Summary: Set after the events of 8×18 (Threads) / 8×19 (Moebius) and before the beginning of season 9, and explains how Sam Carter and Jack O’Neill finally get together, and why they get reassigned.
Rating: Mild Adult
Disclaimer: The Stargate SG-1 franchise doesn’t belong to me, nor do the characters. The idea for the story however is uniquely mine. No money is being made from this story.
How did she end up in this awful situation? How did this good idea turn into a disaster that made her feel nauseous to the bone?
Sam Carter was feeling horrible. Horrible and nervous, and her fingers were clutching the napkin from the table in order to relieve the nervousness somewhere. She needed that, in order to keep that calm look and the smiling expression on her face. It was a mask, but this was the official armed forces Independence Day party, and she was one of the chosen representatives. This was a job. She had to consider it as one. If it just hadn’t become so hard; and it was all the fault of this damned McKay guy…
“Jack!” Daniel protested, looking up from his plate of food and keeping the fork in his hand while he was looking at his friend with the usual half-annoyed, half-amused expression on his face.
“Daniel,” Jack returned his look, and put one of the French fries from his plate in his mouth. It was one of those rare, calm days where they actually had time to go to the commissary and have lunch together, and as always, the discussion between Jack O’Neill, commanding officer and general of the SG-1, and Daniel Jackson, leading anthropologist slash archeologist of SG-1, got out of hand. The two men, as different as they were, were close friends, even though neither of them would have ever admitted that openly.
Samantha Carter couldn’t help but smiling when she saw the stern, mock-ignorant face of her commanding officer, and looked down at her food quickly. Being the correct soldier that she was, she would never dare to openly laugh or even smile about her commanding officer. Even though by now they had built a strong friendship – and emotionally more – and she was sure that he would never hold it against her, she couldn’t just shrug years of military training of.
“Jack, you cannot honestly call an artifact that is thousands of years old “a piece of junk”,” Daniel started passionately. “That table is probably older than the pyramids, and that world never came in contact with the Goa’ult until about 50 years ago. The secrets…”
“Daniel! I am not sending you back on a planet that the Goa’ult may not have been on in the past, but claim for themselves NOW, just to retrieve a piece of junk!” when he saw Daniels outraged expression he lifted his hands. “Fine… a piece of ANCIENT junk. Were you not there on the last mission? You barely got out alive!”
“But don’t you wonder why the Goa’ult left them alone all this time? Maybe the writings on the table would give us a clue as to why…”
“Carter!” Jack looked at his 2IC almost desperately. “Care to remind Daniel of how close SG-1 – accompanied by myself as I might want to add – came to getting killed?”
“Actually Sir,” Sam looked up, keeping a straight face even though she was highly amused, “I am with Daniel on that one. It would be fascinating to find out why the Goa’ult left the people on the planet alone, and only returned when the population had downgraded to an agrarian lifestyle. It would also be fascinating to find out how exactly that happened.”
Jack shook his head almost desperately. “You know… one of these days I’m going to have to teach you two the real meaning of the word ‘fascinating’.” He exhaled, and then sighed. “Fine, if you can come up with a strategy to get through the gate, retrieve the —thing— and get back, preferably without getting killed, turned into hosts or altered in any other way, I will consider – and I emphasize CONSIDER – authorizing it.”
“Oh come on Sir, don’t tell me you didn’t enjoy a little bit of physical exercise!” Sam joked and Jack look at her somewhat grumpy.
“Not if that exercise consists in running from three dozen angry Jaffa warriors and ducking from the fire of their weapons. Besides, if I remember correctly, you were the one saying…”
“Excuse me…” Their banter was interrupted by an all too familiar voice, and all three of them looked up. Sam sighed inwardly.
“Doctor McKay. I didn’t know you were back from Atlantis.”
“Yes, along with Dr. Weir and some of the others. Since we have debriefings, we will be here about a month. Anyway… I wanted to say hi, since… you know, given our chemistry and all…” He chuckled somewhat arrogantly and Sam turned her head to look down at her food and roll her eyes.
The other two men watched, with a mixture of amusement and confusion, Sam’s rather hostile reaction to the obviously unwelcome advances of the man.
“What do you want, McKay?”
“Well, I just wanted to say hi – and tell you that I cannot wait for our date.”
“Our… what?” Sam almost dropped her fork and looked up at him in complete bewilderment. For the fraction of a second she considered the possibility of having switched universes somehow in the past seconds? “McKay, what are you talking about? I am not going out with you!”
“Oh… I know…” Rodney McKay laughed. “I know you would never openly admit your deep lust for me. But it came to my ears that you broke up with your fiancé so I figured… you know… I heard that you were going to be one of this year’s donation hosts at the annual Armed Forces Independence Day Party.”
