Chapter three: Bad Plan. Cam and Carolyn.
From the time he'd left Vala's new apartment Cam had supported Carolyn's weight as she half walked and he half carried her to and from his car and up to his door.
Grumbling, "This is a bad plan," under his breath, he tightened his hold on her.
"Hold on honey, I gotta find my key." Fumbling for the door key, Cam kept a firm grip around the waist of his hostage. Just as he had the key at the lock, Carolyn flopped over his arm like a rag doll. "Ah, damn. This is not good."
Pushing the door open, he practically flung her around and into the house. "Shit. Doc? Doc?" He missed the couch when he let her loose and she slunk to the floor, boneless and moaning. "Doc! Wake up. You should call somebody and tell them where you are. Wait! No. Nevermind."
Cam grunted as he lifted her limp body and tossed her on the couch. "What the hell was I thinkin'? Come on, honey, there ya go." He picked up her feet and placed them on the cushion. Her head and left arm started to drip like melting snow off the other end.
"Doc! I need a little help here." Finally he got all of her in one place and sighed in relief.
He stood over her, hands on his hips and studied her lax form. "You're gonna kill me in the mornin' but I can't let you sleep all snarled up in your cloths." Retrieving a blanket and pillow he covered her, stuffing what he could of the pillow under her head. Cam carefully removed her blouse and skirt like a magic trick under the blanket. "Damn." Was all he could utter as he took himself off to bed.
Shadowed in his door way, ethereal and waif like, she stood. Dark hair mussed and wrapped in the blanket he'd laid over her hours ago, she softly called his name.
"Hey, you okay?" His voice was rough and sleep laden.
"Umm. I have a hang over. Did you undress me?"
"Yes, ma'am. I did. You were tangled up like a cat in a bag, so I let you loose. Sorry, didn't mean to…"
She was moving toward him, as if floating on air and Cam wondered if he were dreaming. "No. That's fine. Really. Though you forgot my shoes." She dropped the blanket, knelt on the bed and started crawling up towards him. "You know…we've been sort of dating for a while and you've hinted at more. And I've been a bit reluctant. So…now I'm not."
He shot up, sheet barely covering his hips. There she was in her bra and panties with high heels and a sultry look, inching closer. "Ah, damn. Carolyn, you're drunk. And half naked and I don't think you know what you're doin'."
"Not drunk. Not anymore. And, tell me, Cam, what's under that sheet?"
She prayed as she unlocked her door that her mother would still be asleep. Not a chance…the instant she entered Kim came around the corner from the kitchen.
"I was worried about you. I called your father and he was worried about you."
Carolyn could only groan. Setting her purse on the table she shook her head. "I was with SG-1 mom, he knew that. I couldn't have been safer."
Kim handed her a cup of coffee. "You have a hickie on your neck."
Slapping a hand over the spot she remembered Cam sucking on, Carolyn's eyes widened.
"The other side dear." Grinning, Kim watched the spot her daughter had just removed her hand from. "I didn't see that one, it's much smaller."
"Oh, god. You cannot tell Dad! He won't understand."
"Which one? The cute archeologist? The hunky alien? Or the adorable one…the Colonel?"
Mumbling her reply, Carolyn headed down the hall.
"What? The Colonel? Oh, dear. I don't think Hank will be happy with that one." Humming to herself Kim turned back to the coffee pot, took a peek at her own shoulder inside of her shirt, and grinned at the hickie there. "They do get wiser with age."
Cam leaned, arms crossed tightly, against the doorjamb of Daniel's office. "I swear, man, it's been a week and General Landry still barely even looks at me when he talks."
Daniel removed his glasses and looked up. "He'll get over it. Someday."
"I mean, really, I was just makin' sure she was alright. I got her home safe and sound the next day."
Pushing himself away from the door, Cam took a few steps into the room. "What does that mean? It's not like we…ah…"
"Damn it, Jackson!" Cam approached the desk.
"What do want me to say, Mitchell? He's her father and he thinks something's going on between you two. You need to go and talk to him and straighten it out. Let him know you were taking care of his little girl for him…if that's all it was."
"Aw, damn. My career is over." Sinking down into the chair, Cam buried his face in his hands.
"Oookaay. So you can't go talk to him because there is something going on. General Landry's not going to bust you just because your…er…dating his daughter. Give it some time."
"Time? I gotta tell you, I think my time is running out. I'm tangled up like a cow in barbed wire. How'd that happen? I'm thinkin' we're all under the influence of somethin' we brought back from planet weirdo and it's been dormant...until now. What with you and the princess and the general and the colonel. All we need now is the big guy to keel over smitten with his Hak'tyl priestess and it's the trifecta...or quadrafecta…or whatever. I say we start investigating this. Find the alien love potion."
Daniel looked closely at his worried friend. "I'm betting the 'love potion' is the atmosphere of the lack of major bad guys threatening Earth. It's spread all the way to the Pegasus Galaxy and bounced back with the Atlantis landing. God knows what's going on there. Here we all are with nothing standing in the way. Don't you think it's odd that in all the years we've been with SG-1 none of us have formed any kind of normal relationship? Now that we find ourselves on more solid ground…moving into off world diplomatic missions, trading, exploring, and research as opposed to death and destruction…wouldn't it seem normal to kind of wake up and smell the flowers…or perfume so to speak?"
