The Chicago Caper
Author: Orrymain and special guest co-author, Claudia!
Category: Slash, Humor, Mystery, Romance, Established Relationship
Pairing: Jack/Daniel ... and it's all J/D
Season: 8 - not long after Full Alert
Spoilers: Full Alert, Prometheus Unbound (minor), Children of the Gods (minor), Ascension
Written: March 6-10,14-15, April 3,5-6,27, May 20, June 8, 2005
Summary: Jack and Daniel host a murder mystery party. Who's the murderer, and who will successfully solve the crime?
Disclaimer: Usual disclaimers -- not mine, wish they were, especially Daniel, and Jack, too, but they aren't. A gal can dream though!
1) We had so much fun we decided to do it again ... and again. Thanks to Claudia, my always beta, and now sometimes co-author! She makes it so much fun to write some of these fics!
2) Sometimes, Jack and Daniel speak almost telepathically. Their “silent” words to each other are indicated by asterisks instead of quotes, such as **Jack, we can't.**
3) Silent, unspoken thoughts by various characters are indicated with ~ in front and behind them, such as ~Where am I?~
4) This fic stands alone, but it does reference my other fics, “What's So Great About Atlantis”
5) Thanks to my betas who always make my fics better: QuinGem, Tamara, Kat, Robert, Allexandrya!
The Chicago Caper
by Orrymain and Claudia
As he awoke from his nightmare, Jack bolted up to a sitting position on
the bed, unintentionally shoving Daniel off of him. He didn't
scream, but he was in a cold sweat.
“Jack, what's wrong?” Daniel asked, turning on the light and sitting up himself.
Without a trace of his normal sleepiness, Daniel began gently rubbing his lover's back.
“DEFCON 1. We pushed the button, and the world ... stopped,” Jack spoke in stuttered breaths.
“The world is still out there. It's okay, Babe. I'm here,” Daniel spoke soothingly.
Jack moved his hands to rub his temples and then ran his hands through his hair. Angrily, he said, “Dang that Kinsey and those NID screw-ups. The Trust? What kind of a name is that for a bunch of power hungry idiots?”
Jack got out of bed and slipped on his gray sweatpants, but he remained shirtless. He paced the length of the bed a couple of times, going from the headboard to the nightstand and back again.
“Jack, I know it was a close call, but you got through to President Mikhailov.”
“Barely. We survived by this much,” Jack said, holding his thumb and finger so closely together that a gap wasn't visible between them.
Daniel patted Jack's side of the bed as he spoke, “Come here, Jack.”
“Jack, come here.” Daniel scooted back to lean against the headboard as Jack returned to the bed. Daniel reached out to touch his lover's cheek. “Come here,” he said softly, pulling Jack so that he was resting against Daniel's shoulder.
“I wish Hammond had taken his job back,” Jack opined.
“You're a great general, Jack,” Daniel said.
“I didn't say I wasn't good at it.”
Daniel kissed the top of Jack's head as he ran his hands along his lover's sweat-soaked skin.
“Don't you like it, being a general, I mean?”
“I don't like watching you go on missions without me; I don't like sending you off to a foreign country when we're about to blow up said country; and I don't like paperwork.” Jack took a deep breath. “DEFCON 1. The nightmare didn't happen, Danny ... this time.”
“I love you,” Daniel said as he surprised Jack by getting up and walking into the bathroom.
From his spot on the bed, a very confused Jack could hear the water in the shower start.
“You're taking a shower *now*?” asked Jack incredulously when Daniel returned to stand at the side of their bed.
“No, you are, or rather, we are.”
Jack stood, but said argumentatively, “I don't want to take a shower right now.”
“Shhh,” Daniel said as he dropped to one knee. Daniel slid Jack's sweatpants down and off of each foot as he lifted it. “Come on.”
Taking Jack by the hand, Daniel led his soulmate into the bathroom. The water was hot, blessedly hot, making the acrid fear-based sweat sting as it sloughed off. Taking a well-worn loofa, Daniel quickly lathered Jack with body gel, washing away the residue of the nightmare with gentle motions. After finishing Jack's legs, Daniel's hands focused on a region too sensitive for the loofa, but not forgotten. Washing said area was not the only objective, however.
“Danny, don't. I'm too tired.”
“Shhh. I know, Love. You just let me take care of you. You'll relax and sleep better.”
Jack surrendered to the gift of nature that allows males to quiet both mind and body with a few repetitive motions. As he shuddered his subdued release into Daniel's hand, he whispered, “Thank you, Love. I ...”
“Shhh ...” Daniel hushed his lover with a finger placed tenderly on his lips. “Just give me a moment to rinse off.”
Quickly drying them both, Daniel herded Jack to bed. After tucking him in with a kiss, Daniel scrambled into his side of the bed and drew Jack close, sheltering him, looking around the room as if daring any lingering terrors to return under his watchful gaze. Daniel relaxed as he heard Jack's breathing grow slow and rhythmic.
He was grateful Jack was sleeping peacefully, but Daniel knew what Jack needed -- some good, old fashioned fun. The last couple of months had been very intense, and the lovers hadn't had much time to play. It was time to change that, but what could they do?
Play was once a foreign idea to the archaeologist, but to the general, it was a vital part of life, and over the years, Daniel had learned its importance as well.
~We can't go away. After all the time we took off after the aborted rescue mission to Atlantis, we just don't have the leave. There's the other cabin, but no, that's not what he needs.~ As he stroked his lover's back, Daniel continued to ponder their options, finally making a realization. ~It's not a change in place he needs, it's a change in ... attitude and age.~ Daniel smiled. ~He needs to be a kid. He needs some mental downtime. Wish we had time to go to Disneyland.~
As Daniel joined his lover in sleep, his mind was still searching for the answer, a solution second-best to a trip to the Magic Kingdom.
The next day while reading the newspaper, Daniel's eyes, like that of a cartoon character's, nearly jumped out of his skull as they pounced on an ad he'd seen many times before. The ad was for a murder mystery party, held weekly at a local club.
~Murder mystery? Hmmm ... maybe ... yeah ... 'Dixon Hill'.~
Daniel's mind shifted to old episodes of the “Star Trek: The Next Generation” television show. Jack was always making Daniel watch TV shows from the past, be it just ten years ago, or fifty. Partly, it was because vintage television was an easy way to relax after a stressful day, and Jack was a closet (or perhaps not-so-closet) couch potato; but it was also part of Jack's long-term plan of making sure Daniel acquired a passing knowledge of pop culture references, something that had eluded Daniel growing up and studying for PhD after PhD.
~Gawd, it worked, too.~
It had been a few years since anyone had looked at him as though he had recently emerged from a prison cell or a flying saucer over some moronic-missed reference.
~I'm even an expert on Disney, now,~ he silently chuckled, although that was something that he hadn't talked about publicly.
In this case, Jack had frequently commented about one part of the 'Trek' story when Captain Picard would go to the ship's holodeck for recreation and play out detective mysteries as a fictional character named 'Dixon Hill'.
“THAT'S IT!” ~We'll have a murder mystery party right here.~
“What's 'it'?” Jack asked, entering the kitchen.
“Um, Andy caught the cat burglar,” Daniel fibbed, referring to a local case just solved by the local sheriff.
“Glad to hear it,” Jack said, giving his lover a worried glance.
Daniel just smiled weakly and put the newspaper in front of his face to hide his blush. He needed to investigate this more thoroughly before he said anything to Jack.
Pushing aside the translations that were waiting for him, Daniel brought up the search engine on his computer at the SGC and started looking for a nice murder mystery game that would allow Jack to unwind.
~I've come a long way, Jack. A couple of years ago, I'd never have even thought of something like this.~ “No, definitely not Ancient Egypt. We need something separate from what we do every day.” Daniel discovered a lot of the games were set in various historical periods. ~Ancient Rome? Nah, that's not really Jack. None of these are Jack,~ Daniel sighed.
Just as he was starting to get discouraged, Daniel came across a scenario that he thought might appeal to his lover.
~And it's set in Nineteen-twenty's Chicago -- the Roaring Twenty's -- and in Jack's hometown, too. Yeah, Chicago: mobsters, prohibition, jazz.~ He read a little more and then laughed. ~Even the names are bound to appeal to Jack's inner child.~
“Molly M. Awbsterr. Molly Mobster.” Daniel smiled. ~Senseless, light-hearted relief: just the prescription your personal physician, one Doctor Daniel Jackson, uh, that's me, is ordering for you right now, My Love. We'll have a night of fun, and then we'll, uh ...~
Daniel blushed as a random thought of just how Jack would express his gratitude crossed his mind.
