A/N: This is a very silly fic, not at all meant to be serious. It was my attempt at an absurd comedy, I guess. I wrote this many many years ago, or most of it. It's been sitting in my hard drive gathering cyber dust, so I decided to clean it and write up the final chapters to post. It's crap, but I hope someone will get a bit of a kick out of it.
Set post S8 but Pre Season That Shall Not be Named. ;) I don't consider it AU as it could have happened BEFORE the events of the Season That Shall Not be Named. However, I needed a new Doctor, so I borrowed Dr Lam before her time and thus it could be considered slightly AU for that reason. Due warning that this has not been beta read... at all. I couldn't subject her to it :o :P
That's It...No More Missions With SG-11!
The Gate came alive right on schedule. The sound of it turning echoed off the concrete walls, steam billowing out from the locking chevrons.
Sam stood waiting for the event horizon to form and her team mates to return. They'd gone with SG-11 to M41 293, a fertile moon orbiting a gas giant. There were some ruins there that Daniel was eager to explore and as SG-1 was on downtime Teal'c had decided to tag along. Although Sam suspected he really wanted to watch Daniel's back; the SG team designation '11' had a rather unfortunate history of seriously bad luck. Members of SG-11 routinely disappeared or got themselves killed, without SG-1's habit of returning from the dead.
The shimmering wall that had formed within the great stone circle that was the Stargate sent blue ripples of light throughout the embarkation room. Sam watched as a disturbance in the glittering pool signalled the first arrival.
Daniel stepped through closely followed by Teal'c, they walked down the ramp, clearing the way for SG-11.
"Hey Guys, right on time. How did it go?"
They looked at her a little strangely, and though they continued to approach her as she did them, their steps were a tad too slow and measured. Sam shrugged it away, figuring they were just tired.
"Anyway," she continued. "I just dropped in to let you know the General and I are going to be a little late for lunch. We've got some last minute briefings to go through."
Daniel and Teal'c just stood staring at her as if they'd never seen her before. She didn't notice every member of SG-11 behind them doing the same.
"Um ok, so." She had to admit she was becoming a little uncomfortable. "We'll meet you in the commissary later, don't wait for us though." She smiled and left for the briefing room. They must be just really tired, she thought.
"Oh thank God that's over I'm starving." Jack said to the only remaining person in the briefing room. Sam smiled at him. Sweet, got a Carter smile!
It was Carter Smile designation 2A: lovingly indulgent. He'd catalogued them over the years, but lately he'd been receiving a whole slew of new ones. Carter Smile number 2 was simply indulgent, without the lovingly clapped his hands together "Lunch Carter?"
"Sure." She glanced at her watch "Teal'c and Daniel should still be there."
They turned together as she spoke, heading down the stairs.
Sam was stopped in the control room by Sgt. Harriman.
"Sir, Ma'am, excuse me. I was on my way to see you Colonel," he said to Sam. "There seems to be some sort of malfunction with the MALP in the gate room."
"The Colonel was just on her way to lunch Walter, can't this wait?" Jack cut in before she could reply. Sam was a workaholic and he knew that she would easily forget to eat altogether if he let her.
"We were scheduled to send a MALP through on a routine inspection in five minutes, Sir."
"It's ok sir," Sam said to Jack. "It shouldn't take me more than a couple of minutes to either fix it or determine it can't be fixed in time, in which case we'll just call for another to be sent down."
"Alright fine, a couple of minutes. Don't make me come lookin' for you Carter!" He said with a mischievous gleam in his eyes and a quirk to his lips before he headed off to the commissary.
Sam headed down to the 'gate room unsuccessfully hiding her amusement from the technicians in the control room.
"The control circuits are fried Siler, we're not going to be able to repair them in time." Siler was helping her with the malfunctioning MALP.
She looked up into the control room above her and raised her voice. "Sargent, have another MALP sent down ASAP."
"Yes Ma'am," came the reply through the comm.
Sam put her tools down and picked up a cloth to wipe her greasy hands when she saw Daniel stride purposefully into the room stopping a few feet from her.
"Hey Daniel, I was just about to head up to the commiss…" Sam trailed off. "Daniel, are you ok?"
Daniel was gazing intently at her, his eyes ablaze, but not with anger, that would have been much less disturbing. Sam wasn't born yesterday, she knew what that look meant, she'd seen it enough times from other men but never, never from Daniel.
His gaze shifted to her mouth and he licked his lips.
Oh Boy. "Daniel?" she called slowly. She watched as his gaze trailed down passed her throat and continued slowly and hungrily down the length of her entire body and back up again. Sam swallowed. I think I'm gonna be sick.
He moved then, toward her, and Sam reflexively took a step back stretching her hand out in front of herself. "Daniel, what…" She had no idea what to say.
The entire 'gate room had gone quiet, the shocked eyes of every Airman, Marine and technician in the room riveted on the scene. Sam groaned internally.
"Sam, I want you," Daniel said huskily as he continued to approach her.
"Daniel!" Sam practically squeaked as she continued to back away. Realising she didn't have far to go with the MALP behind her she started circling to her right, desperately trying to avoid her suddenly insane team mate. "I think you might be unwell Daniel, this…this isn't like you."
"No Sam you don't understand. I love you! I don't know why I didn't realise it before, but I do. I need you Sam, please!" he pleaded as he turned with Sam so they were circling each other.
"Daniel!" Sam snapped as she continually avoided his advancing movements. "You have to get a grip." The look in his eyes was predatory now, and if Sam wasn't fully aware that she could easily take him down, she may have been a little concerned. "I really don't want to have to hurt you." She practically pleaded this last part, she really didn't want to have to knock him out. But she would.
It seemed to escape his notice that he was in a room full of people, but it hadn't escaped hers.
"Daniel listen to me, I need you to think about what you're doing ok," she said, trying to break him out of whatever it was that had possessed him; I just had to let him go gallivanting with SG-11 didn't I?
She looked him over and was not happy at what she saw. His pants were definitely fitting far more snugly than usual. Ah! Ew! This is Daniel! The nausea was back.
"Ok Daniel." She rolled her eyes at the absurdity of what she was about to say. "I know that thinking isn't exactly easy for you right now." She couldn't help the quick glance to his groin. She heard one of the SF's snicker and shot him a quick glare. "But I need you to concentrate for a minute Daniel, okay?"
"I'd do anything for you Sam," Daniel said, a little too breathlessly.
"Right. Good. Well I need you to think about the mission you went on with SG-11 today, to M41 293, remember? It was a moon."
Daniel nodded. "I remember."
They were still slowly circling each other.
"Tell me Daniel did you happen to sample any of the local flora, fauna, water or otherwise while you were there?"
"What? What has that got to do with this? Sam I just told you I love you, I want you! Please Sam tell me you want me too."
"Daniel, seriously, you need to stop. You're going to be really embarrassed when you get back to normal." She was embarrassed now.
Daniel opened his mouth to speak when a loud deep rumble came from the doorway.
"Daniel Jackson, step away from Colonel Carter!" Teal'c commanded.
