A Cosmic Smack in The Head

Written and archived originally on G.W. August 2006.


Lt. Col. Samantha Carter stared out of the briefing room window at the Stargate. No matter how much she struggled, she just could not make sense of this. She'd been the last to enter the gate, and the only one to come back through to the base.

Only this wasn't her base. This wasn't even her reality.

The Special Forces personnel had their weapons pointed at her as she had stepped onto the ramp. As no one lowered when they saw her, she questioningly looked up to the control booth, only to see herself looking back down. Both Sam faces mirrored the shock.

After having her checked over at the infirmary, Colonel Carter was escorted to the briefing room where the other Sam, Brigadier General Samantha Carter, had told her what had happened on this end. The gate in this reality had sprung to life without warning. No incoming dialling sequence, no whoosh, just a sudden event horizon. There was no time to activate the iris before Colonel Sam appeared on the ramp.

The General, weird to think of herself that way, had gone off to supervise some gate diagnostics and left her there, guarded by two very stoic looking SF's she didn't recognize. One stood at the back wall near the stairs to the control room, the other near the stairs directly across the windows looking down into the gate room. The Colonel had offered her assistance, but it was declined. Apparently this reality had also experienced difficulty with other versions of themselves.

Sam, General Sam that is, had explained to Colonel Sam that SG1 were currently off world on a mission to ensure that there were no more Ori controlled worlds in the galaxy (apparently this reality was winning the fight).and were not expected back for at least 48 hours. The team consisted of Mitchell, Daniel, Teal'c and Vala. Apparently, in this reality, Samantha Carter had been promoted six months earlier and was now in charge of the SGC.

Sam, Colonel Sam, would just have to sit tight. Sam had so many questions she wanted to ask herself. The foremost was what strategy against the Ori incursion had this reality used? It was obviously working. The second, more personal one, was who had placed the wedding band on her finger. She tried to banish the thought. Since breaking up with Pete, Sam hadn't looked back or questioned her decision. Her only regret in the area of her personal life, if she took the time to admit it, was--

"Hey babe, whatcha all geared up for?" Jack, dressed in civi's, came strolling through the General's office into the briefing room. "Thought we agreed...no more off worlding for you."

Jack came up fast and grabbed Sam in a bear hug, planting his lips on hers before she had time to react, explain or protest. Not that she was sure she wanted to protest.

"Sir!" spoke up one of the SF's. Too late.

"Ahem," from General Carter, now standing at the back stairs, arms folded over her white shirt, eyes gleaming angrily.

"Ah..." Was all Jack could stutter as he looked from the woman he had just kissed back to his wife.

"Can you tell the difference? I can't tell the difference," he tried to joke.

When he saw his wife was not amused he finally muttered, "Oh crap, I hate this stuff."

Realizing he still had her in a hug he let go of the other Sam. Knowing better than to say anything out loud he let his male mind play with the possibilities for a moment, then gave his head a shake.

Colonel Carter tried to recover, but wow, what a kiss. Her one regret. Letting him go. Okay, not so much letting him go. More like never getting him. Well, her version of him. Sam tried to push the recent memory of the feel of his arms around her, his lips pressed to her's, his tongue entering her mouth--

She turned and saw General Sam watching her knowingly. Colonel Carter uncontrollably blushed.

"Not your's in yours?" General Carter enquired with a full smile and a hint of mischievousness. "Too bad, don't know what you're missing."

"And don't even think it," the General stabbed sternly in her husband's direction before he had a chance to gloat at the compliment.

He at least had the good sense to try and look innocent, but Jack knew Sam saw right through him. He shifted uncomfortably and thrust his hands in his pockets.

General Carter quickly brought her husband up to speed on the Colonel's arrival. Colonel Carter explained that she had been on a recon mission with SG1 trying to find weapon's to combat the Ori. The planet they had visited was one from the Ancient's library (uploaded from when the then Colonel O'Neill had his mind overtaken by the knowledge). Both the General and Jack nodded. It had happened here too.

