Category: humour, smarm… maybe drama
Rating: PG adult language and innuendo
Warning: plotless smarm – which I write when I am trying to get a handle on new characters.
Disclaimer: Characters are property of MGM, etc.
Spoilers: mainly first season… very vague ‘Hathor’ and ‘Singularity’ and potentially, maybe, ‘Gamekeeper’.
Summary: the team has a barbecue and bonds
Author's note: Thanks to Jmas for betaing and answering the
SG-1 questions that I pose. Thank you to
Colonel Jack O’Neill hated with
a passion wasting a day off shopping. It especially galled him when the sun was
shining and he could have been working in his garden or playing hockey. The
back of his jeep was now filled with enough supplies to last him a month and if
he spent enough time venturing through the Stargate, possibly two. Even though
he had had to endure the screaming kids in the supermarket and the bustle of
Saturday shoppers it did mean that he got to drive his jeep on a perfect summer
day. Driving through
Jack slammed on the brakes and screeched to a halt beside a cyclist and a jogger, both of whom he knew very well.
“Hi, Jack.” Daniel grinned blindingly as he pulled off his cycling helmet.
“What ya doin’?” Jack drawled deliberately.
“We are exercising, Colonel O’Neill,” Teal’c said precisely.
“Janet came and yelled at me for spending too many long hours in my ‘dank, dark office’.” Daniel took a long drag from his water bottle. “And Teal’c ‘expressed an interest’ in getting out of the mountain.”
“So you decided to get some exercise?”
“Yeah, I guess all that silly training you made me do when I signed up for SG-1 has given me a taste for exercise.” He glanced depreciatively down at his thin, sweaty shorts and t-shirt. “I never used to need to work off excess energy.”
Jack almost rose to the unintentional insult.
“I thought this would allow
me to see your town in a new light,” the
Jack followed his gaze across the road to a park where children played on swings and merry-go-rounds, screaming with pleasure as young mothers watched them with careful eyes.
“So what’s your plan for the rest of the day?”
“We were going to stop by your place,” Daniel said ingenuously.
Jack grinned, liking the spontaneity. It was good that his new team felt comfortable enough to pop around at the drop of a hat.
“Did you know,” Daniel continued speaking, “we’ve cycled over 17 miles and Teal’c is still going strong.” He handed across his no doubt lukewarm bottle of water to the alien. “And we’ve only been out for an hour and twenty odd minutes.”
“We should get him in a marathon; we’d clean up.”
Teal’c was built for endurance and bodybuilding – he did not look like a runner. The colonel mentally tallied the gambling winnings from the sucker bet, and grinned.
“Tell you what,” Jack proposed, “you guys continue ‘round the park and I’ll go on ahead and fire up the barbecue.”
“How’s about calling Sam and seeing if she wants to join in? And Cassie and Janet?” Daniel grinned.
“The more the merrier,” Jack acknowledged.
“Party!” And somehow Daniel grinned wider.
Jack let them cycle and jog
into the park before he pulled away from the kerb. They made a picture of
contrasts: the lithe, pale skinned Tau’ri, his legs pumping on the cycle’s pedals
as he chased after the tall, bulky, dark skinned
The barbecue was ready to be
lit and he had managed to pack away most of the groceries by the time he heard
the heavy pad of the large
“Are you fatigued, DanielJackson?”
Jack snorted and ducked back onto the kitchen to retrieve a carton of juice from the refrigerator. Daniel was still lying on the grass, arms outflung soaking up the sun when Jack wandered into the garden holding two long glasses of mint julep.
“You gonna lie there all day?”
Daniel pushed himself up on an elbow. “Teal’c’s indefatigable. My legs feel like jelly.” He pulled off his helmet and sunglasses before accepting the drink.
Taking a sip, he announced, “this is nice. What it is?”
“Isn’t that alcoholic? Should I be drinking after exercise?”
Jack shrugged. “It won’t kill you.”
“Ugh.” Daniel sat up properly and pawed at his sticky t-shirt; it clung to his ribs.
