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This story is an expanded version of my comment suggestions for the likely aftermath of [personal profile] tallulah_rasa's story That Thing With Feathers, here on her DW journal. Go, read. Immediately. It's short (616 words) and very amusing. I'll wait right here 'til you get back. [Those of you who don't want to be spoiled should not read my comment at the top of the second page of comments]

Back? Settled? Comfy? Good. Let's begin.


Title: A Pig's Tale
Season: Any time before Between Two Fires
Spoilers: Schrödinger's owner's name?
Warnings: Duck! The pigs are flying! Ummm... That didn't come out right. How 'bout this: Look out! Pigs! Flying!
Synopsis: The tale of a time Jack loved unwisely and too well.
Tragicomedy now with more pig!
Disclaimer: It's got a flying pig. Don't expect it to be all sensible and stuff... What?... Intellectual property rights?... Oh, yeah. I don't own the show or any of the characters. Even the pig is borrowed from [personal profile] tallulah_rasa




A Pig's Tale



The wormhole established itself with all the usual drama and flash, but the signal SG-1 sent through was routine, so General Hammond, standing looking over Sgt. Harriman's shoulder, gave the order to open the iris and beamed congenially down at the ramp where his flagship team would soon appear. Although the SG-3 marines held clear title to the record for largest amount of blood shed onto the ramp, SG-1's returns were the most likely to be a country mile outside the ordinary, so a routine return was a great start to what George Hammond hoped would be a productive and satisfying day, the kind of day he wished were far, far more common for this command.

It was not to be. The wormhole shimmered and with an elastic shoop! SG-1 stepped forth onto the ramp, Major Carter and Daniel Jackson clearly exchanging some witticism, followed by the imperturbable bulk of Teal'c with his staff weapon, and Jack O'Neill bringing up the rear, one arm draped casually over his P-90 in its harness, and the other hand cradling something of a pale whitish-pink to his chest above the weapon, using a football hold. Whatever that something was, it had not left on the mission with them, so it had to have come from the planet, and it moved. It was alive.

George Hammond had spent his formative years in Texas, where cattle and horses were the favored stock, but his mother's people had hailed from Arkansas, hog country, and visits to his grandfather's farm had given young George Hammond a discerning eye for pig flesh, and if that was not a weanling pig that Jack was raising up to address with affectionate tones, then he, George Samuel Hammond, still sported a full head of copper red hair! Why Jack had seen fit to bring home a pig was a bit of a mystery, but the trouble looming on the horizon was as clear as a tornado bearing down across the plains. The expression on Jack's face was the one he reserved for dogs and children, open and easy-to-read. Jack O'Neill was in love. There was no way, Hammond thought, that Jack was going to be able to keep a pig, even if it was not destined for breeding or barbeque, on his suburban property, for all that it was at the end of a cul de sac and bordering on parkland. Hammond could feel the stirrings of a headache, and he had a feeling that it would be augmented before too long by the loud and outraged tones of his second-in-command.

The issue of separating a notoriously tenacious man from something he loved was just the first throb of the migraine to come, though. Even as Hammond sighed, the other unseen and unsuspected shoe dropped with a ringing thud. Something, some noise or motion by one of the SFs startled the young animal, and in reaction it unfurled its wings and attempted to fly away.

Wings! Hammond's jaw dropped. His eyebrows attempted a docking maneuver with what remained of his hairline, his betraying redhead's skin shifted from pink to white and back again, and he let out an audible groan. The pig that Jack O'Neill had chosen to give his battle-scarred heart to had wings!

George he reminded himself sternly You are a general, and a general is by long custom incapable of surprise. If there is a base anywhere on the face of the Earth where pigs might fly, it is this one! Now pull it together and don't you dare give yourself away!

He turned away from the bullet-proof glass and started heading for the stairs to his office. At the first step, he paused.

"Tell SG-1 that their debrief will be at 1300 hours," he tossed over a shoulder, and then made good his escape, proceeding with dignified haste into his office, where, his back to the chart-etched window, he relaxed the rigid control he'd been exercising on that lower jaw. So SG-1 discovered that pigs do indeed fly. Somehow, given that it was SG-1, the base's resident miracle workers, that should not have been so monumental a surprise as it was. He glanced at his watch. 0927. He had 3 hours and 33 minutes to achieve an expression that radiated the quintessence of blasé.

