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Post #8 - Guilty Pleasures

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Previous Entry Post #8 Jun. 4th, 2005 @ 09:09 pm Next Entry
"Did I mention I loathe and detest grocery shopping?" Jack asked yet again as Emily pushed a shopping cart in front of him. "So much so I would rather invade small countries with nothing but a Swiss army knife and a canteen than go grocery shopping?"

As Jack was behind her, he didn't see her roll her eyes. What was that, the sixth or seventh time he said that? "Well there are no small countries that need a ground invasion by the Air Force, Colonel, so you're stuck with grocery shopping. Think of it as quality time that you get to spend with me."

He gave her his most pleading look. "But, we could be spending quality time at *home*. With pizza. Beer. Maybe some old movie. All nice and comfy on the couch."

She looked back at him and smiled sweetly at his pitiful look. "We can still do that. But now we'll have food in the cupboards so I can fix really nice meals... even wear my apron while I'm cooking."

Jack's eyes darkened with want and he pointed at her. "No mentioning the apron where I can't react to it. You know the rules."

She smiled. "Think of it as motivation, then. Now, I made a list. Of course, we need just about everything." She thought about offering to let him push the cart, but images of Jack running down the crowded aisles and nearly running over other shoppers prevented her doing so.

"We do." Jack nodded. "Hohos. Need hohos. And beer. And chips. And beer." He surveyed Emily with a mischievous look. "Can I have candy?"

She laughed and shook her head. "Only if you're good. You can get a candy bar when we get to the checkout lane." She showed him the list. "See? I put beer on the list. You can pick out the brand. But we gotta get healthy stuff too. Vegetables and fruits. You're a growing boy and all."

He grinned. "Only way I'm growing these days..." Deliberately trailing off, he leaned into whisper into her ear. "And, well, that's got nothing to do with veggies."

Emily looked at the people around them. A mother with two children, one an infant. A single shopper, and another pair of guys discussing cucumbers. "You are evil, Jack. Just evil." She grabbed a plastic bag for tomatoes. "Here, hold the cart. DON'T go anywhere with it though. Just hold it."

Obediently, Jack stood with the cart, smiling politely at shoppers who passed by. Making a silly face at a young child sitting in a nearby cart. The child promptly made one back and the contest was on. He stood still all right. But, well, a silly face contest wasn't moving. And he was still holding the cart. He was!

Emily put the bag of tomatoes in the front of the cart and looked at the mother of the child. She smiled at the other woman and shrugged. So they both brought kids with them. She didn't say anything to him, merely grabbed another bag for peppers. He was definitely doing what she told him too. "Jack? Do you want red or yellow peppers?"

Jack paused, mid expression to say, "Both." before changing to ye old crossing of eyes and sticking out of tongue. It sent the little boy into gales of laughter and the colonel smirked triumphantly.

The mother moved to stand by Emily. Emily smiled at her and said, "Looks like we both brought our kids."

The other woman chuckled. "At least they're occupied."

Emily agreed and put the peppers in the cart. "Okay, Jack, say bye bye to your friend." She smiled at the little boy and headed for the fruit. Jack was so good with kids. And she really had to stop her thoughts from going in that direction.

Jack obediently waved bye bye. "Cute kid." He noted, waving again before they rounded the corner. "Candy now?" He slipped an arm about her waist and pushed the cart with his free hand.

She shook her head. "Um... no. We have a list of at least 20 items. We have two so far. I'll let you pick your favorite soups though. How's that?"

"Chicken noodle. Chunky." Jack decided, nipping at her ear. "You're cute when you shop."

She laughed and reached out to poke his ribs. "Behave you. You're new friend is right behind us." She grabbed his shirts. "Here's the soups." She perused the cans, grabbing some that were her favorites and then his as well. "Anything else you want?"

"New friend? He is?" Jack turned and promptly stuck out his tongue, receiving the same in return. "Veggie soup. With the letters."

"So you can practice spelling big words like 'trouble' and 'alien'?" She couldn't help but tease as she put the soup in the cart. She had to wonder though if Jack even heard her as he was still making faces at the kid. "Ooo, they have split pea soup."

"Yuck." Jack pronounced solemnly, doing his best pig face, complete with snorts. "Get tomato."

"Oh yeah, I could add cheese to it. I love tomato soup with shredded cheese." She handed him the list and pen. "Could you add that to the list please so I don't forget?"

Jack scribbled the note in his most legible writing, which is to say only he could read it. "Added. And, don't forget the good bread. That French stuff."

"Oh," she dropped another can of soup in the cart, "I forgot to put that on this list." They ate soup quite often because there were just times when they came home from the base and threw soup in the microwave for dinner. Take out would take too long and Emily wouldn't be in the mood to cook. Soup, therefore, was a good substitute. Jack loved having French bread with his soup. "Do we need any of that special butter you like? Sweet butter, isn't it?"

