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Tuesday, November 8th, 2016 02:40 pm
Kidfic Alphabet Soup is scheduled for the end of the month, but we still don't have anywhere near enough cooks yet. You can sign up on LJ or DW, as you prefer. Signal boosts are appreciated, too!

"Kidfic" has so many connotations, doesn't it? Many people's minds instantly leap to the "downsizing" type of fic, and if that's your taste, that's fine. :) But there are also other types. Here's one of a very different flavor, as a way to offer an appetizer for the Soup. (Also, a way to do some WRITING for a change, okay. Plus a little distraction from RL, which I think a lot of us need right now.) It didn't go where I expected, but eh, that's par for the course when I'm writing SG-1. So be warned of an unexpected dose of Jack angst ahead. Oh, and that bingo card that I've been trying to fill for more than two years now? This should fit nicely in Ambiguous.

Summary: Appearances can be deceiving, as the team knows all too well. ~1,200 words. PG.

Camouflage


Daniel's efforts at communication had been reduced to rudimentary sign language and variations of "hello" in increasingly esoteric languages. He'd crouched down in an effort to meet them at eye level, but he still felt uneasily like a hulking, incomprehensible giant. Did they remain silent because they didn't understand him, or because he frightened them somehow?

The three natives blinked, their huge eyes looking round and innocent. Their purple hair was adorned with matching, brightly-colored bows, and their small hands were clasped together in seeming helplessness as they peeked shyly upwards through their long bangs at the strangers.

Jack's fingers twitched uncontrollably on his rifle as he stared at the silent, childlike, androgynous creatures that were standing closer to Daniel than he liked. Every gut feeling he possessed was screaming at him: Defend. Keep safe. His protective instincts towards children had never felt stronger.

But a deeper, even darker suspicion was hissing in his mind: protect who from whom?

The children, if that's what they were, suddenly smiled in unnerving unison and began to shuffle forward, the leather fringes on their simple smocks swaying slightly with their movement. Jack wasn't sure if he'd only imagined the glint of sunlight off their toothy grins.

"Something killed SG-9," Jack muttered, just loud enough for the others to hear. "Daniel, back up a step."

Daniel didn't respond, apparently too fascinated, or perhaps mesmerized, to pay attention. Sam reached out and carefully tugged him backwards, jolting him out of his stupor.

"Ah, right. Sorry." Rising from his stooped position, he edged away until he was close to the DHD, his feet carefully avoiding the scraps of torn material that littered the ground. His gaze darted over the symbols, fingers hovering over the chevrons. "Jack, I know this doesn't feel right, but remember the Nox."

"Oh, yeah, I remember them," Jack said evenly. "Nice, short little guys that were a lot more powerful than we realized."

"The Asgard are also smaller than humans," Teal'c observed, even as he carefully shifted his staff weapon to track the three creatures moving slowly towards them. "That does not render them less dangerous."

Sam was covering Daniel now, facing away from the DHD, her P-90 rock-steady in her hands. "They're stirring up every maternal impulse I don't have, sir," she said with forced calm. "I don't like that."

"I don't like any of this," Jack hissed, coming to a command decision. "Daniel, dial it up. Now."

Daniel opened his mouth to argue, then closed it with a snap. "Right," he said, and began the sequence for Earth's address.

At the first clunk of stone against stone, the three adorable little natives underwent a rapid, terrifying metamorphosis. Hands unfolded as claws suddenly extruded from fingertips. Lips curled back to reveal pointed, serrated canines. The eyes, no longer so innocent-looking with the sclera rapidly darkening to a shade all too close to fresh human blood, narrowed into menacing, feral slits. They still made no sound as they sprang forward, sweet faces transformed into vicious, slavering masks of bestial hate.

Daniel wasted no time in frozen horror, trusting Sam's steady presence at his back to keep him safe as he frantically slapped at the DHD. He could hear the fierce bark of Teal'c's staff weapon, the staccato chattering of Sam and Jack firing in unison, driving the feral natives away from the retreating team. The Gate whooshed into life and his fingers skipped rapidly over the keys of the GDO.

"Green!" he shouted over the bursts of gunfire, risking one backwards glance at the melee. Two of the creatures had faltered under the fusillade, but the third -- and smallest -- was clawing at Teal'c, too close to fire upon. Teal'c was fighting back with grim concentration, but the green of his shredded sleeve already showed a growing, spreading stain.

"Go!" Jack bellowed back, reversing his P-90 and slamming its handle down as a club on the little monster's head. "Carter, with him!"

Daniel, tempted to draw his own sidearm and help defend his friend, choked back the impulse and dove for the shimmering beacon call of home. He could hear Sam's footsteps pounding right behind him, still punctuated with bursts from her weapon as she made sure the other creatures stayed down.

Daniel whirled in time to catch Sam as she stumbled backwards out of the wormhole. "Jack and Teal'c?" he demanded.

"Right behind me," she gasped, shoving him sideways and out of the way. "Get down!"

They crashed together against the rail of the ramp as Jack and Teal'c came through in a tangle of flailing limbs, the tiny monster still clinging to Teal'c with its gleaming fangs clamped onto his forearm.

"Close the iris!" General Hammond's voice roared over the intercom. "Captain, as soon as it's clear!"

The clanging whine of the iris spinning closed was barely audible over the yells as Jack and Teal'c fought to tear the creature loose. It took only seconds, but it seemed much, much longer before they managed to fling the slavering thing away from them. The moment their target was clear of friendlies, the guards in the Gate room fired relentlessly, halting their shooting only when the creature lay crumpled and still.

"Clear, sir!" the commander called up to the control room, even as he warily kept his P-90 trained on the dead enemy.

"Good work, Captain Harrison. Med team on its way," Hammond added over the sound of the wormhole dissolving behind the closed iris. "What's the damage, SG-1?"

"Teal'c got chewed up a little, General. The rest of us are all right," Jack replied, rising to his feet and brushing yellow alien dust off his BDUs. "Suggest we lock that one out of our computer, though."

There was a pause. "SG-9?" Hammond asked.

"Dead, sir," Jack said brusquely. He nodded disgustedly at the creature lying half-sprawled off the ramp. "Ah - bodies not recoverable, sir."

Another pause, somewhat longer this time. "I see," Hammond said at last. "All of you, get checked out at the infirmary. I'll get your full report later."

Jack handed off his weapon to Harrison's team, giving them a nod of appreciation. Daniel had slipped an unobtrusive hand under Teal'c's left elbow for support, and Sam was hurrying forward to meet Frasier and her med team, talking urgently about the possibility of poison or infection. Teal'c stood with unruffled calm, but Jack noted that he was leaning, just a little, on Daniel.

"All right?" he asked Teal'c and Daniel quietly.

"I shall be fine, O'Neill," Teal'c answered, which wasn't quite the same as "I am fine," but Jack would take what he could get.

"They didn't touch me." Daniel's brows drew together, eyes narrowed in that familiar, laser-sharp focus. "How about you?"

"Oh, they didn't touch me, either," Jack said, a little too lightly.

"You sure about that?"

Jack felt suddenly very tired, and definitely not in the mood for Daniel's uncanny ability to see right through him. They hadn't been children, not really. Just camouflaged carnivores. He'd simply been doing his job, protecting his team.

"Of course I am," he lied firmly, and wondered exactly who he thought he was fooling.
Thursday, November 10th, 2016 03:25 am (UTC)
Thank you for the lovely appetizer!
Sunday, November 13th, 2016 06:07 pm (UTC)
Brilliant! Teamy goodness at its best.

I get the feeling Teal'c's wounds will heal faster than the hurt to Jack's soul.