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Sg1's locker room was quiet. Sam dressed alone trying to ignore the shaking of her hands as she buttoned her jacket. She had once revelled in wearing her dress blues, she wore them proudly, evidence of her achievements as an Air Force Officer. The first time she had worn her uniform in front of her Father it was at her academy graduation. She had invited both Mark and her Dad, not really expecting either to come. Mark was angry at her career choice and wanted nothing to do with anything military. Her Father was working overseas and he'd missed so many milestones in her life that she didn't bother to hope for his arrival. Against the odds Jacob had taken an overnight flight making it to her graduation just in time and although he hadn't said the words, she had seen the pride in his eyes.
Since working at the SGC however she had worn her dress uniform to too many funerals to feel comfortable in them. The uniform seemed to represent the sad memories she had of attending the numerous services for her fallen friends. Putting them on for her Father's final military memorial was a particularly painful experience.
"You nearly ready Sam?" Daniel popped his head round the door with his eyes shut.
"I'm decent Daniel, you can open your eyes."
Daniel stepped into the room hands in his pockets, he looked sharp in his suit and his calm, familiar appearance soothed her slightly.
"Time to start is it?"
"We still have a little time. I was just coming to see if you were ok?"
Sam shrugged standing up and straightening her uniform, "I'm fine."
"Sam." Daniel's voice was disbelieving.
"No really, I should have lost him years ago-"
"Doesn't mean that saying goodbye now is any easier." Daniel interrupted her.
"I always thought that he and Selmak would outlive me." Sam admitted sitting back
down onto the bench. Daniel sat down next to her running a comforting hand down her arm as she continued to speak.
"He didn't approve of Pete. He didn't think he made me happy." Sam sighed, "I lied and told him everything was fine but I could see he didn't believe it. He was disappointed in me, he died and he was thinking that I…" she trailed off.
"No Sam, he died knowing that you loved him. He was so proud of you."
"You weren't there Daniel," Sam tired to ignore it as Daniel flinched at her comment, "He kept trying to tell me and I wouldn't listen."
"You listened Sam," Daniel said firmly, "You've made the right decision with Pete and your Dad wouldn't want you to be upset about what he said. He just wanted you to be happy."
Sam nodded feeling at least some of Daniel's words sink in. They sat in silence until Teal'c knocked quietly at the door, General O'Neill at his heels.
"Colonel Carter it is time."
Sam stood, straightening her uniform and went to say goodbye to her Dad one last time.
"Alrighty," Jack clapped his hands together and pointed down the small hallway that led to the bedrooms in the cabin, "Daniel, Teal'c your room is the one right at the end of the hallway. You can wrestle over which one of you gets the bed and which one gets the pullout."
Teal'c raised an eyebrow at Daniel and stepped towards him dropping his bags and assuming a fighting stance.
"Uh Teal'c it's fine. I'm happy with the pullout." Daniel looked panicked.
Teal'c straightened and picked up his bags, only allowing Sam to see the smirk on his normally stoic face.
"Carter you can have the master bedroom, first door on the left, I've got the spare room opposite. Any questions?"
"Where's the bathroom?" Sam asked praying that it was inside the cabin.
"Second door on the left," Jack picked up his own bag, "I'll leave you all to settle in and freshen up. Dinner is at 1900."
"Freshen up?" Daniel's voice was bemused.
"Yes Daniel, you stink." Jack said pointedly, "I was trying to be polite in front of the lady."
Sam snorted, "How considerate of you sir, but I was sitting next to Daniel on the plane and am quite aware that he stinks."
"The flight was long!" Daniel defended himself, "And I packed my deodorant in my checked baggage."
"Excuses, excuses. Dinner, 1900."
Sam followed the General down the hall disappearing into her own room as Daniel continued to splutter in his defence.
Her room was nice, plain and small but homely and welcoming. Sam ran her hand over the worn quilt on the bed and admired the antique looking wooden furniture. It was exactly how she'd imagined. Well not exactly, Sam admitted to herself staring at the queen size bed which would be half empty come bedtime.
"Eight years." Sam murmured to herself, she'd loved him for at least half of those eight years but now she didn't know how to proceed with Jack, didn't even know how to start the conversation she had been both dreading and dreaming of for years. As always Jack hadn't taken a step over the boundaries she had set. It was in her hands, but Sam just didn't know what to do.
After dinner Teal'c retired to his room with his portable dvd player and his stack of movies. Daniel parked himself on the couch with his own stack of archaeology journals and a pen telling Sam he liked to highlight the information he knew to be fake for his own personal amusement. Jack cleared the table and dumped his fishing gear on top, he reached for the tangled line and patiently started working at the mess of knots.
Sam paused for a moment, tempted to join the General but still not knowing what to say. Grabbing her book she left for her room settling onto her bed and opening the book to the first page. She'd barely made it through page two when Teal'c appeared at her doorway.
