Title: 100 Things I Love About Major Samantha Carter
Author: Rebecca Johnson [.com]
Spoilers: Far, far too many to count. Just assume general spoilers (large and minor) from all seasons
Summary: Finding himself bored during a briefing, Jack turns from doodling on his notepad to create a list of all the things he loves about Samantha Carter.
Author's Note: (1) I found it really hard to narrow down a timeframe on this one, I'd just get it settled and something would pop up and ruin it. So I'm going to say that it's set late s7, but with occasional blurring of that line.
(2) Ever had a story that just never ended? This story has been sitting, half-finished, on my hard drive for far too long, I'm very glad to see it moving out of home.
Disclaimer: Despite these really being all the things I love about Samantha Carter, I don't own her. Which is a huge shame cause I'd take such good care of her. Really, I promise.
1. The way she always laughs at my jokes. From the day we met, despite our differences, she has had a smile for my comments. Daniel is usually good for a roll of the eyes and Teal'c, well, most of the time he doesn't get it … though I think he understands a lot more these days than he lets on. But Sam, she's always good for a laugh, small and hidden though it may be at times. And, though I'll never admit it, there has been the occasional (yes, I stand by 'occasional'…) time that I've said something just to get that reaction from her.
2. She always knows what I'm thinking! I have no idea how she does it! I mean, seriously, is it some kind of Doctor-superpower? … maybe not, Daniel's pretty good, but not that good. I'll give her credit where it's due: out in the field this little talent of hers is a godsend. It is amazing to work, for the first time in my career, with someone who knows exactly what I want and when I want it … but at other times it's just damn annoying. I have lost count of the amount of times I've looked up to see her 'I'll explain it to you when we're away from the general' face or even the one that says, all too clearly, 'don't even think about it' as she's pulling some piece of equipment out of my reach. Yeah it bugs the hell out of me, but still, I kinda like it.
But the best times are when I'm lost in a daze (usually thinking about some interesting scenario involving a certain blonde Major) and I come out of it to see that small grin on her face – you know, that one that's not really there, just hiding away in the very corner of her mouth and shining out of her eyes – and I just know that she knows I've been thinking about her … again.
3. Whenever we all go out, she orders diet soda, every time. I mean, the woman's practically a stick and here she is ordering a diet soda. And whenever I try to comment on it, she just says she "prefers the taste" … it's diet soda, for cryin' out loud! Who "prefers the taste" of that diet crap? Only Sam, apparently.
4. She understands the power of a good cliché, and knows nearly as many as me. If anyone asks, I still hate them … but I hate them just enough to enjoy a good cliché war and Sam's always a good opponent … just don't let Danny know, gotta let the linguist think he's good at something.
5. The way she cries. A part of me knows that I should feel bad that seeing her upset is one of the things I love about her, but I know the dangers of our way of life. I've lived those dangers and been forever changed by them … I don't want that for her. Nothing makes me more … relieved, to know that she still feels these things. But even more, I am thankful that in the times when she breaks, I can help pick up the pieces, that it is one of the few times that it is okay for me to hold and comfort her.
6. Her and her damn sci-fi movies. The woman is such a nerd. But hey, if she wants to go and criticise every one just to "see if they're getting it right" then I'll come along. I'll even pretend to enjoy them. Besides, that bright look on her face when she can tell us why it is they're wrong is just so adorable. Of course, this is usually followed by a long stream of technobabble that I don't even try to understand, but that's okay, that look will get me through a lot.
7. She fends off Janet for me. Okay, so sometimes she's not entirely successful, and sometimes her offer to "run interference" is merely a swindle to get me there quicker (evil, evil woman) but I'll take what I can get; the Doc has huge needles (that I swear she saves up just for me) and Sam is the only one with any pull.
8. Her crossword challenges. I should really learn to keep my mouth shut around her, because she will take any (and every) challenge to heart. But heck, if a crossword is all it takes to get her waiting for me in the mornings and popping up at my every turn to check my progress (she claims it's a coincidence but the way she darts about trying to get a peek makes this a little hard to believe) then I'll happily do every single one. Though it's actually getting harder and harder to foul up each week. Playing dumb to get that indulgent look is getting harder every year.
9. The way she says my name. Even though she still refuses to call me 'Jack' off duty, she will occasionally slip up and my heart stops every single time. Sometimes, usually when one or both of us are dying (I should probably try to limit that) she'll say it, my name falling from her lips in a whisper that, no matter how quiet, fills me more than any scream. But with each passing year, as that wall between us chips away bit by bit, it slips out more and more: when she's scolding me for breaking (yet another) of her doohickies or when we're arguing about something too dangerous for us to be even talking about.
My favourite of all, however, comes in those times when she's so tired that I have to practically carry her to her quarters on base just to stop her from sleeping (again) at her desk. As I pull the covers up under her chin and she snuggles into her pillows (and trust me, knowing she's such a snuggler has done nothing for my own sleeping patterns), the sleepy "thank you, Jack" drifts back to me … I've had to do a lot of hard things in my life (Black Ops is no cake walk, let me tell you) but in those instances, that walk from her bedside to her door is the hardest move I've ever had to make.
10. She's an egghead (hey, I walked right into it, I may as well use the phrase), but she's my egghead. I don't know what I'd do without her to think our way out of trouble sometimes. And there has been more than one occasion where I've been approached by another SG leader wanting to 'borrow' my Major for the day. They're just jealous they don't have a Carter. I swear, if she came pocket-sized, I'd make a fortune.
11. She is always there to save my butt. Okay, so that's probably not the most romantic thing to say about the woman I love (even if only in secret) but it's the truth and she deserves credit. I have no idea how she manages to do it, or even why sometimes – I'm sure there are days when I deserve to be left behind – but she always does.
