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The House That Jack Built: a Stargate AU community
Fic Amnesty: Jack Benny's Across the Hall, Fred Allen's One Floor Down (1/1) 
13th-Nov-2008 04:28 pm
what_geneeste
Okay, so this fic is mostly finished. It even has an ending! It lacks a certain middle, but it makes enough sense that you won't be lost. It's unbeta'd, and I take full responsibility for any and all suckage. Cross-posted to my lj, geneeste.

Sequel to You're a Cruel God, George Lucas.

-----


She actually didn’t hear from Jack again until the next morning, when he filled her in on the whole fiasco before telling her that he’d try to see her that night.

Assuming neither of them was suddenly kidnapped by mad scientists or beamed away by aliens.

“He flooded the apartment?” Liz asked as they sat in the diner, where several of the group had gathered for coffee.

“Both bedrooms and the living room.” She confirmed as she took a bite of T’s Brazenly Blueberry strudel.

“How did he manage that? I mean, that’s ambitious even for Felger.” Daniel said.

“Something about trying to upgrade the pipes under the bathroom sink.”

Teyla turned another page in her Intro to Advocacy textbook and looked up briefly. “Will he be staying?”

Sam found herself envying Teyla’s considerable multi-tasking abilities. She smiled wryly. “I believe they mutually agreed that Jay should move out. They’re negotiating repair costs as we speak, although I’m pretty sure Jack is going to let him out of the lease without penalty.”

“That seems fair.” Teyla added approvingly.

Next to her, John snorted. “Better than fair. Fixing a flooded apartment with old wood flooring can’t be inexpensive. Not to mention the fact that he was making a major change to the structure without permission.”

“He could hardly make an example of Jay now, with all the…” Teyla stopped herself, appearing to search for the right words. “…mishaps caused by the other tenants in the building regularly. He would have to penalize everyone.”

“No, he wouldn’t. We may be clumsy, but we aren’t destructive.” Rodney cut in defensively.

Vala smiled at Sam slyly over her feet propped up on the table. “Although I’m sure it helps to be sleeping with the landlord.”

“If only I was!” Sam replied indignantly, and then blushed crimson.

Everyone stopped and looked at Carson, half-hidden by a newspaper. He glanced around. “Oh, I’m fine. Continue.”

Liz reached over and patted Sam’s hand compassionately. “I guess things didn’t go so well, then?”

Still blushing, she poked at her leftover strudel bitterly. “Oh no, things were going great until Jay decided to reenact the Johnstown Flood.”

T came over with two glasses of milk and a stack of chocolate chip pancakes for Vala. He was wearing an apron that said ‘May The Forks Be With You.’ “Please remove your feet from the table.”

Her shoes hit the floor with a thump. She spoke through a big smile. “Sorry, Muscles.”

He bowed slightly and returned to the kitchen.

John eyed her plate. “Did you order that?”

Vala picked up a fork and dug in. “No, but it’s exactly what I wanted.”

Daniel tried to see into the kitchen, impressed. “Huh. That takes talent.”

Teyla attempted to steer the conversation back on subject. “I’m sure you will have another chance with Mr. O’Neill.”

“I know, but…” She pushed her plate way with frustration. “To be honest with you, I’m starting to think we’re cursed.”

Liz rolled her eyes. “Nonsense. There’s no such thing as a curse. You’re just suffering from a run of bad timing.”

“Are you sure?” Sam asked dully.

“Actually,” Daniel started in teaching mode, “there’s quite a bit of discussion in several ancient cultures about the practice and validity of jinxes, hexes, and curses…”

Sam tuned him out, and turned back to Liz with a lowered voice. “Hey, you do know about this thing with Rodney’s tutoring interviews, right?”

She laughed. “Oh yes. Rodney told me about it a couple of days ago.”

Starting to get an inkling about something, Sam narrowed her eyes at her roommate. “You don’t seem that annoyed.”

“It’s Rodney. He’ll get bored with it eventually.” And then Liz continued on in an overly innocent tone. “But I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m unusually busy in the near future. I may not be home a lot.”

Huh. Maybe she was right to be paranoid after all. “This is payback for the door thing, isn’t it?”

Liz just smiled and drank her coffee.

“I’m going home,” Sam muttered sulkily and got up to pay.

-----

There was a small, dark, and shy-looking girl of about 20 loitering outside the stairwell when Sam exited onto her floor some time later.

She had that look, that ‘oh-dear-god-I’m-lost-again’ look, so Sam took pity on her. “Can I help you get somewhere?”

She looked enormously relieved. “Uh, yes. I’m looking for Mr. Rodney McKay’s office?”

She tried to hide the laugh, she really did. “His apartment is just down to the left - 322. That’s what you’re looking for.”

She nodded, and then glanced back down at the open notebook in her arms on top of what looked like several large textbooks. “Oh, okay.”

Sam was just turning to head down the hall when the kid said, “And where’s Mr. Zelenka’s apartment?”

That stopped her immediately and had her frowning as she looked over her shoulder. “I’m sorry?”

“Radek Zelenka?” The panicked look came back. “Oh, well, if he’s not in this building, I’m going to have to call to reschedule and get directions, ‘cause I’ll never make it in time, and do you think that’ll look bad on”-

She held up a hand to forestall the babbling she recognized all too well. “Wait, he’s here. But why are you…” She shook herself.

