The Fine Art of Manipulation
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).
Title: The Fine Art of Manipulation
Author: Su Freund
Category: Ficlet, Humor, Friendship, Frivolity
Content Level: C
Content Warnings: Mild Jack type language
Pairings: Jack and Sam, but no romo
Summary: General Jack O'Neill has some fun while manipulating a complex and dull briefing to his advantage
Copyright (c) 2006 Su Freund
Archive: My site, Jackfic, SJD yes, Gateworld, FanFiction Net
Author's Note: Fulfils a Word of the Week challenge (issued 1 August) on the SJFic Yahoo Group to use the word babble in a story. Thanks to Lynette (Flatkatsi) for the very quick beta.
The Fine Art of Manipulation
'Blah, blah, babble, blah,' O'Neill's mind screamed, 'yadda, yawn.'
Carter peered at him through narrowed eyes and the cessation of her lulling voice made him start.
"What?" he exclaimed. 'Caught, sheesh! Okay, you can handle it Jack,' he told himself.
"Carry on Colonel," he continued aloud in a casual tone and, noting her look of scepticism, added, "I'm listening." Her disbelieving expression didn't vanish but, keeping her thoughts to herself, she turned back to the slide and her briefing.
'Okay, so I wasn't listening,' he thought, mind wandering again, 'but I got distracted, so sue me. Nice ass Carter. Just turn slightly so I can see that profile. Pretty please? That's it, oh yeah! Ah, jeez, don't pout at me like that. What I could do with those lips...'
"Don't you agree Jack?" Daniel's voice interrupted his mental meanderings.
'Crap! Agree with what? For crying out loud, Daniel, can't you see I'm too busy ogling Carter? Good thing I know what she's talking about without having to listen to every word. Read the report, yes siree. That'll show 'em.'
"It seems to be the logical conclusion," he said aloud in a tone befitting someone who knows what he's talking about. "The knee bone's connected to the thigh bone, right?" he joked, satisfied with Carter's responding amused smirk. More seriously he continued, as if to confirm he really was listening, "So this freak phenomenon needs to be studied more closely? Sounds about right to me. Just wish we could work out a way to use it as a weapon is all."
SG-1 all fixed him with a stare. "Ack! You know me. Nothing like finding a huge honkin' weapon to make my day. You know... enemies, fighting, nasty big guns, yadda..." He tailed off, smiling and urging her to continue, content when she returned to her highly technical geek show.
'Just like the sound of your babbling is all. The words don't matter. It's the sweet sound of music to my ears that counts, and the eyeful I get while watching. Oh, and nearly forgot - that little thought control thing.' Jack's eyes bored into Sam's back. 'Turn around and look at me Carter. See, you turned around! You're looking!' He suppressed a gleeful grin.
"So we have a go?" Daniel pressed.
"I think we ought to let Carter finish her briefing, don't you? It's fascinating," Jack replied, eyeing his ex-team mate with an expression that implied he was being rude. Daniel coughed uncomfortably, shifted in his seat and shut up, looking at Sam with an apologetic expression.
The part amused, part sceptical look from Carter was back with a vengeance. 'I so love that look. Works every time,' Jack thought smugly.
It pleased O'Neill that he could play his team so precisely. The fine art of manipulation made SG-1 briefings a lot of fun, or at least that was one of the methods he used to console himself for his inability to join them on their adventures. A small consolation, sure, but it beat the paperwork.
As Carter continued Jack's thoughts roamed, his eyes remaining firmly fixed on the movement of her hands as she pointed to the graph on screen.
'Graphs? Damn!' he cursed. What O'Neill longed for was a glimpse of that sexy puzzled look on Carter's face, and she gave him graphs? 'Enough already!'
'So... how're your powers of suggestion working today, Jack?' he asked himself, determined to find a way to coax the desired reaction. 'Colonel, I want you to turn and smile at me right now,' O'Neill's thoughts demanded and he was slightly disappointed by her lack of response. 'Okay fine! Not up to my usual high standard. I said now... ummm... anytime now would be good, like now? Listen up Carter!' His eyes drilling into her and Sam turned, a small smile on her lips. 'Wow, cool! And you want me to listen?'
Jack smirked with a broad grin and Carter looked momentarily puzzled, her brow furrowing. 'Ahhh,' he thought with an internal sigh, 'it's so worth it!'
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