This chapter was so much fun to write! While not Christmas-themed, it was definitely Christmas movie-inspired. Thanks everyone for your support and to theGlaistig
for the beta work!
Disclaimer: Nope, still don't own anything except the plot.
It was a Monday at precisely 15:34 when the Trust decided that they needed information from someone inside the SGC. Doctor Jackson was MIA, so they looked through the personnel list, chose the weakest link and sent out orders.
Three days later, former NID agents – now Trust operatives - Oden and Brayart pulled up to the curb two blocks down from the address they'd been given. Fortunately for them, they were able to camouflage themselves by sliding in next to the black, unmarked car already parked in front of a bright blue house, whose curtains looked like an explosion of daisies. It was an auspicious co-incidence.
Agent Oden waited in the car while agent Brayart snuck into the target's house and drugged the water jug in the fridge. They then waited for their target to arrive home from work.
They waited for five hours.
The sun had already set when, finally, a bright green Volvo pulled into the correct driveway and an old man with a long, white beard and a walking stick shuffled out. The two operatives exchanged smirks. This mission was going to be a walk in the park.
Unfortunately, no one had warned them about the bears, alligators and snakes present in this proverbial park.
They gave Doctor Merlin Gaius Hunithson an hour and a half to get settled, wind down and drink some water. Then they drove around the block before pulling up into his driveway.
They affixed silencers to their guns and pulled on tight-fitting dark leather gloves.
Agent Oden rung the doorbell. They waited. He rung it again. Again, no reply. Agent Brayart opened the screen door and carefully picked the lock. Guns at the ready, they crept into the house.
“Doctor Hunithson!” Agent Brayart called out.
Agent Oden nudged him from the side and then gestured to the living room, where the old man was slumped over onto the couch, sleeping peacefully. Brayart snorted.
“Let's make sure he's alone,” he whispered.
Oden nodded and proceeded to follow his fellow agent in a sweep of the first floor rooms. As they turned their backs on the old man, neither one of them noticed his eyes open, nor did they notice the smirk that appeared on his face.
They certainly didn't notice when time froze.
Merlin walked out of his living room and stared for a moment at the two frozen men invading his house. He'd felt his protection wards being tripped while he was still at the mountain. The drugged water was clever, but poisons and drugs didn't work on him the same way anymore.
Merlin took a few moments to decide what to do next. Then he grinned and arranged things to his liking.
Agent Oden carefully turned the corner into the kitchen. His foot caught on something and he looked down – although not quickly enough to stop the rake's wooden handle from whapping him across the face.
He hissed and fumbled the rake away from him as he cradled the left side of his face. Unfortunately, he didn't notice the ice water spilt on the floor and no sooner had he disengaged himself from the implement, but he slipped on some stray ice cubes and fell onto his back.
Meanwhile, Agent Brayart was sneaking towards the laundry room and basement door, which had a large indoor palm tree between them. He opened the door to the basement, pausing when he heard a noise from the kitchen.
“Everything alright?” he called softly, brushing away the palm leaf that was tickling the back of his neck.
There was no answer. Something brushed against the other side of his neck. Brayart moved his head to shake it off, but instead brushed against something more solid. He heard a low hiss next to his ear.
Brayart turned to find himself looking into the slitted eyes of a not-at-all-proverbial snake. He cried out in surprise and jumped backwards, hitting the back of his head on the door frame and then missing the first step down, which sent him tumbling down the steps.
The two agents met again in the hallway. There was a red slash across Oden's face and Brayart was limping.
“Was there something I could help you with gentlemen?” a voice asked pleasantly.
They both looked towards the living room, where a now much-awake old man was leaning against his walking stick.
They raised their guns, but he disappeared into the living room. Growling, they stalked after him.
“Oh, do be careful-” they heard as they entered, just before their feet slid out from under them “-I'm afraid I was rather clumsy while cleaning my weapons and spilt some of the polish.”
Said polish sent both of them careening across the room and into a wood cabinet. Agent Brayart looked up just in time to see a sturdy battle axe fall from the top of the cabinet and embed itself into the hardwood floor, centimetres away from bits of him he would've dearly missed.
His eyes remained glued to the axe, thus missed seeing the sword that caught Oden by the edge of his jacket.
Something noisy and black flew into their faces.
Ten minutes later, Merlin picked up his phone.
“Yes, hello,” he said when it was answered. “I'd like to report a home invasion...”
Jack walked into the house and looked around. He saw some police officers, a conspicuous mess in the kitchen, a very shiny floor in the living room, a few medieval weapons embedded into it and two men in black tied up back to back, a crow sitting on top of the heads, pecking at them occasionally.
“Aren't you a little too old to be finding your inner Macaulay Calkin?” he asked Doctor Hunithson.
Hunithson frowned at him.
“Probably, as I have no idea what you're talking about.”
A week later Doctor Hunithson found three DVDs on his desk entitled Home Alone
Just to warn you, between a million things to do and then going to my mom's for Christmas, I'm not entirely sure when I'll be posting the next chapter. However, it will be a special Christmas double feature (as in, double the wordcount). See you all then!