The alarm clock sounded a piercing warning and Jack O'Neill woke with a start. He groaned as a jackhammer throbbed unmercifully in his head and he squeezed his eyes shut in hopes of controlling the pain.
The alarm kept ringing and he knew that the damned thing wasn't going to shut off on its own. He reached over to slam his hand on the button to silence the monster, but missed. Futile searching with his hand for the offending object caused him to open his eyes and raise his body to look for it. Not only was the alarm not on the bedside table where it was supposed to be, but Jack found himself staring into the glassy eyes of a giant teddy bear sitting in a rocking chair that he knew he didn't own.
Crap! He didn't have that good of a time at the party last night, did he? That alarm clock was still screaming at him and he decided he was going to kill it when he found it, then work on finding a whole bottle of aspirin.
He briefly wondered where he was when he heard a very feminine voice grumbling next to him. "I'm up already. Jeez!" just before the alarm shut off.
Jack's whole body tensed and he steeled himself for the inevitable. He didn't remember going to bed with a woman last night and he wasn't sure he wanted to find out who he ended up with. He turned over and saw her looking back at him with a small smile. At least she was pretty, he thought belatedly. Her warm brown eyes were looking at him with anticipation, and he was relieved to find that she was beautiful as she sat there in a white nightgown and mussed up honey brown hair. She appeared to be in her mid-forties, he mused.
"Good morning, sleepy head," she said, then leaned down to kiss him. "Today's the day!" she added still staring at him expectantly.
"Morning," he said, trying to act like nothing was out of place. She wanted something from him, he could tell, he just didn't know what it was. "Um...," he said uncomfortably, "It must have been a great party," pretty lame O'Neill, he thought. "I have such a headache, you wouldn't believe..."
"I'm not surprised," she said sounding a little put off. "Dan and Kevin had to drag you in here and they weren't as lucid as I would like to have seen them. What were you thinking?" she asked placing her hand on his chest. "Didn't any of you want to be the designated driver?" She sighed, "I'm just glad you got home safely."
Okay. He hadn't met this woman at the party, Daniel and some guy named Kevin brought him here and apparently they all had a great time at the party. That information didn't even get him close to understanding what was going on here, especially since he knew Daniel wasn't at that party. Hell he wasn't even in the same galaxy!
"Well?" she said with impatience. "Can I have it now?"
"Huh?" Jack asked, feeling like he was out in left field. He briefly wondered if he would have a better idea of what was going on if the damned headache would go away. "Have what?" Was this woman going to yell at him or what? Damn, Jack did not like this scenario one bit.
"My present," she said exasperated, confusing him once again. "Please??" Oh man, that pout made her even more beautiful in his eyes and he would have said yes to anything she asked him. Well, within reason anyway, he thought with a grin.
She squealed when she saw his grin and jumped out of the bed to run to the dresser on the other side of the room. O'Neill took this opportunity to scout out the territory, to get his bearings and to figure out where the hell he was.
He was in this woman's bedroom.
Okay, so he had that figured out. Now what?
The woman came back to sit on the bed with a small box in her hands and she gave him an excited smile before tearing off the paper.
"Oh," she breathed as she opened the box. "Oh Mac, it's gorgeous!" She held out a necklace that was studded with what looked like diamonds and immediately put it on. "How does it look?" she beamed before leaning down to kiss him again, this time with a little more enthusiasm and Jack found himself getting caught up in her passion.
Not now Jack, he thought to himself, resignedly and pulled back. "Gorgeous!" he said looking into her eyes. Oh was she gorgeous! "But I think you've made a mistake here. My name is not Mac, it's Jack," he said reluctantly.
Her smile turned to a puzzled frown, then back to that smile. "Oh yeah? Since when?"
"Since I was born," he said still trying to understand what was going on. "Well, that's not exactly true, Jack is a nickname."
"Well, that's not what it says on our marriage license or the kid's birth certificates," she said still grinning at him.
Did she say kids?? Oh God, marriage license?? Okay, that's it. "What the hell is going on here?" he asked, belatedly wishing he hadn't jumped out of the bed at that moment. His head was pounding triple time. "Who are you?"
"Stop it Mac, you're scaring me," she said, her face showing her concern. "This is our anniversary; please don't ruin it for me." She was pleading now.
"Look, I was never really a big fan of the `Twilight Zone'," he said, while striving for calm. "In fact, I hated that show, not to mention that it was all a bunch of hooey anyway. I am not Mac, you are not my wife, and I really need to find out what's going on here before I.... Damn," he sighed running his fingers through his hair. "This is not happening," he added with conviction.
The woman's eyes were misting and Jack suddenly wished he was more prepared in the tact department. He knew he had hurt her; he just didn't react very well in situations like this. Hell, he had never been in a situation like this. At least they called him by his name that time in Hathor's cryogenic chamber.
"Just let me think this through, okay?" he added. He could see she was starting to get mad and he marveled that she could be even more beautiful as the anger danced in her eyes.
"Fine," she said. "You think this through. I'm going to go get ready for my interview." With that said she got up off the bed and flounced over to a door that opened into a bathroom.
So much for finding out what was going on, he thought. He decided to look around for some clues to his whereabouts and he turned toward the dresser where he thought he might find his wallet or something to tell him that he really wasn't permanently located in the `Outer Limits'.
He finally found his wallet still in the pocket of his pants and was relieved to see his face and his name on his driver's license. Well that was one worry off his mind, he thought, as he put the pants on.
Then his eyes landed on some pictures arranged on the built-in shelves in the headboard of the bed. He moved closer, fascinated to see his own face staring out at him, as he stared at the pictures - one with his arms around the woman he woke up with, another with her and two children, a boy and a girl, and yet another that looked like a wedding photo of him and the woman smiling out at the photographer. Oh my God, he thought. What the hell is going on here?