TITLE : Blessing in Disguise

AUTHOR: Blue Topaz

EMAIL: blue-topaz@lycos.com

RATING: PG

CATEGORY: Humor, Drama, Romance

DISCLAIMER: Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of MGM, World Gekko Corp and Double Secret productions. No copyright infringement is intended.

Please do not post or distribute this story without the author's permission.

Copyright by Blue Topaz, 2002

AN: Based on 2002 Christmas Challenge in the samandjack list:

* start with the dialogue, "What do you mean that's not allowed?";

* contain NO MENTION of "regulations";

* contain LOTS of tinsel;

* have Jonas as a member of SG1 (though Daniel can certainly make an appearance)

* have a Sam/Jack kiss.

--------------------------------

"What do you mean that's not allowed?"

"Daniel?", Jack O'Neill was hoping that the SG-1 linguist would answer that question.

"Jack?", the linguist was playing dumb.

"Daniel.", Jack's voice was threatening.

"Jack?", the linguist had come back from death countless time, he feared nothing.

"Daniel.", the SG-1 leader still persistent, he got the 'never give up' streak.

"Jack.", unfortunately he had taught the same streak to the linguist.

She had enough of this childishness, "Would you two just stop it."

Four pairs of eyes were focused at her in curiosity.

"Whether you realised it or not, you guys are driving me insane ... in a pace that would make a snail ashamed of himself.", she snapped.

"Isn't that a good thing?", Jack O'Neill smiled at his clearly irritated 2IC.

"What? The fact that I'm slowly going nuts and you guys are the ones who caused it?"

"Yes."

She couldn't say a word, not even if she wanted too. He was just too impossible to be dealt with and she was in a state of escalating frustration. She took a wise decision by ignoring him and got back to the control panel near the door, she didn't want to be charged with insulting a superior officer. Not over a stupid argument.

"Now, Daniel. Where are we?", Jack turned his attention back to his archaeologist.

"I said 'Jack', now it's your turn to say 'Daniel'.", The archaeologist (previously referred to as the linguist) didn't even bother to lift his head from the book he was reading this time.

"Okay ... Daniel.", the game had started again.

"Jack.", and the recently descended archaeologist played along.

"Daniel", this was getting old.

"Jack.", getting VERY old.

"Daniel.", if he wanted to be honest with himself, Jack had missed these 'calling each other' moment.

"Jack.", and the same was also applied to the linguist.

"Daniel.", however this was not the case for their other team-mates.

Jonas's head was swayed to both sides like he was watching a tennis match, he didn't know that a simple question could turn into this. Teal'c was stagnant; he was already accustomed to this commotion. Finally, Daniel took the initiative to call the activity off before Jonas sprained his neck; he looked up from the book he was reading.

"Sam, how's the door progressing?"

"Not much, considering there are four guys here who could give me a hand, but then two of them decided that calling each others name was actually a productive way of passing time," she grumbled.

"Come on, Carter. Just leave it alone, they'll let us out in no time."

She considered his words for a moment, deciding that he had a valid point; she gave up and joined her friends who were sitting on the floor. She placed herself between Jack and Daniel, her back was against the door. Teal'c and Jonas were sitting in front of her.

"So, how come you can't open the door?"

"Are you deliberately trying to infuriate me, Sir?"

"Just a question," he shrugged.

"Sorry Sir, but of all the things that I couldn't fix, I really wish that this was not one of them."

"Why? Wouldn't look good on your resume?"

She shot him a death glare, but that was just as far as she could do. How she wished she could punch him on the face to knock a sense inside his head, but then again the Air Force manual clearly stated that attacking a fellow officer was not allowed under any circumstances. Although she was 100% sure that they would make an exception if she just could argue her case.

"No, Sir. I just don't want to be stuck here at Christmas."

"Try to look at this as a team-binding moment."

Her shoulder slumped and she sighed, "Okay. So, what do you want to do in our precious 'team-binding' moment then?" She deliberately mocked the word precious.

Either he didn't catch her cynicism or he just bluntly ignored her sarcasm, "Uh ... I don't know. Maybe we could get to know each other a little bit better."

Even Teal'c raised his eyebrows at this, "I believe we have known each other reasonably well, O'Neill."

Jonas sheepishly chipped in, "Uhm ... I don't."

Four pairs of eyes focused at him. Silence encased the room.

"Teal'c, I think now we have a reason to do it all over again." Jack took this opportunity as the team leader to state the obvious and took control of this situation. Teal'c merely nodded his head.