*****************

Janet Fraiser had vivid and rather unfortunate memories of the last time she saw Jack O'Neill approaching with an animal on his arm. That last time he'd been arriving, grinning with anticipation, at the park near her house with a dog as a gift for her soon-to-be adopted daughter, and Janet still bore him a certain animus for that little stunt. If she had whiskers they would have been bristling, because Janet was a cat person, and had never in her life desired to own a dog. Her resentment was deep on cold and frosty mornings when the dog refused to do his business, and particularly deep on those occasions when the dog encountered skunks or porcupines, and non-existent when she stood outside Cassie's door and listened to her telling the animal all the events of the day, but still...

Janet ran an infirmary for Air Force personnel, not a veterinary clinic, and she was damned if she was going to have a pig - no matter how small, cute, clean, or winged it was - in her domain. Colonel O'Neill whined. He complained. He ordered. He cajoled. He offered up a pair of rich brown puppy eyes that (shockingly!) put Daniel's at his most woebegone to shame, all to no avail. Janet Fraiser might be a mere major. She might be nearly an entire foot shorter than the Colonel, and she might have any woman's normal susceptibility to a winning smile on a handsome face, but in her infirmary she was ruler of all she surveyed, and she declared that the pig must go out. With resentfully slumping shoulders and dragging feet that would have done credit to an eight year old boy told to take his frog out and release it, Jack moved to give the pig to an airman to hold until he was released from his exam.

That was the point at which Janet lost the argument. Jack tried, honestly and without success to hand the pig over, and the pig would have none of it. The pig liked Jack. He was gentle. He was warm. His voice was soothing, and his hands knew just where to scratch on her chin and jowls, and across her back. He was the source of yummy power bars. The airman was a Stranger and Not to be Trusted. She squealed piteously and piercingly in her terror, and flapped her wings in agitation, and the airman, who had received his posting to Stargate Command following several commendations for bravery in Afghanistan, backed off as if the pig he was being offered was a mature Goa'uld symbiote. Brave he might be, but he was a city boy, and that thing clearly had sharp little white teeth, and pointy trotters. Add the wings, and it was all just a little too freaky.

After a good long look at the writing on the wall, Janet sighed, and told Colonel O'Neill that he might as well keep hold of the animal, and she'd work around it. The Colonel pulled the pig in close to his chest, turning his head away to avoid the frantically beating wings, and began to talk soothingly to it, assuring it that everything was peachy now, and that he wasn't letting go, he was here, and he wasn't going to let anything happen to her, she was safe. In a few moments the pig settled, and by the time it was Jack's turn to hop up on the exam table, she was peacefully asleep, one ear on Jack's broad chest to hear his comforting heart beat, and her small mouth busily chewing away in her sleep. Janet gazed down into her snub-nosed earnest little baby face, and was lost. It seemed that in addition to being a cat person, Janet Fraiser was a pig person too.

***************

A similar scene played out when General Hammond declared that pigs were not welcome at official briefings either. Like Janet, he realized when practicality outweighed policy, and that strident, high-pitched squealing was wreaking havoc with his mounting headache. Once again, Jack O'Neill, dog whisperer and natural-born pied piper, proved that his magic extended to pigs too, and soon the pig was happily ensconced on the briefing table in front of him, munching industriously on some diced apple bits the Colonel had procured for it at the commissary before the meeting.

It had been Hammond's intent to insist that it would not be possible to keep the pig here on Earth, and that it needed to be returned to its home planet with all due haste. Surely it would be cruel to prevent any living thing from being outside in the fresh air, and clearly an animal so obviously and indisputably not from this planet could not be passed off as an ordinary terrestrial animal. It had seemed like an open-and-shut case, right up until SG-1 got their teeth into it.

In this instance, as in many briefings, Teal'c was silent. When Teal'c felt that he had nothing of weight to contribute to the matter, he said nothing. He merely sat, and evaluated the others' arguments for weakness, and occasionally if he thought that one of the participants had made a particularly cogent point, he would nod his head fractionally in acknowledgement.