“The what?” Daniel interrupted and Sam waved him off slightly annoyed.
“It’s that thing, where they auction off people for the evening and the collected money goes to the families of fallen soldiers and the veterans’ fund.” Jack explained to him, and then turned his attention back to the very unusual scenario in front of him. He hardly ever saw his 2IC that hostile. Aside from that he could not help feeling slight anger inside when he saw the advances of the scientist with the oversized ego. He knew, he had no right to, since they had not in any way discussed their relationship. That however did not keep him from wanting to wring the man’s neck.
Sam nodded and explained, “They asked me if I was willing to be one of this year’s hosts, and I agreed.” Then she turned her head back to Rodney. “What did you do, McKay?”
“Oh, I placed my bid and I am sure nobody will outbid my bid, because… in all humility… it is quite high.”
Sam just stared at him, her eyes slightly narrowed, when she, in her mind, though of all the ways that she could possibly kill this man using just her fork.
“Well…” Rodney smiley brightly. “As I said just wanted to say hi and… oh! Wear something nice. You know, I really always had the hots for women in red dresses. Plus you have quite the body, so go for some cleavage and…” When Sam got up abruptly with a dark stare, he stopped and looked at her, taken aback for a moment.
“Whoa…” Jack interfered, having gotten up as well, when he recognized the ‘ready-to-kill’ expression on the face of his officer, and slowly leaned over, placing his hand on Sam’s shoulder. “Let it go, Carter.”
Sam looked at him, then back at McKay and relaxed visibly. She realized beating the leading scientist of the Atlantis expedition up in the middle of the mess hall probably wasn’t the smartest approach of the problem.
“Well then, Blondie.” McKay smiled. “See you on the third of July, which is in – oh, exactly one week! I can’t wait.”
“Yeah,” Sam nodded. “Me neither.” It was obvious irony, but McKay didn’t even notice. He was convinced as ever that she was secretly having the hots for him.
“I knew it! Maybe we could even spend the night after the auction at my place if you…”
“Doctor McKay,” Jack interrupted him darkly, his face showing his command authority and something else – something very dangerous. Daniel noticed it with fascination. “We were having a briefing here, so if you don’t mind, we’d like to continue.”
“Oh, of course…” McKay nodded and smiled, then looked at Sam. “Well, I guess I see you then, blue eyes.”
Sam watched him leaved the mess hall with his usual overly self-confident stroll. She let out a tortured moan and nearly stabbed her fork into the steak on her plate.
“What was that all about?” Daniel asked interested. “Did you and him…”
“Daniel! No!” Sam interrupted him before he could even say it. “No. Not even if he was the last guy on the face of earth – or the universe.”
“Then how…” Daniel asked, and again Sam didn’t let him finish.
“I met him back when Tea’c’s pattern was lost in the Stargate. One of the first things he said to me was that he had always had a thing for ‘dumb blondes’.” Sam explained, and Daniel winced and commented “Ouch”.
“Yes, and he was even convinced that he had made a compliment. However, ever since then he’s been convinced that there’s some kind of mutual attraction between us, and that I have a hard time keeping my hands off of him. Don’t get me wrong, he is a good scientist. He can even be a nice person if he is not a complete… jackass.”
“You didn’t tell us you were invited to be a host on this year’s Independence Day party!” Daniel commented, his eyes still lying on Jack’s face with interest. Jack stared back at him when he became aware of Daniel’s amused look and mouthed a “What?” silently. The archeologist simply grinned at the response and looked back at Sam, who was completely unaware of the silent discourse since she was staring down at her plate, steaming inwardly.
“I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it. Initially I didn’t even want to do it, but they were persistent, and it’s for the veterans after all, so I couldn’t say no,” she commented.
Jack now turned his eyes away from Daniel, and looked at the woman under his command, “So they can just put a bid in on you?”
“Yes, the winners will be announced in the beginning, and I will be the date for the evening for whoever won the bid on me. It is highly professional. Mainly like a meet-and-greet. I expected to spend the evening with a boring scientist who is eager to discuss his research with me. It is really mainly about the donation.” She sighed. “At least it was. Now that I know that McKay placed a bid, I guess the thing is going to get a lot more painful.”
The large festival room was beautifully decorated, and looking very formal for the event. It was big, with round tables lined up around a small dance floor and a stage, where an announcer had been entertaining guests ever since she arrived.
Sam was looking at the announcer, who was just now giving a long speech to greet everybody to the event. She knew it was probably going to be another one of those boring long speeches that she hated on events like these. And it only helped to lengthen the time of her torture. She saw the aides going from person to person in the room, informing the respective winners of the auction, and she braced herself when she saw McKay, who was waiting impatiently for the aides to reach him, wave at her from the other side of the room.
