"When Caesar says, "Do this," it is performed."
— Antony, from William Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar"
"Good morning, Doctor Lam!"
Carolyn smiled at the too-perky-for-this-time-of-morning Doctor Grant. "Good morning, Lindsey. Any plagues or pandemics break out last night?"
Grant grinned. "No ma'am, the only 'breaking out' that occurred in here last night was Captain Douglas."
"The calamine didn't work either, did it?"
"No, ma'am," the older woman replied, rocking back slightly on her Army-issue pumps. "I'd have to say he and SG-3 are having a 'rash' of bad luck."
"You're awful," Carolyn groaned, unlocking the door to her office and retrieving the files left in her box overnight. "What about Daniel and Vala?"
"Slept like babies," Grant answered, shoving her hands into her lab coat pockets and leaning against the door frame. "That means you get the joy of them waking up this morning… which should be anytime now, I might add."
"Fun fun," she sighed, dropping her purse on the desk and grabbing her lab coat from the antique rack standing in the corner. One of the few useful things Dad's ever gotten for me, she thought grumpily, glaring at the furniture piece which had also graced her office at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Mornings just weren't her thing.
"Did we get the lab work back from Sergeant Mallory's 'alien hay fever'?"
Grant pointed at one of the folders now adorning the CMO's desk. "Hay fever it is, alien it is not."
"Garden-variety rhinitis," the major confirmed. "Probably got it while mowing the grass over the weekend. It's been unusually dry these last few weeks."
"I can't complain," Carolyn answered. "After spending the last five years in Atlanta..."
"That humidity will get you, won't it? I was stationed at Fort Benning for nearly that long, so it feels like Paradise in Colorado."
"Pretty much. I can't say I'm looking forward to winter, but summer is heavenly here." She frowned at the manila folders.
"There's nothing Earth-shattering in there, ma'am, if you want them to wait until after you've had your morning coffee to tackle the paperwork."
Despite herself, Carolyn smiled. "Thanks, Lindsey. I'll be sure to--"
"Hello?" called a voice from the main infirmary area. "Anybody awake in here?"
"Just barely, sir," answered Grant, leaning around the doorframe to peer at the newcomer. Turning back to her supervisor, she rapped her knuckles on the metal facing. "I'll go get you some coffee. You look like you need it."
"Gee, thanks for the compliment." Yet another reason why I don't do mornings, she frowned, rubbing at her still-tired eyes. She switched her computer on and turned back to the door in time to see Colonel Mitchell's head pop around the corner. "Goooooood morning!" he grinned.
"It's morning, all right," she answered, wondering why everyone at the SGC was so chipper before the crack of dawn. "What can I do for you, Colonel?"
"Just checking to see if the lovebirds have woken up yet," he said casually, taking up the same wall-supporting position Major Grant had just vacated.
"Not yet," she replied. "Lindsey says they slept through the night. Given that it took 'em nine hours to wake up the last time this happened, we expect both of 'em up to wake up any time soon."
"So you do think it's the bracelets again," Mitchell grinned.
"I'd say it's a pretty safe bet." And goodness knows this place just loves its bets. She'd recently heard mutterings of a pool with stakes on how long it would be before the SGC's former science department head got tired of playing with computers at Area 51 and returned to the front lines.
"But Vala took the bracelets off," Mitchell pointed out.
"So? The bracelets merely stimulated the physiological reactions, but what if whatever they experienced in their shared dream-state caused the effects to transfer to their physiology?"
"You're saying that whatever freaky things happened to them while they were in the Ori galaxy caused this?"
She shot him a bemused look at his creative paraphrasing. "I'm saying it's possible. Stranger things have happened around here, I'm sure, especially to the world's most accident-prone archaeologist."
Mitchell chuckled. "Well, there was the time Jackson had that slug in his head that made him go nuts, the time he got high on a sarcophagus that made him go nuts, or the time twelve different personalities were uploaded to his brain—"
"I get the picture!" she exclaimed, throwing up her hands in mock-exasperation.
"—that made him go nuts," Mitchell finished.
"Very funny," she muttered, then sighed in relief as Major Grant appeared in the door holding a steaming mug. "Thanks, Lindsey."
"We all have our vices, Carolyn," the other woman smiled in return, handing her the aromatic brew. "Also, Logan says Doctor Jackson and Vala are stirring. Looks like they're finally waking up."
