TITLE: Allies in Adversity
AUTHOR: Tiffany Park
SEASON: Late Season One
CONTENT WARNINGS: Language, a little background violence, and a few vague threats.
SUMMARY: Therapy: Makepeace and O'Neill style. The two colonels get into a bar fight and have to live with the consequences.
ARCHIVE: Please ask.
DISCLAIMER: Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of Stargate (II) Productions, Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions. This story is for entertainment purposes only and no money exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. The original characters, situations, and story are the property of the author. This story may not be posted elsewhere without the consent of the author.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: Just a little something to start the new year off right (or at least better...)
Allies in Adversity
Daniel rested his forehead in his hands and said plaintively, "Why?"
A chain and leather clad Hell's Angel stumbled gracelessly sideways and toppled over a chair. Daniel lifted his head to watch the man thud to the ground.
From the next table over, Johnson replied, "Because our two bosses have been sniping at each other for weeks and needed to blow off some steam." He calmly slouched in his hard-backed chair, as though watching his CO get into a brawl with nine muscle-bound and unfriendly bikers was a routine occurrence.
Maybe it was, Daniel thought, as Andrews and Henderson of SG-3 both just shrugged their agreement with Lieutenant Johnson's assessment. However, as far as Daniel knew, it wasn't a routine occurrence for Jack to join forces with Makepeace against said bikers. Especially after all the acrimony of the last few weeks. Then again, the explanation was obvious. "Did they have to get drunk first?"
"Actually, I kind of thought that was a good idea," said Johnson. "They needed it. I figured they'd both pass out before too much longer. We shouldn't have had to worry about anything more violent than some mud slinging."
"Some particularly nasty mud slinging," Sam said, wincing with distaste.
Daniel agreed. "Yes, sometimes I forget that Jack's got such a colorful vocabulary. He doesn't ever use that kind of language around us."
"And thank goodness for that," Sam said. Teal'c nodded solemnly.
Johnson said, "When you guys showed up here too, I was worried. But then I thought it might work out okay, you know, that maybe they'd just get drunk and insult each other. Get it out of their systems."
Andrews observed sourly, "Too bad those bikers came in when they did."
"Oh, I don't know if that's really such a bad thing," said Henderson. He was resting his chin in one hand and watching the fight clinically. He took a long pull of his beer. "At least they're not swinging at each other."
Indeed, they weren't. Instead, they were standing back to back and protecting each other like Starsky and Hutch, swinging fists and furniture at the Hell's Angels. Surprisingly, it looked like they might actually win. Five of the bikers were already down for the count.
The last few weeks had been difficult, Daniel acknowledged. Johnson was right, the two colonels needed to work out some issues. However, he doubted General Hammond or the base psychiatrist, Doctor McKenzie, would approve of Jack and Makepeace's methods.
Daniel looked over at SG-3. "I'm actually a little surprised by you guys. I figured you'd be in there with them, helping Colonel Makepeace out."
"And interrupt the boss's sport?" Johnson gave a mock shudder. "Are you out of your mind?"
Andrews said, "I value my life too much."
Johnson said, "We'll give him a hand if it looks like he needs it. Anyway, Colonel O'Neill is doing a great job of helping Colonel Makepeace with this little altercation."
"Besides," Henderson said, "us wading in there and mopping up the mess won't help either of them get their heads screwed on straight. This is therapeutic for them." He took another swig of beer. "And if we're lucky, it might make our lives easier, too. Yours as well as ours," he added pointedly.
Daniel grimaced. SG-3's self control about this fight had him dumbfounded. He'd always believed they were ready for any excuse to throw a punch or three, but Henderson's explanation made sense to him. The last few weeks really had been pretty bad.
Besides, he didn't have room to talk. Aside from Jack, no one from SG-1 was helping out, either.
A glass pitcher shattered against a wall. Beer splattered the surroundings like alcoholic rain. Another Hell's Angel went flying, along with a table. Both colonels were looking a little the worse for wear, but were still up and at 'em. Incredibly, both were grinning like fiends. It occurred to Daniel that they were actually enjoying themselves. Idiots.
When the sirens started, most of the onlookers cleared out of the bar. Johnson said, "Time to go." He and his teammates got up and headed for the door. The cops burst in before they could complete their escape.
