Disclaimer: Stargate belongs to someone who isn't me; I'm simply playing in their sandbox
Title: No Consequences
Timeframe: Probably AU since this tries to follow cannon, but I didn't watch the episodes following "Window of Opportunity" before writing this.
Summary: In the week after "Window of Opportunity" an interesting rumor surfaces on base and Samantha Carter decides to get to the bottom of it... Carter & O'Neill
Notes: This rabbid bunny bit me and I had to write it. I've never written an SG-1 fic before in my life but I hope I kept them in character; please be gentle - and thanks to everyone who pointed out my glaring error with Sam's rank; it's been fixed. :)
Colonel Jack O'Neill didn't so much as twitch as Major Samantha Carter stuck her head into his room, his gaze still on the report he was finishing for General Hammond. "What can I do for you Sam?"
"Do you have a minute?"
"Sure," tossing the report aside, Jack leaned back in his chair and lifted his gaze to her. His lips tilted into the faint smile that had become hard to suppress around her since his looping days. "What's up?"
Sam stepped into the room, glancing back at the door she left open behind her, and then took an at ease pose. "I was hoping you could tell me."
"There's been some... rumors that have been floating around the base."
"About you and I, sir."
"Oh really?" Arching his eyebrows, Jack folded his arms across his chest and looked at her expectantly. He did nothing to hide his amusement. "I thought you knew better than to listen to gossip Major."
"Normally I wouldn't sir," she agreed with a tilt of her head, "but this time I can't seem to ignore them."
"Then... bad stuff?"
"O... kay." Staring at her, he couldn't - for the life of him - figure out why she seemed so on edge... or what possible rumor would fluster the ever competent and even keeled Carter the way she seemed to be. He waved towards one of the chairs. "Have a seat, Sam."
"I'd rather stand, sir."
"That bad huh?"
"What's with all the sirs, Carter?"
"Considering the circumstance, I think it's wise."
"Then just spit it out; what's this rumor you can't ignore."
"It has to do with the time loop we were stuck in, sir."
He barely managed to stop the smile that threatened from creasing his lips and coughed instead, twisting his chair a little with one foot. That time loop had done wonders for his disposition when it came to acting out certain fantasies. "Really?"
"Yes sir." She shifted, glancing away for a moment before meeting his gaze again and Jack swore he saw a fain blush touch her cheeks. Which was, of course ridiculous; Carter never blushed. "Daniel suggested you... we might have done something I don't remember."
"Daniel suggested." Amusement laced Jack's tone. "And just what did Daniel suggest?"
"Permission to speak freely, sir?"
"Since when do you ask, Carter?" Jack rotated one wrist, trying to get her to speed up. He had a good idea of what Daniel might have said to Sam, but he wanted to hear it from her. "Just spit it out."
With another glance at the doorway, Sam darted a look at him and then resolutely took one step to close it before turning to look at him. Without the additional backlight from the door, Jack was able to see that her color was indeed higher than normal; interesting. Still, that didn't deter her - Sam was too stubborn, too confident to let something trivial, like embarrassment, get in her way. It was only one of the many things he liked about her.
Squaring her shoulders, she met his gaze. "He suggested that you might have... that you might have well... kissed me, sir."
She blinked. "Sir?"
"Sheesh," slapping his forehead, Jack shook his head. "Daniel's a married man; couldn't he come up with something better?"
"It wasn't Daniel that started the rumor, sir."
"I don't suppose you took into account the fact that no other human remembers what happened as we were looped through the same day a zillion times?"
"Then why is it, Carter, that with all of the rumors flying about with regards to what might or might not have happened, this one caught your attention?
"Because of that little smile you were wearing every time you've seen me this last week." Carter planted both of her hands on the desk and leaned down so she could meet his gaze. "You did, didn't you."
Despite the nature of her words, Jack knew it wasn't a question. Sam had the uncanny ability to read him sometimes - and he really didn't want to deny it. No matter her reaction now, what mattered at the time was how nicely everything had played out.
"Relax? I feel violated!"
"Violated? How can you feel violated? You can't remember it or the circumstances around it!"
"Abusing your position of command-"
Jack laughed, cutting her off. "I know better than that."
"No consequences, remember?" Settling back in his chair once again, Jack waved her towards the seat again. "Sit, this could take a while."
