Title:            “The Barbecue”         

 

Author:         Peg  

 

Email:           kempp@telus.net

 

Status:         Complete – Part of Series                     

 

Category:          Romance               

 

Pairings:       Jack/Janet

 

Spoilers:        none                       

 

Season:         4

 

Sequel/Series Info:     “Strength and Courage”

 

CONTENT LEVEL: 13+             

 

Content Warnings:       none    

  

Summary:           Jack and Janet deal with General Hammond and their team

 

Disclaimer:        Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions  This story has been written for entertainment purposes only and no money whatsoever has exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended.  All original characters are my own - yada yada yada - In other words - I don't own these guys. I never will....I just like to play with them now and then.

 

Feedback:        Yes Please.  Constructive Criticism to improve my craft is appreciated.  Flames are not.                

 

File Size:                         52 kb

 

Archive:                             Please ask

 

Author’s Notes:     Timing is 3 or 4 days after “The Date.”  We’re getting close to the end of the series, folks.

My thanks to Wendy for  beta-read and helping me out with this entire process.

 

"The Barbecue"

 

Janet Fraiser approached the door of Jack O’Neill’s house at 2:00 pm on Saturday.  O’Neill answered the door, his eyes shining in welcome when he recognized that the person with her arms full of grocery bags was the one he had just been thinking about.  “There are beers and soft drinks still in the car.” Janet said, smiling.  “Since this is ‘our’ barbecue, I thought that I should contribute.”

 

O’Neill walked out to the car to get the case of beer and soda, and carried them into the house.  He joined Janet in the kitchen where she was already unpacking the groceries and placing them on the counter.  There were the makings for potato salad, chips with salsa, and a green salad. 

 

“Where is Cassie?” Jack enquired, curiously. 

 

“Sam called up and invited Cassie to go shopping this morning,” Janet laughed.  “They’re going ‘mall-hopping’.  I was invited, too – but I wanted to come over early and help you get things set up.  Sam will bring Cassie with her when it’s time for the Barbecue.” Janet turned away to begin slicing cucumbers, tomatoes and onions onto a plate. 

 

Janet Fraiser waited for a moment, and then said nervously, “We also need to decide what we are going to tell people about this.”  She looked over at Jack.  Jack nodded distractedly.  His mind was obviously on something else.  He rummaged in the cupboards, dragging out a big bowl for the chips.

  

Jack and Janet worked easily together in the kitchen. Janet Fraiser could tell that O’Neill was perturbed about something.  She waited in silence for him to bring up whatever it was.  Janet smiled to herself as she thought ‘one of the nice things about Jack is that silence doesn’t feel awkward.’  She enjoyed being with him, even in silence.

 

A few moments later Jack walked over to the window and looked out over the yard, facing away from the kitchen.  “Janet.” Jack said in a low voice, “I want you go for a while.” 

 

Janet stopped what she was doing and turned, staring at Jack in confusion. His eyes had been so full of welcome at the door.  ‘This request needs explaining.’ She thought, firmly.  Janet walked over to stand beside him at the window, placing one hand on his arm.  “Why?” she asked.

 

O’Neill closed his eyes for a second, and replied, “I have General Hammond showing up soon.  I figured that we owed it to him to let him know first.”  Jack took a deep breath, and opened his eyes, staring worriedly out the window.  He continued.  “And we need to be absolutely sure that he has no further problems with it.”  Jack ran his hand through his hair exasperatedly, and looked sideways at Janet’s face.  “We really blew it before.” He said, regretfully.

 

“I know that” Janet nodded.  “And that is why I’m not going.”   Janet recognized the argumentative expression that began to form on Jack’s face, and continued before he could utter a single word.  “What you said was correct, Jack.” Janet said in a low voice.   She took a deep breath, and continued, “WE blew it.  You screwed up your way.  I screwed up mine – and mutually WE screwed up, BIG TIME!”  Janet smiled at Jack wryly.  She knew he was just trying to protect her.  “You faced Hammond alone once, and got reamed out for OUR mistakes.  This time we face him together.”  Her voice was full of determination.

