I love these little ditties—Team Building stories are so much fun for me! I am going to mark this set "Complete", though, and will most likely start a new set the next time I'm inspired. I hope you enjoy this one!
(And if you do, you're welcome to let me know!)
"Why do they have to do that?"
"Giggle." Daniel cast a look over his shoulder, to where the four young officers sat at a table nearby. Returning his gaze to Jack, he shook his head. "Aren't they supposed to be kick-butt soldiers? Soldiers shouldn't giggle."
Jack directed his gaze diagonally and past Daniel, across the room to where the girls sat. They were all athletic, attractive, and intelligent looking, two blondes, a red head, and one brunette. Other than the fact that they were currently hunched over the table, whispering animatedly to each other within bouts of mirth, there was nothing distinguishing at all about them. The Colonel didn't even know their names. He turned back to his breakfast.
"That's kind of hard when they're always doing it." Daniel's frown deepened. "And I mean always. Whenever I see the four of them, they're laughing about something. I just think that, given the seriousness of the work we do here, they could show a little more maturity and reticence."
"Carter giggles." Jack pointed at him with the south half of a banana. "And she could kick your butt from here to McGillicuddy."
"McGillicuddy." O'Neill sat up straight in his chair and gave a tiny shake of his head. "Like Timbuktu—Eternity—Far Egypt—Hell and Gone. Or those other 'from here to where' places."
"I've never heard of that before."
"Well, clichés being clichés and all—" The Colonel peeled the last bit of his banana and chucked it into his mouth. He chewed animatedly before continuing. "Anyway, the point is that Carter does giggle."
"Not since you ordered her not to." Daniel raised a piece of cream cheese coated bagel to his mouth.
"Oh, she still does. Except that now she doesn't make any noise. She just sits there, hides her mouth and kind of shakes."
Daniel tilted his head to one side and gave a brief nod of concurrence. "All right, I'll give you that one."
"Besides, you have to consider why they're giggling."
"Oh? And what would that be?"
"They're laughing at you."
"At me?" Daniel scowled. "What possible reason could they have to laugh at me?"
"Oh, I don't know," Jack waved a hand randomly in Daniel's direction. "Haircut, glasses, no butt, take your pick."
"I have a butt."
"No, you don't."
"Yes, I do."
"No, Daniel you don't." Jack shook his head. "Face it. You're butt-less."
Daniel rolled his eyes and reached for some more cream cheese. "Whatever."
"But you are cute." O'Neill's eyes widened as he smiled suggestively. "You and that tousled boy-next-door charm of yours."
"No—remember when that one cadet wouldn't shoot you during that exercise? You were too cute to be a Goa'uld?" Jack's grinned widened—obviously, he enjoyed Daniel's discomfort.
"I think I'm going to be sick." The archaeologist did look a little green.
"Just don't do it where they can see, or they'll be offering themselves to nurse you back to health."
Daniel scowled, staring at his coffee for an inordinate amount of time before looking back up at O'Neill hopefully. "Maybe they're giggling at you."
O'Neill paused mid-chew, looked at the table again, and then shook his head. "Nope." He sipped from his cup, narrowing his eyes at his companion. "I'm too old. Grizzled. Gray hair and bad knees. I'm not giggle-worthy."
"You heard me." He took another sip, then gestured with the cup. "Besides, I'm a Colonel—I could just make them all run laps or do push ups, and then they wouldn't be giggling anymore."
"To whom are you referring, O'Neill?"
Teal'c sat at the table, across from the Daniel and next to the Colonel, where he always sat. He set his tray down, and then methodically started rearranging his food, as he always did.
Jack watched the Jaffa as he answered. "The recruits over there. They were giggling at Daniel."
Teal'c shifted slightly in his seat so that he could see them. Apparently unimpressed, he returned his posture to normal and readdressed his breakfast. "They do indeed seem to be paying this table a peculiar amount of attention, Daniel Jackson. Perhaps you could opportune yourself of this moment to expand your social calendar."
Daniel shuddered, then frowned as he lifted his coffee cup. "No. I've already been there, done that."
"Done what, expanded your social calendar?"
"No, Jack." Daniel shook his head and swallowed. "I've dated a giggler."
"I still don't see what your problem is—most girls I know like that are fun-loving. At the very least, you could have a good time—round the bases, so to speak."
Daniel considered, and then dismissed, the notion. "Yeah—you could. And then they want to play the role of 'supportive girlfriend' and come to your senior presentation with you, and get the giggles half way through." He set his cup down on his tray and reached for a bowl of fruit and a spoon.
"About what?" Jack actually looked interested.
"Well, in this particular instance, I was lecturing on the symbols and carvings found on a particular series of sarcophagi."
"What was so funny about that?"
