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Fanfiction: Surface Damage - Part I

Fandom: Stargate SG1
Series: Aftershocks
TAG to Episode: S5 Ascension
Rating: PG-13
Author's Note: Sam/Team friendship. Sam/Jack UST.
Disclaimer: No copyright infringement intended. Written for entertainment purposes only.


Surface Damage


The shouts of the Special Forces men around him brought back memories that Jack O’Neill rarely acknowledged. In a different lifetime, probably in a different reality, he would have been leading the men that surrounded him in the basement of Samantha Carter’s home. The thought disturbed him and his hand gripped the radio Carter had left behind – or been forced to leave behind. Panic bubbled up and he pushed it away ruthlessly.

‘What the hell is that?’ One of them said, gesturing with a flashlight at the mini-Stargate that Jack assumed the alien had built, although he kind of thought attempting to build her own Stargate was exactly the type of thing that Carter might have taken up as a hobby.

‘Classified.’ Jack snapped out. ‘Everybody out!’

‘This is my operation, Colonel O’Neill.’ The slick tone had Jack’s stomach sinking and he closed his eyes briefly, hoping that maybe if he wished hard enough, the Pentagon Colonel with the thinning hair and bad attitude would disappear. He reopened his eyes.

No such luck, Jack mused unhappily as Colonel Simmons entered the room and gestured at his men to leave. Simmons took in the metal ring. Jack was reluctantly impressed at the lack of reaction as the Colonel turned back to him. ‘You might want to reconsider your story, O’Neill. The SGC’s golden girl is going to do prison time for this little escapade.’

‘For doing what exactly, Simmons?’ Jack bit out.

‘Helping an alien to escape.’ Simmons said. His dark eyes glinted in the semi-darkness. ‘Treason.’

Jack glared at him, taking in Simmons’s smug superiority with distaste. ‘You have nothing on her.’

Simmons shrugged. He started out of the room but stopped and nodded at the mini-Stargate. ‘Oh and Colonel? Don’t bother calling the SGC. I’ll have a retrieval team take that straight to Area 51.’

He waited until Simmons had left before he pulled out his cell and dialled a direct number to the SGC’s commanding officer.

‘Hammond.’ The General sounded unhappy and Jack couldn’t blame him. It had been a bad day. Finding out the Pentagon had been spying on Carter was a shock; that Carter had been playing house with an alien for the better part of a month another but finding out that Carter hadn’t felt able to confide in them about the alien after they had dismissed her initial report as fiction was worse. It left a bitter taste in Jack’s mouth.

‘General, the alien built a mini-Stargate. It looks like he used it to get off-world.’ Jack yanked his cap off and rubbed his hands through his silver hair furiously.

There was a moment of shocked silence.

‘I see.’ Hammond’s soft Texan drawl floated back down the connection.

Jack cleared his throat. ‘He took Carter with him.’

‘He abducted her?’ Hammond’s voice was filled with concern.

‘Unknown.’ Jack said reluctantly. He had a horrible, sneaking suspicion that Carter had gone voluntarily – without a GDO and no way of getting back to Earth. And if she had, it was a hell of a risk to take. He looked down at the floor and back up at the basement ceiling. The whole situation was a hell of a mess.

Hammond sighed. ‘Do we know where they went?’

‘I have an idea.’ Jack responded caustically.

‘636?’ Hammond asked. ‘You think the alien went to stop the weapon test?’

‘Maybe.’ Jack muttered. ‘General, permission to…’

‘As soon as you can get yourself back here, Colonel.’ Hammond cut in, anticipating the request to take the remaining members of SG1, Daniel Jackson and Teal’c, back to P4X636.

‘You may want to send a team to monitor things here, sir.’ Jack said hurriedly. ‘Simmons has ordered a retrieval team for the device.’

‘Understood.’ Hammond said briskly.

