General Hammond couldn't help but smile as he looked down at the letter in his hands. Initially it
was the aesthetics that amused him. The neatly typed, correctly formatted and excruciatingly
grammatical letter followed by the mess of a signature that belonged to Jack O'Neill.

The content also served to give the General amusement. Wish you were here, and I was not. 'So very
,' Hammond thought. He could almost hear the man speaking these words, right down to the
never mind

Yes, the letter was funny, it was perfectly Jack O'Neill, and yet, something was worrying Hammond. The
initial worry stemmed from the fact that Jack had not sent this letter. Several times during the preceding
week the civilian auditor that the president had sent to watch Jack had seen the newly appointed Brigadier
General working on it. Before he left, Gilmore had found and read the letter, obviously feeling that since Jack
had left it out on his desk it was somewhat public property. He had promptly sent a copy of the letter to
General Hammond.

The fact that Jack had written the letter, added the never mind, and yet still had not sent it made Hammond
uneasy. He knew Jack O'Neill. Had he no longer had retirement in mind, Jack would have sent him the
letter just to amuse him, and to continue his long record of almost-insubordination. Had he no longer
had it in mind.

Hammond didn't know how he should feel about this. His desire to see Jack happy (in his heart of hearts
George Hammond had known for some time that his friend wouldn't be happy – not really happy – until
he at least had a shot at what he wanted, and what he wanted was Lieutenant Colonel Sam Carter) was
conflicting with his sense of duty to his planet. It struck him that this was how Jack must feel all the time.

Remembering the expression on Sam Carter's face when she'd been looking up at her temporarily frozen
CO, Hammond realised she was torn in the same way, despite the fact that she was seeing someone. Hammond
wondered if she even dared to admit to herself that it wasn't enough, this relationship she was embarking on?
Part of him hoped not. He hoped she was happy, but he'd seen the look in her eyes that night in Antarctica.
If there was one thing Sam Carter was, it was smart. Too smart for her own good.

And if there was one thing Jack O'Neill was, it was –surprisingly, to some – considerate as hell. He would never
do anything to jeopardise Carter's career. Nor would he ever say anything to her, so concerned was he with
her happiness it had blinded him to the fact that it was quite deeply involved with him.

So, Jack had taken his command in hand – he wasn't backing out. Not for a while at least. It came to
Hammond that a big factor in O'Neill's decision to stay had to have been the disappearance of SG-1. If Jack
wasn't at the SGC who would be looking out for them? Jack couldn't retire because he wouldn't know what
was happening anymore. He knew the feeling.

Hence the Plan. It deserved the capital letter. Hammond had been glad of his previous acquaintance with
President Henry Hayes when he called that favour in. A year. He would give them a year, and then retire. His
reasons, as he had told the President, were twofold. Firstly, he really did want to spend some time with his
grandchildren. The missed plays, birthdays and holidays were piling up, and the girls were no longer young,
there was only so much time left before they didn't want to spend hours in the company of their old grandpa.

Secondly, neither Hammond nor the President could think of a more suitable candidate for leader of Homeworld
security than one Brigadier General Jack O'Neill. The position would remove Sam Carter from Jack's direct chain
of command. Sure, her reports would still pass his desk, but the Commander in Chief saw no reason why a
relationship would not be possible, so long as it was discreet. Not for any legal reason, just that the Stargate
Program had a lot of enemies, as did Jack O'Neill himself. Plus, if things didn't pan out between Jack and Sam
(General Hammond groaned inwardly at the thought) Jack would have a very good job that he deserved, no
matter how much he complained about having to fly a desk.

Now all he had to do was get Jack to hold out for a year.