It took some doing, but the police managed to bust up the fight and round up the combatants. They then turned to the witnesses.
The cop in charge started questioning people and trying to ID the perps. Johnson said, "Never seen 'em before," at the same time Daniel blurted, "I have no idea what happened." The members of SG-1 and SG-3 looked at one another in perfect accord and bailed out as fast as they could.
"You guys are colonels?" the police desk sergeant exclaimed. He shifted an incredulous gaze from the two military IDs he held in his hand to the two drunks standing before him and back again.
"Yep, sure are," O'Neill proclaimed. He threw a companionable arm around Makepeace's shoulders and hiccuped loudly. "I'm Air Force and my buddy here's a fucking dumb jarhead."
Makepeace grinned at O'Neill's inebriated endearment. "Yup, me and this gawddamn zoomie work at the Mountain."
There was only one "Mountain" in Colorado Springs that these two fools could possibly be talking about. "Cheyenne Mountain?" the police sergeant asked anyway, just to clarify matters.
Makepeace nodded enthusiastically. "Yeah. We do deep space radar telemetry." He leaned closer to the sergeant and whispered conspiratorially, "Very hush-hush."
The sergeant drew back, grimacing a little at the alcohol-laced breath. "Hush-hush, huh?" God help the nation, he thought.
O'Neill nodded vigorously, put a finger to his lips and made a shushing noise. "Very, very hush-hush. Don't tell a soul."
The sergeant rolled his eyes. "Jesus." He gestured to another policeman. "Hey, Joe, process these clowns, will ya? Let 'em sleep it off in the drunk tank. They can call their CO in the morning."
Said CO was probably going to have an absolute fit, the sergeant mused as he watched the two drunks be led off. That individual was probably a general, if those guys were really colonels. The sergeant grinned maliciously and hoped the man had absolutely no sense of humor.
"If you two can't stay civil--" General Hammond ranted, leaning forward in his chair "--why can't you at least stay apart?"
The two miscreants standing at parade rest in front of Hammond's desk looked like they wanted to die. Makepeace winced in pain. O'Neill groaned outright and asked, "Can you keep it down, General? My head is killing me." Makepeace shot him a horrified look.
Hammond goggled at O'Neill. "Are you still drunk?" he shouted, rising to his feet. "I'm barely getting started! Senior officers are supposed to set a good example, not behave like complete dickheads. Look at you!"
They really did look terrible. Aside from the obvious hangovers, both were covered in bruises and cuts. Considering what Hammond had heard about the fight and the odds against them, it was surprising they weren't in even worse shape.
Let 'em suffer. They'd earned it.
Without sympathy, Hammond went on. "Even your own teammates had the sense to stay out of that fight. What the hell is wrong with you two? Why on Earth did you both have to be at the same damn bar, anyway?"
Makepeace unwisely muttered, "We were there first."
"Oh, and we were supposed to go somewhere else just because you jarheads were in the room?" O'Neill shot back.
Hammond bellowed, "That's enough out of both of you!"
Both colonels jerked to rigid attention.
Hammond sat back down. "For three weeks you've been at each other's throats. I don't know what started it, and I don't care! It. Ends. Now. You two are adult men and high-ranking officers in the United States military. Start acting like it!"
Hammond couldn't remember the last time he'd been this angry. Looking shocked, O'Neill and Makepeace stared at him, and that just made him angrier. Were they really such idiots? Did they truly have no idea how their asinine behavior affected base morale? How it reflected on the SGC? How it reflected on him?
He lowered his voice and said implacably, "You will cease disrupting this base with your petty, childish bickering. You will learn to work together if it kills all three of us!"
O'Neill said, "General, it's not like we were fighting each other in that brawl. It was us against the Hell's Angels. Right, Makepeace?"
Brows raised in disbelief, Hammond stared at the Marine. In turn, Makepeace stared straight at the wall over the general's right shoulder, and said, "That's correct, General Hammond, sir."
O'Neill nodded. "We were watching each other's backs and defending each other from those crazy bikers."
Hammond scowled at both of them. Were they really going to use that damned bar brawl--the very last straw that had finally landed them here in this office--to try to get off the hook? Were they really that brazen?
Apparently, they were.
O'Neill went on, "I'd say we demonstrated that we can work together quite effectively, General. Those biker guys were pretty big. And mean. And tough. The fact that neither of us has any broken bones speaks for itself. In fact, before the cops showed up, we were winning."
