...Mightier Than the Sword
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A/N: Okay, just a one-shot. And I am definitely a Jack/Sam person. So this is heavy on the ship. Really heavy. It's also a slight AU in that most of the events in Season 8 and all of the events in Season 9 did not take place in my little universe. No Vala, Mitchell, or Landry.

Anyway, this is a Christmas fic. Definitely seasonal. Set in the second or third season of the show. This story does not revolve around the Jack/Sam relationship. It just mentions it. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: I do not own Jack, Sam, Teal’c, or Daniel. Although Daniel is my temporary muse while Haldir is on vacation. Nor do I own the tv special ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’. And the recipe you find in here…….is real.

Daniel: Hi! Nice to meet all of you!

Isn’t he polite? Oh! Technically, this is my first ‘Stargate: SG-1’ fic, although our intrepid foursome feature prominently in my ‘Lord of the Rings’ mega-crossover story.

Daniel: Well, that was shameless self-promotion.

Yeah. So sue me. Anyway, please enjoy. And keep in mind that I have never written anything that is strictly ‘Stargate’ before. Be kind, I beg of you. It’s Christmas.

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“”””””””””””””””””””Home of Samantha Carter – December 19, 1999

Sam had just managed to get a fire going in the fireplace when the doorbell rang. Standing up and dusting her jeans off, she went to let in the first of her guests. It was no surprise to her that Jack stood on the other side. He was always on time.
“Come in, sir,” she said, motioning him in and out of the cold, snowy Colorado night.

Jack stepped in and wasted no time in making his way to the kitchen with the brown paper bags he was carrying. Sam followed him, her face a study in puzzlement.

“You know, when I said to bring chips, I didn’t mean for you to bring every variety known to man,” she said as she watched him unload both bags.

Jack scowled at her playfully.

“You said, ‘Bring tortilla chips and potato chips’. But you didn’t specify what kind, Carter. There are white tortilla chips, yellow tortilla chips, restaurant style, triangles, circles, rectangles, tortilla chips with red stuff on them and tortilla chips with no red stuff on them. Then there’s the potato chips. Did you want them with the ridges or without? And did you want them baked or not baked? I didn’t know. So…..”

Sam shook her head.

“Sir, why didn’t you just call me?”

Jack opened his mouth to answer then shut it again, realizing that no matter how he answered that question he would sound…….stupid. Luckily, he was saved by a knock on the door. Sam went to answer it, leaving Jack to stare at the sea of chips that had overrun her kitchen counter.

Of course, it was Daniel and Teal’c who had arrived, bringing the drinks. Fortunately, they had not run into so many problems.

Daniel and Teal’c made their way into the kitchen with their purchases and, as expected, found Jack hovered over the pot on the stove with a chip in his hand. Quickly, he dipped the chip into the pot and stuffed it into his mouth. Sam slapped his hand and pushed him away from the stove.

“Mmmph!” exclaimed the colonel, which most likely translated into ‘Ow!’

“Not until the show starts,” she admonished. He pouted at her as well as he could, considering his mouth was full of tortilla chip and hot cheese.

“You should make this stuff more often, Sam,” Daniel spoke up, sympathizing with Jack. “It’s really not fair to make us wait all year long.”

Sam shook her head.

“It’s not that complicated, Daniel, and you know it. Even the colonel could make it.”

“Hey!” Jack had finally managed to swallow his early snack. He sounded hurt, but he smiled at Sam.

“There’s stuff for sandwiches in the refrigerator. The shows don’t start for another half hour, so I figured we’d eat some sandwiches first, then eat the chips and queso during the show.”

Jack pouted again and Sam resisted the urge to reach out and ruffle his hair like a little boy.

“Can’t we just eat the queso?”

Sam rolled her eyes and, noticing that Jack was edging his way towards the pot again, shoved him away with her hip.

“You’ll make yourself sick if you eat too much of it, sir, and you know it. Now……who wants what on their sandwiches?”

‘’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’Forty-five minutes later

“Well, that’s a commercial break!” Daniel exclaimed, standing up to stretch. “I’m going for more queso!”

He bounded past Sam and Jack, who were seated together on the couch, and into the kitchen.

“Daniel, you’ve had three bowls already!” Sam called after him.

“There’s always room for queso!” came the cheerful reply.

Teal’c raised an eyebrow and Sam shook her head, sighing.

“He’s going to make himself sick again,” she said.
Jack squirmed a little, holding his empty bowl in his hand and looking at it wistfully. He’d had two bowls himself and wouldn’t mind another. It wasn’t as if there was a shortage of chips to go along with it.

