A/N: This story was supposed to have been posted Wednesday, but I have been having computer problems - still have, to some degree - so I could not post it until today. Sorry about that. Also, since my computer is still behaving oddly, it may be more than a week between the next postings as well. I expect there to be another four chapters after this. Thanks to everyone who has been reviewing so far!
Spoilers/notes: No specific season, but probably late seventh season. AU only in as much that Martouf/Lantash is alive and well and the alliance with the Tok'ra is stronger. Since the Tok'ra and the Tau'ri are getting along well, I assume O'Neill also does not harbour as much animosity towards them.
Characters: SG-1, Martouf/Lantash, Malek, Korra
Notes: The first Saint Patrick's Day Parade in the Americas was organised by the Irish Society of Boston on 17 March 1737. The first celebration of Saint Patrick's Day in New York City was held at the Crown and Thistle Tavern in 1766. The parades were held as political and social statements because the Irish immigrants were being treated unfairly and New York's first Saint Patrick's Day Parade was held on 17 March 1762 by Irish soldiers in the British Army. In 1780, General George Washington, who commanded soldiers of Irish descent in the Continental Army, allowed his troops a holiday on 17 March "as an act of solidarity with the Irish in their fight for independence."
In my story, I assume Daniel has explained this to Teal'c as part of his (probably long) explanation about Saint Patrick's Day. Teal'c then misunderstood this a little, and assumes it is (still) a day of protest against the unjust treatment of Tau'ri servants.
SG-1 was standing in the gate room, waiting.
"Sure you don't wanna come? It's only once a year, you know..." O'Neill tried one more time to convince his friends and team mates.
"Sorry, sir. Painting my face green and drinking my brains out isn't my idea of fun. Besides, we really need to figure this...device out - all things point to it having a very powerful energy source. If we could just..." Sam said, getting the faraway look she always got when she had a new tech toy to play with.
"I didn't say you should paint your face green! I said we should wear green! It's just for the parade, you know! We should be...festive." O'Neill sounded indignant. "And you don't need to get drunk..."
"Jack...it's not that we don't wanna come, but...as Sam says, we really need to look at this. The Tok'ra promised to send someone to help too. I mean, it could be a weapon for all we know."
"Yeah, yeah...it could help us in the fight against Anubis and any other of the multitude of bad guys out there. I know. Just like all the other gadgets we've found that ended up biting us on the ass instead. This is Saint Patrick's Day, for cryin' out loud! You're supposed to have fun!."
"I shall accompany you in the celebration of your Iraqi ancestry, O'Neill." Teal'c said.
"Irish, Teal'c. Not Iraqi." He sighed. "But, thanks. I'm glad one of you doesn't mind partying a little!" He glared at Sam and Daniel, who tried to look innocent.
Finally, the Stargate started dialing and the 'Off-world activation' alarm was given. They all looked to the Stargate, waiting to hear if it was the Tok'ra.
"So...ya think it's gonna be Anise?" Jack wondered.
"I hope so." Daniel said. "We told them we'd prefer her or someone with the same qualifications."
"Actually, it doesn't have to be her. Just someone who can read ancient Goa'uld and has a fair amount of scientific knowledge. There are several other Tok'ra that would do just as well." Sam pointed out.
"Really? I didn't know that." Daniel looked a bit ashamed.
"Of course you did! You wanted Anise to come for a visit! Admit it!" O'Neill grinned.
"It is pointless to speculate. We shall soon know who they sent." Teal'c observed.
The Stargate kawoosh'ed and moments later the speakers announced it was a Tok'ra IDC and the iris opened.
Malek walked out of the event horizon, followed by Martouf and Korra.
Sam smiled, and walked forward to greet them. Daniel followed, a little subdued. He admitted to himself O'Neill was right - he had wanted Anise to come.
When everyone had finished their greetings, Malek spoke, as the one in charge of the visiting Tok'ra.
"We apologize for not bringing Anise and Freya. I know you asked for them, but they are unfortunately currently unavailable. Since you did not specify which particular skills was needed, it was decided Martouf, Korra, and myself should go. Together, we more than cover Anise and Freya's areas of expertise, even if we may not be as proficient as they are, in all areas."
"It's quite all right. We just need someone who can translate ancient Goa'uld and who knows enough science to interpret the text correctly." Sam explained, a little embarrassed.
