|Slash:||Jack and Daniel involved in a loving and committed relationship, which usually involves sex.|
|Category:||Angst. Challenge. Drama. Humour.|
|Synopsis:||SGC Charity Auction Lot Number 13: Dr. Daniel Jackson, archaeologist, linguist, babe.|
|Warnings:||None, nada, zilch.|
I am not by nature a superstitious man. I'm a scientist, trained to think things through, but I always knew, deep in my heart that thirteen is a very unlucky number. Right now, I'm experiencing the ample truth of it.
"Don't worry, Daniel," Jack joked just five days ago when I managed to draw the short straw for SG-1's contribution to the SGC Charity Slave auction. Thinking back now, Sam and Jack looked pretty damn smug about the whole deal. Teal'c looked, well, Teal'c looked like Teal'c which means I have no idea what he was thinking. If I *were* suspicious, I'd be deciding that the whole thing was a set up. Set up for what, I haven't quite figured out yet, but set up definitely.
You see, I have plenty of time to think all this through: lucky me, Dr. Daniel Jackson, lot number thirteen, about to be pushed through the door into the mess hall, about to be thoroughly embarrassed. At least, Janet, that's Dr. Janet Frasier, slave auction coordinator from hell, decided that we could wear whatever we wanted. When she first met with all us lucky folks two days ago, perusing us as if we were cattle, I had a brief vision of her asking us to oil our bodies and wear loincloths. That thought causes me to choke back a laugh as I'm gently propelled through the door. How did it wind up that all of us were men, anyway?
Oh God, it's even worse than I thought. Now I have to walk the whole length of the room, eyes staring at me. What, like no one's ever seen me before? And I've worn this particular pair of navy blue slacks and this particular gray sweater to work at least ten times before. I'm trying hard not to meet anyone's eyes, but I see Lt. Collins from accounting fanning herself. Yeah, I think it's hot in here too. Funny how I've walked the length of this mess hall countless times and never noticed it's a hundred miles from one end to the other.
"And here he is, Lot number thirteen,Dr. Daniel Jackson," Janet gives me a bright smile as I step up onto the platform Siler built and stand beside her, "Archaeologist, linguist..." Did Janet just mutter, "babe" under her breath? I shoot her a look, but she's looking out at the audience again, her cheeks just barely flushed. "What am I bid to start, ladies and gentlemen?"
There's silence. Oh, not the usual murmurs that I could hear even in the hall before bidding began in earnest, the quiet of people working up their nerve to start the action. No, I'm talking silence, dead silence, the silence of a thousand year old tomb.
Janet tries again, "Let's start the bidding with one hundred dollars." She waits, her eyes searching the crowd. I'm just ready for the floor to open up and swallow me whole. "Someone?"
There are sounds now, people moving around, glances being fired from one person to another. I find Sam and Teal'c standing on the periphery of the crowd.
Janet covers the microphone with her hand and leans close to whisper, "Daniel, I'm sorry. I don't understand."
I shake my head. The smile I have plastered on my face feels brittle. Somebody, anybody, buy me, please. I'll make it worth your while. I'll even pay you the money back.
Suddenly I'm nine years old again and waiting to be picked for a game at recess, knowing I'll be last or maybe even not picked at all. "It's okay, Janet." I'll be fine as soon as I die from embarrassment.
Sam's looking at me with a pained expression. She tugs on Teal'c's arm and says something. Teal'c shakes his head. Sam crosses her arms and stands there tapping a foot.
I see Major Simone begin to raise her hand and lower it quickly at a scowl from Teal'c. Hey, I didn't even know Teal'c could look like that.
"Ladies and gentlemen, surely you know what a bargain Dr. Jackson is at any price." Janet Frasier can be as stubborn as Jack O'Neill. Speaking of whom...where the hell is Jack anyway? Now she's going on about how disappointed she is. Where is their compassion? I'm not sure if she's appealing for compassion for me or for the veterans this is supposed to benefit.
I ignore her and turn my attention back to Sam and Teal'c. Sam's at it again, evidently whispering something that Teal'c doesn't like. She gestures to me and he once again shakes his head. What? Even Sam and Teal'c don't think I'm any prize? Stop it, Daniel, I tell myself. I'm a scientist. It's my job to figure things out. I start to put the puzzle pieces together as if I'm piecing together a shattered urn.
Yep, there's a puzzle piece. Teal'c's shooting another glance at someone who is sneaking a hand up to bid on me, almost as if he's decided that no one is allowed to bid on me. Sam's growing more agitated. I look over the tops of my glasses at Sam as I duck my head. Success. Her anger at the situation explodes.
