Jack cursed. How could he forget that she was a General's daughter as well. He should've learnt on how to keep his mouth shut. He shouldn't have mentioned the name of the General.
"Colonel." before their last conversation, he would've loved to hear that voice anytime. Now, he just wished that she would go away - in the nicest possible way of course. They went back from Washington the next day after the ceremony and he had been avoiding her ever since. But his lady luck seemed to abandon him lately and she managed to found him in the commissary.
"Jack." Daniel's voice. At least, she wouldn't embarrass him in front of Daniel now ... would she?
"Hi guys." He said absentmindedly while turning his body around to greet them. His spoon was hanging on the air, full of oatmeal and ready to be scooped inside his mouth.
They walked around him and took a seat just right in front of him. Jack lost his appetite already at the sight of his Major, for a very reasonable reason. He put his spoon back to the bowl.
"Are you alright?" Daniel was confused by his action.
Sam managed to quip before Jack could answer the question, "He just nervous Daniel. Nothing to be worried about."
Daniel turned his attention at her, "How do you know that?"
Jack cut her from whatever answer that she had, "I'm not nervous, Carter. I just had a trouble sleeping."
Her lip twitched, "Are you sure, Sir? Because I know that a certain brunette, who happened to be a General's daughter, was planning to come here and visit me for the weekend." She proceeded with taking a sandwich from her tray and took a bite.
Jack's eyes were bulged while Daniel was puzzled. Looking at the calm exterior from Sam and the near heart attack reaction from Jack, Daniel leaned towards Jack and asked, "Is there something that I missed?"
Jack stood as quickly as possible, "Major, can I have a word with you in private?"
She abandoned the rest of her lunch and stood up as well, looking too pleased with herself, "Of course you can, Sir."
And then, they both left and Daniel was sitting alone in the commissary, still didn't have a clue of what was going on. Well, he guessed that Sam found some skeleton on Jack's closet. And from Jack's reaction, it must be a very big skeleton. Intriguing.
"What was that all about?" Jack snapped as soon as the door of his office was closed.
She didn't smile, but her eyes were dancing with excitement, "Well Sir, I got in touch with Annie Riley yesterday. She was so thrilled when I told her that my CO is a man with the name Jack O'Neill."
They were standing next to each other, Jack with his back against the door while Sam just a couple steps away from him. He heaved a heavy sigh, "And naturally you invite her over."
She let out an indignant snort, "I wouldn't do such a thing, Sir. I though you know me better than that."
He rested his back against the door, arms crossed, "Really? Then how did she end up coming over here on the weekend then?"
"I told her that I need a friend for your barbeque party this Saturday, she gladly offered her company. I didn't have the heart to say no, Sir. So, technically, she invited herself."
He closed his eyes and lowered his head, how could he forget that she was a sneaky and brainy woman. There was not point in having this conversation, she had been prepared.
"Of course, if you didn't feel comfortable with it ... I could always tell her that we have an unscheduled mission, Sir. So the barbeque party was off and there was no point of her coming all the way to Colorado since we won't be here after all." She shrugged her shoulder slightly.
He knew where it was leading, his eyes never leaving her, "And all I have to do is tell you the tale, isn't it?"
She put her hands on her pocket and grinned, "I know the Air Force didn't make you a Colonel only because of your wit, Sir."
He shakes his head in defeat, but he grinned as well, "Of course not, my good looks played quite an important role as well."
"Ah ... of course."
He walked around her and took a seat in his own chair, "Take a seat, Carter. It's a long story."
She obediently followed his order, sitting on the chair right in front of him. His desk was the only obstacle between them. He took a pen and playing with it for a while, twirling it between his fingers. He licked his lips. This was going to be difficult. But he might as well get it over and done with. So, he started to speak, "Okay ... once upon a time ..."
The shady bar was crowded with people, a small group of Air Force officers were hanging around there and some of them were already inebriated, including the young Jack O'Neill. He was in the corner of the bar, making out with one of his new female attractive kind of friend when a group of another Air Force officers came in. Lt. Ferretti was still quite sober at that crucial moment, he recognised one of the men in that group. They chose the bar because it wasn't an average Air Force bar, he did not expect to see them there.