12. How, though she always saves my butt, she's also perfectly capable of kicking it. Level three hand-to-hand my foot, that woman is a damn fighting machine when she gets going and, for the love of god, don't tick her off cause she's all too willing to demonstrate.
13. The way she holds our team together. I know it sounds corny, sappy and a million other things (not to mention cliché) but she really is the glue that keeps us together. Sometimes I really pity the role (or should that be roles) she has to play with us guys. Continually jumping from mother, to sister, co-worker, baby sitter, eternal peace-maker, awkward unacknowledged partner … I don't know how she manages to keep it all straight in her head, but however she does, she is always there for all of us. She has never once forgotten an important event in any of our lives (except that one time she forgot about Danny's birthday … heh heh) and is always there with beer and pizza whenever we need it most. She's our heart.
14. That even though she's surrounded by soldiers, pilots, marines, and, let's face it, all manner of weird aliens, she hardly ever swears … and when she does it's downright hilarious. But I mean, come on, what kind of battled-hardened soldier says "Holy Hannah"? Okay, her dad does too, but I don't seem to find that as endearing, for some reason.
15. The way she challenged me to an arm wrestle in that briefing the first day. Even now it makes me smile to think about it. I've never ever actually called her on that challenge, though I sure love teasing her about it. I'm gonna have to start being careful though, she's really got that passive aggressive, just within the realms of subordination glare of hers down, one day it's gonna burn a hole right through me.
16. Duplicate Sams. If one Samantha Carter is amazing, well, more than one is … more than amazing. And if ever a situation comes up where one of us is going to have a duplicate (and in our jobs it comes up with disturbing regularity) you can bet your boots it'll be Sam greeting her twin at the gate. Sometimes it's fascinating to try and spot the differences (though more often than not it's the hair thing) and sometimes it's just downright confusing (come on, one Carter doing technobabble is enough to make my head explode). Mostly, though, I think that whatever snake-free God is out there is just getting a great kick out of seeing how much he can throw my way before I pack it in and just have that heart attack. I mean, seriously, I'm an old man, and one Carter is enough to have an effect.
17. How she babbles when she's nervous. She can spout off words in her sleep that I could never even dream of understanding but put her in a personal situation (like, say, coming to visit a CO for one of 'those' talks) and she'll babble her head off till the cows come home (…do cows actually come home? Where have they been all this time?) Anyways, it's pretty cute … though don't tell her I said so, a comment like that's probably enough to get one of those butt-kickin's I mentioned.
18. The way she looks in those black shirts. No one should look that good in BDUs, it's just not fair! Talk about 'you can look but not touch'. Heart attack; I tell you, it's coming.
19. She blew up a sun! I mean, come on, she's practically a superhero! (…suddenly I'm imagining Carter in a cape and boots … ah, all those comic books are suddenly finding a practical use.) I suppose if she's a superhero then we all are (though I draw the line at being a side kick) … but I don't really have the same desire to see Danny in tights. Then again, Teal'c would be pretty funny.
20. How sometimes I have to literally drag her out of her lab, once she even kicked and screamed (gotta love it when a cliché comes to life). I swear, if I didn't turn up, she'd never leave the place. I don't know what it is about her house that she doesn't like but she doesn't seem to be in any hurry to get there.
As much as I wish she would find that life I keep trying to order her to get, even if only for her health, I kinda like our little routine. I enjoy trying to entice her out of her own little world, and I like the ways she tries to dodge my attempts. And though she'd probably never own up to it, I think she likes that I keep trying, that's probably why I even win on occasion.
21. Those eyes of hers. I've never really been eye man before, usually being an admirer of more, ahem, obvious attributes, but she sure converted me. Never before have I seen such wide, expressive eyes and I'll be the first to tell you (though only you, my trusty notepad) that I've found myself caught up in them on more than a few times. God help me the day she learns just how much sway she and those blue eyes of hers have over me. Over all of us, truth be told.
22. Her and her blue jello – I swear the commissary only makes it for her, probably cause that smarmy cook has a bit of a thing for her … then again, that's hardly unusual on this base. After all these years she still refuses to bow to the superiority that is red jello but still it's always nice to have something to talk about (argue about) over desert.
23. She can find all the files I accidentally delete on my computer. And don't laugh, it is a very important, very valid reason for loving her. I have about as much skill with a computer as she has with a … well … she's pretty good at pretty much anything she does, so let's just say I'm hopeless. I swear, if I loose one more report right before it's due to be handed in, the general's gonna put me on detention. The IT department bounce between refusing to help me yet again and laughing hilariously at my current predicament but Sam usually diplomatic enough to hold in her chuckles until she leaves. Usually.
24. Oh god, the way she looks when she's in her dress blues. Now believe me, and anybody I've ever worked with will attest to this, there is nothing I hate more than having to get dressed up in a monkey suit, even a military monkey suit and head off to some boring function where they serve punch in those itty bitty cups … but I would gladly do it every day of the week if it meant I could see those long legs coming from that skirt. Probably shouldn't tell Hammond why I'm suddenly so eager to go, though…
25. How much she loves her doohickeys. Okay, so they're all just a bunch of funny looking things that break way too easily to me, but she seems to get a kick out of 'em. I kinda wish she'd put 'em away long enough to have a bit of a life sometimes, but hey, she probably wouldn't be her if she did, and besides, she's the only one around here who actually understands how they work.
