Disclaimer: Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions. I have written this story for entertainment purposes only and no money whatsoever has exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. The original characters, situations, and story are the property of the author(s).
It was Saturday, late in the afternoon, when Janet Fraiser arrived home. Her free weekend had been cut short. She had been called into the SGC as SG-3 had come back injured, and Doctor Warner had been busy with the previously arrived SG-5 and SG-11. It seemed the Goa'uld were having a field day.
Having had no idea at what time she'd be back, she had called Colonel Jack O'Neill. He had immediately come over when she had explained her situation. Janet knew Cassie wouldn't mind. If anything, she loved having `Uncle' Jack around. He had become the father-figure she'd occasionally missed.
Knowing that her daughter had quite some homework to do for Monday, Janet expected to find Jack watching TV in the living room and Cassie either working at the dinner table or in her room.
However, Jack and Cassie were nowhere to be seen; though when she walked through the kitchen she noticed the coffee-pot brewing and knew they were home. She was about to call out for the two, when she heard them talking upstairs. Wondering what mischief they were up to, she decided to go and see whether she could figure it out before she ended up at the butt end of a joke.
When she had reached the almost closed door of her daughter's bedroom, she stopped dead in her tracks. She couldn't understand a word of what they were saying.
Cassie experimentally asked Jack a question in some foreign language. Now Janet recognised the language. For some reason Cassie had decided she wanted to learn German. So, a couple of months ago, the girl had started to take lessons. Janet had had a talk with the teacher three days ago, who had praised Cassie on her progress. She said that it was obvious Cassie had been practicing a lot, talking with someone in German on a regular basis. Janet had figured it had been Daniel.
Then she heard Jack's voice patiently explain. "Almost correct. Just remember the inflection on the last word."
Cassie tried again. Whatever Jack said next Janet didn't understand as it was in German.
`OK, not Daniel after all.' Janet thought. `I didn't know the Colonel spoke German. Then again, who knows anything about his past; besides his medical past that is.'
She was shaken from her reverie when she heard Jack call her.
"Hey Doc. Why don't you come in. It's not polite to eavesdrop ya know." Janet peered through the half closed door; Jack had not turned around, so he couldn't have spotted her. But Janet knew it was near to impossible to catch the Colonel off guard, especially when he was watching over a child.
Janet pushed the door wide open to step inside and threw Jack a look, before hugging her daughter.
"Hi sweetie, how are you?"
"I'm fine. Uncle Jack's helping me with my homework."
"So I noticed." Then she turned to Jack, who was watching them from his position on the floor, though he had turned around by now so he was facing the door. "Well, it's not polite to hide information like you speaking German from your friends, one linguist/archaeologist in particular, either."
"Didn't hide it. He just never asked and it never came up."
"Uhuh. So how did Cassie know?"
"Well, you see, she was smart. She did ask."
At this Cassie shook her head. "You're not telling everything! It happened like this: we were watching a DVD, and there was a point where there was a group of German tourists talking among themselves. And you know how our DVD-player sometimes hiccups, so the subtitles appear too late? Well that's what happened, so we could only read the translation later. But Uncle Jack already started laughing when the subtitles weren't there yet. And that's when I asked."
"See, she did ask." Jack pointed out.
"Don't try and change the subject now, Sir. How come you speak German?"
"Ah, I don't think that's important, do you?" Jack's tone was still light, but his eyes warned her to leave it. Reluctantly she did, and moved on to the next obvious question.
"Well then, seeing as I only need to ask; do you speak other languages?"
After a short hesitation Jack answered. "Yes."
Another silence. Janet rolled her eyes. Getting information from this man was like pulling teeth. She was a doctor, for crying out loud, not a dentist. `Oops, I think that's an indication the Colonel has been spending too much time in the infirmary.'
"He speaks Spanish!" Cassie interrupted anything Jack might have said. With a sigh and a roll of the eyes, Jack decided to change tactics.
"Yup. Now, I'm going to let you guys in on a secret. I know your clearance-levels are high enough, so I don't have to worry about that."