"Better get some just in case." Jack advised. "Cause I can't remember and it's not like it'll go astray." He paused then added. "What about garlic? Y'know, the powder for when we make garlic bread?"

"I put that on the list. I used the last of it when we had pasta the other night. Someone I know likes to slather his spaghetti with it." She poked him in the ribs again and then rested her hand on his waist. "You're being so good. You may get two candy bars."

"Two candy bars and," he leaned in again. "You in *the* Apron, right?"

"Again, you are an evil man." She rested her hand on the small of his back as he led them down the aisle. "But yeah, if we stop at McDonald's on the way home, I'll put on the apron." She looked down at her list and said, "Stop here, I need some canned veggies too."

"Supersized fries." He agreed with a headbob, stopping as ordered and promptly looking for his funny face competitor, taking up round three. It was a grudge match. An absolute grudge match. The kid was good.

"I think I want a Big Mac tonight," she said. Emily had to really do her best not to laugh at Jack and the little boy. She was also tempted to ask the boy's mom if they should set up a time to meet at the park so their kids could play together. It was really taking her mind in a baaad direction. Jack... he was just too damn good with kids. Instead, she grabbed a couple cans each of their favorite veggies... and a couple extras of the ones Jack liked. She hadn't realized it before, but she did base most of her grocery shopping around him and what he liked. "You don't like the canned carrots, do you?"

He made a face. This one to do with canned carrots. "Yuck. Real or nothing." Canned carrots, as far as Jack was concerned, were fake. He would not eat fake carrots. Unless, they were MREs and there were no bugs to fall back on.

She laughed. "That's such a cute face. Reminds me of that commercial with the little girl who's eating spinach." She did have a can or two in the cupboard but they were actually to use in other recipes. "I am getting green beans though. I have a craving for a casserole."

"Green beans. No spinach." Jack tuned back into the conversation and shook his head at her. "On principal there must be no spinach."

"I like spinach," she said. "Especially for chicken and spinach quesadillas." She shrugged, "But I always use fresh for that." She put a couple extra cans in the cart.

They next purchased several other items on the list before making it to the liquor section. Emily couldn't really believe how good he was being through this. For someone who loathed it as much as he did, he was doing really well. "Okay, now's your moment. I'll hold the cart. Have at it."

Jack grinned, staring and having a complete and total Homer moment. "Mmmmmmm...beeerrrrrrrrr...." He took his time, comparing brands before finally settling on his favorite. "Sweet."

Emily shook her head, pretending to concentrate on the list, but damn... she just shouldn't be affected this way watching him buy beer. The Homer impression... well she didn't comment on that. "Just one case. What if we have company? You aren't going to want to share if we have just one case and you know it."

"True." He contemplated it some more then grabbed a few extra. And one more case for luck. "Cause, y'know,the company might bring company."

She looked under the cart where he'd stashed his trove of beer. Holy cow! Lifting up her head, she had to brush her hair out of her face. Smiling at him, she said, "We wouldn't want anyone to go without." She let him push the cart again. "Oh crud, I almost forgot. I promised Teal'c a pecan pie. I need to get some more brown sugar."

"Better get it. T'll be crushed if you don't have the pie when he comes over. You've got a pie junkie on your hands. Heard him raving to Bra'tac the other day about it." He chuckled. "You're gonna be a legend among the Jaffa before long."

They had wandered over to the eggs and she had leaned over looking for the perfect dozen. Standing, she looked around and then set the eggs in the cart. "So I guess the next thing I'm going to have to do is make some for Master Bra'tac too. Teal'c redefines 'hollow leg', you know that." She smiled. "But I enjoy it. I always love the smile on people's faces when they like something I've baked."

"Oh yeah...his appetite...never seen anything like it before. The guy's a bottomless pit." He shook his head in wonder. "And, yeah, you'll have to have some for next time Teal'c goes home for a visit. He can bring it with him. Care package and all that."

"I'll do that then." She nodded, making a mental note to ask him about when he was going home. "You know who surprises me the most though is Jonas." She stopped their forward progress and put her hands on her hips. "You know, that man... he is *always* eating. And he hasn't gained a pound since he got here. If I ate like that, you'd have to roll me into Gate. I'm already doing that middle age spread. It's just wrong that he can eat like that and get by with it." Of course, she wasn't really serious. She liked Jonas Quinn, quite a bit actually.

"Kid's experimenting." Jack explained. "He'll eat anything he can get his hands on that's edible. I hear Carter'n Fraiser've been bringing him stuff like you wouldn't believe. Guess he's got a high metabolism." He smirked a bit. "And the workout he gets at work can't hurt either."

