Since I'm in Colorado I was inspired to do a bit of a 'Jack-centric, whump story'. It shouldn't be too long, but wil be full of whump, at least some allusions to S/J - and who knows what else. Please R&R as you see fit! Thanks,
"Going to your cabin Sir?" Carter asked as they walked down the hallway. They'd just gotten back from a lengthy and exhausting mission to PX-something or other and Hammond had told them to take the rest of the week off. They all needed the break, although as far as Jack was concerned it was more because he'd had to spend the last five days with a couple of Tokra operatives than because the mission itself was hard. God, he couldn't stand those guys!
"Not sure yet Carter", he answered cordially. He hadn't had time to give it any real thought, although getting away to his cabin sounded like a good idea. He glanced down at his 2IC and briefly entertained the idea of inviting her once more. Quickly admitting it wasn't a good idea, he sighed.
"Everything okay Sir?" she asked, glancing over at him worriedly.
"Yeah – just tired Major. What about you? Any plans?"
"Nothing really, although my house could use a good spring cleaning."
"Doesn't sound like very much fun. You should take some time off and – I don't know – visit someone or something."
"Actually, cleaning out my cupboards sounds more appealing than that right now", she admitted. "I don't know if I'm really up to doing much visiting."
"Tokra tired you out too did they?" he grinned.
She laughed. "I'm afraid so Sir. They do kind of – get on your nerves."
"You mean they're a bunch of pains in the – uh -"
"Ass Sir – ass."
This time he was the one who laughed. God, he wished he could invite her to his cabin and that she could accept. Oh well, even if he couldn't have her with him he could spend the next few days relaxing and fantasizing – not smart maybe, but very appealing. "Well, whatever you decide to do Sam, make sure you relax. We need you back in fighting form!"
"Yes Sir – and you too." She smiled at him and continued on her way.
He watched her for a few seconds, refusing to acknowledge the yearning he felt, but finally headed towards the men's locker room. He suddenly felt rather melancholy and even though he was looking forward to some time off, he really didn't feel like being alone. He wondered briefly if either Daniel or Teal'c would be interested in going to the cabin with him.
"Probably not", he muttered.
"Probably not what Jack?"
Speak of the devil! "Daniel – you startled me. Whatcha doing?"
"Just got out of the shower", he explained, although the fact that his hair was still dripping made the explanation rather unnecessary. "Everything okay?"
"Yeah – Hammond just wanted to check in with Carter and me about upcoming officer evaluations."
"Nothing serious I hope."
"Nah, just routine. So – any plans for your time off?"
"I'm going to work on my book", the archaeologist and linguist told him. "I've been wanting to get to it for a while but haven't had time. I'm looking forward to actually getting back to it."
Jack stared at him for a second and then blinked. "Your book?"
"Yeah – you know – the one I started writing a few months ago." His statement was met with silence, at which point he rolled his eyes. "You don't remember, do you?"
"Uh – remember what?"
"I told you all about it. I was sitting in your living room, drinking a beer with you, and I must have spent twenty or thirty minutes explaining it."
"Oh. Uh – no."
"No? No what?"
"I don't remember."
Daniel sighed and shook his head, deciding not to even bother explaining. "It's just a book."
"Not about -" Jack waived his arms around, somehow trying to indicate the SGC.
"What?" Daniel looked puzzled for a moment and then his face cleared. "Of course I'm not going to write a book about our work here. I do understand classified, Jack. I'm writing about ancient Sumarian gods and their relationship to the Egyptian pantheon. It's really fasci -"
"Mmm hmm", Jack nodded and slapped him on the shoulder. "Have a great time and I'm sure those Sumatran gods are fascinating. Uh – do you happen to know where Teal'c is?"
Daniel looked resigned and simply took a deep breath. "I think he went to see General Hammond to get permission to visit his family."
"Mmm", Jack nodded, not surprised. Well there went the idea of having company. He supposed he could invite a few friends from the community over to his house – he and the police chief were buddies – but somehow he was too tired to try and deal with people he had to hide things from. Maybe he should go to his cabin.
"You going to your cabin?" Daniel asked, suddenly echoing his thoughts.
"Probably", Jack nodded. "Not much else to do."
"Well, have fun", his friend told him as he headed out of the locker room, his hair still damp. "Travel safely."
"Yeah – thanks Daniel", he gave a short wave and again sighed. Stripping off his uniform he padded his way over to the shower, wishing he didn't feel so – blue. He needed to find a hobby – something other than running around the galaxy. With another deep sign he turned on the shower, somehow hoping the hot water would wash away his black mood.
He settled on his couch, a cold beer and a sandwich close at hand. Reaching for the remote he turned on the TV and settled down to watch something mindless. He needed to get his thoughts off arrogant villains, pain-in-the-ass – supposed – allies, and beautiful and sexy subordinates. He took a swig of beer.
After a few moments he hit the remote. He wanted mindless – not moronic! After flipping through countless channels– how could he possibly have two hundred channels and find absolutely nothing he wanted to watch – he turned off the TV. He looked down at his sandwich and decided he wasn't really hungry after all. He took another swig – and realized that he didn't want a beer either.
With a soft groan he pushed himself to his feet and walked to the kitchen, depositing his uneaten meal and half full bottle on the counter. He then wandered back to his living room and stood looking out the window at the darkening evening.
