Author: Aussie73 PM
Sequel to Little Sister. You should read that first. Rated T for safety, but probably more like K plus for now.Rated: Fiction T - English - Humor/Romance - J. O'Neill & S. Carter - Chapters: 3 - Words: 6,315 - Reviews: 109 - Favs: 51 - Follows: 22 - Updated: 10-29-05 - Published: 10-28-05 - Status: Complete - id: 2637270
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Wow! I can't believe how many of you seemed to like my take on Mark Carter. I'd already started working on a different story (not having anticipated such a good response) when the reviews for "Little Sister" started coming in, several asking for a sequel. I had to get my other story out of my head before I could do this one — hence the delay. And I've also got two possible plot-lines bouncing around my skull. My muse is very very demanding this week.
By the way; I have a feeling I may have goofed on Jacob's funeral. Something tells me that Mark, as the oldest child, should have received the flag. If someone would let me know either way, I'd be grateful so that I don't make the same mistake in future.
Anyway; here is your sequel … or the first part thereof.
I frowned down at the phone. "You answer the phone weird," I pointed out.
"Thank you, big brother," she replied sarcastically. "Hold on … it's got to be after midnight there. What are you doing still up?"
The woman had a point. I loved my sleep. "Sam; it's Gracie's birthday next week. Don't suppose you'd be able to get some time off and come to San Diego?"
"I'm due some leave," Sam said, "and I'm sure the General will let me go."
"How is Jack, by the way?" I'd met the man at Dad's wake a few weeks ago and he'd instantly enchanted my daughter. As for me … I'd been surprised to find myself liking the guy — he was military and I suspected he was part of the reason Sam had broken up with my friend, Pete. But after seeing them together, I knew Pete hadn't stood a chance. It was just good that Sam had seen it before going through with the marriage.
"I don't know," Sam replied. "I haven't seen him since I transferred out of the Springs."
"You've left Colorado?" That surprised me. Sam had spent the last eight years there, doing … who knew what in that mountain. Something told me that you'd normally have to carry her out to get her to leave.
"A couple weeks ago. I'm on temporary detached duty at R&D in Nevada."
I chuckled. "So … run into any aliens, did ya?" I teased. She'd gone through a stage when she was a kid of believing the conspiracy theories about Area 51, and I never got tired of teasing her about it.
She returned the laugh. "Shut up, Mark," she said casually.
We talked a little more, making the arrangements for next week, then I made a show of yawning loudly. "Better go, Sam; I'm pooped," I said.
"Okay." She sounded amused again — and at my expense.
"See you next week, kiddo."
I put the phone down with a wide grin at her indignant squawk, then dialed the number for Cheyenne Mountain. After numerous redirections, someone barked out a grouchy sounding "O'Neill; what!" Huh. Maybe that surname thing was a military thing.
"Uh … General O'Neill. Hi; it's Mark. Sam's brother."
"Oh!" The man sounded surprised, then a bit abashed. "Sorry, Mark. Just spent the last hour screaming at some Pentagon windbag; thought it was him again."
"Ah. Well, anyway; it's Gracie's birthday next week," I said. "I know it's short notice, but I … she'd love to see you again."
"Well, I do have an ice cream date to keep, don't I?" the man said, now sounding extremely happy. I heard him flipping through something — likely a calendar. "Can't make it on Sunday — sitrep with the Prez — but I could fly down on Monday."
I thought I was about to swallow my own tongue. The President. "President Hayes?" I squeaked, then cleared my throat. "Our president?" I asked in a more manly — I hoped — tone.
"Yeah," Jack said, sounding like he was smirking. "The big Kahuna. So … Monday okay?"
"That's … uh, that's fine," I said. "I'll give you my cell number — call us when you know your flight time and I'll come pick you up."
"Great," the older man replied. "What is it now?" he barked suddenly.
"Not you," he said, sounding distracted. "Walter?"
"I have the President for you on Line One," the mysterious Walter said, sounding nervous.
Good Lord; the President of the United States was calling Jack O'Neill! Who the hell was this guy? Certainly something more than the simple soldier he portrayed.
"Crap," Jack muttered. "Mark; gonna have to go. What's your cell number?"
I gave it to him and we wished each other a hurried goodbye before I hung up.
"What are you up to, Mark Jeremiah Carter?"
I winced at that. I'd always hated my middle name. "Nothing," I said, aiming my best innocent look at my accuser.
Unfortunately, Karen had known me too long to buy it. "You're not match-making again, are you?" she said.
"C'mon, Karen. You're the one who always says Sam needs to get out more," I said.
Karen looked at me shrewdly then put her hands to my head, sliding them into my hair. Evil, evil woman. She knew I loved a head massage. "Yes …?" she queried, pressing her fingertips into the points that would make me spill State secrets — if I had any.
"You saw them together; a blind man could tell they're in love," I mumbled, seriously distracted by her skillful fingers. Wicked woman. My head slumped forward to rest on her shoulder.
"Yes," she agreed cautiously, massaging away, "but doesn't the Air Force have rules about that sort of thing?"