"In that case, Martouf and Lantash will probably be best suited for this task. Martouf is well versed in many areas of science. Lantash - like all of us - understand ancient Goa'uld, unless it is some really obscure dialect, in which case none of us can really help. If that is what you need, you will have to wait - either for Anise or perhaps for one of the older Tok'ra."
"I don't think that'll be necessary. Between Teal'c and myself we managed to translate maybe 25%, so I doubt it's really obscure." Daniel said.
"Good." Malek nodded at Martouf. "Then Korra and I will take our leave of you, unless there is anything else we might assist you with."
Suddenly O'Neill grinned. "Actually...there is something..."
Malek sighed almost inaudibly. So much for his hope of getting back home while there were still some of his day off left. "Yes?"
"Teal'c and I am going to celebrate a...um...Tau'ri day of...of...ah..." O'Neill searched for a good word. "...remembrance..." He grinned again at his own cleverness. "Why don't you take this chance to learn a little more about your allies? We'd be happy to have you join us!"
"Jack..." Daniel began. Sam suddenly smiled, realising O'Neill's plan. She quickly stomped on Daniel's foot. He glared at her, but shut up.
"Eh..." Malek looked as if he was trying to come up with an excuse, but evidently failed. "We shall be honoured to participate in this important celebration."
Korra smiled, obviously pleased with the suggestion. No wonder there - he had kitchen duty to get home to in the tunnels.
"Of course. What will we be required to do?"
Sam winked at Daniel, and he smiled back at her. Martouf looked at them in confusion. Sam took his arm and began pulling him with her.
"Come. I'll explain. Trust me. You're not going to miss anything!"
"I was not concerned about that. To be honest, I would much rather spend time working together with you, than celebrating with the Colonel..." Martouf said as he happily followed her.
For a moment, Daniel considered staying. It would be entertaining to hear O'Neill explain Saint Patrick's Day to Malek and Korra. On the other hand, he did not want to risk being pulled into anything. Or have to explain any more Tau'ri customs. With that thought, he suddenly hurried on after Sam and Martouf.
"Have fun!" He waved at the others just before slipping out of the room.
When Sam, Martouf, and Daniel had left, Malek and Korra turned expectantly to O'Neill and Teal'c.
"What kind of celebration is this?" Korra wondered.
"It is not a celebration of some kind of deity, is it?" Malek added, suspiciously. "Please remember that most of your deities are actually Goa'uld, and we do not wish to inadvertently offer worship to one of those."
"Don't worry. I'm sure old Paddy's not a Goa'uld." O'Neill said, now looking a bit unsure how he should explain this. He suddenly wished Daniel had not already left. He was always so much better at this. Ah, well.
"It is in fact a celebration of the man who created the homeland of O'Neill's ancestors." Teal'c explained.
"Well, I'm not sure if created is the right word. Saint Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland." O'Neill explained, then suddenly realised his audience had no idea what a saint was - or what Ireland was, for that matter.
"Daniel Jackson told me the celebrations in this country started as a protest against the unjust treatment of workers who had moved here from Ireland. It is, in fact, a rebellion against the oppressors." Teal'c said. "I am proud to be able to support this worthy cause."
"Yeah...well. Something...like that...um...at any rate...ya, know, in Chicago - where I'm from - they always dye the river green. Totally cool. You'd like it. And we have big parades. The one's they have here in Colorado Springs are OK, too, though. I'm sure you'll love'em." He smiled, relaxing a little. He was happy to have gotten through the explaining part successfully. Somewhat.
Malek and Korra looked at each other, clearly somewhat unsure. Then Malek nodded.
"We shall accompany you."
"Great!" O'Neill clapped his hands together. "Follow me!"
With a suddenly ominous feeling, Malek followed Korra, O'Neill, and Teal'c out of the gate room. Malek's host, Johan felt certain they would regret this and began complaining loudly to his symbiote. They were doing this? On what was supposed to be their day off? Malek sighed deeply. This was going to be a long day. He could just feel it.
"Are you absolutely certain this is the traditional clothing for an event such as this?" Korra wondered. He was looking at himself in the mirror. He was currently wearing a pair of very green pants and a matching jacket. Under it, he wore a white shirt. This was not too bad, but he also wore a stupid looking green top hat, with a band. It looked absolutely ridiculous!
