A Nice Mess

Author:  Orrymain
Category:  Slash, Humor, Holiday, Romance, Established Relationship
Pairing:  Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Rating:  PG-13
Season:  S9 - October 31, 2005
Spoilers:  None
Size:  30kb, short story
Written:  October 10-15, 2011
Summary:  On Halloween, Jack and Daniel find themselves in an odd situation and struggle to find their way out.
Disclaimer:  Usual disclaimers -- not mine, wish they were, especially Daniel, and Jack, too, but they aren't.  A gal can dream though!
Notes:  
1) Silent, unspoken thoughts by various characters are indicated with ~ in front and behind them, such as ~Where am I?~
2) Thanks to my betas who always make my fics better:  Navi

A Nice Mess
by Orrymain

“Jack, this is ridiculous,” Daniel stated as he and his lover sat in Jack's truck.  He looked out the window as if looking for an escape.  Instead, all he saw was the slightly overcast afternoon, thanks to a partly cloudy sky.  ~It's not just ridiculous; it's ludicrous.  How'd I let him talk me in to this?~

“Daniel, we're in a shoe in,” Jack proclaimed with absolute certainty.  ~We're gonna win first place, take home the prize, and then I'm going to enjoy my Danny desert.~

“Yeah, to win the farce award.”

“No one will beat this costume,” the older man stated confidently as he ignored his husband's objections and opened the door.  “Let's go.”

“I'd rather not,” Daniel sighed, though he quickly realized he was talking to nothing but air since Jack was already heading for the costume shop.

“Daniel!”

The bark was noticeable, and it drew attention from a few people who happened to be exiting the store.  Attention was something the archaeologist wanted to avoid dearly. Reluctantly, he got out of the Ford vehicle, casually glancing down North Tejon Street, an area that was pretty quiet at the moment.

This wasn't the busiest part of Tejon Street.  It bordered on residential areas, and the buildings were separated by a bit of distance.  At the moment, Daniel was happy about that.

“What are you so worried about?” Jack questioned his slow-walking husband.

“Looking like an idiot.”

With a boisterous laugh, Jack replied, “Danny, everyone looks like an idiot on Halloween.”

“*That's* supposed to make me feel better?”

“I want that prize,” Jack reiterated strongly, his tone almost a warning.

“So you've said,” the archaeologist sighed, well aware that he had lost this battle long ago.  ~He's incorrigible.  Have I said that before?  I'm positive I have.~

Tonight was the big Halloween party at Cheyenne Mountain, and part of the fun was a costume contest.  The one voted as the favorite by those assembled would win the top prize.  Normally, Jack would have spent the evening at a children's shelter while Daniel stayed home and handed out treats to neighborhood kids.  Instead, Jack had dropped by the shelter earlier in the day, played a few games with the kids, and left some goodies for their party.

Jack and Daniel had already had two fittings for the specially made outfit they would be wearing tonight.  The plan was for them to try it on at the shop and then take it with them to the Mountain where they would change into it and have the grand unveiling during the party.

“General, Doctor, you're late!” Jane Weston, the shop owner, exclaimed when she saw the two men enter.

“Duty called,” Jack explained cryptically, aware that the appointment was for an hour ago.

“We need to hurry.  I have to get home to my grandkids,” the shop owner stated anxiously.

The sixty-ish woman appeared frazzled as she looked around at all she had left to do before leaving for the night.  It had been a long day with a steady stream of customers picking up rental outfits for parties and such.  She'd let her sales staff, all of whom were married with little kids, leave a bit early, so it was just her left to close up shop.

“You'll have to put it on in here,” the woman advised as she took the couple to the sewing room.  “I haven't had a chance to clean out the dressing rooms.”

“No problem,” Jack responded.

“Well, it's just the costume is so big anyway,” the hurried woman noted.  “I'll check back in a few minutes.”

====

“Jack, how are we supposed to put this thing on?” the wary archaeologist inquired as he stared at the unusual costume design.  ~I can see an individual wearing this, but two grown men sharing it?  It's totally irrational!~

“One leg at a time,” came the response as the older man picked up the costume.

“We have two legs,” Daniel returned dryly.

“Just stick it in.”

“I'd love to stick it, but I don't think you'd like it right now,” Daniel snarked.  “It might be hard, but it would not be pleasant.”

Jack stared, his eyes communicating his frustration, and ordered, “Put your left leg in the right side of the middle leg.”

“I still don't understand why we couldn't have our own costumes.”

“Because I want ...”

“... that prize,” both men stated in unison.

