by Suz suzvoy@tesco.net

Disclaimer – MGM/Gekko/Double Secret own them.

Okay, this was to settle a couple of things for me: if Jack had ever said anything about Jonas being strange (suggested in ‘Nightwalkers’), and Sam and Jack’s sudden ability to admit – if not verbally – what happened in ‘Divide and Conquer’ (as seen in ‘Allegiance’).

Spoilers for ‘In The Line of Duty’, ‘Point of View’, ‘Divide and Conquer’, ‘Beneath The Surface’ and ‘Entity’. Vague references to ‘Nightwalkers’ and ‘Allegiance’. Set season six, just before ‘Frozen’.


“He’s strange.”

Confused, Sam glanced up from her paperwork. The Colonel had sat down opposite her in the commissary some ten minutes ago, and so far there’d been little conversation. Both still had reports to complete and go over so their left hands were haphazardly spooning food into their mouths, while their right hands scribbled messy notes onto reams of paper. “Who?”

With the nib of his pen still pressed against the paper beneath his arm, the Colonel rolled his eyes. “Who do you think?” A spoon of jello unwaveringly found its way into his mouth.

Sam’s mind immediately reviewed recent events and came up with the only answer: “Jonas,”

He nodded, chewing. “Definitely strange.”

“Is that a bad thing?” She knew, of course, that the Colonel was immediately predisposed to not like their newest team member. Obvious signs of affection or emotional attachment weren’t something he specialised in, but it was obvious how much he missed Daniel.

But then, they all did.

“I dunno,” He pondered, after swallowing. “It’s just strange.”

“You think *I’m* strange,” Sam pointed out, lowering the spoon to take a sip of her drink. “Is that a bad thing?”

His pondering ceased as he sat back in his chair, finally lifting the pen away from the paper. “I’ve never said that.” He insisted, before pausing. “At least, I’m pretty sure...have I ever said that?”

“No,” Silently chuckling, Sam lowered her mug. “But you didn’t have to. I can tell when you get that look.”

He was wearing it right now. “What look?”

“That ‘oh my God does Carter know how to do anything except work’ look.”

Acknowledging her argument, the Colonel nodded. “My look has a point. But...” He shrugged. “I guess we’re all slightly strange. Jonas has this freaky memory thing and an obsession with bananas I just *don’t* understand, Teal’c spends most of his time communing with the little snake he has in his stomach, we all know *my* problems, and you’re strange just by virtue of being...you.”

Sam’s hand stopped just before reaching for the spoon again as she frowned. “Thank you. I think.”

“Come on,” He argued. “No one normal could come up with that many brilliant ideas.”

These kinds of compliments she could deal with. Still, she really should appear modest. “It’s what I’m paid to-”

“And you’ve been ‘joined’ with a Tok’ra. How many people from Earth have that happened to?”

She could name the exact amount. “Actually-”

“You’ve met and interacted with another Carter from an alternate universe. That’s pretty rare.”

“True, but-”

“You’ve been taken over by an electrical entity that was trying to destroy the base.”

Not her finest hour. “Yeah,”

“You’ve had your memories hidden underneath a false personality – although it didn’t last very long.”

Frowning, Sam didn’t even try to respond this time. There was something about the things he was mentioning...

“You became a Tok’ra guinea pig so, while you did get amazing speed and strength, you ended up trapped on a mothership on the other side of a for...ce...” Finally, finally realising what he was talking about, he stopped. Or rather, skidded to a halt and quickly tried to reverse. “See? Very strange.” Suddenly his report was fascinating; so fascinating apparently that he needed to read over it with his nose.

It was never mentioned. Ever. It was as if the whole event had never taken place – at least, that was what they’d been trying to accomplish and had actually been accomplishing very little. Trying to hide it was as bad as admitting it.

And Sam knew she was about to say something. She wasn’t really surprised; ever since Daniel had left she’d been dissatisfied with the way some things were being handled. The status quo. Talking about it didn’t mean acting on it.

“When you stayed behind.”

The pen shot off the table in surprise, coming to rest somewhere underneath Siler’s chair a few feet away.

The nostrils flared.

It really was an interesting reaction; a wicked part of her wondered why she hadn’t done this before. Waiting this long seemed too much like self-flagellation.

The nose slowly moved up, until it was pretty much horizontal with hers. The mouth just below the nose moved. “Yeah. I did.”

And that was it. The first step.

Pleased, she became aware of the sensation of her hand pressing firmly against the table. Forcing movement out of it, and mightily proud of herself that she accomplished it, she picked up her spoon once again. “You’re right. I guess I am pretty strange. But at least I’m in good company.”

He couldn’t argue with that. In fact, he apparently couldn’t say anything because he shortly returned to working on his report – completely missing the smile she was directing towards the table.


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