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It Starts With A Dance

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This story is No. 1 in the series "Dancing, Comfort, Cabins, and Such". You may wish to read the series introduction first.

Summary: "...and this whole thing with Willow seems to be predicated on the ability to not talk about things."

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Stargate > Willow-Centered > Pairing: Jack O'NeillsmolderFR1533,4328276,24927 Apr 1127 Apr 11Yes

all because of an unread memo

Title: It Starts With A Dance - Part 1
Author: smolder
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Stargate belongs to Brad Wright and Jonathan Glassner. The Buffyverse belongs to Joss Whedon.
A/N: Reviews are Good. This has been a subtle hint from the author - Please return to your regularly scheduled reading.

“Dance with me.”

Jack turned around to find a wide-eyed red head pulling on his arm.

“Seriously, please dance with me.” She bit her lip and looked behind her nervously. Jack looked too and saw one of the many other men slicked up in suits for the night (and damn, he really hated these political shindigs. He wasn’t cut out for this sort of thing) heading in their direction with an intent look in his eye.

Instantly making a decision and inwardly cursing Danny’s bleeding heart sensibilities for rubbing off on him, he grabbed her hand and allowed her to pull them onto the ballroom floor. Once there and a ways away from the man who was persuing her, she let out a deep breath and gave him a relieved smile.

“Thank you,” she said simply as they swayed back and forth. At least with something put on by the White House you didn’t have to worry about more energetic music. He felt like he was using up his “dancing” abilities as it was.

“What was that all about?” he asked.

She sighed and stepped a bit closer to him, her green dress brushing his shoes for a moment as she craned her neck a bit to scan the area. “That creep kept hitting on me,” she began.

“He’s over there, so ya know,” Jack interrupted her with a grin, dipping his head a bit to the left. He had kept an eye on the guy, but it was funny the way she kept stretching around looking for him.

“Oh," she said, turning her head immediately to look in the direction he indicated. She scrunched up her nose in distaste when she saw him sitting at one of the tables watching them, and he almost thought she was going to stick her tongue out at the man for a moment. But instead she just glared a bit before turning back to face him.

“Anyway,” she huffed, “I kept trying to turn him down politely, but he was persistent. Pretty soon the rest of my friends were going to notice. And they're super protective. I mean we all are. Of each other. We can all take care of ourselves, but if someone messes with any of us we go all, grr,” she scrunched up her nose and forehead and bared her teeth a little. Jack was trying really really hard not to laugh at the babbling red head in his arms. She continued as if what she was saying was entirely normal, “If I didn't get away from him there might have been a bit of a scene and we all promised to be on our best behavior. So, I grabbed you,” she ended with and apologetic smile. “Sorry about that.”

“Why me?,” he asked, curious. This sure was turning out to be a lot less boring than he thought a black-tie event General Hammond demanded he go to would be, but he really hadn’t wanted to deal with any government types. He had been trying his best to put out some serious “Stay Away” vibes, sitting alone at the dark corner of the bar. Jack figured he must really need to work on his vibe-age.

“Honestly? You were there and you seemed way less icky than a lot of the other guys here. I mean, I know my group is the only one that brought mostly women to this thing. But really, some of these guys seem to think just because they're from shady government agencies that the girls should just be falling all over themselves.”

Jack winced; he had seen a lot of that going on. Mostly beautiful self-assured girls that seemed barely in their twenties looking thoroughly unimpressed by arrogant men in penguin suits. The whole people-watching aspect had actually been the only amusing part of this gathering, before this woman started using him as her personal shield. And he didn’t really mind, she was funny (although he wasn’t sure if she meant to be) and it passed the time.

“Soo", he tried to ask casually, “which agency are you from?”

The woman raised an eyebrow at him. “Really?” she said with a playful grin, “and what would you say if I asked you that question?”

“I'm in the Air Force,” Jack said, happy to have a solid answer.

“Yes,” she said and he twirled her out (Aha! Score! Guess he could do relatively more dancing than rocking back and forth) and she giggled a bit when she came back to him on the return. But she continued easily with her questioning, “But what project?”

“Deep Space –" he started, the usual cover falling easily off his tongue.

She snorted unimpressed.

“It's classified,” he said (said, not whined - he didn't care what Danny said that voice sounded like).

"My point exactly," she said shaking her head, "this whole thing make so little senses. It's really baffling. Invite people from all sorts of classified projects to a party. Stick them in one room and what? They all get dressed up, stand around awkwardly and just know that everyone else knows that they’re doing important things that they aren't allowed to talk about?"

Jack went cold for a moment as he processed the jumble of what she said. “You think it's a trap then?” he concluded. And damn, why hadn't he thought of that before? Was he really too caught up in the fact that he had been the only one out of his team that somehow hadn't been able to get out of coming here? (And, come on! How could Teal’c be going to visit the free Jaffa, Sam be needed at Area 51, and Daniel have a scheduled speaking engagement all at the same time? He knew they had to be setting him up. They were probably all sitting around having nice juicy steaks and laughing their asses off. Well, not really. T going through the Stargate was hard to fake. And the plane tickets for Sam and Daniel to Nevada and Oxford, less so….. But, they must have known about this ahead of time to schedule everything. It had probably been in one of those memos or emails or something he never got around to reading. Damn.) All of these people from all of these agencies and classified projects - it would be a great target to take out. It would deal the world a real blow.

But surprisingly the girl laughed, “That’s the thing,” she said shaking her head, “I really don't think it is. I think this is actually a case of higher ups just being incredibly stupid.”

And Jack snorted because honestly, he was still feeling suspicious as hell now but he could really see that. Had seen cases of that happening more times than he could count.

Suddenly she stopped dancing. “Why’d you quit," he asked. “I’m not that bad of a dancer am I?” he teased.

“No, no,” she said and she looked slightly uneasy again as she glanced quickly behind her where the other man sat, still waiting at a table. “The song ended,” she explained. And he realized it had; it had switched to something else. Really though, a lot of this classical stuff sounded the same to him. “Thanks for the dance…..” she trailed off.

And she might be fishing for information like he had been earlier. It didn’t seem like it though.

“Jack,” he supplied.

“And I’m, Willow,” she said with a giggle. “We probably should have done the whole introduction thing before I dragged you out here, huh?”

“I’ve never been that great at sticking to the rules,” he admitted with a grin.

“Well, Jack,” she said stressing his name playfully. “Thank you for the dance and all, you were super nice. I guess I really should be going….”, she bit her lip and began to step away from him.

He held on to her arm loosely and she glanced back at him surprised. Jack had to admit he was a bit surprised too. But, she was a way more entertaining option for getting through this ball (because seriously, a ball). And he could admit, he didn’t like the way that other guy was looking at her, to use her words – it was kinda creepy.

So, that was his reasoning for awkwardly saying, “You know I’m up for another dance since we're already out here and everything.” He waved his other hand around loosely.

And the way a smile broke out on her face – relieved, happy, and pleased as she flowed back easily into his arms. Jack couldn’t quite feel bad about his decision.
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