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Chapter 2


“Ohhhh …” Jack moaned from his bed in the infirmary. The effects of the cough syrup had worn off, and the reality of his injury had begun to plague him.


“Easy there, Colonel,” Janet said softly as she elevated his right leg to get a better look at the wound.


“You might not think that a mangled, torn-to-shreds knee would hurt much, Doc,” he said, distressed. “But it does.”


Dr. Fraiser grinned slightly.


“Oh, come on,” she teased. “Where’s that ‘keep-a-stiff-upper-lip’, ‘never-admit-you’re-in-pain’ military bravado of yours?”


“Sounds like something my wife would have said,” Jack mumbled.


Janet giggled softly.


“Well, your x-rays do show a trauma of some kind, but I’ll have to do an MRI to further assess the damage to your patella.”


Jack stared at her blankly.


“Your kneecap, Colonel,” she clarified.


Jack nodded silently.


“I’ll give you a little something more for the pain, and then I’ll do the MRI,” she said.


“You know me, Doc. I’m a trooper,” Jack replied, giving her a weak thumbs-up.


Janet nodded and grinned as she reached for a syringe.


“… Except when it comes to that,” he added with a pained look on his face.


Janet rolled her eyes and grinned as she prepared to give Jack a painkiller.




“What is your assessment of Colonel O’Neill’s injury, Doctor?” General Hammond asked Janet as she joined the remaining members of SG-1 in the briefing room.


“Well, Sir, his MRI scan shows a fracture of the patella.”


“Kneecap ...” Sam joined in.


“Mmm-hmm,” Janet nodded. “Now, displaced patellar fractures usually require surgery. Luckily for the Colonel, his fracture is mild and can be treated with immobilization.”


Hammond nodded.


“Sir, he should be out of commission for at least a couple of weeks. He’ll have a cast and will get around with the use of crutches, but until the bone heals completely, I don’t want him going off-world for a few weeks tops.”


“All right. All the other SG teams are currently off-world, so I don’t think I can find a temporary replacement for Colonel O’Neill. I’ll have to put SG-1 on stand down,” Hammond said.


“Thank you, Sir,” Janet replied.


“Please keep me appraised on the Colonel’s condition, Doctor,” Hammond added.


“Of course,” Janet nodded before she left the room and headed back toward the infirmary.


Hammond turned toward Sam, Daniel and Teal’c, and sighed.


“SG-1, I’m putting you on stand down,” he said.


Sam and Daniel exchanged looks as Teal’c raised an eyebrow.


“For how long?” Sam asked.


“For at least a week,” Hammond replied. “Perhaps longer, depending on Colonel O’Neill’s condition and whether I can find a replacement for him.”


Sam nodded.


“Thank you, Sir,” she said as she got up from her chair and left the room.


Hammond looked curiously at her retreating form. Sam had seemed to be a bit preoccupied the whole time.


“Is something wrong with Captain Carter?” he asked Daniel.


“Ah … I don’t know,” Daniel shrugged, and with that, he too left the room.



Sam rooted through the small rolodex that she kept on the corner of her desk, looking for Meredith’s phone number. She had attended her 15-year high school reunion in Washington, D.C., a few months before leaving the Pentagon to join SG-1. Meri had told her that she was relocating to Colorado Springs, and if Sam had known back then what she knew now, it would have seemed to be an odd coincidence. Meri had given Sam her address and phone number, and they had exchanged email addresses. Now that they were on stand down, and Sam didn’t have much to do anyway, she decided that she would get together with her friend. Deep down, she still had reservations about it, but she figured she wanted to do something fun for a change.


She sighed in relief as she found Meri’s contact information in the “G” section of the rolodex. She whipped out her cell phone and dialed Meri’s number.


“Hello?” a deeper, male voice answered.


This must be her fiancé, Sam thought to herself.


“Um … Hi, is Meri around? This is her old friend, Sam Carter,” Sam chirped into the phone.


“Sure, just a second,” the man answered. “Uh … what did you say your name was?”


“Sam Carter,” Sam repeated.


“Hold on,” he replied.


“Sam?!” a familiar voice squealed.


Sam winced and pulled the phone away from her face for a moment.


“Yeah! It’s me!” Sam replied with a forced smile.


“OhmyGawd!! I don’t believe it!! Sam Carter calling me on the phone!” she yelled jubilantly.


Sam giggled.


“What do you mean? You emailed me early this morning, asking to get together. I emailed you back and I told you I’d get back to you.”


“Well, yeah, but I didn’t think you’d get back to me so soon! Especially since you said you were busy and everything! I don’t believe it! Jon, it’s my old friend, Sam Carter on the phone!” she addressed her fiancé.


