Story by: Rae and Dragonfly
Written by: Dragonfly
Word count: 6,250
Tags: gen, humor, h/c, bromance, bro-cuddles, adventure? Complete and utter silliness.
Summary: A Christmas tale. Jack, Daniel and Teal'c find themselves in a frightening situation when they try to help out a friend.
A/N: Originally published in 2005
He shouldn’t have fallen for it.
He should have stuck with, “Hell no!”
He’s a United States Air Force Colonel, for crying out loud. He knows the tricks people use. He knows the cards they’ll play to weasel you into doing something you don’t want to.
Mostly because he’s used them himself.
But to be weaseled? I must be getting old, he thought mournfully, making another right turn towards his destination.
Still, he didn’t go down without a fight.
And more importantly, he didn’t go down alone.
This is a bad idea.
This is a bad, bad, bad, bad, bad idea.
Pulling out of the convenient store parking lot, Daniel spoke aloud for the first time. “This is a bad idea.”
Teal’c regarded his friend. “Are you having second thoughts, DanielJackson?”
“Second thoughts?” Daniel cried, incredulously. “Teal’c, there were no, no, no first thoughts or even pre-thoughts that were anywhere near comfortable with this idea!”
“Then why are you here?”
Sighing, Daniel dropped his head back against the head rest.
Right on time.
Jack shook his head as the little red thing Daniel insisted on calling a car pulled up to the curb too fast and slid to a halt.
He knew Daniel knew how to drive in the snow. He also knew how much the archaeologist loved scaring the Jaffa. They’ve all been to hell and back with Teal’c…but they’ve never witnessed him sweat as much as he does when he folds himself into that 1986 Ford Escort.
“A transportation device as small, old and as poorly designed as yours, DanielJackson, should not be permitted on the road.”
That was over four years ago and Daniel still had the same car. Guess it wasn’t as poorly designed as Teal’c had thought. Though Daniel did have to get the passenger side’s “holy shit bar” replaced a number of times do to a slightly anxious former first prime.
Walking up to meet the two that would be joining him in the sacrifice, Jack couldn’t help but notice how nervous…and well, scruffy Daniel looked.
What’d he do? Roll straight out of bed and right into the car this morning?
“You got the stuff?” he asked casually, both hands in his pockets.
Holding up the brown paper bag, Daniel muttered without meeting is eyes, “Yeah.”
Jack sensed there was something off about his friend, but after studying him for a second with critical eyes and not being able to figure out what, he merely nodded and turned around. “Well kids, once we walk through that door there will be no turning back.”
Both Jack and Teal’c grabbed a hold of Daniel’s shoulders when he started to slink away.
“Once we step into that house, we will no longer be able to hold the titles of men.”
“Jack, must you be so dramatic?” Daniel interjected.
“Hey, you’re the one sweating,” Jack shot back.
“Am not,” the archaeologist replied petulantly, hugging the paper bag tighter against his chest.
“Well, it’s not like it matters anyway," Jack muttered, looking down distractedly and kicking a stone against the curb. He shoots and scores! "Carter pulled the “Cassie” card and we. are. screwed, my friends.”
“I still don’t know why we have to do it,” Daniel grumbled.
“Because MajorCarter asked us to, DanielJackson.”
“Uh…thanks, Teal’c, but what I meant was—”
“Fraiser is already busy enough with this whole thing as it is and Carter got held up at the mountain,” Jack said, abandoning the impromptu one-sided hockey match.
“Just so it’s clear," Daniel re-adjusted the bag he was holding again. "I think one trip to the store will save us all a whole lot of trouble.”
“I tried that card," Jack admitted, shaking his head. "No good. They have to be the real thing. And they have to be Carter’s.”
Sighing, Daniel closed his eyes, resigned. “Fine. Let’s just get this over with.”
Nodding, Jack puffed up his cheeks and let out a cross between a burp and a sigh. “Alrighty then, kids.” He clapped and rubbed his hands together with mocked enthusiasm. “Let’s go bake ourselves some cookies.”
