Trinity 12: Le Masquerade
Part 1 of 2
Summary: It’s the holidays and time for dress up at the SGC’s annual charity gala.
This year’s theme: The Masquerade…without the masks. Quote is from Emerson, Lake, & Palmer’s “Karn Evil 9.”
Welcome back my friends
to the show that never ends
we’re so glad you could attend,
come inside, come inside.
General Hammond looked at the members of SG-1 with a perplexed frown, wondering how they could find problems at ten-thirty in the morning.
“Are there misgivings about this mission after the holidays?”
SG-1 exchanged looks, and Teal’c’s was the only one to match General Hammond’s. He didn’t understand what his teammates were looking so uneasy about.
“No, sir,” Jack finally replied. “It’s just the rather…ominous…numerical assignment for the planet: P4X-666.”
“Colonel…” Hammond said tolerantly. “Surely you aren’t superstitious about the designation?” Hammond would normally have dismissed the comment, but the holidays tended to make him rather jovial, which in turn made him even more tolerant of his flagship team’s quirks.
“I don’t think he’s superstitious, sir,” Daniel put in, “but it is a rather ominous number, given the majority of religions on Earth have assigned 666 with the rather hefty task of bringing Armageddon…and most of us, religious or not, haven’t escaped that ingrained attitude.”
Jack pointed at Daniel with his pen. “That…what he said. I’m neither superstitious nor ignorant of what it means. I just find it especially creepy…given the time of year…sir.”
“It’ll be after the holidays, Colonel.”
“I realize that, sir.”
“Okay…” Jack relented. “We don’t like the number.”
Hammond couldn’t help but laugh. “Colonel, I appreciate the…hesitation, but Major Carter will probably tell you that there are other planets with this designation,” and he cast her a look that pretty much told her to back him up.
“Oh…yes, sir. Definitely.” She was also lying through her teeth. The computer had somehow managed to go through all the other alpha-numerical sequences without once shooting out another 666 suffix. She made a mental note to run a diagnostic on the computer system.
“So you don’t have a problem with this, Carter?” Jack asked.
“No, sir,” she lied again, giving him her best poker face. Jack saw right through it.
Teal’c frowned at them. “I do not understand the misgivings for this specific number.”
“Do a search on Google, Teal’c, and you’ll find out more information than I could possibly tell you,” Daniel told him.
“Thank you, Daniel Jackson,” Teal’c said, nodding once.
“You’re welcome,” Daniel replied as he tapped his pencil distractedly. Sam reached out and grabbed the pencil out of his hand, then gave it back to him. Daniel blinked at her. “Sorry.”
“Something else on your mind, Doctor Jackson?” Hammond asked.
“No, sir,” Daniel replied innocently. There really wasn’t…except…
“He’s just anxious, sir,” Jack offered, getting a tiny scowl from his archaeologist-linguist.
“SG-2’s return, sir.”
Hammond nodded, smiling as Daniel looked at him with embarrassment. “Major Coburn and his team will return today, Doctor Jackson.” He took a look at his watch. “In fact, they should be due within the hour.”
Daniel sat up straight. “Really?”
Hammond blinked. “Is there a problem?”
“No, sir,” Jack interrupted before Daniel could speak, giving him a slight scowl.
“What’s the matter with you?”
“What? I miss him,” Daniel replied, feeling a bit warm.
“I know, so do I,” Jack replied, his voice getting husky all of a sudden.
Daniel stared into his eyes…those warm, sexy eyes.
Jack suddenly leaned across the table and grabbed Daniel by his wrist, pulling him toward him.
“Want me to show you how much we both miss him?”
“Yes,” Daniel replied as Jack pinned him to the table, bringing his lips to his, his tongue to his…
“DANIEL!” Jack said, shouting his name.
Startled, Daniel cleared his throat. “Um…sorry.”
Hammond blinked. “Is there a problem?”
“No, sir,” Jack interrupted before Daniel could speak. “But I think Daniel skipped breakfast again.” He gave Daniel a stern look and Daniel passed it back.
“I’ll have a candy bar when we’re finished.”
“No, you’ll come with us in a bit to have something to eat in the cafeteria.”
Daniel rolled his eyes, then caught Hammond smiling slightly at Jack’s mothering attitude. He rolled his eyes again.
“Well then…next on the agenda,” Hammond continued, “is the Holiday Charity Ball. I trust you all have purchased your tickets?”
‘Yes, sirs’ from the three team members and an ‘Indeed I have, General Hammond’ from Teal’c.
“And you do remember that this year, the event is a masquerade ball?”
“Yes, sir,” from Daniel and Sam.
“I have, General Hammond,” from Teal’c.
“Sir, do we have to–” started to come from Jack.
“Yes, Colonel, and you have until tomorrow night to get your costumes. Now, if there’s no other business?” he asked, and when no answer came, “Then you’re all dismissed for the day’s duties.”
“Yes, sir,” Jack replied, standing.
Before Hammond disappeared into his office, he gave Jack a stern look. “Colonel?”
“Class A’s aren’t a costume.”
“I know that, sir.”
“Just thought I’d remind you.”
“Yes, sir. Thank you, sir.”
Hammond closed the door to his office, shaking his head.
Sam, Daniel, and Teal’c gave Jack a look.
“I thought you were looking forward to dressing up?” Daniel asked.
“Then what was that?”
“A little ritual, Daniel. Last year and the year before that and the year before that…well, let’s just say I’ve let it be known that I hate these things. You three, plus a few others, know otherwise.”
“Well, surely General Hammond knows?”
“Yes, but he likes to pretend that I don’t like these things just as I like to pretend I don’t like them while pretending that I know that he knows that I really like…them.”
Daniel and Sam burst out laughing.
“Whatever you say, Jack,” Daniel replied through a snort.
“I’m surprised you got that all out in one go, sir.”
Jack observed them with a grin, then looked at Teal’c’s stony expression. “What? You didn’t find that funny?”
“When I am able to decipher what you have said, O’Neill, I am sure that I will find it extremely funny,” he deadpanned.
Jack joined his teammates laughter and clapped Teal’c on the shoulder. “Thanks, big guy.”
