Games People Playby devra
"I'm insulted." I point to the box on the table in the living room.
Daniel looks at me, all wide-eyed innocence. "Why?"
"Aw, come on. We're at the cabin. Fresh air."
"There's fresh air in Colorado Springs, sir."
I shush my 2IC with a stab of my index finger. "This is fresher air." I point to the window. "Look at all those trees. Oxygen."
Daniel follows the path of my finger, and taps on the glass. "It's raining, Jack."
"So? We can fish in the rain. Water is water. Rain or lake water, both of them are wet."
"Then how about I just go fishing in the shower?"
"You know, Daniel, once upon a time you weren't sarcastic."
"It's the company, sir."
Teal'c presses his face against the glass, then uses his sleeve in attempt to wipe away the condensation. "I do not wish to fish in the rain."
"I don't wish to fish at all, Teal'c," Daniel adds.
I throw my hands up. "Fine. Be that way. Wusses."
"Wusses? Sir?" Carter shoots a glance at Daniel. "Is this the same man who wants me to install a long range, ten-day weather forecast program on the MALPs?"
"Hey! I just want to be prepared. What's wrong with being prepared?"
Daniel shrugs and begins to hum an off-key rendition of 'Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head'.
Carter sighs, leaning into Daniel. "I loved that movie. I had the biggest crush on—"
"Focus folks, okay?"
"What movie, MajorCarter?"
Hello, Colonel in charge here. The principal of Charlie's school had been able to silence an auditorium full of screaming, energetic, elementary school children with a wave of two fingers. At this moment, I wish I had half of her control, or at the very least, a zat. "I'm going to put away the groceries." I stomp off, head held high, my dignity somewhere around my ankles.
"I do believe we have offended O'Neill."
In the safety of the kitchen, I snarl at Mother Nature's impertinence. We've saved the universe enough times for me to at least *think* we'd be rewarded with an abundance of sunshine and beautiful weather. Hell, I wasn't asking to catch any fish in the lake, just to be able to *see* the lake would be nice.
A can of beans slips from my fingers and falls to the floor, narrowly missing taking out the toes of my right foot before it rolls away. "Don't worry," I shout into the air. "I'm fine."
Carter walks into the kitchen, opens the fridge and takes out two beers and a bottle of water. She kicks the errant can over to me and it rolls the length of the floor, coming to rest right by the toes it missed. "You've dropped something, Colonel."
"That beer's not for Daniel, is it?"
"No, it's for you, sir." She places it on the table right in front of me. "Daniel's already opened the bottle of very expensive scotch he brought—"
"Aww, crap, I thought he said that was for a special occasion—"
"A special occasion?"
"We're together. We're alive. The Earth is safe. Sounds like a special occasion to me."
"But it's raining."
She winks at me. "Get Daniel drunk enough, sir, and I'm sure he won't care if he's fishing in the rain."
"True." I lift up my bottle of beer to her. "To special occasions."
"And drunk archaeologists."
* * *
Carter steps back and proudly wipes her hands together. "That should just about do it."
"Do what, Carter?"
"Give me a minute..."
She grabs a white remote, programs something in and within seconds introductory music pops up.
"This is what people are killing each other for? I mean, give me Space Invaders any day—Centipede, now *that* was a game."
"Give it a chance, Jack. Sheesh." He flips through the boxes on the table and tosses one at me.
I turn the white box over and examine the picture. I know those two guys. Mario and Luigi... But wait... Mario Party Eight. Eight? What the hell happened to one through seven?
"Come on, Daniel... Whoa, Carter is that supposed to be me?" I point at the screen.
She steps back, admiring her handiwork. "Is there a problem?"
"No. No." Truthfully, I'm very impressed Carter's managed to get this far without even opening the instruction book, but considering she uses Tau'ri technology to interface with alien computers on a daily basis, this must be a piece of cake.
Teal'c gloats. His video game self is as imposing as his three-dimensional self. Daniel's guy is all big blue eyes, brown hair and glasses. Carter's computer image is tall and blonde and gives off an air of 'you and what army', and for some strange reason I resemble a goofy, Gomer Pylish military man.
"How is making mini versions of ourselves fun, Carter?"
"Patience is a virtue, O'Neill."