Jack heard the dial tone and he slapped the cell shut as he walked briskly out, replacing his cap as he took the steps to the main living area two at a time. He absently noted the damage the Special Forces guys had done to Carter’s home as he made his way out; internal and external doors smashed in, dirt all over the carpet, ornaments carelessly broken in the charge. His jaw tightened. He’d help her fix it. If she let him. The thought that Carter might not trust him enough anymore to even do that, made him wince.

Jack took a moment to search out the lead guy on the team securing the house. ‘Hey! Where’s Simmons?’

‘He left a moment ago, sir.’ The Special Forces CO jerked his head in the direction of the cars.

Jack frowned. Simmons’s vehicle had gone and so was his ride. ‘Your orders?’ For a long moment, he thought the other soldier wasn’t going to tell him especially as he had no reason or obligation to tell him. But Jack had been one of them once and he kept his expression firm, expectant.

The guy tilted his head and stared at Jack. ‘Secure the building and wait for the retrieval team.’

Jack nodded. ‘Some of my people will be arriving to oversee.’ He left unspoken that they were to be treated with due respect.


‘And try to make sure nobody breaks anything else in there.’ Jack called as he began walking away.

‘Sir.’ The word was an acknowledgement but Jack figured the guy would pay about as much attention as he would have done in the same position which meant he’d pay no attention at all. He commandeered a vehicle and gunned the engine. A moment later, he was leaving the circus surrounding Carter’s house behind.

The silence in the car was deafening.

He grimaced.

The drive over had been bad enough. Hammond had given them permission to accompany Simmons to the house for the raid despite Simmons’s protests. Jack had gone with Carter in Simmons’s vehicle. Not that there had been an opportunity to talk but even if there had been, he had no clue what he would have said to her, partly because he’d wanted to yell at her for not telling him everything and partly because the apology for not believing her in the first place stuck in his throat.

Carter hadn’t said anything either. She’d sat quietly, her fingers worrying at the edge of her shirt – she had grabbed it instead of a jacket. They hadn’t even had time to brief their SG1 team-mates before they had left which prompted another thought. He flipped open the cell and hit his speed dial. The ringing phone at the other end was picked up immediately.

‘Daniel Jackson.’

‘It’s me.’ Jack said briefly with a heavy sigh.

‘Jack, what’s happening? There’re rumours flying all over the place here…’

‘Carter’s imaginary friend? Not so imaginary.’ Jack said quickly, cutting into Daniel’s sentence unapologetically.

Daniel regrouped. ‘How is she?’ His voice was filled with concern for their team-mate.

‘Off-world with the alien.’ Jack said tersely. ‘He apparently built a Stargate in her basement.’

‘He what?’

Jack ignored Daniel’s stunned disbelief. ‘We don’t know if she went voluntarily or not.’

‘You think they went to stop the weapons test.’

Jack silently thanked God for Daniel’s quick intelligence. ‘Makes sense. Carter’s been trying to get it stopped for days.’

‘So we’re going to P4X636?’

‘As soon as I get back.’ Jack replied.

‘We’ll be ready.’ Daniel promised.

Jack didn’t bother replying; he closed the phone and tossed it on the dash. He shook his head as he got to an intersection, trying to make sense of what had happened.

Carter had collapsed. That had been the start of it. It was supposed to have been a milk run mission given it was only their second mission after Teal’c’s recovery from brainwashing; just a simple perusal of some ruins on an abandoned planet; no threats, no danger. Carter had been fiddling with the device trying to understand it. She’d been fine when he had checked in on her. Five minutes later, Daniel’s panicked call had reached him; the archaeologist had found Carter lying unconscious.

It had scared the hell out of Jack. The sight of Carter lying on the ground, pale and unmoving had triggered a flashback to a couple of months before when he’d shot her twice with a zat, when she had been left lying pale and unmoving: dead. All of the carefully constructed barriers that he had erected between since that moment had come crashing down around his ears in a heartbeat. All the distance he had put between them so they could move on from loving each other inappropriately, to protect her better, to protect himself, all of it had been swept away in a rush of panic that had smothered his breathing and had his heart beating so fast that it threatened to break through his chest. He had checked her pulse with shaking fingers he had refused to acknowledge.

