"What, sir?" Carter stood next to Thor's pod, fiddling with something on a control panel.
"This place—it's nice."
"It is indeed a beautiful planet, O'Neill." Teal'c descended the stairs leading to the gate and stopped next to Carter at the pod. "Has Thor's condition improved, Major Carter?"
"I don't know. He said that the pod could sustain his life indefinitely, but I don't know much about these things. I'm kind of worried about it being so far removed from any viable power source."
O'Neill joined them at the pod. Reaching out, he thumped on the glass above Thor's face. "He looks so waxy—"
In a sudden flash, the pod disappeared, leaving the three of them staring at nothing.
"Well, I guess that solves that power source problem, Carter."
Sam rocked back on her heels and looked around. Hefting her P-90, she checked its load and then adjusted her gear vest and pack. O'Neill was doing the same, while Teal'c moved over to the DHD.
"Should we attempt to dial home, Major Carter?"
Sam shook her head. "No, Teal'c, I don't think that they'll be able to get the gate on Earth up and running inside of a week."
"But they'll have Siler working on it." O'Neill raised his eyebrows suggestively. "It'll take two weeks, at least."
"Sir, Siler is a perfectly capable technician. He'll figure it out." Carter shrugged. "Besides, I taught him all he needs to know."
"Well, Campers. We'd better find a place to wait, then." O'Neill waved a hand towards the woods all around them. "Let's get a bit away from the gate and make a camp. Find fresh water, forage for nuts and berries," he started walking away from the gate, "Maybe this is a resort town like Aspen. Tahoe. Sheboygan."
"I'm pretty sure that it's just trees, sir. SG-13 came here several months ago. Their report didn't mention anything except trees—"
"Right or left?"
Sam pulled a compass out of her vest pocket. "I believe SG-13 found fresh water to the east, sir."
"Right it is, then."
For several minutes they walked in companionable silence, keeping watchful eyes out for anything threatening. They fanned out over about twenty yards, coming back together at O'Neill's short whistle.
He was standing next to a pond—roughly the size of his pond in Minnesota. It was fed from the north by a stream—and there was a dam of some sort at the opposite end that allowed some water to continue on its course. Twenty feet or so of grass ringed the pond, and then started the ubiquitous trees that they seemed to run into on every planet in the galaxy.
Somewhere along the way it had become Teal'c's job to test the purity of water they found off-world. Junior managed to sort out whether it was drinkable or not.
Teal'c squatted and dipped a hand into the water. Raising it to his lips, he paused before nodding.. "It is indeed healthful, O'Neill."
"Well, then. We'll set up here." He was already plunking his vest on the grass. "Basic perimeter and site set up." Here he paused and executed a complete 360-degree turn. "Carter?"
"Did you happen to pack some tents in with those Spaz-9s?"
"No sir, we were planning on the shuttles." She grinned self-deprecatingly. "I'm afraid I didn't consider this possibility, sir."
He glanced towards the sky. "Doesn't look like rain."
"We know nothing about this planet's weather system, sir, it could change at any moment." Carter paused in the middle of digging a shallow hole. She had already collected smooth stones from around the pond to ring the fire pit. "It could get ugly at any time." She returned to digging. Jack watched appreciatively as she moved. Even digging out a shallow fire pit with a stick she was graceful.
Teal'c followed his gaze and considered briefly. He didn't understand everything about the Taur'i. They seemed to be too caught up in rules and appearances. The Jaffa were much more simple about life—they did what they did. They felt what they felt. At the appropriate time they acted on it. To act contrary to what they believed was only done for self preservation.
He had seen the growing tension between O'Neill and Samantha Carter. They worked well together. They understood each other. They had achieved a status wherein they could work without extreme discomfort—Teal'c suspected this was largely due to their sublimating the intense attraction that they felt towards each other. He and Daniel Jackson had spoken of it briefly—just after their return from Hathor's stronghold.
"Why do they not come together as man and woman?"
"Um. Yeah." Daniel Jackson had blushed and shaken his head slightly. "They can't. It's not allowed under the rules of the Air Force."
"I believe that they would find much comfort and pleasure if they were permitted to do so."
