This is a strange dual Homecoming tag. Reading it leaves me in two minds whether to split them up. They do, and they don't go together. Have a read, and let me know what you think.

Tick Tock

Tick, tock, tick, tock.

Onomatopoeic, that was the word. Not one he's needed to use of late, so what brought it to mind? He frowns at the clock. Speech patterns, word choices, location, destination, similarities, differences. Things that seem the same but you look at them differently, hear them differently. Like a dog barking; Bark, woof, yap, arf. The same but not the same. Not right? Who can say?

Tick, tock.

Except it doesn't go tock. A continually turning cog doesn't go tock. Actually, it doesn't go tick either. He's sure if he listens very, very, intently he'll hear an electrical hum.

Although, if he listens too carefully it's bound to go off in his ear. Absolutely guaranteed. Then he'll be partially deaf along with partially blind.

Good God he must be bored. Lying on the bed, staring up at the ceiling, imagining sounds for a digital clock. What did he do when he had his own place? Get up, walk around, work, watch TV, read, eat. He turns his head to check the time. Maybe he could do the first two for a while.

He rolls himself out of bed, letting his footsteps guide him automatically through the SGC. Grey painted walls, endless corridors, familiarity breeds contempt. And yet, he doesn't feel contempt for the repetitive scenery, he feels… well, whatever.

Where am I?

Standing on the threshold of the office. His office. All his now. All his again. Was his, is his, will be his forever more? He looks around, everything is right yet slightly wrong. He is displaced, replaced, placed in a space.

He rolls his eyes at himself, if he hadn't just spent some time on another planet he'd say he had cabin fever. Stream of consciousness consciousness. If he had been speaking, Jack would be banging his head against the table by this point, and emitting a low, mournful groan. He remembers the frequency of the image. And the location is this office. Rearrange some details and it would be… close. He acknowledges to himself that he probably won't get it exactly the same. To be honest, he wouldn't be able to remember where everything was even if he hadn't been away.

It will be a start. Here where most of the memories are conjured. It will place him, make him feel… He frowns.

He looks up at the clock on the wall. Five to eight.

As he turns away from the office he thinks it will be this room, and what is in the room he is heading towards, which will show him the differences and the similarities. Locate him, and allow him to say;

Here I am.


Tick, tick, tick.

He places the clock on the desk. Familiar was good. Simple and familiar. Lit neon numbers may be progress, but you couldn't take the cover off and see how it worked. Sometimes modern didn't have that soul.

He remembers asking for it. A strange request to some given the abundance of objects showing the time around the SGC, but he did strange. Not that strange had been a choice. He remembers asking for it fully expecting the answer to have been no, not when he had one which glowed and went beep. No, not fully expecting, not at that stage. Thinking it might be no, hoping it might be yes, expecting it would be just dumped on his desk one day.

Not expecting to be given a choice was closer to the truth. He hadn't expected a grinning blond head suggesting a trip to the shopping mall. Why? Because she was bored. Smiling at the memory. Unexpected.

The mall was different, not like what he had known before. Before it was small personal shops and markets. The mall was a market in triplicate. Standing outside looking in, wondering how you could find something as basic as a clock in a place which sold anything he could imagine?

It was easy with Sam there of course. Almost a military operation, especially when she uttered the words; "Stick with me and don't wander off."

Yes ma'am.

He had to ask though. How you could know where to go? The answer came with a tease about his observational skills. Diagrams of the mall's layout littered the building, with a key to explain which shops were where. And a rather useful red dot to give you a reference point. You are here.

He had become quite enamoured by the idea for some unexplainable reason. That simple red dot which helped a person get to where they wanted to go, showed you your position relative to everything else. He could have done with something like that the first time he walked around the Kelownan capital on his own. He could have done with it the first time he was allowed around the SGC on his own. He grins. That would have saved some embarrassment.

If he was honest it was a bit silly. Starting with a map of the SGC, then Colorado Springs, then Colorado, then the U.S.A., then Earth, then Earth's solar system. He had been trying to make inroads into the visual representation of the Milky Way when Sam walked in. She had rolled her eyes when he had complained that her response of "somewhere on the disk" wasn't very accurate.

"I'll get the Colonel to take a photograph next time he visits the asgard."

"Does he do that often?"

"Oh, never mind... Actually, I might have something you could use."

Apparently, it was the night sky from P6S-772. In the summer. At 16:52 on a Tuesday.

"No, not seriously."

"Can I keep it?


"So, where are we?"


"Where are we? Earth, I mean."

He pulls the photograph from the protective poster tube. Unfurling it to show the hundreds of pinprick white dots. And the red spot with its tag. Standing on the balcony, he matches the stars until he reaches the one he is looking for. Removing the red spot and tag to double check.

Yes, that is it. So where does it put him now?

Looking between the photograph and the sky, he wonders why he never asked Sam to mark it out for him. He sticks the spot and tag on to the photograph. That probably isn't the correct place.

So, where am I?

After a moment's thought he removes the spot and sticks it to his chest. He stares up at the night's sky, finding the star.

You are here.