Title: "All's Well..."
Author: Little Red
Spoilers: written pre-season-8, so... it's the season 8 that never was.
Summary: Being stuck minding the store is hard for everyone.
Author's Note: I didn't like this one enough to post it at the time... but now I like it. I have since given up on standards, I guess. It's unpolished, but it's a bit of whoa-nostalgia for me to remember what I thought season 8 would look like.
Sam Carter burst through the control room door only six minutes out of the shower, hair still wet, clothes disheveled, surely looking as panicked as she felt.
This was not happening.
This was not happening.
It was the first time, the very first time since he'd been promoted off of SG-1 that he went off-world without her, and he was in trouble.
"Tell me what's happening," Sam demanded, and she must have overshot the air of command she was going for because the technician at the controls actually jumped.
"Colonel!" He squeaked, and for a second she felt actual relief at the word -- he was there, he was back, he was fine -- until she remembered that the technician was talking to her. For God's sake, her silver Lieutenant Colonel leaves had barely been minted, and she'd been left in charge of the base while her commanding officer was off-world and under fire. And possibly, although whether they'd been out on a proper date yet was debatable, and they were still treading on dangerous regulation ground despite no longer actively serving together in combat... that commanding officer presently in life-threatening danger was also her boyfriend.
This wasn't going to work. She had to calm down, now. Fortunately, she had a lot of practice at that. She tried again. "Have we gotten any information from the MALP?"
"We got a few seconds of footage before the feed and all transmissions went dead and the wormhole disconnected, ma'am."
"Looks like the MALP was struck by a staff weapon blast," Siler appeared from somewhere to report. Daniel and Teal'c were hot on his heels, looking just as sick as she felt at being stuck on the base, half a galaxy away from where they should be.
Sam ignored them and focused on Siler. If she had details to focus on, she might be able to come up with something to do to help them from here. "Let me see it."
General O'Neill had worried -- mostly to himself, although she and Daniel had taunted his concern out of him one late night after far too many celebratory promotion-induced drinks -- about SG-1 going off-world without him. He didn't know if he'd be able to handle being Earth-side, knowing they were out there in danger. It wasn't that he didn't trust her. They both knew he did. It was just going to kill him to feel stuck on Earth and useless, to not be able to help.
She hadn't even considered the possibility of ever being on the other side of that fence.
Her first four missions in command of SG-1 had been almost eerily easy, like the universe was storing up cold water to hit her with when she least expected it. She knew General O'Neill (she had to constantly correct herself in her head whenever she went to think of him as 'the Colonel') had started her out with a routine survey mission to let her have a cakewalk her first time out, and to allow SG-1 to break in Captain Howell and get used to their new working dynamic, but the other missions hadn't been particularly innocent at first glance. Somehow, they were yet to run into anything more challenging than getting their food stores raided by some kind of native raccoons on P6Z-121.
General O'Neill went off with SG-5 on essentially a goodwill tour of the proposed site of an outpost on S3X-641 and got ambushed coming back to the 'gate.
"Got it!" The tech, Benson, announced.
The monitor burst to life with static. "... base, do you read?" Sam identified the frantic voice, occasionally drowned out by staff weapon and gun fire, as Captain Lowe, the second-in-command of SG-5. She tried to take in what she was seeing and hearing all at once. It was ugly. Energy blasts were everywhere, and although it was difficult to tell over the monitor, there had to be at least ten staff weapons involved. She caught movement of someone in a familiar SGC uniform jacket, but couldn't tell who it was. Behind Lowe's voice she heard what sounded like a very human scream. "We're trying to get to the gate, but we're ..... and outnumbered four to one .... lost sight of the General and ..... casualties ... do you read? Trying to..." The transmission cut out as abruptly as it had started, and Sam felt her whole body go cold.
She didn't have to say it. "They're pinned down."
"We've got to send reinforcements!" Daniel insisted.
Sam was already shaking her head before her mind had consciously connected to its next thought. "We can't. The 'gate's taking too much fire. Anyone we send could be struck down before they even completely materialize."
"I am willing to take that risk, Colonel Carter," Teal'c said, his voice filled with as much urgency as it ever was.
This couldn't be happening. She should be there. She should never have agreed to stay behind and 'guard the front door,' as he put it. She was supposed to be watching his six. That was her job.
Except it wasn't anymore.
Her mouth was bone-dry, but she kept on talking. "You can't, Teal'c. We can't establish an outgoing wormhole -- we've got to give them every chance to get to the 'gate themselves."
"Sam, that's Jack out there," Daniel argued, as if that wasn't exactly what she was thinking.
She very nearly turned all of her pent-up frustration on Daniel before Teal'c intervened. "I am sure that Colonel Carter is well aware of that, Daniel Jackson. In General O'Neill's absence, we are required to abide by her decisions."
"What do we do, Colonel?" Benson asked her.
There was nothing they could do. "We wait," she ordered. And then, surely unnecessarily, "If anybody dials in, don't open the iris without IDC confirmation. The Jaffa might also be trying to come through." She smacked her hand down on the intercom button, releasing at least a little of her strangled energy into the action. "Defense teams to the 'gate room and stand by."