“You know, you can go take a shower,” Jack offered, reading the unsubtle hint. “Help yourself to a change of clothes.”
“Please.” Daniel sniffed his t-shirt and wrinkled his nose. “Don’t want to offend the girls.”
Energised by the prospect of a shower, he scrambled to his feet and made his way into the house.
Shaking his head, Jack
picked up the bike, wheeled it down the path and set it by the garage. The
“You like jogging, Teal’c?”
“I do not.”
Jack glanced sideways at the alien. “Then why do it?”
“It is a valuable form of exercise.”
Jack was almost sure he heard resignation in his friend’s voice. “Hurts so good?”
“I do not understand,” Teal’c said solemnly.
“Well,” Jack paused trying to put it into words. “You feel better when you stop doing it?”
Teal’c fixed him with possibly a chastising expression, as if to say, how dare O’Neill consider him to be a masochist.
Jack shrugged and moved on. “When Daniel’s finished in the shower – don’t hold your breath waiting – do you want one?”
“I would indeed like to have a shower.”
Jack considered the sweaty
Daniel was singing happily
in the shower. Jack grinned at the
Jack bowed deeply and
flourished, gesturing for Teal’c to precede him into his bedroom. By the
non-expression on the
“Here.” He held up a Miami Dolphins American Football jersey, measuring it against Teal’c’s frame. It was sufficiently enormous. He rooted through the drawer; he was sure that he had a pair of Sarah’s cycling shorts lying around somewhere.
“Why do you possess an item of clothing which two O’Neills could comfortably wear?”
“It’s a football jersey – you wear protective gear underneath.”
Daniel emerged from the shower, a small towel tucked neatly around his waist, towelling his wet hair.
“Oops!” Almost faster than the eye could follow he darted back into the en suite bathroom and closed the door.
“Daniel,” Jack called out, “grow up.”
“Sorry.” The younger man poked his head out of the door, but he did not emerge any further.
Jack shook his head; he had the only SG team that showered in shifts: himself; Teal’c (who had some misplaced concerns about the Tau’ris reactions to his pouch); then Daniel (the shyest archaeologist known to man) and finally, Carter (who was actually a woman under those fatigues).
They stood quietly, waiting for the linguist to re-emerge from the bathroom. Teal’c seemed quite content to stand almost at attention while Daniel dawdled. Jack reflected that this spur-of-the-moment party was a good way to get to know his team better. Those who ate together, fought together, carried out death defying missions together deserved to take the time to play together.
A bashful Daniel appeared dragging his fingers through his floppy hair. “All yours.”
Shaking his head at Daniel’s coiffure Jack handed him a comb. “You ever thought about getting it cut?”
Jack nodded slowly.
Daniel chewed his lip as he dragged the comb through a snarl. “Well, yeah, sometimes. But…well… I’m used to …it. Uhm… My mom…”
“Spit it out, Daniel.” The kid’s tendency to stutter was at odds with his normal demeanour as a highly educated professional.
“My mom liked it like this.” He smiled depreciatively, then shrugged as if saying: yes, he knew he was over thirty and an adult but his mom had liked it.
O’Neill had read that the linguist’s parents had both died in an accident when he was a practically a baby but he knew no other details. The colonel couldn’t think of any rejoinder to Daniel’s words.
Daniel smiled bashfully and passed the comb back. “So what can I do to help with the barbecue?” he asked changing the subject.
“Let’s go down and see.”
Daniel padded barefoot down the stairs after him. “Did you ring Sam and Janet and Cassie?”
“Janet’s at the mountain, but Sam’s picking up Cassie. Janet will follow.”
Tagging along at his heels, Daniel followed him through the dining room and into the kitchen. “You’ve been busy.” Daniel indicated the pile of salad stuff on the table. “I’ll make the salads and you can fire up the barbecue.”
“How did you know I was going to say that?”
“‘Cos you think it is your God given right to be in charge of the fire pit.” Daniel’s humour was evident. “It’s very Neanderthal of you.”
Jack gave him a gimlet stare. “Go chop some cucumber.”
Daniel smirked, but for once in his life obeyed without questioning.
