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06 July 2004 @ 12:44 am
new fic!  
In an attempt to jump-start the muse in the hopes of finishing some stuff (yeah, right) before the new Stargate season starts, this was a challenge-to-self. The idea was to turn on iTunes and write a half-hour story inspired by the first song to come up randomly. This was not written in half an hour, but, you know, I tried.

TITLE: "Tuesday"
RATING: PG
CATEGORY: Sam/Jack friendship, UST
SPOILERS: Season 7, including "Chimera." This either happens before "Heroes" or in my magical season 7 where "Heroes" doesn't happen at all. Pete exists, but this is totally lisayaeger-safe.
SUMMARY: Checking up on Carter.

"and she said, losing love is like a window in your heart.
everybody sees you're blown apart..." - Paul Simon, "Graceland"




It took Colonel Jack O'Neill all of five minutes to figure out that something was up with Carter.

Of course, being distracted at a briefing, especially one of Daniel's briefings, was hardly a capital offense. Hell, he tuned in only for about one word in twenty unless the topic of conversation was something relevant, like that the artifact / ancient text / civilization in question had the potential to blow them up, or, with the proper handling, the potential to be used to blow someone else up. Teal'c... well, it was hard to tell about Teal'c on any given day. Paying attention and not paying attention looked pretty much the same.

But this was Carter. She was always there taking notes and asking questions, giving him very much the feeling that she ought to be sitting in the front row with her hand raised while he sat in the back of the classroom drawing stick figures of people in lewd positions and rolling up bits of paper to flick at Daniel when his back was turned. Even when Daniel had gone on far too long about how this specific word grouping could either translate as this one completely random thing or this other equally irrelevant thing, she was always nodding and frowning and giving all sorts of understanding facial expressions at appropriate moments.

That Carter had been distracted for one day, coloring in the o's on the paper in front of her and not even looking at Daniel's fancy slide show, didn't have to mean anything. She could just be tired, or inventing something really really important in her head, or -- shock of all shocks -- just bored. Perhaps today's informative presentation on the cultural importance of mask-making of P8-something had finally pushed her over the edge of her Daniel tolerance. Even General Hammond had looked like he was mentally listing a hundred more important things he could be doing with those forty-five minutes.

Still. They weren't headed off-world until Thursday, but it seemed prudent to at least check that she wasn't coming down with something.

He meant to catch her right after Hammond declared lesson-time over, but she ducked out while Daniel was still talking. It took him a good twenty minutes to get away from the prattling archaeologist, and that was really his own fault -- he really never should have gotten into it about how mask-making was so not important.

When he finally got to Carter's lab, she was, not unexpectedly, hovering over something wire-y with a pair of pliers, or what looked like a pair of pliers but was probably much more expensive, in her hand.

Except she wasn't doing anything. He watched her stare blankly at the tangle of circuits in front of her for a few seconds, the red flag in his brain crawling steadily higher up the flagpole. Definitely not normal.

"Hey."

She blinked up at him as though wondering where he came from. "Sir. Can I help you with something?"

She looked okay. Maybe a bit tired around the eyes, but she wasn't obviously bleeding or turning colors. He was probably being over-protective, but then, it wasn't totally unwarranted. Carter didn't get colds like normal people. She was either healthy as a horse or she was in the infirmary for half a week with blunt head trauma.

She was doing that a lot this year. That was probably somewhere on the short list of things he still had to teach her before he'd let her properly take on her own team -- how to avoid getting clocked in the head. Not that he'd ever been a star student at that himself, but if he ended up with brain damage it wasn't like the average IQ of the state of Colorado was going to suffer for it.

"You feelin' okay?"

"I'm fine," she said, too quickly.

Or maybe he wasn't being over-protective. "You seemed a little out of it in the briefing just now."

Maybe it came out more like a reprimand than he'd meant, because she looked absolutely horrified. "I'm sorry, sir. I didn't realize. It won't happen again."

"Hey, hey," he waved her down before she had the chance to jump to attention. "Not a problem. Don't think Daniel even noticed. Just worried."

"I'm fine, sir," she repeated. "Really."

Which meant, of course, that she wasn't. Damn. She turned back to the wires in front of her and stabbed them with the tool in her hand in a way that looked totally arbitrary.

He had a bad feeling this wasn't work-related. "Everything okay at home?"

She looked up again, eyes wide, probably as surprised as he was that he'd asked that question. Not that he didn't ask about the personal lives of his colleagues, they just didn't usually have any interesting answers for him. Up until a few months ago, the collective lives of SG-1 were fabulously boring in their off hours.