"Oh, shit." He cursed. Ferretti knew that trouble was inevitable. Being a good friend, he quickly abandoned his pool game and went to where Jack was.
"Jack, " he pulled Jack's jacket and tried - and failed miserable because of the lack of cooperation - to entangled him from the girl.
"What?" Jack looked up irritably while the girl still doing her 'things'.
"We got to go. Now!" Ferretti was near panicking.
"Why? I'm having a good time here." Drunk and aroused Jack was whining, he didn't want to go.
Ferretti insisted, still pulling his jacket, "Jack, come on. Trust me. We have to go."
"Give me one good reason why." Jack muttered and turned his attention back to the girl.
Ferretti smiled at his friend behaviour, "Because Jack my man, look who's here." He put his hands on both sides of Jack's face and forced him to look at the direction of the newcomers.
Jack involuntarily focused his attention to the crowd. Once his vision was cleared, his eyes were wide opened, "Oh, shit."
Ferretti could only shook his head, "That was exactly what I said."
"Who was it?"
Jack sent his 2IC a dirty look, "It's rude to interrupt a story, you know."
Sam grinned sheepishly, "Sorry, Sir. But I couldn't help myself."
"It's okay. Anyway, to answer you question, it was Colonel Brown, the General's sidekick."
She was frowning at this, "Why on Earth ..." but then something sprung to her mind, she eyed him carefully, "unless the girl you were with was ..."
He put his hands on the back of his head, "Yes, Major. You guessed correct. I was with Annie that night."
"So, what did you do after that?"
"Well, Ferretti and I sneaked away from the bar."
"What about Annie?"
"I left her."
"Just like that?"
"What else could I do?"
She though about it for a while, "Good point. But Sir, I thought you know better than getting involved with a General's daughter."
"Well, they always have that extra something."
He quickly changed the topic, "Anyway, the Colonel saw enough to report her behaviour that night to the General."
Sam winced in sympathy for Annie, "Auch. Poor Annie."
Jack sighed, "Yeah, auch. If I'm not mistaken, she got quite an earful about that one."
"Yeah, General Riley is very overprotective towards her. So, what happened next?"
"Well, the General clearly wasn't a happy camper when he found out. He really wanted - very close to desperate in fact - to teach the man who was messing with his little girl a lesson, but Annie wasn't being cooperative. So, he did his own investigation and all that he could come out with was the name Jack O'Neill and ..."
"... and there was 2 Jack O'Neills in the base." She finished his sentence.
Jack smiled, "I know the Air Force didn't make you a Major only because of your manipulative nature, Carter."
She grinned, "Of course not, Sir."
"Anyway, we were called to the General's office together."
"And that was when the party started."
"Captains," General Riley looked at the two officers standing in front of him. One of them was stupid enough to mess with his daughter, he just had to find out which one, "let me make it brief. Now, which one of you *was* dating my daughter?"
The two Captains stood in silence. And when the silence became unbearable, Jack opened his mouth, "May I asked why you are asking us the question, Sir?"
"Because a Jack O'Neill was dating my daughter, I just don't know which one."
O'Neil was confused, "A Jack O'Neill, Sir?"
The General was fuming, "You heard me."
Jack was playing innocent, "It wasn't me, Sir." He really wasn't *dating* Annie, he was just *going out* with her occasionally. See, he wasn't lying.
O'Neil was echoing his statement, "It wasn't me either, Sir."
The General's eyes were full of fire of hate, but he didn't know where to direct it, "Don't take me for a fool. I know one of you is guilty."
Jack was very tempted to asked how could he be guilty on this matter, but he wisely held his tongue. Uunfortunately, O'Neil was not, "Guilty, Sir?"
Jack could think of a thousand colourful words to described this man stupidity, he was supposed to have a higher IQ than him for crying out loud. Couldn't his brain notify him that asking that kind of question can only make the General more angry?
And his fear was coming true, the General shouted right in front of O'Neil, "Yes, Captain. She was only a minor. I will find out which one of you is responsible and kick your sorry little ass from the Air Force faster than you can say mama."
Jack was visibly shocked, Annie was a minor? She said she was 19, damn, he was in a tight spot here. But they hadn't actually gone that far with her yet, so, he was safe. From the law, not from a very pissed father. "I swear to God, Carter. I didn't know that she was a minor"
Jack took a risk to glance at O'Neil. He was a little bit shaken by the General's outburst, but he was impassive.
