Title: Dichotomy

Rating: M (Mature teens, 13+)

Spoilers: Upgrades, Abyss, Ex Deus Machina

Summary: Opposites attract, but when good and evil merge there are dangerous consequences for a member of SG-1.

Author Notes: Sam/Baal pairing. I took the premise of Ba'al being on Earth from Ex Deus Machina and my muse is responsible for the rest. You've been forewarned about the pairing, too, so don't shout at me! (Hides under bed) My first prime will deal with any flames, so don't waste your time.

Disclaimer: All publicly recognisable characters and places are the property of MGM, World Gekko Corp and Double Secret productions. This piece of fan fiction was created for entertainment not monetary purposes and no infringement on copyrights or trademarks was intended. Previously unrecognised characters and places, and this story, are copyrighted to the author. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead is coincidental and not intended by the author.

Dedication: For Sarah, always.

Dichotomy

Copyright (c) June 2006, Ruth

(A Dichotomy is "a division between two usually contradictory parts or opinions")

As she pushed open the door to O'Malleys, Sam felt reassured by the familiar blend of noise, light and smells which had continually drawn she and her team-mates here for almost a decade. A rush of smoky warmth from the bar brought a flush to her cheeks, contrasting with the cold night outside.

Glancing around at the other people in the bar as she took her usual seat, Sam felt a twinge of regret. Sure, she loved the guys and everything they had shared over the past few years, but she couldn't help but feel that something had been neglected, wasted. It was something she might never be able to retrieve. At the present moment, she couldn't pinpoint exactly what it was, only that it remained important to her; an issue which needed to be addressed.

No, she thought, jerking herself from melancholy before she became too self-indulgent, it's been a hard week and you need a drink. Better still, you need to relax, get away from the job, and just be Sam for the day, not Colonel Carter. Which was easier said than done, she had to admit. Walking over to the bar, she had the most peculiar feeling of eyes burning into her back, but dismissed it as just that: peculiar; a result of being abducted and tortured by too many crazed lunatics, both alien and non-alien.

Ignoring her instinct, she returned to her seat, determined to attempt this "relaxation" that her ex- CO had so often banged on about. It was strange without him at the SGC; his constant interference in her lab, his monopoly of the commissary jello and his reckless disregard for authority. Casting her tired eyes over to the pool table, at the group of teenagers hooting and slapping each other on the back, she smiled at the memory of their own experience there, nearly six years ago. Anise's armbands had resulted in a helluva lot of trouble; Sam was surprised that they were still allowed in, after their alien-technology-enhanced fight with the pool table guys.

Taking a sip of her drink she sat back a little further in the chair, sinking into the soft leather with a sigh. She felt warm and safe here, in her corner booth, shielded from most of the other occupants of the bar. Happily unaware that her comfort and seclusion was about to be seriously compromised…

O

He studied her carefully over the rim of his glass. Yes, coming this close to Cheyenne Mountain had been a serious risk, one which his jaffa had repeatedly reminded him of, but now he was beginning to reap its rewards.

He was a gambler. Knowing enough of SG-1, he predicted that at least one, if not the lot of them (that is, those who remained after the departure of their beloved Colonel) would be here tonight. He smirked at the memory of his prisoner; such a strong and able warrior, famed throughout the universe and responsible for the deaths of many of his forefathers, had been so close to begging for death at his hand. The sense of power which rose within him at the thought of this was partially responsible for his bravado in venturing so close to Stargate Command.

Casting his eyes back to the solitary female in the corner of O'Malleys, he studied her with some interest. He had always viewed the SGC uniforms with a large degree of distaste, and now he could see what he had been unable to before. She wore knee-high suede boots with a long skirt that fell just below her knee. A deep red wrap-around top completed her outfit; sexy but understated, sophisticated but reserved. He liked it. Reflecting for a moment upon his non-existent love life, he took another sip of his drink.

He felt a pull of attraction towards her, there was no denying it, but he was placing himself in an extremely dangerous situation by even appearing in the same room as her. To make his presence known would be insane; his cover would be blown and his plans for Earth would be at an end. He was as of yet unsure as to whether this could all be risked for the sake of a female. Not just any female, he granted, but still, she was virtually insignificant in his grander scheme of action.

Still she had not noticed him. He was torn between the pragmatic and the personal; to gratify himself or to be cautious, to mind his long-term plans and bide his time, until the Earth would bow at his feet. He leant further back in his chair, observing his henchmen who were dotted around the bar, unbeknownst to Colonel Carter. He smiled in the knowledge that she was completely unaware of the situation she could so easily be placed in. With but one command he could bring the place to its knees, and her along with it.

He flirted with temptation a few moments more.

O

Reaching the end of her drink, Sam was continually pestered by her conscience; something was not right. It was a feeling akin to that when she could detect the presence of naquadah in a person's body, but it couldn't possibly be that feeling. She was on Earth; there were no Goa'uld here, no Tok'ra, and no naquadah. In fact, the only person exhibiting this trait was she herself, which left her feeling tired and even more confused. Maybe her senses were on overdrive, maybe she needed sleep or another drink, or maybe…

…just maybe, she was right?

Suspiciously she glanced around the room once more. She had kept her eye on a bald, short gentleman who had been hovering by the entrance to the bar for nearly an hour, and who had been making frequent eye contact with another at the opposite wall, by the back exit. Yes, she decided, something was definitely up. Her heart began to thump harder in her chest, and a feeling of fear mixed with irritation was building in her gut.

Just one night; just for one night she couldn't have the day off? Couldn't avoid the trappings of her work, the unusual occurrences, and the malevolent conspiracies? Slamming her glass down on the table she fumed quietly. Maybe this isn't to do with me at all; she thought, attempting to calm herself. It's a big bar, serves a large area of town - maybe they're undercover cops, doing a drugs bust or something.

It sounded pathetic to her even as she thought it. But what to do? She couldn't stay rooted to the spot for the rest of the night, but she wasn't sure of what would happen if she moved. Maybe she should just have another drink, she considered irrationally, the whole experience would be easier were she intoxicated.

No, come back to Earth, Sam said under her breath, reaching for her bag. First she should ascertain whether she in fact was under any sort of threat. Making as if to get up, she watched the bald man and his friend closely. As she rose, his head jerked around, but as he caught her eyes he attempted to look impartial, turning to look at a sign on the wall. Her blood ran cold. Oh, they were definitely after her.

Sitting back down with a thud, she swallowed and tried to kick her brain into action. Could she call Teal'c or Daniel? That would only create a scene, besides she wasn't sure if she should get the others involved; who would be left behind to…to find her if she…It didn't bear thinking about. She felt a flush rise to her cheeks and tried to ignore the pounding of her heart in her ears…

TO BE CONTINUED…

Author's Note: My first fic for just over a year - please feel free to send feedback by clicking on my name. I always appreciate constructive comments.