He didn't really want to know, didn't want to hear that she was having an off day at work because she'd been out late the night before or... in late... but he was talking before his better judgement could get in the way. "Things going well with the guy?"

The guy. He knew his name, of course, he just preferred not to use it. It probably wasn't an indulgence he should allow himself -- he had long worried that her workaholic tendencies would drive her certifiably bonkers one day if she didn't get herself something else to do, and it wasn't like he would never be happy for her in a relationship with another man -- but then, childish and petty were established pieces of his personality so he didn't know why he expected better of himself. It was easier to continue thinking of Pete as an annoying accessory of Carter's that had shown up three months ago and kept her away from all of the we're-lonely-and-have-nothing-better-to-do-so-let's-do-some-"team-bonding" evenings since, rather than as an actual person that he should try to start liking if he was going to become a permanent fixture in the life of one of his closest friends.

Friends. Or... whatever they were. He tried not to think about that other part.

"He's... um, not." She poked around with the pliers some more and was somehow managing to look very, very small. And pale. And not making a whole lot of sense.

"What?"

"My 'guy.' Anymore. We're..." she tugged on one of the wires and it gave a little spark. "He broke up with me."

What? He broke up with her? That was just...

"He's an ass."

A surprised smile toyed with the edges of her mouth but disappeared quickly. She shook her head. "He's not."

Of course she would defend him -- Carter had always been a little too forgiving for her own good. Who did this guy think he was, anyway? What in the hell did this idiot off the street think was so wrong with her? "Trust me. The guy's a jerk."

On some level, Jack realized this was what he wanted. He wanted Carter back, selfishly missing her company at take-out-and-a-movie events with Daniel and Teal'c and sick of the weird, jealous, worried feeling he got when he thought about her with someone else, someone he didn't know and didn't trust. He should be happy. Maybe he would be, later, once he was done wanting to punch the guy's teeth in for putting that look on her face.

"You don't have to say that, sir."

He did, actually. After Cassie's first boyfriend had broken up with her and the girl had cried all over his shoulder about it while he silently panicked, he'd actually gone to her mother for emergency coaching. The Doc, who seemed to find it hilarious that the hard-as-nails commander of a front-line unit could be so completely thrown by a teary thirteen-year-old, had finally stopped laughing at him long enough to properly instruct him in consoling members of the fairer sex.

"He's wrong, and she's right," Fraiser had explained, counting off the talking points on her fingers. "He's a complete jerk, men are jerks in general, she's too good for him, and she'll do much better next time. Then take her out and buy her something."

It was amazing how well it worked. The Doc was a genius. And, given Cassie's rather tempestuous dating life over the past few years, he'd had a lot of practice.

This was different, of course. This was Carter, and she wasn't thirteen, and this didn't fall anywhere near their realm of comfortable conversation topics. If he had any brains in his head at all, he really would have invented a meeting to get out of there and spent the day hiding in his office after alerting Daniel or Fraiser, whichever he saw first, that they might want to take their emotionally tactful selves and stop by Carter's office at some point.

Except that Fraiser was off-world setting up the clinic at the new, new Alpha Site.

And Daniel was still probably going nuts about those alien masks.

And the part about having a brain in his head... well, he didn't, really. So, of course, he stayed right where he was.

"You need to... talk about it?"

The look she gave him was more than a little embarrassed, but she didn't tell him to leave.

"No. I'm all right." She awkwardly avoided his eyes. "But... thanks."

"I am an expert on stupid men," he offered.

She smiled. She was only humoring him, but at least it was something. "You really don't have to get mad at him, sir. It's not his fault."

He didn't have anything smart to say to that, so he waited her out.

She rolled her eyes. "I'm not exactly the easiest person in the world to date."

It sounded like a quote. In his pockets, his hands balled reflexively into fists. "Did Pete say that to you?"

Even before she shook her head, he knew that he hadn't. "He was very polite, I promise. I didn't really expect it to work out."

She'd come up with it herself. She really thought that, really thought that outside her uniform she was less than ordinary, actually seemed to believe that she wasn't worth an idiot like Shanahan.

It boggled his mind.

Jack looked over his confident, brilliant, utterly fearless second-in-command and saw a whole other person sitting in her place, the one he always did his best not to see when he looked at her.

A second later, he realized how dangerous that was.

"Teal'c and I are going bowling tonight," he announced. If she recognized the non-sequitur as a blatant attempt to escape their previous conversation, she didn't complain. If anything, she looked relieved. "You should come."

"Bowling?"

"Yep. He loves it. Pretty good, too. We've been thinking of joining a league. Gotta train, you know."

Completely bemused. One of his favourite Carter expressions. "You have?"