Jack watched the glowing coals, there was something really satisfying about a barbecue and he had achieved perfection.
“Sir!” Carter’s voice disturbed his contemplations.
“Jack.” A pint sized body smushed against his hip.
“Hey, Cassie.” He swung her around in a circle. Janet’s newly adopted daughter was growing by leaps and bounds. “What’ve you been doing?”
“I’ve been learning how to play volleyball. I don’t understand why you play these games.”
Carter held up the young alien’s ball. Evidently Cassie was still learning the whys and wherefores of daily American life.
“We play them because they’re fun.”
“Mom said they were controlled violence that often wasn’t controlled.”
“Well, your mom is a doctor so she has to say that.”
“Janet…” Cassie corrected herself. “Mom said you’d say that and Mom’s coming later.”
“Sir,” Carter said again, ever polite. She held up a bag from the local liquor store. “Daniel phoned me and asked me to bring some more beer and chips.”
“More the merrier.” Jack craned his head over his shoulder. “Danny boy, where’s the food?”
Daniel appeared, tray held high. “Here we have my special burgers with my secret chilli marinade.”
“Oh, boy.” Carter blanched, knowing Daniel’s penchant for throat searing spices.
“Don’t worry,” he stage whispered, “I didn’t put all of the birds eye chillies in.”
“Yeah, I put them in the relish,” Jack interjected. He punctuated his words by scooping up a mouthful of relish on a tortilla chip. The searing burn brought tears to his eyes. “That hurts so good.”
He quenched the burn with a draft of cold cerveza. Cassie glued herself to his hip and peered at the sauces, dressing and dips on the wooden deck table. She reached over to poke her finger in the relish.
“I wouldn’t do that,” Daniel warned.
“Why? Jack likes it.”
“Jack’s insane,” Daniel said pithily.
“Best stick to the tomato sauce,” Sam advised.
Not to be dissuaded, especially since her hero had delved into the bright red sauce, she scooped up a fingerful and stuck it in her mouth. Her reaction was immediate; her eyes bugged and she spat out the dregs of the chilli. Retching dramatically, she danced around the house deck. Jack made a concerted effort not the laugh; then gave up. Laughing, he patted the little girl on her back.
“Told you.” He pulled her onto his lap and offered her a wedge of burger bun. “Take it,” he advised. “It’s better than soda; it’ll just spread it around.”
Mute, tears spilling down her cheeks, she dutifully chewed on the bread.
“Maybe you’ll listen next time?”
“How can you eat that?” she finally gasped. “It’s horrible.”
“Well, you see,” Daniel said conversationally as he ferried out the salads from the kitchen. “Jack’s old – his taste buds have been burnt away by too many chillies over too many years so he needs food like that.” He jerked his head at the relish. “So he can actually taste something.”
Cassie was wide eyed.
“Actually,” Carter put her two cents worth in, “an improper diet often causes the body to develop unusual cravings in an attempt to satisfy nutritional requirements. Craving vitamin A, which is found in high quantities in chillies, and is easily available in the western diet from other food sources, indicates that Colonel O’Neill’s diet is generally poor…” her voice trailed to a halt as she realised that she was being disrespectful to a superior officer. “…sir.”
Jack smiled beatifically and took another mouthful of relish. Cassie stuck to cheese strings and ketchup.
“She shoots! She scores!” Jack deliberately fouled his fellow team member allowing Cassie to score in their undefended goal.
It was boys
verses girls, with Teal’c as an honorary girl because of his pouch. Jack was
fairly sure that the
Cassie and Jack performed a Mexican wave of two people and then slapped each other’s palms.
Daniel shook his head in amused resignation. Jack smirked; he could practically read the younger man’s mind and he wasn’t thinking anything polite. What had started as an explanation of the various sports the Tau’ri played to the two alien members of the group had devolved into a hit-or-miss game of soccer without any rules. The fact they were playing with Cassie’s volleyball meant that when the ball was kicked it travelled very far.
“Wake up, Jack!” Daniel pushed past him, dribbling the ball surprisingly deftly, between his legs.