Sam rolled her eyes and shook her head. Cut it out, Meri, she thought to herself.


“So, Meri, um … let me know when you’ve calmed down so we can talk about when to get together,” she said facetiously.


“Tsk. Oh, Sammie! You’ve still got that dry sense of humor!”


“Yup,” Sam replied.


Meri calmed down a bit and became more serious.


“Gee … um, are you doing anything tomorrow night?”


Sam quickly turned toward her desk calendar and flipped the top page over.


“Tuesday the nineteenth?” she clarified.


“That’s right, hon. How does some dinner and dancing strike you?”


Sam shrugged.


“Um … d-dinner’s fine,” she stammered. “Have you heard of a place called O’Malley’s?”


“I have a better idea,” Meri interrupted. “There’s a really nice club called Club Rio on North 21st Street.”


“Oh … um … a club?” Sam asked with a hint of uncertainty in her voice.


“Yeah. You’re not afraid of going to clubs are you, Sammie?” Meri asked with a hint of teasing in her voice.


Sam snorted softly and rolled her eyes. She could just see Meri’s smirk on the other end. She tried to act as if she felt bad for Sam, but it always came off as not-so-lighthearted teasing. She had done it to Sam very often back in high school. Sam often thought that maybe she was taking it to heart, but it did become annoying after a while.


“No, Meri, I’m not afraid of going to clubs,” she said wearily.


“Then, what’s the problem?” Meri prodded.


Sam was surprised that Meri hadn’t asked if she was seeing anyone. She used to tease Sam about not dating anyone, while she herself had the boys flocking toward her. She had proudly told Sam that she and a boy in their class were ‘going steady’, only to break it off about a month and a half later. The old boyfriend was replaced with a new boyfriend, and by the time she and Sam had graduated, she was involved in a relationship with her prom date. Sam was obviously happy for Meri, and although she envied her somewhat, she was more intent on going to school and studying astrophysics. It was no surprise, then, when Meri told her in the email that she was engaged. Sam thought she had spotted a ring on her finger back at the reunion, but Meri had never mentioned it.


She suddenly remembered why she had reservations about getting together. She would obviously be meeting them alone, and to Meri that would mean that Sam wasn’t married, engaged, or dating. She would question Sam about it, probably brag about being engaged and tease Sam for still being single. Still, it was too late. Meri seemed insistent on meeting at a club, and she usually got her way. Sam turned back to the phone.


“Nothing,” she sighed.


“Look, if you don’t want to meet at a club, it’s okay, hon,” Meri answered.


“No, the club’s fine,” Sam insisted.


“Okay, if you’re sure …”


“I’m sure. Really, Meri, it’s okay.”


“Okay, Sam. So, what time do you want to meet us? Is eight o’clock okay for you?”


“Uh … sure,” Sam replied carefully. “I guess we’ll meet you at eight inside the club, then.”


Did I just say “we?” Sam thought as her eyes widened.


“Sounds good, hon,” Meri said unfazed.


“Great, see you then,” Sam said quickly.


“Okay … um, Sammie … did you just say ‘we’ll’ meet you there?”


Sam felt her cheeks grow hot as Meri had picked up on her seemingly Freudian slip.


“Um … yes, yes I did,” Sam replied coolly.


“You mean you’re bringing a date?” Meri pressed.


Oh boy, now I’m in trouble.


“Yeah. He’s … a guy I met at work some time ago,” Sam replied, clearing her throat. “A great guy.”


“Sounds good, Sammie! What’s his name?” she asked, sounding like an excited schoolgirl.


Sam’s face was on fire.


“Oh, geez, I have to go, Meri. I just realized I’m five minutes late for a meeting. I’ll see you tomorrow night at eight,” she said quickly.


“Okay. Bye, hon!”


“Yeah, bye,” Sam said, flustered as she pressed a button and ended the call.


“What have I gotten myself into?” she said dreadfully as she put her cell phone back in her bag.


Just then, her stomach growled and she quickly looked down at her watch. It was nearly 1400 hours, and she hadn’t had anything to eat since before they left to go on their disastrous mission at 0630. She headed for the commissary.




Sam sat alone at a table in the commissary, staring at her Chicken Caesar salad, which sat unappetizingly in a plastic container. She had been starving, but her appetite began to disappear as she put the first bit of salad in her mouth. It wasn’t only due to the fact that the salad wasn’t very good, but she was still dwelling on her conversation with Meredith. Had she told her that “we’ll” meet her there? Now Meri was expecting Sam to show up with a guy. If she came alone, no doubt Meri would attempt to make her feel bad the whole night. She had to ask someone to come with her, but who? General Hammond was out of the question, not only because he was too busy, but because he could almost pass for Sam’s father. She obviously couldn’t ask Jack, since he was laid up with a fractured knee. Teal’c had just gone to Chulak to visit his wife and son, and she probably wouldn’t have asked him anyway, since he was still not acquainted with many Earth customs and would be out of place at a nightclub.