"Seems to be the norm with your unit. We don't have nearly the problem you do. Lou," she chuckled, "he likes to harass me though. Keeps things lively." She grabbed a couple bags of flour, needing more to keep up with the amount of baking she now did. "I made Jonas two dozen cookies the other day and he ate all of them in a sitting. It's just amazing."

"It's *scary*." Jack protested. "You should see him and T at lunch in the commissary. It's a wonder there's anything left for anybody else." He leaned over to mutter conspiratorially. "Alien plot. Deny us all cookies."

Smiling, she turned and kissed him quickly. "To heck with taking over the world, huh? We're in big, big trouble then." She grabbed his belt loop and teased, "When the coupe happens, just stick with me. I'll be granted immunity because I'm a baker. I'll bargain for your release and survival."

"Mmm...and what do I have to do in return, huh?" He teased in a low voice, whispering in her ear. "Do the words sexual favors come into it somewhere?"

"Jack O'Neill," she laughed and pushed at his stomach. The grocery store was still rather busy and his new little friend had just rounded the corner. "You better be good or no candy for you," she teased.

"Oh I'm *always* good." He promised cheerfully, putting an entirely different meaning to the sentence before crossing his eyes and puffing out his cheeks for the little boy in the cart behind them.

Emily just shook her head. What else could she do? He was simply meant to be around kids. There was no other explanation. "You want me to ask his mom if we can set up play time?"

"Nah, the world'd probably almost end and we'd have to reschedule on account of me missing limbs." Jack heaved a sigh. "It always works that way."

She smiled and stood on her toes to kiss his cheek. "We must think positive." She really wished he didn't have that outlook. She understood it, but wished it could be different. "Like this," she leaned in as well, "I'm positive that you're going to be one very happy man when we get home."

He leered happily. "Oh, I'm already there. Candy.....Love candyyy..."

She rolled her eyes and this time she knew he saw her. "Yeah, candy. You, a snickers bar, and the Simpsons. Life can't get any better." She glanced down quickly at her list. "Just a couple more things to grab on our way out. Then you can get your candy."

"Oh yes it can." Jack leaned in. "I can apply the candy to interesting places. Very very interesting places." Ahh love in the produce aisle. Was there anything better?

"Not much, no." She smiled devilishly. "I think we need to grab chocolate sauce too. Yeah, let's go." He was definitely corrupting her. Only Jack O'Neill would consider grocery shopping as foreplay.

"MMm....Chocolate sauce." He paused then added. "Don't forget the whipped cream. Sprinkles too."

"We're making sundaes?" she questioned innocently, leading him to the aisle with all the ice cream toppings.

Jack checked about them before giving her a searing look. "Something like that." He promised in a low, husky voice. "My favorite kind too. Chocolate covered Emily."

"You are incorrigible." She smiled. "Not that I don't love that about you though." Shopping hadn't been such an interesting experience before. She was definitely going to have to bring him shopping more often.

"Meeee?" Jack pasted on a face of exaggerated innocence. "Me? Incorrigible? Me? You cannot be speaking of me. I am well behaved and quiet. The very picture of responsible adulthood."

"And very full of shit," she added. She leaned up and kissed his cheek. "You're just as happy playing with that little boy as you are blowing things up. It's endearing actually."

"Mmm..." Jack hummed in satisfaction. "Explosives..." Abruptly, he pointed a finger at her. "What've I told you about calling me endearing. Stop that." He threatened. "Or I leave off the extra sprinkles."

"You said 'cute'. I never heard one word about 'endearing'. Besides, I get to make my own Jack sundae later and I can put on it anything I want." She gave him a sweet smile. "I think I want butterscotch syrup too."

He paused, eyebrows raising appreciatively. "Butterscotch huh? I'll get it." The look on her face...oh man he loved that look on her face.

She grabbed a hold of the cart as he nearly sprinted off after the ice cream toppings. She was given to a bit of thinking as she watched him. In all likelihood, she'd had a crush on him for most of her life. It's that reason that there were moments when she couldn't believe she was actually in this relationship with him. Though now, she couldn't imagine what it would be like without him. When he returned, she asked, "Did you get everything?"

Jack nodded triumphantly. "Double everything. Just in case we run out." He smirked a little. "Cause...I'm thinking we might."

She grabbed a few items before he dropped them. "And this is what I meant by incorrigible. Only you would shop for," she looked around and made sure they were alone, "sex toys in the grocery store."

He grinned. "A man's gotta make do with what he can. Learned that from a cousin of mine. Guy can make just about anything." Surveying the spoils of his search, Jack nodded. "And I'd say I can make a mighty fine EmilySundae with this stuff."