 

“Janet!” Jack said firmly, “I’m the superior officer here.  I SHOULD take the blame.“ 

 

Janet shook her head, and glared at him with her arms crossed, “You are NOT my superior officer.  I am the CMO, and I’ll take my own blame, thank you.” Janet said tautly.

 

Jack looked at the doctor, frustrated by his inability to change her mind.  ‘She was such a stubborn, pig-headed, never back down Napoleonic Power monger’.  He smiled, wryly.  ‘And he loved her for it.’

 

They both started as the doorbell rang.  Jack glanced at his watch.  The General was right on time.  Jack took a deep breath.  “Fine.” He said, with resignation.  “We do this together.”

 

Janet went to the Living Room while Jack answered the door. A moment later Jack escorted General George Hammond into the room.  “Can I get you a drink, sir?” Jack asked genially.  “A beer would be fine.” General Hammond replied.  “What would you like, Janet?” Jack asked.  Hammond’s eyes narrowed.  Jack had given the General all the information he needed simply by the way he spoke Janet Fraiser’s name.

 

“I’ll have some white wine if you have it.” Janet replied, nervously.

 

While Jack was getting the drinks, Janet approached General Hammond.  She pulled herself to attention and said, seriously. “General, I would like to apologize that my actions caused turmoil on the base last month.  It was truly not my intent, and I want to assure you it will never happen again.  I accept full responsibility, Sir.”

 

Hammond looked at her severely, using his “tough” commander face. He did not say a word, but inwardly he was slightly bemused.  Doctor Fraiser had already approached him saying almost exactly the same thing four weeks before.  She had not realized that Colonel O’Neill had approached him earlier the same day trying to shoulder the entire blame, as well.

 

Jack returned to the room, and Hammond motioned to the two to sit down on the couch.  He stood over them, not taking a seat.  Hammond placed his beer on the table, and glared at his two soldiers.  Using his fiercest command voice, General George Hammond spoke decisively,   “All Right Colonel O’Neill. Captain Fraiser.” he said curtly, nodding to them.  “You asked me here early for a reason.  What did you want to speak to me about?”

 

Hammond looked fiercely at Jack, who gulped nervously, coming almost to attention in his seat.  Hammond waited, glowering. 

 

“Sir.”  Jack said, sounding more like a nervous cadet than a battle-seasoned Colonel.  “After taking weeks to spend time together only as friends, as you requested, we wanted to let you know that we have considered the repercussions.  But we still wish to develop a relationship.  Sir.”

 

“And Doctor?”  Hammond said evenly - “What do you have to say?” 

 

Janet took a deep breath.  “General Hammond.” She said, “As you know Colonel O’Neill and I have developed a strong friendship over the course of years.  As the Colonel mentioned, over the past four weeks we have been meeting only as friends.”  Janet pulled on her professional persona to speak reasonably, in her best bedside manner voice.  “We have taken special care to ensure that nothing inappropriate occurred during that time.  Our minds haven’t changed during the last four weeks, Sir.  We are good friends, and we want more out of this relationship.”

 

“Cut the Crap, both of you!” the General snarled.  “How long have you two been involved?

 

“Involved?”  General we” Janet began to say, before she was interrupted by Jack. She sounded shocked.

 

 “Sir, we haven’t been involved.  Not until now.  Not even now – as was your request.”  Jack’s face was affronted, as if he could not believe what the General was implying.

 

General Hammond just stared at them, with raised eyes.  They had to be lying – but at the same time he knew enough about these two people to know that they held honour and integrity in high value.

 

“Just what have you done, then?” He asked sitting heavily in a chair, and picking up his drink for the first time.

 

The atmosphere in the room was so tense that it was almost tangible.

 

“We have gone out as friends.” Jack said tersely.   “I’ve been spending time with Janet and Cassie, for almost a year – but only as friends.  We didn’t realize just how much that friendship began to mean to us until recently.”

