Epilogue- Meeting with Jack

Within hours of his return to Earth, Mitchell finds himself awkwardly standing once more in Jack O'Neill's doorway.

The General startles him yet again, when he launches into conversation without even an upward glance, "So, how was your time-off… bring me back anything?"

Knowing he's already read the report from Atlantis, Mitchell replies, "Well let's see Sir… During the week I spent on my 'vacation': Five men were captured and rescued. The Wraith discovered Atlantis and showed up at our doorstep. We blew up part of the city, then jump-started an engine that hadn't been used in 10,000 years. All capped off when I watched the genocide of an entire people… How have you been?"

"No need to get testy, Colonel. I think you've spent too much time around Rodney McKay."

Mitchell had to grin at that one. He might respect the friendship Sheppard had formed with the prickly scientist, but that didn't mean he had to like the guy.

Ducking his head to bite his lip, Mitchell raises laughing eyes to meet the General's, "They sure pulled in some interesting people for the Atlantis project."

Never known for his subtlety, O'Neill prompts, "…You have someone specific in mind, I'm guessing."

Mitchell sighs, running his hand back through short, brown hair. He'd had over two weeks on the Daedalus to prepare for this conversation, and still wasn't sure where to begin.

"Let me start by saying that nothing went like I expected. The crazy thing is, I only got a few chances to talk with Sheppard alone. But, I learned a lot from his friends and the men that serve under him."

Jack nods in understanding. He's been in the military a long time, and knows how much you can discover about a man from those that serve with him. But he's surprised to hear that the expedition members were willing to speak so openly with the visiting Lt. Colonel. Established outposts don't tend to open up to outsiders.

Jack slouches back into his high-backed chair, "I know you were nervous about seeing the guy after so many years. Has he really changed that much?"

Mitchell pauses for a moment, "You know… I don't think he has. I'm just a bit shaken by how little I knew him in the first place. He's still the cocky punk I remembered, but there's a hell of a lot more to him than I realized. I could probably spend a year out there and still not be able to pin him."

Jack groans, "Please, tell me that wasn't just a cop-out? 'Cause there's no way in hell that I'm walking into the lions' den with only a line about Sheppard being a deep guy."

Mitchell laughs, "Nah, I'm not that twisted. But I'm not sure what good my impressions will do you either. My visit wasn't exactly under normal circumstances."

Jack interrupts, "Mitchell, you've been with SG-1 for nearly a year now. When have you ever seen normal circumstances?"

Smiling down at his pile of notes, Mitchell replies, "Fair enough. But I'm still not sure this is what you're looking for."

"Let me be the judge of that, Colonel."

Eyes shining at a private joke, he hands Jack the small stack of paper. In bold letters across the top page are the words: 'What I learned about John Sheppard: Unofficial Guide to an Atlantis CO.'

With only a slight curl to his lip, General Jack O'Neill announces dismissed.

THE END

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A/N: I can hear the screams already! I'm sorry to leave you hanging... But it's way too much fun to leave Mitchell's report up to your imaginations.

Thank-you so much for reading! I've really enjoyed writing my first fanfic story!