By Meriem Clayton
This story was written strictly for the purpose of entertainment. No attempt has been made to copyright any characters which may not have been originally created by the author, and no profit is made from this work of fiction. Any original characters and the stories themselves are the property of the author.
Daniel, did you eat the last of the ice cream?" The questioner had his head stuck in the refrigerator. His muffled voice was mildly aggravated.
"Mac, you've been off fishing for a week. It would have been freezer burned by now." The man offering the lame excuse walked over and clapped his housemate and teammate on the shoulder. "We need groceries anyway. Since we don't have any off-world missions for another week, we're going to need food. There aren't even any Fruit Loops. Let's just head for the grocery store." Mac shut the refrigerator door and nodded in agreement.
Daniel tore the top sheet off the little notepad stuck to the refrigerator side with magnets and went rummaging for a pen in the drawer next to the refrigerator. "What is all this stuff anyway, Mac?"
Mac shrugged. "Not really sure. Most of it's been there since before you moved in."
"Why don't we throw it out?" Daniel asked, still searching.
"You never know when something might be useful," Mac objected.
Daniel raised an eyebrow. "Maybe I'm not looking at this the right way. I could apply my professional skills. Treat this as a layer in a dig and we could use it as evidence to figure out the life style of the people who left the debris behind. For instance, what does this say about life style?" The smile on his face as he lifted out a thin length of rubber tubing made it clear that this was part of the mild banter they both enjoyed. Each found the other to be the most compatible person with whom they had ever shared living space. Daniel had originally moved in as a temporary measure when his house had been taken by the state for a bypass. It had worked out so well he had never left.
"Enough, Daniel, enough," Mac said, smiling himself, and reaching around Daniel, found a pencil, and handed it to him.
"That's a relief. I was getting worried you were going to use your Swiss army knife to prick the end of my finger and have me write in blood." Daniel sat down and wrote, "ice cream" at the end of the list and then looked expectantly at Mac, "What else do you need?"
"You know how I feel about lists and plans."
"Which has led to some pretty strange meals when you've been the one cooking," came the rebuttal but the list was pocketed and the two men went out to get in a car.
"You driving?" Daniel asked.
"Why would you ask? You hate the way I drive."
"You have to admit, you've spent too much time in car chases and other forms of daredevil driving. I don't know what you'd going to do next. But, at the moment, my car has some problems. Keeps overheating."
Mac extended his hand for Daniel's keys and then made an impatient gesture when Daniel didn't' immediately hand them over. Daniel sighed and dropped them into his palm. He watched as Mac unlocked the car and popped the hood. He groaned when he saw the red Swiss army knife come out of Mac's pocket. "Look, I'm going to take it to a garage and get new parts or whatever it needs. You know, not something you dream up from rubber bands, chewing gum, and, I don't know, our colander."
"Daniel, it'll just take a couple of minutes." Since Mac usually did things like this while, say, a bomb was ticking down in its last 2 or 3 minutes, he did, indeed, know how to do things very quickly.
Of course, they then had to drive Daniel's car to confirm that it was working properly. Mac leaned back and asked idly, "So, what's been happening at Cheyenne Mountain?"
"I've been on vacation just like you. How would I know?" Daniel said, slightly irritably.
"Oh come on, Daniel. Unless I'm around to egg you into some semblance of a social life, all you do is work. I KNOW you went in anyway, at least a couple of times."
"Maybe a couple of times," Daniel admitted sheepishly. It didn't occur to him to lie. He and Mac were always totally honest with each other.
"And?" Mac prompted.
A broad grin spread over Daniel's face. The enthusiasm in every line of his body telegraphed that he had some really interesting news. "SG-1's got a new CO again," he announced.
Mac considered him. This was big news but it was more than that. There was something special about this new CO since Daniel was practically vibrating with the information. "We go through COs like the Grateful Dead did keyboardists," he observed, knowing he'd lose Daniel with the analogy.
"The who?" Daniel asked.
"Not The Who, the Grateful Dead," Mac clarified.
"You don't know what I'm talking about and you also don't really care." Daniel nodded. "So our beloved, Colonel Jeffers, got the boot and then?"
"Almost too late. That last mission damn near got both of us killed," Daniel observed, veering from the straight line of the narrative.
"Daniel, is the new guy anyone we know?" Mac prodded.
Mac tried to think of someone they knew that would be really a huge surprise. "Don't tell me Jacob Carter is coming back from the Tokra and resuming his commission."
"Wouldn't that be too cool." Daniel said, pausing a moment to consider that scenario. "No, but you are close."
Mac said, "How could that be close …unless… it can't be our own modern major generalette, Major Samantha Carter?"
"Only she isn't a Major any more. Just got promoted to Lt. Colonel."
"On our backs," Mac observed without a trace of rancor.
"Well, you and I are civilians, right? Practically the only civilians among all the SG teams since Teal'c's really military, just not our military. They're going to give credit to the nearest military type. Figure it was their inspired leadership."
"Do you suppose command will mellow her out?" Mac asked as they pulled into the grocery store parking lot.
"You mean make her quit riding you about how you seem to constantly be misplacing your gun and seldom use it when you do have it? Being on both our cases about following regs even though we really aren't under them? Little jabs about how we ought to cut our hair? In all fairness, she mostly does it when we really go off and do our own thing, without making much of an effort at keeping command in the loop. She is thoroughly military all right but she's always been pretty reasonable, more so than any other military I've worked with except for Colonel Capshaw."
Capshaw had been fatally wounded on Abydos on the first mission through the gate, saving Daniel's adopted people. Before he died, he told the cover story that had left Daniel and Shar'ee in peace for a year before any Tauri went back through the gate again. Although that had been before Mac came aboard, he had heard enough about the man from Daniel to know Capshaw had been unusual.