Walking into the room that would be their prison for the next—who knew how many ungodly hours, Daniel headed straight for the coffee pot. It was one with a reserve and a timer that had already delivered its golden egg…and it was also Daniel’s new best friend.
Jack shook his head. The boy should just get fitted for a drip.
“Yeah, T?” Picking up the instructions, Jack looked over the “gear” Sam had already laid out.
This is so not going to be fun.
“I believe I know the reason behind DanielJackson’s apprehension,” he confided low.
“Yeah?” That was something he’d been meaning to ask himself. He could understand it if Daniel was a little pissy—they were all woken up in the middle of the night for this favor. But he wasn’t pissy. In fact, he appeared to be almost…well, terrified.
“DanielJackson has confided in me that he has never done this before.”
Jack received a yelp from the younger man who just happened to be pouring his coffee at the time of the outburst. Spinning around, Daniel stuck his thumb in his mouth to suck out the burn. “'ack! Wha'?”
“You’ve never made cookies?”
The archaeologist glared at Teal’c, then pulled his thumb out of his mouth “Just because I’ve never made cookies from scratch, doesn’t mean I’ve never bought the dough.” He frowned down at his thumb and stuck it back in his mouth.
“Really? And did you ever actually bake that dough, Daniel?” Jack challenged.
There was a slurping sound as Daniel took his thumb out of his mouth again and brought up a finger in pure lecture mode. “Well, um, funny thing about that…the dough’s not so good…baked.”
Jack leaned over the kitchen island. “Daniel, you’re telling me that you’ve never even helped anyone make cookies before? Not even…” Jack left the last part hanging with a wave of his hand. He didn’t want to take Daniel there if he wasn’t ready to go…even after all these years.
“No, well…I remember handing my mother an egg or something, but nothing is really clear,” he replied, waving his own hand dismissively through the air.
“Oh…” Jack was starting to rethink his outlook on this whole thing.
“Let this be the first time for the both of us then, DanielJackson,” Teal’c offered with a bow of his head.
“Yes!” Jack hooted, making Daniel jump again. Luckily, this time he managed to keep the coffee from spilling on him. This could be fun, Jack decided. He can do this. They can do this. They’ll do it for Daniel.
Daniel blinked, remarkably keeping a straight face. “But what about our manly-hood, Jack?”
The colonel considered this for a second. “Uh, well, that’s alright. Teal’c has enough to go around,” he stated confidently, slapping the larger man on the shoulder as he went back to studying the recipe.
Teal’c and Daniel raised thoughtful eyebrows at each other, then shrugged.
“Oookay.” Daniel still didn’t sound so sure, though. “What do we do?”
“Just take my lead, boys. I’ve helped Sara do this thousands of times.”
Two Hours Later…
“You can say that again,” Daniel groaned.
Three-fourths of SG-1—earth’s first line of defense, stood over the tray they had just pulled out of the oven.
“Those do not appear to be cookies,” Teal’c observed.
Daniel and Jack looked up from their pan of gooey slush to glare at their Jaffa friend—who was sporting a ridiculous apron and chef’s hat. Oh how the minutes had passed as they laughed that one off.
“Ya think?” They snapped in unison.
“Perhaps we have forgotten something…ah-gain,” Teal’c added. For this was their third try at making the dough, and the first time they got far enough to see if it would even bake correctly. It was a good thing Sam suggested that they test a pan of cookies first before going through the trouble of rolling and cutting them all out.
“Follow your lead, eh, Jack? Helped Sara do this thousands of times…” Daniel mocked, scraping the goo into the garbage can.
“Okay…now that I think about it…” Jack amended as he tapped a finger off the counter. “I didn’t so much help Sara make the cookies, as I did…eat the cookies.”
Teal’c and Daniel stared wordlessly at the leader of their team and “Operation Cookie.”
“Teal’c? Coffee?” Daniel snipped.
With their backs towards the nervous colonel, the two spoke loudly as they poured their drinks.
“Let’s recap on our day so far, shall we?”
Teal’c bowed his head in agreement.
“It is now 9:45 in the morning. We have been at this for nearly two hours and we are nowhere closer to being finished than we were when we first walked through the door.”