Emily laughed at that. "This cousin of yours as evil as you are?" she questioned teasingly. She let him push the cart again as it was a bit heavy with all the beer on the bottom. She did reach out and rest her hand on his though. "So does this count as your candy?"

"Nah, he's practically a monk these days." Jack grinned. "Not nearly as lucky as me." He leaned over, stealing a kiss. "And yeah...this definitely counts."

They walked up to the check out lane and as odds would have it, ended up behind the mother and the little boy they'd been playing tag with the entire trip. Emily smiled and rested her head on Jack's arm while they waited. "Poor guy," she said. "Though I think I'm the lucky one."

"Nah, you gotta put up with a pain in the neck like me." Jack made a face for the boy's benefit. "That is cruel and unusual punishment. Everybody says so. 'What's a nice girl like her doing with a hardass like him' and so on and so forth." He winked. "I'd tell 'em but then you'd smack me."

She lifted her head and gave him a good poke in the side. "You'd tell them I was with you because I love you. Pain in the ass and all." She winked back. "Leslie always said it took a strong woman to live with a man who was such a pain. You'd think, of all people, Leslie Crichton would know what she's talking about." She knew what she was doing with him, though sometimes she wondered why he chose her.

"Oh yeah, and you're about the strongest lady I know so..." He smiled. "I'd say you and Leslie've got way more in common than anyone would think. The first among which is lousy taste in men. Lookit the losers you keep bringing home."

"Well, she did bring home Jack Crichton and they made John. She would have argued with you about any of you being losers because she adored you too." She smiled at the thought of her deceased mother-in-law. "But I'll take anything I may have had in common with her as a comment. So thank you."

"You're welcome." He smiled again. "You are y'know. Jack's always commenting on it. I think they were always glad you're the one John brought home. Somebody who'd take care of their boy. Which, may I add, you did in fine style."

She rested her head on his arm again and smiled. She loved John's family every bit as much as they loved her. They were actually a family even now... even with everything that had happened. "Dad's biased, you know? I was just as surprised that he chose me. Kinda like I am with you. To be so different yet so attracted..." She let her words trail off as the mother paid her bill. She moved from Jack's side to start unloading the cart.

Jack grinned conspiratorially and leaned into whisper, as she put the whipped cream before the clerk, "I've got a hot geek fetish. Geeks named Emily with gorgeous eyes who look damn hot in aprons."

His words caused her to immediately drop the whipped topping and she blushed profusely as she apologized to the clerk. "Be good," she threatened, though there was no real vehemence behind it. He looked so damn hot himself with that grin on his face. She really had to resist the urge to kiss him right then and there, so instead, she occupied herself with unloading the cart.

Winking at her, Jack ducked down to pick up the beer and put on the belt as well. "Yes ma'am." He teased as he did so, a satisfied smirk on his face.

"Oh you so lie," she said with a laugh. "Not even this lady believes you." She shook her head as the cases of beer rolled by.

"She does too." Jack gave the clerk his most earnest face. "Right?"

The woman laughed. "Sure honey...in a million years maybe."

Emily laughed with her. "See! You so have no kind of poker face. It's the eyes. They just scream about how ornery you are." She opened her purse, fished out a credit card and ran it through the machine. "Sorry, hon, but you're very obvious." She smiled.

Jack's grin turned wicked and he murmured, sotto voce, "I thought they screamed how *horny* I was. But, semantics right?"

Emily's mouth dropped open and she again gave the clerk a blushed look. She also messed up on her pin number and then had to type it in again. "You are so bad, Jack O'Neill."

He smiled innocently, helping load the groceries into bags. "I am not. And what I am, you bring out in me." He winked at the clerk. "She really does."

"Oh I don't doubt it." The woman assured with a snicker.

"That is such bull," Emily protested rather loudly. To the clerk, she said, "I'll have you know that before we got together, I was... well... I was... BORING. Just played with my telescopes and wrote my book on wormhole theory. How the heck can I be responsible for this?"

"By bringing out the inner bad boy." Jack explained. "You're corrupting me. With the innocence and boring to lull me into a false sense of security then BAM! Cute. I didn't stand a chance."

The clerk shook her head, laughing openly. "You two should take this on the road."

"Oh please," Emily laughed, "don't give him any ideas. Next thing you know he'll be hauling me around in that monster truck of his forcing me on stage so we can have a laugh or two." She looked back over at Jack and pointed at him. "And no ideas. I am boring and if you can't be 'cute' well then neither can I, so there." At least she sounded official.

"Nah, you can't." Jack lifted the bags back into the cart. "Cause I get to call the shots. Colonel. Air Force and all that."

"Oh no," she said, following after him. "I am not in your little Air Force and therefore you aren't the boss of me. You may be the Colonel at work, but I'm the General at home. Five stars too."

