Title: 9.4 Seconds (One of the Many Lives of Samantha Carter)

Rating: MA

Warning: Dark Fic, Mirror Universe, Angst. Discussion/Memories include a previous Suicide attempt, and remembrances of torture and being a POW. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Cussing, And two mind-bleaching Squicky pairings, so keep your Clorox wipes handy if you decide to brave this story.

Geek!GirlSamantha was seen in Ripple Effect. She was the quiet one, wearing glasses in the scene with the multiplicity of Carters. This is her story.


Geek!GirlSamantha and her Colonel.

Vixen!Janet and most of the SGC.

Family!Man!GeneralJack and Mrs.General!Sara.

My apologies for any and all typos. My betas seemed to have overdosed on the mind bleach and have run screaming for the hills. I think that's a compliment?

We left Geek!Girl sitting at a table in a Thai restaurant with a few close friends, George, General!Jack and his wife, along with Daniel Jackson and a rather impish Janet Fraiser.

George continued to unthinkingly glance at his menu while Janet was relentlessly stroking his … howitzer… with her nimble hand. No doubt she was using her other hand on the General, and her feet were probably in Jackson's lap. Yeah, that was definitely Fraiser's modus operandi. Who else at the table possessed enough sexual self-confidence and carnal brazenness to taunt three men at the same table into climaxing at the same time?

In front of witnesses, no less.

Oh yes, for Janet, there had to be witnesses to see how she utterly controlled a situation.

He tried to ignore Janet's persistent hand, as he peered over the top of his menu to watch Samantha, wishing more than anything that it was her hand caressing him under the table, rather than the robotic Fraiser-o-matic hand job. No, instead she had her menu down on the table, and she was reading it. Samantha must have felt him watching her, as she looked up, and her cheeks turn ever so slightly crimson when their eyes met.

Goddamn it, behind those ugly glasses and oversized cardigans, Samantha Carter was beautiful. She had needlessly fretted that her inexperience would be a major turnoff for him, but her unquestioning trust in letting him do whatever he had desired had been a major ego boost and had led him towards new creative highs… depths… of sexual techniques.

Yeah, Fraiser's act upon hitting the 'Big O' was a well rehearsed performance, just like her hand that was perfunctorily stroking him. It was only natural, considering how Janet bed hopped as often as she did, that her attitude was a bit jaded. Janet would punctually call out his name after so many minutes of foreplay, writhe uncontrollably and shriek even while she bestowed upon him the requisite claw marks on his back, but Samantha… she wasn't a shrieker or a screamer, a clawer or a biter, she was Samantha.

Damn, he was going to actually break out in a real smile, remembering how Samantha had responded when he had gone down on her. He had held her hands in his and he had taken his damn sweet time, enjoying every single one of her soft sighs, low moans and feel of her body as she had quivered while he had licked, nuzzled, teased and sucked….

For a moment, he remembered Angie and their first night together, though it was the very height of rudeness to compare two women biblically. George had come to Angie's bed being the far more experienced in their pairing. He had been a strongly built Texan boy who had been guided through his first sexual encounters by a young widow while Angie had waited until she had met him. Vaguely, he remembered that Mrs. Richards had been a damn fine figure of a woman, who had taken a young Texas teenager by the hand and trained him in the basics. Angie, his dear sweet Angie, had then liberated him from his old-fashioned, conformist background and had delightedly taught him that 'twas no shame in physical loving between two consenting adults.

No sexual act was dirty or wrong, not if love, affection, trust and respect were involved.

There was disgrace and ignominy in his tawdry relationship with Janet, he had to admit. Desperately lonely, George had accepted her rancid leftovers and her picked over table scraps and he had wolfed them down, pretending that it was five-star meal. George had never dared to scrutinize his 'relationship' with Janet too closely, as he had known that he should have been goddamn ashamed and humiliated.

Samantha had a slight smile on her face even though she was just looking at her menu again, and he felt her bare foot begin to rub against his leg. She was doing so hesitantly, and then gradually growing bolder. George knew that he was grinning like the fool he knew himself to be, as he could guess how nervous she was about being assertive.

She'd be capable of turning men's heads and stopping them dead in their tracks, if Samantha ever developed even a modicum of self-worth. George wanted nothing more than to teach Samantha to stand tall and proud, to stop hiding her hands in her pockets and cringing away from conflict.

Damn it, Jacob had nearly emotionally ruined his daughter by crippling her self-esteem.

