Rating: PG for a little language
Summary: late one August night, there was a phone call...
"Please, Jeannie, you've got to come. You know how he gets."
"Yes, Mer, I do, and I love Caden to pieces, but he's a pain in the ass to shop with."
"Hello? Why do you think I'm calling? I swear the moron security guards were going to call Child Services on us last year and all because I suggested that the kid might want to consider wearing something that wasn't Colts blue or that disgusting Vols orange."
"Oh really. And just how did you suggest it? With your usual warmth and tact, or is it possible that you lost your temper and yelled at him in the middle of the mall?"
"No, of course not! Well, maybe. Just a little. But John had taken all the shoe boxes - oh my god that was another disaster - to the truck and left me there with him and some how we ended up in front of the Candy Factory and he would still be there today counting every fucking piece of candy in every fucking jar in the place if I hadn't distracted him with one of those warm chocolate chip cookies."
"Right. You've never eaten one chocolate chip cookie in your life. You bought a bag, and then you and Caden got hyped up on the sugar. Period."
"We always get a bag. Is it my fault that Sheppard couldn't find his own truck in the parking lot and wasn't back to help us eat them?"
"And you bought that excuse? Oh, Mer."
"You were the one who told me that John Sheppard always managed to get your team out of all those tough situations, no matter what. Do you really think he doesn't always know exactly where his ride home is?"
"That son of a bitch! Sheppard! Get in here! I need to kill you where you stand."
"Mer... Mer! It's been a year. Don't you think the statute of limitations has run out on that one?"
"Never. I was in there alone with the kid for an hour! Sheppard!"
"Okay, Mer, I'm hanging up now."
"Nonono, wait, Jeannie, please. You have to come, you really do. Clearly, neither one of us are equipped to handle this. You're a girl, you enjoy shopping."
"Oh, really? Actually, big brother, you're lucky I just happen to have the shopping gene, or I might be offended by that remark. But did you have to wait until the last minute to call? There's enough to do around here with getting Maddy and Kaleb ready, let alone making a trip down there before school starts."
"Can't Timmy Teacher get himself ready for school?"
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry, it's just - can't you tell how desperate I am here? If you won't do it for me or John, do it for the kid so he won't be scarred for life?"
"Fine. But will you?"
"So, you're asking for my help. What are you offering in return?"
"Our undying gratitude?"
"Got that from the last favor I did for you."
"All the carrot juice you can drink?"
"Got that too."
"Well, obviously we'll pay for the trip down here. And you'll stay with us. You and Maddy."
"Of course. And Kaleb."
"What is this? Deal or no Deal?"
"Okay, okay, um. We'll pay for Maddy's school stuff too, and for whatever food and stuff you get at the mall. How am I doing?"
"Better. But you know, that's going to be a really long, hard day for me. I think some recovery time will be in order."
"You know you're welcome to stay as long as you want... oh, wait. Recovery. I get it. I know. A day at the spa. Just you, all by yourself, we'll entertain Maddy. And Kaleb."
"You know, Mer, I don't care what anyone says. You do have a sensitive side."
"Yeah, yeah, flattery will get you nowhere. Just tell me it's a deal."
"Oh, thank god. Sheppard, we're saved! My little sister is-"
"- rescuing you yet again."
"Yes, yes, thank you, Jeannie. Really. Now, how soon can you get here?"
"Yay! Aunt Jeannie's coming!"
"Caden? How long have you been on there? Get off that phone right now! Sheppard, where the hell are you?"
"Bye, Mer. I love you."
"Jeannie, wait, what about the tickets and stuff?"
"Just book them and email me."
"Okay, bye, I love you too. No, you I don't love. At all. Weren't you were supposed to be watching him?"