"Five stars huh?" He grinned. "So, does that mean you wanna be on top?"

"Oh you'd like that," she took the keys and opened up the doors to the rear cab of the truck. "Although," she grabbed a bag of groceries, "I would get to use the sundae toppings first. Not a bad idea that. I'm hungry after all."

"Hmm...you and me both." He teased, leaning in. "I'm *starving*! You have no idea how starving!"

"Why do I get the feeling we aren't talking about the same kind of starving?" She put the last bag in the truck while he put in the beer. She shut the door and handed him the key. "You drive."

He grinned. "Yes ma'am." Starting up the truck, he winked at her. "And we can combine both hungers I think. We're good at the multitasking."

Before he pulled out, she leaned in and kissed him intensely. She'd been thinking of doing this since the minute he started making faces at the little boy. Every instinct she had was kicking in and she had thought of little but kissing him since.

Letting the truck idle, Jack returned the kiss passionately before breaking off to point out, "Keep that up and we're gonna end up going for it right here."

"It's your fault," she whispered seductively, stealing another deep kiss before sliding back into her seat. She secured herself with the seatbelt and smiled. "Oh yeah. All that talk about sundaes and messing with that little boy. So all your fault."

He licked his lip, tasting her lip gloss. "I'm gonna be quite happy to take the blame on this one." He affirmed with a smirk. "No problem at all."

"Good because you should. But I do have a question." She gave him a devilish look. "Why the hell are you NOT driving? And don't forget McDonald's." She smiled. "I am hungry after all."

He mock scowled. "You would remind me. But, well, for supersized fries...I am willing to wait."

"I'll make it worth your wait, I promise." She reached out and rested her hand on his shoulder. She had warned him, though he already knew, that she was a touchy feely kind of person. She sure did it every chance she got.

Jack chuckled. "Damn right you will. I have chocolate and sprinkles and I'm not afraid to use 'em."

"I shudder," she squeezed his shoulder. "Though not from fear." She moved her hand up to his neck.

"Em...I'm drvin' here." He pointed out with a grin. "You keep doing that and we're liable to take out a fire hydrant and a few pedestrians."

"Sorry," she pulled her hand back down to his shoulder, "I told you I was a touchy kind of woman. You have been forwarned. It really shouldn't be a surprise."

"Oh I like the touchies. Love the touchies." Jack grinned. "But you may wanna practice the 'I'm a touchy kind of woman' when we have to explain the killing people to the cops."

"Oh there are always semantics to discuss. You don't think they'd understand, huh? Damn cops. Almost as bad as soldiers." She winked. She loved and respected both professions, but teasing was such fun.

"Nah..."Jack demurred with a wave of his hand. "*Nothing* is as bad as soldiers. Except...maybe...Marines. Not the sharpest bunch those Marines."

"And I'm sure they appreciate the respect you have for them, Jack." She gave his back a pat before moving her hand back into her lap and picking at imaginary lint. "I know exactly where Lou gets his attitude from. Last combine mission we went on was with SG-3 and I wasn't even aloud to stand with the Marines. So they harassed me about having my own personal bodyguard." She laughed.

He smiled in satisfaction. "Damned right you do. Specially with that bunch around. Not about to let some Marine run off with my girl. Lou knows better." Backing out of the parking space, Jack started out of the lot. "Have his head on a platter."

She had to resist the urge to kiss that smile off his face. Damn man and his smile. "Hence his warning about getting a leash for me. He's paranoid about me wandering off. I don't wander. All the geeks before me, sure. I'm paying for their thoughtlessness. Me? I'm very thoughtful. Very good. Of course, I couldn't misbehave even if I wanted to. You know Lou has the other guys doing it too."

"Watching you?" Jack grinned. "Hell, I'm surprised he hasn't gotten most of the base doing it. Lou's scarier than me when he puts his mind to it. Believe me."

"I wouldn't have," Emily admitted. "The only side I've ever really seen of most of Dad's military friends is the family side. Hell, Jack, the first time I heard you really chew someone out *I* was scared into shock. It's a totally different side of everything."

He gave her a smile. "Then this is me apologizing next time I do that. I hear when I go off on somebody... Course, they damn well deserve it when I do."

"Oh, I'm definitely not debating that," she said with a wink, "I can't even remember what happened now. Just the tone of your voice. I didn't think you got to be a colonel through baking cookies and making friends." She laughed. "Just that I think I've seen all sides now. It's very interesting."

"Oh sure I did." He stopped at a red light and winked. "Chocolate macadamia nut cookies to be precise. Guys in the upper ranks just loved 'em."

She looked at him for a moment and then laughed out loud. "Were they Pepperidge Farm? Chocolate macadamia nut cookies... Though I do have to admit, those are some darn good cookies. So we should call you Colonel Childs instead of Colonel Badass?"