26. How she doesn't hit me for calling her "incredibly advanced pieces of technology" doohickeys.
27. She has alphabetized bookshelves. Look, I get it already, she's a nerd, but come on. I came by to borrow a book once (yes, despite what rock-boy may think, I do read from time to time) and she actually freaked out when I put it back in the wrong space! She got all nervous and jittery; she's got more issues than me, and that's sayin' something. Okay, okay, I'll admit that it's kinda cute in a weird obsessive compulsive kinda way.
28. The way, even after years of working together, she still tries to explain things to me. Most of the time I don't really need to know, if she understands it all then I'm good to go, but some days I really just don't have the heart to tell her that, and hey, if she wants to keep on trying to explain things to her boss when we've got nothing else going down then I'm more than happy to let her ramble away, gives me quite the handy excuse to watch her uninterrupted.
29. She bought meaning back into my life when I thought there was nothing left in this world for me. I will forever be grateful (even if I don't really express it as well as I should) to Daniel for all he did for me back on Abydos, helping me see that my death wasn't going to solve the problem; and to Hammond and the SGC for giving me back my career and sense of purpose. But it was Sam who showed me how to laugh again, who showed me that there were still things like honour, integrity and joy left for someone like me. She taught me that I am still capable of love … I hope that she knows this.
30. She'll eat cake with me. Occasionally she'll have her grumble first ('I really do have a lot of work to do, sir' – geez, anyone'd think Hammond was chaining her to her desk) but she usually caves and comes with me. Plus, she's always here, so, no matter what time of day or night, I'm pretty much always guaranteed a cake buddy. Comes in handy when that damn cook refuses to give me a second helping of that dee-licious chocolate frosted thing we had last week (he really is a sucker for those lashes of hers) or when he decides to lock it away in the fridge after hours (anyone'd think this guy didn't like me for some reason) – she is mighty handy with a lock, though I like to think it's more to do with that expert way I hold the torch for her.
31. The way she calmly explains all-things-Earth to Teal'c when Danny and I manage to confuse him yet again – I can't help it if the big guy doesn't understand my well thought out explanations and, well, anyone would get lost in "the Professor's" long winded recitations. Sam can really do that calm teacher voice when she wants to and, when she's stopped trying to laugh at whatever it is I was trying to explain, can usually smooth the poor guy's utter puzzlement with ease.
32. How she's always the first thing I see in the infirmary. Okay, okay, sometimes the first thing I see is Janet coming at me with a huge honkin' needle or that damn light she insists on shining in my eyes (if I'm shot in the leg how on earth is shining a light in my eyes gonna help?!), but that's usually enough to knock me back out again from fear … uh, I mean, from manly resistance to her attack - and by the time I come around again it's all Sam.
Infirmary-time is always dangerous for us. I mean, life-threatening situations aside, it's far too easy to slip over that line we are always so careful to walk; far too easy to go from concerned co-worker to that person who refuses to leave, sitting at a bedside holding their hand. Though she's always the first person I see when I come around (I will admit that she's also the first person I look for), we've learned the hard way that it's usually best to disappear for a while once we've been spotted. I've experienced it enough times from the other side to know that the quick little manoeuvre she gives once I've awoken is the signalling of the end of our painfully perfected routine, that the short lived grace period that Janet and her selective vision has allowed us throughout the night has come to its close and that it's time to let go of the hand and pick up our ranks once more.
33. She knows her way around Washington. Though I still find it hard to imagine her working at the Pentagon with all those back-stabbing bureaucrats – no, seriously, just picture Carter bent over something suitably impressive looking (you know, give it some flashing lights or something) just to have some guy in a suit come in and peer over her shoulder spouting some bull about something or other … some days she has to restrain herself from yelling at me!
Anyways, Washington. One of us needs to know our way around with all these 'We Saved the World Again' receptions we keep getting thrown for us. Though I sure could see the benefits in getting lost for a while, and thereby negating the possibility of being sent to another one. I don't think Hammond would see my going AWOL in such a positive perspective.
34. Her attempts to get out of going fishing with me. Heck, I know why she won't come with me, I'm not really as dumb as I look. But that doesn't mean that I'm gonna stop asking! It's far too much fun to watch the hesitancy fly across her face and then the panic as she reaches for an excuse that she'll think I'll buy. Besides, if I stop asking then she's never gonna cave and say 'yes' one day, will she? Though if she ever finds out that I've been messing with her like this for all these years she may just go fishing after all - with me as the bait.
35. The way she gets so unbelievably excited over things that no one else around her even understands. Her whole face lights up and she gets that huge Carter-grin that just knocks out everyone she aims it at. (I don't think she quite realises the effect she has. She should be classed as a deadly weapon.) Though she's speaking a million miles an hour, mostly using no words containing less than four syllables, she just looks so much like a kid hopped up on sugar that I can't help but think that she's just so completely lovable.
36. How, when she writes up her mission reports, she includes a brief summary page along for me. A good old fashioned 'cheat sheet'. She doesn't say anything about it; she just slips it under my door for me to find in the morning. After all these years I still don't get her weird numbering system for the planets we go to (she still claims it's the computer's system, not hers) so these sheets really keep me from having to bug Walter into telling me which is which.
36. How unbelievably sexy she looks in leather. Those leather boots, the jacket … the pants … mmmm ... Oh yeah, the leather. If I had any say in the matter her entire uniform would be made of the stuff, but then again, if she realised how much I, uh, appreciated it, she probably would think twice about wearing it. And hey, that'd kinda take the fun out of it, wouldn't it.
