Stargate SG-1/Barney Miller/Benson
If this were a movie, it would be PG.
Originally published in Chinook #6, a Canadian fanzine. Hurrah for Canada!
Standard fanfic disclaimer that wouldn't last ten seconds in a court of law: these aren't my characters, I'm just borrowing them for, um, typing practice. That's it, typing practice. I'll return them to their actual owners (relatively) undamaged. This is an amateur work of fiction; no profit beyond pleasure was derived from the writing.
Murder Most Faire
Stargate SG-1/Barney Miller/Benson
by Susan M. M.
A trio of pirates sauntered down the path. One of them stopped a man with a Walkman. "Avast, me hearty. Ken ye the score of the Cascade-Denver game?"
"We're beating the Jaguars, seven to three," replied the man in mundane clothes.
"Huzzah!" roared the pirates. They linked arms, marching along, singing the theme song to Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean ride.
Jonas and Teal'c both turned to Jack. He thought a moment, decided it was too complex to explain, and just said, "Never mind. It would be lost in translation."
A look of resigned comprehension passed between the Jaffa and the alien scholar. All too often, that was Jack O'Neill's response to that which he did not wish to explain.
They continued on to a tent selling hats. Teal'c tried on a court jester's hat.
"A little pricey," Jack warned.
"I receive a stipend from General Hammond, yet I rarely spend it." Teal'c tried on a Robin Hood hat and examined himself in the mirror.
"The whole point of wearing a hat to hide Apophis' sigil, so you'll be inconspicuous when you go off base." Jack stared at the plumed cavalier's hat Teal'c was now trying on. "Looking like the Pirate Don Durk of Dowdee is not inconspicuous."
"The Pirate Don Durk of Dowdee?" Jonas repeated.
"It's a poem. 'Ho, for the pirate Don Durk of Dowdee!/ He was as wicked as wicked could be,/ But oh, he was perfectly gorgeous to see!/ The pirate Don Durk' – it's a children's poem, okay?" Jack interrupted himself when he realized he was reciting one of Charlie's bedtime favorites.
"It is a handsome hat," Teal'c persisted.
"At a hundred and fifty dollars, it ought to be," Jack pointed out.
"I've never seen anyone wear anything like it when I've been off base or when I've watched your news media," Jonas admitted.
"You won't see anything like it, except at a place like this or in a history book," Jack informed him. "Trust me. Stick with the baseball cap."
Reluctantly, Teal'c put the plumed hat back on the rack. They meandered on to the privies, and quickly made use of the Port-a-potties.
Near the privies were the games of chance. Jack turned his back on the children's games, unable to look at the booths where Charlie had spent so much time … and so much of his money. Distracted by all the strange sights and sounds, Teal'c and Jonas failed to notice his reaction.
The two aliens tried their hands at several of the games while Jack waited impatiently. Teal'c's warrior training gave him superior eye-hand coordination. He soon found himself victorious, and the owner of a Teddy bear dressed like Robin Hood.
"What am I to do with this?" the Jaffa asked his companions.
"Maybe you could give it to Cassandra," Sam suggested.
The three men turned to see their team mate standing behind them. They tried not to stare. They didn't quite succeed. Sam wore a tapestry bodice with a floral pattern over a white blouse. The hilt of her knife peeked out from the top of her bodice. She wore an apricot overskirt, with one corner pinned up to show off a sky-blue underskirt. A straw hat to protect her from the sun completed the ensemble.
"You look …" Jonas began, then stopped. It was his first RenFaire, and describing her clothing was something he didn't know how to attempt. " …good."
"Your appearance differs considerably from your usual mode of dress," Teal'c observed.
"That's the general idea," Sam said. She turned to Jack O'Neill, curious as to his reaction. As her commanding officer, he was strictly off-limits to her. Nonetheless, she was aware his feelings for her went beyond those of a friend, and she couldn't resist checking to see what he thought of her so very out-of-uniform.
Once the colonel managed to get his eyes back in their sockets, he informed her, "You could've got the same hat at Walmart for a third of the price."
