There were many (many) things that Cameron Mitchell had failed to anticipate when he'd joined Stargate Command and SG-1. Starting with the fact that there was no SG-1. But he'd gotten that fixed eventually and was therefore left to ponder the myriad smaller ways "be careful what you wish for" still ranked as a truism up there with "always wear clean underwear because you might get into an accident" any "always be nice to a lady because you never know who her daddy might be."

Most of this smaller group of surprises could be filed under You're Not Jack O'Neill, which he was prepared to accept because, well, he wasn't Jack O'Neill.

The rest, of course, got filed under Nobody Told You That SG-1 Was Completely Nuts But They Hide It Well.

Walking in to a room wearing a feathered headdress (procured two missions ago) and nobody noticing fell into the latter category, although he'd initially put episodes like it squarely in the former. O'Neill himself had put him at ease, a dismissive "well, they never noticed me, either" that had made Cam feel a little like a child although that hadn't been O'Neill's intention.

"Whatcha reading?" he asked Carter, sitting down next to her and peering over her shoulder. The brightly colored beads, attached by leather strips to the base of the headdress, made quite a clatter -- or at least they did right next to his ear. Carter, however, didn't look up.

"Reports from Atlantis," Jackson answered from across the table. "It seems they went looking to acquire potatoes and instead found a twin city of sorts, a duplicate of Atlantis. Half-buried underground, but otherwise intact."

"Hunh," Cam replied, surprised. He had spent the morning in the X-302 simulator (the closest he could get to flying one without leaving town) and hadn't had a chance to more than note that the weekly databurst had come in. "So are we going to send another expedition out there to inhabit it?"

Life-sucking vampires were probably a downgrade from crazy, self-immolating preachers, but a little change was good every once in a while and Cam did like to travel. He didn't want to move out to the Pegasus galaxy, but he did want to visit.

"Not likely," Carter replied, flipping pages. "It's occupied -- at least it was occupied -- by the local population's leaders. Sheppard and his team did manage to come away with some drone weapons, though."

"Which means that they'll stop asking for the ones in Antarctica?" There were certain common themes to the Atlantis databursts. Cam had found it especially amusing when the request for drones had migrated from the munitions requisition form to the food resupply list. The first time it happened, they thought it was just a funny accident. But after it stayed there for a month, they'd sort of assumed that whichever officer was putting together the munition list had hoped to do an end run around the weekly negative response. It was a toss-up whether it was Sheppard or Lorne.

"Probably not," Jackson said. He twisted in his chair to reach his cup. "I'm not sure they even remember that they've tucked it in between citrus fruits and ketchup... Hey, Sam? Have you gotten up to the part with the palace intrigue yet?"

Since this was obviously not going to be one of the usual sort of 'We found an Ancient outpost near a tuber farm' reports, Cam looked around to see if there were extra copies lying around. There was one where General Landry would sit, so he got up to borrow it.

"I'm still on McKay's technological findings," she answered. "Is it worth skipping ahead?"

"It is a most interesting scenario," Teal'c said as Cam sat back down. "It appears to be not unlike certain episodes of this world's history."

Cam opened the file to the end. The early pages were all the dry summaries, planetary descriptions, formal written orders, and lists of what had been traded or acquired and could thus be skipped over. The middle was where the analysis and recommendations from the debrief were, but the end was where they jammed the AARs and those were the fun parts because those Cam knew how to read between the lines.

"Killing off the king, framing the son, and marrying off the daughter?" Jackson asked. "The good guys overthrowing the evil usurper? That's more Shakespeare than history."

"That's more bodice ripper than Shakespeare," Cam retorted because he'd opened it up just at the good part. Sheppard's AARs were usually the ones to read first because Sheppard had been writing them for twenty years and understood the importance of brevity and how to achieve it. Plus he had a helluva sense of understatement. McKay's were long and full of words that would win you Scrabble championships, but there was always enough melodrama in them to make it worth having to reach for the dictionary.

His teammates were giving him a funny look that had nothing to do with the headdress. "Or did nobody else get to the point where the princess wanted Colonel Sheppard as a stud for breeding purposes?"

"What page is that on?" Jackson asked, looking up with his eyebrows raised.

"Page six of McKay's AAR." He was sure Sheppard's own AAR would run past that part real fast.


Cam was torn between envy and relief that he wasn't Sheppard; he was sure his own 'mate with me to preserve our species' request (complete with bodacious babe) was just a mission or three away, although he was seriously falling behind in that unofficial competition. The relief came from the fact that he hadn't yet had to circumlocute around any sexual exploits because they were critical to understanding the mission -- as well as from his confidence that none of his teammates were big enough yentas to include such facts even when they weren't mission critical. Sheppard didn't kiss and tell, but McKay certainly made up for it.

They were all still reading when Landry arrived to start the meeting. He had to clear his throat to get their attention and all four stood up sharply.

"Walter? Where's my copy of the files?" he asked, looking around. Cam closed his and slid it toward the general, who frowned. "Mitchell, what the hell is on your head?"

His teammates, noticing for the first time that he wasn't wearing his cap, looked at him with surprise. It was moments like these that made him confident that he'd be one of the gang sooner than later.