~Geez, can't make it through one day at the office without thinking about ... whoa, not a good thing to be thinking about right now.~ Daniel desperately tried to curtail his thoughts. ~Well, Jack can't either,~ he mused, remembering all the stolen kisses in the storage closet. ~Hope no one walks in right now; *Please*, no one walk in. I can't stand up. Focus, Jackson, and get the freakin' credit card.~
The temporary decrease in the interior space of Daniel's trousers made retrieving his wallet difficult enough that it resulted in the desired outcome; putting it back would be much easier. He express-ordered the murder mystery game and then began wondering who they should invite.
Two days later, Daniel was on a break in the commissary, reviewing the instructions and information for The Chicago Caper.
Coming up from behind him, Megan Williams, a civilian archaeologist currently assigned to SG-11, recognized the type of material Daniel was reading.
~That's Doctor Jackson, sitting all alone, if you don't count the ... one, no two ... oops, make that three pairs of eyes watching him through compact mirrors. Geez, he's gorgeous, and he's a widower. The nurses sure do drool over him. Okay, Megan, be honest. All the women in the SGC practically faint if he does something as simple as smile at them. Who can blame them? He's a genius, and he's got a great sense of humor. I didn't see much of that when I first started working here, but this year, he's really begun to smile and to be more playful. Wish he'd play with me! Whoa, down girl. I admit Mama would be proud to have him for a son-in-law, but he is my boss. Still, we're both civilians. Oh, gee, wouldn't everyone here just die with envy? Of course, I'd be hated by everyone wearing heels, but what a small price to pay for someone who is handsome, kind, giving, intelligent, a leader, and ... oh, geez, he's reading about murder mysteries. I know about those! Okay, Megan, that's an opening. Dive in!~
“Daniel, do you like murder mysteries?”
~Play it cool, Megan. Don't get girlie on him. You know he doesn't go for those droolers, and while he may blush, and, gee, that's so cute when he does, but he simply ignores the simpering fools who fawn over him. He's picky, and with his looks and education, he should be. A man like him prefers intellectual stimulation, at least for an opener. We've got some things in common, archaeology for starters. A man who appreciates a good artifact is definitely worth researching, in my opinion. You've had some great conversations in the past. He knows you have a brain, Megan, so don't blow it just because you suddenly want to see if there's potential here.~
Daniel hadn't realized he was so engrossed in his reading. Megan's words startled him, and he reacted by dropping the pamphlet onto the table and then almost knocking over his coffee mug. He was just able to catch it with his hands before the hot liquid would have gone all over the table.
“I'm sorry. I didn't mean to startle you.” ~Gawd, look at those blue eyes! He is *so* adorable. Megan Jackson. Mrs. Daniel Jackson. Boy, that has a nice ring to it. Let's give it a spin.~
“No, it's my fault. Sit down, Megan” he said, motioning with his hand to the empty seat across from him. He settled himself, and finally answered her question. “Um, actually I've never done a murder mystery before, but I was thinking it might fun.”
~Oh, it will be great fun, for both of us.~ “I love those. I try to participate in three or four a year.”
“Really?” He saw the smile just before she sipped her coffee. “Megan, would you like to play?”
~Now there's a loaded question. Your place or mine?~ “I'd love to. I can help you with suggestions, if you like. I've actually hosted a couple of games. It's always entertaining and fun.”
“That's exactly what I want it to be: fun!”
~He hasn't a clue, does he? He has no idea the effect he has on women. The best ones never do, and he's definitely on the 'A-list'.~ “What's the theme?”
“Prohibition era Chicago: the nineteen-twenty's.”
“Flappers! Oh, that will be awesome! Who are the characters?”
Megan moved over to sit in a chair next to Daniel on the other side of the table, the two eagerly reading the character descriptions and discussing possibilities for the game's enactment.
“Where the blazes is Daniel?” Jack asked, ten minutes after SG-1 had assembled in the briefing room.
Sam looked nervously at Teal'c and shrugged.
“Well, uh, I don't know, Sir.”
“Find him, Colonel,” Jack said, getting up and going into his office.
“He's not very happy,” Sam commented.
“I believe he had a conference call with several baboons this morning.”
“Perhaps he said buffoons.”
“Oh, well ...” ~Teal'c, don't even try to tell me you haven't developed a sense of humor.~
“CARTER, AREN'T YOU SUPPOSED TO BE DOING SOMETHING?”
“Yes, Sir.” ~Geez, you're a grouch today. Not getting any lately? Let me find Daniel; that'll answer that question.~
The thought amused her sufficiently that she just rolled her eyes and beat a hasty retreat from the briefing room.
Jack stared at Teal'c who simply stared back at Jack, never moving from his seat.
“Yeah, well ...” ~You're not budging, are you, Big Guy? Okay, she's not my personal gopher. She knows that. I'm just ... where's my office?~
Jack beat the folder he was holding against his leg, then walked back into his office.
Daniel and Megan were laughing as Sam entered the commissary.
“You're right; that's the perfect role for Doctor Fraiser, Daniel.”
“Excuse me,” Sam said. ~What are these two so chummy about? If I had been the general, Megan would be in deep ... crap.~
~Oh, well. It was fun while it lasted.~ “Hello, Colonel Carter,” Megan said, hoping her smile was genuine enough to mask her disappointment at losing the intimacy of her discussion with Daniel.
Daniel smiled at his friend, then greeted her with, “Hey, Sam, join us.”
“I'd love to, but I'm about to be court-martialed.”
Daniel looked at her strangely.
“Sam, why would ... oh, gawd, what time is it?”
“About twenty minutes later than either of us wants it to be.”
“Grizzly. Black grizzly.” Sam thought, then added, “Black grizzly with bad knees who hasn't eaten for a week.”
“That bad?” Daniel made a funny face, one that indicated he knew he was in trouble. He grabbed his notes and looked at Megan. “Talk to you later, Megan, and thanks for the help,” he said, getting up and hurrying to the briefing room.
Sam followed closely behind Daniel, muttering, “Growly too, cantankerous, irascible, ornery ...”
Seated at the table in the commissary, Megan sipped her coffee.
~He's still adorable, but I don't think there's a chance in sin. Great guy, though. Someone, somewhere, sometime is going to be one lucky woman, and, well, if I play my cards right, I'll have a great friend for life in Daniel!~
“Nice of you to join us, Doctor Jackson,” Jack grizzled.
“Down, Jack,” Daniel said as he sat down at the conference table. **And maybe if you're a good little general for the rest of the day, I'll let you get down tonight; in fact, we'll both get down.**
Daniel's mind was talking dirty, but his eyes and facial expression were radiating innocence.
Jack coughed a few times.
~How does he do that? Get all ... exotic in his brain, but look like a baby?~
“Are you all right, O'Neill?” Teal'c asked.
“Went down ... the wrong way,” Jack said as he tapped on his chest.
“You weren't eating anything, Sir.”
“I'm thinking Eskimos, Carter.”
Sam pretended to gulp and then nodded.
~Like I'm one of those terrified airmen, trembling at your threats. Not me! I've been around the block too many times to ...~
Startled, Sam jumped in her seat.
“Yes, Sir. Sorry, Sir. What did you want, Sir?”
“Will you *stop* with all the 'Sirs', and tell us what's so wonderful about PX9-302 that we have to go there?”
“Yes, Sir. Gawd.” ~Eskimos. Oh yeah, too cold. Focus, Samantha.~ “Well, the UAV ...”
Finally, their briefing began.
Jack sat on the sofa in their living room while Daniel stood behind him and rubbed his shoulders. Daniel frowned, feeling the tension in the tight muscles he was trying to soothe. The younger man leaned over, letting his arms hang down to caress Jack's abdomen as he kissed his soulmate's cheek.
“Danny, I'm sorry I yelled today. I just ... I knew I could yell at you ...”
“And I'd take it.”
Jack let out a snort, then shook his head a little. His right hand stroked Daniel's arm gently.
“No, I knew you wouldn't take it, but I knew you'd understand. That's no excuse, though, and I am sorry.”