The design of the costume required the two men to disrobe.  Not only was it too tight for them to wear street clothes beneath it, but it would distort the look if they did.  With their attire tossed onto a large table in the middle of the room, Jack and Daniel attempted to get into the shared part of the outfit.

“Hey!” Jack complained.

“Wait!”

“The right side of the middle leg, Daniel,” Jack repeated.

“I *know* that.”

The lovers had a hard time, but they eventually managed to get into the odd holiday wrap.

“Okay, Genius, how do we zip it up?” Daniel queried with heightened frustration.

“How's it coming?” the voice of the owner asked.  “May I come in?”

“Yeah, we need you,” Jack answered.

Weston entered and laughed, “This is a first for me.”

Daniel just rolled his eyes while wishing he'd never agreed to wear the three-legged costume.

“Give me a minute,” the woman requested as she made sure everything fit snugly.  “Oh!”  Flustered, she gasped and put her hands to her face.  “I'm so sorry.”

“The crown jewels are fine,” Jack excused, not really that embarrassed.  ~Of course, there could be more density in this body suit; can't say I'm thrilled with the tights, either.~  He paused as he urged himself to, “Keep an eye on the prize, O'Neill.~

After securing the outfits, Weston advised eagerly, “The hands arrived today.”

The hands were cartoon-like white pieces that added a more whimsical feel to the costume.  Each oversized hand had just three fingers and a thumb.  When worn, there wasn't much the wearer could do except swat objects.

Another minute later, Jack and Daniel were completely embedded in their Halloween attire, including the associated green glitter flat shoes.

“O'Neill, you've lost your freakin' mind,” Daniel opined as he stared at their image in the full-length mirror.

“No, no,” the owner refuted as she stood back and nodded her approval.  Then the phone rang.  “It's perfect.  Excuse me, please.”

In an instant, Weston had left the room to answer the phone that was located at the front of the building.

“This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen,” Daniel condemned as he looked down.  “We look like ... like ... like ...”

“Two peas in a pod?” Jack questioned, working hard to ignore the big time glare coming from his lover.

“Actually, I was thinking something like two foolish men in silly green polyester outfits that need shucking.”

“I'm for that,” the older man replied with a sly grin.

“Use your listening ears, Jack.  I said *Shuck*ing, not ... you know.”

“You take all the fun out of things,” Jack whined disappointingly.

“Well, right now 'fun' is not a word I'd use to describe my mood.”

Determined to soften the tone, Jack turned inward, only his plan of an intimate moment went south due to the large foam circles attached to the front component of the costume.  The outfit had the men wearing the specially made three-legged tights and a coat-like body suit that joined them at the hip.

The front pieces, which latched on to the coats, had five basketball-size green foam balls affixed to it.  These long green strips ran from their chins to their knees, and then there was another one between their foreheads and the very top of the outfit.  Their heads actually fit snugly through holes.

“Remember that,” Daniel stated tersely about his lack of a fun feeling at the moment, his eyebrows raised just slightly as his head dipped just a tad.

“Danny, we're gonna win.”

“Good for us.”

A couple of minutes of silence passed.  Things in the costume shop seemed eerily quiet.

“Mrs. Weston?” Jack called out.  He began to move forward, forgetting how he was tied together via costuming to his not-so-happy spouse.  The result was a lunge forward and a shove back.  “Sorry.”

“Jack!”

“Together now.  Left, right, left, right.  Geez,  I feel like I'm back in basic training.”

Gaining a bit of rhythm in their movements, the couple ventured out of the sewing room and immediately noticed things were not quite right.

“Jack, the lights are off.”

“I see that, or ... I don't see.”

“She's gone,” Daniel surmised as he scanned the front of the darkened shop.

“Okay,” Jack acknowledged, taking in the situation.  “I'll send her a check.  Let's get to the Mountain.”

Carefully, the couple headed for the front door and quickly realized they had issues.  For one thing, the forgetful owner had locked the door at the bottom with a key.  It wouldn't budge an inch.  For another, they were wearing those big hands, making it impossible to grip anything.

“Let's take these off,” Jack suggested, not getting any argument at all from Daniel.

Both men raised their hands and then came to a stunning conclusion.

“Huh, how?” Daniel inquired.

Normally, the hands slid off easily, but this was not a normal situation.  They had been a tight fit, and Mrs. Weston had used some force to get the items securely on her customers.  Without a free hand to apply pressure to the objects, they were not budging.

“Oh, for crying out loud,” Jack bemoaned.

“Now what?” the archaeologist questioned.

“Plan B.”

“Which is?”

Looking around for an idea, the general finally answered, “The phone.”

“Just how do you intend to dial?”

