Title: You’ve Got To Have Friends
Summary: Sequel to ‘Happy Pills’
Disclaimer – I did not create these dysfunctional characters – that was the work of someone else’s dirty, dirty mind – I, however, have perfected them!
A/N: Originally, Tall Tale was meant to be a one-shot to cheer myself up while I was sick. It was posted on a whim, and you can imagine my surprise at its popularity. I would just like to thank everyone who has reviewed – you are solely responsible for this release (and before anyone asks, yes, I am back to working on my other much more depressing fics :p).
Daniel grabbed his tray and scanned the cafeteria, looking for an empty seat. Near the back, he spotted Jack eating alone. It was the first time that Daniel had seen Jack alone since Daniel and Carter had left the meeting in fits of laughter. After his physical and ‘terrorist activity’, Jack had spent the rest of the day hiding from Janet’s wrath with Buffy.
Manoeuvring his way through the busy room, he sat across from the older man, receiving a mumbled hello. Making himself comfortable, Daniel looked over and raised an eyebrow at Jack’s choice of food.
“Jello? You call that breakfast?”
“Breakfast of champions,” Jack quipped, taking a large bite of his jello.
Daniel’s brow furrowed in puzzlement.
“How did you even get Jello? The mess staff are under strict orders from Janet not to serve deserts to anyone for breakfast. And if I remember correctly, your hostage demands fell through.”
Dismissing his earlier failure with a wave, Jack grinned smugly with the spoon still in his mouth. He took it out and pointed over Daniel’s shoulder. Daniel turned and saw Buffy Summers making her way towards them – also carrying a tray full of Jello triumphantly.
“I have a secret weapon,” Jack finally said, as Buffy sat down and placed one of her multitude of Jello bowls in front of him. “With a nuclear grade pout.”
“How did you ever manage without me?’ Buffy asked rhetorically, but Daniel felt obliged to answer.
“Probably getting into less trouble with Janet,” he pointed out to the annoyance of his companions.
Janet Frasier – and General Hammond – hadn’t taken the ‘hostage situation’ with good grace. Despite several denials of involvement, Jack and Buffy were finally forced to give in and return the offending instruments. In return, Janet had given them both complete – using every test she could think of – physicals.
Along with several needed vaccinations.
“It’s hard to imagine someone that tiny getting that mad,” Jack remarked, and then yelped, leaning forward to rub his shin. “What? I wasn’t talking about you!”
“Oh, sorry, habit,” Buffy said unapologetically, continuing to eat her Jello.
“Just remember: when the enemy call you ‘tiny’, kick them and not me.”
Daniel started at Jack’s casual reference to Buffy going through the Gate. From past experience, he knew that Jack was extremely paranoid about who was certified for Gate travel, and as good as friends as the two were, Daniel was surprised that Jack would assume the Buffy would be going through the Gate.
“Speaking of enemies, maybe we should give the Doc a peace offering? I don’t want her sticking anymore pointy objects in me,” Buffy said, wincing at the memory.
“You could always give her a really big needle as an apology for stealing all of hers,” Daniel joked.
“A tiny one about the size of Buffy?” Jack said thoughtfully, sending Buffy a sly grin.
Buffy stuck her tongue out Jack and Daniel half expected Jack to return the favour. Thankfully, the Colonel seemed to remember his rank in time to prevent him from doing so in a roomful of his subordinates. Not for the first time in the last few days, Daniel was struck by the familiar companionship between the two of them, and wondered how the two had met.
“So, how did you two meet?”
“Oh, it’s a boring story,” Buffy stated.
“Hardly worth mentioning,” Jack finished saying, both of them swallowing a spoonful of jello – their movements eerily synchronized. Daniel had learned enough about the pair’s behaviour to know that when they started answering questions with one-sentence answers they were hiding something. Jack was cagey about his past; a quality that Buffy seemed to share and between the two of them their defences were impenetrable.
“Well, how long have you two known each other?” Daniel asked, trying another tactic. Two foreheads wrinkled in thought, obviously trying to add the years up.
“It’s been…what? Eight years now?”
“Right, because it was just before I moved,” Buffy confirmed.
“Oh, yeah, cause you were also dating Pike,” Jack saying the boy’s name with disgust.
“What was wrong with Pike?”
“He was named after a fish.”