Daniel shot down the idea of returning the pig right off the bat. The pig had been a gift to O'Neill for his role in negotiating the treaty (the concept of Jack O'Neill as a diplomatic front man was one that Hammond was having great difficulty getting his throbbing head around, but Dr. Jackson insisted that the minor miracle had in fact occurred, and as far as he knew, Dr Jackson had never lied to him before), and if they returned the pig, it would be taken as a sign that O'Neill was declaring the treaty null and void, and the the exchange of minerals and goods would be halted. So clearly the idea of returning the pig wouldn't fly be feasible.

By this point, the pig had finished her apple bits, and Jack had scooped her up from the table, and was holding her protectively to his chest, and regarding Hammond with horrified and reproachful eyes. Jack agreed whole heartedly that it would be cruel and unusual punishment to confine the pig ("She's not the pig, sir! She has a name. She's Spider Pig.") to a base eleven stories under the ground. Pigs were one of God's creatures too, and needed fresh air and sunshine, and Jack was happy to provide that for her. He proposed buying a doggy jacket for her, and walking her in that to avoid showing her wings, and when she outgrew that ("They do make them for larger dogs, sir. I've seen them. And Mrs. Pettigrew next door's dog is as wide as a house, and he has one!") well, then he'd have one custom made for her.

He had no intention of turning his pig over to anyone else. The people of P47-2NM gave the pig to him, it was HIS pig, his responsibility, that was his story, and he was sticking to it. With all single-minded mulishness that Jack O'Neill was capable of. Furthermore, if the Air Force or the N.I.D. had any delusions of being about to dissect Spider Pig to find out how she was capable of flying, they had another think coming. That would happen only over Jack's cold, dead, stinking, maggot-ridden corpse... ... ..., sir. General Hammond considered ordering O'Neill to hand over the pig, on the general principle that he could tell, he could just tell that this was all going to end badly, but only for a moment. The day would surely come when Jack balked at following one of his orders, and that day would mark the end of one of their careers. He'd probably rue 'til his dying day the decision to turn Jack O'Neill and a flying pig loose on the unsuspecting populace of Colorado, but he didn't think this issue was the one to test out his hold over the man. Besides, God help him!, he wasn't sure in this case that Jack would back down. If the N.I.D. wanted the pig, well then they'd have to get it for themselves, and Hammond was rather inclined to believe that it was not Jack O'Neill that would end up as the corpse.

It was Major Carter who somewhat eased his worst fears, and ratcheted down his headache, if only slightly, by offering a solution to what Jack should say if some civilian should, despite all precautions, catch a glimpse of Spider Pig's wings, or worse see her flying.

"We can say that Spider Pig is the product of a secret Air Force genetics program, sir. An attempt to bioengineer a flying pig to serve as a mascot for the Air Force Academy sports teams. What mascot could better represent the miracles we airmen perform every day, sir?"

Jacob Carter's dry, wry sense of humor had clearly rubbed off on his daughter. Jake would be proud.

With that the briefing ended, and the team, except for Teal'c who lived on base, set off for a relaxing weekend at home, the happiest of them clearly being Jack O'Neill, who would, for once, not be going home alone. He had Spider Pig now.

***************

Jack took off home in triumph, and since the cap was currently on the bed of his truck, was able to hide the pig there while he stopped for a harness-and-leash arrangement, a food bowl, a water bowl and a couple of fetching doggy jackets, one in plaid and one in pink with lace ruffles (Spider Pig was a girl, after all, and Jack knew girls liked that sort of thing) for his new companion. It was only on the way home from the mall and a brief stop at the supermarket for carrots and a few other delicacies that he thought she might enjoy that Jack started to have second thoughts. He wasn't sure that walking a piglet wearing that pink lacy thing was going to go well with his manly image.

Well, there was always the plaid jacket, and maybe he could use the pink one only in his yard. He wanted her to be able to feel feminine, if she was so inclined.

That settled, man and pig went home, and Spider Pig, who was, after all, still just a baby, napped on an old pair of sweats that Jack had been about to discard because they had an elastic waist with no drawstring and the elastic was shot, while Jack chopped up carrots and celery and fried some hamburger mixing it all together with some ripped up bread, and put some of it in her new bowl. He looked at the large quantity of food still in the pan, got out a container put as much of it as would fit away for future meals, and considered ordering pizza or making himself a sandwich and a can of soup, but instead he shrugged, reached down a plate, and put the rest of the mix on that, and put on some cheese and Tabasco sauce. Man and beast settled down to a meal together, Jack seated at the table, and Spider Pig on the floor by her bowl.

