Disclaimer: Not mine. Set: Season 8, contains vagueish spoilers.
Rating: R. Sex, violence, snark.
Pairings: Pete/Sam, Jack/Sam, a bunch of strange ones in a mirror universe.
Archive: Anyone and everyone, yes. (SJFic archive, yes please)
Summary: And she thought she was insane before. Now the Jack O'Neill in her head talks back.
Notes: Large swathes of dialogue are literally from Ryuu and I going back in forth in aim. So you should all thank her. Lots. cackle In fact, the entire last half of this fic (where Jack has a beer) to the end was written entirely in dialogue-form, and then converted because there had to be a, uh, way for the conversation to, ah, work. Which is why the first half was written. g This is an unfinished story (or, the universe is unfinished, since this does have a kind of ending)
Pete note: I changed the ending of Chimera, slightly. Feedback can be sent to: and

Attached by Lyssie and Ryuu

It had seemed perfectly natural. Lieutenant Colonel Samantha Carter had always talked to an imaginary (then Colonel, now General)Jack O'Neill in her head when the occasion required it. He'd been a figment, made up of one dimension on a seven dimensional plain. Perfect for a sounding board, to bounce off command decisions. It was a cliche, but What Would Jack O'Neill Do? had saved her and SG-1 countless times.

And now that she led them, it still helped.

So, yes. It seemed perfectly natural for her to be muttering at him as she dodged around a corner in the temple and for him to answer back.

::I'm so SORRY to be a burden, Carter.::

Of course he was. ::After all, you're not stuck here, with five jaffa on your tail while Teal'c and Daniel get to the gate for reinforcements.::

::Well, no, of course I'm not.::

Rolling her eyes, Sam cautiously moved to the next corner. Drawing them off had been Teal'c's suggestion, but he was still recovering from the energy surge that had knocked the three of them out. For some reason, she wasn't as affected. Later, they could speculate on it being a function that only disabled males. Or something. Right now, she was worried about them getting home safely.

::Are you saying men are more susceptible to energy blasts?::

::Of course not.:: she snapped back. ::Now stop distracting me.::

::Why not? You're distracting ME from this lovely mountain of paperwork.:: He sounded as irritated as she felt.

And Sam Carter suddenly froze. Normally, a voice in her head didn't sound... quite so authentic. Or maybe this was some crazy side effect of the energy surge. ::Sir?::

::...Carter?::

Her eyes widened. ::What time is -- no, wait. Uhm... What is Walter doing right this minute?::

::Giving me a strange look and wondering why I'm muttering to myself.::

"Jaffa, kree!" The shout came from too close, and Sam swore.

::Be quiet, sir.:: With swift movements she made her way down two more corridors, narrowly missing two jaffa. If she had an idea how many there were, she might simply take them out. But there had been the noise of an alkesh, and that wasn't a good sign.

Really wasn't a good sign.

::Daniel just came through with a request for backup. Y'know, Carter, I think I saw a porno like this, once. This guy got telepathy, and--::

::Sir!::

::Carter?::

::There are staff blasts whizzing around my head. Shut up.:: Later, Sam decided, she could panic and demand to know just WHY the General O'Neill in her head sounded like the real thing. Later, when she wasn't worried about Teal'c or about getting her ass off of this forsaken ball of rock. And maybe he wouldn't court-martial her for the insubordination. She dodged around another corner, and they lost her.

Minutes later, he said, ::I'm sending SGs 12 and 17 to cover your six, Carter. Now get the hell out of there.::

::Yes, sir.:: Picturing a salute in her head, Sam ducked around another corner. ::Er, sir? How many jaffa?::

::Daniel said Teal'c guesses around five hundred.::

Well, hell.

Making her way back to the gate, Sam passed at least three platoons of jaffa. They weren't moving stealthily, and seemed to not be aware that she was there. Grateful for that, she eventually was crouched in the bushes nearby, and was thus there to watch the gate disgorge the two SG teams.

Knowing the way his brain thought, Sam scanned the scrubby brush until she found Teal'c crouched on the other side. Curiously, the jaffa hadn't appeared to investigate the invaders.

::Maybe we're getting lucky.:: She muttered to the Jack in her head. Clicking her radio twice, she saw Teal'c nod from the other side. Then she stood and stepped out, "Hey."