“You like fish – which you have told me about, in far greater detail than I ever care to know about,” Buffy pointed out.
“That’s because you haven’t given it a chance,” Jack wheedled, “all I’m saying is that once you try it you’ll be hooked.”
“Jack, face the facts – Fishing. Is. Boring.” Buffy replied slowly, carefully pronouncing each word.
“I forgot, you prefer cheerleading,” Jack replied sarcastically.
“Takes more skill than fishing,” Buffy pointed out defensively.
“You were a cheerleader?” Daniel asked eagerly, hoping to get the conversation back to…wherever it had started. It was hard to keep track around these two.
“Before she was expelled, anyways,” Jack said in amusement.
“They totally blew that incident out of proportion!” Buffy exclaimed.
“Buffy, you started a fire.”
“Just a tiny one,” Buffy said in a small voice, to which Jack snorted.
“Yeah, and it only burnt down one tiny school building,” he said wryly.
“It was the…bikers’ fault!” Buffy protested petulantly. “Stupid bikers,” she mumbled under breath.
“Why were you involved with bikers?” Daniel asked, curious, since both and Jack and Buffy had mentioned bikers during the ‘field trip’. He was having a hard time imagining someone like Buffy being involved with a biker gang.
Jack grinned and answered, “Because there can be only one! May it be, Buffy Summers of the L.A. malls!”
“Jack!” Buffy groaned while Daniel became even more confused, “That joke is getting old – and it wasn’t even funny the first time.”
Quickly, Daniel became lost as the two bickered back and forth as he was still trying to figure out how Buffy, a biker related fire and a quote from a television show went together; an unenviable task, even for an archaeologist and linguist of Jackson’s calibre.
The exchange wound down and they settled down to finish their Jello. Coming out of his own internal world, he was surprised to see the tray of empty bowls.
“Wow, that’s an impressive display of eating skills.”
“I learnt from the best,” Buffy said, patting her stomach contently. “Faith could pack away enough food to feed five people.”
“Agreeing with her H&H theory huh?” Jack asked, smiling, and wiggling his eyebrows suggestively.
“H&H theory?” Daniel asked as a blush rose on Buffy’s cheeks.
“Hungry and…Hot,” Buffy said before Jack could say anything, “Faith could eat a horse and not gain a pound.”
“Too bad it’s not the same for Buffy,” Jack said sadly, “Everything goes to her butt – which is a good thing for her since she lands on it all the time.”
“She needs the extra cushioning,” Jack confided in an exaggerated whisper to Daniel.
Buffy gave an outraged gasp and glared, her eyes narrowing dangerously. The archaeologist could see the wheels turning in her head as she plotted her revenge. Apparently, Jack could see them as well since he started to squirm and eye the entrance -- obviously trying to decide if it was time for a tactical retreat.
Suddenly, she grinned and rather than reassuring the two men, the sudden reversal in her mood had Jack edging his chair closer to the exit.
“I guess I better double-check my BDUs before the debriefing then – you know, make sure they fit properly,” Buffy said cheekily and headed towards the exit. Daniel was chuckling at the girl’s exit when he got a glance at Jack’s face. The only other time the archaeologist had seen such horror on the older man’s face was when he was facing a massacre.
“Sorry, Danny, I’ve got to go before she does something that’ll get her and me discharged,” Jack said in a hurry.
[I wonder what he meant by that?] Daniel thought as he hastily finished up his own breakfast so he wouldn’t be late for the debriefing himself. Finished, he left the cafeteria and only instantly met up with Carter who was also making her way to the debriefing room.
“Daniel, have you seen the Colonel around?” Carter asked as they continued to make their way.
“In fact, I just had breakfast with him and our newest member,” Daniel said, “and they were off to get Buffy some new clothes.”
“Ah,” Carter said in understanding, a smile brightening her face.
“What did I miss?” Daniel asked, used to being behind on the base gossip since he spent most of his time cooped up with his books. Carter wasn’t much better, but Janet often kept her apprised of the juicier rumours floating around.
“Apparently, when our Colonel and newest recruit returned the ‘hostages’, they were out of uniform.”
“I’m almost afraid to ask,” Daniel said in slightly frightened tone.
“They were wearing pirate outfits complete with eye patches, skulls and cross-bones, and patches that said ‘SGArrr’,” Carter said, rolling her the r’s with a pirate accent.