"Come on. What could be more fun on a Tuesday night?" He realized exactly why he'd extended the invitation, what he was trying to save her from, when his mind gave him a clear picture of her moping alone in her house, curled up next to the phone with a tub of ice cream like women in TV movies who had just been dumped. He dismissed it even as he thought it -- that wasn't Carter's style. "It's got to be better than hanging out here all night."

She looked undecided. And strangely guilty. Maybe she felt bad for missing out on so many team events over the past few months. "I have a lot of work to catch up on. And I don't want to get in the way of your... training."

"We can drag Daniel along. We'll play teams. I'll even let you pair up with Teal'c."

"Well, in that case..." She still wasn't smiling as she went back to the wires in front of her, but she seemed more or less okay. And she had agreed to come along on the team bowling evening that hadn't quite been arranged yet. Not that arranging it would be a problem -- what the heck else would Teal'c and Daniel have to do on a Tuesday?

"Good."

He didn't know why he felt like it was so important that he keep an eye on her. She didn't look that upset. Just... off. Quiet. Resigned. She'd been like that for a while, too, if less obviously. In his head he'd been associating her odd, slightly withdrawn behaviour with her boyfriend -- probably at least half of the reason he wasn't keen on the guy -- but, if he really thought about it, it had started before that.

It was out of his mouth before he realized he was going to say anything at all. "There's nothing wrong with you, Carter."

Her head snapped up like she'd heard gunfire, and she met his eyes with laser precision. For a terrifying instant, he thought she was going to cry.

Crap. He grabbed for something, anything else to say.

"You know that me and Teal'c would kill him for you if you wanted, right?"

She swallowed and nodded, eyes retreating from his back to the table again. "I know. But, please don't, sir."

"I'm just saying. The offer is there. Heck, Daniel could probably take him by himself."

There it was: a real smile. "Thanks."

"1800? Bowling? You gonna be done here by then?" He was edging back towards the door, body having smartly decided to remove himself from the minefield before his brain decided it would be a really good idea to say something else.

"I'll be ready."

Nodding, and trying not to look like he was actually fleeing, he made it into the hallway. And almost ran smack into Teal'c.

"O'Neill."

"Hey, buddy. Lookin' for Carter?"

"I was coming to inquire after her well-being. She appeared unusually pensive in the briefing this morning."

"Yeah, well, you know Carter. Always thinking." Jack slapped Teal'c in the shoulder, trying to subtly turn him around. He wasn't sure, of course, but he had a feeling she probably wanted to be left alone. "She's fine. Don't worry. Lunch?"

Teal'c nodded and fell into step with him, apparently understanding. "I will speak with her later."

Content, Jack continued down the hallway. "So, T, you up for some bowling tonight?"


****


NOTE: There might be a sequel. Because I am weak in the face of bowling.

-- Little Red, who procrastinates fic with fic.

p.s. Icon? By elly427, inspired by keenween and the Pawtucket House of Couch.
 
 
feel: hopefulhopeful
hear: Paul Simon - "Graceland"
 
 
 
elly: Happy?elly427 on July 6th, 2004 05:33 am (UTC)
Much love
So many things to love here (Eeeeeeeee! Friendshipfic!) but I loved this line most of all:

"You know that me and Teal'c would kill him for you if you wanted, right?"

Because while sure, Jack might do it, Teal'c *totally* would. Totally. He'd just reach out and snap Pete's neck.

*loves you*

And hey, I totally forgot about that icon. Huh. Makes me giggle. Hee.
Little Red: fanfic - ellymylittleredgirl on July 6th, 2004 03:37 pm (UTC)
love back!
(Eeeeeeeee! Friendshipfic!)

It really WAS the pants that did it to me. While I love me some good friendship fic, I don't usually seek it out because I'm like BRING ON THE LOVE, DAMMIT! But over the past week I've been really wanting to see this in Sam/Jack... because it's *so important.* Plus, I trust myself, so, I know that the subtext of this is "OMGonetrueloveS/J4evah!!1!" :-D

He'd just reach out and snap Pete's neck.

Seriously. People shouldn't mess with Sam Carter *at all.* And I'll bet this all makes Sam feel very loved and safe and happy... and yet, a little concerned that she has veritable attack dogs waiting around to kill people off who wrong her.
A.j.: miniotpaj on July 6th, 2004 05:38 am (UTC)
Dude.
Have I told you lately that I love you? And in the non-crazy Rod Stewart song way?

And dude, all are weak in the face of bowling. Especially with Teal'c and Jack expounding on the pro's and cons of snackbar food. On the one hand, it is filled with grease (thus tasty) and by far superior to the snackbar at the driving range. On the other, it costs slightly more than the one at the mini-golf place.