Teal’c growled. “That is correct.”
"So, what now? Oh, hey, I know!” Daniel answered his own question, spinning around to face Jack with a fresh cup of coffee in hand. “Let’s go buy some cookies!”
Teal’c tilted his head in consideration, but Jack quickly did away with it.
“Aah! Aah! No way!” The colonel sliced his hands through the air. “As much as I am for slipping them the Dough Boy and cuttin’ outta here…pardon the pun—you guys know Carter will have it in for us for weeks.”
Daniel lowered his mug and straightened, fearful eyes huge with possibilities.
“Oh, yeah, Dannyboy,” Jack sauntered towards him menacingly. “You’d be off-world minding your own business, maybe a little tired after translating ancient...stuff all day—so you wouldn’t think twice about making yourself a nice rejuvenating cup of java—only to find out…that. it’s. been. switched...to decaf.”
The archaeologist paled. “Why…” he croaked in the tiniest voice. “Why would she do that?”
“Because she can,” Jack strained seriously, placing a supportive hand over his shoulder.
“And don’t think for a second you’re safe, big guy.” Jack quickly turned on Teal’c. “You know all those candles you light? Well I wouldn’t be surprised if she switched them…with trick candles.”
The image of Teal’c trying to blow out hundreds of trick candles actually managed to burst forth a rare giggle from Daniel, but Jack spun on him and he immediately bit his lips and straightened again. “You laugh now, Daniel…but the truth is none of us will be safe anywhere if we break our promise to Carter.”
Daniel sighed and worried his lip. He looked to Teal’c—who did not look in the least bit pleased. Finally, after a moment of serious internal debate, the archaeologist deflated like a helium balloon. “Fine, Jack. We’ll do this,” he conceded. “But,” he added with a finger in the air when the colonel brought his fists up in silent triumph. “You are no longer in charge of “Operation Cookie.”
Jack’s jaw dropped with his arms. “What? Guys, come on, let’s not make any hasty—”
“Relinquish your mittens, Jack.” Daniel held out his hand. “Teal’c is taking over.”
“Will you stop that!” Jack admonished, whacking the archaeologist in the arm.
“Wha?” Daniel mumbled innocently around the ball of cookie dough he had just shoved in his mouth. “It’s good.”
“Yes, well, we’re gonna have to make another batch if you don’t stop eating it. And I don’t know about you, but I really don’t feel like testing fate.”
Daniel’s face fell as he sighed. “Good point,” he murmured.
Now four hours into their mission they were half way through cutting out all of the shapes from the dough. Initial testing of every batch—four altogether—proved that they had good baking/rising potential.
“And keep that clean!” Jack added, pointing to Daniel’s newly bandaged arm and hand that had been resting in flour.
Sighing, Daniel tentatively lowered his left arm into his lap. He was never going in the kitchen again. It was a death trap. An archaeologist’s nightmare. Nor would he be able to look at an egg again without scowling at it. No wonder men had been historically shooed out of kitchens. It was for their own safety.
Nope, no matter what happened he was not crossing the line into the seventh circle of hell. He would rather be trapped in the fiery depth of Netu again. This presented a problem, however.
“Jack?” Daniel tested the waters cautiously.
“Yes, Daniel?” the colonel answered automatically, sliding another rolled-out section of dough in front of the younger man so he could cut out the designs. They had learned early on that Daniel could not roll out the dough. At all; let alone with one hand. So they came up with a sort of assembly line. Jack rolled, Daniel cut and Teal’c baked. This way everyone knew their tasks and Daniel was safe. But now he was also thirsty.
“Could you…” he peered over at the older man nervously, “get me a cup of coffee?”
Jack paused mid roll and raised dubious eyebrows. “I’m sorry?”
Daniel took a deep breath. He negotiated with irrational Neanderthals all the time. He could do this. “Look, I’m out and…do you really want me to go in there?” He tilted his head towards the kitchen and brought up his burnt arm for added affect.
“Oh, for cryin….” Rolling his eyes, Jack sighed and grabbed Daniel’s coffee mug as he stood.
