Spoilers: Um... minor ones for LOTS of episodes, but I think Heroes is the most recent.
Notes: Ficlet, more than a drabble, written in response to the muse deciding not to pack for a bit. Thanks to </a></b></a>ailinn for the prompt in </a></b></a>jackoneill100.
Jack O'Neill sat in his office, drumming a pen against his desk. Days like today, he hated his job. Days like today, he hated that he'd ever joined the military.
For the average American, Memorial Day was a beach holiday. It was a day to enjoy some extra time off of work and barbeque with the family; a relaxing holiday to do nothing but sit back and enjoy.
Many went to the parades, many flew their flags, many even took a moment or two to think about all of the men and women who had given their lives over the years in the name of freedom.
But not everyone dreaded the day.
Anniversaries came about every now and then. Some faded a bit in time, while others hurt just as much every year. But Memorial Day was a day to remember. A day for all of them. Every man or woman killed. Every friend lost; whether in Iraq, a Black Ops Project, or through the Stargate Program.
Today the names and faces of all of them shuffled through his mind. Each of them battling for their own moment of dominance. There were friends and family, and some that he considered both.
William Jonathan O'Neill - His uncle. A man that had hardly been a man when he went off to Vietnam. Jack remembered his father writing letters to his brother. No one had planned on him not coming back.
Colonel John Michaels - one of his best friends. It was naive, but as members of Black Ops Units you always felt a bit above death, like it couldn't touch you...until it did.
Charles Kawalsky - Kawalsky was more like a brother than a friend. They'd been to hell and back together - before Jack had ever literally been to hell and back. Though he wasn't the first person to fall victim to the Goa'uld, he was the first fatality that had ripped the footing out from under Jack's feet.
Henry Boyd - Jack didn't know if you could consider Hank dead. He tried to analyze it once, tried to have Carter explain it all to him, but all it did was give him a headache. But no matter which way you sliced it, he was gone.
Lt. Astor - While not much more than a casual co-worker, she always got an extra moment or two. The entire Zatarc incident had struck entirely too close for him to not acknowledge her.
Janet Fraiser - Janet had been so much more than a friend. He considered her family and would have done anything he could have to help her in any way. Though he was often struck with the idea that he should have known better, he still wondered if he could have prevented her death, had he not been shot in the chest that same day.
Lt. Baker, Lt. Barber, Major Benton, Cpt. Blasdale, Cpt. Conner, Frank Cromwell, Lt. Elliot, Lt. Glenn, Major Graham, Major Hawkins, Lt. Colonel Ivanov, Major Mansfield, Colonel Riley, Lt. Ritter, Dr. Rothman, Major Wade...
The list could go on and on... this year he was happy to say Daniel Jackson's name wasn't on it.
The knock at the door to his office pulled him from his somber thoughts.
The blonde hair and serious face of Lt. Colonel Samantha Carter protruded from behind the door. "Just wanted to let you know it's 2000, sir. We're on for the usual this year, right?"
"I'll meet you topside in ten."
The door closed behind her and Jack retrieved his jacket. Not everything about the day was bad. No, they didn't spend time with the family and relax by the barbeque, but his SGC family had made it a tradition long ago to pick up a pizza, grab some beer and be together on Memorial Day. No plans made in advance, nothing spoken, just time together remembering those who couldn't fight beside them anymore.
I am currently: crazy
Jamming to: House