Other People
by Suz suzvoy@tesco.net

Disclaimer - MGM/Gekko/Double Secret own them.

Spoilers for ‘Fire and Water’, ‘There But For The Grace of God’, ‘Politics’, ‘The Gamekeeper’, ‘Into The Fire’, ‘Point of View’ and ‘The Light’. Sent a month or two after ‘Point of View’, and could therefore be considered an episode addition.


He’d never seriously considered it before.

Oh, he’d certainly thought about it – not only was she attractive, but he was a normal guy with the same imagination as any other ordinary guy, spurred on by Daniel’s reports of their engagement in that first alternate reality.

But the pondering hadn’t lasted very long. Soon enough Kinsey had turned up and terminated the Stargate project, leading to events that swiftly overtook any of those kinds of thoughts with startling importance.

When things were back together, he told himself to forget.

And then *she* had arrived, turning his life upside down, inside out, and yanking his stomach through his mouth just for good measure.

And just as suddenly she had left, leaving behind one very confused Colonel Jack O’Neill, who had previously figured that after all his years in Black Ops he could handle just about anything.


It was Daniel’s Birthday. It wasn’t often they all found the time to hang out together away from work, but this year they’d managed to gather at Carter’s house. Everyone was there. Teal’c had stated that Birthdays on Chulak held no special meaning – “A day like any other” – but he had long ago decided he found the experience of a Birthday to be a good one.

His own words.

Fraiser was there, too. Jack couldn’t help but notice that she and Carter were becoming very good friends, and there were definitely times when the Doc felt like a fully-fledged member of SG-1. Of course, that probably had something to do with the amount of time Daniel spent in the infirmary...

Yep, the evening had been a good one. Amazingly, Daniel hadn’t gotten smashed out of his head and was quite coherent. Sure, there was a little bit of a slur to his voice and he was definitely happier that he usually was, but nothing extreme.

Maybe he was learning to hold his drink.

Or maybe he was just drinking less.

Teal’c spent most of the evening raising his eyebrow and abstaining from alcohol – Jaffa didn’t drink, apparently – and Fraiser, ever the smart one, abstained out of choice, realising that someone was going to have to be sober to drive a few people home.

Jack had made the same decision, if only because he’d driven there in his truck.

It had just passed midnight when Daniel thanked everyone for his presents – loudly – and then thanked Sam for hosting the ‘party’ and suggesting they should leave her in peace. Some time ago Jack probably would have objected about leaving this early, but there came a point when your body just couldn’t deal with the crap you did to it anymore. He’d long ago resigned himself to the fact that his body did *not* appreciate late nights.

He was definitely getting old.

The thought didn’t scare him as much as it used to.

Fraiser volunteered – rather quickly, Jack thought – to drive Daniel home, and Teal’c also pleaded an invite to drop him off at the base. There were a few hugs, a few backslaps, a few jokes at the expense of their resident archaeologist, and then they were gone, disappearing with a loud bang that sounded as if something expensive had just broken inside Fraiser’s car.

Leaving just him and Carter.

He hadn’t thought about this. He really hadn’t.

“Well,” He cleared his throat and turned away from the now closed front door, desperately hunting for his boots. “I’d better be off too.” Finding them on one side of the hallway, he grabbed his boots then located the closest chair in the living room. Sitting down he began shoving them onto his feet, as he very carefully didn’t look at her. He knew she was watching his every move. “Thanks for having us over. I know Daniel really appreciated it and...well, so do we.” There. A quick glance, a quick smile, and he was fine.

He began doing up his laces.

“I really didn’t mind,” She replied, crossing her arms and leaning against the doorway. “I know I see you guys every day, but it’s always at the SGC. We hardly ever get the chance to just...hang out. Despite your insistence that I spend nearly every waking moment there,” Oh he knew that smirk was there. “Sometimes it *is* nice just to get away from-”

“-work,” He finished, standing up as he said it, slapping his thighs for effect.

“Yes,” She agreed, meeting his gaze and smiling. “Work.”

Brushing by her he pulled his jacket from the hook on the wall of the hallway. “Well, who would have thought it; Sam Carter actually admitting that there might be something better than work?”

She’d followed him into the hallway, and he turned to face her as he began slipping his jacket on. This was okay. If he could continue their usual banter, he’d be fine.

“I mean,” He continued. “Major Samantha Carter actually having a life? Spending time with co-workers and friends in a non-work scenario?”

“I know,” She retorted. “Amazing, isn’t it?”

Getting an idea he suddenly started to inspect the hallway closely.

Clearly confused by his strange behaviour, she frowned. “What is it?”

“Oh,” He glanced back at her, then continued perusing the ceiling. “Just making sure that this isn’t some artificial reality thing, and that Gamekeeper guy isn’t about to pop up...”

She rolled her eyes. “Very funny.”

Grinning, he gave up his fake examination of her hallway. “Well, again, thanks for having us over.”

“My pleasure,”

And here was the awkward moment. She’d hugged everyone else when they’d left, and he’d even hugged at least one of them – or more accurately that slightly ‘happier than usual’ person had hugged him without Jack having any say in the matter.

And even though he was her superior officer, in this so-called ‘relaxed’ environment, in this moment in time, it would look a little odd if they *didn’t* hug.

Hell, it wasn’t as if they hadn’t done it before. Okay, so it was usually when they were alone or just after extreme brushes with their old pal Mr Reaper, but the point was it wasn’t as if it was a totally new situation.

So, shoving the memories of a certain Mrs Carter out of his head, he moved forward for a quick hug.

It was brief, it was careful, and he could have sworn that she murmured something.

Pulling away he forced a smile, turned, then opened the front door himself and fled in as much of a dignified manner as he could muster.

Reaching his truck he unlocked the drivers door and slid into the seat...and it was only then, when the internal light went out, that his fingers stopped co-operating. No matter what he did the damn key wouldn’t go into the ignition, and three progressively louder curses later he gave up and sat in the darkness.

If they were any other people he would have walked back to the house, knocked on the door, and demanded to talk about the situation. Of course, if they were any other people they wouldn’t be in the situation they were currently in.

But being who they were, it was never mentioned, never discussed, never laughed at the absurdity of it.

Never admitted that the possible potential was even there.


Except for small, silent, sacred moments.

Like the words he *knew* she had spoken earlier, when she really hadn’t meant to.

She wasn’t that Carter any more than he was that O’Neill.

{“I’m not her.”}

No, he thought, the unexpected flash of anger helping him find the use of his hands again, bringing his truck to life.

She certainly wasn’t.


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