“The person you really need to apologize to is Sam. She *does* have to take it because she's military, and you outrank her.”
“Carter can ...”
“Jack, come on. You've always been a maverick, but Sam isn't like you. She's isn't going to tell you off unless you do finally push her over the edge. Seriously, Babe, you've let the grizzly act get out of hand, and it's wearing thin ... on all of us.”
Jack took a deep breath.
“Carter knows I'm not going to send her to D.C., let alone Alaska.”
“That's not the point. She hasn't said anything because she doesn't want to break up the camaraderie. Jack, SG-1, and I'm including you in that, has always cared more than we should, as a team I mean. You know that.”
“Danny, so help me, you bring up that friggin' zatarc thing again, and ...”
“Shhh.” Daniel's hands worked harder to calm his tense lover's muscles. He leaned over and placed a kiss atop Jack's head, too. “Listen to me, Love. We've faced and cheated death countless times, and there are bonds between us that most people could never understand. We're closer than a lot of husbands and wives, but, you know, without the 'you know'.
“Sex. It's called sex, Daniel,” Jack smirked.
“Don't even try to change the subject, Jack. You're testing the limits of friendship with Sam. You're counting on her not to be you.”
Daniel chuckled, and said, “Yes. You need to step back and look at yourself, and, more than that, you need a break, Babe.”
~Geez, ain't that the truth!~ “We used up too much time after Prometheus, but what I wouldn't give for just one day at the cabin or anywhere that gets me away from Doctor Lee's crazy experiments and stupid reports about how many rolls of toilet paper we should keep on hand.”
“I have a suggestion. I, uh, actually have it all thought out. Jack, what we need is to have a party.”
Jack twisted around to look up at Daniel, who stood up straight again.
“Daniel, why would I want all the headaches that go along with having a party. People just end up dirtying up the house,” Jack complained.
“Not just any party, but a really fun and different party,” Daniel said with an energetic-sounding voice.
“What are you talking about?”
Daniel moved to sit next to his husband on the sofa. The lovers turned their bodies toward the other, and Daniel reached over to hold Jack's hand.
“A murder mystery.”
“Danny, I haven't a clue what you're talking about.”
“Yes, you do. You know how you make me watch all those 'Star Trek' shows; you know, Picard as 'Dixon Hill'. Well, this is our chance to ... turn our home into a holodeck, for one night, a night of mystery, a night of ... murder,” Daniel said with allure in his voice.
Jack was hooked.
~Gawd, I love this man.~ “Tell me more.”
Daniel looked at Jack and grinned, giving himself a mental pat on the back. His husband was like a kid in a candy store, making suggestions as to how they could decorate the house, the costumes they could wear, and the authentic nineteen-twenty's Chicago meal they could make. The game's instructions included a recipe and serving suggestions, and, according to Megan, they usually worked out pretty well.
Currently, Jack was putting on a gangster accent while reading the sample invitation they had copied and filled in.
“If youse want to loin da secret o' Hal Cappone's whereabouts, be in da 'backroom' at S. P. Keasy's Place, Twenty-toid Street and Michigan, at seven o'clock tonight. Refershments'll be soived. Don't tell nobody!”
“Fortunately, the invitations also have space for the real time, date, and address,” Daniel laughed.
“Yoi,” Jack agreed and then continued to read. “Youse is roilly invited ta da O'Neill hideout on Sat'day at da hour of ... mmm ...”
“Seven sounds good.”
“... at dis address ... in da role of whoever. Be Dere!” Jack laughed, and put down the invitation. “We 'ave ta decide who ta invite, Danny,” Jack said, continuing to speak in his gangster accent even though he was no longer reading from the invitation.
Daniel loved it. Jack's eyes were shining. So far, this was exactly what he had hoped for.
“We have to invite Megan. She's done these before, and she helped me come up with some of the ideas I mentioned earlier.”
“Megan? Williams?” Jack asked as he finally associated the first name with someone in Daniel's department.
“Yeah. I know you don't know her that well, but she's one of the best we've got at the Mountain. You'd like her, Jack, if you'd take a few minutes to really get to know her.”
“Scientist,” Jack mumbled.
“What's that, Babe?”
“I said ... good idea.”
Daniel smiled, shaking his head.
“Okay, well, I think we should invite Sam and Teal'c for sure.” After Jack nodded his agreement, Daniel added, “And, since we're inviting Sam, we should invite Pete.”
“They're engaged, Jack.”
“Oh, yeah, I forgot.”
“You told her to get a life.”
“Who knew she'd up and do it? It's scary now, Danny. I never know who's going to answer her phone. It's ... embarrassing.”
“For you or for her?” Daniel chuckled.
“It's just it makes me think about what they're doing all out of breath like that,” Jack said, shuddering for effect.
Daniel laughed a little louder, then settled to a chuckle as he said, “So because it embarrasses you to think about it, they shouldn't have S-E-X?”
Daniel intentionally spelled the word, just for the rise he knew it would get out of Jack; and he was right.
“Very good, Danny. You can spell it. Now we'll work you up to doing it.”
“Verrrry funny, Love. I seem to recall working it up *and* down in the shower day before yesterday.”
A wicked grin spread over Jack's face.
“I could sure use a shower now,” he said excitedly.
~Geez, I love him, grizzly or no grizzly.~ “Last one in is a virgin,” Daniel teased as he raced to the stairs before Jack got off the sofa.
“I'll virgin you ...”
“Promises, promises,” Daniel chuckled.
Thirty minutes later, having exhausted each other and the hot water, the two men lay clean and sated, holding hands and relaxing on their king-size bed.
“We have great sex, and all you can say afterwards is 'coffee'?”
“Be right back.”
“Yeah ... it was good for me, too,” Jack said, laughing as he watched Daniel slip out of bed and head downstairs.
A few minutes later, Daniel returned to the bedroom, carrying a tray that held two mugs and a carafe full of hot Arabian Mocha., wearing nothing but a serving towel draped over one arm.
“Either I have died and gone to heaven, or the waiters here are better looking than I remember.”
“Just remember to leave me a big tip,” Daniel said.
Handing Jack his steaming mug, Daniel held up his open palms a certain distance apart, saying, “Oh, I'd say about like this.”
“Done, but drink your jet fuel; you'll need your stamina!”
Daniel chuckled as he slid under the covers again, sitting up to worship his favorite beverage.
Their gentle, teasing pillow talk was an aspect of their relationship that both pleased and delighted the couple. Only two people really bonded to each other could share moments so insignificant, yet so deeply touching and full of meaning.
“It could be worse, Jack.”
“Sam and Pete, doing 'you know'.”
Jack chuckled, once again amazed how his youthful lover could so easily slip back into their last conversation almost exactly where they had left off.
“How?” Jack said, reaching for his coffee mug and taking a sip.
“She could be dating Rodney McKay.”
Jack spit out his coffee.
“Be thankful he's in another galaxy, Babe; he has a thing for Sam.”
“I thought he got over that.”
“No, he just lost his chance since Hammond sent him to Russia.”
“We shouldn't have let him back in the country.”
“Oh, well, then guess who'd be in Atlantis?”
Jack sighed, the humor of the conversation having completely left his body.
“Daniel, no more joking about Atlantis.”
It terrified Jack to think how close he and Daniel had come to being separated for what, for all intents and purposes, could have been the rest of their lives. The thought of never seeing, holding, or touching Daniel again sent Jack to a dark place, a place as bleak and gloomy as that of Charlie's death.
Realizing his soulmate had gone to that lifeless place, Daniel put his hand on Jack's face, turning it to look at him. He hadn't meant to send Jack there, and he felt like a heel for bringing it up, even in jest.
~Stupid, Jackson, just stupid.~ Caressing Jack's cheeks with the palms of his hands, Daniel said assuredly, “I'm not going anywhere. I'm really sorry, Jack. I didn't understand; I do now. I'm staying right here, not because I have to, not because you're forcing me to, but because I want to. You're my home and my heart. I love you, Jack Jackson-O'Neill; you're not getting rid of me, not even for some magical archaeological adventure.”
Daniel kissed his husband soundly, a physical reassurance that his words were more than words: they were an oath and a pledge.
“I love you, Danny.”
The shine was back in Jack's eyes; he'd come back from that dark abyss, so Daniel figured it was time to make sure Jack understood that their nation of two was stronger than ever.