When Carter had opened her eyes and stared up at him in confusion, he’d been torn between giddy relief that she was OK and a furious anger at himself that he was still as in love with her as ever, that nothing had changed. He knew his anger had grown tenfold when Janet Fraiser had determined that Carter’s collapse had been caused by exhaustion and he’d welcomed it. If he was mad at Carter for not taking care of herself he could pretend he hadn’t been terrified at her being hurt. He figured that was why he’d been so curt at Carter’s plaintive admission that she had nothing to do outside of the SGC when she had protested at being told to rest. He’d been nursing his anger. And yet…it hadn’t been Carter’s fault. According to Simmons’s surveillance report, she hadn’t collapsed because of exhaustion at all but because the alien had tried to communicate with her.

Guilt rose up like bile in his throat and he pressed down harder on the accelerator. He hadn’t protected Carter on the planet and he hadn’t protected her when she had reported the alien’s presence in her home. She had called it in as soon as it had made contact with her on Earth and it wasn’t that he hadn’t believed her…he had, kind of. They’d all been through weird stuff and Carter’s report that an invisible alien had followed her home hadn’t seemed that weird in the scheme of things.

In his mind’s eyes, he could recall the lingering fear in her blue eyes when he’d made to leave after the SGC team had swept her house and found nothing. Whatever she had seen, she’d been freaked out. He’d impulsively offered to stay but she had pulled on her bravado and turned him down. He’d taken the out she’d given him; a mixture of disappointment and relief rolling through him because he really shouldn’t have wanted to stay as much as he did.

And then a week had passed and there had been no sign of Carter’s alien; no video footage of him walking through the gate; no surveillance footage of him in her home. They’d taken the cameras out and ordered Carter to attend a psych evaluation following Fraiser’s continued belief that Carter was just exhausted – that it was some kind of call for help and that the events of the past few years were catching up with Carter including being inhabited by a computer entity and almost being killed by her CO.

Jack’s hands gripped the steering wheel tightly. Carter had come to him and asked him about a camera she’d found in her home – she’d asked him outright if she was being watched and he had denied it with the unhappy thought that maybe she was sliding into paranoia along with delusions despite the psych evaluation clearing her for duty. He’d bluntly told her that everyone would think she was nuts until they had proof. Maybe that was why she had asked him if she had seen the alien again that her obtaining intel before she reported it again formally was the way to go. He’d agreed not really believing the alien was real and unhappy at the idea that Carter probably believed she had seen it again if she was asking him about it.

It had been Teal’c who had found him in the locker room, contemplating whether he should tell Hammond about his conversation with Carter, and the more disturbing thought about whether she really was nuts.


Jack barely looked up from the floor, his eyes tracing the pattern of creases on the linoleum. ‘Teal’c.’

The Jaffa sat beside him and clasped his hands. ‘I am concerned about Major Carter.’

Jack’s brown eyes flickered to Teal’c. He looked away at the gleam of empathy in his team-mate’s dark eyes. He got to his feet and reached into his locker to start changing.

I believe an evening watching a movie and dining with friends would help Major Carter relax.’ Teal’c offered quietly.

Teal’c, I’m not sure…’ Jack began.

I require your company, O’Neill. I would go alone but I am not currently allowed off base without an escort and Daniel Jackson remains busy with his translations.’ Teal’c said, his eyes catching Jack’s determinedly.

Jack rubbed his chin and considered Teal’c’s suggestion. ‘A movie and pizza?’

Teal’c inclined his head.

Jack nodded and closed the locker. ‘Go choose a movie. I’ll clear you going off base with Hammond.’