Great, she sighed. This was going to be a nightmare. She despised the scientist. But even more she despised the fact that the make-up artists hired for the event had dressed her up like a Barbie doll. And most of all she despised the fact that she had no chance of getting back out of it.
Because this was essentially a publicity event with the sole intent of promoting the great successes of the armed forces, she had to leave the choice of dress and make up entirely up to them. When she had looked in the mirror after her transformation, she had not even recognized herself. Her body was wrapped in a black dress that was tied right under her breasts (which were pushed up cleverly with a push-up bra, that made her look ridiculous in her opinion) with a tight sash and then flowing over her hips to her upper thighs, revealing her perfectly long legs. She had to wear incredibly high heels that had made her feet hurt after only 5 minutes of walking. And her hair! They had managed to style her usually untamed short hair in a fashion that made her look like an 80s pinup girl.
Objectively speaking, she had been both amazed and embarrassed by how they had made her look, but it was bugging her the most that she would be looking like this for Rodney McKay – who, undoubtedly, would spend most of the evening hitting on her, touching her – dancing with her. She shuddered slightly. Why of all days did they have to choose this one to reduce her to her physical features, when she would have to spend the evening with a fellow scientist who neither respected her professionally, nor as a woman?
Sam was so lost in her vengeful thoughts that she didn’t even notice the presence of the tall man who was walking up next to her seat now. She almost jumped when she heard the low voice right next to her ear.
“You look like you could need some entertainment.”
She gasped and turned her head in surprise, immediately recognizing the voice. “Sir!” She exclaimed with an audible tone of gladness in her voice. Then she almost dropped her glass at the sight of him. He was wearing his dress blues, that emphasized his muscular upper body, and was looking at her with the sexiest smile she had seen him give her since… ever.
“You look … tense,” he teased her with the hint of a smile, and took seat at the same table on the chair right next to her, ignoring her confused, but also interested look.
“I didn’t know you would be here Sir! I didn’t see you before.”
“Wasn’t here before, I just arrived a few moments ago.” He informed her and then looked at her, taking in her every feature, and smiled slightly.
“What?” Sam asked after a short moment, smiling back somewhat insecurely, her fingers at the glass with champagne that was standing in front of her on the table.
“Nothing,” he answered amused, not taking his eyes off of her. Damn, they had done a good job. She was looking like a walking sin. The dress did nothing to hide her perfectly in shape figure, and revealed those incredibly long legs, and her breasts – damn. Easy there, he reminded himself. After all he was here in order to help a fellow officer, not to make advances on her.
“Well, Sir, I think I will have to leave – unfortunately.” Sam remarked with an apologetic smile and started to get up. Jack raised his eyebrows.
“Yes, I can see Dr. McKay waving at me – he has been for quite some time. I don’t want to give him the satisfaction of having to come get me. I want to keep at least one tiny ounce of dignity after he practically forced this date on me and the make-up department put me in this ridiculous outfit.” She winced.
“Hey,” Jack caught her wrist as she was slowly walking by him, and she stopped instantly, looking at his hand touching her arm with a mixture of shock and thrill. They touched so rarely – and even if they did it was hardly skin on skin, and not in the context of a social event – that his touch both electrified and scared her.
“S-sir?” she asked, insecurely, not pulling her hand out of his touch however.
“Sit down,” he said gently. Upon her merely staring at him with her wide, blue eyes, he had to chuckle. “That’s an order.”
“Um, yes, Sir,” she nodded, remembering that he was her co after all, and sat down on the chair to his other side, simply because it was closer than the chair she had used before – in these shoes every additional step had become hell. Then she looked at him expectantly. “Sir?”
He simply passed her a small piece of paper in an envelope, while his eyes were fixated on the speaker who was still speaking about this year’s donations. She took it and opened the envelope. After she had pulled the small white card out, she gasped, and her brain took a moment to register the meaning of what she was reading:
Colonel Samantha Carter – Leading Astrophysicist
Winning Bid: General Jack O’Neill
“Sir!” She gasped and looked up at him. “I… you… um… how did you…”
“All I did was make a donation to the veteran’s fund,” he commented dryly, with a sparkle in his eyes. “After calling the officers in charge of the auction and inquiring to know the exact amount of McKay’s bid.”
“But Sir…” Sam looked slightly guilty. “Isn’t that against the rules?”
“Not that I am aware of. McKay doesn’t have to pay; only the winning bid does so no need for guilt.” Then his eyes twinkled with humor. “I do however expect an entertaining evening with the leading astrophysicist of the Air Force!”
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