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Here (a wee bit late! Sorry, Fig!) is my Friendship Alphabet Soup entry:




Author: Thothmes

Title: Friendship Alphabet Soup - W is for Where There's a Will or an Or

Friendship: Col. O'Neill and Sgt. Siler

Seasons: Seasons 1 through 8, Spoilers for Upgrades, Meridian, Reckoning, Part 2.

Warnings: Mind the giant wrench!... Oh. … Sorry!... Maybe I shouldn't 'a greased it, huh?... Ice bag?

Disclaimer: Okay, so I didn't even write the last three instances of direct speech in this piece. I borrowed them from Reckoning, Part 2, and they belong to the writers of that episode. I never intended to keep them, I didn't use them without crediting, and I'm not - *sniff* - making any money from this, just attempting to amuse folks on the internet in a highly non-viral way, so please don't sue me. I have college educations to save for, and my kids are sweet young things with big limpid eyes, and hopeful smiles. You wouldn't want to leave them in a state of ignorance over four wee lines, would you?

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




As far as Sgt. Siler was concerned, officers were like the weather, hard to predict with any accuracy, beyond the ordinary person's control, and capable of greatly affecting the tenor of a working man's day. And like the weather, most of the activity they generated was made way up high where the air was thin, and fell alike on the just and the unjust down below. His personal approach in dealing with all this was to try to keep his head down and keep going, regardless. What can't be changed must be endured, and in general, it wasn't worth having too much of an opinion about the weather.

Now no one had ever asserted that Sgt. Siler was the most adroit or lucky of men. He was no stranger to the infirmary, and he did seem to draw more than his share of stray electricity. He himself considered the number of shocks and jolts he had received to be the natural result of working with the Stargate and the massive electrical infrastructure that was needed to run it. The infirmary, where Siler found himself from time to time, was one of the places where officers and enlisted men encountered each other with regularity, and that was where he first encountered Col. O'Neill.


The Colonel was sitting on one of the beds, his right knee in a wrap-around brace, snugged tight with velcro. He had three rolls of gauze, still in their plastic packaging, which he was juggling to pass the time, and he looked up, without missing a pass, to see Sgt. Siler between two airmen, holding his own right wrist, showing the palm which bore a rapidly blistering electrical burn, and with a rather alarming set of black eyes from where the wrench had flown up to hit him between the eyes.

“Woah! Sparky! Next time duck!” the Colonel offered.

“Yes, sir,” said the Sergeant, deadpan, as his fellows lead him to an available bed. He wasn't in the mood to negotiate the murky waters of officer-enlisted interaction. His head hurt. His hand was throbbing, and his wiring project had been set back several hours.

Janet Fraiser came bustling in, barked at the Colonel to get that leg elevated and to put that icebag back on, and began to tend to her latest patient, diagnosing a concussion, bandaging the burnt hand, and declaring that neither man would be released that night.

If it had been up to the Sergeant, they would have dimmed the bright lights, tiptoed away, and left him alone in the slowly spinning room, and let him sleep. His head hurt, his hand was throbbing, and he was all too aware of the officer in the next bed. He was afraid of saying something stupid while his brain was not at its best. He lay back and listened to the regular “thwap-thwap-thwap” of the gauze rolls hitting the Colonel's hands.

“Who you think will take tonight's game?” asked the Colonel.

Thwap-thwap-thwap.

A game? What game?

“Avalanche and Wild?” the Colonel helpfully supplied.

That started a discussion that lasted until supper, and the Colonel endeared himself to the Sergeant by swapping his serving of apple pie à la mode for Siler's piece of yellow cake with vanilla icing. By the end of the evening the tech sergeant had decided that in spite of the fact that he couldn't always tell when the Colonel was in earnest and when he was joking, that the man was okay. Anyone who understood sports (and betting odds) like that, and who appreciated the cultural treasure that was the Simpsons, couldn't be all that bad.

That wasn't to say that the Colonel wasn't a dangerous man. That he was a very dangerous man was the thought that was uppermost in Siler's mind as he went sailing down over the railing of the spiral staircase to the briefing room, down to the control room below. Well, with the corner of his mind that was not occupied by the question of why O'Neill had done it, that is. Two days later, still under observation for his gradually fading concussion, he awoke to find an awkwardly incoherent O'Neill by his bedside, holding two parfait glasses of Jello, one yellow and one red, and a spoon.

“It was the armband,” he offered, waving the glass of red Jello about, endangering them both with the excited antics of the spoon within. “Didn't mean it.”

There was a moment of awkward silence. Siler still thought it was a rather damnfool thing to do, but he didn't want to say so. O'Neill clearly had run out of words. The Colonel didn't look happy. He shrugged. He sighed. He opened his mouth and then closed it. He placed both glasses carefully on Siler's tray.

“I don't know what your favorite flavor is, but Carter got the last blue, and green is just... eewww. So I got these.”

He put his hands in his pockets, clearly at a loss for what to do with them now that Jello waving was no longer available to him. He stared at Siler for a moment in mute discomfort, and then turned on a heel and left.

A few minutes later Doc Fraiser came in.

“Colonel O'Neill's been by I see.”

Siler wondered how she knew.

She smiled and explained that it was the Jello.

“He seems to think it fixes everything. The more he brings the more worried he is. I told him you would make a full recovery, so I think in this case it might be guilt.”

It wasn't an apology or a real explanation, but it was rather endearing that a bigwig like O'Neill would come to his bedside and squirm. It was enough.

A few years later Siler wondered how many glasses of Jello O'Neill had carried to Dr. Jackson's bedside as he was dying of radiation poisoning, but he never asked.

