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03.00 was not a good time for Brigadier-General Jack O'Neill, especially when he had just spent 7 hours at a conference table with a group of the most intransigent aliens he had ever come across!

Oh sure, he knew these Darmonians were important, Carter and Daniel had seen to that. They had bent his ear, well, both ears actually, for endless hours of briefing as to how these guys were only one step away from the Ancients….yada yada blah blah…..fantastically advanced technology….babble babble bleep….amazingly developed culture..yakkity yakkity yak….and in fact were probably the greatest thing to hit Earth since Krispy Kremes.

At the thought of donuts, Jack's stomach gave out a reproachful growl. The Carter/Jackson show had somehow made him miss lunch.

There should have been no need for him to join in these trade negotiations, but Hank Landry was on vacation and Daniel had insisted that a top-ranking officer had to be there. He had flipped a dime with George Hammond and lost! He then began to learn lots more about the Darmonians, all the things that hadn't made their way onto the Carter/Jackson song sheet. First off, they were nocturnal, so the negotiations couldn't start before 20.00. Next, they had some weird religious thing about squares and rectangles, so the conference room table had to be hastily replaced with a round one, and finally, the real kicker! Not one of the six person (Jack hadn't quite determined what gender they were.) delegation spoke English. What sort of advanced race were they if they couldn't speak English, for cryin' out loud? Every blasted word of every blasted clause in the whole blasted treaty had to be translated, along with every question from each side, and every answer.

At 01.00, Jack had called home to tell Sam not to wait up, that he would sleep at the base. It had taken a while for her to pick up, and it did nothing to improve Jack's mood to find that she had already turned in and his dinner was in the trash.

Thinking of dinner brought a louder and more persistent rumble from Jack's innards. He had almost forgotten that he had missed dinner as well!

At 02.30, when it became obvious that the only English word the Darmonians had mastered was "No", Jack had called a halt to the session and adjourned proceedings until the next evening. His butt was numb from sitting too long, his ears were numb from listening too much and he was rapidly developing an almost uncontrollable urge to punch someone or something extremely hard.

Sidestepping Daniel's attempts to tell him how well everything had gone so far, Jack stalked off to Landry's office, to sit in the comfortable chair and give both ends of his body a well-earned break. Glancing down into the control room, he saw the very familiar figure of Walter Harriman at the desk. Did the little guy never go home? He tapped on the glass and raised a hand in greeting, and Harriman came up the stairs to say hello.

"Nice to see you, sir, how's everything………?"

A bass drum roll from the O'Neill gut, and an embarrassed smile from the man himself interrupted Walter's question.

"Sorry, Sergeant, I seem to have missed a meal or three today."

"Would you like me to go to the commissary and fetch you something, sir? You look as though you could do with staying in that chair for a while."

"If that offer doesn't get you promotion, Walter, there's no hope for you at all. Thank you!"

Leaving O'Neill sprawled in Landry's chair, feet on the desk and one arm across his eyes, Walter Harriman trotted off to the commissary, to be met by the sight of Sly Siler's size 11s protruding from under the chiller cabinet, and lots of empty shelves.

"Sorry Walt, there's a power outage somewhere down here. Can't cook the hot stuff, can't keep the chilled stuff cold."

"Aargh!" Walter saw all chances of promotion disappearing through the Stargate.

"There's always the MREs, or I could do you a nice fruit bowl?"

Harriman was well aware of the General's opinion of MREs. "Yeah, fruit would be good, thanks." "Fruit? FRUIT?" O'Neill's voice was going rapidly from piano to forte. "I wanted food, Harriman, not a table decoration!"

The offending object sat on the blotter, a choice selection of ripe, juicy fruit, but not at all what Jack had had in mind.

"I'm sorry, sir, but that was all that was available. They have a problem down there."

"We have a problem up here, Sergeant, a very hungry General and a complete absence of anything resembling real, sustaining food. Wasn't there any cake?"

"Apparently not, sir, I'm sorry."

"OK, OK, I suppose it's not your fault. As you were, Sergeant."

Stifling a sigh of relief that almost reached gale force, Walter scuttled back to his desk, leaving Jack staring morosely at his so-called meal. As he stared, an itch awoke at the back of his mind and scratched gently. Why should there be something familiar about a basket of fruit? Shaking off the fanciful notion as the product of an over-Darmonian'ed brain, he relaxed into the big leather chair and tried to doze. Fidgeting for a while before deciding he would be more comfortable resting his head on the table, Jack stretched out his arms, only to send the fruit bowl flying.

"Oh Crap!" Trying to exercise some damage limitation, he caught the piece of airborne fruit closest to him, and the brain-itch started up all over again. The peach he had caught was firm and round, with a downy bloom on its luscious pinky-orange skin. It fit perfectly in his hand, and as he curled his fingers around it, he found a little nub at one end. He rubbed his fingers gently over it, and was almost disappointed that it didn't stiffen and perk up under his touch. He licked his lips and touched his tongue to the delicate little peak, smiling at what it reminded him of.

Turning the fruit around, he noticed a crease running down one side of the silky globe, splitting it into two beguiling cheeks, the skin flawless and inviting. He touched the globe to his face, feeling his arousal grow as he thought of two other cheeks, the skin warm and beautifully smooth, and what he could do with the crease between them.

Following the crease to the top of the peach, his fingers found a shallow dimple where the tip of a tongue could rest, to taste the sweetness and promise within. Jack knew where he could find another place just like that. Finally he held the fruit to his nose and, breathing in the incredibly sweet perfume, he took a very gentle bite. The honeyed juices filled his mouth, coated his lips and dripped down his chin, and he could take no more.

"Sam, baby, I'm sorry to wake you again, but I'm coming home after all. Any chance you could wait up for me?" Even over the phone, Sam could hear desire roughening his voice. "And do we have any of that cream, you know, the squirty stuff in the can?"


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