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Fanfiction: Fallout

Fandom: Stargate SG1
Series: Aftershocks
TAG to Episode: S1 Broca Divide
Rating: PG-13
Author's Note: Team friendship.  Mild Sam/Jack UST.  
Disclaimer: No copyright infringement intended.  Written for entertainment purposes only.

 

Fallout


Doctor Janet Fraiser hovered in the briefing room and waited for the summons to enter General Hammond’s office to give her report as ordered. She could see through the inner window that he was on the red phone and waited patiently outside. She didn’t envy him the responsibility of having to discuss the events of the past few days with the President; a highly contagious alien parasitic virus on the rampage, the SGC in lockdown and what was probably worse, succumbing to the disease himself. She had just seen the team through the wormhole to P3X797, the planet where they had contracted the virus. They were going with the tranquiliser guns to recover Doctor Jackson who was still there and to offer the cure to the native people.

It had been quite a first week in a new job, Janet thought. She shook her head in bemusement. She guessed she was going to have to get used to it. She smiled. When she had been offered the post of Chief Medical Officer she had been thrilled; the unique experience and opportunity of the Stargate programme was staggering. It was definitely the brand new start she wanted. Janet shook her head and absently rubbed her naked finger where she had once worn her wedding band. Her divorce had been final for three months although if she were honest with herself the marriage had been over for a lot longer than that. She straightened her shoulders. It was over and she had a new chapter in her life to focus on. She heard a sound and a moment later Hammond opened his office door and beckoned her in.

‘Take a seat, Doctor.’ Hammond smiled at the petite brunette as she sank into a chair on the other side of the desk. She wore a white lab coat over her neat uniform; the very picture of professionalism. ‘Firstly, Doctor Fraiser, let me pass on the thanks of the President and the Joint Chiefs at the speedy resolution of this crisis.’

Janet smiled. ‘Thank you, sir. It was a team effort.’

‘Well, you and your staff are to be commended.’ Hammond said. ‘And for what it’s worth, you also have my personal thanks.’ He waved at her. ‘What’s the situation now?’

‘In total forty-eight personnel were affected. As you know, there were two early fatalities but all other affected personnel have now received treatment. There are five people in isolation recovering and I expect them all to make a full recovery.’ Janet began reciting the information from her memory without opening the buff folder she held. ‘In reviewing the blood samples from Colonel O’Neill and the individuals that received the first dosage of treatment, the virus has been completely eliminated and I’m confident that it won’t reoccur. However, to ensure that we reduce the risk of such an outbreak happening in the future, I’ve prepared a list of recommendations that I believe we should institute immediately.’ She opened the folder and took out a sheet of paper.

Hammond took the sheet and reviewed it. ‘You want to implement pre and post gate travel medical checks.’

‘Yes, sir.’ Janet folded her arms on the desk and leaned forward. ‘The pre-examination will allow us to gain a baseline check on the individual’s health. Not only can we can prevent someone who isn’t fit from travelling but we can use this data for comparison with the post-examination. It will alert us to any significant changes in hormone and mineral levels, possibly give an early warning that a contagion has been brought back through the gate. In addition, the post examination will allow us to formally check for the presence of a symbiote rather than the informal approach to date.’ Janet noted. ‘Long term I can also track the data to monitor the effect of gate travel on the human body. I’d like to run a full medical exam for everyone on base to establish a baseline set of information; MRIs, CAT scans, the works.’

‘Well, given what’s just happened, I think these checks sound highly sensible.’ Hammond said. ‘Have a member of your team work with the Sergeant to coordinate with the gate travel schedule and I’ll order all personnel to comply immediately.’

‘Thank you, sir.’ Janet said.

Hammond paused in reading the next recommendation and his blue eyes flickered to hers. ‘You also want to implement mandatory psych evaluations for all SG teams as part of post-mission protocol.’

‘Yes, sir.’ Janet said firmly. ‘The experiences these men and women are going through are highly unusual. Military personnel are not the most forthcoming at admitting when they can’t emotionally or psychologically deal with something. I believe a mandatory evaluation will force them into addressing those needs.’

Hammond frowned. ‘I admit I’m at a loss as to how it relates to the current situation.’

