Neither of them wanted to get out of bed that morning but they were expecting Teal'c in the next hour.
"We really should move, Jack"
"I know" he said, holding her tighter.
"That's not what I meant."
"I know" he smiled "but this is more fun."
Sam looked at her watch "Teal'c going to be here soon and that means Hammonds going to be on the MALP, wanting to talk to both of us."
"So we're going to talk to General Hammond like this?" Sam said pointing out that they weren't exactly wearing a lot.
"Good point" he said "best get the old uniform on."
They made it to the gate room just as Hammond called in.
"Morning Colonel, Major, I'm guessing you're glad to be heading back soon?"
"It will be nice to have a proper shower" Jack said.
Hammond laughed "Send back anything you don't need. We don't need you there any longer than you have to be."
"How's Daniel doing with those translation, anything useful?"
"Yes?" he said unsure of what Daniel had been doing "I'll go get him" While Jack went to get Daniel, Sam confirmed to General Hammond that they would be leaving one day later than scheduled.
"Why exactly, Major?"
"Just a precaution. Although the machine will be ready to turn off on Thursday afternoon I want to make sure there are no ill effects. If we can last the day here without the machine on we should be safe to return home. We'll gate back Friday afternoon, with Loran. If that's okay General?"
General Hammond thought about it for a moment, he wanted the rest of SG1 back as soon as possible but there health and safety was his main priority. "That seems like the sensible thing to do. We'll see you Friday major"
Daniel chatted with Hammond for a short while about his further finding and translations. Loran had been very helpful and was actually quite an intelligent person, once he stopped being so shy.
Teal'c stayed for a game or two of baseball before he headed back to Earth.
That afternoon the process of packing up began. Only Loran was excited to be going. Even after weeks of study and research Daniel still wanted more time, he would have to continue his translation back in his lab.
Sam and Jack relationship has changed a lot since they had been here. Instead of having trying to deny the feelings they had for each other, they had been about to admit them.
It was getting very sombre around the place now. Loran and Daniel spent most of there time photographing what they could so Daniel could continue his translation back on earth. Sam and Jack had to come to terms with what going home would mean.
They could do one of two things. Firstly they could keep going the way they where until the very last minuet. They could enjoy being together; enjoy not being bound by military regulations and protocol. Or secondly, they could start the change now. Go back to using military rank instead of first names, go back to wearing their uniforms as they should be worn, go back to carrying their weapons all the time. It was an easy decision to make.
"I'm in the mood for a game, who's with me?" Jack said at lunch.
"Baseball!" Loran shouted
"I'm game" Daniel added
"Sure why not." Sam smiled.
"Just because you're winning."
"Well, Jack, you could always try to beat me"
"Is that a challenge, Samantha?"
"What do you think?"
"I think this is going to be an interesting game." Daniel added.
There last baseball game was indeed an interesting one.
Up until then Jack and Daniel hadn't quite been playing as well as they could have. Jack could have hit harder or pitched faster but he was enjoying watching Sam win. Daniel could have caught more balls or ran faster but he was watching Loran enjoy himself. But this was there last game and it was going to be a good game.
"Why don't we wipe the scores for this one?" Jack suggested "Winner takes all."
"I got nothing to loose" Said Daniel, who, in the current ranking was last.
"You mean I could win?" Loran said excited at the thought.
"Sounds like a plan."
It became clear to Sam quite early on that Jack had been holding out on her. He had been letting her win, this was not on, and she would have to up her game to match his. Daniel too, had proved that he was better at this then previously thought.
They played until the light started to fade. It had been an interesting game. Sam had been leading until Loran had caught her out. Then Daniel had caught up until Jack caught him out. They had all be in the lead at some point during the game, but in the end it was Loran who won, not by cheating or by the others not playing there best but by simply being the best.
After a quiet evening meal they all headed to bed. Who knew if it was tiredness that kept them quiet or the thought of what was to come.
Neither of them had slept much that night. Once they got back home things would have to go back to normal. Was it a mistake to have taken things so far? To know what they could, but never would, have? No. They had shared something here, the memories would last a lifetime.
"That's it. The last increment has gone. We should be able to turn the machine of later today" Sam announced. "And if all is well, head back tomorrow."
"That's great." Daniel said "why aren't we heading back today, again?"
"Just a precautionary measure. I just want to make sure we can cope with out it turned on first."
"Right" Daniel said, a little sceptical, "nothing to do with you and Jack then?"
"No, of cause not. It's purely for out own safety" Sam said trying the hide the small smile on her face.
Daniel would never say anything but he knew Jacks bed hadn't been slept in for days, he also knew that his two friends were breaking who knew how many regulations while they were here, yet he wanted his friends to be happy.
"We've got lots to do to get ready for tomorrow, so we best get started" Jack said shortly after breakfast, trying to sound like the Colonel he was. "Loran, Daniel why don't you collect all the sport equipment and sort out your room, Sam and I will sort out the store room."
And that is exactly what they did. Loran was excited to be going someplace new, but he hoped in time that he would find his way back to his home planet. Sam and Jack hardly said a word to each other all morning. After a late some lunch they strapped what they could to the MALP in preparation for the return to Earth.
"I suggest everyone gets an early night, don't forget Earth have 3 hours less a day than here, so best get in what you can" Sam pointed out.
They had tried to survive on Earth time, but with P4X-367 having 3 hours a day more, it just wasn't practical after a few days. According to the SGC they had been here 4 weeks but for them it was closer to 3 and a half.
Day Five: back to earth
When they met in the gate room that morning Sam, Jack and Daniel were in full uniform again. There wasn't a lot to be said it wasn't as if they would never see each other again, on the contrary they would still see each other every single day.
"Dial us home Daniel" Jack said.
The wormhole burst out into the room signalling the start of there journey.
Daniel stood by Loran "its ok, all we do is walk through."
Jack pressed the buttons on his GDO so that the SGC could open the Iris.
Daniel picked up a few bags and encouraged Loran through the gate.
Sam took the manual control of the MALP and began steering that towards the gate
"Hey Sam, see you on the other side" Jack smiled at her.
"Welcome home SG1." Hammond as soon as they were all through.
"Thank you Sir" replied Jack.
"This must be Loran?"
"Loran this is General Hammond, he's in charge of this facility" explained Daniel.
"Welcome to Earth Loran, we have some good news for you."
Loran looked a little worried.
"I'll explain at the debrief."
As was protocol they secured there weapons and headed for the infirmary for a quick check up. After Janet had given them the okay they went back to the boardroom for a debriefing.
"Firstly, welcome back, it's good to see you all safe and well" Hammond started "Secondly, Loran you may stay here for a few days if you wish, but, we have found your home planet."
SG1 looked at each other "With respect, General, how do we know it's safe" Daniel asked.
"We've already sent a MALP and an SG team. The village isn't far from the gate and we belief we have found Loran's relatives."
"Well that's great news, then." Daniel said trying to sound enthusiastic for Loran.
"Can I not stay here?" he asked.
"I'm afraid not" Hammond said, he then addressed the whole team.
"You're on stand down until Monday. Then you may escort Loran home."
"But Sir..." Carter began.
"But nothing Major, that's an order."
"Yes Sir" she was tired of doing nothing, all she wanted to do was get back to work. The sooner things got back to normal the better.
"Loran, I hear you've become quite a baseball fan."
"Well then, Daniel, I suggest you take him to a real baseball game."
O'Neill turned to Carter "So? Fishing? My cabin?"
She smiled "Yes Sir, fishing sounds good."
"Sounds like you all have plans" Hammond said "See you all Monday"