Summary: Big beds
"He may not go."
Daniel and Sam stopped short as the guards' spears dipped low in front of Teal'c, preventing him from crossing the line painted on the floor.
The guardshack had been hacked out of the close-packed jungle, but even if it were possible to go around, it would be a breach of protocol. Clearly, this was meant to keep people from walking from over there to over here.
And they wouldn't let Teal'c walk over here.
"You said that our team would be taken to the council," Daniel said quickly, his eyes darting around. The natives didn't look grumpy, but they did look firm.
"He is Jaffa. We did not know this at the doorway. He cannot go closer to the council house."
"If you have never had Jaffa on your world, why do you not allow him access?" Daniel countered swiftly.
"We have had Jaffa. They have always been in the company of the Goa'uld."
"This one does not follow a Goa'uld."
"And so he may not enter."
"You would only talk to a Goa'uld?"
The guide glared at Daniel for his purposeful obtuseness. "We do not treat with the Goa'uld. We suffer at their hands."
"Then allow us to discuss a treaty with you. We have a common enemy."
"He cannot pass."
"He is a member of our team. We require him for our negotiations."
"Perhaps I should return to the gate," Teal'c said, but his heart wasn't in it.
"No," said Sam, shaking her head. This was a nasty trick to play on them now; there was nothing to say these natives, if they were so anti-Jaffa, wouldn't jump Teal'c on the way back to the gate and take their anger out on him.
"No," said Daniel too, and got that stubborn look on his face. "Your laws are not against the Jaffa, and certainly not against a Jaffa rebel. They are against the Goa'uld."
The natives consulted among themselves. "True," finally admitted the guide.
"You would not like a Jaffa to pass through with a Goa'uld. But this one is with us."
"You are his lord and master?"
"Look," said Daniel, "your rules must permit some people to come through because they are related to people you have already agreed to let through. Parents, children..."
The guide looked skeptically at Teal'c. "I do not think you can claim that he is either your father or your son."
Daniel's eyes narrowed at the guide, but Teal'c just looked impassive.
"Family members?" said Daniel, losing patience.
"Well, Teal'c is family."
"By blood?" This time the guide looked even more skeptical.
"No, of course not. By... marriage." Daniel looked like he had surprised even himself.
"Oh yes? To whom is he married?"
"Me," Sam said promptly, flashing a big grin.
The guide peered at her.
"I do not think that is so," he said. "If that were the case, you would have introduced him as such when we met at the gate."
Now Sam was starting to get irritated too. "Maybe I'm just shy," she said deliberately.
The natives consulted again among themselves. "No, we do not believe that," said the guide decisively.
Teal'c stared around and several of the natives swallowed. It was fairly clear that if he intended to come through their little spear barrier, he could. However, he remained where he was, balanced squarely on his slightly spread feet, hands clasped behind his back.
"I do not believe you have a sincere reason for impeding my progress," Teal'c told the guide.
"They have a good reason to be nervous about Jaffa," Daniel put in, flashing an apologetic blue-eyed glance in Teal'c's direction.
"Agreed. However, I have already indicated that I am no threat to them. If I wished to be offensive, I would have done so already."
Daniel was getting agitated, his head and torso swinging around in increasingly broad arcs, telegraphing his impatience with the situation. "He's married to me."
"What?" said the guide.
"What?" said Sam.
Teal'c just raised an eyebrow.
"We did not mention it before because we were not sure if it was a taboo in your country, two men marrying each other," Daniel said, watching all their faces, casting around desperately for something that would unlock their trust.
And the guide did look flabbergasted. "Married to you..."
"But he's so --"
Teal'c's eyes slid sideways and pinned the skinny native who had blurted it out. "Yes?" he said, voice low and dangerous, and the skinny guy's skin started to shine with sweat.
"Big!" squeaked the skinny native.
"OH-kay," Daniel said, unwilling to let this devolve into a discussion of this purported married life of his, "but he gets to come through, right?"
Several more natives, curious about the newcomers, had come to stand around the crossing house, and were peering around each other to look.
There was more, intense, louder discussion among the natives. Sam, who was getting the feeling that this mission was going to stop right here, settled back on her heels, dropped her backpack.
"No," said the guide again. One of the other natives peered closely at Sam. Sam just waved her hands. "Hey, I'm just as surprised as you are!"
"Sam!" Daniel couldn't hide his exasperation.
"I'm sorry, Daniel, I just didn't know!"
"Please do not assist me further," Teal'c asked, a real earnestness to his tone.
"Teal'c, we're not leaving without you." Daniel had gone from stubborn to huffy, which everyone, even the aliens, could tell was a bad sign.
"I will be fine, Daniel Jackson."
"I don't like the idea of us splitting up," Sam put in.
"Fine, we'll go home. These negotiations aren't that important."
At that there was a storm of whispering among the natives that had gathered to watch the little scene, crowding in and around the guard house.
"But the Goa'uld will return!"
"And we're going to let them enslave you all because you're BEING REALLY IRRITATING!" Daniel shot right back, letting his voice go up at the end.
"Please, Daniel Jackson. Do not abandon these negotiations on my account." Teal'c's eyes were gentle and a small smile played around the corner of his mouth.
And as always, when faced with Teal'c's implacable calm, Daniel deflated. "We're likely going to need your knowledge, Teal'c, aside from the fact that I'm not comfortable just leaving you to work your way back to the Stargate."
"Perhaps they are married," one of the natives in the back stage-whispered.
The bellow reverberated throughout the little wooden building.
Right behind the bellow was a silver-gray head under a billed cap, shoving its way back through the exit gate. "What the HELL is the holdup, people?"
EVERYone in the building started to talk at once.
