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Fanfiction: Send in the Clowns

Fandom: Stargate SG1
Series: Five Things
Prompt: Five Times a Member of SG1 couldn't sleep.
Rating: PG-13
Author's Note: OK, so the story posted below is actually seven times a member of SG1 couldn't sleep rather than five as the original prompt called for.  I couldn't help expanding this one.  Team friendship.  Gen or Sam/Jack if you want to see it.  The original published on sg1-five-things didn't have sections 4 or 7 in order to comply with the five things meme. 
Disclaimer: No copyright infringement intended.  Written for entertainment purposes only.

 

Send in the Clowns

Prompt 75.01: Seven Times a Member of SG1 couldn't sleep


1.

‘Can’t sleep?’ Jack O’Neill commented as Daniel Jackson sat down beside him.

‘Every time I close my eyes I keep seeing everything that happened on Chulak.’ Daniel admitted. He nudged his glasses up his face and peered at Jack. ‘How do you do it? Just forget about everything and go to sleep?’

Jack plucked a dot of dirt from his coffee and flicked it into the darkness. ‘Clowns.’

‘Clowns?’ Daniel repeated, his eyebrows rising.

‘Clowns.’ Jack said firmly. ‘I count clowns in my head.’

Daniel looked at him askance. Across the camp, a group of women appeared from the forest.

‘Isn’t that Captain Carter?’ Daniel pointed to one of the forms.

‘Yep.’ Jack’s eyes widened.

‘Has she taken off her, uh…?’

‘She has.’

‘Shouldn’t we, you know, stop her before she takes off something else?’ Daniel asked bluntly.

Jack sighed and got to his feet. Daniel watched him head over to their team-mate with a well-hidden smile. Clowns. He guessed he’d give it a try.

2.

Daniel looked up from his book as Sam shifted in the infirmary bed. ‘Hey.’

‘Hey.’ Sam grimaced as her haunted eyes strayed to the clock.

‘Trouble sleeping?’ Daniel asked gently.

Sam shook her head. ‘I keep seeing all these images from,’ she hesitated and ploughed on, ‘from Jolinar.’

Daniel nodded sympathetically. The past couple of days had been a nightmare with Sam possessed by a Goa’uld who had strangely saved her.

‘Try counting clowns.’ He suggested. ‘Jack once…well, he suggested it and, I don’t know why exactly, but it always works for me.’ He gave a shy smile.

Sam sighed and closed her eyes. ‘Thanks, Daniel.’

3.

‘Clowns?’ Jonas Quinn looked at Sam suspiciously in the almost empty commissary. He’d found his team-mate there despite the insanely early hour and had decided to ask her advice on the nightmares plaguing his sleep. ‘Really?’

Sam nodded and swallowed the chunk of blue Jello she’d just placed in her mouth. ‘Clowns.’ She shrugged. ‘It works every time.’

‘I thought it was supposed to be sheep?’ Jonas murmured.

Sam shrugged and scraped up more Jello. ‘I think the idea is to think of something so ridiculous like a clown that it counteracts any threatening images lurking in your subconscious.’

‘Makes sense.’ Jonas agreed. He waited a beat. ‘What if you find clowns threatening?’

Sam’s spoon paused mid-way to her mouth and she looked at him concerned.

‘Never mind.’ Jonas said hastily.

4.

Jonas looked over at the restless Jaffa and wondered whether to risk saying anything. ‘You OK, Teal’c?’

His friend didn’t answer for a long moment before Teal’c finally allowed a small sigh. ‘I am having some difficulty in obtaining unconsciousness.’

Usually Jonas was the one reliant on Teal’c for advice and it seemed strange to him to be in the position of offering it.

‘Try counting clowns.’ Jonas said confidently.

‘Clowns.’ Teal’c repeated.

‘Sam suggested it to me when I was having problems.’ Jonas continued enthusiastically. ‘The clowns replace any threatening images in your mind. I was a bit worried at first because I find clowns a bit weird you know? We don’t have them on Kelowna. But they do work.’

Teal’c frowned heavily. ‘I also find the idea of clowns weird, Jonas Quinn. But I will do as you suggest.’

Jonas smiled and felt better. Teal’c always had the knack of making him feel less alone.

5.

Teal’c watched Cameron Mitchell jog on the SGC treadmill and figured, given the late hour, the other man was having trouble sleeping and hoped running would tire him out. He waited until Mitchell was finished before he approached the new SG1 leader.

‘After I began to take tretonin, Jonas Quinn once advised me to always count clowns in the event of being unable to sleep.’ Teal’c clasped his hands behind his back.

Cam stared at him. ‘Why?’

‘I believe the theory is equivalent to the spell of riddikulus used by Harry Potter.’ Teal’c said.

‘Change the boggart into something stupid so you don’t fear it anymore.’ Cam got the reference immediately. ‘OK but what do you do when the boggarts already look like clowns?’

Teal’c raised an eyebrow. ‘Then surely they should not to be feared at all, Colonel Mitchell.’

6.

‘I don’t get it.’ Vala complained as she turned over in her sleeping bag for what seemed to Cam like the one hundredth time. Daniel was so sharing a tent with their newest recruit the next time they had to spend a night off-world no matter who won the coin toss, Cam thought tiredly. Or Sam: she was a woman; Vala was a woman; shouldn’t they be sharing?

‘What’s not to get?’ Cam asked impatiently. ‘Think of clowns and go to sleep.’

‘But why clowns?’ Vala asked. ‘Why not…’

‘Vala.’ Cam bit out. ‘It’s a team thing.’

‘It is?’ Vala considered that carefully. Cam knew she was desperate to get off probation and formally join SG1. ‘OK, then.’

Cam sighed. A few minutes later, Vala let out a gentle snore. He clapped his hand over his face and tried to think of clowns.

7.

Jack opened the door to the observation room and froze as he spotted Vala. Landry had ordered SG1 to stand down their vigil over the lab where Carter had disappeared a week before and he had thought he would be alone.

Vala opened her mouth. Jack cut her off before she could get started. ‘You’re not supposed to be here.’ He shut the door behind him, his gaze on the empty space below.

‘Really?’ Vala said adopting an innocent look. ‘I just thought that it was more of a suggestion than an order.’ She sighed as she registered he hadn’t bought her act. ‘The clowns thing wasn’t working.’

His eyebrows shot up. ‘Clowns?’

‘You know.’ Vala waved at him with an imperious hand. ‘Counting clowns when you can’t sleep. Why everyone in SG1 does it I don’t know but it usually does work.’

A vague memory popped into Jack’s head; Daniel asking him on an early mission how to sleep and him randomly choosing clowns just to mess with Daniel. But then he’d gotten distracted by Carter getting naked and he’d never actually told Daniel he was just messing with him. Had Daniel taken him seriously? And they all did it? He wasn’t sure whether to be horrified or delighted.

Jack gestured at the lab below. ‘She’s not there, you know.’

‘I know.’ Vala admitted quietly. ‘I just feel closer to her here.’

Jack didn’t say anything. He knew what she meant. He pulled up a chair and propped his feet up on the table, crossing them at the ankle. He was aware of a wide-eyed Vala following his example. Maybe he would give the clowns thing a go, Jack mused as he closed his eyes.

And maybe Carter would show up naked.

He could always dream.

fin.

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