"I love my SGC." Major Sam Carter read the computer screen while glancing over her shoulder. She knew that she shouldn't be in Colonel O'Neill's office, but General Hammond had ordered her to locate her commanding officer and escort him to the briefing room ASAP.
Sam glanced back at the computer screen again. "SGC is sweet. SGC saved my life. For that I am ever grateful. But my SGC will never know until I'm no longer here."
The words were cryptic. Daniel had told her about the first mission and Colonel O'Neill's reason for going. So, the first bit made sense. However, the last sentence was impossible to understand no matter how Sam looked at it.
A humming down the hall startled her. She hopped away from O'Neill's desk. Seconds later Jack O'Neill entered the room. "Hey Carter! Whatchya doing? Got bored of your doohickeys?"
"Actually Sir, General Hammond wants to see us right away."
"Well," he drawled, "let's not keep the man waiting."
The two hurried to the briefing room.
"Colonel O'Neill? I take it that what you're writing is more important than this briefing?" General Hammond glared at Jack, who quickly glanced up, instantly conscious that all eyes in the room were on him.
"Umm…" Jack paused. "Just taking notes Sir."
"That doesn't look like notes Jack," Daniel spoke up before realizing it.
"Good going Danny," Jack mumbled under his breath.
"Jack this is important. Can you at least try to take this seriously?" Hammond asked. He waited for Jack to nod then motioned for Siler to continue his report.
Forty minutes later, the meeting was over and SG-1 headed towards their locker room, with exception of Jack whom the General had made stay.
"When is Jack going to learn?" Daniel asked his teammates.
"Well you didn't have to emphasize the fact he was doodling," Sam pointed out.
"O'Neill constructs his art work at every briefing. There was nothing unusual about it," Teal'c added.
"Actually, it wasn't his usual drawings. He had doodled SGC all over the page."
"SGC? That's weird. No cars or guns?" Sam questioned.
"I see nothing unusual about SGC. Is it not where O'Neill spends most of his time?" Teal'c interjected.
By this time the small team had reached the locker room and began preparing for departure to PX8-649. "It's not like Jack is married to the SGC." Daniel stated not realizing his friend had escaped Hammond's wrath and had entered the room.
"I wish I were," Jack muttered. Three heads snapped up and stared at their CO who continued preparing for embarkment, unaware of their curious looks.
Several hours later, Sam stood and surveyed the alien planet she was on. It was just an ordinary field. Nothing was here. Her tests complete, Sam decided to locate Jack. The minute they'd landed, he'd taken off in an eastward direction. Making sure that Teal'c was with Daniel, Sam headed for Jack's last known location. It took her at least 20 minutes to find the colonel. She should have guessed.
Jack stood in front of a medium sized blue lake. The sun was starting to set and his outline contrasted sharply against the pink, red, and purple sky. This would be a memory that would keep Sam awake for many nights to come. Oh well, who need sleep anyway?
Sam was about to step forward when she realized something wasn't quite right. Jack had now dropped to a stooping position and was skipping rocks across the crystal clear surface. But that wasn't the weird part. It sounded like he was singing! That couldn't be right, the colonel didn't sing. Silently, Sam slipped towards him. She could hear the words clearly now.
No matter what you say about love
I keep coming back for more
Keep my hand in the fire sooner or later I get what I'm asking for
Sam crept closer, straining to hear his voice. By the time she had repositioned herself, Jack was at the chorus.
Just like a tattoo I'll always have you
Sam stood in shock. Two thoughts raced through her mind. One her CO was singing, and second why was her CO singing that song?
She slipped back to her original position when she first stumbled on his location. Acting like she had just walked up, Sam called him. "Colonel!"
Jack stood up at a record speed. "Major?"
"I'm done my tests and Daniel is almost finished his. We see no reason to stick around here, and thought we might be able to return to the SGC early."
"Alright, rally the troops. I'll be there in a minute," His voice echoed though the air.
Sam headed back to the gate. Her thoughts preoccupied with the scene she had just witnessed. Suddenly, she felt herself being pushed firmly to the ground as a staff blast flew past her. She heard a moan and the weight eased off her. There was a dull thud next to her. Sam looked and saw Jack passed out on the ground by her side. Staff blasts continued over head.
