Well That Was Unexpected
by Suz email@example.com
Disclaimer – MGM/Gekko/Double Secret own them.
Set in season six. Vague spoilers for ‘Redemption, Part 1’, and ‘Descent’.
For Geonn, who helped inspire this.
It was their first official meal off base as SG-1, and as such Carter had insisted on something a little more upmarket than they were used to. Jack had argued at first – why should Jonas get any special treatment? – but then she’d tilted her head; given him that look, and he’d conceded defeat.
When it came to those situations and that particular woman, every possible defence was useless.
So they’d arrived, better dressed than usual, and had been shown to their table. Deciding that if he was going to have to spend the entire evening in Jonas’ company that he at least wasn’t going to spend it sitting next to him, he made a point of grabbing the chair next to Carter’s. He probably ended up looking desperate, but at that particular moment he didn’t really care.
Everyone sat down and began perusing their menus...apart from Jonas. Who was still staring with excitement and awe and his surroundings. Since being allowed off base he’d certainly been into a couple of restaurants and cafes, but nothing quite like this.
Surveying the room, he shook his head in amazement. “Everything’s so...”
“What?” Carter asked, smiling as she looked up from her menu.
Jonas shrugged. “Shiny.”
Chuckling, she returned her gaze to the menu, while Jack stared at disbelief at his newest team member. Even for Jonas, this was something. He’d seen Goa’uld motherships, deathgliders, and entire other worlds – and he was fascinated by shiny objects in a Colorado restaurant.
Wooo. How *terribly* exciting.
“Indeed they are,” Teal’c concurred, and it took Jack a few seconds to realise that his friend wasn’t actually joking, before turning his attention back to his own menu.
They’d been there for some five minutes when it happened. They’d ordered drinks; they’d arrived, they’d wanted to order food but their waiter had mysteriously disappeared (upmarket prices, downmarket service in Jack’s opinion), and then Carter, sitting to his left, frowned at something.
“Hey,” She said, drawing everyone’s attention – and especially Jack’s, who was in the middle of wondering if it were possible to eat his cutlery and still have room for the main course. “Isn’t that General Hammond?”
Intrigued, Jack followed her gaze to a table some fifteen yards away. As she’d suspected... “Well it *looks* like him...but he specifically said he wanted to stay home tonight when I invited him to join us.” Damn, he was at an inconvenient angle. Maybe if he stood, just a little...why did that woman on one of the tables between them have to have such big hair? Was there a freak hair shortage he didn’t know about, and she was stocking up?
“Maybe,” Jonas began with amusement, turning back to face his companions, “He didn’t *want* us to know he was going out.”
“Why not?” Jack asked distractedly, still trying to peer over the mass of hair. Oh come on; that *had* to be a wig...
“Well, two people alone in a restaurant together...” He let the implication linger, and grinned.
Jack finally paid attention, giving up his futile mission. “Together...?” Woah, hoah, what!? “Are you trying to tell me,” He moved forward, leaning against the table, “that the General’s on a *date*?” It couldn’t be. It just couldn’t.
“Why not, sir?” Carter argued, definitely amused.
She needed an explanation? “He’s the *General*. He doesn’t *have* dates. And hey – two people in a restaurant together does not make a date.”
“They are holding hands, O’Neill,” Teal’c felt compelled to point out.
Jack couldn’t believe it. “Maybe she’s a sister...” No, wait. Hammond didn’t have any sister’s. “He still wears his wedding ring for crying out loud!”
“So does my father,” Carter rebutted. “And as much as I know he loves my mother, if he found someone else to be with I’d be happy for him.”
“Yeah; but having a love life’s a little harder when you’re a Tok’ra, now isn’t it?”
She shrugged and held his gaze. “No harder than it is anywhere else.”
As so often happened, he didn’t know what to say to that. Regretfully, Jonas pulled them metaphorically away from each other. “I think it’s great. If General Hammond can find someone to enjoy himself with, why not?”
“Because he’s the *General*.” Why was no one else having trouble with this concept?
“Speaking of the General,” Carter warned, and they glanced towards his table.
He was standing up, and...he was coming their way. Crap! “Quick!” Jack hissed, holding up his menu on the side of his face that would be exposed to Hammond as he walked past.
“Just do it, Carter!”
Sighing, she complied, and soon all of SG-1 had erected a menu barrier of quite some construction. Four pairs of eyes peeked through various gaps as the General walked five yards past them, and began speaking to a waiter about something.
Still trying to keep a low profile, Jack moved his menu around until it was covering the back of his head. Watching the rest of his team – Carter was trying not to snigger and Teal’c was treating this situation with the utmost seriousness (the lack of raised eyebrows was a dead giveaway) – Jack frowned. “Jonas,” He whispered, causing the Kelownan’s heading to come popping up from behind his menu – but only just. “Do me a favour and lower your menu a little, will ya?”
