Title: Foresight Author: A.j. Rating: PG Spoilers: Season 6 as there's Jonas. And a general spoiler for In the Line of Duty. Archival: Anywhere that wants it, but it'll be up at my site and FF.net eventually. Summary: Beer bad. Pairing: S/J but mostly friendship.

Notes: All mistakes = mine. All non-mistakes = Hya.


Foresight by A.j.


"I'm not going to have kids."

And the day had been going so well. Barbecue with the troops. Some beer, some ribs, maybe a little frisbee. It had been a good idea. A *team building* exercise. Well, that's how he'd reported the beef ribs on the expense account sheet anyway.

Hey, if his government could pay $500 for a toilet that didn't exist, they could damn well buy him dinner.


Teal'c and Jonas had sure been getting into the spirit. Well, Jonas had, dragging Teal'c stoically along after him. Kind of like a tugboat merrily pulling a barge in its wake. A rather apt description as Jonas was happily splashing away in the man-made lake visible from the tree line where the fire pit rested. He'd been at it for the last half-hour occasionally bouncing the hot pink beach ball back and forth with Teal'c. The Jaffa warrior had found a convenient boulder on which to perch and was, apparently, enjoying himself quite a bit.

He and Carter had opted for a more sedate route. Namely, grilling (his part) and preparing everything else (hers). Yeah, it was good to be the Colonel.

But somewhere after the pulling off of plastic wrap and the stocking of the

cooler, the beer had come out. Not the crap stuff either. No cheap lager for Colonel Jonathan O'Neill's crew, no sir.

One day he was going to learn to say no to the stupid part of his brain. Really.

To be fair, this wasn't entirely his fault. *He* hadn't been the one to press four beers into Carter's hand. Or make her drink them. He hadn't exactly stopped her either, but she was a grown woman and could make her own decisions, right?


Which led up to right now.

And the blinking.

"Geez, Carter!"


Luckily, the burger he'd been flipping landed on the edge of the grill. A little catsup, and Jonas would never notice.

"Eh?" She blinked at him muzzily from over the top of a bottle of Sam Adams. Oh, yeah. She was definitely taking a cab home.

"What makes you say that?" Okay, Jack, prod Teal'c's slab of ribs and ignore the completely unreasonable urge to shout 'No, no, no! Kids are good!' She was making a perfectly valid choice...

"Just. This." She waved her free hand around her head, indicating everything from the trees to the universe at large. "I've been thinking about it for awhile you know."

Carter without kids? That was crazy. "Carter, that's just crazy talk. You love kids. Hell, they love you."

Snuffling and batting hair out of her eyes in a rather adorable manner (no, not adorable... efficient) Carter blew off his argument with all the calm of someone happily past her alcohol limit and in to the philosophizing part of the evening.

"I never said I didn't want kids, sir. I just said I'm not going to have any."

The last bit was punctuated with something that *might* have been a sniffle.

Hi, emotional minefield! The name's Jack O'Neill...

"Oh... geez. Um." Okay, Jack, no poking yourself with the barbecue fork, "This isn't about... y'know. The thing with Jolinar-"

"No! No..." She shook her head rather emphatically, much to her center of balance's chagrin, if the slight wobble of her body was anything to go by. Refocusing, she absently played with a tear in the plastic table cloth. "That's fine. I can have them, as far as I know, but..."

Why was he relieved? This had nothing to do with him. He was her commanding

officer. He had no reason to be panicked about this.

Chanting this continuously to himself, he set his barbecue fork on the cooler and moved to sit across from her. In the distance Teal'c unseated himself from his boulder and jumped - almost daintily - into the lake. The resulting splash was... rather impressive.

Both of them ignored it.

"But what? I think you'd make a good mom."

"Really?" She sounded pathetically hopeful, and the eyewidening would have been amazing if she hadn't sneezed.

Jack restrained his hands from reaching over and patting her arm. "Sure. The hypothetical non-kids would adore you."

"Thank you, sir. I really appreciate that."

He raised an eyebrow as she continued to worry the tablecloth. The rip was getting larger, and his brain was busy laughing at the parallels between it and their conversation. Stupid brain. "...but?"

"*But*," she let go of the plastic and glared up at the sky. Oh, yeah. Definite tears. "That still doesn't change the fact that I'm probably never actually

going to have any. Look, I'm thirty-five years old. I've had two boyfriends in the last six months, both of which have dumped me because out of those six months, I've spent maybe a total of three days with each of them."

Wow. Who knew panic and relief could mix like that in less than three seconds? And how had he missed the boyfriends? Was his finger not on the pulse of the SGC gossip mill? He and Janet were going to have a Discussion about keeping Certain Colonels In The Loop tomorrow, oh, yes they were. "Okay, but you don't need- "

"And that's just men! What would I do with kids? I lived the 'daddy's never

home' lifestyle. I can't do that to another person. I can't do that to myself. And even if I decided just to have one, and give up field duty, then what? Would I regret it?"

Then, she dropped her head on her arms and started in on the sobbing. He was so never letting her drink ever again.

Wow. Carter was crying. In front of him. He was so not good at this.

Awkwardly, he reached over and patted the arm closest to him. She sobbed a bit louder, and then his rather stalled brain (mocking to stunned shock in under a minute... had to be a new record) pointed out that he should probably say something.

"Um, you might," the sobbing got louder, "But you might not either! Look, Carter. I know I'm not the best example of fatherhood out there-"

His hand spasmed a bit on her arm, and then she was looking at him, all red eyes and soppy cheeks, biting on her bottom lip. "Oh, sir..."

"No, let me finish this," he shook his head and shot her a half-smile. He could do this. He could talk about... this. If it made her feel better.

Not that he really wanted to think about why he wanted to make her feel better about this particular subject.

And he really didn't want to notice that talking about this wasn't pushing all the normal hot buttons.

"Having Charlie was wonderful. And I'm not going to lie. Your father and I have more in common than I'd like to admit, and unfortunately, being gone is one of those similarities. Still, having him is not something I would have changed. And I can honestly say that if someone had offered to take me off field duty to

spend more time with him, I would have said yes." He trailed off, feeling more than a little winded.

"You would have flown a desk?" Her eyes were wide with surprise as she absently rubbed her nose on her fist.

He passed her a napkin. "In a heartbeat."

"Yeah." She glanced at him through lowered eyelashes. The effect was only

slightly detracted from by the large honk she made while blowing her nose.

"You're very convincing, you know."

"I'm a Colonel. I have to be."

Sam nodded and tucked the wet tissue in her back pocket. "I'll... think about it."

"Not surprising. You don't ever *stop* thinking, Carter." She was thinking

about it. Well, that was the best he could hope for. Besides, it wasn't like her having kids, or not, had anything to do with him. Right?


Okay, he had to stop agreeing with himself.

"Permission to speak freely, sir?"

He blinked and refocused. "I think that's pretty much a given, Major."

"Bite me."

Jack grinned and settled back against the bench to watch Teal'c enthusiastically dunk Jonas.

Yeah, it was a good day.