"They were not Pepperidge Farm. They were Gramma O'Neill's secret recipe and if I dare share it she'll haunt me til the day I die." He grinned, pressing on the gas as the light turned green. "And she's scarier than you are. Sneaky sneaky woman that one."

"Well, then I won't ask you to share the recipe, but you just volunteered yourself to make some for me. *You* get to wear the apron this time, Mister." She smiled as she poked him in the arm.

He leered at her. "Are you sure you want me to? We have a bad habit of not baking when you wear it. We tend to end up...otherwise engaged."

"Ah, well we'll just have to prove that I have more will power than you do." She gave him and evil grin. "Because you know I do."

"Oh you do." He agreed, navigating traffic. "But I can be very very determined when I want to be." With a wink, he added, "And I think I want to be."

"Yep, I know all about the O'Neill determination and stubborness." She pointed at the McDonald's and winked. "Been on the receiving end of it a few times. Remember the fishing trip we planned... I believe we were supposed to meet in Corpus Christie. Some stubborn man decided he'd rather go to Minnesota and made all five of us change our plans just for him. I remember that. John told me about it for... oh days. So did Jack for that matter." She smiled though. How could she not?

"Minnesota's got better fishing." Jack insisted. "Bigger fish, nice challenges. The good stuff."

"Your lake... the one we ended up at... has NO fish in it. We all knew that. John said you'd bring that point up until you were too senile to remember it. We all knew it didn't have fish, Jack. We just didn't want to debate it with you because we knew you far too well. Arguing is futile." She waggled her brows. "Though now that I know the secret..."

"Bah, am not senile." He protested. "And, besides..." He paused "What secret? The cookie secret is sacred. You must never reveal the cookie secret. It will result in a denial of said cookies."

"Not talking about the cookie secret, Jack. I'm talking about the secret around the famed O'Neill stubborness. Also, so did not say you were senile. I said John said you'd continually remind us about that excuse until you were." She stuck out her tongue and then smiled sweetly.

He heaved an exaggerated groan. "Y'know, it's a good thing I liked that guy so much. There could have been serious embarrassment for him otherwise. Lots'n lots of embarrassment. And more stubborn me stuff. Lots of stubborn me."

"He liked you too," Emily said. "You know something? John was always so concerned about making his father proud. He talked about it all the time. Jack was a hero in his eyes... of course he's a hero in a lot of people's eyes... but John always wanted to do something that would make his father proud. There were a few other people who would come up in those conversations. I told him countless times that you were all proud of him and what he was doing. Talk about stubborn..." She shook her head. "It's got to be in the first name. All Jonathan's are stubborn."

"Yup. We are. It's why they give us that name. So when we meet each other we're like, Ahhh another stubborn SOB like myself. Sweet!" He turned onto the side street which led to his house. "From there on, we decide whether we hate each other to no end or be best buds."

"And in this case, you ended up being best friends. Though for the record, I don't think you're an SOB. Just don't ever go all Colonel on me or I might cry." She gave him a wink. "Cause that guy... yeah... pretty darn close to SOB."

"Awww...but I thought you *liked* the SOB." Jack pouted, pulling into his driveway. "Another well kept illusion shattered. Next thing you're gonna tell me there's no Santa."

"I didn't say I didn't like him. I'm saying it was a surprise to meet him and that if he hollered at me, I 'might' cry. That's what I said." She reached to take off her seat belt. "Guess we'll find out soon enough. We got ourselves a joint mission so Sam and I can get a look at an abandoned alien ship. So cool that." She winked and hopped out of the truck when he turned off the engine.

"Ah...well, no hollering." He promise solemnly, opening his door and pocketing his keys. "Unless you kind of like the hollering."

Opening the back of the truck and grabbing a sack of groceries, she said, "Well, I guess that depends on what you're hollering about, now doesn't it? I kind of like it when you holler out my name. You know? 'Oh Emily.' I like that for sure."

Taking the groceries, he stepped closer to her, leaning down to steal a kiss. "Hmm...let's get these groceries inside and then you can make me holler all you want."

She smiled and grabbed another bag out of the back. "Oh don't worry. I have plans. Entails butterscotch syrup in all the right places too. But first, the groceries. How about I put them away while you bring them in? And don't forget to say 'hi' to Marty. He was sitting out on the porch smoking a cigar when we got home."

Jack rolled his eyes and turned to wave obediently while resisting the urge to holler he had to go cause he was about to get laid. At least, if he was lucky he was. Cause, yeah, butterscotch syrup...inventive Emily. Oh this was good good good.

