Disclaimer: Don't own 'em.

Rating: R. Violence, bad language, sex... Could turn some air blue.

Notes: A bunch of random drabbles set here and there, most have an episode title attached. Some are AU. Some are not as short as a drabble.

Spoilers: Everything up to Grace.

Archive: If you want.

Descending Ficlets

by Ana Lyssie Cotton

Episode insert: Children of the Gods

Moonshine, he'd called it. Sam Carter eyed the strangely shaped bowl in her hands. Even from a distance of ten and a half centimetres, she could smell the alcohol. It would probably not be a smooth burn down her throat.

But she had done rough booze before, and even if she sort of wanted a shot glass (it worked better for the kind of shooting she was about to do), Sam tightened her jaw.

And sucked in a mouthful of what could have politely been termed as battery acid crossed with paint thinner.

Surprisingly, she didn't implode. She didn't cough. And she didn't explode.

But she found herself bent forward slightly, gripping the edges of the impromptu table the 'kids' had erected. And breathing very. Very. Carefully.

"Ya ready, Carter?" Colonel Jack O'Neill turned to look at her, and then slapped her on the back.

A soft sound escaped her, and Sam really wasn't sure whether to dignify it by labelling it a whimper or not. But she certainly gasped in a breath and nodded, "Ready. Sir." Her voice sounded like she'd scraped it with a cheese-grater.

Not seeming to notice, O'Neill nodded in assent and turned back to get the attention of Dr. Jackson.

Later, she would wonder if that was the beginning of the end. If by some strange chance there had been something in the alcohol which weakened some inner wall of her emotional defenses. By then, of course, it was much too late to recover or retreat.

And, blithely inconsiderate, Jack O'Neill waltzed on through his life.

Never realizing that his completely normal treatment of Sam Carter as a simple human being had been her undoing.

If she had her way, he would never find out.

=-

Shortly after: Children of the Gods

"I wanted to dislike you."

"Mmm?"

She propped her hand on her fist and looked down at him. "When you were... an ass. I wanted to dislike you."

"Ah." He shifted suddenly, his lips turning into a smirk. "Couldn't do it, then, could ya."

Wistfully, she smiled. "No. I couldn't."

"Sam, I--" Suddenly disturbed, he reached up and touched her cheek.

"It's all right, Jack." The smile disappeared and she turned her head to nip at his fingers.

"Is it?"

She leaned down and kissed his nose. "Has to be. Sir."

=-

Episode: Emancipation

"Hey, Carter?"

Sam glanced over her shoulder as she unlocked her car door and found that her commanding officer was standing nearby, looking almost self-conscious. "Sir?"

He shifted, stuck his hands in his pockets, then looked around before leaning closer and whispering, "Erm... Carter?"

"Spit it out, sir." She demanded, exasperated.

"Are we, uh... okay?"

"Okay, sir?"

"Yeah, uh, after... y'know, mentioning the whole 595... thing."

"Ah." Rolling her eyes at his sudden transparence, she considered briefly, then shrugged, "I suppose we are. Sir."

"Good." He rocked on the balls of his feet for a minute, before looking at her with an almost boyish slyness. "So. Pizza?"

"Chinese."

=-

Episode: There But For The Grace of God

There's no time, really. She can't steal away with him to a storage closet, or plan that trip to Minnesota (complete with fishing). Instead she has thirty seconds to hold him tightly. To say goodbye. Because this is it. The end. She can feel it in her gut.

Her fingers slide into his hair for the last time, memorising the texture. The taste of his lips, the way there's that slight gap between two of his teeth. How his nose tilts just so, his eyes crinkle. How she never wants to give up kissing him. Even if it looks girly. How parts of her body fit so perfectly against parts of him.

And then that's it. There's no more time.

Dr. Samantha Carter, PhD, theoretical astrophysicist, watches the man she loves leave the control room. And knows they won't see each other again.

Ten minutes later she finds confirmation in a grenade.

-=-

Episode: There But For the Grace of God

"Self-destruct in ten, nine, eight, seven, six--"

The voice was calm amidst the sudden chaos. Monotone. Cold.

It was fitting that it should end like this. That his false god should find no sanctuary. That, for a moment, he might believe there was some different version of himself redeemed.

And, yet, he had still shot the man who would provide this salvation.

"--five, four, three, two--"

The dichotomy was not lost upon him.

But the man had met his eyes. And understood.

Teal'c, First Prime of Apophis, was dying. And he was dying free.

"--one."

