"General Landry, sir," Walter's voice broke through the control room as the claxons spurred to life and the annoying drilling that was the alarm accompanied it. "We have incoming travellers."
Even after all this time, that news sent an adrenalin rush through him and he watched as the General moved up beside him to watch the Gate.
"One of ours?" Landry asked.
Walter waited as the seventh chevron locked and the customary blue ripples of matter whooshed out to fill the gate room momentarily before slopping back and stabilising in its ring. There was a flash on the computer screen in front of him then, signifying that it was indeed one of their teams dialling in – SG-1 to be exact.
Interest piping up that much higher – because SG-1 was, of course, the best of the best and the most amusing team of them all – Walter announced it. "It's SG-1, sir."
He opened the iris even as Landry spoke the words and fell silent to watch SG-1 arrive, while Landry began to make his way down to meet them.
The first to emerge from the Stargate was Lieutenant Colonel Samantha Carter. Walter took in the amused smirk on her face and knew immediately that he would be looking for an excuse, any excuse at all, to walk in on the debriefing later.
He just had to know what had happened! Landry would probably fill him in later as he often did, but if there were a chance he could hear about it straight from SG-1, he would go for it for sure.
Dr Daniel Jackson and Teal'c were next to appear, both of them with expressions torn between amusement and serious contemplation.
It reminded Walter of the time Daniel had found him in one of the storage closets in a rather compromising situation. He had merely been searching for something in there, but because one of the female tech's had gone into the same closet immediately before him and he had completely by accident run into her, it hadn't looked good at all.
Daniel's face then…it looked exactly the same right down to the crease mark over his forehead as he tried miserably to hold in his laughter. Reality would hit him then and he would stop squirming to think on the consequences, but it never lasted. Smirking always won out.
Seeing Teal'c like that as well as Daniel…well, it was different. It was very different.
After those two came through, there was a considerable break. Walter studied the Gate carefully for any sign that Cameron and Vala were on the way through and wondered passingly whether they were okay. They must have been, if the rest of SG-1 were acting so…entertained.
Five or so seconds later, he got his answer.
Arms draped over one another's shoulders, Cam and Vala swayed drunkenly through the Stargate with huge grins on their faces. They managed to make it about halfway down the ramp before the Gate sizzled out and another two steps after that before they collapsed in a giggling heap on the floor – at the General's feet.
Still smirking, Sam bent down and offered her hand to Vala who took it at first but changed her mind and impulsively threw herself at Cam. With very similar results for Cam, she gave up and shrugged, joining Landry.
Uncertain whether to be concerned or amused as the rest of SG-1 were, Walter continued to watch them as they grouped together and General Landry muttered something to them. Sam said something back and Daniel added in a comment or two and then Landry headed over to the phone.
Walter automatically looked to the door then and scrunched up his nose absentmindedly as medics rushed in and struggled for several minutes with Cam and Vala before they finally drugged them and put them out on stretchers, disappearing once again.
Sam and Daniel continued on talking to the General for a few minutes longer, eventually filing out with Teal'c close behind. Landry paused for a moment longer before he left too. The goings on in the gate room returned to normal within a few minutes.
Walter took a moment to gather his thoughts and slowly turned back to work.
An hour or so later, Walter had finished the paperwork Landry had instructed him to do earlier, as he'd passed by the control room to go back to his office. Glad he was done, he muttered to the other tech and made his way to see Landry, file in hand.
It appeared he was just in time for SG-1's briefing, because they began to filter in to the briefing room as he walked up. He smiled to himself and gripped the documents he was holding just that little bit tighter.
"General Landry, sir," he announced his presence. "The reports you asked for," he added as the man looked up at him with raised eyebrows. Somewhat intimidated by the stare Landry gave him, he reached out to place the file on the desk.
He began to move out, frowning at his incompetence at facing his boss, and almost didn't hear his name being called. "Sir?" he asked, turning back.
Landry offered him a smile and gestured out at SG-1, whom were now sitting casually in the briefing room, chatting amongst themselves. "I'd like you to join the briefing today," Landry drew out slowly.
"But…" he began, not comprehending. He blinked in confusion and stared dumbly at the General. "Wait. You'd like me to…what?"
Shaking his head in mild disbelief or mild amusement – Walter couldn't tell – Landry repeated himself. "I'd like you to join the briefing today."
Walter grinned stupidly and nodded. "Oh, yes. I can do that. Thank you," he managed to get out. "Sir."
"Let's do this, then."
Without another word, General Landry stood up and made his way to the briefing room, Walter at his heels, looking he was certain like a lovesick puppy following its master.
"Colonel. Please," Landry said firmly. "What exactly happened on P3X –" he glanced questioningly over at Daniel, who just shrugged. "Whatever," he settled on. His gaze settled on Carter.
"Well, sir," she explained, "the natives were in the process of celebrating a festival of some kind when we arrived. They invited us to join them and…" she broke off to smirk at Cameron and Vala. "Let's just say, they had beverages of the alcoholic type. Daniel, Teal'c and I didn't drink anything, but those two," she explained, gesturing at her two drunken friends, "did."
Daniel sniggered beside her and nodded. "It's true," he added. "The festival was not unlike some pagan rituals such as Lughnasadh is on Earth. You could say it was a fertility festival or a harvest festival of a sort. Drinking is one of many ways they celebrate it. They - "
"Of course," Landry replied with a sigh, ignoring the scowl Daniel threw his way for interrupting him. He glanced over at Walter who just shrugged. "Okay," he said after a moment. "Let me get this straight."
At that, or maybe it was the expression on the General's face as he spoke, Walter ducked his head and smirked. No one appeared to notice.
"You went to the designated planet, interrupted some kind of fertility/harvest festival and were invited to join in. Colonel Mitchell and Vala got…drunk…on some alcoholic beverage that they offered you. Is that correct?"
Once again, Walter found himself overwhelmed by happiness at the fact that he'd been allowed to sit in on the briefing. The chance to see SG-1 like this, now, was incredibly exciting. He glanced between the faces surrounding him to gauge their reactions.
"Indeed," Teal'c confirmed. Beside him, waving his hands between Cameron and Vala, Daniel nodded.
Landry didn't look happy.
Before anyone else could add in even just a comment, Vala got out of her chair and climbed onto the table. Standing up, she wavered dangerously close to the edge. She managed to straighten up just preceding Walter's concerned offer to assist her.
His help clearly not required, Walter slumped down into his seat and gaped, open mouthed, at the woman on the table, while General Landry looked on in shock.
"We elected purple apes!" Vala giggled drunkenly. She grinned madly as if it were the funniest thing she had ever heard and pulled Cam up beside her, scaring him half to death. He snorted water out of his nose and on realising what had just happened, began to choke with laughter. It was a wonder that he didn't fall over.
Eyeing the pair, Landry sighed.
"Clearly, they're out of their minds."