Oh thank God, Sam thought. She could get Teal'c to knock him out or even just carry him to the infirmary.
Daniel had stopped moving at Teal'c's voice, so Sam took the opportunity to call up to the control room.
As she looked up she saw the audience of SGC personnel watching the scene below. Oh my God, I can't believe this. She glared up at them.
"Sargent Harrimen! Notify the infirmary SG-1 is on its way," she barked. The crowd instantly dispersed, not meeting her eyes and all trying to look very busy. Satisfied, Sam returned her attention to Teal'c.
"Teal'c, we need to…," she began, but was interrupted by Daniel's low growl.
"She's mine Teal'c, you can't have her, she loves me!"
"No Daniel Jackson," Teal'c said as he advanced toward them. "Samantha does not belong to you."
Sam's eyes widened. Samantha? Uh oh.
"Samantha is my one true love, she will be my wife." He too turned toward her with the same predatory gaze Daniel wore, only from Teal'c the prospect was even scarier – though just as nauseating – there was no way she could take Teal'c down.
"Ok Teal'c, Daniel, listen to me," she said as she edged toward one of the SF's on guard duty. "Something's happened to you. I don't know what yet, but we'll figure it out."
She was very close to the SF now and she felt him draw in a sharp breath behind her. Men! Oh brother. She reached behind her and grasped the Zat attached to the man's leg holster, he held his breath. Expertly detaching it with one hand, she kept it at her back as she stepped away from the poor man who exhaled sharply.
"Guys I just want to say that it's okay, I'm not angry and I know whatever this is it's not your fault. Also, I'm really, really sorry about this." Then so quickly that neither man had a chance to blink she raised her Zat and shot Teal'c squarely in the chest. He called her name before he dropped unconscious to the floor.
Daniel turned wide shocked eyes at Sam, but before he could speak she Zatted him too. After the initial spasm of his body, he collapsed.
"Sargent get a medical team in here!" Sam yelled.
She looked around her at the 'gate room's personnel. Expressions ranged from amused to absolutely horrified. Well she did just Zat both members of her own team, she supposed. They all stood rooted to their positions.
Sam scowled. "I'm sure you people have something to do!" Everyone scattered.
The medical team entered moments later with the base's new CMO Dr Caroline Lam leading the way.
When she saw the two men on the floor she began directing her staff. As she examined Daniel's unconscious body she addressed Sam.
"Colonel Carter can you tell me what happened here?"
"Well I…they were both shot once with a Zat weapon." Sam congratulated herself as she neatly avoided implicating herself.
Dr Lam said nothing more as she followed the men on the gurneys toward the infirmary.
After telling Sargent Harriman to have the General paged to the infirmary, Sam caught up with them.
Sam stood beside the beds of her two friends. She shivered as she remembered the looks on their faces. Suddenly she felt like she needed a scalding hot shower with a steel loofah.
"Well they're fine, just unconscious," Dr Lam said.
"Yes I know," Sam said quietly. "Teal'c will wake first. And Daniel will be a little sore when he wakes up, he was closer to the discharging weapon."
Dr Lam looked at the woman who was the leader of SG-1. "I've read your medical file Colonel, you've been shot with these weapons a few times yourself, I probably should have spoken to you as the expert on what to expect," she said with a friendly smile.
Sam smiled in return, some of the colour returning to her cheeks.
She looked around the bustling infirmary. It was just her luck that this should happen when practically every bed was occupied by one SG team member or another, plus their visiting comrades as well as the dozens of medical staff running around.
She approached the doctor near enough that she wouldn't be overheard. "Dr Lam, before they were Zatted, they were displaying very unusual and uncharacteristic behaviour."
But before Sam could reply the General strode into the room. Sam suppressed the groan of frustration that threatened to escape. She'd been hoping to tell the doctor about it before he arrived. This was going to be mortifying.
"What happened?" Jack asked as he approached the two women.
Sam figured Dr Lam could explain, it was her infirmary after all.
"Dr Jackson and Teal'c were shot by a Zat weapon General."
"It's true sir," Sam replied, not offering any other information.
Jack scowled at her. Deepening that seriously sexy crevice between his eyebrows. All things considered Sam didn't mind his scowl half as much as she pretended to.
"Carter, how? What? When? Where? Why?" He said waving his hand in the air. "Who the hell shot them?" He finished more specifically.
Oh here we go. Sam closed her eyes for a second and jutting her jaw out took a deep breath to reply. "Well sir, that would be me"
Dr Lam's eyes widened. And every head in the infirmary turned toward them.
Jack smirked at her, just like she knew he would. "You zatted you're entire team Carter? That's some friendly fire incident."
She smiled slightly back at him, she couldn't help it when he smirked at her like that. Damn the man! "It wasn't an accident, sir."
Now his eyebrows rose, making delicious creases in his forehead, God Sam now it's you're turn to get a grip! She tried to concentrate on the impending embarrassment she would have to endure when she explained what had happened in the 'gate room.
"Carter, are you telling me you Zatted Daniel and Teal'c on purpose?"
There was a pause.
"Would you care to explain why you zatted them?"
"Well sir, the thing is Daniel and Teal'c are not acting like themselves, in fact I'm certain something's wrong with them. They were completely out of control and I decided the most expedient way to subdue them both was to Zat them."
That yummy crevice between his eyebrows was back. Sam hoped that when she finally worked up the nerve to tell him what Daniel and Teal'c had said to her he wouldn't try to kill them - then again she kinda also hoped he would.
"Doc. did they get their post mission checks when they came back from today's mission?" Jack asked the doctor.
"Yes sir, everything checked out however their blood-work results won't be back for another hour. They seemed alright to me, sir."
"You don't know them the way I do Dr Lam," Sam said, then wished she hadn't as Jack's attention returned to her.
"Ok Carter, so what'd they do that was so bad you had to Zat them?"
"For-cryin'-out-loud Carter, just spit it out!" He growled.
Damn she loved when he growled like that. Was that wrong! That deep, feral, all male voice. Focus Sam before that sexy growl becomes a shout. She didn't like that at all.
She lowered her voice, hoping to God no one would over-hear. "They declared their love for me and tried jump my bones in the 'gate room sir." She winced visibly.
Jack choked on thin air. "Very funny Carter," he said, in a very unamused tone.
"I'm not kidding. There are about a dozen airmen who witnessed the scene."
Jack was staring at her like she'd grown a second head.
"Daniel came into the 'gate room just as I was about to head to the commissary. I knew something was wrong as soon as I got a good look at his face. He…he was, well looking at me in a way Daniel would never look at me." Sam flexed her shoulders and neck trying to relieve the tension she felt.
"What do you mean? Was he angry?"
"No, anger would have been much less... ahem...well, would have been easier to deal with."
"Carter!" Jack barked.
It should be a sin for somebody to sound so damn sexy when they're mad.
"He looked at me like he was a ravenous wolf and I was the lamb," she said, desperately willing him to understand. She just could not say the words: 'Daniel looked at me with lust and ravenous sexual desire, sir.' "Then Teal'c came in and did much the same thing."
