There were times, even in the midst of commanding a top-secret project whose success could mean the difference between a peaceful existence and the destruction of the entire planet, that life was simply… good.
General Hammond forked the last of his strawberry shortcake into his mouth, set his paper plate on the grass beside him, leaned back in his canvas chair, and patted his full belly while contemplating whether a second helping would be too indulgent. His gaze drifted with satisfaction over the hundreds of Stargate project members spread across the clearing. Most were sprawled on blankets or canvas chairs in little clusters, eating, chatting, and listening to the sounds of the sixties playing on the stereo system. A few of the people that the General always regarded as instinctive 'hostess-types' were still moving around, making sure everyone had enough hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, potato chips, fresh fruit, drinks, or strawberry shortcake. The most energetic ones had finished eating and were back at the volleyball nets, hitting the ball back and forth by the light of lanterns, the last rays of sun having deserted the day.
Since adopting Cassandra, Janet Frasier's interest in both the mental and physical health of the Stargate members had increased even beyond her usual keen conscientiousness. It was her idea to organize a massive 4th of July celebration. While being stationed in Colorado was not as difficult as being isolated in a foreign country, it could seem very far from home for team members who came from states as distant as Florida, New York and Alaska. Drafting a few volunteers to help, Janet had found a large clearing in the mountains above the complex, organized food supplies, volleyball nets, lot of sunscreen and various sundries to make this Tuesday a special day. And if there was anything that someone trained by the U.S. military did well, it was mobilize a large group of people. Nice to have a fun reason to mobilize for once, the General mused.
While he regarded all of the people under his command with a certain paternalistic fondness, he admitted only to himself that some were his particular favorites. The self-proclaimed King of the Barbecue, Jack O'Neill, and his commandeered assistant, Dr. Daniel Jackson, were busy cleaning up the grills. They were both wearing official issue black t-shirts and khaki shorts, though Jack sported a floppy chef's hat and an apron with the words, "Universe's Best Chef," an appellation that he challenged anyone to prove inaccurate. Janet was doing hostess duty, serving coffee and tea, her face animated as she chatted with people while spooning out sugar and cream. She had dug out civilian clothes, wearing white shorts and a white shirt with flowers.
The Jaffa Teal'c was with the volleyball players, working on his technique. Though he and the Jedi only learned the game that day, they quickly formed an unbeatable trio, their natural physical prowess allowing them to dominate the play. Hammond suspected that the Master-Padawan bond also gave the Jedi a unique advantage, as one would set up the ball and the other would spike it over the net, working in an uncannily smooth unison.
Though several good-naturedly suggested the three had practiced in secret, no one seemed to seriously mind the alien trio forming the nucleus of a mighty team which clobbered all others throughout the day. Hammond guessed the lack of anger resulted because the Jedi exemplified good sportsmanship. Everything they did, they did to the best of their abilities. They played to win because it showed they were utilizing their full skills, not necessarily to beat someone else. Qui-Gon couldn't stop the teacher core of his personality coming to the fore, occasionally halting the game to huddle with the other team, make strategy recommendations, or point out flaws in their form, despite his own team's rueful complaints. Only Obi-Wan seemed unsurprised, shaking his head with a small smile on his lips. The other Stargate members instinctively appreciated and reacted to their attitude, fun rather than competition remaining the paramount objective for the day.
His gaze finally found the Jedi at the edge of the clearing. Qui-Gon was sitting on the ground, his back leaning against a tree, legs stretched out in front of him. Obi-Wan was sprawled on the grass, his head resting in Qui-Gon's lap. Qui-Gon's hand was moving slowly through Obi-Wan's hair, ruffling then smoothing the spiky haircut.
The last two of his favorite people paused in front of him, interrupting his musings. Samantha Carter and Cassandra Frasier also opted for brightly colored shorts and tops. With their blond hair, they would have made a better physical match as mother and daughter than Cassandra and the brunette doctor. Instead, they had claimed the roles of favorite honorary aunt and niece. "Sparkler, Sir?" Sam asked, holding out a thin stick to the General.