Spider Pig finished her portion with amazing alacrity, and was soon whirring up to the table to investigate Jack's portion. Things might have become a little fraught, if it weren't for the fact that the pig was apparently highly offended by the scent of Tabasco, and backed off quickly, to sit on the other end of the table, and look at Jack's plate with mournful reproach. It sucked the appetite right out of Jack, and he had to get up and get her some more of the undoctored mixture from the fridge before he could finish his meal.

After dinner and a brief clean up, they settled down together and Jack shared with her the wonder that was the Simpsons, although in truth Spider Pig spent most of the time on Jack's lap, listening to the comforting rumble of his voice explaining the show and the jokes to her, enjoying the delight of his scratching behind her ears, and slipping into a blissful digestive stupor. After the tape ended - Cassie and Carter were always trying to get him to invest in a DVD player, and he supposed that was coming when some of his favorite shows were no longer available on VHS, but for now what he had worked - Jack put Spider Pig in her new pink jacket and her harness, and they went out together for a tour of the back yard so the pig could do her business before bedtime.

That done, Jack did his, brushed his teeth, stripped down to his boxers, threw his dirty clothes in the nearly filled hamper, and off he went to bed. Spider Pig settled down on the bed by his feet, and when he could not persuade her to go back to her puddle of sweatpants on the floor, he sighed in resignation, and drifted off to sleep with a warm body beside him for the first time in more time than he cared to think about, to dream of pigs dancing and whirling in air in happy play outside his bedroom windows, and up around his rooftop observatory.

It was not too long after that that Jack discovered something that he should have realized back on P4Whatever. There was a reason the pigs had been cavorting by moonlight. They were nocturnal!

His first clue was a sudden chill by his left shin, where it was no longer being warmed by a companionable piglet. His second clue was an alarming crash, right there in the room with him, and nearby too. He tried to turn on his bedside lamp to see what item had suffered in the accident, only to find that it had been the lamp itself that had been the victim. Jack rolled carefully to the other side of the bed, mindful of the shards that might prick his feet if he got out on his usual side, and felt his way over to the overhead light switch. The lamp lay shattered on the floor, and by it was the picture of Charlie and Sara he kept beside it, the glass in its frame cracked from one corner to the other. In the air nearby was Spider Pig, turning happy little pirouettes, and clearly expecting Jack to join in too. He sighed, and padded in his vulnerable bare feet out to the hall closet to fetch the dustpan, broom, and vacuum.

It didn't take too long to do the initial sweep up, although the vacuuming took longer, because Jack wanted - or more specifically his feet wanted him - to be thorough. Unlike some creatures, he had no trotters to keep him safe from little glass shards. When he was finally done, he put away his cleaning supplies and once again attempted to convince Spider Pig to settle on his old sweats. Nothing doing. It was night time, her tummy was pleasantly full, and she wanted to play. While Jack stood there, earnestly addressing his new pet, and pointing to the puddle of grey cotton, Spider Pig whirled about his shoulders and head, occasionally swooping around behind him to poke him right between the shoulder blades with her tiny snout. The growl of aggravation, a little high-pitched with surprise, that he made when she did this was music to her ears, and reminded her of her mother's rumble-y sow voice. When neither that, nor flying loops in front of him, nor butting him in the belly would convince him to join her in the air, she decided to race away to explore without him.

Jack sighed with relief, and turned towards the bed, ready to let the piggy amuse herself while he slept. He didn't think there was too much she could get in to, since the food was all put away and the cabinets were closed. Didn't Carter tell him once that cats were nocturnal too? People let their cats roam their houses at night, well so could his pig. He was tired. He would sleep well that night.

Or not.

There was a tremendous crash in the guest bedroom, with the unmistakable sound of breaking glass. Now it could be the pitcher and glasses on the night stand for guests who wanted something to drink at night, although it was most often used to leave Daniel plenty of water to drink down his painkillers and rehydrate himself on those post-mission celebration nights when he'd had one too many. As in two! thought Jack. Or it could be the overhead fixture that Jack had run across in a flea market during that year he was gutting and rebuilding the place after the first Abydos mission, for something to do. The one that reminded him of the ones he remembered from his Grandpa and Grandma's house. He loved that fixture!

