Disclaimer: Pretty much everything belongs to Gecko etc.

Many thanks to my new beta reader Abby, to whom I owe many, many Jack cookies.

A/N: For Suz, Dena and Cath, who all looked Better in Sam's Emancipation costume (not the blue dress.) than I did.

Fame and Fortune Cookies

Part One: Jack's House

"I'm not saying it's necessarily a bad thing," Jack O'Neill took a moment to glance up from his Game Boy to regard his friend. "I just think maybe she could'a picked someone a little more interesting than a scientist for her first date in years."

"He's a physicist too," Daniel Jackson countered. "They have a lot in common."

"He's a Particle physicist, she's an Astrophysicist. What on Earth could they have to talk about?"

Daniel didn't even bother to grace the Colonel with an answer to that bizarre logic. A simple raised eyebrow was enough to have Jack wincing. "Same thing?"

"Pretty much."

"I just think she needs to realise there's more to the male population than scientists." He put down his Game Boy and turned in his chair to face Daniel. "I mean, look at her past encounters." He ticked off the names on his fingers. "Narim was a scientific genius, Orlin somehow knew how to make precious gems out of kitchen equipment, and I swear she has a crush on Thor." Choosing to ignore Daniel's newest withering look, he continued. "In fact the only guy she dated who wasn't a geek woke up one morning and decided he was God."

Daniel stood and walked into Jack's kitchen in search of coffee. He was definitely going to need caffeine to get through this conversation. Tonight was Sam Carter's first official date in years and it wasn't with Jack. Subsequently, the Colonel had invited Daniel and Teal'c over for a 'boys night' that had involved promises of beer and poker, but had morphed into a melancholy moping session with the ditched half of the never-gonna-happen- whilst-the-military-has-it's-way non-relationship of the century.

Teal'c had the right idea, Daniel mused as he reached for the percolator. After the first hour of Jack's half-assed attempt at playing cards, he had made up some lame excuse about forgetting his Tretonin and left for the base. Right at this moment in time, Daniel would have given anything to have a substance addiction.

Coffee ready, Daniel slowly made his way back into the den where Jack was once again staring sightlessly at his computer game. "You want another beer?" he asked as he placed his drink on the table. Jack shook his head. "Nah, coffee's fine."

The Colonel nodded his thanks as he reached for Daniels mug, much to the irritation of his friend who decided that fetching another would involve way too much effort. "So what do you think?" Jack asked as he blew at the steam.

Daniel sat down heavily, exhaustion suddenly getting the better of him. "About what?"

"About Carter and all these scientists. You think I should say something? Suggest she start looking outside of Geekland?"

"You could have just said the scientific community," Daniel rolled his eyes at Jack's blatant insult. "And anyway, what makes you think you have the right to talk to her about her personal life?"

Jack looked incredulous. "I'm her CO Daniel. It's my job to look out for members of my team."

"You mean like the subtle way you warned me off Kira?"

Jack blinked. "Destroyer Of Worlds, Daniel."

Apparently Daniel was still a little sore on the subject. "Yeah, well, not anymore. Besides, it's not as if Sam's breaking any rules with this guy, and you know she's way too smart to let anything slip about the Stargate program."

"I don't know Daniel," Jack frowned. "She can get pretty emotional at times."

"She's as professional as you are, and you know it," the archaeologist replied. "And as for who this guy is, you and I both know there's no way you'll ever be happy with anyone Sam dates, no matter what they do for a living."

Jack just frowned, knowing he'd lost the argument. Daniel knew him too well to believe a lie when it came to his feelings for Carter. Just because they never talked about it didn't mean he was blind.

Daniel rose from his seat and looked at his watch. "I need to use the bathroom, but Sam asked me to call her cell phone about now in case the date was going badly," he glanced at Jack before heading towards the stairs. "Can you call her for me? I really gotta go."

"No problem," Jack replied as he hoisted himself out of the armchair. "And thanks for the update on your bladder control," he muttered, reaching for the phone.

Jack's mind was in a whirl as he automatically tapped in the numbers to Carters cell. What was he supposed to say? What if she was having a good time and he ruined it for her? Well, that one maybe wasn't so bad. Be better if she was having a terrible time."Hello?"

The sound of her voice on the other end stunned the Colonel into silence. Say something, his mind was yelling, but apparently the connection between brain and mouth had been severed.

"Daniel?" There she was again. Jack closed his eyes and tried to concentrate on the reason for the call. "Why are calling from the Colonels place?" Jack blinked, surprised at her apparent psychic abilities, then he remembered. Caller ID.

Modern technology. What a wonderful thing.

Jack nervously cleared his throat, which was apparently enough for Carter to recognise the voice. "Colonel?"

"Uh, yeah Carter, it's me." Was that his voice? When did it get all squeaky? Still, at least he had finally remembered how to talk.

Carter, however, sounded concerned. "Is everything okay?"

Jack laughed nervously, and then banged his head against the wall for sounding so dumb. "Everything's fine," he replied rubbing his head with his free hand.

"Really? Only I thought I heard banging."

Crap.

"No, I'm fine." A change of subject was definitely the way to go. "Daniel said you needed someone to call and he's. indisposed at the moment. So he asked me to do it."

"Oh," he could hear the uncertainty in her voice. "Well I'm glad."

Huh?

"Huh?"

In his minds eye he could almost see the Major closing her eyes in frustration. Strangely, it made him smile.

"I mean I'm glad he remembered."

"Oh. Well, is everything alright or do you need me to make up some emergency?"

Jack heard a sigh and immediately he perked up. "An emergency would be good right about now," she murmured. "But I don't think a call's going to be enough."

"That bad?" He was trying to keep the grin out of his voice. Seriously.

"Worse." There was a lengthy pause on the line and for a moment Jack thought maybe he's been cut off. "Carter?"

"Sir, do you think maybe. I mean, would it be too much bother if."

He hated it when she did this. Heck, he hated it when anyone did this. Why did people always find it so hard to just finish a sentence? "Carter."

Sam cleared her throat. "Couldyoucomegetme?" she asked in a rush. "I need to get out of here before I commit a felony and I've had too much to be under the limit." She paused, uncertain. "I'll pay for the gas," she added hastily.

Jack's reply was immediate. "Where are you?"

"That Chinese on 23rd. Mr Wang's or Wong's or something. I'm hiding in the bathroom. Are you sure you don't mind?"

"'Course not," he replied casually as he tried putting his jacket on upside down and tying his laces one handed. "I'll be there in 20 minutes."

Hanging up the phone he grabbed his car keys from the table and headed towards the door. "Where're you going?" Daniel asked, appearing in the doorway.

"I'm gonna pick up Carter. Apparently her date is a geek after all," he added smugly.

"Oh," Daniel replied nonchalantly. "You want some company?" he yawned.

Jack had never been so glad to see Daniel wiped out in his life. "Nah. You go get some sleep." Daniel nodded and grabbed his coat, then followed Jack out the door.

Jack unlocked the door to his car and climbed in the driver's seat. "You sure you're alright to drive?" he asked Daniel as he watched him do the same.

"Sure. We only had two beers each and that was a couple of hours ago. I'll be fine." He climbed into his own car and waved slightly at the Colonel as he pulled away and drove carefully and well under the speed limit towards home.

Jack watched him disappear around the corner then did a three-point-turn and peeled off in the other direction, heading towards the restaurant as fast as he could.

------------------------------------- Part two to follow shortly. Feedback is mandatory. You wouldn't want to make me cry, would you?