After letting out a acquiescent groan, Jack suggested the back door.  Willing to give it a shot, the two men searched for another exit.

“What if there's a silent alarm?” Daniel asked, causing Jack to do a double take back at the front door.  “*Don't* do that!”  Taking a breath, he added, “I haven't seen any signs of a security system.”

Sure enough, there was a back door, but once again the problem was how to get out.

“Maybe it's not locked.”

“She locked the front door,” Jack reminded.

“She forgot we were here,” Daniel pointed out.

“Nothing ventured,” Jack began.

“Nothing gained,” Daniel completed in agreement.

Taking a breath while staring at the door as if to will it to go along with the plan, Jack leaned against the cross arm that was in the middle of the door.  He smiled as it moved.  When the door opened, he automatically walked outside, pulling his lover with him.

“Yes!” the general exclaimed, just as the sound of the door closing was heard.

“Jack?”

“Yes?”

“I think the door just locked.”

“What's wrong with that?”

“Well, considering that we're dressed up like vegetables, a lot.”

Jack laughed, “The truck is in front.”

“Jack?”

“Yes?”

“Where are your keys?”

“In my,” Jack let out a mortifying sigh, “pocket.”

“Of your pants.  You know, the ones that are in the sewing room, inside the building ... that is *locked*.”

“We'll get help,” Jack asserted, his confidence not quite as high as his tone sounded.

====

Having no way to get back inside the costume shop or to operate Jack's truck, the lovers did the only thing they knew to do: they began to walk.

“I never should have let you talk me into this,” Daniel imputed, trying not to look at any vehicles that were passing by.

“Stop whining,” an exasperated Jack responded.

“Excuse me?”

“Daniel, for the last fifteen minutes, all you've done is whine.”

“*You* got us into this.”

“Think of the prize.”

“I don't care about the freakin' prize!” Daniel argued.

“You will when I get you alone with it up on the deck,” a smug Jack contended.

“Jack, at this rate, you may never get me in the house again, let alone up on the deck.”  Daniel paused and then altered his response.  “No, I'll take the house; you can have the doghouse.”

“Threats, nothing but threats.” Jack accused airily.

====

“Looking good,” a teenager shouted out from a passing car.

“Want some carrots?” another teen shouted.

“Go stuff your faces!” Jack yelled back, waving his hand in warning.

The teens just laughed as they went on their way, leaving Jack to groan at the big white hand that wasn't much of a threat to anyone.

“I told you we shouldn't have gotten this crazy outfit.”

“Mister Positive,” Jack scolded.

“Not today,” the younger man denied without missing a beat.

“Think of the prize.”

“What makes you think we're going to get there before the end of the party?”

Jack decided Daniel was right.  They needed a more proactive solution to the problem of transportation.  That's when he saw a farm truck.

~That'll work,~ the general thought, pulling Daniel with him to the middle of the road.

“What the heck are you doing?” the archaeologist questioned loudly.

“Getting us a ride.”

“By *killing* us?”

“It worked for Teal'c,” Jack rationalized.

“In 1969.”

“So, it should work now, too.”  Jack gulped as the farm truck grew closer,  a piece of him wondering if he wouldn't live long enough to enjoy the prize or his envisioned desert.  “See!” he stated when the truck came to a halt.  ~Whew!~

“Jack, you are such an ...”

“Something we can do for you two peas?” the passenger in the truck called out.

“We need a lift to Cheyenne Mountain,” Jack informed the man, working extra hard to tug Daniel along with him to the side of the vehicle.  Seeing a surprised and somewhat doubting expression, he continued, “Look, I'm a general in the United States Air Force.”

“Sure, Mac, whatever.  Hop on the back.  Bang on the side when you're ready to go,” the worker instructed.

“Thanks!” Jack replied, visions of making a grand entrance into the party dancing in his head.

At the rear of the old truck, Daniel stared at the obstacle in front of him and asked, “How do we do this?”

The farm truck was hauling its harvest, but had some room at the very rear.  It was one of the larger vehicles, with wooden siding all around except for the open back, making it difficult for the driver to see the contents of his haul.

“Hop,” Jack instructed.

“Hop?”

“Hop, jump, whatever: just get on this thing.”

Somehow, the lovers managed to leap onto the back of the truck, but in doing so, they were on their foam buttons with their flashy green shoes dangling off the back.

“Jack?”

“At least we have a ride,” Jack pointed out.  Staring at the ripe tomatoes in front of him, he wondered, “Think they'd mind if we took one?”

“Gawd, you're unbelievable.  We're face down in a farm truck, dressed like green elves, and you want to stuff your face with tomatoes.”

