Bending the Timeline
This story is a gift for the Shippy Hippies at Gateworld, for the celebration of the 40th anniversary of Woodstock. It's a missing scene from the episode, 1969. Hope you enjoy!
Jack moved through the street fair with his head down, Carter's warning still running through his mind. "Remember," she had said, "interact with other people as little as possible. Anything you do, any contact you have with anyone, could affect the timeline."
"C'mon, Carter, be serious," Jack had argued. "So I talk to a few people. As long as I don't say anything about the future…"
"Shhhhhh!" she hissed.
He lowered his voice, clearly irritated. "As long as I don't reveal anything I know about…you know when…what harm can it do?"
"That's just it, Sir, we don't know," she said again, and he was fairly certain her tone was one she would use with a small, unruly child. "We just can't take the chance."
Since she was Carter, and she was usually right, Jack grudgingly shrugged his shoulders and promised her he would restrict contact with other people to the minimum necessary to make his clothing purchases. Each of the four members of SG-1 had gone their separate ways, trying to complete the task as quickly as possible so they could rejoin their new friends, Michael and Jenny, and hit the road.
Jack shrugged off the leather jacket he had just purchased so it would be easier to slide into the jeans he was considering. As he checked the fit, he wondered to himself what his 17-year-old self was doing today. Try as he might, he couldn't remember…but he was fairly sure "he" was in Minnesota…probably mowing a lawn or two and putting the cash back for a date this weekend. He tried to remember the girl he was dating that summer, but couldn't recall her name.
Chuckling to himself, Jack had just paid for the jeans when he turned to see Teal'c approaching. At least, he thought it was Teal'c. The large, muscular man was wearing brown pants, a pink shirt with full sleeves and a flowered tapestry vest. Jack stopped and stared, his mouth forming a startled grin. Hey, he remembered the 60s. If it had just been the clothing, he could have kept a poker face. But the big guy was suddenly sporting a curly head of hair that was wrapped by a bright pink and white scarf.
"Is there something wrong, O'Neill?" Teal'c asked, a slight smirk on his face as he observed his friend's bemused expression.
For a reason he didn't fully understand, Jack was suddenly making swirling motions around his own head. "Uh…"
"I observed that the fashion of the day afforded me an opportunity to hide my mark of servitude without wearing a hat."
Jack nodded. "Of course. Yeah. Right."
"It is much more comfortable than a hat. I find it…quite liberating." Teal'c's smirk widened into a full-fledged grin. "Daniel Jackson is burning our clothing in an incinerator behind this marketplace. He sent me to retrieve your old clothing and Captain Carter's, in order to follow the captain's instructions."
Jack handed over his own bundle with a sigh. Carter didn't want to take a chance on anyone finding their greens made from fabrics that had not yet been created, so they had all agreed to burn their clothes once they found replacements. Damn, the woman thought of everything.
"I haven't seen her in awhile, T. Why don't you take these to Daniel while I round up Carter?"
"The incinerator is behind that store," Teal'c said, pointing to a nearby building.
Jack nodded. "Back in a few," he replied, and the two friends parted, each heading off to complete his task.
Jack strolled through the crowd, looking for Carter's short, blond hair. The crowd, once heavy, was beginning to thin out as he approached the end of the shopping center where the fair was being held. Wishing for his radio so he could hail her, he was getting exasperated and a little concerned when he almost stumbled right over her...and the flowing denim and suede skirt she was wearing.
Carter had squatted down in order to be at eye level with a little boy, and she was listening intently to what he was saying. Arching a brow, Jack gave the child a closer gaze. He was sporting a thick head of black hair, and he seemed enchanted by Carter. Jack had to admit she looked good. Besides the skirt, she had bought a tapestry jacket, a t-shirt and some beads, and Jack thought to himself that he hadn't seen her in such feminine clothing since they encountered the Shavadai.
Unexpectedly, the child looked up at Jack. "She's pretty," he smiled, and before Jack realized it, he heard himself emit a laugh.
Carter turned and looked up at Jack with a not-too-happy expression on her face. Jack quickly responded to the child. "Yes, yes, she is." Pausing a moment, he addressed his 21C. "Carter? A word?"
Carter rose to her full height, looking slightly sheepish. She spoke softly. "I know what you're going to say, Sir."
"Her name is Samantha," the little boy said. "It's Samantha…not Carter."
"It's ok," Sam smiled at the child. "This is my friend, and he called me…"
"A nickname," Jack said. "It's a nickname."
"Are you Nick?" the child asked.
Carter giggled. :"No, his name is Jack."
"Sir, he was lost, and he's only six."
"But you said…"
"I think it's ok."
"Ok, so now that you've done exactly what you told the rest of us not to do…"
"We help him find his mother, and then, we go on our way." She smiled at him, and despite the fact that they were stuck 30 years in their past with no idea of how they were going to get home, Jack suddenly felt better. He was pondering why her smile had such a profound effect on him when he was distracted by the sound of someone running toward them.
Jack, instantly on alert, turned just as a woman dropped to her knees, crushing the little boy in her arms. "Where have you been?" she sobbed, pulling back to look the child squarely in the eyes. Realizing they weren't alone, she turned to size up the strangers. "I turned around to pay for something, and he was gone!" Her eyes were bright with tears, and Sam reached down to lay a reassuring hand on the woman's shoulder.
"It's ok, Mom," the child said. "I couldn't find you, but I found Samantha, and she was going to help me find you, and then Jack came along and…"
"Martin Wood, you will be the death of me yet…" the woman said, finally releasing the child to wipe the tears from her eyes. "Don't you ever---ever---do anything like that again."
"If it's any consolation, I think it was an honest mistake on his part," Sam smiled.
Jack leaned over to Sam. "Uh, Carter, shouldn't we be going?" he whispered. She nodded, and he turned to the woman. "Ma'am, we'll be going along now, unless you need something."
The woman stood up, taking the child's hand firmly in hers. "No, we're fine. Thank you for watching my son," she smiled, as she sniffled slightly.
Carter smiled. "Glad I was here." Jack picked up the old clothing Carter had laid aside and tugged at her arm. They turned to go, and as Sam looked back, the boy and his mother were still standing there, engaged in conversation.
"She's so pretty," the boy said to his mother. "Her name is Samantha, and his is Jack."
"Yes, honey, you told me," she replied, turning to gather up the packages she had dropped in her haste to reach her son.
"Samantha and Jack," Martin said. "I'm going to remember them."