They hung around the conference room, looking through the observation window. None of them were in any hurry to get back to their offices, including Teal’c – who now shared Sam’s office. Sam had her own duties in her lab, Daniel had his, and Jack had his 2IC duties down the hall from Hammond, but Teal’c had never been ‘assigned’ anything specific. Jack had all that changed the week before, and since the only available office space was on level 16, Sam created a cubicle of space in her large lab. Complete with partition walls, a desk and chair, his own laptop computer, and a filing cabinet, Teal’c now had a small office specifically designed for his newly assigned SGC duties as Recruit Trainer and Physical Fitness Instructor. Now, when he wasn’t to be found in the gym or in his quarters, Teal’c could be found in Sam’s lab.
“So, T, how do you like your new office?” Jack asked.
“It is small, O’Neill,” Teal’c replied, then smiled at Sam’s upraised brow. “But more than satisfactory.”
She smirked at him and hit him softly in the stomach. “Better be.”
Daniel smiled affectionately at the pair, then looked at Jack and winked. Jack winked back, then breathed in a deep, happy sigh. Yep, things were finally well with his team. It was about time. It had only taken them six years.
Suddenly the stargate started up, and after the last chevron locked, Lieutenant Simmons’ voice came out over the intercom, giving the incoming traveler announcement which meant a signal had been sent. Daniel smiled at Jack and turned, heading for the backstairs that led to the control room, with Jack, Sam, and Teal’c directly behind.
The iris had already opened and SG-2 was coming through the gate by the time Daniel reached the control room’s console. He grinned as he recognized the men, then furrowed his brow just a bit as he saw something different.
“You see what I see?”
“They’ve been gone, what? Five days?” Jack asked.
“Yep,” Daniel replied, a slow smile spreading over his face.
Jack saw it and nudged him in the back. “Have we ever seen him with a moustache and a goatee?”
“Just two-day shadow.”
“Yep, that’s what I thought.”
“I think he looks good,” Sam said, giving a curious smile to her teammates as well as Lieutenant Simmons. “What? He looks good. The others however…well, Captain Wagner is alright, as face hair seems to fit him but McCaffrey and Kaufman need a shave. They don’t do facial hair at all.”
Daniel looked down at Jason – who just then took the opportunity to look up – and waved. Jason sent him a grin and a two-fingered salute. Hammond entered the gateroom just then, breaking the moment.
“Come on, guys,” Jack said leaving. “Let’s go greet our second flagship team.”
“Don’t let the marines hear you say that, sir,” Sam quipped.
“Ah, screw ’em,” Jack said as they left the control room.
Jason handed his weapon to the armory sergeant just as Hammond walked in the gateroom. “Welcome home, SG-2.”
“Thank you, sir.”
“How’s the research station going?”
“Like great guns, sir. The Botany and Horticulture building is already up and running and the Geological building is under construction. The scientists are getting along well with the Diné and there haven’t been any problems with putting up the planned buildings at other sites beyond the outer bluff.”
“Thank you, Major,” Hammond grinned. “Other than that, how’s Special Liaison Lin doing?”
Jason grinned. “Grandfather’s just fine, sir. I don’t know why, but he seems to have lost ten years.”
Hammond snorted. “Well, maybe I should retire there.”
Jason nodded with complete seriousness. “It would be a great place to, sir.”
Hammond’s eyes then went to Jason’s lower face, just as they did on his teammates. “And the growth, Major?”
Jason tried not to smile but he couldn’t help it. “As you know, sir, a lot of indigenous tribes on our own planet don’t have the gene that allows the growth of facial hair. The Diné aren’t any different and they were curious as to our 5 o’clock shadow on the second day. The scientists wouldn’t indulge their curiosity.”
“Who was most curious, Major?”
“The Tribal Elders, sir. They made a request, so to speak, so in the interests of diplomacy, I allowed my team and I to…alleviate their curiosity…sir.”
“I see, well…get yourselves to the infirmary and then cleaned up for the debriefing at 1500.”
“Yes, sir, and…General?” Jason asked.
“What is it, Major?” he asked as Jason walked with him through the bulkhead doors, his team directly behind.
“The Charity Gala is tomorrow, correct, sir?”
“Well, I was wondering if I could leave this,” and he pointed to his face, “until afterward.”
“I take it that it’s part of the costume?”
“It will be, yes sir.”
Hammond snorted. “Very well, Major, but remember,” and he looked at his teammates who stood behind him. “It comes off afterward.”
“Yes, sir. Thank you, sir.”
SG-1 came down the corridor just then and paused, moving out of the way for Hammond to pass.
As SG-1 proceeded with SG-2 toward the connecting corridor, Jack gestured at Jason’s face. “What’s this?”
Daniel couldn’t help but laugh as Jack gave Jason a look of annoyance.
SG-2 was already in the cafeteria when Jack and his team came in. As they chose their food and made their way over, Jason’s teammates were leaving.
“Was it something I said?” Jack asked as his team started to sit down.
Captain Wagner smiled. “No, sir. We have some reports to write up…and our good leader here has already written his.”
Jason shrugged. “Not my fault I type faster than you,” and then grinned, winking at Sam as she and Teal’c sat opposite him.
Sergeant McCaffrey snorted. “Come on, sirs, before our intrepid team leader decides to assign us some odious task.”
Jason grinned. “You know me too well, Connor.”
“Not at all, sir,” said Sergeant McCaffrey, now clean-shaven with his two teammates. “I just don’t trust that new look you’re sporting. It makes you look rather…criminal.”
Daniel laughed out loud as he sat on Jason’s left. “That’s fitting.”
“Hush up, you.”
Jason’s team sniggered as they left and Jason cast an evil eye at Daniel. “You’re corrupting them.”
“You did that all by your lonesome,” Daniel said as he deposited the dishes on his tray to the table. “I had nothing to do with it.”
“Ah huh, that’s what you always say,” Jason replied drily. He watched Jack sit down on his right, depositing his own dishes, then looked over at Teal’c, noting that the man hadn’t bothered. He had his usual enormous amount of food loaded onto his tray and never bothered to unload it when he ate. Teal’c gave him a raised brow as he dug right into his food. Sam, on the other hand, had only a few items, like Daniel and Jack, and she deposited her dishes on the table, then set the tray off to the side, on top of Jack’s.