Nodding, Jonas didn’t just lower his menu; he lowered his entire body until Jack could see what he wanted.
There. Big Hair had moved, and Jack could make a thorough examination of the woman in question. She was attractive, roughly the General’s age, but looking good with it. Man. “General Hammond, you old dog-”
Teal’c. “He is approaching.”
The menu’s shifted again; moving further around their heads as Hammond made further progress.
Eventually, he was gone.
The menu’s stayed put.
Carter. Whispering. “Sir,”
“Why are we still hiding?”
Ah. Good point. Lowering his menu, Jack yelped at the waiter who’d suddenly appeared next to him. Clearing his throat, he spoke. “Excuse me, my good man. We’ll need a few more minutes.”
Nodding yet frowning at the strange behaviour, the waiter moved off – probably to see if he could find someone to swap shifts with.
“Well,” Jack cleared his throat again. “I guess you guys are right.” It was just...weird.
Jonas finally slinked back up out of his crouched down position. “Colonel, are you all right?”
“Oh fine, fine,” Was the instinctive reply. “I just need to pee. Be right back.” He just needed to...get away for a few minutes. Just to think.
He stepped up and away from the table, half-ducking to make sure Hammond wouldn’t see him, and then he was by the bathroom.
Only he didn’t go in. Instead he lingered in the area just outside, by the phone for public use. Oh, correction – ‘patrons’. Now that he was there, of course, he didn’t want to think. Maybe he should call a cab, just to kill some time...
...until she arrived.
That had been the whole point of going there, hadn’t it?
He spun round to face her. “Carter?”
The bathroom area was just around the corner from the bulk of restaurant. She stepped further towards him until they were, essentially, alone. “Are you all right? Really? You seem a little...freaked. Even for you.”
Electing not to be insulted, Jack shrugged. He wasn’t gonna say anything. He didn’t do that. He was gonna shrug it off, and move on. “I guess I am freaked.” Huh? Where had *that* come from?
Well, as long as he was *there*... “Because he’s General *Hammond*. It’s like...he’s almost another member of SG-1, of the team, you know?”
She nodded, stepping closer. “I do.”
“And I didn’t *know*.”
Pausing, she half-smiled at him. “So that’s what this is about? You’re freaked because you’re surprised? Because he didn’t tell you?”
“No, no,” Jack objected, mostly out of truth. “He has a right to a private life, I just...I’d gotten used the idea that no one would have any kind of relationship. I mean, here we are, four healthy people – or five, if you count the General – and not one of us are involved with anyone.” He knew, technically, that up to a little while ago Teal’c had Drey’auc, but realistically he’d seen her so infrequently that were it not for R'yac, it could have seemed like they weren’t even married.
She was quiet for a while; maybe surprised by his admission, maybe not surprised in the least. Eventually, she smiled again – gently, this time. “There’s nothing that says we – any one of us – has to be in a relationship. Being involved with someone doesn’t automatically bring happiness.”
“I know.” He did. He really did. “It just seemed a little odd, that’s all.”
The smile grew. “But then that’s SG-1 for you. Maybe we work best like this. Maybe we don’t need anyone else.”
And for once, he knew exactly what she was thinking:
We have each other.
Reassured, he shook his head. “When did you get so wise, Carter?”
She lifted her eyebrows. “Figured one of us had to be, sir.”
Acknowledging – if only to himself – that he didn’t need to pee, he headed back towards the main area of the restaurant. She was right beside him.
“So we have your wisdom, my combat skills, Teal’c’s kicking ass capability, Jonas’ genius, and Hammond’s...”
He walked into his superior officer. Literally.
“...right here,” He finished, before recovering. “General! This is a surprise! I really didn’t expect to see you here!” Even as he winced as his own response, Hammond spoke.
“Really, Colonel? That explains why Teal’c and Jonas seem to be building some kind of cloaking device out of menu’s.”
Peering over the General’s shoulder, he looked at their table. Where the hell had they gotten all those menus? “Sorry, sir. We just figured you might like a little privacy, is all.”
Carter spoke up. “Wouldn’t want you to think that we were spying on you, General.”
“Of course not, Major,” Hammond agreed. “Simply a coincidence. Partly my own fault – I just hadn’t thought you’d be coming here tonight. Well,” He paused, looking between them. “If you’ll excuse me, I really have to...”
“Oh right, right. Sure.” Jack stepped out of the way, allowing Hammond to get to the bathroom. But before he got there, Jack spoke again. “General,”
His commanding officer and friend turned back. “Colonel?”
There was only one thing to say. “I’m glad you’re having a good time.”
A fully blossomed grin appeared on his face. “Thank you, Jack. So am I.” With that he continued moving forward, pushing through the door and entering the bathroom.
Sighing, half-grinning, he turned back to Carter.
Sharing a few more moments just in her company, he eventually headed back towards their table, stunned at the complexity of the ‘menu mountain’ now before them. “Hey, Seigfried and Roy...”
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