I am a table. I am a rectangular four-foot wide by eight-foot long, golden oak table with lots of grain, a leg on each corner, and a polyurethane sealant. This is important, because though it removes me from the level of fine furniture, it adds to my versatility and my longevity. I was purchased in the early 90's by the U.S. Air Force Quartermaster in a spasm of upgrades for the offices of NORAD. After I was delivered I was reassigned to a priority slot in a new command under the mountain cryptically referred to as SGC. I can seat eight formally, ten comfortably, and twelve friendly. Because I was purchased without chairs, I knew that my life would be one of utilitarianism not formal dining. In other words, I'll see a lot of service of all kinds.
I had been brought to tall civilian Daniel's office again. Well, I still called it Daniel's office even though I hadn't seen my favorite mobile in a long while. There was another man who was staying there, a tall alien man named Jonas.
I realized that he was using the office while tall civilian Daniel was gone. I missed my friend very much. Tall alien Jonas would sit at his desk and read Daniel's books and journals. Then he would write a lot. He was not a bad man; but he would talk too loud and say too much. Sometimes he would walk around in circles waving his hands in the air. My Daniel could talk a lot but he never talked too much. He always had something important to say and everyone always listened…even tall military Jack.
One day, tall alien Jonas came back from a mission with a broken stone tablet and set it on my surface. He was trying to translate the alien words on it. He pulled many of my Daniel's books from their shelves, reading them and marking circles on their pages. The old leather covered books were not happy with this. Books are the teachers of knowledge and wisdom. They should be respected and cared for. Tall civilian Daniel knew this. He loved the books, and they loved him for his care of them, as I did.
Tall lady Sam and big alien Teal's came to the office often during this time. Sam would try to nice to the strange mobile, and Teal’c would try to help him. They too would read the books, looking for the strange words to help Jonas to understand the tablets. I wanted to tell Jonas that he should call for our tall civilian Daniel. He would understand the words and the books would tell him all their secrets. But tall alien Jonas did not ask, and I knew that tall military Jack would not come to the office. He did not come to this place after our Daniel went away.
One day, Jonas was reading the books and studying the tablets. Suddenly, he got all excited and ran out of the office calling for tall lady Sam and military man in charge Hammond. He must have found them because after a little while he ran back in and grabbed his pack. After that, he left again and I didn‘t see any one. For several days, no one came to the office. We all sat in the darkness and waited. Then, something wonderful happened.
It was late at night; most of the mobiles had gone home. There had been quite a lot of excitement for the past few days, but now all was dark and quiet. The door opened and someone came in very quietly. He didn't turn on the overhead lights or switch the noisy television on. The tall mobile walked into our darkness slowly, carefully, as if he was discovering something that he hadn't seen in a long while. Then, as gentle hands brushed across my surface, I knew immediately who it was. Our Daniel had returned, but he was silent, and a little confused I think. As he walked around the office, he would look at things. He would pick up something and turn it over in his hands, as if seeing it for the first time. The big thick book he had liked to use a lot, a journal that he had written in, a cup that had held his coffee as if he couldn't remember us.
After a while, tall civilian Daniel sat down in the chair at my side. He reached for a book that he used to love to read and pulled it gently across my top. Then, turning on the brass table lamp, he opened the pages and stroked them with his careful hand. It was a lucky book and we all envied it.
But soon, as had happened many times before, he closed the book and put it aside. He took his round glass things off of his eyes and rubbed the bridge of his nose. Then, he lay his head down, pillowing it with his hands on my surface. I tried to make him comfortable on my strong back. I wanted him to know how happy I was that he had returned to us and how much we had missed him.
For several hours, our friend slept peacefully in our midst and we kept watch over him as we had so many times before. Then, the door opened again. It was tall military Jack. He had come back also. As he entered the softly lit room and saw his friend surrounded with his books, watched over by the lamp and supported on my broad surface, he smiled. It was the first smile I had seen from him in the many long months that our Daniel had been gone.
Tall military Jack came to stand beside his sleeping friend then he shook him gently by the shoulders to wake him up. He should have let him rest. He seemed very tired and we would have protected him.
"Daniel, will you please go to your room and get some sleep now?" He helped tall civilian Daniel to sit up in the chair. “You’ve had a very exciting day after all.”
"I'm fine, Jack. Really. You don't have to worry about me." Our friend protested softly.
Tall military Jack patted him gently on the shoulder. "You should know perfectly well, that worrying about you is second nature to me. I've been doing it for almost eight years; I'm good at it."
The young man gazed at him trustingly. "You have?"
Jack pulled up another chair, sat down next to him and looked at him soberly. "Yes, Danny, I have. I admit, this last time I screwed up big, but I've learned my lesson. I won't do it again." Tall military Jack reached over tentatively and put his hand on his friend's shoulder. His voice was husky, “Danny, I can’t ever lose you again.”
Tall civilian Daniel blinked his eyes slowly looking sleepily at Jack. "I'm not sure where you lost me before, but I'll try not to go there again."
The older man looked at his friend for a moment, and then he spoke in a rough voice. "I'll make a deal with you, okay? You don't go anywhere like that without me, and I promise, Danny, I’ll never ever mislay you again."
Our friend looked at him in confusion and nodded. "If that's what you want, Jack."
Tall military Jack reached over and hugged the other man to him. "Yeah, buddy…that's what I want...that’s all I want. Just take me with you next time.”
Tall civilian Daniel smiled at him. “I think I’d like that.”
“Come on then. Now you’re going with me.”
“Where to, Jack?”
“Home, Daniel. Let’s go home.”
So our two tall mobiles left us alone again in the dark. But we were happy and tall military Jack was happy also. We were no longer lonely, our lost friend had been found.