"Is this some kinda practical joke between you guys and SG-2 Carter?" Jack said.
"So both members of SG-1 came into the Stargate room and told you they were in love with you?" Dr Lam clarified.
"Yes, and…" Sam had no idea how she was going to say this. She looked away from the other two and at the floor, and then remembered a phrase an old friend had once used. "Dr Lam they were um…they seemed to be highly libidinous."
Dr Lam gaped.
Jack blinked, eyebrows in his hairline.
"And you know this how?" Jack asked, smirking again.
Jack so loved whenever she got flustered around him. It wasn't a common occurrence.
"Sir I told you." Sam groaned with embarrassment as she turned beet red. "Daniel was…he…he didn't seem to notice anyone else was even there, I had to keep stepping away from him so he couldn't get near me. Then when Teal'c came in…"
Sam bit her lip and dropped her head. Oh this was going to be painful. "They started arguing."
"Arguing about what?"
Deciding to just get it over with, like tearing off a bandaid, she lifted her head. "Over which one of them I belonged to sir."
Jack looked at her with no expression on his face for some seconds, before his eyes twinkled in that aggravatingly alluring way, and he grinned mischievously.
I will not gaze heatedly at the hot dimple splitting his cheek. I will not gaze heatedly at the hot dimple splitting his cheek. I will not I will not I will not! She did.
"So who won Carter?" He asked, highly amused at her expense.
"I did sir, I zatted them both," she replied. Congratulating herself on maintaining a steady voice; managing to tear her eyes away from the dimple of doom and most importantly not tearing his clothes off and throwing him down on the gurney.
His grin turned into a full fledged smile with just a hint of teeth – a rare thing for Jack O'Neill – she nearly melted into a pool of sticky Sam Carter goo right there. God!
Damn him! Would he just stop smiling! She didn't mean it.
"Touche Carter," he said.
"Thankyou sir," Sam said, damn she looked at him! Must not touch the dimple here in front of everyone. Ah! "So something is definitely wrong with them."
Jack's smile faded and she instantly missed it.
"So Doc, I guess you'll be checking them out again."
"Yes sir, I'd prefer to wait for the results of the blood works to come through before subjecting them to any more tests."
"You're the doc, doc, but I want to know what's wrong with them and how to fix it." Jack knew his friends enough to know Carter was right to worry. He threw Carter another smirk. "I can't have all my people throwing themselves at Carter, she'd never get her work done."
Sam was trying to come up with another witty rejoinder, hopefully to induce another one of his smiles – she had nothing – when Teal'c suddenly sat up. Oh Boy. She fervently hoped whatever was wrong with them had worn off.
Dr Lam was immediately by Teal'c's side. "Teal'c, how are you feeling?"
"I am well Dr Lam," he replied.
Jack stepped over next to the doctor. "Hey T' buddy, heard you got yourself into some trouble earlier."
"Indeed O'Neill, Colonel Carter fired upon me with a Zatnickatel. I must have angered her though I do not understand, for she claimed not to be so before firing," Teal'c said, his eyebrows slightly drawn together in confusion.
"Do you remember what you did Teal'c?" Jack asked.
"I defended Colonel Carter against the unwelcome amorous attentions of Daniel Jackson."
"I see. Carter?" Jack looked up calling for her, she wasn't where he left her. "Carter!" he bellowed. One of the hospital curtains shifted.
She couldn't believe what she was doing, she was actually hiding from Teal'c. She heard the General's bellow and realised how ridiculous she was being. Time to suck it up Carter. She stepped out from behind the curtain and to Teal'c's bedside.
As she did so Jack walked to her, standing close – Jesus, she always smells like mangos and vanilla – and he whispered, "You don't really think he's gonna try and jump you right here do ya?"
She didn't answer, just continued past him trying to put a little distance between them so no one would notice the sudden flush his whispered words in her ear had caused.
They both turned to see Teal'c staring at her with wide eyes; that was just not right.
"Samantha, if I have angered you I apologise, you must forgive me and say you will be my wife." He began to rise from the bed.
Oh great, well I guess it didn't wear off. Sam took a step back and bumped into Jack.
He reflexively put his hands on her waist to steady her, a bolt of electricity shot through her and into her belly. Jack felt it too, travel up his arms and then way… down. He wanted to remove his hands from her waist, he really did, but his hands were stuck to her, he swore she was like a magnet or something.
She should move away, but she couldn't, her body seemed to be rebelling. And all the time a warm current moved through her, from his hands to the tips of her fingers and toes. God! I thought Daniel and Teal'c were bad, I've been suffering this disease or whatever it is for years. Knowing now what he felt like against her with no barriers or restrictions, skin to skin, did nothing to relieve the pressure.
Teal'c glanced at Jack's grip on her hips. His face darkened as he turned his gaze to Jack.
"O'Neill, you are my brother, however Samantha can not belong to you," he said, "She should be with one who is unafraid to love her as she deserves."
"Ah, T buddy," Jack managed to finally remove his hands from her waist. She felt a sudden chill where his hands had been and Jack felt like he'd lost something. Lifting his hand in a placating gesture to Teal'c he shook the feeling off as he always had and continued. "Listen I don't think you're exactly feeling yourself right now." But Teal'c cut him off, his voice as loud and confident as ever.
"O'Neill, I understand that you have a wish to claim Samantha as your own. However, I must intervene. You have not yet made her your wife."
Someone shoot me, shoot me now Sam thought to herself. She stared intently at the suddenly very interesting floor.
Dr Lam gaped openly and looked back and forth between the three. The nurses stopped running around and huddled in the corner listening and watching intently, wishing they had popcorn. The room was deathly quiet, no one daring to even breathe as every eye and ear was tuned toward SG-1.
A groan issued from the other bed. Sam closed her eyes. This was getting worse by the minute.
"Teal'c's right Jack," Daniel claimed croakily. "You had your chance, how you could have let some stupid rules stand in your way I'll never understand, but you did, so now it's our turn."
Jack felt himself start to steam. He tried desperately to tamp down his rising anger. Besides if he gave in to it every one, in the damn room would know Daniel had hit a nerve – turns out the truth does hurt. Still, better late than never. And though he'd never say it aloud to Sam for fear of losing a limb. She was his now, damn it.
Sam wrapped her arms around herself trying to become as little and unnoticeable as possible, if she was really lucky she could will herself into disappearing. She couldn't even bring herself to sneak a glance at Jack who hadn't moved a muscle.
"Actually," Daniel continued as he raised himself into a sitting position. "It's my turn. Sorry Teal'c but I love her and I'll die if I don't have her, friendship or not I'm going to fight for her."
Jack moved then, looking over his shoulder at Daniel, unable to believe what he'd heard. Daniel and Teal'c were glaring at each other.
"Carter, got another Zat handy?" He asked.
"No sir, besides another shot so soon could kill them."
"I'm willing to risk it."
She raised her head and smiled at him. She knew he must be as embarrassed as she, but he still could make her smile.
