"I just don't understand you Cassandra Fraiser. Pete is a great
guy, why can't you give him a break?" Sam demanded, hands on her hips,
her expression a mixture of demand and plea.
Cassie strolled along the booths checking out the array of goods
for barter and sale, considering her answer to Sam's loaded question.
She loved the flea market. Her Mom used to bring her here the
first weekend of every month and the two would check over the wares
admiring the unusual bits and pieces, giggling over the bizarre and
sighing over the sublime; occasionally one or all of her 'uncles' and
Sam would join them and they'd make a day of it.
A day, which usually ended with Uncle Jack tormenting Uncle Danny
about some obscure item he would purchase; after haggling mightily and
joyfully with some equally euphoric salesperson or another.
"Admit it Danny boy, you're a pack rat." Jack taunted, eyeing
Daniel's latest find with thinly veiled contempt.
"Am not." Daniel protested red-faced.
"Are too." Jack smirked.
"Not." Daniel dug in his heels.
on smugly, his long legs eating up the distance between them. "Are."
Daniel chased after Jack. "Am not."
"Are too." Jack tossed over his shoulder.
Janet Fraiser laughed lightly. "Boys play nice."
Biting back his next denial, Daniel drew himself up with dignity.
"I'll have you know Jack O'Neill that this is a rare find."
Relenting a bit, Jack eyed the ratty bundle clutched in Daniel's
arms. "Of course it is Danny," he agreed softly. "They always are."
Jack took a
good look at the moldering cloth in his friend's arms, it looked like
any other rag to him, but if it made Danny happy it was worth the
ridiculous price the erstwhile scholar had finally paid for it.
"But, did you have to argue with the man for over an hour? Some of
us are hungry." Jack added with a long-suffering groan.
Jack's exasperated eyes wandered over the booth directly behind his
friend and stopped short. There gleaming in the sunlight lay a vintage
rod and reel, not just any rod and reel, but an exact duplicate to
those once owned by his long deceased and beloved grandpa. Picking the
dazzling gear up carefully, Jack ran a loving hand along the rusted
metal of the reel.
days had he and gramps spent lounging on the dock, tying flies - they'd
been inseparable once upon a time, yep, inseparable. The price tag
hanging from the rod read two hundred dollars.
Jack took a
good look at the man behind the booth. The older man's clothing had seen
better days. The gaunt face stared calmly back at him, its brown eyes
held a message of quiet acceptance and regret.
batting an eye, Jack pulled out his checkbook, writing out a check, he
then slapped the bank draft into the waiting hands of the elderly
gentleman. "Five hundred bucks enough?"
Nodding happily, the silver haired man pocketed the crisp paper.
the reel into his left pocket and nestled the rod in the crook of his
arm. Ignoring Daniel's superior expression, he led the little group away
from the long line of booths toward his truck.
hundred bucks' a fair price for the badly damaged article you now
possess, O'Neill?" Teal'c wondered, the concept of purchasing discarded
possessions still new to him.
understand T', this gear is special." Jack muttered quietly.
"In what way O'Neill?" Teal'c persisted
"Teal'c if a person finds something rare, something he treasures, no
price is too great." Janet Fraiser whispered, her gaze resting lovingly
on her daughter.
Teal'c drew his massive form up into one of respectful dignity and
understanding bowing his head, the cowboy hat currently residing on his
pate tipping slightly. "Indeed."
"Cassandra, I asked you a fair question, I deserve an answer."
Sam's annoyed voice drew Cassie back to the present with a start.
Smiling wistfully, Cassie took Sam's hand. "I'm sorry Sam, really
I am. It's just that Pete is nothing special. Mom always said that only
someone rare and special deserved your love. And Pete, well Pete is
ordinary." Cassie answered honestly.
"Ordinary!" Sam echoed with chagrin.
"Yes, ordinary." Cassie confirmed. "Oh, he's bright and shiny,
like a new rod and reel, his lines aren't tangled and there aren't any
dents in his wood or rust on his chrome; all the parts work perfectly.
However, he lacks character. He's nothing special."
Stunned, Sam gaped at her adopted niece. She sounded just like
Cassie colored a bit, she hated to be rude, but Sammy had
insisted on an answer. "I'm sorry Sam, I don't mean to be unkind, but we
both know it's true."
Hooking her arm through Sam's, Cassie pulled her along. "Come on,
forget I said anything. It's your decision after all not mine. No matter
what you decide, I'll support you."
Sam patted Cassie's hand. "I know you will kiddo… I know you
October 23, 2004. From the vacuous vault of Cjay's mind. For
Jolene, angler, author and friend.