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It's Gen Fic Day again, and the theme for the Alphabet Soup this time is Team. Here's my contribution:

Title: F is for Family by Firelight
Season: 3, after Shades of Grey
Spoilers: Shades of Grey. Duh.
Warnings: None, unless you have a cake phobia? Icing nightmares?
Synopsis: The new commander of SG-3 has his doubts about SG-1

Please find and read the other Team Alphabet Soup offerings here on LJ or here on DW. The DW posting takes advantage of the longer comment lengths to include more complete stories gathered in one place.



F is for Family by Firelight


Major Griff glanced out of the corner of his eye at the other campfire. His own team's fire was at his back, and he could hear some low voiced grumbling from his new team. O'Neill had shown a sensitivity that Griff had not hitherto credited him with in choosing to have the two teams camp side-by-side, instead of sharing one big encampment. His Marines were still smarting from the shock of watching SG-1's colonel arrest their own Colonel Makepeace very publicly in the Gateroom. If some of the whispered mutterings he'd caught bits and snatches of were to be believed, his team was more inclined to believe that Makepeace would soon be settling into a long stay at Leavenworth, not because he had been doing some extracurricular espionage and smuggling for the N.I.D., but because O'Neill's Air Force pride had been wounded one too many times by the superior showing of SG-3's marines, and he'd taken out his petty spite on one of the best Marine officers still breathing. This struck Griff as patently ridiculous. O'Neill was a straight shooter, if ever there'd been one. There had been no denying, however, that O'Neill had taken a certain delight in surprising and securing his fellow officer, and Griff's men were young, inclined to be hot-blooded, and exceedingly loyal. The Major hoped that if he allowed them to bleed off some of that misplaced anger and camaraderie as grumbling, they would soon come to see how ill-founded and exaggerated their conspiracy theories were, and get a more realistic view of the situation. If they hadn't gotten it out of their system by the weekend though, he was prepared to take names and knock heads together come Monday morning.

The mission had been a straight forward search for useful technology in a structure that the UAV had spotted some 18 klicks from the gate. SG-3 had been sent along on the theory that if the structure had turned out to be still in Goa'uld possession, then 18 kilometers would have been too far away for SG-1 to summon back-up, should they have needed it. In the event, it turned out that the structure was abandoned, in very poor repair, and apparently stripped of all technology or records that might have been of interest. Between the long hike in, and the avidly bloodthirsty swarms of blackflies that had greeted them and shown no signs of being affected by DEET, with nothing to show for it in the end other than a large collection of itchy red bumps, it was no wonder that Griff's men were inclined to be cranky.

SG-1 had certainly been cranky, Dr. Jackson in particular. The Jaffa had been silent and imperturbable as usual. Major Carter was constrained by military protocol from being too free in her self-expression, although the quality and vehemence of the way she pronounced "Sir" and the frequency with which she used the word was enough to let any experienced commander know that he was not currently in her good books. Dr. Jackson's remarks were masterpieces of pointed sarcasm and most of the barbs, had they been physical, instead of verbal, would have been protruding from O'Neill's broad back. Griff was beginning to wonder if maybe the rumors that the other members of SG-1, contrary to what they themselves insisted, had not been in the know about O'Neill's undercover work from the very beginning were true, especially in view of the patience O'Neill had displayed with their behavior. Major Carter had been scrupulously militarily correct, and nothing in her behavior or speech had actually crossed the line, so Griff would have been hard put to take her to task, but if it had not been for the delicate etiquette of disciplining a member of a team that was not his own when he was not in command of the mission, and that member a civilian, he would have been severely tempted to bark at the archaeologist, and demand that he show some respect to his commander. As it was, he worried about the effect that such a display would have on the good order and discipline of his own team. He didn't want them getting ideas. Although if it came to that, Major Carter would probably be the more dangerous example for any of his marines bright enough to learn from it.