"Daniel, put down the book. Carter, don't worry about the door. Jonas, open your ears wide. Teal'c ... just be you."

His team members complied with his order. Book was put aside, door was forgotten, and everybody were all ears.

"So, what are we going to do?", Sam asked. She had drawn her legs to her chest and rested her chin on it.

"As today is Christmas Day, why don't we tell stories about our past Christmases? The one that stood out from the rest, the one that was special."

Daniel and Sam exchanged a look. This was actually a good idea. Meanwhile, Teal'c and Jonas exchanged the same look, Jonas had only celebrated Christmas once, two times including today, while Teal'c had had seven including today. They might not have a lot to share, which was fine by them.

"Okay, I'm game."

"I'm in."

"As am I."

"Count me in."

Jack smiled at this.

"Excellent. Who want to go first?"

Everyone inside the room stared at him.

"No.", he said straightforwardly and graciously.

"You suggested it, Sir. Might as well do the honour." Sam grinned.

"Yes Jack, this is your idea after all." Daniel added.

"A true leader must lead in example, O'Neill." Teal'c interjected.

"That's right Colonel, you ... ", Jonas never finished his sentences, his team leader gave him a warning glare. The one that didn't have any effect whatsoever only to five people in the universe (Daniel, Sam, Teal'c, General Hammond and Janet).

"As I said before, this is a team-binding moment. So ... rank and privilege are not the issue here, doesn't matter whether you are an officer, a civilian or an alien, we are all in the same boat here."

"So, how do you want to settle this then?" Daniel asked.

"Er ... what if we draw short straw?"

"Sir, need I remind you that we don't have a straw here?" true to her scientist nature, Sam pointed out the impossibility of doing the task.

"No, but we don't necessarily have to use straw for that." he picked up one of the bags laying scattered around the floor, he searched something inside it. And then with a triumphant 'A-ha', he pulled something out.

"Uh ..."

"That is ..."

"Dr. Fraiser would not be pleased."

"Wow, this is a very creative idea, Colonel."

"Sir, you might want to know that we can't get more of that if you use it now."

"Yes, Jack. Janet clearly said that if we didn't bring her that, we can say goodbye to all the Christmas food she cooked."

"It is indeed a most unwise decision."

"It is?"

Jack ignored all the comments made by the others, instead he concentrated on the task in hand. Pulling out a pocket knife, he started to cut the object in question.

Sam just sighed, Daniel was perplexed, even Teal'c was troubled. Meanwhile, Jonas was puzzled.

"Daniel, do you remember how many tinsel garlands do we bought today?"

"Not much." he flinched.

"Then we're doomed."

"I must concur."

Jonas watched his three friends in great interest. He had to open his big mouth and asked, "Why?"

"Why what?"

"Why are we doomed?"

Teal'c had a great fondness to his new alien team mate, so he decided to tell Jonas about his 3rd Christmas Dinner on Earth, when Janet host the small party and the only thing that SG-1 had to bring was Christmas tree decoration. But because of their tight schedule, they forgot to do as she said. Needless to say, they had a cold shoulder for a while from her, and it didn't help that she was the CMO of the base, the one who do their post-mission examination.

Daniel leaned towards Sam and whispered, "Is he always asking those little unimportant questions?"

"Yes." she whispered back.

"And Jack actually can stand him?" Daniel raised his eyebrows.

She grinned at that, "Oh no. Believe me Daniel, you should've been there when Jonas was questioning his order."

"Jonas was that brave?"

"Hey, you're worse than him, you know. At least Jonas knows when to stop." She was still grinning.

That reminded him of old times, Daniel let out a sad smile, "I missed you guys."

"Us too ... I'm glad that you decided to come back." she smiled.

"Me too."

Daniel said that sincerely, surely being in another plane of existent was a great adventure, a mystical experience that he wouldn't forget for the rest of his life. But being here with his friends, with his family was worth more than that.

"I mean, things like this only happened when SG-1 are together, right?"

"What?" She snickered, "You mean being stuck in the elevator on Christmas day inside the biggest shopping mall in the Colorado Spring?", and because it was Christmas, it took the Mall's staff longer to get a technician to fix the elevator.

"Yes, it's more interesting than the one year I have as an ascendant being."

She giggled at that, "But surely you learned something from that."

"Oh yes, like what Jack actually does in his office."

She leaned forwards in interest, "You spied on him?"

Daniel just nodded.

"Spill it."

He grinned, "Do you know what he has got inside his second drawer?"