Emily sighed and let them in the house, leading them into the kitchen. "I meant actually saying hello." She chuckled. "Besides, you have to go back out for all the beer you bought and it's going to take me a few minutes to put all this up. If you're in here distracting me, it will never get done. The sooner I get it done, the sooner you can have dessert."

Jack heaved a melodramatic sigh. "The things I do for love." He leaned over, kissing her cheek then obediently went out to get the beer. But, if he and Sumner ended up chatting and sharing a beer and he forgot about the sex, well, then that was just her fault now wasn't it?

She leaned against the counter, watching him walk out of the house. A part of her felt sorry for Sumner over in that big house all alone. Turning back to the groceries, she began filling the cupboard again. She knew what it was like to be alone and was thankful that she didn't have to be anymore. More thankful that she was here with Jack. He may be an SOB, but he was her SOB now.

Jack carried some of the cases of beer into the back porch then while Emily was still putting the other groceries away, brought a couple bottles over to Sumner. They chatted for a few moments. Nothing important. Nothing that'd need security clearance for. Just old buddies having a chat. All the while, Jack kept an eye on his house, watching for Emily to emerge.

Sumner watched, smiling to himself as he did. Jack had it bad. Oh, he thought he kept it hidden, but he didn't. Not in the least. "Don't let me keep you," he teased in that gruff manner of his. "I wouldn't keep a woman like Emily waiting either." Just then, he saw the front door open.

Emily wrapped the jacket tightly around her and made her way across the street. "I said, say hello," she chuckled, "not sit out in the front yard and get loaded. Hey, Marty."

He rolled his eyes but tipped his beer bottle at her. "Evenin' ma'am."

"This *is* how we say hello." Jack protested, tugging her close. "Right Sumner?"

"Oh, I don't know. If I said hello like that, I think I'd be in a world of hurt right about now." He gave Emily a wink.

She wrapped her arms around Jack's waist and hugged him tightly. Her head resting comfortably over Jack's heart. "I don't know. I've given plenty of hello hugs in my time."

"Ahh but he doesn't get the hello grope-age." Jack explained. "At least, not from you." he grinned smugly. "Not if he likes breathing anyway."

"Don't know about likin' it. But I'm used to it, yep." He took another long pull on his beer.

"Don't worry, I'd protect you," Emily teased. "Don't forget, Jack. You should actually thank Marty for me being here. Since it was his house I was sitting and all. Came for a visit and just never left."

"That's what he's got the beer for." Jack explained. "Is my way of thanks."

"Just one beer?" Sumner teased. "Just one beer as a thank you for Emily. You know, she should at least rate a six pack."

Emily laughed. "And here I was thinking a whole case. Cause I have a multitude of uses. Multifunctional... Multifacited. Stuff like that."

Jack snickered. "Well...he can have more than *one*. But...not all at once. Otherwise, he's gonna end up stumbling down the street in his underwear singing show tunes again."

"O'Neill," Sumner hissed. "I never did that. That was you." Actually, if he remembered correctly, his friend Daniel had done that on one occasion. The geek couldn't hold his liquor for anything.

Emily laughed despite herself. "Why is it I'm envisioning the two of you arm-in-arm stumbling down the road singing the theme song from Bosum Buddies?"

"Cause he can't hold a tune in a bucket if it's reinforced titanium." Jack jerked at thumb at his friend with a grin. "It'd break glass I tell you."

"Something we have in common," Emily said. "I have the world's worst singing voice. Just ask the girls." She nodded toward the house where two cats were sitting in the window watching them with their tails swishing. "They hated my dinner song."

"You scarred my cats," Sumner said with mock horror. "That's why it took them a week to be able to eat without being skittish." He reached out and poked her arm. "Traumatized them."

"Nah, those cats're just finicky." Jack defended with a smirk. "Really, really finicky."

"Spoiled," Emily added.

Sumner looked at them for a moment. Emily was happily snuggled into Jack and his arms were holding her securely. "Don't pick on my babies," he warned. "Cause it'll be war then." He shook his finger at Emily, and then looked up at Jack. "You should really just take her home. Quit pickin' on my cats."

Jack grinned. "Now...who said anything about picking on the cats? Cause, if I wanted to...there could be stories."

Emily swatted Jack's rear end playfully. "We all have our little stories." Giving her attention to Sumner, she said, "You'll have to remind me to tell you about the time Jack fell out of the boat." She winked.

Sumner raised a brow. "Oh he did, did he?"

"He had help." Jack protested, pulling her toward the end of the lawn. "As in the Crichton boys and company. Dastardly bunch."

Emily continued talking, even though Jack was pulling her away. "Oh yeah. See it was a big bet. Jack said he had perfect balance, Dad said he bet he could toss him." She talked louder. "So Jack stands up and Dad starts rocking the boat. Jack fell face first in the lake. Sarah refused to give him a towel too, said silly stunts like that didn’t deserve towels. At least there were no fish to scare." She was laughing now... rather hard.

