Disclaimer - MGM/Gekko/Double Secret own Stargate and all the characters, NBC/Aaron Sorkin/Whoever own The West Wing and all the characters. This is just for fun!
Okay, so I screwed royally with the timeline to do this the way I want to. Ner ;P Stargate characters are from season four, but in The West Wing Bartlet hasn't been President for even six months yet, and Charlie has been hired.
Spoilers - Stargate: References to 'Children of The Gods', 'The Torment of Tantalus', 'Enigma', 'Politics', 'Learning Curve', 'Urgo', 'Crystal Skull' and 'Prodigy'. West Wing: No specific episodes, just that Charlie is working for them.
Would love feedback!
Sitting behind his desk in the Oval Office, Jed Bartlet perused the papers in his hand, his glasses perched on the edge of his nose. They weren't professionally laid out like any of the reports provided to him by his talented staff; instead they were crudely stapled together as if whoever had produced this 'report' had been in a hurry.
As in desperate not to get caught.
The insatiable gossip in him wanted to know why.
He was, of course, also curious as to why it had turned up on his desk in the first place. This was the kind of thing that would usually go through fifty people before he got wind of it.
Or maybe it was something old. There was no date on it saying when this 'report' had been made.
She responded quickly to his well-known bellow, appearing in the doorway to his right. "Yes Mr President?"
"Did you put this on my desk?"
"No Mr President."
"Well I was gone for less than five minutes and when I came back this was on my desk. Did you see anyone come in here while I was gone?"
"No Mr President."
"I'm sure I would have noticed someone sneaking in while you weren't there, Mr President."
"All right. Thank you Mrs Landingham. And get that expression off your face."
The expression remained. "Mr President?"
"Don't fake innocence with me young lady. You clearly believe I'm losing my mind."
"I think everybody knows that you lost your mind a long time ago sir."
True enough. "Get out," He ordered kindly.
"Yes Mr President." She closed the door behind her, leaving only the President and Charlie Young - his body man - behind.
"Charlie," He began, and the young man moved silently as if he had materialised from the very walls of the Oval Office itself. "Can you think of any Earthly reason why we would be spending over seven billion dollars on deep space radar telemetry?"
He seemed surprised at that figure. "No sir - but that sounds like a lot of money."
"Exactly what I thought," Bartlet agreed, taking his glasses off with his right hand while holding the papers in his left.
His ruminations were interrupted when the door to the left opened. The door in question lead to Leo McGarry's office and as expected Leo McGarry himself - not only the White House Chief of Staff but also Jed's best friend - leant into the Oval Office.
"Mr President, do you have a minute?"
Jed waved him in. "Charlie and I were just discussing deep space radar telemetry."
"Yes sir," It wasn't a question or any curiosity about what they were discussing; just an acknowledgement that the President was once again going off on one of his many bizarre tangents that he would forget about by the end of the day.
Jed recognised that tone all too well. "Did you know that we spend over seven billion dollars on deep space radar telemetry?"
His friend shrugged. "I may have read it somewhere, although I'm really not sure."
"Seven billion dollars? That's an awful lot of money. Now, I'm a big believer in space exploration, as you know."
"But seven *billion* dollars on deep space radar telemetry? Doesn't that seem a bit excessive?"
Leo smiled. "There's almost nothing about this country that isn't excessive Mr President."
Another truth. Still... "I don't like this."
"I leave my office for just a few minutes. When I come back this 'report' is waiting on my desk, with apparently no witnesses as to how it got there. I haven't been here even six months yet and this cloak and daggery stuff is happening. I don't like it."
Finally realising that he was being serious, Leo nodded towards the phone on his desk. "If it really bothers you we could have Ron look into it; find out where it came from."
No. No, he had a better idea. "Hold off for now. I'll look over this some more." Why would anyone looking at deep space telemetry work inside a mountain? Wasn't that about as far away from space as you could get? Nothing about this made sense. "Did you want something?"
Definitely pleased to talk about his reason for being there, Leo nodded. "CJ wants five minutes of your time later to talk about the thing."
Jed sighed. Terrific. Just what he didn't want to discuss. "What about Holland?"
Leo didn't look particularly cheery. "I think he's going to back us on this one."
"But?" There had to be a but. There always was with Holland.
"It comes with some conditions."
"Of course it does."
Leo, naturally, had to play devil's advocate. "Sir, he would be doing us a huge favour-"
"Oh I know that Leo! I know the man is doing us a very big favour, it's just that he never lets us forget it."
"Wouldn't you do the same in his position?"