Behind him, on the other side of the fire, the conversation had died down and his men, with the exception of Johnson, who had first watch, could be heard breaking out their sleeping bags and settling in for the night, but around the other fire, SG-1 was still showing no signs of readying for bed. Major Carter and Dr. Jackson were seated shoulder to shoulder with their backs to a boulder, sheltered from the night's breezes. The Major's hair glowed more golden than ever in the flickering firelight, and Daniel's eyes were unreadable behind the dancing flames that were reflected in the lenses of his glasses. Teal'c was seated opposite them, and further from the fire, and in the dark night, there were times that the only parts of him that were readily visible were the gleam of the gold in his tattoo, and the way the firelight caused his eyes to glisten. On the far side of the fire, facing SG-3's encampment, was O'Neill. The ever-changing light from beneath cast his features oddly, and in contrast with the descending rays of the sun by day, gave him a demonic look, and emphasized the weathering of his face, and the lines between his brows. Something about the intensity of the silence from the other campfire apparently triggered the notice of O'Neill and Teal'c and they both looked over, and on seeing Griff watching them, they both looked over at their team members, and once he had their attention, O'Neill gestured with a raise of his chin and a pointed glance in their direction, and in an instant, Griff found himself pinned by the stares of all four team members.

Major Griff was suddenly and forcibly reminded of the Totten brothers of his childhood. There had been five of them, spaced two years apart throughout, every last one of them a red head, and constantly quarreling, one with another. They lived down the street from the Griffs, and Mom had been known to remark that it was a miracle that their house didn't simply tumble down with the force of the argument within. Still, heaven help any outsider who picked a fight with one of the cantankerous Totten boys, because at any hint of a threat from outside, they became a unified and dangerous front. Pick on one Totten, and you were taking on all five, because they were brothers and family, and family sticks up for one another. The expression on Colonel O'Neill's face was measured, evaluating, judging whether a threat indeed existed. The faces of his team were inimical. Griff decided on swift and decisive retreat and retrenchment and busied himself readying his own sleeping bag, and making eye contact with Johnson and pointing to the bedroll to let him know that he was in sole charge now.

As the Major lay listening to the breathing of his two sleeping team mates and waiting for sleep to come, he could hear quiet voices drifting over from the other camp.

"I think I may have lost perspective a bit, sir."

The "sir" this time was soft, somehow managing to convey both apology and affection.

"Indeed."

Teal'c's voice was dark with conviction, but his next words were conciliatory.

"A warrior does not always have the luxury of acting as he would wish. Actions must be taken to ensure that there will be time to handle small matters later."

"So I'm a small matter now?"

Dr. Jackson's voice was brittle and challenging.

"No. Never!"

O'Neill's voice was vehement.

There followed a long silence. Griff's curiosity over came his caution, and he opened his eyes to see Daniel and O'Neill sharing a long measuring look, while Major Carter and Teal'c watched the two with breathless intensity.

"We never drew straws, " said Dr. Jackson at last.

"If we had, it would have meant Daniel won," said Major Carter.

"And represented the concerns of us all," added Teal'c with a magisterial nod of the head.

O'Neill said nothing, but rummaged in his pack for a moment, emerging with a square plastic food storage container, and four white plastic forks.

"I brought cake," he said, and passed around the forks. As he opened the container, his teammates moved closer, to be within arm's reach of the treat.

The rest was silence, and Griff, after deciding that he was just as glad he commanded Marines, and not the odd assortment O'Neill did, drifted smoothly into sleep, with the long practice of a career military man.

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

Icon is because I haven't yet produced a Team one I'm entirely happy with, and I wasn't able to get to this until late and morning is soon to be upon me, so it's truth in advertising!

ETA: Links to the other Team Alphabet Soup offerings.

Comments

( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
sg_fignewton
Jul. 8th, 2010 08:50 am (UTC)
Griff POV! First one I've ever read, I think, and a wonderful outsider's perspective that suits the story well.

Love Jack's use of cake here, and LOL at the vibes of we can insult each other but just try and insult one of us when the rest of us are watching.

Go sleep. Nice work. :)
thothmes
Jul. 9th, 2010 02:26 am (UTC)
Sleep was nice, once I convinced the cat that 5:00 a.m. is not bite the fingers until she plays time.

Thank you for the kind words, and I guess I felt that the clearest vision of what it is that makes SG-1 family is a view from outside, because I think that within, it is very likely that each member feels the familial bond, but would not mention it. There's an awful lot those four say with actions instead of words.

I like Griff.
amenirdis
Jul. 8th, 2010 11:56 am (UTC)
Yay team! And yay cake!