"You were winning," Hammond repeated. "So therefore everything is okay?"
"It was good teamwork on our part," O'Neill insisted. "Right, Makepeace?"
Makepeace had gone pale as O'Neill's mouth dug them in deeper and deeper, but maintained his fixed stare at the wall. "That's correct, General Hammond, sir."
"Teamwork, is it?" Hammond said. "I see. What a pleasant change. We need to encourage this sudden good behavior. I've got just the thing to reinforce your newfound camaraderie."
It was a novel sight, Daniel mused thoughtfully as he stood in the doorway and watched two full-bird colonels hard at work. Funny, but he’d never believed this particular punishment was real before. General Hammond could certainly make his point when he wanted to.
Side by side on their hands and knees, Colonel Jack O’Neill and Colonel Robert Makepeace were cleaning the latrine floor with toothbrushes.
They were grumbling at each other, naturally, but without the animosity that had made life hell for the last few weeks. Would wonders never cease?
Makepeace groused, "Just once, I wish you’d work the system instead of slamming face first into it."
"I was working the system," O'Neill snapped. "Just like we'd agreed. But you weren't a lot of help in there, were you? I could've used a little more support, you know."
"Antagonizing General Hammond was not working the system! What were you thinking?"
"Whaddaya mean, what was I thinking? I was trying to get us off the hook!"
"By pissing Hammond off?"
"I didn't see you doing anything to save our butts."
Makepeace muttered something that Daniel didn't catch, then Jack growled, "Fine, next time you handle things."
The change in attitude was impressive, Daniel thought, even if the fact that they both believed there would be a next time didn't bode well. They sounded like cranky co-conspirators now, bitching about a failed scheme, rather than to-the-death arch enemies who couldn't even stand to be in the same room breathing the same air.
Allies in adversity. Daniel shook his head. General Hammond knew what he was doing, all right. What a devious man.
Hammond couldn't take all the credit for the transformation, but Daniel gave him kudos for keeping it alive. Jack and Makepeace had allied quite cheerfully against the bikers. Hell's Angels and too much beer might have started the process, but clearly the current punishment was cementing it in place.
What a relief. Maybe the base would get a rest for a while. And if not, well, at the very least the latrines would be clean. Based on what Daniel could see, Jack and Makepeace did good work. The floor and fixtures practically sparkled.
"What the hell are you looking at? Come to gloat?" Jack suddenly snarled.
The unfriendly questions startled Daniel out of his thoughts. He blinked as two pairs of irate eyes fixed directly on him. "What? Why would you think I'm gloating?"
Ignoring the question, Makepeace said to Jack, "Isn't that one of those traitors who left us to spend the night in jail?"
Jack replied conversationally, "I do believe it is."
"They denied even knowing us, if I recall correctly."
"Bob, I'm certain you recall correctly. I seem to recall the very same thing."
Belatedly, Daniel realized why no one else from SG-1 or SG-3 had been willing to get within range of the two colonels. Especially while the colonels in question were scrubbing floors and toilets with toothbrushes.
He really needed to work on his common sense. Or lack thereof.
Jack said to Makepeace, "Did you know, colonels are like elephants. They never forget."
Makepeace nodded agreeably. "Yes, that's true. They also trample anything dumb enough to get underfoot."
Daniel wished he'd had the prudence of, well, of everyone else on SG-1 and SG-3. Look where his curiosity had gotten him this time. He had a bad feeling that he'd look back on the past three weeks with longing. The former adversaries were now united against a common enemy.
"It wasn't just me, you know," he said defensively, throwing the others to the two wolves without even a twinge of guilt.
"Oh, we know," said Makepeace. "Believe me, we know."
Jack bared his teeth in a predatory smile.
Wolves, indeed. "Maybe I should be going," Daniel said, edging away from the door.
Jack said, "Sounds like a plan."
Makepeace said, "Don't let us keep you. Oh, and be sure to say hello to the others for us, won't you?"
Jack said sweetly, "Yes, let them know they're all in our thoughts. Always."
Daniel said, "Okay, um, I'll be sure to do that." His survival instincts finally kicked in, and he beat a hasty retreat.
The worrisome laughter of two evil masterminds joined in a common cause echoed after him.
*** End ***