I smiled smugly. "Yeah, but Sam's in Nevada. They're not in the same chain of command."
A couple of weeks after Dad's wake, I'd been in the Springs visiting Sam to help her tie up Dad's affairs when I'd bumped into Doctor Jackson and Murray. I'd subtly … or maybe not so subtly … directed the conversation toward Sam and Jack.
Daniel had looked at me narrowly then had sighed. "God; they're so in love, it's almost painful to see," he'd told me. "They're so loyal to the Air Force, to what we do, they're willing to deny themselves their best chance for happiness." He grinned then. "But they were definitely flirting when we were at Jack's cabin."
I didn't even bother saying that deep space radar telemetry couldn't be that important. These people really needed to work on their cover story.
"Daniel Jackson," Murray interrupted, "Colonel Carter and O'Neill are mature people. They won't appreciate interference in their lives."
Daniel looked slightly shame-faced. I didn't. "Hey, she's my baby sister," I said. "If I can't interfere in her life, what's the point of being a big brother?"
Murray just shook his head and raised an eyebrow. The guy was only my age, but he acted like someone much older.
Undaunted by the tilted eyebrow, I managed to wheedle more information out of Daniel. He was reluctant to meddle in Sam and Jack's lives himself, but he didn't seem to mind giving me ammunition to do so. Pretty fine line he wasn't crossing.
I stood in the arrivals lounge, waiting for Jack to arrive. He'd called and said he'd had to fly to DC for an urgent meeting, so would be a bit late. As a sea of humanity surged past me, I heard an unmistakable voice. "Hey!"
Oh, wonderful. Steven Francks. One of my best friends, a straight shooter and a guy I'd trust with my life, but he loved to act camp. "Hey," I said.
"How's Karen?" he asked. "And not forgetting the rug-rats, of course."
"They're good," I told him, scanning the milling crowd for Jack. Thank goodness he was tall; he'd stand out. "How're you?"
"Oh, great …," Steven said absently, his eyes going off someplace else. "Oh, I love a man in uniform," he added breathily. "Sweet man candy at six o'clock."
I rolled my eyes. "God, Steven; I'd swear you're too gay to function!"
He knew me better than to take offense. Besides, he took pride in playing up the stereotypes. He just shrugged his shoulders, then pointed toward the unsuspecting man who'd grabbed his attention.
I allowed a small evil smirk to surface. Jack was about as Alpha male as they came, and he was military to boot. This could be a fun few minutes. I raised my hand to wave him over. "Ohhh, honey," Steven drawled. "Silver fox heading right this way."
"Hey, Mark," Jack said, taking off his cap and tucking it under his arm, then removing the sunglasses.
"Hey," I replied, putting my hand out to grip his. "Gracie's gonna be thrilled to see you."
He frowned. "You didn't tell her, did you?" he said. "I might not have been able to make it." He got a bleak look on his face all of a sudden. "I hate letting kids down."
"Uhh … hello!" Steven said impatiently.
"Right; sorry." I tried desperately to hide the smirk. "Steven Francks; meet Brigadier General Jack O'Neill."
Evil I know, but I'm a Carter. If there's one thing I learned from my Dad, it's how to yank someone's chain.
I thought Steven was going to drown in his own drool. "Brigadier General?" he breathed. "You look so young to be so … powerful."
Jack gave me a look that promised a swift painful retribution, but put a hand out to Steven. "Nice to meet you," he offered.
Steven looked at him, drew some unspecified conclusion, and decided to drop the 'camp boy' routine. "I understand you work with the gorgeous Sam," he said with a teasing grin at me.
Jack shook his head. "We used to work together," he said, "till she transferred out. And I'll be moving on myself soon — the Pentagon."
"The Pentagon?" Steven stuffed a hand into his pocket and eyed the older man. "You don't strike me as the politicking type." I'd forgotten how perceptive he could be.
Jack snickered. "You got that right," he said. "But when the Chief of Staff tells you to move to DC, you move to DC."
"Yeah," Steven agreed. "My dad was Air Force, too; so I know what that's like."
"Ah." Brigadier General Jack O'Neill; king of the monosyllable.
Jack took his bag off the carousel, pausing briefly to smile at the little girl making kissy faces at him, then said, "Well … let's go."
"It was nice to meet you, Jack," Steven said. "You going to be in town long?"
"About a week," Jack said, "I hope."
"Well … have a nice vacation," Steven offered, "and maybe I'll see you before you leave."
"Yeah. Maybe." Jack clasped hands briefly with Steven once again. "By the way, Steven; quit flirting."
Steven chuckled. "It was worth a go," he said. "Maybe the lovely Sam is more your taste, hmmm?"
I didn't say anything. Why should I, when Steven was inadvertently doing all the work for me?
"Yeah, probably," Jack mumbled, then a slight flush rode up his face.
I knew it.
"Well … good luck with that Jack," Steven said. "Have a good stay."
"Thanks, Steven," Jack said, recovering from his little faux pas.
Steven strolled away, and Jack turned to me. The dark eyes narrowed. "You did that on purpose."