 

Janet knew what the general was asking.  “We’ve kissed, twice.” Her face flushed at the thought of those kisses.  The first time was the night before Colonel O’Neill went to see you four weeks ago.  That night was the first time we even discussed the possibility of a relationship. The other kiss was only a few nights ago when we decided to go ahead with it.  That’s really it, sir.  Until three nights ago we hadn’t even been on ‘a date’, Sir” 

 

General Hammond shot up out of his chair again, and paced across the room.  He looked out the window, and then turned, fixing them both with a glare - disbelief plastered over his face.  “You mean to say that you managed to disrupt MY BASE – and you hadn’t even been out on a date, yet?  I thought this was a fight in an established relationship.”  Then he paused, scanning their faces and seeing nothing to confirm his assumptions. He sighed.  “What was it about then?”

 

Janet placed her hand on Jack’s arm gently.  “I’ll explain.” She said, quietly. 

 

“General, the Colonel and I found ourselves feeling attracted to one another.  We both decided to avoid one another to work things out in our minds.  I was facing the issue of ‘medical ethics’ and I believe that Colonel O’Neill was working through whether or not this relationship would be fraternization.  Sir, at that time we hadn’t even kissed.”

 

“Not even kissed.” The general repeated blankly.

 

“Well, sir.  We “ALMOST kissed.” Jack interjected.  “That was what brought this all on. It was that “almost kiss” that made us realize that we both were feeling something stronger than friendship for each other, General.”

 

Janet nodded, and broke in.  “In our efforts to avoid each other until these issues could be worked out the Colonel and I understand that we were negligent in allowing the tension and confusion of our personal predicament to overflow into our professional lives.  We deeply regret that, Sir.” 

 

The General stared at them with wide eyes.  He could tell that this was the truth, but he still had a hard time comprehending it.  These two had been TRYING to adhere to the strict letter of regulations, and THAT was what caused his base to be in turmoil.  This was one to take the cake!

 

“General.”  Jack said. “I apologize for allowing this to affect the SGC.  You have our word that we will do everything in our power to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

 

“You had better!” Hammond said brutally. He glared at the two of them.  “I WILL NOT have it.”  Hammond scowled at Dr. Fraiser.  “I have already got transfer orders made out.  They are sitting in the drawer of my desk, Captain FraiserHammond said curtly.  “Orders for you to be re-assigned to the NORAD infirmary.  If anything like this happens again, you’ll be gone so fast your head will spin.  Count on it!”

 

Janet’s face blanched.  She loved working at the SGC.  

 

“I would transfer you, Colonel” Hammond said, coldly - turning to fix his hard stare on O’Neill, “but at this time your presence as the leader of SG1 and experience with the goa’uld indicate Fraiser to be the better choice for transfer. That is the ONLY reason that its not you.”  Hammond fixed his attention back on Janet.  “You would still be in the mountain, and you would not have to move away from Colorado Springs.  But you would not be with the SGC.”

 

Hammond looked away out the window.  His voice sounded world-weary as he said, “What would have happened if a foothold situation had happened in the middle of that time period.  I won’t let any relationship be the cause of someone’s death.”  He waited a moment, hearing silence behind him.  The General looked back at the two soldiers to see them facing away from each other, averting their eyes, obviously considering the implications of the scenario he mentioned.  Janet’s face had drained of colour.  She looked horrified.  Jack had slumped into a chair, looking mortified and ashamed.  They began to speak at the same time.

 

“You’re right, Sir.” O’Neill said miserably.  “We should have known better.  I am willing to abide by any disciplinary action you wish.”

 

Janet’s face was pale, but her voice was steady.  “General, you know that I would never willingly do anything to harm the SGC.  If you wish to issue those transfer orders now, I will not protest.”

 

Seeing Janet’s ashen face, General Hammond relented.  The expression on his face softened, and his voice sounded sympathetic.   “I said --- IF it happens again.  But I know that you two will try your damnedest to see that it doesn’t, so I don’t think that will be necessary.”

