Rascals - Chapter 9

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The next morning, Teal'c had a short training mission with SG-3 which he had insisted he needed to take care of. He would return before noon. O'Neill felt he had looked way too happy about it.

O'Neill entered the infirmary, only to almost be run over by Yosuuf. She wore the same clothing as yesterday, but her hair was wet and a nurse came running after her, wielding a comb and a hair dryer, the power cord no longer connected.

"No! I will not yield to your torture!" She threw her arms around O'Neill's legs, clinging to him. "You will protect me? Please?"

O'Neill sighed deeply. "What's the problem?"

"She's pulling my hair! It hurts!"

"You should let her cut it - like mine. No problems!" Sam said, smiling. She touched her own hair briefly.

"Never!" Yosuuf yelled.

"Your hair is pretty." O'Neill tried. "It will be even prettier if you let the nurse comb it."

They were interrupted as a little, naked - and very wet - boy came running from the nearby bathroom. Janet was hot on his heals, carrying a towel.

"Stop! Martouf! You need to dry off before running out! And getting some clothes on wouldn't hurt either!" She caught him and started drying him.

O'Neill grinned, realising Janet and the nurses had bathed all the children. A giggling Daniel ran around, wearing the much too large t-shirt he had likely slept in. He was being chased by a nurse, who insisted he take a bath like the three others had done. O'Neill shook his head.

"I think I'll leave you to it and return later." He turned around and was just about to leave the infirmary when Hammond entered.

"Colonel..." He took in the scenery. "The Tok'ra have reported Anise is on the way back from her mission and will begin studying the ancient device tomorrow. Hopefully, she and her people will quickly find a solution to this."

"Yes, sir. I sincerely hope so too."

"Until that happens, I have put you in charge of the children. The Tok'ra have accepted to leave them all her with us, agreeing it is safer here than in the Tok'ra tunnels, since the Goa'uld may attack them at any time."

"Me, sir?" O'Neill did not know if he should laugh or cry. "You put me in charge?"

"Yes, I know you're fond of children, and you also seem to get along well with them. When they're ready, take them to have some breakfast. Afterwards I think we should get them some more clothing, if they are to stay this way for a longer period of time. Take Teal'c and Doctor Fraiser, and go shopping somewhere with the children. Buy clothes, and whatever else you think they might need."

"If you think so..."

"I do."

Janet had gotten Martouf dried and into some clothing and now joined them.

"We should also consider getting them some toys."

"Toys?" O'Neill looked at her.

"Yes, they may have all the memories of their adult versions, but don't forget - mentally they're children."

"Do you want scrambled eggs or boiled eggs?" O'Neill asked, as he looked at the options.

"I don't want eggs! I want pancakes!" Sam pointed at the desired food.

"No, that's not good for you. You got way too much sugar yesterday. You can have eggs, bacon, and toast. Sounds good, doesn't it?" He said, enthusiastically.

Daniel, who had previously accepted scrambled eggs, now changed his mind.

"I want pancakes too!"

"And me!" Lantash said, looking enviously at the large heap of pancakes, which the marine in front of them had just gotten.

"Pancakes!" Yosuuf said, smiling sweetly at O'Neill. "Pleeease?"

O'Neill sighed deeply. He so did not feel up to taking a fight over it this early. He made a decision. "Pancakes it is. But you must promise to eat at least one slice of toast first." He tried, compromising.

"Yaaaaay! Pancakes!"

They got toast, cheese, strawberry jelly - and a huge heap of pancakes. When they were all sitting at the table, Sam remembered something.

"I must have coffee!"

"Yeah, coffee for me too!" Daniel added.

"Nope, no coffee. Eat your pancakes."

"Pleeeease?" Sam tried, giving O'Neill the same puppy-eyes as Yosuuf had done before.

"No, not gonna happen, so you can just quit that immediately!"

Grumbling, Sam took the bottle of syrup and poured a large amount over her pancakes. O'Neill grabbed the bottle from her as the plate was starting to overflow.

"Dammit, Carter!" He sighed. "Don't forget your toast! Cheese or jelly?"

"Neither..." Sam grabbed the buttered toast and put it face down into the syrup. She pulled the now very sticky bread free and stuffed it into her mouth, chewing and looking happy.

"Yeeach. Carter!" O'Neill frowned.

Well, at least she seemed to have forgotten about the coffee. He quickly handed her a napkin, hoping to catch some of the goo that was threatening to drip from her chin. She smiled sweetly at him.

The other children had studied her with interest. Yosuuf shrugged and continued eating her toast with cheese. Martouf and Daniel took one look at their half-eaten bread, then copied what Sam had done.

O'Neill rolled his eyes and got a long-suffering expression as he handed them a napkin each. Sam was setting a bad example! Who would have thought?

Finished with her bread, Sam rolled up the first pancake and speared it with her fork. She lifted it up and began to gnaw at it from the end of it, the syrup running all over.

"No! Not like that!" He stopped her and made her put the pancake down. "Cut it with your knife! Do you need me to help you?"

She shook her head. "No, I know how to. This was just funnier!" She smiled, then dutifully began using the knife to cut it, then ate the more manageable pieces of pancake.

O'Neill sighed and checked that the other children ate in a reasonably civilized manner as well.

Lantash looked at his sticky hands, then at the glass of milk. He carefully touched the glass with a finger, leaving a mark.

"Can I have another napkin, please, O'Neill?"

O'Neill got up and soon returned with several large hand fulls of napkins. He threw a bunch at each of the children, then sat down and ate his own pancakes, determined to not let anything more bother him. He could hear snickering from some of the other tables. He studiously ignored it.

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