Disclaimer: Let's see if I get it right this time.

Stargate = property of Gekko film corp etcetera

Jack = property of Jara Dax

Jonas = property of Suz and Clara

Daniel = property of Dena

Sam = property of Robert

Teal'c = fair game!

A.N: This little vignette is for all my friends on lj who have made my crappy day seem not so...crappy.

Thanks for making me smile, guys.


"Carter, what's the protocol for firing a civilian working on the Stargate project?"

Sam looked up from her microscope in surprise. "You firing someone, sir?"

"Nope," Jack replied with a dismissive wave of the hand, "I was just curious. So what happens?" he repeated. "I mean, it's not as if they can go to the benefits office and say 'Oh, I was working on a top-secret project for the United States Military when they suddenly decided my services were no longer required', can they?"

Sam frowned for a moment, her eyebrows furrowed in thoughtful confusion. "No, I guess not," she replied slowly, "but in all honesty, I doubt it's a scenario that's ever happened."

Jack grimaced at her logic. "I mean *theoretically*, Carter. What would happen if, say, one of your scientists decided to borrow a piece of alien technology and take it to a civilian lab for personal testing?"

"Would never happen sir." cam the immediate reply. "Either myself or Janet recommended every civilian scientist on this base and I can assure you that..."

"Alright, alright!" Jack exclaimed in frustration. "So your egg-heads are angels, I get the point."

Sam grinned at the table. "Besides," she continued, "They were all already employed somewhere else before we recruited them and they have signed the non-disclosure forms, so I guess if it were to ever happen they would be arrested and put in a military prison. If they committed no crime and were just not needed anymore, then they'd go back to their old jobs." With that she resumed staring through the microscope.

Jack stepped away from the entrance to the lab and moved closer to the Major, absently eyeing the shiny metallic *thing* on her desk. "What about fraternisation?" he asked after a moment/

Sam's head shot up again, nearly taking her eye out with the lens. "Sir?" she asked, her voice croaky.

Jack picked up the shiny thing and started to fiddle. "Say two people," he dropped the shiny thing, "two civilians," he picked it up again. "Say two civilian scientists are caught necking in one of the VIP quarters, but they're off-duty." He broke the shiny thing, "Could they be fired for that?"

Holding her hand out before her, Sam glared at her CO until he sheepishly handed over the now useless object. "I doubt it," she said after a moment. "They'd probably just get a reprimand from Hammond."

Jack nodded in understanding. "Okay," he replied, "one more."

"Sir," Sam whined a little, "I really need to finish this..."

Jack held his hand up to silence her. "Last one, I promise."

Accepting the fact that there was no way he was going to leave her alone until his curiosity had been satisfied, Sam acquiesced.

"What if one of them is military and the other is a civilian?"

Sam blinked, wondering where he was going with this. "Both off duty?"

Jack nodded eagerly.

"Well, Jonas went on a couple of dates with lieutenant Rush from the infirmary a couple of months ago and no one had a problem with that," she replied slowly. "But they weren't caught inflagrante on base or anything."

"But they did see each other for a while?"

Nodding, Sam checked her notes. "Is that everything sir?" she muttered as she scribbled out some of the words on the pad and replaced them with something else.

"What if one of them is ex-military?"

Sam slammed her notebook down on the counter.

Then her heart skipped a beat.

"Uh," suddenly she found herself unable to form a coherent sentence. "You didn't...I mean...when...why...?"

"No!" Jack replied quickly. "Not me. I'm just making enquiries, you know, for the future and...what have you."

He looked truly adorable when he blushed, Sam thought to herself, and not for the first time.

"Well, in theory, if an officer were to retire, but stay on as a civilian then I don't think there would be anything in the rules to stop him from...seeing...an officer on base. After all," she continued, blushing slightly herself and unable to meet his gaze, "that situation would be more or less along similar lines to Jonas and Rush's, right?"

Right." Jack sighed in relief. "And he wouldn't get fired for it because..."

"Because if they were both off duty then they wouldn't be doing anything wrong. Besides, if he worked here then he must be one of the best and they would never get rid of such an asset to Earth just because he dared to have a personal life," she finished triumphantly.

They both seemed to look up at the same time and, catching the others gaze, they stared at each other for a moment before Jack blinked and forced himself to look away. "I, uh..." he said gruffly and cleared his throat. "I should go. I have a meeting with Hammond in..." He looked at his watch "...ten minutes."

Sam nodded, still transfixed by the man before her. "Right," she murmured and indicated vaguely at her microscope. "And I have to run tests on this...stuff ."

"Right." Jack said.

"Right." Sam replied.

Stuffing his hands in his pockets, Jack scuffed the tip of his boot against the corner of his desk before turning away, heading out of the lab and walking straight into General Hammond.

"Colonel," the General said by way of a greeting. "We still on for our meeting?"

Jack glanced at Sam's back. "Yes sir," he replied with an assertive nod. "I'll see you in five."

"Fine," Hammond replied cheerily, calling after the Colonel as he disappeared around the corner, "and don't forget your retirement papers. Can't make you a civilian without them!"

Fifty yards away, Jack blushed again.

Staring unseeingly into her microscope, Sam grinned.

The End.