The room slowly came into focus. His head was pounding and he cataloged at least half a dozen sharp, surface pains scattered over his body. He tried to move his arm because he wanted to hold his aching head in his hands, but he couldn't move.
“Wake him up.” A gruff voice said from not too far away.
Just as someone shoved some sort of smelling salts under his nose, Cam realized he couldn't move because he was tied to a chair. Son of a... The smelling salts burned his sinuses and he jerked his head back violently.
That's when it all came back to him. He was in a cell being interrogated by Lucian Alliance operative and a couple of their thugs for information on what was going on at Icarus. Or where Icarus was, or something about Icarus. Before he could truly get his bearings, the operative gave Cam an injection from a big, long needle.
“A chemical compound of my own making. You will soon be telling me what I need to know.”
“You shot me up with some sort of truth-telling cocktail?”
At first, the room just went fuzzy again. The walls turned to liquid and cascaded to the floor and the faces of the Lucian thugs danced as they melted and twisted and distorted. It reminded Cam of mirrors in the funhouse at a carnival and he began to laugh.
His laugh elicited the expected response as a fist connected with his jaw.
The operative dismissed the thugs. “Are you prepared to answer my questions now, Colonel Mitchell?”
Cam wanted to recite his name rank and serial number, but figured as many times as he's told them they ought to have it memorized by now.
“What are the coordinates of your research base?”
“You'll have to be more specific.”
“The research base.”
“I don't have a research base. I have done research. In school. Before the internet. We actually had to use books and periodicals, can you imagine? And I got to first base with Stephanie Trimbull in eighth grade. I got to second base...”
“Not you, you. Your people.”
“My people. But you didn't even wait to hear about my first home run!”
“The Tau'ri have a research base where they are attempting to unlock the ninth chevron.”
“They do?” Cam's raced to keep up, working on mental tricks to avoid the effects of the drug. He mentally exchanged terms for like sounding words. 'Tau'ri' became 'Atari' and that way he could be genuinely surprised at the fact that Atari has a new game out.
His tactic allowed him to chase the operative around his own tail for several questions, but the operative grew tired of the game and Cam worried that the strategy of beating it out of him was about to return.
“Listen,” Cam interrupted, “I am trying here. I really am. And I can see that you're getting frustrated. If you get frustrated, you might bring your thugs back in and they might start rearranging my face again. I don't want that to happen. And you don't want to have to call them back in. So what can we do about it?”
“You can tell me what I want to know. The drug should make you tell me what I want to know.”
Cam peered at him. “Whatever you gave me has made me talkative. Not that I wasn't always talkative, but usually I can keep my mouth shut when I want to. Since you've given it to me I've not been able to tell you an outright lie.”
“But you are still evasive!”
Cam grinned, “Good training. Plus, I always like word games.” He frowned. “Too talkative though, like that last sentence --- I should've kept that to myself.”
“What? You guys don't play scrabble?”
The sound of distant gunfire drew the operative away and towards the door. Cam struggled with his bindings.
“Are you attempting to free yourself?” The operative asked, not turning around.
“Didn't I tell you not to do that?”
“Yes. Did you think I would listen?”
The operative turned to Cam, “Not really, but I had hoped the drugs would have left you more open to my suggestion.”
“I've got a suggestion, pal. Why don't you let me go before my friends get here, and maybe they won't have to shoot you.”
“How do you know these are your friends? The sound could simply be from our soldiers training.”
Cam rolled his eyes. “You're horrible at making up stuff on the spot, you know that? A) you were surprised by the gunfire, so it's not likely your own people and B) those are P-90's issued by my Atari people and I'm SO out of here.”
“They will never penetrate this far into the compound. We have....”
There was a commotion just outside the door. The operative narrowed his eyes and tilted his head to listen. After a few moments of silence, he gingerly stepped towards the door.
The door flung open, sending the operative into the wall where he slumped onto the floor. Teyla kept her P-90 pointed in his direction as Vala rushed towards Cam to free him from his bindings.
“Ladies! My knights in shining armor, my darling damsels delivering me from distress, my ...”
“Does Colonel Mitchell often speak in this manner?” Teyla asked as she helped guide Cam towards the door. Cam was rambling something to her about missions in the Milky Way.
Vala shrugged and looked at the empty syringe and related paraphernalia on the nearby stand. Shoving it all in her pack she turned to Teyla, “It's hard to say.”
“Are you redecorating the cell, or can we be moving on?” John called from down the hall.
When he heard John's voice, Cam stopped in the middle of the hallway.
“We do need to be departing.” Teal'c agreed and gestured for Cam to continue.
“First....,” Cam held up a finger and struggled with his words, “I.... want... a hug.”
Gate teams from two galaxies stared at him like he'd lost his mind.
Cam blushed and hung his head. “Forget it,” he mumbled.
Vala lowered her weapon and reached over to pull Cam into a quick bear hug. “There. Is that better?”
Cam grinned. “Yes, it is actually. Thank you.” He looked at the other team members expectantly.
Vala hissed at Daniel, and nudged him with her elbow. “Give him a hug.”
Teyla responded. “I believe Colonel Mitchell has been drugged. Vala has samples of what we believe he was given.”
Everyone immediately relaxed. Being kidnapped, beaten and drugged was completely normal. Grown men wanting hugs in the middle of a rescue mission was a sign of someone losing their mind and going crazy was scary.
Daniel hugged Cam, then Teyla reached over and offered one. Teal'c gave Cam such a hearty embrace that it made his ribs ache. And Cam tried not to cling when John gave him an awkward hug.
John pulled away and coughed lightly. “Rodney and Ronon are holding the gate. They put some sort of tracking device on the DHD and Rodney's disabling it. Do you need them to hug you, too?”
“No. I think I'm good for now.”
They returned to the SGC and put Cam into the waiting hands of Doctor Lam and her team while they showered and debriefed. Later, John learned that Cam had been released from the infirmary but told to remain on base for a couple of days. It seemed to happen to members of SG-1 frequently and they all had quarters in the mountain.
John knocked on the door and discovered Cam watching a 'SyFy' movie of the week. It was really bad, but the redhead was cute and the leading man sort of looked like Lorne. He settled in beside Cam on the drab sofa and stole a couple handfuls of Cam's popcorn.
“So what kind of drugs make you want a hug from everyone?” John asked when the movie was over.
“I didn't want a hug from everyone.” Cam explained the word games he'd been playing and how truth-telling could be exaggerated and manipulated. “I just... I saw you and wanted... I was relieved to see you is all. It's not like I needed a hug or anything, I just...” Cam trailed off.
“So, the drug is still active.”
Cam nodded, “Doc says it's wearing off. Might be a day or so.”
“In that case, you should probably shut up.”
“Yeah, that'd be the smart thing to do, wouldn't it? Will you stay?”
“If you want me to.”
“Am I supposed to answer that or is this the part where I shut up?”