Categories: GEN, Action, Humor, UST
Pairing: Gen-ish with Sam/Jack UST
Characters: Jack O'Neill (primary), Sam Carter, Daniel Jackson, Teal'c
Spoilers: Very slight reference to Windows of Opportunity
A/N: Written for Eight Days of Valentines at Jadie's Nexus. I've also contributed a Star Trek Voyager piece to the project, Yours, Now And Always. The challenge given: To write a fic based on a portion of Sonnett XLIII by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. My first attempt to get into the mind of Colonel Jack O'Neill. As for timeframe, this fits between Upgrades and Windows of Opportunity.
Credits: I'd thank Anne Rose for the late night beta, but she made me write this under duress so I owe her nothing.
Disclaimer: Since Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios respects its own property, I will do the same. This is their universe, I'm just playing.
There was a time when Colonel Jack O'Neill believed he'd never feel love again. He didn't think he could feel anything again. In a single terrible moment all that mattered had been torn from his world. Responsibility for the safety of the planet gave him a pretty compelling reason to go on existing; it took more to start living again.
"Colonel, wait up!" Major Samantha Carter jogged up beside him. Brave. Capable. Pretty. Way smarter than him. On their very first mission together he had decided he liked her well enough to completely forgive the fact that she was a scientist.
"If you're heading for breakfast, sir, I'll join you."
"I've been thinking. Wormhole physics dictate that..."
By the third sentence she had lost him completely, but he didn't mind serving as her sounding board. It beat eating alone.
He looked up from his Froot Loops™©. "What?"
"Have you heard a word I've said?"
"Heard? Yes. Understood? No."
She smiled. He liked her smile. More than he probably should, in fact. Military protocol frowned upon that sort of thing. Liking someone's smile could throw a monkey wrench into a perfectly good operation.
The mission briefing was just that. Brief. Nothing indicated that the mission would be particularly hazardous, but then again an early warning was rare.
Earthlike. One sun, one moon, trees, grass. No sign of advanced technology. Nah, there was never trouble on planets like that. Civilizations that didn't yet have television were always peaceful, their lives full of cooperation and general goodness.
They covered the four klicks between the stargate and their objective at a brisk pace. Daniel babbled enthusiastically about the images sent back by the malp, and how some little squiggly line may or may not indicate a tie to some dead language or another.
As soon as they caught sight of the stone formation, Daniel broke into a jog. He was already on his knees, notebook in hand, when the rest of the team caught up.
The first hour proved uneventful, boring even. Jack had already begun to lose patience when the ground gave a suspicious shiver. "What was that?" He looked at Teal'C, who was scanning the sky for Goa'uld death gliders.
Carter was fiddling with some instruments. "I think it was seismic activity, sir."
"As in earthquake?"
"Possibly. We have no way of knowing what might be normal for this region."
Carter didn't answer, but the ground did. It jumped a bit and shook itself like a wet dog.
"Okay, let's go." He raised his voice. "Daniel, we're heading back."
"Ah, yeah. Go ahead, I'll catch up."
Jack sighed. Not again. Archeologists had the survival skills of lemmings. "Daniel! Now."
"Five minutes, Jack, this could be important."
"The ground is shaking. Has it occurred to you that that might be important?"
Oblivious to the danger, Daniel continued to carefully unearth the crumbling stone wall.
The ground gave a particular violent jolt. Jack reached down and grabbed the back of Daniel's jacket. "We're leaving."
Daniel stood, still scribbling the last of the inscription in his notebook, and followed as the team headed for the stargate.
"Is it me, or is it getting worse?" Jack asked.
"I do believe you are correct, O'Neill," Teal'C answered. "The tremors do seem to be increasing."
"Then it can't be an earthquake," Carter said. "Aftershocks would be milder than the initial event."
"Yeah, well, alien planet, you know. I'm sure it will make for fascinating study, once we aren't actually standing on it."
The ground heaved again, sending the team sprawling. Jack climbed to his feet and watched the others do the same. "Everyone okay? Then let's move."
Muscle weary and bruised, SG-1 pressed onward, their progress interrupted by tremors at random intervals. The gate finally appeared in their line of sight, and the planet responded by pitching them all to the ground once again.
Jack rubbed an elbow. "Why can't they ever build these ancient artifacts closer to the stargate?"
"I do not know, O'Neill."
"Rhetorical question, Teal'C. Daniel, dial us out of here."
His mood improved by a few hours sleep, Jack headed for Daniel's office. As expected, the archeologist hadn't yet gone to bed. "So, Daniel, translate that ancient text yet?"
"As a matter of fact I did."
"Well what is it?"
"It, well, see, that's the thing. It seems to be poetry."
"Poetry? We risked our necks for poetry?"
Daniel turned the monitor so he could see it. "It says something like..."
"So no secrets to defeating the Goa'uld then? I think I'll have breakfast." He turned and headed down the corridor, glad that the floors deep beneath Cheyenne Mountain weren't hell-bent on slamming into his knees and elbows.
Jack paused for a moment, trying to give equal consideration to a hot bowl of oatmeal before choosing Froot Loops™© again, but it wasn't really a choice. He'd never get tired of Froot Loops™©.
"Hey Sir, over here."
He sat down across from her. "Ever read poetry, Carter?"
"Poetry, sir? I can't say that I do."
He didn't say more, but he enjoyed thinking it, and he also enjoyed the special smile she wore in her puzzlement.
This transformative work constitutes a fair use of any copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. Stargate SG-1™©, Samantha Carter, Jack O'Neill, and related properties exist as Registered Trademarks of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Inc. No copyright infringement intended. No profits made here. © Spiletta42, February 2004.