“I love you, too. Now, about my tip ..."
“I'm not sure I have enough,” Jack teased.
“It's growing with interest. See? There's more than enough,” Daniel observed, pulling the covers high in the air.
“So it would seem, Doctor Jackson-O'Neill. Are you ready to collect?”
They shared a smile and wrestled with the issue of who was giving the biggest 'tip'.
Quite a while later, the two were back in the living room, once again discussing their murder mystery party. Jack leaned forward from his spot on the sofa to pick up the sample invitation they had prepared that was on the coffee table.
“It's wrong. It should say the Jackson-O'Neill home.”
“The next one, Love.”
Jack nodded as he whispered, “The next one.” He took a huge breath, and reviewed what they had decided for the guest list. “Carter, Shanahan, Teal'c, Williams; who else?”
“Jack, please call her 'Megan' when she's here.” Daniel paused, then made his next suggestion. “Janet would enjoy it.”
“Hey, how about Cass? She's going to be home that weekend, isn't she?”
Daniel thought for a moment, then replied, “I think so. We'll have to double-check.”
“That's eight,” Jack said. “We got us a pa'ty, Danny.”
“I, uh, know of another party that's about to happen,” Daniel said sultrily. “Only it's a private party, just for two, and it starts in about two minutes. That is, if you're *up* for it.”
Jack raised his eyebrows as he stood up, and then the pair adjourned to the bedroom to make love.
~He keeps me young,~ Jack thought just before becoming lost in the euphoria of their love.
~He makes me whole,~ Daniel thought as he, too, entered the bliss of their union.
They could never make love enough; they simply had too much love to share, and filling each other with that joy created a synergy that could not be beat by anyone, anywhere.
“Daniel, I found the neatest costume shop over on North Wahsatch. This woman has been in business since the fifties, and she has everything we need. You have to go see for yourself.”
“That's great, Sam,” Daniel said as the two walked the gray corridors of the SGC.
“Do you know who you're coming as?”
“Not yet. Jack and I keep going back and forth about our characters. We'll probably figure it out an hour before everyone arrives.”
Sam laughed, and then covertly, she maneuvered Daniel to a quiet area of the corridor.
“This will be the first time Pete's been at your, I mean, at the general's home.”
Sam's sentence was deliberately clumsy, and Daniel picked up on it.
“Don't worry, Sam. We're taking extra precautions. Megan's coming, too.”
“Pete's a cop, Daniel; a very, very, very, *very* curious cop.”
Daniel laughed as he said, “I remember.”
“He was not stalking me; he was just ... checking me out.”
“I know, and so does Jack. Believe me, we're not taking chances.”
Reassured, Sam grinned. She was sure her friends had considered these first-time guests to their home, but she had to be sure.
“By the way, which one of you explained the concept of this game to Teal'c?”
Daniel laughed again as he replied, “The first three rounds were mine. I told Jack he has to take a shot at it.”
“Better youse guys dan me!” Sam exclaimed, trying out her 'gangster's moll' accent.
“You know, Teal'c really has a taste for television. I wonder if he would understand this better as a TV show we are all in, just for fun.”
“That's the whole problem, Daniel. Being the First Prime of Apophis didn't leave much room for fun, and, well, I know he has more of a sense of humor, but I'm not sure he really understands the concept of fun itself,” Sam commented. “Even during downtimes, he's working out or meditating.”
“I'm not so sure about that, Sam,” Daniel replied. “I think he understands more than he lets on. He loves movies and television; he reads all kinds of books and magazines. Gawd, I remember when we all went mud-wrestling and ...” Daniel saw Sam's eyebrows go upward in question. “Oops.”
“Are you serious?” Daniel let out a nervous sound, his smile closed. “Daniel, you are. When was this?”
“Um, when Orlin was here.”
“Oh,” Sam said a bit sadly. Then she remembered when Jack and Teal'c had unexpectedly shown up at her house during the Orlin situation. “Oh, you're talking about when the general and Teal'c came by with pizza that night?”
“Yeah, it was Jack's idea, mud-wrestling I mean.”
“So you guys played soldier in the mud?”
“Uh, well, not exactly.”
“It was, uh, wo...women's mud-wrestling.”
“Oh, gawd,” Sam laughed. “I don't even want to know.”
“No, you don't,” Daniel said, a bit relieved.
“Teal'c must have doubted his decision to join us after that insanity.”
“Uh, well, no. I mean, actually he said it reminded him of Tel-ni-Kay.”
“Tel-ni-Kay? What's that?”
“It's a Jaffa ritual, and don't ask me, ask Teal'c.”
“Because I'll turn ten shades of red, that's why. Anyway, he had a good time, and he, uh, played a little joke on Jack, and don't ask, and if you ask Jack, start packing your bags for a transfer somewhere very cold.”
“I ... think I'll pass.”
“Good idea, but the point is, sometimes I think Teal'c is laughing his Chulakian six off at the three of us, still jumping through hoops after all these years, trying to explain Earth customs and culture to the poor Jaffa!” He saw Sam's skeptical yet 'who knows' expression. “Don't deny you've had the same thoughts, Sam.”
“Well, okay, yes, but,” slipping into her character's accent again, “In dis here outfit, it ain't kosher for a goil to be thaut've as uncharit'ble, and I's doin't likes beings toid with, ya git my drift?”
Daniel chuckled at his friend's vocal antics. This was going to be one great party. Everyone at the SGC who was invited really needed a change in routine, a chance to let their hair down and kick up their heels, and this was promising to be the perfect opportunity to do just that.
“What's this?” Janet asked Daniel as he handed her a computer printout.
They were in the infirmary, and SG-1 was about to go through pre-mission examinations. Daniel had made a point to arrive a bit early, wanting to give Janet her copy of the printout, plus one for Cassandra.
“It's a list of slang that was prevalent in the nineteen-twenties. I thought it might help to lend some authenticity to the murder mystery.”
“Good point. Thanks.”
“Jack's been speaking like a gangster for days, so watch out when he walks in here.”
“I've already been exposed. I had to deliver a report to him yesterday and he greeted me with 'Hey, Doll, youse got dat report'?”
Daniel chuckled in delight.
“It's going to be a fun night.”
“I'm looking forward to it,” Janet said, smiling herself.
“Do you think it looks like a speakeasy, Jack?”
Daniel stood back and surveyed their handiwork. Their guests were coming in a little over two hours, and he thought the place was looking pretty good.
They had set out bottles of wine, beer, and spirits, there was jazz playing softly in the background, and the television was now covered by a throw and turned into a makeshift table for the night. A sign tacked to the front door declared that the house was 'S.P. Keasy's Place'.
“We done good, Dannyboy,” Jack said as he threw his arm around Daniel's shoulders and grinned.
“Jack, we's betta get dressed in ours, uh, gitup, or da guests'll be standin' at the door, waitin' on us.”
“Not bad, Dannyboy; not bad at all.”
“I's is really glad youses was aroun' t'make shore it look't autent'c, cuz aft'rall, it was way before my time,” Daniel said snarkily.
“Youses is really gonna git yourses tanite after everybody at th' pahty has split,” Jack threatened seductively.
“We gots two whole hours b'fore da guests show up; I don't see no reason I should hafta wait 'til tanite; ya know wot I means, don'cha?”
Daniel gave an exaggerated wink with one big blue eye, then batted them both furiously.
“Weeellllll,” said Jack, cupping his chin in his palm and tapping his cheek with the index finger, “We gots t' git *un*dressed b'for we kin gits dressed, sos, if we does the foist part now, we gots time t' gits to the secon' part later, if ya ketches my drift?”
“I likes da way youses tinks.”
“So ya gonna stand dere flappin' youses gums?”
“Actually, no,” Daniel laughed, shaking off the accents for a moment. “Jack, I think we're going to confuse Teal'c.”
“Danny, we always confuse Teal'c.”
“Yeah, but tonight, I think I'm confusing me, too. One of us should make sure he has a clue what's being said.”
“You're the linguist, Love, so I'll leave all the translating to you.”
“Thanks, Babe. You're so generous.”
“Hey, I tried explaining a metaphor to the big guy once. Last time I try to explain a part of speech to a Jaffa.”
“Well, I think we should tone it down a little; he'll be lost, Jack.”