Jack spun on his heel as
Daniel ducked past the large
With a speed belying his mass, Teal’c spun on his heel, caught Daniel by the back of his shirt and then scooped him up. Before Jack could blink, Teal’c had Daniel secured firmly against his side and was running back up the drive kicking the ball.
“Put me down!” Daniel
drummed his fists against Teal’c’s shin. Jack jumped to the side as the
juggernaut of a
Hands on hips, Jack contemplated his team mates. “Whose turn is it to get the ball? You know if Mrs Douglas sees it she’ll keep it.”
“I’ll go,” Sam volunteered. Furtively she picked her way through the hedge and crept into the cantankerous neighbour’s garden.
“What is this?” Daniel demanded. “Pick on the archaeologist?”
Teal’c glanced down at Daniel, whom he still held pinned against his waist. “Is this not the purpose of the game?”
“What? To pick on Daniel?” Jack laughed.
“Story of my life,” Daniel said
waspishly as he leaned forward to plant his palms on the drive, taking some of
his weight off the
“You prevented DanielJackson from taking the ball from Cassandra. I merely strove to prevent him from scoring a goal.”
“No, what we keep doing to Daniel is called ‘a foul’. It’s against the rules; it’s a lot of fun, though. He now gets a penalty, assuming Carter can find the ball and we can continue with the game.”
“Are you going to put me down anytime this week?” Daniel muttered.
“Food’s ready!” Janet called from the deck. “ I feel like a den mother.”
“Coming!” Cassie ran to her mother’s side. “I want the first burger.”
“You know, this is just a total blast from the past,” Daniel addressed mid air. “Just like being back at high school. Do you know how much I *hated* high school?”
Jack grinned at his team mates.
“Come on, Teal’c, put Daniel down or you’ll miss the perfect burger – cheese, bacon, tomatoes, pickles…”
Teal’c shifted his grip allowing Daniel to walk on his hands a few steps forwards. Then he levered Daniel into a standing position.
Teal’c deftly supported the weaving archaeologist. Daniel batted at his hands. Looking comically disgruntled, he tottered off towards the deck.
“I believe that I have offended DanielJackson.”
“Nah,” Jack declaimed. “He’s just whining.”
He could hear Daniel cajoling a well-done burger from their doctor and Cassie asking for another one.
“I believe if you wish to eat the scorched food from your barbecuing device you should hurry.”
“Hey, leave some for me,” Jack called out as he ran towards the deck.
Teal’c waited for Captain Carter to return from her covert mission to recover the ball.
The coals of the fire died down with the setting sun. Cassie was curled up on the sofa in the sitting room allowing the adults their quiet time.
Daniel nursed his mint julep between his hands. “…so she said to me ‘what do you mean you’ve never tried falafel?’ But the problem was she thought it was Turkish for – you know – sex.” His cheeks flushed, pinkly.
Jack whooped with laughter almost choking on his beer. “Oh, god, that’s good.” He wiped his eyes. “Teal’c, do you have any stories?”
“I do not – Tau’ri humour is
very different to
“Come on, you must have some funny stories.”
Teal’c pondered, his bottom lip jutting out. “No. I have no humorous stories of any childhood escapades.”
“Hey, I’m glad I’m not a
“You almost were,” Janet said pointedly.
Jack automatically patted his stomach. He only had the vaguest recollections of being Jaffa-ed by the witch Queen Hathor. Deciding not to think about it, he poured himself a single malt to smooth the passage of his beers.
“I do not understand the question.”
“Your son Ry’ac is a
“Legend has it that the
first Goa’uld made the first
“So your race was genetically manipulated?” Daniel was like a dog with a juicy bone.
Teal’c gave reticence a new
definition – the
Daniel took an absent-minded
sip. “That’s interesting,” he pointed at the
“Indeed,” Teal’c intoned flatly. “And where do your ancestors come from?”
“Oh. Oh. Oh,” Daniel pondered. “Oh, well, it’s kind of difficult – ‘cos characteristics like hair colour have a lot of different genes and we’ve been intermarrying between cultures for many… uhm… generations.”
