- Work in Progress
- Character Bashing
- Explicit Sex
- No Beta
- Violence - Canon-Level
- Alternate Universe
- First Time
- Future Fic
If her job at the SGC has taught her one thing, it’s patience. Dealing with combative and traumatised Soldiers, Marines and Airmen has meant she has to find all kinds of ways to tease out their fears and anxieties. One of those is just to sit back and wait.
Right now, as she stomps upstairs in high dudgeon, she wondering how she could ever think she was good at it.
Jack has only been in the house five minutes and she’s already at the point of opening the gun safe on Simon’s side of the bed, pulling out his service piece, loading a clip and then emptying it in Jack O’Neill’s stupid face.
She steps into the twin’s bedroom and leans her back against the door, breathing out her anger as quickly as she can. Luckily, they are both asleep so she doesn’t have to pretend.
Jack’s arrival had come exactly as DD had predicted, less than 24 hours after the announcement of his engagement to Sam. And that’s a statement that makes her even more intent on shooting something…or someone. It makes absolutely no sense at all.
She had watched her surrogate dads orbit around each other from the moment she was found alone and abandoned on Hanka, nearly twenty years ago. As she grew older she had been by turns surprised, and then saddened when she realised the world was keeping her daddies apart.
With Jack’s impending retirement, she was sure that things would change. And they had. DD was now fucking who knew where after having his heart broken…again…by the scum-sucking, chicken-shit, bastard of a General in her lounge room. She grits her teeth in frustration against the scream of temper she cannot allow to erupt from her mouth.
There she was, still reeling from the conversation she’d had with Daniel, and overtired from a sleepless night due to teething babies, while simultaneously missing her husband who was off-world, when who should saunter in through the door than the General himself.
To say she wasn’t ready to speak to him was an understatement, but the fact that he immediately began to question her about her health and that of the kids as if he hadn’t a care in the world, was just a bridge too far.
She came up with an excuse about needing the bathroom, and kept him busy by asking him to make coffee, but she knows he’ll be coming upstairs to wake the twins if she stays up here too long. So, she rubs her hands over her face and then shakes out her hands, in a desperate attempt to release some of the pent-up anger before she has to face him again.
On arriving back in the kitchen, she really shouldn’t be surprised to find Jack peering at her cell phone, but the fact that he would invade her privacy like that tells her: 1. He has no respect for her privacy. 2. He has no boundary’s where his selfish needs are concerned, and 3. DD was right to tell her not to program his new information into her contacts.
Cassie purposefully does not look towards the pad on the counter, where she had scribbled Daniel’s number in three, carefully separated groups, that look hopefully like the other catalogue numbers scribbled there. The magazine from the toy store is conveniently situated nearby but Jack is skilful at reading body language, and he is well able to put two and two together if he caught her looking.
She snatches the phone from his hands and slips it into her jeans pocket, before giving Jack a challenging look.
“Find what you were looking for?” she asks sarcastically, trying hard not to let any sign of the true depth her anger show. The fact that it’s like an animal clawing at her chest makes it very difficult.
Only her in-depth knowledge of the man allows Cassandra to see a faint mix of surprise and irritation that she had caught him cross Jack’s face, before his expression falls into one of studied innocence.
“No, actually. I was just wondering if you’d heard from Dan…iel?”
Even if she hadn’t been privy to events, that hesitation would have clued her in to something being very wrong. She’s not willing to let him off the hook though, or give him any idea that she knows what’s going on. He will immediately jump on any sign of weakness on her part, she knows and them worm and worm at her until she breaks. Cassie hates it that Daniel was right about his methods, and she is determined not to break, whatever he does. So, she answers in the same innocent tone.
“No? Why, have you lost his number? With the amount of times you text message or call him every day, I’d have thought you’d have committed it to memory. Or is old age catching up with your faculties. Maybe it’s a good thing you’ve finally retired. Would have made it difficult if you couldn’t remember your own address.” A comment that at one time would have been laced with the snarky humour that characterises their relationship, now sounds challenging as it crosses the space between them…both literal and metaphorical.
Once again she sees an expression flit across his face, only this time it’s calculating.
“He’s just changed his number and hasn’t got around to letting me have it yet. I thought maybe…”
Suddenly, she’s done with the charade. Despite how it hurts her, if Jack’s going to spout this kind of dishonest shit then she’s not willing to spend any more time on this, not until he has removed his stupid fat head out of his all too capacious asshole.
“You know what, General, if he wanted you to know then he would have told you. It’s obvious he doesn’t, so even if I did have that privileged information I wouldn’t divulge it to you. I also don’t recall giving you permission to access my private information, nor will I if you utilise underhand methods to attempt to get it. I’m sure if you ask him nicely, your new best friend, President Sandsome will authorise a wiretap. Although given the high levels of Doctor/Patient confidentiality in the SGC, good luck with convincing him that it’s in the interests of National Security that you be able to send stupid third grade jokes to your best friend.”