Daniel. Could she ask Daniel? The thought had entered Sam’s mind, but when she remembered how she had treated him that morning, before they set off for the mission, she thought it would be a bad idea. She had snapped at Daniel and hurt his feelings, and then she’d be begging him for a favor. What would that make her out to be? Sure, she had apologized to him, but the more Sam thought about it, the more it seemed like a forced apology. Moreover, Sam felt it would be like taking advantage of him, and she cared for him too much to ever do that to him.


Sam was suddenly totally oblivious to anything going on around her. The commissary had become a bit more crowded, and the room buzzed with conversations between airmen. She impaled some more of the wilted lettuce with her fork and made a face. The dressing wasn’t even real Caesar dressing; it tasted like watered-down mayonnaise. Sam hadn’t had Caesar salad in the commissary for quite a long time, but she couldn’t remember it being this bad.


She was jerked from her thoughts as she felt a tray being placed down on the table. She looked up and saw Daniel standing in front of her.


“Is this seat taken?” he asked tentatively.


Sam’s head was swimming, as she was pulled so quickly from her thoughts.


“No, not at all,” she shook her head.


Daniel nodded and sat down across from her. He began to tuck in to his bowl of soup when he noticed Sam staring at her half-eaten salad with disgust. His brow wrinkled slightly.


“Is everything okay?” he asked curiously.


Sam was still agonizing over her plans for the next evening. She really didn’t feel much like talking about it. She hesitated for a moment, and then shook her head.


“You know what I notice about these things?” she smirked, gesturing to her salad. “Whenever they serve the salads in these plastic containers, it always seems like there’s less inside than there really is.”


Daniel nodded.


“I’ve seen those before. It’s a bottomless salad,” he said cutely.


“Yeah, exactly!” Sam exclaimed with a grin.


Daniel chuckled softly. His smile faded and he looked at Sam intently.


“Sam, are you sure everything’s all right?”


Sam looked at him for a moment.


“The General gave us a week of down time, Daniel. What are you still doing on base?” she asked, still evading his question.


“I don’t have anything else to do,” he shrugged. “What are you still doing on base?”


Sam shut her eyes and sighed.


“Why do you avoid my question, Sam? Something is bothering you, isn’t it?”


“What makes you think something’s bothering me?” Sam muttered weakly.


Daniel shrugged.


“Oh … nothing. It’s just that you were a bit testy this morning before we left, and you’ve seemed preoccupied ever since we got back from P5X-978.”


“Okay …” Sam sighed. “Remember when I told you this morning about my friend from high school emailing me?”


Daniel’s brow furrowed as he tried to remember what she had said before they left that morning.


“Oh, yeah,” he nodded.


“Well, she wants to get together tomorrow evening. Daniel, she was a good friend of mine in high school. She used to tease me endlessly about my luck with boys, though.”


“Your luck with boys?” Daniel interrupted, raising an eyebrow curiously.


Sam smirked.


“Yeah, she always used to have the boys flocking toward her, while I wasn’t as lucky. She teased me about it a lot. I never told her, but it hurt. She was just trying to poke some lighthearted fun at me, and I guess I took it too much to heart, but it didn’t always seem lighthearted. I guess it’s almost the same kind of thing with you and Colonel O’Neill.”


Daniel shrugged.


“So, what’s the problem?”


“She’s engaged,” Sam blurted out.


Daniel’s brow furrowed in confusion.


“That’s a problem?”


Sam grinned and shook her head.


“No. The problem is that I’m going to meet with her and her fiancé. She expects me to show up with a date.”


Daniel looked at her seriously.




“It’s partly my fault, actually. I made a Freudian slip and told her that ‘we’d’ see them tomorrow night.”


“Who’s ‘we’?” Daniel asked curiously.


“That’s my problem,” Sam said ruefully. “If I don’t show up with someone, she is going to torment me the whole night.”


“Really, Sam? She would do that?” Daniel asked, leaning in toward Sam.


Sam grinned.


“Oh, yes she would. You don’t know her, Daniel.”


She removed a folded piece of paper from her BDU pocket, which turned out to be a printout of the email. She unfolded it and gave it to Daniel.


His brow creased as he read the email …


“It was great seeing you at the reunion a while back, reminiscing about old times ... the trouble we got into, the boys we knew … well, the ones that I knew, anyway...unfortunately it looks like they weren't too impressed by that scientific mind of yours, so they were looking for someone who could have a bit more fun …”


He looked back up at Sam and winced.