"SHUT. UP." bellowed Jack.
Daniel cleared his throat. "They are having some trouble letting a Jaffa through the checkpoint, Jack. They'd be willing to let him come through if he was a family member."
"But they won't believe he's married to me," Carter put in with more than a touch of bitterness.
"Though they are beginning to believe he's married to me," Daniel added thoughtfully.
"Please do not allow them to assist me any further," Teal'c asked Jack with more than a touch of pleading in his voice. "I can return to the Stargate and will report back to the General."
"Can't do that, T," said Jack immediately. "And there's no need."
Sweeping his eyes over the crowd of rapt natives - this was more exciting than nut harvests and pig hunts any day - Jack barked out, "Who's in charge?"
After some shuffling and muttering - perhaps no one really wanted to take responsibility for an interplanetary incident of a size like this one was turning out to be - their guide scowled and elbowed his way forward. "I make the recommendation to the guards here," he said.
"Uh huh." Jack looked him dismissively up and down. "Well, let him through. He's married to me."
Fifty jaws dropped. Teal'c only raised an eyebrow.
The native guide dug way down into his last reserve of stubborn and decided to put it out there. "Then why did they not say THAT?"
"Because. They're ALL married to me."
Carter's eyes were wide enough that "saucer-shaped" wasn't beginning cover their circumference. Daniel's lips, and eyebrows, were twitching.
"Hey, it's personal," Jack said, surveying the slack-jawed natives who had all gone still. "Do *you* go around telling all your personal business to everyone *you* meet?"
The guard appeared to genuinely consider this. "Well, no, but --"
Jack pushed through the crowd to the line on the floor, pushed aside the still-crossed spears. He put out a hand, patted Teal'c's cheek. "You're all mine, right?" he said softly, one side of his mouth quirking in an almost smile.
Teal'c just inclined his head slightly. "Indeed," he said, his low voice carrying throughout the shed.
"There is more to marriage than obedience," the guide said.
Jack, eyes open wide, swung on the guy.
"You're annoying me," he said in a singsong way that was both completely unserious and more than slightly threatening.
"I only mean --"
Jack stepped back toward Teal'c, slid his free hand around the back of Teal'c's head, and kissed him on the mouth.
Blinking, even Teal'c looked astonished this time.
"Now." Jack put out his hand, took Teal'c's in it, and pulled him over the line. "Are we going to negotiate, or not?"
The guide clearly had nothing left. "But you said that they were all --"
"Yup. All mine. It's a complicated little planet, ours. Very odd mating habits, very large beds. Complicated family structures. Dogs and cats, living together, it's crazy, you wouldn't EVEN begin to understand it."
Loftily Jack waved a hand and Teal'c, Daniel, and Sam fell in behind him and marched straight through the gathered crowd and out the other side of the building.
The guide looked like he might say something at the last but Sam, bringing up the rear, saw him about to open his mouth and shook her head. "Seriously. Don't."
He followed them out.
As they hiked along the path cut through the thick woven tangle of trees and associated plants, so thick that no one could walk through it, Sam and Daniel caught up to where Teal'c stayed just a step behind Jack.
"Jack?" said Daniel questioningly.
"All of us?" said Sam, just as questioningly.
"Don't get excited," Jack said, waving his hands in a gesture that suggested bountiful magnanimity, "no pushing, no shoving, there's plenty of me to go around."
"You are enjoying this entirely too much, O'Neill," Teal'c said, his lips pursing a little, giving away a slight touch of disapproval.
"Don't worry, you don't all have to take my last name." Jack couldn't stop sounding smug.
"I wasn't worried," said Carter, cutting a look at him that made it clear she was wondering if he'd been replaced by some sort of alien.
"Good, good. Not much room here for us all to walk in row, Carter, maybe you better go on ahead."
Looking occasionally over her shoulder as if Jack might spring something on her while her back was turned, Carter pressed forward, along with Teal'c, who was following close behind the guides who were hacking back at random foliage, and making them nervous.
Daniel walked along beside Jack on the overgrown path for a few moments.
"I almost had them convinced he was married to me," Daniel said softly, a little chidingly.
Jack turned to study Daniel's profile for a moment. "Yeah, funny they weren't buying it."
"You don't think I could have convinced them if you'd given me a few minutes?"
"C'mon, Daniel. No offense, but look at him." Jack pointed to where Teal'c's shoulders loomed in the shadowy undergrowth. "You think he'd settle for you when he could have a piece of this?"
Daniel choked on nothing, tripped a little over his own boots.
"Easy there, big guy," Jack consoled, patting his shoulder.
"Oh, I'm all right, I'm all right. I can't wait to hear more about these Earth customs. Complex mating patterns. Big beds."
"Ah, well." Jack settled his hands back on his P90, and if the light had been better Daniel might have sworn he was blushing. "You know I'm not much with the details, Daniel. I figured I'd leave those to you."
Daniel nodded slowly, a tiny captive smile curling and disappearing around the corners of his mouth as he attempted to nod with a straight face. "No problem, Jack," he said. "I'll take care of all the details."
They walked along for a few more minutes before Jack said, "I forgot that they were going to put us up for the night, didn't I."
"I guess so," Daniel said, studying the plant canopy hard.
"They're going to give us one big bed now, aren't they."
"Probably." Daniel still didn't look at Jack.
"Oh well." Jack just shrugged. "I'm sure it'll be fine."
"You snore, Jack?"
"*You* snore, Daniel."
"Yep." Daniel nodded. "But I don't have cold feet."
He wandered a little farther ahead, leaving Jack to wince behind him.
"Crap," Jack said under his breath. "I bet Carter has cold feet."