Samantha Carter sat down with a thump. O'Neill looked up at her from his Froot Loops, as did Jackson. "Good morning to you too" said O'Neill with a hint of curiosity in his voice. Sam was exactly perky in the morning, but she also wasn't usually depressed looking.
Carter mumbled something incoherant. Daniel looked appropriately concerned and asked if he could get her something to eat. Sam declined his offer and opted instead for a cup of tea. Daniel rose and headed off to get her a cup of tea, with one cream and no sugars.
"Carter, you feeling alright this morning?" inquired O'Neill.
Sam looked up, her eyes were dull and rimmed with red. "I didn't sleep well last night sir, that's all. I guess maybe I was anxious about today's mission."
"Carter, you know it's just a routine mission, you don't have to do any presentations or anything. Hell, we could probably go to that planet without weapons."
"I'm aware of that sir, there's just something irking me, I can't explain it."
O'Neill's bottom lip protruded as he digested Carter's words. He opened his mouth to suggest that she might want to speak to General Hammond about remaining on Earth, but Daniel reappeared carrying a steaming mug of tea. He set it down in front of Carter, who put her hands about the mug, drawing warmth from it.
"Your hands cold?" asked Daniel, which was a stupid question, but he was just trying to make conversation.
Carter looked up at him and O'Neill, "It does feel a little chilly in here. Is anyone else cold?"
Both Jack and Daniel shook their heads. Carter shrugged and lifted her mug up to her lips. The three sat in silence as Jack drained the milk from his bowl, Daniel finished off his bran muffin and Sam nursed her steaming mug. After all three were finished, Jack looked at his watch. "Mission briefing in 15 minutes", he announced, "Carter, I want to speak with you before then, somewhere private."
Sam watched Jack walk away and decided that by private he probably meant his office. "You in trouble or something Sam?" asked Daniel.
Sam shook her head, "No, I don't think so, not yet anyway. He's just concerned. I told him that I didn't sleep well last night and that this mission is troubling me. I know he's going to try to convince me to stay here."
Daniel nodded knowingly, "You'd better get going."
Sam nodded and rose, leaving Daniel alone to contemplate Jack's unusual concern for Carter.
Carter approached the doors to Colonel Jack O'Neill's office with apprehension. She was beginning to wish that she had not told him that she was troubled. She sighed and pressed the buzzer. The doors slid open and she saw O'Neill sitting behind his desk, with his feet propped up on it. He looked absurdly comfortable.
"Have seat Carter." he said, gesturing to chair in front of the desk. She sat down and O'Neill put his feet back on the floor and leaned forward.
"I want you to talk to General Hammond about remaining here for this mission. We can make do just fine with just myself, Daniel and Teal'c."
"Sir, with all do respect, I think you need me on this mission. No one else knows as much as I do about the inner-workings of the Goa'uld technology and I believe that is what this mission is based around?"
"Daniel can handle much of the knowledge Carter. I want you to remain here and sleep, or take a bath or do whatever it is you do to relax."
"Sir....I don't want to remain here. I'm not sick, just tired. And you said yourself that this mission is going to be an easy one."
Jack furrowed his brow and looked at Carter. True, she did look only tired, her skin tone was her normal pale. She could rest just as easily after the mission as before. "Very well Carter, I'll let this drop. I was just...concerned for you. Now let's go, General Hammond's expecting us in briefing room 3 shortly."
As Carter stood up, she felt a brief flash of dizziness, but she figured it must be from lack of food. She'd grab a banana or something before they went through the Stargate. O'Neill noticed her expression change as she stood up but kept his mouth shut. As they walked out the door, O'Neill rested his hand, ever so lightly on the small of Carter's back.
General Hammond walked around the room, his face, as usual was unreadable as he examined his finest team. SG-1 was, indeed the most coveted team in the program, lead by Colonel Jack O'Neill, the unpredictable Air Force officer. He appeared to have little respect for his superiors, but he in fact did. Hammond's gaze settled on Major Samantha Carter, outward she appeared to be a fierce, intelligent woman but inside she was as vulnerable as a child, not that he blamed her after all that she'd been through. Then he glanced at Daniel Jackson, a civilian archaeologist who had somehow become the team's most valuable member. He was the one who was responsible for cracking the code on the stargate in the first place. Then there was Teal'c, the gentle warrior. Teal'c was a Jaffa, intertwined with the Goa'uld, but not one of them. Together the four of them were an impressive example of teamwork.
