of them would actually have left the base yet.
Janet shook her head. "Tonight's not good for me."
Daniel was unused to having friends who had plans. "Oh. Sorry."
"I could... yeah, I could do tomorrow. I'm on-call until 1900, though, so it'll have to be late. Would that work for you?"
"We're... yeah. We're here until Sam's back on her feet."
She scribbled something on a post-it note, paused a moment to look around her desk, and finally stuck it on one edge of her in-tray where visitors to her office might conceivably see it. Daniel -- Wednesday 1900. She grinned proudly. "All right, then. It's a date."
*plants Amnesty flag and runs away*