He turned around slowly, taking in the debris cluttering the room. To give everyone credit, they'd done a fairly decent job cleaning up after themselves. The black garbage bags leaning against the wall near the french doors to the backyard were filled nearly to overflowing, as was the blue recycling bin set next to them. Only a few crumpled napkins and forgotten half-empty plastic cups and bottles remained scattered across the room's many surfaces. He was pretty sure she wasn't going to let either of them sleep until they'd at least made an attempt at cleaning up the mess. Accepting the inevitable, he stepped forward, reaching for the nearest bottle.
"Can't we wait and do that tomorrow?" Sam asked from the doorway.
Jack turned to face her. Seeing she was alone, he asked, "Hank didn't want to stay?"
She shook her head. "No. I told him he was welcome to the extra bedroom for the night, but he said he'd already reserved a room and that, besides, he didn't want to intrude. He wants to make sure we know this is really our home now and not to feel like we're simply borrowing it from him." Glancing around at the mess in the room, she added, "Though now I'm starting to wonder if maybe he had an ulterior motive."
As she spoke, Teal'c and Daniel emerged from the hall leading to the back bedroom. They'd been tucking Matthew back into bed. Again. After the day he'd had, the kid seemed to be finding it hard to relax enough to fall asleep. "Who had an ulterior motive?" Daniel asked.
"Hank. In not staying here for one more night," Jack explained, gesturing around the room.
"Ah... yes," Daniel nodded, taking in the garbage lying about.
"Daniel and I will be happy to assist," Teal'c quickly added.
Daniel shot the Jaffa a look before turning back to Jack and agreeing, "Of course." Then, as an afterthought, he mumbled, "Too bad Cam couldn't stay..."
"He explained. He has an 0530 meeting tomorrow morning," Teal'c reminded him as he and Daniel each grabbed a handful of bottles and started for the kitchen.
"A meeting which he, as acting SGC commander, scheduled himself and could just as easily have rescheduled for later in the day," Daniel pointed out.
Sam and Jack watched the two step into the kitchen. Turning back to his wife, Jack observed, "He's still not over Cam's accepting command of the Hercules?"
"No. Apparently, Colonel Stander doesn't understand a thing about archeology in particular or science in general or of the need for diplomacy..." She cast a look at him. "Remind you of anyone?"
She chuckled. "Mhmm. I thought not. So, anyway, he's on to me about getting him transferred to SG-3 as soon as I officially take command. Seems that – and I quote – 'despite being in charge of a bunch of Marines, Reynolds is still an engineer at heart so at least he understands...'" She sighed. "Sure you don't want the job back?"
He laughed. "Hell no." Then, suddenly serious again, he continued, "Besides, you're a much better commander than I ever was."
"Probably. After all, I was taught by the best."
"By which you mean..."
It was a slow pitch. Smiling dazzlingly at him, she connected beautifully, just as he'd known she would. "George Hammond, of course. Who'd you think I'd meant?"
She really had grown more experienced. And faster. Faster than him, at least. His hand hit empty air; Sam – and her backside - were already half-way across the room. Giving up, at least for now, he turned and wandered toward the back of the house. Hopefully, the movers had stuck the vacuum in one of the more obvious places. It had once taken three whole months to find the blender.
"Doughnuts?" Sam was asking as Jack returned from a fridge run.
"Yes. Doughnuts," Teal'c responded.
Jack handed an opened beer to Daniel before dropping back onto the sofa next to Sam and slipping his arm around her shoulders. "He still on about that?" he asked her before taking a sip from his own bottle.
Teal'c ignored him. "If you want to improve your meetings, General Carter, provide doughnuts for your staff."
"T, don't you remember what I told you the last time you brought this up?"
"General Carter might not be restricted by the same prejudices on that subject as you are."
"Meaning...?" Sam asked, doing a fairly decent job of keeping a straight face.
"General O'Neill -"
"Retired. Can't you finally call me 'Jack' now?"
"Claims it is impossible to obtain doughnuts for the SGC," Teal'c continued as though uninterrupted.
"Claim, nothing, T. Don't you remember the graphs... the chart Walter made up? It is im-pos-si-ble to get doughnuts down there." He emphasized every syllable of 'impossible' with a gesture of his beer.
"I could just have the commissary..." Sam began.
"Yes, exactly," Teal'c agreed.
The few beers he'd had weren't enough for Jack to have missed the wicked glint in Sam's eyes. Still, he couldn't help protesting, "Over my dead body! If they ain't Krispy Kreme's..."
"They ain't doughnuts," Daniel sing-songed sleepily from the recliner.
Everyone turned to look at him. He was half lying in the chair, head resting on the arm, eyes barely opened. "Daniel?" Sam asked.
"Yeah...?" he asked slowly.
"Uh-huh. I'm good. Just tired," he explained, without bothering to lift his head.
"How many beers have you had?" Jack asked.
Daniel raised one hand in front of his face, staring intently at his fingers for a moment before shrugging and dropping it back down to his side. "A couple," he finally admitted.
Jack turned back to Sam. "Looks like we'll be having an overnight guest after all."
"There is no need," Teal'c said, getting to his feet. "Daniel Jackson has kindly offered to let me spend the night at his apartment. I will see he returns safely home." Teal'c glanced down at the archeologist who was now snoring softly in the chair. "And arrives at the SGC on time, tomorrow," he added.
"Good plan," Sam agreed. She and Jack stood up as well. Then, as Teal'c gently shook Daniel awake and was helping him to his feet, "Do you need help?"
"No. We will be fine, General Carter."
As they moved toward the door, Jack caught Teal'c's arm. "Hey, T..."
Teal'c stopped walking and turned to him. "Yes?"
"Thanks for coming. I know how busy you guys are up there..." He gestured with his thumb toward the vastness of space somewhere above the house.
Teal'c's face broke into one of his rare grins. "I would not have missed this for the world. For any world... Jack."
He held out his arm for Jack in the traditional Jaffa gesture. Jack clasped his arm and then, impulsively, pulled him into a hug. Sam followed after him with one of her own. "Don't be a stranger, okay?" she ordered as she stepped back.
"Yeah," Jack agreed. "You've got our number. I mean... well... It's her number now..." he added, gesturing to Sam, "But you know what I mean."
Teal'c's grin had faded, but only a bit. "Yes, I do. Farewell, my friends."
"Bye, Teal'c," Sam said. Reaching the front door, she opened it for them."And see you Monday, Daniel."
"Yup. Bye, guys," Daniel's parting wave took in the two of them. Then, turning, he followed Teal'c out the door.