“Maybe if you made it more often, Carter, Daniel wouldn’t feel like he had to eat so much.”

“Indeed,” Teal’c agreed from his chair, where he held his third helping in his own hands.

“No, if I made it more often, all of SG-1 would be out of commission because they would be too lazy and too out of shape to go off world.”

Jack only grunted in reply and set his bowl down on the floor next to him, at the same time stretching slightly and brushing up against Sam. The touch made her shudder a little and he looked at her curiously.

“Cold, Carter?”

“No, sir. I’m fine.”

“Mmmm. What do you put in this stuff, anyway? Some sort of narcotic?”

Sam laughed.

“I’ve told you several times, sir. It’s very simple. Just a loaf of Velveeta, the big one, a can of diced Ro-tel, a chopped up clove of garlic, and half a diced onion. Make it in double boiler or a crock pot. That’s all there is to it.”

“Did I miss anything?” Daniel asked, coming back from the kitchen with a small bowl of queso in his hand.

“No,” Jack replied. “So, Teal’c, what do you think about the show so far?”

“I find it most interesting, O’Neill. It is unfortunate, however, that the others are not allowing the one they call Hermey to pursue this interest he has in the field of orthodontics.”

Jack snorted.

“Hey, the fewer dentists this world has the better off we are, I say. But I guess I see your point.”

“I always liked Clarice the best,” Sam said. “I wanted to sing like her.”

Jack looked at his 2IC as though she’d gone insane.

“She’s a reindeer, Carter. You want to sing like a reindeer?”

Carter squirmed a little.

“Whoever did her voice had a very lovely singing voice. That’s all. I always did want to sing like that.”

Jack fought the urge to tell Carter that everything about her was lovely. Instead, he turned his attention back to the show, where Yukon Cornelius, Hermey, and Rudolph had just arrived on the Island of Misfit Toys.

The team sat enraptured by the rest of the show until the closing number. When it was over, Jack finally decided on having a third bowl of queso, despite Sam’s warning looks.

“Well, Teal’c, what do you think of the Ta’uri’s Christmas show ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’?” Daniel asked, leaning back against Sam’s fireplace hearth.

“I enjoyed it immensely, DanielJackson, although I confess I liked ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ even more.”

Daniel grinned and winked at Sam. They had shown Teal’c that show last Christmas, trying to ease the Jaffa into the customs of Earth.

“One thing does trouble me, however,” the Jaffa continued, a perplexed look on his face.

“Oh? What’s that?” Sam asked.

“When the three travelers journeyed to the Island of Misfit Toys, there seemed to be one plaything that did not belong there. Has no one noticed that the small item called a doll does not seem to have anything wrong with her?”

Daniel and Sam stared at Teal’c and then at each other, then back at Teal’c again.

“Well….of course she does, Teal’c,” Sam began. “You’re talking about the little doll with the red hair? The one with the red and white dress?”

“That is the one I am referring to, MajorCarter,” the Jaffa nodded.

“Oh. Well, that’s easy. She……her…….the……” Daniel trailed off, unable to think of anything offhand that was wrong with the little doll.

“Of course, Daniel. It’s……well……I saw……” Sam, too, failed to come up with an explanation.

Teal’c raised an eyebrow, waiting for the two resident geniuses of the SGC to explain to him why the little red-haired doll was on the Island of Misfit Toys. It was at this juncture that Jack returned to the living room, queso in hand. He looked at Teal’c, then at Daniel and Sam, then back at Teal’c.

“What’s goin’ on?”

“Jack, did you know that there’s a toy on the Island of Misfit Toys that doesn’t seem to have anything wrong with it? Visibly, I mean?” Daniel asked.

Jack shrugged as he took his seat next to Carter and began to eat his queso.

“You talking about the little red-haired doll in the red and white dress?”

Two jaws dropped simultaneously.

“You knew?!” Carter exclaimed. “How long have you known?” she continued, in the same tone she might have used if he had just informed her he was dying of an incurable disease.

Jack shrugged again and answered her around a mouthful of chips.

“I noticed it when I first saw it,” he replied. “Why is it important?”

“Why didn’t you tell us?” Daniel demanded.

Jack stared in surprise at his friends.

“It’s not like it’s the end of the world, guys. Come on,” he grinned slowly as realization started to set in. “You mean the two of you never noticed? Diligent Daniel and Super Sam never noticed that there didn’t seem to be anything wrong with the little doll in the red and white dress? But old Jack O’Neill did.”

He grinned at both of them before biting loudly into a chip. Sam rolled her eyes, turned to Daniel, and began a discussion.

