Teal'c and the Investigation
A/N: See chapter 1 for disclaimer, spoilers, notes on AU, and why Xander has his eye back.
Teal’c stepped up to the front door of O’Malley’s. It had been years since he had been in here. He had not gone back after O’Neill and Carter and DanielJackson had been banned from the restaurant for fighting. And that was Anise’s fault as well. He vividly remembered those armbands. It would not do to fail in this mission. Anise had to be found, even if she was only testing out her invisibility ‘cloak’ on a planet she deemed safe for such experiments. Her experiments had a tendency to proceed poorly for those around her.
Plus, O’Neill did not like her. O’Neill had never explicitly said so, but Teal’c believed from some of O’Neill’s comments that Anise had made inappropriate advances toward O’Neill at some point. Given O’Neill’s behavior, Teal’c had to believe this had happened in one of their early meetings with Anise. Or perhaps it was Freya who had been interested in O’Neill.
That made sense to Teal’c. Anise valued intelligence and knowledge. She was far more likely to make inappropriate advances toward DanielJackson or even ColonelCarter. Anise was not a warrior or a fighter. She was not honorable or trustworthy. She was the kind of person who gave the Tok’ra a bad name. Teal’c suspected that Anise would find some way of observing the common behaviors in a place like O’Malley’s and perhaps use her invisibility to steal many samples of food and beverage while letting other people suffer penalties for her actions. Teal’c expected to find a cook who had been fired for ‘losing’ his cooking, or a waitress who had been fired for ‘losing’ her orders. Still, he would follow ColonelCarter’s orders and begin with the standard private eye routine.
Nevertheless, he would use his O’Neill impression to do so. He had been practicing for some time in private.
He stepped into the restaurant. A man walked over and asked, “May I show you to a t-”
Teal’c glowered down at the little man. The man looked up, and up again. Teal’c was wearing a black leather jacket, and – at the recommendation of ColonelCarter – was wearing a Colorado Rockies baseball cap but with the cap turned around so the bill was at the back. Teal’c had seen many young black men wearing caps in this manner and acting in a threatening manner, although Teal’c himself did not feel threatened in any way. He also did not understand why wearing a baseball cap backward was supposed to be intimidating, but he recognized that people expected a black man with a cap like this to be dangerous.
It also did an excellent job of concealing the mark of Apophis.
He slipped into his imitation of O’Neill. “Any chance maybe ya happened ta see this babe?” He pulled out a photo that had been supplied by ColonelCarter. It had been cropped, so that it was not at all obvious that Anise was standing in front of the Stargate. It showed Anise in all her irritating pomposity. It also showed her in the Tok’ra clothing she almost always wore.
Teal’c did not show his surprise when the little man said, “Oh her! Sure. She was here a while ago.”
“Was? She was here? She’s not here now?” Teal’c pressed.
The little man gulped. “Lemme get Denise. I think she was handling her table. She oughta be able to tell you.”
“Ya, sure, you betcha.” Teal’c let the little man rush off. The man was obviously willing to let this ‘Denise’ take the brunt of some large black man’s anger. This man was not a warrior. Teal’c would remember that if he ever came back to O’Malley’s.
A reasonably attractive brunette walked over. She was not a waitress he had ever met before. “Hi. I’m Denise. Tom said you had a question I should help you with?”
Teal’c showed her the picture.
Denise instantly said, “Oh. Her. Is she a crook or something?”
Teal’c carefully toned down his intensity. He asked, “Why would you think that?”
Denise shrugged, “Well, ‘cause she was kind of weird. And she got a nice guy to buy her a fancy dinner and a whole bunch of drinks.”
Anise? With a nice guy? And drinking? Teal’c checked, “Are we talkin’ about the same girl?”
“Oh sure, no mistaking her. She came in looking just like your picture. Even pretty much the same clothes, I’m pretty sure. And then she just stood right here, like she’d never even seen a restaurant before. It was kind of creepy. Is she off her meds or something?”
It suddenly occurred to Teal’c that there was a logical way to explain whatever peculiar behaviors Anise had most likely demonstrated. “Yep.” He even popped his ‘p’ as JackO’Neill did when he wanted to be particularly irritating. “Probably off her meds. Again. What’d she do then?”
Denise frowned. “There’s this young guy. His name’s Xander. He’s been coming by maybe every other day for about two weeks, usually with some other construction guys. He’s always in charge, and he always pays, but he’s real easy-going. He kids them, they kid him. And he’s been real nice. He doesn’t let ‘em give the waitresses a hard time. He always leaves a really good tip. He never hits on any of us. I was kinda hoping maybe he’d ask me for my phone number.”
Teal’c looked at the waitress. She looked no older than CassieFrasier. “You say he’s a young guy?”
Denise nodded. “Maybe twenty-five or so. Nice looking. Wouldn’t have thought she was his type.” Denise shrugged unhappily. “So anyway, she’s just standing there, looking kind of weird but skanky, and Xander gets up and walks right over and picks her up.”
Teal’c raised one eyebrow suspiciously, but then he realized that Denise did not mean this man had physically lifted Anise into the air. Anise would not have permitted such behavior.
Denise said, “So Xander asked for a table for two, somewhere kind of private, and I took ‘em over there.” She pointed off to one of the alcoves at the back of the restaurant. “Then they started having drinks and eating appetizers and stuff.”
Teal’c asked, “What’d they get?”
Denise said, “Umm, lemme see if I still got their order.” She leafed through a notepad in her apron for a few seconds, checking over some carbon paper copies. “Umm, a large coke for him and a double scotch for her. The nachos supreme and the crab-stuffed mushrooms for appetizers. Another double scotch. One sixteen-ounce sirloin steak, medium rare, with baked potato and sour cream. One ten ounce filet mignon, rare, with rice pilaf. A pina colada, a tequila sunrise, a second tequila sunrise, a screaming orgasm, a sex on the beach, a fuzzy navel, and another double scotch. For some reason, she was big on drinks with little umbrellas in ‘em. They split pretty much all the food, but the girl drank most of the stuff while Xander had the coke. After a while, she started giving him everything she wasn’t finishing. They were both pretty plastered by the time they left. I wasn’t sure they could both walk.”
Teal’c was glad that he had spent enough time with JackO’Neill to know what these oddly-named drinks were. It would have been most suspicious if he had not known that this ‘sex on the beach’ was an alcoholic beverage. He asked, “Do ya think they drove off?”
Denise shrugged, “Don’t think so. Xander’s truck is still right there in the parking lot. The blue rented pickup. I’ve seen him driving it into the lot.”
Teal’c noted that this Denise was very attentive about this Xander individual. He finished up, “Well thank you very much, Denise. Hopefully, we can find her… and get her back on her meds before she gets sick. If she comes back, could you call me at this number?” He handed her a small card which only had a cellphone number on it. It was a cellphone ColonelCarter had wisely procured for this very kind of problem, and it had no connection at all to the SGC, or even to the mountain. ColonelCarter had simply walked into a store, bought the phone, paid for a hundred minutes on it, and left with it.
Denise looked up at him. “If I see her and I call, who do I ask for?”
He said, “Call me… ‘Big T.’”