But Samantha was stubborn and fighter, and somewhere down deep beneath her cardigans was a woman determined to prove herself. In George's mind, the incident with Angie's handgun had left no doubts. After a series of disastrous handgun lessons from her father, Samantha hadn't stopped trying to learn. No doubt she had first flayed herself raw and castigated herself harshly for failing, but she had continued to study, determined to prove herself.

She knew the rules of handguns cold, sideways and six days to Sunday, all learned, no doubt, to earn her father's approval the next time he had taken her to the range. And Jacob had given up on her, declared her witless and worthless and had gone on to other more 'valuable' things.

Yet Samantha kept on hoping that one day; she'd earn her father's respect.

Meanwhile, Fraiser was still stroking, squeezing and caressing him, and he deliberately moved her hand away. Janet was naturally not dissuaded; the minx was determined to utterly embarrass him, and so she positioned her hand back into his lap.

Fortunately, the waiters came and the assorted misfits at the table placed their orders. He ordered the Gai Ob Pu Kao Fai, as he was feeling a tad bit reckless and he could just about TASTE the spiritual gasoline in the air. One small spark and everything would blow to Kingdom come, and there was nothing like ordering 'Flaming chicken volcano' to see how hot things would really get.

Samantha tried not to look at Sarah O'Neill but she just couldn't help it!

The General's wife was extremely pregnant, and Sam firmly warned her biological clock to stop ticking. When she was younger, Sam had dreamed of having lots and lots of tow-headed kids but she had gradually grown unhappily accustomed to the idea that she'd probably never have them. That not dating for YEARS thing had really put a damper on the possibility of husband and kids. Sometimes when she saw a happy mom with a young kid, the fact that she probably wouldn't ever experience that was like sandpaper rubbing her soul raw.

For a moment, she wondered what George had been like as a father. Had he been stern and strict? Or had he been a push over? Had he been able to tell his kids that he loved them and was proud of them? Yes, remembering how tenderly he had spoken to her when she needed reassurance, Hammond had probably been a devoted, loving father. For the briefest moment, she recalled the pictures of a younger, giddy George Hammond holding his granddaughter. He had been so happy and proud of that little life cradled in his arms.

What would it be like to experience with some… guy…, first hand, a love so profound that together they had created life?

Jonas… Jonas … he had often nastily commented on women who had let themselves go after having kids.

But how would another guy react? Would say… George… be proud of her burgeoning belly? If they went out in public, would he rest his hand on her belly, proudly proclaiming to all that he was the father?

Samantha looked up, saw George glancing her way, and she knew that she was blushing ever so slightly. What the heck was she thinking? Planning 3.2 kids, a dog and a house with a picket fence on her first real date EVER with a gentleman just screamed, "SINGLE, WHITE, EXCEEDINGLY DESPERATE FEMALE!" Hastily, Samantha looked back at her menu, pretending that she was debating over what she wanted to eat.

Instead, Samantha was deliberating about her next step. If she wanted those 3.2 kids, it was time to shake off her reputation of 'Little Miss White Bread'. Who wanted a bland, insipid and humdrum girlfriend? She needed to be spicy, a little piquant. Yes, she needed to be a little bit more like the fearless Janet!

Be bold!

She mentally rummaged through all the Cosmo articles she had industriously read on far too many lonely Friday nights. All of them seemed to preach the need for the successful female to be assertive on every occasion, especially when her lover wasn't expecting it.

She bit her lip, and tried not to smile too broadly as she slipped her foot out of her shoe. Glancing up, she saw that George had his chin on his hand and he was giving her a slight smile, as though gently encouraging her to be naughty. Rubbing her foot against his ankle, she gradually grew more and more assertive.

It was only a matter of time before the gasoline spontaneously ignited, all hell broke lose and the four Horsemen, trailing death, famine, despair, plague and other assorted nuclear disasters and holocausts behind them, began galloping through the restaurant. Janet was still stroking him and the rest of the boys. To George's disgust, Jack the lecherous rogue appeared to be caressing Janet's leg causing the minx to simper and sigh. The doctor was making a noticeable, Sarah Bernhardt endeavor to make it appear her 'spontaneous' noises were from her stomach lining corroding, nuclear spiced appetizer Num Sod.

Meanwhile George's hands remained firmly on the table.

How could ANY man cheat on his wife once, let alone repeatedly? His mind boggled at the thought of what little moral fiber General Jack O'Neill, the weasel, possessed, as O'Neill was cheating on his wife, in front of her, no less! That lack of respect was appalling enough as there were other people who could bear witness to what he was doing, but it was ten times worse, as Sara was pregnant.