Not ready to answer that question, Bartlet turned back to his desk. "Anything else?"
"All right. See you later."
Taking what was essentially a 'dismissed' to heart, Leo bid farewell to both the President and Charlie before leaving the Oval Office.
Waiting until the door clicked shut behind Leo, the President then gave up the pretence of relaxing and pounced for his phone. Asking for a worryingly familiar extension, he drummed his fingers on his desk until the person at the other end picked up. "Ron? I need to get to Colorado Springs without the press finding out. Think you can handle that?" He smiled at the response. "Good. Meet me in half an hour. You know where." This wasn't the first time he'd done this. Hanging up the phone, he looked at his body man, who had magically grafted himself back onto the wall. "Charlie, pack light."
"We're going to Colorado Springs."
Jack watched with wrinkled-nose distaste as Teal'c swallowed another spoonful.
"How can you eat that stuff?" He asked, feeling his own stomach roll in disapproval.
"I find it most appetising," The Jaffa responded. "We have nothing like it on Chulak."
The colonel shuddered inwardly. Yogurt. Ugh. No, he much preferred his Jello and he'd stick with that thankyouverymuch.
"Actually that's an interesting point," Daniel butted in.
Jack could just tell 'archaeological mode' was taking over. It was as if Daniel was a character in a computer game and someone had just pressed a button that had the words 'now would be a good time to be boring' engraved on it. "What is? Do tell."
Carter smirked around her own spoon of Jello.
They were all in the commissary; had been for the past forty-five minutes. It had become a ritual of theirs. Whenever they weren't off world or laid up in the infirmary, they'd meet up for at least an hour in the commissary - if it were feasible. So much in their line of work was unknown and uncertain and as much as Jack enjoyed that, he was also willing to admit that he enjoyed this; that no matter what happened he would always come back to this table with these friends.
Not that he'd ever tell them that.
Daniel was sitting to his left, Teal'c was directly opposite Jack, and Carter was sitting to Teal'c's right, opposite Daniel. When Carter'd turned up he'd done his best to ignore the delicate squeeze of disappointment when she'd sat down in the chair diagonally opposite his. It wasn't always that way; she didn't seem to have any preference to where she sat, so maybe he'd get lucky next time.
Shit, he had to stop thinking like this.
Thankfully, Daniel's next comments stopped him from thinking at all.
"Well I don't think I've seen anything like cows on Chulak, let alone any other animals. Apart from...um...Goa'uld's..." He began to realise this wasn't the best topic of conversation.
"Nice," Jack commented, glancing from Daniel to Teal'c. "Keep them as pets, do you?"
"We do not," Teal'c answered, well aware that O'Neill knew he was humouring him.
"That'd be kind of cool, actually," Jack continued, using his brain again to think for a bit. "You could...you know...get back at them for all the crappy things they've done."
Carter finally spoke, finding the idea amusing - if strange. "You mean keep them on a leash? Take them for walks?"
Ooo good. She was smiling. "Sure. You know; here Goa'uld, here Goa'uld, heel!"
She chuckled, and eventually even Daniel joined in. Only someone like them - people who had fought against and lost loved ones to the Goa'uld - could find humour in it. Had to find humour in it.
Teal'c lifted an eyebrow. "The leash would have to be extremely small, much smaller than the leash's currently used on the dogs I have seen on Earth."
"We'll get one specially made," O'Neill shrugged.
"What would we call it? I mean I don't think 'Fido' would be appropriate..." Daniel asked.
"How about Schroedinger?"
"Ooooo, how 'bout Schroedinger's Goa'uld? And hey - this time Carter you can give it to old Narim. In fact, I'll encourage you to." Oops. Maybe that was a bit too much.
"What does *that* mean?"
He was saved again - this time by Hammond - as the General's voice echoed around the facility. "SG-1 to the briefing room, repeat, SG-1 to the briefing room."
"That would be us then," Jack declared, before taking a last mouthful of Jello and leaving the commissary.
"Don't you want to know what I overheard?"
Leo sighed with a distinct lack of patience. He'd long grown accustomed to her own brand of...well, not exactly charm. He'd long grown accustomed to Margaret's own brand of Margaret, but there were days when he really didn't want to be accustomed to it. Glancing up at his secretary from where he was seated behind his desk, he tried to look uninterested. It didn't take a lot of effort. "No Margaret, I don't want to know what you overheard the President say because a, I probably know about it anyway, b, I'm too busy and c, you are not supposed to be spying on the President of the United States."
