The Cynic.

I'm not a hearts and flowers type of guy. I prefer Hockey and beer to romantic strolls along moonlit beaches, and would rather pull my Canines out with blunt tweezers than ever entertain the thought of going to the ballet.

So, that being said, I'm pretty sure you're wondering what the hell I'm doing standing outside Carter's house in the pouring rain, at two in the morning no less, ready to declare my undying love for the one woman I'm not allowed to have.

Alcohol.

Yep, that excuse should do it. Breathing hard into my cupped palms I quickly inhale and come to the conclusion that my breath smells enough of whisky for me to use intoxication as a viable excuse. The only problem being I'm not. Drunk, that is. And my over-active imagination is already envisaging the patrol car with flashing lights pulling up any minute now to arrest me for trespassing.

Naturally, I will tell them I am drunk and they'll let me go on my way.

Or not.

See, now I have them telling me to place my finger on my nose whilst walking in a straight line before balancing on one foot and doing a valiant impression of an ungraceful Flamingo.

Maybe I should practice...

...Okay, bad idea. The flamingo thing really doesn't work for me and, I decide as I pick myself up from the ground and try to regain my composure, the whole finger on nose thing ain't so good either. Having said that, at least one of my eyes is now bright red, which should only add to the fabrication of my drunkenness (just don't mention that the real reason has more to do with a misplaced finger whilst impersonating various birdlife).

So, to sum up my current situation; It's Oh-Two-Hundred, I'm outside my 2IC's house, feigning alcohol fuelled passion, the police are no doubt on their way to arrest me, I have one red eye and I'm covered in mud.

Great.

I can just see it now; 'Uh, yes officer, I have had a drink this evening...No, I don't know how I got here (ahem)...Yes, the lady of the house does know me, despite what she says...No, I don't have conjunctivitis.

Where was I going with that? I have *no* idea. But then, I've pretty much been winging it all evening. Stupid, dumbass old me decided, IN MY SOBRIETY, might I add, to take the advice of a complete stranger in a shitty little bar across town and tell Carter I...er...well, you get the rest.

It's her fault I'm in this mess, you know. If she'd just kept her mouth shut instead of announcing to the world that she had a date tonight - okay, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration. It wasn't the whole world, just Janet, and I wasn't supposed to be listening in. But did she *really* have to sound quite so happy about it?

Do they use those breathalyser test thingys? I hope not 'cause then there'd be no way I could prove myself to be drunk in charge of emotions.

Heh.

Nice analogy.

Okay, definitely time for me to leave. Started talking like a Literature major - not that I'd really know how a literature major would sound; but it proves I need sleep.

Hmm, Major.

Y'Know, now I'm here...I mean, I've come all this way...No. No, no, no, no, no. Giving myself a mental slap I turn and walk purposefully back to the truck, hands dug deeply into my pockets.

Strange. Could have sworn I had my keys on me when I got here. I look back at the house. The lights are all out except in the kitchen, and I know she only keeps that on when she's out. Which means she's still on her date. And it also means that due to the unsociable hour, she's probably tucked up in bed with *him*, practising various pages out of the Karma Sutra.

*Nice* imagination O'Neill. Still, the idea of a very hot, very naked Samantha Carter is definitely a turn on.

Yep. Time to go.

Where the hell did I put my keys? Something glints in the moonlight on Carter's lawn and I walk over to the shiny item. Aha. Keys. Must've fallen out whilst I was attempting those Olympic Gymnastics moves earlier. I finally make it to my truck, keys and all, and am about to start the engine when a car slows and pulls up right in front of me.

It's Carter and her date.

Ah,

Crap.

So now the strangest thing happens. I know she can see me as she walks past the truck. She's been in it enough times before, but she doesn't even glance my way. As a matter of fact, she seems pretty engrossed in what Rat-boy is saying (not as juvenile as it sounds, I overheard her tell Janet he's a pharmacologist, and they test drugs on rats...right? Right.). So, anyway, he's prattling on about something, and then he leans in to kiss her. Well, I really didn't want to see that, but I couldn't help watching. Kind of a morbid curiosity. The thing is, it turns out she doesn't like him! When she turned her face so his little rat lips ended up on her cheek I'm so happy I actually bounce on my seat and hit my head on the roof. Painful, but totally worth it.

So, he skulks off back to his car and drives away with his tail between his legs and she...she is walking towards me.

Again...

Oh, crap.

Deciding I'm pretty much busted - and therefore monumentally screwed, I step out of my truck and lean carefully against the hood, preparing myself for a feminist onslaught.

So you can understand why I'm now in compete shock as she steps into my personal space and puts her arms around my neck. I'm sorry, I know it's been a while since I've been on the dating scene, but did I miss something? Is this kind of affection normal when you discover your boss is stalking you and staking out your house?

Not that I'm complaining, mind.

This has to be the shortest show of affection ever recorded, mainly because we both know we're not even meant to be *this* close, but it's also definitely one of the sweetest. I get over my initial shock pretty quickly, then wrap my arms around her and hold her tightly, eyes closed.

After less than a minute, we both mutually break free and she just smiles at me before walking to into her house and closing the door behind her.

And me? I go home.

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Okay, so now it's the next day and once again I'm listening in on a private conversation between Carter and Doc Frasier. I have to admit I'm a glutton for punishment, and if I'm caught punishment is definitely what I'll get, but as I listen Sam says something that would make any amount of torture worthwhile.

'And there he was, outside my house. After the crappiest, longest date I've ever had to endure, he was there. Janet, it was the most romantic moment of my entire life.'



That's enough eavesdropping, I decide as I walk away with a huge grin on my face. My short career as Major Samantha Carter's personal stalker has definitely ended on a high.

Who'd'a thunkit? Me, a hearts and flowers guy after all.

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