"Well, I don't care what the colonel said, Teal'c. If he wanted to bid on Daniel then he should have made sure he was here on time. Let him bid like the rest of us." Her voice rings loud and clear in the room.
"Sam?" Janet's voice comes out in a squeak. Not a pretty sound when it's amplified by a microphone. "What are you talking about?"
I stand back, my smile growing into a grin. I knew I could get Sam to crack, and now I'm going to find out just how devious one Jack O'Neill is.
There's an explosion of sound now, people clamoring how Colonel O'Neill made sure that no one was supposed to bid on one Dr. Daniel Jackson, archaeologist, linguist and babe, Janet did say it, I know she did.
Finally one voice is louder than the rest, I don't even know who it is because whoever it is is far in the back. "I bid one hundred dollars."
"One hundred, that's all?" That's one of Janet's nurses, Kristen. "Hell, I bid five hundred."
"Seven hundred," another voice calls, and suddenly Janet's fielding bids and trying to keep some semblance of order to the proceedings.
It slows down after we reach fifteen hundred, and I notice people gathering in little groups. Sam's standing at the center of a group of women and I can see money changing hands.
Fifteen hundred fifty," Janet repeats after Sam's group makes a bid.
"What the hell is going on here?" Jack yells as he storms through the doors and marches to the front of the room, turning around to glare at all the assembled SGC staff.
"We're having an auction, Colonel," Janet smiles sweetly. I've seen that smile way too often on her, usually right before she sticks a needle somewhere in my anatomy. It's her trust me it's for your own good smile. And I don't care what she says, it's not.
Jack crosses his arms and glares at her a moment. Doesn't work, Jack, could've told you that. "I thought we had an understanding here, people."
"What would that understanding be, Colonel?" Janet wasn't going to let it go.
Jack's looking at the floor now, all bluster gone. "No one was supposed to bid on Daniel. Well, except for me." Janet actually has to lean closer to hear him.
My heart does a little melty flip flop. Who knew Jack O'Neill was such a romantic? I mean, I know he loves me, but this was...well, this was, for lack of a better word because my brain is obviously going to go to mush, romantic. Not that I need Jack to protect me, because I don't but it's...well, romantic...to think he wants to.
"What's the last bid?" Jack finds his command voice and gives me a lopsided grin. I'm grinning back, probably looking like a fool.
"Fifteen hundred fifty." Janet says and watches him.
Jack checks his wallet, the grin fading. "I only have twelve hundred." He sounds like a child who's lost his teddy bear.
Janet bangs her gavel. "Going, going, gone and sold to Major Samantha Carter and company.
Sam and her small group of women hold a hasty conference. Sam comes forward and hands Janet the money and whispers something in her ear. Janet nods excitedly and goes back to the microphone.
"Major Carter and company have generously donated their entire proceeds to the auction and request that Lot Number Thirteen: Dr. Daniel Jackson be resold. So, ladies and gentemen what am I bid?"
It happens twice more. The bidding is complete, the purchaser donates the money to the cause and requests I be auctioned again. The groups have gotten larger and Jack doesn't have a chance. He appears completely bewildered. There is no way he's going to ever be able to afford me. The third time, Jack hands his money to Janet in defeat.
"Just count it as my donation, Doc," he says and walks away, but not before giving me a small sad smile and an "I'm sorry, Danny."
My heart does one of those melty flip flops again. The bidding is final, and Janet nods as the money is given to her.
"One more time, people," Janet smiles and looks directly at Jack. "Lot Number Thirteen: Dr. Daniel Jackson, archaeologist, linguist."
Some evil impulse urges me to lean over and whisper, "Don't forget babe" in her ear. Her sputter and red face makes it worhwhile.
"What am I bid?"
There's silence again, and this time the eyes aren't on me, they're on Jack. Jack looks up at me wide eyed and digs in his pocket, frowning as he comes up with a quarter. It's all he has left.
"Twenty five cents," Jack smiles.
"Any other bids?" Janet smiles back. Everyone appears satisfied, Jack evidently has suitably suffered. When there's silence, she bangs her gavel and points to Jack. "Sold to Colonel Jack O'Neill for twenty five cents." The room explodes in applause.
Janet takes his hand to step down from the platform and smiles at him, all forgiven. "You've got a bargain there."
"Don't I know it." He says to Janet before turning to grin at me and whisper, "priceless," in my ear.
If I were a superstitious man, I'd say that thirteen is the unluckiest number, but I'm not superstitious in the least, and I know thirteen is a very, very lucky number indeed. And I'm going to make sure Jack knows it too.