Two Sheets, One Blanket
This little two-fer was inspired by a comment from PolRobin on a GateWorld forum—about the sweetness of first kisses. Here are two distinctly different such kisses.
Shippy first kisses that are unabashedly Fluffy.
If you're allergic to fluffy ship, you should proceed with caution.
He'd waited until each page had almost landed in the tray before tugging it the rest of the way out of the printer. O'Neill knew it was juvenile of him to do so—but frankly, at this point, he really didn't care.
There were two of them. Two simple pieces of paper, two simple pieces of Pentagon mumbo-jumbo that effectively changed his life.
Still warm, they felt flimsy in his hand—too meager for the crucial information printed upon them.
He glanced at them briefly before turning, heading out of his office and through the Briefing Room. He paused in front of the observation window, gazing down through the bullet proof glass into the 'Gateroom below, where several people milled around, completely oblivious to the fact that, thanks to these two sheets, everything was about to change.
He took another look at the white, twenty-four pound laser printer paper that he himself had ordered from the office supply, took a deep breath, turned, and aimed himself towards the door.
His boots echoed slightly in the empty concrete hall. He rounded a corner and trudged down the hall towards the stairs, holding the hand rail with one hand, and clutching the two sheets of paper tightly with the other. When he circled the final bend in the spiral, he stepped into the Control Room.
The pair of technicians sat in their customary chairs, and a dozen or so other people scattered the room. He walked to the far end of the banks of winky blinky arrays, peered into each cavity, but didn't find the object of his search. On his way back towards the spiral staircase, he saw Walter staring at him quizzically.
Jack stopped, frowned, and finally growled, "What?"
"Can I help you find something in particular?" For some reason, it always bothered the sergeant when O'Neill appeared in his Control Room without previous provocation.
The little guy was intuitive, O'Neill had to grant him that much. He lifted the papers slightly in his hand, glanced down at the printing thereon before narrowing a look back at the sergeant. "Have you seen Carter?"
"No, Carter the Wonder Clown." His lips thinned. "Yes, Colonel Carter."
Walters screwed up his mouth, scrunched his eyebrows down behind his round glasses. "Ummmm—I think I saw her in the mess."
"It's now—" The General raised his arm—his papers arm—and glared at his watch. "Three forty five in the afternoon." He looked up at Walter. "You think she's still there?"
"Well, she might be." The little tech replied, shrugging. "You never know."
The General sighed, casting Walter a withering look, before turning and exiting into the hall. He made his way down the hall and to the elevator, where he punched the up button with one finger, while his others clasped the papers to his palm. He waited impatiently, tapping a foot, kicking the concrete wall next to the elevator door, whistling. It seemed to take forever.
When the elevator doors finally opened, O'Neill immediately started forward, but stopped when he saw that several people waited to exit. He stepped aside with a wave of his hand to let them off, the sheets of paper crinkling loudly with the motion. Once it was empty, he headed in, punching the button that read, "19".
The elevator made a stop on Level 26, where it admitted two lieutenants who worked in the mess, and again on Level 25, where the doors opened again.
Daniel. The General raised his eyebrows and allowed exactly half a smile.
"Where you heading?" Daniel entered, turning to stand shoulder to shoulder with his friend.
"Up." He nodded at the display, where two buttons were illuminated.
"You going to the commissary?" Daniel squinted at the twin column of buttons.
"Nope." Jack scratched at his nose, hiding his smirk with the papers in his hand.
"I'm just saying. Because that's what's on Level 22."
"I'm not going to the commissary."
"Because the other button that's lit up is for Level 19."
Jack looked at Daniel and raised one eyebrow. He did his best Teal'c impression. "Indeed."
Daniel's head drooped. "Jack—you know you're not allowed up there right now."
"She stated explicitly that you had to stay away from her lab."
"I know." The General nodded once, his eyes widening slightly.
"You can't bother her right now. She needs to finish this project. The guys at Groom Lake are practically begging her for it."
"I know." Jack folded his arms in front of him, crinkling the papers to his chest. "But I've got something she needs."
Daniel's eyes grew huge—he lowered his chin, peering at the General from over the rims of his glasses. "And what would that be?"
The corner of Jack's mouth lifted slightly. He stood still, silent, watching the numbers change on the digital display over the door.
The elevator bumped to a halt, and after a moment, the doors slid open. With a timid, 'Excuse me, sir," The Lieutenants exited, leaving Daniel and Jack alone in the lift.
Daniel waited three floors before speaking again. "You're planning something."
"Not really." Jack shook his head, shrugging unconvincingly.
"I know you, Jack. You're up to something."
The elevator stopped, and Daniel scooted in front of the door before Jack could crowd it. He studied the General's face, then shook his own head. "You know I'll figure it out."
Jack scratched his neck with his empty hand, scowling. "Somehow, I doubt that, Daniel."
Then he stepped around the archaeologist, through the doors, and into the hall.
He went straight down yet another concrete corridor, turning at the fourth door on the left. It was closed, and he raised a hand and knocked lightly at it with his knuckles.
He knocked again.
So he carefully shoved the door open with his empty hand, and took a tentative step inside. Something was moving on the other side of the table. Jack stopped just inside the room and cleared his throat.
The movement stalled, and a head popped up from beneath the table.
"General O'Neill!" Felger stood fully in one swift, if awkward, motion. He was holding two lengths of wire, one in each hand. "To what do we owe this fine pleasure?"
