The familiar silver-haired figure stepping through the infirmary door was the last person Daniel Jackson wanted to see right now. Jack O'Neill making an appearance at the SGC immediately after a spectacularly humiliating mission for SG-1 could only mean he was here to tease and torment.
The first words out of his mouth confirmed Daniel's fears. "Well, campers, I hear you had an em-bare-ass-ing experience last night!"
"Nice to see you too, Jack, how ya been?" Daniel snarked. Going on the offensive was the only way to combat the General Pest. He smiled a little at his own joke, but immediately turned the expression back into a scowl. "Wow, they must have some good steakhouses there in DC... you've put on, what? Ten pounds? Fifteen?"
Jack took on a look of hurt, patted his softening middle, and inhaled sharply to reduce his profile. "Well, unlike some people in this room, I'm not required to sideline as a stripper. I thought we paid you better than that."
"I tried to convince him he could make a killing if he'd dance at Lieutenant Morgan's bachelorette party last week, but he wouldn't do it," pouted Vala, taking the ice pack off her spectacular black eye just long enough to give Jack one of her trademark grins.
"Nice shiner. Did you get that before or after the five of you wound up in a puppy pile?"
"Sir!" Sam protested. Concussion plus nausea equaled one very unhappy astrophysicist, especially since Doctor Lam wasn't letting her leave the infirmary for another day or two.
"There were no canines involved, O'Neill," deadpanned Teal'c, voice distorted by the wires holding his broken jaw together. "Colonel Mitchell tripped when he became entangled in Vala Mal Doran's undergarments."
"I did not!" Mitchell squawked, struggling to sit up without lowering his casted left foot. "I was still wearing my socks, and socks and marble floors don't go well together! Besides, Jackson's the one that fell into that Calla... pigeon... lady—"
"Callipygian," Daniel corrected.
"—And brought it down on top of everyone."
Jack looked insufferably pleased with himself. "Ah, that would be the statue of the chick baring her butt, wouldn't it? Daniel! You weren't trying to feel up the half-naked lady were you?"
Before Daniel could reply, Vala exclaimed, "Well, of course not, General! He was just trying to catch his balance."
"Thank you," Daniel sighed, relieved she hadn't added to his misery for once.
"Besides, he felt up two completely naked ladies when he bounced off of the statue and hit the ground."
"I did not!" he protested, wincing when his protest sounded astonishingly like Mitchell's. "I put my hands out to catch my fall."
"One hand on each of us," Vala added smugly.
"I haven't been groped like that since Jason Cornell tried my junior year in high school," Sam chimed in, sounding a little too cheerful for Daniel's comfort.
"Did you knee him in the groin like you did me?" he scowled, hands instinctively moving to protect his already wounded... pride.
"Sorry, it was a reflex."
Vala dropped her ice pack again. "Now, Daniel, I did offer to give you a massage to make it feel better."
"Oh, I think the shoulder you drove into my kidneys was quite enough," he retorted. "And to answer your question, Jack, Vala got the black eye when the arm of the statue bounced off the floor and landed on her."
Jack nodded, still looking far too pleased with himself. "Okay, so Mitchell losing his pants is nothing new—"
"Aw, c'mon!" Mitchell protested, adding a belated, "uh, General" when he remembered who was talking.
"—But how'd the rest of you wind up au naturel?" He rubbed his hands together gleefully, in a very Monty Burns-ish way. "C'mon, I want the naked facts."
Daniel groaned and rubbed his hand—the one not wearing a forearm cast—over his bruised face. "They wanted to make sure we weren't Skoptsy."
"I thought they were fighting a group called the Peresi," Sam frowned.
"I thought they were fighting a cult of eunuchs," Mitchell chimed in, having finally twisted around on his bed so that he could look at everyone and keep his ankle elevated.
Teal'c nodded sagely. "You are both correct, the Peresi were a cult which mutilated the genitalia of both genders."
"Ew," Jack cringed.
"Like the Skoptsy from Russia," Daniel sighed, trying to get back to his original point. "They were a religious sect which practiced the removal of genitalia to restore the human form to a pure state. You see, they believed—"
Vala snorted. "Well, that's one way to ensure there are no more little Skoptsies running around."
"That probably explains why they're losing the fight!" Mitchell agreed.
Pulling up a rolling chair, Jack straddled the seat and sat down, crossing his arms on the back of the chair. "I think that has more to do with the 'membership requirements'," he joked, voice rising to a squeaky falsetto on the last two words. "Or is that dismember?"
Daniel groaned again. "You know, I'm actually grateful Mitchell lost his balance and started the whole 'domino' thing."
"Was it as good for you as it was for me?" Vala purred, grinning salaciously.
He smirked at her. "The next step was proving everything worked properly."
Vala leapt to her feet, saluting with her bag of ice. "Requesting permission to go back, General!"