"Hey, Daniel, what size shoe do you wear?"
The Gateroom bustled with activity around them. SG-1 was waiting to embark on a routine mission to check on the Grubdin, a small society recently liberated from some Goa'uld or another. Sam, Teal'c, and Daniel had been ready long before O'Neill, and stood in front of the ramp, waiting for him.
Sam had spent the time staring at Daniel's feet.
"Uh, nine, or thereabouts." Daniel looked down and wiggled one boot.
"How can a size be thereabouts?" Sam wondered out loud.
"Well, you see, I have really narrow feet, and so I can't ever just buy them off the rack." He absently answered as he consulted a note book he was holding.
"Do shoes come off of racks?" Sam grinned.
Daniel gestured vaguely at eye level with the hand not holding his notebook. "Those shelf-y things. You know what I'm talking about."
"Boxes. Daniel, shoes come in boxes."
"Yes, but those boxes sit on racks."
"Whatever." Major Carter looked back down at his feet. "So those are specially-made boots?"
"Nope." Daniel wiggled the foot again. "These are regular out of the box ones—I just wear extra socks."
"Oh." Sam regarded them for a while before stepping closer and putting her foot next to his. "Wow. Check that out. We practically wear the same size."
"You have big feet." Daniel pointed out.
"Not really—I wear a nine and a half."
"Big." Daniel pointed at her boots. "Big, big feet."
"No they're not."
"Yes they are."
Exasperated, Daniel shook his head at her. "Who are you, Jack?"
Sam chose to ignore that. "I don't have big feet. They are healthy feet."
Teal'c stepped into the conversation. "A warrior needs a solid foundation, regardless of his or her gender."
Daniel turned to glare at the Jaffa, while Sam beamed at him.
"Therefore," Teal'c continued, "the size of Major Carter's feet is neither large, nor small, but rather appropriate for her position and task."
Sam, grinning, turned back to Daniel. "See? Not big. Appropriate."
Daniel rolled his eyes. "All I'm saying is that for a woman," he glanced at Teal'c pointedly, "An Earth woman, Sam has pretty large feet."
"Could it be," Teal'c intoned, "That for a Taur'i male, you, Daniel Jackson, have small feet?"
Daniel, exasperated, stomped one of those tiny feet. "Why does it matter anyway?"
"I just asked what size shoe you wear. You don't have to get all prissy about it." Sam shared a smile with Teal'c, then turned back towards the 'Gate.
"I didn't get prissy."
"Yes, you did."
"No, I didn't"
Teal'c had had enough. "You did indeed become, as you say, prissy, Daniel Jackson."
Daniel immediately clammed up. Lips pursed, his jaw worked rhythmically. Sam looked down and hid a grin.
It was a long while before Daniel broke down. "Why did you want to know?"
Sam shrugged. "My dad. He asked for some hiking boots the last time I had a communiqué from him. He said that the Tok'ra boots don't fit right. Something about arch support."
"And he didn't tell you what size he wears?"
"No. But I think they'd be around your size. I'm thinking I can buy the size you're wearing, and then one on either side, and be pretty safe."
"Your dad's not as tall as I am."
"No, but his feet look to be around the same size."
"Whose feet look around the same size?"
The Colonel had arrived. He stopped between Daniel and Sam, cradling his P-90 in his arms.
Daniel stuck out a foot, heel down, toe straight up.
"What, are we playing the Hokey Pokey?" Jack stuck his out, too. "When do we shake them all about?"
"Sir." Sam, still grinning, nodded at their outstretched feet. "I was comparing the size of my father's feet to Daniel's. I'm trying to figure out what size hiking boots to buy him."
Jack looked from his own foot to Daniel's. "Wow, Danny—you've got little feet."
"I do not. They are just fine, thanks."
"What size are those?"
"I don't want to say." Daniel put his foot back down, then shifted.
"He requires a size nine, Colonel O'Neill." Teal'c gestured with the butt of his staff weapon. "Although he dons several pairs of socks to fill the void created by his apparently narrow feet and the government-issue boots."
Colonel O'Neill, interested, looked at Daniel, eyebrows raised. "Like, how narrow we talkin'?"
Daniel remained stubbornly silent.
"Come on, Danny, you know we're going to find out, anyway."