Jack sat in his chair next to Carter, not really listening to Hammond's talk about the importance of the mission. He said that every mission was important, but Hammond really couldn't get up in front of his teams and say, "well guys, I'm sending you through the Stargate to some planet, that may or may not be inhabited. This mission's not that important, actually scratch that, this mission's not worth shit but you're going anyway." Jack was more interested Sam, he couldn't really see her face, thanks to the hair that now fell down the sides of it. Not that he was complaining, he had liked Sam with short hair, but now that she had grown it, it softened her face a bit.
Just before the briefing was adjourned, Hammond passed out the folders containing each member's specific duty. Daniel opened his up enthusiastically, but everyone else just looked at theirs. "I want all of you dressed and ready to depart and in front of the gate in 15 minutes. Carter I suggest you perk up before leaving. Dismissed."
The four rose to their feet and were out the door before Hammond could even say another word. Sam headed for her quarters, but Jack at her side. "Even General Hammond noticed that you weren't yourself." he said, hoping he wouldn't agitate her.
"I just need to eat something sir." she said and by now they had reached her quarters. The doors slid open and Carter stepped between the them, "I'll see you in 15 minutes Jack."
Sam looked around her rather spartan quarters. They were comfortable for the amount of time she spent in them. Her fridge was well stocked and she opened it, hoping that something would jump out at her. Nothing appealed to her, but she knew she had to eat. Reluctantly she picked up a banana and proceeded to peel it. She choked it down with a glass of orange juice and then went to change into her fatigues.
The team assembled in front of the gate and soon the familiar sound of the chevrons locking was heard. The iris opened and SG-1 began to ascend the ramp.
SG-1 was deposited on a planet that was similar to Earth. Carter and O'Neill immediately began to locate the DHD, while Daniel remained alert and Teal'c investigated their immediate surroundings. Carter and O'Neill made a mental note of the DHD's location and the team proceeded away from the gate. They encountered no humanoid lifeforms and soon reached the location they had been instructed to catalogue. Jack holstered his weapon, and the rest of the team followed suit. "Well, this looks exciting", said O'Neill looking at the pile of rubble, "let's get cracking."
Daniel could barely contain his enthusiasm, while Teal'c remained as calm and composed as he always was. Each member knew what their duty was and got down to work.
As the team broke for lunch, Jack looked over at Sam, who was listlessly examining a piece of carved stone. She showed no interest in getting up, or even looking up. He walked over to her and tapped her shoulder. She slowly turned her head to look at him. He crouched down beside her, "Hey, you doing okay?"
Sam nodded, "yeah, I'm fine."
"We're eating lunch now" said Jack, gesturing to the rest of the team who had spread out their blankets and were unpacking their lunches.
Sam looked down at her knapsack, "I forgot to pack a lunch."
Jack couldn't believe she had just said that, Sam never forgot anything, especially her lunch. He hadn't packed a huge lunch but he could probably part with half a sandwich. "I can share mine with you."
She shook her head, "I really, don't feel like eating. I just want to have a drink."
"Well then, come on, even if you're not eating, don't sit here in front of this dusty pile of old...stuff. We'll go sit down by Daniel."
Jack stood up and offered Sam his hand. To his surprise, she took it and he pulled her up. She seemed a little unsteady on her feet, so he put his arm around her waist to steady her. After Jack spread out a blanket, they both sat down and Sam pulled a flask of water from her knapsack. She drank it all. Jack gaped at her and hoped she had brought more than one.
Daniel sat watching Sam and Jack. He knew that Jack harboured romantic feelings for Sam but he was never openly....sweet with her. But here he was, sharing his blanket with her and he had seen him slip his arm around her waist earlier. He knew, even though he was non-military that it was strictly against the rules for a superior to have any kind of non-professional relationship with a subordinate. But then Jack never seemed to respect the rules, but he knew that Sam followed them to a tee. This was all getting confusing. If General Hammond knew that two of his team members were getting flirty offworld....
Jack stuffed the last of ham and cheese sandwich into his mouth. Sam was just sitting there, staring off into the distance. He reached out and lightly touched her shoulder. She turned to look at him. "Seriously Sam, are you alright?" he asked, his voice dead serious.
