Disclaimer - MGM/Gekko/Double Secret own them.
Spoilers for 'Children of The Gods', 'In The Line of Duty', 'The Tok'ra, Part 2', and 'Seth'. Set soon after the events of 'The Tok'ra, Part 2' so Sam's emotional state is somewhat out of whack.
And we all know - thanks to D&C - how good Jack is at denial.
"I don't know what on Earth you could possibly find amusing about this situation."
Okay, a couple of points about her statement:
How in the hell does she even *know* that I'm smiling? As it is we only have the smallest of smallest cracks allowing light in, and I can barely see myself let alone her. How can she possibly see my face?
Is it possible that she knows me so well already that she is able to tell me to stop smiling when - of course - I'm currently busy grinning my ass off?
We haven't known each other that long, really. A little over a year.
But I guess given the situation we work in, it'd be only natural that we'd all get to know each other very well. That happens, in our job. I know from experience.
Next: why is she in such a bad mood? Carter's never in a bad mood. Oh, you could argue about her having a chip in her shoulder when she strolled into the briefing room some fourteen months ago, but I totally get that she was just trying to prove herself.
I can't say I entirely blame her.
But, when she realised my doubts about her had nothing to do with her reproductive organs and everything to do with her qualifications, she set about proving my expectations wrong at every turn.
We even started to become friends, and I slowly began to realise what a genuinely nice person she is. Friend to everyone, enemy only to the Goa'uld, and devastating behind a P-90.
Which has nothing to do with her personality, but I can proud of my 2IC, can't I?
And she's never in a bad mood. She never prowls, stomps or sulks around the base - unlike certain members of my team who shall go nameless if not descriptiveless (glasses, floppy brown hair). She has a smile for everyone and a frown for no one.
Her behaviour right now - even given our current situation - is so un-Carter like that I'm compelled to talk about it.
"For crying out loud Carter, what's wrong with you?"
Well. That went well.
How is it that I try to be nice, that I try to be the understanding boss, and I always fail miserably?
Ouch. If I didn't know for a fact that this was unusual behaviour, I'd definitely give her an 'I'm giving you a warning' look.
Not that she'd actually be able to see it.
Or maybe she'd just know it was there anyway. She seems to know a lot about what I do.
"Hate to disagree with you *Captain*," I wonder, suddenly, how I know that she's glaring at me. "But you've had a pole up your butt since you got here. Care to explain?"
Okay, so maybe the pole up the butt comment isn't completely accurate, but it was obvious that she'd been in a mood since before she arrived. It had been just as obvious that if it hadn't been for the fact that today was Cassie's 'assigned' Birthday, she wouldn't have turned up at all.
Even if it'd been my Birthday.
I wonder why that bothers me.
"Well," She responded. "Being locked in the closet with *you* might have something to do with it."
I'm so offended that I forget for a moment that she's my subordinate. "Hey, it's not like this is *my* fault."
"It was your idea."
"It was my idea to lock us in here?"
"Okay, no! Technically you didn't lock us in here, but it was your idea to hide."
"As I recall it was Daniel's idea to play hide and seek. So - if anyone - we should be blaming him."
"It was still your idea to hide in here."
"Will you *stop* that? Jesus Sam, this isn't like you. What's *wrong*?" I'm just starting to wonder if I'll have any more luck getting a straight answer than the last time I asked that question, when she speaks, her voice coming from the gloom to my left.
"Bad day, that's all."
That's all she tells me.
"Just a bad day."
Her humour seems to have improved somewhat, thanks to my misfortune.
I need to pee. I really, really need to pee.
And I made the mistake of telling her that.
We'd endured ten minutes of stony silence after her 'bad day' confession, when I commented on my need to urinate.
One thing you may not know about Captain Samantha Carter, is that she has an extremely wicked sense of humour. It's not often it gets out - especially towards a superior officer - but when it does, there's not much that can stem the tide.
Speaking of water...
I don't think I've ever heard so many different terms for running water before, but the things that have come out of her mouth in the past ten minutes...I almost don't mind because at the very least I know she's smiling - despite the fact that I still can't see her face - but the need is very, very strong...
Still, I know my bladder well. If I can manage to ignore it the urge will go away. Sure, it'll return later, but hopefully 'later' will be a time far, far away...
Unfortunately, she keeps bringing the subject of a certain liquid substance up.
"Guess you shouldn't have had those three beers, huh?"
Did I mention this is also out of character behaviour? Even taking into consideration the fact that we're off-duty, that we're locked in a seemingly impenetrable closet, that she's not adverse to teasing me on occasion even when we *are* on-duty...she never usually goes this far.
Yet another indication that something isn't right.
The pain in my side, a constant reminder of my need to pee, dissipates. Concern takes over.
"Tell me," I murmur, perhaps emboldened by the anonymity of the darkness.
I didn't mean to make her humour fade away. I really didn't. I just need to know.
She says nothing.
"My feet hurt."
I blink - pretty much a moot point in the dark, but I do it anyway - as my brain registers the comment. "What do you expect me to do about it?"
