Disclaimer: Hey! I don't own them, even though I wish I did. Just think... By now, I could be rich! Instead, I'm not, since I made no money off this story. Double Darn.

A/N Long drabble, or short short story... Take your pick. Two point five in the Marriage Series.

Offworld

by Linda Bindner

Well, Daniel said, then stretched as he stared at the two tents set up in the clearing before recalling that the one on the left had been assigned to him and Teal'c. It was the group's first mission after a two week downtime, and he still couldn't always recall their new assigned sleeping arrangements. Something chirped at him through the darkness surrounding their camp while he remembered. Then, to cover his slowness, he said, I think I'll turn in for the night. He stood up, still stretching, and took to steps towards his tent. I'll see you when I see you.

He stopped walking when Jack cut off his conversation with Carter to command, Regular watches... Teal'c takes first watch, then Daniel, then Carter, and I'll take last watch. He turned to Carter beside him on the log facing the camp fire. And make sure I'm totally awake this time! I don't want to walk over a cliff in the middle of my watch. Make some coffee if you have to, just make sure I'm awake.

Daniel perked up for a minute. We could dump a bucket of water over your head, he mildly suggested.

Jack peered at his friend in the dark. You shouldn't do that if you want to live to see tomorrow, Daniel.

There was general laughter coming from Carter on his left, though Daniel scowled at him from across the fire. Carter was the first to speak, however. I'll have coffee waiting for you as soon as you go on watch, Sir.

Jack gave an irritated sigh. Carter, he lightly admonished lest she think he was truly angry at her. I'll tell you again... Call me 'Jack,' even on missions. That way, you won't get confused at a crucial moment.

But it was Teal'c's voice that broke through the darkness. Does that mean that I, too, can call you by your first name? he asked in a completely deadpan tone of voice.

It was because of the tone that Teal'c was using that told Jack the Jaffa was teasing him. So Jack ribbed him back. I might fall over in a dead faint if you ever call me 'Jack,' Teal'c. And I don't think I want to marry you first in order to be called by my first name, either. Jack rose too as Daniel and Carter started to head for their respective tents.

Teal'c calmly stated, Have no fear, then; I will marry you only 'over my dead body.'

Carter spluttered her laughter, even as she turned to follow Daniel, who was also laughing in the dark shadows. Daniel called back, Good one, Teal'c! It's nice to know that you're getting your practice time in on English idioms!

Teal'c called back, How was I doing, DanielJackson?

Daniel laughed again with one last look in Jack's direction Really good, I'd say!

Jack was scowling now, too. Oh, very funny! he sarcastically commented. I'll thank you both not to make me the butt of your future jokes!

But you make such a good butt, Jack, Daniel stated, and Carter laughed again at his second joke.

Jack was getting completely aggravated, now. Get to bed! he barked in a voice that told them all that he still wasn't angry at them.

Yes, Sir! Carter barked back.

Carter! Jack warned in response.

But Carter was laughing too hard by now to say more than, I' m going, Jack, I'm going!

Jack grunted, Why, I oughta... But he moved to follow his wife into their tent. Good thing we're on an uninhabited world, or all this joking around could really get us in trouble, he threatened as the three of them moved off.

Yes, it is advantageous that this is an uninhabited planet, Teal'c agreed from his place near the fire where he had chosen to sit. Or else I would be very concerned when O'Neill's watch comes around... Coffee might not be enough to keep him alert.

Carter sputtered more laughter, but Daniel interrupted any response she might have made by saying, Good night, everybody!

Night, Daniel! Carter called back.

Don't let the bedbugs bite, Jack added his appeal after Carter's comment. Then, he turned back towards the Jaffa, and said, That's another idiom, Teal'c... Don't be on the lookout for bugs all night.

I am aware of many idioms, Teal'c objected. You have nothing to fear from me... or from bugs, he went on.

Jack grinned, then called. Night. See you in the morning. He crawled through the flap and into his and Carter's assigned tent, while Daniel crawled into the second tent.

Carter was already removing her combat boots in preparation for going to bed. Jack couldn't help but grin again. Ah, my favorite part about missions offworld, he said in her direction.

Carter rolled her eyes at him, a gesture he completely missed as she hadn't bothered to fish out her flashlight to illuminate what she was doing. How can you know what's your favorite part if this is our first mission in two weeks?

I can guess, Jack responded.

Carter rolled her eyes for a second time, and it was a missed response... again. As she crawled into their sleeping bags spread out double on the ground, she mocked, We agreed that... stuff... wouldn't happen on missions offworld, Jack. Her own aggravated sigh split the night this time. Remember? she added. Your rule, not mine.

Jack growled, admittedly irritated again. Yeah, I remember, he said with a sigh, in a low voice to her. He sat down on the sleeping bags beside her to remove his own boots. What a dumb rule, anyway, he commented conversationally. What was I thinking?

About not wanting to unexpectedly become Jaffa fricassee some night when you have few clothes on, Carter whispered back.

Jack's voice drifted to her out of the darkness as he lifted an edge of the sleeping bag, and crawled in next to her. Oh, yeah, that's right, he said. Good reason.

Carter giggled once again. Let's get some shut eye, Col... uh, S... uh, Jack, she teased. She wasn't fooling him... She knew precisely what to call him, now.

You.., Jack began threateningly anyway, but she cut him off a moment later.

That's my foot you're touching, Jack! Then, she screeched. Damn, how did your feet get so cold?

They're not cold, Jack objected. Only chilled... And you're so warm...

Get you elbow out of my ribs..!

Then take your hand off...

Shut up, you two! came Daniel's disembodied call in the night. Some of us are trying to get some sleep here!

Sorry! called Carter's contrite voice through the dark. Night!

Quiet reined for a second, then Jack commented, Geez... Cold hands, Carter!

She answered by exclaiming, At least they're not freezing feet!

Daniel cried, Guys!

Carter shouted back, Sorry again, Daniel! It's just that this being married business is really...

Sweet! Jack finished for her. Then, they both smiled, as if they were secretly having the times of their lives.

Carter kept smiling, and eventually whispered, Yeah, sweet it is.

Quiet settled on the tiny encampment then as sleep stole softly around them, even while Jack and Sam... uh, Carter... grinned.

Yeah, Jack agreed with her assessment moments later. The sound of his voice smiled as it carried gently out of the dark. He squeezed the women in his arms. It is totally sweet, he whispered in her ear. Night, Carter.

'Night, Jack, she whispered on a breeze that wormed its way inside the tent flap. Seconds later all was silent as they fell asleep under the stars of an alien planet far from Earth. But 'home' was very much a part of all of them as they settled in for the night.

In the end, it was Daniel's sigh of contentment that was last to filter through the dark.

Sequel: All Work and No Play Makes Sam Carter a Very Dull Girl


Back to [Stargate SG-1 Stories]. Send comments to linda.bindner@gmail.com.

This page has been accessed 1442 times since 2005 Jul 30.