"The only drawer that has a lock?"

"Yes, that's the one."

"Go on ... "

"Well, he ..."

Daniel explanation was cut abruptly by a shout.

"IT"S READY. Come on people, take your tinsel." Jack proudly holding five 'sticks' of green tinsel in his hand. Green foils stuck out everywhere, making it difficult to actually see the individual tinsel piece.

Sam eyed the rest of the tinsel on the floor, one of the few decent tinsel that they could buy on Christmas day (they've been busy), "I think we're alright guys, we still have enough for Janet ... I hope."

---

The song 'Jingle Bell' was playing in the mall, he could hear it vaguely inside the elevator.

"So ..."

Daniel and Sam were clearly had a smug look on their face, while Jonas had the little boy excitement expression (he was always fascinated with Earth's culture), Teal'c was just being Teal'c, no expression while his eyes were tinkling with satisfaction. In Jack's dictionary, it constituted as a mock.

"My most memorable Christmas." Jack started. He was glad that at least his teammates didn't gloat over the fact that he had the first go after all.

"It had to be 1991, when Charlie was 7 years old." the memory was vivid, but it didn't hurt like it used too. He suspected that it got something to do with the companies that he had now. The friends that he cherished, the second chance of happiness that had been given to him ... and the woman who sat right next to him. The one who loved to mock him and make him confused with her technobabbles, the one who he could trust with his life, the one who could bring out the best in him, the one who made him see that there is something worth living for, the one who ...

"Jack, are you alright?" Daniel called him.

He snapped out from his musing, "I'm Okay Daniel. It's just that Charlie ..."

"Sir, we can just talk about something else." her eyes were full of concern. It made him glad to know that she cared about him, more than she was supposed to.

"I'm alright. I just need to compose myself for a while."

He took a deep breath and looked at the four people in front of him, he trusted in them, even in Jonas. Jonas had proved himself worthy of his trust more than once.

So, he told them the story. His most special Christmas, when Charlie stayed up to wait for Santa Claus and stood guard in front of the Christmas tree all night long. So he had to sneak out from the house, drove to Feretti's place, because he knew that Feretti had got a set of Santa's costumes from the previous year's party. After much grumbling from Feretti and his girlfriend from being woken up at the middle of the night, he got the costume. Dressed completely in the red outfit plus the wig, he climbed up to his own rooftop, armed with the present that he had already prepared for his son. Unfortunately, one of his neighbours saw him and though that he was a thief. So, one hour later, he was inside a police station, charged with trespassing. Sara had to come down to the station and explained to the cop about the whole things. Of course, she brought Charlie with her because there was no one else in the house.

"So ... Charlie, dressed in his blue teddy bear pyjama, with drowsy eyes, stared at me and said, 'You've been naughty Dad, I don't think Santa would bring you a present this year'."

Teal'c smiled while the others were laughing.

"That was great Jack."

"Indeed."

"It was sweet, Sir."

"Wow, that was interesting. Did the cop beat you up?"

Four confused looks were directed towards him, Jonas added, "Like in the TV show, you know, where the detective caught this guy and then they beat him up to death because ..."

"Jonas." Jack cut him short, "no more TV for you."

"Why?" Jonas looked dejected, he loved his TV.

"Okay, who's next?" Daniel decided to change the subject before things turned ugly.

Jack once again held his home-made tinsel 'sticks' in his hand, he pulled out one of the long one. He was visibly proud of his home-made 'tinsel' straw.

"Take your pick." he grinned.

---

The speaker was playing 'White Christmas' now, but the elevator technician still hadn't show up.

Jonas and Teal'c had had their turns. It was not much, because their Christmas times were spent with their teammates anyway. But to their credit, they let their alien friends told their story in peace. Now, it was Sam's turn.

"For me, it has to be 1994." she looked at the ceiling, "when Jonas proposed me."

"I did?", Jonas was shocked.

"Not you, Jonas Hanson. My ex-fiancé.", she couldn't stifle a giggle.

"Oh, I see."

"What make it special." Jack asked.

"Well, my relationship with Dad was not exactly in a good form back then. And Mark was ignoring me because I joined the military. I was never a Christmas kinda person anyway, not after my mom passed away ... ", she trailed for a second, Jack put a hand on her arm, to gave her a little comfort. She looked at him gratefully, "Thanks." He always had that effect on her. He was her rock, her firm foundation, she knew that she could turn to him.

"Anytime."