“Your hair is of a different colour to the other members of the SGC that I have met,” Teal’c noted. “It has many shades depending upon the ambient light.”
Daniel tugged at a lock, bringing it in front of his eyes. “Well, it’s sort of reddish, browny-blond. You can’t buy this in a bottle – unlike Sam’s.”
“Daniel!” Sam howled.
“Ooops,” he blushed, and abashed he hid his face behind his suddenly full glass.
“I do not understand, Captain Carter.” Teal’c’s brow furrowed.
“He’s talking about hair dye,” O’Neill happily supplied.
“You ‘dye’ your hair? What is dye?” Teal’c focussed on Captain Carter.
“Dyeing is a method of enhancing a fabric, wood or hair.” There were two points of colour high on her cheeks. “Dyes can be chemical or natural products.”
“And you apply a dye to your hair to enhance it?” Teal’c continued relentlessly.
Carter’s need to explain everything warred with what was obviously a personal matter. O’Neill chortled inwardly, he sometimes wondered if Teal’c knew more than he was letting on – the guy definitely had a sense of humour.
The captain flustered and then grated out, “I have…occasionally.”
“Yeah, right,” O’Neill drawled.
Daniel still had his nose tucked in his mint julep, avoiding Carter’s infuriated glare. Eventually he peered from under his fringe, the soul of innocence.
“Sorry, Sam,” he mouthed.
Exasperated, she shook her head then finally smiled. Refusing to be teased further, she stood up, and asked, “anyone want a drink?”
“Coke, please,” Janet held out her glass.
Nose in the air, Sam sailed into the kitchen. Silence followed in her wake, everyone stared at everyone else.
“To answer your original
question, Teal’c,” O’Neill directed the conversation back to family matters. “My
Dad’s grandparents are from
“DanielJackson, where do your parents come from?”
The archaeologist peeked out from behind his glass. “Mom’s family was French-Canadian and Scottish. Dad’s was Irish or Scottish, I think.”
“You do not know?” Teal’c queried. “I can trace my lineage back twenty-two generations.”
“Uhm.” Daniel failed to cover his unease by taking another gulp of mint julep. “Dad’s parents are dead and he didn’t have any brothers or sisters.”
“You speak in past tense.”
“Well, my pa… parents died… er…many years ago.” The stutter was back.
Teal’c regarded the archaeologist like a hawk viewing a furry baby animal. “I am sorry.”
“That’s okay,” Daniel blurted. “Ithappenedaverylongtimeago.”
“If your parents died and they had no other family, who looked after you as a child?”
Jack wondered if the
“The State. The government,” Daniel was saying rapidly. “I was in an orphanage for a while. Then I was fostered out to different families.”
Sam’s eyes were big and round and moist as she listened to Daniel stutter. Jack caught her gaze; she bit her lip then looked away as she sat back down and offered Janet her drink. Jack also knew from her records that her mother had died when she was a teenager, but Sam did not direct the conversation away from Daniel.
“On Chulak the families are large and an orphaned child is adopted by a family member.”
“Well,” Daniel said tightly. “It doesn’t work that way on Earth.”
“That is regrettable.”
“So,” Daniel said changing the subject with no grace. “Where are we going on Monday morning?”
“PF8 7IX. Geological survey.”
“Oooh, my favourite.” Jack padded over to the ice-cooler and helped himself to another beer. “Sam plays with her plastic and glass bottles and Teal’c and me get to watch the horizon.”
“What about me?” Daniel demanded indignantly.
“There were no signs of any civilisation,” Sam said keenly. “The gate is set on a rocky bluff over a sea cove, the MALP couldn’t manoeuvre over the rocks, so there might be signs further up the coast. It’s a pleasant planet, a warm 70o and sunny.”
“I’ll remember to pack my shorts with my camos,” Jack said sarcastically.
“Can we do that?”
“It would be nice if we could sunbathe.”
“You like sunbathing, Daniel?” Sam asked.