Jack must have seen the Jaffa and pushed her out of the way, but in the process he'd been hit.
Her radio crackled to life, "Major Carter! I hear weapons fire. Are you alright?" Teal'c questioned anxiously.
"I'm fine, but the colonel's been hit. I don't know how many Jaffa there are."
"Hang on we're coming, Sam!" Daniel's voice came over the speaker. The words were short and separated, like Daniel was running already.
"Hurry!" she called. Sam didn't know what had come over her. Normally she would be firing back, but seeing Jack lying there made her feel helpless. She rolled him over to assess his wounds. The blast hadn't hit him square on, it had just grazed his hip, but it still looked bad. Thankfully, the fire from the blast had cauterized the blood vessels so blood loss was minimal. She yanked out a clean bandage from her vest and pressed it to his hip. The shot had gone just above his pelvic bone, which was good, they wouldn't have to worry about any broken bones as they hauled him to the gate. She could now hear Teal'c and Daniel firing back at the Jaffa. Good. That meant only a few more minutes till they could get Jack out of there.
She was a little worried about the dirt ground they were resting on. She needed to make sure the wound stayed clean so it wouldn't get infected. She slowly peeled back the melted and burned clothing fabric from around the wound, exposing the surrounding untouched skin. She took the water from her canteen and slowly poured it around the edges of the wound, being careful not to let any make its way into the wound itself. She was half way down, when she saw it.
About an inch south of where the blast had hit him, Sam spotted the top of what appeared to be writing. She carefully peeled back more clothing to reveal three letters that had been carefully inked onto Jack's skin.
They were plain, done in brown ink and together were no larger than half an inch tall and wide. Very easy to miss, and impossible to read unless looking closely. From a distance they may have appeared to bruise. Sam was stunned. When had he gotten it? Why?
Daniel had asked him a year or two ago if Jack had a tattoo and he'd said he wasn't one to put meaningless symbols on his body. That meant that sometime since then Jack had gotten inked. It also meant that those three letters had a meaning. But why would he get SGC? Was it for identification? That didn't make any sense, if no one knew it was there, it would hinder identification of the body. Sam froze at the thought of having to resort to a tattoo to identify Jack's body. She wasn't going to think about his death. He was here, in front of her, still breathing.
By now Teal'c and Daniel had defeated the Jaffa and were calling for them. "We're here!" she yelled, standing up.
"What happened?" Daniel asked as he and Teal'c ran over and picked Jack up.
"Ja..the colonel had just told me to get you guys together and head back towards the gate. I was headed there when he knocked me over and the Jaffa started firing. He got shot getting me out of the way, that's when I called you."
"There were only two. But they will be missed soon. We must hurry." Teal'c led the way to the gate. It didn't take long and soon the group was waiting in the hall, while Janet examined O'Neill.
Sam was the first one to spy the doctor coming towards them. "How is he?" She nearly yelled.
"He's going to be fine. It was all flesh damage. I've finished stiching him and the nurse is bandaging him as we speak. I've prescribed him some pain medication. He'll be out of commission for at least two weeks though. He's alert, and already begging to go home. I'll allow him to go, but one of you needs to stay with him for at least the first two days. No stretching, bending, or reaching for at least a week, and…"
"I already promised to behave Doc," Jack interrupted as he entered the hall. Janet opened her mouth but he spoke before she had the chance. "Doc I won't do a thing I'll sit in bead all week. I'll do anything you say as long as I don't have to stay in the infirmary. "
"I'm just making sure your team knows the terms of your release."
"Okay, okay. Let's go before she changes her mind."
After stopping to talk with General Hammond a few minutes, the group headed for the parking lot. The day bright and a warm breeze blew through the trees. "Ah… " Jack took a deep breath, "a perfect day for fishing."
"And no bending."
His team reminded.
"NO!" Three voices all spoke at once.
"Sir, you need to take it easy. That morphine Janet gave you is only going to last for the next few hours," Sam continued.
"Can't I enjoy the buzz for a few minutes. Come on, a little catch never hurt anybody." Jack looked around. Three frowns greeted him. "Oh alright which one of you kill joys am I spending the next few days with."
"It's my turn sir," Sam replied. She had a feeling that it was going to be a very long three days.