"Maybe." Jack, you're a damned good officer, but you have no romance in your soul, she thought. "The bodice is reversible; it's blue on the other side."
Jack tried not to think about helping Sam unlace the bodice.
They meandered on to the foodsellers' row, where Teal'c got a turkey leg, Jack got shepherd's pie, Sam got chicken rice soup in a bread bowl, and Jonas got fish and chips. They chatted while they ate, then threw the trash in the trash can and the empty water bottles in the Boy Scouts' recycling bin. For dessert Sam treated everyone to strawberries dipped in chocolate. Teal'c, who had become a chocoholic since immigrating to Earth, ate twice as many as anyone else.
Afterwards, she talked them into going to the jousting field. Jonas and Teal'c watched, fascinated, as knights charged at each other. Jack tried to ignore the memory of his son sitting beside him at a similar show, yelling 'huzzah' at the top of his young voice. Sam glanced at him once or twice, but most of her attention was on the field.
When the jousting demonstration was over, the falconers came out. They introduced several different types of birds: Harris hawks, peregrine falcons, horned owl. Normally, Jack would've been fascinated, but today Charlie's ghost was too strong.
"I'm getting saddle sore," he lied. "Let's wander a bit."
Reluctantly, the others followed him out of the arena. They stopped to listen to a harper singing 'Tom O'Bedlam.' Jack picked up her tapes and CDs, pretending to examine them, until he felt completely in control of himself. When he felt sure he'd regained his composure, he tossed a Sacajawea dollar into her hat and walked on, not even caring which way he was going.
"Why do you always give dollar coins instead of paper money?" Sam asked.
"The wind won't blow coins away." It was a half-truth. Charlie had always insisted on using coins instead of bills when tipping the minstrels; he said it felt more in period. Of course, then it had been Susan B. Anthony dollars.
"The program says there's a recreation of the attack of the Spanish armada in a little bit. What's a Spanish armada?" Jonas asked.
"Spanish fleet attacked England during Queen Elizabeth's reign. Luckily for England, the weather was against the Spaniards. Big wind blew half their fleet off course," Jack explained. "The recreation will be noisy," he warned.
"I think we can handle it. We're not exactly in a quiet profession," Sam pointed out. She led the way to another jewelry counter. Both she and Teal'c examined the necklaces, bracelets, and rings.
The Jaffa selected a pewter ankh necklace. "I shall purchase this for my wife." He turned to Jack, who dug into his pocket for his wallet. Teal'c let Jack play his banker when they went out into Tau're society. As a Jaffa, he had never needed to handle currency.
The next vendor was a woodcarver, whose merchandise ranged from $5 Welsh love-spoons to $20 Celtic cross wall hangings to a $250 dragon. Jack picked an exquisitely carved wolf, turned it over to look at the price tag, exhaled sharply, and quickly put it back on the table.
They wandered past a perfume and incense dealer – the wares were too stinky to examine in detail – to a fortuneteller's tent selling Tarot cards, pewter and wooden runes, neo-pagan themed jewelry, and paperback guides to the occult. A sign offered readings, Tarot or palmistry, for five dollars.
Jack took one look at the booth selling dried-apple dolls, asked "Why?", and continued onward.
The next vendor's tent was double the size of the others. Sam and Jonas were drawn into the bookseller's tent, like iron filings to a magnet. The emphasis was on history books, of course, with some biographies, historical fiction, occult books, costuming books, fairy tales, etc. Sam checked to see no one was watching, then started looking at a pile of used paperbacks. Such books would mean nothing to Teal'c or Jonas, but she knew Jack would never let her hear the end of it if he saw her buying bodice-rippers. Jonas, meanwhile, was looking at the Dover coloring books. Teal'c and Jack followed them into the tent, glanced at some of the titles, then went outside to watch a juggler tossing five apples in the air.
"May I attempt this?" Teal'c asked the juggler, pointing to the wooden balls and clubs lying on the ground beside him.
The juggler nodded his permission, warning, " 'Tis more difficult than it looks."