‘Fallout, sir.’ Janet explained. ‘While the physical effects of the virus have been dealt with, the psychological and emotional impact is still to fully reveal itself.’ She shifted position in her chair. ‘The virus affected the very way these men and women behaved. They acted in ways that are in direct conflict with their personal beliefs and values, social norms and military regulations.’ Her fierce brown gaze met the General’s. ‘Just take the behaviour of the female personnel. Of the six women currently assigned on base, four were affected and all attempted to seek out a mate.’

‘Such as the incident between Captain Carter and Colonel O’Neill?’ Hammond murmured. He had been shocked at the doctor’s initial report at the time about the confrontation between the two officers in the locker room.

‘Yes, sir. Exactly like that incident. Luckily, all four women were restrained before anything happened beyond some initial contact. However, I am concerned about the fallout for them.’ Janet gave a small sigh. ‘In all cases, the partner choices were senior officers usually in the direct chain of command.’ She frowned. ‘If I take Captain Carter as an example, sir, she was hugely mortified at her behaviour towards the Colonel when she recovered and there may be issues that develop between the two of them as a result of what occurred. The same is true of the other women.’

‘I’m confident in the ability of my people to work out those issues at an individual level.’ Hammond said.

‘And in most cases, they probably will.’ Janet agreed. ‘However, I wouldn’t be surprised if one or more requested transfer before the end of this week. But it’s not just the reaction between the individuals involved that concerns me. It’s tough enough for these women without their behaviour and their choice of mate, a choice they would never have made in usual circumstances, becoming the focus of locker room gossip.’ She paused realising what she had said. ‘Sorry, sir. I didn’t mean to refer to the incident between Captain Carter and Colonel O’Neill specifically by that remark…’

‘That’s OK, Doctor. I see where you’re going with this.’ Hammond sighed. ‘Unfortunately, apart from a general memo telling people that there will be disciplinary action taken about such gossip, there’s very little I can do.’

‘It’s not just the fallout for the women, sir.’ Janet said sensing she was losing the argument. ‘Relationships between male personnel were also affected. Major Thompson attacked Lieutenant Farrow, Colonel O’Neill attacked Doctor Jackson…the list is endless.’ She quietly omitted the General’s own attack on Sergeant Harriman.

Hammond leaned forward and placed the sheet down on his desk. ‘I accept that there will be fallout, Doctor, but I’m against instituting any formal psychological checks to deal with it. I believe in most cases the individuals will accept that the behaviour was out of character and move on.’

‘Sir…’

‘I’m happy to accept that we should have a psychologist on staff who personnel can speak to at all times in a confidential manner should they wish to but I believe this should remain voluntary.’ Hammond held up a hand. ‘If you determine that an individual is not dealing with the fallout in a satisfactory manner and has not sought help then I am happy to reassess on a case by case basis.’

‘Yes, sir.’

‘Do you have anything else to add to your report, Doctor?’

‘Not at this time, sir.’ Janet said.

Hammond nodded. ‘Well, again, good job, Doctor.’

‘Thank you, sir.’

‘Dismissed.’

o-O-o

The locker room was packed with men in various states of undress, showering, shaving or grooming. There was a steady hum of conversation, the occasional male laugh or shout. Jack O’Neill scowled as he adjusted the temperature on the water cascading over him. Daniel was showering with a speed Jack had previously considered him incapable of achieving; Teal’c was done and had headed back to the lockers muttering something about there being no space in front of the mirror. It wouldn’t have been so bad if they had followed usual procedure, he grumbled to himself. SG4 and SG6 would have been long gone from the locker room before them were it not for the new post-mission medical examinations. As it turned out SG4 and SG6 had all been diagnosed with inebriation from some drink they had consumed off-world and had been released from the infirmary at the same time as the team that had gone back to P3X797. Jack sighed and closed his eyes. He and the rest of the team had gotten used to having the place to themselves but with all the SG teams now operational, he guessed they were going to have to get used to sharing.

Who the hell had decided on the immediate implementation of medical examinations anyway? He muttered under his breath. No doubt it was Fraiser. The petite doctor had probably sweet-talked Hammond into it after the whole parasitical virus debacle. A small inner voice argued that she had a point as he rinsed off. He could have quite happily missed the whole reverting to primitive behaviour thing and he would bet his life the rest of his team would have also opted to bypass the experience. Under the noise of the spray, he could hear Harris from SG2 telling SG4 and SG6 all about it; they had been lucky enough to be off-world when it had happened.

