The Red Phone

Prompt: #000 Jack // the red phone

Notes: Written for silkess.

"Why does it have to be red?" Jack muttered absentmindedly to no one in particular, interrupting the briefing for SG-1's latest off world mission in the process. He glanced up when he realised he'd spoken the thought out loud and shot Sam, whom he had stopped mid-sentence, a sheepish look.

"Sir?" she questioned, confused. "Why does what have to be red?" She looked at him expectantly without even the smallest trace of anger or annoyance on her face for his sudden outburst. She had to be on of the most patient people on Earth! She was definitely one of the smartest and prettiest and…no. He was not going there! Not. Going. There.

"Uh…did I say that out loud?" Jack replied in apology. He smiled softly at his second in command, hoping she'd just brush off his question and continue on with the briefing. As boring as he found her techno babble speech about who-knows-what-it-was-this-time, he loved listening to her voice. It had a soothing effect on him – which was probably why he had drifted off into his thoughts about why 'it' was red. And right there! He was doing it again, thinking about Sam – no, thinking about Carter – like that! Bad!

Sam shot him an amused grin and nodded. "Yes, sir. You did say that out loud." She glanced at Hammond who seemed equally entertained, despite his best efforts to hide it. The fact that the General found Jack's little antics entertaining – especially when they were supposed to be discussing a mission – confirmed to him just how boring the briefing had actually gotten.

"What is it that you were referring to, O'Neill?" Teal'c put in from beside him, his previously vacant expression showing interest. One slightly raised eyebrow, his trademark look, suggested he was indeed curious. Or he may have just been grateful for the break from the briefing, as well. He, like Jack, was more of an action guy than anything and wasn't a big fan of the long discussions that the briefings often contained.

Ironic, that. The term 'brief' tended to mean 'short'. The briefings at the SGC, though, were as far from that as they could be.

Daniel was the only one in the room who didn't seem to be enjoying Jack's interruption and an annoyed scowl had formed on his face, replacing the previously intrigued half-smile that he always wore while discussing something he found exciting – normally some artefact of a sort that no one else cared the least about. As Jack watched him and contemplated his answer for Teal'c, the frustrated archaeologist began to doodle randomly on the notepad before him.

"Well, Teal'c," Jack started slowly, still watching Daniel. "The…uh…the red phone," he explained, breaking his gaze to gesture towards Hammond's office. "For the president." Again he smiled sheepishly at his comrades, most of who had resorted to eye rolling or pointed looks. Even Daniel had looked up at that and had raised an eyebrow to rival Teal'cs'. "Why is it red?"

No one gave an answer immediately, so he resorted to looking at each of them in turn and studying them for any sign that they knew the reason. All of them stared incredulously back at him as if he had gone insane wanting to know that, apart from Sam who was trying her best not to smile. Jack grinned back at her momentarily before studying them all again and finally giving up on trying to get anything from them.

He sighed heavily and fell back in his chair. None of them knew. Or if they did, they weren't letting on.

Deciding it was in his best interest to divert the conversation back to the mission, especially considering the dagger-like looks coming from Daniel, Jack clapped his hands to break the silence and turned to Sam with as casual an expression on his face as he could muster. "So…Carter. You were saying?"