Hammond frowned. "In these woods, Major?" The weather had been dry and warm for the last several weeks. After Jack and Daniel's excessive caution while lighting the barbecue coals, waving fireworks around seemed unwise.
"These are alien fireworks, General," Cassandra said happily. "Sam made them just for me." Her sparkler was already lit and she waved it gaily, the burning blue end leaving faint patterns in the air.
Sam smiled as she explained, "I used technology that SG-4 brought back from PKJ-623. I made some fireworks to shoot in the air, too. All perfectly safe."
Her enthusiasm was the quality Hammond most appreciated in Sam. She loved her work, science, her family and her friends all with equal passion, throwing herself into projects with energy and joy. A complaint from her lips was a rare occurrence. He could imagine her after a long day of exploration with SG-1, hunched over in her lab, designing an improved sparkler for her friends' kid. She was the type who would relish the scientific challenge and never lament the loss of her free time.
Shaking his head, Hammond answered, "Thank you, Major, but no."
"Beneath your dignity, Sir?"
"Beneath my age, Major. Let others have fun with them."
Sam accepted the negative response gracefully, leaning down to Cassandra so close their heads were almost touching to suggest, "Let's see if the Jedi want some."
"Cool!" They gave brief nods to the General and walked off, Cassandra entranced by her sparkler as she skipped at Sam's side. Obi-Wan opened his eyes as the two walked up but didn't move, remaining in his comfortable position on the ground.
"Sparkler?" Sam asked.
"Aren't they pretty?" Cassandra added, waving her sparkler so it formed squiggly circles in the dark.
Qui-Gon looked perplexed but Obi-Wan smiled with delight as he sat up. "Sparklers! Do you have red? I - Daniel - used to love red."
"Red it is," Sam said cheerfully, handing him one. "Qui-Gon?"
"Thank you, but I'll just watch Obi-Wan," he said.
Holding the sparkler gingerly by the metal base, Obi-Wan asked, "Do you have a match?"
"These are alien fireworks," Cassandra said again. "Like us. You don't need a match."
Leaning forward, Sam flicked a fingernail on the top of the red sparkler held in Obi-Wan's hand. It ignited with a quick flare, the color even more vibrant than Obi-Wan remembered from Daniel's childhood.
The younger Jedi leaned back, his back resting on Qui-Gon's chest. He began waving the sparkler, as Sam and Cassandra wandered off to find more willing recipients.
Draping one arm around Obi-Wan's shoulders, Qui-Gon studied the red lines and circles left hanging in the air for the few seconds before they faded away. "Are you forming particular patterns?"
"Hieroglyphics," Obi-Wan replied. "Daniel always traced hieroglyphics with his sparkler. He felt like it was a magical pen communicating with the ancient Egyptians."
They both looked over to the barbecue area where Jack was pretending to flip burgers with his sparkler while Cassandra giggled at his antics. Daniel stood to one side, absentmindedly drawing the symbols used to dial Stargate destinations. "Daniel is always Daniel,"
Qui-Gon said. "I thought fireworks in the sky were traditional for the Fourth."
Surprised, Obi-Wan twisted to see his lover's face. "You've seen fireworks before." The Jedi Master had never evinced much interest in watching the colorful displays, considering them only as a beautiful and necessary part of celebrations for some cultures. Fireworks signified that their diplomatic negotiations were successful and the two could return to Coruscant or travel to their next mission.
"On many planets," Qui-Gon's agreed quietly.
Realizing when patience was required, Obi-Wan leaned back, snuggling into Qui-Gon's chest. "Fireworks come after the sparklers."
The two Jedi continued to watch Obi-Wan's flickering red sparkler as he waved it around, forming mystical designs, letting it burn slowly down. Obi-Wan was content to wait for the revelation of why Qui-Gon wanted to watch fireworks. When Janet's plans were first announced, the two made an effort to escape for a private holiday festivity, but Janet's steely gaze and Daniel's careless, "The 4th's a Tuesday and we work Monday and Wednesday," aborted that attempt.