It had seemed like a good idea right up until the moment when Carter had greeted them at the door and told them she had a date – or rather he’d assumed she had a date, he realised in hindsight. It had felt like someone had punched him in the gut. Never mind that moving on from their feelings had been his idea after the whole shooting her incident; never mind that she had every right to date whoever she wanted; never mind that he had no right to think of her as his…it had hurt. The idea that she was seeing someone else had hurt. He had no idea what he’d said to her, he only remembered that it had been beyond awkward. Had he actually given her the pizza? The next thing he could remember clearly was waking up the next morning with a hangover, a vague memory of jello and a napkin with a telephone number that he’d thrown in the trash.

He’d spent the last couple of weeks avoiding Carter. It had been relatively easy. She had been assigned to help out with the power for the weapons test on 636 while he and Teal’c had accompanied SG12 on scouting missions for a new Alpha site. He frowned as he recalled returning nine days before and Daniel catching up with him in the corridor…


Jack turned around at the shout. ‘Daniel.’

How was your mission?’ Daniel asked, catching up and falling into step beside Jack as he headed for the elevator and the post-mission health check.

There were insects. Big insects.’ Jack commented dryly. He punched the call button. He glanced at Daniel and registered the look on the archaeologist’s face; the one that said that something was wrong. ‘So what’s with you?’

Daniel opened his mouth but paused as the elevator arrived. They stepped in and the doors closed.

Daniel?’ Jack prompted.

Sam has this theory that the weapon on 636 caused some kind of environmental cataclysm that wiped out the population.’ Daniel wrapped his arms around his torso.

That’s a bit of a leap, isn’t it?’ Jack commented only half-interested.

A bit. Hammond’s given her a couple of weeks to prove it.’ Daniel looked at him. ‘I’m worried about her, Jack.’

Daniel…’ Jack said exasperated.

She’s not herself.’ Daniel broke in. ‘She keeps leaving early…’

She has a new boyfriend, Daniel.’ Jack looked up at the floor indicator. He was happy for her; he was. She deserved to find a life outside of the SGC. She deserved to move on, find someone who could love her and be there for her. Just as he had known she would. So what if he felt like crap? It was no more than he deserved; he’d had no business falling for her in the first place. ‘She probably wants to spend time with the guy.’

And it doesn’t bother you?’ Daniel retorted.

Jack bristled. ‘Daniel…’

I didn’t mean,’ Daniel gestured at him, ‘that,’ he sighed, ‘I only meant…’ he wet his lips as Jack continued to glare at him. ‘Sam collapsed, Jack. Then she says she’s seen an alien that nobody else does and barely a week later, suddenly there’s some guy on the scene? What if this guy’s taking advantage of her?’

She’s a big girl, Daniel.’ Jack bit out. ‘She’d be the first to tell you she can take care of herself.’

So you’re not going to talk to her?’ Daniel asked outright.

Unless her personal life interferes with her duties, Daniel, there’s this little rule that says as her CO, it’s none of my business.’ Jack gave an inward sigh of relief as the elevator slid to a halt and the doors opened. He stepped out.

How about as her friend?’ Daniel’s parting shot echoed in his ears as he walked down the corridor…

He should have listened to Daniel. Jack sighed heavily. Maybe he would have done if the archaeologist hadn’t been assigned to translate for negotiations involving two Germanic tribes on some planet SG8 had found. Or maybe he should have stopped and listened to Carter the day before when she had approached him before his mission…

Colonel.’ Sam fell into step beside him as he stepped out of the elevator and he nodded at her.

Come to see me off, Major?’

Actually, I’ve been trying to find you all day, sir, I was hoping you had a minute.’

Jack shot her a look but obligingly stopped in the middle of the corridor. ‘Wormhole leaves in five.’

It’s just…’ Sam stopped as a couple of the members of SG12 walked by. She sighed, a resigned look entering her blue eyes. ‘It’ll wait, sir.’

OK.’ Jack nodded and tugged his cap down. ‘See you when I get back.’

Good luck, sir.’

Only as soon as he’d returned, Hammond had called him into the office, they’d had an interesting chat with Simmons. Carter had been told to report to Hammond and that really brought events smack up to date.