"Yeah, Jack, can't you at least be virtuous?" Daniel does a quick room survey, then flashes me a lascivious smile.
Oh, he's so dead.
* * *
I'm in the kitchen, muttering to myself while putting together some lunch to soak up all the alcohol two of the world's bravest and brightest are consuming. To have team bonding, one must first have a team and something worth bonding over. An activity the entire team is interested in, like pizza, beer, movie, bowling, or fishing. Many times, the activities can be combined. Pizza with beer and a movie. Fishing with beer. To my knowledge, making a fool of oneself while playing a video game isn't listed anywhere on the approved team activities, though the people in the other room seem to have other ideas.
"DanielJackson, it would appear that you—"
"Ow, Sam, you didn't have to hit me."
"I do believe MajorCarter—"
"Is a sore loser," Daniel quipped. "What happened to good sportsmanship?"
"Would it not be good sportswomenship?"
"No," Daniel growled, "It would be considered being a sore loser."
"I am not a sore loser."
"You hit me. In my book, that constitutes a Grade A sore loser."
"Daniel! Carter!" I walk into the living room with the tray of sandwiches as my protective shield. "Do not make me separate you."
"She started it."
"Yeah, so I heard."
Teal'c makes himself useful and removes the tray from my hands, while the Earth's leading astrophysicist is standing there, arms crossed, the controller hanging from her wrist, swaying from its strap.
Team bonding always brings out the maturity of my kids and at the moment, Carter's pushing twelve. I glance over at the accused, who gives me a one-shoulder shrug. "Apologize, Daniel."
Eyebrows shoot skyward. "Apologize? Apologize?" he squeaks. "Me?" Daniel flings his arms open wide and the alcohol in his glass waves over the side. The controller flies outward and I cringe, fearing for the safety of my fifty-two inch plasma TV screen, until I remember the blessed person who thought to attach the safety straps to these formidable projectiles. "What did I do?"
"Carter says you cheated."
"I did not." He slams the glass on the coffee table, then licks the scotch off his fingers, one by one.
Must. Concentrate. Must. Concentrate. Must not be distracted by tongue and appendages.
"Is there a problem, O'Neill?"
"Problem?" I squeak.
"You suddenly appear to be distracted."
"Sorry, I must've been blinded by the brilliant conversation taking place in this room."
Slowly, Daniel removes his index finger from his mouth and uses his tongue to outline his lips. His forehead becomes a mass of furrows. "I think we've been insulted."
"I do not believe O'Neill was referring to my—"
"I wasn't. I was referring to..." I pick up a half of a ham-and-swiss-with-mustard sandwich and use it as a pointer. "Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum."
* * *
Daniel's a quietly amusing, self-entertaining person when he drinks. At the moment, he's sitting on the couch, humming to himself, using half of his roast beef on rye sandwich to conduct the fire in the fireplace. Eyes closed, there's a hint of a smile tugging the corners of his lips. Daniel opens one eye when a roll of thunder interrupts his musical interlude. "Anyone up for fishing?"
Personally, I didn't think Daniel was drunk enough to go outside and play Thomas Edison during a thunderstorm with a fishing pole at the end of a dock surrounded by water. Talk about tempting fate. "Are you nuts, Daniel? It's storming out there." On cue, a clap of thunder follows directly on the heels a flash of lightning. "See."
Daniel looks at me as if I've lost my marbles. Carter snorts, which is such an unusual sound it actually raises the hair on the back of my neck. And Teal'c, well, Teal'c just shakes his head.
"Okay, what?" I twist my head to see behind me and spin around a time or two like a dog chasing his tail. "Is there a 'kick me' sign on my ass?"
"Should there be, O'Neill?"
You know, sometimes I think Teal'c is a having a great chuckle at the Tau'ri's expense. After we retire, I personally believe Teal'c's going to have a great future as a standup comedian. "No Teal'c," I glower at my Menses twins, who pointedly ignore me. "There shouldn't be any sign on any part of my body, except for the one that says 'the wearer of this uniform is a Colonel and people should pay attention to what he says'."
"Say something, Jack, and we'll pay attention."
"Daniel's right, sir."
I turn towards Teal'c. "And what about you, Brutus, care to share your input?"
"I am still attempting to twine my brain around the sign you believe is pasted to your derriere."