Don’t ask questions. Don’t. Ask. Questions.

She smiled again. “Nevermind. Just take the stairwell back down to the second floor and go straight. He’s in the apartment below Rodney’s.”

The kid grinned, gratitude all over her face. “Hey, thanks.”

Nodding, smile still in place, she watched the kid practically scamper all the way to Rodney’s door. Once she’d been let in, Sam shook her head in annoyance and made her own way to her place.

She could see the notes ten feet away.

“Damn it.”

-----

A couple of hours later, Rodney slapped a bright yellow flyer on the counter in front of Daniel. “He stole my idea!”

Daniel, accustomed to strange outbursts from his excitable roommate, simply set down his book and gave his full attention. “Who and what?”

He gestured at the paper again. “Zelenka! He’s interviewing tutoring assistants!”

“So?”

Pacing now, Rodney continued gesticulate wildly. “So! So he stole my idea. And he’s going to steal all the good candidates.”

Puzzled, Daniel frowned. “How? You’re both on the same level in the department.”

“He’s paying them!”

Daniel read the flyer quickly. “With mini Mounds bars.” he retorted incredulously.

Rodney stopped abruptly and jabbed a finger at him. “Those things are good.”

Daniel blinked at him and spoke carefully. “Rodney. I think you’ve gone ‘round the bend.”

Rodney sighed heavily and snatched the flyer back. “I need coffee. I’m going out.”

-----

Rodney nearly ran down the man he was cursing in the lobby.

He narrowed his eyes at the wild-haired Czech. “Hello, Zelenka.”

“Hello, Rodney.”

Rodney held up the flyer he’d been given by the last interviewee. “I see you’re looking for tutoring candidates.”

Radek’s chin went up. “Yes, I am. I think it’s only right that I try to help my less fortunate classmates with their studies.”

He crossed his arms over his chest nonchalantly. “How very noble of you.”

“Yes.”

“Yes, well, I’m interviewing two candidates this afternoon myself.”

“Lee and Coombs?” Radek asked haughtily.

Rodney’s mouth bobbed open like a fish’s. “As a matter of fact…”

“I’ll ask that you not hold them longer than your scheduled hour. I have appointments with them this afternoon as well.”

“Fine. But that’s assuming they’ll still want to see you.”

Radek nodded, smiling deviously. “Of course. Goodbye Rodney.”

Rodney watched Radek leave, crushing the flyer in his hand.

He needed a triple-shot espresso like he never needed one before.

-----

A skinny, bespectacled kid appeared in Sam's line of vision. “Excuse me, can you tell me”-

Something inside her brain snapped. “Jack Benny is across the hall, Fred Allen’s one floor down, and Mary Livingstone is going to bed. Do you have a problem with that?”

Daniel was sure the guy was going to start crying any minute. “N-n-no m-ma’am.”

Behind her back, Ronon mouthed “Run!”

The skinny kid’s wingtip shoes could be heard clapping rapidly away when Sam turned back to the group. “Anyone else?”

Vala scoffed. “Have a problem with it? We didn’t even understand it.”

Daniel leaned over and said in a low voice. “Jack Benny, Fred Allen, and Mary Livingstone are all famous comedians who perpetuated a”-

“I don’t care,” Vala interrupted matter-of-factly.

“Okay.” He said immediately, and moved out of her personal space.

“I am going to bed,” Sam repeated forcefully.

Oh!

Trying not to give it away, trying not to doing anything at all that would jinx it, she said, “Jack, before you go – do you remember that problem with the microwave I mentioned the other day? Would you mind coming in to check it out before you go back downstairs?”

Because her eyes were about to fall out of her head in an effort to signal him – and because ‘the microwave is broken’ was probably the poorest excuse any woman has ever used to get rid of her friends so that she could go have wild sex with her boyfriend on the next available surface - Jack caught up quickly.

As did everyone else, but that was kind of the point.

“Yes! Yes, of course. I should take a look at that. It’s important to maintain your kitchen appliances.”

Sam let him move into the apartment ahead of her. “Right. Good. And we should probably check on the other appliances, you know, make sure they’re in good working ord”-

Then the door closed and they couldn’t hear much after that. Although Daniel wasn’t entirely sure that it was the barrier that had so abruptly muffled Sam’s words.

Everyone stood staring at the door for a moment before John broke the silence. “They’re doing what I think they’re doing, right?”

Cam shook his head with amusement and started walking away. “I’m going out for pizza.”

John traded a look with Ronon. “We’ll go with you.”

“Would you like to come have tea?” Teyla asked Liz as she turned to go down the hall. “Janet just received the Min Nan Oolong batch she ordered last week.”

Liz beamed happily. “That sounds lovely.”

“Mind if I join you?” Daniel asked.

Teyla answered him with a friendly smile. “Of course not.”

He returned it, and as he followed the women towards the elevator he heard a knock sound behind him.

And then Rodney bellowing: “No, no, no! Over here!”

-----

END.
Comments 
14th-Nov-2008 12:17 am (UTC)
*grins*

Oh, kids.
14th-Nov-2008 02:47 am (UTC)
Hee. :)
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