"Then why did you tell me?"
"Well, what did you expect me to do about the fact that you needed to pee a while ago?"
Oh, she had to bring *that* up again. Desperately hoping my bladder remains ignorant, I shrug. "Good comment." She's not quite as snappish as she was earlier, which can only be a good thing.
And it's really starting to get warm in here.
We gave up shouting after the first ten minutes of realising we were actually locked in here. Either they'd left the house for some reason, or...
Well, for some bizarre reason, my brain doesn't like thinking about why they might have locked us in here deliberately. Can't figure out why.
They wouldn't lock us in here on purpose.
Banging on the door didn't do anything, nor did pushing on it - although that almost resulted in knocking the whole damn closet over, which you really don't wanna do when you're inside it.
So we're keeping an ear out for footsteps or any nearby voices. They'll surely realise we're missing eventually and come looking for us, and if they did do this on purpose they'll only let us out when they're good and ready.
"Why don't you sit down?" I suggest, desperate to fill the sudden vacuum that only I'm aware of since thinking that they may have done this on purpose. Damn strange. I don't know why it's making me so uncomfortable.
"There's not exactly a lot of room," She tells me, but I can hear shifting and movement - and then I'm *feeling* movement as she bumps into me. She doesn't apologise but then I guess she doesn't need to - we're both well aware of the situation and there's nothing either of us can do to stop our bodies making contact on occasion.
Which is fine.
Damn, why is it so hot in here?
*Think*, Jack. Confined space. Body heat. Thankfully enough room for oxygen to get in, but you're still breathing out a lot of hot air - some of it carbon dioxide which isn't exact healthy and-
I gotta stop thinking like this. This is her influence. Thinking.
More moving, followed by a soft 'thump'. There. She's down now.
"Actually, it's kinda comfortable," She admits. "Everything down here seems to be soft."
"I remember seeing clothes down there when we got it," And, of course, I can feel some of them under my feet now.
Actually, now that she's mentioned it, my own feet start to object. They want me to sit down. They really, really want me to sit down. They're not used to just standing there. Most of the time they're moving, running towards something, or - as is the case with a majority of our off-world missions - running away from something at a great velocity.
"Ohhhhhhh, that feels good..."
More murmurs of pleasure float up to me, and I'm just starting to feel really hot when it hits me:
She's taken her shoes off.
More accurately, she's taken her boots off. I seem to recall she was wearing boots with heels of at least an inch. Not that I pay that much attention to what she wears, but it's not often I see her in anything than BDU's, so when she is wearing something else, I notice.
Black boots, black jeans, and a form-fitting top that exactly matched the colour of her eyes.
Not that I pay that much attention to what she wears.
"Feels better, huh?"
She says nothing for a few seconds. "How do you know I've taken my boots off?"
I grin. "I can smell your feet."
"My feet don't smell."
The truth is, I *can* smell them - a little. Certainly not offensive, and definitely nothing that requires an evacuation of the immediate area, but there's an unmistakable little aroma.
"What?" She demands when I say nothing in return.
"Oh it's just..." I pause, deliberately making her wait. "I never thought you'd have smelly feet. It seems too human, somehow."
"Are you saying I'm inhuman?" She clearly doesn't know if she should be offended or not.
"No. Just that...well Sam, you *are* a little perfect."
That actually stuns her into silence.
"Carter?" Nothing. "Sam?"
"Perfect?" Her voice is extremely quiet, which - in this enclosed spaced - is far from necessary. Even if we were talking about something forbidden.
Which we're not.
"Well, yeah," I can feel my defences slam up already, and I don't even know why. Another one of the multitude of things that's confused me over the past hour. "You do kind of know everything, you're never wrong - *ever* - and you're a great friend as well as being a great person to know."
From me, this time, because I can't believe I just said all that. What the hell is wrong with *me*, never mind her?
I hear something and I can't quite believe it. No...surely not...
"Are you crying?"
"No," Sniff. "Sir." Sniff.
My head jerks at up her words, trying with futility to meet her gaze. I moved some time ago (nearly garrotting myself with a clothes hanger in the process), mimicking her pose so I'm sitting with my back against the opposite side of the closet. There were some initial awkward movements so we could both fit here, but our legs are between each other now, bent at the knees, and our feet are planted firmly on the small piles of clothes beneath us.
Unlike her, I didn't take my shoes off. I wouldn't wanna put anyone through that.
Although maybe the next time we come across a Goa'uld...hmm...
'Death by Foot Odour' doesn't have a very proud ring to it.
Truth be told, all I can still feel at the moment is surprise. I made Carter cry. I still can't believe it.
"For being such a bitch,"
Woah. I think that's the first time I've ever heard her use a swear word. "It's okay."
"No, it's not. I was having a bad day and this didn't help, but...I shouldn't have taken it out on you. So I'm sorry."
I definitely get the impression she isn't looking for absolution; she just needs to apologise. "Well, and we both know an absolute delight I am to be with."
