Excuses, Excuses
by Suz suzvoy@tesco.net

Disclaimer MGM/Gekko/Double Secret own them.

Spoilers for 'Ascension'. Set any Halloween you want after Jonas turns up.

Feedback would be very much appreciated. I really wasn't planning on writing anything today, until this silly little thing appeared in my head.

*

He was *so* not enjoying himself. Under normal circumstances he wouldn't have even been there, but Fraiser had pleaded, cajoled and outright threatened him - she was having a Halloween party, and he *was* coming.

Some day, he was gonna have to figure out why it was that she could order him about and not the other way around.

So he was sat on Fraiser's sofa, morosely sipping at a beer - morosely sipping at it underneath what he was wearing because, naturally, she'd insisted on costumes. That was where he'd drawn the line. He'd agreed to come; she was *not* gonna make him think up a costume, too.

"Fine," She'd responded, raising an eyebrow in an eerie impression of Teal'c. "Cut some eyeholes in a sheet and throw it over your head. That'll work."

When he'd turned up at the house costume-less she wasn't surprised - and she was also prepared, dragging a prepared sheet out of the hall closet after throwing his jacket inside.

Muttering, he'd yanked it from her outstretched hand, ignored her satisfied (and strangely evil) grin, stuffed it on over his head until the eyeholes were in the right place, and stomped to wherever the nearest alcohol was.

He just...really hadn't enjoyed parties since Charlie had died. Especially parties that were usually associated with kids, even if there weren't that many actually there this time.

So he sat on Fraiser's sofa, morosely sipping at a beer beneath his sheet, watching people milling past or standing still, mildly intrigued at the vast array of costumes on display.

It wasn't a very large gathering, maybe twenty people, but it was more than enough to make one house feel like it was packed to the gills. Teal'c had reprised his cowboy outfit (apparently realising that this was just about the only appropriate venue for it), Jonas had come dressed as a hotdog (food - what a shocker), and Carter...

Actually, he'd yet to see Carter at all. That wasn't helping his mood either.

Hammond walked by the sofa dressed, bizarrely enough, in a chef's outfit - complete with the big white hat. "Jack?" He asked, pausing.

This was one of the pluses of the outfit: no one knew who he was. Though part of him regretted doing it to the General, he shook his head. He was almost enjoying the wallowing.

When Hammond had moved on, Jack decided to actually pay attention to the outfits. Cassie was dressed as what he suspected was a kind of 'virgin bride' - all white, long, flowy material. Dominic was never more than a step behind, dressed as a vampire.

Fraiser, in a blonde wig doing her best bimbo impression, was doing everything possible to keep them apart.

There was a construction worker, something that was supposed to be a dog, another ghost, a princess, a warlock (Jack got told off when he claimed he was dressed as a male witch), and a bunch of other outfits where the people clearly hadn't put any effort in.

Much like him, then.

Somewhere around the two-hour mark, just as Jack was figuring he'd stayed there long enough, Jonas suggested something. Apparently Teal'c had told him all about this particular 'human activity', and as he was embracing the party as enthusiastically as he embraced everything else, he really wanted to see it in action.

It was Fraiser's house, so it was Fraiser's rules.

She said yes.

Groaning, Jack hauled himself to his feet, deposited the beer on a table and waited until Jonas covered his eyes and began counting.

And then everyone vanished.

Dammit. Were they really expecting him to play hide and go seek?

Jonas was still in the middle of the room, hands over his eyes, counting to a hundred. Dressed like a hotdog.

Jack's lips quirked. Okay, so the guy looked like an idiot. He might as well play along, even if he wasn't bothered about being caught first. Choosing the easiest option he crept into the hall, opened the closet, stepped inside, and closed the door.

His eyes tried to adjust to the sudden darkness, but there was nothing to adjust to: it was pitch black. Actually, that wasn't quite true. If he looked at the floor he could just make out a faint glow forcing its way in from beneath the door, and if he turned-

He bumped something.

Someone.

"Sorry," Jack whispered, his voice sounding unrecognisable even to him. "Didn't realise anyone was in here."

No response.

"Who are you?"

Nothing, other than breathing.

So, two options: either he was trapped in a closet with a murderer who was about to make balloon animals out of his intestines (and didn't they always do that on Halloween?), or he was trapped in a closet with the only person who had a potential reason to stay quiet.

Really, why would anyone else not say anything?

Reaching out a hand (consciously ensuring it was *way* above chest level), he eventually came into contact with what had to be a head, covered in...oh.

A sheet.

The other ghost.

Oh.

Grabbing a handful of the sheet, his own breath heavy in his ears, he slowly pulled it over her head and from her body, eventually letting it fall to the floor.

He still couldn't see anything. He didn't actually *know*. So technically, this wasn't wrong.

A hand touched the side of his head, through the sheet. But instead of doing what his had, the hand slid all the way down his body, finding the very edge of the sheet and hoisting it up.

And then she was beneath it too.

It was hardly the most romantic thing. Both of them under the same sheet, squashed between the jackets, boots, and whatever the hell else Fraiser kept in her closet, but if someone opened the door - which was a likely possibility - they'd both be covered so they could-oh.

And then they *were* oh-ing.

Of course, he wasn't quite sure why. Well, that wasn't true. He knew why, he just didn't know why *now*.

Not that he was complaining, regretfully breaking for air and finding it in scarce supply. It made sense. Two of them under a sheet, sharing breaths, warm, very warm, downright *hot*...

They were oh-ing again.

He could run out of Oxygen at any moment, and he didn't care. It was the perfect way to die.

Beneath the sheet, everything was magnified. Breaths, gasps, that cute little moan she made when he-

Light.

Slamming his eyes shut he yanked his head away, not risking seeing anything even under his costume.

"Found you!" Jonas' voice announced, either not noticing or choosing not to notice that he'd found two of them together.

Then the light disappeared again, as he closed the door in search of others.

His arms were wrapped around her, and vice versa. Leaning towards him briefly for a hug, she then pulled back and brushed a gentle kiss against the left side of his face.

He'd never seen her. She'd never seen him. Technically, it hadn't happened.

"Happy Halloween," She murmured, making him shiver, pulling out of his arms and making her escape.

Oh yeah. He was definitely coming back *next* year.

~FINIS

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