“A lost Jaffa? Danny, he might tell another Jaffa joke.”
Chuckling, they made their way upstairs for a bit of frivolous fondling before having to dress for the party.
Two hours later, Jack and Daniel were each admiring the way the other looked in their costumes.
“You look so hot in that uniform, Danny.”
Jack admired his lover's athletic form which the baseball uniform he was currently wearing showed off very nicely.
“You just like the way it shows off my six, Jack.”
“Of course, I do. You have the most magnificent six in the entire universe,” Jack said, walking over to fondle said six.
He and Daniel had had a brief discussion about the likelihood of a baseball player wearing his baseball uniform to a speakeasy. However, as the uniform made it easy to identify his character, he was wearing it. Daniel was Billy 'The Kid' Thrower, a star baseball player for the 'Chicago Stock Kings'.
“You know, Ernie, you don't look too bad yourself.”
Jack was Ernie 'Bet-A-Million' G. Ambler and was dressed in a flashy suit with the dark purple silk shirt. He wore a fake diamond stickpin and had on shiny black and white shoes.
“I's tinks I's do looks pretty spiffy, if I do say so myself,” Jack said, his hands holding the lapel to his jacket.
Their mutual admiration of each other was interrupted by a knock on the door. Jack gave Daniel a final kiss, knowing that with Megan and Pete in attendance, they'd have to pretend to be 'just friends'. They'd taken extra precautions, putting just about everything of Daniel's away, including any memorabilia normally kept downstairs.
Since they didn't want to answer questions about the fish, Jack had come up with the idea of sectioning off that part of the living room where the fish were. They put up a partition with a door drawn on it. Written on the door were the words, 'G. Ambler's Back Room' and 'Enters At Yer Own Risk'. It fit right in with the speakeasy look, and with the jazz and twenties music playing in the background, no one could hear the occasional gurgle from the tank.
Jack's house was a bit of an abnormality. The original owner had built it with only one bathroom, and that was the one in the master bedroom. It made no sense, but then Jack never really anticipated on having much company. His future at that time was thought to be solitary -- just him and the stars.
Thus, in anticipation of someone needing to use the facilities, they had moved Daniel's personal things out of the bathroom and into the den which they locked. The den could not be disguised; it was full of Daniel's precious artifacts, and it would take more time than they had to pack it up. They talked about other alternatives, but in the end, they agreed to go the simple route -- locking the door. If anyone inquired, Jack would just say he had personal things in his spare room that he didn't want disturbed.
To try and make the locked den fit in with the speakeasy theme, though, Jack put up a sign on the den door that said, 'Da Booze is Here; Stay Out or the Coppers will Get Ya!'
The last thing they did was to make sure the closet in the master bedroom was fully closed and, just in case, they pushed back as much of Daniel's clothing as possible so that if the doors slid open any, only Jack's uniforms and recognizable attire would be seen.
The only things of Daniel's left out were a pair of jeans and a plaid shirt which, along with his shoes, they left on a chair near the wall of the bedroom. This would show that Daniel had simply changed his clothes at Jack's house, and would hopefully account for anything they may have overlooked.
Satisfied they had done all they could to protect their living together, Jack went to answer the door.
“Molly, Eddie, Strait,” Jack greeted the newcomers, Sam, Pete, and Teal'c, all of who were in their characters as Molly M. Awbster, Eddie 'Socks' R. Gyle, and S.Treighton Harrow.
Daniel shook his head as he came up behind Jack to greet their friends.
“Already lettin' loose with da nicknames, eh, Jack?”
“Oh, come on, S. Treighton Harrow? It's gotta be 'breviated,” Jack insisted, adding, “I's has an image to protect here.”
“O'Neill ...” Teal'c began, only to have his words halted when Jack held up a hand.
“Strait, dere ain't nah Jack 'ere, nah O'Neill eider, only Ernie.” Teal'c's eyebrow rose. “Ernie,” Jack repeated.
Teal'c cocked his head as he considered the situation and then decided to forego names altogether.
“I do not understand the purpose of this charade.”
“Strait, Strait, Strait,” Jack flung his arm around Teal'c's shoulders, “dere ain't nah ch'rade 'ere, only fun 'n'' games.”
Teal'c looked between Jack and Daniel, his confusion evident. Daniel was looking at him with an anxious expression in the hopes Teal'c would just go along with the game, even if he didn't understand it. Fortunately, the Jaffa was more perceptive than Daniel was giving him credit for. Teal'c noticed that Jack was looking more relaxed and carefree than he had for some time.
Teal'c was pleased to see Daniel immediately relax, and Daniel was glad that his friend didn't press the issue. The archeologist had spent quite some time trying to explain the murder mystery game to Teal'c, but since the Jaffa had been spending more time on Chulak lately, their opportunity to review the game had been minimal.
“Wowsers, da place looks like a million clams,” Sam said in her 'Molly' voice.
“What's your fire water, Molly? We's got all da hooch you could want!”
Sam turned, spinning around her feather shawl as she responded, “Dere ain't nah water to light my fire. I 'ave Eddie 'ere ta keep ma fire furnaced.”
“Oh, Molly, I's do likes da way youse flap yer gums,” Pete said, shimmying up next to his fiance.
Everyone coming to the murder mystery had Sunday off, so they weren't too worried about their alcoholic choices. Jack poured their guests a glass of whiskey.
Teal'c stared at the glass.
“Don't youse worry, Strait. Yo' 'as got root beer.”
Teal'c raised another eyebrow as he took the drink and began to survey the strange decor.
~The Tau'ri are still a strange people.~
A few minutes later, Janet and Cassandra arrived.
“Ladies, ladies, ladies, ain't youses a fine example of womanhood?” Jack said as he led them to the living room.
“Welcome to the juice joint,” Daniel said.
“Hey, youses, listen up. Dese 'ere dames are Melissa F. Orrthot Scoop ...” Jack leaned in to the other guests as he whispered, “Best watch what ya's says in fronta her.” Then he leaned back and continued, “and Anna Maria Carlotta Sassine. I's just calls her 'Torchy'. Youse looks mighty ... hmmm ...” Jack got out of character for a moment as he took a head to toe look at his favorite surrogate niece. “Janet, how could you let her out looking so ... soooo ...”
“Hot, Uncle Jack?” Cassandra said, twirling her beads playfully.
“Uh, Ernie,” Daniel interrupted, “Torchy dere's da main entertainment. She's no springtime chicken.” **She's over eighteen, Jack. It's a party. Behave.**
Jack cleared his throat as he looked at Cassandra who indeed was dressed to satisfy any man still breathing. She had on a sultry red gown, covered by sparkling sequins. It was a bit low cut, at least in Jack's opinion, and he wasn't too fond of the long slit in her gown, either, especially when she stood in such a manner that the dress showed all of her curves, and her legs. She also wore a long set of white beads.
Cassandra's outfit was a stark contrast to Janet's business-like attire that was comprised of a long, loose fitting brown jacket with a tight brown skirt. The SGC doctor chewed gum to accentuate her character's attitude.
“Looks like some fine chassis there,” Pete said, earning him a jab in the abdomen from his fiance.
“Youse best keep those eyes looking at this chassis, Daddy,” Sam said, chastising Pete for his remarks about Janet's and Cassandra's shapely figures.
“Is, uh, everythin' okay 'ere?” Jack asked his 2IC.
“Dontcha' sweat it, Ernie. Everything's jake, ain't it, Pete?”
“Sure is, Doll,” he said and then gave Sam a quick kiss.
“Whassa yer pleasure?” Jack asked, moving to the bar.
“Is that, uh, hooch, Ernie? Youse knows dats prohibited.” Janet asked pointedly, taking out a little notebook.
“Cool it, Scoop,” Jack said, “or I'll bury ya in a cement building block. Now put dat dere notebook away, and don't be such a bluenose; drink up.”
Janet glared as she argued, “I's not a prude,” but she did as Jack requested, putting her notebook away and taking the whiskey handed to her.
Cassandra sipped her drink, spitting it out.
“Cassie, I mean, Torchy, what's wrong?” Janet asked.
“It's freakin' ginger ale. Uncle Jack, I'm an adult.”
“Not in dis joint,” Jack said, moving past her to where Daniel stood.
“Uncle Daniel, do something,” the young woman pleaded.