“Thank you!” Daniel called from behind him and quickly got back to work cutting various Christmas designs out of the sweet, cinnamonie mix. The smile that had slowly made its way onto his face, however, dissipated immediately when Jack placed a cup of water in front of him with two Aspirin.
“Uh…?” Daniel looked up at him.
“For the pain,” was Jack’s casual answer as he headed back into the kitchen.
Daniel turned to look at him with another question on his lips. “Your face is doing that…” Jack waved a hand around his own forehead and eyes, “that…scrunched up thing.”
When Daniel just looked at him like he had lost all his marbles, the colonel turned for help. “Teal’c?”
After a simple cursory glance as he pulled more cookies from the oven, Teal’c replied, “You are correct, O’Neill. DanielJackson is, in fact, in pain.”
Daniel's eyebrows shot up in stunned amazement. He didn’t know whether to be grateful or embarrassed; so he just slowly turned back around in his seat...and took the damn pills. He knew they all had some weird spidey sense about him, but he never wanted an actual confirmation again. It was disconcerting.
“Yes, Jack?” he answered, not even bothering to turn around this time so they could see his “scrunchy face.”
Screw dignity. “What?” he cried, turning around. “I left it on.”
Jack nodded. “Well, it is on, but it’s not working.”
In all the years Colonel O’Neill had known Daniel, he had never seen him panic like he was starting to now. Throw the man before a pissed off goa'uld, he barely breaks a sweat. Throw him in front of a wonky coffee maker and he nearly falls into cardiac arrest.
Daniel stood with undisguised terror in his eyes. “Wha…wha…what?” he babbled. “Well, get it to work!”
Jack scoffed at him. “I’m sorry, Daniel, but I seemed to have left my magical wand in my other jeans.”
Daniel glared but didn’t lose that unsettled fear in his eyes. “Teal’c?” he whined from his position right at the strip on the floor that separated the kitchen and dining room.
“Perhaps it was short-circuited when you used the microwave, DanielJackson,” the Jaffa suggested.
Amused, Jack crossed his arms and looked smugly at the archaeologist.
Affronted, Daniel defended himself. “How was I supposed to know you couldn’t put that in the microwave?”
“Daniel, everyone knows you can’t put tinfoil in the microwave!”
Daniel was not derailed. “Well I thought it was a different type a foil considering the butter needed to be softened! You’d think they would have come up with something a little more safe and convenient.”
“Yes, Daniel they did,” Jack quipped, “it’s called unwrapping the but-ter!”
“Okay, Colonel, justtakemyleadboysivehelpedsaradothistho
This time it was Jack that was left glaring. “Alright, fine!” He sliced a hand through the air. “You’ve made your point. None of us know what we’re doing.”
Teal’c raised his eyebrows.
“Okay, Teal’c,” Jack amended, pointing sideways at the Jaffa, “is the only one who knows what he’s doing.”
Teal’c bowed his head appreciatively at the acknowledgment.
“Still doesn’t change the fact that Carter is so gonna kick your ass for ruining two appliances in one fell swoop, Dannyboy.”
“That may be so, but,” Daniel spoke confidently, rocking up on his tiptoes. “Whose asses is she going to kick when she see this?” He held up his bandaged limb.
Teal’c looked as if he had just swallowed something very large and uncomfortable as he placed his arms behind his back. Jack narrowed his eyes. “You wouldn’t dare. It was an accident.”
Daniel waggled is eyebrows, looking sinister. “Was is?”
Jack narrowed his eyes even more, wondering where the heck his archaeologist could possible get that it was on purpose.
“Let’s see,” Daniel started to review. “You “bump,” he gestured to Jack using air quotes, “Teal’c as you were getting cookies out of the oven. The Former First Prime of Apophis “drops” an egg on the floor and I slip on the egg and land on the open oven door.” Daniel tapped a finger with exaggerated thoughtfulness to his lips. “Yup, sounds a little too far fetched…even for me.”
“Teal’c?” Jack spoke low and dangerously calm.
“I’m gonna kill him!” he cried, lunging for the archaeologist.
