TITLE: Mama Said There’d Be Days Like This
CATEGORY: Drama, some humor
CONTENT WARNINGS: None
SUMMARY: It's just one of those days... but Hammond loves days like that
DISCLAIMER: I do not own Stargate SG-1. Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions. I have written this story for entertainment purposes only. No money has exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. This story may not be posted elsewhere without the consent of the author.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: Originally in the Ancient's Gate zine, No One Gets Left Behind
Mama always said if you want to be happy at work, find a job doing something you enjoy and if you can’t, find something to enjoy in your job no matter how long it takes you to find it. Since you have to spend about one-third of your life working, you might as well like it. Just don’t expect every day to be a tea party. You’re going to have days when you wonder what the heck you’re doing there.
So what if it wasn’t always fun? Like Mama said, life can’t always be a tea party. He knew all too well what that meant. For a long time, he loved coming to work. He couldn’t wait to see what would happen that day, who he would see, who he would talk to and about what. He was energized and enthusiastic… then it all stopped.
That was when he realized that much of his enjoyment at the SGC was garnered from the interactions of SG-1. There were many times he had forced himself to not laugh when O’Neill and Jackson started bantering, when Teal’c amused him with his dry wit while taking English euphemisms in a literal sense, and when he sat amazed listening to Jackson and Carter explain minute scientific theories in dizzyingly accurate detail. All that life at the briefing room table, all that energy, all that camaraderie… how could something that powerful be suddenly silenced?
That year. No one at the base would say that “ Jackson’s gone” or “he wasn’t here.” No, everyone at the base referred to that time as that year, especially when O’Neill was in hearing range. He had taken Daniel’s “absence” the hardest – that was easy to understand. It couldn’t have been easy to lose your best friend when you know they’re not really “lost,” just living on another plane of existence.
It had been a dark time. The entire base was influenced by SG-1’s mood. O’Neill was mourning the loss of his best friend, and the emotion rolled downhill from him to the rest of the team, and then from them to everyone else. One of Mama’s sayings was, “When the Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” At the SGC, if SG-1 wasn’t happy, no one was either. Personnel came to work, did their jobs, returned from missions, but the rare element was missing. No energy, no enthusiasm, no camaraderie… it was gone. The fun was gone.
Hammond felt the same way. He did his job, but he questioned his enjoyment of it. That wasn’t all. If the truth were known, he didn’t like it much anymore. Still, he had a duty to the SGC, and come hell or high water, he was going to do it. He just had to find something that would allow him to enjoy it again. Like Mama said, he was trying to find something to enjoy in his job, and it was taking a while to do it.
He searched. He hunted through the briefings with the newly revamped SG-1. He sought comfort in their conversations at the briefing room table. He looked for the merest hint of camaraderie in his first team, but it wasn’t to be found. That spontaneity they once had, that sometimes ridiculously fun nature to their conversations, their ability to relax with each other wasn’t there. That one pivotal element that pulled it all together was gone.
Hammond knew there was nothing he could do. He hoped rather than knew that time would heal SG-1’s wounds. At one point during that year, he could see that there was an attempt to get past that point in their lives, to try to forget the team they had once been and work with what they had, but a stark reminder dropped individually into their laps. Before the battle on Abydos, Jack explained how Daniel had helped him when he was captured by Ba’al. More surprises came when Teal’c related his story of how Daniel had kept him and Brata’c alive after the attack on the Jaffa. Both had wondered if they had truly seen Daniel or if they had only imagined it, but it seemed to change their attitudes after those events occurred -- something Hammond didn’t understand at the time. Jack could say Daniel’s name much more easily in conversations. Teal’c could speak of Daniel without talking in the past tense. It was as if that dark time, those dark clouds that had been hanging over SG-1 had a break in them. Knowing Daniel was alive and well was a far cry from hoping he was while he was on another plane of existence.
Then, the dark clouds rolled back in. Daniel’s disappearance after battling Anubis on Abydos reinforced the fact he wasn’t safe and he wasn’t there on Earth with his team where they needed him. Again, he was missing and no one had any idea where he was. The wounds were ripped open again, the loss renewed. The feeling of futility reignited in the team’s daily life. They were right back to where they were when Daniel first ascended.
Hammond had almost despaired of ever having fun commanding the SGC again when SG-1 contacted him while off-world on that fateful mission.
O’Neill’s voice had been positively chipper! “Sir, dust off the welcome mats and set an extra place at the table. You’ll never guess who’s coming to dinner.”
“Daniel! He’s calling himself Arrom now. Lost his memory – long story. We’ll tell you when we get back.”
Back. That one word sent a wave of smiles across the faces of every person who heard it. Daniel Jackson was coming home.
Hammond, along with a welcoming committee, awaited the team’s return with an amnesiac Daniel. There were even more smiles when they saw the SGC’s “lost sheep” return home and walk down the ramp.
Then something else amazing happened that very day.
After listening to O’Neill, Teal’c and Carter explain in a rapid-fire debriefing of how they found Daniel living amongst the Nomads on Vis Uban, Hammond noticed the energy was back in his first team. Not only that, the crew in the control room, the Special Forces that protected the gate room, the medical staff, the janitorial staff, the cooks in the commissary, the personnel in the laundry room – everyone he saw that day was smiling! Their voices sounded enthusiastic. If it were possible, Hammond would have swore that everyone had a spring in their step. He was almost certain he heard Sergeant Siler humming when he was walking down the hallways!
It was true. When SG-1 was happy, the base was happy.
Within a couple of months, Hammond felt like his old self. His first team had fallen back into their familiar habits, and he loved going to work. He was forcing himself not to laugh when O’Neill and Jackson went off on one of their verbal tears. Teal’c was once again taking euphemisms literally although now Hammond suspected it was for the amusement factor rather than a product of confusion. Jackson and Carter were spieling scientific once again.
Life at the SGC wasn’t a tea party, but he didn’t wonder what the heck he was doing there. He was having fun again. He had missed that.
From his office, Hammond gathered some paperwork for the morning briefing. Outside, he could hear the beginnings of the early morning banter session. The ridiculously fun nature of an inane conversation once again graced the briefing room.
O’Neill’s voice sounded serious but amused. “I’m telling you, the Batmobile could outrun the Mach 5 in a heartbeat.”
“Jack, the Mach 5 could leap over lakes –”
“So could the General Lee.”
“It could chop down trees, it could go underwater – the Batmobile just had flames blast out its backside.”
“Yeah! Betcha it had thrusters which means it could outrun Speed Racer’s car. Besides, Pops Racer put the plans to the Mach 5 on the windshield in invisible ink. It was a racecar! The chances for the windshield to get busted –”
“What’s that got to do with which car can outrun the other?”
Daniel’s voice had taken on that sound of amused exasperation it always had in a mock argument with Jack O’Neill.
Hammond forced the smile off his face. He had to at least look like a commanding officer in control of himself, no matter how much he was enjoying the moment. Like Mama said, “If you want to be happy at work, find a job doing something you enjoy and if you can’t, find something to enjoy in your job no matter how long it takes you to find it.”
Mama was right.
Thanks to Whisper for beating this story
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