She shook her head, "I want to go back."
Jack nodded, "Not feeling well?"
"No..I really don't feel well at all."
Jack took his hand off her shoulder and laid it across her forehead. She was burning up. He frowned and put his arm around her waist, pulling her up. She wavered a bit in his grasp and finally leaned against him.
Daniel watched Jack caress Sam's face and finally pull her up. He was probably going to take her some place more private and seduce her. Instead, they seemed to be coming his way.
"Jackson, Major Carter is not well. But I want to continue this mission. I'm going to take Carter and send her back through the gate. I want you and Teal'c back to work ASAP."
"Understood, I hope Carter feels better soon."
Jack made his way back to the DHD, almost dragging Carter along beside him. It would probably be easier to pick her up, but he reasoned, as long as she could walk, he was in no position to be carrying her. The small pile of stones came into view and Jack was still dragging Carter. She had slumped against him and Jack was willing to bet that she had almost lost consciousness. He was going to have to go through the gate with her. Jack stopped and looked at the final 20 metres or so. He sighed and scooped Carter up and continued on. It was easier to carry her.
Jack dialed Earth and watched as the gate began to move. The chevrons clicked into place and he could imagine the alarms going off at the Stagate facility. But as soon as he and Carter entered the gate, the computer would pick up their patterns and alert General Hammond and whoever was on duty that it was their own coming through. The gate stopped moving and Jack waited for the outburst of blue stuff. It never came. So he tried dialling again, still nothing happened. He put Carter down and hit the device a couple of times.
"Piece of crap thing!" he muttered and bent down to try to talk to Carter. He slapped her face gently a few times and she opened her eyes.
"Sam, I can't get the gate to open. Something's wrong."
"Maybe you got the wrong number" she mumbled.
"Sam I'm serious, something's wrong. You're going to have to help me. Come on, sit up, look at it, tell me what's wrong."
Jack got behind her and lifter her up by her shoulders. She groaned and he supported her back. Sam reached up and dialed Earth herself. The gate began to rotate but as Jack had found, the last chevron would not lock.
"Must be broken" she said.
"Can we fix it?" Jack asked anxiously.
"We need to get Daniel."
So Jack picked Sam back up and they began to make their way back to the investigation site. As they approached the area, Jack called out for Daniel and Teal'c. There was no response. He noticed their blankets still spread out and set Carter down on one. He walked around the area, growing more frantic by the second. There was no trace of his collegues. He returned to Carter and knelt down beside her.
"Sam, I don't know where Daniel and Teal'c are."
"Something's gone wrong, I knew it would" she murmered.
Jack was suddenly frightened as he gently stroked Sam's face.
Jack glanced nervously around the surrounding area. There was still no trace of Daniel and Teal'c. He wanted to go off and investigate further but didn't want to leave Sam alone, in case something were to happen to him. He looked down again at the woman, lying helpless on a discarded blanket. She appeared to be asleep but Jack was fearing for the worst. Her face was flushed, and her blonde hair was fanned out from her head, giving her an unearthly appearance. Jack knew that if she were to open her eyes, that they would be a deep blue, glistening from the fever.
With a sigh Jack sat down beside Sam, keeping one hand on her shoulder. He shook her gently, waiting for a response, but she was silent. He leant over a bit, putting his cheek to her face and was relieved to still feel a small, warm, puff of air. It was getting later, the sun was slowly making it's path across the sky. Jack knew nothing of the night time temperatures on this planet but figured that finding shelter for himself and Sam was most likely his best bet.
"Sam", he whispered, even though he was pretty sure she couldn't hear him, "I'm going to leave you for a while now. I'll be back, I promise. Don't you dare wake up on me now."
Jack winced as he stood up, carrying Carter had taken its toll on his arms and back. She might be slender but she was almost as tall as he was. A slight, cool breeze was picking up and Jack grabbed the other blanket to cover Sam with while he was gone. Giving Sam a final once over, he turned and headed for a forest in the near distance.
Either Jack was getting old and tired, or his depth perception had completely left him, the nearby forest had turned out to be an hour's walk away. He half hoped that there would be no suitable shelter in it so he wouldn't have to carry Carter all the way, but then as soon as he thought that, he felt guilty. He would carry Carter to the ends of the Earth and back again if it would save her life.