"May I enter your room Colonel Carter?"
"Of course Teal'c." Sam put her book down as the big Jaffa entered the room, closed the door and seated himself on the end of her bed.
"I wish to speak with you about your Father." Teal'c looked at her solemnly.
"Oh," Sam shifted, "Sure, okay."
"Your Father and Selmak were true warriors to the cause. They were wise and honourable and will never be forgotten for what they did on Dakara."
"Teal'c, that's…" Sam couldn't speak past the tears in her throat. Teal'c leaned forward and placed a warm hand on her knee.
"I did not mean to cause you pain," Teal'c frowned, "I will go."
"No Teal'c," Sam placed a hand over his, "That was a wonderful thing that you said. He would be honoured that you thought that of him."
"I wanted you to know that the Jaffa will be making a memorial to honour those lost in the battle on Dakara. I would like your permission to include Jacob Carter's name on the list of lost warriors."
Sam nodded, "He would like that."
Teal'c nodded and made a move to stand, "I will leave you to your reading."
"No wait, Teal'c stay." Sam wasn't ready to give up his company just yet, "Could we just talk for awhile."
"Of what would you like to talk about?" Teal'c nodded and settled himself more comfortably on the bed.
Sam wondered how to approach the topic, how much did the Jaffa know about Earth relationships? How could she be subtle in asking Teal'c how she should proceed with Jack?
"How are you and Ishta going?" Sam thought it was the perfect opening to the conversation.
"Good." Teal'c stated, his tone effectively ending further discussion.
Sam grimaced, she had forgotten Teal'c's desire to keep his relationship with Ista quiet. For all the tabloids he read, Teal'c was not exactly the gossiping type.
"Never mind, you go back to watching your dvds."
Teal'c nodded, "Are you sure? We could… talk further."
Teal'c had just reached the door when he turned around and regarded her with a knowing look, "O'Neill is ready Colonel Carter. He is merely waiting for you."
Sam paused and whispered, "I don't how to… start."
"I once discussed with Doctor Frasier about Earth relationships and their progression after Cassandra began her relationship with Dominic. She informed me of the relationship between baseball and stages of intimacy."
Sam was confused for a moment until it clicked in her head, "Oh you mean bases. First base, second base and so on."
Sam tried to imagine the tiny brunette explaining the bases to Teal'c and suppressed a smile, "I'm not sure what teenage relationships have to do with the situation between me and… Jack."
"Are the principles not the same?" Teal'c asked, "What is the logical first step once you are both aware of mutual feelings."
Sam frowned, "Spending time together, first date?"
Teal'c shook his head patiently, "I believe you and O'Neill have spent significant time together already over the previous eight years."
"You mean first base?" Sam looked at Teal'c in amusement, "Teal'c the General and I are not teenagers, sometimes the simple approach is not the right one when there are other factors involved."
"Have you and Daniel Jackson not discussed General O'Neill's preoccupation with video games and The Simpsons as teenage behaviour?"
"Sometimes the simplest approach is the best approach Colonel Carter." Teal'c smiled.
"So your saying I should just kiss him."
Teal'c shrugged, "I am saying that with a man such as O'Neill, the direct approach is the most effective. A kiss is both direct and simple."
Sam gave Teal'c a sceptical look, "Never knew you to be a romantic Teal'c."
Teal'c bowed his head at her and said no more on the subject, "Goodnight Colonel Carter."
Two hours later Sam heard Daniel say his goodnights and head to bed. General O'Neill was still untangling his lines on the table and Sam heard him mutter in irritation to himself as he worked on the stubborn knots.
She had stared for two hours at her book with unseeing eyes, considering Teal'c's approach in her head. Would simple be enough? Their jobs were still a factor, regulations where in place and Sam hated the thought of breaking the rules. Although even having the feelings she had for the General were against the rules so technically they were already broken. One little kiss wouldn't be too bad would it? After that, they could talk, if he pushed her away at least she would have the memory of his lips against hers.
Sam was up and out of her room before she could talk herself out of it. Jack was packing up, he stood with his back towards her but turned at the sound of her footsteps.
"Carter, can't sleep?"
"Not exactly." Sam moved closer.
"Too many thoughts in your head?" Jack gave her a concerned look when she nodded, "Anything I can help you with?"
Sam smiled nervously and moved to stand directly in front of him, "Yes"
They were both barefoot and Sam was just a few inches shorter than him, keeping a small amount of space between their bodies Sam tilted her head up and pressed her lips to his.
To be continued… in the sequel. Which has stalled in the planning stages, so I'm hoping that by posting this I'll be inspired to continue!
Also, I'm in the market for a new beta reader as my old one has left the Sg1 fandom. If anyone is interested drop me a PM.