"Huh?" Derriere? Teal'c's obviously been dipping into Fraiser's collection of romantic novels.
Carter is fiddling with the game and she answers without looking up. "Wrap his brain around..."
"I knew that."
"Sure you did, Jack. Sure you did."
Teal'c huffs indignantly, grabs a sandwich and goes to sit on the couch next to Daniel, who whispers something in his ear. Something wicked enough to raise Teal'c's eyebrows and make him smile, which, in my opinion, is as scary, if not scarier, than Carter snorting.
"What did you say to him, Daniel?"
Daniel shoves the rest of the sandwich in his mouth then makes an aborted attempt to reach for his glass and just gives up when he can't attain the forward momentum.
I get a loopy, drunken smile in response and I wonder what my chances are of getting Carter and Teal'c out of the house for a little while. I'm thinking fire in the fireplace. A storm outside. Nakedness. A more than slightly tipsy Daniel who's free with his laughter and smiles. Candles. Yeah, candles. Romance.
"What?" My daydream goes up in a puff of smoke as I realize three pairs of eyes are honed right in on me. Teal'c and Carter look concerned, while Daniel, strangely enough, appears to be right on the same wavelength as me.
"Are you okay, Jack?"
Sometimes Daniel is such a little shit. "I'm fine," I manage to grind out, dropping into the nearest chair. "Just distracted."
Carter stands in front of me, her controller waving in front of my face like a stupid metronome. "Time to put it on, sir." She grabs my hand, slides the band over my wrist and tightens it, then steps to the side and points to the TV. "Fishing."
"Fishing," Daniel echoes.
"Well, I'll be damned..." There's fishing in my living room. On my TV.
* * *
"You're pouting, Colonel."
"I'm not. I'm glaring. At Daniel." Somewhere in the rulebook it should state that slightly tipsy team members are not permitted to beat their commanding officer at video games. "You're right, Carter, Daniel does cheat."
"Hey! I do not cheat." Now it's his turn to pout.
"You're pouting Daniel."
"You are indeed, DanielJackson."
He sneers at me although Teal'c was the one to call him on it.
I wink in response just to show him that even though he's caught more fish than I have, his time will come.
He pours himself another scotch and salutes me with it, the damn controller hanging off his wrist. Tempting me...
"I'm challenging you to another round, Daniel." Damn. I so didn't want to get dragged into this video game thingie.
"You're on." One-handed, Daniel twirls the controller and narrowly misses smacking himself in the face before catching it.
I turned and shake my controller at him. "You're going down, Daniel."
"Nice visual, Colonel."
Daniel spews a mouthful of scotch across the room.
I glare at my 2IC... Obviously she's right behind Daniel in imbibing alcoholic beverages today and in an embarrassed huff, I abruptly turn around and face the TV.
Without a word Teal'c gets up and cleans the alcohol off the glass plate of the fireplace.
* * *
Even with another scotch under his belt, Daniel destroys me and grins when the final score appears on the screen. Slowly. Daring me to comment. "I should've bet you money."
"Yeah, whatever." I'm thinking that Daniel's going to be physically collecting his winnings from me sometime in the near future when Teal'c and Carter aren't within hearing distance.
The screen changes.
"Hey." I was going to go for best out of five with Daniel.
"Bowling, anyone?" Carter asks.
"Bowling?" Fishing was one thing... Cute little fishes... But bowling? I wonder if the Tollan or even the Asgard would be willing to share some of their far superior technological advances if I wave this video game system under their collective noses.
"Carter, do the Asgard have noses?"
"Jack, do we even want to know *why* you've been thinking about this?"
"Can't a person allow their mind to wander without it being a federal offense?"
"I am quite positive the Asgard are in possession of olfactory senses, O'Neill."
"Thank you, Teal'c." I jab my controller at Carter and Daniel. "See. An answer. Was that so hard?"
* * *
Daniel weaves towards the screen. His Wii image, thankfully hasn't been drinking and walks a straight line. Daniel stops. The image stops. Daniel flings his right hand backwards and Carter and I duck as he *bowls* with the controller. The on-screen ball veers right into the opposite gutter and the cute cartoon Wii-Daniel has a fit because he hasn't scored while three-dimensional Daniel stares at his controller. Again, Daniel has bowled another gutter.