As Jack stepped over the tree branches and rocks, he marvelled at how similar this was to the forests back on Earth. The trees were tall and coniferous, swaying ever so slightly in the breeze. There was something about the damp, earthy smell of the forest that made Jack feel young again. He could almost forget about his greying hair and aching muscles as he strode confidently towards the sound of rushing water.
As Jack approached the small river he thought back to Carter's empty drinking flask. His own flask was still mostly full, and he was already planning on letting Carter have that once she woke up but eventually she would need more water and he couldn't hold off dehydration forever. He crouched down despite his protesting knees and looked more closely into the water. The river was fast flowing which he knew allowed the water to be changed over. There was less chance of bacteria infecting a fast flowing river than in a stagnant pool. The water looked crystal clear. Jack put his hand into it and found it to be cold, it was probably fed from a glacier high up on the mountain range. He kept that in mind as he stood up and made his way further down river.
To Jack's disappointment, he came across no caves in the vicinity of the stream. But there had been a small area that was enclosed by fallen trees and small bushes. If he could pad it with the boughs of the trees and somehow put a covering over it, it would do nicely for him and Carter to spend the night.
Jack walked briskly back through the forest, fueled by his discovery of the river and the shelter. He arrived at Sam within 45 minutes of leaving the forest edge. She was still asleep, curled up with the blanket pulled high around her chin. It was probably best to let her sleep it off. Jack bent over and scooped up Carter with both of the blankets still around her. He shifted her a bit until he could walk with minimal discomfort. It would have been easier if she wasn't such a dead weight, if she could wrap her arms around his neck as he carried her, he wouldn't have to worry about them flopping around and hitting his side. Of course if he was carrying Carter and she had her arms around his neck, they most definitely would not be heading into a forest in an attempt to survive the night.
It took them just over two hours to reach the enclosed area. Jack set Sam down and stretched his arms and back. He would be lucky if he could even move the next morning. He shoved all of his own problems to the back of his mind and began gathering anything that would be remotely comfortable to sleep on. He looked at the blanket under Carter but decided they would be better off if they had all blankets covering themselves, which was four in total.
It was getting dark and Jack had given up on trying to cover their little area. If it rained, they would get wet. His stomach growled loudly, reminding him that it hadn't been fed for close to 8 hours. He thought longingly of a nice juicy steak with baked potatoes and briefly wondered if any of the plants around here were edible. Carter would know, he made a mental note to ask her when she woke up. The wind had changed directions and Jack hoped that didn't mean a storm was approaching. At his feet, Carter rolled over and moaned softly. Jack decided it was time for bed.
After moving Carter onto the small bed he had fashioned, he lay down next to her. He pulled the blankets up to where he could reach them and he steeled himself, pressing his body against the length of hers, spoon style. Her body was radiating heat and a certain part of his anatomy was coming very close to reminding him that he was very intimately laying with the woman he loved. Drawing the blankets up to cover them both, he slung an arm over her, pulling her closer and waited for sleep.
Sam awoke the next morning with the unfamiliar sensation of having another body pressed against hers, that and a pounding headache. Her mouth was dry and she felt a bit queasy. She tried to move, but could only shift her body ever so slightly. The limp hand that was across her, fell onto her breast as she struggled to move. It occured to her that she really had no idea who the hand belonged to and she stared at it. Well, she could be certain that it wasn't Teal'c who was copping an unintentional feel.
Jack felt movement in his arms and he slowly opened his eyes. There was a fair amount of sunlight filtering in through the trees and he thanked his lucky stars that it hadn't rained. He then turned his attention to the woman in his arms. Oh sweet mother of all that's good and pure, his hand was laying on her breast.
Sam felt the body behind hers shift and tore her gaze away from the hand on her chest. She opened her mouth to try and speak but nothing came out. She was too thirsty to talk. She felt the warm weight of the hand move off her breast and onto her shoulder.
"Sam", Jack whispered into her ear while giving her shoulder a gentle squeeze. He was, at the same time, sending messages to his groin to behave itself.
Sam heard the voice in her ear and recognized it instantly. It was Jack. It was Jack pressed up against her, it was Jack who as of recently was grabbing her boob. Sam vaguely wondered why she had never noticed Jack's gun digging into her back before.