The look she shot him made it plain she wasn't going to be distracted as she settled into the chair. "What could take a while, sir?"
"Confessing my sins," she wasn't amused by his impish reply and Jack's smile faded instantly. "When we first noticed the loop, Teal'C and I were focused on figuring out a way to stop it. It wasn't until we'd lost count of how many times we'd been through it and had Daniel start teaching us the translations so we could move further with it in every loop, that Daniel brought up a very good point."
"About there being no consequences."
"I still don't understand, sir. What does that have to do with you and me?"
"Have you ever wondered what you'd do with yourself if you didn't have to face the concequences of your actions, Carter?"
"All actions have consequences, sir."
"But imagine they didn't. Imagine... imagine you had one day to live where anything you did, anything you said - anything you chose was beyond reproach because nobody, except you, would remember it later. What would you do if you had twenty four hours to live consequence free?"
"Probably figure out a way to avoid reliving them."
"Exactly, and that's what we did for a long time." Shaking his head, Jack marveled at how long it had taken him to realize the opportunity he'd been given - and to capitalize on it. "But what would you do when that was all you were doing for days on end without a break? What would you do when you realized you could do anything you ever wanted?"
She was clearly considering his speech, and the affronted look was fading as he spoke. Jack leaned in, searching her gaze. "Well?"
"I don't know what I would do," she told him honestly. "I've never been placed in that position."
"It's very liberating," he confided with a grin.
"I don't doubt that sir. But I still don't understand why-"
"Isn't the better question why not?"
"C'mon, Carter! I feel it; I know you do too."
"Feel what, sir?"
"This thing... between us?"
"It's wrong, Colonel."
"And that's why it's wrong, right? Because I'm the Colonel and you're my Major," Jack surmised. "And guess what."
She was watching him warily. "What?"
"That's why I resigned before taking the chance."
Laughing, he grinned at her. "That's right. I spent one morning working on a resignation for Hammond, found my civvies and swept right into the gate control room with it."
"You're pulling my leg."
"God's honest truth," Jack stretched, linking his fingers as he slid his hands behind his head. Despite his best efforts, he was unable to wipe the grin from his lips. "Yeeep... I don't think Hammond would have looked more shocked if I'd walked in with a gun and started blazing away."
"I'm sure his expression was priceless."
"From what little I saw of it; I was too busy checking my watch."
"Your watch, sir?"
"Yeah... by that point I knew down to the second when the surge would come through the gate and reset my day - and I didn't want to give you the chance to resist or slap me."
"So, you took me by surprise."
"Yep. Was worth every second too."
She stared at him for a moment, nodded and then rose to her feet as if to leave.
"I still haven't answered your question, Major."
"I think I've heard enough," slanting a look his way, her lips cracked into a half smile. "More than enough."
"Still feel violated?"
"When you put it the way you did?" Shaking her head, she reached for the handle. "Not violated, more like flattered, sir."
Jack waited until she was closing the door before he spoke again. "And, Sam."
He grinned, waiting until she met his gaze again. "The answer to your question is yes."
"All three of them."
Confusion clouded her features. "Three, sir?"
Jack lifted his hand with three fingers at the ready and ticked them off. "Did I kiss you," he bent the first finger down. "Would I do it again," her eyes widened as his gaze never left hers and the second finger was folded towards his palm. He stopped, tapping the last one thoughtfully and saw her swallow hard as he smiled the half smile that had prompted her to seek him out in the first place. "And yes, Sam; you did kiss me back."
Heat blossomed strongly in her cheeks, with a slightly strangled sound he'd never heard from her before, as she disappeared from his doorway and the door closed quickly behind her.
Jack stared after it for a long moment, able to distinguish her shadow still on the other side from the light at the bottom of the door. He waited to see what the consequence of this particular, revealing conversation would be... only to find himself disappointed when Sam pushed away from his door and headed off at a brisk clip.
Expected, but somewhat disappointing after their conversation none-the-less. Shaking his head, he turned back to his report. They were both mature, responsible adults stuck in a rigid hierarchy that Sam would never dream of breeching - and neither would he. He would simply have to make do with the memory and leave her to wonder... which left them right back where they'd started.
Daniel had been right after all; no consequences.