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Game of Cards Ficlet Collection

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His resolution to treat the ARC team with a modicum of respect disintegrated within the first few days of the New Year. Of course that made James even more irritable though he singled out Temple for the worst of his sarcasm. After all, if Connor had kept that flying dino-lizard under control then James would not have needed to wipe dino-lizard poop off his prized Christmas card from the Queen.


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How hard could it be to make and keep one single resolution? Zoe had set him the challenge and Jack had thought he was being so clever choosing something he knew would be so simple: to say something nice to the first person he met each day - face-to-face was Zoe's demand. He broke that resolution on DAY THREE after a frantic call to Global Dynamics from Fargo.

"What the Hell, Stark!" he yelped as he was tackled to the ground by Nathan the moment he crossed the threshold. "Get off me!"

"Shut up, Carter."

"No. You shut up."

The strong hand clamping over his lips ended any more protests and Jack's eyes widened when he realized why he would be better off doing exactly as Nathan said, and shut up.

It took the powerful sedative from Taggart's tranquilizer gun two excruciatingly long minutes to take effect on the man sized chicken with sharp teeth and wicked claws. Having Nathan lying on top of him the whole time showed Jack it wasn't just Allison who could get a rise out of him in close contact, and from Nathan's smirk, the bastard knew it too.

"I see my New Year's resolution is shaping up nicely," Nathan murmured, breath hot in Jack's ear, and Jack groaned, and it was not only because he had lost his New Year's resolution bet with Zoe.


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"I'm making a New Year's resolution to be a better person."

John looked up from his comic and stared hard at Rodney in consternation. He put the comic aside and sat up on the edge of the bed facing Rodney.


"Jennifer says-"

John held up a finger and all those years of training in the field worked because Rodney shut up immediately. Or maybe he realized the stupidity of what he was about to say.

"You don't need to change, Rodney. You're fine as you are."

"But Jennifer-."

"No. If Jennifer doesn't like you as you are then maybe Jennifer's not the right person for you. You'll just have to keep looking."

Rodney slumped into a chair next to the bed. "I'm 38 years old. Even Jeannie says I'll never find anyone who likes me the way I am."

"Jeannie's wrong."

Rodney turned a little belligerent. "Oh, then name one person."


Rodney scoffed, jabbing a finger towards John. "You... You don't count."

John couldn't help feeling a little hurt but outwardly stayed calm. "And why not?"

"Because... because you're you. You're... You're perfect."

John leaned forward and grabbed Rodney's flailing hands, struggling to let the next words come out. "I-I like you, Rodney."

Rodney stilled, confusion clouding his blue eyes. He looked down at their joined hands and back up at John, studying him with a laser intensity that shot a small thrill up John's spine. Rodney gasped softly as he got his Eureka moment. He lunged forward and kissed John, and after a stunned moment John kissed him back, fulfilling the New Year's resolution he had set every year since meeting Rodney McKay.


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Maybe the sun went down, Ben thought as he felt the chill in the air increase but without windows he really didn't know for certain. Hiding inside this old cement factory was probably not the best idea, and this room didn't offer any escape except through the door they had entered, but it was still far safer than being outside once the sun went down. All they had to do was stay dead quiet until the sun rose in the morning.

Dead quiet, he repeated silently, sneering at the irony.

Mark huddled beside him and Ben wrapped their only blanket around the both of them tighter, wishing he had thought to load up the car with more supplies while he'd had the opportunity. He was still learning, still trying to come to terms with the terrifying events that had taken place at Salem's Lot less than a week ago. After killing Barlowe they had no choice but to flee the town because the number of vampires wanting to tear them to pieces, and because there was no one left to save except for themselves. He had tried to put as many miles between them and the town of vampires as possible but one of the vampires had found them at the motel they stayed in last night, forcing them to kill it and flee. Ben wondered if others were scouring the road ahead of them under cover of darkness. As long as he and Mark traveled by day and hid at night they might stay safe.

Neither of them spoke and neither of them did more than doze even though Ben knew he needed to grab some sleep as Mark was too young to drive and could sleep in the car as they put even more miles between them and the town. Eventually he must have drifted off but awoke with a start as Mark tensed beside him. The slight clink of metal on cement from beyond the cold room had him tensing further until he noticed the slightest grey light creeping under the door. Ben checked his watched.

It was the half-light of dawn, those few minutes before the sun rose and sent the vampires into a deep sleep through the daylight hours.

Ben split his attention between the world outside the room and the wristwatch ticking away the final moments until sunrise, finally breathing in a deep sigh of relief before standing, stretching out the various aches and cramps from being propped up on a cold floor with an equally cold wall behind his back. He cracked open the door to a new day, momentarily startled as the creak of the door caused a flock of pigeons to launch up towards the openings in the broken roof.

The car was hidden exactly where they left it though Ben carefully checked it over to ensure nothing was hiding in the back.

"You okay?" he asked Mark and gained a nod.

They hit the road, heading south to where the days were longer than the nights, stopping off for food and supplies, quietly wondering if they would ever be able to stop looking over their shoulders after darkness fell.


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Norse gods and miracles were the stories he had grown up with but Jack knew the truth behind many of the myths now. He had met the Norse gods, the Asgard, becoming a friend to Thor. He had battled the gods of Egypt and gods from various other ancient Earth cultures, the Goa'uld. Even the Arthurian myths were real and Merlin was just an Ancient using highly advanced technology. Jack was a descendant of those very same Ancients, able to access and use their technology. Some of the many mysteries of the universe had been solved in his eyes and many of the rest were no longer seen as miracles but the work of more highly advanced species playing with those less advanced.

Jack had always been cynical and now it seemed justified except for one event that would be considered insignificant in the grand scheme of things but meant more than any number of multi-verses to him: Daniel Jackson.

In all the universes across time and space he had always found Daniel, and in this particular universe he had cast aside all the angst of his past and taken that last step towards happiness, towards Daniel. Daniel had said, "Yes."

Norse Gods were no longer a mystery but at least miracles still existed.