Rascals II - Chapter 21

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After a short break, everyone felt better. The children had only needed slight prodding before they returned to watching their DVD's, so they were being unusually complacent. O'Neill was taking a nap, while Teal'c was driving.

They drove on for several hours, as the Sun slowly set.

"Teal'c...are we there yet?" Martouf asked.

"No, obviously not, as I am still driving."

"I mean, are we at O'Neill's cabin soon?" Martouf clarified.

"I do not believe 'soon' would be correct either. The latest sign I saw indicated there are at least 500 miles left to drive, before we reach our destination."

"500 miles!" Sam exclaimed. "It's dark outside! It's evening - and I'm hungry!"

"I'm hungry too!" Martouf said. "And I need to use the facilities."

"Me too...both. And I'm tired!" Anise whined.

"I shall attempt to find a pull-up with a food-vendor and latrines," Teal'c said.

"What about sleeping facilities as well?" Anise suggested. "If we have only travelled half the dis-tance to the cabin, it would be better to continue tomorrow, would it not?"

"Yeah, there's nothing to do back here but sleep!" Sam complained. "And I'm not tired...much, anyway." 

"Were you not watching your DVDs?" Teal'c wondered.

"Yes, but there is no more power on the player," Sam told him.

"That would not have happened if it was naquadah-powered." Lantash complained, having taken over control from Martouf. "In-ferior Tau'ri tech-nology!"

"Wh...where are we?" O'Neill mumbled sleepily. He had awoken just as Teal'c parked the car. 

"In Grand Island. A city in Nebraska," Teal'c informed him.

"Grand Island?" O'Neill sat up more straight and looked out the window. "Why are we here?"

"The children require sustenance and wishes to frequent the latrines," Teal'c told him. "I believe this establishment will provide opportunities for both."

"McDonald's?" O'Neill frowned. "Well, Janet's not here to tell us it's bad for us, though I must admit I'd have preferred a steak house." He shrugged. "Okay. Get out, kids!"

"Yay...because we're hungry now, Colonel...oops, I mean General!" Sam giggled.

"Remember, host's in control, or use host's voice...and I mean it!" O'Neill said, as they all hurried out of the car.

"What do you want?" O'Neill asked the children.

Sam looked thoughtfully at the options. "A double cheeseburger."

O'Neill grinned. "I don't think you can eat that much in your, ah, current condition, Carter. Do you want a Happy Meal with a cheeseburger?"

Sam nodded slowly. "Yes - and a diet coke. Can I have ice cream for dessert?"

"Maybe, if you're still hungry when you've eaten the other stuff." 

"One Happy Meal." Daniel said. "No cheese...and coke."

"No cheese and no coke?" O'Neill asked.

"No. No cheese, and I want coke....please." Daniel clarified. "Oh, and ice cream."

"We'll order desserts later, if you want any. That goes for all of you." O'Neill said, looking at Freya and Martouf.

"I would like to have...uh...a Happy Meal with chicken nug-gets," Martouf said. "And coke. Lantash would like a cheeseburger...and a milkshake, please."

"I would also like a Happy Meal," Freya said. "Anise wants those chicken nug-gets. We want Sprite and Dr. Pepper."

"Mixed?" O'Neill shook his head. "Listen, Martouf - and Freya. I'm sure you can't eat that much food. Decide on something, and then we'll see if you want more when you've eaten it. Okay?"

"But I'm hungry - and so is Lantash!" Martouf looked stubborn, then nodded. "Okay. Happy Meal with chicken nug-gets, coke - and chocolate milkshake."

O'Neill sighed. "All right...Freya?"

She looked undecided for some time, before finally answering. "Chicken nug-gets with Sprite. Can we have some extra french fries?"

"I'll ask," O'Neill said, just happy the children had finally decided what they wanted.

"O'Neill. Please order a Big Mac with extra french fries for me. As beverage, I would like Dr. Pepper," Teal'c said.

"I need extra ket-chup," Sam said, getting up from the table.

"Get some for me, too?" Freya asked.

"And me?" Martouf added.

"I will go with you, Sam," Daniel said

They ran to get ketchup, and soon returned with much more than the children - and O'Neill and Teal'c - could possibly consume in one sitting. O'Neill just sighed and took a quick glance at the other tables. No one seemed to have noticed or to pay any attention to them.