"Are you challenging me to combat Daniel Jackson?" Teal'c said.
Daniel's eyes widened. "I'd hope it wouldn't come to that Teal'c, but I'll do anything for Sam."
"As will I."
"Ok boys, a little focus here, no one's challenging anyone to anything. Clearly you guys are not well," Jack said.
They seemed to be ignoring him. Teal'c rose from the bed standing at his full height; he looked like a bull ready to charge.
Daniel tried to do the same but it didn't have quite the same effect. Jack had to hand it to him, Daniel was seriously brave, or maybe seriously stupid. But he had to know Teal'c would wipe the floor with him so Jack settled for brave and stupid.
Sam intervened then, standing between them.
"Stop!" She shouted, and in her best 'Colonel' voice continued sternly. "Whatever else I may be to either of you I am still your commanding officer! Stand down both of you!" They both visibly deflated.
Jack was seriously impressed. So were some of the other officers, but only the relatively new ones. Everyone else on base knew enough to already be somewhat afraid of the Colonel...when she got mad anyway.
"Sit down and stay there, and not another word out of either of you or so help me I'll have you both in lock-up," she finished.
They did as they were told though they kept glaring at each other.
"Dr Lam, a word." Jack beckoned to Dr Lam to join him and Sam a little removed from the rest of SG-1. "Well?"
"Well sir they do seem a little overly aggressive and don't seem to be taking the Colonel's feelings into account at all."
Sam's forehead wrinkled, she didn't think Dr Lam quite understood what was happening here.
"No Kidding Doctor. I mean what are we gonna do about it? We can't just let 'em walk around the base like this."
"Well sir we could lock them up as Colonel Carter suggested, though I'll still need them for testing or I could sedate them at least until we get the blood results."
"What do you think Carter?"
Before Sam could answer Teal'c was on his feet with his arm wound around Daniel's neck in a sleeper hold. SF's surged forward. It took three of them to hold Teal'c against his bed, while another held Daniel down, the two men thrashing to escape and go at each other again.
"Dr Lam sedate them," Sam ordered.
The doctor looked to the General.
"Agreed, do your stuff Doc."
Nurses hurried forward with the necessary needles and Dr Lam expertly jabbed one after the other, they were out in seconds. Sam and Jack went back to their friends as the SF's released them and helped the nurses lay them down properly.
Sam let out a huff of breath in relief and threaded her hands through her hair.
Jack's hands itched to be there instead. "Well that was different," he said. "You don't think they're goin' caveman on us again do ya Doc?"
"In our first year we encountered a virus that basically turned anyone infected into a primitive form of human," Sam clarified.
"Oh yes, it was dubbed the Broca virus. I don't think so sir, there don't seem to be any external physical symptoms. But it can't hurt to have them put in isolation quarters." She gave the appropriate orders to her staff and they began wheeling Daniel and Teal'c away.
"Yes well, other symptoms usually appeared before the mono-brows," Jack said with a smirk.
Sam studiously avoided his pointed gaze. The man had no shame and he'd only gotten worse since their fishing trip.
Not picking up on any of the subtle interplay between the two officers, Dr Lam continued. "Yes, sir. Clearly Dr Jackson and Teal'c are displaying higher than normal levels of aggression, relating to their feelings for Colonel Carter but…"
"Dr Lam I realise you're new here but I don't think you grasp the gravity of the situation." She took Dr Lam by the arm and moved her aside, trying for some iota of privacy.
Sam continued. "Dr Lam, those men are my team mates and my friends. They're family. They don't have those kinds of 'feelings' as you put it, for me. It's very important that you understand this because I think it may be an essential factor here. Neither one of them have ever, not from the first moment we met, ever looked at me like that. Sure they look at me with affection some times, but that's all it is, the same kind of affection I have for them. We really are like family, closer maybe."
Jack was astounded. He'd never heard Carter talk about this kind of mushy, personal stuff. He was seriously glad he'd stayed to hear it.
"I'm telling you Doctor, whatever is wrong with them is some kind of alien virus, bacteria, chemical agent or brain tampering. I mean they've both seen me naked…" Jack's knees nearly buckled. He smirked to himself, he remembered that mission. "…many times over the years on various missions..." Jack nearly fell over this time, What! When? "…and never, not once did they ever look at me that way. They've always looked at me just as they would each other or the General. Look I'm sorry I know I'm ranting a little here but apart from the fact that I have a duty of care to the members of my team, I have to admit I'm a little freaked out about all this." She looked suddenly tired and pushed weary fingers through her hair again. Jack held his breath, not able to offer any comfort here, despite the change in the nature of their relationship.
"Do you have siblings Dr Lam?" she asked.
"Um yes, a brother."
Sam smiled. "Try to imagine how you would feel if your brother suddenly looked at you like that. Like he desperately wanted to strip your clothes off and take you right there."
Dr Lam clamped her hand over her mouth in nauseas disgust, her eyes wide in horror.
"Well that's exactly how I feel now. God I really need that shower," she said almost to herself.
Jack felt like an ass, he had no idea that that was how she felt. He suspected her feelings, under normal circumstances, were returned by Daniel and Teal'c. But he'd never thought about it that way because he sure as hell didn't think of her as a sister.
"I'm sorry Colonel Carter, I didn't realise."
"Carter," Jack said, gently. "We'd better get to the briefing room. See what SG-11 has to say."
When they arrived at the control room, silence suddenly descended. The kind of silence that guarantees there was a lot of conversation going on just before you entered the room. Jack told Walter to page SG-11 to the briefing room and they headed up the stairs.
Sam was standing at the window overlooking the Stargate, Jack close by her side, when SG-11 arrived a few minutes later.
Chaos ensued shortly after.
At first the entire team of five men stood staring with wide and very appreciative eyes at the beautiful Colonel.
She took a step away from Jack and turned toward them to tell them to take their seats, but the words were lost when she saw the hungry way they were looking her up and down. She was angry, disgusted and concerned all at the same time. They would never have dared look at her that way, not openly anyway; they were suffering from it too. God, I hope it's not contagious. What if Jack gets it? Well maybe that wouldn't be so bad…
"What the hell!" Jack exclaimed as he took in their lust filled gazes.
"Colonel Carter…" SG-11's CO began. "God you're so beautiful!"
What? Jack thought as his face darkened, No-one's allowed to tell her that but me. Ok so I haven't actually told her that so blatantly…yet…but that's not the point. The point is these guys sure as hell aren't allowed to say it!
"I need you Colonel," Ronson said taking a few steps toward her.
Sam edged nearer to the General and Jack was absurdly pleased by this.
"Major Ronson!" Jack bellowed. "Get a hold of yourself, you are addressing your superior officer. SG-11 take your seats."
"No General. I know she's my superior, in more ways than one, but I don't care any more. I'll resign sir, right here and now I'll tender my resignation if it means I can have her." He advanced again.
Jack felt an inane sense of smug satisfaction when his kick ass Carter actually moved in close behind him. He tried desperately not to shoot a smug grin at the other men.