She smiled at him gently and then she resumed her story, "The Christmas itself was not really different from the others and the proposal was not too romantic or dramatic either. But I guess it was special because I realised that I could find happiness again in my life, although the engagement didn't work out. That Christmas I realised that someone loves me and ... and I found myself in the capacity to be able to love someone. The capacity that I never thought I have."

"Sam, you're one of the most generous persons I have ever met. Of course you have that capacity." Daniel touched her shoulder and gave it a gently squeeze.

She looked at him, "I was a different person back then, Daniel."

"It doesn't matter Carter. What's important is that you are what you are now." Jack did the same thing with her other shoulder.

"Thanks guys."

Daniel gave her a hug.

"I believe now it is your turn, Daniel Jackson."

Daniel fixed the position of his glasses, "Okay ... my most memorable Christmas has got to be ... today."

"Daniel ... that counts as cheating."

"Well, won't you at least hear my reason first?" Daniel flashed Jack an innocent look.

"If you put it that way ... then I guess its okay."

Jack could hear a giggle from his Major, "Carter, I don't see anything funny here."

"No, Sir. I just miss these moments so much."

"What moments?"

"The 'Colonel and his archaeologist' moments."

"For crying out loud. There is no such thing. Daniel, just get on with your story."

Daniel, Sam and Teal'c sharing a knowing grin.

"This Christmas is special because I never thought that I could have this opportunity. The opportunity to be with my family once again. I know that when I decided to ascend, I had to leave you guys behind. I thought I could do more, that I could experience a whole new world, a new civilization, a new adventure, a grand journey. I could. But I found out that it meant nothing if I could not share it with the people I care about. So, this Christmas I learned to appreciate what I have. And I just want to tell you ... you are my family."

He paused for a while to look at his friends one by one and said, "I've read somewhere that good friends are hard to find, harder to leave, and impossible to forget. A best friend is like a four leaf clover, hard to find and lucky to have. Best friends are the siblings God forgot to give us. When it hurts to look back, and you're scared to look ahead, you can look beside you and your best friend will be there. I was lucky enough not to have just one, but I have got three good friends here. Thank you guys ... for everything that you have given to me, for understanding my selfishness, for trusting me like no other does."

Sam smiled at him, "That was beautiful, Daniel. Thank you."

Teal'c was also smiling, "It was a wise observation, Daniel Jackson. It is my honour to be considered as one of your best friends."

Even Jack smiled at that, "I will let you have today as your most memorable Christmas, that's my Christmas present for you this year."

"That was my Christmas present? Are you serious?" Daniel looked at him incredulously.

"Of course I am."

"See Jonas, this is the true Jack O'Neill. A cheap skate Colonel who gave his best friend a useless permission for a present."

"Oy, Daniel. Don't corrupt him." Jack took the tinsel pieces that was forced to pose as the straws and threw it to Daniel.

"Hey, I get you for that.", Daniel collect the pieces and threw it back at him.

Jack took the plastic bag containing Christmas tree ornaments and started to throw it one by one to Daniel. Daniel was not a trained soldier, but this kind of fight didn't actually need a military skill. He threw them back. Thankfully, before the star and the angel became their latest innocent victim, the door of the elevator was opened slightly.

"Hello, we're sorry that it took so long." a head popped out from the gap between the door.

"No sweat." Jack said on behalf of his team. They did spend a quality time together.

"Okay then, let's get you out from here." The door was opened wider this time, allowing them to get out from the giant metal box that had confined them for more than an hour.

"Ahh ... freedom." Jack said dramatically, stretching up his hands to the air. He was the first one to get out. "Thank you." he said to the technician. The technician smiled and said, "Your welcome. I know that no one would want to get stuck on Christmas Day."

"Ah, Jack. We got to go now. Or we're going to be late for Janet's party." Daniel climbed out from the elevator, the elevator floor's was around 1 meter lower than the Mall's floor.

"Yes, Sir. Not to mention that we have her Christmas tree decorations." Sam shouted from inside the elevator, she was cleaning up the 'mess' that her friends had made.

"Dr. Fraiser also asked us to bring some refreshment, O'Neill." Teal'c was helping her with her task.

"I know, I know. Okay, Carter, you with me, we're going to the groceries to buy some drinks. Teal'c and Jonas, you with Daniel, you guys help the Doc decorates the tree.", he offered his hand to her, helping her out from the elevator. She accepted his hand gratefully and pulled herself out. Jonas and Teal'c followed behind her.

"Okay." Daniel said. Sam then handed all the shopping bags to Teal'c and Jonas. After that they started to part, Jack and Daniel had parked their cars in different places.