She managed to look surprised. He still didn't know how she did that given how long they'd been working together.
Nonetheless, Margaret quickly pulled herself together. "Well...you know how loud his voice is...how well it travels..."
"Fine," Leo sighed again. "Fine. Just tell me."
Hammond nodded at Daniel's question. "As you know, President Bartlet was sworn in a few months ago, and he's now decided he wants a visit to the base."
"Fair enough," Jack shrugged, then caught the expression on the General's face. He cast a worried look to the rest of SG-1 - clustered around the table in the briefing room with him - before concentrating back on Hammond. "Sir...this isn't the first time a President has come visiting, but you're looking distinctly nervous."
Hammond met his gaze firmly. "He doesn't know about the Stargate."
Jack's eyes bugged out. "Doesn't know? How the hell...umm, I mean how can he not know? He's the President!"
"Colonel believe me, up until a few minutes ago I was absolutely certain that he was aware of our presence and the work we were doing."
"Why hasn't anyone told him?" Carter asked.
Good question, Jack thought.
"As you may or may not know, his campaign for President was not particularly easy and it was also a very close race. They wanted to make sure he was settled in, make sure he looked and felt secure in the job before they dropped something this big on him."
"Some excuse," O'Neill muttered, before thinking of something else. "So...who have you been talking to on the red phone lately? If you don't mind me asking."
"The Joint Chiefs, occasionally General Ryan..."
"Chief of Staff?"
Jack still hadn't gotten over their initial meeting. "Ah."
"The few occasions I asked to speak to the President, I was conveniently informed that he was too busy. Obviously, they've been quite lucky in their decision not to tell him."
"Uh...lucky?" Daniel queried.
"These last few months have been extremely quiet. There have only been a few occasions when I felt the need to call anyone. If something drastic had happened, they would have had to inform him immediately."
No one could argue with that. Many of the SG teams were starting to feel restless.
"So when's he arriving?"
Everyone's eyebrows rose.
"Wow." Jack began. "That's..."
"...soon." Daniel concluded.
Hammond concurred. "Understand I didn't obtain this information through what you would call official channels. We're lucky to have any warning at all that he's coming."
"So...you have to tell him. About the Stargate."
Finally, for the first time since SG-1 entered the briefing room, Hammond smiled. "One of the first things you learn when you become a General, Jack," He paused, before deliberately continuing. "Is how to delegate."
"He's gone *where*?"
Margaret didn't even budge. "See, I knew you didn't know! And the answer is Colorado Springs."
Leo shook his head, taking his glasses off and throwing them onto his desk - hard enough so they'd make some noise, but not hard enough so they'd break. Standing up he moved around to the front of his desk and started pacing around his office. "That man has got to learn that he can't keep doing this! He is the President of the United States; he can't just take off whenever he wants to avoid a meeting." His best friend was going to be the death of him yet. "He's supposed to be meeting the tobacco people today, not to mention the secret service." The secret service were probably in on this, when he thought about it.
A soft knock on his open office door indicated Josh Lyman peering in from the corridor, a clipboard clasped in his right hand. "Everything okay?" The deputy chief of staff asked. "I heard...uh, shouting. Actually I think everyone heard shouting."
"Come in," Leo told him, and gestured towards the door.
Understanding, Josh stepped in and closed the door behind him. "What?"
"He's gone AWOL."
Lyman looked at the door that led to the Oval Office. "Again?"
Waving his clipboard around, Josh shook his head. "Wasn't he going to stop doing that?"
Slowly calming down, Leo again retreated to the sanctity of his desk. "Tell me something I don't know."
"I guess he is still new to the job..."
Leo's gaze conveyed exactly what they were both thinking: that doesn't make it right. He couldn't keep doing this. This wasn't some normal job where you might be able to get away with sneaking out once in a while. This was the President of the United States. "I'll have a word with him. Again."
"Why did he go?"
Leo looked at Margaret who shrugged in response. Although she had heard where he was going, she clearly hadn't heard why. Maybe it was...oh no. "No...it can't be that radar thing." Can it?
"Never mind," Leo shrugged it off, pretending it wasn't important. "Look, talk to CJ. See if she can keep it from the press, and if she can't make sure it sounds like we knew about it, okay?"
Josh didn't need to be told that any other view didn't look good. "Sure. Want me to tell the others?"
The White House Chief of Staff hesitated. "Okay. But just the others for now. No one else."
"Okay." Josh left a few seconds later, pulling the door shut behind him.
Margaret turned away, about to leave his office and head back to her own desk, when his voice stopped her.
