Something I've been wanting to write for a very, very long time.

General's Orders

It was getting late. The day shift had left hours ago, and the lighting had been lowered to let everyone know what time it was. Not that it made much difference: Stargate Command was a 24/7 operation all year round. The General looked at the paper work piled high on the desk and sighed: so much for the theory of a paperless office.

"That's it; I'm going home." The words were delivered in a tone that suggested that any attempt to intercede would result in a violent death, "Goodnight, Walter."

"Goodnight, General." The NCO responded from the outer office, not even looking up from under his own pile of paperwork.

The journey back up to the surface was blissfully uneventful, and no alarms clambered for attention, warning of world-ending dangers. There was the usual crowed outside the main gate: they'd been encamped ever since the government had disclosed the existence of the Stargate. On one side were people apparently pro-alien, while the anti-alien crowd was on the other side. It appeared to be a mixture of everything from religious organizations to the standard Sci-Fi nuts in full costume. There was always the option of calling up the local sheriffs office and having them all arrested, but the more violent ones had already been weeded out over the previous year. Now with talk of moving the Stargate to somewhere neutral like Switzerland or Antarctica, even some of the regulars were drifting away.

Thankfully, no one tried to follow the official Air Force staff car this time, so there was no need to call on the HUMVEE full of Military Police stationed just down the road to deal with them. Keeping the home addresses of everyone who was even remotely connected to the Stargate Program secret was proving to be an ongoing struggle, but they seemed to be winning, so far.

The drive to the house didn't take long, and the driver/bodyguard opened the door with a textbook salute strait off of the parade ground. The General smiled: there was no real need for such formalities, but that was no reason to stop the young NCO from enjoying himself. The front door didn't even have time to fully open before there was the unmistakable sound of breaking glass and bickering voices from inside.

Sighing, the General drooped the briefcase full of supposable-urgent paperwork and headed through to the den.

"What have you lot been up to this time?" A voice filled with all authority two stars on the shoulder can muster asked, "And why aren't they in bed yet?"

"Ain't no one here but us chickens." Jack poked his head round the wall, a boyish grin playing across his face, "Janet got a little carried away while chasing Jacob and knocked over a glass."

"Wouldn't have happened if they'd been in bed on time." Sam shook her head, tossing her cap onto the nearby hat-stand without even looking, "You know, there are times when I think that maybe I should have retired to look after the kids and left you running that three-ringed circus."

"You hear that, kids?" Jack called back over his shoulder, "The big, bad General thought she could do Daddy's job just as well as he could."

There was a squeal of laughter as two toddlers ran past their father and grabbed their mother round the legs, both trying to get her undivided attention.

"Bed; now." Jack followed them at a more sedate pace, "We'll be in to say good night in a minute."

"Scatter!" Sam playfully swatted after them, "Thank you for letting them stay up: I hardly get to see them at all some days."

"That's the life we chose." Jack embraced his wife, "Hard day at the office, General O'Neill?"

"No more than normal, General O'Neill." Sam smiled at the private joke, "But it's good to be home."

The End