The two teams, which had been occupying themselves with securing the gate area, snapped around to hold their weapons steadily on her. Major Gavin Korr stared at her for a moment before saluting. "Colonel Carter. We were told to come through."

"Uh, yeah. Apparently, backup was a little premature." She grimaced and shrugged. "We got lucky."

A staff blast impacted the brush nearby, and Sam threw herself forward, turning around to fire at the on-coming jaffa. ::Ok, maybe not.::

::Didn't I tell you never to say that?::

::It's usually Daniel that does.:: She snapped back, ducking down behind the dhd.

::Well, don't you start saying it. I'd hate to have to call you Pollyana instead of Carter.::

::Thanks, sir. I'd hate that.::

::Yeah, you'd have to do your hair up in ponytails and start sucking on, uh, lollipops.::

She raised her eyebrows and nailed three jaffa in quick succession. ::Lollipops?::

::Yup.::

There was a pause as the jaffa seemed to be regrouping, and Sam jumped up and dialed home. They were probably regrouping so they could bring in the big cannons. Or something like that. Jaffa tactics tended to be: shoot until it's dead. Unless they were going to drag you before their God. And then it was: shoot until they're unconscious and injured. ::Let us in.::

::Would I let you splat against the iris, Carter?::

::I certainly hope not, sir.::

"I've sent the code, ma'am." One of the lieutenants from SG-12 said, his voice nervous.

"Good man. Now get your ass through that gate."

The retreat through the gate was fairly swift, with Sam and Teal'c being the last two people out. And they were running, staff blasts flying around them. She was shouting as she hit the ramp, dropping to her knees as the energy bolts sliced into the gate room. "Close the iris!" Three bolts impacted on the far wall, darkening the grey to black before the hissing scrape of the iris closing echoed.

::Gosh, Carter. It's almost like old times.::

"Sorry, sir. I didn't mean to get the gateroom shot up."

The General raised his eyebrows from the bottom of the ramp. "Infirmary for you, Carter. And then debrief in, uh--Walter?"

"Three hours, sir." The be-speckled aide said.

"Right."

::No hug, sir?:: Hey, if he was a figment of her imagination, she could make fun of him.

The General's eyebrows shot higher. "Uh. Right. Infirmary, Carter."

"Yes, sir." She tossed a really sloppy salute at him, then got up, accepting Teal'c's hand. She winced slightly. Her knees were probably bruised from the impact with the grating. And then there was the whole Jack O'Neill in her head thing.

--

The trip to the infirmary was brief, Dr. Brightman merely drawing blood, shining lights in her eyes and generally being brisk about things. Sam didn't mention either the knees or the weird mental hallucination.

::I'm a hallucination now?::

::Yes.::

Even the energy surge that had knocked Teal'c and Daniel out seemed to have done nothing to them. Sam pondered whether the surge could have affected her brain chemistry, then shook her head. This was just a really... ::Sir?::

::I'm kind of busy signing papers, Carter.::

::Um...:: Pausing as she stepped into the locker room, Sam poked at the voice in her head.

::Ow. What'd you do that for?::

A shaft of pain made her stagger, and she sat on the bench, wincing. ::Oops. Sir, shouldn't we, uh, mention that this is happening?::

::Oh, that'll go over well. 'Hey, Doc, Carter and I are talking telepathically to each other.' Think she'd lock us up in the same room?::

Rolling her eyes, Sam got up and began getting her shower stuff out of her locker. ::I suppose you're right.:: She sighed and unbuttoned her shirt, hanging it inside the locker.

::I am always right, Carter.:: He sounded smug.

::Really? I'm sure I could come up with lots of times you weren't.::

::Hey! No under-cutting your commanding officer, Colonel.::

::Sir, yes, sir.:: Her boots thunked into the bottom of the locker and she was halfway out of her pants before she narrowed her eyes. ::Can you see what I'm thinking?::

::Nope. Only,:: there was a pause, and then, ::when you 'say' stuff.::

Hrm. She carefully arranged her pants and dumped her underwear into the net bag in the back of the locker. ::So, this is more of a... like standing in a room with no one else around, and the sound very low.::

::Something like that.:: He was distracted.

