6. Those Pesky Kids... Why Me? by Sara
[Reviews - 15] Printer Chapter or Story
Category: General
Genres: Friendship, Holiday, Humor, Hurt/Comfort
Rated: Teen
Warnings: None
Series: Those Pesky Kids!
Summary: Jack POV/Humour. Contemplation, hangovers, snarkiness, and a run in with some sugar! Jack's last few days in the UK with the pesky kids!

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Story Notes:
Here's part 1 of 3. If you haven't already, you might want to read 'Those Pesky Kids', 'Those Pesky Kids Again!', 'Those Pesky Kids Give Me No Respect!', 'Those Pesky Kids Can Go Fish!' and, ‘Those Pesky Kids Are Getting Cheeky!’ first. This story will make far more sense if you do! ;-) Enjoy! X
Why me? Why do these things always happen to me?

Most other highly decorated and special forces trained Air Force Colonels are not only given command of elite teams full of mature, professional, and skilled individuals, but their lucky subordinates kiss the very ground said Colonel deigns to walk on. They also have a healthy dose of hero worship, and live only to do as their beloved CO commands. They bombard him with respect and admiration, look up to and learn from his wealth of knowledge and experience, and they want to be just like him when they grow up.

What do I get?

“No way, Colonel.”

“I think not, O’Neill.”

“Bite me, Jack!”

All those years in the Air Force sucking up to my commanding officer, finally making it to the distinguished rank of Colonel. Do I get to show off my impressive skills and have a team that suck up to me and stroke my carefully nurtured and greatly deserving ego?

Nope!

I get a beautiful, highly decorated Air Force Major, who’s also a leading physics and mathematical genius with a doctorate in Theoretical Astrophysics, an expert in wormholes, nano technology, and long, boring lectures. Despite my superior years and combat experience, she spends most of her time confusing the hell out of me, and giving me a proverbial pat on the head while muttering, ‘Don’t worry your pretty little self about it, Sir, just leave the nasty, complicated stuff to me’. I may as well call her Mighty Major. Here she comes to save the daaaay!!

I also get a huge, honkin’, muscle-bound alien with exceptional reflexes, the mother of all immune systems, and the strength of an enraged ape, who has the ability to pick me up with his little finger if he really wanted. He’s an ex-first prime, previous commander of thousands, has more experience in battle strategies and tactics than the rest of us put together, and who, scarily, is old enough to be my grandfather!

To top it all off, I get an infuriatingly young, multiple PhD genius archaeologist, stroke linguist, stroke philologist, stroke anthropologist, who talks really fast, can quite impressively swear in over twenty three different languages, and who innocently has the entire base either wanting to look after him or get inside his pants. He has enough sensitivity and diplomacy to fill the Grand Canyon, and an IQ that makes mine look like that of an amoeba. He vehemently refuses to call me ‘Sir’, ever, and wouldn’t know a direct order if it bit him on the ass!

But so help me God, I can’t help but love ‘em, and be thankful each and every day that they’re my team.

As for my current situation, it’s a fine British morning, and we’ve had to get up early so we can head back to London today. However, that also means that Daniel’s had to wake up early too.

Oh dear.

“Morning Daniel! Congratulations for being out of bed, in motion, and a shining beacon of cheeriness at such an early hour.”

“Bite me, Jack!”

Okaaay, so maybe he’s not so cheery. He’s currently paying for his part in last night’s communal nakedness and abundant alcohol intake. Believe me, with any physical injury, Daniel would hold his own severed head in his hands and still insist ‘I’ll be fine’, but a sick or hungover Daniel? Take cover! Luckily, it doesn’t happen very often, and I can’t really blame him I suppose. Illness and hangovers do have a way of sucking out all of one’s cheeriness like a huge slimy leech that not only sucks to survive, but for whom sucking happens to be a favourite pastime.

Hey! What’s this? It appears I have deserters in the ranks!

“Where do you guys think you’re going?”

“Outside, Sir. We’ll… um, clear up outside while you deal with Daniel.”

“Hey, that’s not fair! Whatever happened to teamwork? You should be helping me subdue the wild Daniel beast.”

“No way, Sir.”

“I think not, O’Neill.”

Great! Just great!

Why me?

Daniel is just sitting there with his head down on the table, pillowed on his arms. If I didn’t know better, I’d say he’d gone back to sleep.

Actually, all joking aside, he does look kinda pale. Oh, hell, now I feel like a real bastard for dragging him out of bed so early.

You know, as much as I’d like to deny it, Carter and T are right when they say it’s my responsibility. It does seem to have become my job to look after all of them, especially Daniel. It’s somehow been my job ever since he came back from Abydos. Even the general orders me to look out for him, but then Hammond has been caught performing a few fatherly duties himself when it comes to our youngest team member. I walked into the infirmary when Daniel had his appendix out to find George reading to a sleepy Daniel. I told ya; he naively has everyone wrapped around his little finger. The general certainly doesn’t read me a bedtime story when I’m sick!

God, I hate this. Daniel’s giving me that look that all sick kids give their parents. It’s that utterly miserable, ‘Please make it go away’ look, and even though I know this is just a hangover, I really hate the useless, helpless feeling of not being able to do anything to fix it.

Maybe it would help if I just sit with him for a while. My kid used to like that… just knowing I was there. He’s feeling a bit warm too, and I can’t help but notice the quiet ‘I feel like total crap’ tears he’s trying to hide from me.

