Title: Ambassadors to the Furlings
Chapter: 1 of ?
Email: The 'sir' thing just has to stop.
Spoilers: Set between Moebius Part II and the season 9 opener, so anything up to that point and season 9 speculation.
Archive: My Site: Yes
Anywhere else: Yes
Disclaimer: Not mine.
The Sir Thing
She had been standing out on the deck for twenty minutes when she heard the door open and then close behind her.
"You okay?" He asked, coming to stand next to her.
She nodded. "Daniel and Teal'c?"
She didn't need to elaborate on her question for him to understand. "They're getting ready to go back to the mountain. We were wondering if you were okay."
"I'm fine. Just needed to be alone for a while."
He nodded. "I can-" He hooked a thumb over his shoulder, towards the house.
He smiled at her, amusement dancing in his eyes. "You don't have to call me sir, you know. No longer your commanding officer, as of…" he checked his watch, "five hours ago."
She smiled back at him. "I remember." Her smile faded. "When do you leave?"
"In a coupla days. Got some stuff to do here first."
"Packing?" She asked.
He nodded. "Gotta give Siler back his wrench."
He smiled at her look of confusion. "I confiscated it when I made General." She shot him a look. "He didn't use it for anything!" He defended. "I think Landry should be able to handle it."
The door opened and Daniel's head appeared. "Uh… Jack, Sam? We're gonna head back to the mountain." He paused almost imperceptibly, "You guys okay?"
"See you guys on Monday, then. You are coming to the SGC before you go, aren't you?" He asked Jack.
"Yeah. See you Monday."
Daniel smiled at them both and ducked back inside, closing the door.
After a few minutes silence Sam felt Jack's eyes on her. "What?" She asked.
"Nothin'." He said, looking down at his hands resting on the railing.
"No, you were thinking something. What?" She repeated, firmer this time.
"It's just… are you sure you're okay?"
"I'm sure." She told him.
He looked at her for a moment. Then said, "Okay. Good." He regarded her for a moment. "I'm gonna go clean up. You want anything?"
"No, thank you, sir."
He winced. "Carter, you have gotta stop doing that."
"You still call me Carter." She pointed out.
"Yeah, but that's different." He told her. "Hundreds of people call me 'sir'," He opened the door, "but I'm the only one who calls you Carter." He went inside, leaving the door open. She could hear him collecting plates and glasses.
She smiled to herself.
He was right.
No one else called her Carter.
Thinking back, she tried to pinpoint when it had become the name that only he called her.
She shook her head, unable to remember.
It was nice to know that only he called her that, and to know that he knew.
But it would be wonderful if he called her Sam. Even Samantha.
It was silly. Something like that had no right to mean so much, to either of them, but it did.
One of them had to make a move to change something.
She sighed as she realised it was going to have to be her.
She walked into his house, finding him in the living room, tidying up.
He looked up as she approached him.
When she was standing less than a foot away from him she said, "I don't want you to go, Jack."
"What happened to 'sir'?" He asked, smiling softly.
"I think I might prefer Jack." She answered.
"Might?" He countered.
She just smiled at him.
"Beer?" He asked, heading up the steps into the kitchen.
"Please." She replied, collapsing onto the sofa, suddenly finding she was exhausted.
The past two months had been a blur for Sam.
Her dad's death.
Her break up with Pete.
Daniel's death and subsequent resurrection.
There had been lighter moments. She'd gone fishing with the guys and somewhere along the line a ZPM had turned up.
But the loss of her dad was still hard to deal with. His funeral had been especially difficult for her.
She had stood next to Mark and his family in silence as Jacob and Selmak were cremated.
Her façade only slipped at the wake, when Mark had cornered her and hissed, "Why did you have him cremated? Dad never told me he wanted to be cremated."
He hadn't been quiet enough.
Daniel and Teal'c were standing by the buffet table. Their heads snapped up at Mark's words.
Sam just stood there, unable to respond.
"Carter? A word?" General O'Neill's voice sounded behind her, his hand touched her arm lightly.
Sam turned to face him. She smiled up at him gratefully. "Sure, sir." She turned back to Mark, who was suffering under a stern glare from his wife. "Excuse me." She said.
Mark eyed Jack up darkly and nodded to Sam.
She turned to follow the General.
Just before they moved off she saw O'Neill exchange a look with Daniel and Teal'c, who began to make their way towards her brother.
"C'mon, Carter." The General said, leading her through her house to her spare bedroom.
She followed him inside and he closed the door.
"Sir?" She asked, raising her eyebrows.
"Let 'em talk, Carter. I'd rather they talked about… this, than about how you kicked your brother's ass at your dad's wake."
She nodded, seeing the sense in what he said.
She sighed, her shoulders slumping, and made her way to the bed, sitting down heavily on it. "He's just…" She broke off, unable to finish.
"He's grieving, Carter. And probably jealous. You got to spend so much more time with your Dad than he did."
"I know." She said, feeling choked. "I just can't believe he…"
She was crying.
In front of him.
He sat down next to her on the bed. "C'mere." He put his arm around her shoulders and pulled her to him.
"It's stupid." She mumbled into his shoulder.
"I wasn't lying before, when I said that I was… okay with dad dying, it was true."