37. The way she is with Cassie. I sure don't blame the kid for attaching herself to her, she certainly wasn't the only one, and I'm the last person to condemn anyone for wanting to be close to Sam Carter. I know that at least part of her wanted to keep Cassie for herself when we found her back on Hanka, but even though it didn't turn out that way, she's still the best aunt any kid could ever ask for. She's always there for her no matter what the situation – I've certainly overheard her side of quite a few phone calls from a distraught teenager dealing with whatever it is that teenage girls, alien or no, have to deal with. And I'm even getting better at hiding my grin at hearing Carter talk about boys and makeup – sometimes in the same phone call.
And, though the very thought itself is almost too dangerous for me to even entertain, I can't help but recall the times over the years when, seeing Cassie and Sam together, or even those times in the early days when I could still coax the pair into days at the park, when I couldn't help but imagine the family that we were playing at, the family that maybe (please God) we could have of our own one day.
38. How she talks to her plants (oh I bet she wishes she had never let that one slip). She really needs to get a life if she's resorting to her plants for conversation. However let me give you some advice, my lucky notepad, don't ever comment on it, and, for God's sake, never tease – every plant in my house and garden now has a name … no, I'm not kidding here. Whenever she comes over and I manage to tick her off (and let's face it, that's pretty much every time) she spends her time talking to the plants instead of me. And she can keep that conversation going for quite some time, let me assure you. And don't get me started on the time I accidentally (and it was an accident, I swear) forgot to water one of the plants and it died. My God, it was a tragedy of Shakespearean proportions; I thought she was gonna hold a funeral for the damn thing.
39. How she hums when she's really happy – and, best of all, that she doesn't notice she's doing it. Of course, I'll point it out from time to time to get her face to do that pink 'busted' expression (you should try it, it's fun), but usually I just let it go and enjoy it, it doesn't happen as much as I'd like.
40. The way she hugs Thor. Yep, the little fella told me about that, it pays to be the Asgard's favourite human. Besides, I don't think he really understood the sentiment at first, he came to me looking for advice on human mating rituals, and I swear the guy actually looked disappointed when I explained that she was just being friendly. Major Samantha Carter, making interesting alien relations the galaxy over, heh.
41. The way she usually manages to steal the showers before us guys can get there (really, you'd think with a base this size they'd spring to have another locker room installed). I don't know how she manages to do it; I think she's bribing the orderlies in the infirmary to go extra slow with us. I can't prove it, she's too slick for that, but there's no convincing me that she's not doing something, not with the way she leaves with that little grin on her face and spring in her step.
42. How she's a heck of lot more comfortable toting a P-90 and hunting down some snake heads with me than sitting through a full dress conference with the big-wigs. I can't tell you how happy that makes me. Besides, it's nice to have these things in common … makes her more willing to spring me with an 'emergency' as soon as possible.
43. How when we were all on our superhero kick, with more power than humanly imaginable, she, of all things, decided to write a physics book. Even went as far as to complain that the computer was too slow for her. She could have done anything in the world, anything at all, but instead of going crazy like the rest of us, she does this.
44. The way she didn't laugh at me when she caught me trying to read this book. I mean, I'm sure she did, but she managed to keep it in till I was gone.
45. How she's perfected her 'innocent eyes' routine for use against Hammond. She'll swear that she's just another soldier and that she doesn't get special treatment from the boss, but there's no way in hell she doesn't know what effect those huge little girl eyes have on good ol' 'Uncle George', no way. Now if only she'd use them to get me off the hook for not handing in my paperwork on time, then we'd really have something.
46. She stops me from killing the spacemonkey when he just pushes too far. It's not easy, but she manages to do it. Perhaps this should be why Daniel should love Sam (trust me, she's saved him far more times than he's aware) but it sure saves me a heap of trouble, or at least paperwork.
On those days when Daniel is most Danny-like – you know, when he walks up to an armed alien just to chat, or decides that it's a mighty good idea to disappear for hours on end on a potentially hostile planet just to check out some rock – she just slips in between the pair of us and gives me that look that says she knows exactly what I'm thinking and that I'll regret it later … probably much later, but still.
47. She has a hundred different little smiles, from that 'no, I'm not smiling' smile, to her 'yes, I'm indulging you here' smile. Her 'I'm smiling and walking away from the crazy man' smile and 'oh my god you're so unbelievably stupid, but I think you're cute anyway' smile (yes, I'm projecting here, let a man dream!). She's got a smile for annoying generals, and for slightly over-attentive lieutenants. Smiles with dimples, smiles with a laugh, and, best of all, a smile so bright that everyone around her is so blinded, but can't help but look anyways. The slightest smile from her will light up my entire week, a large one … well, it's probably not best to talk about that.
48. She thought the Mini-Me was cute. I know, I know, it wasn't really me she was saying it to, but Teal'c told me about it and hey, I'll take what I can get!
49. She loves romantic musicals, her favourite being Singin' in the Rain. Let me tell you, there is absolutely nothing better than walking into the locker room to hear a voice coming from the showers belting show tunes and just knowing that it's your major. Daniel just shoots a weird look towards the bays, and Teal'c raises an eyebrow (to be honest, I'm kind of glad he never understood the 'singing in the shower' bit, I don't think I'd like Jaffa songs, if his jokes are anything to go by), as for me, I just find it hard enough not to run in and sing along. Somehow I just know that if I did that, she'd stop.
50. She's a damn pool shark! Don't ever play with her, ever. Besides, now that I've been caught (and caught good, let me tell you) It's much more fun to just stand back and watch her hustle those bozos at the bar who are to busy paying attention to her, how shall I put it, more 'favourable assets' to notice that gleam in her eyes. This has payed for many a round of drinks on team nights.
51. Speaking of drinks, she can last longer than one beer, unlike a certain other person who will go nameless. It's good to have someone to talk to when Teal'c has to drag Daniel back home (oops, I gave it away, heh). It's nice to have her there alone, even if she says she's only staying to help me tidy up; it gives us a chance to chat, mostly about meaningless things (the day's mission, Cassie's hockey skills) but still, it's nice.