They couldn't dial out and attempt to raise them again. There was absolutely nothing that they could do. The silence in the control room, interrupted only by Daniel nervously shuffling his feet, was deafening. Sam's overactive imagination spun countless potential scenarios for what could be going on out there, each more grisly than the last.
She should never have let this happen. She should have at least sent Teal'c with him. She should have somehow figured out that '641 wasn't as unknown to the Goa'uld as they thought it was. She should have convinced him not to accept his promotion in the first place.
As the seconds turned into minutes and her desire to scream increased, she gained a serious newfound appreciation for General Hammond.
Suddenly the stargate sprang to life.
"Incoming wormhole!" Benson exclaimed, and she held her breath. "Receiving SG-5 IDC."
"Open the iris," she ordered and then, because she was standing right there and Benson wasn't moving fast enough, she did it herself.
Come on, Colonel... she willed the event horizon, not even bothering to mentally correct his rank.
The watery surface of the stargate was breached, and two members of SG-5 backed through it, guns out in front of them. A split second later, Lowe came through, covering the last member of SG-5 who was clutching his left arm and had lost his weapon... and then O'Neill was on the ramp, P-90 pointed back toward the stargate as Colonel Watson, the commander of SG-5, yelled "Close the iris!"
This time, Sam let Benson do it, and it was all she could do to summon a medical team to the 'gate room before dashing down there herself.
"Hey, Carter," he grinned at her and tossed her his weapon when they met at the bottom of the ramp. "T, Daniel! You guys missed all the fun."
"You're all right," she said, still feeling a bit rattled -- actually, more than she usually did after getting caught in an engagement herself.
His grin widened. "I've still got it," he said proudly, like he'd been out of the field long enough for his skills to conceivably rust, rather than just a few weeks. "But we're gonna have to scout a new location for the outpost."
"No kidding," Daniel agreed, and Sam decided that next time, direct orders or no direct orders, she'd find a way to scout the location personally first.
Perhaps that was why, she absently considered, they still weren't supposed to see each other socially, but she dismissed that notion as ridiculous. Daniel and Teal'c had been just as worried.
And besides, they hadn't even kissed each other yet, not really, not unless she counted the rather chaste peck he'd dropped on her cheek in congratulations, teasingly close to her mouth, the night of her promotion. They weren't really dating at all yet, although Jack -- bless him, since she certainly wasn't going to be able do it -- had apparently brought it up with Hammond in a private meeting while discussing the changes to the SGC command structure, and had received informal permission for them to proceed at their own discretion once they were no longer serving together on the front lines. She had no idea how he'd gotten up the courage to even ask that with only vague hints from her that yes, she really was ready to explore a relationship if it became at all legal to do so, and she worried that General Hammond might actually have been the one to mention it. For all her self-congratulating over the years at how remarkably discreet and well-behaved she'd been, the rumor mill alone should have tipped her off to how poorly they'd hidden their affections.
"Anything interesting happen here while we were gone?" he asked conversationally, slapping her shoulder. Since they had begun almost-sort-of dating -- which, to them, meant spending a total excess of time off-base together in the company of Daniel, Teal'c, Cassie, or all three of them -- they had stepped up the casual physical contact quite a bit. He pulled his hand away just as suddenly and shot her a confused look. "You know your hair's wet?"
Oh, right. And, by the way the patch of skin right above the center of her collarbone was itching, she'd put her t-shirt on backwards, too. "Sorry, sir. I'll... go fix that." She handed the rifle he'd tossed her off to one of the sergeants still milling about the 'gate-room, but Jack grabbed her elbow before she could get too far away.
"We still on for tonight?"
She smiled, feeling an increasingly familiar jolt of excitement. "Yeah, I checked the paper. The movie starts at 7:30."
"What movie?" Daniel asked, and Sam looked between the rest of her former team oddly. It had been Jack's turn to invite a chaperone and, since it wasn't really Cassie's type of movie, she suspected that it would be one of the guys.
After a split-second conversation of glances that Sam was unable to decode, Teal'c intervened. "I do not believe we are invited to attend, Daniel Jackson."
"What's so special about-? Oh..." Daniel grinned sheepishly, and actually started backing away from them. "Have fun, then!" And then, with a smirk that suggested he thought he was being hilarious, added, "You get her home by midnight!"
A choked snicker from one of the sergeants in earshot was quickly silenced by a Jaffa-glare before Teal'c bowed his head at them and also made good his exit.
Leaving them to smile rather nervously at each other.
They were going on a date.
"Is that okay?" he asked her, hands going to fiddle with the clasps on his armament vest.
"Sure. Yeah." Sam nodded, perhaps a bit too emphatically if she was going for casual grace. She was going on an actual date with him. By themselves. A seven-thirty movie felt almost comically normal in the face of the way the rest of their drawn-out courtship had gone down. "We're still on. You want to pick me up? Or should I... or we could just meet there."
His smile only widened as she babbled in a way utterly unbefitting a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Air Force. He glanced around them and spoke intentionally loud enough for the nearest SFs to hear. "Pick me up at seven."
She knew they were laughing in their heads, even if they were smart enough not to outright make fun of the respective commanders of the entire base and the flagship unit, but to be honest, she couldn't find it in herself to care.
He was fine. He'd gone out there without her and made it home in one piece.
And they were dating.
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