by Suz

Disclaimer - MGM/Gekko/Double Secret own them. I don't.

Rated R for content. No graphic descriptions, but definite implication.

NOT A NICE STORY. Don't say I didn't warn you.


Major General George Hammond sighed internally as SG-1 appeared through the wormhole, arriving back home. Not wanting them to see how concerned he'd been he tried to look as neutral as possible as he studied them. They hadn't reported in on schedule, and the attempt at communication had received no response. He'd been about to send another team through when they'd been alerted to an incoming wormhole, complete with SG-1's IDC.

His expression of neutrality quickly dissipated into a frown when he took in their condition.

Dr Jackson and Teal'c were quite badly bruised, but didn't seem to have any serious injuries. Colonel O'Neill on the other hand was covered in numerous cuts, had a large and very ugly bruise on his forehead, and limped obviously as he walked down the ramp slowly. Although to the General's experienced eye he looked more angry than in pain.

Curiously, Major Carter appeared almost completely untouched.

The General's greeting never made it to his lips. "I take it things didn't go well, SG-1?"

A long silence ensued as they looked at everything except each other.

Finally, Dr Jackson spoke up. Quietly. "No sir."

Hammond nodded. "Report to the infirmary. Provided you're all released in time, the briefing will be at 1400."

Colonel O'Neill spoke for the first time. "Carter, you go first. We'll wait until you're done with the doc."


"That's an order Major."

Hammond could see that she hesitated, that she wasn't pleased with the order, but she relented and quickly walked out of the room.

After a few moments the Colonel stumbled out of the gate room himself, refusing any offers of assistance.

The General pulled Jackson to one side. "Doctor…do you want to tell me what happened out there?"

Daniel looked towards the Stargate, then at Teal'c, and then at the floor. "Not particularly, sir."


Sam Carter sighed as she walked towards the briefing room. Janet had been understandably shocked, sympathetic and gentle, but - although she probably was imagining it - the faint tinge of disapproval had hovered over everything she did.

She didn't need that right now. She had enough of that from someone else.

The someone else in question was already in the briefing room when she arrived, as well as Daniel and Teal'c. Apparently they'd been treated by someone outside of the infirmary - indicated by the small plasters covering a great expanse of the Colonel's skin. She swallowed carefully, remembering how he received every cut.

She met his gaze. "Sir,"

Jack only nodded tightly.

When she was seated, Daniel cleared his throat. "Sam? Are you…okay?"

She appreciated his concern; his lack of judgement. "I'm fine, Daniel. Thanks for asking."

He shrugged as if it wasn't a big deal.

Teal'c cut in. "That is good news,"

They were saved from any more uncomfortable small talk when the door to Hammond's office opened and the General emerged. "Sorry about that. A certain Senator is trying to cause a ruckus again."

The expected sarcastic reply from Jack never materialised.

They simply nodded.

God, she hated this…

Daniel started the briefing, saving anyone else from the task, and if he had been sitting next to her she probably would have kissed him. She didn't particularly want to talk about it, and from the lack of expression on the Colonel's face, neither did he.

Teal'c was…Teal'c. Inscrutable as ever. She knew from her years of research that there were certain constants in the Universe. Teal'c was one of them, and because of that she knew was continually blessed.

Daniel was most of the way into his description of the Majahan people when she finally tuned in to what he was saying.

"-of technology is quite similar to ours, although they still retain many of the customs passed down to them and only use the technology when they need to. Their…um…their social skills could definitely use some work."

A hand thumped on the table, causing everyone to jump and look at the source.

Jack was glaring at him. "Social skills? *Social* *skills*? They're animals, Daniel."

Surprised at the vehemence in his voice, the General stared at him. "What exactly happened on P4X 786, Colonel?"

But he had lapsed into silence again, moving his gaze down to stare at nothing.

It was Teal'c who came to the rescue this time, when it became obvious that Daniel was finding it difficult. "We were captured and questioned by the Relet - the ruling body of the Majahan people. However," He continued, "This 'questioning' was not particularly severe."

Hammond was obviously confused. "Well then…how did you get your injuries? When you escaped?"

"We didn't escape," Jack murmured, drawing attention back to himself. "They let us go."

"How did you get injured if they let you go?"