Even though the coffee was just a little hot, Carolyn took a swig to fortify herself, then pushed away from her desk. "Are you ready for battle, Colonel?" she asked.
"I can handle Jackson," he answered, then amended, "I think. It's Vala I'm scared of. You mention her name and SG-3 looks like they're trying to pass a kidney stone. SG-12 suddenly finds something else to do that gets them far away." Following her out of the office, Mitchell added, "Come to think of it, I think Jackson's the only one not scared of her."
Carolyn snorted, stopping at Vala's bed long enough to note pulse and respiration readings well in the norm for someone sleeping lightly. Even as she watched, the unconscious thief shifted slightly, murmuring. "I'm not scared of her, Colonel," she pointed out, moving on to Daniel and noting similar readings.
"No offense, ma'am, but you're a woman. Not quite the same... though I wouldn't be surprised if her door swings both ways, if you know what I mean."
Did he just say what I think he said? Carolyn gaped, but any reply she might've made was cut off by a groggy voice muttering, "Jack?"
"Not quite," Mitchell answered, leaning toward the awakening archaeologist. When the first slits of bleary blue eyes peeked out, the colonel said, "Good morning, sunshine."
Daniel visibly jumped. "Gah!" he exclaimed.
"How you feelin'?"
"Better," Daniel answered, brow furrowing in confusion and just a smidgeon of suspicion as Carolyn nudged her way past the colonel to get closer to her patient. "What happened?"
You want the facts or the educated guess? she inwardly retorted.
"We're not exactly sure," Mitchell replied, cutting off her own response and earning himself a glare. Suitably cowed, he amended, "But Dr. Lam here thinks it may have something to do with those alien cuffs."
Obviously the answer he had been dreading to hear, Daniel swiftly sat up, and asked, "Why does one assume that?"
"Well... you were completely unresponsive when we brought you in," Carolyn began, glancing up at the now-awakening alien female, "but your condition suddenly improved when she came back."
His face the very picture of abject horror, the archaeologist slowly turned to face the dark-haired thief. "Miss me?" she grinned. Carolyn thought it very unfair that a woman could exude such feminine allure in scrubs.
Daniel dropped his head into his upturned hands and muttered something unintelligible. "What was that?" Mitchell queried mischievously. "I didn't catch that."
Dragging his hands dramatically across his face, the linguist answered, "Ah, it basically translates to 'like a thorn in my side'."
Vala crossed the space between the two beds and draped herself across his shoulder. "Oh, come on, Daniel, you know I speak fluent Goa'uld." She smiled at Mitchell and Carolyn. "What he actually said was, 'like a hand in his—'"
"Sand," Daniel corrected quickly, sliding off the bed to put it between himself and her. "Sand in my, uh, shorts."
If I don't stop this now... "All right, that's enough out of the both of you! Lindsey, would you give me a sand, er hand examining these two so I can get them out of my infirmary?"
"What's to examine?" the archaeologist asked, crossing his arms and doing his best to look defiant. "I'm fine, she's fine, we're both fine... now can we drag her off to Dr. Lee's lab so we can try to find out why the hell we're still connected?"
"No. You were unconscious for nearly nine hours and—ah! Don't interrupt!" Carolyn poked a finger against his chest, stopping Daniel's protest before it could start. "And you managed to slip your way out of getting checked out the last time this happened. We might have missed something that could have told us more about your reaction to the bracelets." Brushing a stray strand of hair back behind her ear, the CMO motioned Dr. Grant to come over to the bed. "Now, Lindsey is going to check you over before I'll release you from the infirmary, got it?"
"Yes, ma'am," he sighed.
She rounded on the still lingering Mitchell. "And you, Colonel. Don't you have somewhere else you should be?"
Looking apologetic, he nodded. "I guess I'll just go, uh, check in with the control room."
"Do that." Feeling thoroughly pleased with herself, Carolyn reached out and took Vala by the arm, guiding her back to her own bed. When the thief was seated once more, the doctor drew the curtain around the bed. Turning to face the now-sulking patient, she steeled herself for battle with the stubborn alien.
"It's not fair," Vala pouted quietly.
"Excuse me? What's not fair?"
"You! How do you manage to control both Daniel and Colonel Mitchell?"