A Dubious Ally

by Kathryn A

Chapter 2

Jack pulled himself to his feet, holding on to the edge of the console. The central column of the console was glowing and moving up and down. There was the hum of smoothly functioning machinery. He heard voices through the half-open door on the other side of the room. He poked his head around it, and saw nothing but a long white corridor with the occasional door. How big was this place?

He walked quietly along until he came to the door the voices were coming from.

"I am perfectly fine!"

"It would put my mind at ease if you would let me examine you."

"You know nothing of Time Lord physiology."

"I'm not ignorant! Bioelectronics is my field, and you know how advanced we were on Traken."

"How dare you defy me!"

"You see, Doctor? You're not yourself."

Jack eased the door open. The Doctor was standing half facing away from the door. A young woman with long curly hair was facing the Doctor. Jack could see that the ribbon device was still on his hand. Damn. If he forced Nefertem to show his true colours, would the woman be able to do something? Well, she'd certainly been handy enough with whatever she'd beaned him with.

Jack stepped inside. "Of course he isn't himself. He's been taken over by an alien parasite. You should see him when his eyes start glowing."

Nefertem glared at Jack and raised his hand. "Why didn't you kill him, Nyssa?"

Nyssa's eyes widened briefly and then she gave Jack an unpleasant smile. "Yes, why didn't I?" she asked, sliding silkily towards Nefertem.

Nefertem smiled. Jack tried to move back but the ribbon device pulsed, throwing him back against the door. Jack staggered back but didn't fall, and he looked up in surprise to see Nefertem collapse mid-blast, as Nyssa pressed a device against his neck.

Nyssa glanced up at Jack. "Are you all right? The sedative won't hold him long."

Jack pushed himself away from the door and quickly removed the ribbon device from the Doctor's hand. Jack dropped the device on an empty shelf near the door.

"Help me put him on the examination table," Nyssa said. Jack did so, and they strapped the Doctor's body down. It was only then that Jack began to relax.

"A parasite, you said? Do you know what it is?" Nyssa asked. "Acanthocephala? Fungoid? Vertebrate?"

"I don't know. It's a like a snake, with spiny wings -- and jaws. It wraps around the brain-stem and into the brain. The host usually dies if you try to separate them."

Nyssa frowned. "I shall endeavour to do better than that. Much better. By the way, I'm Nyssa, of Traken. You are?"

"Colonel Jack O'Neill, USAF, ma'am."

"From Earth?"

"Er, yes."

"The Doctor is quite fond of Earth. I'm sure he can get you home again, once he's better."

The time that followed was a blur to Jack, with Nyssa directing him to "hold this" and "press that" and read incomprehensible numbers from a screen. She scanned and poked and prodded, and at one point Jack had to hold a convulsing Doctor down while a machine buzzed and thrummed with such a high-pitched vibration that it made Jack's teeth ache. Then more scanning and muttering, as Nyssa made entirely sure that every last trace of the goa'uld was gone.

"That's it," Nyssa said. "He should be fine." She tapped a console and the Doctor's eyes fluttered open.

"Doctor, it's okay, the parasite is gone now," Nyssa said.

"I know," the Doctor whispered. "Knew you could help. That's why I tricked it into coming to the TARDIS."

"You tricked it?" Jack exclaimed. "But what if it got your ship?"

"It wouldn't have," the Doctor smiled. "Not with you two around."

"Thanks for convincing it not to shoot me."

"You're welcome," the Doctor said, grinning. "Now let me out of these restraints."

"Nooo," Jack said, smiling his most charming smile at Nyssa as he came around the examination table. "I think you're less of a danger to yourself and the universe... right there." Nyssa let a small smile tug at the corner of her mouth. "Would you give me a small tour of this 'TARDIS', milady?" he asked. He extended his elbow to her and after a moment's hesitation, she slipped off her operating stool and slid her arm through his.

"Nyssa!" The Doctor exclaimed, and tugged at his restraints. "You wouldn't dare!"

"You know he's probably right, Doctor," Nyssa said with a grin as she and Jack walked towards the door.

The Doctor spluttered something incomprehensible.

"Oh, don't be so melodramatic," Nyssa said, and she touched the hand-panel as she left the room. She and Jack threw him a last grin as his restraints retracted.

"Where to first?" Nyssa asked, when they were out in the corridor.

"Does this place have a bathroom?"

"And here I thought you wanted a tour," Nyssa said.

"I just don't want to inflict my grime on a lady."

"Ah, a true gentleman," Nyssa said, with a half-mocking smile.

This trip was turning out just fine, Jack thought. He couldn't wait to see Hammond's face when the extra-dimensional porta-potty appeared in the Gate Room.

He grinned down at Nyssa. "Oh, I'm just getting started."


Author's Notes:

Done for the Multiverse 2005 challenge, for LorienWillow, with the request "Jack O'Neill (Stargate: SG1) & The Fourth or Fifth Doctor (Doctor Who)"

This is set between "Time Flight" and "Arc of Infinity" in the Doctor Who universe.

Thanks to Mistral for being a sounding-board, and reveilles for beta-reading and solving my title and ending problems, and starborn_scribe for beta-reading.