The Planet had been barren. Nothing but the Stargate and DHD in the middle of an arid desert. They had done a brief check and then decided to return home. Daniel had dialled; Mitchell and Vala went through first, followed by Daniel and Teal'c with herself entering last. Instead of finding herself home with the others though, she was here. Alone.

The two Sams began to talk animatedly, trying to come up with possibilities as to why and how, as well as possible solutions.

Jack watched them go back and forth with their theories then decided to cut them off. "Well, I can see you twoare busy. I'll just..." he began heading for the door."See you at home...later." And with that he was gone.

"You two? Married?" asked the Colonel staring after Jack, somehow feeling more alone now then ever with his departure.

"Six months, he retired, I was promoted, we married," the General answered matter of factly.

"Why?" Colonel Carter blurted out.

"Why!?" the General laughed as she strode to the head of the table and took her seat. "You know why. I could tell by the look on your face after he kissed you how you feel about him, er, your's...whatever. Me, I got tired of A.U.s that seem to have us together, but not in my reality. I never got over the feeling that something somewhere was trying to tell me something. So, when he was transferred to the Pentagon, I made my move. He was too chicken to make the first move."

Colonel Carter smiled and took a chair near the General, her back to the window. Her Jack (funny how she thought of him as her Jack) would never make the first move either, and Colonel Sam had never built up quite enough nerve to go after him. Her one regret.

"I heard that!" yelled Jack's indignant voice from somewhere down the corridor, causing one of the SF's to snicker. "Wasn't chicken! Was respectful!"

"I knew you were listening!" the General yelled back good naturedly. "Thought you were leaving? Either leave, or get back in here. You might be of some use."

"Might be? Might be!?? Oh I'm so gonna get you for that," Jack barked from wherever he was hiding.

"I'm counting on it," General Sam retorted with a chuckle and a wink to Colonel Sam before dismissing the SF's.

While waiting for Jack to stroll back in the General turned her attention once again to the Colonel.

"So, to recap, there's nothing wrong with the gate. No unusual power readings or fluctuations from this end. Quite simply, the gate came to life and spit you out here. The question is why? And so far we have no explanation. Needless to say, we don't know how to send you back, which means there's the issue with entropic cascade failure..."

"I know, I know," replied Colonel Sam.

"Why not send her back through to where she started from, let her dial home, and retry?" asked Jack simply. "Maybe the gate'll figure out the error and fix it on it's own."

Both Sams stared at Jack sceptically.

"What?" said Jack taking a seat beside his wife. "Stop looking at me like I'm a moron. Both of you. It's bad enough when there's only one of you doing it."

"I doubt it'll be that simple," responded General Sam. "We need to figure out why it happened in the first place, then try to reverse the process."

"That's what I'm sayin. Reverse the process, send her back and try again," suggested Jack again. "Look, you said there was nuthin wrong on this end. No obvious energy spikes, or whatever, with the gate, right? Maybe it's a simple gate error you can't detect and it'll fix itself."

Both Sam's looked at each other. Both with the same oh brother look on their faces.

"Or maybe it's that something somewhere is trying to tell her something. And until she gets it, she can't tap her heels three times and go home," Jack cracked off with a wink in the Colonel's direction.

"Jack!" scolded the General. "You're not helping. And don't flirt with—well--never mind."

"Whoa, now hold on a minute. Why does everything around here have to be a big cosmic deal," Jack defended his position. "Ok, well, usually it is. But hey, why not something simple and easy for a change. You always thought there was some cosmic force trying to put us together, and here we are."

Looking at Colonel Sam, Jack continued, "you and me...your reality?" he asked using his hand to indicate between them.

"No," Sam answered honestly.

"Where am I? Him? The other guy? I hate this crap." Jack brought his hand up to his forehead as though trying to swipe away the confusion.

"Washington," Sam replied with a chuckle. If he was like her Jack this alternate reality stuff was making him squirm quite a bit.

"You wanna be with me?" Jack surprised her by asking.

"Listen buddy!" warned the General.

