Dietary IndiscretionFandom: Stargate SG-1
Category: Gen, Christmas, Team.
Season: Two-ish. Original Team Plus Cassie Present. Cassie is still pretty young.
Summary: Christmas Eve Doesn't Always Go Down According To Plans.
Disclaimer: Just Playing In The Gate Room, Don't Mind Me.
For The Ancient Obsessions Advent Challenge:
December 25 (Personal Christmas)…just for fun…
This is my last advent story for this year. I wrote a few extras from the 'pick and choose' list of this challenge because I combined a few earlier prompts and I wanted to give you guys twenty-four fics, as that seems only fair. I hope you've enjoyed reading these as much as I enjoyed writing them. I'm off for a while, I think, but I'll be back soon with something new! This challenge was a blast, but other works have been left behind…soon, my friends, soon…
Oh, and this story isn't my personal Christmas per se, but parts of it have been lifted from many real experiences through the years. Enjoy! -wabbit
Doctor Janet Fraiser strode briskly into the waiting room and skewered Colonel Jack O'Neill with eyes that could've melted steel.
Jack seemed suddenly a much smaller man. His shoulders hunched and his head bowed, as if he expected a blow. His facial expression was one of a child knowing he's in serious trouble.
A punch or slap never came, but the auburn-haired physician immediately assaulted Jack with a thousand questions.
"What happened? When? Have they taken radiographs? What are the symptoms? How are they treating this?"
Jack raised his hand to fend off the tirade and took one small step away from Fraiser, who continued to berate him.
"Did you find out if we can visit? How long will he have to be here?"
Janet paused long enough to take a breath and Jack took his chance to speak.
"Look, the doc said she'd be out in a few minutes. She can answer all this stuff better than me."
Janet glared at Jack and her mood seemed like a raindrop of pure anger frozen in time for a moment, but slowly that raindrop evaporated into a steam of resignation and she sighed.
Jack visibly relaxed and led Fraiser over to the chairs in the waiting room.
They were there only two minutes when Sam came screaming into the hospital with Cassandra in tow. The interrogation was repeated, this time including copious amounts of whining by Cassie.
Jack closed his eyes and sighed when everything settled down again.
'This is no way to spend Christmas Eve,' he thought.
His musings were interrupted by a low growl from Fraiser.
"This is your fault, you know."
Jack didn't even try to deny that. "I know."
If Janet was surprised by Jack's admission, she didn't show it. "I mean, you were supposed to be watching him! And it's your fault he's here anyway!"
"I know," admitted Jack again. His own guilt was already far worse than anything Fraiser could throw at him, and he began to feel brittle strings of self recrimination pulling him into a deep depression, but his melancholy and the rest of Janet's speech were cut short by the hospital doors flying open again.
A cold burst of December wind preceded the arrival of Daniel and Teal'c.
'Great,' thought Jack. 'The gang's all here.'
Daniel was so agitated he couldn't even speak when he arrived, so Teal'c looked directly to Janet and asked the question on everyone's mind for the third time in ten minutes.
"What is the status of the patient?"
Janet gave him an exaggerated shrug. "No clue. The doctor is supposed to be out in a few minutes, right, Colonel?"
Jack nodded and grimaced. Janet's tone was accusatory, and if this had been any other situation, he would've given her a hard time about insubordination, but he couldn't bring himself to care now.
Daniel and Teal'c pinned Jack with stern looks, as Sam tried to comfort a still upset Cassie.
Jack lifted a silent prayer that the doc would hurry the heck up.
His prayers were answered within moments.
A swirling white lab coat and an opening door announced the arrival of the doctor, and relief was obvious on Jack's face.
All six people present stood to meet the woman as she emerged from the back of the hospital.
"Well, the family has grown. Who should I talk to here?"
Janet stepped forward and raised one hand slightly. "That would be me. I'm a medical doctor."
The doctor turned to her shorter counterpart and took a deep breath. She seemed simultaneously relieved and nervous to be talking to a fellow professional. "Hi. I'm Dr. Francis. Okay, frankly, the patient is stable at this time. However, I'm afraid we're going to need to perform an exploratory laparotomy to see what we're dealing with. The x-rays show an obstructive pattern."
Janet sighed and rubbed the bridge of her nose while the other members of the group looked at one another in confusion. After a moment, Janet spoke in a quiet, resigned voice.
"Good. We'll proceed to surgery immediately," said Francis.
Janet held up one hand. "Just one question. May we visit first?"
"Of course," replied Francis. "But not all of you at once. It's a bit crowded in here tonight."
Cassie piped up immediately at these words. "Can I go, Mom? Please?"
Janet nodded. "Yes. All us girls will go. You boys stay here." She gave the Colonel another pointed look and huffed off after Dr. Francis.
When Cassie, Sam, and Janet were gone, Jack heaved a mighty sigh. "Thank God."
Daniel looked at the older man and blinked. "They have every right to be mad, Jack."
Jack stared back at Daniel incredulously. "You, too?"
"Well, it did happen on your watch, and it is Christmas Eve. That adds a whole new level of stress to things for all of us."
Jack shrugged. "True. It was an accident, though, honest."
