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Christmas calendar, December 17th

"So, you're going to make a wonderful birthday cake, together with Teal'c, while the rest of us fix up the mess hall." O'Neill told the children. "Don't worry, it'll be a great birthday party."

"Why can't we have it at your place? Or Janet's?" Daniel complained.

"You know why. There's been some activity from rogue N.I.D. agents again, so it was decided you would be safer here." O'Neill explained.

"They can't come here, right?" Sam asked, worried.

O'Neill shook his head. "No, I promise you. You're safe here."

-----
Teal'c took the huge birthday cake to the large center table, that had been created by pushing several normal tables together in the middle of the mess hall. The cake actually looked very delicious, despite any fears some people might have had about a cake made by an alien warrior and decorated by a bunch of children - some of them alien.

The table was covered with a white paper tablecloth, but otherwise it was decorated in a multitude of colours. The paper plates and plastic cups had various pictures of cartoon figures on them, as did the napkins. Streamers hung across the room, with the text 'Happy Birthday' in colourful lettering. Confetti and serpentines had been strewn generously all over the table, and balloons were everywhere.

Besides the cake, which Teal'c had now placed in the center of the table, there were several plates with food, as well as jugs with lemonade.

Sam, Martouf/Lantash, Freya/Anise, and Daniel stared at it all with excitement, then discovered the small table beside the large one. This truly drew their attention, as it was stacked with packages - gifts for the children.

"Happy Birthday!" shouted O'Neill, together with the members of the new SG-1 - as well as Janet, Jacob, Hammond, and several other SGC personnel and Tok'ra.

"Nice cake!" O'Neill said, appreciatively.

"Thank you, O'Neill." Teal'c said. "It is a chocolate cake - a decision which was easy to make. The choices for the decoration required much more deliberation, but an agreement was eventually reached."

"Yeah, I can see that." O'Neill smiled. The cake had both frosting and whipped cream, and someone had made a - quite decent - illustration of a Stargate on top of it. It seemed to have been made out of coloured icing. "Aren't there too many lights, though?" He counted. "Thirtyfour...they're only seven - and three, respectively."

"Four times seven, plus two times three...that's thirty-four!" Sam told him.

"Ah, I see. That makes sense...I guess." He grinned. So that was why the candles were placed in six groups.

"Can we open our presents now?" Daniel asked.

"Soon, but not until after you've eaten, sweetie." Janet smiled, ruffling his hair. "Come, there's lots of different sandwiches for you to chose from!"

"Is it all right if I only eat cake?" Martouf wondered, eying the cake hungrily.

"Oh, me too!" Sam said.

"No cake until you've eaten at least one sandwich, and that goes for both of you!" Jacob told them, sternly. "And you, Lantash!" He added, when he saw Martouf bowing his head and giving Lantash control.

"Not fair!" Lantash grumbled.

"Can I light the candles on the cake?" Anise asked, eagerly.

"It's too early to light them, honey. We're waiting until after we've eaten the sandwiches, otherwise they'll just burn down before you have time to blow them out." Janet said.

"Remember, you need to blow out all your candles - and none of the others! If you succeed, you're allowed to make a wish! But you shouldn't tell anyone about the wish." Jacob explained.

"If I don't tell anyone what I wish, how will it ever come true?" Anise wondered, very reasonably.

"The wish-ful-filling fairies are telepaths." Sam explained, looking serious.

-----
Lantash carefully studied the three candles he would be blowing out. He did not want to risk blowing out any of Martouf's candles, which were located pretty close by on the cake - which were overloaded with candles, making it impossible to put them at much of a distance. Anise had blown out one of Freya's candles, and had been teased for it.

Feeling reasonably certain he would not suffer the same indignity, he took a deep breath and blew hard at the candles. All three were blown out, and none of the others were, even if two more flickered dangerously for a moment. He smiled triumphantly.

"Nice, Lantash!" O'Neill said, clapping his hands.

Lantash gave control to Martouf, who gave his seven lights a long look. He then breathed in deeply, and blew hard at them...extinguishing six of the lights! He winced, obviously being teased mercilessly by Lantash, and quickly blew out the last candle.

"Can't you even blow out seven candles?" Daniel grinned. "Just wait until it's my turn - I'll show you how it's done!"

Martouf glared at him, obviously considering retribution.

"Be nice, Daniel. So, who goes next?" Janet quickly asked Sam and Daniel, not wanting anyone to fight.

"Me," Sam said, immediately.

Daniel shrugged. "No problem. It's just gonna be easier for me."

"Yes, and that's the only reason you'll succeed!" Martouf challenged.

Sam blew out her candles without problem, and smiling, she turned to Daniel. "Your turn."

Confident, Daniel turned to the cake and took a deep breath, then blew at the candles. Somehow, he had misjudged the amount of air needed, or perhaps the distance, but regardless of the reason, the result was the same. One candle was still lit when he was out of air. He stared at it, expressions of surprise and dismay mingling on his face. "Damn!" He hissed under his breath.

Martouf's eyes gleamed with mirth, and he was about to tease Daniel, when Janet sent him a warning look. He looked displeased, but decided against saying anything. He did not want Janet to be angry at him.

"Good! Now we can finally cut the cake!" O'Neill said. "Teal'c - give me a large slice!"


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