Expecting Mustard
by Suz suzvoy@tesco.net

Disclaimer - MGM/Gekko/Double Secret own them.

A 'Paradise Lost' episode addition, set before the episode begins. Feedback would be appreciated :)


It was one of the rare Sundays where she was planning to spend a majority of the day at home (though really, she didn't have much choice in the matter). She usually managed to create enough work for her to do on base, but her latest experiment wouldn't provide any results for another twenty or so hours, and for once - as hard as she'd tried - there was nothing at the SGC to keep her occupied.

So, after getting on Janet's nerves she'd more or less been told to go home ("Doctor's *irritated* orders,"), and was now sitting in the living room, ignoring the television playing a few feet away from her.

It was weird having nothing to do. All of her work and personal projects were either completed or on standby, and for various reasons couldn't be completed at the moment. Sighing, she grabbed the remote control as she slouched further into her seat and began channel flicking. She was paying scant attention to what was on her television screen, but at least it was giving her hand something to-

Dragged out of her thoughts when the phone rang on the table next to the chair, she picked it up with her free hand and answered, still flicking.

"Hello?" Oh, infomercial. *Wonderful*.


She paused, her finger stilling on the remote. "Hey." Why on Earth was he calling? The only reason he ever called was in the case of a dire emergency, but she knew instinctively that that wasn't the reason. The greeting had been far too...well, *not* indicative of a dire emergency.

"How you doing?"

Frowning, she lowered her arm, still holding onto the remote. The television was completely forgotten. "Bored,"

He sighed. "Yeah, me too."

She was so occupied with trying to determine *why* he'd called, that being appropriately respectful wasn't high on her list of priorities. "That's not exactly a surprise, sir."

"Ouch," He responded, but with definite humour.

She winced internally nonetheless. "Sorry."

"No you're not."

True. "Did you want something?"

Long, *long* silence. "I'm bored, Carter."

"We already established that, sir."

"And you're bored too..."


"So what d'you say about being bored together?"

Just as well he wasn't there. He would have loved the flush appearing on her face. Resisting the urge to clear her throat, she spoke again. "What exactly does that entail?"

"Oh, you know. You. Me. Wieners."


He finally explained it to her stunned silence, humour all the more evident. "Barbecue, Carter. I'm having a barbecue."

Oh thank God. Kind of. "Oh,"

"And barbecue's are kinda lonely for one..."

He thoroughly deserved his own form of punishment. She knew that it took a lot for him to call, but if he absolutely insisted on making fun of her... "I imagine they would be. Why don't you ask Jonas to join you?"


Pursing her lips together briefly, she forced herself not to chuckle. "At least he'll eat whatever kind of food you cook."

"Hell, Jonas'd eat the barbecue."

There it was; she laughed. Damn.

"Come on," He insisted, probably emboldened by her reaction. "Come barbecue. Nothing wrong with a little cooking. It's just food."

He had a point. Though she knew without having to ask that the rest of the team wouldn't be joining them, it wasn't as if they were alone, miles away from anyone or anything else. They wouldn't be in the middle of nowhere, with nothing to focus on but each other.

Still...being alone with him in any kind of non-work situation was probably not the smartest idea...

Her gaze drifted back to the infomercial, and her hearing tuned in. "...just spray it over the bald patch, and in ten amazing seconds you'll have a full head of hair!"

It was more than enough. "What time?"


She felt surprisingly calm. She'd always imagined - not that she'd imagined it *that* often, really - that if she'd ever been on her way to spending time alone with him away from work, that she would have been nervous. Not palm-sweatingly, butterflies in the stomach nervous, just...slightly. It wasn't something she was used to.

But she was actually quite calm. She was looking forward to it, and realised it probably helped that she knew nothing was going to 'happen'. It was just his house.

Indicating, she turned into the appropriate road and kept driving, jumping when her cell phone suddenly rang. Waiting a few moments until she was able to pull over - thankfully it was a residential street and there wasn't a lot of traffic - she stopped the car and pulled the cell out of her jacket pocket. "Carter,"

"Something's come up."

Something inside her deflated, her free hand gripping onto the steering wheel. "'Something'?"

"Specifically, Maybourne. Says he can get us to that planet Simmons was after."

Maybourne? Simmons? How the hell did this all happen on a Sunday afternoon? "Oh." Realising she should probably sound more excited - if Maybourne was telling the truth (though that *was* debatable) - because they'd have access to huge amounts of alien technology, she tried again. "If it's true, that's great."

"Yeah," He responded. "Peachy." He didn't sound happy.

She didn't *feel* happy. "Is he still there?"

"No; cleared out a few minutes ago. And not before he ate one of my damn hotdogs, I might add."

Hotdogs. Meat. Barbecue. Despite herself, she closed her eyes as her hand tightened on the wheel. There was no damn *good* reason to be feeling disappointed. This was important. This was the job. She spoke quietly. "So the barbecue's off, huh?"

Another long, *long* silence. "Ya know, something just occurred to me."

"It did?" She opened her eyes.

"Hammond's off visiting his Grandkids today. Even if we contact him right now, it's gonna take a while for him to get to the base. If he even wants to get there today - we know how much they mean to him."


"And I still have several perfectly good hotdogs untouched by Maybourne - no risk of contamination."

She grinned. "True,"

"And it's a *Sunday*, for crying out loud. What's wrong with a few more hours to ourselves?"

She should have said no when he said 'wrong', 'hours', or 'ourselves'.


She didn't.

"Carter?" Was that anxiousness?

"I expect mustard."


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