"Are you sure he left it in here?" asked O'Neill, as he and Carter searched Jonas' office. He was now having to look systematically through piles of paper and files instead of leafing rapidly through them at random. He looked round and saw her standing still, her attention focussed on a printed document. "Is that it?"
"Er, not exactly." replied Sam. "I don't think we'll find it before he returns tomorrow." She was only half paying attention to him, and turned a page, continuing her reading. Jack approached and looked over her shoulder.
His eyes scanned only a few lines before he exclaimed "What the hell..?" He moved her right hand slightly to see better, and took in a few lines of Jonas' work.
He read out loud "The rain beat louder on the screen of the now stationary car. The wipers beat a steady rhythm, back and forth, back and forth. It was now or never for Machine Gun Carter to make this dumb, honest, lovable gumshoe O'Neill realise that sending her over for her part in the crime rackets would deprive him of the greatest lover he would ever know. The lights of passing cars came on like diamonds and departed like rubies, reflecting in his eyes and the myriad rain spots on the window. 'Jack, don't do this to me.' she sobbed. 'Can't you see my lips are burning for you? You know how to whistle, don't you? You just put your lips together and blow.' Their eyes locked together and his fingers caressed her cheek."
He turned his head slightly towards her face. "Any noisy oral pain sensations for you right now?" She laughed in response. "What is this, Sam?"
"It's a Jonas Quinn masterpiece!" she replied. "You know how he and Teal'c both got interested in Sherlock Holmes big time. We gave them that present of going to the Murder Mystery weekend in a hotel." She pointed to a shelf across the room. "Look, there's his deerstalker hat and magnifying glass. I still can't picture Teal'c as Dr. Watson, but he really enjoyed it too. Jonas started writing his own stories after that and posting them on the Internet. It looks like his reading tastes have moved on. Interesting role models, don't you think, Sir?"
Jack saw on the bookshelf in front of the desk a row of novels by various crime writers - Dashiel Hammett, Raymond Chandler and Mickey Spillane. He did a double-take. "Mickey Spillane?!" Titles included The Maltese Falcon, The Thin Man, The Big Sleep, Kiss Me Deadly.. There were a couple of Humphrey Bogart videos stored next to them. He realised that the 1930's and 1940's settings of the stories rather resembled Jonas' own world, Kelowna.
Jack smiled enigmatically and Sam's eyebrows rose in response. "What..?" she started to say.
"I think we may be able to assist the development of his literary style when we all get together Friday night." he said. "Let's liberate a copy of this and work on it. Come on, I'll explain." He guided her out of the office and laid out his idea.
Next day, Jonas handed over the missing report to the Colonel. "Thanks, Jonas." said O'Neill. "How's the writing coming along now? The Sherlock Holmes thing, I mean."
Jonas was taken aback, and hesitated slightly. "Er, fine thanks, Jack. I get quite a lot of correspondence from other fans on the Net." But his face gave away the fact that his current writing might prove a shock to his team mates if they only knew. But he'd concealed the draft well, and there was no danger of a leak, he thought. He wondered whether he'd summon up the courage to post the latest stories.
Fleeting doubts about his secret arose when later in the day, he heard Jack call over to Sam "Don't forget the meeting at 1500, MG!" which caused a brilliant smile in response.
Did he imagine her whispered reply, "OK, Dick."? 'No, couldn't be', he reassured himself.
Friday night's relaxation, good food and a quite a few beers came as real tonic for the four close friends. They sat in their favourite corner of O'Malley's. As the evening wore on, Jonas little noticed how Sam and Jack, spurred on by the alcohol, had gradually steered the conversation round to Great Detectives. "So, do you really think that Sherlock was a better 'tec than Hercule Poirot?" Sam asked Jonas and Teal'c.
"Undoubtedly." replied Teal'c. "He possessed a depth of thought that no other sleuth could approach." Jonas nodded in agreement.
"But what about in a tight situation, where gut instinct wins out when there's no time to think?" asked Jack. "Would he be as good as, oh, say. Philip Marlowe or Sam Spade, or maybe Mike Hammer?" He looked straight into Jonas' eyes as he spoke.
'Oh God, oh God, oh God!' thought Jonas. 'They know!' Despite his panic, the immortal line crept into his head 'is this the end for Rico?'
"You see, Jonas," continued Jack, drawing the script out of his inside pocket, "these guys had style in spades, if you don't mind the pun. They knew how to handle dames, for a start." Sam elbowed him in the ribs. "And you know what, Jonas; I think the flow of your story needs a little help. So 'Machine Gun' here and I are gonna give you some practical advice in how it's done." He saw the puzzled look on the Jaffa's face and tossed the papers across to him. Teal'c started reading avidly, while Jonas sat with his head in his hands. "Watch and learn." said O'Neill.
Sam took off her leather jacket to reveal an off-the-shoulder top that sent temperatures soaring around the table. Putting a small black beret on her head, she turned round and placed one arm round Jack's shoulder and the other across his chest. "Jack," she said in a sultry voice, "you may be a cheap detective with no reputation to speak of."
"Watch it, Major!" warned Jack.
"But you have a heart as big a 10-storey Stargate, and I just know you won't send me over for a few gangland assassinations. My whistling lips are burning for you! Kiss me, you fool!" she breathed, her lips only inches from his.
"Well, maybe you love me, and just maybe I love you," drawled Jack, "but you put Bugsy Hammond outta business, big time. You always seem to have a reasonable explanation for things."
"What do you want me to do, learn to stutter?" she replied, flicking her eyelashes at him. Jonas and Teal'c stared wide-eyed at them, like rabbits caught in car headlights. Jonas' instinct was to reach for his ever-present video camera, but Teal'c reached over and held his arm in place, without turning his head.
"Oh, but I want you in the worst possible way, MG." rasped Jack, embracing her with both arms.
"You mean, like standing up in a hammock?" whispered Sam. The effort of keeping straight faces was becoming increasingly difficult for both of them, especially when they glanced round to see Teal'c's broad smile, contrasting with Jonas' look of eager admiration for such fine acting.
"But it wouldn't be right, sugar." said Jack. "You'd always have something on me, for the rest of my days."
"You mean, like this?" said Sam, pushing back her chair and turning round to sit on his lap. "Without your help, Jack, I'm utterly lost!"
"If that's a sidearm you think you're reaching for, you're gonna be disappointed, MG." said Jack, smiling at his own ad-lib. Their lips met, as across the table, Jonas gasped at the sheer artistry of it all.
After about half a minute of passionate tongue-wrestling, both Sam and Jack began to realise that this part of their original script should have ended 25 seconds earlier. But by now they didn't really care, and would have continued but for the sudden awareness that the small audience gathered around their table had started to applaud. They broke apart slowly, breathing deeply, and looked round.
"Bravo!" said Jacob Carter, looking down at his daughter, still applauding. "Did you have to rehearse much for that, Jack?"
"What do you want me to do, learn to stutter?" repeated Jack, lamely.