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It's Not My Fault

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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.


 

Jack knew he was in trouble the second he set foot on the base. If the sympathetic tsking from the three hundred pound Marine guarding the outer gate wasn't enough of a clue, the pitying looks and muttered 'dead man walking' from two petite Lieutenants was a dead give away.

On the long elevator ride down he wracked his brains trying to recall what he could have done. SG-1 hadn't gone on any missions lately since he'd just been cleared for active duty two weeks ago because of his broken leg and other injuries he and Carter had received in the Antarctic so it couldn't be anything they'd done off world.

He had invited everyone over to his house for Thanksgiving. The whole thing had pretty much gone off without a hitch, the only real problem being Daniel's severe allergic reaction to the Anise in the stuffing. But a quick call to Doctor Fraiser and a dash to the emergency room had fixed that right up. And that wasn't even his fault. If Daniel had just told him there was a very real and practical reason he hated black licorice he never would have put the spice in the dressing. And it had been sorta funny to watch his friend's face break out in bright red hives. He just wished he'd got a picture of it.

Then of course he had erased Carter's hard drive while using her computer to check his e-mail. That wasn't his fault either, she should have told him she'd disabled her virus scanner temporarily because it was interfering with her programs. Sheer carelessness on her part. And anyway, she'd backed-up all but the last twenty-four hours of work into the network; she could fix it, no problem. How much could she do in twenty-four hours anyway? And why would they ever need a new program to dial the gate faster? It dialed fast enough already.

He entered his office and sat at his utilitarian gray Government Issue desk. While his computer booted up he sorted through the stack of little pink message forms. 'Don't forget about the team leaders' meeting at 1500', 'Jack, you need to replace my coffee maker since you poured cider through it to make hot cider and it fried the coils', 'Major Carter requisitions fifteen more hours of overtime to rewrite her speed-dialing program from scratch', 'Meeting with building maintenance about removing the smoke detectors from Teal'c's quarters since his candles keep setting them off', 'See the general as soon as you get in', 'Doctor Fraiser wants to talk to you about post mission physicals', 'The general wants to meet with you ASAP!', 'Annual officer review board meeting at 1400', 'SEE THE GENERAL OR HE WILL HAVE YOU SHOT!'…Jack read. Figuring that he really should talk to his commanding officer, he got up and left his office, not noticing the warning flashing on his computer screen as a downloaded virus slowly ate its way through his hard drive.


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Jack knocked on the office door, staring at it when it swung open. That was odd. He carefully peeked around the corner. "General?"

Getting no answer and seeing that the luxurious leather chair was empty he entered the room. Nothing looked out of place or amiss; chances were the man had simply stepped out for a restroom break or something. He contemplated leaving then decided that his best bet was to stay right here. Didn't want to get shot after all. Chances are the man would do it too…he was a Texan and Jack knew how they were.

He took a seat, his astute eyes just noticing the figure sitting on the corner of the man's desk. Santa Claus? In a ten gallon hat and wearing Levi's jeans? Curious he picked up the figure and dropped it when it sprang into life, belting out 'Rockin around the Christmas tree' while swinging his hips in a movement that would have a normal human in traction for a month. What the heck was this thing? He bent over to pick it up his heart stopping as he heard the metal steps clang with the approach of someone. And since that 300 pound Marine was stationed at the surface, it had to be the general.

Panicked Jack stood up too quickly, the toy in his hands banging against the ledge of the desk. Fortunately the mechanism screeched to silence, unfortunately that was because it's head snapped off, bouncing happily off his foot.

With speed not often seen unless he was in mortal danger, which he sort of was right now, Jack bent over and picked up the severed head. He speedily slid the toy onto the desk and frantically tried to balance Santa's head on its ragged neck. He could hear the slight vibration of footstep coming closer the institutional carpet doing little to muffle it. His heart pounding against his rib cage, he struggled to keep the head balanced on the neck. Just when he thought he'd ran out of time the head balanced and he took a frantic step back, turning to face the door. "General, sir, you wanted to see me?" he said, slightly breathless.

"Yes, colonel. Nice of you to join me. Have a seat son," the man invited, taking his seat and tossing some folders on the desk. Jack turned and stared in horror as the movement made the head wobble a bit. Fortunately it stayed on its perch though now it was a bit askew. "How are things going Jack? Ready to return to duty once the holidays are over?" he asked as Jack fought not to stare at the head.

"What? Ooh yes sir. Raring to go," he answered, his voice full of gusto, too much gusto from the general's flinch.

"Aah. Good. Good. We do have a couple of things to go over." The general pulled a folder out of the stack and slid it across to him. Jack picked it up, peeking at Santa in the corner of his eyes. "Now I remember you coming to me several months ago about setting up an account for Teal'c at the PX," the general said, opening his folder.

"Yes sir. I mean it's not like he can run out to Wal-Mart if he needs clean underwear or something," Jack said with a shrug.

"Yes. Now colonel did you explain to him that the account was to be for his personal use?"

"Personal use sir?…Ooh right. Necessities and the such. Yes sir, I did."

"Aahah. Well then colonel, perhaps you could explain this recent list of charges I received yesterday."