"Sam", Jack whispered again, this time his tone more urgent. He had received no response before and was getting concerned. She shifted again and Jack pulled himself away from her. She was awake, her face was no longer flushed but rather a pasty white. She opened her mouth as if to say something but she made no sound. Jack reached beside himself and grabbed for his knapsack. He produced his flask and Carter's eyes opened wider. Obviously she was thirsty.
Propping her up against an old tree, Jack handed her the flask and watched her greedily down the water. His own mouth was feeling gummy and he thought about the river.
"Hey Sam", he said, "how you feeling?"
Sam grimaced and this time actually said something, "Been better sir, what happened?"
"What's the last thing you remember?"
"I was examining some, carved stone and you told me it was time for lunch. I remember drinking some water and that's it. Where are we sir?"
Jack made himself more comfortable and said, "We're still on Pacifica. You weren't feeling well and I was going to take you back to SGC. When I tried to dial home, there was a problem and the last chevron would not engage. So we went back to get Daniel but there was no sign of him or Teal'c. I looked around for both of them but it was getting late and I wanted to find shelter for the night. So I went into this forest and found this spot. And that pretty brings us up to where we are now."
"You don't know what happened to Daniel and Teal'c?"
Jack shook his head sadly, "no clue, but I'm glad that..."
"Glad that what sir?"
"Glad that you didn't disappear on me too."
They sat in silence for a while, each gathering their thoughts and bearings.
Sam broke the silence, "Sir, you know how you and Teal'c were stuck in that timeloop? You never did answer Daniel's question, did you do anything crazy?"
Jack clearly looked uncomfortable with the question, "Nothing that would get me thrown in jail..at least not right away." He remembered feeling Sam's soft lips pressed up against hers and wondered if maybe, just maybe he would be able to do that again someday.
"Doesn't seem like that long ago that we were in a similar situation." Sam observed.
"With this job it never is long is it Carter." Jack said wryly.
"Do you ever regret getting involved with the SGC sir?"
"Well considering I was there when the damned gate was discovered, I don't see that I had much of a choice. You on the other hand.."
"I wanted to get involved sir. I can't say that I've ever really regretted it."
Jack looked into Sam's eyes, "Sam, could we cut the formalities? With you calling me sir all the time...well it just gets a little annoying. Okay, damned annoying. So call me Jack or at the very least, O'Neill."
Sam nodded, "I never asked you if you were okay"
"I'm fine Sam. A little thirsty and very hungry but physically, I'm fine. Speaking of that, there's a river near here, maybe you could take a look at it, you know tell me if it's safe to drink. And say, you don't happen to know anything about edible wild plants do you?"
"Jack...you know, I can't tell if water is safe to drink just by looking at it and I do know somethings about wild plants but this isn't Earth."
"Damn close enough don't you think?"
Sam nodded in agreement, "If you could help me up here, we can go take a look at that river and plants."
Jack stood up and held out his hand for Sam. She took and stood up. She wavered a bit and leaned against Jack. Once she steadied herself, she tried to pull away, but Jack snaked an arm around her waist and held her close to him. Together Jack lead her the river.
The day passed relatively smoothly. Jack had suggested making their way back to the gate but Sam had told him that she didn't think she would be able to make it. Some wild plants that Sam had deemed as edible were found and eventually their thirst won out against the fear of bacteria and the water flasks were filled from the river. Sam couldn't help but remember the feeling of Jack's hand pressed against her breast and words Jack had spoken not more than a month before were echoing around her brain ~~I care about her....a lot more than I'm supposed to~~ ~~I would have rather died myself than lose Carter~~
"Sam! You feeling alright?" Jack called anxiously.
"Fine..I guess." Sam sat down on the tree boughs. She wanted to test Jack, to see if he would still do the same thing, "Jack, why don't you go back to the stargate without me. See what you can do, maybe you can dial home now. Go home and get a team to come get me and search the area for Teal'c and Daniel."
Jack looked at Sam, her eyes were downcast. "Sam, I'm not leaving you. We'll wait until you're ready to go."
"What about Daniel and Teal'c? What if they're dying because you're here with me?"
"What do you want me to say Sam? Do you want me to leave? Do you want to be left here alone? I don't want to leave you Sam. Daniel and Teal'c they are my friends, but you...."