"Margaret, I need you to find out exactly where in Colorado Springs we do our deep space radar telemetry, and I want to speak to someone there."
"A week ago."
"You know that's not actually possibl-"
"I'll get right on it."
Dress uniform or no dress uniform? That was the question. Frankly, Jack didn't like the dress uniform. Sure, it looked impressive enough - and the colour looked great on a particular member of his team - but it itched in all kinds of inconvenient places. Not to mention that he didn't like displaying all his achievements on his chest. Sure, he'd done these things but they were his job - he didn't need to show them off.
Ultimately he knew the choice of what they would wear would fall to someone else - probably Hammond - but he was in the locker room anyway, perusing his variety of clothes.
Dress uniform. Green BDU's. Blue BDU's. Beige BDU's. What a variety. He should run his own home shopping channel.
Daniel would probably wear a suit.
Teal'c didn't really have a uniform. Sure, mostly he wore BDU's when they were in the field - as did Daniel - but he'd never really seen him wear anything else. Well, except for his old Jaffa uniform, and the odds of him wearing that to greet the President of the United States were not particularly high.
So, Teal'c would probably be in BDU's.
Which left him and Carter.
Dress uniform or no dress uniform? That was the question...
Although as Hammond had clearly given him this job because he didn't want to do it himself (which was strange enough in itself) maybe he could wangle what he wanted to wear himself...besides, as this was a 'surprise' visit, shouldn't they be dressed normally? They didn't usually walk around in their dress uniforms.
What did it matter? He knew he was occupying his mind with trivial matters just to think about something other than what he had to do.
How did you tell a President about the Stargate?
They'd taken civilians through the Stargate before - technically Daniel was one. And there was Catherine and Nick and probably some others he was forgetting...this one should have been no different.
Of course - in typical O'Neill luck - this one was different. The President. The Boss. Commander in chief. The big cheese.
He'd mocked Hammond earlier for seeming nervous, but now he understood how he felt. This wasn't just meeting the man; this was explaining why they spent over seven billion dollars a year on this program and why it was absolutely vital that it kept running. That he didn't suspend funding. That he didn't shut them down.
He'd liked the last President. Despite a few controversial decisions he understood the importance of what they were doing. They had no way of knowing if this new guy would see it the same way. Being a politician did not guarantee intelligence - as their encounter with a certain Senator only served to prove.
Well, Carter would have to be there with him. No doubt Bartlet would have questions about how it worked, and even if he didn't understand what she was saying at least she'd be able to explain.
Daniel would be there, explaining the history and how the Goa'uld had effectively been raping Earth for centuries.
And Teal'c...Teal'c would be their ace in the hole. The proof. Unattractive as it was.
Carter was standing in the doorway of the locker room. He absently wondered how long she'd been there. "Hey,"
"Are you all right?"
Always so concerned for others. "Sure."
She walked in carefully, picking up some of his clothes so she could sit next to him on the bench. Placing the clothes on her lap, she closely examined a black shirt. "So you're not nervous then?"
He smiled. She was trying to act indifferent, trying to act as if she hadn't come here with the full intent of squirreling the truth out of him. "Oh, why should I be nervous? I only have to explain to the President of the United States exactly why he should continue to spend seven *billion* dollars on this facility, the shining light of which is a team made up of me, a civilian, and an alien from another planet. Who - by the way - carries the larval form of our biggest enemy in his stomach."
"I notice you didn't mention me."
"You're the only one that makes us sound respectful."
Chuckling, she finally lowered the shirt and looked at him. "You should have seen me as a teenager."
He would have loved that. "Bit of a wild child were you?"
"Oooh yeah. After Mom died I did my rebellious teenager thing for a while. Dad was so relieved when I went military."
He smirked. "You know, going military doesn't mean your behaviour is going to improve."
She nodded towards him. "Case in point."
She grinned. A big one.
He repeated the word again, this time without the sarcasm. "Thanks. Really. It's helped."
Carter looked pleased at that one. "Anything else I can do to help?"
Oh a few things popped to mind. "Just be yourself...oh, and explain wormhole physics while you're at it. Pretty much amounts to the same thing."
The sound of pounding feet drew their attention to the doorway to see Siler pelting into the room and nearly falling over them. "Sorry sir!"
"That's okay Sergeant," He responded calmly, actually thinking "Geez! Calm down!" "What is it?"
"There's a very irate man demanding to be let into the mountain. I think it's the President."
Well, at least he knew what he was wearing to meet him now.
go to part two
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