That's not to say that I've never seen her, shall we say, 'liquored up' – it's rare, but it has happened. If you would have pegged Samantha Carter as a talkative drunk, well, you'd be right. Problem is, though, you never know what it is she's going to talk about. Usually she just loosens up the reigns on what she should and shouldn't say to her CO – and in these cases she's a hoot, laughing her ass off and insulting me left, right and centre. But sometimes it's the lid on those bottled up emotions that she loosens, which, while probably good for her in the long run, leaves her embarrassed and avoiding me in the morning. It was on one of these nights that I heard all about her mother and the months surrounding her death, and another that I learned all the details (far more than I had ever wanted to know, believe me) about Jonas Hanson. Part of me relishes those nights because it means I get to see a side of her that she never shows anyone, that she's practically forbidden to show me. But every second kills me because I know that, if she were in her right mind, she would never be telling me at all.
52. She lets me get away with corrupting Cassie – and sometimes she'll even soften up the Doc, too! Cassie's my buddy, my pal, my partner in crime in all things childish and I've spent years cultivating my role as her de-facto uncle. Besides, living with the Doc and having Sam has your aunt means that you're more likely to learn the intricacies of quantum mechanics than the fine art of stuffing your Brussels sprouts in your napkin at the dinner table. Someone needs to teach the poor kid these things and, lucky for me (not to mention Cassie), Sam seems to realise this and turns a blind eye to most things. Not that she'd let me sneak Cassie into the base to teach her how to slip past security guards – I thought this would be neat, Sam, not so much.
53. She knows me better than anyone I've ever met. Really. Daniel's pretty good with most things, Teal'c has got me down to a T on the battlefield (hehe, to a T, Teal'c haha), and Hammond knows me well enough by now to get a few good snide comments in here and there without most people noticing, but Sam, my god. Sometimes I thank my lucky stars that she's as honourable a person as she is, cause I swear, she could really do some damage with all the dirt she's got on me.
It's got its good sides too, don't get me wrong. It's nice to have someone turn up on your door an hour after you've managed to run away (or limp away as is more often the case) from the infirmary, pizza and movies in hand, cause they know that even if you don't want to talk, you really could use the company. It's good to have someone you can count on who knows what you're saying, even when you're trying really hard not to say it at all. And it's nice to have someone who turns up at your side and slips their hand into yours, without saying a word, on that one day of the year when you want nothing more than to crawl back into your bed with the doors locked and never, ever, come out again.
But best of all, it's nice that it's Sam.
54. The way she smiles when I call Jacob 'Dad'. It started as a joke, just one of the many stupid passing things I say to try to get a smile out of her, but its also one of the things that stuck. I try not to think too much about it, or, more to the point, why exactly she seems to like me saying it, because I think it would open a can of worms that would be way to hard to jam closed again. I'll just keep on saying it to get that smile. And hey, Jacob doesn't seem to mind too much.
55. How she keeps 'Jack-friendly doohickies' in her lab – and yes, she does call them that, I overheard her saying it to Daniel once. As I said, I've picked up way too many things in her lab and then accidentally broken them, only to find out that they cost more than twice my yearly salary (but hey, if they're that expensive, why on earth does she have a dozen of them just scattered around her lab? I mean, geez!). She thinks I don't know about this little scheme of hers to "save" her doohickies, but I'm the Colonel, not much gets by me round here (at least, not much concerning her). I'll play along though, besides, her fake doohickies are usually more interesting looking than the real ones, most of the time I can't even tell the difference.
56. The way she never seems to never seems to realise when someone's checking her out … I mean, sure, it comes in handy for me from time to time (though I'm not so dumb to think she doesn't notice it occasionally), but mostly the guy just gets ignored until someone points it out – a job I quite happily leave up to Daniel. That poor kid Simmons still shoots his eyes in her direction every time she enters the room, and Teal'c and I have gotten quite good at standing impressively (and scarily, we hope) behind her to ward off various would-be-admirers of the alien persuasion … but still, she doesn't notice.
57. Now this one is a secret, I refuse to admit it to her face, or to anyone else who isn't a piece of paper that can't talk back … she can really give me a run for my money around a chess board. Thankfully for my ego she's never actually managed to beat me, but she's getting pretty close. Way back in the day, before we really knew each other very well, chess was a way of us to get to know each other without actually having to give up any information too quickly (what can I say, we both have a dreadful habit of covering up when it comes to sharing with other people, even more so with each other). Plus, it was good to finally realise that there was something I could do better than the all-knowing Doctor Carter.
When Cassie got a bit older I taught her to play as well – it's probably one of the few Janet-approved activities we partake in (what?! she's a kid, if I don't teach her to be bad she's just gonna learn it on the street and then I'll miss out on all the fun). It didn't take long for the kid to stake up a challenge with Sam and, soon after, myself. Now she and Sam play regularly and, when I've been "behaving myself" (really shouldn't have told Janet about the day of twenty ice cream flavours) I get invited along for a tournament of sorts. I like it best when Cass and I team up against her – it's always nice to have some fun with the family.
58. She takes her coffee black, just like I do. While I think that this is probably owing more to the influence of one Daniel "just put the water in the bag" Jackson than owing to any cosmic alignment between the pair of us, I still like the symmetry of it.
It's usually me who gets up on coffee-duty during any late night work sessions – the two geeks being hunched over their papers and Teal'c kelno'reeming in the corner (I don't care what he says, the guy's sleeping. I swear I even heard him snore one time) – and there's something so domestic about making the coffee for the two of us. Knowing exactly how she takes it and making it entirely on rote, I can't help put smile at the thought of knowing such intimate details about her.