“Do you think it’s her braids? Maybe they’re uneven.”

Daniel frowned thoughtfully and considered this possibility.

“It could be. Or maybe her eyes are uneven. Or her arms aren’t the same length.”

“Perhaps she’s a talking doll and her voice box doesn’t work right.”

“Do you think she’s supposed to wear socks with those shoes she has?”

“What if her shoes were supposed to be black instead of red?”

“That’s possible. Or her mouth could be sewn on crooked.”

“Oh, for cryin’ out loud!”

The exclamation from Jack brought them up short and they both looked up from their brainstorming.

“We’re here to have fun and to introduce Teal’c to more of our Christmas customs. Now…..we can’t do that if you two sit here and debate why the little doll with the red hair and the red and white dress is on the Island of Misfit Toys. ‘Frosty the Snowman’ is coming on next. If it isn’t too much trouble, can we just watch it? Please?”

“Yes, Jack. Sorry, Teal’c.”

“Sorry, Teal’c. Sorry, sir.”

Teal’c inclined his head towards his two friends.
“It is quite alright, DanielJackson, MajorCarter. I myself would like to know the reason she is on the island….” Teal’c caught Jack’s eye, “But perhaps tonight would not be the best time for such a discussion.”

“Thank you, Teal’c. Now, let’s watch the show.”
The team settled in and, for Jack’s sake, the rest of the night was spent in peace. But the issue was far from over.

‘’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’SGC – Early December of 2010

“Sergeant!”

The Marine turned around and immediately came to attention when he saw the figure of Jack O’Neill bearing down on him. Jack suppressed the smile that threatened to come to his lips.

“At ease, Sergeant,” he said as he came closer. “No need for you to be so formal around an old retired General like me.”

“No, sir. I mean, yes, sir,” replied the confused sergeant.

“I may still be in charge of the SGC, but I am off duty at the moment,” Jack reminded the poor Marine. “Relax. I’m just looking for Colonel…”

“She’s in her lab, sir. With Dr. Jackson,” the Marine supplied Jack with the information before he could even ask the question. Fighting both amusement and annoyance, Jack inclined his head towards the Marine in a perfect imitation of Teal’c.

“Thank you, Sergeant. Carry on.”

The Marine snapped a salute before Jack could stop him and the former general returned it in a somewhat half-hearted manner. Shaking his head, he turned and headed for Sam’s lab. He’d retired from the military four years ago, but old habits seemed to be hard to break.

‘’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’Sam’s Lab

“If I freeze it here, you can almost see….”

“I don’t think that’s it, Sam.”

Sam sighed.

“You’ve shot down every suggestion I’ve had, Daniel.”

“Well, I’m sorry. But I just don’t see it.”

“Oh, for cryin’ out loud!”

The voice from the doorway made both archaeologist and scientist turn from the screen in front of them. They both looked like three year olds who had been caught sneaking cookies before supper.

“Don’t tell me that the two of you are still on this trip of yours. I should’ve known this is what you’d be doing!”

Sam and Daniel exchanged guilty glances before trying to defend themselves.

“Sorry, Jack, but it just bugs us. And with this dvd, it’s much easier to try and find something.”

Jack rolled his eyes and stepped farther into the lab. He examined the screen closer and sighed.

“Do you think the lace on her collar might be…..sewn on crooked or something?”

The other two remained quiet for a few seconds, merely because they were stunned that Jack had even suggested something at all.

“No, Jack,” Daniel found his voice. “Sam suggested that one two years ago. She still insists it’s the braids.”

“I’m telling you, Daniel. They’re uneven.”

“Sam, we measured them. We had the footage analyzed….”

“You used SGC equipment for this?” Jack inquired, rounding on the two culprits.

“Well……it was equipment in my lab,” Daniel reasoned weakly.

Jack sighed and passed his hand over his eyes. Then, remembering why he had come here in the first place….

“Daniel, I’m actually glad I found you here. Although the reason lowers my joy level considerably. You did save me a trip, though. I’m supposed to remind you that you and Lucy are having dinner at….”

Daniel’s eyes widened.

“Your house tonight! I completely forgot! Sam, how could you let me forget?”

Sam’s eyes were just as wide.

“I forgot, too! What time is it?”

Jack tried to hide a smile at the panic he’d caused and failed miserably.

“Dinner’s in two hours. You have enough time. But it was fun to watch you panic.”

Daniel sighed and Sam hit Jack on the arm.

“Go get your things, Danny-boy. We’ll meet you at the elevator.”

