Rascals - Chapter 13

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"I didn't think we'd been able to get it all in, but there's even space for you!" O'Neill said, smiling wryly.

They had loaded the car with the toys. The clothes and some other things Janet had insisted on for the kids, were already there.

"I'm tired!" Daniel moped, leaning against Janet's leg. "I wanna go home!"

"So am I - and hungry!" Martouf agreed. "So is Lantash."

"I'm hungry too!" Sam complained.

"Okay, let's go eat someplace." O'Neill said, tiredly. He was starting to feel more than a bit hungry himself.

"Can Mister Fluffy come?" Garshaw wanted to know.

"Yes, absolutely!" O'Neill gave her a smile. "We'll go somewhere he'll be welcome."

"Ice cream?" Lantash suggested, looking hopeful.

"As your Doctor, I'd prefer you ate something a little bit more healthy and nutritious." Janet said.

"You know, I think a little ice cream would be a good idea - for all of us. Don't you, Teal'c?" O'Neill winked at the Jaffa.

Teal'c looked at him, uncomprehending, then decided O'Neill wanted his support. "Indeed."

"I think it's a great idea, sir!" Sam said, smiling widely at O'Neill.

"Do you think they have melon-flavoured ice cream? I got that once at Cronos's court..." Garshaw said, enthusiastically.

"Melon-flavoured ice cream is very good." Daniel agreed. "But so is vanilla, and strawberry, and chocolate...and pistachio! And..."

"We get it. You like ice cream." O'Neill said, not unkindly. He ruffled Daniel's hair. "I think I know just the place."

The children fell asleep in the car, on their way back to the base, toys and clothing everywhere around them. They had eaten a lot of ice cream, so they would probably not want much more food for the rest of the day. Janet was still a bit disapproving, but she had had to agree the ice cream at O'Neill's 'secret place' had been very good.

Back on the base, Sam, Martouf, and Garshaw tiredly walked on their own from the car, but Daniel had to be carried, sleeping. The others looked at him, envious.

One of the biggest VIP rooms had been prepared for them, and O'Neill and the other adults brought them there while they carried all their stuff inside. For now, the room contained two large beds, which the children would share. If this turned out to be long-term, a bed for each would eventually be found.

O'Neill pulled the blanket aside and put the still sleeping Daniel down. The other children fell asleep as soon as they had thrown themselves on the beds. O'Neill and Janet gently helped them out of their boots and jackets, but decided against disturbing them any further, letting them sleep in the rest of their clothing. Janet arranged the blankets around them.

"They really are cute." She observed, looking at the sleeping children.

"Yes, they are - when they're asleep. I can't believe how much trouble they are when they're awake." O'Neill said.

"It is difficult to understand these are the same people we know." Teal'c frowned.

"We'll have to hope Anise figures out how to undo this." O'Neill rolled his eyes.

He and the others went outside into the corridor, shutting the door quietly to not wake up the kids. It was obvious they needed an afternoon nap. O'Neill felt as tired as they looked - perhaps he should sneak off and get some shut-eye as well?

"Ah, there you are. You are back, good." Hammond said, noticing them.

"Yes, sir." O'Neill felt his hope for a nice nap disappear.

"We've just returned, General." Janet said.

"Long trip." Hammond observed. "It's good you're back. The Tok'ra have sent a healer and one of the scientists from Anise's group. The healer would like to examine the children, and then we'll get an update on what the Tok'ra scientists have learned."

"The kids just fell asleep, sir. They're very tired. Even the Tok'ra should be able to understand they need their sleep - especially since one of them is their councillor!" O'Neill pointed out.

"Yes, but it's because one of them is their councillor that they're so eager to examine them. I'm sure you can appreciate that."

O'Neill nodded. "I guess." He still felt responsible for what had happened. He could always hope the Tok'ra found a way to reverse this. Not that he really had much faith in that.

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