Jason couldn’t help it and stared at her plate of mashed potatoes and gravy, corn, and meatloaf. He was then distracted from it when Jack elbowed his arm.
“You’re eyeing her food like a starving man. Didn’t you eat?”
“Um, no, I’m not hungry.”
“Yeah right,” Jack said doubtfully, but didn’t press. “So, how’s Lin doin’?”
“Oh, he’s just fine,” Jason answered with a huge smile. “You should see him. Ten years younger at least and happy as a bee in a hive.”
“I didn’t know bees got happy,” Jack quipped.
“Sure, why do you think they make all that honey,” Daniel quipped back.
Sam started laughing with a mouthful of mashed potatoes, then swallowed quickly and nodded her head in Daniel’s direction. “He’s been hanging around the Colonel too much, Jason,” she told him in a confidential tone.
Jason snorted as he took a sip from his coffee mug, his eyes on Jack for a moment. “Judging from his reaction, I’m not sure the Colonel is all that happy about it.”
“Alright, you two. That’s enough with the teasing of the old man.”
“You’re not old,” four people said almost simultaneously, and almost as if it were a never-ending monotonous chant, before Jack could stop them. He rolled his eyes and looked at Jason as he started in on his own meal of soup and a sandwich.
“So, what on earth, if you’ll pardon the clichéd expression, did the Elders find so fascinating about facial hair?” Jack asked him, gesturing with a finger at Jason’s moustache.
“Probably because they can’t grow it is my only guess. They find it fascinating and since I’m half-Navajo, they wondered if I could grow hair. They hadn’t seen me shave, but could obviously see the shadow, so they wanted to know what I looked like with hair on my face.”
“So they were just…curious?” Daniel asked.
Jason nodded as he snagged Daniel’s spoon and stole some of Sam’s mashed potatoes before she smacked his hand away.
“I thought you said you weren’t hungry?” she asked.
“I lied. I’m starving. I’m just not used to eating with this fuzz on my face and I don’t want the food getting in it.”
“Jason,” Daniel said with half-admonishment and half-compliment, “it’s neatly groomed away from your mouth. I think you’ll manage to be able to eat something without having to go wash.”
Jason shrugged. “Thanks, but I’m not taking any chances until I get home.”
“Well, here,” Daniel said, giving him his orange. “Eat this. If you liked Jell-O, pudding, or tapioca, you could eat one of those since the cafeteria has plenty of that.”
Jason shuddered. “I’m still figuring out how the hell I’m going to eat that pie you said you made.”
“Easy, open mouth, insert spoon,” Daniel said with smirk.
“Daniel, when you make pie, you load the shit out of it with that whipped cream topping you make.”
“I don’t hear you complaining,” Daniel objected.
“I’m not…I’m just saying that right now, I’m worried about…this,” he said gesturing at his face. “Bugs the shit out of me because I love your pie.”
“Jason, for cryin’ out loud,” Jack said impatiently, having to hugely restrain himself from making the comment he would have made, had he not been on the base. “Your fuzz is just fine. You’ll manage. And I happen to be looking forward to that pie so if you don’t want any, that’s more for me.”
“Besides,” Daniel added, lowering his voice, “I can always help you clean off anything that gets stuck in your hair.”
Jason almost choked on the coffee he was in the middle of swallowing when Daniel said that. “Asshole,” he whispered.
Daniel smiled and dug into his lunch.
In between bites of orange and sips of coffee, Jason kept unnecessarily smoothing down his thin moustache and goatee with his forefinger and thumb, and it started to get on Jack’s nerves. When Jason did it for the sixth time, Jack snatched his hand.
“Would you please stop doing that.”
Jason grinned sheepishly. “Sorry. I’m still trying to get used to it.”
“What’s there to get used to? It’s not that thick. Why didn’t Hammond order you to shave it off, anyway?”
“I asked to keep it until after the masquerade.”
Jack and Daniel exchanged glances. “Are you saying it’s going to be part of your costume?”
“Of course. There’s no other reason for me to keep it. Although, if it doesn’t stop bugging me, I’m gonna shave it off and just use fake hair.”
“No, no, no,” Daniel said, shaking his head. “No fake hair. Jack, you hide his shaving equipment and I’ll steal his electric razor.”
Jason sighed dramatically. “Fine, but you’ll find out about the drawbacks to this…” and he purposely stroked his hair once more, “…later.”
Jason’s insinuation was clear and Jack and Daniel looked at him carefully, then Daniel lowered his voice so that no one but those at the table could hear him.
“I’m looking forward to it, actually.”
“Okay, fine,” Jason replied softly, “but I don’t want to hear any complaints or remarks.”
“For cryin’ out loud, Jason, there’s not much of it,” Jack teased, and before Jason could reply, he cleverly misdirected the subject. “So, if it’s part of your costume, what’re you going as?”
“He’s not telling,” Daniel complained, making it obvious that he’d already tried to find out and failed. Jack rolled his eyes at that as he ate a spoonful of soup.
Jason only grinned at their irritation as he peeled his orange.
“Sounds like a challenge to me,” Sam said with another mouthful of potato.
“What’re you going as?” Daniel asked.
She smiled and took another bite. “You’ll see. Janet and I are going as a pair.”
“God, another secret. Why aren’t you and Teal’c going together?” Daniel asked.
“We are going together, Daniel Jackson.”
“No, I meant dressing up in similar costumes.”
“Major Carter wanted to dress up with Doctor Fraiser. I did not have a problem with that. I have also been meaning to ask, what is the reason for the secrecy regarding the choice of costume?” Teal’c asked, clearly not getting it.
“It’s an old custom, Teal’c,” Daniel answered. “Surprising people with your costume and seeing their reactions. Plus, true masquerades had people literally wearing wigs and masks so you wouldn’t know who they were until the end of the party when everyone would remove their masks. The whole thing is actually silly, because if you knew the person, their costume wouldn’t mean squat; you’d still know them. That’s probably now the sole reason for keeping costumes secret…and to keep people from trying to talk you out of your idea. I, for one, don’t care if anyone knows what I’m going as. It’ll keep others from showing up in similar ones.”
“Daniel, no one else would dare go as Indiana Jones,” Jack snorted. “You’re almost expected to show up as him.”