"No way Major she's mine. I'll resign General," the Captain said. The same sentiment chorused throughout the team.
"Bullshit," the Major rounded on his team. "I've known her longer than any of you assholes, she loves me so back off." He turned back to Sam who was still using the General as a human shield.
Jack was happily reminded of the only other time she'd ever done it; when Felger was testing that laser gun thingy that blew up. That was a sweet moment. His Carter had actually forgotten herself for a minute and had become just Sam. Jack was pulled out of his reverie by Ronson's harsh voice.
"Tell'em Sam, tell'em you love me best."
"Major Ronson," Sam said sternly from over Jack's shoulder. Jack shivered. "You are being completely irrational you must understand this? You and your team have been exposed to some kind of alien…well we don't know what yet. The point is Major I do not love any of you best. I don't belong to any of you and I never will, now either you take your seats or you'll go to the brig for disobeying your Commanding Officer's direct order." Once again Jack was impressed, though the authoritative effect was a little nullified by the fact she was still standing behind his shoulder, but he was so not complaining about that fact. As far as he was concerned she could stay there.
The men actually began filing toward the briefing table, when a lieutenant mumbled "I'll make her mine." Suddenly all five men were shouting at each other. Being as they were military men it wasn't long before fists began to fly.
Jack called the SF's in and ordered that SG-11 all be taken to separate holding cells.
"Well Carter, at least we know its not just Daniel and Teal'c who've gone nuts."
"Yes sir," Sam said. "Very comforting."
"Hey ya can't blame 'em ya'know, they are just men and therefore helpless to resist your many charms."
Did he just say that? Wow. Don't grin stupidly, Don't grin stupidly. Damn it! Sam grinned.
Jack grinned back. That would be Carter Smile twelve: Embarrassed but happily so.
They stood grinning ridiculously at each other for a while when they heard a throat clear.
"General, Colonal," the civilian doctor respectfully addressed them both. "I have the blood work results on Dr Jackson and Teal'c as well as those of SG-11," she said.
"Have a seat doc." Jack waved at the chair to the left of his. To his right was Carter's spot. "What have ya got?"
Dr Lam opened the file folder in front of her. "Well sir, Colonel Carter was correct. Their blood showed several anomalies, the most important of which is a chemical agent that we can't identify, I'm assuming that it came from the planet."
"Moon, Doc, they were on a moon, not a planet," Jack corrected.
"Anyway Doctor, you mentioned several anomalies?" Sam said, shooting Jack an incredulous glare with a slight smile, meant only for him, to go with it.
He got it. Damn I love when she does that. How does she even do that? It's a gift.
Sam motioned to the file in front of the doctor and she slid it over to the Colonel as she continued.
"Yes, they all have abnormally large amounts of several hormones in their systems, but what's really unusual is the conflicting nature of these hormones. There are large amounts of testosterone and adrenaline, which accounts for the somewhat aggressive and…libidinous…nature of their actions, however there are also large amounts of serotonin being produced. Serotonin is known as the happy hormone, it makes people feel happy and content."
"So what are you sayin' here Doc, does that explain why they've got the hots for my Second?" Jack asked.
'My Second' Sam was practically giddy at the possessive statement. Get a grip woman! If someone else referred to you as his, you'd deck him. But this was Jack…err, the General…whatever…she was his. She always had been.
"The serotonin coupled with the testosterone can explain the feelings of lust the men have displayed, it could also explain why they're mistaking their lust with love and the adrenaline certainly explains their aggressive tendencies."
"Wait, that doesn't explain why they seem fixated on me, shouldn't any woman do?" Sam said, sliding the file to her left for the General. He took the opportunity to graze his fingertips against hers as he took it. She twisted her ankle slightly so their booted feet touched and rested it there. Their eyes caught for just a split second.
"I thought so too Colonel, I can't explain it, but they all seem to be solely infatuated with you. According to the members of SG-11 you are the only woman for them."
Jack smirked at Sam. "Sounds like a love potion Carter. You didn't happen to be the first woman they saw in the 'gate room when they got back did you?" He jiggled his eyebrow.
Both women stared at him with wide eyes for several moments.
"What? What'd I say?"
"Well sir," Sam began, speaking slowly. "I think actually I may have been the only woman in there at the time. And I remember thinking Daniel and Teal'c were acting strangely. They just stared at me without speaking, I was in a hurry so I left thinking they were just tired or something."
"So, all six men saw you, Colonel, at the same time, as soon as they came back. I'd have to look into it further to determine how but it is possible that they imprinted on you somehow and you became the sole object of their desire."
"Great," Sam said sarcastically.
"So the love potion thing was right? Cool." Jack said rather pleased with himself, his pleasure escalating when he saw the slight upturn of Carter's lip as she suppressed a smile.
"Sir, their infatuation with the Colonel is the least of our concerns."
"Speak for yourself doc." Jack replied. Oops!
"To be blunt sir the levels of these hormones are dangerously high, not only are they not in control of their own thoughts and actions, their bodies can't sustain these levels for very long without failing."
"So they'll die if we don't find a cure?" Jack's amusement vanished.
"I'm afraid so sir."
"This alien chemical in their blood is the cause of their symptoms, is that correct?" asked Sam.
Jack could practically see the wheels turning in her gorgeous head and she was doing that pursing her lips thing.
"Yes, it's definitely the chemical, but I have no idea how to counteract it, not without knowing where it came from, how it got into their systems in the first place."
Crap! Jack knew where this was going.
"Sir, permission to return to M41 293."
"What if what happened to them happens to you and the first guy you see is Felger?"
"Well sir I guess you'll have to make sure you're standing right at the end of the ramp when I get back, then." Her eyes widened as she realised what she'd said. She ducked her head and bit her lip while she flushed with embarrassment for the thousandth time that day. She was losing her grip if she could allow things like that to slip out when other base personnel were around to hear it.
For his part, Jack was practically preening with self-satisfaction at her words. God! Did she actually say that? Oh stop it O'Neill all she really said was that she'd rather be infatuated with you than with Felger.
Dr Lam meanwhile was totally fascinated at the interplay between the two officers.
Sam recovered quickly. "Um besides sir, I recommend a full HazMat suit."
"You're not going to some alien moon alone Carter."
"It's totally unpopulated it would be cakewalk. I would just be retracing SG-11's route and collecting samples along the way."
"You're still not going alone, and even with the HazMats there's still a danger the chemical could infect whoever goes. Therefore it'll be just you and me, Carter."
Sam gaped. "General! I can't let you put yourself in danger like that, you're the base commander."
"I thought you said it was a cakewalk."
"I thought you said there was still a danger to whoever went."
"Carter I'm goin' in on this one, like it or not."
"Then I would like it known that I am officially protesting this course of action."
"Your protest is duly noted."
They were practically grinning at each other. Dr Lam was certain they were both perfectly serious in their words and their disagreements, but they weren't even slightly annoyed with each other.
Sgt Harriman appeared seconds later with "Yes sir". The man was creepy sometimes.
