This was impossible. Jack was seriously contemplating calling up Carter and plying her with nonsensical questions about the ever-elusive time/space continuum. There had to be a logical explanation as to why his king-sized bed had shrunk in the past six months. Okay, the shrinkage had been gradual, but he fought the urge to pull out the sales receipt and call the company, demanding a refund, or at least an explanation as to why he was stuck with one incredibly shrinking bed.
It wasn't only the bed that seemed to be slowly disappearing. The sheets and blankets also had begun to wither into nothingness. This phenomenon was especially prevalent in the middle of the coldest nights in Colorado history. The problem with those items of bed clothes might be chalked up to laundry and a little too much time in the dryer. But the pillows? What the hell was up with those? There one minute, gone the next, and when they were finally located, they were returned warm, flattened and covered with drool.
The bathroom also seemed struck in some type of dwindling occurrence. Maybe this was some type of evil NID plot, or Tok'ra mind game, or maybe Thor was playing a trick on him, because shelves that had been empty only weeks ago, were slowly filling up. He now took his life in his hands when he stood by the sink because at times, the overflowing cabinet would pop open, unexpectedly spewing out items that he never remembered placing on the glass shelves. This always seemed to happen at the most inopportune moments, like when he was shaving, or brushing his teeth, or examining to see if he had *any* brown hair left on his head at all.
While the medicine cabinet had undertaken the bad habit of multiplying, the towels were doing just the opposite. Full sets -- from hand towels to those large bath sheet things -- just seemed to have developed legs and walked, appearing days later under the bed, in the closet, in the kitchen, den, but never in the laundry or hanging over the towel bar in the bathroom. Hell, Jack would have even settled for finding them in a wet pile on the bathroom floor, at least that would have been better than finding them in the garage, being used to wash the car.
Organization skills had gone right down the tubes. The videos, really.how hard was it to reinsert those black rectangles into their appropriate holders. Jack remembered quite clearly the day he had settled down to watch Von Ryan's Express, getting the chips all ready, feet up on the recliner, a beer in hand, another on the table in reserve, then hitting the play button to find himself facing three hours of a documentary on the sewer systems of some ancient culture.
Music CD's had vanished, eventually turning up later under car seats, couches or pillow cushions. Preset radio stations had been changed, the volume raised to window rattling settings. For self preservation purposes, he had learned not to put on his headphones and then turn on the radio. Who had ever said 'you can't teach an old dog, new tricks', obviously had never lived in Jack's house.
Magazines on subjects of which Jack held no interest were strewn hither and yon throughout the house, obscuring his beloved fishing and home fix-it magazines in both the bathroom and the bedroom. After yesterday's daily constitutional, Jack was quite positive he knew more about Celtic art than anyone in the world needed to know, and when he finished, he flushed the toilet then deposited the magazine with its 110 pages of full color illustration right into the bathroom garbage pail, guiltily covering it with wads of tissues. The tissues themselves were another issue altogether. Finding their way into every crevice of the couch and the bed, but the worst was opening the dryer and finding shreds of miniscule pieces which were all that remained of full sized tissues left forgotten in pockets.
Jack wanted a glass of juice. Just a large, ice-cold glass of orange juice. Honestly, was that too much to ask? But to find it, he needed to push aside the goat's milk, the flavored creamer, the papaya juice, the pulp-free juice, a half eaten container of hummus, and something that even he was too much of a coward to pull back the tinfoil and inspect.
There was barely enough juice to wet his whistle and he begrudgingly decided to settle for a cup of coffee. He moved to the second shelf in the fridge and spent ten minutes contemplating his choices of the various types of freshly ground coffee. Sighing, he realized the coffee wasn't worth the effort and went for a bottle of water, choosing the normal regular one over the carbonated, nauseatingly sweet, fruit-flavored variety. Water should taste like water, flavorless, he thought ruefully, and not be disguised behind carbonation and/or fruit flavors. Grape flavored water was almost a sin.
He took the bottle of water and went out onto the porch, closing the door behind him, then settling into one of the chairs. Out here, the expanse of outdoors was still the same, nothing crowding into his personal space.
He had obviously spoken to soon as one sleep-rumpled Daniel shuffled outside and plopped into the chair next to him, then reached over and grabbed the water from his grip, drinking deeply, and returning it back to him with barely a mouthful left. Jack rolled his eyes, finished the bottle and placed it on the deck. "Aren't you cold?" he mentioned casually, noting the goose bumps on Daniel's arms and legs.
"Yes." Daniel rubbed his hands along his arms. "Come back to bed?"
"I'm not tired."
Daniel's chuckle was low and drawn out, sending shivers down Jack's spine. "You don't need to be tired to come to bed."
Jack lay on his back staring at the ceiling, only one pillow under his head and no blanket covering his body, while the form next to him was wrapped in blankets and had three pillows cushioning his head. Suddenly Daniel slid over to Jack's side and moments later there were both blankets and Daniel draping the length of his body, covering him. Warm hands slipped under his tee shirt and octopus legs wrapped themselves around Jack's calves.
Daniel's breath created hot spots that spread through Jack's thin tee shirt and pleasantly heated his chest. Jack nodded for no reason at all, his lips tasting the strands of Daniel's hair as his head rested comfortably on Jack's chest. Daniel's whole body was tucked into Jack, molded against him, becoming so much a part of him that Jack had difficulty differentiating where he ended and where Daniel began. Not an unpleasant experience, but certainly a strange one. There was a sense of his universe contracting and expanding simultaneously. Sort of like the Big Bang, he supposed. Shrinking beds, missing towels, blankets and pillows, expanding medicine cabinets -- all of it giving him order out of chaos.
There truly wasn't a need to ask Carter to share any of her scientific knowledge about time or space because left to his own devices, Jack had to admit with a hint of pride, he had figured it all out on his own. The answer regarding his changing corner of the universe, was Daniel.
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