“I would guess that didn’t go over too well with Hammond,” Daniel surmised.
“That would be understatement. Anyways, Jack said that they were waiting for a pair of BDUs to be made since there aren’t any small enough for her on the base.”
They shared a laugh at that and soon found themselves at their destination. Entering, they said their hellos to Hammond and Teal’c who were already there. They sat down in their usual seats to wait for the arrival of their last two members.
Having seen the pairs’ exit, Daniel was curious as to what mischief they had gotten into now. After five minutes had passed and they were officially late, the General looked around the room and asked them if they had seen the Colonel and Ms. Summers.
“Yes, sir, they were just going to get Buffy a uniform,” Daniel provided, careful to omit the details surrounding the situation. In less than twenty-four hours the pair had given Hammond the same amount of trouble Jack normally did in a month and Daniel wasn’t about to get caught in the crossfire.
No sooner were the words out of his mouth than there was a knock on the door. O’Neill opened the door just enough to poke his head in.
“Sorry for being late, sir. We had a few…problems with the fitting,” he said, maintaining his position halfway inside the room. They waited and when it became clear that Jack wasn’t going to enter the room, the General snapped, “Care to join us sometime this century?”
Jack looked over his shoulder, grimaced, and slowly opened the door and entered – followed closely by Buffy…
…who was now in uniform…
The camouflage green pants were baggy and sat low on the girls shapely hips, held snug by a belt – a studded belt. The common black shirt seemed to be painted on and the sleeves were cut away…along with a good portion of the material just below the breasts leaving her midriff and toned stomach exposed.
Daniel shifted uncomfortably in his seat and lowered his eyes as he accidentally caught the glance of Carter, who smirked at his obvious discomfort. Jack was also smirking at the archaeologist – though he was trying to hide it from the General who looked about ready to explode.
“Ms. Summers, what do you think you’re wearing?”
Buffy looked down at herself – then at Jack – back to herself before facing the General.
“The SGC uniform?” she asked innocently.
“You did say she could alter the BDU to fit her,” Jack pointed out, trying – and failing – to keep the amusement out of his voice. Hammond turned a disbelieving look to his second in command and his newest headache.
“So I altered it a bit,” Buffy confirmed.
“A bit,” Hammond said in disbelief.
“Jack, said I had to keep the boots,” she said, lifting the pant leg to show the loosely tied regulation footwear and wrinkling her nose. Hammond just sighed and pinched his the bridge of his nose wearily and told them to sit down.
“We’ll discuss this later,” he said in no uncertain terms as the two sat beside each other and began the debriefing.
“Ms. Summers, the President has assured me that you have sufficient combat experience required to be on an offworld team, and at his insistence you have been made a part of SG-1,” he paused as Jack and Buffy high-fived each other, “on the condition that you pass your Gate certification.”
Buffy blanched. “Is this a written exam? Because I’m not good with those, with the exception of my SATs but that was just a fluke and I really don’t do well with studying, I’m more of an action girl and not a study girl, and I never even read the Handbook and hey, I’m still alive, though I did die a few times but ‘that which hasn’t killed you has made a tactical error’,” she babbled.
“Rule 35…from the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Pirates,” Jack elaborated for the rest of the room.
Jack grinned at the slightly glazed over looks and confusion in his team-mate’s eyes and those of the General – for once he was the one who understood what was being said and not the other way around!
“Don’t worry, Buff, we just have to make sure you can take care of yourself and not get anyone on our side hurt.”
“If I may continue?” Hammond asked semi-rhetorically, and received two sheepish grins in return. “Thank you. If you receive your Gate certification, you’ll be part of our flagship team for dealing with whatever we find on the other side of that Gate. Now, the Colonel has informed you of the main threat we face – the Goa’uld?”
“Yes, sir – ugly, slimy, Snakeheads wanna-be gods who order around T-like guys who carry Juniors around in their pouches,” Buffy stated, obviously quoting the Colonel as they recognized his more…colourful…terms.
“In a manner of speaking, that’s correct. We have also gained some powerful allies like the Tok’ra and the Asguard.”
“Wait until you meet my buddy, Thor,” Jack interrupted, and then apologized at the General’s glare. As Hammond turned to consult the current slide, Jack looked at Buffy to make a comment when he saw the distracted look on her face.