“I know,” Daniel grinned. “I’ve even managed to find an extremely authentic costume, complete with bullwhip.”
Jason and Jack both coughed as very vivid images came to their minds. Sam snorted softly at their reactions, then winked at Daniel who kept eating, acting as nonchalantly as possible.
“You are going as the archaeologist from Raiders of the Lost Ark?” Teal’c asked.
Daniel nodded as he took a bite from his own sandwich. Teal’c seemed to examine Daniel’s appearance, as if gauging whether or not the ‘role’ would be appropriate. Daniel cast a nervous glance at the others around the table, and finally, Teal’c nodded.
“That look will suit you.”
Daniel smirked. “Thanks, Teal’c. I’m glad you approve. What are you going as?”
“The Terminator,” and he gave a tiny, secretive smile to Sam, who smiled back.
“Sam?” Daniel asked, noticing the exchange.
“Nothing private, Daniel, so get that look off your face,” she growled at him.
Daniel affected an air of innocence. “I wasn’t thinking anything. So, what gave Teal’c the idea?” he asked, knowing the answer.
“I told him he’d make a better Terminator than Arnold, so…he’s going.”
“As which one?” Jason asked. “The first one with the army jacket or the second one with the leather jacket?”
Sam smiled. “The leather one. Same clothes, too. He’ll look very cool.”
Jack gave Jason another long look. “So, we still haven’t figured out what Jason’s going to wear.”
Jason looked back at him, grinning. “You’ll never guess in a million years.”
“That’s a dare,” Sam said.
“It is not…okay, it is,” Jason said with a laugh. “You still won’t get it.”
Jack smiled. “You look like one of those French pirates from an Errol Flynn movie, so I’m guessing a pirate.”
Jason choked on his orange. “I do not,” he managed, then added, “And I’m not going as any pirate.”
“Well, he’d have to be somewhat recognizable, Jack,” Daniel said, ignoring Jason’s answer. “So it would have to be a specific character. Kind of like Basil Rathbone,” Daniel joined in with a wide grin. “Maybe we should call him ‘Captain Levasseur’.”
Jason gave him a filthy leer and in a mock-French accent, he said, “I’ll show you ‘Captain Levasseur’.”
Sam snorted as she studied Jason’s face. “How about Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.?”
“No, Douglas was an English pirate,” Daniel argued. “Jace definitely looks like a French pirate like Basil played in that film…uh, ‘Captain Blood’, I think it was.”
“How about that one actor,” Sam added, “I forget his name, but he was the one that played that romantic pirate in the film, ‘Frenchman’s Creek’? Janet has that one on tape and I suddenly thought that maybe…” and she studied Jason further, making him uncomfortable.
“Oh yeah,” Daniel said, as he remembered, “the one made in 1944 from the Daphne Du Maurier novel. The novel was much better and had a better ending.”
Sam snorted. “I hadn’t read the book, but I will now. What was that actor’s name that played the French pirate?”
“Um, hold on…um…Arturo de Cordova.”
Sam snorted. “Figures, a Spanish man to play a French pirate.”
“Actually, Arturo was Mexican.”
“What are you guys on about?” Jason complained, cutting them off before their boring conversation got any worse. “I don’t look like–“
“No,” Daniel served back, “but the way you’ve grown and trimmed that moustache, you do. Your goatee is a bit fuller than all those guys, but you still look like a…”
“French pirate,” echoed Sam, Daniel, and Jack together, and even Teal’c joined in.
Jason groaned and touched his forehead to the table. “Do I get the pleasure of listening to this crap for the rest of the day?” he spoke into the table surface.
Jack and Daniel only exchanged grins of conspiracy. “Maybe…unless you tell us what you’re going as.”
Jason lifted his head and rested his chin in his hand, then slowly turned to look at Jack. “What are you dressing up as…sir?”
Jack didn’t answer. He just gave them all a secretive smile and took a bite from his sandwich.
Jason growled and turned his face to Daniel, chin still in hand. “I hate it when he does that.”
Daniel nodded. “So do I. Problem is, he knows that.”
“Yeah, well, if he won’t tell, I won’t tell.”
“What was that French pirate’s name, Daniel? The first one?” Jack asked as he washed his sandwich down with coffee.
Jack flashed Jason an evil smile and Jason suddenly stood up, taking his orange slices and rind with him. “Well, gotta go, see you guys later.” He dumped the rind in the garbage and quickly exited.
Daniel gave Jack a lethal stare. “Why do you provoke him?”
“Because it provokes you.”
Strangely, that made sense.
“C’mon, Cari, please?” Jason asked. Sergeant Juliet “Cari” Carmichael practically bored nails through Jason with the withering look she sent him. She tossed the clipboard she held onto the security desk and checked off on all the camera screens, tapping buttons on the computer console.
“Forget it, sir.”
“C’mon, you’re built perfectly for it.”
“I beg your pardon?…sir,” she said, her dark blue eyes fixing him with a dangerous stare.
Jason gave her one of his most charming smiles. “Jason. If I’m gonna be begging you here, we may as well be on a first name basis.”
She relented slightly, liking him too damn much, knowing him too damn much, to ever take anything sexual he said seriously. “Fine, Jason, just don’t call me Juliet. Especially not in hearing distance of anyone. Next thing you know, I’ll be hearing that ‘Romeo’ shit from here to the Orion belt.”
Jason started to laugh.
“It’s not funny.”
“Okay, okay. Not funny,” but he still couldn’t help but laugh, and in so doing, made her smile.
“But I’m still not doing it.”
“Please? We’d make a perfect couple. And who’d mess with you after seeing you in that costume?”
“No one messes with me now, Jason.”
He snorted. “True, but this’ll put any of those new guys’ ideas in the toilet.”
“Right where they belong.”
Jason sniggered. “Come on, please.”
She sighed and shook her head, finally turning to look at him. “And I suppose you know where I can get an authentic costume? I’m not showing up in public looking like a reject from an S and M group.”
Jason smiled, thought about saying something, then thought better of it as her eyes blazed. “Yes, yes, Cari, promise. I know where to get a costume. Same place I’m getting mine.”