"See you at Dr. Fraiser's house Sam, Colonel.", Jonas shouted before they went on their own way.

---

The three men walked in silence to the parking lot, each carrying some plastic bags. Before reaching Daniel's car, suddenly Jonas remembered his own question, the one that went unanswered.

"Doctor Jackson." he called.

"Yes, Jonas."

"What did the Colonel meant when he said 'that's not allowed'?"

Daniel didn't know whether to curse or not, "Jonas, let's just said that he was being overprotective."

"But I though it is a tradition."

"It is, but ... ", Daniel could speak 23 languages, but right now, he couldn't find a single word to explain this situation to Jonas, time to call for a professional help, "Teal'c, I need a help here."

Teal'c merely raised his eyebrow, "I believe that O'Neill do not wished to see Major Carter under the mistletoe with a random person. That is why he would not allow you to put the mistletoe on Dr. Fraiser's door."

"But it is a tradition."

"Jonas Quinn, tradition or not, it was not simply an act of protectiveness, there was jealousy as well."

"Oh." suddenly, realisation started to drown, "Oooh ..."

Jonas continued, "More reason to put it on, don't you think?"

Daniel looked at his new alien friend, he was supposed to have a great observation skill, but this ...

"I mean the Colonel and Sam will arrive at the same time to Dr. Fraiser's place, won't they?"

Maybe his skill was not overrated after all.

---

Sam and Jack.

Jack and Sam.

K-I-S-S-I-N-G

... not quite. But the improvised version of the famous nursery rhyme was playing inside their head right now.

They were staring at each other. Bags full of heavy bottles were resting on the ground near their legs.

Both were thinking, should they or shouldn't they.

Jack cursed Jonas, silently.

Jack thanked Jonas, not that he would say it outloud.

Jack cursed Daniel and Teal'c, why did they get along with Jonas's plan?

Jack thanked Daniel and Teal'c, those guys knew what he really want.

Sam cursed Jonas, she would sabotage his TV later on.

Sam thanked Jonas, how often did she get a chance like this?

Sam cursed Daniel and Teal'c, they shouldn't let this happened.

Sam thanked Daniel and Teal'c, those guys knew what she really want.

They shouldn't have noticed the little red and green plant at Janet's door. But a note stuck on the door, a big white paper that was hard to miss, a word 'MISTLETOE' written on it, with an arrow that was pointing up. There was no way that they could've missed it. Along with the word and arrow, three poorly drawn stick figures were there (one had a symbol on his forehead), with a little 'Merry Christmas' greeting floating on top of their heads.

"So ..."

"So ..."

And then both officers were thinking again. Weighing their options, considering the positive and negative sides of their options. Their desires said 'go for it' but their common sense said 'it's wrong'.

They were standing so close to each other, they could feel the breath of each other. And then so slowly he lowered his head, towards hers. Their eyes were locked, none of them could break the contact. He stopped his movement when his lip was only an inch away from her, eyes still opened. He's done his part, now it's up to her.

She could feel the warm of his face on hers, his eyes were full of emotions. He didn't plead to her, he just waited and showed her that he had feelings for her, and that he longed for her. She knew that he was waiting for her. He had already decided to do it, now it was up to her. Suddenly, a warm energy ran through her body and she shivered.

He could feel her shiver under his gaze, he wanted to hold her, but that had to wait. And then she closed her eyes and closed their distance. Instinctively, he closed his eyes as well and let his other senses guide him. He could feel her lips on his, the soft flesh that he dreamt about every night. He let the sensations assault his body and shut his brain. His hands cupped her face and deepened the kiss.

She could feel his lip and tongue, she could taste him, and it was not like she anything she ever tasted before. It was new, warm, sweet, gentle and addictive. She could feel his hands on her face, bringing them closer. She reached for something, so that she would know that it was not a dream. She found his jacket and clenched it with her hands, bringing them closer together.

But then all good things must come to an end. They parted slowly, they had what they've been dreaming of. A kiss that was shared. No virus, no alternate reality, no time-loop. He kissed her and she kissed him. Just as simple as that, and they both knew that this moment are theirs and theirs only.

"Merry Christmas." he said with a smile.

"Merry Christmas to you too." she replied with the smile of her own.

Reluctantly, he broke their eye contact and knocked the door. Where he knew that behind the door, their family was waiting.

- Finish -

AN: Thanks to shiplover who beta-read this one. Please do send reviews and feedbacks ... :)

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