General George Hammond turned out the lights in his office and made his way wearily to the elevator that would take him to the surface and home for the night. Making a sudden decision, he detoured to the base quarters of Colonel Jack O'Neill. The last he had seen of SG-1's commander had been a chance meeting near the elevator about three hours ago. Jack had been carrying a couple of pizzas, a six-pack of soda and some bottled water. He had been uncharacteristically solemn and Hammond knew he would feel better if he checked up on his premier team before leaving for the night.
It had been a grueling day. SG-1 had returned safely from their mission. SG-7 hadn't. While holding the 'Gate for SG-1, they had lost one of their members in a surprise attack. The attack had been thwarted, but not before a young Corporal was caught in a crossfire. Even rushing him back to Frasier at the SGC hadn't saved him. Hammond knew there was nothing Jack could have done, but he also knew the younger man, as commander of the mission, felt the loss acutely.
O'Neill's quarters were oddly quiet as Hammond approached. The door was slightly ajar and he pushed it further open, peering in. The scene inside halted him instantly.
They were asleep. The open pizza boxes, now mostly empty, covered the small table. The TV played quietly. Hammond grinned as Bart's face filled the screen. How had Jack talked the rest of SG-1 into watching "The Simpsons"?
It was the four people in the room whom he observed most closely. Teal'c sat cross-legged on the floor facing the door, the Jaffa clearly in a deep state of kel'no'reem. Still, Hammond recognized that he had chosen his position carefully. In the event of some unforeseen situation, Teal'c had placed himself between the rest of his team and anyone – or anything – that could come in the door. Even in meditation, Teal'c was ready to defend his teammates.
Daniel Jackson had pulled one of the chairs away from the table to face the TV and was sprawled in it. His feet were propped on the foot of Jack's bed. His glasses were askew and the journal he had obviously been writing in had fallen unheeded to the floor. He still held the pen ready in a hand that dangled over the arm of the chair. An occasional soft snore escaped the archeologist.
It was the two figures on the bed who received Hammond's most serious contemplation, however. Jack and Sam sat next to each other against the headboard. Sam had also been working; there was an open notebook on her lap and a sheaf of notes beside her. Her head nestled on Jack's shoulder, her body curled slightly towards his.
Jack's head rested on Sam's. He had angled himself so that she could rest more comfortably against him. Hammond recognized a standard military report half finished on a clipboard propped against his knee. A pen had fallen from his lax hand. A hand, Hammond noticed, that now covered Sam's.
Surveying them all once more, George Hammond realized what set SG-1 apart from all the other SG teams. It was more than the audacity of Jack O'Neill, more than the genius of Samantha Carter, more than the tenaciousness of Daniel Jackson, more than the finely honed warrior skills of Teal'c. All the SG teams had courage and intelligence and determination and combat training, but the other SG teams were just that: teams. SG-1 was more. SG-1 was family.
After losing a member of the SGC, each person wanted to spend time with their nearest and dearest. In the light of a loss, the most natural thing was for people to go directly to those they loved – a way to reassure themselves that those they cared most for were safe. And that is what Hammond saw in Jack's quarters –four people who sought each other out for comfort and reassurance. Four people who were closer to each other than to anyone else. A family.
As Hammond watched, Jack muttered incoherently and moved slightly closer to Sam. Even in his sleep, he was careful not to dislodge the blonde head resting under his. His hand tightened on hers as she snuggled closer in response. Hammond knew he had never seen such contentment on either face when they were awake. It was only in sleep that they could reveal the feelings that hid daily under the uniforms and rank that they wore. But he also knew that he could trust them to be the Air Force Colonel and Major, to keep those feelings under control. He knew neither one would risk the team. For now.
Hammond clicked the lights off and closed the door softly behind him. They needed to rest and they would rest best together, in the arms of the family they had created. He retraced his steps to the elevator, feeling somehow less tired and more hopeful.