Teal'c picked up three wooden balls and started juggling. Jack picked up the clubs and juggled them. They began tossing their clubs and balls back and forth, catching and returning them effortlessly. The small audience turned from the man in court jester's garb to the two members of SG-1, who were putting on a better show.
"Beginner's luck?" the juggler asked, not quite hiding the sarcasm in his voice.
"Well, maybe we've done this before," Jack admitted.
"It is possible," Teal'c conceded dryly. A year or two ago, he and Jack had been caught in a time loop. They had taught themselves juggling as a way to alleviate the boredom as they relived the same day, over and over again. The merest shadow of a smile crossed Teal'c's lips, as he remembered the look on Daniel Jackson's face as they displayed their juggling virtuosity. For Dr. Jackson and the rest of SGC, each relived day had come without memory of having done the same before; only Teal'c and Jack were aware of the repetition of the same day, again and again and again.
"What are you doing?" Jonas came out of the tent, Sam a few feet behind him.
"Nothing." Jack laid the clubs back down on the ground. "Whatcha get?"
"Damned Rebel Bitches. It's about women in the 1745 Jacobite uprising." Sam did not mention the two bodice-rippers in her basket, hidden beneath her mundane clothes.
Teal'c looked up. "Who is that man on that hill?"
They all glanced at a man in garb standing atop a small grassy knoll, aiming a blunderbuss.
Sam suggested, "Probably part of the armada demonstration."
The cannons of the Spanish armada fired. The man timed his shot to match theirs. In the glen below, one of Gov. DuBois' police guards fell to the ground as the bullet struck his shoulder. His partner shoved the governor behind him. Drawing his gun, he looked around for the assassin.
"That didn't sound like a musket." Jack could tell an AK-47 from an Uzi from a Colt .45 by their sounds. And he'd spent enough time at various historical recreations, like RenFaires and mock Revolutionary and Civil War battles, to know what a musket sounded like. He looked at the man, who was aiming again. "Give me that ball."
Teal'c handed him the wooden ball. Jack threw. He didn't knock the blunderbuss from the assassin's hand, but he did hit the weapon, sending the shot into the air. Teal'c handed him another ball without waiting for the order. Jack threw again, this time hitting the assassin in the belly. Like Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders, SG-1 charged up the hill.
The assassin was still groaning in pain, trying to get up when SG-1 reached him. Teal'c and Jack took him prisoner. Sam examined the blunderbuss.
"He's got a fake shell over a .22," she announced.
"That juggler works here. Tell him to contact Faire security," Jack ordered Jonas.
Within minutes, Faire security guards (who normally had no more hazardous duties than ejecting drunken patrons or idiots who couldn't keep their swords peace-bonded) had the assassin in custody, until the county sheriff could arrive. The wounded police officer was being treated at the first aid tent while he waited for an ambulance. And SG-1 were being given a joint audience with 'Queen Elizabeth I' and Governor Benson DuBois.
"Shucks, weren't nothing," Jack told the governor.
"We disagree," Good Queen Bess pronounced in regal tones.
Benson DuBois raised an eyebrow. The faux queen bowed graciously and stepped back, waiving her place to the mundane governor. "I think it was something. Who are you? How did you manage it?"
"We work at Cheyenne Mountain," Jack said quietly, "and we'd rather our names didn't get in the newspaper."
DuBois nodded. He didn't know half of what went on at Cheyenne Mountain, but he knew nearly everything that occurred there was classified. "Gotcha. I can keep it out of the papers, or attribute it to Faire security. Can I at least buy you a beer?"
"Don't think the general would object to that," Jack agreed. "I sure as Hell won't."
SG-1 spent the rest of the afternoon as honored guests of the Faire, and ate that evening at the royal banquet. In addition to the beer the governor insisted on treating them to, the queen provided them with gift certificates redeemable at any vendor in the Faire. Jack indulged himself with psaltery and hurdy-gurdy CDs. Sam went back and applied the certificates toward the price of her garb. Jonas treated himself at the booksellers. And Teal'c returned to SG-C wearing a velvet cavalier's hat "with a floppety plume …and when he went walking it jiggled – like that" just like the Pirate Don Durk of Dowdee.