A/N: This is the sequel to Astrophysicist For Rent, which is in turn the sequel to Colonel For Sale and no, it will not make any sense without reading those, so don't bother trying. If you enjoy humor with a touch of friendship and slight romance (and brother, do I mean SLIGHT), I promise you won't regret reading the others.
I warn you now, this is NOT Sam/Jack; so if you have issues with that fact, hit the back button NOW. I had problems with people whining at me during CFS and AFR, I will not put up with it on this. I'm warning you WELL in advance; I will hear no whining from the peanut gallery, capiche?
Okay, now that we've gotten rid of the stragglers, I want to dedicate this to the handful of people who pestered me into writing another sequel. This was extremely hard to start, especially after seeing Sam's arrival on Atlantis and the cringe-worthy "I'm seeing somebody" conversation that came with it, but the masses demanded, the muse provided inspiration, the bunnies bit...and I had no choice but to comply.
There was something rotten in the state of Denmark.
Or perhaps it was fairer to say there was something rotten in the state of Colorado.
The semantics, however, mattered little to Samantha Carter. The point was that there was something most definitely rotten going on. Amiss. Out of whack. Just plain weird.
And considering the fact we're speaking of a woman who has worked at a top secret military installation for the past ten years or so, the gravity of the situation should be quite clear.
When Sam Carter says there's something weird going on, you know this isn't the usual sort of 'aliens are trying to blow up the planet' weird but something more along the lines of the Twilight Zone grown variety of weird.
You may ask yourself what caused Sam to come to the conclusion that something was amiss in Cheyenne Mountain and her response, though honest, would have made you laugh.
She knew something weird was going on because General O'Neill was singing to himself.
If that wasn't a sign of a rapidly approaching cataclysm, she didn't know what was. Jack O'Neill was many things, but he was not a man who sang under any circumstances that didn't involve the words "Ritual" or "The natives will get homicidal if we don't participate".
What's more, it wasn't an isolated incident. If he'd hummed to himself once or twice--with each event a reasonable space of time apart from the other--she could have dismissed it…but this sunny, MGM-Musical style singing under his breath constantly was more than a little suspect.
The fact of the matter was, though Sam didn't know it, General O'Neill was not singing to himself constantly…he just happened to hum a few bars now and then and Sam just happened to be in earshot. The two events seemed to coincide with one another, despite the fact that Jack didn't do it on purpose. It just kept happening that way. To an outside observer, it might have looked like it was intentional on his part, but really, it wasn't. He was just in a good mood a lot lately.
Since Sam wasn't an outside observer and was only able to account for things she saw and heard herself, she came to a conclusion, based on the facts she was aware of.
And that conclusion was that General O'Neill was always singing to himself.
It went on for months, Jack completely unaware of the fact he was driving his friend and former teammate around the bend every time he came to Cheyenne and Sam growing increasing annoyed by his inhuman sunny disposition.
What did he have to be so happy about, anyway? She was the one who was blissfully happy in a friendship turned tentative courtship…she was the one whose career had taken off like a shot…
Sam glared at the back of his head on more than one occasion, barely aware of the underlying reason for her inexplicable jealousy…
Why wasn't she the one who was singing constantly?! It didn't make any sense!
And she'd spent a long time puzzling on it, too.
For the first time in a long time, Sam was happy. Blissful even. Her life was going...well, she wouldn't go so far as to say 'great' but she could say 'much better than usual'...
Her friendship with Rodney McKay--which had been on rocky ground for a long, long time--had turned into a genuine camaraderie and then blossomed over the past six months into a cautious romance; and it held none of the wrongness that her relationship with Pete had…there were no warning bells going off, no uncertainty, they simply slid into an easy routine.
Everything between them stayed the same--except now their banter was flirtatiously charged on both ends and they said 'goodbye' with a kiss rather than a handshake--and though they'd yet to spend any 'quality time' together (at least, that's what Rodney referred to it as), she thought things were going exceedingly well, considering the fact they were in different galaxies…
So, she pondered the question again: why wasn't she the one who was singing constantly?!
Her answer came in a most unexpected form, early one morning after she had arrived on base and was on her way towards the mess hall for a cup of coffee.
Daniel had scampered up to her as she walked, a heavy butter cream colored envelope in hand.
"Morning, Daniel," she greeted pleasantly with her customary friendly half-smile in place, still not stopping her forward progress toward the mess.
"Hi, Sam," he replied, with a note of awkwardness in his voice that was easily identifiable for someone who had worked with him for almost a decade. "I've uh…Jack left this for you."
Sam took the offered envelope and glanced at her walking companion. "He's here?"
"Ah, no. Not right now. He was here, earlier…he dropped this off and asked me to give it to you." Daniel gave a one-shouldered shrug.
Sam slid her finger under the flap of the envelope, still without pausing in her journey toward the smell of coffee wafting from directly ahead. "Any idea what it might be about?"
The awkward tone was back. "Ah, yes...I already opened mine."
Sam quirked a brow at Daniel as she pulled out the sheet of heavy paper inside the envelope. "You got one?"
Daniel cleared his throat. "Yeah."
Well, there went any ridiculous notions about it being something of a more personal nature…not that she was entertaining such notions at all…nope. Not one little bit.
Sam looked down at the sheet of paper in her hands and began to read…
"You are cordially invited to the wedding of Brigadier General Jack--"
And that was as far as she got before she made quite a spectacular "THUMP" when she rammed face first into the nearest doorway.