"I want two HazMat suits in SG-1's ready room now and get ready to dial M41 293 in ten minutes."
"Yes sir," he said again and disappeared.
"General, if it's alright with you, I'd like to get back to the infirmary?" Dr Lam asked.
"Sure Doc, thanks. Let me know of any changes."
"Of course General."
"Are you sure about this? You know how you hate wearing those things." They were alone and Sam left out the 'sir'.
"I'm not risking any one else being infected and becoming infatuated with you," Jack said with a smirk.
Oh that smirk should be illegal! "What if you get infected and become infatuated with me?" Sam asked mischievously.
His smile grew. "No problem there Carter. I've been infatuated with you since the moment I met you."
Sam was looking at him stunned. He needed to make a point of explaining a few things to her very soon, he decided. "Did I say that out loud?"
These words woke Sam from her paralysis and she couldn't hold back the ridiculous grin that split her face in two and dimpled her cheeks. Her eyes glimmered as her stomach flipped.
"No." She replied, beaming at him.
"Good." He grinned then too.
They exited the 'gate on the moon fully decked out in their orange suits, oxygen tanks on their backs, to reduce the risk of contamination.
They stood at the foot of the 'gate examining the area. The moon really was fertile. To the left there were the beginnings of what was a huge forest. The 'gate on this moon was situated on the side of a gently sloping mountain, so they were high enough to see that the forest extended for miles, well past their line of vision to the horizon. Directly in front and to the right of them were lush green fields. The odd great tree interspersed throughout. Flowers of every colour imaginable grew in the fields. A small stream was visible trailing down the mountain on their right and following its natural course Sam and Jack could clearly make out the ruins Daniel was so eager to study.
"Wow, it really is beautiful here," Sam said, her voice tinny through the HazMats radio.
There was a huge patch of bright yellow to the left of the ruins, though they couldn't make out what it was and without their combat vests they didn't have binoculars.
In fact they didn't have much. Sam carried the samples case and Jack carried the P90. Which wasn't nearly as comfortable to carry when you didn't have anything to attach it to.
"Ok Carter lead the way."
They'd been in the field together so long it was like second nature to them, they'd always worked well together.
Sam took point along the easy trail that lead to the ruins, stopping every now and then to collect samples of anything and everything that SG-11 and their friends may have come into contact with.
It was slow going with the suits on and took them a good two hours to finally arrive.
They went in, Sam scraped off some of the stone material the walls were made of.
"Well that's it sir. SG-11 said they didn't explore beyond the immediate vicinity of the ruins," Sam said.
"Yeah, I don't see any signs of them wandering off either." He wasn't as good a tracker as Teal'c, but he was Special Ops.
"We should head back with the samples." The mood between them was rather subdued as their worry for their friends increased.
Abruptly there was a large gust of wind, coming from the east. They couldn't feel it in their suits but they could definitely see it. A huge cloud of fine yellow dust blew across them and disappeared again as the breeze died.
"Sir! There was a field of something yellow to the east of the ruins we saw when we were at the Stargate."
"You think that's where this yellow crap came from?"
"Could be, and if a breeze carried it over here like this when the team was here they could well have been exposed to it."
"Let's check it out."
It was a short walk, not even ten minutes when they crested a rise and saw a gigantic field of yellow flowers growing low to the ground. They looked a little like daisies, but were twice as large and all yellow.
Sam approached the edge of the field to take a close look at some of them. The middle of the flowers was heavily covered with a very fine pollen-like substance.
"Sir, they could easily have inhaled this stuff when it blew through the air, it's like a powder."
"Alright Carter get a sample and lets go, we don't have that much air left." He knew he didn't have to tell her, but old habits and all. She didn't ever seem to mind when they fell into their old roles whenever he accompanied them on a mission.
She took the sample and they headed back.
They'd delivered the samples to the lab and completed their post mission check in the infirmary. It was amazing how hot and sweaty those HazMat suits got after a while so they'd gone their separate ways to shower and change.
There was nothing more the two of them could do for their friends at the moment so they'd decided to catch up on their own work. Daniel and Teal'c had woken while they were gone and because Dr Lam thought it to dangerous to their health to keep them sedated, they had also been locked up in separate cells. Sam had decided she wouldn't go see them just yet. But Jack, having no fear that they'd try and come-on to him, thought he'd go check on them.
Well at least there won't be an audience this time, well not much anyway, Jack thought as he approached Teal'c's cell. He waved to one of the two airmen standing guard outside to open the door. As he entered he saw Teal'c lying on his back in the cot, his hands neatly clasped over his chest and his eyes closed.
"Hey T' how ya doin'?" Jack opened.
Teal'c opened his eyes and turned his head slightly so he could look at Jack.
"I have been incarcerated O'Neill," he replied, in his deep matter-of-fact voice.
"Yes well, there is that."
"I do not understand this O'Neill. I have done nothing but express my adoration for Samantha and yet I am being held against my will."
"Teal'c, buddy, that's not why you've been locked up, you and Daniel are in here so you don't kill each other. SG-11's locked up too."
"SG-11? For what reason?"
"Well Teal'c it seems they have a thing for Carter too. Nearly killed each other over her in the briefing room." His lips upturned slightly as he remembered Carter shielding herself behind him. It was nuts but it had made him feel so strong, and well extra manly or something.
"I am unsurprised. Any man of sound mind would want her." Teal'c's head turned even more and he studied O'Neill for a long, long moment before speaking again.
"T'…" Jack tried to interrupt, he didn't want to hear it, especially if Teal'c was gonna start spouting about how it was too late for him again. It was just plain bizarre to hear Teal'c talking about Carter like this. He asked himself why he'd come to see him at all? Oh that's right, he's Teal'c.
"I am filled with desire for her," Teal'c continued
Jack groaned audibly and scrunched his eyes shut.
"I am unable to keep my thoughts upon anything other than her. I cannot sleep. I have tried Kel'noreem to no avail, her image dances in my mind."
Jack sat heavily in one of the chairs, his hands resting limply on his thighs and his head pressed up against the wall, as he tilted the chair back on two legs. "I know what you mean." He grumbled it so softly Teal'c missed it.
"When she is near I find I am unable to restrain myself O'Neill. It is most disturbing."
"What is it you do O'Neill that keeps you from taking her where she stands?"
Jack fell off the chair.
There was a crash and an "ooff" clearly audible outside the door and the SF opened the observation window. "Sir?"
"Its alright Airman, just had a slight run in with the floor is all," Jack said from the floor.
The airman promptly closed the window before the General could see his snicker.
"Jesus Teal'c are you tryin' to kill me!" Jack got up, righting his chair. He didn't sit down again.
"I only seek your help O'Neill, your own feelings for Samantha have been clear to me for some time."
Jack looked at him in shock. Ok he knew on some level that Teal'c had known how he felt for Carter, after all they'd confessed it in front of him, but this was, this was…
"T' buddy I gotta go, you are suffering from some funky alien influence and if you remember any of this… well this whole thing just is not gonna be pretty. I'll see ya later T'." Jack opened the door, but turned back before he left. "We'll fix it Teal'c." He closed the door behind him.