Daniel nodded and left. Jack stood by the door and watched as Sam went through her lab, turning everything off. He had long ago been banned from touching anything in there. A certain incident involving a Goa’uld doohickey and several thousand dollars worth of SGC equipment. Jack shuddered at the memory.

“Ready to go?” Sam asked him as she turned off the last ‘doohickey’. Jack nodded and they headed for the elevator.

“Is everything ready for the dinner?” she inquired as they walked.

“Everything is all set,” he replied, snaking an arm around her shoulder. Sam leaned into him and sighed.

“Cassie?”

“Cassie had just popped your lovely casserole in the oven when I left. Yes, JD took his nap today.

Although I think he’s too old for them.”

Sam snorted.

“He’s three. Definitely not too old for naps. You wouldn’t think he was too old for them if you were with him on the days he went without one.”

Jack smiled, knowing his wife was right, and continued.

“There’s just enough time for you to get home, get a shower…..and make some queso.”

Sam punched Jack on the arm again and he pouted down at her.

“You shouldn’t hit me you know. I’m the father of your child.”

She smiled at him gently.

“Children,” she reminded him, stopping in the hall and moving his hand from her shoulder to her mid-section, which still showed no sign of the tiny life that was in it. Jack smiled at her and brought his other hand up to brush some hair away from her face.

“Children,” he repeated, leaning in and giving her a soft kiss.

A clearing of the throat interrupted them and Jack growled against Sam’s lips, making her giggle. He turned towards the intruder with a murderous look in his eyes. But that look had never scared Daniel Jackson.

“You have the worst timing I have ever seen,” Jack snarled.

“Thank you,” Daniel replied cheerily. “Shall we go?”

Jack scowled at the archaeologist, but Sam pulled him the rest of the way down the hall and into the elevator. The three of them stepped in and Jack pushed the button that would take them to the surface.

“So, Daniel,” Sam said, turning to her friend, “do you think that her buckles are on the wrong side of her shoes?”

Jack hit his head against the wall of the elevator.

“Maybe her ribbons don’t exactly match her dress,” Daniel suggested.

Groaning, Jack began to punch the button on the elevator frantically.

“Her legs are uneven?” Sam volunteered.

“Her skintone is all wrong?”

Jack ceased his button punching and shot Daniel a look as the elevator doors opened.

“You know, Daniel, if it wasn’t for the fact that you’d been happily married to Lucy for the past five years, I’d wonder about you.”

Daniel glared at Jack as they stepped off the elevator.

“I’ll meet you guys at your house,” he said, heading for his car.

“See you later,” Sam called after him as Jack opened the door for her. “And please call Teal’c, just in case he’s forgotten, too!”

Daniel waved in acknowledgement of the request before getting into his own car and heading home to his family.

The O’Neills drove to their own home in silence. When Jack pulled into the driveway, Sam finally spoke up.

“You know, I think maybe the hem of her skirt is crooked. Maybe I should….”

She was cut off as Jack put his hands on either side of her face and pulled her to him in a slow, lingering kiss. When he finally released her, she found that she was breathless. Which was something Jack had been counting on.

“It’s just one of the unsolvable mysteries of life. Like why Jessica Simpson has a career. Or, in Daniel’s case, why Peter Jackson felt the need to kill that Haldir guy off in the second ‘Lord of the Rings’ movie. We’re not meant to know why. We’re just meant to understand. Let it go, Sam.”

“Yes, Jack,” she replied, smiling partly because of the kiss she’d just received and partly because she was remembering how outraged Daniel had been over the death of Haldir. Elves at Helm’s Deep? The archaelogist thought that was cool. But kill Haldir? That was going over the line.

Satisfied, Jack got out of the car and the two of them walked into their house hand in hand. The little red-haired doll with the red and white dress was never mentioned again, much to Daniel’s disappointment. But the fact that her lack of faults was never debated again did quite a lot for Jack’s mental health, which was hanging by a thread to begin with.

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A/N: Well, I almost got through a story without mentioning ‘Lord of the Rings’. Oh, well. I hope you enjoyed it. And if anyone has any idea as to why the little red haired doll with the gingham dress is on the Island of Misfit Toys, I would appreciate knowing the reason. Special thanks to my mom, who inspired both this story and the queso recipe. Love you, Mom!

As far as the Daniel/Lucy thing goes……well, Daniel needed a wife. Someone that good looking and sweet just isn’t going to spend the rest of his life alone. And Jack/Sam? It’s Christmas and that’s my Christmas wish. For Jack and Sam to get together…….and for Pete to disappear. No hard feelings, Pete. You’re nice enough, but you need to find another girl. So, since it’s Christmas, I get my wish. Merry Christmas, everyone!


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