-=-

Episode: The Serpent's Lair

She's never been one for big, sweeping statements. He knows that. Just like he knows that she likes the smell of cordite and chapstick, that white wine is not enough to get her drunk. And whiskey tends to leave her speechless. But, no, she's never been one for big, sweeping statements.

And it's not like this situation fails for them. Really.

Even if they are about to die. Even if the explosives they've laid to destroy this ship are about to detonate and take them with them. Because they weren't quick enough to get out. And, god. Maybe HE'S the one who should be into sweeping statements.

"Sir?"

"Carter?"

Daniel glances at them and rolls his eyes. "Would you two just get a room already?"

Teal'c raises an eyebrow.

"Daniel."

"Sir, it's not--Oh, hell."

And she's in his arms, his lap, their lips are meeting.

The charges go off.

Talk about explosive chemistry.

-=-

Episode: Secrets

"So... you wanted to be an astronaut."

"Mmm."

"Having been on the shuttle, would you still...?"

"Nope."

"Why not?"

"Too cramped."

"Point. Still... small spaces..."

"I prefer walking through a wormhole, Jack."

"That's good."

"Besides. I prefer you as a commander."

"Is that supposed to make me happy?"

"Well, it could make you sad. Of course, then I probably won't continue walking my fingers across your chest."

"Ooo. Hey. Compensation for thinking too much."

"You like it when I think too much."

"I do?"

"Oh, yeah."

"Oh. OH."

"See?"

"Uh-huh."

"Thought you would."

"So... You wanted to be an astronaut?"

=-=-=-=

Episode: Shades of Grey

She had watched him, in the briefing. Watched his hands and his shoulders. The way his neck muscles twitched. Jack O'Neill had long been a course of study for her, and this felt like a pop quiz that would be fifty percent of her final grade.

The hands gave him away. Shaking slightly, agitated, restless. They were always restless, but this was more so. As if he wanted to clench them into fists.

He'd been trained in black ops, trained to lie cheat and steal for the good of his country.

But three years at the SGC had changed him. Had erased some of it. Oh, he still could do it, probably.

And so Sam Carter watched her commanding officer dig himself a hole. And wondered what this price was bringing him. What the true goal was.

=-=-=

Episode: Shades of Grey

He hadn't been able to convince the General to let his team in on this scheme. He'd almost begged, desperate to not betray the few people he trusted with his life and... soul. Did he have a soul, anymore? Jack O'Neill really wasn't certain anymore.

But the General had been adamant. He was sure there was a leak from one of the higher SG teams. Which meant it could be in his.

There was no way. None. Not Carter, not Daniel, not Teal'c.

He had to lie to them, had to throw words in their faces that hurt, with razor-sharp edges. Carter hadn't even flinched. It had ripped something inside to say those things to her. Half-true or not.

So he lied with words.

But he still let his hands talk, too.

-=-=-=--=

Episode: Nemesis/Small Victories

Major Sam Carter is kind of nervous about her upcoming post-mission physical. She was gone for nine days, it's bound to be extra long, and they're gonna take lots of blood. And Janet will probably check her skin for bug bites that might become toxic. Even with reassurances, the chief medical officer of StarGate Command is going to do that. Because it's her job, and these are her people to keep healthy and safe.

And Sam so gets that. But she still doesn't really want anyone looking at her naked skin.

Because there's really no good way to explain the beard rash. Not unless she wants to fuel all the rumours floating over the base. And so she kind of hopes Janet just lets them off lightly.

=-=-=

Episode: The Other Side

On some level, Sam knows. She understands why the Colonel has done this. It doesn't make it easier to look him in the eye. It doesn't make it easier to hear the thump. Of course, there isn't one, not since this new iris was installed.

Trinium alloy is a bit denser. You don't get the constant bug-zapper effect.

And yet, she can swear she can hear it. What sound does a Eurondan dictator make slamming into an iris before his molecules completely re-materialize?

No answer to that.

So she looks to the Colonel. And she knows he can hear it too.

=-=-=-

Episode: Exodus/Enemies (where I noticed the weird look from her on the bridge of the ha'tak)

It's not often that she really pays attention to their desert gear. Normally, they're always in vests and jackets, and so she just doesn't... notice.

The colour isn't quite as orange, and it's not quilted. But the t-shirt still hangs like his tunic did, still makes him look like an absent-minded scarecrow. Makes her want to lean against him with a soft sigh, knowing that he will simply lean slightly into her.

But she can't be Thera anymore than he can be Jonah.

And so she doesn't often notice their desert gear...

-=-

Episode: The Fifth Man

Her hands were shaking.

