A/N: I honestly have no idea if the Air Force has Dining-Ins, but I'm assuming they do for the purposes of this short story.

The hall was full of VIPs, but the average human wouldn't have known it. SG-1 stood as if huddled together for warmth on one side of the room, making small talk as they waited for the evening's events. It was the SG-Cs annual Dining In, the personnel-only formal event, and as always due to the nature of the unit, its civilian members were included in the event.

Suddenly, a rustling by the door alerted the crowd to the arrival of Someone Important, and all heads turned. General Jack O'Neill, the evening's special guest speaker, had arrived. He looked the perfect general in his blue dress uniform, all spit and polish, not a hair out of place. As he entered, he scanned the room as if looking for something, or someone. After a minute, he found what he was looking for and set off across the room. The people moved out of his way, offering their greetings as he passed.

He made straight for SG-1. "Daniel, Teal'c," he exclaimed as he got near, addressing most of his old teammates, "how you guys doin?" Oddly, though, he wasn't looking at them as he spoke.

Daniel Jackson and the Jaffa, Teal'c, glanced quickly at Samantha Carter before responding. "Fine," said Daniel as Teal'c responded with a typical, "I am in excellent health, O'Neill."

"Great. And how about you two?" he asked Cam and Vala. They both let him know they were fine, too.

Sam, on the other hand, had still not said a word. In fact, she was oddly silent, her gaze never leaving Jack O'Neill. After several moments of silence, she finally spoke, "I need to go the ladies room."

Vala immediately spoke up, "I'll go with you."

"No, that's okay," Sam quickly reassured her, glaring at her rather strangely as she did so. "I won't be long."

Vala smiled knowingly. "Oh, okay. Sure."

Waving 'bye' to the rest of the team, Sam headed off towards the exit leading to the restrooms.

Despite the fact that he had just gotten there, Jack O'Neill spoke up almost immediately, "Umā€¦ Iā€¦"

Vala, still smiling, filled in for him. "You've gotta go to. Right?"

He smiled gratefully at he, gesturing towards the exit as he spoke. "Right. You know. To the restroom."

"Of course."

And, with a wave equally as quick as Sam's had been, Jack headed out of the room as well.

"Well," Daniel remarked as they watched Jack's departing figure. "We won't see them for awhile."

It was, in fact, almost half an hour, right before the dinner was scheduled to begin, before either Jack or Sam reappeared. They entered the room as they had left, only minutes apart. No one on SG-1 dared mention ā€“ or needed to mention ā€“ how long they had been gone.

"Feel better?" was all Daniel asked.

Sam looked slightly shocked, but Jack smiled, a bit too sweetly, "Yes, thank you."

Daniel shut-up.

The dinner gong sounded, and Jack was forced to move up to the head table. When he got there, his exasperated aide pulled him off to one side. Whipping out the comb he kept for just such emergencies, he attempted to subtly get the general's unruly hair to lie back down. Sergeant Wright would never understand how, in just over half an hour, General O'Neill's hair could get so damned ruffled.

THE END