It's funny how it's the small things like this that affect me so much. If you had asked me, ten years ago, how Sara took her coffee I probably could have answered, but I also wouldn't have thought anything of it. In a world where I can't reach out and touch Sam, where I can't hold her or tell her how I feel or, heck, even call her up and tell her about my day, knowing the tiny particulars of her life like this brings me closer to her than anything else does.
59. That somewhere, on that unexplored yet undeniably stunning body of hers, she has a mole hidden away from prying (I'm only human for god's sake and, trust me, I'm not the only one to have tried!) eyes. Since the day those words fell from her double's lips they have haunted my very existence – or at least my dreams. To be honest, I think she should just tell me where it is - or show me, I'm not picky. Letting something like that hang over a man's head for years is just plain cruel, and more than somewhat unusual.
60. I did ask her once, trying to put myself out of my misery, but by this stage it was already some time later and she just looked at me very strangely. Oh well, it's probably for the best; trying to catalogue all the parts of her that I haven't seen over the years (don't give me that look, various areas do get shown through injuries and weird-ass alien costumes, you know) has taken up a great deal of my time over the years, and if I ever actually found out then I'd probably have to actually start paying attention during briefings.
61. How much everyone likes her. It's weird to think that someone who has probably been the class nerd her entire life is, unarguably, the most popular person here on base. The geeks love her cause she always knows the answers. The medical staff love her cause she doesn't threaten to kill them during her physicals (like some other people, apparently). The technicians love her, the guards love her, even the damn Marines love her.
Sometimes I think she's too nice for her own good, that if she was a little meaner she'd catch a break every now and again – then something will happen to make me just smile at her and keep my mouth shut another day. I have witnessed many an officer 'pop in' on their way past her lab (and, really, who am I to criticise them for that) just to say hi or to thank her for some small favour she had helped them out with – everything from sending along a copy of a misplaced report to having spent an entire weekend helping them finish a lab experiment or move house. Last week I walked in on a very red-faced Ferretti (who, admittedly, has always thought Sam was pretty great) handing over a box of chocolates, a 'thanks' for helping him convince his wife to give him back his house keys - apparently a woman to woman male-bashing session was just the thing … though Ferretti (and me!) didn't really want to hear the details of that exchange.
62. The fact that she can't cook to save her life – and for all our sakes I hope that issue never arises. How the woman can pull apart and reassemble a naquadah generator in under thirty minutes but cannot seem to manage to make macaroni and cheese (at least the kind that doesn't taste like chicken) is beyond me. She claims she can make a "mean soufflé" (and wouldn't that be just like her to only be able to make the hard stuff), but I just keep telling her that I don't believe it till I see it.
63. The way that sometimes, just sometimes, I think that Jacob wouldn't mind so much.
64. How she handled the Jolinar incident with such strength. I don't mind admitting that what she went through is my worse nightmare, and though I have had my own encounter with a reptilian roommate, the aftermath (painful as it was) was at least contained. There are days when Sam comes in to work with those dark rings under her eyes and I just know that, this time, they're not from working all night. I've seen her jerk awake sometimes while on a mission, just sitting up so fast, gasping for air. Yet I have never once heard her complain about the obviously so distressing nightmares, not once, not even now. She just takes whatever she thinks will help us and tries to block the rest out. I don't think – no, I know – that I could not have handled it with the same grace that she does.
65. Even though she comes across as completely innocent, when you really get to know her you realise that she has an evil streak a mile long, and it's usually directed at a certain colonel who's both dashing and witty. She can feed you false data (usually regarding anything to do with the infirmary schedule), secretly sign you up for all the training exercises with the Marines (she denies it, but I KNOW that was her), AND short-sheet your bunk all before anyone else even gets on base. The worst part about it all is that no one ever believes that it was her because "Sam would never do such a thing". And if anyone does ever start to suspect her, well out come those huge blue eyes and they're so confused that they forget everything and just fall at her feet. It's just not fair damnit.
66. She knows everything! No, really. Just when you think you get to the end of her intellectual range, that there is no way that any single human person could know anything else, she does. Theoretical Astrophysicist my butt. I think they just gave her that title cause "Miss Know Everything, Queen of the Universe" just doesn't sound believable. I'm sure you think I'm exaggerating but I'm not. No one person should be able to explain (or at least try to explain, I don't think anyone else on Earth understands half the things she does) both the intricacies of the stargate's wormhole and the social dynamics of The Simpsons. I think the only people in the entire universe smarter than Sam Carter are the Asgard, and even they came to her for help.
67. She understands about Charlie, or at least, she understands as much as it is possible for anyone to understand. She seems to sense when to just back off and let me deal with this one on my own and when to stick around and make me talk about it. Somehow she always manages to turn up at just the right moment, just appearing at my side in case I need someone to pull me out of a mood – and no one can do that better than Sam - that smile and a turn of the head and she's already halfway there.
I don't really know for sure how she first got the details but I know I never told her, somehow I think Danny was behind this one. I think, though he never said it, that he felt I would be more comfortable sharing this issue with Sam rather than him (trust me, I got plenty issues to go around). If he had filled her in now I wouldn't have batted an eyelid, but I don't know quite why he thought this then; he must have told her pretty early on. Maybe he saw something between us that I hadn't yet, but for whatever reason I'm grateful. He always did seem to pick up on these things.
There are days that I look at her and I just wish that Charlie could have met her. Those times when she's bouncing around all bright and shiny over some new toy she's discovered or when another little kid latches on to her and she just focuses all that attention of hers on them and you can just see that they think she's the most amazing person in the universe. I think Charlie would have liked her, they would have been friends.