"Permission to speak freely, Sir." O'Neil requested.
The General glared at him, "Granted."
"Why don't you ask your daughter to identify which Jack O'Neill she was dating?"
Jack didn't know whether to cheer or no, O'Neil was digging his own grave.
"Well, if she's willing to do that I would not have to do all this now, don't I?" the sarcasm was hard to miss.
And with that, O'Neil kept his mouth shut.
"What did the General do next?" Sam was wrapped up in his story.
Jack raised his eyebrow lazily, "Well, because he couldn't prove which O'Neill was going out with his daughter, he let us go. However life was difficult for us in that base with him as the General."
"He never found out?"
"And the hostility between you and the other O'Neil was because of this?"
"Yes. He basically blamed me for everything. His career was kinda stuck for a while because of that. Oh yeah, and he found out about the scapegoat thingie later on."
"Well, you were responsible for that, Sir." She pointed out.
"Yeah, I guess I did. Not that I will admit it to him anyway."
"But I think you left something out, Sir."
"You treat him like you treat Kinsey and even Apophis, so there must be something else."
"There is no hiding from you, isn't it?"
She just smiled at his comment.
Jack had a wondering look when he said, "Carter, you know I hate scientist, right?"
"He was the reason why."
"General Riley didn't just let us go like that. He locked us up in a room for a few hours."
Jack stared at the boring white wall. His only company, i.e. Jack O'Neil was sitting in front of him, staring at him in an accusing glare. The room was a standard interrogation room, one side of it was decorated with a large mirror, where Jack knew for certain that the General was standing on the other side. Two chairs facing each other with a table between them.
"You did it, didn't you?" O'Neil broke the dead silence.
Jack turned his gaze to the other man, "Sorry to disappoint you man, but it wasn't me." and then a fruit fly caught his attention. He followed its movement with an intense concentration.
"It has to be you, because I know I didn't do it." O'Neil repeated his allegation.
Not letting go his eyes from the fruit fly, he defended himself, "Well, no thief will admit that he steal."
"What is that suppose to mean?" O'Neil voice was rising, he was angry.
The object of his attention was flying under the table now, Jack sighed, he had just lost his only source of entertainment.
"Hey, are you listening to me?" O'Neil said once again.
Jack stared at the man, "No, because there was no point."O'Neil was ready to explode when Jack continued, "Look, the General locked us here because he wanted us to turn against each other. If he found nothing, he will let us go."
O'Neil began to see his point and for the second time in that day, he shut his mouth.
Sam was thinking, "I didn't see the connection Sir."
"Yeah, why do you hate scientist just because you were locked up with one for a few hours? And the conversation was not that much either."
Jack let out a guilty expression, "Ah, that was because I gave you the family-friendly version."
"Let's just said that there were a lot of name callings and hard feelings."
"Well, he used 'useless, dumbass, moron' while I used 'your brain cells function is to think, use it, you nit."
"Ah, let me guess, those were just for starter, am I right?"
"Yeah, I mean he basically pick on me because I'm no scientist. So from that moment, when I see a scientist, I see him."
"Even me, Sir?" she asked incredulously.
Jack needed some time before answering her question, "I had to admit, even you Carter. Not anymore though. But blamed it on my prejudice."
She laughed softly, "Prejudice, huh? That's a big word Sir, coming out from you."
He actually managed to look indignant, "Oy."
"Anyway, as I said, it was my prejudice."
"Aye, aye, Colonel."
He smiled despite the mocking nature of her last words, "So, Carter. Ready to inform your friend Annie about our unfortunate unscheduled mission?"
"There was no need to do that, Sir."
She was very laid back, something was wrong, Jack's eyes scanned hers, "Carter, tell me that you didn't forget our agreement."
"Of course not, Sir. But I don't need to call her."
"Why?" he asked wearily.
She crossed her legs and put her hands on her knee, "Because Sir, she phoned me up this morning, to tell me that she could not make it this weekend. Her sister-in-law had just given birth."
Jack stared at the woman in front of him, his jaw was dropped.
Smilling devilishly at her 'masterpiece', she added, "But she's counting on a rain check."
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