Chemistry 101
by Suz suzvoy@tesco.net

Disclaimer - MGM/Gekko/Double Secret own them.

Spoilers for 'The First Commandment', 'Hathor', 'There But For The Grace of God', 'Politics', 'Within The Serpents Grasp', 'The Serpents Lair' and 'In the Line of Duty'. Though set between 'The Serpents Lair' and 'In The Line of Duty', I guess it's really an episode addition for 'Politics'.

Ah, early season two. Before Sam and Janet really knew each other. Before Sam and Jack really knew each other. Before things all went rather serious. And I'm not saying Janet sounds like this, but for this story she really wanted to.

For Vicky and Anna, who were there.

*

I like Sam Carter, I really do. It's just that sometimes she can be a little...dense.

You wouldn't think it to look at - or listen to - her, on any other day of the year. She's one of those brilliant, genius, scarily intelligent types that make everyone else jealous, yet actually happy that they have a life.

By her own admission, she doesn't have much of one outside of the SGC. But then, I'm not much better. My life outside of the work consists of Cassie, Cassie, and nothing but Cassie. We're still trying to figure it out, trying to get her accustomed to life here, trying to share the same house without stepping in each other's pockets.

It's not easy, and sometimes it's infuriating, but ultimately it feels worthwhile.

Of course, the place she comes from ties in exactly with the work, so maybe she's not as separated from the rest of my life as she should be.

Yet it's working. Kind of. If that idiot of an ex-husband would stop dropping by whenever he felt like it with those inconvenient questions...

But this is about Sam Carter.

I don't know if we'd classify each other as friends yet. We're still in the 'Captain Carter' and 'Doctor Fraiser' zone, even if we did take on Hathor together and share an interest in Cassie. Itís just so hard for her to find the time to visit...before this, I donít think she ever had to find the time to do anything other than work.

We definitely like each other a lot though, so I think we'll make it - which is just what I want. She was right - this is a boys club, and the last thing either of us needs is a rival.

She comes to see me, after the celebrations are done, acting as if she hasn't just saved the world. In fact, that seems to be the furthest thing from her mind.

Finding me during a rare break in the commissary, she pulls out the chair opposite mine.

"Mind if I sit here, Doctor?"

"Not at all, Captain." We're really going to have to progress to first names at some point, but for some reason I think she's a little...wary of it.

She sits down with just a cup of coffee. We discuss our work; apparently the deal to keep the program running came with four new SG teams attached to it; I complain that means I'll have sixteen more people to patch up.

And then she gets to it. Whatís bugging her.

"Do you think it'd be horrible being engaged to me?"

I don't nearly choke on my fries (you'd think, being a doctor that I should know better, but noooo). I *do* pause chewing for a few seconds, and then swallow. I hadn't known what to expect, but that certainly wasn't it. "Why'd you ask?"

She glances away, towards her coffee, and shrugs. "Well, you know Daniel ended up in an alternate reality, right?"

I'm so glad I ended up here. Nowhere else on Earth would I hear that question - and be able to respond positively. "Sure." That was where he'd obtained the coordinates that SG-1 had used to stop the Goa'uld attack.

Satisfied, she nods. "I don't know if this made it out what with the threat of impending death, but...in that reality, we were engaged."

"You and Daniel?" I could see why. They had a lot in common.

"No, no," She insists quickly, obviously not liking the idea - probably because technically he was still married and was mourning the 'loss' of his wife. "Me and...Colonel O'Neill."

"Oh." That didn't surprise me either, though for different reasons. "That's it?" What was the big deal? It was an *alternate* reality.

"It's just that when the Colonel found out he seemed almost...offended. Indignant. As if being engaged to me would be some kind of chore to get through."

Ahhhh. It's all beginning to make sense now. "And this bothers you?" She glares at me, and I smile - she obviously doesn't want to go down that road, so I try something else. "You've been engaged before, right?"

She rolls her eyes. "Don't remind me."

Of course. Jonas Hanson. Believed he was a God; ruined that theory by splatting against the iris. Her luck with men seems to have been as disastrous as mine. That alone should ensure we'll eventually become firm friends. "But when you were together, he didn't seem to view it as a chore."

"No," She shakes her head, getting a distinct reminiscing glint in her eye. "I mean he was a little obsessive but it didn't seem like I was hard work for him."

"Maybe you should be," I tease. "Where's the fun if it's easy?"

She loosens up - a little. "Are we still talking about Jonas?"

Caught. "All right, what did he say *exactly*?"

Grinning, she tells me. Theoretically possible, against regulations... "And I just meant it from a scientific point of view; I wasn't even thinking about breaking regulations. I was talking physics."

I snort. Ha. Physics. I actually snort. And the words tumble out before I can stop them. "Uh huh. Sure honey. I think you'll find it's actually called chemistry."

Hmm. That was a rather over-familiar, wasn't it?

She's looking rather stunned, isn't she?

I apologise because it's proper, and I was somewhat out of line, but I don't really mean it.

I hide behind a glass of water (which isn't much use - I can still see her face, huge and distended though it might currently be), just as Colonel O'Neill walks in. Just in time to see her turn several shades of red.

Like I said: I like Sam Carter, I really do. She can just be a little dense sometimes.

~FINIS

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