Jack frowned. What had happened during the virus thing had the potential to damage SG1 just as they were beginning to develop that nebulous, inexplicable closeness that came with being team-mates. He had beaten up Daniel in a fit of primal jealousy, Teal’c had seemingly failed to keep Daniel from being abducted and, Carter had, well, chosen him, her CO, as her mate and tried to seduce him. At least she hadn’t chosen Daniel or they’d all have owed him an apology.

Daniel, being Daniel, had waved away apologies as unnecessary and Jack had managed to tease the younger man out of feeling guilty about his primitive dalliance by using his own experience with Carter. He flushed a little at the memory and his eyes unconsciously darted in the direction of the lockers where he and Carter had wrestled, for the want of a better term, during her seduction attempt. He wrenched his gaze away and adjusted the water to freezing before he switched it off completely. He grabbed a towel and headed for the lockers.

Jack figured he and the young Captain had just found a nice working rhythm before the mission to P3X797. He was developing a healthy respect for her abilities and she was relaxing more around him. They were establishing a good rapport and he hated to think that their wrestling match might change things. Luckily Carter seemed as keen as he was to treat the whole thing lightly. Although, maybe his remark about her tank top, in response to her apology, had been a little too suggestive. In hindsight, it was definitely a little too revealing about his attraction to her.

He sighed. It was one more reason why he could have done without the whole virus experience. He had managed in the month or so of working with Carter to pretty much ignore the fact that he was attracted to her. Very attracted to her. If he was honest it was the most attracted to a woman he’d been since his wife had left him. Initially, he had managed to offset the attraction with his dislike that she was a scientist but he had gained a respect for her that made that more difficult. When they had visited with the Shavadai and Carter had worn a traditional dress, it had taken every ounce of restraint for Jack not to agree out loud with the kid, Abu, when he had noted that Carter was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. Just how attracted he was had been evident in their wrestling match despite all his protests and attempts to restrain her. Hell, he thought furiously, he defied any man not to respond when they had a woman who was as attractive as Carter in their arms basically demanding sex.

Jack flung the wet towel on the bench behind him and reached for his clothes. He could have quite happily lived in denial about his attraction for a lot longer especially given their working relationship and particularly as he doubted that it was returned despite Carter choosing him as her mate under the influence of the virus. Fraiser’s explanation that Carter’s choice had to do with basic species survival instincts and was nothing personal made sense as had the doctor’s breezy assumption that Carter would never have chosen him in normal circumstances. Jack knew Fraiser was probably thinking about the regulations that restricted interaction between officers but he figured that even without the regulations he wouldn’t be the Captain’s choice. If Carter hadn’t been working off primal instincts he believed she probably would have picked Daniel even if that was a little galling for his ego to admit. Maybe that belief was why he’d gone primal on Daniel when the virus had taken control of him, Jack thought with sudden insight. He briefly stopped dressing to wonder whether his attraction to Carter wasn’t the universe’s way of playing some huge cosmic joke on him or retribution for letting his marriage go down the toilet.

He grabbed a clean t-shirt and dragged it over his head. He’d been cleared to leave the base and he fully intended to head home, grab a beer and watch his favourite TV shows that hopefully he had managed to get the video to record properly. Get the whole thing with Carter out of his head. Put it into perspective.

‘You wouldn’t believe some of the stuff that went down with this virus.’ The mumbled voice drifted over to him and Jack tried to tune it out.

‘Oh yeah?’

‘Yeah, the women in particular went nuts. Apparently it made them want to you know.’

‘And I missed it?’ There was a laugh. ‘Damn!’

‘I heard one of the women actually did it.’ A third voice joined the discussion on the other side of the locker room.

Home, beer, TV; Jack repeated in his head.

‘Yeah, which one? Don’t tell me it was Carter. God, that chick is hot.’

Jack stiffened and he felt rather than saw Daniel and Teal’c do the same.

There was a mumble he couldn’t quite make out before the SG4 guy laughed.

‘Right. Like they really stopped.’

‘Hey, MacNally, you might want to shut up.’ Lou Ferretti, his team mate, shot a worried look at the SG1 team.