And Daniel gets to bitch about his colesterol or something.

Anyway. Aww... *hugs Sam* You are good enough, you are smart enough, and gosh darn it, the Colonel isn't the only one who wants you naked.
Little Red: part of the job - amandamylittleredgirl on July 6th, 2004 03:42 pm (UTC)
*bwah ha ha*
You got that song in my head, wench.

Oh, yeah, snackbar food. See, the place we go bowling in Providence doesn't really have a snackbar. They have a REAL bar. With lots of beer on tap. So, that's what *I* was thinking, but I suppose I should throw some cheese-covered pretzels and nachos and what-not in there, too.

And HAHAHA re: mini-golf. TOTALLY! Sam is like "Um, do you guys do this stuff a lot?" and they're all "Hey! We always invite you." Mini-golfing for those four is a fabulous, fabulous image. Teal'c! Putting! And Jack *knows* that Sam is making all these degree calculations in her head and he's like "JUST HIT THE BALL, ALREADY!"

gosh darn it, the Colonel isn't the only one who wants you naked.

But, you know, if he's the only one you WANT to see you naked, we in the happyverse are okay with that.
entertaining in a disturbing waylyssie on July 6th, 2004 05:46 am (UTC)
Carter didn't get colds like normal people. She was either healthy as a horse or she was in the infirmary for half a week with blunt head trauma

*snickers madly*

Oh, dear god. I loved this! *smooch*

Also? I now have the thought running through my head... "Carter needs a piece of ass on the side.... and it could even be Jack's." Because my brain? Is just. that. crude. Tonight, at least.

*cackles madly*
Little Red: monastery - ellymylittleredgirl on July 6th, 2004 03:44 pm (UTC)
crudebrain!!
*leads your crude brain toward a blank word processing page*

And, hey, it doesn't even have to be *on the side* ;) Although that would be funny. "This onetruelovemeanttobe thing is kind of stressing me out. Want to put that aside for a few months and just... do it?" "YES!! I was totally hoping you'd ask! Because really? I'm freaking out here."
entertaining in a disturbing waylyssie on July 6th, 2004 08:14 pm (UTC)
Re: crudebrain!!
....Hey! no porn in my brain at work!

Huh. There's a thought.

"Sir?"

"Carter?"

"I've dumped Pete. I'm bored."

"Ooo. K."

"*bats lashes* Come cheer me up?"

"...Does it involve heaters?"

"I was thinking skin on skin contact."

"Whooohoo!"

"Jack--"

*porn*
Lisa Yaegerlisayaeger on July 6th, 2004 09:41 am (UTC)
I *heart* you and *smooch* you and just totally adore you and this fic!! I can't thank you enough, and I really hope there is a sequel.

And let me just say that I think this: Pete exists, but this is totally lisayaeger-safe should be an actual warning label for all post-Chimera fics.

Bless your shippy heart!!!!
Little Red: part of the job - amandamylittleredgirl on July 6th, 2004 03:54 pm (UTC)
warnings and shippers and socks! (oh my)
Pete exists, but this is totally lisayaeger-safe should be an actual warning label for all post-Chimera fics.

I have been WAITING to use that label. I just haven't written Pete yet in any sort of non-sucky-WIP sort of way :) And wouldn't it be nice if EVERYTHING was Lisa-safe?

And you know? As much as I'd really like Sam to Come To Her Senses And Make A CHOICE... him leaving her is just more expedient (for the very reasonable, non bastard-y reasons of "Um. I need to actually SEE you, sometimes. And we seem to want very different things here. And, you're a sweetie and all, and hot, so, sorry, but this is really just going to end up pissing us both off."). And I'm just as happy.

I love fanfic. Sam and Jack can get together in just *so* many ways! *crazygrin*

OH! And I made a chevron slipper pattern, finally, and need to know your shoe size if you want a pair (I owe them to you first, I believe). You can email me (russiandeptwench at hotmail) or reply here. Since I know your comments have been wonky, I hope you get this memo...
Lisa Yaegerlisayaeger on July 6th, 2004 05:20 pm (UTC)
Spoilers for Affinity
The whole *world* should be Lisa-safe!!!!

As for how Pete will go (and by god he *will* go!), I actually think it's more likely that he'll get fed up with her life, or, as Affinity spoilers suggest, she let's him go because she feels like it's not fair to keep him waiting for her. I don't think we'll see Sam make a choice, per se, but rather a decision based on non-Jack factors with ship undertones. Since we don't write it... And yes, that's where fanfic comes in!!! Bless you for writing it!!!!