 

The General looked at his two officers.  He knew that they were dedicated to the SGC.  He was pleased that they accepted responsibility for their actions, and understood the seriousness of the situation.  General Hammond had already come to a decision about the two of them, and their reactions today only confirmed it.

 

The General’s voice softened.  “It’s pretty obvious that you two care about each other. You have my blessing to pursue a relationship as long as you follow common sense, and don’t let it affect your behaviour on base.  I believe that this episode was a one time error in judgment, and I know you will ensure that it won’t affect you again.” He looked at them seriously.  “You know the consequences if it does.”

 

Jack jumped out of his chair, and strode to the General.  “Thank You, General!” he said warmly, grasping the Hammond’s hand in a firm handshake. “You don’t know how much this means to me, Sir.”

 

Janet also came over, and stood on tiptoes to kiss the general on the cheek.  “Thank you, General.” She said softly.  “You can count on us, Sir.”

 

The General smiled at them both, nodding his head.  He knew everything would be all right now.  He walked back to the table, and grabbed his beer.  General Hammond settled himself in the leather armchair, and motioned for them to sit.  “I know I can always count on you, Doctor.  Colonel.” He said, taking a sip of beer.  ”That was one of the things that confused the hell out of me.  I could see lesser officers behaving like that, but it was inconceivable to me that it was you two. You both take the security of the SGC so seriously.”

 

Jack O’Neill and Janet Fraiser were taken aback by the backhanded compliment the General had given.  “We know how important this program is, Sir.” Janet said, sincerely.

 

The General nodded.  “I know you do!” he granted.  “So,” he smiled, changing the subject.  “I guess now that this relationship is ‘sanctioned,’ you’ll want to tell your friends.  When are you going to inform the rest of your team?” he asked with a smile.

 

Janet smiled.  “We HOPED to tell them at the barbecue today.” She admitted.

 

George Hammond was flabbergasted.  “You were that sure I was going to consent?” he queried.    

 

Jack chuckled.  “Well, sir” he said, “It could only go two ways.  Either it was a yes, in which case we told people.” Jack’s face became serious for a moment, as he admitted “Or you said no –in which case we would have abided by that decision.”  He looked at General Hammond, who nodded his understanding of their dedication to the SGC, and what they would have been willing to give up.  Jack continued solemnly, “but we might have needed people here to help us through.  In either case, we would have had the barbecue.”  Jack shook off the somber mood, and stood up.  He glanced at his watch.  “Speaking of which,” he said, moving towards the patio door, “the others will be here shortly.  It’s time for me to light the barbecue.  General, bring your beer outside and we can talk some more while the grill heats up.” 

 

The General eased himself up from the comfortable armchair, and replied, “I’d love to. Jack.  The last time I did this my Anna was still alive.  Maybe I should invite my daughter and her family over for a good old-fashioned barbecue.  I’ll bet the girls would love it.”  He joined O’Neill by the door.

 

Jack was saying, “Ah, there is nothing like freshly grilled steak.  It makes…” their voices were cut off by the glass door sliding shut behind him.

 

Janet took her wine glass into the kitchen to finish the preparations she and Jack had started earlier.  Soon the potato salad was made, the salsa and chips were out, and Janet was looking through the cupboards for glasses, plates and utensils.  She had just located the salt, pepper and other condiments when General Hammond came into the kitchen to inform her that Jack was ready to start grilling the meat.  Janet gathered the already prepared platter of steak and burgers and walked outside with it.  She placed the platter on a small table beside the barbecue.

 

 

Jack was standing at the railing, looking out over the yard with a contented expression on his face.  Janet walked over to stand behind him, with her hand resting casually on the small of his back.  She leaned over and kissed his shoulder blade, noting with a grin the small shudder of reaction at that instant.

 

“They’ll be here soon.” Janet said, softly. “How are we going to tell the others?”

 

Jack turned and gave her the characteristic O’Neill grin.  “I could just stand up and blurt out something about alien influences – because feeling like this about you has been pretty alien to my heart.” 

 

“Jack” she said exasperatedly, slapping him on the arm lightly. “I’m serious!”

