"What do you mean that's not allowed?!"
The sound of Janet's voice carried from the open door of her house towards the street where Jack had just parked his truck. In the glow of the home's lights, he could see that the Doc and Carter were having some sort of discussion by the front door, the diminutive doctor perched precariously on a stepladder while attempting to hang something.
Jack could have kissed the Doc for that. No, strike that, there was only one person he was planning on kissing tonight. Jack made his way towards the house, staying in the shadows. If he timed it right and if Fate was with him, the Doc would go away and leave Carter by the door.
'Well, Merry Christmas to me,' thought Jack as Janet took the ladder and left. He quickly moved up the porch steps and grabbed Sam by the arm.
"Hey Carter. Merry Christmas." Quicker than you can say United States Air Force Instruction 36-2909, Jack spun her around and kissed her. A kiss that would have been way more romantic in Jack's mind if dogs barking Jingle Bells hadn't been playing full blast on Janet's stereo. Much sooner than he wanted, Sam turned the kiss into a hug, saying "Um, thanks, Sir." And that's when he noticed the audience.
"Merry Christmas, T," Jack said, still holding on to Carter.
Which was more than a little unsettling. Someone had put the barking dogs out of their misery so the place was now eerily quiet. Jack let go of his 2IC.
Teal'c continued to glare.
Jack looked at Carter and saw a flicker of something he couldn't quite identify in her eyes. Embarrassment perhaps? Okay, so maybe he shouldn't have done that, but still, it was a mostly harmless peck. There hadn't even been any tongue involved!
Teal'c was still glaring.
Deciding to remove himself from the bizarrely tense situation, Jack forced a smile and headed for the kitchen, vaguely noting the tinsel-strewn hallway floor. Behind him he heard low voices. Sneaking a glance he confirmed that the two were huddled together and talking in strained whispers.
'Well, what the hell was that all...'
The thought was instantly knocked out of his head by a large ball of wadded up tinsel propelled from a point in space on the other side of the kitchen. Said point in space was notable in that it was currently occupied by one Jonas Quinn.
"Ooops, sorry Colonel!" Jonas apologized. "I was aiming for..."
Jack caught sight of a flash of long hair followed by a well-aimed tinsel ball making contact with Jonas' chest.
"Cassie!!" Jonas quickly grabbed some of the ammunition that was littering the floor and bolted out of the room.
"Maybe the Doc's introduced him to some Christmas spirits," Jack said, shaking his head. Speaking of the good doctor, he could hardly believe she was letting Jonas and Cassie trash her house like this.
Jack rummaged around in the kitchen. It was quickly shaping into a strange evening and he had the feeling he was going to need a drink. An exhaustive search turned up a cupboard full of tongue depressors, a "Where's the Beef?" potholder and a refrigerated Chia Pet, but no booze. 'Strange, it's not like the Doc to be low on the liquid supplies,' Jack thought. He wandered out to the den where he found Janet on the floor, amidst a sea of tinsel balls, slamming back a shot of something. Well that explained...
The thought of the Doc hammered and potentially armed with needles was enough to make any grown man cry, but that wasn't what was bothering him at the moment. Teal'c and Sam had made their way to the den and were sitting very close to each other on the sofa. Very, very close. Hell, she was practically in his lap! Mmm 'kay...
"...the easiest was Narim. Tanith owed me," the mighty voice of the Jaffa rumbled. "I found that Martouf was the most difficult. In preparation of the plan I was forced to deal with Anise which was most unpleasant."
"Here's something. I noticed Graham dis'suppeared for awhile," Janet said with a hiccup.
Teal'c's eyes narrowed. "He required reeducation."
Janet was grinning and nodding. Carter was rolling her eyes and...and...AND PUTTING HER HAND ON TEAL'C LEG! 'Ok, so she's drunk,' Jack thought while telling his brain to shut up when it reminded him that he hadn't smelled liquor on her breath.
"Honestly, I don't know what to do with you," Sam said, flashing Teal'c a dazzling smile.
Teal'c smiled in return. "Fortunately the Orlin situation resolved itself," he said in a way that made Jack shudder.
And the hand was still on the leg.
Sam turned back to Janet who hadn't stopped grinning and nodding. "I finally had to put my foot down. 'No more of that,' I said. And he definitely is not allowed to hurt..."
"Jackie!" Janet yelled, apparently noticing him for the first time.
He had never been called Jackie before in his life and was not going to let some intoxicated Napoleonic power monger start. He opened his mouth to tell her this, but she was quicker.
"Cassie! Jonas!" Janet bellowed. "Get in here! Now! Everyone's here so we can hear the 'nouncement."
Teal'c and Sam stood as Jonas and Cassie ran into the room, dragging an obscene amount of tinsel with them. Janet attempted to stand while grinning and nodding, but settled for the floor.
"I consider you all my closest companions of this world," Teal'c began. "So I am proud to inform you that I have asked Samantha to be my bride and she had consented."
Jack's blood ran cold. This couldn't be happening! He watched in horror as his former buddy put his arms around Sam and gave her a passionate kiss. Everyone was smiling and offering congratulations, their words swimming in Jack's head.
"Can I be a bridesmaid?"
"That's great guys!"
Suddenly the sound of screaming ripped through the room. He looked around to see where it was coming from but everyone was happily congratulating the couple.
It must be him. Damn.
Jack sat straight up, his sweat-drenched sheets clinging to him.
"Only a dream. Only a dream," Jack repeated to himself, fighting the urge to dial Carter to make sure Teal'c wouldn't pick up.
Rubbing his shaking hands over his face, slowly the cause of his night terror came to him.
SGC Christmas party in the commissary.
Carter brought something homemade.
Mystery meatballs in mystery gravy. Supposedly festive green meatballs.
Jack groaned and flopped back on his pillow. Never again would he eat Carter's cooking. Ever. Seriously this time. It never ended well.
Jack stared at the ceiling and suddenly grinned at the only thought at the moment that could give him any comfort: Jonas had eaten twice as much has he had.
Meanwhile, deep within Cheyenne Mountain...
Jonas sat straight up, his sweat-drenched sheets clinging to him.
"Only a dream. Only a dream," Jonas repeated to himself, shaking away the notion that he had just agreed to marry Teal'c.