It was utterly incomprehensible to him, as Angie had only gotten sexier when she was carrying.

His mind was a billion light years away, remembering the happiest times of his life when Angie was pregnant out to there, and sexy as all get out, when George came to the conclusion that he had to do something dramatic to still Janet and O'Neill's wandering hands. By what little hair he still possessed, he refused to be part of a table that sat silently while Sara O'Neill was publicly degraded and openly shamed by her husband.

If anyone had ever done that to Angie, he would have decked them.

Then again, if anyone had attempted to shame Angie like that, she would have clocked him, to hell with her very pregnant belly.

He never told anyone that he could still hear Angie's voice and that sometimes, he knew that she was speaking to him. To admit to anyone that you were hearing your dead wife's voice was a one way ticket back to Camp Mental Breadkdown. But sometimes, when he wished for guidance, he could hear Angie.

Now was such a time.

Jorge, eres siempre un romántico y Jack es una deshonra.

Therefore, while the table oowed and awed over his flaming, exploding chicken volcano entree that was merrily ablaze, that was heading his way, carefully being held by a waiter, George Hammond reacted. He clandestinely tripped the waiter. Instinctively, as it would have been far too late to react if he had actually comprehended that the burning delicacy was heading towards Sara and Samantha, he hit the tray hard with his fist, causing it to fly across the table.

Lord, he knew he had some heavenly help from an impish Angie, as there was no way in HELL, he could have deliberately aimed the smoldering poultry dish toward his superior officer. The flying fowl landed right in front of Jack O'Neill and then, teetering on the edge of the table for just a moment, fell into his CO's lap with an audible splat. Jack jumped out of his chair with a rather satisfying squawk even as everyone began throwing their water glasses on the General's crotch. Just to be helpful, Hammond grabbed two pitchers of ice water from a rather stunned looking busboy, and threw the icy-cold contents of one onto Jack's lap. The other he 'unintentionally' poured onto Janet Fraiser's entirely too hot crotch.

There was a moment of absolute stillness in the restaurant, as everyone and their mother were watching the disaster unfold before them.

George, his sixth sense having frozen him motionless as it just KNEW that this impossible situation was going to get much, much worse and he was best be prepared, was damn surprised that there weren't clouds of hissing steam rising from Janet's lap.

Waiting for the other shoe to drop, he wasn't too terribly surprised when Sara O'Neill grabbed the edge of the table and hissed. Everyone at the table forced their eyes away from Jack O'Neill's flambéed crotch in order to stare at Sarah's budding belly.

In the exceedingly small, sane section of his brain, George couldn't help but wonder exactly how pregnant the very expectant Sara was.

"When's your due date?" Samantha questioned in a rather strained tone.

"Four weeks," Sara gasped, before she hissed again.

The silence returned and continued to build. The diners at the other tables were still watching the train wreck unfold before them and in fact were so engrossed that several had their forks hovering halfway between their plate and their mouth.

"Twins come early… don't they?" Daniel asked slowly.

"YES!" Five voices answered that rhetorical question in unison. Doctor, General, pregnant wife, crazy colonel and freaked out Maître de. "SOMEBODY CALL FOR AN AMBULANCE."

After the ambulance left, complete with one burnt General whimpering from the pain and one pregnant General's wife loudly proclaiming that her contractions were merely Braxton Hicks and not to worry, the gang of four made their escape from the restaurant. George tipped generously, from the waiters to the busboys to the stunned looking coat girl. He even slipped an extra fifty to the waiter he had tripped.

He was glad to have escaped from the restaurant, as he had just known he was about to break out in laughter. Janet had stormed off to her car, looking like a wet, pissed off cat, complete with twitching tail, annoyed hissing and flicking of her nails. Daniel had followed behind her, chivalrously offering Janet his coat, little realizing that all too soon he'd be one of the many men discarded by Black Widow Fraiser, trailing in her wake, much like flotsam and jetsam thrown off the side of a boat.

Samantha had then shyly invited him to her apartment after he had driven her home, and so there he was, sitting on her couch while she grabbed two beers from the fridge. He snickered at first, then worked up to giggling, and soon he was roaring uncontrollably, thinking about how Jack O'Neill had gotten his just desserts… or in this case…a pitcher of ice cold water dumped on his head that did all his thinking. Samantha was obviously perplexed about his reaction, which made him laugh even harder.