"Easy, you know what I meant," Jack placated his wife. To the Colonel, "You want to be with the other me? Your...me? This is really confusing."

"Look, I know you're trying to help, but I doubt this has anything to do with my personal life. And to be honest, I'm not sure I'm comfortable talking about this, with, well...you," Colonel Sam couldn't help but cringe slightly as she felt the heat rise to her face. "I'm a little surprised that you seem so comfortable with it. My Jack..."

"Well, get over it. Your Jack eh? You and I, um, well, she and I have become a lot more comfortable talking about...stuff." Jack advised warmly. "Ok, I know you two super genius' are gonna knock yourselves out over this, sooo, I'll be sleeping alone once again," the last phrase was said with a not so playful glare at his wife.

Continuing he said, "But I'm telling you it might just be that simple. You were the last to come through according to you, and the only one to end up here. So listen to me, or not, but when you two are tired of trying everything else--call me--I'll be at home. Dreaming. Twins."

Jack started chuckling and almost ran from the room, avoiding the briefing folder he knew his wife was going to throw at him.

The two women sat and listened as Jack's laughter faded down the hall. The silence between them becoming awkward.

"How did you manage to hold back the Ori?" Colonel Sam finally broke the tension.

"It was close there, for awhile. And it wasn't us that stopped them. It was the Furlings. The Asgard were able to make contact and the Furlings have a weapon. Doesn't kill them exactly, but repels them, sort of like a bug zapper effect really. Keeps their followers away as well. I don't know how it works. I'm still trying to make sense of it. I take it though that it's not the same in your reality?"

"No. We haven't met the Furlings. And I'm not sure we're going to win this time," Sam admitted sounding somewhat defeated. She was beginning to feel defeated at every turn lately. Well, at least she finally got a real kiss out of Jack, sort of. Now she might never make it back. She had, what, forty eight hours in this reality? Focus! She scolded herself.

Colonel Carter hung her head down and tried to think her way out of this. The General watched her closely.

"What if he's right?" General Sam asked.

"What?" the Colonel looked up confused, so lost had she been in thought. Going over in her head everything she knew about quantum theory, so she genuinely didn't know what the General was getting at.

"Hear me out," General Sam began. "What if he's right? What if this isn't some fluke, but some sort of cosmic knock on the head? I'm not saying I believe that, and frankly I'm surprised the idea came from him. Mr. Romantic he's not, but--"

The General saw the look of doubt on her alternate self's face. Then she continued, "ok, well even if it has nothing to do with how things are meant to be for...us...let's say. Maybe he's right about the solution. Over the years I've learned that he has a way of breaking the most complex problems down and finding, well, the simplest solutions. Ones that against all odds actually work."

"Ya, I know what you mean," laughed Colonel Sam. "I think that's part of the reason I love..." Sam stopped before finishing that thought.

"Ah ha!" Jack came stomping back into the room, a huge grin on his face. "I knew it."

"You sneaky rat bast..." started the General.

"Language dear. I so hope you realize that's twice today I caught you on the same fake out," Jack shot back. "Oh, and I will remind you of that Mr. Romantic he's not crack later. You know, when you get that warm fuzzy feeling. I'll just go watch Homer and the gang."

"Sure you will," the General replied doubtfully, almost daring him.

"Ok, I won't. But I will after, instead of that cuddling thing you like to do," Jack smiled wickedly.

General Sam looked over at the Colonel who had turned red and let out a little laugh. At her husband she directed, "Or that snoring thing you like to do."

"Ouch," Jack feigned a hurtful look.

"I thought you went home?" the General continued.

"What? And miss the double mint twins. Okay, seen it before years ago, but I wasn't married to you back then and didn't know..." Jack was stopped as the General threw her pen at him.

Jack's boyish grin was infectious and Colonel Sam couldn't help the little fluttering that started in her stomach. He was just like her Jack, yet more open somehow. The antics between her alternate self and this version of Jack was refreshing. Yet for her, it was also depressing in a way. It wasn't her reality. How she wished it was. To have him, her him, be this playful and comfortable with her, well...