"Yeah. I do too, Teal'c," Daniel Jackson had met his gaze. "But with the rules as they are, they would also feel a lot of guilt. They would feel as if they had dishonored the code they've chosen to live by. They are people extremely attracted to each other. But they are also soldiers. They live by honor. You know all about that."
And Teal'c had inclined his head. He did know all about that.
Now he watched as O'Neill watched Samantha Carter. The hunger on the man's face was evident.
"O'Neill." Teal'c moved towards him. "This doesn't appear to be a planet inhabited by anything that might cause harm."
"Yeah. So?" Jack looked up at the big Jaffa.
"It occurs to me that I might make use of this time away from the SGC to reunite with my wife and Rya'c."
"That sounds fun." O'Neill jerked his head back over to where Carter was now placing the stones around the edge of the pit. "Oy, Carter—wanna go visit the Jaffa?"
Teal'c raised an eyebrow and inclined his head. "O'Neill."
"Perhaps I did not make myself clear. It has been much time since I have seen my wife and son. The home they have established is very small."
"It'll be cozy."
"There will be little room for the sort of privacy my wife and I might crave."
O'Neill took a deep breath and turned his back completely on Carter. He leaned closer to Teal'c and removed his sunglasses. "What are you suggesting here, Teal'c?"
"That I might spend some time alone with my wife and son, O'Neill. Nothing more."
"You do know that if you leave, Carter and I will be here alone."
"I'm not so sure that's such a great idea."
"Because you do not believe Major Carter to be an acceptable companion?" Teal'c's brow rose even further. "Somehow I do not think you take issue with that, Colonel O'Neill."
Jack grimaced and raised a hand to scratch his head. Glancing at Sam again, he turned his back on her and leaned closer to the Jaffa. "It's just that. . ." He stopped and took a deep breath. Finally, he met Teal'c's eyes. "She's a girl."
"She is a soldier and an officer."
"Yeah." Jack spread his hands in a blatant plea. "She's Carter, Teal'c."
"Exactly my point, O'Neill. I have often observed you and Major Carter together. You work well as a team and seem to enjoy each others' company." Teal'c bent his torso slightly in a Jaffa bow. He turned his attention back to Sam. "Major Carter."
Sam sat back on her heels and looked up at him. She had been unobtrusively watching their interaction, but unable to hear the conversation. "Yeah, Teal'c?"
"I have decided to travel alone through the Chappa'i to my wife and son. I will return tomorrow with provisions and tents. Is this plan amenable to you?"
Sam put down the stone she was holding, stood and crossed the meadow to where he and Colonel O'Neill stood. "You're leaving?"
"It has been many weeks since I have been able to engage in congress with my wife. I find myself much desirous of spending time with my family."
Sam smiled slightly, glancing at Jack, whose face had reddened considerably. To be honest, she loved it when he got embarrassed. He was such an old world guy. He got flustered whenever any mention of physical contact between two people came up in the course of conversation. This "congress with my wife" stuff must be killing him. Her lips twitched before she could completely control the urge to laugh.
Teal'c's voice brought her back. "Is this decision acceptable to you?"
Sam smiled and glanced again at her CO. "Yeah. Sure, Teal'c. Have a great time. I can safely say that we've got about a week to cool our heels here."
"I will return in a few days with provisions."
Jack coughed. With his index finger, he punctuated the air. "Yes. Return. Soon. Provisions."
And with another slight bow, Teal'c headed back towards the 'Gate.
Jack watched him for a long time, clearly at a loss. Finally, he turned to Sam, who was industriously testing the bendiness of local tree branches. "Can you believe that guy?" He flung his hands out wide. "You think you know someone. Way of the warrior and all that crap and he leaves us defenseless here so he can go and schtup his wife."
Sam hid a snort behind a branch. She bit her lips together and tried not to laugh.
"I mean, really. What's more important? Congress or—" He flailed one hand between himself and his second. "Us? What if there are big honkin' space tigers here? Or nasty bugs like the ones on—" He stopped, clearly unable to remember the planet's designation. He thought of something else, and stuck a triumphant pose. "What if it snows?"
Sam glanced at the perfectly cloudless, blue sky from behind her branch. "Snow, sir?" That's when she lost it completely and erupted into laughter.