He sat up with a groan, and went to investigate. It wasn't the pitcher or the glasses. Spider Pig was delighted to see that he wanted to join in, but disappointed when he again fetched the dustpan, broom, and vacuum. She kept landing on his back and snouting him in the ass as he tried to clean up. It was becoming painfully (and Jack now had some bruises to prove it!) clear that sleep was not in cards for him. With a sigh he dug out a tennis ball from an open can of them in the hall closet, and decided to see if maybe a nice game of fetch would tire her out enough that she'd consider taking a nap.

***************

SG-1 had the first scheduled briefing on Monday morning, bright and early. From behind the etched glass of his office, General Hammond could see the signature blond head of Major Carter pass by several minutes early, as usual. She would have already checked in with the techs in the control room, he knew, and would soon be settling in to read over the data sent back by the probe on the planet that was being considered for SG-1's next mission. Teal'c’s dark and muscular silhouette was next, and Hammond could make out the rumble of his greeting, but not the words. Hammond was surprised, though, when the next to arrive was not Jack O'Neill, but the dark-haired head of Daniel Jackson, usually the last to arrive. This was unusual enough that the General emerged from his office, although it was still a few minutes before the briefing was scheduled to begin, to satisfy his curiosity and watch for Jack's arrival.

Hammond could feel a knot of indigestion settling heavily into his gut when the Colonel tromped wearily up the stairs from the control room, hair rumpled, dark circles under his eyes, and his eyes casting wearily about for the coffee, and having located the carafe and cups in their usual place, slouched wearily to where it stood and lifting a mug and turning it right side up, he began to pour himself a full cup of the steaming brown liquid. He was doing it all with his left hand, because his right hand was occupied by the damn pig.

"Colonel O'Neill!" Hammond barked, "I thought I told you on Friday that pigs do not belong at official Air Force briefings! Did I or did I not make that clear to you?"

Jack slumped wearily into his seat next to Major Carter still cradling the pig, looked longingly at the coffee for just a moment, and then said "Crystal, sir. But we have a bit of a pig issue, sir, which needs to be addressed, so I thought that under the circumstances we'd better have her here."

"Did I not tell you back on the planet, O'Neill," asked Teal'c severely, "that to bring this creature home would be unwise?"

"Haven't I pointed out before that saying 'I told you so!' is rude, not to mention irritating?" shot back O'Neill. He was clearly not in a mood for forbearance.

"Then why do you keep saying it to me?" muttered Daniel almost under his breath.

"Because I'm right, and you need to learn from that!" said Jack, who had excellent hearing.

"As am I," pointed out Teal'c.

There was really no point in arguing with Teal'c in these cases. When he was right he was right. Inexorably.

Major Carter, whose head was ducked down in her attempt to hide her amusement had to tuck her chin in to her chest in a futile attempt to hide her mirth when Jack finally admitted "Yeah, T. You're right. It was a bad plan. She broke half the light fixtures in the house flying around all night, and between the construction going on at the Jamison's down the road during the day, and Spider Pig flitting about all night, assassinating lights and poking me with her snout, I think I got in about five hours sleep all weekend, in fifteen minute chunks. She's a great little pig, with a real personality, but I really don't think I can keep her!"

"There's always the N.I.D., Colonel" Hammond offered.

O'Neill, who had been downing the coffee in his cup much as Teal'c had been downing a carafe's worth of coffee when Urgo had visited the base, put the mug down with such speed that Hammond was surprised that it did not break, and clutched the pig to his chest using both arms. His look of fierce indignation mixed with defensive possessiveness made it clear that that plan was a non-starter.

"Well it can't go back to the planet," said Daniel. "It would nullify the treaty!"

"Tell me something I don't know, Daniel!" retorted O'Neill.

Hammond wasn't sure, but he could have sworn that he saw Dr. Jackson flash out his tongue at the Colonel in response. Things were degenerating fast, and Hammond felt that if he did not intervene, things would spin out of his control still faster. That would not do.