“Daniel, will you stop that!” Jack admonished, whacking the man upside the head.
“Wha?” Daniel smacked his lips innocently around the glop of icing he just shoved into his mouth. “It’s good.”
Jack stared and shook his head in disbelief. He must have missed the memo. Beware! The act of baking cookies carries a high risk of turning your multiple PHD archaeologist into a mindless child. “You’ve been doing nothing but eating that crap and drinking coffee all day. You’re going to get sick.” And turn you into a nagging colonel.
“No, I was drinking coffee until—”
“DanielJackson,” Teal’c intervened, sitting beside him, “please do not continue down this particular venue.”
Sighing, the archaeologist conceded and reached for his water. They all had survived their latest brush with Cookie Dementia…but barely. Best to leave sleeping dogs lie.
“How ‘bout pizza?” Jack offered. “It’s past that time and all we have left is the icing and decorating.”
“Sounds good to me.” Daniel leaned across the table for the red food dye.
The larger man nodded. “I will call.”
“Great! Thanks, T!” Jack dutifully went back to work, until both he and Daniel realized something at the same time and hurriedly called after their eldest teammate. “No sea creatures on the pizza, Teal’c!”
“Blah!” Jack shuddered.
Daniel looked decidedly pale. “I don’t know how he can consume anything that consists of anchovies, squid and oysters.”
Grimacing, Jack tried to shake the image out of his head. “I don’t know why he bothers hiding his tattoo when he goes and orders that stuff.”
Daniel grinned boyishly, agreeing. “They’d know he’d have to be an alien to eat it.”
“Indeed.” Jack nodded, his eyebrow high.
“The pizza will be delivered within the hour,” Teal’c informed them, retaking his seat. “I refrained from ordering anything appetizing to go on it.”
Jack’s eyebrows nearly flew through the roof this time and when he looked to Daniel, he found that his lips were pursed in the same silent astonishment. Was that snippiness? Jack wordlessly mouthed at him—which earned the colonel a barely discernable, You bet your boonie, nod. Smartly so though, they didn’t dwell on the matter and quickly got back to work.
They had managed to work silently together…until Jack couldn’t take it anymore.
“Uh…Daniel?” he finally spoke up, intrigued after watching his friend commit the same sequence of actions over and over again for the last five minutes.
Daniel huffed, "I give up!" and pushed the bowl away that had been precariously and tentatively held against his chest with his injured hand as the other stirred the icing.
“What seems to be the problem, DanielJackson?”
“It’s pink!” the younger man screeched, pointing to the offending item.
Jack peered into the bowl. “He’s right. The icing is pink,” he stated flatly, uncertain what the point was.
Daniel scowled. “No matter how much red food dye I put into it…it stays pink!”
Jack cocked his head to the side in understanding. “Ah…which has been a lot?” Though he knew it was, because he’d been watching him.
“Yes! And now it’s getting runny!” the archaeologist whined and sat back in his chair spent.
Was he pouting? Jack studied his friend, amused that this was the same man that had enough patience to scrape dust off rocks for days just so he could decipher another ancient term for "Open," yet was left discouraged by fluffy pink icing. He was about to make a crack at him about it when he realized how pale the younger man looked…and Jack had a feeling it didn’t have anything to do with Teal’c’s eccentric choices in pizza toppings.
Torn between asking him if he felt okay and just keeping a closer eye on him, Jack decided that maybe, maybe he just needed some real food in him. Besides, Daniel would just tell him he was “fine” anyway. So turning to the oldest and wisest amongst them, Jack asked for advice on the evasive red dye. “Teal’c?”
“Let the icing be pink, DanielJackson.”
Jack was humbled by the sheer size of his astuteness.
Sighing unhappily, Daniel finally leaned forward and accepted the icing’s fate. “Just so Sam knows I tried,” he sulked.
Shaking his head, Jack smirked before going back to his own task. It had been a long and tiring day. Still, they each took their jobs very seriously. Icing the cookies with fear-induced precision—decorating them would be done in the same fashion. They didn’t make it this far to do a piss poor job.
They were going to make it through this and maybe...just maybe even gain some dignity in the end, damnit.