“Not stuff my face,” Jack rebutted.  “I just want one.”

Daniel let out an audible groan and closed his eyes, wishing that when he opened them again, the entire evening would have only been a nightmare.

====

Several minutes later, the truck stopped for more than just the length of a traffic light.  Looking around as best they could, the couple determined that they were at a gas station.

“Gas stop,” Jack supposed.  “Let's try sitting up.”

“Maybe we should just stay here.”

“Those tomatoes are making me hungry.”

“You're always hungry.”

“Mama always said I was a growing boy,” the general smirked, a seductive double entendre to his comment.

“You are so bad.”

“I will be.”

Daniel sighed as he went along with his partner's decision to try to get a more comfortable position.  The truth was that they really couldn't sit down, either.  In full regalia, the costume made standing the only easy thing, and sitting was just out of the question.

“Okay, let's try turning over,” Jack suggested, grabbing on to one of the wooden planks that lined the side of the truck.

The next several seconds were a blur of grunts, gasps, and curses as the lovers worked to make their situation better.  Then, without warning, the truck began to move off.

“Nooooo!” both men shouted at the unexpected movement.

“You are so dead, O'Neill.”

“You'd be the one to know,” Jack sighed, just happy that their slide out of the truck landed them on a small strip of grass near the exit and not just on the hard cement.

“Now what?” Daniel asked as he and Jack struggled to stand up, managing to do so only thanks to a tall utility pole that they could glide against.

“Now ... we walk.”

“Right.”

“You have a better idea?” the general challenged.

“No ... no, we'll ... walk.”

“We can do this, Danny,” Jack cajoled.  “We'll make it in time to win the prize.”

“Just ... forget the prize,” Daniel urged.  “I just want to get home.”

Jack, though, had his eye on that first place award, and nothing was going to keep him from it, not even his sexy, snarky archaeologist.

====

Minutes later, the flash of lights captured the attention of the pea pod walkers.

“I'll handle this.”

“With your normal diplomacy, I'm sure,” Daniel quipped.

“There's nothing wrong with my diplomacy.”

“Don't get me started.”

“What's your problem?” Jack queried pointedly.

“Look at me!  I'm a food that children spit out during lunch!” the younger man answered harshly.

“You aren't the only one, you know.”

“Yes, but this was *your* idea.”

“Do you gentlemen need some assistance?” the patrolman inquired, interrupting the argument.

“Glad to see you.  I'm General Jack O'Neill, and this is Doctor Daniel Jackson.  We need a lift to Cheyenne Mountain.”

The look of skepticism on the officer's face was obvious.

With a sigh, Jack requested, “Call your boss.”

“My boss?” the officer replied incredulously as he looked blankly at the two green men.  ~Now what in darn tootin' are these guys up to?~

“Andy.  He knows me.”

“The sheriff knows *you*?” the county patrolman rebutted skeptically, his eyebrows lifting in disbelief.  ~Maybe from multiple arrests?~

“We play poker,” Jack explained.  Aware that the officer wasn't yet moved to action, the general demanded in a more intimidating voice, “Call him.”

“Can I see some ID?” the sheriff's officer requested sternly, still not prepared to disturb the sheriff.

“ID?” Daniel echoed.

“Driver's license,” the officer clarified.

“We can't reach them in this costume,” Daniel explained.

“Take it off.”

“Off?” Jack and Daniel both questioned, their embarrassment increasing.

“Is that a problem?”

“Officer,” Jack began, “we're wearing another costume beneath this one.”  He waited a moment and then elaborated, “our birthday suits.”

Warily, the officer stared at the couple.  After Jack made another demand for him to contact his pal, Andy the sheriff, the patrolman took down their names and headed for his vehicle.

“Well, here's another nice mess you've gotten me into,” an unhappy Daniel charged.

“Thank you for your support, Oliver,” Jack countered.

“Well, if the mess fits,” Daniel challenged.

“That's the last time I let you watch my Laurel and Hardy movies.”

“Promise?”

Jack's growl was audible, but his comeback retort was foiled when the officer approached with good news.

====

Just shy of the security gate, the sheriff's car stopped.  Jack and Daniel got out, pulling their pod portions of the costume with them.

“Let's get these back on,” Jack ordered.  When his lover didn't budge, he glared, “Daniel, that's an order.”

“I don't do orders.”

“Think of it as a request.”

“Jack ...”

“You know that cozy ...”  Jack hesitated, barely remembering that a civilian was present “... place you want to visit the next time next week?”

“You wouldn't?” Daniel responded, getting the message that Jack was threatening to change the mission schedule to eliminate a visit to a planet that was rich in ruins to be explored.