“Well…” and she looked at him sideways. “I have to say, your costume idea, along with that,” and she gestured at his moustache and goatee, “is a great idea. But why do you need me?”
“You are going, right?”
“I bought a ticket but…”
“I couldn’t think of anything to wear.”
“Well, there you go. Problem solved.”
She sighed with amused exasperation at him. “The costume, maybe. But I want you to tell me why you want to go…as a couple.”
“Not as a couple. Just arrive as a couple. Then we can split up and do damage.”
She laughed, nodding. “Do the namesakes of our costumes justice, is that it?”
He snorted again. “Something like that.”
She stared at him. “And the reason?”
He cleared his throat. “Well…one, you’re my friend. Two, it’d be fun, and three, dispel a few rumors.”
It was her turn to snort. “And make new ones I suppose?”
“That wouldn’t be so bad, would it?”
She levelled him with another hard stare, then softened it. “Okay, you win.”
“Thanks, Cari. If my heart wasn’t elsewhere, I’d marry you.” He gave her another one of his charming smiles and she punched him in the chest. He put his arms up defensively and rubbed where she’d hit. Damn, she could hit hard.
“Are you looking to get the crap beat out of you?”
“Sorry…no. I can see that defense training is paying off.”
She made a growling noise. “There’s just one problem with the costume.”
She pointed to her hair. “Hello? I’m…blonde.”
“Well…um…would you…dye it…maybe…” and he winced as he saw her eyes grow wide. “Or you could wear a wig.”
She rolled her eyes at him. “And if your costume required you to dye your hair red, would you?”
“No, because I wouldn’t have chosen it if the character had red hair.”
“Good point. And taking that cue, what makes you think I should accept this idea of dying my hair?”
Jason bit his lip, finally seeing that his proposal wasn’t easy. “Okay…um…how about the other character, the one she was always fighting…the blonde?”
Cari considered it, then dismissed it. “No, she doesn’t go that well with your character. The infamous pair is the first one.”
“So…you’ll do it then?” he asked, seeing her waver.
“I’ll think about it. If I can’t get my hair to dye black or dark brown, then the whole thing’s off, Jason. I will not wear that black synthetic crap.”
“Don’t worry. I know where you can get real hair wigs…if it comes to that.”
“That stuff’s expensive as hell, Jason.”
“I know. I have the money.”
“Well, then I’ll pay you back.”
“Fair enough, but only if it’s necessary.”
“A good dye should work though. It’s a good thing your hair is long enough.”
She made a noise of disgust, then squinted at him. “What about your hair?”
“What about my hair?”
“Didn’t he have long hair?”
“For a while, then it was short.”
She thought about that for a second. “Oh yeah…I forgot.”
“So…? We okay about this then? You’ll do this?”
“I said I would.”
“Great. Now, we have to plan this out.”
“Jason, this isn’t a mission.”
“The hell it’s not. We have one day for this. When are you planning to dye your hair?”
“I was going to do it that…day…ohhhh, I see what you mean. If my dying my hair won’t work, we won’t have the wig for backup.”
“Exactly. I can’t put something like that on layaway or on reservation.”
She snorted. “No, probably not.” She thought about it a moment. “I’ll try it tonight. I’ll call you in the morning and you’ll know if it worked or not. I might also need to dye it twice.”
“Okay. Here’s my cell number,” and he wrote it down on the legal notepad next to the clipboard. “Do you wanna go together or separately?”
She thought about it, then gave him a mischievous grin. “Unless I call you with a problem…or heaven forbid, you call me with a problem…we could meet up there. I know we’re not going home together.”
Jason gave her that smile again only this time, she didn’t hit him. She knew that smile was meant for a certain someone who would be wearing a fedora that evening.
“I’ll see you later. I’ve gotta go get my ears pierced.”
“Wait till after work, Jason,” Cari warned. “You’ll have to wear temps in your ears immediately after so the holes will keep.”
Jason grinned. “Not a problem. We have tomorrow off.”
Jason walked quickly into Daniel’s office and closed the door. Daniel looked up, then did a double-take. He still could not get used to that facial hair. Jason stared at him with exasperation.
“Don’t you start.”
“What? I’m just not used to seeing you with a moustache and a goatee,” he said, setting his pen down and taking a long stretch.
“Have you seen Jack since lunch?”
“No, why? Haven’t you seen him?”
“He’s avoiding me, the rat bastard.”
Daniel couldn’t help but snort out a laugh. “Why?”
“Because he just had to go and tell my team what my ‘new’,” and he held up both hands to make ‘quotation marks’, “nickname is. Asshole. Now, guess what? Lieutenant Kaufman is using a French accent and calling me, Mon Capitaine Levasseur. I’m starting to know what Rodney Dangerfield feels like.”
Daniel kept laughing softly through his nose, finding it humorous. Jason rolled his eyes.
“Well, that won’t be my name tomorrow, I can guarantee that.”
Daniel gave him a questioning look. “And that would be?”
Jason returned the look with an enigmatic smile. “Let’s just say I’m going as a God.”
Daniel’s brow line raised a few inches as his eyes travelled up and down Jason’s body. “That’s easy to see…but…from which pantheon?”
Jason shook his head. “Not that easy, Indy.”
Daniel couldn’t help but laugh at his temporary nickname. “Well, I don’t mind my nickname.”
“That’s because it suits you.”
“Come on, Jace,” Daniel said, rising from his chair and walking toward him. Jason recognized the look and backed up, hitting the end of the lab table. Daniel moved within a foot of him, giving Jason that amorous look he adopted when he was going to tease.
“Nope, not going to work,” and he then went into a ‘Hollywood’ German accent, “I know nuthink, I say nuthink.”
Daniel smiled, then adopted a comical villain look. “Ve half vays uf makink you talk.”
Jason began to laugh. “THAT was bad.”
“I know, but it’s funny.”
“Especially when you do it.”
“Talk or suffer the consequences,” Daniel replied, his expression turning seductive as he looked at Jason’s facial hair, then his lips.
“Je veux t’embrasser.”
“Daniel…” Jason warned, his resolve beginning to weaken as he felt himself warm considerably. Daniel speaking like that did strange and wonderful things to him and he really shouldn’t be speaking that way in his office…with the door unlocked.
“Je veux t’embrasser, Jason. Ici. Maintenant. Je te désire.”