The man slid a sheet of paper across the desk, which Jack picked up. "I'm sure he has a good reason sir." Jack started to read the list. Shaving cream, a razor, deodorant, toothbrush and toothpaste, nothing out of the ordinary there…Chanel No. 5, Beanie Babies, two issues of Playboy, fifty Chia Pets, two hundred and eighty five dollars worth of toys…what the heck was that doing there? "General?"

"You do realize that anything purchased on that account goes before the Appropriations Committee? It's added into our operating expenses," the man explained.

"Well surely…. You're right sir. I'll go talk to him," Jack said, interpreting the man's stern look.

"Do that. Dismissed." George shut his folder and opened another. Jack took the hint and fled the room. Once he'd shut the door behind him, George looked up with an indulgent grin and slightly shook his head. He reached out and pushed the button to start his Christmas gift from Teal'c. It was a total waste of time and space, but the man hadn't seen anything so funny in a while. The recorded strains of 'Rocking around the Christmas tree' filled the air…..Punctuated by the dull thud of Santa's head falling off and rolling across his polished oak desk.


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Jack knocked on the door to Teal'c's quarters. What the heck had the man been thinking wracking up a four hundred-dollar bill at the PX. The least he could have done was use an alias or something. Of course that part would be hard, how many six foot tall Jaffa did they have running around earth? And Playboy of all things…. The least he could have done was share those! Or went for National Geographics for cryin' out loud. At least folks believed you when you told them you were reading them for the articles.

Getting no answer he entered the room pausing to let his eyes adjust. Did the guy have something against electricity for pete's sake? His boots caught in something and he went flying, landing in a pile of...things. Almost immediately his impromptu cushions sprang into life. Stunned he lay there overwhelmed by the noise. To his left a gorilla banged enthusiastically on bongo drums, a tiny creature started playing 'Kung Fu Fighter' and he yelped as a miniature num chuck smacked his finger. He moved his hand from the offending toy and ended up activating a large turkey wearing a merry Santa hat. Immediately the bird sang out 'Jingle Bells', its tail whacking him on his nose repeatedly. He thrashed about, trying to extricate himself from the mess and ended up activating more and more of the toys. Right in front of his face he could see a huge pair of fuzzy lips which wolf whistled repeatedly. That was the toy that broke the colonel's resolve. He lay on the floor surrounded by a discordant cacophony of bad recordings of every Christmas song ever written, and a few that shouldn't have been.

Finally surrendering to the noise he pulled himself into a fetal ball, his hands clasped over his ears. Just when he thought he was going to lose his mind, something grabbed him by the scruff of his neck and rescued him from the torture. He was tossed onto the bed and the room flooded with light, sending him cringing again, his hands over his eyes.

"O'Neill, you have come to assist me?"

Peeking through his hands Jack saw Teal'c standing before him, at least he thought it was Teal'c. Yep, it was the alien, unless of course Santa had morphed into a six-foot tall black man with a snake in his stomach. He just hadn't recognized him at first, the bright red suit, curly toed boots and hat complete with a large white pom-pom bouncing off his shoulder.

"Teal'c?"

"It is I, O'Neill. Did you injure yourself?"

The man held out a hand. Jack took it and found himself upright. "Aah. No. Teal'c, what's all this?" Jack asked, seeing the true extent of the problem for the first time. In addition to the toys of Satan, the floor was covered with gift boxes, piles of sweaters and mittens, about twenty boxes of chocolates, a gross of fruitcakes and five fruit baskets.

"Is it not the tradition to offer gifts to acquaintances in remembrance of the birth of your God?"

"Umm…Aah, yeah but…."

"I have been toiling for several weeks since hearing about this holiday from Daniel Jackson. It is indeed difficult to insure that you do not omit someone and offend them," he said, folding his large form gracefully to the floor and picking up one of the toys. "These are quite interesting. I have never seen such technology." He pushed the button and a tiny gopher started singing, his little golf clubs swirling merrily.

"Aah yeah, about that Teal'c…" Jack started, getting to his feet.

"It is most kind of General Hammond to allow me access to acquire these items. Upon hearing about the holiday I was concerned that I would not be able to participate in it," he remarked, setting down the gopher and picking up one of the fruitcakes. "These are a most interesting ceremonial food." He broke off a large chunk and popped it into his mouth. "I have never tasted anything like it," he said around a mouthful of candied fruit.

"There's a reason for that…. Look Teal'c, about all this…" Jack stated again.

"I understand that the tradition is to conceal the true nature of the gift with gaily colored paper however since you are here." He reached behind him and pulled out the large singing bass, the toy's hat a perfect match to the one on Teal'c's head. "I believe that you have a fondness for hunting such creatures."

Jack took the creature from his friend, nearly dropping it when it sprang into life, belting out 'Frosty the Snowman'. Jack swore the toy had an almost maniacal grin on its open mouth. "Teal'c you…you shouldn't have…really." Finished with one song he set it down on the bed, only to have the movement trigger it again, this time with 'Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer'.