He had decided not to bother seeing Daniel figuring he'd get much the same from him when he heard Daniel call his name from the cell next door. Jack marched over, unable to ignore his other best friend.
"Hey Daniel," he said as he opened the little window.
"Jack listen I'm sorry for what I said in the infirmary, I don't know why I said it, it just came out."
"Yeah, I hear there's somethin' goin' around, but don't worry we're tryin' to fix it."
"I'll see you later Daniel," he said closing the window and heading to his office, this whole thing was beginning to suck!
Jack had been in his office for three hours absorbed in his ever enthralling mountain of paperwork and had decided that after three hours it was time to make good his escape. Seeing as Daniel and Teal'c were otherwise occupied, he headed for Carter's lab. Oh who am I kidding I would've ended up there eventually anyway. The others were just an excuse. And frankly, he didn't need excuses anymore.
He rounded the corner to enter her open doorway and stopped.
There she was bent over on all fours, just her head stuck in some weird alien contraption SG-2 brought back a couple of days ago. She lifted one arm to fiddle with something in there, but Jack's eyes were glued to another part of her anatomy.
Her perfectly rounded derrière was sticking up in the air, wiggling every now and then with her movements. Holy… It was so damn inviting, he desperately wanted to reach out and feel the softness he knew he would find there, he could think of a few other things he'd like to do too. If it weren't for the security cameras...ah crap! Jack balled his fists and drove them hard into his pockets to keep from touching her enticing behind. 1967 St louis Cardinals, 1968 Detroit Tigers, 1969 New York Mets, 1970 Baltimore Orioles, 1971 Pittsburgh Pirates, 1972 Oakland Athletics…
Once he'd wrested control back over his wayward body, he cleared his throat.
Thump. "Ow! Damnit!" Sam backed out of the machine, her butt swaying from side to side. Jack suppressed a groan. She sat on the floor facing him and rubbing at the back of her head.
"Sorry about that Carter," he said.
He wasn't, she knew. He was standing above her with his hands in his pockets, a gleam in his eyes and looking so damn sinfully delicious. From this position all she would have to do would be to rise up to her knees and… Oh Boy. Don't go there. Umm, the atomic weight of Hydrogen is 1.0079, Helium 4.0026, Lithium 6.941, Beryllium 9.0122, Boron 10.81…
She was looking up at him from her position on the floor, absently rubbing at her head, all she would have to do would be to rise up to her knees and she'd be level with… Shit! 1987 Minnesota Twins, 1988 Los Angeles Dodgers…
He turned abruptly away and headed for one of the stools near her desk. Sitting down, he pulled his olive shirt a little lower on his lap.
"So Carter, whacha doin?" Good, that sounded casual enough.
She rose to her feet. "Well I was trying to find the power source for…" She stopped when Jack scrunched up his face. "Is there something I can do for you. Sir?" She said a little annoyed. Why does he ask when he doesn't want to know?
Jack meanwhile was thinking along different lines. Oh thank God she stopped. She's so damn hot when she does the techno-babble thing and right now, in my condition, I so can't take it, I swear I'd end up throwing her down on the floor and argh! He continued reciting World Series Baseball champions.
The phone on the wall behind Sam's desk rang and Sam strode over and answered it.
Jack took the opportunity while her back was turned to draw in a deep breath, letting it out slowly. God he had to control himself, but that was just getting harder and harder – no pun intended, Jack thought, with a wince – since they'd taken it out of the room. Out of the Isolation Room and into the Observation Room, then into Jack's bedroom. He felt a grin tug at his lips.
"Yes, thankyou Sergeant I'll let him know. Let the Doctor know we'll be right there," she said as she hung up.
"Dr Lam needs to see us," Sam said, grabbing her shirt from the back of her chair.
Jack watched the images on the two monitors as they moved and shifted, little colourful splodges flowing in and out of view. Daniel's brain was a colourful place.
"We've managed to isolate the compound that we believe has caused the illness. You were right, Colonel Carter, the chemical was found in the spores you brought back from the planet and was most likely inhaled." Dr Lam paused the images, and the one on the left had dozens more red splodges than the one of the right. She ran her finger over them. "The chemical is stimulating theses regions of the brain. It's effecting memory centres, sensory perceptions as well as causing the production of dangerous hormonal levels. The good news is, we believe we can create an antidote to counteract the effects. But we won't know until we try it." She looked at him expectantly.
This is the part he hated. He'd known it was coming, hoped it would on some level, but he hated it. If he himself were infected, there wouldn't be an issue. The test subject would be him. But it wasn't him. Couldn't be coz he was stuck earth-side most of the time these days. Instead he had to choose.
"You can test it on Major Ronson first."
"Yes, sir. We'll the give the drug one hour before conducting another MRI to check for any improvements."
"Do what you have to do Doc and let me know how it goes." He was ready to charge out of the room when Carter stepped in front of him.
"Dinner, sir?" A strange turn- around, as it was normally he who convinced her it was time to eat. She lowered her voice. "We could take it back to my lab, I have some things I need to finish up and I'll need to give you my report on them anyway."
He looked down at her and saw the knowledge behind her eyes. He felt a compulsion to stroke his fingers across her soft cheek, but managed to resist it.
"Sure Carter." What the hell, maybe when they'd finished their meal, he could watch her working on that contraption again. That was a plan he could get behind.
He felt her fingers discreetly graze over his for a moment when she turned to walk beside him. And resisted rubbing at the pressure he felt in his chest. He wanted to take her home. Instead he hit the commissary level on the elevator.
Several hours later, when the treatment for Ronson looked good and they'd started treating the others, Jack was still in Sam's lab. It was well past midnight and when he'd been clear that he was hanging around – no way was he going back to that godforsaken desk outside usual work hours if he could help it - she'd decided to put him to work and he now found himself on the floor with her. Ordinarily being on the floor with Carter would be no hardship, but in this case he found himself holding some weird screwdriver type doohickie on one of end of the alien contraption, while Carter had her head in the other. His knees were getting sore and he didn't even have a good view of her sweet backside.
"How long do I have to hold this here? The knees are not what they used to be, Carter."
"Just another minute. I need to..." The phone interrupted her and Jack dropped the tool with a clang and sprang up to answer it, belying his complaint about the state of his knees.
He only raised an eyebrow at her and jauntily lifted the phone. "O'Neill."
"General. It's Dr Lam."
"Doc." Jack watched Carter's look of annoyance change to one of interest and concern as she stood. "News?"
"I've conducted the scans on the rest of SG-11 and SG-1, sir. Brain functions are showing a return to almost normal in all cases and blood-works also show a return to normal hormonal levels, sir."
"So that's good then, isn't it? It worked?" He listened to the rest of the doctor's report as Sam rescued the tool he'd dropped and replaced it in its box. She wiped her hands on her pants in a familiar gesture. Had it really been that long since he'd watched her work? "Okay. We'll be right there."
"Did the treatment work?"
