Maybe it was an indication of things to come.
Annoyed with Teal'c and the others for not at least giving me a call, I grabbed my things, locked down the lab and hurried to the surface. Even then, even this night being what it was, I couldn't get my mind off the ship. It consumed me. Leland and the others had been focusing on the propulsion system this month. So far, the vessel seemed to be powered by a hyperdrive almost exactly like that which the Goa'uld used.
It was a disturbing notion.
I was the last person to arrive at his house, and immediately I felt terrible about my forgetfulness. Between twenty and thirty people - maybe more, it was hard to tell - milled through the house and yard, eating and talking, and as I stepped into the house I saw Jack standing in the middle of it all, looking at little... overwhelmed.
Then he saw me, and even before I could close the front door he was crossing the room. We didn't kiss, didn't embrace; it felt awkward in front of all these people. We were still getting used to being close with each other, in private, and it had been more than two weeks since that fateful night of broccoli beef on linoleum.
He'd been back on duty for exactly three days before hanging General Hammond his walking papers. The General, of course, had hemmed and hawed and tried to stall, questioning Teal'c and Jonas and I as to the Colonel's motivations, putting me back in charge of SG-1 as a concession while he nudged the resignation through as slowly as possible. Obviously he thought that the Colonel was going to change his mind.
I think everyone thought that. I certainly did.
Yet here we were.
We'd kept up our evening visits during this period of limbo, but we'd been on our best behavior. Both of us were consciously aware that this was a period of transitioning. We worked very hard on maintaining a sense of casualness, and then we realized that it came easiest when we weren't trying.
I could call him 'Jack' now without faltering, but I always felt strange doing it in front of others. In fact, we'd managed to keep from engaging in any public displays of affection at all in front of the others... not such a feat considering the only time we were with the others was on base.
Now, however, he put his arm around my waist and we walked together into the throng of partygoers, like two solders going into battle. For the last time.
Yeah, I know. Gag ;)