He was near tears from laughing so hard and he couldn't stop. Every time he thought he'd stop laughing, George would remember the look of horror when Jack O'Neill thought his pride and joy was about to be flambéed.

His laughter… wasn't stopping. Yes, the incident had been funny, but not that funny.

Instead, he couldn't stop laughing.

Lord… he was cracking up, as once again, he realized that he couldn't stop laughing. His heart was racing, pounding, about to explode out of his chest, and George realized that his emotional equilibrium was about to break. All those years, since he was released from the Iraqi POW camp, he had repressed his emotions. No joy, no laughter, no sorrow, no grief.

Laughing had lit the fuse to the powder keg and he couldn't blow out the damn fuse.

O'Neill's look of stunned horror was soon replaced by memories of Angie during her first round of chemo treatments followed by the dark thoughts of that murdering scumbag bastard that had killed his family. He remembered his two daughters begging and pleading with him NOT to scare away their latest beaus and those two beautiful girls that would never ever run to greet him and cover him with the very best type of kisses, those special pawpaw kisses that had been reserved just for him. Those two young men that had taken his daughters from him, but in time, they had become the sons he had never had.

All dead.

Their deaths had left him with nothing but a shattered heart and a distinctively unhealthy yearning that he'd be buried along side of them in a nice little spot in Texas.

The laughter had changed to sobs, and he was weeping uncontrollably, lamenting all that he had lost and would never have again. His life was just so goddamn empty. All he possessed was a career which was stalled and full of coworkers that despised him for his emotional weakness.

Samantha was in the kitchen, grabbing two beers from the fridge when she heard George first start laughing. The Colonel had been remarkably straight-faced through out the entire fiasco at the dinner and had kept his head, crisply dispensing orders in his Texas drawl, while keeping the General's possible burns to a minimum and helping Sara O'Neill to the ambulance.

But now he was laughing.

It was a soft, rusty though infectious laugh that gradually grew louder even as she began to smile and giggle herself. The flaming Chicken in flight entree was pretty damn funny; she had to admit, though no doubt General O'Neill wouldn't agree as the piping hot poultry had landed in his lap. The Colonel was literally guffawing when she returned the living room, and he began roaring even harder at her perplexed reaction. He seemed to make an attempt to stop laughing, but he'd just started laughing even harder.

His chortling slowed and then to her horror, she realized that he was quietly sobbing. George turned away from her as though to hide his reaction. His quiet sobs turned to soul-shredding weeping, and she hesitantly sat next to him on the couch. She put the two beer bottles down on the table before reaching for him, carefully putting her hand around his back, and she tried to reassure him.

"I'm here… I'm here…" Samantha whispered.

He gave no sign that he heard her, but she continued to rub his back.

When his tears finally ceased, George wiped his eyes dry with a rough movement of his hands and he sighed.

"You know, people always talk about laughing until you cry, but that's the first time for me," he shakily admitted.

George didn't look at her when he said that, and he wore a twisted grimace on his face. Far too many people delighted in robbing George of what little pride he possessed, so Samantha let him have his lie, as she could tell that George was deeply shamed by his tears.

"Yes," she agreed. "It was extremely… funny."

Her calm acceptance of his lie seemed to ease his inner tension as his broad shoulders slumped.

"Thank you…" George whispered.

"Will you be staying the night?" Sam asked hopefully. She didn't want to sound too eager, but damn it, she was eager for another turn at bat. George had been so utterly correct that after she had made love for the first time, she'd be extremely enthused about a repeat.

"I don't think so." The Colonel admitted that slowly, still not looking at her when he spoke. "I think I better go home."

He turned toward her, and he placed his hand on her face.

"It's not your fault," George gently assured her. "Don't you even dare to think it. I know you are thinking it, but I want you to stop. It's just that I don't want to go too fast for you. Best thing for you would be to relax, get a good night's sleep and think about what happened between us. If you still want to see this ugly, spavined mule, you let me know, ok?"

"I want to see you again," she insisted. "I really do."

To her delight, George smiled at her, a real smile, and then he kissed her until she was breathless.

"Then tomorrow, when you see me, you need to treat me like everyone else does at the base," George reminded her. "I don't want anyone suspecting that we're seeing each other."

She began protesting, and he rewarded her protestations with a bitter smile. He placed his index finger over her lips to silence her.

"When Ferretti and Kawalsky make crazy Colonel jokes, you snicker. After Siler talks about his pools, you put ten bucks down on my next breakdown and as soon as Walter whistles 'They're Coming to Take Me Away', you laugh. You don't sit with me at lunch; you don't grace me with one of your dazzling smiles… You treat me with contempt and scorn just like everyone else does at the base."

