"Carter! How's it going?"
She turns her head to aim a frustrated glare at Cam, telling him all he needs to know: she is far from finished and his very nearly constant nagging isn't helping one bit. An answering shrug and apologetic smile calms her somewhat and she mutters a quick "sorry" to him for her too short temper before going back to work with a sigh.
The DHD, in perfect condition only an hour ago, now spews wires and odd bits of metal all over the place. As it's the only way back home unless they can hijack a ship or some such, it must be fixed. She almost wishes that she wasn't the teams' fix-it girl, if only for a few moments peace.
Repairing always comes with that little bit of nagging from the rest of the team and one must have a lot of patience to see through it (nevermind the attention the actual fixing requires).
"Sam?" Daniel walks over to peer down across her shoulder.
"Not yet, Daniel," she says through gritted teeth.
She lets her thoughts drift further as her fingers creep expertly over the DHD, adjusting wires and connecting broken pieces once more. Daniel takes the hint and wanders off to leave her alone once more.
Daniel. He's been one of her best friends for nine, almost ten, years now. Same as Teal'c, and if she wants to be thorough, Jack too, though things there are a little different. With the addition of Cam and Vala in the past year or so, she has just about the best family she could have ever hoped for.
Family. Did she really just think that? A very dysfunctional family. She shook her head, brushing that line of thought off. Best not dwell on how they operated.
They were all great people and she knew she'd do anything for any one of them (within reason of course).
That they kept interrupting her precious 'fixing time' was not going to change her opinion on that. Really, it wasn't.
"Colonel Carter," she hears suddenly.
She glances up to meet caring brown eyes almost hidden behind the shades Teal'c is wearing.
He takes a step closer and she notices the brown package in his wide hands. Lunch.
"We have stopped for refreshments," he tells her. "I thought you might like yours while you work." A knowing smile graces his features (he knows she won't take a break even for food until she's done) and she nods.
"Thank you, Teal'c." She takes the wrapped sandwich from his outstretched hand and pauses for a moment to peel off the paper. Sandwich in one hand, she takes a bite and returns to the DHD.
Teal'c is gone within seconds.
Half an hour passes in which she works solidly before it's Vala's turn to approach her. Wearing a childish pout and resting her hands on her hips, Vala studies the DHD from behind her. Eyebrows furrow and Vala eyes her critically. "Are you sure you're doing this right?"
She fixes Vala with a patient smile and nods. Slowly. As if to a child. "I'm sure, Vala." She continues on.
Vala kneels down beside her and picks around in the grass for a moment. "It's just that," she begins restlessly, "the wire over there should connect to this one." She points between said wires. Pouts. Runs her tongue over her lips.
"Oh! Thanks, Vala."
Vala shrugs as if it was nothing, stands up and brushes the dirt from her clothes. "No problem. You know, you should really take a break and refocus, Sam."
She smiles. "I should, should I?"
Vala nods. "You should. You're getting sloppy. I mean…that wire, you missed…you shouldn't have. Maybe you need a break?" She began to fidget with her hands, wringing them and lacing her fingers together.
"I'm just about done," she says as the corner of her mouth twitches up in amusement and thankfulness that she has such caring friends. "No point in taking a break now."
Shrugging, Vala heads off once more.
She can hear Vala telling Daniel that she's bored even as she gets back to work and her brow furrows in concentration.
Five minutes, she tells herself. It'll be done then.
It ends up being six. Close enough.
She stands, grimacing slightly at the pain that shoots through her back from the awkward position she'd been holding. She stretches her legs and reaches her arms above her head to graze the darkening sky.
"Ready to go?" Cam again.
She nods once and runs her tongue over her lips. "Yeah."
Cam offers her a quick smile and then heads over to alert the rest of the team. She watches him round them up, contemplating again what each of them meant to her. If she didn't have them all – Daniel, Teal'c, Cameron and even Vala and Jack back home – she'd have missed out on so much.
They'd become just as much her family as her father and mother had been and they'd remain so for the rest of their lives.
She smiles at them when they reach her.
Daniel and Vala are bickering at each other – again. Cam is rolling his eyes at them while walking alongside Teal'c who remains as stoic as ever.
Yup. Her team is definitely the best.
"What're you smilin' at?" Cam asks.
She shrugs and nods towards the Stargate. "Oh nothing," she says vaguely. "Let's go home."
Daniel goes ahead to dial the gate, breaking his conversation with Vala. The rest of them watch in silence. Wait. The chevrons lock and a blue ripple whooshes out of the gate.
Without a word spoken, they start towards it, side by side.
She grins as she steps through.
She has the best job and the best friends she could have ever wished for.