“Dirty pool, O'Neill.”

“Yeah,” Jack agreed smugly.

Reluctantly, Daniel went along, and soon the two were back in the complete outfit, except for the cartoon hands, which they decided to hold until getting to the party area.

“Thanks for the ride,” Jack told the officer, who just shook his head in disbelief that Jack was really a highly regarded Air Force general as the sheriff had stated when contacted.

The airman held his rifle in front of him as he stepped out in front of the walking vegetables.

“Airman,” Jack acknowledged as he strove to continue on into the Mountain.

“Holt!”

Jack sighed, “I'm General O'Neill.”

“Sure, you are.”

“Mike, I know he looks ... different, but it's General O'Neill,” Daniel stated, using the airman's first name and hoping the young man remember meeting him a few weeks earlier.

The airman stared at Daniel's face that was visible through the face hole toward the top of the pod outfit.  He wasn't sure who he was talking to.

The archaeologist realized part of the problem was that he wasn't wearing his glasses, a decision he had been especially grateful for when jumping into the farm truck earlier and almost landing on tomatoes, but that was currently a complication.

~This isn't getting us anywhere,~ Jack determined.  With one of his best general tones, he barked, “Hey, it may not say 'general' on my uniform, but it friggin' well should.”

The airman jumped.  He recognized one of Jack's favorite lines of intimidation, but even more so, that growling tone was infamous at Stargate Command.

“Yes, Sir!”

“About time,” Jack groused as he motioned for Daniel to start walking.  As they approached the tunnel, he excitedly put forth, “You watch, Danny.  We're gonna win.”

“Right.”

====

A few hours later, the atmosphere around the couple was much more relaxed.  They'd made it home, thanks to a lift from Lou Feretti, who laughed the entire drive from the Mountain to the country-style home that the lovers shared.
 
“It was all worth it,” came the pleased comment from the relaxing general.

Jack was seated on the deck, his back to the wall of the house.  Daniel, however, had a pillow behind him as he sat back against the railing that ran along the side of the wooden deck.  The ladder to the patio was right there, in case he decided to make a quick exit.

“To you, may...maybe,” Daniel responded, gulping mid-word.

“You love it.”

“I hate beer.”

“Of course you do,” Jack snickered, considering the three empty bottles already credited to his lover and the half-gone liquid in a fourth that Daniel was holding.  ~And the night is still young.~

The general grinned as he looked over at the case of Westvleteren 12.  It was one of four cases that was the first prize for the best Halloween costume.

“Mmm, that's good stuff,” Jack spoke and coughed at the same time after another swig.

“Illegal,” the archaeologist noted before taking another drink of his own.

“Huh?”

“The monks from St. Sixtus of Westvleteren only brew 66,000 cases of beer per year.  They put a warning mark on the receipts that the beer isn't to be resold, but people do it anyway.  Illegal.”

“How do you know that?” Jack questioned curiously.

“Harvard,” was the brief and only word of explanation.

“It must be the alcohol,” the older man speculated.

“Twelve percent,” Daniel noted as he stared at the bottle.

“Yeah,” a happy Jack acknowledged about the monks' creation that was made with an alcohol content that was roughly three times that of regular household beer.

“We have to send them money to give to the poor,” Daniel put forth in between more sips of the strong, rich beer.  Suddenly, he stated, “Raisins: I taste raisins with the cocoa.”

“Dates, too,” Jack added about another part of the beer's unique mixture.  “Why not just send them money for improvements at the abbey?”

“Because they only want what they need, Jack.  They aren't interested in profits, just maintaining the abbey.  They do like to help the needy, though, so we should send a little something for them to use in their work.”

Jack nodded in agreement, took another drink, and then put down the empty bottle.  He slithered over to his Love and sneaked in a kiss before Daniel knew what was happening.

“Hello,” the tipsy archaeologist greeted with a grin.

“I'm going to have my way with you, Doctor Jackson.”

“I know.”

“You do?”

“That's why you wanted the beer.”

“Are you saying I need to get you drunk in order to have my way with you?” the silver-haired man queried, a sloppy expression on his face.

“It's a good excuse.”

“I need an excuse?”

“No.”

“I'm confused,” Jack replied.

“Just kiss me,” Daniel ordered.

“I love it when you get all commanding.”

“Kiss me, O'Neill.”

Jack and Daniel, definitely considered two peas in a pod by some, closed out Halloween in their own special way, adding the fire of their bodies to that of the glowing pumpkins that still decorated their home.

~~Finis - Finished - Done - The End - But is it ever Really?~~
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