"You know," Daniel continued, "We could have given her more of a chance. We've always been sort of a tight unit, holding up the nonmilitary perspective. Maybe if we'd made more of an effort to be friendly. You know, hung out after work some?"
He and Mac looked at each other for a moment. Then they shook their heads and Mac said, "Naaah," for both of them. Mac, in particular, took it as a sacred mission that neither he nor Daniel would become infected with a GI Joe mentality.
Daniel snagged a cart and pulled the list from his pocket. "You want to take half and I'll take the other?"
"It's a list, Daniel." Mac shivered for effect. "I'll just tag along and throw things in if something makes sense.
They passed an aisle full of cleaning supplies. Daniel said, "That must make you practically orgasmic, thinking of what you could do with everything in there."
"Orgasmic? Where is your mind, Daniel? Maybe you're regretting the fact that Carter's promotion and assignment to command our unit has made her permanently off limits romantically."
"What! Daniel stopped and turned to Mac. "Where would you get a crazy idea like that?" he said in practically a whisper as if he was afraid that Sam Carter would turn out to be lurking one aisle over. "You know, Mac, not everyone has as many ex-girlfriends littering the landscape as you do or your consistent rate of new conquests. SOME of us are interested in, oh, a little commitment, going along with it."
"My, I struck a nerve," Mac said, regretting the teasing. Daniel was a little too easy to tease sometimes. That wonderful intensity that made him such an effective scientist and a caring friend, came with a tendency for his first reaction to anything to be a serious take on it. Mac dropped the teasing tone. "I guess, you haven't seemed interested in anyone since Sha'ree died. I thought, you know, maybe you had something going on for Carter."
Daniel suddenly got a speculative look on his face. "Wait a minute here. Maybe this occurred to you because YOU have been thinking about our new boss?"
Mac looked at Daniel and grimaced. "Okay, Daniel, as my grandfather would say, we have a Mexican standoff. I won't make any more suggestions about you and Carter if you don't reciprocate."
"Deal," Daniel said and they finished the shopping.
The next morning, Daniel, fortified by the newly purchased Fruit Loops, and Mac with a far more healthy breakfast under his belt, sat in the conference room waiting for their first team meeting under the leadership of the new CO. Teal'c joined them first. "DanielJackson, MacGyver," he said gravely, giving a slight bow before sitting. Teal'c always said Mac's name with a tinge of approbation. He really approved of someone who had a no-nonsense single name, just as he did.
Next in the door was Kawalski. They smiled and nodded at each other. Then it was Sam Carter herself and, without any preplanning, Daniel and Mac said in unison, singsong tones, "Good morning, Colonel Carter," exactly as they must have once greeted their third grade teachers. Kawalski and Teal'c were more correct in their greetings and it was the two of them that Sam deigned to notice.
"Congratulations on your commission, Ma'am," Kowalski said.
"Indeed," Teal'c added.
"Yeah, congratulations," Mac said, sincerely. Mac just didn't get unpleasant or sarcastic with people. The teasing with the greeting had been a stretch for both him and Daniel.
Daniel agreed, "Well deserved."
Carter ducked her head and smiled appreciatively. It was cute, Daniel couldn't help but notice, how traces of girlishness peaked through every once in awhile. He was immediately appalled at the thought. He had not once thought of her as a woman until Mac had planted the seed the day before. Mac was smiling slightly and Daniel just knew he was thinking the same thing. "Well at least, if he's put ideas in my head I did the same to him," Daniel thought with little satisfaction.
As the meeting wore on, Daniel found himself tugging on his hair. Once the thoughts about Carter got started, it was hard to turn them off. Mac was having his own inner battle but he had experience working undercover and was a lot better than Daniel at hiding his thoughts. They were both immensely relieved when they could pick up their briefing folders and beat a hasty retreat.
As they left at the end of the day, Daniel said, "If you know anyone you can fix me up with tonight, I'd really appreciate it."
Mac knew immediately what Daniel was thinking because he was thinking it too. They needed time with someone other than Carter and maybe they could refocus their thoughts somewhere else before they had to face her again. "I think I can line us up a really great double date. I need to drive the thoughts of Cheyenne Mountain out of my head too."
They continued to walk toward the parking lot in silence, Mac running through possibilities in his head, and Daniel already regretting that he had made the request. He seemed to do really well with women from other planets. By contrast, he didn't seem to know how to make the right chitchat with the women on this one. Maybe he should have been born on another planet.
This led him to thinking about alternate universes and some very interesting stuff he had talked to Carter about once when he had had a rare chance encounter with her in the cafeteria resulting in a shared lunch. "So in some alternate universe, let's say I'm born on another planet. Maybe I'm a physicist working with naquada and SG-1 makes contact and recruits me. Okay, what other sort of person could Mac be? How about a military guy?" He tried to imagine Mac in command of SG-1. It wasn't appealing. "If I was the lone civilian, I bet I'd have gone a little GI-Joe by now. Cut my hair short and gotten to be much more kick ass." He had picked up adequate martial arts capabilities and sufficient skill with the rifle to hold his end up in a firefight but he was no master of either and not terribly motivated to become one.
He shook himself a little. "Problem, Daniel?" Mac asked.
"Not as long as you stay out of the military," Daniel said obliquely.
Mac was used to Daniel's mind going off on tangents and he simply confirmed the impossibility of that ever happening. The two best friends and upholders of truth, justice, and the civilian way of life went on home, actually quite happy with their lives and convinced, completely erroneously, that this temporary madness over Carter would fade away like the fascination each had once had with Princess Leia.