"Yes, you look great." O'Neill smirked. This was going way better than he had hoped! He no longer minded so much that Sam and Daniel did not want to participate. They would never have agreed to put these clothes on. They had no sense of humor!
Malek, too, was putting on similar clothing. He looked in the mirror and came to the same conclusion Korra had. This outfit was absolutely ridiculous. Apparently the Goa'uld were not the only one's with a flair for tasteless clothing. Unhappy he turned to their hosts, to see if they wore the same. O'Neill did. Teal'c had put on the green clothing, but absolutely refused the hat.
"Come on, T. I picked these outfits myself. I know the hat's a little...unusual, but I thought it'd...add a little extra...ya, know?" O'Neill said, carefully hiding the fact it was all part of a bet he had made last year with Reynolds from SG-3. The rest of SG-1 had found excuses not to participate then, and O'Neill had partied with SG-3 instead. Reynolds had kept teasing him about his team mates and eventually they had made a bet. O'Neill had pointed to a group dressed up in clothing such as what he and the others were currently wearing. Then he had said that not only would his team accompany him the next year - they would wear clothing like that and be in the parade. True, they had been quite drunk by the time they made the bet, but still...he was so not going to loose to Reynolds! And now he had succeeded. Sort of. Even if two of his team mates had stand-ins. With a little beer and at some distance Reynolds might not notice. Second thought...there was no way anyone could mistake Korra and Malek for Carter and Daniel. Oh, well. At least they were all wearing the right clothing. That was, if he could just get Teal'c to put on the damn hat.
"It is offensive."
"The rest of us are wearing it. Are you sayin' we got bad taste?" O'Neill dared him.
Teal'c looked unsure what to answer to that. Fortunately, Korra saved him.
"I agree. It is of...ah...questionable taste. However, it could also just be that none us really understand Tau'ri clothing fashion. In any case. Do as we do - pretend you are undercover. I have worn much worse on missions."
"Besides, you need something to hide that flashy tattoo of yours." O'Neill pointed out.
Teal'c sighed audibly. With a long-suffering expression he picked up the hat and put it on.
"As Daniel sometimes says - this will cost you."
"That's my man! I promise, you get to pick the movie for the next three team nights!"
Somewhat mollified, Teal'c followed the others out into the parking lot, were Reynolds and the rest of SG-3 were waiting on a decorated truck. It was a standard, open military truck. It was already green, so they did not have to paint it. That was probably a good thing, General Hammond might not have appreciated it. It was draped with coloured flags and banners. SG-3 began cheering when they saw O'Neill and his group.
"O'Neill!" Reynolds waved happily at them. "Didn't think ya would make it!"
"Wouldn't miss it for the world!" He signaled Teal'c and the two Tok'ra to jump on the truck, which they did. He looked at them, a bit envious at the effortlessness they did it with. He sighed, then pulled himself up on the truck bed. Damn knees!
Reynolds grinned at him.
"I see you're...ah...properly dressed. However, haven't you gotten a couple of new team mates? I seem to remember one of them having glasses - and another being a girl?"
"Carter and Daniel got a special task they need to finish. These are my two good friends Malek and Korra who absolutely wanted to join us. Since I was two men short, I agreed to make them temporary members of SG-1."
"That is not..." Korra began, but shut up when O'Neill gave him a small kick to his leg.
"They're more than welcome!" Reynolds grabbed Malek's hand and shook it enthusiastically. "Hello - and welcome to the gang."
"Hello..." Malek had no idea what the man's name - or rank - was. "I am Malek."
Reynolds and the others jumped as they heard the flanged voice of the symbiote.
"Wow - nice Goa'uld imitation, there!" One of the other men finally said, smiling a little.
"What do you mean!" Malek sounded offended. "I am not a Goa'uld!"
"Um...yeah. Malek and Korra are Tok'ra..." O'Neill sounded a bit embarrassed.
It was quiet for a while, then Reynolds smiled.
"Well, hi, Malek! The Tok'ra are our allies, so of course you're welcome. It's just...I didn't expect...well, never mind. I'm Simon Reynolds, but please call me Sim. This isn't exactly a formal situation." He grinned, a little nervously.