“Yeah,” Daniel smiled, reminiscently. “Hot, bright, sun – yum. I think I might have been a lizard in another life.”
“You’ll sunburn,” Sam protested, aimlessly pointing to indicate his pale skinned, typical red-head colouring.
“Only if I don’t put on sun screen. There’s sun screen cream and chocolate and even condoms in that black jacket you make us drag around. And I’ve got my hat.”
“Ah, the faithful hat.”
“Nice hat,” Daniel toasted his hat with his magic mint julep.
“You certainly have made it your own.” Jack noted.
“Are you dissin’ my hat?” Daniel mock drawled. “Them’s fighting words.”
Teal’c raised an eyebrow in question.
Jack set aside his bottle of beer and his whisky chaser and pounced. With an expertise of many years of combat training, Jack caught Daniel across the waist, knocking the younger man over while easily controlling his fall. Caught completely by surprise, Daniel was almost too easy to handle. Jack pivoted and dropped him, rolling them both off the wooden deck and onto the grass lawn. Daniel finally realised what was happening and tried to twist out of the colonel’s grip. Jack intercepted the wiggling archaeologist and had the smaller and younger man restrained with a deft flick of his wrist. Jack cackled demonically as he held Daniel’s hands over his head, pinning them down. Daniel tossed fruitlessly, trying to throw him off. Jack changed his grip, holding both of Daniel’s wrists with one hand. Furiously Daniel lifted one leg and tried to lever Jack off his chest. But the colonel had him pinned.
“Ah a ah.” Jack wagged his finger under Daniel’s nose, carefully removed his glasses and set them well out of reach.
Daniel huffed and puffed, blowing his fringe out of his eyes. Jack changed his grip, once again holding both wrists.
“No, Jack, don’t you dare.”
“I swear to god, Jack – I’ll find some way to get you back.”
Jack released Daniel’s wrists and tickled. The younger man squirmed beneath him, howling.
“No.no.no.no.no.no.no.no.no.no!” His pleas went unheeded. Jack’s nimble fingers dove beneath the t-shirt finding bare skin. He tickled up the xylophone of Daniel’s rib cage, unerringly tracking down his prey. His fingers tingled and he knew he had that nerve point which if hit properly could paralyse an opponent and if tickled unmercifully could drive a friend to tears. Good tears.
“Stop it. Stop it. Stop it…. Stop. Stop. Stop it. Stop… it.” Daniel descended into wheezy gasps.
“DanielJackson has had
enough.” Large hands encircled his wrists and forcibly removed them. Once again
Jack was impressed by the restrained strength the
Daniel sprawled at his feet gasping for breath.
“You’ve got to learn to defend yourself, Danny,” Jack remonstrated, half-jokingly.
Daniel struggled onto his elbows. “I can. I can defend myself, but then I’d have to kill you.”
“Oh yeah?” Jack pushed against Teal’c and the alien released him.
Teal’c offered his hand to the archaeologist. Gratefully, Daniel accepted the assistance. Flushed and out breath, he grinned at the colonel.
“Well, yes.” Daniel coughed. “You’ve shown me how to take an opponent down. Jab them in the eyes or throat, but you haven’t shown me how to… do what you just did.”
“I will show you how to defend yourself, DanielJackson.” Teal’c offered. “And how to best guard against Apophis’ minions.”
“Thanks, I think.” Daniel squinted up at Teal’c. “If you’re sure.”
“I would be honoured.” Teal’c bowed respectfully.
Jack bent to pick up Daniel’s glasses. A giggle stopped him mid-stretch. Sam and Janet were snuggled together on a deck chair, sharing a furtive tête-à-tête that seemed to be based solely on innuendo and expressions. A decidedly wicked smirk crossed Janet’s face as she glanced at Teal’c.
Jack scooped up the glasses, ignoring them – there were some codes he couldn’t break and he had no intention of delving into the female mind. He couldn’t for the life of him imagine what had captivated their attention.
Teal’c tugged down his football jersey and stalked back to the barbecue.
Jack’s mouth fell open.
Sam looked away blushing furiously. Janet looked at him dead on and smiled, sublimely.