Very thoughtfully observed, and I really like Griff's observation that learning from Carter would actually be more dangerous.
thothmes
Jul. 9th, 2010 02:30 am (UTC)
Griff's observation that learning from Carter would actually be more dangerous.

Oh, yeah. If a military team member tried the Daniel!snark technique, they would be subject to a smackdown from their superior, end of story. Carter's way could spread, and there would be nothing you could pin on the perpetrators. She's a dangerous woman, that one!
rachel500
Jul. 8th, 2010 12:48 pm (UTC)
Very nice Shades of Grey TAG - and love the POV of Major Griff. I loved that character! :)
thothmes
Jul. 9th, 2010 02:44 am (UTC)
Thank you. I like Griff too. He's rather old school, but loyal as he can be, and he seems to have a sense of perspective and humor about life. TPTB have had their share of weak characterizations and choices that undercut character just to reach for a laugh, but every now and then they come out with a character, like Griff, or Sara O'Neill, or Siler, or Reynolds, who has a tiny amount of screen time, but is delineated vividly enough that we feel we know them.
sjhw_tolerance
Jul. 8th, 2010 09:53 pm (UTC)
Very nice closure to Shades of Grey!
thothmes
Jul. 9th, 2010 02:37 am (UTC)
I'd seen sooo many OTT tags to Shades of Grey that I'd been avoiding writing anything about that period, but I wanted to show the way SG-1 functions as a family, with both the bickering and the cohesiveness, and that time period really fit the bill. I'm glad you liked it, because simply choosing that time period seemed to bring a whiff of cliché with it before I even wrote the first word!
sjhw_tolerance
Jul. 9th, 2010 10:08 am (UTC)
It was a totally fresh approach that didn't try to sugarcoat how everyone felt towards Jack. So many times I think the three of them have been portrayed as forgiving him everything and anything because he's Jack, and this shows that yeah, they have issues, but they're family and they'll deal.
thothmes
Jul. 10th, 2010 02:37 am (UTC)
I am morally certain that anyone who works closely with Jack O'Neill (including Jack O'Neill)has frequent occasions on which they just want to throttle him. If they didn't have issues before they started to work with him, they'd develop them soon. He makes up for it with his inimitable charm and his endearing over-protective tendency to throw himself into harm's way for anyone he cares about, children, dogs, and 6.5 (give or take) billion strangers.
aelfgyfu_mead
Jul. 9th, 2010 12:40 am (UTC)
What Fig said: I don't think I've ever seen Griff's point of view before! I never actually gave any thought to how SG-3 would react to what happened, but I got to see them and SG-1 in the aftermath here. Nicely done!
thothmes
Jul. 9th, 2010 02:52 am (UTC)
Thank you. I really thought that the view of SG-1 as family is displayed more in their actions than their words, and that they would be a classic example of "I can thump my brother, he's my brother, but heaven help you if you try it!" So I chose to see them from outside, and in this period of internal tension. The Marines were a logical team to be viewing them, so that's the way I decided to go. Only when I started to write it did it occur to me that - Oh yeah! - SG-3 might have some strong opinions about O'Neill. Slow-on-the-uptake Thothmes is slow, but eventually dawn breaks over Marblehead! ;)
(Deleted comment)
thothmes
Jul. 10th, 2010 02:42 am (UTC)
Don't tell Jack, but I can pass up cake. It's ice cream that makes it all better!

I'm glad you enjoyed it. I kind of felt going into it that any tag at this point was in grave danger of being a cliché, so I'm delighted that it seemed to have worked.
elle11elle
Jul. 10th, 2010 09:39 pm (UTC)
loved the different perspective and comparing sg1 to kids from his neighborhood
thothmes
Jul. 11th, 2010 02:48 am (UTC)
I'm so glad you enjoyed it.
lilyleia78
Jul. 12th, 2010 02:40 am (UTC)
That is an awesome POV choice. I love the way it works on its own as well as with our added knowledge of the team and what they've just been through.

And it's so true - nobody hits my brother but me. :)
thothmes
Jul. 12th, 2010 03:17 am (UTC)
Thank you. I decided I needed a view from without, and it made sense to use Griff because a) I like Griff, and b) who would Hammond be likely to send to back up SG-1 but the SG-3 Marines that Griff commands.

I have 3 brothers and 2 sisters, and better nobody from outside be touchin' them! :)
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )

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