Sam looked up, "I'm what Jack"
"You're so much more Sam, you know that. We both know that."
Jack sat down beside Sam and put his arm around her shoulder. "We've been through a lot Sam, we'll make it through this. All of us."
Sam looked up into Jack's face, "then no, I don't want you to leave. I want you to stay here with me."
"I'll always stay Sam, I'll always stay."
Sam felt tears prick her eyes. She wished that wasn't feeling so emotional right now. She did not want Jack to see her cry.
Jack felt Sam's shoulders tremble and realized that she was crying. He took her into his arms and shushed her, rocking her gently like a baby and stroking her hair. It dawned on him that he hadn't done anything like that since his son died. He wished Charlie were still around to meet Sam, he would have liked her.
Jack nuzzled his face up to her ear, "Sam, you want to know what crazy thing I did while in the loop?"
Sam nodded and the next thing she knew Jack was brushing his lips against hers. Sam took a breath and pressed her lips against his.
Jack cleared his throat, "well, was it *that* crazy? You be the judge."
Sam blushed, "no sir, not crazy at all."
Jack frowned, "What did I tell you about the sir thing Sam."
Jack chuckled and gently kissed her again, "We'll get out of this Sam, we always do."
Sam awoke the next morning feeling much more alive than she had for the past few days. Aside from the empty feeling in her stomach, she could have been waking up from a night spent off-world with her team, all of them. Beside her, Jack was also moving, his arm around her was trying to pull her closer. Sam suddenly felt as if she were a giant teddy bear and the colonel was a small child snuggling with her. She bet that Danny would just love to find out that Jack was a snuggler.
Sam poked Jack in the side and waited for a response. Jack merely sighed and squeezed her side. Sam frowned and this time pinched his arm. That got his attention.
"Jesus Sam, what did ya do that for?"
"Could you please release your death grip on me? I gotta pee."
Jack complied and let her go. He watched her walk away from him and further into the forest. Speaking of peeing, he could use a visit to the friendly neighbourhood tree as well. All this peeing in the woods by a tree was making him feel like a dog, he didn't have to lift his leg or anything, but it might be interesting to try it one time. Jack decided he would wait until Carter came back, as he didn't want to risk his life by accidently stumbling across her. He stood up slowly, trying to ignore the ache in his arms and back. When they got back he'd ask Doc Fraiser for something to help with the pain, no doubt he'd be spending several hours in the infirmary.
The snapping of twigs alerting Jack that Sam was returning and he turned to face her. She was looking much better, aside from the dirt in her hair and on her face, her complexion was back to normal and her eyes were bright and clear. Jack decided that it must have been one of those 24 hour bugs. She stood next to him and Jack leaned over and kissed her softly.
"You had better not get used to doing that.", she stated.
"Doing what Sam?"
"Kissing me and stuff, you know that once we get back...once we get back we'll have to forget this ever happened."
"Don't think I can do that."
"You're going to have to. I can't walk into the briefing room and have you plant one on me in front of the General."
"I didn't tell you that when I kissed you during the loop that the General was there, did I?"
"Were you out of your mind??? What did he say?"
"Actually, I think I was out of my mind, and he didn't say much. I handed in my resignation before I did it, so all he could was watch and learn."
Sam chuckled, wishing that she could remember that. If it weren't for Jack's uncanny knowledge of Latin, and the timespan that the Tok'ra had been trying to contact them, she never would have believed that the loop had happened at all.
Jack scratched his head, "God what I wouldn't give for a nice hot shower and a giant dinner."
"Mmm..me too." Sam nodded in agreement.
Jack eyed the river, "of course, we could always use that."
"That water is freezing cold. I'm sure that you of all people would not want to go in there."
"What are the chances that there's a hot spring around here?"
Sam shrugged, "If you look hard enough and far enough there's probably one. Wouldn't it make more sense just to head back to the gate and see what we can do?"
Jack agreed, though he kept picturing Sam naked in a steaming pool. That picture was certainly better than the one he got of himself in the freezing river. They gathered up their blankets and other accessories and headed out through the woods.
The walk wasn't nearly as long as Jack had remembered it to be, of course his animated conversation with Carter had probably helped. They approached the site that they had been exploring and cataloging and Jack looked eagerly around for Daniel and Teal'c.