Thinking of Qui-Gon having a plan in mind despite being trapped in this large group made Obi-Wan tingle with both anticipation and worry. His Master was an inventive, selfless, and creative lover, but the large crowd would prohibit much activity. Sometimes when Daniel's memories and attitudes washed over him, Obi-Wan wondered what he had done to deserve someone like Qui-Gon in his life.
Then he remembered that he was a Jedi and it was the will of the Force.
Commotion from one end of the clearing indicated Sam completing a final check on her fireworks. The people who had still been wandering around found good spots to sit and watch, while the seated ones turned to faced Sam as she fussed with what appeared to be a modified bazooka on a tripod. Obi-Wan realized they were isolated at the end of the clearing farthest away from the fireworks, looking at motley rows of backs.
He gazed up at Qui-Gon with suspicious eyes. "You planned where to sit, didn't you?"
Not denying the accusation, Qui-Gon began rearranging them, pulling Obi-Wan to sit between his legs, the younger Jedi complying with a bit of trepidation. While no one was sitting close, they could be easily seen. Or heard.
With a loud pop, the first of the fireworks went soaring up and exploding in the air, bursts of silver streamers lighting the night sky.
/ / It's the first time we've watched fireworks together as lovers./ /
/ / Yes / / Obi-Wan cautiously answered, beginning to worry about Qui-Gon's plan. Making love close to a crowd seemed risky.
/ / I wanted to see if it was true. / /
/ / If what was true? / / Obi-Wan's nervous delight escalated. From the huskiness of Qui-Gon's tone, making love was definitely on the agenda.
/ / The vibrancy of fireworks, they way they explode with a furious roar and spread color throughout the darkness…if they are truly as glorious as how I feel when we make love. Those silver streamers…those are how I feel when I kiss you. / /
Obi-Wan stifled a groan as he tried not to think about them in a passionate embrace, kissing deeply, while a cascade of gold followed the silver.
/ / Now that is definitely when I lick your nipples then close my teeth on one tight peak and feel you shiver. I love the responsiveness of your body, my love. / /
Qui-Gon wasn't moving, but Obi-Wan felt consumed by his presence. Obi-Wan's buttocks were cradled into Qui-Gon's hips, his lover's longer legs on the outside of his, Qui-Gon's broad chest supporting his back.
Sam was allowing just enough time for the fireworks to dissipate and excitement to build before firing the next volley. Qui-Gon took advantage of the time delay to rub his hands on Obi-Wan's chest, the fingers finding Obi-Wan's taut nipples through the fabric of his t-shirt.
/ / Anyone could turn around and look at us! / / Obi-Wan shakily replied.
/ / Focus on us, my love, us and the fire raging through our bodies. / / Qui-Gon said nuzzling at Obi-Wan's neck before a shower of red exploded above the clearing. / / Your cock, I think. When I take as much in my mouth as I can and suck hard, tasting the flavor that is uniquely yours. / /
The mental words continued, smooth and seductive, sharing graphic descriptions of their love accompanied by the visual feast in the darkness, overwhelming Obi-Wan. It startled the Padawan to realize for the first time that Qui-Gon rarely discussed physical expressions of love. He was generous with his emotions, sharing them openly and honestly. The blunt words of sex and passion, of nipples and butts and cocks, were all the more erotic for their newness.
A shower of purple, its streamers spreading out even farther than the silver and gold.
Qui-Gon's hands moved from Obi-Wan's nipples to his hips, spreading wide over the front of his shorts, the warmth of the large hands burning through the fabric. / / When you wrap your legs around my hips and let me sink into your tight body. When I'm watching your face as you gasp for breath but you still beg for more. Plead with me to sink even deeper, until my cock is completely buried. / /
Obi-Wan squirmed, his fingers digging deeply into Qui-Gon's strong upper thigh muscles. He stifled his moan by burying his mouth in Qui-Gon's bicep.
