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The First Argument

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This story is No. 2 in the series "Joyce O'Neill". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Hank has been invited to eat dinner with the O'Neills. Jack has done some research and he doesn't like what he finds.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Stargate > Joyce-CenteredMercyJonesFR711,314064,0039 Jul 099 Jul 09Yes
Disclaimer: I do not own Stargate or Buffy. Or anything really. *sigh* I'm so poor...

Jack could count on both hands how many guys he had literally chased from his little sister's front door. Most of these guys had been teenage wannabe bad asses from High School. Joyce never really knew about this, or at least if she did she didn't care. Usually Jack chased the guys down the street for three reasons: the guy said something demeaning about his sister that warranted a special type of gonad retrieval; the guy had made his sister cry; or just for the fun of it. It was also just good exercise. When guys were terrified they could sure move fast.

The stare down with her new flavor of the year had to be the longest one Jack had ever had with any of them. Brown eyes clashed with blue, neither of them even so much as blinked.

“So, Hank, what's your major?” Stan O'Neil asked casually, as if not noticing the little stare down.

“Business,” was his easy reply.

“That's a good major. What do you plan to do with that exactly?”

“Get a job.”

Joyce held down a smile at Hank's response. True, he wasn't scoring any points with her parents for his quick, if not smart-alec, responses, but it was kind of funny. It was all she could do not to burst out laughing.

“So, Hank,” Kathy smiled brightly at the boy who ignored her friendly gesture. “Joyce tells me you two met at the Homecoming Dance a few weeks ago.”

“Yes, we did,” Hank responded curtly.

“Yeah,” Joyce jumped in. “Actually, if it hadn't been for Jack, I wouldn't have gone to that dance at all.” She then glanced at her brother in amusement. “And I wouldn't have met Hank. So really, I have Jack to thank.”

Jack actually broke the little staring contest and turned his glare to his sister. “Oh, don't mention it,” he growled out.

Joyce's smile just widened.

The stare now broken, Hank turned his attention to the steak he was eating. “This is really good, Mrs. O'Neill.”

“Oh, why thank you!” Kathy beamed happily.

Jack just chewed on the steak angrily.

The rest of the dinner went like this. Hank handed out compliments to everyone but Jack (and an excessive amount to Joyce), the receiver always beamed back a happy smile, and Jack would chew his food hard enough to give himself a headache.

At the end of the meal, the group found themselves in the living room.

Stan was sitting in his own chair in the corner, while Kathy took a seat at the end of the long couch (the closest seat to her husband), while Jack sat at the other end of the same couch. Joyce and Hank both sat down on the love seat, hip to hip, knee to knee. Hank had his arm wrapped around Joyce's shoulders.

Jack leaned back, his eyes narrowed as he half paid attention to the calm and civil conversation around him. Once in a while, one of them let out a laugh at something, but Jack didn't pay too much attention to it. This went on for a good hour.

At the end of the night, Hank shook hands with both O'Neill parentals, nodded towards Jack (who stared stoically back), and he and Joyce walked out onto the porch.

“What a nice boy,” Kathy commented to her husband offhandedly as they headed up the stairs to their bedroom. "He seems to be well together,” was the last remark heard as they went out of ear reach.

Jack just snorted.

He waited a good five seconds before he pushed himself off of the couch and headed towards the front door. When he opened it, he kind of wished he hadn't.

Joyce and Hank had been kissing. Actually, they had been eating each other's faces. Either way, it had been a horrendous sight for Jack to walk in on.

Joyce pulled away from Hank in a hurry and bashfully wiped her mouth.

Hank cleared his throat awkwardly. “Jack...” he greeted.

“Oh, sorry, didn't realize I was interrupting something,” Jack said with a tone that made it obvious he did in fact know what he was doing.

“Jack,” Joyce started dangerously. “Why don't you go back inside?”

“And miss this wonderful fresh air?” he questioned and walked towards the porch railings. “Nah!”

Joyce rolled her eyes while Hank bristled angrily.

“What's your problem, man? I haven't done anything to you. What's up with the cold shoulder and the angry glares?”

Jack turned back around towards them and leaned back, his elbows supported by the porch railings. “Oh, that? I do that with all of Joyce's boyfriends,” he openly admitted.

Confused, Joyce only nodded in agreement for Hank when he looked at her imploringly.

“OK...” Hank was unsure of how to respond to that.

“I also do background checks on some of them,” Jack chirped.

“What?!” Joyce glared at her brother in dismay.

Hank, on the other hand, froze. “You what?”

“Yup!” Jack grinned happily. “I do background checks. One of the perks of being in the military.”

The tension in Hank's back seemed to grow. “You're in the military?” Somehow that particular fact had been left out of their conversation.

“Uh-huh.”

“You've been doing background checks on my boyfriends?!” Joyce all but shouted.

Jack just shrugged and easily responded, “Only since I've been in the military.”

“JACK!”

“Look,” Jack suddenly turned very serious, “the point of this is...” He turned and dramatically pointed at Hank, “He has a criminal history!”

Joyce's angry tirade stopped and seemed to disappear completely. After a few moments of silence where she never took her firm eyes off of her brother, she finally spoke in a low voice, “What?”

“Yup,” Jack nodded, glaring angrily at Hank, not noticing his sister's stare. “Grand theft auto, petty theft, and a whole list of misdemeanors, and-”

“STOP IT!”

Both men turned towards Joyce, whose face was bright red with her hands fisted and shaking. She took dangerous steps towards Jack and glared angrily at him.

“You have absolutely no right to go and do background checks on MY boyfriends!”

“But-”

“NO!” She stomped her foot down for added effect. “I am not a little girl who needs her big brother to scare off the bad boys. It was cute when I was in High School, but I'm not anymore!” She waved her hand behind her towards Hanks. “I already know about the stupid things he did when he was a teenager, he told me within the first week we met. If I thought for an instant, that Hank was a bad man, I wouldn't date him, but he's not. He's a good person, and you never even gave him a chance!” She smacked her hands against Jack, making him stumble a little. “You just did a background check on him and assumed the worst, never mind the fact he hasn't done anything like that in two years or the fact that he cares about me or that I care about him! No, no, you gotta play the big hero and protect me, well guess what?” Jack stared at Joyce in shock, but said nothing. “I don't need you to protect me all the time!”

Without another word to either of them, Joyce turned and marched back into the house, slamming the door behind her, making to the two of them wince.

Hank just cleared his throat, glanced at Jack, then headed back to his car. Jack watched after him for a moment before he decided to speak once more. “Hey!” Hank stopped by his car and looked at Jack, but said nothing. “You hurt her, and I'll kill you.”

Hank just turned back and got into his car.

Jack watched as he drove away.

Turning back to the door, he let out a loaded sigh. Boy, this was not going to be easy.

The End

You have reached the end of "The First Argument". This story is complete.

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