“Ooow!” Daniel shook the sting out of his hand—the hand that had been slapped simultaneously by his two “friends.”
“Daniel, I’m telling you. You’re going to be sick and I sooo don’t wanna hear about it when you are!” Jack warned, but the younger man ignored him and reached for some more treats.
The colonel rolled his eyes. “The pizza will be here any minute. Just quit…” Jack intercepted a handful of candy decorations from going into his archaeologist’s mouth, “eating everything else in sight until it gets here.”
Daniel glared, but relinquished the spicy treat. “Fine.”
Sighing relieved, Jack felt like he had just won a battle with a two-year-old. “Thank you.” He couldn’t deny the fact that his friend was fully embracing his first baking experience, but he also knew that he was going to be the one supporting said friend over the porcelain god when that experience came rushing back up again.
“Finally!” Jack glanced at the clock. Fifty-eight minutes. Damn! Two more minutes and it would have been free.
Stretching the kinks out of his neck and shoulders, Jack leaned back in his chair and sighed, content. “Mmmmm pizza,” he Homered aloud. A full tummy and only a few cookies left to grace with their skills. Life was looking good. And Teal’c had already cleaned up most of the kitchen so they didn’t even have that to worry about. The man should really rethink his day job.
They still, however, had absolutely no flat surface free in the kitchen, so they had ended up settling down in the living room with their plain pizza.
That vengeful little…
Not that Daniel seemed to mind. Scarfing down five pieces the way he did. Jack had never seen the man eat with such...vigor before. Could have something to do with the utterly insane amount of caffeine he had consumed throughout the day between the coffee and sugar. Still, Daniel usually saved his vacuum imitations for when Jack was refusing to let him get back to his “meaning of life stuff” until he ingested something that wouldn't jump-start a car.
Watching as the younger man reached for yet another piece of pizza, Jack was about to ask him if he was preparing for hibernation, when his friend suddenly dropped the slice with panicked expression across his face. "I don't..."
"Bathroom!" Already leaping to his feet, Jack grabbed the archaeologist under the arm as Teal’c cleared a path.
Jack flushed the toilet again, torn between being utterly disgusted and completely impressed. “I knew you ate a lot today, Daniel…but damn!”
Moaning, Daniel slid unceremoniously from his perched position over the toilet to the floor. Still panting, he trembled all over and was covered in a fine sheen of sweat. Jack knelt down beside the younger man, furrowing his brow in concern. “You alright?"
Shaking his head minutely, Daniel regretted it immediately and groaned.
Leaning in closer, Jack gently pressed the back of his hand against his friend's temple. Frowning, he asked with a bit of hesitancy, "Does anything hurt…other than your stomach?”
Damnit. Jack knew what that meant.
“Are you sure?” he clung uselessly to hope, as the miserable mass on the floor clung uselessly to the contents of his stomach.
Though weak, Daniel managed to pry an eye open and glared.
Jack winced. “I’ll take that as a yes.” Sighing, he ran a weary hand down his face. The flu. Jack knew something had been wrong. He knew something had been off with his friend...other than his appetite, but did he do anything? No. They had made cookies...and now Daniel was tossing them. Just peachy. And it didn't help any that the archaeologist had been feeding what looked like some serious pseud-hunger pains all day either.
Biting his lip, Jack took in the huddled and shivering form of his friend and decided that he should probably try and get the poor guy off the cold floor. When something else suddenly occurred to him, he carefully took Daniel's injured arm in his hand—heart speeding up. Damnit, what if it wasn't the flu after all?
"O'Neill?" Teal'c stood over them in the doorway, concern evident in his voice.
"Just gotta check something," Jack replied, gently unwrapping the limb and eliciting a hiss from Daniel.
Jack grimaced. "Sorry buddy, almost done."
Still panting, Daniel didn't even bother opening his eyes...which only served to fuel Jack's need to find out what was under the gauze even more. "Daniel? Daniel, does your arm hurt worse?"
Lines of pain etching his face, he was actually able to shake his head this time.