Jack took a seat beside his wife and looked at the alternate version of her. She seemed- sad. Was it because of him? The other him? Or lack thereof? Pretty unlikely, and yet.

"Miss me? I mean him?" Jack asked the Colonel.

She just looked at him with her sad doe eyes, not answering.

"Look, we all know I'm not as brainy as you two. And this cosmic knock on the head stuff, I don't really believe it, just sayin, for the record. But I don't see why you two aren't even considering the possibility of sending Sam number two back to the starting point and trying it again," Jack pressed.

"It's unlikely it will work, there are just too many variables, and the unique way the gate activated..." General Sam tried to explain it to him but was rudely cut off, not like that didn't happen often.

"Fine, whatever. Look everyone's tired. Let the Colonel get some sleep, you come home with me, and we'll knock heads over it again in the morning, How bout it?"

"I am tired," Colonel Sam stated. "Exhausted really."

"Good," stood Jack. "That settles it. Everyone get a good night sleep and we'll start over tomorrow."

Colonel Carter saw the look Jack threw the General and instinctively knew there wouldn't be much sleeping going on for awhile at their home. A flash of jealousy raced through her but she managed to suppress it. Imagine, here she was, jealous of herself.


At 07:00 the following morning Colonel Carter was escorted from her guest quarters to the briefing room. She hadn't slept at all. But it wasn't her predicament that had caused her sleepless night. It was imagining what kind of life the alternate Sam and Jack had. How happy they looked together. She thought of her Jack and how much she missed him. Everything about him. Before she knew it, morning had come. A small breakfast of coffee, toast, and fresh fruit salad had been brought to her cell, er, quarters at 06:00. And now to try and find a way home.

Already seated at the briefing room table was General Carter and Jack O'Neill. The two were in what appeared to be a quietly heated discussion, but Sam noticed their hands were touching. Again she felt a brief pang of jealousy.

The General looked up and saw her alternate self enter the room. "Dismissed," she directed to the escort. To Sam she offered a seat.

Colonel Carter took a seat opposite Jack who smiled almost affectionately it seemed at her.

"Jack seems convinced we should at least try his way first, before looking at other options. I'm not sure I agree, but for reasons of--marital harmony," the General threw a glare at her husband. "I'm willing to try it if you are."

Colonel Carter considered the option seriously for a moment then spoke.

"My only concern would be if the same planet in this reality isn't as innocuous as it is in mine. Is it possible to send a M.A.L.P through first?"

"That goes without saying," the General answered. "And I would send a team with you. You would dial home first, then when the gate deactivated they would dial home."

"What if it works, but too well, and your team becomes stranded in my reality?" Colonel Carter continued without allowing the other two to answer. "No, it would only make sense if I go alone. If the MALP indicates the planet is safe then risking one person is more acceptable then a team. In any event, I don't belong here so if it doesn't work, and we can't find a solution, then..."

General Carter knew exactly what the Colonel was referring too. Her alternate self would be dead within days if she stayed in this reality, and she could lose a team if she sent one along with her. Still, sending someone off world without back up went against her grain.

The trio fell silent. Jack watched the two women carefully. One the love of his life, the other, well, likely the love of his life in another reality. What if he was the other Jack? What would he be doing or trying right now to get her back? What would be going through his mind?

"Then that's what we do," Jack spoke up. The General looked over at him in surprise.

"I know I don't have the authority anymore and am just a consultant in this," Jack continued without looking over at his wife. "But it's worth a shot, and I think before we waste more valuable time we should at least try it. If the MALP shows any potential threat we'll scrub, or send a team with her. But if all looks good I think we should go with it."

"Agreed," the two Sams said in unison.

"I'll need the coordinates," the General requested. Colonel Carter quickly drew them on a piece of paper and slid it over to the General.

"I'll go make the arrangements. You two wait here," the General said as she stood. Before exiting the room she looked at her husband and instructed simply, "Behave."

