Word Count: 680
Spoilers: Spoilers for "Merlin's Mantle."
Notes: Originally Written for Cam Alphabet Soup and SG-1 Gen Fic Day.
SG-1 has a thing about Jell-O. It takes Cam a while to catch onto this, and longer still to decipher it--Teal'c's references to Jell-O wrestling don't help there--but he thinks he eventually figures it out, even if he doesn't quite understand it.
It starts with Teal'c looking at him disapprovingly when he sits down with his lunch.
"What?" Cam asks, a little defensive because Teal'c's disapproving eyebrow-raise is intimidating even when you know he won't actually do anything. Probably. (Cam still finds it kind of awesome that he's having lunch with SG-1--with the real SG-1--but there are days when they leave him wanting to tear out his hair.)
"Is that not the last bowl of blue Jell-o, Colonel Mitchell?"
"Maybe?" Cam wasn't actually paying that much attention; he'd mostly picked blue because there wasn't any green and he'd had red yesterday. Military food was nothing if not predictable.
"Sam likes the blue," Jackson explains, spoon paused halfway between soup and mouth.
"Okay." Cam makes a mental note of that, because he's quite happy to eat red Jell-O two days in a row if it keeps Sam happy. However... "But Sam's not due back until tonight."
Teal'c's glower intensifies, and Jackson's looking at Cam like he's a particularly slow student who just missed a question because he hadn't done the readings.
"She sometimes comes down for a snack at night when she's working late."
"Right. Midnight snack." Cam risks another disapproving look by stating the obvious. Again. "Isn't someone else probably going to eat it before then?"
"I doubt it," Jackson says, and Cam catches the 'they wouldn't dare' tacked onto the end of that. Feeling a little awkward, he gets up and returns the blue Jell-O. He decides he doesn't really need dessert today anyway; his annual physical readiness test is coming up soon, and he's probably better off without the extra calories on his waist.
Jell-O keeps reappearing over the next few months. Cam discovers that Jackson's favourite is orange, but he tends to skip dessert most days--when he remembers to eat at all. (Which is more often now that Cam's there to drag him out to meals.) Teal'c cycles through all of the flavours steadily, but only at lunch. Sam, as reported, likes blue, and Cam notices people always steer around the last serving even though Sam doesn't eat it more than a couple of days a week.
The first time Cam winds up in the infirmary--a minor scuffle with some stunner-armed locals who hadn't taken kindly to visitors--he wakes to find his team beaming at him over a rainbow of Jell-O. He accepts the gesture for what it is, and doesn't have the heart to tell them he'd rather have a burger. (Or his mother's pie, if that weren't five hundred miles away.) It's a measure of acceptance, and he figures knowledge will come later.
Cam's not especially hungry the night he and Teal'c get back from the Sodan homeworld. Memories of ruined buildings and ruined bodies--and hours of burying people he'd come to consider friends--have killed his appetite. His team accepts his rejection of their dinner invitation with sympathetic nods and a pat on the arm from Sam. After they leave, Cam hits the base gym, running laps and lifting weights until he can barely move. That and a shower are enough to put some distance between him and the scene in the village, and he heads down to the cafeteria to see what he can charm out of the staff. It's officially a 24-hour facility, but Cam knows from experience that selections during the off-hours tend to be limited, so he's not expecting too much. A sandwich and stale coffee if he's lucky. Maybe some fruit. Instead, he finds a plate of roast beef waiting for him.
"Leftovers from lunch, sir," the server says cheerfully as she reheats it for him.
"Leftovers? Of roast beef?" Cam's been asking for roast beef for ages without luck and this looks good; he's seen far less appealing food disappear far faster than this. He'd wonder what was wrong with, except there's clearly only one serving left, and he knows from experience how fast word spreads if there's food that's better avoided.
"Yes, sir." The server hands over the tray with a smile.
"Right." Still a little puzzled, Cam continues down the line to grab a drink. When he gets to the desserts--mostly a sad selection of stale cake and cafeteria pie--he spots two bowls of blue Jell-O waiting, surrounded by a sea of red. Smiling, he takes one.
And because one J isn't enough, but one running story in alphabet soup is...
Title: J is also for Jogging
Word Count: 350
Spoilers: Spoilers for "Unending."
When Teal'c finally spills a few details about their fifty years aboard Odyssey--not many, mind you, and none of them the things Cam really wants to know, but he's curious enough that he'll take what he can get--it doesn't surprise him to learn that he spent a good chunk of time running through the empty corridors of the ship. Cam's always been a runner, always in motion. Running to think. Running to not-think. Running to escape whatever happened to be troubling him at the time. Except that there was no escape during those years on Odyssey, and Cam knows from experience that you can't really run on a ship anyway--too many sharp turns to get up to a proper speed--so he figures he really spent fifty years jogging.
He shudders at the thought. Five decades when jogging through dull grey metal corridors was the only forward movement he could get. Five decades of walls closing in tighter and tighter while he jogged and jogged and went nowhere, and he can imagine the slow suffocation of that experience, can feel those walls closing in on him day-by-day until he can't breathe, sensations so strong that he wonders whether his alternate-future self hasn't somehow transmitted those memories backwards through space and time.
He suspects he must have lost it eventually during those fifty years, and Teal'c's too kind to tell him that part.
Cam thinks about it again when O'Neill makes him the offer. It's not really a surprise--the SG-1 he'd fought to join is gone now, scattered across two galaxies, and Sam's had her own ship for six months. It's the natural next step if he wants to make general. And he does. Most days.
But narrow grey corridors crowd his thoughts when he looks at the paperwork, and it takes a long moment and a couple of deep breaths before he can bring himself to accept the offer.
The next morning, Cam takes his Mustang out of the city limits, west to Green Mountain Falls and open air and tree-lined trails.
He brings his running shoes.
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