TITLE: Seat Of Power
CATEGORY: Humor, some getting even
SPOILERS: Proving Ground
CONTENT WARNINGS: None
SUMMARY: Sequel to The Power Of The @: Jack thinks he has a way to get even with Daniel's practical joke in The Power Of The @.
DISCLAIMER: I do not own Stargate SG-1. Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions. I have written this story for entertainment purposes only. No money has exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. This story may not be posted elsewhere without the consent of the author.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: Big thanks to Lex and Seanchaidh for alpha/betaing this little story
Jack knew he was in trouble.
He’d been in trouble before.
He’d been disciplined by Hammond for various reasons. He’d been captured by Goa’ulds and tortured. He’d been shot, kidnapped, even killed, but this was the type of trouble he never wanted to be in.
Of course, having your commanding officer give you the “you’d better apologize fast or you’ll be in worse trouble” look is even worse than being disciplined by the self-same commanding officer. So, like it or not, apologize he would.
Jack could see the set in Daniel’s shoulders as he walked in front of him. He’d seen it before, and it had always turned out badly for Jack. It never failed. There he was, a colonel, a seasoned soldier, a man who knew more ways to kill an enemy than he ever wanted to, and he was about to be in trouble with a certain archaeologist over a little joke.
Some little joke. Okay, so Daniel got even with him for that little incident with the alien crossbow, but tricking Jack into reading all of those fake archaeological reports filled with “qwerts” to identify unidentified objects or using symbols for gods like @ for A’at, * for Arstix, & for Amp’sand was going too far! And involving Rothman? Jack hoped Daniel paid him enough to risk getting on Jack’s bad side – not that Rothman had ever been on his good side. Where’s the harm in getting even for a little retribution between friends?
Oh, right. He’d gotten even with Daniel for getting even with him when Jack was in the wrong in the first place.
He was in BIG trouble.
“Uh, Daniel, you want to slow down a bit there, buddy?”
Jack should have known this would happen. Daniel wasn’t going to let this one go. Jack’s “little joke” didn’t go over very well, and Daniel would have his revenge unless Jack could smooth things over.
“Look, I –“
“You didn’t tell them not to shoot me,” Daniel said with a flat edge to his voice.
Jack knew that tone in Daniel’s voice. It was that annoyed-you-did-something-stupid-and-I’m-going-to-get-even tone. He didn’t like hearing it, and he knew he was going to have to apologize big time. He hoped groveling wouldn’t be involved.
He moved faster to match Daniel’s fast paced walk down the corridor. “Come on, Daniel. No one got hurt. Besides, you had it too easy on this one.”
Daniel didn’t break stride as he swept into his office. “Easy? You call that easy? Do you remember what happened last time? The cadet hit me, knocked me out and left me with a concussion. This training exercise was supposed to be easy.”
“The guns were set on a heavy stun. Other than being a little sore for a few minutes, you’re fine.”
The dirty look Daniel gave Jack stopped him from pursuing that line of logic.
“Look, I’m sorry. I just thought it made more sense for Elliott to think he had to shoot you.”
“You told him that I’d always wanted Hammond’s office.”
“It made the whole thing more believable. Besides it was Satterfield who shot you, and she thinks you’re cute. Carter says Hailey does too, but that wouldn’t have stopped her.”
Daniel sat down at his desk, hard. He pulled his chair up so he was close to the desk and blatantly turned away from Jack. That was a classic maneuver. Daniel could ignore someone in the same room by sheer willpower if he turned his back to them.
Jack knew that trick. He knew it all too well. If he was going to apologize, he was going to have to do it face-to-face. He sat down in the chair opposite Daniel. There wasn’t any way Daniel couldn’t see him which meant he wouldn’t ignore him.
“Okay, here’s the deal. The general at the Academy warned us that Elliott was very good at seeing through acts. If we weren’t 100% convincing, he’d know. Add in Hailey style='color:red'>[,] who helps you and Carter raise the I.Q. of the planet, and we had to be twice as good as we usually are. Grogan was easy to fool, and Satterfield lets emotion get in the way of her decision-making sometimes. We had to do it this way.” There. That was a good explanation, right? It made sense, didn’t it?
“You didn’t tell them not to shoot me,” Daniel repeated.
Jack took a breath. So far, his great plan of explaining was a huge flop. “No, I didn’t tell them not to shoot you. But if I had –“
“If you had, you’d have done what you said you’d do. You promised me that this time I was supposed to get captured. Plus those stun blasts aggravate my ankle.”
Oops. And why was his ankle hurting? Because of Jack. Just because Daniel twisted an ankle while dodging an arrow Jack had shot by accidentally touching an alien crossbow was no reason to still be angry. Jack made a note to himself then and there that he wasn’t going to promise Daniel anything in any future scenarios. It might come back to bite him in the butt. Like this time.