"I can't do that to you!" Samantha protested.

"I don't want anyone treating you like they do me," George's voice was rough when he disagreed with her. "No one knows about us. No one. When I yell at you tomorrow, it's because I can't treat you any differently than anyone else. When I'm hard…"

"But I really like it when you're hard," interrupted Sam. She then blushed.

Her risqué comment stopped George cold for a moment, before he flashed her a very dirty grin. "Like I was saying, when I'm hard on you tomorrow, it's because I can't let anyone know how badly I want to debrief you on my desk. We'd have a long discussion with plenty of hands on R&D regarding our joint Top Secret project."

Samantha gave him a very shy smile, and blushed again.

"I want you to give me a thoroughly debriefing before you leave," she insisted. "I want to make sure that we go over everything… again… before tomorrow."

When she finished, she kissed him on his lips. Then, when he didn't protest, she deliberately straddled his lap, and kissed him again.

"I want my debriefing, Colonel."

For what seemed like an eternity, George just stared at her. Then he placed his hands around her, pulling her in closer for a kiss.

After he had thoroughly de-briefed the little minx, he was content to merely lie in her bed and try to catch his breath. They were snuggled together like two spoons in the afterglow, happy enough to sneak kisses and hold hands, when something grabbed his attention. George reached over Samantha and pulled out a piece of paper out of a drawer that Samantha had hastily shut earlier that evening. Actually, he had spied a photo on a magazine cover, so he ended up with the entire magazine. To his absolute complete surprise, it was Cosmopolitan.

He vaguely remembered Angie, complete with a Cheshire Cat grin, reading that trashy rag.

"Cosmo?" George questioned.

"Oh, give me that!" Samantha squeaked.

"You read COSMO?" George repeated in teasing disbelief, enjoying see Samantha squirm. "All this time I figured that you'd read Cosmology Today rather than COSMO."

He flipped open the magazine and began to read.

"George!" His lover protested.

She tried to rip the magazine from his hands, but he evaded her easily, and continued reading. Barking a loud laugh, he began to read one article out loud, "His Butt. What the size, shape and pinchability of those sweet cheeks reveal about his true self,"

George then gave Sam a devilish look. "You pinch my ass, I'm pinching your…"

"I read it for the makeup hints! Please… George… don't! Please give me back the magazine!"

"Let's see… there are a few pages that are have their corners folded over… let me see…what our apparently not so innocent Doctor Samantha Carter is interested in."

He flipped over to a random page and glanced at the tiny print. George had been truly enjoying the chance to tease her, but after reading the title on the page and seeing exactly what the article was about, he swiftly gave her back the magazine. Samantha was truly mortified that she had been caught having reading the article entitled "Zero to 55, How to get your Older Lover Speeding Past the Speed Limit".

"I'm just teasing you, dear. Please… don't get so upset," he whispered. "I'm sorry that I made you uncomfortable."

"It's only a magazine," she protested.

Yes, George knew that it was only a magazine, but still, it was amazing how fast Samantha dropped that magazine into the wastepaper basket.

"Dear, I don't deserve you," he told her. He gave her a long slow kiss to silence her protests, and then George began stroking her hair. "I told you that you wouldn't have to worry about my enjoyment. Today was all about you. And for me, it will always be all about you."

"I just…" Samantha tried to explain, but again he kissed her slowly to silence her protests.

"If you really want to learn how to make love with an older man, don't read that piece of trash," George tenderly suggested. "Some of those positions they'd suggested are just undoable unless you're a contortionist with a trampoline and I'd be liable to throw out my back. You don't have try to be sexy for me, girl. You ARE sexy. Even with your glasses. I must admit though, that I especially enjoy your oversized cardigans."

"My cardigans?"

Samantha obviously didn't believe him.

"Yes, because no one knows that underneath your too large cardigan, there lurks the body of a super model, and it's all mine for the lovin'…." He growled that last bit to her, and she squirmed in delighted embarrassment.

"Thank you," George said in a softer voice. "I was being haunted by some old memories… so I'm glad that the gorgeous super model felt pity for me, and took advantage of this broken down war horse."

Samantha's annoyed grimace for his self-deprecating comment made him stop and think for a moment. Then he propped his head up on his hand, and with his free hand, he grabbed Samantha's uninjured hand.

