Hammond's Week Off by Layton Colt

While the cat's away--the mice will play.

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FRIDAY (Hammond)

I realize there's something going on with my people the minute I got through the last check point.

The strange glances--hushed whispers.

Oh, Jack, what have you done?

I recall quite clearly the look of utter disbelief on Dr. Jackson's face when I informed him of the temporary commanders. He said that Jack was a great leader, but pairing him with Ferretti was asking for trouble.

I get the feeling maybe he was right.

I'd hoped that the two would work well together. Besides Dr. Jackson, they're the two most experienced gate travelers. They were on the first mission together, and I'd hoped that this would be easy for them.

But I get the feeling maybe I was wrong.

I should have made Makepeace the Colonel's second in command. What was I thinking . . . ?

What in the world . . . I could have sworn I just saw one of Dr. Frazier's nurses run by covered in mud. Just what the hell is going on with my people?

I spot Lieutenant Mason up ahead. He looks at me with wide eyes. Definitely something going on here.

"Lieutenant, do you know where I can find Colonel O'Neill?" I ask.

"Colonel O'Neill, sir?"

Did his voice just *squeak?*

"Yes, Lieutenant," I say, some of my frustration coming through in my voice. "Colonel O'Neill."

"I . . . ah, I believe Colonel O'Neill mentioned something about going to storage room 25B, sir."

"Thank you, Lieutenant."

Storage room 25B. What in god's name would he be doing there?

I change course, and head to the storage room. Maybe he's doing inventory.

Any hopes of finding Jack with a clip board as he counts items are lost as I get closer. I can hear yelling. Laughter. And I'm sure that two of the loudest voices belong to my premiere team.

Why can't things here ever go smoothly? Is one normal day too much to ask?

I haven't even been gone a week. Not even a week. And this is what happens while I'm gone.

I've seen a lot of things here. I've stood looking down from that glass window and watched as team after team disappeared through the 'gate. I've watched as alien refugees, dying soldiers, dying *friends,* have been drug back through.

But this . . . this is unbelievable.

SG-1 and Major Ferretti are involved in a snowball fight. In MY storage room.

Teal'c, Dr. Jackson and Ferretti seem to have ganged up against Jack. Throwing snowball after snowball at him in quick succession. Major Carter appears to be trying to make some sort of snow castle on the other side of the room.

"Just what in Sam Hill is going on here?" I shout.

Everyone freezes. It's quite comical, really. I'm reminded of when I walked in on my girls finger painting my clean white walls with purple.

"Sir," O'Neill recovers first. "Back so early?"

Don't test me, O'Neill.

"General," Dr. Jackson says pleasantly. Then he quickly hides a snowball behind his back when he realizes that isn't doing much to help his innocent act.

"What the hell is going on, Colonel," I demand.

"We're having a snowball fight, sir. You're welcome to join."

Of all the idiotic . . .

"I can SEE that, Colonel. Would you care to explain why?"

"Well, that's a long story," he tells me shamelessly.

"Yea," Dr. Jackson said. "And I get the feeling it is not going to end well."

"I've got the time," I assure. "Start explaining."

"Well . . . um," Jack's explanation falters. It's rare I see my 2IC speechless.

Dr. Jackson is quick to jump in. "There's actually a perfectly logical explanation, sir. You see, SG-16 wanted to enter a snowman competition into the Olympics, so they went and rented a snow machine . . ." he trails off as he catches sight of the look I'm giving him.

"It was a most entertaining event, General Hammond," Teal'c tells me intensely. "Though I believe I enjoyed the 'mud wrestling' more."

"Teal'c," Jack hisses at the same time Major Carter issues a warning "*Teal'c.*"

Oh god. I really did see a mud covered nurse.

"Colonel? The Olympics?"

"A morale building exercise, sir. Got to keep the base in good spirits."

"It really did do wonders, General. Since the Luau, everyone has been much happier AND much more efficient," Dr. Jackson says.

Jack glares at him and angrily hits him in the arm with a snowball.

"Hey!" he yells. "I'm trying to help."

"Luau?" I ask quietly.

"Oops," Dr. Jackson says.


"Sir, you have to understand, must of us were on stand down. We needed something to keep us out of trouble," O'Neill says.

"OUT of trouble, Colonel? You don't see mud wrestling, a storage room filled with snow, and a LUAU on a military base as getting into trouble?"

"Don't forget the sporting events," Ferretti calls helpfully.

"Dear lord," I groan. These can not be the only people standing between Earth and total annihilation. We're doomed. All of us. Doomed.

"We needed some fun," the Colonel says. "The teams were losing their spirit. I only did it for the good of Earth, sir. A happy team, is a snake- killin' team."

"If you hadn't saved the world as many times as you have, Colonel, you'd be out of here," I say resignedly.

"Forgive me, sir, but I don't believe having a snowball fight is a court- martialable offense."

"It is when it takes place in an underground facility!"

"Point taken, sir," O'Neill says graciously.

"I want this mess cleaned up, Colonel. As well as anything else you may have done. Understood?"

"Yes, sir," Jack says with a grin.

"And Colonel--"

"Yes, sir?"

"You're going to be going through all the team reports next week for me. ALL of them."

"Sir?" And the grin has disappeared.

"Good day, Colonel."

I turn around and head for the door, quite satisfied with my handling of the situation. I'm just in the doorway when I feel something cold and wet connect with the small of my back.

No. No, they wouldn't. I turn slowly. Five innocent faces stare back unabashedly. It was Jack. Had to be.

I'm just about to add another week to his paper sentence, when I get a better idea. I grin at them. They smile cautiously back, slightly nervous now. Good to know I can still intimidate.

I step back into the room and kneel down. I pick up a small handful of soft snow, press it together--and let it fly.

The End.

I hope you have a great weekend! Poor Jack and Ferretti get to spend theirs cleaning up the base.