Curiosity Killed the Cat by devra


Daniel was positive, as he dry swallowed another two aspirin, that somewhere on the internet was a website where he could find the exact number of pills one needed to take before they ended up with a hole in their stomach. What would he have to enter for the search parameters? Aspirin? Stomach? Hole? Bleeding ulcer? And if he added caffeine consumption into the mix… how would that upset the apple cart? Hmm… apples.

At the mere thought of food, his stomach grumbled, reminding Daniel that aspirin and coffee were not part of the food pyramid. Nor was it the breakfast—Daniel glanced at the clock in the right hand side of his monitor—late afternoon snack of champions.

He was tired. Hungry. And headachy. He'd left the SGC last evening at seven, picked up dinner, ate. Paid bills, did laundry and managed to placate an annoyed, why-aren't-you-at-my-house Jack with phone sex. Jack had wondered if Daniel could claim phone sex as billable time to the SGC considering he'd used his linguistic talents to aid the military.


The first call woke him at one. An excited, breathless question about symbols on a pair of scrolls. He remembered mumbling something about where to look for a possible answer. The second call came in just as Daniel was on the cusp of returning to sleep. Same excitement, different member of his archeological team, and this answer took longer to formulate. The third call came as Daniel was punching his pillow into submission and he threw back the covers and sat up before answering. This time the excitement was infectious.

So, Daniel had no one to blame but himself as to why he was now sitting at his desk, in his office, spending the first day of his seventy-two hour leave, tired, hungry and headachy. Jack had made sure to mention during one of his irate phone calls to Daniel, that curiosity had killed not only the cat but also many an archaeologist. Daniel was prone to believe that while curiosity may have done a feline or two in, it was more that many a colonel had done in the archaeologists, as opposed to curiosity.

He was making slow headway, just enough to stop him from throwing up his hands and walking away. Unfamiliar symbols were interspersed with cuneiform, their story so intriguing that it overcame the hunger, the aspirin-induced hole in his stomach and the lure of three days' worth of Jack time.


The smell was his first sense to awaken and without lifting his eyes from the huge tome in front of him, Daniel sniffed again. He had to be delusional. Tired. That had to be the reason why he was smelling Chinese food in his office.



Daniel looked up. Jack was leaning against his doorway, dressed in civvies, holding a box in his arms. "Food?"

"Delivery." Jack balanced the box in one arm and plucked out the yellow receipt with the other. "That'll be thirty-eight sixty-five. Add on tax. Gratuity. Tip. And delivery charge, I'm thinkin' a fifty should cover it."


"Too cheap?"

"Cheap? I was thinking more like highway robbery. And what's this about being charged gratuity, we're not in the restaurant."

"Okay." Jack dropped the bill back into the box, shifted his weight and redistributed the box's balance. "I'll just take this back to Jade Garden—"

"No! I mean…" Daniel stood, dug into his pocket and tossed a crumbled twenty and two quarters onto the table.

Jack leaned over, shook his head. "Comin' up a little short, Danny boy?" Jack ahhh'd over the box. "Don't you just love Jade Garden's crispy prawns in garlic—"

Daniel opened his drawer, pushed aside some papers, a memo or two and found a five, a single, two more quarters and a nickel, and dropped those next to the twenty and change.

"Better," Jack said with a nod.

Daniel wondered what military protocol would be if he zatted Jack. Would he be fired? Rot in the brig? Or would he receive the Congressional Medal of Honor. Though if he zatted Jack, the box of food would collapse to the floor along with him. Never mind.

"Do you take credit cards?"


"Trade? Will you accept trade for the balance owed?"

Jack stepped into the room, nodding as he gazed at the antiquities, artifacts and books. "Hmm."

"Is that a yes?" In closer proximity to the food, Daniel could feel the drool building up.

"No. That was a 'hmmm, I'm considering it'."


"Still considering, be patient."

Daniel sat down and folded his hands. "I can do patient."


He nodded enthusiastically.

"You, Doctor Daniel Jackson, speaker of many languages, holder of multiple Ph.D's, can do patient?"

"Yes. See?" He raised his folded hands so Jack could see. "I can do patient. Doing patient right now."

"And does patient also include waiting seventy-two hours before becoming involved in something that could've waited?"

Oh. Oops. Daniel never, ever saw that one coming.

"Gotcha," Jack said, an evil smile lighting up his face as he placed the box on the table. "Or in terms that you can understand... checkmate."

"Damn. Best out of two?"

"Best out of two? What type of competition is that? It's usually best outta three. Outta five. It's never an even number. Because what does that prove?"

"That I'm sorry?"

"Ha! You're just saying that because I've brought food."

"No, I'm not—"

"Yes, you are. Now be a man and admit it."

"No. It's not only the food." Daniel grinned at Jack. "It's you also."

"Me?" Jack preened.

"You. The food."

"Really? In that order?"

"Yup." Daniel pushed the box towards Jack. "How about, you take this home and I'll meet you there."

"But you haven't even paid for this order. How am I supposed to believe that you'll make good—"

"Trust me."

"Yeah, now if I had a dollar for every time you said those words, this bill would be paid off—"

"We'll barter for the monies owed."

"Barter? What will you offer?"

"Remember what we talked about last night. On the phone?"

"Leaving now." Jack was out of the office in a flash.

"Dinner first," Daniel yelled after Jack. "Then dessert."

Jack popped his head back in. "I bet you say that to all the delivery guys."


The End!

Author's Comments:

This story is from a zine called You'll be alright, a zine which was a labour of love, put together by devra and I for our wonderful Jmas last year.

If you want to see more of Jmas' ezines, here's her link:

And Darcy made a vid - you may want to check it out on her site here called Stand - by Rascal Flatts

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Since 10 August 2008