Daniel sighed. "Before they…the only way they would let us go…their leader, Shoka…appreciated…Major Carter. He would only let us go and promised not to kill us if…if she…"

"Sex!" Jack shouted. "Just say it Daniel. He wanted her for sex." He rubbed a hand viciously over his face, not caring about the damage already done there.

Hammond's gaze was suddenly on her.

"We objected, naturally," Teal'c informed him. "And put up a valiant battle. We were, however, highly outnumbered."

"Which explains how you got injured," Hammond muttered.

Sam winced, remembering what they did to Jack as he tried to stop them taking her away. That was going to keep her nightmares fuelled for a while.

"Major," the General began quietly, "I hope to God that you're about to tell me that the ferocity of SG-1's response convinced these…people…to let you go."

God, she wanted to give him the answer he was looking for. She could see the veins throbbing on Jack's forehead from the corner of her eye, she swore she could. "No sir,"

In response Hammond's lips thinned out and pressed together, and his skin seemed to turn even whiter than usual. "I see," He turned and addressed the team. "I want you all on a weeks downtime after your full reports have been filed. Dismissed."

Daniel looked surprised at how quickly the briefing had ended, but he and Teal'c duly left with gentle smiles sent in Sam's direction.

O'Neill didn't look at anyone.

Sam had remained behind, instinctively knowing that the General wanted to talk.

When it was clear that they were alone, he spoke. "Major, I can't begin to imagine what you've been through, but I'd like you to know that personally I'd love nothing more than going through that Stargate and throttling this 'Shoka' with my bare hands."

She couldn't help it - she smiled. "Thank you sir."

"However, I'm not sure that would accomplish anything. You've been thoroughly checked out by Dr Fraiser?"

"Yes sir," This was a very bizarre topic to be discussing with him. "I insisted that he use protection, and he actually did. She's discovered nothing worrying so far, so we're just waiting for some other test results."

"Good," he nodded. "I also think that - when you're up to it - you'll probably need to talk to Dr MacKenzie."

MacKenzie? A shrink? Ugh. "With respect sir…I'm an adult. I was not inexperienced before this…encounter. I may not have been looking forward to it, but I knew what I was getting into. There was no other choice - I couldn't let my team die. I feel no ambiguity about it; I did what I had to do."

He finally smiled, then did something even more unusual: he used her first name. "Sam, I'm not trying to imply in any way that you're incapable of handling this without professional help. I *am* saying that this situation would be hard on anyone, and if it had happened to anyone else I would still be suggesting the same course of action. Besides, I'm almost certain in these unfortunate cases that there's some regulation somewhere that stipulates the use of counselling."

Well, that was practically an order. "Yes sir."


George sighed as he heard the knock on his door. He'd been expecting this for the last three hours. Calling for him to enter, he closed his laptop - no point in keeping it open while he was here.

As anticipated, Jack stepped into the room, still hobbling heavily. "Sir,"

"Colonel. Shouldn't you be resting?"

O'Neill just shrugged before getting to the point. "Sir, permission to take SG teams 2, 5 and 7 through the Stargate."

Sighing again, George sat further back in his chair. "Colonel, I know your first instinct is to punish Shoka-"

"No sir. My first instinct is to kill him."

Of course it was. "Colonel…sit down."

O'Neill hesitated, but when he took in his superior officers expression, he sat on the chair opposite him.

Relieved, Hammond began carefully. "Jack, I can't commit three SG teams to a personal vendetta."

Jack exploded, leaping out of the chair despite his bad leg. "Personal vendetta?! Do you *understand*? Do you even comprehend what that bastard *did*?"

For once, Hammond couldn't keep his surprise concealed. It wasn't often that O'Neill's emotions came out into the open. Decades in the military would do that to anyone.

Jack had recovered already. He immediately became quiet and sat back down with features that could have been carved from stone. "I apologise sir. That was out of line."

Yes it was. "I do understand," More than I should. "And I would very much like to act out the revenge that Major Carter so richly deserves myself…" That was putting it very mildly. "…but it won't change anything. In any case, I'm not even sure this is in our jurisdiction."

"Carter's been raped and you're talking about jurisdiction?"


"It's not like we haven't taken matters into our own hands before."

This was different. "The fate of Earth doesn't ride on this one, Jack."