"I mean, like I'd let that happen on purpose."
Teal'c finally re-entered the conversation. "Indeed. I do not believe you would ever allow such a thing to occur intentionally."
O'Neill nodded to the large Jaffa. "Thanks, T."
The female visit to the back of the hospital was short lived. After insuring that things were up to her comfort level, even Janet soon rejoined the men in the waiting area. She'd tried to stay behind, but was told that legally and from a liability standpoint she would not be allowed to assist in any procedures.
Fraiser understood that all too well, and took her place next to Cassie and Teal'c in the waiting room. A nurse escorted them out, and turned to Janet before leaving.
"Are you going to wait here for the operation to be completed or should I call you?"
Jack spoke up quickly, cutting across any response Janet had ready. "I'll stay."
Daniel nodded in agreement. "Me, too."
Sam and Cassie both proclaimed that they would stay, as well.
Janet looked to Teal'c for his response. His deep voice responded within seconds. "I, too, shall remain here."
Janet nodded to the nurse. "I guess we're all staying."
The nurse nodded back. "I'll send word as soon as we know something."
And then she was gone in a flurry of pink scrubs.
Jack O'Neill, Daniel Jackson, Samantha Carter, Cassandra Fraiser, Teal'c, and Janet Fraiser settled in for a long wait.
Christmas Eve or not, they weren't going anywhere.
Two hours later, their wait was over.
Dr. Francis reappeared suddenly just as another family rushed into the waiting room from outside. The place was getting crowded, and several other emergencies had come and gone while SG-1 and their friends waited.
As Dr. Francis made her way over to the group, she motioned for them to remain seated. She took a seat opposite them in the waiting room, and everyone knew she was taking this moment to sit down while she could. It was obviously a busy night for her.
She spoke without delay, updating the group quickly.
"He's going to be fine."
Janet asked the only question anyone had for the group. "You were able to remove it?"
Francis nodded. "Yes, and there was minimal inflammation around the insult. We didn't have to remove any tissue. The bottom line is that your dog is going to be fine."
SG-1 and company visibly relaxed, and Cassie quietly asked a question.
"Can we see him?"
Francis hesitated and Fraiser stepped in without thought. "Probably not right now, honey. He's sleeping. Like Uncle Jack does after he has surgery. It's best if we let him rest."
Francis nodded her agreement. "We'll keep him overnight for observation and IV fluids, but he can probably go home tomorrow."
Janet nodded. "Ok. Do you need anything else from us?"
Francis shook her head. "No. We can take care of everything in the morning."
The small group, including Dr. Francis, slowly stood and dispersed. Francis returned to the back of the emergency veterinary hospital, and the others stretched their legs and began to pull on hats, gloves, and jackets in preparation for heading back out into the cold December night.
As Carter pulled on her coat, she spotted a clock on the wall above the reception desk.
"Hey, guys! Look at that! It's after midnight. Merry Christmas!"
The others glanced at the clock and grinned. Cassie began to hop up and down like a bunny and started babbling like the child she still was. This was only her second Christmas, after all. She had a right to be excited.
"Can we go open presents, Mom? Please?"
Janet sighed. "It can wait until morning, Cassie."
Cassandra would hear none of it. "But it's already Christmas!"
It had been a long night, and Frasier was pretty thin on patience. "I said no, Cass. It's late, I'm hungry, we're all tired, and there's a lot to do before morning, so NO."
Cassie began to pout in earnest, and things looked like they were in danger of escalating to a full-blown tantrum when Jack's voice cut smoothly into the melee.
"Tell you what, Cass. If it's ok with your mom, then maybe we can all go to my house for a bit now. We can have some cocoa and cookies and MAYBE open the presents that are there and then you can head home and have Christmas with your mom in the morning. That ok, Doc?"
Janet considered for a moment, then nodded. "Sure. Lord knows there's nowhere else to get food at this hour on Christmas Eve."
Sam, Daniel, and Teal'c also agreed to join the little party, and before long everyone found themselves at the Colonel's house. Cookies and cocoa weren't the only things served.
Liquor, food, and friendship flowed freely, and it turned out that no one left that night at all. Janet and Cassie would have their home Christmas much later than was planned. Other plans would be changed, too, but no one complained as they fell asleep one by one in various positions on Jack's couch and living room floor.
Despite their non-traditional and not-so-fun Christmas Eve activity of waiting for news of a beloved dog undergoing surgery in an emergency veterinary clinic, everyone was warmed by the love of friends and the fact that Jack's little pound puppy, now Cassandra Fraiser's best friend on this or any other planet, was going to be ok.
When everyone was fast asleep, Jack O'Neill crept slowly past his slumbering guests to his Christmas tree. He meticulously moved every single ornament high above the reach of one black and tan short-legged monster of a dog who thought that snarfing down baubles was the best fun to be had in the world.
The vet had called the dog's issue 'dietary indiscretion'. Jack O'Neill called it stupidity.
Everyone had forgiven him for allowing the dog to swallow the ornament that had caused all this trouble to begin with, but it was, after all, better safe than sorry.
Or in this case, better late than never.