“Hey, Jack,” Daniel spoke, as oblivious as always. “Can I have my glasses back?”
Happy at the distraction, he handed them over. Daniel tottered back to the deck, weaving from side to side and began to graze on the peanuts and chips beside the barbecue.
“Tickled,” he was muttering to himself. “Gonna get him back. Put itching powder in his BDUs or something.”
Jack sagged onto his comfy deckchair, listening with one ear to the grumbling archaeologist. Having finished foraging, Daniel wandered back over to the soft chairs. He picked up his glass.
“You know, this never empties.” He squinted suspiciously at the glass then at O’Neill. “Jaaaack.”
“What?” Jack had the gall to look innocent.
“Are you trying to get me drunk?” he asked too precisely.
“I’m not trying; I’ve succeeded.”
“Bastard,” Daniel muttered into his glass as he drained it dry. He held out the empty glass and Jack obediently filled it. “How am I supposed to get home? I’ll be weaving all over the road. What about Teal’c?”
“You can crash in the spare room,” O’Neill offered.
“I’ll give you a lift,” Sam said simultaneously.
“Everyone can stay, I’ve got room. You’re more than welcome, too, Janet.”
“No,” Fraiser said definitely, “we’ll go home. In fact, I think it’s time to make a move.”
Jack stood as the doctor stood. “I’ll get her.”
Cassie was deeply asleep, tucked against the back of the sofa wrapped up in a blanket. Jack lifted her easily, reminded for one heart-stopping moment of his son. Janet stood on the threshold watching him with a sage expression. His lips curled in a half-smile.
“Out for the count.” He gently joggled Cassie in his arms.
He followed Janet to her car, stopping long enough to let Sam bestow a kiss on her smooth forehead. She sleepily protested as he safely belted her in. He waved as they drove away.
When he returned to the deck Sam had lit the barbecue citrus candles, frightening away the midges and mosquitoes. She held her second bottle of beer of the night; evidently she had decided to stay over. Daniel was listing to the side, unobtrusively supported by their largest team member.
“These are really nice.” He peered into his empty glass.
Jack swapped Daniel’s glass for a bottle of coke and he took it without realising what had happened. Feeling pleasantly mellow from the good food and alcohol, Jack plumped himself down by Teal’c and fed some coals onto the barbecue.
Warming his hands, Jack chortled. “We need some marshmallows.”
Like a magician with a bunny in a hat, Sam hauled out a large multi-pack from her shopping bag.
Jack jumped on them ripping open the bag. Daniel was already doling out the skewers left over from his fruit kebabs.
Teal’c accepted his with a frown. He rolled it in his large hand.
“You put a marshmallow on the point.” Daniel leaned over Teal’c and grabbed one from Jack, and with more concentration than was really needed, skewered it until it was definitely dead. “Then you just hold it over the coals until it turns golden brown.”
He held one until it was
perfectly done and offered it to the
“I eat it?”
“It’s hot,” Daniel said earnestly.
A pleasantly surprised smile graced Teal’c’s normally impassive face. “They are very good. Are they a delicacy?”
“The real thing.” Jack popped his into his mouth whole. “Yum.”
“Indeed.” Teal’c was spearing his second marshmallow.
“They go really well with amaretto,” Daniel said reminiscently.
“Ah, brandy!” Jack said, sudden inspiration galvanising him. “Coffee, too?”
“Irish coffee?” Daniel perked up. “Have you got cream?”
Jack liked the idea. “Irish coffees all round?”
“I’m sure I saw Tiá Maria in the cabinet.” Sam followed Jack into the kitchen.
Jack filled his cafetiere with freshly ground coffee as Sam filled the kettle and hunted out the coffee glasses.
“Plop, plop, plop,” Jack’s sound effects filled the kitchen. “I don’t have a percolator.”
Sam found a carton of cream in the refrigerator, while Jack retrieved his hard liquor. He poured generous measures of whisky for himself, Teal’c and Daniel with a Tiá Maria for Sam. Using a metal spoon to conduct the heat from the special glasses, he poured out the divine smelling coffee.