He should have listened; should have been there for her instead of avoiding her because of he’d been jealous and hurt when he’d had no right as her CO or as her friend to be either. Some friend he was, he thought, silently acknowledging the jealousy that still twisted his gut as the memory of the pictures of Carter in the park with the young handsome alien guy surfaced again.

So, Carter had been living with an alien for a few weeks; an attractive alien who apparently knew how to build a Stargate from scratch and was evidently Carter’s intellectual equal. Someone who she was prepared to risk her career to protect by hiding; someone she was prepared to risk her life for if she had followed him off-world willingly. Carter obviously cared about the alien a great deal whatever their relationship.

Jack grimaced. There he went again with the jealousy. He had to get a handle on it. He was letting his personal feelings interfere with the job and that was unacceptable. It was the part of the reason why he’d told Carter they had to get over their feelings and move on. Maybe he’d allowed his feelings to prevent him from doing the right thing for the last few weeks but he was done with it. He would be there for Carter.

His cell rang. He reached over and flipped it open. ‘O’Neill.’

‘SG16 and Sam have arrived back from 636.’ Daniel said without preamble.

Relief flooded Jack. Carter was safe and back on Earth. ‘You and Teal’c stay with her, Daniel.’ Jack said firmly. ‘I’ll be there as soon as I can.’

He ended the call and checked his speed. His foot pressed down on the gas. He had a feeling this wasn’t over as far as Simmons was concerned.


Sam clambered onto the infirmary bed and closed her eyes to the chaos around her. In one corner of the treatment room she could hear Janet issuing orders as she examined Lieutenant Thomas who Orlin had zatted. Thomas had come round soon after the lightening strike that had taken out the weapon. Sam had managed to convince Colonel Reynolds, the SG16 leader, that it was time to leave.

Orlin was dead.

Or Ascended.

She had no idea if his energy form would have survived the explosion of the naquadah generator. Sadness swept over her; grief. Orlin had died saving her; protecting her. She rubbed her head tiredly.


Her eyes opened wearily and she watched Daniel and Teal’c approach with mixed emotions. She wondered for a split second if they were angry with her for keeping things from them before Daniel swept her into a hug. Sam returned it weakly; overwhelmed by their unequivocal support. She closed her eyes and fought back the tears. She would not cry. She would not.

‘Hey.’ Daniel murmured, his arms tightening around her.

She opened her eyes.

‘It is good to see you, Major Carter.’ Teal’c confirmed kindly as he sat beside her.

She nodded, unable to speak; she didn’t trust herself not to burst into tears.

Daniel pulled back and sat on her other side, adjusting the cuffs on his blue shirt. ‘Jack’s on his way back.’

Sam paled at that news. She had betrayed the Colonel’s trust in leaving with Orlin. He had expected her to talk Orlin into giving himself up, not for her to go running off after an alien through a homemade wormhole. She crossed her arms protectively over her chest. What had she been thinking?

She had been thinking that she needed to go after him and help him; that maybe she could explain it to Reynolds; maybe she could make sure that no-one got hurt. She had been wrong. She bit her lip and looked down at the floor.

‘So,’ Daniel cleared his throat and nudged her arm, ‘what happened?’

‘That’s an excellent question.’ Simmons strode into the infirmary like he owned the place. Conversation halted as all activity froze. ‘One I’m sure we’d all like the answer to, Major.’

Janet hurried forward, her dark eyes flashing with anger. ‘You need to leave, Colonel. This is an infirmary and I will not have my patients disturbed.’

Simmons’s dark eyes slid over Janet coldly. He smiled. ‘Of course. Quite right. We’ll get out of your way.’ He gestured at the SFs at the door. ‘Arrest Major Carter.’

Teal’c stood immediately, straightening to his full height, protecting her.

Sam slipped off the bed and placed a hand on Teal’c’s muscular forearm. She couldn’t allow Teal’c to get into trouble because of her.

Nobody moved.

‘I said arrest Major Carter.’ Simmons repeated, a touch of anger creeping into his tone.

