Rascals II - Chapter 24
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Eventually, a new homeworld were found for the Hak'tyl and they moved away from the SGC after staying for about a week. By then, Sam, Daniel, Martouf/Lantash, and Freya/Anise were sorry to see the Jaffa children go, and the feeling was mutual. After Rhil'ka, Simka, Ih'ren, and the other Jaffa had accepted the Tok'ra, all the children had played together, and become good friends. Everyone would now be missing their new friends.
Hopefully, it would be possible for them to visit each other. In any case, it had been a very fortunate happenstance, since this was another step towards peace and hopefully future friendship between Jaffa, Tok'ra, and Tau'ri.
The children spent most of the fall focused on their studies, and paid little attention to the several large crises and near catastrophes in their Galaxy.
The Trust - a coalition of rogue N.I.D. operatives - had gotten their hands on a sample of the symbiote poison developed by the Tok'ra. Where the Tok'ra would not use it, except as a last line of defence, until they had found a way to allow the Jaffa to survive, the Trust had no such inhibitions. They used the poison in an attack against P4S-161, killing countless Jaffa.
It was only due to the slowly strengthening ties between the Jaffa, Tok'ra, and Tau'ri, that it was possible to stop the Trust before they used the poison again. Everyone was terrified at the thought of what might have happened, had the alliances been broken completely after the attack on the alpha site earlier that year.
The Trust was clearly a dangerous enemy, and they even seemed to be stepping up their efforts now. They had tried to capture Teal'c, and then later Janet/Rhiva. Because of this, it was decided that it was safest for them to live on the base most of the time, until the threat was lower. For the same reason, all thoughts of letting the children move away from the base was abandoned for the time being.
Christmas was approaching, and the children were excited. They had made long lists of gifts they would like to receive, to make sure everyone 'had enough to choose from' when picking out something for them.
They had also thought about finding gifts for Teal'c, O'Neill, Jacob/Selmak, Janet/Rhiva...and several others. Sam and Daniel both had accounts on Earth, from when they were adults, and they still had their credit cards and debit cards. True, people would probably react strangely if they tried to use them in a store, but they had agreed on a way to solve this; they would go to an ATM and withdraw the money they needed for presents, and then Teal'c and Cassandra would accompany them to the store, and perform the actual monetary transactions. Both had agreed to come, which was good, as the children wanted to buy each of them a gift, and that would otherwise have been hard to do secretly.
"Teal'c and Cassie will come pick us up soon!" Sam said. "Do we know what we want to give everyone?"
"Yes," Martouf said. "We gave O'Neill first season of 'the Simpson's' on DVD last year, so we are giving him season two now." He looked at the paper they had written down their list on. Using crayons, someone had drawn a big snowman on the paper, on top of the text, so it was a little hard to read what had been written. He wrinkled his brow. "We are giving Teal'c some candles for when he is meditating..."
"Oh, and we also have the clay candle holder we made yesterday! We just need to paint it!" Daniel suddenly remembered.
Martouf nodded, then continued reading aloud. "A scarf for Janet, because we...ah..." He glanced at Sam.
"Tipped over a cup of hot chocolate on it." Sam looked embarrassed. "Oops."
"For Rhiva...a box of dark chocolate truffels, because she likes them a lot, and when we last visited we kinda ate...uh...some of her chocolate without asking." Martouf sighed.
"Most of it." Sam corrected.
"It was very good." Martouf defended himself. "Besides, it was Lantash's suggestion!" He winced.
"Lantash is yelling at you for that! Suits you!" Anise grinned.
He grumbled, then returned to the list. "Herb tea for Jacob, because he gave up coffee since Selmak doesn't like it. Do we even know if he likes this tea? I seem to remember...okay, Lantash seems to remember that Jacob wouldn't drink any of the herb teas we have in the tunnels."
"We'll find one he likes," Sam said, confident.
"Okay." Martouf shrugged. "A warm hat for Selmak, because Jacob won't let her grow back his hair...he says he looks 'distinguished'."
"Do we have any ideas for something for Cassie?" Daniel wondered.
"Yes, something pretty for her aqua-rium, right?" Sam said.
"Right." Martouf agreed, checking the list.
They continued going through their list, making sure they knew what to get for everyone, until Cassie suddenly stuck her head through the open door.
"Yes, we are." Martouf answered, confidently putting the gift-list in his pocket. The other children nodded.
"Okay. Where do you want to go?"
"Did you see the huge Christmas tree Jack brought?!" Daniel asked, excited, as soon as he had entered the door to the quarters they all shared.
The other children sat on the floor, wrapping the last of the presents.
"No, how big is it?" Freya wanted to know. "Will it reach the roof, as he promised?"
"Well...I suppose that depends on which room they put it in..." Daniel looked thoughtful. "Not the roof of the gateroom, but I think they didn't want to put it there."
"Why not? We all suggested it! It would look awesome together with the Stargate!" Sam said.
"I think someone thought it was too dangerous, in case someone should attack." He frowned. "Also - would look un-pro-fessional - if some dig-nita-ries visit, I guess."
"Oh...'dig-ni-taries'...yeah, we can't offend those." Lantash mocked. "So, where will they put it?"
"And will it reach the roof of that room?" Freya repeated.
"I think in the main recreation room." Daniel nodded. "Yeah, that's what Jack said...and I think it's at least 12 feet!"
"Let's go see!" Sam suggested, getting up. "I've finished wrapping my part of the gifts, anyway."
"I think we all have." Lantash looked around on the floor, only seeing wrapped packages.
"Okay, let's go!" Freya argued, already on the way to the door.
"Do you think they will let us help decorate it?" Lantash wondered.
"I hope they will...I have the most awesome idea!" Sam said, her eyes gleaming with happiness.
"What's that?" Daniel sounded interested.
"Blue jello! All over the tree!"
The children were allowed to help decorate the tree, but Sam's idea was rejected, much to her chagrin.
It was now Christmas morning, and the children were waiting - impatiently - for O'Neill and the other adults to take them to the Christmas tree, where it had been decided the gifts would be exchanged.
"What time is it?" Sam asked, for probably the fifth time since they got up that morning.
"Almost eight, "Martouf said. "Why don't they come and get us?"
"We should have insisted on having the tree in here," Daniel insisted. "Then we wouldn't have to wait for the adults to get ready!"
"We would still want to wait for them - we have gifts for them, remember?" Freya said.
"They could get their gifts afterwards." Sam suggested, reasonably.
Freya clicked to - again - update the website 'NORAD Tracks Santa'. "Santa is in Asia right now - he must have already passed the USA hours ago! Hmmm...NORAD...they are just a few floors up - we ought to ask to be shown around!"
"So what? You know it's just my Dad that's dressed up as Santa," Sam said.
That was when someone knocked on the door.
All the children turned their attention to it and chorused. "Come in!"
O'Neill stuck his head in, grinning. "Come on, kids! Santa is waiting for you in the rec room!"
MERRY CHRISTMAS / HAPPY HOLIDAYS !
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