Hiding Away
by Suz suzvoy@tesco.net

Disclaimer – MGM/Gekko/Double Secret own them. Lucky us!

This is an episode addition for ‘Redemption, Part 2’, so includes spoilers for that episode. It’s set just before Jack turns up at Hammond’s office, so I made a little assumption about why he went there .


He should have been worrying about Teal’c.

Well, he was worrying about Teal’c, but not too much. As far as he knew Teal’c and Bra’tac were fine, and if either of them needed to find their way back to Earth he knew they’d find a way. They were both resourceful enough to do anything they put their minds to.

So really, he shouldn’t have been worrying about Teal’c too much – just hoping that he’d find a way home, even if when he got there he’d discover SG-1 didn’t exist anymore.

As for Jonas, Jack didn’t know what the hell the SGC were going to do with him. Probably the same as they’d done with the other refugees they’d taken in over the years who didn’t live at the base. Help incorporate them into society, teach them how to pass for human – even if they looked human, the social differences usually took a bit of work.

And Carter...Carter was the first person he was on his way to see since returning. Since landing in the ocean, being rescued, and being given a thorough going over by the medics on the way back.

He wasn’t stopping to see Hammond, wasn’t doing anything that would stop him getting to her lab quickly. Carter was the person who – for once – he could think about without regret, without self-admonishment...without regulations.

Jack was scared shitless.

Because he knew, somehow, that it was all going to go wrong. It always did.

Yet that wasn’t going to stop him. On the off chance that he was wrong – and there had been just a few instances in his life when he *may* have been incorrect – he had to do it. He’d be kicking himself for years if he didn’t.

He should have been on his way to Hammond’s office. Instead he approached the door to her lab, not allowing himself to hesitate, pause, or reconsider – walking decisively in, determined to get to the point.

Chickening out the moment he saw her placing a folder into a cardboard box.

He blinked, and suddenly realised something: it was going to be weird, not walking in here to see her anymore. Not bugging her when she was bored. Not popping in for a visit when he should have been working on something else. Not sneaking glances at her neck when she inevitably stretched those neck muscles from too many hours spent leaning over something.

To not work with her day after day, side by side, coming up with any crap joke he could just on the chance that she might smile. Listening to her advice, her wild theories, her enthusiasm for what she did...

He was going to miss that. He was going to miss her.

But if this worked, if this actually *worked*...

Finally noticing him, she looked up with her right arm still half into the box. The situation dictated that she should have welcomed him back, or said she was glad to see him. Instead, all he got was “Hey.”

For the first time that he could remember coming into her lab, he didn’t shove his hands into his pockets. He deliberately kept them out, still not knowing what to do with his hands, but knowing that he wasn’t going to hide them away. Not anymore.

“Hey,” Was the extent of his own response. Clearing his throat, he stepped further into the room and nodded towards the box. “Where you headed?”

She finally removed her hand, and shrugged. “Not sure. There’s been some talk of Area 51 or back to the Pentagon...” Her words trailed off and she looked pretty displeased with that last one.

Her hands started fiddling with the top edge of the box.

His fiddled with nothing.

He reached the other side of the desk. “Hammond’ll get you wherever you want to go – you know that.”

Shrugging, she half-smiled before staring down at the box. “I guess.”

Frowning, he placed a hand on the desk. “What’s wrong?”

Sighing, she let go of the box and looked up at him. “I don’t *want* to go anywhere. Sir, much as this might feed your ego, this is my dream job. Working at the SGC, under General Hammond, with you, with Teal’c...even with Daniel gone, this is where I want to be.”

He knew that about her. He did. It was a sentiment he well understood. It was no secret that this was the only place he’d work anymore. “I know, Carter. But...maybe this is the right thing. Maybe this is meant to happen. Maybe it’ll lead you on to a better career.”

She just looked at him.

He gave in. “Yeah all right; I don’t really believe that either. Look...” He paused, trying to figure out what to say. “You’ll be fine, Carter. You’re that kind of person. You can do anything.”

She kept looking at him. “And what about you?”


“Where are you headed?”

“Oh, well,” Jack suddenly found his hand fascinating. “I...had a little chat with the President.” He hated saying that; he really didn’t want to sound like he was name-dropping. Not that she’d care. “According to him, I can pretty much do what I want. Any command, any place...”

“But you’re not going to.”

He looked back up, meeting her gaze. She knew him far too well. “No. There’s still a fishing boat out there with my name on it.” He paused. “Actually it has the name ‘Simpson’ on it, but you get the idea.”

Grinning, she shook her head. “This is really still the only place you want to work?”

He shrugged. “It’s good enough for you. Why not me?”

“I guess you just don’t seem to be the ‘give up’ type...not that you’re actually giving up,” Carter conceded. “It just seems like you should always be doing something.”

That seemed to be a compliment, but he wasn’t quite sure what to say.

And then he knew.

“There’s nothing here for me anymore.”

She didn’t look away, and he forced himself not to look away either. He hoped to God she understood what he was saying.

He had to keep talking. He had to keep talking or she’d look away, and then start making small talk about Teal’c, or Jonas, or any damn thing other than that thing that for once they needed to address.

Still not looking away, he grabbed the box and shoved it to one side until there was nothing in the way. Just the table that this time he rested both hands on top of.

Eyes widening, she didn’t speak or argue; only matching his pose.

This was it. This was actually it. She knew exactly why he’d come here; why the fear was dissipating, why the beginning of a smile was starting to appear on his face, why he suddenly felt immeasurably lighter, why it was everything he could do to keep his hands resting just where they were.

Thrilled to see the faint beginnings of a smile on her own face, he spoke.

“Carter, do you wanna-”

Her phone rang.

His hands tensed against the table.

His fingers burrowed into the wood.

He knew who that was going to be. He *knew*.


Her smile vanished, and she quietly moved away until she picked up the receiver. “Carter. Yes. Yes, sir. I’ll send him along immediately.” Hanging up, she slowly turned back to face him. “General Hammond wants to see you, sir.”

He swallowed. It was partly his own fault – his first port of call shouldn’t have been her lab. The General had no doubt heard he was back on base and was wondering where he was. Slapping the table with an enthusiasm he didn’t feel, he moved away. “Maybe it’s news about Teal’c.”

Carter nodded tightly. “Maybe.”

Shit. Shit. Shit. “Well, I’d better-”

“What were you going to ask?”

She’d surprised him. She, out of the both of them, asking that. “Something...” He still had to protect himself; it was the way he’d always worked. It was who he was. “Something that I’ll hopefully be able to finish asking later today.”

But things were going to go wrong. They always did.

Holding her hands firmly together, she nodded. “Then I’ll see you later.”

“Yeah,” Jack agreed, but not really feeling it. “I’ll see you later.”

As he turned away and left her lab, he shoved his hands into his pockets.


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