"There were too fish to scare." He interrupted vehemently. "After that there weren't though. They all packed up and ran for it."

She moved out of his arms and stood with her hands on her hips in Sumner's driveway. "Which is such bull if I ever heard it. There were NEVER fish in that lake. They all died laughing their asses off when they heard that Jack was moving into the cabin." That was John's favorite tease.

Sumner, for his part, was now laughing his ass off.

Jack grinned, swinging her up and over his shoulder. "Women!" He proclaimed with feigned aggravation to his friend. "Crazy!"

She popped Jack on the butt, which was readily accessible given her position. "I am a woman, but I'm not crazy." She cupped her hands over her mouth and shouted. "Though there are critters in the water. I won't tell you where he found one later one."

Jack gave her a light smack on the butt as well. "Behave you or it's the most embarrassing stories possible that'll be going around work by tomorrow morning. Got it?" He waved a goodbye to Sumner and started across the street to their house.

Sumner waved goodbye as well, watching as Emily was carried off, giggling and slung over Jack's shoulder. It was going to be interesting living across the street from the two of them. Ten years down the road, they'd still be carrying on like that.

Emily began using Jack's rear as a drum set, happily drumming out 'Row Your Boat'. "I don't have any embarrassing stories to tell. I own up to the stupid moments in my life." Of course, there were a few that she didn't talk about. Those were beyond embarrassing.

"Ahhh you wish." Jack said cheerfully. "There're a few I shall have no problems sharing and you will wish horrible punishments. That and I'm locking you in a room and letting Teal'c practice Jaffa humor with you."

"No!!!" she cried out. She screamed loudly. "HELP!! PLEASE!"

Sumner laughed and went inside and closed the door.

*-*-*

"Please, Jack. Not Jaffa humor. No undomesticated equine jokes. Please," she mock begged. In an attempt to divert him, she said, "Hey, I put the sundae toppings in the bedroom."

"Oh good. Don't have to stop and get 'em." Jack said casually, continuing on that way. "But yes, there will be undomesticated equine jokes. Tons of 'em. He's got a backload of them and wait until you hear his knock knock jokes."

"Um... I bet I could stop those with a few more Jack stories. He'll be much more interested in hearing about O'Neill than he would in sharing his jokes. I know he would. I was just telling him the other day..." She paused and bit her lip. "Anyway, he'd probably like to hear them."

"Nahhh...I'd tell him not to listen and he won't. He's great that way. All nice and loyal." Jack dumped her on the bed and grinned at her. "Did I mention the whole saving his life and his family's lives and the thus having of great loyalty?"

"Did I mention that we already put it to the test and I won?" She winked. "You forget that I bake pies for him. He's particularly fond of the cherry but has discovered that pecan is a close second on his favorites. Loyalty, Jack," she smiled sweetly as she slipped off her jacket, "holds no sway over the power of a pie." That said, she tossed the jacket on the floor.

"Oh you'd be surprised." Jack shed his own jacket and leaned over to steal a kiss. "Cause, if I cut off his access to the pies..."

"You may find yourself on the blunt end of a staff weapon." She started undoing the buttons on her blouse, sending it to join the jackets. "You yourself have said it on numerous occasions... that my pies could win wars. Are you changing your mind now?" She stuck out her bottom lip and pouted.

He trapped the lip between his, worrying at it. "Oh, it can win 'em...can start 'em too." Helping her with her clothes, Jack added. "Besides, the poor guy is gonna be crushed when he hears you've been using his pie love as bargaining incentive."

"He'll forgive me. He likes me too much not to." She began undoing his belt. "Now, as much as I adore Teal'c, I'd much rather get to my dessert... you know... since you made me skip my McDonald's treat and all."

"Ahhh..." He grinned. "So I did. We'll get some later." Letting her rid him of his jeans, Jack fell onto the bed beside her, rubbing a hand along her hip. "We'll need it then. What with the workout we're gonna get."

She leaned in and kissed him vigorously. Still lying on her side, she pressed herself into him. Such a wonderful stage in their relationship... the 'I can't keep my hands off you' stage. "You know as well as I do we aren't getting out of this bed until morning. Not when we have supplies." She used a hand to point behind her at the sundae toppings they'd purchased.

He chuckled. "We can attempt it. Besides, the McDonalds downtown's open all night. Lucky for us huh?" He stretched across her to grab the chocolate and the butterscotch. "So, Doc, what's on tap first?"

She rolled onto her back and put her hands behind her head. "I'm wondering if we should get a drop cloth." She chuckled. "You're the ranking officer. I believe it's up to you to lead this mission."
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