Rascals - Chapter 10

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After having gotten all the syrup cleaned off, the children had behaved irreproachably. They played on the floor in O'Neill's office, while he wrote a much-hated report about their latest mission. Now and then he would look up and check on them.

They were being remarkably quiet. He had told them they would be going out shopping for clothes for them later, and if they behaved nicely they would get toys as well.

Clearly, they did not wish to risk not getting that. He had given them paper and pens and told them they could draw whatever was on their minds - it would seem they had fun with that.

He had just finished his report when someone knocked on the door.

"Yes?" He waved at the children who dutifully got out of the way.

The door opened and Teal'c entered, followed by Janet.

"Hello, O'Neill." Teal'c said.

"Hi, Teal'c! Doctor Fraiser!" He smiled at them, relieved to see them.

"What are you all doing, kids?" Janet looked down at the floor, seeing the pictures. "Wow, nice pictures!"

"Hi Doctor Janet! We're making drawing." Lantash said happily.

"Drawing. We're drawing. Not making drawing." Daniel corrected.

"Whatever." Lantash stuck his tongue out at him.

"Hey! Be nice!" Daniel pushed Lantash so he tripped over, hitting Sam.

"Sorry, Samantha." He quickly steadied her, then turned around and would have pushed Daniel back if Teal'c had not quickly placed himself between them.

"You can fight later. We are ordered to go shopping now."

"Who drew this?" Janet had picked up several of the pictures and were looking at them.

"I did!" Daniel said, proudly.

"It's nice...uh...what is it?"

"Can't you tell? It's a ship landing on a pyramid and a pro-cession outside it."

"Of course..." Janet smiled.

"That one is mine!" Lantash said. "It's for you!"

"Why, thank you!" She smiled warmly at him, then looked at the picture again. "It's a Stargate with some kind of huts beside it - and a lake. And what are those?"

"They're dogs. They guard the chaapa'ai...the...Star-gate against the Goa'uld."

"Sure they do." She patted him affectionately on the head.

She admired all the other pictures the children showed her, commenting on things she liked. O'Neill joined her, while Teal'c found it all strange. Jaffa did not have much tradition for art, since they had not really had the opportunity.

After some time, they left to go shopping.

"I'm not getting into that!" Martouf looked at the vehicle. "It looks dangerous!"

"No worry! It's perfectly safe!" Sam reassured him. "It's a Humvee - they're used in battle here on Earth."

Martouf looked only slightly less worried, but allowed himself to be convinced and crawled up into the vehicle, followed by Sam, Daniel, and Yosuuf, who looked even more concerned than Martouf.

Janet pointed at the seat belts and gave them an encouraging smile as she closed the door after them. She then joined Teal'c and O'Neill in the front of the car.

When everyone had buckled their safety belts, O'Neill took off towards the nearest shopping mall.

"Can we buy toys now?" Sam looked longingly at the large toy store they had just walked past.

"No, you'll get toys later. Clothes first." O'Neill gave her a gentle push towards the department store, beside the toy store.

"I don't like shopping for clothes..." Sam pouted.

"Why do we need more clothing? We have clothing!" Lantash proclaimed, loudly, pulling at the sleeve of his jacket as proof. "We've got three copies each of this."

"Ssssschhhh..." O'Neill quickly looked around. It was still early and no one was nearby. "I told you to leave Martouf in control when we're not on base!"

"I want to pick out clothes and toys too!" Lantash said in a low voice, looking unhappy.

"OK, but let Martouf talk - or at least use his voice!"

Lantash nodded. "You didn't answer my question." There was no distortion this time.

Janet answered instead. "Yes, you've got clothes, but you need more - and different clothes. You can't walk around in uniforms the whole time!"

"Why not? Many Tok'ra wear uniforms most of the time...so do you!"

"He's right!" Sam said. "I wear uniforms all the time!"

"Just do what I say! You're kids now, not soldiers or whatever."

"Yes, sir!" Sam saluted him. It was immediately repeated by Daniel, Lantash, and finally Yosuuf.

O'Neill groaned and hid his face in his hands. How did he deserve this?

"Oh, they're so cute!" A woman's voice said.

"Absolutely adorable! And the little uniforms! So sweet!" Another woman gushed.

O'Neill turned to see two young women who looked like they were about to melt at the sight of the children.

"Thanks...I guess..." He quickly turned back, not having any wish to talk to anyone about the children. He thought he heard a strangled chuckle from Janet and glared at her.

"Time to find clothes, kids." Janet said, smiling. She grabbed a cart and herded them towards the children's clothes department. Teal'c and O'Neill followed. They very much looked forward to getting this over with.

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