Malek nodded. "Hello...Sim." He was quiet for a moment, as if having an internal discussion. Then he bowed his head and gave control to his host.
"Hello. My name is Johan. It may be better if I have control while we are outside of the base."
"I agree. That's probably a good idea. Can't have someone getting suspicious." Reynolds commented.
"I am Marid...Korra's host. Though usually we both use the name Korra."
"Why would you do that?" O'Neill looked strangely at him. "So you're the one we've been talking to the whole time? And not even knowing your name!"
"Mostly. I am usually in control, though since I generally speak for both of us, we have agreed to use the name Korra. It is a personal choice." He explained, when the others did not seem to understand. "There are a few other Tok'ra who do it this way, though most do not."
O'Neill shook his head. "Whatever suits you. I'll stick to calling you Korra."
They all found a seat and the truck started. The parade started at noon. They suddenly realised they would have to hurry to get there in time.
The parade had lasted for about an hour and a half, Malek estimated. During this time they had slowly driven along some of the roads in Colorado Springs. There were several decorated vehicles, as well as walking groups of people both ahead and behind them. Malek had no idea what the appeal of this was. He found it all to be extremely boring, and also a little embarrassing, to be on display like this. People along the roads were yelling and cheering at them all and generally seemed to be very happy. He looked at Teal'c. He seemed to be suffering as well, but Korra appeared to enjoy it all. He had always been easily entertained, Malek mused, even before he took his first host.
When Korra smiled widely - yet again - Malek decided to ask him why. It did not make sense, but it...irritated him that the other Tok'ra enjoyed this. He nudged his host, who also was bored, but who did not feel like bothering Korra. Johan sighed, but humoured his symbiote.
"Malek wants to know what you find to be so amusing? You grin happily much of the time."
"Do you see the large, decorated platform? The one back there, with all the greenery...about 50 feet behind our truck?"
Just as he was looking, a wind blew some of the fake greenery and other decorations away and they suddenly had a perfect view of the people on that float. Several scantily clad - and very shapely - young women. They were all dressed in pale green tops which left their shoulders bare and plunged deeply in the front. They wore darker green, flowing skirts. The material of these seemed translucent, almost transparent, but as there were several leaf-shaped layers of it, the skirts were not quite as revealing as they would otherwise have been. They ended - in a single, transparent layer - just below their knees.
Korra smiled appreciatively. "You see?"
"Oh, yes. Very nice! But they must be cold! It's sunny, but not that warm." Malek added. He was somewhat sensitive to the cold. He again looked at the women, admiring them shamelessly until they noticed. They giggled and waved at him. He waved back, a little embarrassed at having been discovered.
O'Neill had heard them talking and followed their gazes. He caught a glimpse just as the women tried rearranging the decorations. He smiled.
"Well...from how they seemed to be dancing around, I don't think they'll freeze. Besides, it's about 65-70 degrees. Not that cold, really. Though I must admit they're not wearing much." His smile widened. "Thankfully!"
The wind took the decorations again and Malek smiled as he and Johan got another look at the women. His day had just improved immensely.
They had reached the end of the parade, apparently, and after finding a place to park the truck, SG-3 and O'Neill convinced Malek, Teal'c, and Korra they all needed to try some Tau'ri cuisine - and have something to drink. They must be thirsty by now!
Korra and Teal'c agreed quickly. Malek and Johan argued for a short while over whether to insist on walking back to Stargate Command or to join the others. Johan won the argument with his insistence on them needing to learn more about their allies. Malek could not argue with that. They quite obviously did not understand them well yet.
Johan even managed to convince Malek it was now the symbiote's turn to be in control - and if he just did not use the voice distortion no one would be the wiser. Sighing, Malek agreed and took control, allowing Johan to relax. His host had been worrying constantly about saying something that would sound strange to the local population - should any of them be listening. Malek doubted he would do any better at pretending to be a Tau'ri, but he admitted it was only fair they should share this.
Malek followed the others to a food stand, selling something called 'hot dogs'. He remembered seeing them in the mess hall on the base. Daniel had explained to him they did not actually contain dogs meat - it was just a strange name they had been given. Johan had been a little disappointed at this. He had never had dog meat and thought it might be good - who knows? Malek had been grossed out at the thought. He loved all cute and furry animals.