"Carter… It was always gonna be hard, dealing with this. It always is. Doesn't matter if you're prepared for it, or if you're… not."
"I know." She said quietly, she had caught the undercurrent in his words.
"You could use a break." He decided. "You've got a lotta leave coming up."
She looked up at him, careful not to dislodge his arm from around her shoulders. Surely he wasn't going to suggest she stay home for the next few weeks? Alone?
"So… me and the guys are going fishing, wanna come with?" He asked.
Thrown off balance by his question, Sam was silent a moment.
"Carter?" He prompted.
"Sorry. I was just… trying to remember the last time you asked me that." She said quietly.
He held her gaze for a long moment.
There was a knock at the door and Daniel stuck his head in. "For crying out loud, Jack, did you even ask her yet?" He asked, exasperated.
Jack narrowed his eyes at his friend's theft of the expression and said, "Just waiting on an answer, Daniel."
Both men turned to look at Sam.
"Well?" Daniel asked impatiently.
"Daniel!" Jack growled warningly.
"Sorry." The archaeologist muttered to Sam. "Well?" He asked, softer.
Sam laughed. "I think I'd like that, sir." She said to Jack.
"Sweet." He replied, smiling at her. "So… tomorrow?"
She nodded. "I'll have to clear it with my CO first, of course." She joked.
Daniel grinned. "Yeah, 'cause you know what a pain in the-"
"Daniel!" Jack warned. He turned back to Sam. "I think you should go clear the air with your brother."
"Yeah, Teal'c's overdoing it with the looming First Prime thing, your brother will probably be grateful for the rescue." Daniel said.
She had smiled and gone to make up with her brother, the respite her friends had given her had allowed them both to gain some perspective.
They had gone to Minnesota.
It had been great. It hadn't surprised her.
One night, Jack had sat them down and told them about his reassignment.
Sam had sensed what it could mean.
But… the sir thing.
She had kept it up, afraid of what she was losing.
Jack reappeared and handed her a beer, derailing her train of thought.
"You're over thinking this." He told her, sitting down next to her on the sofa.
He regarded her thoughtfully for a moment. "It doesn't have to mean anything, you know." She gave him a blank look. "The whole reassignment thing." He clarified. "It doesn't have to mean we change anything."
She tried to read his expression and found she couldn't: his face was carefully blank.
"It does though, doesn't it?" She asked.
"Doesn't have to." He replied stubbornly.
"I want it to." She said, finding the words inexplicably difficult to say.
"I just don't want to…"
"Completely fuck it up?" He asked, the sudden coarseness making her chuckle. He smiled. "Me either."
"So… we take this slowly." She said.
"Very slowly, considering I won't be around a lot." He pointed out.
"I'm going to miss you."
She sent him a glare.
"Oh yeah, like I'm not gonna miss you." He said sarcastically. "I shouldn't have to tell you that."
"So… what now?" Sam asked.
"I happen to know there's a movie marathon on the TV." He said, reaching for the remote.
"Which movies?" She asked as he flipped the TV on and settled down on the couch next to her again.
"Some crap." He responded, eyeing her slyly. "Singing in the Rain, stuff like that."
She grinned at his teasing. "Its not crap."
"Whatever, Sam." He said, finding the channel.
As they watched, Sam laid her head in his lap, his hand coming down to stroke her hair.
"You really okay?" He asked.
"It's stupid." She said.
"I miss my dad." She replied.
"That's not stupid."
"It is. I hardly ever saw him anyway."
"It's not stupid." He repeated firmly. "You need to talk about it?"
She turned and stared up at him.
"I've got Daniel on speed-dial if you do. Teal'c's good for the talking thing too, if you can ignore the eyebrow."
"Shut up." She told him, laughing.
"That would be shut up, sir." He reprimanded.
"Shut up, Jack." She said, turning back to face the TV.
Monday was busy. Jack and Sam arrived at the SGC together, provoking smiles from the base personnel.
Jack had several meetings with General Landry and Sam had reports to finish and experiments to run, so they didn't see one another until the afternoon.
Sam was heading up the stairs to the briefing room with Daniel to invite Jack for lunch.
Jack was in the briefing room, sitting down with General Landry. The table was covered in SGC paperwork.
General Landry was looking ever so slightly uneasy about his new job.
Jack was watching him with an amused look in his eyes. "You think this is bad?" He asked the other General. "I'm goin' to DC. Think how I feel."
Landry chuckled. "Not like you to be worried, Jack."
"Worried? I'm not worried. Just… concerned." Jack said.
"Concerned? Why?" Landry asked, obviously glad of a distraction from the paperwork.
Sam and Daniel paused in the corridor outside, listening in.
"Why me?" Jack asked.
"You have to ask?" Landry countered, amused. When Jack didn't reply, he said, "Look, George Hammond obviously thinks you're up to it, or he wouldn't have nominated you. The president seems to agree with him."
"What do you think?"
"I don't know you as well as he does, Jack." Landry said.
"Don't give me that."
"I think they're right."
"Of course you do." Jack muttered.
"Not what you wanted to hear?" Landry said dryly.
"Its just that-" Jack's words were cut off by a blinding flash of light.
"Sam did you-" Daniel turned to speak to Sam, but she was gone too.