"I think this one is broken, Sam."
Protectively, I hug my controller to my chest. It's the seventh frame and I'm bowling a perfect game. There's no way I want to—
"I want to try Jack's controller."
Carter pats Daniel's arm. "Next game we'll switch controllers, we can't do it mid-game—"
"I like my controller, I don't want to switch."
"Nor do I," Teal'c says.
Daniel drops into the chair, grabs a half a sandwich from the tray, opens it and pulls out the cheese, then eats it. He's very lucky we all love him. Some, more than others, but the sentiment is still there. After the cheese, Daniel takes out the turkey, the tomato, then the lettuce before finally eating the mayo and pepper-coated whole wheat bread. Carter bowls a spare, Teal'c bowls a strike and I'm trying to concentrate and not think about Daniel licking each and every one of his fingers to clean them. Again.
Strike. Strike. Strike. This is my mantra and I'm thinking only positive thoughts.
"Wow," Daniel leans forward. "I think you got gypped. That shouldn't have been a split."
Stupidly, I stare at the screen, then at the controller in my hand. "What the..." I shake the white rectangle. "Carter, could I need—"
"Brand new batteries, sir." She uses her chin to point to the screen. "You have another frame, Colonel."
The seven ten split has been done before. Professional bowlers have done it. Sometimes the lucky son of a gun out for a night of bowling has done it. The one in a couple of thousand bowling leaguers has accomplished it. Statistically, I'm not too sure the number of video game players who've done it.
I study the virtual pins then slowly walk towards the TV, bowling. Looking damn professional, if I must say so myself. Extending the arm with the controller while pressing the correct buttons, my virtual self and I release the ball simultaneous. And I hold my breath while the ball hugs the lane, hits the right hand pin which slowly slides across the lane and misses the other pin by a mile.
* * *
Teal'c and Carter bowl with their feet planted on the floor, the only movement is in their arms. Swing back, front and release the ball. While on the other hand, Daniel and I *bowl*. Stepping up to the imaginary line, holding the controller up to our chests, we stare at the screen and take the three steps, making sure, of course, that we side-step the coffee table before releasing the ball.
Which probably is the reason why Teal'c wins the game and Carter comes in second. I totally blow it after my disastrous split and Daniel... well, Daniel needs, if the game provided, a sturdy set of virtual bumpers for the lanes.
* * *
Daniel has become one with the chair. Slumped down, his long legs are stretched out and Carter has to walk around them on her way back from the kitchen. His eyes are closed and his head is resting on the back of the chair. The controller is still attached to the wrist of the hand covering his eyes. There's the tiniest of smirks playing on the corner of his lips.
Carter glances towards Daniel, but talks to me. "The coffee will be ready in a few minutes, sir."
Daniel shakes his head. "No coffee."
I sniff the air. "Can't you just smell those freshly roasted beans? Can't you just imagine the jolt of caffeine rushing through your—"
"Nope." Suddenly, Daniel bolts upright, and he's standing almost nose to nose with me. "Think I'm going to go to bed," he slurs as he moves his hand horizontally through the air. "Lie down. Bed."
I grab his arm as Daniel sways, saving him from lying down in the middle of the living room floor. "Think you might need a bit of assistance on this one." Reaching down, I undo his wrist strap, then toss the controller over to Carter. "Carry on."
Carter rolls her eyes at Daniel, tapping him on the thigh as we pass. "Don't forget the water and the aspirin, sir."
* * *
We bounce off the walls in the hallway as we maneuver down the narrow corridor until we stumble into his assigned room. Daniel shrugs off my help and flops face down on the bed.
"You're going to be sorry, you know."
He flips over onto his back. "Ya think?" And he smiles. A true, dimple-producing smile without a hint of one-scotch too many.
He points to the door, then crooks his finger at me.
Angrily, he brings his finger up to his lips, shushing me then jabs his finger at the door.
"Ahh, you want me to close it?"
Only Daniel could make the universal thumbs up signal appear sarcastic.
Before shutting the door, I listen to the voices drifting down the hallway from the living room. Carter and Teal'c are still Wii-obsessed so I slowly walk the door shut. I turn to find he's once again crooking his finger at me. Obediently, I obey, like the well-trained colonel I am.
