"What?" I kinda cringe at the high, shrill tone that comes out of my mouth.
"I told Cassie that I ..."
"I heard what you said. I'm just a little shocked that you agreed to it. And you told her 'I' ... you never said anything about 'we'. There was no we."
"Jack," Daniel explains patiently. "I can't take a dog to my apartment, so your house is the only logical choice. I'll see you in about an hour." Daniel hangs up and I'm left gazing stupidly at the phone. "Crap!" I slam the phone back into its cradle and begin to pace frantically, talking to myself. Two very bad signs, two habits I never did simultaneously before I became involved with Daniel.
"I can't believe he did this. Two days off and he volunteers to watch Cassie's new puppy overnight while she and Fraiser are on some high school seniors' retreat. Who the hell takes their mother on a seniors' retreat?"
I pause midstep, and mouth a silent goodbye to the expensive rug that covers my wood floor. "Maybe I should just roll it up?"
By the time I hear Daniel's car door, the rug is safely put away in the garage and I'm honestly quite proud of my foresight. I plop down on the couch and hurriedly switch on the TV. I'm simply planning on sitting back and enjoying the wild ride of watching Daniel having to deal with a puppy. "Hah! And he thought the Goa'uld were tough," I say smugly, flipping around the channels until I locate some sporting event.
The front door swings open and Daniel enters, laden with more stuff than new parents lug for an infant when they travel for the first time to the grandparents' house. The fingers of his right hand are hooked amid the wires of a folded, mesh contraption, a leash is dangling around his neck, toys, dog food and bowls are tucked under his arm, and a doggie bed is precariously balanced on the fingertips of his left hand.
"Oh, hi," I manage to say with a straight face. Daniel's cheeks are in full blush bloom, he's breathing heavily, and his glasses are askew.
He drops everything onto the rug-less floor and I lend a helping hand by pointing out the bits of kibble that have escaped from the food bag and are now rolling across the floor.
"Where's the puppy?" I innocently ask and am rewarded with Daniel's patented 'fuck you, Jack' look. Which isn't to be confused with the sexual 'fuck you' that I know and love, but this one is the 'I really hate when you're right, and if you say it out loud, I will kill you'. I've been with Daniel long enough to be able to identify the difference.
He stomps out and returns with a carrier that has the most pathetic sounds emanating from its depths. Inhuman moaning and crying that almost brings tears to my eyes. "Puppy," is all Daniel says before he opens the carrier.
First I see a wet, sniffing nose and then a fur covered black snout attached to a large head. "Daniel, how the hell is that puppy fitting in that carrier?"
Daniel extracts the dog limb by limb. "Janet was a little amazed. Seems that Angel fit in this two weeks ago."
"Angel?" Angel looks up at the mention of his name, tilts his head at me and for a second, I'm almost sucked in at the innocence reflecting in those expressive brown eyes. Until I'm rudely brought back to reality by Angel's decision to anoint the coffee table leg. "Jesus, Daniel," I yell, awkwardly tucking my legs under my body safely out of the puppy's range.
"Angel!" Daniel who is still squatting, has one hand on the carrier for balance and is thus defenseless when the dog pivots and jumps, knocking him flat on his ass. "Ow," Daniel manages to yelp before Angel's paws smash into his chest, flattening Daniel onto the floor. Daniel's reprimands are lost in a fit of giggles and laughter as Angel gives puppy kisses to every part of my partner that his tongue can reach.
I eventually take pity on Daniel as he struggles to breathe. "Angel ... come here," I order. Angel pauses, Daniel takes a deep breath which is followed immediately by an "oof" as the puppy trampolines off his chest and performs an acrobatic leap onto the couch, taking me down.
We sit outside on the deck while Angel runs around like a bat outta hell, leaving torn up grass in his wake.
"Doesn't he ever get tired? Hey, git away from there, you mangy mutt!" I scream as the ball of fur begins to dig up recently planted bushes. "Yes, that means you." I wag a warning finger at him.
"Be nice, Jack," Daniel reprimands as he continuously wipes his glasses on his dog-hair covered tee shirt in a futile attempt to clean them.
"Nice? Nice? Be nice?" I sputter. I begrudgingly accepted this puppy into my house ... at no time did I mention that I was going to be nice."
Angel meanders over to us and with a huff, plops his dirty snout on my pants. Drool plus dirt turn into mud, which begins to drip down my leg.
Daniel leans over and pats the dog on the head, scratching him just behind the ear, one of those hard to reach places that produces the look of ecstasy Angel is now sporting. A look I truly understand. One that I'm sure is found on my face when my archaeologist scratches those hard to reach places on my body.