Jack smiled as he watched his wife leave to arrange Colonel Carter's return home. Sam squirmed a little in her chair, looking down at the briefing folder. Slowly she played with the pen in front of her, not daring to look up and across at him. She knew he would be looking at her.

"Look at me," he gently coaxed after a moment.

She did. Her heart leapt, so like her's he was. His soft brown eyes looking at her so compassionately.

"If this works," he started, "promise me that if I'm there when you get back you'll tell me- him-everything."

Colonel Sam opened her mouth to protest but he didn't give her a chance.

"If it were Sam, my Sam, instead of you, I know I'd be there. Married or not, together or not. A freak accident with the Stargate involving her, being stranded, captured, or worse, and alone...I'd be there. Nothing on this planet, or any other, would keep me from getting there and trying to find a way to get her back. And I wouldn't give a rats ass how it looked to anyone else."

He stopped briefly looking down at his hands and sucked in a breath.

"She's right. I was a chicken. Didn't have the nerve. Didn't think she was still interested. Didn't think I was good enough. Take your pick, but there it is. I can't imagine...scrap that...I don't want to imagine what it woulda been like if she hadn't hit on me when I left for Washington. Poor smuck must think of you every day and wonder if he ever really had a chance. Probably kicks himself for not retiring sooner, for not getting up the nerve to at least talk to you about how he- felt. Politicians, paper work, desk, and no Sam. If he's anything like me, his life is hell. Take a chance on me. You got nuthin to loose, and I, he, has everything to gain."

"What if he's with someone else now?" whispered Colonel Sam.

"Won't matter. He'll be there. And if he is, he wants you. Tell him, he'll be yours."

"MALP shows a deserted planet. Well at least no immediate threats around the gate," General Carter announced as she came up from the back stairs. "Looks like you have a go Colonel."

General Carter looked between the other Sam and her husband.

"Everything alright?" she asked. "He has been behaving himself I hope?"

"Stop!" answered Jack with a chuckle. "I'm always on my best behaviour around you, any of you."

"That's what I'm afraid of," responded his wife with a knowing look.

"No, it's fine," replied Colonel Carter. "He was just giving me a pep talk."

"Oh no!" General Carter exclaimed horrified. "I'm so sorry. Should I get you some anti depressants now?"

Both Colonel and General Carter began to laugh. Jack however looked less than amused.

"Hey!" yelped Jack looking genuinely hurt.

The two women laughed all the harder at his expression. Finally he began to laugh with them. After all, he wasn't exactly known for giving inspiring pep talks.


Twenty minutes later the three were standing at the bottom of the gate ramp, the event horizon twinkling.

"So how we gonna know if this works?" Jack asked the General, having a brief moment of doubt about his plan.

"When Colonel Carter exits the gate on the planet we'll get video feed from the MALP. When the gate shuts down, she'll dial earth, hopefully it won't gate back here when she does, but to her reality. We'll give it five minutes, then dial back to see if worked. The MALP will be recording video the whole time that we can playback. It's your plan buddy," she finished, giving him a little punch on the shoulder.

"Well if it doesn't work, thanks for trying, and I'll see you both again. If it works, another of General, uh, Jack's aced plans," Colonel Carter added.

"Yes, well, I do what I can," Jack replied mock sheepishly.

Jack looked at his wife, who nodded approval, before stepping forward and givingColonel Carter a hug.

"Good luck," he whispered in her ear. "And promise me."

"I'll try, if he's there," Colonel Carter responded quietly as she broke away from his embrace. "Thank you."

Turning she walked up the ramp and stepped through the event horizon.

"Report Sergeant," General Carter looked up into the control booth at Sgt. Harriman.

"Nothing yet ma'am. The MALP is showing the gate active, but no one has stepped through. She should've been there by now," Harriman reported through the microphone.

Jack and Sam watched as the gate shut down.

"Think it worked?" Sam looked up at her husband.

"I hope so," replied Jack quietly.

They waited five minutes then redialled the gate. Remotely they played the video back. Despite the wormhole connection, there was no evidence to show that Colonel Samantha Carter exited the gate in this reality.