I am *so* freakin excited about these socks! I'm a 6 1/2-7 ish, but I can measure in inches if that's easier. You can always email me at lisayaeger@hotmail.com, too, although that's been wonky (love that word) lately, too!!!
Allie O'N: squeealliesings on July 6th, 2004 10:31 am (UTC)
Well, it seems that all of the really good feedback has already been used, so just this once, I'll say that I loved all of the same lines everyone else did, I totally need you to write a bowling sequel, I love the icon, and I loved Jack telling Sam that there's nothing wrong with her. The beginning of the story was entertaining, the middle angsty, and the end funny. That's good fic in a nutshell :)
Little Red: part of the job - amandamylittleredgirl on July 6th, 2004 03:57 pm (UTC)
Yay! Thank you :) I will get on the bowling the next time my muse wants to procrastinate writing other stuff.

I loved Jack telling Sam that there's nothing wrong with her.

I love Jack. So very much. Such a good boy, and just so good at reading her :) And, hey, if you give the woman what she needs to hear...
lavondyss on July 6th, 2004 12:28 pm (UTC)
From someone who'd totally given up on reading S/J fic, I'm here because </a></b></a>lisayaeger pointed me in this direction. So, what everyone else said, and you got the voices to a 'T' (and got T as well).
Little Red: monastery - ellymylittleredgirl on July 6th, 2004 03:59 pm (UTC)
Yay! Occasionally I have to write something that isn't *too* shippy, I guess, just for variety :) Glad you liked it!
Nenya Kanadka: Nenya Bluenenya_kanadka on July 6th, 2004 01:09 pm (UTC)
A perfect way to end my evening...very calming and sweet, and I love the idea of Daniel kicking Pete's arse by himself...and all the bits about Jack caring about Sam, in a totally male way, and being a little bit self-conscious about how he feels for her. You do great descriptions! Of both things and feelings. *stamps fic with award for Making Nenya Happy*

And bowling--I can so see them bowling....
Little Red: bratac - amandamylittleredgirl on July 6th, 2004 04:03 pm (UTC)
Heh. Yes. Forget bowling -- let's have the sequel be where Danny takes Pete outside and gives him what-for while Jack and Teal'c hang out and watch. "We trained him well, dontcha think?" "His technique could use some refinement." "Huh. I guess so. We should bring that up before Carter's next asshead boyfriend." "Indeed."

and all the bits about Jack caring about Sam, in a totally male way, and being a little bit self-conscious about how he feels for her.

Your feedback makes me feel like *fanfic* makes me feel, I'd just like to say. You say it all so perfectly and SamandJackaresocuteOMG. :)
Julie, betrayer of the literary tradition: no wallssplash_the_cat on July 6th, 2004 02:22 pm (UTC)
Squee! So cute. So them. Very sweet little piece, Red.
Little Red: bratac - amandamylittleredgirl on July 6th, 2004 04:04 pm (UTC)
Thanks!! And from the undisputed MASTER of friendship-ust-fic too!! *blushes and kowtows*
Michelle K.jemster on July 6th, 2004 06:20 pm (UTC)
Content, Jack continued down the hallway. "So, T, you up for some bowling tonight?"

I. Loved. This. I can see this actually happening and that last line just killed me. It's so Jack.

Thanks for a really nice fic!

And make the sequel J/S comfort with a little bit of lovin on the side..
Little Red: monastery - ellymylittleredgirl on July 7th, 2004 10:28 pm (UTC)
Hee! You know me, I'll see what I can do... ;)

Although I think Jack would probably kick his own ass for taking advantage of her. Even though, hello, meanttobe!, but, he would. But there definitely needs be lovin' down the road!
KJ: chuffedschrodinga on July 6th, 2004 09:31 pm (UTC)
That rocked. Write more. Lots more!

Pwetty pwetty pwease...? {bg}
Little Red: anise - amandamylittleredgirl on July 7th, 2004 10:29 pm (UTC)
When you ask so nicely...

I hope to soon! *eyes fickle little muse*
aetherfoxx on July 8th, 2004 12:56 am (UTC)
red hair and white russians.

the cake is in the taking...

tink x
fycaidle_dreamer on July 8th, 2004 04:53 am (UTC)
Love love love the icon.
clairza: frangipanistars_like_dust on July 15th, 2004 01:11 pm (UTC)
*loves*

A second later, he realized how dangerous that was.

*hearts that sentence*

So good. =)
Little Red: fluffier than thou - lyssiemylittleredgirl on July 15th, 2004 04:28 pm (UTC)
Yay! Poor Jack, having to be careful all the time. *pushes them together so they hug*

I'm glad you liked it! :)