Damn! Maybe he should have gone to his cabin. At least there he could have enjoyed the fresh air and wilderness while being bored. He glanced at his watch. Should he call someone? But who?
After a moment's hesitation he walked to the phone and picked it up. He'd call Daniel. Surely he wasn't writing about the Samaritan's at this time? He dialed the number but before it had a chance to ring he hung up. He was pretty sure Daniel would humor him by talking, but he probably really wanted to write and Jack knew his team members all deserved some real down time. How writing about some old dead gods was restful was beyond him.
Sam? Should he call her? But what could he say? It's not like he could invite her to come over to watch a movie or play a game. He smirked. He knew exactly what kind of game he'd like to play with her. He snorted, suddenly imagining hearing Daniel say 'Spin the Bottle! – aren't you a bit old for that Jack?'
Ha! One was never too old for Spin the Bottle, not when it was with someone like Samantha Carter. But no – he couldn't call her, as much as he wanted to.
Teal'c was gone. What about George? He was pretty sure the General wouldn't mind, but then again, as much as he liked the man, he didn't know if spending time with his boss, when on down time, was a good idea. Anyway, George was probably spending time with his own family.
His watch told the same tale as the hall clock, which repeated that of the stove clock, and the flashing time on the DVD player – it was still only early evening and he had four whole days to get through. There was still time to go to the cabin but he didn't know if he really felt like going now. It would mean arriving early in the morning and then he'd have to sleep during the day and – it just wasn't worth it.
"So what the hell are you going to do Jack?" he muttered to himself. "There has to be something." He checking out his watch – a whole five minutes had passed. "Damn!"
It was at that moment that he decided he'd do something if it killed him! He'd been on one mission after the other for weeks so there should at least be some chore around the house he could do? His cleaning lady kept the house clean, it was too late to mow the lawn, he hadn't been around enough to need to empty the garbage and – as far as he could remember – there was nothing to repair. Where was a leaky pipe when you needed one?
The basement! That's it, he realized. He'd been meaning to get to the basement and organize it for – well, forever. In fact, he hadn't really done anything down there since he and Sara had split and he'd moved into this house. He'd simply piled a bunch of boxes in a corner, planning to get to them when he had time. By now he couldn't even remember what was in them.
All of the really important things – mostly Charlie's stuff – and a few of his mementos from over the years – were carefully stored in his bedroom or the upstairs closet. He figured most of the basement boxes were filled with junk – old books and clothes, knick-knacks and toys he's purchased for himself but had grown tired of. With a determined look he headed towards the basement. With a grin he thought of Carter and her spring cleaning. Maybe she had the right idea after all.
What a stupid idea Carter, he said to himself after a couple of hours. He sneezed, for the fourth or fifth time, and wondered why in the world he'd thought this was a good idea. He perused the basement – which was now a total disaster – and wished he'd just taken the boxes and tossed them.
So okay – there were a few things he would have missed if he'd thrown them away. He'd enjoyed looking at the old photo album of his parents' that he'd found. It had brought back a whole bunch of memories and caused him to suddenly miss them terribly, something he hadn't done in a while. The photos also made him realize he really needed to contact his brother and sister. Although they tried to keep in touch, it had been awhile since they'd talked. He should consider going and visiting them both – although the fact that they were at opposite ends of the country made that a bit tricky.
Still – most of the stuff had been junk. Why had he kept an old pair of boots that looked like they'd been found in an alley somewhere? He wasn't ever going to wear them again and they were too worn out to give away. And then there was the stack of magazines, most of which he hadn't enjoyed the first time around. It's not like they were even some of Sara's – he was pretty sure someone must have sneaked them into his house when he wasn't looking. Hey – maybe Daniel would like them? He stared at them for a moment and then shook his head. He didn't think Daniel would be into the Bacon Buster's Monthly, although the article on Babes and Boars looked intriguing. Nope – not for Daniel. Teal'c on the other hand …
He then glanced over at the one thing he was really glad he'd uncovered – his father's tackle box and fishing equipment. It too brought back memories that caused a lump to appear in his throat. God, he remembered so many good times fishing with his Dad. The two of them – more than either Dave or Kate – had loved to fish. He still did and couldn't believe he'd forgotten this was here.
He'd spent quite a bit of time looking through the box, pulling out the various flies, clamps, lanyards and other bits and pieces of equipment. Finding his father's scaling knife was an even more special find. He remembered how many times, as a kid, he'd begged his father to be able to hold it and try it. He'd always been told 'no' – until finally, one day, his father had simply handed it to him.
That had been an incredibly special moment for him. It had been a strange and wonderful acknowledgement that he was growing up – that his father trusted him – and that he was now old enough to join his father completely in their shared passion. He had taken it gingerly, but had known it was something to handle carefully, respectfully.
After looking at it for a long time – simply allowing the memories to wash over him – he'd laid it down carefully. It was dull and tarnished, but tomorrow he'd take it and sharpen it and put it away until it was time to go to his cabin. He would then add it to his own tackle box. He returned to searching through more boxes, but found little else to interest him.
It was much later that he glanced again at his watch this time was surprised to see it was almost midnight. Okay, he'd managed to spend some real time and had accomplished – well – he looked at the mess – he had thrown away the boots.
Might as well head to bed, he decided. He could finish this tomorrow. He took one last look at the pile of stuff and turned sharply towards the stairs. What happened next was like something from a cartoon – except it left him far from laughing. In fact, it left him close to dying.