"I think I've talked more today than I have in the last few years," he admitted slowly. "I showed you my scars…. My physical ones, at least. Tomorrow, you get your wrist checked out by Fraiser, and I'll talk to Siler about him taking over your instruction…"

"Siler?" Samantha teased. "Not you?"

"Yes, dear old Sparky will teach you how to shoot."


"He's a good bookie but a horrible klutz. Usually gets electrocuted every so often. He's overdue in fact." Hammond barked another laugh. "So tomorrow, my place? 7 ish?"

"Sounds delightful," Samantha agreed. She contently snuggled back into the blankets, and she sighed, "You're leaving?"

He nodded his head.

"Now, turn around, girl," he roughly ordered, the effect of his gruff voice ruined completely by a rather lopsided smile. "I don't want you look at my cheeks and tabulating up their pinchability. Is there actually a scientifically formula for that?"

Samantha softly giggled and began explaining the Carter Rule of Pinchability, "You take Planck's constant, multiply it by the Golden Ratio, and using the circumference…"

The next day, George got to work early, just in the slight chance that O'Neill had taken the day off because of Sara's standing room only, command performance the previous night. He was the de facto 2IC of the base, though Hammond had long since accepted the fact that Makepeace or Reynolds would be running the base before he ever would. Yet, he sometimes wondering how he'd run the base. First things first, George vowed that he'd get everything ship shape and tidy, as O'Neill's lackadaisical attitude influenced everyone on the base.

To this day, even though he witnessed it on a daily basis, Hammond refused to believe that any member of the United States Armed Force would meander around a base wearing a tank top!

A tank top. What's next? Tye Dye?

Lord, if he ever ran the base, he'd make damn sure everyone wore shirts with sleeves!

To his disgust, O'Neill's pickup truck was in the General's regularly assigned spot.

Shit! You're even EARLY today, O'Neill! Couldn't you stay home with Sara for one goddamn day?

He caught Sparky in the hallway and had a quick conference with him regarding Doctor Carter's allegedly less than stellar marksmanship. God knows he hated to belittle Samantha, but he knew Siler was the Hedda Hopper of the SGC gossip rumor mill, so Hammond made a few derogatory comments about geeks with guns and flinching females.

"I can't hold her hand while I'm babysitting the rest of them," George growled. "That's where you come in."

Siler agreed, and before Hammond could finish the conversation, General O'Neill interrupted them.

"Colonel Hammond. Sgt Siler," O'Neill greeted them loudly. "Colonel Hammond, my office, five minutes."

O'Neill didn't wait for an acknowledgement, but instead the base's CO turned toward his office. The General walked away from them, and his stride could only be described as finicky and prissy, an almost mincing gait.

Hammond said not a word, but Sparky had no such qualms. The Sgt. sharply inhaled and then looked at Hammond.

"Is the General walking a little… odd… today?"

Sometimes having a reputation for being taciturn was rather helpful, especially when one didn't really want to admit to anything, Hammond thought. So he just shrugged his shoulders.

"Sit down, Colonel," Jack ordered when Hammond finally arrived at this office. "Close the door behind you."

The Colonel did so, and then waited for him to begin the meeting. Jack delayed speaking for a few minutes, hoping that the Colonel would become uneasy. When Jack finally looked up and acknowledged Hammond, he was frustrated when he realized Hammond's aloof façade hadn't cracked in the slightest.

"I'm sure that you're wondering why I called you into my office," Jack began slowly.

"Yes, Sir," Hammond answered easily.

"Did you …," Jack's voice was at first steady when he began to speak. Then his voice cracked from the stress, "DELIBERATELY trip that waiter last night so that flaming chicken dish would end up in my lap?"

Hammond stared at him. His icy blue eyes blinked in confusion, and then Hammond spoke.

"Sir? Are you accusing me of purposely and with intent, injuring my superior officer?" The Colonel's voice was composed, and George Hammond appeared to be the picture of hurt innocence. "I instinctively reacted when I saw that the chicken was heading toward your wife. I am sure that you would agree that if would be bad if Sara were to be burned; especially now, considering the fact that she is pregnant."

O'Neill sighed and then drummed a tattoo with his fingers on the desk.

"I didn't think you did it deliberately, Colonel. It's just right now I'm on pain medication and a lot of silverdene. "

Hammond said not a word, and then Jack dismissed him. The Colonel quickly left the room, and O'Neill continued drumming his fingers on the desk. He was expecting another visitor and he knew that she'd come to him. Janet always did.

"You didn't ask him if he did it on purpose, did you?" Janet cooed from the doorway. "Do you want me to check your burns? Make sure everything is working… properly?"