"Colonel O'Neill," he said. "Your pig is giving me a headache for the second time in a very few days. This base is full of bright people who tackle difficult problems every day. Find a solution and be ready to present it to me when we meet again at 1600 hours. Until then it doesn't seem like there is any point to try to address the previously scheduled concerns of this briefing!" and with that he surged to his feet, drawing the military members of SG-1 to their own out of ingrained habit, and stalked off into his office, in search of some painkillers and something to wash them down with.

***************

Given that SG-1's discussion of the matter as they descended to the control room and off down the stairs on their way to the elevator was what diplomats call "a free and fair exchange of ideas" and less mealy-mouthed folk would call "a shouting match" it was not surprising that it was only a matter of some 25 or 30 minutes before the whole base was talking about the problem of finding a good home for Colonel O'Neill's flying pig. Even those individuals hard-hearted enough to be indifferent as to the final fate of the piglet were against the possibility of giving the poor thing to the N.I.D. The N.I.D. were known to be outsiders given to sticking their oar into base business where it didn't belong, and base pride, if nothing else, militated against that solution. There was another entirely facetious suggestion that was offered by several, but those who did were all careful to make sure to glance around to make sure that Colonel O'Neill was nowhere near, and even then they whispered. All that is, except one poor unfortunate.

The witticism occurred to Dr. MacKenzie as he and Dr. Warner were headed off to the commissary for a cup of coffee together between patients. Eric MacKenzie was not known for his sense of humor, and he seldom cracked jokes, because he found he usually had the serious issues of his patients on his mind, and he had little time for frivolity. But the thought occurred to him, and he thought Dr. Warner might enjoy it, so he turned to his fellow doctor and suggested another alternative for the pig's future.

"Bacon!" he said grinning.

Dr. Warner looked not so much amused as horrified. Eric could feel an uncomfortable, twitchy, burning sensation in his back, running from between his shoulder blades up into his neck, and he felt watched all of a sudden. Turning around to find what might be causing the sensation he found himself transfixed by the sight of a six-foot-very-plus Air Force Colonel with armor-piercing brown eyes under dark, glowering brows, a tight-lipped menacing smile on his lips, standing behind him clutching a piglet.

"Sushi. Human sushi." was all O'Neill said, but it was enough.

Dr. MacKenzie suddenly lost all inclination to be in a commissary with Colonel O'Neill, and he decided that he didn't have time for coffee after all. He would go back to his office and eat a few of the Twinkies he kept in his desk for when he needed a comforting snack. He had a feeling that it was going to take every minute available to him to get his heart rate back to normal and his mind into a frame where he would be ready to give proper attention to his next patient.

***************

It was Carter and Daniel who, in the end, quite literally saved Jack's bacon, although neither of them would ever have been quite so unwise as to put it that way. Even Daniel knew that this was a chain you just didn't yank, because retaliation would have been swift, hard, and ugly. Daniel reminded Sam of how pleased Narim had been to see animals, and she contacted the Tollan, to see if Narim would be willing to take on another pet. He was delighted by the idea, and even more delighted by the idea of acquiring a flying pig. Spider Pig's nocturnal habits were not a problem, because letting her out to fly around at night would be just fine, and if she did not get along with Schrödinger, there were at least five others he could easily think of who would be eager for the privilege of taking her in.

So it was decided, and it was with some relief that Hammond stood watching as Narim strode down the ramp to take the peacefully sleeping piglet from Colonel O'Neill, although the way the Tollan walked through the iris, making it waver like the air above the asphalt on sunny mid-July day always privately unnerved the General somewhat. From his place behind the glass of the control room, he could not see Jack's expression, since O'Neill's back was to him, but he knew without having to see that Jack would be wearing his best and blankest poker face. Several of the airmen lining the walls looked on the verge of tears. George doubted that there was a person on base who didn't know how hard it was going to be for Jack to surrender the animal. On second thought, it was probable that Dr. Felger, socially inept as he was, might not have picked up on it, but the airmen who had watched the pig's arrival were certainly under no illusion that it would happen easily.

Narim greeted Jack at the end of the ramp, glancing quickly around in hopes of greeting Samantha, but she was not to be seen. Standing stiffly, Jack extended the little pig towards Narim, but as Narim began to take her, Jack balked and began to pull back. Narim stood still, and regarded Jack gravely, gazing calmly into the other man's eyes. He spoke gently.