"I think he needs a bath."
I laugh uproariously until I realize that Daniel is serious. "Bath? He hasn't even been here a day and you want to give him a bath?"
Daniel looks hurt at my lack of faith in his ability.
"Daniel, Fraiser and Cassie lied. This isn't a puppy, you know. Puppies are like this big." I cup my two hands together to demonstrate. "Puppies aren't like this dog."
"Well, they did say he was a mixed breed."
"A cross between a Newfoundland and a Burnese Mountain dog."
Daniel's clueless, the scholar obviously didn't do his research. "Daniel," I speak his name slowly. "Both those dogs weigh somewhere in the range of 110 to 160 pounds full grown. This isn't a puppy you offered to watch, it's a horse!"
"He's cute," Daniel states in Angel's defense.
"People think Teal'c is cute."
"I'm missing the analogy with that one, Jack."
"Never mind," I grouse as my fingers flick the dirt off of Angel's snout.
Daniel doesn't miss the action. "See," he accuses, pointing a finger at me. "See, you do like him."
"I never said I didn't like him. Just that ... well, we had two days off and I kinda had other ideas on how to spend them, other than dog sit."
"Puppy sit." Daniel's fingers join mine resting atop Angel's head. "What exactly did you have in mind?"
"Dinner out, dessert home," I shrug. "You know, the usual."
"Oh ... Janet gave me a crate. Angel can stay in the crate when we leave the house ... Honestly, I think it's cruel, but Janet explained to me that's how to train a dog."
My glance slides over to Daniel. "Yeahsureyabetcha. Train? I'm thinking stable here, Daniel, not a crate."
"I don't like it."
Daniel is backing away from the crate. Angel walked into it without a fuss, it's Daniel that's causing a problem.
"Ohfercryingoutloud, Daniel. Why don't you like it?"
"Stop!" Daniel yells as I go to lock the crate's door. "It reminds me of Bedrosia," he gulps nervously. "Nyan's planet. The one with the ... where we were ... you know."
"Oh." Okay, he's right, I can definitely see where this wire cage would give him a bit of a flashback. "Pizza or Chinese?" I ask.
"What, Jack?" he answers distractedly.
"What? Look at this mess." Oh, god, I sound like my mother.
"I'll clean it," Daniel promises, grabbing hold of the doorframe for support when Angel pushes past his legs and begins to lap up a puddle of water on the bathroom floor right by my feet.
"I'm going to get the pizza." I point my finger at Daniel and Angel. You and
you are going to clean up all of this. Do I make myself clear?"
"Most definitely," Daniel answers as he bends down to scoop up a pile of sodden towels. Angel equates bending down with playing and I step over Daniel's body, lying half in and half out of the bathroom door after Angel has knocked him over yet again.
"No lying down on the job," I warn, hiding my grin.
I eat pizza and ignore Daniel's feeding bits of crust to the drool machine sitting at his feet. "No!" I yell when he rips off a piece of garlic knot. "You'll be sorry. Very, very, sorry."
Embarrassed, Daniel pops the piece into his mouth instead.
"Go eat your own food," I say to Angel. "Shoo. Kibble yum. Pizza is not for doggies."
Angel is sleeping, finally, curled into an impossibly small ball in his dog bed. Daniel is sitting next to me on the couch, his head resting on my shoulder, my fingers tracing the pizza stain on his pants.
"Puppy needs to learn to use napkins," I murmur. I taste his garlic breath when he kisses me.
"Ready for dessert?" he teases.
"Oh, yeah," I agree.
Daniel pushes me down and stretches his body the length of mine. "What's on the menu?" he asks before capturing my mouth and stealing my answer.
One second, two seconds, then my special ops training kicks in and my eyes pop open. "Daniel."
"Oh, Jack," he whimpers, grinding his hard-on into my flaccid penis. "Huh?" He's quite taken back at my obvious lack of enthusiasm.
"Look," I hiss. We turn our heads so our cheeks are resting against each other, like a pair of stupid tango dancers.
Angel is watching us. I don't mean 'watching' us ... I mean, watching us in the true voyeuristic sense of the word. His head is resting on the coffee table, there is a puddle of drool around his lips and those brown eyes are unblinking.
"He's looking at us."
"So?" Daniel utters, his fingers working at separating my belt from my pants.
"You don't think ..."
"Think what, Jack? That he's going to tell someone?"
"Don't be stupid, I know no one can understand him, but it's a little disconcerting to have him, you know ... "
"Stare and drool while I'm having my wicked way with you? Yeah, I agree to that, but if you close your eyes and you won't see anything."