Daniel’s lips reached his, barely touching but his breath was so hot and enticing against his lips that Jason was now poised on the edge. He swallowed…hard. “Daniel…please…” he drawled.
“Jason…s’il te plaît?” Daniel repeated, his breath reaching into his mouth. Jason gasped out a barely-audible moan and was just ready to grab his lover when…
…The tell-tale electronic sound of the door opening made Daniel take a quick half-step backward and Jason immediately folded his arms and crossed his feet, leaning his weight into the table. It was a good thing they both had their fatigue shirts on as they now covered seriously damning evidence. When the door opened a split-second later, it revealed General Hammond. He looked at them both with just a hint of suspicion.
“General,” they said together, and said nothing else or it would raise suspicion.
“Have either one of you seen Colonel O’Neill?”
Jason smiled. “He’s in hiding, General.”
Hammond levelled a curious stare at them. “Why is that?”
Daniel smirked then. “Because Jason here is having to hide from his own team. It seems Jack has given Jason a nickname and saw fit to tell his team. So, Jack’s now…”
“Running for his life, sir,” Jason finished.
“What nickname, might I ask?” Hammond asked, trying to withhold a smile of his own.
Jason groaned so Daniel answered. “Captain Levasseur.”
Hammond, familiar with that name and those films, snorted and then laughed. “I see. Well, if you see him, I need to remind him to come to my house tomorrow afternoon so the two of us can get ready.”
Jason and Daniel smiled.
“Care to let us in on…?” Daniel asked, dying to know what Jack was going as.
Hammond snorted again. “Let’s just say that what we’re wearing shouldn’t be worn during a Colorado winter.”
They both got the wrong idea just then as their eyes raised and their jaws dropped. “You’re wearing your family kilts?”
Hammond gave them each a mysterious smile before turning to leave. “Not from Scotland. Gentlemen,” and with that, he was gone on his errand to find Jack.
Daniel and Jason laughed, then Jason gave Daniel a knowing look. “You’re familiar with what cultures wear kilts, so give.”
Daniel sighed and folded his arms, thinking it over. “Well…the kilt originally came from the Mediterranean and the Near East, if I remember correctly. The Romans and Greeks…” Daniel paused, smiling slowly as he gave Jason a meaningful look. “A Roman General and his Lieutenant?”
Jason got the look of payback in his eyes. “Ohhh, we are going to have fun with this one. I’m also dying to know how General Hammond got him to agree to showing his legs.”
Daniel smiled evilly. “Knowing the General, he hasn’t told him yet.”
Jason covered his eyes. “Oh no.”
“Exactly. This is going to be fun. But…we won’t say a word to Jack later on, okay?”
“Okay?” Daniel prompted.
“Okay.” Jason pushed off from the table and looked at his watch as he headed for the door. “Suppose I’ll go camp out in my office. We have an hour till we get out of here and my team had better have their reports on my desk by now.” He watched as Daniel sat back down at his desk. “So…I’ll see you later. And if you see Jack before I do…”
“I know, Jace. He’s a dead man.”
Jason snorted and turned to leave. “If he’s lucky.” He started to exit, then stopped and walked back inside. “I forgot. I’ll be a little later than usual. I have to stop somewhere first.”
“Okay,” Daniel said without asking. He’d find out soon enough and for once, he could wait. He had plans for Jason that did not include questioning.
Jason slid his key in the lock of Daniel’s door, then walked inside. As he closed the door, he heard water running from the kitchen, smelled a bit of onion, spice, and the distinct odor of hamburger and sausage, and guessed that Daniel was making dinner. After hanging up his coat and making for the kitchen, he touched his earlobes. The skin felt just a bit warm and tender, and he gingerly fingered the two small silver hoops. He smiled as his hand travelled down to his stomach, feeling another bit of warmth in his navel where a third ring newly nested. Unlike the first two rings, that one was not for public display.
Before getting to the kitchen, he warned Daniel he was there. “Hey,” he called out, and not too loudly.
Daniel paused in mid-peel and smiled as Jason walked up behind him and kissed the back of his neck as his arms wound around his waist.
“Missed you,” Jason breathed, tickling the back of Daniel’s neck with his new beard growth.
“Missed you, too,” Daniel said turning his head slightly. He shivered from Jason’s touch…or rather, from Jason’s new touch. “Hold on a second.” He washed his hands, then shut off the water and dried them on the nearby tea towel, then turned in Jason’s arms. He stared into his face, bringing fingertips to Jason’s moustache and goatee. “Damn, that’s soft. Didn’t expect it to be soft,” and without further fuss, he kissed Jason. Softly at first, but the kiss increased in pressure and soon, his mouth opened as he moaned. The feel of hair against his face sent an immediate thrumming through him, straight to his groin. His fingers wound through Jason’s hair as he pulled him in, finding his tongue and deepening their kiss.
Jason moaned in return as his hungry hands ran over Daniel’s bare back and down over his jeans-covered ass. Suddenly Jason’s stomach rumbled and Daniel laughed through the kiss while Jason only grumbled at himself. Daniel broke away, then it dawned on him that Jason was wearing earrings.
“Oh…my…God. This is what you did after work?”
Jason smiled and nodded. “They’re needed for the costume, anyway.”
Daniel’s brow went up. “You’re going all out, aren’t you?”
Jason smiled cryptically. “You have no idea, but you will…later.”
“Later. I’ve got to feed this gullet of mine first or we’ll be listening to it argue and I, for one, don’t need that kind of distraction.”
Daniel growled at him. “Okay. Well, in that case, here…” and he opened the fridge and handed Jason the large pie plate that contained the chocolate pie.
Jason made a groaning noise. “Pie.”
He cut himself a slice and stood eating it while Daniel finished peeling the potatoes. “What are you making?” he asked, looking around at the scattered ingredients on the stove and the counter. He lifted the frying pan lid and found small meatballs cooking. “Wow…are you?…” and he paused, thinking. He looked around, then smiled. “Swedish meatballs?”
Daniel nodded as he cut the potatoes and set them in a large pot of water.
“With the sauce?” Jason asked through a mouthful of pie.