In the walk from the briefing room to Daniel's cell, her hands had started shaking. And they wouldn't stop. Making an effort, she shoved them in her pockets. And briefly wondered if this was why the Colonel always had his hands in his pockets. Nah. He just did it so he wouldn't walk off with pens or things with shiny blinking lights.

The guard on the door to Daniel's cell nodded to her.

"Sam."

"Hey. They're gonna clear us to rescue the Colonel."

"Great!" He bounced up off the bed and came towards her. A second before he reached her, he stopped, looked at her. "You okay?"

"I just need a shower. Talking to slimeball colonels always does that to me," she joked.

"Uh-huh." He pushed his glasses up his nose, and nodded to the SF. "Well, how about after we come back with Jack."

"Yep. After."

The adrenaline threading her system was beginning to undermine the tight control she had on everything. Lips, eyes, shoulders, legs. Her hands were already outside of her realm now. But she wouldn't let it get worse. Couldn't. Because they had to go save the Colonel.

Her Colonel. Jack.

Who might already be dead.

Shit. Now her insides were shaking.

-=-=-

Episode: Between Two Fires

It took almost a day to get over the loss of the Tollan. But Sam Carter couldn't mourn an entire people. It was just too large a task. And after the creepy stalkerish nature of Narim's conduct (he made his computer sound like her, for cryin' out loud), she was only kind of sad he was gone.

So when she sat down at lunch in the cafeteria the next day, she was only kind of thinking about the Tollan. In an abstract sense.

And it wasn't until the Colonel stole a french fry from her plate that she remembered.

"My cat! Those damn snake-heads killed my cat!"

Three men eyed her for a moment, then O'Neill replied, "Cat, Carter?"

"Yes, sir. Schroedinger. Narim still had him, and... They killed him."

"Um. We could get you a new cat?" Daniel suggested.

"I don't have time to take care of a cat."

"Ultimately," Teal'c said, his voice calm, "Tanith is the one responsible for the death of Schroedinger."

"And, uh, Sam?"

"What, Daniel?"

"If you gave him to Narim, didn't that make him Narim's cat?"

"Well, yeah, but--" She glared at the archeologist. "Tanith killed my cat!"

"Uh, Carter," the Colonel gestured with another one of her french fries. "This isn't going to turn into one of those jaffa revenge things, is it?"

"I would be most honoured if Major Carter wished to join me in my revenge upon Tanith." Teal'c intoned calmly.

"And I might." She reached over and stole one of the Colonel's broccoli stalks, biting its bushy green head off savagely.

"Major--"

"Sir, they killed my cat!"

"Fine." He swiped another french fry and pointed it at her. "But you will not forget yourself to pursue this."

"Yes, sir." She snapped off a rather sloppy salute, then stole another broccoli stalk.

Daniel changed the topic of conversation. "So, Sam, about that device...."

And the lunch went on, they talked of other matters. And Major Sam Carter cosidered her options in plotting revenge against Tanith.

=-=-=

Episode: 48 Hours

She hadn't meant to leave the jello behind. Of course, she hadn't really wanted to eat it with McKay, anyway. But she'd wanted that jello. It was comfort food. The Colonel wasn't even there to mock her for her colour choice.

And neither was Teal'c.

No, Teal'c was stuck somewhere. And she had to deal with an arrogant asshole who thought he knew her stargate better.

And she'd left her jello with him.

Maybe the Colonel would bring her some when he got back.

=-=-=-

Episode: Smoke and Mirrors

Sam had considered changing out of her dress uniform before visiting the Colonel in jail. But he liked her in that uniform. And she knew it brought out the blue in her eyes.

Besides, it wasn't like she could climb across the table between them and straddle his lap. That was only the stuff of dreams. And maybe his fantasies. But that was for later. Much later. Like when he wasn't in jail for the murder of Senator Kinsey.

Still, a girl could dream...

=-

Episode: Smoke and Mirrors

You just know. It was something Sam Carter had said to him. And Agent Barrett realizes, suddenly, that it's more of a truth for her than anything else. Because he watches the team greet their commander, his name cleared. He hadn't meant to watch them like a hawk, but he'd wanted to understand her statement. And he gets the respect between the jaffa and O'Neill, the brotherly half-joking punch he throws at Jonas.

He also watches the not-quite-regulation look the Major and the Colonel exchange.

And wonders if he's the only one out there who just knows.

=-

Episode: Paradise Lost

Normally, she can do this. Normally, she can snap it all down into basics. Go to point A. If not A, then B. If not B, then C. And so on. But this time there's no starting point. They don't even know where the fuck Maybourne and the Colonel are. She can't even begin to guess where the doorway sent them.

Focus, Sam. You can do this. One step at a time.