“Powerful allies,” Buffy kept muttering to herself, lost in thought. Noticing his newest recruit’s lack of attention he asked, “Is there something wrong, Ms. Summers.”
“I just feel like I’m forgetting something…” she trailed off, her eyebrows drawn in thought but then seemed to shake herself out of it, “It’s probably nothing.”
The alarms suddenly began to go off.
“You jinxed us!” Jack accused.
“I did not!” Buffy protested.
A slightly frightened marine tentatively entered into the room.
“Sorry to interrupt…again, sir,” the sergeant said, having been the unfortunate bearer of the tragic events surrounding the tornado of chaos that seemed to follow Jack O’Neill and Buffy Summers around. “There is a Rupert Giles and several women topside who are threatening to invade the base if Ms. Summers isn’t released.”
“Oops! Would you care to explain that Ms. Summers?” Hammond asked outraged, his nerves not able to take the wear that O’Neill and Summers were doing on them.
“Please tell me you told the Scooby Gang you’re here voluntarily,” Jack pleaded only receive a grimace in return. “When I told you not to tell your friends anything classified, I didn’t mean not talking to them at all!”
“I reiterate – oops.”
“It’s a Gilesy word,” Buffy confided and Daniel was again stunned at their ability act like children during stressful situations. Seeing Daniel’s look, Buffy grinned impishly but quickly sobered as Hammond glared at her.
“Ms. Summers, I do not take any threat to my base lightly.”
“General Hammond, my friends are only concerned about my safety. We had a run-in with a military operation and it left us a little leery of the military,” Buffy replied in a rare moment of seriousness. “Once they know I’m alright and here willingly they should leave peacefully.”
Hammond looked at Buffy for a moment, before informing the sergeant to bring Rupert Giles and one of his companions down to the debriefing room – without giving them the scenic route.
“Should?” Jack whispered to Buffy as the sergeant left the room, to which she only shrugged with a wry smile.
Despite the unusual nature of their arrival, Hammond was almost relieved to be meeting someone from Ms. Summers past. The President had stated in no uncertain terms that Mr. Summers past was highly classified and was under no circumstances to reveal it to either General Hammond or any other military personnel.
The other members of SG-1 were intrigued to meet people from Buffy’s mysterious past. Especially given their leader’s reaction to hearing about the…Scooby Gang?
Curiosity got the better of Daniel and he asked, “The Scooby Gang?”
“Just a nickname for our circle of friends,” Buffy said grinning.
Buffy was saved from having to explain that little tidbit of information by the arrival of Willow Rosenberg and Rupert Giles. They entered the room with serious faces – Willow’s ‘resolve face’ already in place – when they attacked by a squealing blonde blur.
“I am so sorry I didn’t call. I totally meant to but I lost my cellphone and then I was a little…indisposed and then I got distracted and this place is so cool so please don’t blow it up because I have been having so much fun,” Buffy pleaded to her now very confused companions.
“Ms. Summers has been recruited to be apart of a classified project,” Hammond said, attempting to regain control of the situation. “Voluntarily, I might add.”
“So you weren’t sold to the military,” Willow said for clarification, stunning the SGC members at the statement.
“No!” Buffy said in annoyance, and without turning her head raised her hand to Jack’s face and continued, “Not one word from you, Jack.”
“What? I was just going to say…”
“Not a word, Jack.”
“But I was…”
There was a moment of silence and Daniel opened his mouth when Jack quickly said, “But we could take her off your hands for a small fee.”
“What made you think that Buffy had been sold to the military,” Daniel asked quickly before Buffy had a chance to respond to Jack’s comment – though she continued to glare and seethe silently.
“When Buffy didn’t call at the usual time, we tried phoning her cell phone and someone named Pimp answered who claimed to have bought Buffy and sold her to an Air Force colonel named Jack O’Neill.”
Giles’ explanation was interrupted by a very loud groan from Buffy and Jack. Buffy looked at Jack through narrowed eyes.
“That’s it. I’m wiring your mouth shut.”
“How was I supposed to know he would take my comment seriously?”
“The incident with the brand didn’t give you some kind of clue?” Buffy asked in disbelief.
“Hey! All I said was that I was a slave to the military! I didn’t say nothing about you.”
“Jack…I know what concubine means.”
Jack blanched slightly.
“You heard that part, huh?”
