The Morning Run
by Layton Colt
Story Blame: Goes entirely to ForCryinOutLoud, who gave me the idea, and then kept me writing it.
"I'm telling you, it's because of my bad knee," Jack snapped.
"Okay," Daniel said. "I didn't say anything. It's not my fault you're insecure because I'm faster than you."
"You are so not faster than me."
"Stop agreeing with me! It's creepy." Jack glared at him.
Daniel grinned. "Okay."
Jack held up a finger. "I'm warning you, Daniel. Don't test me."
Jack reached around and slapped him upside the head.
"I warned you."
"I was agreeing with you!" Daniel snapped.
"Exactly! Quit it."
With a sigh, Daniel turned his eyes upwards. "No, Jack."
"Thank you. Was that so hard?"
"Sometimes I hate you."
"That's the spirit," Jack said with a grin. "Should we keep running? Ferretti might actually catch up to us."
"Well, to you, anyway," Daniel mumbled.
"Ah hah!" Jack snapped. "I knew it! You're making slow jokes. You! Ha! I can still leave you in the dust, buddy."
"Really?" Daniel asked with a raised eyebrow. "Sitting in that big comfy office chair all day hasn't slowed you down?"
"That's it!" Jack yelled. "I'm putting you through more drills."
"Fine," Daniel said brashly. "I can handle it. Could you?"
"I could still kick your ass, that's for sure!"
Daniel grinned. "Oh, but you wouldn't. You're far too scared of Teal'c."
Jack opened his mouth to dispute that, when Daniel continued--
"And of Sam," he added smartly.
"Fine. Hide behind them," Jack said. "That just proves that I could SO take you down."
"Only because I would never be able to hurt you, Jack," Daniel said with mock-sweetness.
Jack wondered briefly how anyone could really believe Daniel was such a nice guy. No one would ever believe him if he tried explaining the truth.
"Sometimes I hate you," Jack snapped.
"I know," Daniel nodded.
Jack looked behind him. "Where the hell is Ferretti?"
"He stopped at the hotdog stand a block back," Daniel told him.
"He just doesn't take this seriously," Jack said with a frown.
Daniel bit his lip to keep from a fit of laughter. "It's shameful. He really ought to take his cues from you."
"He should--" Jack trailed off and turned to glare at Daniel, belatedly detecting the sarcasm.
Daniel grinned back innocently.
"Keep it up, and I'm going to have your office moved to one of the storage floors."
"Easy access to my artifacts. Sounds like a plan."
"Do you have to be so irritating this early in the morning?" Jack demanded.
"I really do."
"I bet if you went running with Carter you'd be nice to her."
Daniel looked down at their stationary feet contemplatively. "If I went running with Sam," he said, "I'd probably be running."
"Smart ass," Jack said, almost admiringly.
Before Daniel could even start working on a response--someone barreled in- between them. It was a blur of powder blue. The powder blue blur grazed Daniel's shoulder, spinning him around and pushing him into Jack. The two fell gracelessly to the floor, stunned.
Daniel watched incredulously as the man in the blue jumpsuit continued running on his way, his head covered by a matching blue beanie. Something clicked. "Is that Teal'c?" he cried incredulously.
"Don't be ridiculous," Jack snapped irritably. "And get the hell off me, would you?"
Daniel tried to scramble off but his foot slipped, and his elbow went into Jack's side. Jack winced. "For crying out loud! Daniel!" He pushed himself to a sitting position, and grabbed the lapels of Daniel's jacket in frustration, preparing to give him a lift off him.
Footsteps behind them caused them both to freeze. Jack closed his eyes and offered some small prayer to whatever god was left they hadn't killed yet, that it wouldn't be Ferretti standing behind them.
He opened one eye and turned in the direction of the footsteps. It wasn't Ferretti. He frowned as he took in the woman standing over him. She was an older woman, mid to late seventies most likely, and she had on a little grey overcoat and a rain hat--despite that it was cloudless and sunny.
"Excuse me," she said gently.
"Yes?" Jack and Daniel answered simultaneously, realizing the moment they turned to glare at each other that Daniel was still essentially in his lap, and Jack was still gripping his jacket. Daniel pulled away just as Jack let go, and he fell backwards onto the sidewalk. Pulling himself into a sitting position, he continued to glare over at Jack.
The woman watched them kindly. "I just thought you boys needed a little reminder not to let the little things get in the way of your relationship, life is too short."
"We're not in a--" Daniel started, only to be drown out by Jack.
"He started it!"
"Jack--" Daniel snapped.
"All he ever does is argue. Except when he's agreeing with me, which is WORSE, because I know he's just mocking me."
"Jack, I don't think you--"
Jack continued to ignore him, glad to have found someone to rant about him to. "All he ever does is start fights. He can never just do what I tell him to."
The woman smiled gently. "Maybe that's the problem? You shouldn't tell your significant other what to do."
"Significant--" Jack trailed off. Realizing just what the old lady had meant by relationship. He cast a look over at Daniel, who was wearing an irritatingly smug smile. Daniel had tried to tell him. "Oh, that's not what this is," he said. "We work together."
"Oh. Alright," she said, looking at the two of them as though she didn't believe a word they were saying. "I'll just be going now."
The woman walked away. And when she moved, she unobstructed the view of the man standing a few feet away, munching on a hotdog--a huge I-can't-believe- this grin on his face.
"Daniel," Jack said, closing his eyes and wishing Ferretti away. "We should run now."
Daniel got to his feet. "I'm running," he said, before taking off.
Jack scrambled after him. "I'm right behind you."
"Where you guys off to in such a hurry?" Ferretti called after them. "Have plans, do you?"
Jack cursed his luck. It had begun. And Ferretti would never let it end.
Unless...Jack grinned. Yes. That would work. He loved being General.
And he was sure Lou would love it in Alaska.