"What are you doing with my girl?"
Upon hearing the obnoxiously loud question, Pete Shanahan looked up from the concrete path as he walked from his hotel room door to his car. Directly in his line of sight was the face that belonged to the very accusing voice.
"Oh great," he muttered to himself as Air Force Colonel Jack O'Neill leaned casually, though decidedly in a quite unfriendly manner, against the driver's side door of his SUV.
O'Neill was intimidating enough just by himself, and normally Pete would have simply ignored the man as well as possible.
But this morning, O'Neill had back-up—in the form of a grim archaeologist and a scowling Jaffa.
The archaeologist—Daniel Jackson, as Pete recalled—stood to Jack's left with his hands in his pockets. Though appearing somewhat geeky to the casual passerby, Pete knew that Dr. Jackson was, in fact, very physically strong.
Strong enough to inflict a lot of bodily harm on someone he didn't particularly like.
Even stronger than Daniel was Teal'c—the Jaffa —who stood erect at Jack's right side, arms bent at the elbow and hands clasped behind his back. He looked down his nose at Pete—quite literally, considering the fact that Pete Shanahan was noticeably shorter than the large black man from the place called Chulak.
Pete slowed his steps and took a deep breath, intent on getting to his car without any major incident. They're officers of the law just like you are, he reminded himself. They're not going to shoot you just for dating Samantha.
Jack turned his head and addressed the stony-faced Jaffa . "You think he might not have heard me?" he asked rather loudly.
Yes, Colonel O'Neill, I heard you. It's possible the entire neighborhood heard you. Now get off my car and leave me alone.
Pete looked Jack directly in the eye, coming to a stop a relatively safe distance away. "Sam and I are friends," he answered as calmly as he could. "We don't need your 'permission' to spend time together."
Jack remained calmly propped against Pete's car door with his arms folded across his chest. His expression never wavered as he stared the younger man down.
"Excuse me, did you just say that you're Sam's friend?" Dr. Jackson spoke up mockingly. "What kind of friend would run a background check just to see what she may or may not be hiding?"
Crap. How did they find out about that?
"And it's not just that background check that would anger Sam," Daniel continued boldly. "All those times you spied on her are really gonna put you on her bad side, if you know what I mean."
"I do not believe Major Carter would be pleased at the knowledge of your deception," Teal'c stated matter-of-factly, narrowing his eyes at Pete.
"Sam doesn't need a so-called friend like you," Jack sneered in a loathsome tone, finally pushing himself off Pete's car door and moving nearer. "In fact...if I were you, I'd be finding the fastest way back to Denver before any 'accidents' could happen."
"Well you're not me," Pete retorted angrily. "And it's gonna take a lot more than empty threats to keep me away from Sam."
Daniel snickered. "Empty threats?" he echoed in complete amusement. "Jack, he thinks you're making empty threats."
Jack smiled at his friend. "The young ones are always so naïve, aren't they?"
He turned back to Pete, taking a few deliberate steps that brought him toe-to-toe with the Denver cop. "I'll tell you one more time: stay away from Sam."
Pete folded his arms across his chest. "And if I don't?"
"You and I could make a little 'unscheduled' visit through the Stargate to an enemy planet. Tell me, Petey: have you ever been to Hell?"
Pete scoffed outright at that ridiculous question. "You gotta be kidding me."
"Oh, trust me, Pete—I don't kid." Jack leaned a bit into Pete's personal space. "Danny and I? We've been to Hell. It's not a pretty place to be."
Pete paled as he realized that Jack O'Neill was not making it up. Nervous about his own safety at the hands of the Colonel, he drew back half a step.
Jack shrugged a shoulder, poking his hands into his pockets. "Or I could just leave you alone with Teal'c here."
The tall Jaffa now took a menacing step toward Pete, a very hostile expression prominent on his face. A low rumble could be heard through the clear morning air.
What was that? Did Teal'c just growl?
Seemingly outwitted—and definitely outnumbered—Pete eventually gave a resigned sigh. "Fine," he allowed darkly, with a hateful glare for Jack. "I'll leave her alone. Now get out of my way."
Jack, Teal'c and Daniel were honestly surprised that Pete had given up so easily. Their surprise remained masked, however, as they uniformly stepped aside.
"Have a nice day," Jack offered cheerfully, his voice dripping with false cordiality.
Pete eyed him warily as he opened his car door and got inside. He shut the door and immediately engaged the power locks.
Cop or not, Pete wasn't stupid. He'd pretend to walk away, today. Tomorrow was another matter entirely.
As he pulled out of the hotel's parking lot, he wondered fleetingly if the Colonel was on some kind of special medication.
"That was fun," Daniel said with a grin, unashamed of his own malice in repelling Pete Shanahan.
Teal'c's features settled into a definite Jaffa smirk. "Indeed."
"So what now, Jack?" Daniel questioned eagerly.
Jack slipped a pair of black sunglasses over his eyes. "Well...now we get to sneak back on base and pretend we weren't gone for the past hour."