Rascals II - Chapter 4

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It had turned out well enough the day before. Janet and Teal'c had taken the children to the store, and bought sleds for each of the children - as well as one for Teal'c, who insisted on trying out this interesting type of Tau'ri recreation. Janet had grinned and firmly insisted on not wanting one herself - she could always borrow Teal'c's as she said.

Today, O'Neill looked out the window with some trepidation, worried it would turn out to have thawed and that the snow would be gone. He let out a sigh of relief when he saw there was not only still snow, but that a little more had fallen during the night. He checked the temperature and smiled, pleased. It would be great weather for sledding today!

Daniel - and then the other children - had carried on about wanting a dog. O'Neill had talked to Fred by now, and knew what it was all about.

Actually, Fred had gently suggested O'Neill was not taking properly care of the children, so he had been a little pissed at them. However, he had to admit it had maybe not been so good that they walked off on their own to go shopping. The traffic was not bad where he lived, but still - he had talked to them about it, and they had promised not to do it again.

Somehow, he had also ended up promising them they could have a pet, but not right now. Later, maybe. He sighed.

His stomach rumbled, and he decided it was time to prepare breakfast. The children were still sleeping - unusual for them, but they had been tired after their antics in the kitchen and in the snow the day before. He was certain they would wake up when they smelled food.

"Wauw! It's really going to be a long ride!" Martouf said enthusiastically, looking at the declining slope of the hill, and the small group of children already playing on it.

"It's...somewhat steep, isn't it?" Daniel sounded concerned.

"I would estimate 30 degrees inclination - and maybe 500 feet long." Teal'c informed them.

"It's gonna be epic!" Sam exclaimed.

Janet frowned and looked worriedly at the hill. "Don't you think it's a bit too dangerous? They're only 6 years old."

"Nah, I was sledding on way more dangerous hills when I was six." O'Neill said. "They'll be fine. The ground is smooth and there's no bushes, trees - or roads - nearby. Totally safe. See?" He made a sweeping gesture with his arm.

They all made their way to the top, and Sam threw herself on her sled immediately, kicking off downhill. It started slowly, but soon picked up speed, and Sam made a happy - and slightly fearful - squeal.

Martouf considered it for a moment, debating with Lantash over whether or not to do this. It looked dangerous from up here - but it also sounded as if Samantha was - mostly - enjoying herself. Besides, neither he nor Lantash wanted to admit they did not dare do something she did. Making a decision, Martouf jumped on his sled and started down the hill, closing his eyes as he went faster.

Daniel looked after his friends. Sam had now reached the bottom of the hill, plowing up a lot of snow as she landed. He saw her get up, completely covered in snow, and starting to run back up the hill. He carefully placed his sled at the top of the inclination and sat down on it.

"Are you going to do it or not?" Anise asked, putting her sled on the ground beside him and sitting on it as well.

"You're supposed to let Freya have control when we're around others!" Daniel told her.

She stuck out her tongue at him, but gave control to Freya.

"So, shall we see who gets down first?" Freya grinned at him, as she kicked off against the snow and zipped off.

"You're cheating!" Daniel protested, then lay down on his sled, face-first, and kicked off.

"Wait, Daniel! Not like that..." O'Neill called after him, but he was already on the way down.

Sam had just made her way to the top again, and she looked after him. "Looks great! It's going much faster like that!" She quickly lay down on her sled and were off downhill before anyone could stop her.

"Why isn't anyone listening to me?" O'Neill complained. "What if they crash and hit their heads?"

"They will be fine, O'Neill. Jaffa children of their age would have already been fighting with bashaak staffs - and have hunted and killed their first small pitak deers."

"That's crazy - and these are not Jaffa children!" O'Neill watched with concern as Daniel plowed into a fluffy snowdrift. Relieved, he saw him get up again, just as Freya reached the bottom of the hill. They started running uphill, clearly racing each other.

"Nor are all of them human, though they do behave as such."

"Aren't you going to try, Teal'c?" Martouf wondered, having just made it to the top again. "It's fun!"

Teal'c put his sleigh down. "I believe I shall." He began sliding downwards, slowly at first, then quicker and quicker.

Weighing much more than the children, he soon reached a higher speed, and suddenly the wind caught his hat and pulled it off him. His sleigh - and he - continued on and raced quickly down towards the bottom of the hill - where several people were currently standing.

"Ah, crap!" O'Neill exclaimed. "The hat blew off and of course there's a bunch of people down there now, who'll see his tattoo!"

"I'll get the hat!" Martouf yelled helpfully and threw himself on his sleigh, riding quickly downhill, following approximately the same track Teal'c had.

"Me too!" Freya insisted. She had just gotten to the top, but hopped on her sled immediately anyway, also going downhill fast.

"Where do they get the energy from?" O'Neill wondered, feeling tired just watching them.

Meanwhile, Teal'c had gotten to the bottom of the hill, and the sleigh stopped a few feet from a group of children and their parents. They looked towards Teal'c as he stopped a short distance from them, one of the children immediately discovering the golden tattoo on his forehead.

The child turned to his father, announcing in a loud, clear voice. "Why does the man have a metal plate on his forehead? Do you think he is a super hero?" He pointed.

The father looked embarrassed. "It's rude to point at people, Jim." He stared at Teal'c's forehead, unable not to.

Teal'c just raised an eyebrow at the child and the father, then turned away, ignoring them.

Martouf rapidly approached Teal'c's hat, but he had miscalculated slightly, and saw he would miss it. He tried using his feet to steer and brake - and managed to make the sled topple over, and he fell off. He slid several feet before stopping, but landed, surprisingly, close to the hat. Triumphantly, he grabbed the hat and was looking for his sled when Freya came full speed towards him.

Too late he tried jumping aside, and she attempted to swerve, but the result was that she hit him, making him fall again. He cried out, as much in surprise as in pain, as they continued downhill fast, sitting on the same sled and finally tumbling to a stop in a tangle at the bottom.

Martouf sputtered as he got up, completely covered by snow. "Why did you hit me?"

"It was not my fault! You were the one standing in the way!" Freya answered angrily. She grabbed the hat, pulling at it. "Give it to me. Teal'c needs it!"

"I got it first!" Martouf pulled back at the hat.

"Perhaps I should take that." Teal'c told them, grabbing the hat. "Thank you, both of you." He pulled lightly and they let go. He stared at the very wet, snow-covered hat, that had been pulled completely out of shape. He shook it, then put it on anyway.

"Sorry." Martouf said.

"Yes, sorry. We didn't mean to make it wet."  Freya added.

"Are you okay?" O'Neill ran towards them, slightly out of breath from hurrying down the hill through the snow.

"Wheeeee!" Daniel squealed as he flew past on his sled, landing in the same snow drift he had ended up in earlier.

Tiredly, O'Neill looked up, just in time to see Sam speeding towards him...

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