“Can't Torchy; cops 'r watching.”
“Oh, for crying out loud,” Cassandra lamented just as another knock was heard.
“Must be 'Silky' M. Adam,” Jack said as he moved to the door to greet Megan, dressed, of course, in a long, silky gown, emerald green in color, accentuated by glimmering beads from top to bottom.
“Sorry I'm late, Ernie,” Megan said as she entered. “One of our fine men in blue tried to seduce me on the way.”
“Did he succeed?”
“Only in getting my signature.”
“Gonna cost ya.”
“Yeah, good thing I have lots of jack.”
“Excuse me?” Daniel asked, unintentionally looking green-eyed for a moment.
“Clams, Billy. I's got clams,” she said, slipping more into her character. “I'm wealthy. Let that be a lesson to ya, Torchy: drive your jalopy safely, or marry rich!”
Their guests present, it was time for Jack and Daniel to officially begin the game. As everyone nursed their drinks, Jack put on the tape that came with the game and would explain the mystery that would be unfolding during the evening.
“Now listen up, youse boise 'n'' goils,” an accented female voice said, filling the room. “I 'ave a few woids ta say. Youse all knows me, 'Boots' Legger, proprietress of S.P. Keasy's.
“Now, youse all 'as heard 'ow 'al Cappone 'as disappeared under suspicious coircumstances. We's knows dat on Wednesday 'al got out of prison in Philly, and wid his boise, caught da five o'clock train which gets him to Chicago about five past nine the next morning.
“Word had got around dat 'al was being released so dere were a lot of people at the station: cops, reporters, G-men. Now 'al don't speak to no one 'n'' gets straight into 'is waiting McFarlane limo. Anyone who was there will 'ave noticed that only 'al got into the McFarlane. His boise got into da seven passenger Lincoln dat was waiting on da curb.
“Youse all knows that 'al's headquarters in da city is at da Luxington Hotel. Just as the McFarlane pulled up outside da Hotel, a bomb got thrown in the driver's winda, which was rolled down at da time and made da whole car explode. Police have only found one body, and it's not 'al Cappone's.
“So dats what youse all already knows. Here's what ya don't know. 'al Cappone's body 'as been found in his secure vault in da Luxington Hotel, riddled wid bullets, and 'is fortune, thirdy million big ones is missing. Now 'al's boise tink it was 'al's boy Snake dat killed 'im. I don't tink it was. I tink it was one of youse. So, here's da deal. Youse cut me in, or I goes to 'al's chief lieutenant, Jonny da Enforcer Ricco. Now, I'll leave youse to eat 'n'' talk. Youse 'ave until midnight.”
The tape ended, and Jack rubbed his hands with glee.
“Okie dokie, boise 'n'' goils. We's got a murder in Shy Town to solve.”
“O'Neill, what is a shy town?” Teal'c asked.
“It's Ernie, 'members? And, uh, it's just a nickname. Billy, 'plain it to dat Big Guy, will yas?”
As Daniel quietly explained that Shy Town was just a nickname for Chicago, Jack enthusiastically said, “Let's open ours books and sees what we's can learn.”
Teal'c's curiosity satisfied, Daniel looked at his lover and grinned. He hadn't seen Jack indulging in his 'kid side' for far too long. He opened his booklet and began reading. Within a minute, he smirked. Apparently, Billy was not the poster boy he pretended to be.
~Danny gets to be a bad guy; yeah!~ Daniel rejoiced inside.
Megan decided that since she had played these games before, she should start the ball rolling.
“If we's wants to know who killed 'al Cappone, we needs to ask Scoop,” she said, grinning at Janet. “I've heard the old maid earned her name by digging up the dirt on people.”
“Hey, whose old?” Janet objected, the fire in her eyes close to matching the auburn red tint of her hair.
“You sure youse one of da goils, Scoop? I means, uh, youse may be sportin' a skoit tonight, but usually youse wearing pants.”
“Careful, dere, Silky. I's has a needle with yer name on it.”
“Ewww, I's just quiverin', Scoop,” Megan responded, grabbing her arms and shaking her whole body. Then she chuckled with an evil haunt. “Ya knows, Scoop, I's has it on good 'thority dat one of yer editors at dat rag you woiks for, tinks of youse as nuttin' more than a joinalistic pooper scooper.”
Everyone around the table sniggered, except for Teal'c who simply raised his eyebrow.
“Horsefeathers!” Janet exclaimed at the ridiculousness of the statement.
“Woof!” Bijou barked from her beanbag, and then growled.
“Scoop's been messin' up on das job; hasn't, uh, cleaned Bij 'n' Katie's poop,” Jack challenged, looking at the beagles.
Janet pretended to be outraged at both Jack's and Megan's comments.
Looking at Megan, she said smugly, “I'll have you know, Silky, that my career has nuttin' to do with pooping or scooping. My moniker is simply 'cois I always gets da scoop on other joinalists.”
Sam looked up from her booklet and smirked, “Really, Scoop? I's thought youse got da name from your time in New York. Didn't your father raise youse to be a scoop? Ya know, a pickpocket?”
Janet glared at 'Molly' and replied, “At least I'm not known as 'Ernie's transportation consultant'.”
Those from the SGC laughed. In a way, Sam could be described as Jack's transportation consultant, seeing as how she was the SGC's resident expert on the Stargate.
“Yeah, beam me up ... Molly,” Jack teased. “And don'tchas' ferget to fills up da tank with gasoline.”
“I'll fill your tank with lead, Ernie,” Sam threatened.
“Ewww, I's quakin' in me galoshes,” Jack said, waving both of his hands in front of him in a jittery fashion.
“Youse be quakin' where youses little man is if'n' youse don't treat me with respect.”
“Youse all be careful now. She's gonna start talkin' bout being one of da boise, even if her privates are on da inside,” Jack teased, not having forgotten his first meeting with Sam in the briefing room of the SGC.
“My privates pa'ts ain't none of youse beeswax, Ernie,” Sam said, glaring at Jack.
She thought she never would live down their first meeting. It had been a bit of a gender war at the time, and a bit defensively, she had told her new CO that she was just as capable as he, even if her reproductive organs were on the inside. Just thinking about that conversation made her shudder now.
“Whoa, she's a real bearcat,” Daniel said. “Youse best be on yer good behavior, Erns.”
The banter, accusations, and laughter flowed back and forth as the clues and information from the players booklets was revealed. Not surprisingly, Daniel and Teal'c seemed to be the ones best able to avoid the mudslinging, Daniel because he had the linguistic skills to misdirect seemingly clear information while Teal'c simply retained his Jaffa air of 'I am above such petty allegations'.
As round one came to an end, Daniel left Jack entertaining their guests while he brought out the antipasto he and Jack had prepared earlier.
“This is great, Jack,” Pete said, temporarily coming out of character.
Jack smiled and said, “Yeah, well Dan...iel,” but his words had trailed off. **Crap.**
He was going to say it was one of Daniel's best dishes, and that while he had helped, Daniel was really the one who prepared it and deserved the thanks.
**Don't worry about it. I shouldn't have gotten it. He's a cop; he's going to pick up on stuff.**
Daniel had automatically gone to the kitchen. Jack hadn't asked, and in fact, no one had said they were hungry yet. Daniel had just known it was time. Had it just been SG-1, Janet, and Cassandra there, it wouldn't have been an issue, but they had two newcomers to their home, people who didn't know that Jack and Daniel were not just lovers, but married. Daniel looked at Megan and Pete, grateful neither were watching either him or Jack.
As they settled down to eat, they began round two of the game.
Janet began the new round with a challenge to the good-looking baseball player.
~He is adorable, but he's a cheat.~ “So, Billy, thrown any games lately?”
Daniel feigned outrage, shock, and hurt.
“I's resent dat remark and do not consider it woithy of a response.”
Megan snorted, “'course not. Doesn't make it untrue though. Personally, I's think it's Ernie's 'fluence. Youse used to be such a good athlete. I's know it was Ernie dat introduced youse to the dubious pleasures of the Everlay club.”
~Ernie introduced me to a lot of things, not all bad. Whoa, there, you're playing a game. Focus ... focus!~ Daniel fought to keep his game face on. “Youse know nothing.”
Pete as 'Socks' spoke up.
“Ernie introduced him to da Green Table's club, too.”
