Written in about twenty minutes, and based entirely on my new calling as a pool shark, I really hope you enjoy this, Des, and that your birthday has involved lots of--well, frosting and cake, natch. :)
“You’re never gonna make that shot,” Jack said from where he was propped up against the dark-panelled wall. He held his cue lightly in both hands, and his legs were crossed as he watched Daniel bend low over the table, eyeing the angle.
Daniel flicked a glance up at him, letting it barely register before he looked back to the white ball and the solid green beyond. “Wanna bet?” he asked lightly.
“Nah,” said Jack. “Candy, babies, y’know.”
Daniel nudged his glasses up his nose, still balancing the cue in his hands. “Somebody tried to steal candy from me when I was a baby, once. I screamed bloody murder and she ran away.”
Jack blinked. “How old was she
“Seven or eight, I think.” Daniel thought about how much force he should use, and he struck the ball. Green ball, straight and true, right into the corner pocket.
Daniel straightened and grinned slyly at Jack.
“Told you so,” he said.
Jack rolled his eyes and shifted against the wall. He was outside the fall of the overhead light above the pool table, but Daniel knew him well.
“And for your next trick?” Jack’s tone of voice was acerbic.
“Seven ball, side pocket,” Daniel answered thoughtfully after frowning at the table.
“Bank shot,” Daniel confirmed.
“Oh, if only Carter were here to see you now,” Jack said, watching Daniel measure the angles. “You mad geometrician, you.”
Daniel’s eyebrows and lips quirked upward, but he didn’t respond, concentrating on the shot instead. He aimed. He fired. He missed.
“Ha,” Jack could not quite contain his crow of triumph. Then again, Daniel deserved it. Cocky little bastard. He pushed himself off the wall and meandered up to the table, taking his time to survey his options. Sadly, they weren’t many.
“Good luck,” Daniel said sweetly as he passed out of Jack’s view, heading for their little table with a pitcher of beer and two half-empty glasses. It was a compromise that they could both agree to drink, though Daniel liked it a little more than Jack and refused to admit it.
“Cocky little bastard,” Jack repeated aloud, softly, and bent over the table. It was early enough in the evening that his knees weren’t giving him crap yet. He wondered how bad it would look if he claimed infirmity in defense of an early night and decided he didn’t care, if Daniel was gonna beat his ass when they were only into their first game.
The thirteen ball was his best bet, even if his angle was terrible. He could at least nudge the ball in the right direction. Daniel only had the one ball on the table, besides the eight, and Jack had fallen woefully behind after a brilliant beginning that had included breaking with two stripes smoothly falling into the pockets.
Maybe if he was lucky, Daniel would scratch on the eight ball.
Jack sighted along his cue. As he’d thought, the ball didn’t actually go into
the pocket, but at least it headed in the right direction. Sometimes, Jack told himself philosophically as he straightened, that was all you could ask for.
Daniel grinned at him again as he walked past him and around the table. It was a quiet night, middle of the week, and there were only a few other people playing and drinking in the bar. But Teal’c was visiting off-planet, and Carter was finishing up a project, and they had elected to make the middle of the week their weekend.
Daniel shoved his glasses up his nose again and frowned over the table, standing his cue up as if it were a cane. Jack settled down on one of the chairs by their little table, grinning a little. He would never in a million years admit it publicly, but he enjoyed it when Daniel focused his concentration on something other
than old rocks.
The seven ball rolled beautifully into the side pocket.
Daniel grinned at the table, never even glancing in Jack’s direction, and Jack huffed out a long-suffering sigh. He supposed they should play one more game after this, so he could kick Daniel’s ass because otherwise Daniel would be unbearable for the next week at least, but he just wasn’t sure he wanted to risk the humiliation.
“Call it,” he growled.
“Corner pocket,” Daniel pointed with the cue, and then he strolled around the table, taking his sweet damn time to set up his shot.
corner?” Jack snorted. “You’re dreaming, Daniel.”
“There are more things in heaven and earth, Jack,” Daniel answered mildly. “Have a little faith, why don’t you.”
Jack merely snorted again and watched.
Eight ball, corner pocket, and Jack wanted to beat his head lightly against the little table.
Daniel straightened. “Wanna go again?” he asked brightly.
“Absolutely not,” Jack answered. “Or else I
might scream bloody murder.”