Daniel sighed, his fingers tightening around the spoon. "She thought I was talking about the person within the sarcophagus—the 'sarcopha-GUY'." He stopped as O'Neill let out a short bark of what could have been laughter. He pursed his lips and continued. "She apparently couldn't handle it and began to giggle. It started out quiet, but then she got louder, and then the people around her started to laugh, and pretty soon the entire lecture hall was in hysterics. It would calm down, I would resume the lecture, and then she'd snort or something, and everyone would erupt again."
Teal'c lifted his glass of orange juice. "That sort of behavior appears to be akin to what Colonel O'Neill might have displayed in the same circumstance. I can understand why it would perturb you, Daniel Jackson."
Jack grinned. "Oh, come on, T, I'm not that bad."
But Teal'c didn't answer, merely lifted a brow and drank his juice.
Unperturbed, O'Neill continued. "Besides, Daniel, she kind of did you a favor, didn't she?"
"She prepared you for later on in your career—when people laughed at you with more regularity."
Daniel raised his head and tilted it slightly, staring at O'Neill from beneath furrowed brows. His mouth gaped a bit before he shook his head and blinked rapidly. "These things you say, Jack. Do they sound okay in your head?"
Jack's eyes widened. "What are you talking about? What things?"
"You just open your mouth and—it's incredible." Briefly at a loss for words, Daniel sputtered before taking a deep breath and continuing. "Most people have the ability to hear what they are going to say before they say it and then filter out the things that might be hurtful or cruel."
"I didn't say anything either hurtful or cruel." Jack fiddled with the rest of his bagel. "No filter necessary."
The table sat bathed in silence for a brief moment before Daniel blew a frustrated breath out and looked back down at his plate.
"Besides, Daniel. You're the one that brought it up."
Carter had arrived, stopping behind her customary chair. "Brought what up, guys?"
Daniel thrust an exaggerated hand at the Colonel. "Tell her, Jack."
O'Neill raised his brows. "Don't want to."
"Because you know she'll side with me."
"You can't know that, Daniel."
"Yes, I can."
"Because Sam is a sensitive, intelligent human being who cares about the people around her." Daniel pointed with his spoon. "That's how I know she'll be with me on this one."
Sam paused in her activity of arranging the food on her tray. She'd sat down across from the Colonel, and already plopped the tea bag in her cup of hot water. "Which one? Daniel? Colonel? What is this all about?"
Teal'c sighed and captured her gaze. "Colonel O'Neill and Daniel Jackson have been discussing many things this morning. Chief among them being Colonel O'Neill's apparent inability to keep himself from saying things which might harm the sensibilities of others."
Carter smiled despite herself, a quirky sideways grin that told everyone that she hadn't really meant to smile at all. She lowered her chin, and paid an exorbitant amount of attention to her tea.
Finally, Daniel let out an explosive sigh. "Come on, Sam. Tell him."
"What am I supposed to tell him, Daniel?"
"That he's rude."
"She's not going to say it because she thinks I'm not." The Colonel leaned back in his chair, his wrists resting easily on the table. "Right, Carter?"
She chewed on her lower lip, her eyes flickering from one man to the other before tilting her head to one side and narrowing her eyes. "Why don't you tell me the whole conversation?"
"Is that entirely necessary, Major Carter? If otherwise, I would beg you to reconsider your request."
"Sorry, Teal'c." Sam steepled her brows, frowning a little. "I've got to know where this is coming from."
Daniel sighed and dropped his chin to his chest. Carter could sense his reluctance. She switched her focus to the Colonel, who was smiling.
"Well, Major, it all started with those airmen—airwomen—behind you." He arched a look at the table in question.
She flicked a glimpse at it, then nodded. "Okay? What about them?"
"Well, those ladies seem to have a problem with giggling whenever Daniel is near them."
Sam actually snorted. "Like that's anything new."
Beside her, Daniel frowned. 'What's that supposed to mean?"
"Oh, come on, Daniel. All the women in this facility just about swoon every time you pass by. It's practically become protocol." She rolled her eyes as she lifted her cup of tea. "It's nauseating. I'd think that you'd be used to it by now."
The Colonel slapped a hand on the table. "Ah! See there, Danny? I win."
Carter widened her eyes, tilting her head again. "Well, sir, I wouldn't get too cocky."
"Cocky? Who's cocky?"
She shrugged. "All I'm saying, sir, is that you have a following of your own—as does Teal'c."
"But no gigglers." He pointed his whole hand at her. "Not like the infants that Daniel attracts."
She perused the table. "You may as well face it that all of you have women who are interested—or more than interested in you. Believe me. I have to hear about it all the time." She'd picked up a sugar packet, but tossed it down, now, in disgust.
"Because believe it or not, sir, I'm a girl, too." She indicated herself with an open hand. "I know that fact is shocking to all of you, but it's true. And as a girl, I am frequently approached by the various females on the base and asked all sorts of questions about each of you."