"So, wanna go make out in your office?" Jack whispered in Sam's ear.

"You so wish buddy. Nope, I think you're taking me to the Com for some Jell-O."

"You are such an expensive date," he joked.

"You know it, and so worth it," she smiled lovingly at him.

General Carter had seen a glimpse of what she would be without him. Career still in tact, but such soul reaching sadness and loneliness in those other blue eyes. She was glad she had chosen a different path. Gently she reached up stroked her husband's face.

"Yes, you are," was all he said.


Upon exiting the gate Colonel Carter looked around the arid desert. There was no sign of the MALP her alternate self had sent through.

"Oh boy," she said out loud, and taking in a deep breath she dialled home. Ruling out the tapping of her heals, she repeated there's no place like home, three times in her head.


"Unscheduled off world activation," Sgt. Harriman spoke excitedly into the microphone. A brief pause, then "Receiving SG1 IDC."

It had been almost twenty four hours since the disappearance of Colonel Carter. SG1 had returned safely from a recon, with the exception of one Samantha Carter. Landry had ordered the planet re-dialled almost immediately, but there had been no sign of the Colonel.

Experts had been working around the clock trying to figure out what had gone wrong. A team had been sent back but had found no trace of either the Colonel or alien involvement. One tech opined that it could've been a gate malfunction, in which case, Colonel Carter would be lost to them.

"What about the time Teal'c was trapped in the gate?" asked Mitchell, extremely agitated.

"Then we would've murdered her as soon as we dialled out again," answered Daniel tersely.

And so the last twenty four hours had gone. Everyone trying to find out what went wrong, how to fix it, and trying not to think the worse.

Upon hearing Harriman's initial call SG1 came running from the briefing room where they had been brainstorming with tech staff. The atmosphere could have been cut with a knife, the tension so thick. Now in wave, the control room filled up.

When next Harriman reported that he was receiving SG1 IDC, Landry nearly screamed, "Open the Iris!"

Security stood at the bottom of the ramp, weapons ready, just in case. But the precaution was unnecessary.

Lt. Colonel Samantha Carter stepped from the event horizon and looked up into the control booth.

"Welcome home Colonel," a relieved General Landry spoke into the microphone. The SF's lowered their weapons.

Her team came flying into the gate room, Daniel taking her in a crushing hug.

"What the hell happened? You were right behind us," he asked her, his voice shaking.

"It's a long story. I'll fill you all in," Sam answered, still looking around the room as though looking for someone.

"Are you alright Colonel Carter?" Teal'c asked concerned.

"Fine, really, I'm good. Just need to get my barings," she answered, sounding a little dejected.

"It's good to see you Colonel. Report to the infirmary, then to the briefing room in one hour. I want to hear all about it, after I know you're ok," ordered Landry, now also in the gate room.

"Yes sir."


The team walked with her as she made her way to the infirmary, all needing reassurance that she was alright and really there with them. Each wanting to know what had happened. She explained to them that she had been sent somehow to an alternate reality and that they managed to find a way to get her back. She left out most of the details, still struggling with what to include in her report to the General. Her mind was a mass of confusion with the team trying to dig for details, except Teal'c of course, who remained silent walking behind her. Just happy to have her back.

As they waited in front of the elevator doors, just now opening, Teal'c tilted his head in contemplation.

"Did anyone think to wake..." Teal'c started but was cut off by Daniel.

"Oh crap! No. He's gonna be..." Daniel carried on with the thought, but he too was cut off.

"Pissed would be the right word," came the distinctly annoyed voice of a ruffled Major General Jack O'Neill now stepping out of the elevator.

Sam's eyes flew to him and momentarily she forgot she was surrounded by her team. He was in crumpled looking BDU's. His shirt buttons appeared hurriedly done up as he'd missed two. His hair was a mess, as though he'd just been sleeping on it. Her head tilted and her eyes opened wide with concern as she saw the dark circles under his.