"I promise that she will be well cared for and loved, Colonel O'Neill," he said. "And at night she will fly free."

Jack relaxed his hold, and Narim took her gently from him, and scratched gently between the pig's ears. He smiled. Then, with a last look around, he offered greetings and thanks to General Hammond above, and when the gate connected once again, he strode up the ramp, through the closed iris, and he and the pig were gone. Colonel O'Neill executed a precise about face and strode to the door of the gate room, and when the blast door opened, Hammond was relieved to see the rest of SG-1 assembled there to greet him.

***************

For General Hammond, that was the end of the pig problem. He kept SG-1 busy with planning training exercises for the new recruits, and nagged his second several times about overdue reports to keep him busy and aggravated, so he wouldn't dwell. If the Colonel was a little less boisterous for a few days, that was to be expected.

For Dr. MacKenzie, that day was the beginning. He was starting to worry a bit about his own mental health status. Like any good and ethical therapist, he too had someone to speak to about his worries, his frustrations, and his feelings, but these latest developments he kept mum about, in spite of the fact that he knew he was not supposed to handle it like that, quite the contrary. But if he told someone, he was sure that he would be found to be paranoid, and told that he, like some of his patients, had succumbed to the stresses of the job and had gone a little nuts was falling into errors of thinking.

He started feeling like he was being followed. Occasionally, and only occasionally, he thought he could hear footsteps behind him. Often, as he walked the corridors of the SGC, he felt that peculiar itchy burning in his shoulders and neck, and he could just imagine Colonel O'Neill standing behind him glaring. Once, as he whirled around to see if he could catch someone staring, he even thought he caught a glimpse of the Colonel ducking into a cross-corridor, although it was so fleeting he just could not be sure that it was real, and not just some phantasm conjured up by his fears in that regard.

He really, really needed that vacation in Hawaii he'd planned for next winter. He needed it now.

***************

SG-1 didn't bring up the subject of Spider Pig with their commander, nor did they offer sympathy. They knew he would not want it. Teal'c took him sparring. Daniel offered games of chess, and even of rummy, although the look Jack gave him after the latter let him know Jack was on to him, so he didn't try that one again. Sam blanketed him in a comforting fog of technobabble every time he came down to her lab, which seemed to be a little more often of late. Jack assiduously took these things purely at face value. That was his story and he was sticking to it.

Then suddenly, after a few days, they all began to notice a change in Jack, a change for the better. It was Teal'c that noticed it first, although he said nothing, and Sam who first enquired about it. Jack was smiling, a small, secretive, enigmatic smile. He wouldn't say what he was smiling about. Daniel hated a mystery, and was like a dog with a bone trying to get Jack's secret out of him, but was totally unsuccessful.

Then one morning, the enigmatic smile was replaced with a full on toothy grin. Daniel asked again what Jack was smiling for.

"Oh, nothing!" he replied breezily. "Did you hear that Doc MacKenzie left a full 3 months early for his vacation?"

Comments

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
rdamel
Apr. 22nd, 2012 02:37 am (UTC)
So much fun! I loved the original story, too, and this is truly the icing on the cake, to have both.

Thanks for sharing!
Melissa M.
thothmes
Apr. 22nd, 2012 06:13 am (UTC)
You are very welcome. This one was a fun one to write.
not_a_zatarc
Apr. 24th, 2012 12:00 am (UTC)
This was such a fun and enjoyable bit of crack. But wonderful crack. :) Thanks for sharing it with us. hehe.
thothmes
May. 3rd, 2012 03:45 am (UTC)
You're very welcome, and sorry it took me so long to get around to saying that!
lolmac
Apr. 24th, 2012 02:19 am (UTC)
This was absolutely adorable! Poor Jack.

I nearly fell out of my chair laughing when he named it 'Spider Pig'.
thothmes
Apr. 24th, 2012 02:26 am (UTC)
Ah, yes, Spider Pig. I warped time a bit with that one, because by the time The Simpsons Movie came out in 2007, I'm afraid Jack was already a Lieutenant General. But the joke was so good I couldn't resist. Anyway, it's what Jack would want me to name the pig! It's important to keep the characters happy, or maybe next time I go to write a story they'll refuse to play.

