Title: The Regs
Author: Annerb
Email: PG, mild language
Summary: The regs are gone, so why is Sam not ecstatic?
Classifications: S/J, Humor, POV
Spoilers: None
Season: Season 7ish?
Archive: Yes, SJD and Heliopolis
Disclaimer: The characters mentioned in this story are the property of Showtime and Gekko Film Corp. The Stargate, SG-I, the Goa'uld and all other characters who have appeared in the series STARGATE SG-1 together with the names, titles and backstory are the sole copyright property of MGM-UA Worldwide Television, Gekko Film Corp, Glassner/Wright Double Secret Productions and Stargate SG-I Prod. Ltd. Partnership. This fanfic is not intended as an infringement upon those rights and solely meant for entertainment. All other characters, the story idea and the story itself are the sole property of the author.

Author's Note: Special thanks to Montage and Starr!

Feedback: Always appreciated!

/The Regs/

You've always hated the regs. Okay, so hate isn't exactly strong enough. You despise them. Loathe them. You hate them so much that you once considered taking your anger out on your copy of the little black regulations manual. Contemplated tearing it apart page by page and then watching it slowly incinerate in a merry little bonfire in your backyard. It would be nothing more than a cathartic, feeble protest, but you were almost convinced that it might make you feel better for a little bit. After all, you absolutely detest the regs. If you are secure in the knowledge of one thing, it is that those stupid rules are to blame for absolutely everything wrong with your life.

Understandably, you are completely shocked when you realize how wrong you have been after all this time. You don't actually hate the regs at all. You love them. They are the greatest things in your life. In fact, if it were legal for a woman to marry a book rather than another person, you would be in Vegas in the blink of an eye. You are convinced that they are the most wonderful words ever committed to the page.

It only took you two weeks to come to this realization. The two weeks since you stood on a podium before a crowd of SGC personnel and made a very appropriate speech, with just the right amount of humor, about what a great commander Colonel Jack O'Neill was, to be exact. Two weeks since he learned that his knee had finally had it and that he would never be cleared for field duty again. Two weeks since he refused a job behind a desk, positive that he could never handle all the paper cuts. Two weeks since you became Lt. Colonel Samantha Carter, commander of SG-1.

Two weeks since you panicked at that thought of being alone with him for even five minutes and rushed out of his retirement party without even saying goodbye. All followed by two weeks of unanswered phone calls. Two weeks of telling Daniel to just shut the hell up and keep his nose out of other people's business. Two weeks of Teal'c eyebrow-ing you at every moment. Two weeks of trying to pretend that nothing has changed.

Two weeks. Fourteen days. Three hundred and thirty-six hours. Twenty thousand one hundred and sixty minutes. Not really a lot of time if you think about it. But it is long enough without the regulations in your life for you to realize that you absolutely love them and that you can't exist without them. Where are they just when you need them? You find yourself holding tightly to the little black manual, willing it back into your life.

Why do you love them so much all of a sudden? At first, you just can't say. They're just so nice! So clear and precise and easy to understand and easy to follow. With the regulations around, you never have to question the status quo, you never have to think of the right thing to say, you never have to worry about what will be said back to you, because the lines are carefully laid out in permanent ink. They are binding; they are law. They are unchangeable. They are simple and safe. You really are quite enamored of them. Unfortunately, your stalwart love seems to have abandoned you just when you need them most!

You really need them, too, because as the clock ticks towards eight, you know time is literally running out. Daniel has given up on actually getting you out of the house. He's finally gone to the extreme of inviting himself, Teal'c and one Colonel O'Neill, retired, over for a team/friendship/bonding night at your house. You seriously debate just not being there when they show up, but a quick glance outside confirms that Daniel isn't taking any chances this night. You can see him sitting in his car across the street, blocking your escape route. The damn man really does know you too well.

You can already feel the panic descending on you as you continue to clutch the manual to your chest. Part of you is aware how crazy you look, standing in your living room holding a book as if it were a shield. But the rest of you understands how much you need it and you really don't care what you look like. Daniel finally comes in as the clock chimes eight, putting a placating hand on your shoulder as you stand motionlessly in your entryway. He seems blissfully unaware of the high-pitched ringing sound that is beginning to give you headache. You assume that the sound must just be in your head.

Before you know it, all of your guests have arrived. You still haven't moved and now he's standing in your house, looking warm, handsome and so inviting. The chaos in your head is getting louder and louder and blackness begins to creep in at the edges of your vision. As you begin to pitch towards the floor, you are vaguely aware that you are having your first full-blown panic attack since you were a cadet. You're disgusted at your weakness even as part of you is fascinated by the physiological attack on your body. The mind really is a powerful thing, you muse. Little pinpricks of light invade your sight and then you find relief from the chaos in total blackness.

You're wide awake now and he's holding you, looking at you closely and you can tell he's wondering just what the hell is wrong with you. It's been two solid weeks since you've had any contact with him and now, upon seeing him for the first time as your not-commander, you pass out. You desperately want to confide in him, to have him hold you like this forever, but you are still dizzy and every instinct is telling you to run for your life. With complete dismay, you observe that you are still holding the manual and that it hasn't escaped his notice either. Funny that you didn't even lose your grip on it while you were passing out. He gently tries to take it from your hand, but you just cling tighter. He's never seen you this panicked before and you can tell he is beginning to be seriously concerned for your sanity.

Then it hits you, that you, Lt. Colonel Samantha Carter, scourge of Goa'uld everywhere, gun-toting, physics-rewriting, all-around kick-ass soldier, just fainted dead away at the sight of your best friend, former commanding officer, man-of-your-dreams. You realize in that moment just how messed up you really are. The transference of your affections to your beloved rules is also beginning to become clear. Where Jack is tumultuous, unpredictable and erratic, the regulations are simple, straightforward and completely unthreatening. With them, your life will always be on even-keel. You can't even begin to predict or understand a life without them, let alone a life with the man so gently holding you now. But suddenly, sitting there feeling like a complete and utter fool, you desperately want to know that life.

He's too surprised to stop you from dashing out of his arms and you're out of the room before he can even call after you. Not much time passes before you charge back to him, supplies in hand. Before he even has a chance to say anything, you push the items you have brought into his hands. He looks at you like you are insane, glancing from the little black manual to the can of kerosene. You hope that he can read the symbolism and understand that this is you letting go of the things that have held you back. It is time for you to burn in effigy the representation of your mindless fear of things unregulated. You hope that doing so will let you leave safety behind and step out into the unknown. Maybe he reads the hope in your eyes and after a long moment, you are convinced that he actually does understand.

He looks affectionately at you, grabs your hand and says, "Come on, Carter. We can have a nice little bonfire out in the back." You smile gratefully at him and after a moment of body-seizing panic, you finally get your foot to take that first giant step. As you take that fateful step, you realize that you have been completely wrong about the regs. You don't hate them and you don't love them; you have just always used them as a safety net. But now you are finally ready to let them go. Suddenly you are Sam Carter, flying without a parachute, and you can't wait to see how it turns out.