10 January 2009
Sam stepped into her small office onboard Hammond and drew up short. There was a box sitting on her desk. The box itself wasn't unusual. It was one of the standard white storage box used generally for non-fragile items and paperwork bearing the Homeworld Command logo, with the packaging label on all sides and lid.
But it was a box. On her desk.
She should not have a box on her desk. Or at least, Sam didn't think she should have one. Even if she didn't read and sign everything electronically on the ship, today's itinerary of regular reports and paperwork were certainly not enough if printed out to hard copy to fill a storage box.
So, again. The question was why there was a storage box on her desk.
Deciding that observing the object from a distance wasn't going to provide anymore information she closed the door behind her and crossed to her desk.
Sam circled her desk and looked over the packaging label and discovered that she was not the first recipient of the box. Originally the box had been sent from SGC's Botany Lab to HWC and someone had casually scratched the printed address out and penned in bold black marker in the label fields that it was from HWC to her specifically.
And the writing looked awfully familiar.
Not touching the box yet she leaned over and engaged the comm. on her desk. "Franklin?"
There was a pause before her first officer replied. "Yes Ma'am?"
"Do you know anything about the storage box on my office desk?"
Another heavy pause. "Sorry Ma'am, I can't say."
"Thanks Major," Sam replied wryly and lifted her finger from the comm. Anyone else might think that Franklin's answer meant he didn't know, but paired with the origins of the box and the handwriting she'd bet he'd answered truthfully—he couldn't say because he'd been ordered not to.
Sam braced herself for what she might discover as she reached forward and lifted the lid. She blew out a breath of relief when nothing sprang out at her and she only found herself confronted with a plain sheet of paper on top of a mound of bubble wrap. Even without the boldly scrawled signature at the bottom of the note, she'd know that all-capital letters printing anywhere.
HAPPY HOLIDAY! YES, ONE OF THOSE. YOU'LL LIKE THIS ONE THOUGHT.
THE PRESENTS ARE NASA APPROVED AND YOU DON'T HAVE TO WORRY—I ONLY LET LEE DESIGN THE STUFF THEY'RE IN. I BOUGHT THEM MYSELF SO THEY ARE INNOCENT AND HARMLESS.
SO NO PLAYING WITH GAMMA RADIATION ALLOWED!
Oh no, she thought with trepidation as she peered at the bubble wrap, one of Jack's holidays. They weren't all bad, she did admit to herself; mostly they were just... quirky. Just like the man that celebrated them. She just wasn't sure what to expect on his holidays, now that they'd been engaged for four months.
Setting aside Jack's note onto the lid she tugged at one corner of the bubble wrap and discovered that it was wrapped around an object. She slid her hands in against the side of the storage box and lifted out a lumpy round shape that she proceeded to unwrap, leaving a second wrapped up item still in the box.
When all the bubble wrapping had been removed she laughed. Sam set the small item in the palm of her hand and fingered one of the spiky leaves that were green with a white stripe down the center, draping over the sides of the small container filled with a jelly-like solution.
Her fiancÚ had sent her a spider plant. In a specially designed space pot.
Setting the spider plant down she unwrapped the remaining bundle of bubble wrap and found a dracaena, its woody stocks topped by leaves arranged in stars patterns that were white with a green stripe down the center.
She set the dracaena down and found that the box wasn't quite empty yet. At the very bottom were a second note and a pile of typed papers. Sam picked up the papers and read the note first.
IN CASE YOU HAVEN'T GUESSED YET—IT'S HOUSEPLANT APPRECIATION DAY.
NONE OF YOURS HAVE DIED ON ME YET BUT I THOUGHT YOU WOULD WANT TO GIVE A LITTLE APPRECIATION TO SOME YOURSELF.
NASA SAYS THE SPIDEY PLANT IS GOOD FOR TAKING OUT FORMALDEHYDE AND THE DRAGON GIRL IS GOOD FOR BENZENE AND TRICHLOROETHYLENE. NEITHER NEED SUNLIGHT AND STUFF EITHER WHICH IS GOOD BECAUSE YOU DON'T GET ANY OF THAT THERE.
AS FOR THE POTS AND THE 'SOIL'—I'LL LET YOU READ WHAT LEE SAID. I CAN'T MAKE HEADS OR TAILS OF IT EXCEPT THAT THE PLANTS FEED ON SEAWEED AND AS CLOSED CONTAINERS, YOU DON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT ANYTHING SPILLING OUT IF THE GRAVITY GOES.
Sam chuckled briefly over this note before her face softened into a smile as she traced the word 'love', touched by how he'd ended this message. She piled the bubble wrap back into the box and put it on the floor out of her way. Then taking her seat, she lined up the two small plants on her desk and picked up Lee's report.
Her itinerary of work reports and files and forms could wait.
She was going to take time for Houseplant Appreciation Day.