Disclaimer: Although I'm no longer convinced MGM deserves to own SG-1 & Co., it does not change the fact that they do, and that I do not. Sadly. So obviously this is not for profit blah blah blah.

Spoilers: Chimera for sure, eventually spoilers for Death Knell, Heroes, Lost City, and New Order.

A/N: There were some significant errs in the way the end of "Chimera" went. And I'm not even talking about the blow to shippers' hearts. Oh, and this is my first fic...be nice. ;p

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Ch. 1 - Not Gonna Happen

"Are you ok?"

"I'm ok, Are you ok?"

"Yeah."

"Well that's good."

"Oh god, Pete you've been hit."

"Carter?"

"It's Pete. He needs an ambulance! Just hang in there, ok?"

"Sam? What just happened?"

"I promise if you make it through this, I will explain everything."

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"You wanted to see me, sir?"

"Ah, yes come in, close the door, take a load off, et cetera, et cetera." Carter did so and then quickly covered the three steps to take the seat in front of Colonel O'Neill's desk, behind which he lounged with his feet propped up. Unsurprisingly, his yoyo was in evidence.

"So, Carter, have you had a chance to debrief Detective Shanahan?"

"Yes, sir."

"Good, good, when did he make contact with you, and what happened afterwards?"

Sam proceeded to explain how Pete had come up behind her just as she stepped out of the surveillance van on her way to intercept Osiris, and briefly described how he attempted to assist her in her attack. "Sir, I'd like permission to give Pete basic clearance about the SGC as I promised I'd explain everything to him if he recovered. After what he's seen I don't think he'll believe any cover story we concoct anyway. Plus, I think he can handle the truth and that we can trust him to keep it secret."

For several long moments O'Neill stared through her, as if what he would say next was written on her forehead.

"I see." Although from his tone it sounded as if he wasn't really sure he did. "Are you asking for a favor? Because as a rule, 'significant others' aren't ever told about what we do here."

Sam winced slightly, "I guess I am, sir."

"Did Pete have an explanation for his presence at our stakeout?"

Sam did not miss the subtle emphasis he put on 'our', nor the fact he hadn't given her an answer to her request. "Yes, sir. He said he was in the neighborhood, saw me, and came up to say hi." She shifted uncomfortably under O'Neill's continued stare as she realized two things. First, the excuse really was a cliché, and second, Pete had told her he was driving back up to Denver.

"I see," was again his answer. "Do you know a Special Agent Farrity?"

Sam frowned wondering as to what that had to do with this conversation, "No, sir."

The Colonel's voice took on a quiet, sarcastic edge. "Don't you think, Carter, that Shanahan's timing was a bit…I don't know…convenient? You did say he came up to you right as you were getting out of the van. So, when exactly did he see you? Were you also aware that his SUV was parked half a block up the street with an excellent view of our position? In it were a pair of high powered binoculars along with several recently disposed of sandwich wrappers and a warm coffee thermos. Furthermore, the day before yesterday a Special Agent Farrity with the FBI ran a full spectrum background check on you. Upon being questioned he revealed he did so at the request of a friend of his, one Detective Shanahan. Somehow I don't think we were the only ones on a stakeout."

Sam simply sat there, stunned. He'd done a background check on her? And had he been following her? There was no other realistic explanation considering his excuse and that he'd told her he was leaving for Denver! After a couple minutes of reflection, Sam realized her CO was still waiting for a response.

"Well, sir, Pete is a cop. I'm sure he was just curious and looking out for me." Although she quietly admitted to herself that didn't quite cover the fact that he'd misled her.

"I'm afraid that I disagree, Major. From an objective standpoint, Detective Shanahan has done nothing to warrant the trust you're asking the Air Force to place in him. In fact, he's coming very close to being a serious threat to security. And that is not something General Hammond or I appreciate." A quick stab of his finger further emphasized his point.

O'Neill let out a heavy sigh and scrubbed his hands over his face as he continued, "Look, Carter, I know exactly how you feel, I've been there. This whole secrecy…thing…really sucks. Unfortunately, that's just the way it is, we're just going to have to give him the 'national security' spiel and make sure he understands the consequences of discussing what he's seen. I can do that part myself, if you prefer?"

Sam slowly shook her head, "I'll do it, sir. I think I need to talk to him again anyway." And she realized she really did, Pete had a lot of explaining to do. All but lying to her, having a background check done on her, and following her. And all of this after the lecture he'd given her! Trust was a two-way street, and while Sam had been willing to trust Pete, it was becoming plainly obvious that he hadn't returned the favor.

"You're right sir, I'm sorry that he interfered…"

O'Neill raised a hand, quickly cutting her off, "Ah, ah! Shanahan's a big boy; he can be responsible for his own actions. So unless you did something to encourage his…behavior, you don't have anything for which to apologize." He paused for a moment. "Was there anything else I should know?"

"No sir, not that I can think of."

"Ah good, then I guess you can do…whatever and I'll just do paperwork, or maybe I'll go get some cake. Cake is always good..." he mused thoughtfully.

Sam gave him a small smile as she stood and headed for the door.

"Sam."

She stopped with her hand on the door knob and turned halfway to look over her shoulder at him with a questioning raise of her eyebrow.

"I really am sorry."

A frown creasing her features, she wondered what he was sorry for. For a brief moment she thought he was apologizing for throwing a wrench in her relationship with Pete, but that didn't make much sense, Colonel O'Neill was just doing his job. Pete's wrench was more than big enough on its own. As she looked into his deep brown eyes she could see his sincerity, and something else. Regret maybe? But what for? She wasn't sure although she got the feeling he wanted to say more. So she just nodded and walked out into the hall towards the room Pete was being kept.

Another thought hit her, she'd been so caught up in her worry over Pete's injury that she'd almost completely forgotten the initial question she'd had when she first saw him at the stakeout. What had he really been doing there? Sam shook her head at herself, was she really so desperate for a 'normal' relationship with a normal guy that she was overlooking obvious warning signs? Why couldn't she just find someone who trusted her, loved her for who she was, and wasn't prone to adding themselves to her list of dead boyfriends? Whatever…Pete had some explaining to do.

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A/N: There's a ficlet on this site called Full Disclosure by smalldiver that covers this same topic, albeit from a different angle. It was part of the impetus for writing this. Which says a lot as it takes quite a burr under my saddle for me to write something more than mere fragments (much less 'publish' it).