He and the Colonel met and passed a few hours from time to time, as by chance they ended up in neighboring beds in the infirmary. Siler began to think of the Colonel as a friend, for all that he was an officer, but he still couldn't tell if he was joking.

Like when he was nearly electrocuted by the exploding DHD. Was that hand on his shoulder, and the instruction to “Shake it off, Sparky!” an O'Neillian offer of comfort, or was it a joke? Did he mean it when Siler passed him in the hallway with his largest wrench, and O'Neill asked “Overcompensating much?” Sometimes Siler could work it out, and sometimes he couldn't.

But life was short, and in a frontline unit like the SGC, never guaranteed, and Siler finally decided that he needed to get his act together and make his will. He'd been touched when Daniel Jackson had told him that Jack O'Neill had left Siler his Simpsons collection on VHS, should he not make it back from stasis in Antarctica. Facing death and losing his control over his mind and his ability to communicate, and he had taken a moment to tell his team that the Sergeant was to get the tapes. In the end, the Colonel had made it back, and soon he was a General, in charge of the whole base, and like General Hammond before him, he stood by his people in ways large and small. He made sure that no one was left behind, and he made sure that the cooks in the commissary had the right varieties of potatoes for the menus that were planned. He was a standup guy, and as long as he was in charge, Siler wouldn't be afraid about the weather.

Siler knew now what he would do:

and to General Jonathan J. O'Neill I leave my very largest wrench with the request that when he carries it, he be aware that in his case it is not overcompensation, but truth in advertising.

The General would like that. He might even find it funny. Siler would give a lot to see what his expression would be the first time he carried it, but of course that would be quite improbable. In the SGC, Siler had learned, nothing could be pronounced utterly impossible.

The replicators were winning, the base was a chaotic maelstrom, but when O'Neill told Sgt. Siler he would get Siler and his men out of the area where they were trapped and allow them to make it to the emergency hatch, he was sure that this was exactly what would happen, and one exploded blast door later, they were free. He took the weapon from O'Neill's hand and prepared to use it.

“I expect to be put in your will,” the General said. It was a joke. Siler was sure of it.

“Already in it, Sir,” he replied, and he wasn't joking at all.

“Okay, that's... weird.” said the General.

Well maybe it was, but the General was leading, and Siler was content to follow.

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
sjhw_tolerance
Nov. 5th, 2014 12:23 pm (UTC)
Very nice. Making me all nostalgic this morning. Men and their wrenches... ;-)
rdamel
Nov. 5th, 2014 02:23 pm (UTC)
Good one! Poor old Siler, his is a difficult life. I love what he puts in his will. : )
wanderingsmith
Nov. 5th, 2014 10:14 pm (UTC)
OMG {{{TACKLE HUG}}}

you *know* how much I enjoyed that, yes??

it wasn't worth having too much of an opinion about the weather.
christ yeah

the Colonel endeared himself to the Sergeant
:D:D

Anyone who understood sports (and betting odds) like that, and who appreciated the cultural treasure that was the Simpsons, couldn't be all that bad.
'this is the start of a beautiful friendship' ;)

Siler still thought it was a rather damnfool thing to do, but he didn't want to say so
snort!

now that Jello waving was no longer available to him
very frustrating to lose one's hand-toys... (NOT sarcasm)

but it was rather endearing that a bigwig like O'Neill would come to his bedside and squirm
-snicker-

Did he mean it when Siler passed him in the hallway with his largest wrench, and O'Neill asked “Overcompensating much?”
(VEG)

and as long as he was in charge, Siler wouldn't be afraid about the weather.
{hugs si'}

I leave my very largest wrench with the request that when he carries it, he be aware that in his case it is not overcompensation, but truth in advertising.
AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW :D:D

Siler had learned, nothing could be pronounced utterly impossible.
wise

he was sure that this was exactly what would happen,
{hugs both of them}

but the General was leading, and Siler was content to follow.
you've put a wonderful smile on my face. which is much appreciated since my other source of fic these days is on a torture binge


{hug just to see you again :)}
eilidh17
Nov. 6th, 2014 11:57 am (UTC)
Outstanding! So many great moments in this that totally sum up this colonel and his sparky.

Thank you!
draco_somnians
Nov. 7th, 2014 10:20 pm (UTC)
Oh I LOVED this! :D

I haven't read any SG fic in absolutely ages - I was nudged here by my fellow Siler fanatic wanderingsmith. :) I love this odd little friendship you've built for them. :)

zeilfanaat
Nov. 15th, 2014 05:04 pm (UTC)
Whah - phew, thanks for the Warning. Oh, no thanks, no need for an ice bag. I wore a helmet.

Anyway, I simply loved this story!
Loved how it developed from Siler's, matter of fact, "in general, it wasn't worth having too much of an opinion about the weather", to him, also very matter of fact, but with a well-grounded opinion, being content to follow when "the General was leading".

Thank you so much for writing this friendship and sharing it with us!

Edited at 2014-11-15 05:04 pm (UTC)
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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A Few Words from the Wise

Speak to him, for there is none born wise.

-The Maxims of Ptahotep

~~~~~~~~~~


In mourning or rejoicing, be not far from me.

- an Ancient Egyptian Love Song

~~~~~~~~~~


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

~~~~~~~~~~


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

~~~~~~~~~~


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

~~~~~~~~~~


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

~~~~~~~~~~


Every Gaudy colour
Is a bit of truth.


-Nathalia Crane

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I counted two-and-twenty stenches,
All well defined, and several stinks.


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