“I thought Frasier said your ankle was fine.”
“To go on missions, sure, but those stun blasts don’t help.” Daniel turned in his seat so he was sitting slightly away from Jack.
Okay, this was reinforced, concentrated ignoring from a very angry archaeologist. Jack picked up his chair and moved it over so Daniel had to see him.
“Look, I’m sorry. I didn’t think the intars would do that. I’ll make it up to you. Just name it. Anything.”
That seemed to pique Daniel’s attention. “Anything?”
Jack held up two fingers in a salute. “Scout’s honor.”
Daniel leaned back, as if lost in thought. His fingers were tapping the arm of his chair, his fingers finding a hole worn into the cushioned material. “First, you tell me last time that I wouldn’t get shot this time. Then you tell Elliott I always wanted Hammond’s office. You don’t stop to think how bad those stun guns can be –“
Daniel smiled that little smile that always told Jack he was about to pay a heavy price for a joke. “Have you ever sat in Hammond’s chair?”
“Yeeeah…” Jack answered warily.
“It’s comfortable, isn’t it?”
“Very.” What was Daniel thinking?
“Tell you what, you get me a chair like Hammond’s and we’ll forget the whole thing.”
A chair like Hammond’s?
Burgundy polished leather?
“Uh, Daniel, buddy, do you know how expensive a chair like that is?”
Jack should have known. Daniel didn’t have expensive tastes, but he definitely knew quality when he saw it. It took three weeks to find a store that sold the chair, then another two weeks for them to order it and have it delivered to Jack’s house. Never mind the cost, he knew he was going to have to pay for his little joke. Then he had to transport it to the mountain. That meant hauling the heavy piece of furniture into the back of his truck and anchoring it there. Once at the mountain came the fun of hauling the chair out of his truck and into the elevator. He ignored the laughs and the knowing glances of everyone around him. No one dared look at him directly – they knew he’d lost to Daniel. Again. If this kept happening, he’d lose what was left of his self-respect – or find a new and very inventive way to get it back.
He pushed it into Daniel’s office, noting as he did that the coffee pot wasn’t on. That meant that Daniel wasn’t at the mountain yet. Lucky for him.
He moved out the old chair and pushed the new one under the desk. Just as an added touch, he put a red bow on the top of it. Never let it be said that Jack O’Neill didn’t know how to lose graciously.
As he walked out of the office, he saw General Hammond coming towards him.
“Hi, General,” he said. “You’re here early this morning.”
“I had some paperwork to catch up on. I just received a call from Sergeant Siler that you were delivering a chair to Doctor Jackson and thought I’d take a look.” He glanced into the office and nodded his head, obviously approving. “As I understand it, that was the price for you not telling our latest cadet trainees not to shoot him?” Hammond was grinning. Jack didn’t like it when his commanding officer grinned like that. Sometimes it felt like he was on the wrong end of a bad joke, and he liked being on the other end.
“Yes, sir. One just like yours. Did Daniel tell everyone I had to get him a new chair?”
“No. In fact, I believe it was Major Carter and Teal’c who informed Doctor Fraiser who in turn told Nurse Clark. It was on the base grapevine before the hour was out. I hope you got a good deal, Jack, or you’ll be dealing with more than just the base knowing you had to buy one.”
“I think so, sir. I had to go to that leather furniture store in Denver to find one.”
Jack looked at the general… what was he missing? “Yours is polished leather, isn’t it?”
“No, it’s pleather.”
“Pleather?” Jack had never heard that word.
“Yes. It’s an inexpensive imitation leather. I may be a general, but I still know how to budget my money.” With another sly grin, Hammond left Jack alone in the corridor.
Inexpensive, imitation leather.
Hammond returned to his office and found Doctor Jackson exactly the way he left him, sitting in a visitor’s chair, reading a book.
“Colonel O’Neill has just delivered your chair to your office. Signed, sealed and delivered.”
Daniel closed the book and stood. “How did it go with you?”
“To put it in Jack’s terminology, he bought my story hook, line and sinker. He thinks he paid too much for it since mine’s imitation. I don’t think he’ll be very happy if and when he learns mine’s as genuine as yours is.”
As Daniel turned to leave, Hammond asked, “What do you have planned for him the next time you have to get even with him?”
Daniel smiled and said, “I have a few good ideas, sir. I mean, we wouldn’t want Jack to lose his edge, would we?”
Hammond watched Daniel leave and silently chuckled to himself. Those two… they certainly made life interesting at the base.
And Doctor Jackson had a few good ideas?
Heaven help Jack O’Neill.
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