::In a briefing, sir?::

::SG-19. Dr. Kinnrough could give Daniel a run for his annoying and boring money.::

A grin stretched her lips, ::Ah, sir. You're not giving poor Miles a chance. He's a very fascinating man and can go on at great length about his favorite subject.::

::Rocks.:: Her CO supplied sardonically.

::Bingo.:: The water was too cold, so she turned the knob. ::You could be stuck with Dr. Felger and his stick figure gate mechanics, sir.::

::Oh, the horror.::

Turning her face up to the spray, Sam smiled. ::Now go back to paying attention, sir. And stop doodling in your notebook.::

::Hey! I'll have you know these are perfectly legitimate sketches.::

::Homer Simpson beating Miles with a doughnut is NOT a legitimate sketch.::

::D'oh!::

Amused at the fact that she knew him so well, Sam chuckled and began lathering up. ::Sir? I'm going to stop talking to you now.::

::You're abandoning me?::

::Yup.::

::Heartless woman.::

Pausing to grab her razor, Sam snorted. ::I'd rather not nick myself, sir. Besides, you have a facility to run, remember? You can't get caught talking to yourself. Imaginary friends isn't a good excuse when there have already been imaginary creatures that were on another inter-dimensional plain.::

An exaggerated sigh echoed in her brain. ::If you insist.::

::Besides, you don't have the brain power to multi-task.::

::Mocking your commanding officer is a sure way to get demoted, Colonel.::

::Uh-huh. Not when it can't be proved.:: Smug now, Sam finished scraping the soap and stubble from her legs and simply stood under the water, enjoying the feel of the heat pounding into her muscles.

::Trying for that room with the rubber walls, Carter?::

::I'm not speaking to you until the briefing. Sir.:: She turned off the shower and grabbed the towel.

He didn't reply, and she felt strangely bereft for a moment until she remembered that she wasn't supposed to be able to talk to her commanding officer with her mind. So she began thinking about that, what could have caused it, whether it was all in her head or not. And if Daniel or Teal'c had the same condition. Probably not. Neither had mentioned it, and, well, she hadn't 'heard' them. Just the General.

It was very strange. And somewhat disturbing to know that Jack O'Neill was now simply a thought away. Probably.

--

So she wasn't going insane.

Probably.

::Carter?::

The debriefing had gone well. SGs 12 and 17 had given their small reports, Daniel and Teal'c had given their's. Sam had added in her opinions that the temple might bear some further interest, but that at the moment it was over-run by jaffa. There weren't any readings taken on the energy surge that had knocked them all out, although Dr. Brightman hadn't found anything that indicated they were injured (not even the normal residual buzzed effect a zat blast left on their cells).

All in all, it had been splendidly short.

With commentary.

So she wasn't speaking to him, except vocally, and she wasn't being anything but perfectly civil.

::C'mon, I'm sorry I made you chuckle when Major Kincaide was giving her report.::

"Daniel, Teal'c, with the General's permission, I'm putting us on downtime for the next two days. The both of you are not allowed to do anything remotely work-like."

The two nodded in acquiescence. Carter thought that the two team-leaders of SGs 12 and 17 were giving her slightly odd looks, but they probably just were surprised that SG-1 was taking downtime after such a short (and easy) mission. And while normally she would have objected to being told to not work, Sam was beginning to feel oddly disturbed about having Jack O'Neill in her head. Or near enough as to be in her head. If that's what it was.

Maybe it was just proximity.

::You came through loud and clear from that planet, Carter.::

Damn. ::I'm--:: not speaking to him. Right. She narrowed her eyes at him and collected her papers. It was time to go home and pretend that the day was over (or had never happened. She was kind of enjoying that thought. The day never happening would allow her to prop her feet up and watch bad TV). She'd made it to the door, trailing the others, when he called after her.

"Just a minute, Colonel Carter."

When the others had disappeared, she turned back to him. "Sir?"

"This, uh..." he gestured. "Thing. It won't..."

"Get in the way?" She raised an eyebrow. "I think I can pretend that I can't talk to you telepathically. Since, theoretically, it's impossible."

"Ah. Right then." A nod, then he half-smiled. "Have fun on your days off, Carter."

"Thank you, sir."

--