The younger man finally met his gaze, and though he didn't say anything Hammond could almost hear the unspoken question: 'What about my sanity?'

There were days when he hated this job. "Look, son, I know this is hard to live with-"

"That's just it, General," Jack interrupted quietly. "That's the killer. I *can* live with it."

"Because you understand why she did it. Because you would have done just the same." Hammond wondered how he could still be so naïve at times.

He looked so tired. So sick of himself. "Yeah,"

Nodding, George tried to smile. "Take the week off. Relax. Heal - physically and mentally." It was going to take longer than a week, but it was a start. "And Jack…"


"Don't do it alone."


After her third shower, Sam started to feel somewhat human. Quickly drying and dressing, trying not to remember where that *thing* had touched her, she headed to her lab intent on finishing her report.

Someone was waiting for her. Two someone's, actually.

"Daniel, Teal'c."


"Major Carter,"

Well, the introductions were over. "Do you need something?" She sat at her desk, fiddling with some paperwork.

Teal'c stood silently.

Daniel began talking nervously. "Well…look…we could well be stepping over some boundaries here, and you'll probably get sick of hearing this or think it's too presumptuous or you just want to be left alone…but we just wanted you to know that we're here for you. If you need…anything. To talk, to listen, anything."

Teal'c nodded. "Indeed."

They were so sweet sometimes, they really were. Her heart felt as if something warm had squeezed around it - which made a change, because her heart had very carefully been feeling nothing at all for the last few hours. "Guys…thank you. That's really, really nice of you. I don't need to talk, but it's reassuring to know that you're there if I do." They looked relieved. "Besides, I'd much rather talk to you guys than MacKenzie."

An expression of distaste appeared on Teal'c's normally stoic face. "Dr MacKenzie?"

Daniel phrased it more accurately. "That shrink?"


"I guess I understand their reasons, but haven't they realised yet that nobody likes that guy?"

"As I understood it," Teal'c said, "It is Dr MacKenzie who does not like any of his patients."

Daniel leant against the desk. "Hey, you remember when he thought Jack was suffering from post traumatic stress?"

"Of course. I had not seen him attack a physician before."


After arriving home - thanking God for the normal conversation with Daniel and Teal'c - Sam had two more showers and as a result answered the door with damp hair.

She stared at him. "Sir, what are you doing here?"

"Oh, you know…"

"No, I don't. What are you doing here?"

He looked almost…nervous? Jack O'Neill? "I'm here to…watch a chick flick. Discuss scientific astrophysicsomethingorothers. Talk to your plants. Whatever you want to do."

"Sir…" Did he know how much he looked like a lost puppy?

"That is…if you want me."

Now there was a loaded question.

He *did* look distinctly nauseous. "Come in before you fall in." As it was he probably would have fallen over if she hadn't help him walk to the couch. Once there he let go and fell heavily, groaning when he landed - although she wasn't sure if it was a groan of pleasure or pain.

Within a few minutes she had him sitting up, his leg carefully resting on a cushion, a drink in one hand and the remote in the other. When she sat next to him, he smiled.

"You don't have to look after me."

She met his gaze squarely. "I could say the same."

Placing his drink on the table, he faced her. "Excuse me for caring."

"I love that you care," A bell dinged in the kitchen - the snacks were ready. She stood to get them but suddenly felt a hand carefully wrapping around her wrist. She turned back to face him.

He was staring at her. His feelings of guilt were unmistakable as he spoke. "Are you okay? Really?"

Sam was surprised at the moistness in her eyes. "I'm stronger than I look."

"I know," Releasing her arm, he lost his smile. "I'm not."


"I'm worried about you."

"You don't need to be," She replied honestly.

"I am anyway."

She didn't know how much these admissions were costing him, but it was bound to be a lot. "Look, you get the video in the right place, I'll get the food, and we'll just take things as they come. Okay?"

He nodded.

Smiling, Sam turned away and walked into the kitchen.



"This…friendship thing."

She placed the baking tray on top of the oven, listening carefully. "Yes?"

"We don't do enough of it."

"No sir. We don't."

"We'll have to rectify that."

Pulling the oven gloves from her hands, she moved to the doorway and studied him as he sat on the couch, looking at a picture of her and Cassie.

"Yes sir."



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