Daniel nodded again, then walked up to him, placed his hands on his waist and briefly kissed him. Jason held his plate in one hand and fork in the other, watching as Daniel pulled away slightly, licking his lips. “Mmm, tastes better with you attached.”
“Mmm, I need another taste test,” Jason replied and kissed Daniel back, then licked his lips. “Definitely with you, as well.”
Daniel smiled, then brought his lips to Jason’s chin, lightly mouthing the soft hair there, then moved up along his jaw, zeroing in on his ear. His tongue reached out and flicked the earring, sending a shiver through Jason. He did it again, this time taking the earlobe into his mouth to flick his tongue across faster. Jason inhaled and moaned, suddenly wishing he didn’t have anything but Daniel in his hands. Daniel’s hands were now busily caressing his chest as they pushed the material of his tee shirt up and out of his jeans.
“Daniel, we don’t have time…” Jason whispered as that magical tongue moved to his other ear. One of Daniel’s hands left him, and Jason opened his eyes to see Daniel moving the frying pan off the element.
“For a moment we do,” he whispered, and went back to his task of removing Jason’s shirt as his mouth found Jason’s again. Jason blindly sought out counter space in which to set his plate, but Daniel had him distracted as fingers rubbed over his nipples. When his shirt was pulled off, the fork went crashing to the floor, and soon, Daniel’s hands had more than enough to do as they sought out skin to mold and caress.
“I really missed you,” Jason whispered as his hands reached around to massage his lover’s back while his mouth found Daniel’s throat.
Blind passion enveloped Daniel as he gasped, “I need to feel you,” and his hands frantically opened Jason’s jeans and roughly shoved them down over his hips, followed quickly by his shorts. When his hand encircled Jason’s cock, his mouth latched onto his and smothered the moan that escaped Jason’s throat. His tongue clashed and battled for more taste of chocolate and increased in urgency as Jason now had his jeans open and his cock in hand. Their movements mirroring the other, they stroked, massaged, pulled, and tightened, their grips matching speed for speed, strength for strength.
“Daniel!” Jason gasped against his jaw, biting and kissing – then latching on to suck just under his ear as Daniel’s skillful hand brought him over the edge. His hand increased its attention on Daniel’s cock and he soon had his lover’s semen pearling over his fingers, his body shuddering in his arms.
Smiling through short kisses of amusement, they quickly cleaned each other up and rearranged their clothing, sans Jason’s shirt, which was set over a dining chair. Daniel returned the pan to the stove and set the pot of potatoes to boil as Jason picked the fork off the floor, cleaned it, and went back to the fridge and fished out the pie without finishing his plate.
“Jace, you’ll spoil your dinner,” Daniel sing-songed. As Jason set the pie on the counter, he thumped Daniel in the back of the head, making him smile and bite his lip.
“Stop that. I’m hungry as hell, and besides, Jack will probably be here soon so I may as well cut him a slice.”
As he set another slice on his plate, then a new one for Jack on another, he caught Daniel smirking at him.
“What?” he asked as he took the last bite from his older slice.
“I don’t see any food in your moustache, Jace.”
Jason licked his lips, then moved his tongue further out, tasting his moustache. “Mmm. You’re right. Huh. Go figure.”
It was Daniel’s turn to thump him.
“No, not for you being right,” Jason laughed. “I said that about my worrying about food there. I sound like I’m whining, too.”
“Ya do not,” and Daniel thumped him again.
Before going back to fixing dinner, Daniel leaned in and stole another kiss as Jason took another mouthful of pie.
“Mmm, most definitely tastes better,” then smiled as Jason fed him a bite and kissed him back.
The front door opening and closing broke their moment, letting them know that their errant and missing lover was now present. Jason’s eyes suddenly lit up with devilishness.
Daniel smirked, then tilted his head and waited for…
“Lucy, I’m home.”
Jason snorted a laugh and took another bite, laughing and shaking his head. Daniel winked at him then and they both said,
“We’re not Lucy.”
They heard a snort in the background and Jason was in mid-bite when Jack rounded the corner and froze, staring at Jason as he stood leaning against the counter, his mouth closed around his fork.
Jack took in the sight…and the scent that the cooking smells didn’t quite cover up. His eyes then fixed on Jason’s ears and they widened appreciably. Jason slowly removed his fork and chewed, carefully watching Jack step in front of him, his eyes flitting back and forth between his ears, his facial hair, and the plate of pie in his hands. Jason took a piece of it onto his fork and held it up, waiting. Jack met his eyes and opened his mouth and Jason smiled and fed him the chocolate and whipped cream piece of confection. Jack made a moan of pleasure and after swallowing, opened his mouth again. Jason nodded his head at Daniel.
“Don’t you think you should say hello first?” he teased.
Daniel looked over as he opened the bag of baby carrots and dumped them in the strainer sitting in the sink. Jack smiled and walked over to him.
“Hello,” he said, giving him a slow kiss. Daniel dropped the bag the carrots had been in, put his arms around Jack’s neck and pulled him in for a much deeper kiss. Jason smiled and went back to eating his pie. It didn’t last long, however. Jack pulled away from Daniel, giving him one more short kiss before returning to Jason. Jason smirked at him and handed Jack his own plate.
“Here ya go, gorgeous. Have some pie.”
Jack smiled and set the pie down on the counter. “In a minute,” and went back to studying Jason’s face. “I’d rather you fed me more of yours.”
Daniel kept his eye on them as he rinsed the baby carrots and placed them in a double boiler pan for steaming. Jason’s actions were extremely erotic, just as Jack’s were and it reminded him how much he loved to watch the two of them when they were like this. Jason’s long absence seemed to heighten the eroticism now, but what accentuated it were his new…accoutrements. Daniel set the double boiler on the stove and turned up the heat, then poured himself a glass of wine and watched them.
Jack swallowed the piece of pie Jason fed him and for the moment, all he wanted to do was welcome his absent lover home in proper style. Then he could start with the teasing and the winding up…and the questions about earrings.
Jason looked over at Jack’s pie plate, then back at Jack. “There’s more on your plate if you wa…” but his words faded as Jack took his pie plate and fork from his hands, set them down, then pulled Jason in his arms and kissed him. At first slowly, testing out the feel of the hair around his mouth and chin, then harder and more passionate.