To Sam he said, "Sorry I missed the welcome home party, but half an hour ago I was sent for a nap. Hank was getting ready to shoot me. Seems these twits forgot to alert me that you were back safe and sound. Siler just woke me."

Then more softly, he enquired, "You okay? What happened?"

Sam was speechless; she couldn't help but just drink in the sight of him. Her Jack.

Thinking something was wrong, Jack quickly took charge and told the team to back off until the briefing. He would see her to the infirmary himself.

Once in the elevator he pushed the Stop button. He took her by the arms and looked into her tired face.

"What is it? What happened?" he asked gently.

"It was an A.U," she answered in an exhausted tone. Trying to smile, she added, "And before you say it, I know, you hate that crap."

Jack let out a small laugh. "That bad was it?"

"No, actually it was pretty nice. They've met the Furlings, found a way to hold off the Ori and..."

"And, what?" he gently prodded.

"I love you," she said quietly as she began to fix the buttons on his shirt, her hands trembling.

She hadn't meant to blurt it out like that, or even at all, but there it was. Too late. Her brain was too emotionally exhausted to censor her mouth.

Jack's hands dropped to his sides and his face showed his shock at the revelation. He started to open his mouth to speak but nothing came out.

"Forget that," Sam said, putting the final button into it's proper loop hole. Might as well finish what she started. "I'm in love with you. I have been for years. I just thought you should know."

She looked into his face and saw the quickly changing expressions as he struggled to find something to say.

"I was a General," she said with a self deprecating chuckle. "You were retired. We were married. We, they, were happy. Very happy. It was your, his plan..that worked in getting me home. He thought I should tell you."

The silence was like a barrier between them.

"Subtle," he finally said with small smirk.

"Yes, well, you never did do subtle well. At least the realities are consistent on that score," she smiled up at him.

"Hey! Easy!" he wore a full grin now. Slowly he pondered rhetorically, "didja ever wonder if the Cosmos was trying to tell us something?"

Closing his eyes, he took her in his arms with a "C'mere."

Wrapped in his arms, feeling his breathe on her neck, Sam couldn't help but wonder what would happen next. Her revelation made, and no real resolution.

"We better get you to the infirmary before they think we both went missing this time," he whispered into her neck.

Sam nodded and let him go. Jack resumed the elevator's progression.

As the doors opened onto the infirmary's floor Jack spoke, "So, dinner? Tonight? You, me, O'Malley's?"

"How about my place?" Sam suggested instead, daring a glance at him.

He smiled boyishly over at her, "Hey, who am I to balk against the grand scheme of the Universe—es?"

"So, General, what should I tell them at the briefing?" Sam asked light-heartedly as she stepped into the corridor.

"Oh crap!" she heard him mutter, knowing full well the wince he had just made without even looking back. She continued down the corridor.

"You know, this isn't so much as against regulations anymore. We're okay now in that regard, just have to, well, we can talk about that later. It's just that everyone knowing this keeps going on out there. And we don't, haven't, you know-caught on. Gotten our act together, well, it's. ...embarrassing," he said as he caught up to her.

"Are you ordering me to leave something out of my report General?" she enquired laughingly as she arrived at the infirmary doors.

"No. Just. Ah crap!" he tried to sound irritated, but he just couldn't wipe the smile off his face. She loved him. She was in love with him. The hell world he'd been thrown into in Washington had just gotten a whole lot better.

Checking to make sure no one was around, he grabbed her before she could step through the doors. Turning her to face him, he looked into her eyes. "I love you too," he finally admitted quietly.

"I know," she replied as she raised her hand to gently stroke his face.

She brought her lips to his and gave him the briefest taste of what he was in for. It took his breath away. Lt. Colonel Carter stepped in to the infirmary leaving her Jack standing awed and immobilized in the corridor.

DISCLAIMER: "Stargate SG-1," "Stargate Atlantis," and its characters are the property of MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, Gekko Film Corp., Showtime/Viacom and USA Networks, Inc. This story is for entertainment purposes only and no money has exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. The original characters, situations and story are the property of the author(s), and may not be republished or archived elsewhere without the author's permission.