A dozen small starbursts of gold, looking like a field of sunflowers in the sky.
/ / When I rim you, tasting your sweet opening, fondling your luscious buttocks, the muscles under your taut skin flexing and quivering.
/ / Qui-Gon reached underneath to cup Obi-Wan's ass, massaging the firm globes.
At the next cluster, Obi-Wan thought wildly / / Teal? They didn't have teal fireworks when Daniel was a kid./ /
Qui-Gon's calm was noticeably disintegrating as he noted Sam should be given credit for her creative improvements and continued, sounding rough and harsh / / When I'm on my hands and knees, my legs spread wide and you're fucking me. When you bury your hard cock in my ass. My muscles grab at you because I never want you to stop. / /
Obi-Wan's mental voice was decidedly wavering as he replied / / I'm delighted to hear it affects you the same when I'm on top. / /
/ / Any way we make love is perfect. / /
/ / Any way, any place, any time / / Obi-Wan agreed, / / but I still can't believe you instigated this NOW! / /
Despite his complaint, Obi-Wan loved every minute as he was fast losing control. The wandering hands settled firmly on Obi-Wan's crotch, stroking his stiff erection through his shorts. Qui-Gon's hips were lifting off the ground, grinding his own massive erection against Obi-Wan's ass. Their bodies rubbed together, the cotton and denim of their clothes damp with sweat. Electric heat sparked from bare skin as their legs slid against each other. The fireworks began coming closer and closer together, the fading colors of the previous set overlapping with the dynamic glory of the next.
A bright fuchsia … / / watching the sway of your hips as you walk / / … blue and red combined … / / when you go down on me, the greedy sounds emerging from the back of your throat / / … orange and gold … / / when we make love outdoors and I can watch the glow of the sun on your supple skin / /
As a multi-colored rainbow filled the sky and powerful hands squeezed his cock, Obi-Wan came, strong teeth biting down on Qui-Gon's arm to conceal his cry of release. He didn't see the final fireworks, his eyes tightly shut as he buried his face, but the colors scorched his eyes and burned into his brain, the loud pops of sound deafening him. Qui-Gon followed him seconds later, the colors searing through his mind as he arched into Obi-Wan, almost forcing the breath out of him, his powerful arms wrapped around Obi-Wan's chest.
Their bodies slumped back exhausted as they panted, watching the last of the colors falling to Earth and dissipating. The crowd remained in place for a moment, their exclamations of wonder silenced with respectful awe before a round of clapping broke out.
/ / Qui-Gon, people will begin to move soon! / / Obi-Wan gave a frantic warning before scrambling up and lurching into the forest. / /
We're a mess! / / Extinguished during the fireworks show, the lanterns were re-lit. By their glow and the shining moon, Obi-Wan watched
Qui-Gon rise more sedately and follow him. The Jedi Master's face was pure confidence, calm and unruffled as he smoothed his hair back
into place. The tall, lean body, encased in tight white t-shirt and blue denim shorts could have belonged to any superbly healthy Earth male. The lack of concern about the stain across the fly was decadently wanton. Obi-Wan didn't know whether to worry how to hide their disheveled state from their friends or thank Qui-Gon for being the center of his world.
/ / Fortunately, I foresaw this possibility. I told Janet we would walk back and do some Jedi exercises as part of night survival training. We can enter through the access tunnel once everyone is asleep. / /
They could hear the noise of the crowd, people talking about which fireworks were the prettiest, loading supplies into the trucks, preparing to leave.
Relaxing, Obi-Wan leaned forward, Qui-Gon's arms loosely encircling him. / / Thank you for not living in the moment all the time. / / They smiled and kissed gently for a moment. / / But it will take at least an hour for everyone to get back to base and settle in. / /
/ / So? / /
"So, you only said red and blue," Obi-Wan whispered, dropping to his knees in the dirt. As he reached for the button on Qui-Gon's shorts, he added, "I'm going to make you see the moon and stars too."
~ the end ~