And step one is to get every piece of diagnostic equipment to the other side of the gate.

Right.

She can focus on this.

=-

Episode: The Changeling

"I hear we were firemen."

"Mmm."

"Yeah." He shifted, hand trailing down her back. "Teal'c says I was the fire chief."

A chuckle answered him, then her lips touched his jaw. "Always wanted to be one, have you?"

"Could be fun. Fire engine, dalmation, big hose."

"Hrm." Blue eyes meet brown, amusement dancing within them. "Did I ever tell you I find firemen incredibly sexy?"

"No."

She raised an eyebrow, studying him critically. "I'm sure, of course, that it was just a passing thing. About three of my friends in high school were heavily crushing on the local fire chief."

"Fire chief?" He could swear that was a squeak. And he did not squeak. Really.

"Yeah." A nod, "He was quite a bit older than us. With dark brown hair, starting to silver, brown eyes, and this incredibly sexy smirk."

He narrowed his eyes at her, his idle hand beginning to move with purpose. "Really."

"There was this scandal, of course. He was a real maverick--tended to mock authority. We thought it was really cool." A smirk touched her lips. "Of course, we were only 16 at the time. So, what did we know?"

"Dunno." That hand was beginning to move with more surety, one finger tracing its own path along her skin.

And it was enough. She heaved in a shuddering breath and the blue of her eyes deepened. "Jack..."

"What?"

"That--" Her breath caught as his finger slid into her.

His smirk appeared. "Feel like remeniscing more, Carter?"

"No." Decisively, she moved, pinning him to the bed, legs straddling his thighs. His finger continued to move in and out, thumb brushing her clitoris every so often.

=-

Episode: Grace

"Jack."

She says it with the same tone that the other her did. It's been four or five years now, but he can still hear the relief and love. And it kills him to the core to know he can't respond. He can't go up to that bed--and, god, it's been hard to sit here and not move over and hold her hand. She's almost died. Again. And he can't even tell her that it feels awful. He can only look at her, then cough, and reprimand her gently.

Because this is his Sam. And he has no right to her.

=-

No specific episode.

=-

"Daniel, is there any planet where you don't have a girlfriend?"

"I'm deeply hurt, Jack. Sierjna means a lot to me."

"But," Colonel Jack O'Neill pointed out with irrefutable logic. "You'll forget her the next time something with boobs and legs winks at you."

"Not just anything, Jack."

"It has to be breathing." Teal'c confirmed.

=-

"Sir."

"Carter. Hi."

"Were you looking for me?"

"Um... Well, yeah, actually. Hey."

"Sir?"

"It'll come to me."

"Oh. K. Look, I'll get back to what I was doing and--"

"No! Wait. I've remembered. Have you eaten lunch yet, Carter?"

"Sir, it's dinnertime."

"Yeah. So?"

"...Yes, I've eaten lunch. Sir."

"So. Uh, dinner?"

"Not hungry. And I really should--Sir?"

"Yes, Carter?"

"You broke it, didn't you. Sir."

"Um... Maybe?"

"Sigh. Colonel, I would appreciate if you wouldn't touch anything when you're in here. There's very sensitive equipment, and... Sir?"

"It's all right Carter. I'll, uh, I'll go bug Daniel."

"Sir, I--Sir!"

"What?"

"I didn't mean to insult you, it's just..."

"I know. How about I get you some coffee, Carter?"

"That would, uh, that would be nice, sir. Thank you."

"All right then. I'll--go get you coffee. Maybe stop and see Daniel."

"You do that, sir."

"Carter?"

"Sir?"

"I really didn't mean to..."

"I know, sir."

=-

Sara would have been there, with a cold beer and a smile. Or maybe some pizza, a hug, and a deck of cards for that poker game. She would so kick his ass, and he'd end up naked under the table because it was strip poker. Or maybe... Nothing. He isn't sure anymore.

Instead, it's him, on his own, in an empty house that echoes with too many ghosts and memories.

But that, in and of itself, is good. Because it's over. He's done. The world is saved and everyone's a critic.

Even him.

And Jack so should know better. Really.

=-=-

"Hey. How come I never get a kiss for saving the world?" Colonel Jack O'Neill asked, eyeing Major Sam Carter with an almost wistful look.

"Uh," She ducked her head, then grinned. "That would be against regulations, sir."

"Oh. Yeah." He considered for a moment, then added, "So, if it weren't..."

"Well, yeah."

Jack considered this a bit longer. "So, do I have a backlog?"

"Considering how many times you've saved the world, sir?" The grin stretched into a smirk. "I'd say yes, sir."

"Cool."

-finis-