“So, what do you think?” Jack hasn’t said a word since we walked in the door. Oh, he kind of growled about the neighborhood and I think he snarled when he saw the lack of an armed security guard at the lobby door. All I could see were the high ceilings and those windows.
Finally, Jack found his voice. “Daniel, it’s a…it’s a factory that someone is trying to palm off on the gullible.”
“No, Jack. Just look at it. This…” I wave my hands in a circle. “This is the living room. And it’s big enough that I can put my desk and all my books and stuff over here.” I walk across the scarred wood flooring. “And then the kitchen will go right here. I’m thinking concrete counters and stainless steel appliances. Maybe a wine refrigerator?” I muse aloud. “The bathrooms will be here, between the bedrooms. The master will look out the front, great view from these windows.” Jack walks over to the windows and raps on the glass. “Can’t you see it, Jack?”
“What I see is six months of work and you still living on the base that whole time.” He runs an impatient hand through his hair. “And there’s no security, anyone could walk right in the front door. And these windows,” he waves at them. “Anyone with good surveillance equipment could look right in on you…”
“Oh, no,” I reassure him. “The windows will have privacy shades. And I’m fixing one of those Indiana Jones-type traps at the front door. See, if someone comes in here and doesn’t turn off the alarm in, say, fifteen seconds, a big ball’s gonna roll down those steel rafters to the door. Boom! Bad guy gets smashed.”
He jerks around to see if I’m serious. “Dammit, Daniel.”
“Jack, the apartment doors are solid steel, on rollers.” I walk over to slide the heavy door open to demonstrate just how hard it is to move. “No one’s getting in here without me knowing it. And there’s a fire escape on the side over here, so I’ve got a way out. And I can upgrade to get a link to the downstairs camera.”
“Upgrade.” He orders me, his expression clearly saying he knows he’s losing this fight. “How much is this going to cost you?”
“Between the money I’ll get from the sale of the house and what I have in savings, I can buy this place, swing the upgrades and still have enough money to eat on for a week or so.” Jack glares at me and I’m instantly sorry. Money and the security that comes with it, is something he never jokes about. Money has never really been an issue with me; I don’t really view it the same way he does. I make what I make and I spend what I like and still have money left over. What else, realistically, do you need? “So,” I let my voice get just a bit soft, a bit intimate. “What do you think?”
“I think you’ve already signed the damned contract and what I say doesn’t matter one damned bit. But will you promise me one thing?”
“Of course.” I beam at him.
“Will you at least get a decent sized bed this time? Trying to sleep in Baby Bear’s bed is killing my back.”
“Wanna see the one I’ve got ordered?” I can’t wait to see his face when he finds out just how much I plan to spend on the bed and matching furniture. All I can say is that it’s a good thing the ceiling are really high in this place.
“Sam!” I grab her as she comes in the open front door.
She hugs me and hands me a bottle of wine. “Oh, Daniel, it’s gorgeous!” She looks behind her and tugs someone out from behind her. “You remember Pete?”
“Hey, Pete, nice to finally meet you.” I take the hand he offers.
“You know, this is like the third time we’ve met; you were always unconscious before.” He grins good-naturedly. “Great place.”
“Take a tour, tell me what you think.” I set the bottle of wine on the counter, to go with the rest of the house-warming gifts. I mean, what do you bring a guy, flowers? So I have enough wine for everyone. Thank goodness I found out the lady who ran the diner down the street had a catering business as a sideline. There are trays of food all over the kitchen and the living room.
“Daniel Jackson.” Teal’c nods his head as he helps himself to a bottled water. “I have perused your new abode and find it to be unacceptable. What is O’Neill’s opinion?” I can see the same wheels turning in Teal’c’s head; it’s too accessible, not defensible and too open.
“About the same as yours, actually. Teal’c, no one is going to shoot me or kidnap me or spy on me here.” He answers with a low hum. “There’s a security camera downstairs, a fire escape in the bedroom, parking under the building and the windows are covered with heavy duty privacy shades.”
“Your front door remains open and leaves you vulnerable to attack.” He points out.
“Only for tonight, Teal’c.” I assure him. “I keep it closed and locked all the rest of the time.”
“Daniel! Your door is standing wide open!” A voice bellows from behind me.
“Oh, goody,” I smile. “Jack’s here.”
Two hours later, the only people left are SG-1 and Pete, sprawled all over the living room. Jack and Teal’c have given me their lists of why I should put this place on the market and move to some well-guarded ivory tower. Sam and Pete have brushed them off by quoting the rising home prices and the falling crime rate. Jack continues to argue but I just let him bitch.
Sam and Pete finally leave, taking a still disapproving Teal’c, who hovers as I close and lock the door behind them. I grab Jack another beer and empty yet another bottle of wine into my glass as I turn out the living room lights and follow Jack into the bedroom. “So?” I lean in the doorway.
“I’ve got to admit, it turned out pretty good.”
I walk over to hand him his beer, perch on the trunk at the foot of the bed. “What do you think of the bed?”
“I hope that’s a reproduction and not a real antique.”
“Not that it made a whole lot of difference price-wise, but, yes, it is.”
He bounces on the bed, frowning. “Cost as much as the real thing?”
“I don’t think you could easily find a real sea captain’s bed for sale. They’re all either in a family home or a museum somewhere.”
He takes a good long drink from his beer before setting it down on the nightstand. Since these are repros and not real, I don’t wince at the sweating bottle being placed on wood. Thank heavens for polyurethane. “So are we trying this thing out tonight?”
I take the last sip of wine and set the glass down beside his beer. “I thought you’d never ask.”