General O'Neill made a face at her, and then motioned for her to sit. Janet sauntered into the room, and crossed her legs just so. Her blouse was distinctively non-regulation, as the top few buttons were unbuttoned and her skirt was just a little too short.

She gave a dainty cough and smiled. When that failed to earn a response, she reminded him with a soft, "You wanted to speak to me, General?"

"So… there's a little romance among our geek corps," Jack commented slowly.

Janet, wondering for the first time if O'Neill's obliviousness was actually an act, leaned forward. She noticed without commenting that the General's eyes were firmly trapped in her cleavage.

Damn it, she thought, if O'Neill had noticed Hammond was sniffing around Samantha, her plans would be ruined, because O'Neill wouldn't be able to keep his mouth shut. She needed Hammond to become head of heels enthralled with Sam and only then would she destroy that relationship. If Hammond's relationship with Sam ended now, he'd be upset, she knew, but he wouldn't be 'sitting in the psych center nuts'. He called her a whore and had otherwise belittled her to Samantha, and Janet Fraiser was determined to break him into a thousand and one little pieces.

"Who is experiencing the pangs of geeky love…" Janet asked slowly. "Do I know the lucky couple?"

She was pumping him for information, not wanting to admit anything to the General.

"Dr. Carter and…"

Janet inhaled softly but O'Neill didn't notice.

"Dr. Jackson! I should speak to them, sternly remind them that fraternization is strictly prohibited in this man's Air Force," Jack snickered. "Except if you're me, that is. Then it is strictly encouraged."

"Doctor Jackson?" Janet questioned softly. "Doctor Carter is dating Doctor Jackson?"

"For crying out loud, Doc! You were at the restaurant last night," the General protested. "Do you think Blondie is dating Hammond? You certainly don't expect me to believe that, and that's far more likely than you dating Danny Boy."

The General barked a laugh, and leaned back in his chair. He moved a little too fast for his own good as he hissed from a painful reminder of his 'war injury'.

"Sometimes I'm so funny, I slay myself," he admitted with a dry laugh. "The very idea of Hammond and Carter? But that's no where near as hilarious as you and Jackson. No offense, but you'd have Jackson screaming for his mummy after a night with you. Pun most assuredly intended."

"What's THAT supposed to mean?" Janet questioned. Her tone was sharp, and she sternly warned herself to keep calm. She couldn't let O'Neill find out about her feelings about her sweet Daniel.

"Look at him; I doubt he's ever had sex. You'd swoop in; handle that particular matter with your usual panache, leaving Jackson huddled in the corner, comatose and drooling by the time you were done. Come on, Janet. I know exactly who and what you are. Janet Frasier doesn't bother with charity cases," Jack said.

Jack was smiling when he said that. Even after all the long months of their affair, Jack still never comprehended when he had hurt her with one of his witty smart ass remarks. It was though she was nothing more than a goddamn punch line!

Jack leaned forward, resting his head on his hands, and he gave her a long, lingering once over. To her surprise, Janet felt unclean. Normally, she just brushed off Jack's lecherous glances and ignored his inane innuendos, but today… she felt soiled by Jack's interest. For a moment, she felt as though Danny's arms were around her, and she could hear Danny's tender voice.

After they had first had sex, Danny had spoken to her in French. She had gigglingly admitted to him that she had taken only a semester or two in high school so she couldn't answer him in kind, let alone understand him, but that hadn't stopped him. Instead, he had gotten more and more effusive.

She could hear him, speaking to her so softly and gently, as though she was a respectable woman.

Ma chérie, Janet, Daniel whispered.

"I should be back to normal in a few days. Sara's cut me off, so why don't I schedule my physical therapy with you. That way when I'm healed, I can get my hands on treatment…" Jack paused and then he gave Janet his best smoldering 'I'm a sexual volcano' look.

Tu es pour moi la plus belle.

"Don't you have your appointment book? I forget, are Thursday nights still good for you? Or is that your Charity night for Hammond?"

Je respire l'odeur de ton corps.

"I still can't believe you actually bed him. One of these nights, you need to tell me why you keep re-inviting monosyllabic Hammond to your bed. You must be doing it for an ulterior motive, some sort of sneaky Janet Fraiser reason."

Hammond looked uneasy, standing at her front door, as though waiting for her to laugh and slam the door in his face. In one hand, he held a cellophane wrapped bouquet of flowers, and he nervously handed the bright blooms to her. 'I hope you like them, Janet.'