The three testosterone carriers at the table stared at her as if she'd suddenly revealed the secrets of the entire universe.
Finally, in a voice that reminded Jack of the sixth grade, he said, "What kinds of questions?"
She rolled her eyes and moaned slightly. "Good grief—I constantly feel like I'm in high school again. 'Is the Colonel seeing anyone?' 'You and Daniel aren't a thing, are you?' 'Now, I know that Teal'c's a Jaffa, but that doesn't mean he couldn't be interested in an Earth girl, does it?' 'What's it like going off world with the three of them?'" Her voice had taken on a certain tone—nasal, higher than normal, mocking.
"Who? I mean, which ones?" Daniel had finally regained his power of speech. "Who've been asking questions about me?"
"Well, for you, it seems to be most rampant in new recruits and the nurses in the infirmary. The Colonel is a big favorite amongst the civilian women in accounting and human resources, and Teal'c—well—pretty much everyone else wants a piece of him. Someone even penciled a comment on one walls of a bathroom stall on Level Twenty-One—it says 'Once you go Jaffa, you never go back'." She rolled her eyes yet again. "Can you believe that?"
Teal'c's satisfied smile was distinctly unnerving. Yet, he said, "Indeed, I cannot, Major Carter."
She turned her attention back to her tea. "So, about the giggling—let's just say that no one has to deal with it as much as I do. And it never seems to let up. I've just had to resign myself to the fact that it's not going to stop as long as I'm on a team with the three of you."
The Colonel's cheeks puffed out, and then he let out an explosive sigh. "Okay then."
"What else was in the conversation?" She opened a tiny carton of milk and prepared to pour it onto her cereal.
"Well, then we were talking about dating someone like that—"
"A giggler." Carter clarified blandly.
"Yes." Daniel cleared his throat. "And I told him that I already had."
Sam raised her face towards Daniel, eyes wide. 'You mean, you told him about Gretchen?"
"Gretchen?" O'Neill leaned forward. "Her name was Gretchen? And you told Carter about her?"
"Well, Jack, I wasn't going to tell you about her."
"I've known you longer."
"Well, yeah, but—"
"So, you could've told me about this Gretchen."
"I could have. But I didn't."
Carter held up a hand towards the Colonel. "But the point is, I knew about her. So I know the kind of girl that Daniel does not want to date."
"Yeah—he doesn't want to go out with Wretched the Giggler."
Daniel turned to Carter with a befuddled expression. "And he wonders why I didn't tell him."
Carter patted his hand gently. "I know, Daniel."
"Daniel Jackson then asked Colonel O'Neill if he heard voices in his head."
Sam frowned across the table at Teal'c. "I don't—"
"No, T, Daniel asked me if I could hear the things I say before I say them."
"No. He can't." Carter's response was immediate. She looked to her right again. "Daniel, you know he doesn't have a filter."
Daniel beamed, triumphant. "See, Jack? She sides with me."
"Just in the fact that I don't have a filter—she hasn't said whether or not she thinks I need a filter." He cocked an eyebrow at her, narrowing one eye.
She opened and closed her mouth for a moment, silent—wordless. Finally, she looked directly at the Colonel. "Sir, I mean no disrespect, but to be honest—"
"Aha!" Daniel didn't let her finish, just jumped a little in his chair and clapped his hands once. "See? I was right!" He stood, wiping at his mouth with a napkin. "I knew she'd be on my side!" He glanced at his watch and faltered. "And now I've really got to go, because I'm late for a meeting."
Teal'c stood, as well, angling a look downward at Sam. "I must go kelnorim, Major Carter. I wish you good day." He bowed slightly to the Colonel, and turned away.
Together, the two men passed through the door of the commissary and headed out of sight, leaving Colonel O'Neill sitting idly at the table while Carter finished her breakfast.
"You know, you aren't all innocent in the giggle thing." He suddenly broke the silence a few minutes later.
"The giggling. You do it, too."
"I do not." Sam shook her head, spooning up another mouthful. "Not since Antarctica. When you ordered me not to."
"Yes, you do." O'Neill canted his head to the side. "You just hide it better, now."
The side of his mouth rose in a quasi-smile, and he regarded her intently for a minute before standing. "And by the way, Major, you aren't the only one that gets asked questions about team members. We aren't even going to list how many officers, enlisted men, and civilians ask about you on a daily basis. There are three of us, and only one of you. You're a far more rare commodity."
He rapped his knuckles on the table softly, then turned and headed out the door.
Carter watched him go, then bit her lips. Suddenly, her shoulders started shaking, and she placed a hand over her mouth.
Without warning, the Colonel's head and shoulders appeared in the doorway, and he pointed at her sharply.
She jumped, fighting to wipe the grin off her face, but finding it wasn't possible. "Yes, sir?"