 

“I think we’ll have the right words for it when the time comes,” O’Neill said, chuckling.  He was staring at Janet. ‘She is so beautiful.’ he thought, reaching out and caressing her cheek with the back of his hand.  Janet leaned into the caress, her hand capturing his against her face.  Janet’s fingers began to trace their way from the hand to the wrist, up the forearm, resting near his elbow. 

 

Jack pulled his hand away to grasp her hand lightly.  He took a step towards her, looking down into her upturned face. His eyes focused on her lips.  Jack’s other hand was splayed against her side, his thumb stroking against her waist, sending a thrill of pleasure rushing through her veins.  Janet’s fingers entwined with his, she leaned forward as Jack stepped in.  They were so close now that they were sharing the same air, the breath from their mouths gently caressing each other’s face.

 

With a groan of surrender, Jack moved his face down to capture her lips with his own.  She opened her mouth, to nibble at his bottom lip, and Jack used that moment to slip his tongue inside.  Their tongues caressed each other.  Their kiss deepened.  Janet’s hand was gone from his, now tangled in his hairline, holding his head close to hers – the other caressed his shoulder, sending tingles of excitement coursing through him.  Jack’s hand moved from her waist to the small of her back, holding Janet so close that he could feel every contour of her body.  Breathing was becoming difficult, their senses were overwhelmed by the proximity of the one they loved.  Jack realized that someday soon he would ask Janet to marry him.  Never had a kiss made him feel so complete.  This was so beyond sexual excitement – it was an emotional and spiritual bonding, and he was damned if he was going to stand in the way.

 

Jack’s mouth moved away from hers, kissing its way down her chin and neck to the sensitive area at its base.  Janet’s head arched back, allowing access to that sensual area, then turned and caught his lips again with an ardour that surprised even her.  Jack pulled away, looking into Janet’s smoky eyes, and recognized the intensity.  Without saying it he knew she felt the same thing.  It was as if a commitment was born that day – a promise of a future together. Jack caught his breath, looking upon her face, seeing the beauty of spirit within.  Jan, I …I love you.” he said, amazed at how easily it fell from his lips.  Janet smiled back radiantly – “that’s good.” She murmured huskily, “because I love you, too.”  Jack moved in to capture her lips again, his soul refreshed.  He was savouring her lips as a dying man would savour water in the desert.  The world seemed to disappear in a roar of rushing wind, but it was only the beating of their hearts, as one.

 

The roaring in their ears turned to whistles and cheers.  Jack and Janet stood frozen in place.  “Tell me that’s not what I think it is” Jack murmured.  Janet looked up into his eyes, and winced.  “I can’t” 

 

The two turned towards the open door of the patio to find that their whole team had arrived and was laughing and cheering.  Daniel was smiling from ear to ear.  Cassie was jumping up and down, squealing, “I knew it!  I knew it!”  Samantha Carter was doing her best wolf-whistle, and while Teal’c was silent, they were shocked to see a smile so wide it looked out of place on his usually stoic face.  The General just sat in the background, nursing his beer. The smile on his face was one of affection and of remembrance. Watching them together reminded him of when he and his Anna discovered their own love so many years before.  He wished that depth of love for them.

 

Jack and Janet stepped away from each other, both blushing a bright red. 

 

“Um” said Jack - “Maybe we don’t need to worry about how to tell them” he said, sheepishly.

 

Janet smiled wryly as she said, “I think they got the picture.”

 

“Oh, we did.” Daniel chortled.  “Several of them.”  He held up his digital camera and grinned mischievously.

 

Jack tried to grab the camera from Daniel, and ended up chasing him off the patio and into the yard.  Jack began to chase Daniel around the house, threatening him with dire consequences, but at the same time laughing so hard with joy that he could not catch his breath. 

 

Janet looked at the two of them with her hands on her hips, beaming happily as Cassie and Sam flanked her.  She smiled at this moment knowing that her family had increased not by one more with Jack, but by everybody in the room.  Her heart was full of joy.

Go to part 15