O'Neill insisted they all buy some, as well as a couple of bags of 'snacks'. Malek remembered the hot dogs were at least better than some of the other food they had tried on this planet, so - being quite hungry - he bought two.
"What do ya want on it?" The hot dog vendor asked.
Malek looked desperately at the various toppings and condiments.
"Um..." He looked at what the others had chosen. "I would like some of that...and that...oh, and some of that as well." He pointed at several of the jars and bottles.
The hot dog man quickly added the condiments to Malek's food and handed it to him. Malek accepted it gratefully, relieved he had handled this difficult Tau'ri task well and not been discovered as an alien. He felt a surge of pride for a moment.
It did not last long. Following the example of the others, Malek had also bought something to drink. He had just picked at random and was given a large paper cup filled with a dark, fizzling drink. There was a straw in it, which Malek knew the Tau'ri often used when drinking. He took a big slurp through it, and almost coughed it all up when some of it somehow ended up in his nose. It tickled in a very offensive way and he snorted.
Looking up, he saw the others try not to laugh. They did not succeed. He scowled.
"Relax, Johan. We've all had that happen once or twice." Reynolds said, smiling. He slapped him on the back. "Come. We're going to sit over here and eat our food."
Johan laughed evilly in Malek's head, happy he had not been the one to make them look stupid. Malek threatened to give him control and make him stay in control the rest of this visit. That made Johan shut up. He found it much more entertaining - not to mention safer - to follow the events while his symbiote had control.
"I'm Malek, not Johan." Malek grumbled. "The coward is hiding."
"A little domestic dispute, hm?" O'Neill had heard what he said and smiled happily. The idea amused him.
Malek merely sighed and sat down beside the others, focusing on his food. Johan could be so trying.
"Why do people keep pinching each other?" Korra suddenly wondered, having observed this strange event happen several times.
"Don't know if you've noticed - those who are pinched aren't wearing anything green." Reynolds helpfully pointed out.
Korra studied the people for a little while. "You are correct. What significance does this have?"
"Eh...I'm not sure, actually...guys?" He looked to the rest of his team.
"Uh...I think my mom told me it was because the leprechauns can't see you if you're wearing green." A dark-haired man named Jacobs, explained.
"The leprechauns?" Korra asked, disbelievingly. Teal'c also seemed to listen interestedly.
"Yeah...they'll pinch anyone they can see...so...if you're not wearing green...your friends will pinch you...as a warning, I think..."
"I see..." Teal'c said. Though it was obvious he did not.
"Well, I don't..." Korra shook his head.
"OK. It's just a stupid tradition, OK?" O'Neill said. "And it's fun to pinch your friends, so...that's all there is to it."
"A tradition meant to enhance social bonding, hidden as superstition. Interesting." Korra said, still not quite getting it.
"There are many things we still need to learn about the Tau'ri." Malek added, deciding not to say he thought it sounded ridiculous.
When they had finished eating, O'Neill convinced them they needed beer to properly wash down the hot dogs. Besides, there was also the 'snacks' they had bought.
Reynolds and his team agreed, as did Korra when he spotted the women from before on their way into the bar O'Neill had indicated they should visit. Malek and Teal'c followed, not really complaining.
The bar was almost full of people, but they managed to get to the counter and order beers for all of them - except Teal'c, who did not drink alcohol. He insisted on drinking juice, which O'Neill kept teasing him for.
They found a place to sit down, and opened the bags of snacks that they had bought previously. Malek suspiciously studied the strange, crispy pieces. Trying one, he soon found he liked them. So much, in fact, that he began wolfing them down, guaranteeing his host he would raise their metabolism so they did not get fat.
Much later. Early evening.
Teal'c sat on a bench beside the large fountain and observed the Tau'ri and Tok'ra. They had consumed much alcohol, not just beers, but also stronger stuff. Malek had lost his hat and instead had a generous amount of green glitter strewn all over his hair, as had O'Neill and Reynolds - all courtesy of the kind young women who Korra had managed to convince should party with them. Korra had acquired a green shamrock on his right cheek - drawn with green lipstick by one of the women. He seemed to appreciate it.
They were all very drunk, even the Tok'ra, and they were currently playing in the fountain, throwing water at each other and laughing and giggling. A very small part of Teal'c felt envious, but by far the largest part of him was amused by their behaviour - though he did admit to feeling a little superior.
