Author's Note: Hey all! Finally I've finished a little something. Writer's block is still hitting hard, but every now and then an idea strikes.

So here's the latest of weird ideas. This one's a "bring your own characters" story. There were two characters I had in mind for it, but it can really be almost anyone in the Stargate realm. Hope you enjoy!

Summary: He could feel the fun and the playfulness slipping away. For that short time, it felt nice to pretend. To pretend that he didn't belong to his own name…

Disclaimer: I own only the setting.

Characters: Any Stargate character who comes to mind.

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Invented Lives

The first thing he noticed when he stepped inside was the smell. It was a grotesque mixture of decades' old cigarette smoke and alcohol; a smell that had long ago permeated the walls and the floor and the ceiling and could, after no amount effort, be vanquished from the bar.

Smoke hovered over head, people crowded the tables, waitresses weaved their way through playing a carefully choreographed game of balancing food and drinks on a tray. He made his way through the chaos and found himself over at the bar. The bartender was a short guy with dark eyes and sleeked back hair. He wasn't one for stereotypes but the way the guy walked, the way the guy talked, and the way the guy looked him up and down had him raising an eyebrow.

He ordered something quickly, before turning away and leaning against the bar. A woman was sitting next to him. A couple of stray locks spilled into her face as she leaned over her drink.

"What's a gorgeous woman like you doing in a place like this?"

She seemed startled at first. Her head jerked to the side and her eyes fell on his quickly. But then she smirked at him and laughed at the corny line.

"Hoping that a handsome guy like you would show up and buy me another drink."

He smirked and nodded to the bartender to do just that. It took only another moment for the man to bring two bottles over.

"Looks like it worked out for me."

"So… tell me something about yourself?"

She smirked. She was seductive. The way she leaned away, the way she held herself up by using the bar, the way she looked at him, the way she smiled at him and whispered a few words.

"What do you want to know?"

He leaned closer.

"Anything."

She laughed. Then sighed and tossed her head back as if she were thinking about what she should say. She hesitated and he smiled at the way she stumbled over words for a few minutes, making rough starts and never caring them through.

"Well… I own my own business."

"Really? What kind?"

"A bakery."

"Sounds delicious."

"Oh… it is… Bread and pies and cookies and donuts and cakes…"

He closed his eyes, trying to imagine what she saw when she spoke.

"How about you? What do you do?"

"Me?"

He sighed, mimicking her earlier motion. He tossed his head back and he probed his mind for an answer. He didn't stutter as much, but rather knew precisely what he would say.

"I work… I actually work for the government."

"Wow… that's-"

She laughed.

"Unoriginal."

"Naw…"

He shook his head.

"I can make it original."

"Make it?"

She cocked an eyebrow at him. He smirked at the challenge. He took a swig of beer and then rolled his tongue over his lip. She chuckled at the way he lowered his voice, dipping it in sarcasm as he started to speak.

"You see, I actually am… well, I don't want to sound immodest, but I've actually been called an intergalactic superhero."

"You?"

"Yep."

"Intergalactic?"

"I work with space… actually I work in space."

She laughed.

"Really? Know any little green Martians?"

"No, but I do know a couple of little grey aliens. They think they're so smart, but I'm not really sure about that."

She just laughed and went back to sipping at her beer.

"What if I said that I didn't believe you?"

"Well… Then how about this one…"

He cleared his throat, making sure that she had turned to look at him. She laughed softly at him.

"I don't just work in outer space. I live in outer space."

For a moment she just looked at him, laughter building in her throat. His face cracked, becoming the spark that brought about another bout of laughter. He just smiled wider, loving the way the sound become the only thing he heard in the loud, crowded bar.

"Okay… so I changed my mind. I don't really work in space."

"No? Then what do you do?"

"I'm a firefighter."

"Wow… How did you come up with that one? I mean… when did you know that' was something you wanted to do with your life?"

He shrugged.

"When I was like five."

She laughed.

"Conviction there."

"Yep."

He felt the silence flooding over them; he could feel the fun and the playfulness slipping away. For that short time, it felt nice to pretend. To pretend that he didn't belong to his own name or her to hers. For a moment it was nice to mock the stress that he had come to love.

He took the final sip of beer and placed a couple of bills on the bar.

"You want a ride back?"

She shrugged, then knocked back the last few drops.

"Yeah. Thanks… How much longer do we have?"

He glanced at his watch.

"Dunno… Lost track. Two hours maybe."

"Hmm… Yeah, we should get back."

He sighed and nodded. Back… back to the real world… or perhaps, for a moment, they had been living in the real world. He had almost lost track of the difference between inventing a life and denying one.