“Oh, Danny. What am I going to do with you, huh?”

Don’t get me wrong; it’s not like Daniel can’t look after himself. He’s definitely independent, and just like the rest of us, has been getting by on his own for years. I guess he’s just come to realise that he doesn’t have to anymore. He finally knows now that he can just let go sometimes and someone will always be there to pick up the pieces. Sam and Daniel turn to each other occasionally. Sam’s the big sister Daniel never had and the only other member of their little genius club. Teal’c’s naturally taken on the role of universal protector to both of them, and will happily beat up any other little ‘kids’ that tend to pick on our hapless civilian. Oh, and according to Teal’c, that includes snakes, nasty Unas, and yours truly! But, if something’s really bothering Daniel, or he’s sick or injured or feeling crappy, he tends to turn to me… just like Charlie used to. Why do you think I’m always there when he wakes up in the infirmary? Granted, Daniel doesn’t cling to my leg like a spider monkey or stand there with his arms held up wanting what my kid used to call a ‘pick-snuggle’, but he does turn up on my doorstep late some nights, hypoallergenic pillow in hand. I did stealthily enquire once as to whether he ever turned up at Carter’s house or Teal’c’s quarters in the wee small hours, but apparently I’m the only one blessed with his grouchy little self in the middle of the night. Sometimes he wants to talk, sometimes he watches TV, and sometimes he just grunts in my direction and immediately crashes in his room. I say ‘his room’ because it might as well be. Last Christmas I had a little plaque made up for the door that says ‘Daniel’s Room’. I even had my old friend Kat draw a cartoon monkey of Daniel for it too - glasses and everything. Funny as hell!

My other spare bedroom basically belongs to Carter. It doesn’t get as much use as Daniel’s, but still, after some of our team barbeques, special holiday parties, and birthdays, it’s all hers. She’s getting her plaque this coming Christmas! My office has a double sofa bed in it too, usually reserved for when Fraiser and Cassie join us. Teal’c’s the easiest. He prefers to just commandeer an area of floor space somewhere … and maybe a cushion.

You know, that shocked me at first. It’s taken time, and a bit of opening up on my part, but for better or worse, my team are now so interwoven into my life that not only has my house become the SG-1 official hang out, but after a harrowing mission or if we’re just having a rough time, it’s become a place to go for putting ourselves back together. It was just a house to me, just somewhere to live, until SG-1 moved themselves in. Now, my home has some of Carter and Daniel’s books, journals, spare reading glasses, and a permanent supply of all their favourite drinks and snacks. Hell, even the last load of laundry I did wasn’t all mine! At least, I’m pretty sure I’ve never worn frilly black panties or boxers quite that tight. The ‘family’ bathroom suddenly has three toothbrushes and a load of girly shampoo and moisturiser that I certainly never had before. Nice stuff though; smells nice and really makes your hands soft and… God, I’m turning into my mother! Is this the male menopause or something? Am I destined to become disgustingly sensitive and emotional? Somebody zat me, quick!

Ooh, I feel movement next to me. The deep, resigned sigh and occasional sniffing means that the Daniel beastie might just be getting himself together and be ready to surface. And not a moment too soon! Time to get this show on the road.

“How are you feeling, Grasshopper?”

“Like I’ve been run over.”

Poor Daniel. I actually have a sneaking suspicion that his snarkiness has less to do with his headache and more to do with the lipstick mark he found on his right hip this morning. He was a little disturbed to find he doesn’t remember it, and even more disturbed as to how it got there in the first place. You should have seen him. He borrowed Carter’s little compact mirror and started bending and twisting in ways that only a younger body can, trying to catch a glimpse of every single part of himself, especially the bits where the sun doesn’t shine, just to make sure there weren’t any more offending lip shaped marks.

“Give me the sugar.”

“Hey. Manners, Daniel.”

Oh, if looks could kill, I’d need a sarcophagus right about now.

“Pass me the sugar please.”

“Good boy.”

“Screw you, Jack.”

Daniel’s five-step hangover recovery has evidently reached the most important and crucial level. After the necessity of getting himself vertical, visiting the little boy’s room, holding his head under the faucet, and putting on some clothes, the final part of Daniel’s miracle hangover cure is to quadruple his sugar consumption. He may as well make himself a giant sugar lump, served on a bed of sugar, with sugar sprinkled on top. He actually tried this on me once, but I went into hyperglycaemic shock, apparently insisted on pushing my truck to work rather than driving it, and ended up spending half the day in Fraiser’s loving clutches.

Daniel still swears by it though.

“Sure. Would you like some coffee with your sugar?”

I’ll take that squinty evil eye to mean, ‘Yes, please, Jack. Thank you so much.’

“Would you like me to grind the coffee and add water and milk? Or would you be happier gnawing on the raw beans?”

“You really are a bastard, aren’t you, Jack?”

“I’m just kidding, Daniel. I already made a fresh pot of Arabian Mocha just for you. You can have it in your new Stonehenge mug if you like. Might be worth taking some Tylenol as well.”

“Oh, thanks. Uh.... I didn’t mean to snap by the way, sorry.”

“That’s okay, buddy. It won’t hurt if we leave a couple of hours later anyway, so take your time. Here, I got you some of your favourite cookies too.”

Don’t say it! Don’t even think about it! I don’t want to hear the words sappy, fluffy, or anything else that can be remotely defined as such. I have a reputation to uphold, you know!

****

On to part 2...
Chapter End Notes:
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