Five times Cam trusted a member of his team even though it seemed a bad idea
The wormhole spit Cam out onto the unforgiving metal ramp, and he felt his wrist wrench painfully. How he managed, yet again, to survive a mission only to injure himself on his return he did not know.
Gingerly rotating his quickly purpling wrist he jerked back as Teal'c's strong hand lifted him up by the collar of his shirt, setting him right once more. Teal'c's palm clamped down on his shoulder with a gentle firmness. "There is no need for concern ColonelMitchell. You will soon become accustomed to the vagaries of gate travel."
The rest of his team, all of whom had made a far smoother entrance than he had, smiled as they walked past, obviously sharing the same sentiment. Looking up at the stargate, watching as it deactivated, Cam wasn't entirely sure he believed them.
Hanging over the edge of a cliff, a prickled vine blistering away at the palm of his hand, was not what Cam had planned for his day. He was starting to realise, however, that life at the SGC rarely (if ever) went according to plan. All he could see was the rock face in front of him and he dared not move too far in any direction in fear of loosing what precarious balance he had and falling the remaining, life-snatching distance.
Looking up, he managed to catch the pale blur of Sam's face as her voice came in over the radio. "Cam are you alright?"
"Yeah, just peachy, Sam. Get me out of here!"
"Right. Just don't go anywhere."
Cam tightened his grip on the vine and contemplated the revenge he intended to take out on his teammate for wisecracking while he was in mortal peril.
"Okay Cam," she was talking in the slow, calm voice she used whenever explaining anything exceptionally complex to him. "We haven't got enough rope to come get you, so here's what we need you to do: let go."
Cam thought for a sec. "Okay Sam, you're very funny. Now come get me."
"I'm serious Cam, let go. Trust me."
He was insane – heck she was insane, he had documented proof – but, despite this, he knew he could trust her. Daniel may be the linguist of the group, but Cam hadn't spent his entire adult life in the service without learning a thing or two, and he prized himself on reading people's voices well. Sam Carter had a distinct voice, one that ran the gamut from hyper-squirrel to hair-raising, gut-clenching scary. Right now there was no denying the absolute confidence and sincerity in her voice. He had learnt to trust that voice, even when everything in the universe screamed to do otherwise.
And when he let go, rock scratching his skin and adrenaline-fuelled terror dragging him down faster than gravity, he didn't even try to reign in his elated shout when his feet hit the ledge below. "Now that's what I'm talkin' bout! Whoo!"
Cam had always thought the SGC to be a pretty big place – it was inside a mountain, after all – but Cam's view changed forever when he learnt something people the universe over regretted learning. Namely that any location became infinitely smaller and inescapable when you found yourself the sole focus of attention for one Vala Mal Doran.
She had been shadowing him for hours. Well, actually, she'd given up the 'shadow' part pretty quick; she was currently skipping around him, chirping singingly in his ear and showing absolutely no sign of letting up or slowing down.
"Come on, Cam," she entreated for the thousandth time. "It's her birthday, you have to get her something fantastic. You don't want to be in the canine accommodation."
He slowed, confused. "… the doghouse?"
"That's what I said. I'm just trying to help, Cam. I don't think you're very good at this girl thing."
She waved him off with a flick of her hair. "Oh don't worry, honey, none of you Earth males are. Sam and I have been talking, you're just all so dense. Everyone keeps telling me that Daniel is an exceedingly smart specimen for your people, but there are times when I seriously question this. I mean, last night I went to visit him, see, and I wore my new black -"
"Whoa, whoa, Vala. I don't want to know."
"I'm just saying, you're hopeless. I just don't want to see you waste a perfectly good excuse for some 'celebrating' by spending Amy's birthday sleeping on the futon."
"You mean the sofa?"
"That's what I said. Anyway, cough it up."
Cam scoffed and kept walking. "There is no way I'm letting you buy my girlfriend a birthday gift."
"Fine. Just tell me what you've already bought her and I'll stop." He didn't say anything. "Ha, I knew it! Trust me, I'm a great shopper."
"Oh yes, and I can just imagine what you'd buy."
She grinned at him in a way only Vala was capable of. "And don't think you wouldn't love it."
She rolled her eyes. "Fine, fine, I'll buy something boring. Now will you just give in already? I'm starting to get bored and I'd hate to have to get creative."
It was with great reluctance that he handed over his credit card. He knew Vala meant well, but things usually got well out of control whenever she got involved. He headed off towards the lift; maybe he could convince Sam to go with her.
The giggles hit him as soon as he entered the commissary. They were quiet, and contained to a single table, but unmistakeable all the same. Shaking it off as paranoia, he collected his tray and went to join his team.
Sitting down next to Daniel he started to say his goodmorning greetings when he caught the look on Sam's face. A poker face she did not have, and right now she was damn near bursting with constrained laughter. Sitting next to her, Vala was shooting him an appraising look that made him decidedly uncomfortable. It was Teal'c, however, that really clinched it, a small smile threatening to slip out – the Jaffa equivalent of a belly laugh.
Cam slammed his tray down on the table and wheeled on Daniel. "You told!"
Daniel shot him his patented 'Who, me?' look and simply sipped his coffee.
"But, wha- why would -?"
Cam's spluttering went completely ignored by the smug man now flicking through the morning's paper, but only fuelled Sam's cough-covered giggles and made Vala's lips tip in a disturbingly seductive smile.
He grabbed the paper out of Daniel's hands. "I thought you said I could trust you!"
"Of course you can trust me," Daniel said matter-of-factly. "But I said nothing about not telling everyone I saw. Welcome to the team."
Cam leant back into the seat of his chair and watched his teammates as they all smiled, laughed and argued with the man sitting right in the middle of the fray. It wasn't until Jack O'Neill came to town that the mountain truly came to life, sparking with the energy and enthusiasm he himself felt. He understood this, the General was quite the man, and it was something he would accept entirely if his own friends weren't amongst those suddenly adopting a passion for life and work.
He remembered the day General O'Neill had offered him the job at the SGC, with the opportunity to work with the famed SG-1. It was like all his birthdays, Christmas', and star-wishes had come true all at once, and yet he had still hesitated, how could he ever hope to fit into a team that had worked so closely for so long?
"You'll be fine," O'Neill had said. "Coupla weeks and you'll feel like you've been there for years; you'll be part of the family in no time, trust me."
At the time he had, swimming through the pain and medication to accept the words of a man he respected and admired beyond belief. But now, watching as Sam smiled at the bickering between Daniel and O'Neill, he knew that he could never even hope to fill that place.