It had been an entertaining day, he mused. They had almost gotten thrown out of the first bar when Malek had walked up to an attractive woman - who was not wearing anything green - and had pinched her affectionately on the butt. Teal'c still felt amusement at the expression Malek had gotten when the woman had started yelling at him. Malek had started to apologize, not understanding why what he had done was wrong. Had they not said to him it was correct to pinch people not wearing green clothing? To warn them against these...leprechauns? Malek was confused.
Fortunately, O'Neill and Reynolds had saved him, explaining he was a friend, visiting from Europe...France, actually. They then went on to claim that it was good luck there to be pinched on the butt, and that Malek had tried to do her a favour. The woman was somewhat intoxicated and had believed the outrageous story. As had her two friends, who now insisted that Malek pinch them as well. He had happily done so.
Rolling their eyes, O'Neill and Reynolds had then pulled Malek with them, insisting he stay away from people they did not know. Still a bit confused, he had promised to do so.
Teal'c pulled his thoughts back to the present and resumed his observation of the people frolicking in the fountain. Malek had really become very drunk, and was now speaking with the symbiote voice. The women were strangely enough impressed and thought it was some trick he had learned to do. Not wanting to appear less interesting, Korra began using the distortion as well.
Then Malek decided to flash his eyes. Twice.
"Wow! How did you do that!" One of the women exclaimed. Then she giggled. "That's so cool!"
"I am pleased you approve..." Malek smiled and seized the opportunity. He pulled her close and started kissing her. She did not complain. On the contrary, she actually threw her arms around him and returned the kiss with passion.
O'Neill and a couple of the others cheered them on, then took at long drink from their beers. Korra stumbled over his own feet and fell backwards into the water, suddenly giggling. Teal'c decided now was probably a good time to go back to Stargate Command, before they drew too much unwanted attention. Earlier, he had noticed a number of people frowning and looking outraged at the behaviour. Teal'c was unsure if they disapproved of the public intoxication, the dancing in the fountain, or something else entirely.
However, at that exact moment, a group of MP's showed up. Apparently someone had complained about the drunken party at the fountain and recognized some of them as being from the base at Cheyenne Mountain. The local police had then alerted the base. It was by no means the first incidence they had had with people from there running a bit wild. The commander they talked with had promised to send someone to take care of the problem immediately.
"What is going on here?! Who is in charge?" A tall, broad-shouldered man demanded.
"Hi! Um...that'd be me...I think!" O'Neill grinned, a bit foolishly.
Reynolds saluted the MP with his beer bottle. "Or maybe me. We're the same...hic...rank, now, aren't we?"
The MP rolled his eyes at them and looked around for someone not drunk. His eyes fell on Teal'c.
"You're part of this group?"
"Yes. I am. Colonel O'Neill is in charge of our team. My name is Teal'c."
"OK...Teal'c. Could you tell me what is going on here?"
Teal'c looked at the other man. It seemed quite obvious what was happening. Could he not see that?
"SG-3, O'Neill, Malek, and Korra have consumed too much alcohol and are consequently behaving irrationally. I did warn them it was probably an unwise choice. However, they did not listen." Teal'c explained.
"Are you trying to be funny?" The MP now looked even angrier. He turned to his men. "Take them all."
"Wait...I just need to...hic...finish this..." Korra emptied his bottle and then attempted to stand. He did not succeed and fell backwards again, laughing uncontrollably.
The MP's ignored the various protests and arrested them all - dragging them back to the base. Malek complained - loudly - that they would not let the woman he had been kissing accompany him. They did not even bother answering him, which made him angry. He was a base commander! As they were escorted to a waiting truck, he began an incoherent explanation of why he should be treated with respect.
Back at SGC.
A group of now much more sober people left Hammond's office. The general had not been impressed with their antics. O'Neill found it to be very unfair he had had to take much of the blame - among other things, for involving two Tok'ra in this. Also, O'Neill had not even bothered making sure those Tok'ra had been given IDs before he took them outside. On a drinking spree, no less! Did he not understand what might have happened? What if someone had realised they were not from Earth?
O'Neill sighed. Sometimes Hammond was just no fun. Thinking about fun...he grinned suddenly. He remembered how this very morning he had been complaining that they never had any fun around here. Well,
they had certainly made up for that!