‘Aw, come on. Like we all don’t know how she got into SG1.’

The locker room fell silent as Jack slammed his locker door shut and whirled to face the hapless MacNally.

‘Why don’t you enlighten us?’ He bit off angrily.

‘Jack…’ Daniel took a single step to Jack’s side noting Teal’c was also moving to flank him.

‘Daniel.’ Jack acknowledged the archaeologist and waved at MacNally who was weaving slightly on his feet. ‘The Captain here was just about to tell us why Carter got her place on SG1.’

Daniel tensed at the look in Jack’s eyes. It bore a striking similarity to the one Jack had fixed on him before the Colonel had started pounding on him when suffering from the virus.

‘Look, Jack, he’s drunk and he didn’t mean anything by it…’ Ferretti began.

‘Are you seriously trying to tell us she didn’t screw you?’ MacNally blurted out.

It wasn’t the first time most of the men in the room had heard someone comment that it was likely Carter had gotten her place on SG1 on her back and not on merit but it was the first time anyone had dared voice the idea in front of SG1 and in particular, in front of Colonel O’Neill.

Jack’s hands fisted and his brown eyes narrowed dangerously. ‘You want to repeat that?’ He said in a quiet tone that should have alerted MacNally to the danger he had just placed himself in.

‘Hey. I can’t blame you!’ MacNally said laughing loudly. ‘I wouldn’t mind screwing her…’

Jack moved in a blur to punch MacNally and quickly found himself held fast by Daniel and Teal’c even as Ferretti and another SG4 member grabbed MacNally preventing him from a counter-attack.

‘Jack, this isn’t going to help.’ Daniel muttered quietly. ‘If you punch him you’ll just get into trouble. I know I’m only the civilian here but aren’t there charges for this type of thing in the military?’

Jack took a deep breath and stilled. As much as he hated to admit it, Daniel was right. He nodded at his team-mates to let him go and glared at Ferretti. ‘Get that idiot out of my sight.’ He pointed furiously at MacNally.

‘Done.’ Ferretti started to drag the half-dressed MacNally out of the locker room.

‘Hey, get off me Ferretti. Shit, we all know she has to be…’

‘You’re an idiot, MacNally. I was in the briefing room when Hammond sicced her on the Colonel in the first place.’ Ferretti muttered struggling to get the younger man moving.

‘So she’s screwing Hammond as well as O’Neill.’ MacNally yelled trying to extricate himself from Ferretti’s hold.

‘Ferretti, if you don’t get him out of here,’ Jack warned, ‘I’ll bring him up on charges for disrespecting a superior officer.’

Ferretti slipped on the wet floor and MacNally got free of his hold.

‘The last time I checked I’m still the same rank as the Captain or is she getting a promotion for services rendered?’ MacNally blustered.

‘Daniel, what’s my rank?’ Jack demanded, his jovial tone contrasting with the heat of anger still brewing in his eyes.

‘Colonel.’

‘And Hammond. What rank would he be?’ Jack continued.

‘He is a General, O’Neill.’ Teal’c responded.

‘So, Captain MacNally,’ Jack said, ‘as you’re accusing both the General and myself of breaking the fraternisation regulations with a junior officer I would say you’ve managed to disrespect us, wouldn’t you?’

MacNally flushed but he had no reply.

Ferretti patted his shoulder. ‘Come on, MacNally. Let it go.’

The Captain shrugged Ferretti off him. ‘Hey. OK. She didn’t get her place by screwing anybody but I’m betting when she laid it out on a plate for you with that virus thing, you went ahead and did her anyway and only said you stopped before anything happened. I mean you’re not going to turn that down, am I right or am I right?’

Teal’c got to Jack before the Colonel could move but Daniel didn’t try to stop his friend again, instead the mild-mannered archaeologist was charging across the locker room. His fist shot out and connected with a surprised MacNally who collapsed to the floor like a deflated balloon.

For a second time in as many minutes, the whole of the locker room stood paralysed.

Daniel breathed hard at the sight of the man lying on the floor at his feet. He’d knocked someone out! His astonishment and, if he was honest, pleasure was quickly drowned out by a sudden rush of pain. ‘Ow, ow, ow!’ He cradled his hand against his chest.

Teal’c and Jack took the couple of steps over to their team-mate.

