“Where the heck is he?” Jack asked the ward at large, looking for long black hair.
Janet didn’t glance up from applying a bandage to a wide-eyed boy’s scraped knee, cutting off threatening tears and babble about safe zones with one wave of a wrapped lime-green Lifesaver. Lucky kid. “If I had to guess, Colonel, I’d say Murray is still downstairs. He likes the company.”
Okay, ow, that was Doc giving him a bit of cold shoulder. Which went along with what he’d gotten from eavesdropping on her brief follow-up with the general.
“Colonel O’Neill has repeatedly ignored invitations to pun, and accrued multiple counts of Tempting Murphy. Mandatory R&R recommended immediately. Before he tempts Murphy again.”
Hmph. Like he didn’t know when he needed a break. Even if he had, this mess was way too big to take time off now. Six-thousand-odd confused survivors; they needed somebody to be the face of the SGC. And it had to be somebody they could yell and get mad at, who wouldn’t take it personally, so that Janet and her staff could do their jobs and take care of the biological wreckage Kayaba had left behind.
“Not Murray,” Jack grumbled, checking on the rest of his team. That flash of tied-back red hair was one over-ambitious Marine trying to chat Sam up for a date. Daniel had cornered Mills and another pair, one silver-haired young woman and a curly-headed guy with a bemused look, probably asking them awesome anthropological questions about what a merchant did in Kayaba’s world. And Asuna had claimed her own corner with a bunch of serious-looking gamers, including one pretty young lady with pink, blue, and purple hair. Jack hadn’t gotten close enough to eavesdrop – well, much – but he’d heard Commander and Heathcliff in there. And he knew the body language of subordinates reforming around a 2IC pretty well by now.
A seventeen-year-old girl was rebuilding her command structure. He didn’t know whether to snicker or be sweating bullets.
Though given how many other people had strolled in here to visit, with matter-of-fact poses that said allied but not under your command, he was leaning toward worried.
Then again, maybe he really ought to be worried about the fact a few of Janet’s nurses had volunteered needles and thread. Sharp pointy things. In civilian hands. Granted, currently in the hands of busy little bees stripping down scrubs and sheets and who knew what and piecing them back together into neat little tunics and other stuff that actually fit.
Though on the other other hand, he could see morale going up with the new clothes, and Danny’d always said dress was part of culture and self-image, and Jack knew damn well himself that denying somebody basic body-coverage was one of the fastest ways to get someone cowering as a prisoner. So the needles ought to stay. For now.