“I was just making sure we weren’t separated…” Jack said defensively, “That – and I was drunk. Though, if I had known he was going to take me seriously I would have asked for one of those cute serving girls, or maybe a…”
Jack and Buffy jumped at the sound of the General’s voice and turned weak smiles towards the red-faced man.
“I think we broke him,” Buffy whispered.
“Not. Another. Word. From either of you – or I will have both of your jaws wired shut. Is that understood?”
“Sir, yes, sir!” they chorused, sitting up straight in their chairs. Willow and Giles were watching the interaction in astonishment – primarily because she hadn’t seen Buffy acting like this since high school, and the fact that Buffy was actually taking orders.
“Ms. Rosenberg, Mr. Giles, as much as I appreciate your concern for your friend – I do not take threats to my command casually.”
“We’re terribly sorry for the misunderstanding,” Giles said diplomatically, “Our only excuse is that we didn’t have a clear understanding of the situation.”
Several glares were turned in Buffy’s direction, who squirmed slightly in her seat and shrugged sheepishly. Hammond sighed heavily, and leaned back in his chair. As much as he wanted to detain these two for further questioning, if the President’s opinion of Ms. Summers extended to her friends as well, then there would be no point.
“I’m not going explore this incident further, but if I ever see you within a mile of this compound…” Hammond left the threat hanging there, giving his guests a no-nonsense look.
“We understand, General.”
“Good. Colonel, Ms. Summers, why don’t you escort Mr. Giles and Ms. Rosenburg back to the surface – and while you are there…”
Buffy and Jack exchanged worried glances.
“Yes, sir,” they replied in unison, quickly herding a slightly bewildered Willow and Giles out of the room. The members of the SGC sat in the conference room, unsure how to break the silence left behind by their newest members.
“How long do you plan to keep them up there, sir?” Carter asked cautiously.
“Hopefully, until I can send them to another planet and let them be someone else’s problem,” Hammond replied to the amusement of the members of SG-1 – until they realized that they were still going to have to deal with the bewildering pair.
Several days later, Daniel was casually walking down the hallway, looking at a few documents on recent trips through the Stargate by other teams. He was startled out of his reverie by a friendly hand on his shoulder – both of his shoulders. Looking to his left and right he saw the grinning pair of Buffy and Jack.
“What are you two so happy about?” he asked curiously, and with a feeling of slight trepidation.
“We just wanted to thank you, Daniel,” Jack said magnanimously.
“For what?” Daniel asked slowly, the bad feeling growing stronger.
“For the suggestion,” Buffy exclaimed, as if it were obvious.
“What…?” Daniel started to ask but was interrupted by Jack saying, “We’ve got to go, but again…thanks.”
The walked off quickly, whistling completely different and unrecognisable tunes and soon were out of sight. Daniel continued walking – his reading forgotten as he tried to remember any suggestions he had given the duo. Nothing was coming to mind as he made his way towards the infirmary. He had almost reached his destination when he saw Janet Frasier coming down the hallway.
From the sharp sound of her high heels, the archaeologist figured that she was angry or frustrated about something and given the conversation he just had, Daniel was sure it had to do with Jack and Buffy.
Janet stopped in front of Daniel and pointed her finger, saying, “You.”
“Me?” Daniel asked in confusion.
“You gave them the idea.”
“No I didn’t,” Daniel replied, trying to sound convincing – which he almost pulled off because he still had no idea what he had suggested. Janet simply pointed to the infirmary doorway, and a bewildered Daniel found himself being ushered into the infirmary.
Taking a few steps in, he stopped and stared in shock at the sight before him.
There, on one of the hospital beds, was a giant sized needle – roughly the size of a person around Janet…or Buffy’s height. With a sinking stomach, Daniel the conversation he had just a few days ago with Jack and Buffy.
You could always give her a really big needle as an apology for stealing all of hers.
Wordlessly, Janet handed him a piece of paper and Daniel read it slowly.
COST OF PAPER: $0.50
COST OF PEN: $1
COST OF NEEDLE: $20
GETTING THE IDEA FROM DANIEL: PRICELESS
As Daniel slowly absorbed everything, one thought was foremost in his dazed mind.
Where the hell had those two gotten a giant needle for twenty dollars?
A/N: “Rule 35 --That which doesn’t kill us, has made a tactical error” is from the webcomic Schlock Mercenary (incredibly funny, definitely should check it out)