Daniel glared first at Colonel O'Neill, and then at Teal'c. He saved a special look for Sam—a look known in some parts as 'stink-eye'.
The Colonel whirled, looking up in the control box at Walter, the technician. "Hey, Walter!"
"Yes, Colonel O'Neill?"
"What size shoe does Danny here need?"
The microphone crackled momentarily as Walter depressed the button again on his side of the bullet-proof glass. "Nine Triple A."
"Triple A?" The Colonel's eyes shot back to Daniel's feet. "Holy crap, Danny, what are you walking on, Q-tips?"
Daniel turned to glare at the control room, too. "Hey! How did you know that?"
Jack nudged Daniel with his shoulder. "Walter knows everything, Danny-boy."
Daniel stood in sullen silence.
Jack turned to Carter. "So, why does Dad need boots? Don't the Tok'ra have a Payless?"
"Something about arch support." Sam shrugged. "But he didn't say anything about size." She looked down again, noting for the first time the Colonels' feet. "If you don't mind my asking, sir, what size do you wear?"
"Twelve and a half." Jack stuck out a foot proudly, then quirked a look at Daniel. "Wide."
Sam appraised the boot appreciatively. "Wow. That's way bigger than you, Daniel."
"Can we stop talking about this, please?" Daniel pushed his glasses back up onto the bridge of his nose.
Sam ignored him and turned to Teal'c. "How about you?"
Teal'c's gaze didn't waver from the 'Gate, but the corner of his lip lifted almost imperceptibly. "Seventeen."
"Seven—" The Colonel leaned over and peered at Teal'c's feet. "Wow. Impressive."
"The size of one's feet is in no way indicative of anything." Daniel muttered. "It's just a shoe size. Nothing else."
"Then why are you so sensitive about it, Danny?" Jack glanced at him sideways. "If it means nothing, that is."
"I can do everything with my feet that you can with yours."
"Yes, well, maybe not as well, though."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Daniel turned to Jack.
"All I'm saying is that size matters."
"Are we still talking about shoes?" Daniel whined the question more than asking it.
Carter shrugged. "I'm not sure what we're talking about now."
Jack tilted his head towards her. "Women know. You know. Size does matter."
"Sir, I fail to see what shoe size has to do with anything else."
Jack sighed and rolled his eyes. After a considerable pause he said, "All I'm saying is that no self respecting guy walks into a pharmacy and asks for 'Regular'. Everyone goes for 'Extra Large'."
Suddenly, the 'Gate started to whirl, and the Chevrons began to light up in sequence. Sam bit her lip to keep from laughing as Daniel shifted his weight nervously from side to side and the Colonel and Teal'c shared an understanding look.
The Ka-whoosh shot down the ramp and then settled into the event horizon, and Walter gave them the go-ahead for departure.
"Ready?" The Colonel put his size twelve and a half wide boot on the ramp.
"I guess." Daniel shuffled sullenly behind him, Sam fell in beside the Daniel, and Teal'c brought up the rear.
At the 'Gate, the Colonel stopped and turned, placing a hand on Daniel's shoulder. "Don't feel so bad, Danny. Lots of guys have small feet and are still able to live full lives."
Daniel rolled his eyes. "Whatever."
"I just don't want you to feel bad."
"I don't feel bad." But Daniel proved his lie by remaining in a remarkable sulk.
Jack disappeared through the event horizon, and Teal'c stepped around Daniel and Sam to follow the Colonel.
Sam caught at Daniel's arm as he prepared to walk through. "Wait." She bit her lip. "If it makes you feel any better, your IQ is still way bigger than his."
Daniel's eyebrows rose, his mouth relaxing into a semblance of a smile. "You know, you're right. It is—it's much bigger than Jack's."
Sam smiled back, patting Daniel on the shoulder. "There you go. Now, come on. Let's go check on the Grubdin."
"Women find IQ sexy, right?" Daniel still stood on the ramp, considering.
"Sure, Daniel, let's go." Sam jerked her head towards the 'Gate.
Daniel grinned. "Who really cares about shoes, anyway?" He adjusted his back pack and pushed his glasses up again. "Smart is where it's at." He nodded to himself, glanced back at Sam, and then went through the 'Gate.
Sam stood alone at the top of the ramp for a minute.
Twelve and a half wide. That merited some thought. She grinned.
She was still smiling as she stepped through the 'Gate.