68. Her and that damn blue dress. I don't often get the chance to see Carter out of uniform, but even so, this is the outfit that stands out in my mind the most. And it's strange because, looking back, it wasn't even that great of a dress. I just remember walking into that tent and feeling the air leave my lungs (and I wasn't the only one, there's no telling me she didn't have an effect on Daniel and Teal'c, too). I think it was truly the first time I saw the woman instead of the soldier, the first time it occurred to me that she wasn't really one of the boys.
69. How she's the worlds worst medic. Put her in a white lab coat and get her running tests with the Doc and she's amazing; put her out in the field with a first aid kit and a splint and I'm just about ready to gnaw my own leg off just to save her the effort.
70. She likes my omelettes. She maintains that eggs and beer … I mean, eggs and my 'secret ingredient' aren't a recipe, but once she's done with her teasing she tucks in with enthusiasm. I know for a fact that she can't cook worth a damn, so I try not to think about what she eats at home on her own (or rather, what she doesn't eat), but I usually manage to entice her over for an omelette breakfast every once in a while.
71. The way she translates for me. She truly is a handy little thing, my Major, one little glance her way delivers me a nice Jack-friendly translation of whatever scientific/mythological/political mumbo jumbo has been directed my way and straight over my head.
72. How she continues to remind me that there are things worth living for. I learnt along time ago that there are things worth dying for: duty, honour, your nation, your family and, at the end of it all, for the peace and quiet away from a life gone horribly wrong. But the things worth living for, they're much harder to learn. Fortunately for me, so many of them are connected to the one amazing being who, through all the tiny little things she says and does each and every day, will never let me forget it.
73. The way she feels when I hug her. We don't, as a rule, touch a great deal; it's just easier not to. Every once in a while, however, something will happen, something that just pulls the ground out from underneath us and I find myself reaching out to her. I open my arms and she just slips in between them so smoothly, allowed for just that one moment in time to feel. I will never get over how her body feels pressed up against mine, and no, it's not a sexual thing, not really.
Her body fits mine in a way I could never have imagined. Her chin reaches up and over my shoulder, leaving her hair to tickle my ear and her breath to fall against my neck. Her arms reach around my back, fingers digging into my shirt so much it almost hurts, pulling me closer and closer, so close that her entire length is pressed up against my own and I feel like she's trying to crawl under my skin, to be as close as she can to me in the short window of time we're allowed. No one hugs like Sam.
74. She eats her steaks the same as me. It's great – makes my job as the grill master much easier. Daniel always wants the damn thing undercooked, it's practically still mooing when he get it, and by the time Teal'c's passes muster it's one step off charcoal. Sam knows how to eat steak. Besides, this way I can try to steal some of hers while she's not looking – not that it really works, she's far too observant for me to get away with that more than once.
75. The way she never leaves me alone, even when she probably should. For someone who toes the line of propriety like it's the edge of the world, she sure has an annoying habit of popping up when I'm feeling at my worst and poking away at me until I cave and tell her what's up just to get some peace. I think she took lessons on this from Danny – I don't remember her being this annoying when we first met … then again, Teal'c has his own way of getting at me, maybe they've both had a hand in it.
Sometimes, when she picks a particularly bad day, this little trait of hers results in her getting snapped at and I think to myself, 'This is it, this is the time she's going to go away and not come back', but she always does. She has a tolerance for cranky old men that just marvels. The result of growing up around too many generals, I suppose.
76. She watches The Simpsons with me. It was a slow process, getting her hooked, but it worked. I started with the occasional reference here and there, bumped it up to leaving the occasional episode playing in the background and before you knew it she was downloading the new episodes on that fancy computer of hers. She has come over to the dark side, and she always brings popcorn.
77. That she's a terrible gambler. She just doesn't have the face for it; it's far too expressive. Interestingly enough, she's more than capable of bluffing out in the field, there's just something about the cards that makes it disappear. She tries so hard, you can just see the determined glint in her eyes as she sits down – 'This time I'm gonna win' – but she rarely does. She doesn't even let us play for cash anymore as she says it's just not fair. When she does win, though, that one time out of a hundred, the grin on her face is astounding. It would totally be worth throwing the game to see, but of course she would see right through that, so I never do.
78. The way she takes my breath away dressed in nothing more than muddy fatigues. Forget short dresses, makeup and high heels. Sam never looks better than when she's walking beside me, smile a mile wide, heading back the gate, covered head to toe in the mud that someone (not I, naturally) flung in her direction.
79. The fact that nobody can help but smile at her. Really, nobody. Privates, generals, aliens – everyone. It's like she radiates some kind of bizarre aura that interferes with people's free will. I have seen it a hundred times. She goes into a meeting to talk to some pompous jerk with a bad attitude and within three minutes they're grinning away at her all happy-like – I have no idea how she does it. I've tried to tell the general that we should just send a blown up picture of Carter on all the MALPS to sedate any potentially hostile aliens before we actually get there … but he just gave me that look.
80. The way nobody else calls her 'Carter'. I may not be able to call her 'Sam' but this is almost as good.
81. How she's not afraid to let me know when I'm wrong. She's usually tactful enough to wait until we're alone and away from prying eyes (and archaeologists) and she's always disciplined enough to follow my orders when I give them but I can always count on her, especially these days, to give me an honest opinion – it's what makes her such a good 2IC. But when I do something uniquely brainless (Jack-like) it's what makes her such a good friend.