"Indeed I should. I wish to learn all I can about the Tau'ri and a culture's holidays are an important thing to know. Do you think Daniel Jackson will like this?" He held up an action figure playset complete with a tiny pyramid and little figures. Jack leaned in…was it his imagination or did they look a lot like…nah. "It represents a movie," he said, pointing out the illustrations of big hairy animals and little Egyptian looking people.

"Yeah, I'm sure he'll love it. Teal'c look…."

"And I discovered this for Major Carter." Teal'c proudly displayed a Barbie doll in fatigues, her ensemble complete right down to the tiny little belt with a rubber knife and pistol.

"Oh yeah, she'll be…."

"And it comes with this." He opened a tiny locker revealing a complete wardrobe of Desert Fatigues, a little dress uniform and…

"Aah Teal'c?" Jack reached down and pulled a tiny blue dress out of the locker. "This didn't…"

"No. I commissioned Sargent Meecham to make that particular outfit. Will Captain Carter not be pleased?"

"Ooh she'll be something." Jack was grateful for the healing power of Junior. Teal'c was going to need all the help he could get. "Look Teal'c, getting all this was great but, well the general is asking questions. I mean it's for your personal needs not …."

"Is not joining you in celebrating a personal need?"

"Sure it is, I mean no it's not. Teal'c, the general has to explain to congress about this money and…."
There was a knock at the door.

"Enter," Teal'c called out.

Sargent Davis entered the room carrying a satellite phone. "Mister Teal'c. I have a phone call for you." He held out the phone giving Jack an apologetic shrug.

"This is Teal'c. Yes sir. I am most pleased that it meets with your approval. Yes sir. I have seen the woman…yes sir, blue is indeed her color. Yes I am most pleased to be here. A Merry Christmas to you also Mister President." He hung up the phone and set it aside, oblivious to the shocked looks on the men's faces.

"Umm Teal'c, who was that?"

"It was your President," he said, taking another large bite of fruitcake.

"Right. What's he doing calling you?"

"Is it not customary to communicate your thanks to a person?"

"Yeah but…"

"I sent the President a gift and he wished to express his gratitude."

"What exactly did you send him?" Jack asked, afraid of the answer.

The Jaffa held up a tiny figure of a little boy wearing red flannel footie pajamas. When he pushed the button the toy started to play…'All I Want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth', a tiny spray of water jetting from the obvious gap in the toy's dentistry.

Jack buried his head in his hands. He was doomed, they were all doomed. He'd be on the next transport plane to the Antarctic. His career was over; he should have stayed retired.

A knock at the door interrupted his thoughts. He turned to see General Hammond walk into the room, carrying the pieces of his Santa.

"General, sir, it's not my fault…" Jack started then fell silent at the man's glare.

"There you are Davis." He shoved the toy pieces into the man's hands. "Tell Sargent Siler I need this repaired." The man acknowledged the instruction and fled the room trying to balance the Santa pieces and the satellite phone. "Teal'c, I just got off the phone with the President."

"We can explain that, sir."

He silenced Jack with a glare. "After receiving your gift and speaking with you the President is most impressed with the SGC. I just got word that our funding for the next year has been raised from 6.2 billion to 7.4 billion," the man reported, a stunned look on his face. Teal'c had accomplished in a day what the general had been working on for six months.

"Wow, sir that's…"

Hammond glared at him again. "Colonel, have you spoken with Teal'c regarding his spending?"

"No sir, we were just getting…"

"Good. There's no need to," the general said.

"Sir?"

"I'm saying that somewhere in 1.2 billion we can afford Teal'c's shopping."

"Ooh well, in that case sir, take a Christmas Gift out of petty cash." Jack reached forward and picked up one of the Chia Pets, not really looking at the box, and shoving it into the man's hand.

The general looked down at the gift, a frown crossing his broad face. "Is this a joke?"

"Huh? No sir, I…." Jack looked at the Chia Pet and felt his eyes widen in horror. "Ooh sir, oops, not that one, umm…here sir." Jack yanked the Chia head sporting the motto of 'grow hair like you can't in real life' and swapping it for another one. The general looked askance at the Chia Stetson he was now holding.

"Perhaps this would be more appropriate General Hammond?" Teal'c stepped forward, taking the Chia hat from the man and presenting him with an envelope.

The general opened the envelope and read the contents. "Thank you, Teal'c. I'll put these to good use," he said, a happy grin on his face. "Now, I'm sure if homes can't be found for all of these the SG-3 Marines might know a tot or two in need," he said.

"Yes sir. We'll do that," Jack said as the general left the room. Jack turned to Teal'c. "What was in that envelope? Season tickets to the Rockies?"

"A life time pass to the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame," the Jaffa said.

"You're good," Jack said honestly.

"Indeed," Teal'c replied smugly. "O'Neill, I require your assistance."

"Really? With what, picking gifts?" Jack asked anticipating some fun. That game of 'Operation' had Fraiser's name all over it. And since Teal'c would be doing the giving….

"No." Teal'c walked past him and reached into his wardrobe. He opened the door and drew out an outfit suspended on a hanger. Jack stared at the vibrant green top, little Robin Hood style hat and….oh my god, were those tights???? "If I am to portray the image of Santa, should I not have an elf?"


~Fin~