Just don't turn me into the Chronoconstabulary, okay?
lolmac
Apr. 24th, 2012 02:27 am (UTC)
The Chronoconstabulary have rules against nonconsensual shapeshifting.
thothmes
Apr. 24th, 2012 02:40 am (UTC)
But officer! The pig already had the wings when I picked it up! Honest!
wanderingsmith
May. 3rd, 2012 04:01 am (UTC)
good god! hope it's not captain braxton!
..Agents Dulmer and Lucsly at least had humour on their side, lol
wanderingsmith
May. 3rd, 2012 03:45 am (UTC)
So SG-1 discovered that pigs do indeed fly. Somehow, given that it was SG-1, the base's resident miracle workers, that should not have been so monumental a surprise as it was
oh there are so many reasons to smirk....

So clearly the idea of returning the pig wouldn't fly be feasible.
snicker :D

Jack knew girls liked that sort of thing
-sends Jack a very blank, very flat, STARE-

This base is full of bright people who tackle difficult problems every day
....you just never know what those physics PhDs are going to come in handy for...

what diplomats call "a free and fair exchange of ideas" and less mealy-mouthed folk would call "a shouting match"
LMAO!! can't quite picture Sarek shouting his ideas...

ouch @Jack having to give her to Narim... sting, that would. though Narim was very thoughtful to put it that (fly free) way

LOL@ successful revenge sweetening the separation
thothmes
May. 3rd, 2012 03:59 am (UTC)
Oh, I completely agree about giving Jack a very blank, very flat, STARE. I absolutely abominate that sort of thing myself. Then again, I've raised (or am raising, at least) three girls, and they all adore that sort of thing, so Jack might be excused for getting it wrong, given that he's spent his entire professional life working in the male heavy Air Force, Sara (from her decorating choices) looks to be a bit of a hearts & flowers type for all that she does auto repair, and Carter definitely shows her softer side when she's off duty. I'm betting that Cassie (like The Whirlwind) with her auburn hair, was discouraged from wearing pink because it would look awful with her coloring, and thus was always trying to con Jack into getting her pink stuff since Janet wouldn't oblige.
wanderingsmith
May. 3rd, 2012 04:05 am (UTC)
trying to con Jack into getting her pink stuff since Janet wouldn't oblige
lol, why am I getting the impression Jack isn't the only one?

I *suppose* he couldn't ask her.... but still. all the more reason to send the STARE. men (and others) need to be educated
thothmes
May. 3rd, 2012 04:21 am (UTC)
Yes, but Sam always picks out the outfit in the same style, but in purple, yellow, or green shades.

Daniel doesn't take her shopping. He takes her to museums, libraries, and cultural events.

Teal'c looks at her gravely, and says "I believe you know that Doctor Fraiser would not approve of this choice Cassandra Fraiser." in tones so rich, deep, and serious that she never tried that again.

Jack woud be a sucker. Janet would get on his case each and every time, and he would always answer "But Doc, it makes her so happy!" In the end Janet would pack all of them up, and drop them off at Jack's house for Cassie to wear when she visits. Janet thinks it's fitting revenge because if Jack appears in public with Cassie in those outfits, everyone who sees them will be thinking "Oh God! It certainly is clear her Grandpa dressed her!"
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A Few Words from the Wise

Speak to him, for there is none born wise.

-The Maxims of Ptahotep

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In mourning or rejoicing, be not far from me.

- an Ancient Egyptian Love Song

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But your embraces
alone give life to my heart
may Amun give me what I have found
for all eternity.


-Love Songs of the New Kingdom, Song #2

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To Know the Dark


To go in the dark with a light is to know the light.
To know the dark, go dark. Go without sight,
and find that the dark, too, blooms and sings,
and is travelled by dark feet and dark wings.


-Wendell Berry

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Up in the morning's no for me,
Up in the morning early;
When a' the hills are covered wi' snaw,
I'm sure it's winter fairly.

-Robert Burns

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Visit to the Hermit Ts'ui


Moss covered paths between scarlet peonies,
Pale jade mountains fill your rustic windows.
I envy you, drunk with flowers,
Butterflies swirling in your dreams.


-Ch'ien Ch'i

~~~~~~~~~~


Mistress of high achievement, O lady Truth,
do not let my understanding stumble
across some jagged falsehood.


-Pindar

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Every Gaudy colour
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