Just as she guessed it would the barb about the status of Jack and Daniel’s relationship hits home. The General’s attitude flips from sweet, jokey grandpa, to deadly Spec Ops in a second and his eyes darken with temper.
“Hey, watch it, young lady. I don’t appreciate the insinuation. And you’re not Daniel’s shrink anymore, not since he left Colorado.” He thumps his hand down on the counter, making the mugs slop their contents over the rims.
Finally, she realises that holding her temper is really not working for her. All she can hope is that the kids are deeply enough asleep not to be woken by the ruckus they’re making.
“And you’re not his Commanding Officer either…Not that you ever were,” she fires back, enjoying the flinch the comment elicits from him. “Now either tell me why you’re really here or get out, Jack, because you didn’t raise me to be stupid or gullible.”
He shakes his head and rubs a hand across his face. She notices for the first time that it’s shaking slightly, his eyes are red rimmed and his chin is rough with stubble. It strikes her that he’s not as OK as he’d like to portray, and the dark part of her heart that had listened and empathised with Daniel’s pain yesterday, feels slightly vindicated for her DD.
“If you know where he is, Cass, please tell me. We got into a fight after the party and I said…He didn’t understand why…” He looks over at her and she is surprised at how much he is struggling. The realisation softens her heart a little and she begins to consider throwing him a bone.
“I just need to make him listen. If he’ll just listen for a change, instead of running off to get lai… running off, he can finally get the whole story. Then he can say he’s sorry for misunderstanding, just like he always does and we can get back to normal,” Jack continues, spreading his hands and shrugging as if it’s a done deal that Daniel will forgive him.
Right then, any chance of her giving him anything but a kick out the door is gone. She straightens her shoulders, and she’s not sure what’s in her eyes, but whatever it is, it makes Jack sway back minutely. It’s not much, but it’s enough to give her the courage she needs.
“You know what, Jack? There is so much wrong with what you just said, but I’m not gonna tease it out for ya. You’ll have to find some other mug to do that. Right now, I just want you to leave. Maybe if you give me a few days I might be willing to let you see the kids, but you see…I don’t like you very much right now, General O’Neill, and I’m not willing to have you around my children with the level of animosity just having you in my vicinity engenders. So, maybe I’ll call you when I’ve calmed down, and that’ll give you time to think about what was wrong with the fuckton of shit you just spouted. Now, if you don’t have anything honest to say to me, I was up all night with the twins and I need a nap.”
She sweeps her hand towards the door and glares at him, using every trick she’s learned from handling her hard-headed Marine husband.
“No, Jack. I’m not kidding. Go now.”
This time his upset is obvious and she doesn’t miss the flicker of his glance up the stairs. She knows he loves the twins, and they love him right back. Hell, despite how she feels about him right now, she loves him too. She just doesn’t get what the fuck is going on with him.
“I’ve called him several times and no answer. I’m just concerned, Cassie. You know how much trouble he can get into, even without trying. I just want to know he’s safe.”
Jack surprises her by turning and quietly leaving without another word, perhaps she thinks, too worried about not being allowed to see the kids any time soon, although that last little speech did sound honest, if a little trite. She pushes the door shut behind him and rests her aching head against the cool wood.
No doubt she’ll have a visit from Sam before long, especially if Jack spins their conversation in his own favour. Trouble is, she has a feeling she’ll be less upset after that confrontation. While Jack could cite his role and commission as explanation for why he’s been behaving so badly, Sam on the other hand has no such excuses. That she has willingly and wilfully gone along with this whole goat rope to achieve her own selfish and ridiculous fantasy, has changed Cassie’s view of her. Perhaps permanently.
As she registers the vague sounds of muted cries coming from the baby alarm, she wishes with all her heart that it wasn’t three more days before Simon gets home.
She needs a hug from someone she actually still understands.
The gift is a lovely surprise.
The additional commission he’d signed off on actually doubles what she’d normally make on his purchases, but the brooch (even though it would’ve only cost a couple of hundred dollars) is so perfect it’s a much better tip than the money.
Not only is the man funny, intelligent and smoking hot, but he’s kind and intuitive too. The quirky Day of the Dead lapel pin is exactly what she would have chosen for herself.
It rounds off a thoroughly enjoyable day, and with the kind of clients she tends to get, that’s unusual. Mostly they’re rich and obnoxious. Sure, she often gets good tips but rarely anything so thoughtful and so her.
Shari will be green with envy. Maybe Andrea will split a bottle of wine with her friend. After all it isn’t everyday you get to share stories about spending time with one of the most famous and gorgeous men on Earth – Maybe even the galaxy for all she knows.
And despite being rich and famous, Daniel Jackson had just been…