Cam crossed his arms more tightly over his chest and glared. "Who the hell are you and what have you done with Dr. Jackson?"
Laughing, Daniel rose and began to pace, hands gesturing and voice filled with that old excitement when he'd discovered or uncovered something enlightening. "Out of the lot of us I'd say I'm the most surprised. Jack's just stunned and probably wondering what the hell hit him. Admittedly, you're the one with the worst case scenario, but I doubt you have to worry about your career. Doc's a grown woman and Landry knows that. Teal'c's been with Ishta off and on for years. He's been the only one who forged a relationship, peculiar and intermittent as it was."
Stopping to fill his coffee cup, Daniel looked back at Mitchell who hung his head and stared at the floor. "Right ?"
"Naw, this is just not right. I'm thinkin' I'm crazy…that it's gonna pass. I like my job, I like her too, but this can't really be happenin'. I can't…like get…you know? Married or somethin' like that. What's gonna happen when some new baddies show up? We've all got a passel of kids and spouses to take care of and off we go into the wild blue yonder?
"Do you know the percentage of military personnel in harrowing situations around this planet and off that have families? That's been a constant for hundreds, or thousands of years. So what happens if no new really baddies show up? What's gonna happen in ten or thirty or fifty years if things don't go belly up? When you're old and telling old off world stories to your buddies that all have family? What then?" Daniel stood staring down the colonel.
"And what happens when the baddies do show up and off we go, Vala in tow, and she's on the six and you're on the lead and we get ambushed? What's your first response? And Sam's left with lack of cover, and her kids are left with no mother? And me? What if I take the hit leavin' behind a wife and kids? What then?"
Staring silently, Daniel paused. "It's the nature of the game. And don't ever think I'd put Vala's life before the whole Team or the protection of Earth. You do what you want, Mitchell. I'm done here."
"Damn, Jackson, I know that. It's just that I can't stop thinkin' of all the issues this whole love boat thing is bringin' up. I'll drop it. You're right. It's really my problem with this. You all gotta do what you gotta do. But so do I." Cam left as suddenly as he came.
Later, when Cam sauntered into the infirmary, Carolyn looked at her watch. "Hey, its 0200. What's wrong?"
"I kinda thought we could talk. You know, about us, seeing as it's been quiet tonight and I knew you were on duty."
Carolyn's countenance went from happy to curious to narrow-eyed suspicion in the blink of his blue eyes.
Aw, hell. This is gonna be bad. "Okay, I think...actually, I've been sorta considering the ramifications of this."
"This?" Hands went to her hips, and she glared.
"Us." He adjusted the sleeves of this shirt.
"Us?" Tilting her head, her face went blank. Not a smile or a glare. Nothing.
Cam took a few steps aside and began to fiddle with the defibrillator against the wall. She'd slunk down into that dark robotic place he hated. The one where she hides all her emotions. Bad, bad, bad plan.
"Don't touch that." She spoke with firm, unemotional command.
"Sorry. Look, honey, I..."
Again she commanded, "don't call me honey."
He spun around towards her with a heated glare. "Look, I just think we outta cool it a bit. You know, take it slo..."
"Get out. Now. And if you walk in here ever again, you had better be in pieces that no one else on Earth or off Earth can put back together." With a curt nod she quietly walked away.
"That went well." Cam mumbled, stomping off into the corridor.
"Good morning, Colonel Mitchell." General Landry smiled brightly as he passed Cam in the hall.
News travels fast. None too happy about it, Cam shook his head in self disgust and continued towards the mess hall.
Not bothering to get anything to eat, Cam settled into a chair across from Sam. "You don't look so good, Carter. Kinda green."
She looked up with a scowl. "I haven't looked into the mirror today, Cam, but I'm pretty sure I look a hell of a lot better than you do. What's going on?"
"You already know. We live inside the Stargate Rumor Mill. Nothing is sacred."
"What were you thinking? Acting like some stud and pulling that macho-flyboy I need to be free crap! And stop crossing your arms in defense, it's getting annoying."
Cam didn't answer, just stood and walked away. He passed Jackson and Vala entering. Jackson smirked and Vala tossed her hair and ignored him with that giddy, nothing could bother her now grin. The minx glowed like the Aurelia Borealis, night and day. This whole scenario was disgusting! He needed to get out of here.
"Great idea, Colonel." Landry nodded and picked up the phone. "I'll get you scheduled. You go pack and by the time you're done, I'll have everything arranged. You've talked to Teal'c, right?"
"Yes, sir. He's just plain ol' overjoyed with the prospect of my visit to Dakara. Somethin' about helping to rebuild a temple - as in manual labor. " Cam kept his gaze averted not wanting to reveal his thoughts because it was evident Landry was overjoyed at the prospect of getting rid of him for a few days.
The infirmary looked like a three ringed circus. SG-4 and 22, battered and bruised took up every bed. Siler lay on a gurney, moaning and cradling his arm.