“Ouch, that’s not very nice.”


Sam nodded grimly.


“I guess not, but unfortunately, it’s her way,” she shrugged.


“Well, if that’s her way, she doesn’t seem like a very nice person,” Daniel said, sounding almost indignant over the way Sam was being treated in the email.


Sam shrugged again.


Daniel looked back down at the email and resumed reading …


“… Of course, having a dad in the military must not hurt either …”


Sam giggled softly as he turned his head sideways to make out the winking smiley face that Meri had typed after the sentence.


“Well, she certainly has a way with words, doesn’t she,” he surmised. “What exactly did her dad do??”


Sam was surprised that Daniel seemed to care so much about how her friend was treating her.


“Daniel, it’s okay, honestly,” she smiled faintly, holding up her hands.


Daniel shook his head sadly before finishing the email.


“…We could go out to dinner, or a club, or whatever strikes your fancy … no boring air and space museums, though, please.”


He looked back up at Sam with an evil grin.


“Just for that, you should drag her to the Air & Space Museum at Peterson Air Force Base,” he winked.


The tension eased away, and Sam began to laugh. A couple of seconds later, Daniel joined her.


“You know, that’s a good idea,” she said in between giggles.


Daniel shrugged nonchalantly and grinned back at her.


She calmed down and sighed.


“I don’t know what I’m going to do. I mean, there’s no one on base that could join me,” she fretted.


Daniel gave her a surprised look.


“There isn’t?”


She thought about what he had been through two weeks earlier, when Hathor had made her untimely visit to the SGC and had made all the males on base drunk with her presence. She especially took a liking to Daniel, attempting to make him her first pharaoh and help her create more goa’ulds. Sam winced slightly. Thankfully she wasn’t there to witness what had happened, but she had a pretty good idea when she found Daniel in the VIP room, sitting on the edge of the bed with his shirt unbuttoned, hair tousled and a blank stare on his face. She was really concerned about him, but was more worried about finding Hathor and stopping her from achieving her goal. She knew it was psychologically overwhelming, and that it would probably take a long time for him to get over what had happened. Even though it had been two weeks, and Janet had cleared him for active duty, she didn’t think it would be right for her to drag him out for a night with her, her friend and her friend’s fiancé so soon.


“Daniel … I … I don’t know how to put this,” she started.


Daniel raised his eyebrows.


“I’d love for you to join me, but … I …”


“What is it, Sam?”


“It’s only been two weeks since that-goa’uld-who-shall-go-nameless paid us a visit, and …” she trailed off.


Daniel nodded in understanding.


“And you didn’t think I’d be up to a night out after what I’d been through,” he finished.


Sam’s cheeks flamed.


“Well … yeah.”


Daniel reached across the table and touched Sam’s arm.


“Sam, I’m okay. Doctor Fraiser cleared me for active duty, didn’t she?”


Sam nodded.


“Well, yeah, but I’m still worried about your psychological well-being, Daniel,” she said uneasily.


“Sam, I’m okay,” he repeated. “It’s been two weeks. At first, I had nightmares about what had taken place, but they’ve gone away. I know I’m okay now. You’re my best friend, and I don’t think one little night out will do any harm. We both need a break, anyway, and hey, we’d probably have a good time,” he smiled.


His smile warmed Sam’s heart and dispelled most of her earlier fears. She grew a smile of her own and nodded.


“Okay, then. Daniel Jackson, will you go out with me tomorrow night?” she asked playfully.


“I’d be more than happy to,” he answered.


Sam smiled gratefully and nodded.


“Thanks. We’re supposed to meet them at a place called Club Rio at eight o’clock.”


“Do they serve food there?” he asked.


Sam shook her head.


“I don’t know, I’ve never been there. Maybe we should get something at O’Malley’s before meeting them,” she offered.


Daniel nodded.


“Sounds like a good idea. I’ll meet you at your place at six thirty, then. Is that okay?”


Six thirty it is,” she smiled.


Daniel nodded and went back to eating his soup.


“And it appears that my soup has gotten cold,” he said dryly.


Sam giggled and patted Daniel on the back.


“I’m sorry, Daniel.”


“No harm done,” he smiled.


Sam nodded.


“I’m glad. Well, I’ll see you tomorrow at six thirty,” she answered.


Daniel looked up from his soup and nodded.


As Sam turned and began to head for the door, she turned around and saw Daniel at the microwave, heating up his cold soup. She giggled softly and made her way out of the commissary, down to her office.




Chapter 3 =>