"Hey," I object when Daniel lifts his body off of me and sits up. "Come back here."
"Jack, I don't think you're totally into this." He fondles my deflated penis through my pants. "You're obviously not concentrating."
"I can't do anything while Angel is watching."
"He's just a dog and look, see, he's going back to sleep." The dog is obviously bored with our lack of action. He gives us a whimper and ambles back into his bed. "See ... let's go back to what we were doing."
Three times ... Three times we were horizontal on the couch without indulging in dessert and finally now I know why Fraiser got this dog. So that anytime anyone tried to lay a hand on Cassie, they would be rewarded with those pathetic eyes and the unrelenting drool.
I test my theory and place a gentle hand on Daniel's thigh. From across the room, Angel's nose twitches. My hand moves up to Daniel's crotch and the dog's eyes pop open. A kiss on the neck and Angel plods to the coffee table and rests his head on it.
"Show's over," Daniel admits with a sigh. "Sorry, Angel."
"Sorry, Angel? Hell, what about me?"
I don't know how it came down to this. We had gone to bed and taken Angel and his doggie bed into our room, closing the door behind us to prevent any nighttime escapades. The three of us began the night the right way, I'm lying on my side and Daniel is also, facing me, his head tucked under my chin, his hands folded between our bodies.
One hour later finds us both sleeping on our stomachs with Daniel's face buried in the fur of Angel's neck. My arm is thrown across Angel's rear end with my fingers resting on the small of Daniel's back. Thankfully, Angel's snout is on Daniel's pillow, saliva creating a circle around his mouth, little rivulets dripping towards Daniel's hairline. I move my arm and Angel's right eye opens, warning me to leave it exactly where it was. I can feel it in my bones, this is going to be a very long night.
Daniel is sleeping nose to nose with Angel. My archaeologist rubs his nose against the dog's furry snout and sneezes right in the poor puppy's face. The big baby whimpers and moves closer to my side, licking my face in apology. "Hey, what are you complaining about, you get to go home tomorrow, I have to live with him."
"Ewwww. Angel!" I scream.
Daniel and the puppy jump up simultaneously. At least the dog is smart enough to leave the warmth of the bed and slink into a corner, Daniel's intelligence doesn't usually kick in until his third or fourth cup of caffeine, and so he asks sleepily, "Wha' happen'd?"
"In a nutshell. Dog pissed on the floor and I stepped in it."
"Oh, is that all?" Daniel yawns. "Janet said they were having some problems with housebreaking."
"Now you tell me?"
"At least it wasn't ... ya know."
"Give the beast time," I snarl.
"Play nice, Jack." Daniel rolls back to his side of the bed and rubs my empty space invitingly. "Come back to bed."
"I will as soon as I clean up."
Angel doesn't flinch under my evil Colonel eyes when I hop past him and his dog bed on the way to the bathroom.
Daniel is fast asleep when I return and the dog has the audacity to believe he's gonna finish his night's sleep on my side of the bed. "Not on your life, buster," I warn as I push him off my side and onto Daniel's.
The dog and I share some toast while Daniel sleeps. "You're his responsibility, not mine," I protest. Angel's wagging tail sends my accumulated dust bunnies running to all corners of the dining room. "I need to clean." I take my napkin and bend to wipe the drool off the dog's mouth. "You're a slob, you know that?" Angel licks a miniscule speck of crumb from the corner of my mouth.
I put my cup in the sink and turn towards my 40 lb shadow. "Wanna go chase a ball or something?"
Less than an hour later, both of us are covered in mud. I try to slip past Angel to go in the back door and get a towel, but he slithers around my grasp and makes a bee line into the kitchen and continues on into the direction of the bedroom. I follow the muddy pawprints and the horrific screaming. "Down, Angel, down, shit ... Jack's gonna ..." Daniel's protests die in the wake of peals of laughter.
We'll worry about the mess later, I decide. Daniel will spend tomorrow washing the floors and the quilt and every inch of the bedroom, but right now, I lean against the doorframe, arms folded across my chest, enjoying the visuals of this puppy loving my archaeologist.
"It's nice having a dog," Daniel admits while filling Angel's water dish. He jumps aside as the slobbering monster splatters water in all directions.
"Daniel, it's not feasible. One day, though," I promise, taking him in my arms.
"Mine or yours?" Daniel's nimble fingers begin to unbutton my shirt.
"Ours," I gasp as he uses my belt loop to tug me even closer.
This time the dog gets an eyeful, we get dessert and I narrowly miss lying in a big puddle of drool when Daniel hauls me down to the kitchen floor.
"Don't say I didn't warn you."