Unconsciously Cassie leaned forward and Janet looked at him questioningly as well as slightly suspiciously. Lowering his voice slightly Jack confided: "Besides German and Spanish, I also speak... English." Jack sat back with a satisfied smirk.
Janet grinned as Cassie indignantly gave her `uncle' a slap on the arm. "Uncle Jack!"
"What?" Jack cried out, trying to keep his mouth from quirking upwards. "OK, enough joking already. I'll leave you two to your weekend." Jack said as he climbed to his feet.
"Oh, you don't have to leave yet Si- ehm, Jack." Janet quickly amended at his pointed look. "Actually, I'm quite sure you intended to actually drink the coffee that was brewing when I arrived."
"That's ok. You can have it. I'm sure you could use it. Is everyone alright at the base?"
"Yes Sir. I'll fill you in on the details over coffee." Janet stressed the last two words.
"Yeah! Besides, we weren't finished with my homework yet!" Cassie threw in for good measure. Jack held up his hands in surrender. "OK, OK, I know when I'm outvoted."
Janet grinned. "I'll pour the coffee, while you two finish off."
As she walked down the stairs she could hear the two start talking again in German. With a sigh she thought: `Now I'll probably have to learn German as well, so I know what mischief they're planning.'
"Ich wei sicher das Sie mehrere Sprachen sprechen als drei. Warum sagen Sie das nicht?" (I'm sure you speak more languages than three. Why don't you tell them?)
"Das mache ich weil Daniel mich sollte zwingen um etwas ber zu setzen." (I do that because Daniel would be forcing me to help translate something or another.)
"Nein, Daniel konnte Sie nicht zwingen um etwas zu machen das Sie nicht wollte." (No, Daniel wouldn't be able to force you to do something you don't want to do.)
"Schon gut. Ich glaube schon das der Kaffee fertig ist. Na ja, Schokoladenmilch fur dich." (Never mind. Let's go get some coffee... that is, chocolate milk for you.)
"Oh, you don't want to come? Well then I'll just have to carry you."
Cassie shrieked in alarm and tried to get out of Jack's reach. However, Jack already had a hold of her and within seconds he had her thrown over his shoulder and was carrying her down the stairs to the living room, where Janet just put the cups on the table.
"A delivery for a Doctor Janet Fraiser. If you could just sign here please." Jack took one of Cassie's feet and held it out at Janet. Laughing Cassie pulled her foot back. "No!"
"Not? Oh well, let's see then. Where should the good doctor sign?" Jack pulled Cassie back and put her on the sofa, while sitting down next to her. "Maybe here. Or here."
Janet watched in amusement as Jack started tickling her daughter.
"Mum!" Cassie gasped. "Help me!"
Immediately Jack looked up at Janet. "Oh, no you don't." he said warningly, but she could see the laughter in his eyes. A smile spread across Janet's features as she moved in to help her daughter escape from a certain Air Force officer.
Jack quickly shifted Cassie so that he could hold her against him with one arm while still tickling her side. This left his right arm to fend off the doctor. Jack pretended to be preoccupied with Cassie, but in the meanwhile he kept track of Janet. Just as she moved forward to `attack' the colonel, Jack's hand shot out, grabbing her arm and pulling her so that she ended up in the same position as her daughter. Cassie by now was giggling her head off, not even trying to escape anymore. Janet half-heartedly tried to get out of Jack's grip, however, his hand had found a ticklish spot, and soon Janet was squirming as she giggled.
Jack closed his eyes and sagged back into the couch, his arms still around his two `prisoners', his hands still working on keeping them there. "Ah, this is life. Flanked by two beautiful women. Though I think you guys should do something about that giggling."
This elicited some indignant responses, even though they were difficult to decipher through the bouts of laughter. Finally though Janet managed to slip her arm free, with which she immediately grabbed Jack's arm to keep him from tickling her.