Good. Good, there's a slight chuckle. She's more like her old self. "True enough, sir."
"Do you wanna talk about it, or just pretend whatever it is never happened?"
I certainly make that decision sometimes. Depending on my mood sometimes I want to talk about it, and sometimes I want to forget. Admittedly, it's usually the latter.
"It's Mark," She confesses.
My brain processes the information: Mark. Brother. Estranged. Don't know much about him. "Your brother,"
I know she's nodding. "I called him. To tell him that dad was okay that...that he was gonna make it." There's a pause, and I think she's trying not to cry. "Obviously, I couldn't fully explain how it happened, but the point is that dad's okay."
I understood now. Her relationship with her father had only recently been renewed, and it meant a tremendous amount to her. "And?"
"He wouldn't even listen. I was trying to tell him that his father didn't have cancer anymore, that he was going to *live*...and he hung up on me. He wouldn't even listen to my stupid phone call!"
Jerk. That's all I can think. Jerk.
I don't know what their history is, but I can't think of any possible reason why anyone wouldn't be delighted to get a phone call from Carter. Why just seeing her wouldn't bring a smile to your face. Why thinking about her wouldn't...
"He'll come round," It's all I can say. It's pitifully pathetic, but it's all I can say. "And until he does, *you've* still got the knowledge that dad's going to live. *You* saved him. It was your idea."
Further silence. "Why do you call him that?"
"Call who what?"
"My dad," She tells me. "Why do you call him 'dad'?"
I did? "I hadn't realised...that I did." It's not like he's my dad. It's not like he ever would be. "Don't know. That's just how it comes out."
Footsteps. Definite footsteps.
I can hear her inhalation of breath as I make my own and we suddenly move, bolting up until we're both on our knees - despite the pain in my own - and we both try and peer through the small crack that lets the light in, unaware as our upper bodies meet.
Well, almost unaware.
Closer. The footsteps are much, much closer.
I think...I think I can see something. A slight blurring of the light, a dark *something*...this is the time to call for help. This is exactly the right moment to tell whoever it is that we're here.
I don't speak. I don't say anything.
Neither does she.
Because - God help me - I *like* it in here. I'd rather be here. Here in this tiny, dark, cramped space. I'd rather be here than anywhere else in the world.
I'm still trying to figure out what that means, when my body starts moving. Somehow, when we shifted, my left arm moved around her back until my palm rested against the inside of one of the cupboard doors.
Just to help brace my weight. Really.
But - for the few moments that I wasn't paying attention to my body - my hand started moving. It's on her shoulder, then her arm, and I'm finally starting to realise something when she pulls my head down to hers and we're kissing.
It's not the most elegant, nor the most comfortable, and my ethics are actually making themselves heard for once. Besides the regulations, she's clearly in an emotional state. Her father's just returned from the brink of death, she's not five minutes ago told you she was having problems with her brother...you're taking advantage of her.
You're taking advantage of her.
I'm taking advantage of...
Her free hand - the one that isn't firmly pressed on the back on my neck, holding my mouth against hers (like I'd need the help anyway) - smoothes its way along my right arm, then my side, pulling at my shirt and-
Oh God, she's touching my skin.
Clearly, I'm not taking advantage of her. If anything she must be taking advantage of me, because there's no chance in hell that I'm kissing her as good as she's kissing me.
Although she does seem to be enjoying herself.
Another moan from one - both? - of us, and I can hear the blood rushing in my ears as my hands skirt along the edges of her top, the sides of her breasts; a slow and highly enjoyable experience.
There's no hurry, no fast movements, just gentle touching in our own little universe. No past, no future, no rules. Nothing exists outside us, in this never-ending moment.
We break apart only to shift to a more comfortable position. At least, that's the plan. Somehow she ends up hitting her head on the side of the closet and we break out into chuckles, loudly shushing each other while still trying to kiss.
God, I can't remember the last time that making out was so much *fun*.
I sit away from her for a moment, putting my weight on my knees again and leaning a hand against the door as I try to figure out the physics of where we're going next. Naturally, I quickly forget about the thinking and concentrate on the doing, so I lean back towards her as her hands find my shirt and pull me forward when-
Movement. Lots and lots of movement.
Feeling myself falling I grab onto something - anything - to stop me from going. I still can't comprehend where it is I'm going, but it's definitely somewhere and as it could be a long way down I try and stop myself.
Realising things are suddenly a lot brighter, my brain tells me what's happened.
Ah. So, the closet's open then.
And what did I drag out with me? Sam. Wonderful.
Wincing a little against the light, I roll from my side onto my back, and look at the person who freed us.
Glasses and floppy brown hair appear, peering down at me, seemingly innocent. "Hey Jack. Hope you guys are all right."
Okay, a couple of points about his statement:
Of course I'm not all right. It'd be patently obvious to anyone what we were up to in there, and in that spirit; I'll have to have a little chat with Hammond ASAP. And, of course, I must kill Daniel as soon as possible.
Not necessarily in that order.
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