The med staff scurried around silently avoiding the doctor at all cost. Carolyn shouted out orders in programmed rote, without a hint of emotion, performing her duties like a well oiled machine.
Sam and Vala stood just inside the door silent and observant, having ignored Carolyn's finger pointing pantomime to leave.
The doctor could feel their eyes watching her every move. "Dr. Collins!" Carolyn yelled for her assistant.
"Yeah?" He wasn't afraid of his boss. He'd worked close with her enough years to garner her respect and he knew her well enough to feel comfortable giving her back what she dished out.
Taking a deep calming breath, Carolyn turned to him. "Finish up here. I have better things to do than patch up street brawlers! Get these marines and airmen cleaned up and out of my infirmary!" She marched off towards her office knowing full well Sam and Vala would follow.
Leaving the door open Carolyn fought the urge to lock it. She'd have to face them sooner or later and she just wanted to get it over with and behind her. Sitting behind her desk she took on the air of professionalism she'd long ago learned to use.
Sam went straight for one of the chairs in front of the desk. Vala wandered around the room inspecting books and medical knick-knacks.
Hands folded on the desk in front of her, Carolyn smiled falsely. "Okay. Spit it out. Let's get this over with. We already have a lunch date scheduled for today, so let's not take all this effluvia with us. I plan on enjoying the rest of our afternoon off."
Vala turned with a smile. "Good plan! I want to shop too, Samantha promised shopping would be involved for our 'girl's day out', and what or who is a foolvia?"
"Stuff." Carolyn gave her a true smile. "Go on, Sam. You obviously have something you want to say."
"Nope." Sam stood. "Just wanted to be sure you weren't going to sulk and cancel."
Surprised, Carolyn blinked and her well crafted indifference façade failed. "I don't know what to do." Her voice held a strong note of sad bewilderment.
"What!?" Vala squeaked out with a huff of indignation.
Taking Vala by the arm, Sam led her to the door. "This coming from the expert on waiting."
"Oh, right." Head twisting around towards Carolyn, Vala beamed. "Yes, of course. Waiting is good."
"Meet us topside in an hour." Sam didn't bother turning around, just hauled Vala out in a hurry.
"You're what!?" Landry sank to his chair.
"Going to Dakara."
"I thought you were over your little…"
"Don't say it like that. I just might transfer out if you do."
"That bad, eh?" The general pushed back his chair and stood.
"I'm in love with him."
Once again, the man sat. "Of all the men on this base, you just had to pick him?"
She smiled. "Of course. I knew he was the one that would irritate you the most." She paused, fiddling with something on his desk. "Dad." She said in that little girl voice that she knew would soften his heart. "I really need to go and plead my case. And however it turns out…well…that'll be it. And I don't want you crucifying him either way. Understood?"
"I suppose I should be happy that at least you choose the Air Force and not some Marine or lord forbid, a civilian." He reached across and took her hand. "Actually, you picked the cream of the crop. I know that. It's just that…"
"I didn't really plan on this." She squeezed his hand. "And it appears it could be a bad plan now. But I need to know for sure."
Landry raised a questioning brow.
Her dark eyes lifted to him. "I know, a bit of a stretch for me. But this is too important. I don't want to…well…"
"Hide your emotions. A skill you've mastered and I'm mostly responsible for?"
"Things are different now. I need to break that old useless habit. I have you now. And mom. And now I'm going for the…trifecta."
"You're starting to sound like him."
"I speak his language."
"Go on. Get out of here." Landry waved a hand, smiling broadly. "And," he stood, speaking quietly as she reached to door. "Good luck, but I don't think you're going to need it."
Carolyn turned to find him standing close. Landry reached and pulled her into a fierce hug. "No man in his right mind would turn you down."
"That," she said when he let her go, "could be the problem. I'm not so sure he's in his right mind. But I think I can fix that."
Standing in the heat wearing khaki shorts, a white tank top and hiking boots, Carolyn stared, mouth open, at the site before her.
Amidst the rubble a shirtless and sweating Cam, lifted a stone and cradled it like a large child. Her gaze seemed glued to the rippled muscles of his arms. She took a breath, "Cam?" She said just loud enough for him to hear.
One needn't be standing close to see that crinkle eyed grin of his, or the sparkling blueness that seemed to shoot across the distance. It lightened her heart. No denying he was happy to see her standing there.
"Hold up a sec, darlin', I'll be right there." He dropped the stone mere inches from his toes and scrabbled up the short incline.
The unmistakable and not at all unpleasant scent of sweat and pheromones assaulted her at the same instant he locked is arms around her waist and hoisted her up. He whirled her around a time or two before setting her feet on the still spinning earth.
"I just wanted too…" Words cut off by his insistent mouth upon hers, she nearly swooned.
"I had to finish a days work at least, but I'd planned on coming home tomorrow. I planned on callin' too, and planned on…ah, gosh, Carolyn! I'm sorry. I really love you, and I was a fool. I guess it just kind of got all up in me that I seemed to have rushed this whole thing. But, baby, walkin' away was a bad plan! I gotta tell you, you are the only…"
Carolyn laughed happily. "Shut up and kiss me."
~TBC – No Plan. T/I and gang