"What do you suppose the chances are that Danny and Teal'c have already gone back to SGC?", he asked Sam.
"Probably not good, if they had gone back, wouldn't there be another team here looking for us or at the very least a M.A.L.P.?"
"Maybe the General finally went off his rocker or the entire staff secretly doesn't like us anymore."
Sam shook her head and scanned the area. Jack had been right, there was no sign of where Daniel and Teal'c could have possibly gone.
"Let's go look at the gate Sir."
If Jack noticed her use of Sir, he showed no sign and they began to head towards the gate.
Sam dialled out and watched as the gate began to move, "Looks fine to me" she said.
"Yeah, but it does this and then just before the last chevron is supposed to lock, it cuts out."
Sam counted as the chevrons engaged..one..two..three...She could hear Jack counting underneath his breath as well. Sam gave Jack a weird look as the seventh and last chevron locked into place the gate jumped to life.
"I'm not crazy Carter, it really didn't work. You were there too!"
"I don't remember being there, but if you say so."
"Let's go, we've gotta get a team out here to look for Danny and Teal'c."
The two walked up to the gate and into the faux liquid.
General George Hammond barked the order to open the iris and watched as two figured emerged from the gate. It was Colonel O'Neill and Major Carter. "Stand down!" he ordered and the men with arms stood up and relaxed.
Hammond walked around and entered the gate room, "Colonel O'Neill, where are Daniel Jackson and Teal'c?"
"I have no idea Sir, they disappeared."
"What the hell happened to you Major, you look terrible!"
"Long story Sir", she replied.
Hammond didn't look at all pleased, "I want you both to report to the infirmary. Then I want you both in my office at 1300 hours, is that understood?"
Both nodded and headed out of the gateroom and down the corridor to the infirmary.
Doctor Janet Fraiser frowned, "So she was unconscious for how long?"
Jack shrugged, "Four, maybe six hours."
Janet looked at Sam, "I don't remember anything except for feeling very faint just before I apparently passed out."
Sam winced at Janet stuck a needle in her arm and starting drawing blood, "I'm going to do some blood tests and urine tests on both of you."
Janet stuck the vial of Sam's blood in her jacket pocket and produced two paper cups from the drawer. "You know the drill."
****General Hammond's Office 1300 Hours****
When Sam walked into the room, she saw Jack and the General waiting for her and remembered her words earlier about Jack planting one on her in front of the General.
"Major, you look better."
"Thank you Sir."
Hammond sat down and then Sam and Jack followed suit. "So, tell me what exactly happened."
Jack sat back and launched into his story.
****ROUGHLY 2 HOURS LATER****
"So then Major Carter and I made our way back to the gate and she dialed out and the bloody thing worked!"
General Hammond rubbed his eyes and suppressed a yawn, "Glad that you and the Major made it back safely Colonel. I'll be organizing a team to go back to the planet."
Jack jumped up, "permission to be on the team sir!"
Hammond shook his head, "I want you and Major Carter to remain on Earth. You need some time to rest, especially Carter." He glanced at his watch, "I'm expecting Doctor Fraiser here in a couple of minute with your test results."
Jack sat back down, clearly disappointed with the General's orders. He no doubt felt as guilty as hell about losing Daniel and Teal'c and wanted to do something about it.
As if on cue, the door opened and Janet Fraiser entered, carrying two folders. The General gestured to a chair beside Sam. Janet sat down and placed the folders on the General's desk.
"All the test results came back negative. Major Carter's blood work did show a sign of a prior infection but other than some low counts, there is nothing unusual. The Major and the Colonel are not pregnant, are not HIV positive and show no sign of hepatitis and any other illness."
"Thank you doctor."
Jack glanced at Janet, "You did a pregnancy test on me?"
Janet ignored him and continued, "I'm going to recommend that Major Carter be allowed several days to recuperate before going offworld and Colonel, you look tired, go home and get some rest."
General Hammond stood up and stretched his tired back, "You heard the doctor, go home. We'll handle the situation here."
Sam and Jack rose from their seats and started to head out the door. Jack stopped, "Oh Janet, would it possible to get something from you that would ease some muscle pain? The Major here is a lot heavier than she looks."
Janet smiled, "Of course Colonel, follow me."
Sam smiled as well and headed topside. Unlike the Colonel, she was more than ready to go home and get some rest.