"Thank you," Martouf said, immediately pouring a large amount of the ketchup out over the french fries.

"Yeach," O'Neill said. "I mean, I love ketchup as much as the next guy, but I prefer fries with ketchup - not ketchup with fries!"

Martouf happily started eating the french fries, clearly enjoying the ketchup-bath the food was now soaked in.

Daniel studied him for a moment, then copied him, pouring ketchup all over his food as well.

O'Neill sighed and got a long-suffering expression, but focused on eating his food. He was very happy Janet was not with them on this trip! She would not have been pleased with the nutritional value of the food the children were eating!

"I am tired!" Sam declared.

"I am too!" Martouf yawned mightily. "Lantash is almost asleep."

"Yes, can we pleeeeeeease sleep in a bed somewhere?" Freya begged.

"I saw several hotels on the way here." Daniel helpfully informed O'Neill.

"You can sleep in the back-seat, and then, when you wake up you'll be at the cabin. Won't that be much nicer?" O'Neill argued. He opened the door. "Now...get in."

"I wanna sleep in a bed!" Daniel complained, but crawled into the car, lying down on the back-seat. He yawned mightily.

"Hey, move!" Sam pushed him. "There's no room for the rest of us!"

"I am cold - and tired!" Freya said, sniffling a little. She leaned against the side of the car, looking miserable.

"Listen, you're not the ones who'll be driving for the next four hours!" O'Neill said. "Don't you think I am tired?"

"O'Neill, perhaps the children's suggestion has merit. It might be advisable to find lodging for tonight," Teal'c said.

O'Neill sighed, but quickly surrendered. "Okay, since you're all ganging up on me...we'll find some place to stay for tonight. Now, get into the car!"

They did not have to drive far before they found a place to stay that looked acceptable.

O'Neill hired two rooms, one for him and Teal'c, and one for the children. He had to admit the idea of sleeping in a bed for some hours was an attractive one. He had spent more than enough time in his life sleeping on the ground or going without sleep. This was a vacation, after all, so it made sense to allow yourself some luxuries and enjoy yourself a little.

Next morning, after a quick breakfast, they were on their way again. They felt refreshed and ready to drive the rest of the way. The children's DVD player had been recharged during the night, so they were now completely concentrated on watching their DVDs, while Teal'c drove. He would drive the first four hours or so, while O'Neill would drive the last stretch, as he knew the way to his cabin best, of course.

The weather was nice, so when it was time to take a break, they bought sandwiches and juice, and ate the food in a picnic area in a small forest near the road.

They had already driven about half the remaining distance, and since they had gotten up relatively early, it was only shortly after noon. They were in no hurry, and the children were allowed to play for a couple hours at a small playground located beside the picnic area. They had been sitting still for a long time the day before, and were starting to feel restless, so this was a welcome opportunity to burn off some energy before they continued the journey.

"Jack...are we there yet?" Daniel asked, for the second time in the last 30 minutes.

"No, and that was the last time you asked that on this trip - and the same goes for the rest of you!" O'Neill said, annoyed.

"When will we be there, then?" Lantash wondered, sneakily.

O'Neill sighed deeply. "For the last time...there is about 100 miles left to drive."

"That's not the same as the last time we asked," Daniel said, reasonably. "So, how long will that take?"

"About 2 hours," O'Neill answered, curtly. His knee was bothering him. It always did on long car-trips, and that meant he was becoming less patient than usual.

"Because some of the roads are small and you can't drive very fast. Right?" Sam asked.

"Should we not also purchase supplies in the store, before going to your cabin, O'Neill?" Teal'c said.

"Yes, we will do that. In Silver Creek."

"Will it then not take longer than 2 hours before we arrive at your cabin, Jack?" Anise asked.

"Watch your DVDs, then we'll be there before you know it," O'Neill told them.

"How will watching DVDs change the time it takes us to go somewhere?" Sam wondered.

"I don't want to watch any more natural science." Daniel complained. "Can I have some DVDs with ancient history for next time? About the ci-vi-lizations of China, Egypt, and the Mayans?"

"They were all ruled by the Goa'uld," Lantash said. "Why do you want to know more about them?"

"I agree. Besides, the Tok'ra know more about them than any Tau'ri histo-rian ever can!" Anise pointed out.

O'Neill groaned softly and looked at the sign they just passed. Another 95 miles to go. Great, just great!

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