Ferretti knelt down by MacNally. ‘He’s out cold.’

‘Danny.’ Jack couldn’t stop the huge grin from spreading across his face. He clasped the younger man’s shoulder. ‘I didn’t know you had it in you.’

‘It was a very well executed punch, Daniel Jackson.’ Teal’c commented with satisfaction.

‘Is it supposed to hurt this much?’ Daniel asked bewildered.

Jack looked at the rapidly swelling knuckles. ‘We should get you to the infirmary.’ His brown eyes landed with disgust on MacNally. ‘Ferretti, you and the rest of SG4 can carry him down there.’

‘Yes, Colonel.’ Ferretti said registering the order behind the casually delivered words.

The rest of the locker room waited until SG1 had left before conversation resumed in an excited babble.

o-O-o

‘What in God’s name is going on? Is it another outbreak of the virus?’ Hammond said to Janet Fraiser as he glanced worriedly across the treatment room to where Daniel Jackson was sat on one of the beds, an ice-pack secured to his hand with a bandage. The other three members of the SG1 team hovered around him.

‘Uh no, sir.’ Janet said her hold on her folder tightened. ‘I believe this is part of the fallout from the virus that you and I were discussing earlier.’ She gave a brief explanation of the fight that had occurred; Doctor Jackson had been surprisingly forthcoming once she’d kicked his team-mates out of the treatment room. ‘Anyway, after MacNally basically accused Colonel O’Neill of taking advantage of Captain Carter while she was ill,’ she concluded, ‘Doctor Jackson took exception and hit him.’ She tried and failed to keep the satisfaction out of her voice.

‘Doctor Jackson?’ Hammond’s blue eyes were stunned. ‘Doctor Jackson hit Captain MacNally?’ Of all of the SG1 team, the archaeologist seemed the least likely to resort to physical violence and Hammond counted Captain Carter in that assessment.

‘Yes, sir.’ Janet tried to keep the smile from her face.

‘And where is Captain MacNally now?’ Hammond asked.

‘He’s in recovery, sir.’ Janet said. ‘He was knocked out momentarily but came to a few minutes ago. I’d like to keep him overnight for observation as a precaution particularly given the level of his inebriation.’

‘I see.’ Hammond sighed. He wasn’t sure what to do. MacNally he could discipline according to the regulations but Doctor Jackson wasn’t military and Hammond couldn’t envisage how to even begin dealing with it. ‘I can’t have fights breaking out amongst my people without taking action no matter how justified the reason.’ He murmured unhappily.

Janet bit her lip. She really didn’t want to see Doctor Jackson get punished for simply protecting his team-mates especially given what he had told her MacNally had said and she figured the General didn’t really want to punish him either. ‘Of course not, General, but given that I understand this is unusual behaviour for Doctor Jackson, I believe it could be a…a residual effect from the heightened levels of testosterone and territorial behaviour stimulated by the virus.’ She said hurriedly. ‘He was the last to receive treatment, sir.’

Hammond looked at her carefully and she was careful to keep her face as expressionless as possible. While the eradication of the virus made any residual effects unlikely, the theory wasn’t completely implausible. She just hoped he didn’t ask her to run any tests to confirm it.

‘Thank you, Doctor.’

‘You’re welcome, sir.’ Janet said as he walked away. She breathed a sigh of relief.

‘Doctor Jackson.’ Hammond said as he came to stand at the foot of the bed. His eyes glanced off the two military officers. ‘At ease, Colonel, Captain.’

‘General Hammond, if I may, I’d like to explain…’ Daniel began.

‘It was my fault, General.’ Jack cut in. ‘I should have ignored MacNally when he began mouthing off.’

‘Well, as the doctor informs me the incident is likely due to a residual effect of the virus, there will no disciplinary action.’ Hammond said.

‘Really?’ Jack said. ‘Cool.’

Hammond shot him a look.

‘That’s good news, sir.’ Jack hastily corrected.

‘I most certainly do not expect a repeat performance, Doctor Jackson, is that clear?’ Hammond gave the archaeologist his best stern look.

‘Yes. Thank you, General.’ Daniel said with a sigh of relief.

‘Let’s chalk this up to fallout and move on, people.’ Hammond said. He gave them a sharp nod and left.