"Colonel Doctor Carter isn't here at the moment, General O'Neill." Felger grinned hugely—his teeth brilliant in the dim lighting of the lab. "She's in the base storage area procuring more wiring so that she and I—that is to say, herself and myself—I mean, of course, her and me?—can finish hooking up the simul-impulse coordinator with the crystalline data bank of the Co-existational diode core."
Perfect silence met this pronouncement. The General's mouth gaped open, his brows lowered over narrowed eyes. Across the table, Felger's grin noticeably slipped. The scientist's eyes darted between O'Neill and the open door behind O'Neill, as if salvation lay just beyond, and he were judging to see if he'd make it before the General exploded.
But detonation wasn't in the plan, today. O'Neill had two sheets of paper that said so. So he only shook his head in mock amazement and said, "No flux capacitor?"
Felger blanched. "I—uh—wasn't aware that we—uh—had those in storage, sir. Shall I call her in and rework the plans?"
Jack rolled his eyes. "It was a joke, Felger." He emphasized the 'g'—as in 'geranium'. Just exactly as he'd been asked not to.
"Uh, sir—that's '—ger', sir. Like in 'gold."
"Got it." The General nodded—a bit too eager for realism—then saluted sarcastically. "Then, carry on, Doctor."
Felger grinned again—although weaker, this time—and lifted a hand in farewell as O'Neill turned and headed for the door.
Onward to the storage rooms.
Jack turned back for the elevator, and pushed the button, but abruptly changed his mind and crossed the hall towards the stairwell. Shouldering the door open, he steadily climbed the two flights to Level 17, then used his key card to enter the corridor found there. He knew that Carter liked to use a specific storage area on 17 for her more sensitive items, and figured she'd be there finding whatever it was that Felger had been blathering about.
But, alas, when he arrived, the door was shut tight, and swiping his key card in the reader only revealed a cold, dark room with a layer of dust throughout. No one had been there for a while.
He stood in the corridor outside the storage area, momentarily stymied. Reflecting on the daily habits of his Second in Command, he tried to imagine exactly where she would be at—he looked at his watch—four eighteen in the afternoon.
Commissary? The head? Infirmary?
He wished he had one of those communication things like on Star Trek. Whack your chest, someone answers. Handy.
With a sigh, he turned and walked back to the elevator. He'd announce that he needed to see her from the Control Room.
Because he did need to see her.
Seven minutes later, he came to a stop directly behind Walter's chair.
In that quasi-psychic way that the little man had, the sergeant immediately placed a hand on the intercom. "Want me to page the Colonel, sir?"
"I would, sir, but she's down there in the 'Gateroom." Walter cast a quick look at the General over his shoulder. "Maybe you'd just like to give it to her down there."
O'Neill froze. "Give what to her?"
"The paper, sir."
"Who said I had a paper to give to her?"
"General Hammond, sir."
Jack nodded, pursing his lips. "Of course he did."
"But I can still page her, sir, if you'd like."
O'Neill waved a hand and pivoted back towards the spiral staircase. "It's okay, Walter. Thanks."
He counted the stairs—not because he wanted to know how many there were, but because he needed to pace himself. When he emerged into the 'Gateroom, he purposefully paused at the threshold, to not appear too eager. He walked slowly, just so that he wouldn't seem impatient.
He still felt like a randy school boy as he stopped next to where she stood, quietly conversing with Siler.
And it felt like an eternity before she noticed he was even there.
She held up a finger mid-sentence to Siler, with a polite, "Excuse me", and then turned to the General.
"Did you need something, sir?"
And even though he'd practiced this moment since his conference call the day before with Hammond and his cronies, he still found himself unceremoniously thrusting the first paper at her, with a gruff, "Here."
She took it, attempted to pull it smooth, and then turned it right side up. Flicking a glance in his direction, she then dropped her gaze to the sheet of paper.
It only took her a moment. Her head shot up, her eyes wide, her teeth worrying at her upper lip. "Sir? What's this—I don't understand—"
He handed her the other paper. She yanked this one out of his hand, turned in hastily, and actually moved her lips while she read it. He'd never seen her do that before, and he'd watched her mouth a lot over the past eight some-odd years.
He was still concentrating on that mouth when he noticed she was staring at him.
"What's this mean, sir?"
"You're the smarty-pants doctor, Colonel. What does it mean?"
"You're being transferred to DC. The Pentagon."
"Yes." He nodded.
"And I'm being sent to Area Fifty One?"
"We won't be here anymore." She shook her head, gesturing between the two of them with an open hand.
"That, we won't."
"And I'll have a new boss."
Her eyes had grown impossibly round, she'd started breathing in little pants, through her mouth, exactly the way he'd always imagined she'd look when—
She actually squeaked.
And it was only a single step that they needed to take, a single step before their bodies came into full contact, and her arms had twined around his neck, and his hands clasped her tighter at the small of her back, and somehow the world became aligned, and he was finally tasting her.
Right there, in the 'Gateroom, with half the base standing around, watching as he lifted his hands to frame her face, and hers made their way into the scruff that was his hair, and they shifted positions only to get closer, one of his legs insinuating itself between hers, and her knee hooking itself oh-so-nicely on his thigh.
Later, Siler and Walter would argue over who it was that began clapping first. But they would both agree that once it started, it took a while to stop—the entire 'Gateroom had echoed with thunderous applause that neither of the honorees would either acknowledge or recognize, so involved were they with each other.
Applause that had served as a soundtrack for two sheets of paper, wafting their way carelessly to the ground, dropped from otherwise busy fingertips, where they lay until the janitorial staff would sweep them away.