Daniel pats the area of mattress just big enough to sit my ass down. And I sit.
And he smiles *that* smile again.
"Okay, Daniel, what the hell is—" The rest of my sentence is swallowed up by Daniel's mouth and his tongue pulls my words right outta my brain.
He breaks the kiss, his tongue flicking that smug look from his lips.
"You're not drunk."
"Maybe just a little."
"A little?" I'm confused. "I saw you—"
"Drink?" His chuckle is warm and deep.
Damn Daniel. A thought crosses my mind and I wonder in the flash of an instant how much enticement it would take to send Teal'c and Carter packing.
"I brought the scotch. I watered it down. I just needed—" The cat who ate the canary look disappears. "Time. With you." Daniel squeezes my knee.
The man is one hundred percent correct. I can't even apologize, because it's not my fault. Nor his. It's our jobs. Our lives. Sometimes we have to be... creative. I kiss him quickly. "You taste like scotch."
"A nice buzz..." Daniel trails off, then yawns. The hand that squeezed my knee still rests there.
Awkwardly, I lean in and kiss him, this time long and lingering and he sighs when we separate. "Gonna get drunk the whole weekend? 'Cause that might make Carter and Teal'c a tad suspicious."
"No," Daniel says sadly, turning on his side, curling his body around my ass. "Probably just going to sleep it off."
"I'll have to come and check on you periodically."
"Of course you will." Daniel's hand walks slowly up my thigh.
I push his appendage down with a click of my tongue. "Play fair," I order. "I still have to go out there."
"You could always drink the rest of the watered down scotch then come and pass out right next to me."
And I could've kept my big mouth shut and *not* invited Carter and Teal'c to the cabin. He knows that. And I know that, but sometimes the needs of the many outweigh how horny we are. The team needed some together, healing time, more than Daniel and I need this. I lean over and tenderly kiss his temple.
Daniel rubs the spot where my lips have been, closes his eyes and grins. "Thanks, Jack."
"My pleasure." I stand, gaze down at Daniel then shake my head. "Better go get you a glass of water and aspirin before Carter becomes suspicious."
Daniel nods without opening his eyes.
* * *
"How is DanielJackson?"
I shrug, because shrugging is a non-committal answer that can be taken any way you want it.
"That bad, Colonel?"
"He's falling asleep." Again, not a lie. "I just want to get—" I point to the kitchen.
"I already put out two asprin and a bottle of water for him."
"Maybe you should also consider placing a bucket next to the bed in case DanielJackson has the desire to lose the contents of his stomach."
"Smart thinking, T."
He nods at me, then goes back to playing virtual ping pong with Carter, who's sitting staring at the screen, her tongue peeking out of the corner of her mouth.
* * *
"Hey, Daniel." I walk in carrying the water, bucket and aspirin. I put everything down on the dresser, go back and close the bedroom door. It's only then, when I turn around, that I realize Daniel's sleeping. I grimace in sympathy. Obviously, the scotch wasn't watered down enough and while I placated Teal'c with the bucket, I'm thinking there might be a possibility the poor guy might need it. So I place it next to the bed. I try to wake him for the water and aspirin, but he bats my hand away, growls and burrows deeper into the pillow. "I tried," I say, kissing his nose. "I promise," I whisper in his ear. "Okay, maybe I shouldn't promise. How about we try to do this again. Me. You. Bed. Without the watered down scotch. Without Teal'c. Carter."
He sighs in his sleep. "Okay," he mumbles. "Hammond and Janet?"
"Yeah, sure," I agree. Daniel's down for the count and not a clue as to what I'm talking about. "Anyone you want."
"Want you." Blindly, he reaches out and smacks me in the leg.
"Later. Not now. Now I'm going to go fishing with Carter and Teal'c. Or maybe bowling." And I'm also going to hide the watered down scotch. Don't need Carter finding it. I leave the door open just a little, enough to hear Daniel should he decide to use the bucket. Though I'm going to be checking on him periodically. One thing I have to say about SG-1, we are a resourceful bunch of people.
Yes, the Wii truly exists and it's one of the few video game systems that lives up to all its hype. http://us.wii.com/ if you'd like to have a look. And to my SG family, wonderful visuals equal wonderful memories. And jo, I'd never be able to do any of this without you
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