‘Fallout?’ Daniel asked confused as he shifted trying to find a more comfortable position for his bruised hand.

‘Beats me.’ Jack said as the doctor approached.

‘How’s your hand feeling now, Doctor Jackson?’ Janet asked, unwrapping the bandage to get a closer look at the bruising.

‘Better, I think.’ Daniel said wincing as he flexed the fingers.

‘You know you still haven’t told me exactly why you punched MacNally.’ Sam said. They had all avoided the question when she’d joined them earlier.

‘He heard about the incident with you and Jack when you were suffering from the virus.’ Daniel confessed.

‘Oh.’ Sam felt herself bristle. ‘You know I can take care of myself, Daniel.’

‘I know.’ Daniel said replying to Sam. ‘And although we were obviously all defending you because of what MacNally was saying, and by the way, I really don’t understand why you joined the military if you have to put up with that kind of crap…’

‘Hey, we’re all not that bad.’ Jack said defensively.

Daniel’s blue eyes pinned him. ‘Two words, Jack; tank top.’

Jack flushed. ‘Uh…you heard that?’

Daniel nodded.

Sam’s lips twitched as her amused eyes caught the chagrined Colonel’s. ‘No harm, no foul, Colonel.’

Jack gave her a small nod of acknowledgement and decided he’d gotten off lightly. He had to admit he had developed a much better understanding of the type of crap Carter actually had to put up with in the last few hours. He didn’t know if MacNally’s opinion about how she had got her place on SG1 was widespread but he felt an increased sense of responsibility toward protecting her reputation. Hell, that was the reason why the fraternisation regulations existed in the first place. He was her CO and he couldn’t look at her that way. A dull ache of disappointment that a repeat performance of their wrestling match was completely out of the question competed with his regret that he might have already made things worse for Carter with his tank top remark.

‘Anyway,’ Daniel continued, ‘when I punched MacNally I wasn’t really defending…you.’ He gestured at Sam.

‘You weren’t?’ She asked surprised. ‘So who were you defending?’

Daniel’s eyes slid to Jack’s smirking face and then to the floor. ‘Jack…I was kinda defending Jack.’

‘And I appreciate it, Daniel.’ Jack said his voice vibrating with laughter.

‘Right.’ Daniel said insincerely.

Sam couldn’t stop herself from smiling.

Janet pushed her own amusement to one side and focused on her examination. ‘Hmmm. The swelling has reduced a lot.’ She said. ‘I don’t think there’ll be any permanent damage. I’ll get the nurse to strap your hand and give you something for the pain, Doctor Jackson.’

‘Doctor Fraiser…’ Sam made to stop her as the other woman started to move away.

‘Yes, Captain?’ Janet asked.

‘General Hammond mentioned that you thought Daniel’s behaviour might be because of some residual effect of the virus?’ Sam asked.

‘Yes.’ Janet nodded but as her eyes met the other woman’s she knew the Captain knew the truth of the odds. Never try and fool a scientific genius, Janet thought with rueful amusement.

‘Captain?’ Jack asked seeing the look pass between the two women.

‘Sorry, sir.’ Sam said smoothly. ‘I was just considering how fortunate it was that Doctor Fraiser was able to link Daniel’s unusual behaviour to the residual effects of the virus.’

The rest of SG1 got the message.

‘Yes. Fortunate.’ Jack said admiringly.

‘Indeed,’ said Teal’c.

‘Thank you, Doctor.’ Daniel said.

Jack nodded. ‘Yeah. Thanks, Doc.’

Sam smiled warmly at her.

Janet glanced around the SG1 team and found four identical expressions of gratitude looking back at her, even from the usually impassive Mr Teal’c who bowed his head slightly as her gaze fell on him. She gave a small nod of acknowledgement and headed out. At the door she hesitated and glanced back at SG1. The four of them seemed like such a strong unit despite what had happened with the virus, or maybe, she pondered, because of what had happened. The Colonel looked over as though he sensed her regard and winked. She struggled to repress a smile as she hastened out of the room. Maybe the fallout from the virus wasn’t all bad; a stronger SG1 and maybe the beginnings of her own friendship with them seemed like positives to her. She was smiling as she entered MacNally’s room to give him an injection. Yep, it was definitely the brand new start she had wanted.

fin.

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