Tie a Yellow Ribbon

AUTHOR: Rebecca Ratliff

EMAIL: rmratliff@adelphia.net

DATE: February 2003

ARCHIVE: If I haven't submitted to your archive, please ask. (I'll say yes, I just like to know where it is.)


RATING: G Err, well, maybe you'd better rate it yourself. :) The author is not responsible for the reader's imagination concerning Jack in the shower. :)

SPOILERS: Smoke & Mirrors tag


SUMMARY: Coming home


DISCLAIMER: "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 and no money whatsoever has exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. The original characters, situations, and story are the property of the authors. Not to be archived without permission of the author."

O'Neill had the airman who had picked him up at the airport drop him off at home. He badly wanted a shower and a sandwich, and in that order. There was a huge yellow ribbon tied to the screen door. He wondered who had taken the time to do that. It reminded him of the effort the whole SGC had put in to spring him from jail and to clear his name, and of their steadfast belief in his innocence in the face of such seemingly airtight evidence. He wasn't sure how he was ever going to express his gratitude for that.

It was so good to walk around his own house, to do whatever he wanted with no guards and no other prisoners.

The sad thing was, O'Neill had seen the first way to escape before he'd been locked up for an hour, and by the end of the day he had plans B and C ready as well. Compared to Goa'uld lockups he'd seen, American jails were sieves. The guards had felt safe when he was in chains, without the slightest idea how fast somebody with his training could turn restraints into a weapon. O'Neill hadn't been worried about the other prisoners, either. They quickly developed an instinct about who was better left alone. And he certainly hadn't been concerned about the kind of inhumane treatment that went with the territory elsewhere.

O'Neill had known that sooner or later he would have become a loose end and someone would have come along to remedy the situation. Biding his time in hopes that SG-1 would clear his name before they decided to act had been a calculated risk, one that had paid off.

He turned on just enough cold water in the shower to adjust the temperature a little short of scalding and stayed under the spray until it ran cold. It still wasn't enough. He still felt filthy, from having shaken Senator Kinsey's hand, and more so from using the man to put a stop to press speculation about him. He couldn't give less of a damn what they thought of him, but press attention directed at him was uncomfortably close to the SGC.

Kinsey as Vice President, a heartbeat away from the White House, would be a national disaster. He hoped he wasn't responsible for that.

He towelled off and pulled on an old pair of jeans.

He heard a car horn in the drive and looked out the window. It was Jonas in an SUV from the motor pool. O'Neill pushed the window up. "What's up? The General told me not to come in before Monday."

"It's Friday," he said. "Movie night is on at Major Carter's place, if you're up to it."

"Geez. I forgot what day it was." When they were onworld, Friday movie night was a tradition that they rarely broke.

"Not a problem."

"Yeah, hang on, I'll be right down."

Teal'c was already at Sam's house, and so was the pizza. He forgot all about the sandwich and grabbed a slice.

Sam took advantage of catching him alone in the kitchen to give him a quick hug and a smile. "Welcome home."

The moment passed as quickly as it began, but that was when he knew the whole mess was really over. They would deal with the Kinsey problem somehow when the time came. "It's good to be home."


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