Daniel limps into the living room and falls into the couch cushions, using his hands to lever his right leg onto the coffee table. "Ow." He peeks through the rip in his jeans to survey the damage.
"Ow? Did you say ow?" I ask incredulously.
"Yes, I said 'ow'. What's wrong with that?" Daniel examines the road burn running from the side of his right hand down to the elbow.
"Daniel, even when you're dying, you don't go 'ow.' Ya simply fell."
"I didn't just fall, I was dragged hundreds of feet by this ... dog."
The dog in question is lying on the couch between the two of us, his heavy head in my lap, creating, I'm sure, an embarrassing drool spot right in my crotch area. Angel doesn't look the least bit guilty for inflicting bodily harm on Daniel. "Hundreds? I told you not to walk him. Didn't I?"
"There was a leash, Janet gave me a leash. Forgive me for equating a leash with walking a dog. Actually, it was all your fault."
"Your fault, I couldn't stand listening to you complain about what Angel was doing to the grass in the backyard."
"So you walked the dog?"
"No, he walked me, but that was okay until he saw the cat down the block. Which still would have been okay, but the cat ran. And Angel ran. And I ... "
"Fell down and went boom."
"Boom and dragged over sidewalks and blacktop. Through the streets and over yards," Daniel pouts.
I stretch a supportive hand over the back of the couch and squeeze his shoulder. "Did you wash out the boo-boo? Don't want Angel's mom getting mad."
"Washed." Daniel sniffs in exaggeration, a hint of a smile tugging at the corners of his mouth. "You going to kiss it all better later?"
Angel growls in response. "Way later, after our babysitting chores are all done."
I load the last piece of dog paraphernalia into her car. "Thanks, Colonel."
I brush my hands together. "Our pleasure, Doc."
She leans over and picks a dog hair off my shirt. "Pleasure? Do me a favor, if Daniel's still limping tomorrow, bring him in for an x-ray, okay?"
Before I can even question why, Fraiser raises her two pointer fingers to her pursed lips and whistles so loud and shrilly that I have to fight down the urge to place my fingers in my ears. Angel bounds through the open front door, down the walk and sails through the air into the back seat of the car. The doc drops her hands with a smile of satisfaction. "Now, if only teenagers would listen so well. Cassie! Come on."
"Or archaeologists," I add, leaning in to pat Angel's head before I close the car door.
Cassie meanders down the walk followed by one limping Daniel.
"Limping, tomorrow, don't forget," Fraiser whispers.
Cassie gives me a teenager's version of a kiss and a hug goodbye, and with one more round of 'thank you's', the three of them are gone.
The rolled up carpet, still in the garage, is sporting a damp spot in one corner. "How's that possible?" I mutter, sniffing my fingers. "Geeze. Daniel!" I scream his name loud enough to rattle the empty soda cans in the corner.
"What's the matter?" He stands in the doorway separating the garage from the rest of the house, drying his hands on a towel.
I walk up to him and stick my fingertips under his nose. He grimaces and backs away, waving his hand to dissipate the offensive odor of dog urine. "Phew."
I grab the dishtowel from his hands and wipe my fingers. "Phew is right! How the hell did Angel piss on this carpet. The carpet that I had the foresight to roll up and take out of the living room before the monster visited us? Explain that!"
"I went to get something from the garage and I guess he followed me," Daniel says lamely.
"Guess? You guess?"
"Okay, he followed me."
I start to laugh. Not just a giggle or a chuckle, but a full belly laugh.
"Daniel. We're Earth's first line of defense and we couldn't even control a dog for one night."
Daniel begins to smile. "Don't let the systems lords know this."
Tears begin to stream down my cheeks. "I'm sure Angel will keep our secret."
I walk over and lick Daniel in the face. He manages a disgusted 'yuck' before furiously wiping away my saliva.
"How come Angel could lick you and you would laugh?" I ask, feigning hurt. I swipe my tongue gently under his chin and wait. "No laughter," I murmur against the heat of his neck. I snort gentle puffs of air behind his ear and Daniel whimpers.
"Dog noises," I whisper, tugging at his earlobe with my teeth.
"I can howl. Wanna hear me howl?"
"Oh, I guess having Angel overnight was a good idea. Look at all the doggie tricks you learned," I kid, my fingers digging into his ass. "Do you sit up and beg?"
"Woof! I can even wag my tail," he moans. "For the right treat, I'll do anything."
"Do you answer to the command of down, boy?" I ask, biting and nibbling on his neck.
Daniel growls in my ear.
Needless to say, Daniel and I spent the rest of the day showing off our tricks to one another, and I'm amazed how much Angel actually taught the two of us without even uttering a word.
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