Meanwhile Jack had loosened his grip on Cassie, who also wriggled free. Between the two of them, and a lot of laughter, they got Jack on his back on the couch. Cassie sat on his chest and held his arms, and Janet leaned against his legs.
"Surrender!" Cassie cried. Jack sighed and pouted. "Aw, alright. I surrender."
"Yoohoo! The victory is ours." Cassie sat up with a triumphant smile on her face. Janet grinned and sat up as she tucked a loose strand of hair behind her ear.
"I think it's finally time for coffee. I'll just go and make a fresh pot, `cause I'm sure this one is completely cold by now."
As she made the coffee, she realised she hadn't felt this content and at ease in a long time. It had been quite a while since she had let herself go like this.
Oh, she had had her occasional pillow fights with Cassie, though they grew less and less often. But it felt good to just let go, with someone else present, without feeling childish or embarrassed. `Of course Jack is still a kid himself sometimes.' Janet smiled inwardly.
When you first met him, Colonel Jonathan `Jack' O'Neill came across as a cynical, insubordinate, disrespectful and dense bastard, who had only made it to his current rank because of his heartlessness. It was only once you got to know him that you would catch glimpses of the man beneath this armour.
Yet children always managed to see through the act pretty much immediately. Instinctively they knew he could be trusted, and would not harm them. It was also children who were able to get through to him, even when his closest friends couldn't. Because Jack O'Neill could never ignore a child, even if it meant pushing aside his own needs. Kids could unconsciously get Jack to show a side of himself that few people ever witnessed.
She, Janet realised, had had the privilege to have seen this more vulnerable, more sensitive side of the man who portrayed himself as a cold-hearted dumb-ass, on a regular basis.
It wasn't often Jack allowed that side of him to show; but when he did you were almost overwhelmed by the intensity of it. His mood would spread like a virus.
The short beep coming from the coffee machine brought Janet back from her thoughts. When she came back into the living room with the coffee and hot chocolate, Jack and Cassie were sitting on the couch, watching some programme on TV. Cassie leaned against Jack, who had an arm loosely around her shoulders.
For a moment Janet watched, drinking in the peace that went out from the scene before her. Cassie was too engrossed to notice her mother, but Jack looked up at Janet. Their eyes met and they smiled in satisfaction.
Some time later Janet walked Jack out.
"Thank you Jack. And not just for looking after Cassie. It's been a wonderful afternoon. Cassie enjoyed it too." She hesitated for a moment, debating whether she should say what she was thinking. The decision was taken from her when Jack looked at her questioningly. "Doc?"
"And thanks for being a father to her."
Jack gave her a lopsided smile. "Janet. I should be thanking you... for giving me the opportunity."
For a moment Janet could clearly see the enormous gratitude in his eyes. Then he grinned. "So Doc, you'll keep the knowledge of my so far unknown ability to communicate in languages other than English a secret?"
Janet smiled sweetly at her superior officer. "I don't know Sir, it would keep you out of my hair if I would mention it to Daniel."
"Ah, but that's where you're wrong. Quite the opposite would happen. You see, I'm sure said Dr. Jackson would relish in using your expertise in the Swedish language and culture." Jack answered with an equally sweet voice.
Janet paled slightly at the thought of having to sit in Daniel's office forced to translate some ancient text with a root of Swedish. She knew it would drive her totally nuts.
"Ehm, Sir, I'm sure we can keep this strictly between us, Sir."
"Well answered Captain."
"Sir, if I may ask. How did you know?" Janet knew that her records didn't mention her ability to speak Swedish. It was after all only because both her grandmothers were Swedish that she could.
Jack shrugged. "Wild guess. I remembered your record said your parents were both half Swedish. I just assumed you would have at least the basic knowledge of the language and culture. And it turned out I was right too. See you on Monday, Doc."
And with a satisfied grin, Jack turned around and walked to his truck. It took Janet a few seconds to comprehend what just happened. "A wild guess! He just guessed! Argh! That man will drive me crazy some day!" She muttered under her breath as she went back inside to enjoy the rest of her evening with her daughter.
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