82. How she'd do anything for her friends – anything at all. Her friends are everything to her, they're her family. I've seen her push aside everything to comfort Daniel on nights when the memories of Sha're are just too much for him, I've seen her take Teal'c away from the base to experience something – anything – more than testosterone soaked concrete walls, and I've seen her spend hours, heads close together, talking to Janet, helping her deal with whatever teenage bombshell Cassie has dropped in her wake. She's always putting others in front of herself and she does it with a smile.
83. The way she continues to maintain her vintage Volvo. She barely has the time to go home, shower, and catch an hour of sleep before she's back on base doing some weird experiment or another, yet her car's always up and running. Siler swears he's not helping her, but I'm not so sure he's not giving her car little tune ups while she's off world.
84. How her sense of humour as just as twisted as mine at times, though she ducks her head to try and hide it. Her humour definitely doesn't get to come out to play enough, stuck behind years of military life, but it's still there. Every once in a while an unexpected joke will slip out between the cracks and sometimes it surprises even her, but despite this, her eyes always sparkle at the jab.
85. How, even though it is her name, she rarely gets called 'Samantha'. Doctor, Captain, Major, Sam, Carter…hardly ever just 'Samantha'. A few times, but no more than I could count on one hand, I have heard Teal'c address her as 'Samantha' and, despite her claims of preferring just 'Sam', her eyes always light up when she hears it. I wish that I could be the one to do that. To make her smile just by saying her name.
86. How, despite the fact Teal'c could bench press her without breaking a sweat, she's the strongest person I know. There are things she does, things she deals with every single day (and without complaint, mind you) that I wouldn't have the first clue how to handle. And what's more, she's strong not only for herself, but for each one of us who depend on her to keep our world spinning.
87. The way she bites her lip when she's nervous. No matter what she's facing – politician with too much power at their fingertips, rampaging Jaffa, the countdown of a huge honkin' bomb – it's always the same reaction. The left corner of her bottom lip (the middle if it's really affecting her) disappears into her soft pink mouth, hiding under the glint of white teeth. And for just one small moment I am transfixed – caught in a bubble of time just large enough to gather the strength to do what I need to.
88. She possesses a giggle far too adorable for someone so far out of reach. Not to mention for someone who routinely totes a P-90. I know this is why she often (though not always) heeds my order of "no giggling"; that she believes it to be unprofessional. But this is not why I order it.
Hearing her laugh, a short round of infectious giggles breaking through that armour of professionalism she works so hard to maintain, is almost too much to bear. My once pain-induced plea of "no giggling, please" is just as heartfelt today as it ever was, no matter how teasingly delivered.
Please. Don't giggle. I can't bear not being allowed to join you.
89. She yelled at Maybourne. She may have even threatened him a bit. Now this is a girl after my own heart. Old weasel-face needs to be taken down a peg or two, and if anyone can do it, Sam can. It's something I truly wish I could have seen myself, but she's strangely tight-lipped about what happened that day – especially it comes to our doubles...
90. The way that sometimes she'll simply turn her head or smile and without the slightest warning there she'll be: Thera. Sometimes I feel that I don't know Sam as well as I should – certainly not as well as I'd like to – but Thera, Thera I know. I know the weight of her hand, and the feel of her breathe. I know the scent of her skin and the softness of her hair. I know her rhythm of her sleep and the cadence of her whisper. Thera is Sam – and yet she's not. And still I love her all the same...
91. She knows how to picks locks. She can give me that innocent "who, me?" look all she damn well pleases. There's no way in hell Jacob taught her that particular skill. There's a story there and it's a damn good one. I will find out.
92. The way her shoulder feels as it drops, oh so gently, to my shoulder.
93. She rides a motorcycle. She puts on her helmet, her leathers (have I mentioned her leathers?) and she just speeds out of here. Little Miss Yes-Sir, No-Sir is a damn speed demon. For the most part she keeps her adrenaline junkie tendencies well hidden and under control – and let's be honest here, in our line of work, you get all the hits you'd ever need without even trying. But every so often she just takes off on her bike; content to live as a blur for the weekend. Now if only I convince her to let me play.
94. The way she has Siler wrapped around her little finger. Sure, he may work with her and the techs more, but I always thought I had Siler firmly on my side. Brothers, comrades in arms and all that malarkey. But I've been steadfastly outmanoeuvred – to the point where I know, if the time came, I could not rely on him to side with me. She's used her feminine wiles on him and now he's all hers – why else would he voluntarily allow himself to get electrocuted in her lab at least once a week? Not that I can blame him, poor bastard; he never even stood a chance. And when all's said and done, I've kinda got to admire her skill.
95. Two words: tank top.
96. The way she combats the occasional pessimism she inherited from Jake with her unwavering dedication (dare I say it stubbornness). On the job this is ideal, making her both practical as well as hard working – the best I've ever served with. But off the job it gives her a steadfast determination to stand by and defend her friends – her family. She never lets me give up, most of all on myself.
97. How, despite apparently overwhelming odds, she is capable of turning Teal'c into a huge softie. The smallest of looks, the quietest of words and he's at her side, completely unmovable. Teal'c may have pledged his loyalty to me and our fight against the Goa'uld, there is no questioning that his fealty is to 'Samantha'.
98. The way her pale skin freckles after only an hour in sun. While I would never consider (okay, I'd consider, but I'd never actually do it) hiding her sun screen, I don't feel too sad if she misplaces it for a while. I'd never tell her – but those freckles across her nose really do become her.
99. How more and more over the years she sounds more and more like me. A slip of sarcasm here, a jab of snarky humour there – and best of all, the occasional unconscious 'O'Neillism' as our resident linguist calls them. Nothing makes me happier to hear 'for crying out loud' fall from her lips completely unnoticed.
100. She's Sam.