"Daniel. This is serious. Does your arm—"
"No, Jack," he wheezed, trying to curl further into himself, but Jack held him firmly in place as he finished unwrapping the arm. It would just be like the younger man to get blood poisoning while doing something as inane as baking cookies.
"Jaaaack," Daniel whined, as the colonel breathed a sigh of relief. "What's a burn on my arm, got to do with a pain in my stomach?"
Shaking his head at familiarity of the remark, Jack smiled and patted him on the back. "Nothing, Daniel." Thank God. But Jack sure as hell was going to make sure Fraiser looked at the burn tonight like she had originally promised. Jack would go and pick her up himself if he had to—since it didn’t look like Daniel would be making it to the party now. The last thing his friend needed was to get an infection on top of the flu.
"Will DanielJackson be alright, O'Neill?"
Jack had forgotten about his shadow. "Yeah, Teal'c," he answered softly, running a damp cloth down their archaeologist’s face. Sighing, Daniel leaned into it. "He’ll be just fine.”
Can’t say the same about our cookies though.
It had been a long day and she could not wait to get an even longer bath and veg out until the party started. Sam had finished the simulations she had been working on sooner than she had expected, but not as early as she would have liked. Thankfully though, she still had hours to rest since the boys had taken care of the cookies for her. She was so gonna owe them big.
Walking up to her porch, something tiny and unexpected niggled its way into her spine. It was fear. She had been so busy all day, she hadn't even thought once about the guys or what they would actually be doing in her kitchen. Slowing her steps, Sam tried to quell the rising anxiety that was now building in her chest.
All they had to do was make some cookies, right? she reminded herself. For crying out loud, they saved the world for a living. How hard could this really have been for them?
Worrying her lips, for the first time Sam really thought about it. "Oh, god," she sighed, running a nervous hand through her hair. "What have I done?"
Well, the house is still standing. That's something...isn't it? she quickly tried to ease her own fears as she stood just outside of it, seemingly afraid to go into her own home.
Ooor, did she really come home to a pile of rubble and what she was looking at now was, in fact, just a shock-induced hallucination? Playing with her keys in her hands, Carter was tempted to throw them on the porch to see if they would just fall through it. But instead, she swallowed hard, squared her shoulders and bravely…tentatively walked up the steps.
Please let me have a kitchen left, she begged whatever powers that be. Please.
Stepping through the door, she tried not to show her apprehension. “Guys?” she called, ignoring the squeak in her voice.
Nothing. No response.
Walking slowly towards the kitchen, inadvertently letting her tension build, she called again before stopping dead in her tracks, jaw dropping. “Oh, my god.”
At that moment Teal'c entered the room from the other side. "Please keep your voice down, MajorCarter. They are finally asleep."
Momentarily crinkling her brow at his words, Sam then turned her attention back to the scene before her. "Teal'c...they're...it's...they're..
Standing with his arms behind his back, Teal’c looked pleased.
"They're...they're..." Carter sat her purse on the floor to go in for a closer look. She was completely taken aback. "They're amazing. You guys did this?" she asked, not being able to hide her shock as she turned to look at him.
"Indeed we did." Teal'c’s smiled faded. "However, we must now discard of them."
Carter's eyes nearly bulged right out of her head. "What? Are you insane?" she cried. "We could sell these babies!" She went to pick one up, but was deftly stopped by the larger man.
"You must not eat those."
Sam whined. "Aw, come on, Teal’c. Just let me have one."
"You must not!" he restated firmly. "Follow me." Taking her hand, Teal'c then guided the reluctant major out of the kitchen. And even as she was being pulled into the other room, she twisted around to sneak another look. "Wow!" she mouthed, still amazed.
Sam had been dragged into her living room to find two of her favorite men bundled up and asleep on the couch. One was sitting and sweating, and the other was lying in his lap—completely oblivious. Sitting on the coffee table, Carter reached out and lightly caressed Daniel's bandaged hand—which caused him to stir, which caused Jack to instinctively tighten his hold around him, calming him instantly.
Despite her concern, she couldn't help but smile. The colonel had always been so protective over the younger man…even in sleep. It was adorable. And worth tons if she could get her hands on a camera.