Experienced in making the perfect irish coffee he swirled in the double cream.
“It’s a good job we’ve got tomorrow off,” Sam noted.
He carried them back on to the deck on a tray.
“Is this a matter of ritual?” Teal’c inquired solemnly.
“We often finish a good meal by serving coffee with a liquor,” Daniel said with a great deal of seriousness; he was obviously drunk. “It’s cultural.”
“I have consumed more alcohol today than any other day since joining the SGC.”
“One more won’t do you any harm,” Jack said sagely.
Daniel nodded his head eagerly, his long fringe falling in his eyes. “It tastes really good, too.” He grabbed his own glass and took a sip. His bare toes curled with pleasure. “Oh, that is so good.”
“He’s easily pleased,” Jack remarked, as he skewered his third marshmallow.
Daniel was singing happily to himself as he sipped his irish coffee. Jack couldn’t make out the words, but it had something to do with a ‘wizard’s staff having a knob’.
“Daniel doesn’t normally drink, does he?” Sam leaned forward and patted the linguist’s knee.
“Well, he doesn’t like beer. He seems to like mint juleps. I think it’s the sugar.”
“The drink is pleasant, but my larval goa’uld treats it as poison.”
“Poison?” Daniel’s brow furrowed in great concentration. “It’s lovely. Wish they made a chocolate version. Chocolate latté with whisky.”
“Daniel, do you like Baileys?”
“Oooh, do you have some? It’s nice on ice.”
“I think you’ve had enough, Danny.”
At his words Daniel slithered off their bench and with a deep sigh puddled on the deck.
“DanielJackson.” Concerned, but feeling a little bit worse for the wear from the beers, Teal’c prodded the archaeologist’s shoulder. A transcendent smile crossed Daniel’s face as he curled up in a ball fast asleep.
“Well, that’s the end of the evening’s entertainment.”
Jack tried to haul Daniel to his feet but he was a boneless mass, slithering out of his grip.
“Allow me.” Displaying his strength, Teal’c eased Daniel upright and in a smooth motion tossed the inebriated archaeologist over his shoulder. “Where should I put DanielJackson?”
“Guest room. Follow me.”
With Daniel dangling loosely in his grasp, Teal’c stomped after the colonel. The guestroom was an airy, comfortable room and Daniel had stayed there many times. A couple of the linguist’s shirts and one shoe were still lying around somewhere.
Jack peeled back the blankets on the bed allowing Teal’c to deposit Daniel on the cool sheets. Utterly relaxed, Daniel sagged into the mattress, seeming to blend with it. His hair splayed over the pillow. Upon reflection, Jack decided against wrestling him out of his t-shirt and shorts, and simply threw the blankets back over the sleeper.
He bestowed an absent pat on
Daniel’s rump and then drew the
Teal’c paused at the doorway looking back into the room. There was a paternal gleam in the older man’s eye.
“On occasion he reminds me of Ry’ac,” Teal’c explained without prompting.
“Yeah,” Jack couldn’t elaborate on the topic of families and sons. “Know what you mean.”
He closed the door softly. On his way back to the deck he grabbed another bottle of whisky.
Jack overlooked his living room from the second floor. Teal’c sat cross-legged by the fire, deep in kel’no’reem. Sam had crashed on the couch and was already snoring. The windows and doors were locked and Jack had double-checked that the barbecue coals were dampened. He poked his head into Daniel’s room before he headed on up to bed. He was snuffling softly, curled up in a foetal ball on his side.
Jack figured that tomorrow they could all head out to the ballpark and teach Teal’c the rudiments of baseball. After they had recovered from their hangovers.
He padded into his bedroom, abruptly diverting into the bathroom. Daniel’s cycling clothes were still balled up on the floor. He snorted; Daniel would have never survived boot camp. He could picture him arguing with the major sergeant about the logic of following orders blindly, and winced. Dismissing his thoughts, he moved mechanically through his ablutions; more interested in falling into bed.
With a heartfelt sigh, Jack crawled under his quilt.
All was right in his world.