Work Header

Though Never So Rough and Grim

Work Text:

But the place which you have selected for your camp, though never so rough and grim, begins at once to have its attractions, and becomes a very centre of civilization to you: "Home is home, be it never so homely." ~Henry David Thoreau

a tent somewhere with a view of the galactic center

It was a dark and stormy night on P57-932 and Jack was cursing the fact that he’d let his team talk him (against his better judgment) into staying over instead of hightailing it back to the gate at the first sign of a thunderhead. Or rather, Carter and Daniel had convinced him to stay. Teal’c, as usual, refused to take sides, instead tilting his head in that wonderfully passive-aggressive way of his, as if to say ‘they’re under your command for another forty-eight hours and that makes them your problem’.

In fact, Jack couldn’t remember which one of them had promised him it would be like ‘old times’, but being that it was his last mission as part of SG-1, he’d acquiesced and told them to find a place to set up camp. Teal’c, for his part, made some noise about going to set up a perimeter, but Jack could have sworn the Jaffa was laughing at him.

And if, by ‘old times’, whichever one of them had meant (and Jack suspected it was Daniel – he always knew exactly which one of Jack’s buttons to push when he wanted something) ‘sitting in the rain trying to keep the campfire going long enough to boil water for the MRE’s’, they hadn’t disappointed. Lukewarm MREs were as much as they managed before the wind picked up and the steady downpour became a driving rain which forced them to take shelter in their pair of tents.

Jack would later admit that it was not by accident that he’d made a beeline to the same tent as Carter; if he had to listen to Daniel say “Look on the bright side Jack… “ one more time that evening, he’d drag all three of them back to the gate, fork lighting and a superconductor in an open field, or not. Besides, Teal’c should have learned by now not to let them swing the vote.

“Gah, it’s humid,” he said as he flung himself onto his bedroll. Water dripped from his jacket and soaked into his sleeping bag, but Jack didn’t care. At least it wasn’t driving down his collar and into his ears at the moment. He checked his watch. Half past six. It was going to be a long evening.

“That would be an understatement, sir.”

Jack looked up to see Carter calmly stripping off her wet gear and hanging it from one of the gear loft tie-downs. Leave it to Carter to be the one sensible enough to actually think about keeping her bedding dry. She finished stowing her pack so it was clear of the tent walls and then held out a hand towards him. Jack stared at her in the gritty light.

“You might want to get out of that gear, sir. You’re sitting in a puddle.”

“Ah. Right.” He passed her his pack to give him some room, and then shimmied out of his poncho, then his jacket. He was working on the fly of his pants when a burst of lightning lit the tent like a strobe. The expression momentarily frozen on Carter’s face was something between ‘not another one of these missions’ and ‘court-martialable offense’. Thunder rolled over them and drowned out any excuse he might have attempted. She had told him to get out of his wet gear, after all.

“Daniel?” he called once the thunder faded and they were left with the static of rain pelting nylon. “Teal’c? You guys still with us?”

“We are,” came Teal’c’s voice over the radio. “I believe we are in for a long night.”

“I believe you’re right,” Jack answered once he found his own radio amongst the pile of shucked clothing. “Keep in touch.”

He was about to ask Carter if she had a deck of cards or something to pass the time when the wind picked up. The corners of the tent lifted and the poles bowed inward. Jack could’ve sworn they’d made camp in an empty forest clearing, but the whole tent pulled and shook like they were sitting in the path of the 6:45 Amtrak to Newark. Jack made a grab for the poles before they could snap, while Carter jammed her feet into corners of the tent to hold them fast.

There was nowhere else to run to, nowhere else to take shelter, so in a fit of contortions that would’ve earned them a Twister championship or two, they managed to secure all four corners of the tent and brace the poles while the wind roared and the rain drove. They made it through the night in one relatively dry piece, three very contentious rounds of Twenty Questions and a game of Radio I-Spy (which doesn't work so well with nothing to spy but drab olive nylon and ballistic fiber black) not-withstanding. Jack thought that yes, if this was supposed to be his last mission with SG-1, then he couldn’t think of a better way to have spent it, dug in with Carter and the boys, holding their ground…

… kind of like old times.