"DanielJackson has what O'Neill refers to as the flu,” the Jaffa informed softly, kneeling beside her.
"How bad?" Carter asked, her smile fading with concern. That would explain the subtle smell of vomit trying to break through the cookie euphoria.
"He was physically ill for many hours before O'Neill was able to get him to sleep. He followed soon after."
Sam frowned. "His hand?"
Body posture stiffening, Teal’c stood and placed his arms defensively behind his back. "An alarming percentage of all household accidents happen in the kitchen, MajorCarter," he stated matter-of-factly.
Carter raised her eyebrows and looked up at him puzzled. "Oookay."
Just then Daniel made the most indiscernible noise, but Jack was instantly awake, soothing him back into sleep. Watching them, Sam’s eyes softened. She wondered briefly if the two before her really knew how much they truly needed and depended on each other.
Probably not. At least they would never admit it.
“Sir?” she said softly, gaining his attention once their youngest teammate was back to sleep.
Jack looked up from his charge. “Sorry you’ll have to go empty handed, Carter. Can’t exactly serve “Cookies a la Flu” can we? Well, at least not with a clear conscience.” His exhaustion was evident in his grin.
Sam smiled back, realizing now why Teal’c refused her even the slightest morsel. “Not a problem, sir. I’m sure Cassie will understand. Though I must say, you guys did one incredible job of it.”
Jack nodded. “That we did, major. That we did.” Then laying his head back against the couch again, he closed his eyes. He was really upset that all of their hard work was for not, but at least Carter got to see what they were capable of—thank you very much. It had actually been Teal’c’s idea to leave the cookies for Carter to see and Jack couldn’t find a reason not to. After all, they did work really hard on them. And what’s wrong with two old warriors being proud of their culinary skills?
That’s what Jack thought.
Of course, guilt didn’t hurt any in making his decision either. Once the two had finally gotten Daniel to his feet, they started making their way back to the living room; only to panic when their ailing friend suddenly turned a drastic shade of green. Teal’c reached to lift the man up and quickly carry him back to the bathroom. Jack reached for Teal’c’s chef’s hat.
It’s sacrifice will never been forgotten.
Especially by one disgruntled former First Prime.
Standing up, Carter turned to get another blanket—only to find Teal’c with one already in hand and extending it towards her. “Thanks.” She winked and gently laid it over Daniel. Though the colonel was already sweating buckets, she had a feeling he wouldn’t mind.
Running a cool hand along Daniel’s fevered cheek, Sam realized how truly lucky she was. She really had the best family anyone could ask for.
“I do not believe the three of us will be attending CassieFrasier’s Christmas party tonight, MajorCarter. Please give our regrets.”
“I will, Teal’c,” Sam replied, straightening up as Daniel curled into the colonel's chest, instantly falling into a restful sleep. “I’ll call.”
Turning to the Jaffa, she answered the question she saw in his eyes with a smile. “I think I’d rather stay home with my boys tonight.” Besides, she would still get to spend time with Cassie all day tomorrow.
Teal’c bowed his head in both understanding and appreciation. “Shall I put in a movie?”
Sam's smile widened. "Indeed."
Walking back into the kitchen, her heart swelled as she took in the sight of all the cookies again. Each one was more unique and different than the one before, and together they created something truly magnificent and beautiful.
Sam’s thoughts wandered to the three men in the other room. She never imagined something so…extraordinary coming out of such hastily thrown together things.
Sure, sometimes they didn’t get everything right; sometimes adding too little of something when there wasn’t enough of it in the first place, sometimes adding too much. And sometimes things were read completely wrong and everything got screwed up.
But regardless of the occasional mistakes and mishaps—no matter what, in the end the four of them would always turn out the way they were destined to:
“MajorCarter,” Teal’c peeked his head in the kitchen. “The movie is starting.”
Turning around, Sam gently smiled. “Be right there,” she called quietly.
She didn’t care that she wouldn’t be able to enjoy the Christmas cookies. It wasn’t her favorite recipe anyway.
“Just gotta get some coffee first.”