Daniel hung his head low, as if ashamed. Then he looked at Jack, using his best innocent expression, and said, “Youse know, Ernie, dey is, uh, right. Youse corrupted me; I's was innocent as a new born lamb 'til I's met youse.”
Sam sniggered, “Isn't dat da truth.”
Cassandra and Janet broke into giggles while Jack glared at his 2IC.
“Youse can hardly talk, Molly. You're not particularly pure as da driven snow dere yourself. 'Sides, I can count the dead bodies.”
“Low blow, Ernie,” she replied.
“Youse want to know 'bout low blows?”
“Erns,” Daniel coughed, trying to distract his lover. He spoke next in his heaviest mobster accent, “Youse guilty, and youse knows it.”
“Youse gatcha an even thicker 'Chicagie accent now, Billy?”
**Anything to keep you in line.**
**Just following the dialogue.**
**Well, cut it out. Pete's here.**
“So, Molly, youse gonna deny youse guilty, too?” Jack inquired.
“Indeed,” Teal'c stated. “You, Ernie, along with Molly and Socks were arrested this morning, were you not?”
The three immediately began protesting their innocence.
“We's were freed; and widout da use of force, too, I's might point out,” Pete said combatantly.
“For lack of sufficient evidence, Socks. You know that does not mean you are innocent,” Teal'c said.
“No way. We's fall guys.”
“You tinks nobody's, uh, home up here?” Jack asked, pointing at his head.
“I's betta not answer,” Pete responded.
As more clues were given out, and the second round finished, Jack figured it was time for the next course.
“Billy, helps a guy with da chow, wills ya?”
Daniel laughed, “Sure.”
Jack and Daniel went out to the kitchen to assemble the next course of Veal Scaloppine, otherwise known as 'Scaloppine di Vitello al Bathtub Gin'.
Jack walked over to stand behind Daniel as his husband bent over the stove. He really loved Daniel in this baseball uniform.
“Ernie, stop feeling up Billy,” Cassandra smirked as she entered the kitchen carrying a pile of plates.
“Torchy, *don't* do that,” Jack bellowed.
Cassandra sneaked a peek towards the living room, then moved closer to her adoptive uncles and whispered, “You're the only one who shouldn't, Uncle Jack. Old Socks and Silky are very smart. You keep looking at Billy with those wanton eyes, Ernie, and youse twos gonna lose yourse secret!”
With a smile, Cassandra turned and walked out.
“She's right, Jack.”
“But you're so ...”
Jack stopped talking and placed several tiny kisses along the side of Daniel's neck. Automatically, Daniel shifted, allowing his lover plenty of access. He moaned lightly, until finally, reason resurfaced.
“Jack, behave,” the archaeologist said, but then, unable to resist, Daniel placed a sweet kiss on Jack's lips. He smiled, then backed away to continue his task. As he walked out of the kitchen a minute later with a tray, Daniel silently added, **By the way, I love you for looking at me like that, but please stop, just until after the party, then you can make good on what those looks are, uh, after.**
**Geez, I love you.**
The others enjoyed the break, too. They refilled their glasses, and a couple took the opportunity to use the bathroom. Seeing Megan returning from upstairs, Jack and Daniel exchanged a look as they brought in the food.
**We did all we could, Jack.**
**I hope it was enough, Danny.**
With the main course in front of them, the eight began round three of the game. Cassandra decided to begin this time.
“Scoop, donse ya think youse should tells us why youse wanted me to teach youse how ta use a tommy gun?”
Jack looked horrified.
“Torchy! When did youse learn how to use a Thompson Submachine gun? You've always been such an innocent little girl.”
'Torchy' rolled her eyes, then said as she pretended to blow a bubble with gum and pop it, “Yeah, right Ern.”
In her character of 'Molly', Sam made the next revelation, saying, “Scoop wanted mes ta teach hers, too. She implied I's had 'sperience with such weapons.”
As 'Ernie', Jack snorted, “And, 'course youse don't.”
“Don't know where she could have gotten such an idea,” Sam said, taking out her compact and patting her cheeks with a tiny powder puff.
“Maybe it's dat tommy gun youse keeps in your 'ittle car,” Billy challenged.
Sam glared, and Daniel smiled.
The game continued as they polished off their meal. The last accusation to be made was from Cassandra, who as 'Torchy' turned to Teal'c and accused him of corruption.
“You must have misunderstood,” Teal'c, or rather his character, Harrow, declared.
Cassandra snorted, “Harrow, youse told me youse wanted ta take over Cappone's mob. Youse asked me ta kill his top boise fors ya.”
Teal'c sniffed haughtily and continued to insist that she had misunderstood him even though no one was buying it.
“Denies it alls ya want, Harrow,” Jack declared. “We's knows better. So much for Straight 'n'' Narrow, Harrow. Now's, time fa some pie.”
“I's'll 'elp ya, Ern. Don't want ya tryin' ta escape out da back,” Janet joked, helping Jack clear the table.
“Old-fashioned apple pie,” Jack said, depositing the hot dish on the table as Janet brought in fresh cream and ice cream.
“I's impressed, Ern. I's didn't tink ya could cooks dis well,” Pete said, looking at Jack with surprise.
Jack wondered what to say. While he'd prepared the veal, the apple pie was another Daniel creation.
**I've got it, Babe.** Daniel stood and bowed. “Thank ya kindly, Socks. I brought da pie wid me. Ernie told me he'd give me a bottle of his best wine if I brought him da pie.”
“I's knew there had ta be an explanation,” Sam said. “Erns can't even fix da steak without burnin' it.”
“Molly's right, Ernie,” Scoop aka: Janet said. “I've been investigating the steak caper for a long time. All my sources says youse and steaks equal smoke and ash.”
“Rumors and boise with gripes. Ern's steaks are da best in Chicagie,” Jack said with pride.
“I beg to differ with youse, Ernie, and I's offer proof,” Sam said.
“Bring it on, Flapper Girl.”
“I's introduces my two star witnesses, Miss Bij 'n' Miss Katie. Goils, would ya rather have one a Ern's steaks or a Milk Bone?”
“Wooooof,” Bijou answered.
“Grrruuuf,” Katie added.
“Youse sees? Milk Bone wins by a Chicagie mile,” Sam said, grinning.
“Traitors,” Jack said to the two beagles who rolled over and played dead, causing laughter to erupt from the group.
Before the fourth round began, Jack noticed that Bijou and Katie both headed towards the hallway that led to the garage. Their dog door, located in the garage, was open for them, so he figured they had decided to go outside for a while. Then he carved the pie, and soon after that, round four began with Cassandra's 'Torchy' character making an accusation of Daniel's 'Billy' character.
“Billy, I hear's ya spent da night wid one of the goils from da club.”
**Billy, I'm shocked.**
**Shut it, Ern.** Daniel grinned, his eyes aflame from the memory of last night with Jack. “She showed me the room on da third floor that was shot up. Dat's all.”
Jack let out a snort of disbelief only to find he'd drawn attention to himself, and so he was the focus of allegations for a while.
“Youse get yourself a torpedo, Erns, or didcha' do da deed yourself?” Sam asked.
“I's don't need no hit man ta do the job, but I's did nuttin'.” Finally, Jack managed to turn the heat onto Teal'c. “Harrow told me dat he arranged for da bomb dat blasted da interior o' Cappone's armored car,” Cassandra added.
Teal'c sniffed haughtily.
“I must speak with honor. I saw Molly, in her bedroom last night, loading a tommy gun.” Teal'c looked at Janet and whispered, “DoctorFraiser, what is a tommy gun?”
Jack rolled his eyes.
“It's da murder weapon, Big Guy, da P-90 of da twenties.”
“Who is this tommy?”
“It's, uh, just a figure of speech.”
“It does not make sense,” Teal'c insisted.
“We's just playin', T. It's a gun, okays?”
Teal'c decided it was best to forget about the origin of the weapon, so he nodded his head politely.
Getting back to the game and the last accusation, Sam put a hand on her chest and faked a shocked voice.
“Harrow, I'm shocked. I didn't know youse were a peeping Tom!”
Jack sniggered, “He's not, he's a peeping Harrow.”
Just as they finished the clues for round four, Bijou and Katie returned from outside. They looked around the room of suspicious characters and barked.
Jack decided to make use of the beagle's sudden alertness.