When he felt Jack’s erection through his jeans, Jason reached down and rubbed, arousing Jack even further. Jack growled deep in his throat and broke their kiss.
“Daniel, how long–“
“You have plenty of time, Jack. Go welcome him home.”
Jason gave Daniel a surprised, almost guilty, look. “But–“
“Go on, Jace. We’ve already had a bit of fun, and besides, I’m fixing dinner so my other fun with you will have to wait.”
Jack took that as a cue and took Jason by the hand and pulled him out of the kitchen.
“Come with me. It’s time to welcome you home properly,” he said in a deep voice. Jason threw Daniel another look of surprise just before he disappeared around the corner. Daniel smiled, knowing exactly what was on Jack’s mind because he did this every time Jason came back from one of his longer missions. For some reason Daniel couldn’t fathom, Jason hadn’t seemed to catch on to the pattern yet. He heard them moving quickly for the bedroom and suddenly wondered if he could get it up again in time to watch…then quickly dismissed the idea as he doubted he could get hard again so soon. It didn’t really matter as it would be fun listening to them anyway. He so loved listening to them. It was also one of the reasons he was in the mood all the damn time.
Jason did recognize the mood Jack was in as Jack’s shirt carelessly hit the floor of the hallway…and at that moment, Jason wouldn’t have given a shit about patterns of behavior. All he wanted was what Jack wanted and his heart raced as Jack shoved him onto the bed and removed his jeans and boxers, followed by his own. He grabbed the lube from under the pillow, then laid himself over Jason, between his legs.
“I missed you so damn much,” Jack whispered just before diving in to find his tongue once more. His hard callused hands searched and massaged while he rubbed his erection against Jason’s slowly thickening cock.
“Missed you, too, Jack,” Jason replied as he broke apart to breathe and change angles, kissing Jack back with interest. Jack’s hands were suddenly between his legs and spreading lube over his ass. Jason moaned through the kiss, holding Jack’s face in his hands as fingers entered him. Jason’s need started to match Jack’s as he began to pant and gasp, echoing his lover, but Jack was already way ahead of him. After all, he hadn’t had an orgasm barely twenty minutes before. Without waiting, Jack lifted Jason’s legs over his biceps and sheathed his cock slowly inside him.
Jason gasped, widening his legs, and lifting his ass. “Fuck me,” Jason whispered and got what he wanted as Jack wasted no time.
“Oh yeah, I intend to.” Waiting only a few moments, Jack began to move his hips, giving them both what they’ve been missing. Sweat quickly formed, coating their skin through the vigorous actions of Jack’s hard, deep thrusts. Jack felt his arousal nearing its peak and he couldn’t wait; he sped up, driving harder.
“Yes, yes,” Jason demanded, his fingers tightening in Jack’s hair. He suddenly gasped as Jack’s lips and tongue found an earring and his cock began throbbing once more. Jack’s hands travelled down his waist and over his stomach, and part of his palm rubbed over his navel…and the ring lodged there. Jason hissed as he felt the electric shock that rocketed through his dick. Jack pushed up and looked down.
“What the…?” and as he stared, continuing his thrusts, he smiled very wickedly. “Well, well, a present…” He brushed the back of his hand over it, slamming his hips into him as he did.
“Oh God, JACK!” Jason cried, closing his eyes.
Jack smiled again, then locked his mouth over Jason’s and stifled his moans as he repeated his actions, getting the same result. Jason’s dick twitched and throbbed, needing relief once more and Jack knew it. He moved his hand down, taking Jason’s cock in his hand as his thrusts intensified even more.
“Yes,” Jack replied as Jason bit his lip and threw his head back. “Time to come, Jace. Time to come.”
Sweat poured off them now as Jack built them both to a feverish pitch. His thrusts and expert touch brought Jason off before him, arching his body as the keen pleasure shook him. Tightening his muscles around Jack’s cock brought his lover with him, and Jack came hard and quick.
As Jack let his body ride through the afterglow, Jason didn’t let him ride it alone. He pulled him down into a long deep kiss, his hands slowly massaging the sweat-soaked skin of his chest.
“I love you,” Jason replied in the barest of whispers and Jack whispered it back.
In the kitchen, Daniel heard the harsh noises of their orgasms and when they went quiet, he didn’t need to hear them to know what they said, as they said it almost every time.
Twenty minutes and one shower later, Jack and Jason, slightly damp, returned to the kitchen. Daniel was stirring the gravy in the frying pan, humming to the radio he’d put on in the living room. He looked up at his lovers and they retrieved their plates of pie and leaned against the counter, watching Daniel cook.
“So, Jace, have you been welcomed home properly?”
“God, yes,” Jason said through the fork in his mouth.
Daniel snorted. “Damn, Jace. You really are hungry.”
“And for food this time,” he grinned, getting a grin back from Jack.
“So, Jace,” Jack began. “You gonna tell Daniel what that thing is on your navel, or shall I?”
Daniel turned, blinking in surprise, eyeing first Jack, then Jason. “What thing?”
Sheepishly, and through a mouthful of food, he said, “My ears weren’t the only thing to get pierced.”
Daniel’s eyes widened and he lifted up the t-shirt that Jason had thrown on with his boxers. As he stared at it, he squatted down and took a better look, then gave Jason one long mischievous look before he leaned in and flicked his tongue over the ring.
In the act of swallowing, Jason suddenly inhaled from the jolt that was sent to his dick and as a result, started to choke. Jack slapped him on the back as Daniel stood up, looking only slightly aggrieved.
“Next time, tell me.”
“You should have noticed before,” Jason wheezed as he cleared his throat.
“If I hadn’t been concentrating on other things, I would have.”
Jason smirked at him. “Yeah, I know,” and he cleared his throat again, finally getting his voice to sound less gravelly.
“So…I guess this means I get to have a lot of fun later,” Daniel surmised, a dangerous leer on his face.
Jason groaned, wondering how he’d survive the two of them. “Maybe I should go take a nap.”
Daniel and Jack winked at each other, satisfied in winding up their lover. Jason looked at them both, reading their expressions perfectly, and honestly, he couldn’t have wished for a better welcome home. That is, until Jack started in on the teasing, but secretly, he loved that too.
Cont. in Trinity 13