Summary: He was a caustic, sarcastic Brigadier General with a serious dislike for scientists, placed in charge of the world's biggest technological investment. Things didn't get any easier when his head brainiac was as attractive as Doctor Samantha Carter. AU story of S/J in 'There But For The Grace Of God'.

A/ramble: I've always wanted to do an AU story. Though this is not a geeky Sam one, (sad face) I just felt there was a very romantic story not being told there. Hence, here is my idea. Be warned, minor fiddling and it ain't love at first sight. I'm free-styling this: I have no plan. Introducing the ladies of our favourite show. Enjoy!

~ Meet You on the Other Side ~


Friday, January 12th 1996,

Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado Springs

"Leslie, can you hand me that power board?" Doctor Samantha Carter called out from under the workbench in her new laboratory. You would think a woman with multiple doctorates would be able to navigate the plastic jungle of power cords hidden under every flat surface of her lab. Wouldn't you?

"Here you go, Doctor," Leslie reached around her shoulder and presented the power board. Doctor Leslie Dawson: Samantha's assistant and protégé. The younger woman was brilliant, but like most women in their male-dominated field, she had struggled... Until Samantha had agreed to take her on.

"Thank you," Sam began plugging in cords and shoved the tangled mess into the back corner. She emerged, but not before she hit her head on the underside of the desk, "Ouch." She muttered.

"Are you alright?" Leslie asked, lifting her head from the box of files on the floor. Sam rubbed her head, but dismissively waved to her charge.

"Yes, I'm fine. And call me Sam. 'Doctor' is too professional coming from my own assistant." Sam looked around the room with her hands on her hips. A knock on the doorframe attracted the women's attention. Sam smiled as she recognised the woman in the door.

"Catherine!" Sam beamed.

"Samantha, I'm so glad you're finally here," Catherine grinned as she entered the room and accepted Sam's warm embrace.

Catherine had been leading a team of specialists on the Stargate Project for two years. She'd gone as far as she could with the translations, until she realised the symbols were similar to constellations. She had been directed to the Department of Aerospace Research Headquarters in Washington, and hence, had recruited Samantha Carter into her elite team. She initially had a good feeling about the blonde physicist. Sam discovered the selected constellations represented a three dimensional area of space and in the heart of that space, was a planet.

So, now that the potential of the project had been realised by the pentagon, they found themselves in the once-dormant entrails of a missile silo beneath Cheyenne Mountain. Sam had been tasked with building a computer program to control the ancient device; which was by no means an easy feat. However, she had been granted almost unlimited funding and manpower by the Air Force, with the understanding that the US military was now, ultimately, in control.

"It's good to see you too, Leslie," Catherine smiled, still hold Sam by the arms. With the absence of a mother in her life, Sam allowed Catherine to treat her like a surrogate daughter. Sam had been delighted to hear that one of her deceased father's old friends, Colonel George Hammond, would be eventually joining the project.

George should have been a General by now, but had declined the promotion after his wife's stroke six years earlier. Whilst the income would have been helpful, he couldn't handle the workload. He had accepted the position at the newly formed Stargate Administration - SGA for short - on the condition that he would serve as the base's second in command. The Base Commander was yet to be announced. However, considering the base officially became operational on Monday, they would soon find out.

Sam was anxious to find out who her new boss would be.

"Any word on the Base Commander?" Sam tried to sound casual, but she frequently asked the question.

"I'm afraid not," Catherine shook her head. "But I do know that Colonel Hammond will be reporting tomorrow morning. But, I have heard that the new commander is a close friend of his." She smiled knowingly. She was no fool.

Samantha had been orphaned at seventeen. Her father died during a training exercise (of all things) when she was twelve, and her mother in a car accident a few days after her seventeenth birthday. Sadly, her brother had chosen to follow in her father's footsteps and joined the Army. Sam was left alone at college to deal with the demise of her parents. In anger at her brother, she declined the offer from the US Air Force Academy.

Luckily, Colonel Hammond had been there. Whilst his own military career prevented him from being a constant presence in her life, he was still there when she needed him.

"Are you coming to the party tonight, Doctor Langford?" Leslie asked curiously, as she rounded the workbench. Catherine laughed in surprise. A party had been organised for the entire base at a bar and grill called O'Malley's.

"Oh heavens, no! That's past my bed time!" Catherine chuckled.

"Come on Catherine, we're here because of you. At least make an appearance?" Sam pleaded juvenilely. Catherine was never able to say no to those wonderful blue eyes. She eyed Sam and Leslie.

"Okay, I'll drop in and say hello," she held up her hands in defeat. Sam grinned in delight.

A loud crash in the hall outside Sam's lab startled the three doctors. An indiscernible string of curses followed, drawing the women to the door. Sam poked her head out and found a short, redheaded woman in Service Dress Uniform, on her knees, trying to rake in a mountain of folders that were strewn across the floor.

"Let me help you with that," Sam offered as she approached the Air Force officer and began to help her collect the folders. Another pair of hands appeared at Sam's side, which she recognised as Leslie's, assisted them whilst dodging Catherine's feet. The woman - a Captain - looked up at her.

"Thank you. Just try not to look too hard at them; they're personnel files." She quickly smiled. Sam picked up about half the pile and stood up. The large pile was distributed between the three ladies in the hall. Sam gestured her head back into her lab. Only when the stack of file was reconstructed, did its size become apparent.

"You should get some help with these. Carrying that much will do your back in." Leslie observed, taking a seat the bench.

"Well that would be ironic, wouldn't it? Chief Medical Officer breaks her back carrying personnel files." The redhead joked with a slight Texan drawl. "Sorry, I'm Doctor Janet Frasier."

"Samantha Carter. Also a doctor." Sam shook Janet's hand. Janet frowned, curious of Sam's area of expertise. "Astrophysics." Sam added.

"Same here. Leslie Dawson; nice to meet you." Leslie also shook her hand. Janet turned to Catherine.

"Doctor Catherine Langford. Archaeology." Catherine nodded. Janet's eyebrows lifted in surprise.

"Oh! You're Doctor Langford! Well, it's a pleasure to meet all of you. We certainly have an interesting array of doctorates in here." Janet grinned, suddenly enlightened to have met the woman responsible for the prestigious posting.

It was a good point. Four doctors. Four women. Unfortunately, they were the only four women on the base with doctorates.

"So Janet, you're coming to the opening party tonight, right?" Leslie pressed. She was twenty-six, and still in the mood to party.

"Are you kidding? Of course!" Janet quickly replied. Leslie turned to Sam, her hands on her hips petulantly.

"Right, Sam. You're coming out tonight, yes?" Leslie demanded an answer to the affirmative.

"No, look, I've got work to do..." Sam began.

"If I have to make an appearance tonight, so do you Samantha!" Catherine added sternly. Her serious tone was in jest, but Sam didn't have the heart to argue. Sam was no match for the three expectant gazes. She sighed and nodded.

"Fine! I'll go..." she relented. "But not for long, I want to start early on Saturday." Leslie leant towards Catherine and Janet.

"Doctor Carter is very dedicated to her work," she announced with obvious sarcasm. Catherine turned to Leslie.


"Oh yes," Leslie nodded intently.

"Hey..." Sam frowned, causing a look of amusement to pass between the other women. Janet reached for her files and lifted them with surprising strength.

"Don't suppose any of you know where my infirmary is? There are too many levels down here." She started for the door. Catherine relieved her of a quarter of the pile.

"I'll show you, dear," she smiled and led the Texan out the door.

~ SJ ~