A/N: A tag for SGA episode "The Seer"; written from the perspective of an ultimate SJ shipper.
THE CARTER REPORT
Major General Jack O'Neill groaned inwardly. It had been a long, frustrating day. Now, as he pushed back from his desk, he stood slowly, stretching the aching muscles of his six-foot, two-inch frame.
He was exhausted. God knows it wasn't from any strenuous physical activity. In fact that was likely the problem. He'd spent the entire day behind this miserable desk in his overly ornate office at the Pentagon. He didn't belong here. Sure, he struck everyone in his command as utterly indispensable to the cause, but Jack O'Neill knew he belonged in the field, preferably with the Atlantis expedition, preferably with his wife.
That said, Jack was a realist; he knew a posting with Sam wasn't in the cards, at least not in the foreseeable future. And he had to admit, though her absence and her placement in a dangerous outpost gave him nightmares, she was doing a bang up job without any help from him. At least that's what the all too thorough report he'd just completed led him to believe.
"General O'Neill, Sir," his secretary called from the doorway. "There's a Richard Woolsey here to see you. He says you'll know what it's about."
Woolsey? What's he doing here? Jack thought. Hell, I used all the self restraint I had to avoid going to the mountain to meet him this morning. Now he comes to me? Great.
"Alright, Erica," Jack said dutifully, "send him in."
Before Jack had the chance to settle in behind his desk again, Richard Woolsey was standing directly in front of him, extending his hand, clearly expecting a friendly welcome. Not! Jack thought. Not after the grief he gave Sam this past week.
"Mr. Woolsey, this is an unexpected visit," Jack said, ignoring the man's hand and making his way to the safety of his desk. "What can I do for you?" It really didn't pay to alienate the IOA in his present position. Play nice, Jack.
"I wanted to deliver my report in person," Woolsey said, taking a seat without invitation.
"I'm sure you realized the IOA dispatched me to complete Colonel Carter's three month evaluation, essentially an assessment of the effectiveness of her command."
"Yes, I am," Jack replied evenly. And why anyone would think you or any other pencil pusher in that office would be capable of evaluating anything Sam does is beyond me, he thought. Careful, Jack.
As usual, Jack O'Neill's attitude disoriented Richard Woolsey. The man's devil-may-care persona and sarcastic wit always threw him off balance. So it took a moment for the well meaning bureaucrat to continue with the reason for his visit.
"Well, General, I wanted to personally deliver a copy of my report," Woolsey said, regaining his composure. "I'm aware that you and Colonel Carter worked together closely for several years and are close friends. I assumed you'd be interested."
Woolsey fancied himself to be a friend of Jack O'Neill ever since their ill-fated visit to the Weir command on Atlantis a little more than a year ago. Frankly that irritated Jack to no end. If he ever knew exactly how close Carter and I are … wouldn't he be surprised, Jack thought.
"Of course, as head of Homeworld Security, you would be receiving this officially tomorrow," Woolsey continued, taken aback by Jack's silence.
"Yes, I would, Mr. Woolsey," Jack said pleasantly enough. "But, if you must know, I've already read it."
"You've already …"
"But… how…? I only finished it during my layover at Midway station. I sent it on to my superiors over secure channels at the SGC."
"I have my sources," Jack said cryptically.
"So you do, General," Woolsey acknowledged, knowing he'd more than met his match for the second time in as many days.
"By the way," Jack said, softening only a smidgen, "how's Sa … Colonel Carter?"
"I'm sure if you've read my report, you realize she handled the recent emergency situation on Atlantis with great finesse," Woolsey said. "She appears to be a capable commander with a good understanding of the enemy."
Jack nodded his silent agreement. "But?" he asked, recognizing Woolsey's unfinished, withholding tone of voice.
"But, she …" Woolsey hesitated, not at all sure this was the place to bring up his own bruised ego.
"She told you off, didn't she?" Jack said, knowing he was right from his understanding of Sam as much as from having read Woolsey's report.
"It seems Colonel Carter does not understand that as an IOA representative I am authorized to countermand her orders."
"Hmm…" Jack said, slowly nodding his head. "She doesn't understand?" There isn't much Sam doesn't understand, you idiot, he thought. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for you.
"Or appreciate the fact, Sir," Woolsey foolishly continued. "However, in this particular case, everything seemed to work out," he admitted sheepishly.
"Work out, you say?" Jack quipped. "I'd say it 'worked out', Richard. If Colonel Carter had gone along with you, I'll bet the expedition would have been wiped out by the Wraith. What's more, you and I wouldn't be having this little conversation, now would we?"
At the least, Richard Woolsey meant well. He was a man who stood by his principles and believed in what he did and the people for whom he worked. He did his best to be an honorable, trustworthy human being. Which was more than Jack O'Neill could say for a lot of the people he'd met in Washington. Still, Woolsey's shortcomings were monumentally frustrating to Jack, and at this moment to Woolsey himself.
"If by that you mean I'm not a military man, you're right. You're also right that I'm not qualified to do Colonel Carter's job," Woolsey said, standing up and preparing to leave a place he was clearly not wanted. "I am however, committed to doing my own job. And like it or not, General, that job involves civilian oversight of the Atlantis expedition."
"So it does," Jack admitted, also standing, following Woolsey's lead.
"I have to admit," the IOA representative added, "after this experience I will be more likely to trust Colonel Carter's command instincts."
"See that you do, Woolsey," Jack said, attempting a thin smile that came out as a smirk.
Halfway out the door, eager to make his escape, Richard Woolsey turned once more to face his less than adoring audience.
"I almost forgot, General," he said. "Another reason I'm here, something Colonel Carter asked me to give you." With that he handed Jack a small envelope address formally to General Jack O'Neill.
"Goodbye Woolsey," Jack said, "and thanks."
A/N: One more chapter to follow (and soon).