Jack hung up the phone. "Doc says it looks good on the scans. She's a little surprised it worked so quickly. But she wants you to go up there."
"Is that necessary?" Astonishingly, he was sure he'd just witnessed Carter squirm.
He debated hiding his amusement. For a second. "Well you know Carter, scans and blood tests are all well and good, but the doc needs to make sure the good Major isn't gonna clonk you with a club and drag you off to his cave, before she can release him."
"Or, you know, that there won't be a riot in the halls whenever you walk by."
"You're enjoying this, aren't you?"
"Yep," he admitted and clapped his hands together. "Shall we?"
Sam was dragging her feet as they neared the infirmary, and though it killed her to admit it even to herself, she was trailing just a fraction behind Jack. He didn't mention it, thank God, and she wasn't about to bring it up. But when he turned he had a grin on his too handsome face as he gestured for her to precede him through the door. She shot him a quick sour look before smoothing her features, squaring her shoulders and marching in.
The members of SG-11 were sitting up, a gurney for each of them. Teal'c and Daniel were sharing one and she saw Daniel wince as a nurse withdrew the needle from his arm and he pressed his fingers against the cotton swab. In a career that specialised in the bizarre, this had to be right up there as one of the weirdest days on record.
Oh God, this was all going to be on record.
Seriously. Why couldn't the floor just swallow her up right now? Or maybe an intergalactic emergency? She'd take one of those. But no such luck. SG-11's young lieutenant Pitts glanced across when she entered and threw himself off the gurney as if it was on fire.
"Sir! Ma'am!" He all but saluted.
Heads swung around and a symphony of boots hitting floor reverberated around the room as the team stood at attention. Or at least, a close approximation of attention, since apparently they all found the harmony of their boots enthralling, and were now scrutinizing them closely. Sam couldn't blame them. The only person oblivious to his boots was their CO, Major Ronson, who stood at true attention, his eyes fixed on the wall behind Sam and Jack.
His gaze only moved to the General when Jack, who probably understood Sam wasn't about to say a thing, spoke. "Major. Feeling better?" Sam wanted to roll her eyes and elbow him. He was standing in the perfect position for it.
Doppelgangers, android copies, mechanical bugs, alternate realities, time travel – sure. They were par for the course. But one thing Sam never really expected to see was a seasoned field officer blushing full red.
"Yes, sir. Much better, sir." With obvious reluctance, Ronson shifted his attention to Sam. "Ma'am. I would like to apologise for my behaviour and the behaviour of my team. I... we..." But he gave up and just lifted his arms in the air, letting them fall back to his sides.
Sam took pity on him – well that and she really just wanted them all to go away. "You were under the influence of an alien chemical agent, Major, and therefore not responsible for your actions." She swept her eyes over all of SG-11. "None of you were."
They continued to be fascinated by their boots and mumbled a "yes, ma'am."
Jack cleared his throat and she glanced over at him. He wore a light in his eye that made her instantly nervous. "And trust me. If anyone knows what that's like it's Colonel Carter. Right Carter?" He beamed at her. Actually beamed. The rotten, stinking...
It seemed to have worked though. The men had completed their study of their boots and with heads raised little smirks slowly bloomed on faces. Though eyes continued to studiously avoid her.
"I think we can safely release them, sir," Dr Lam said to the General. "Though I'd like them all to report to me by tomorrow morning for some follow up tests."
Jack nodded, and to Ronson's obvious relief dismissed SG-11 with a careless wave of his hand. They sprang for the door as though the fire from Pitt's gurney had spread. And that meant the next and infinitely more mortifying portion of tonight's programme: Teal'c and Daniel.
"Sam." Daniel hopped off the gurney, fingers still pressed against the inside of his elbow. "God, Sam we're so sorry. I mean it's like it wasn't even me. I know it was me. I can remember everything I did. Oh God." He squeezed his eyes closed a moment and Sam thought he looked a little green. "Everything I said. But it was like watching myself from the inside out and there was this part of me that couldn't believe what I was thinking. But whenever I tried to tell myself something was wrong. This was wrong. I just couldn't think. Sam, I want you know, I've never...it's never... I mean, obviously you're a beautiful woman. But I don't... I couldn't... Sam. God." He trailed off, finally losing steam and looking to Teal'c for help.
Teal'c stood before her and calmly inclined his head. She felt herself soften instantly, any awkwardness evaporating into the atmosphere. She reached out and ran her hand down his arm in an unconscious gesture of comfort she'd developed for him. He smiled softly.
"It's ok." Her eyes met Daniel's somewhat miserable gaze, and she found herself able to smile, easy and genuine. "It's ok, Daniel. I know what you mean. It's why I knew there was something wrong with you."
She saw him exhale visibly in relief and he nodded.
Sam met up with them later in the elevator. Not much was said as they rode to the surface together. But that was ok. Not much was needed. Sam knew that she and Daniel would talk about it at some stage, when they had a moment alone. Perhaps when it wasn't quite so raw for Daniel, so he'd be able to look at it more objectively than he probably could just yet. He would need to discuss it, need to make sure that things were normal between them and that she really had understood what he'd been trying to say back in the infirmary: that he didn't have those sorts of feelings for her. It was a conversation she had never thought she'd have with Daniel, of all people, but she felt okay with it. She wondered now why she'd thought she'd be nervous or things would be awkward. This was Daniel.
They signed themselves off base and walked together to the parking lot. The SGC was on the night's skeleton crew, so only a few vehicles stood dotted randomly around the giant lot. Except for three, that were parked next to each other. Sam remembered when Jack, all those years ago, had commandeered this group of spaces. He'd claimed they were prime position and, in a state of slight inebriation after a night at O'Malley's – before they'd been banned from there – he'd pulled a permanent marker out of the glove compartment, scrawling a giant 1 on each. Sam glanced at the fourth space, vacant tonight. The number was still there. Faded now, but no one else ever took these spaces.
They stopped behind Jack's truck. "You guys wanna come over for a beer?" he asked.
Daniel smiled with a knowing glance at Sam. "No, thanks, Jack. I'm actually going to head directly to bed."
Sam tried not to be overly glad that he'd declined. Though she was definitely grateful.
Teal'c dug into his pocket for his keys as he moved past the truck to his SUV. "Blockbuster is still open. I have recently completed the first season of Star Trek: Voyager, and am looking forward to continuing."
Sam laughed when Jack rolled his eyes and groaned.
"Well, see you all tomorrow," Daniel said.
She watched them, as they backed out and drove away. Jack unlocked the passenger door of his truck and waited for her. A gentlemanly gesture that always left a warm feeling in her chest. But he stopped her before she hopped in.
He ran his fingers lightly across her cheek as he gazed down at her. "I was hoping they'd say no to the beer."
The giggle bubbled up her throat and out. "Me too."
"Let's go," he said and she climbed into the truck.
Jack fit the key into the ignition and started the truck with a roar. "Your place or mine?"
"Mine. It's my turn to drive tomorrow."
He groaned again. She felt herself light up, inside and out.