"You know, like secretly, you're laughing your ass off at Hammond. That must be it! And you just love the fact that he knows how you are, and he still comes crawling over broken glass, every week faithfully, just for a few short, sweet minutes in your bed."

Her lover's body tensed as she got him to the point where he was almost out of his mind in desire. Only then did she straddle her Texas cowboy to give him the absolute ride of his life. It was the first time George had bedded anyone since he had his breakdown upon learning of his wife's death, so she was determined to give him one hell of a long overdue Welcome Home, Solider. She teased, she taunted, she even yelled, 'Ride 'Em Cowboy!' until George's back arched even as he shuddered and gasped beneath her. Then his body relaxed. 'Thank you,' he whispered. 'Oh, Janet, thank you.'

"I know! He must be hung like a horse!" Jack laughed hard and the General slammed his hand on the desk as he guffawed.

Que mes baisers soient les mots d'amour que je ne te dis pas.

"Well?" Jack questioned.

Tes yeux, j'en reve jour et nuit.

"Can you pencil me in for Thursday?"

Janet, I'm not getting a divorce after all. Sara's gotten herself knocked up and I can't divorce her. But we can still meet, can't we?

"I'm extremely sorry, General. I already gave at the office." Janet Fraiser then walked out of his office, not waiting to be dismissed.

To her surprise, Daniel Jackson was waiting in her office for her. He held a takeout carrier with two large cups of Starbuck's Coffee and he gave her a big smile. She barely managed to restrain herself from reaching up and brushing his hair out of his eyes. Really, Daniel could be so much cuter if he got a decent haircut and got rid of those hideous sweater vests. Yes, maybe a nice buzz cut, a leather jacket and some tight jeans, Janet thought.

"I accidentally got two cups of coffee today," Daniel paused, and then realizing how inane it sounded. "Really, it was an accident. I thought why waste it, as you might like some."

"That's so sweet," Janet admitted.

"Ok, it wasn't completely accidental," Jackson confessed. "I really wanted to talk to you after yesterday."

Her heart froze, but she made herself appear uncaring. She reached for the coffee, and took a sip. The coffee was pitch black, without the faintest amount of cream or sugar. In other words, it was dark and bitter, just like her heart.

"What do you want to say?" Janet softly questioned, willing it not to hurt.

"On va chez toi ou chez moi?" Daniel asked. "After work, I mean."

She gave him a shaky smile as he had asked her in French, Your place or mine?

"Yours?" Janet requested. "My place is an absolute mess."

"Doesn't matter to me, just as long as you're there," Daniel confessed, before blushing. "Yesterday… that was …. Wow. Stuff like that usually doesn't happen to guys like me."

"What do you mean?" Janet asked.

"I mean Aphrodite was married to Hephaestus… but…", Daniel continued to ramble on for a few minutes about Hephaestus being a crippled, ugly god and Aphrodite being drop dead gorgeous.

Finally, she had enough. She didn't give a damn about Aphrodite, but if he was trying to tell her something, she wasn't quite sure.

"You think I'm pretty?" Janet finally asked.

"Oh GOD, yes," Daniel admitted.

"I don't think you're ugly….you're certainly not crippled!"

"Well, I'm not like the other guys here, you know like Major Coburn," Daniel explained. "You know, all the ladies think he's hot."

Coburn was one of her former studs in her stable. A lousy lover and an even worse conversationalist, it had been all about him and what he needed, and after a few disappointing sessions, Janet had never invited him back to her boudoir.

"Don't compare yourself to Coburn," Janet insisted. "You're a far better man that he could ever hope of becoming."

"I wasn't yesterday," Daniel admitted slowly. "It was wonderful… but I don't want you thinking that I don't respect you."

Janet put her coffee down, and she tried to reassure him.

I'm used to being treated like that…I'm the whore of the SGC, Danny.

But Daniel managed to speak first.

"You know, some guys, they just like an easy lay. That's just so disrespectful for the woman involved. I mean, yesterday was… incredible…." Jackson paused, but soon continued. "Oh God, it was so much more than incredible, but I want to take my time with you, and treat you like you deserve. I don't want you thinking that I'm just trying to get into your pants."

Tempted to quip a snarky comment about how she was actually wearing a skirt at the moment, Janet was stunned into speechless by Daniel's next sincere comment.

"You're a lady, and I hope that you'll give me another chance, so I can treat you like you deserve." He looked at her, giving her these sad puppy dog eyes, and then he whispered, "Please…. Please give me another chance, so I can make it up to you."