“It's the proprietors of S.P. Keasy's. We have to decide who dunnit before they turn us over to Cappone's boise.” He looked at the beagles. “Give us a moment or two. Back outsides with youse boths.” After the two canines went back outside, Jack turned to face his guests. “So, who done it?”
After much debate Sam, Janet, and Cassandra decided that Ernie was the guilty party. Jack and Daniel decided that it was Teal'c, while Megan thought it was Billy.
Daniel pretended to be hurt.
“I's knows youse, Billy. You're a crafty devil,” she said with a flirtatious smile. ~Wish you were being crafty with me. I really need to find someone like you.~
Pete, however, was convinced it was Cassandra, saying, “It's always the innocent looking ones you have to watch out for.”
Jack grinned at Daniel and said, “See, Billy, you should be glad I corrupted you.”
Daniel shook his head.
“Okay, let's find out who dunnit.”
They opened their books to the final page, and Jack declared triumphantly, “Told yas I was innocent.”
Daniel grinned at his lover, saying, “Only of murder, Ern.”
They read out the accounts of their characters and discovered that the least likely suspect was Silky, followed by Ernie, Molly, Socks, Scoop, and Harrow. Although Harrow had arranged for Billy to try and kill Cappone by throwing the car bomb, their plan had been thwarted by Cappone's absence from the car. The number one suspect was Torchy.
“Torchy, our innocent little Torchy; she's a murderer,” Jack said as he pretended to sob on Sam's shoulder.
“I's told ya I'm *not* innocent. I's fully growed. Can't yas tell?” she asked, flaunting her body in a provocative pose.
“Okay, game over. That'll be enough ... Torchy,” Janet said, reeling in her daughter.
“That was great fun, Sir,” Sam said.
“Tell me that when you get your transfer to Moscow.”
The group chatted for a while and enjoyed more snacks before saying goodnight.
Daniel walked Megan to her car as she was the last one to leave.
“Daniel, thank you for inviting me.”
“I'm glad you could come. You had some great ideas that really helped the night to go smoothly.”
“Thanks. I've never been to the general's house,” she said, looking back at it. “It's very nice.”
“Yeah, it's, uh, nice,” Daniel said as he gazed at the home.
Megan smiled at her boss and friend. This smile seemed to have a new awareness and understanding in it that Daniel would not be part of her future, except as a friend.
“I'll see you at work on Monday.”
“Goodnight.” Megan climbed into her car and turned on the ignition. She waved at Daniel as he stepped back into the driveway. She saw Jack smiling in the doorway. It was a smile she'd never seen on the leader of the SGC's face before. She'd also noticed that Daniel seemed to be making no move to leave. ~I wonder if ... No, Megan, don't wonder; wondering just leads to trouble.~ She chuckled and shook her head. ~Well, he is a great boss, and he's a good friend, but I think that's all that's meant for me, but it was fun to dream there for a while. The truth is that I'm not sure who was looking at Daniel more wantonly, me or Colonel ... Megan, shut up your brain. Put the car in 'drive' and go home. Call Gary, and give him a shot. What could it hurt? After all, somewhere out there is your dream guy.~ She smiled at Daniel who still stood smiling at her from the edge of the grass. ~... But he's not Daniel, or anyone you've been with tonight. The party was fun, though.~
Megan gave a quick wave and drove off. Knowing his friend was away safely, Daniel turned and walked back towards the house.
“Sam,” Pete said as he headed for Sam's house in his truck.
“Jack and Daniel are close, aren't they?”
“Best friends,” she answered with a smile. “You know that.”
“Maybe more than best friends?” he asked in a leading tone.
“It's okay, Sweetheart. I understand.”
“Do you, Pete?” Sam asked, cocking her head just slightly as she looked at her fiance.
“They're good people.”
“The best,” she agreed.
“That's all that matters, isn't it?”
Pete took a moment to smile at Sam when he stopped at a stop sign. She returned the smile.
“How'd you figure it out?” Sam asked.
“You've mentioned Daniel's fish before.”
“Jack has fish?”
“No,” Sam laughed lightly.
“Daniel does, and they were behind that makeshift partition. Then there were the dogs.”
“Bijou and Katie? They're family.”
“They were looking at Daniel for permission as much as Jack during the night, and let's not forget when Daniel served the appetizer.”
“That's all circumstantial,” Sam insisted as she stared out the window.
“So's the photo on the mantle,” Pete quickly responded.
“Looked like it was in someone's backyard. Jack, Daniel, you, and Teal'c, except Jack and Daniel were looking at each other, and there was nothing platonic about that look.”
“It's still speculation, Pete.”
“Then there's the mysterious locked room.”
“The general had things he didn't want others to see,” Sam offered.
“I'll bet,” Pete said, letting out a small snort. “Sam, he could have just told folks not to go in there. Why go to the trouble of locking it and sticking a sign on it?”
“Pete, you're reaching.”
“There were old issues of Archaeology Today in the study.”
“The study? Pete, when did you go in there?”
“I didn't go in, Sam. I just wanted to see what was at the other end of the hallway. I only glanced in, and just for a second. The magazines were on the end of the desk. They messed up; probably got in a hurry and forgot to put them away.”
“How do you know they were old issues?” Sam challenged.
“Ruffled edges; they had that used look,” Pete answered matter-of-factly.
“You're still making assumptions, Pete. Maybe Daniel brought over the magazines to read later.”
Pete looked at his fiance, knowing she was covering.
“Sweetheart, this was a party. Why would Daniel bring over a work magazine, and not just one, but a dozen, knowing it was a party? For that matter, why didn't he just come over dressed in costume, like the rest of us?”
“How do you know he didn't?”
“Clothes. They very purposely laid out Daniel's clothing over the armchair in the bedroom, probably to cover up anything else they may have accidentally overlooked. If someone said anything, they could just say Daniel had changed his clothes there and brought some things over.”
“How do you know the clothes were Daniel's?”
“Sam,” Pete glared, his look conveying that the differences in Jack's and Daniel's clothing was pretty obvious, both in style and size.
“You're a snoop,” Sam teased.
“I'm a cop. I have a curious nature. Besides, I can tell a set up when I see one, and this layout tonight was just too pat.”
“You're a snoop,” Sam reiterated. It was obvious Pete knew. There was simply too much circumstantial evidence. After a small chuckle, she said, “Pete, you can't tell anyone.”
“Wouldn't dream of it. They invited me to their home, Sam; that means they trust me, to a point anyway.”
“I trust you, too,” she said seriously.
“Let's go dancing tomorrow night. They're having another forty's dance at the club. What do you say?”
“Sounds like fun.”
With their guests now dispatched, Jack and Daniel were finally alone in their living room.
“Danny, that was wonderful. Great idea, Love.”
Daniel moved to kiss his lover.
“Did you really have a good time?”
“Yeah, I needed it, too, but you knew that.” Daniel smiled as the two lovers embraced. “Do you think Pete figured it out about us?”
“I have no idea, but he made a few comments.”
“Did you see Carter kick him in the shin a couple of times?”
“Yeah. If he does know, he won't say anything. Megan wouldn't either, but I don't think she picked up on anything.”
“Me, either.” Jack went back into character, throwing his arm around Daniel's shoulder and leading them to the stairs. “Now, Billy, about dis goirl. Did ya show 'er yer etchings?”
They stopped at the base of the stairs and looked at each other.
“'Course not, Erns. I save all my etchings for youse.” Daniel's eyes grew dark with lust. “Jack?”
Daniel's hands worked their along Jack's neck, and he leaned in to nibble on his husband's upper lip for a moment.
“I'm gonna make you an offah you can't refuze.”
Jack was poised for action, ready and willing to accept the offer based on Daniel's look alone.
“Yeah, what is it?”Jack asked.
“Youse corrupt me, and I'lls corrupt youse, too.”
Taking Daniel into his arms, Jack kissed the side of his neck. Then, he placed a tiny trail of kisses leading up to Daniel's earlobe. After a kiss of the lobe, Jack then nibbled on it and licked around it. Daniel was collapsing in anticipation of what would follow.
“Youse sure you want to be corrupted some more?”
“I's certain of it. Corrupt me. Please corrupt me,” Daniel begged happily.
As midnight ticked on, Erns and Billy, er, Jack and Daniel, renewed their nation of two, the great Chicago Caper having been solved, at least for tonight.
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