‘Belay that order.’ Hammond said authoratively.

They all turned to find the portly General standing in the doorway. Hammond’s hands were unconsciously clenched into fists. He glared at Simmons. ‘My office.’

Simmons stared at him. ‘Major Carter went off-world without permission and conspired with an alien to disrupt a test authorised by the government of the United States. Not even you can protect her this time.’

‘I said my office.’ Hammond repeated.

Simmons crossed his arms over his chest but he moved, stepping around Hammond to leave the room. Hammond watched over his shoulder until the Pentagon man disappeared.

‘Major.’ Hammond began tightly, his pale blue eyes landing back on Sam. She felt her gut knot up at the look in his eyes. ‘You are restricted to quarters until we can get this cleared up.’

‘After my examination, sir.’ Janet inserted forcefully.

Hammond glanced at her. ‘You can do the exam in her quarters, Doctor.’ He gestured at Teal’c. ‘Please escort Major Carter, Teal’c, and guard her until relieved by either myself or Colonel O’Neill personally.’

The Jaffa regarded Hammond evenly before he inclined his head.

‘General…’ Daniel started to protest but Sam shook her head.

‘It’s OK, Daniel.’ She attempted a smile but couldn’t hold it. She walked out of the infirmary beside Teal’c. She could feel the eyes of everyone in the infirmary boring into her back as she left.

They stepped into an elevator and she hugged herself tightly, hoping she could keep it together until they got to her quarters.

‘I believe General Hammond has ordered your confinement to protect you.’ Teal’c said softly.

‘I’ve disappointed him.’ Sam blurted out, unable to hold the words inside.

‘I do not believe this to be the case.’ Teal’c stated firmly.

Sam could only shake her head. ‘You saw the look on his face, Teal’c.’

Teal’c shifted his weight, clasping his hands behind his back. ‘Do you believe you have done something to disappoint him?’

‘Yes.’ Sam replied automatically.

He raised an eyebrow.

‘Maybe.’ She qualified. She stared at the floor. ‘I don’t know. I…’

‘Did you not inform the SGC immediately when you became aware of the alien presence?’

‘Yes but…’

‘And did you not raise your concerns regarding the weapons test with General Hammond?’ Teal’c continued, ignoring her stuttering answer.

‘Yes but…’ She stopped at Teal’c’s supportive gaze. She sighed and rubbed her arms. ‘I should have convinced Orlin to come and see General Hammond with me.’

‘Did you not attempt to do so?’ Teal’c asked.

Sam nodded.

‘He refused.’ Teal’c said confidently.

‘He said he thought there was another way.’ Sam explained with a sigh. ‘I didn’t realise he was planning to build a Stargate in my basement.’ She shoved a hand through her hair.

The elevator slid to a stop and they made their way to Sam’s room. Sam slid her card into the reader.

‘I will remain outside.’ Teal’c informed her.

Sam nodded. ‘Thanks, Teal’c.’ She closed the door behind her and made her way to the bed. She sat down and dropped her head into her hands, covering her face. Where had it all gone so horribly wrong, she wondered tiredly.

Her mind raced over events. Her collapse. Everybody telling her to take it easy. Orlin’s first appearance. The code 3 team. The Colonel offering to stay and hang out with her…

She brushed the tears away from her eyes. She had so wanted to agree but she knew he had regretted the offer, knew he hadn’t meant it. He had been serious about them moving on from their feelings and she had to get used to that. The memory popped back into her head unwillingly.

‘It got a little too close there for a while.’ Jack said softly. His eyes held hers and begged her to understand. ‘I hope we can put this behind us, Carter.’ He continued quietly. ‘Move on?’

Sam felt her heart seize and she wondered if she was actually breathing; he wasn’t talking about his shooting her, she realised, he was talking about them - about their feelings for each other that had slipped way over the lines the military deemed appropriate. She dropped her gaze momentarily before she looked up at him again, holding his gaze determinedly. ‘Yes, sir.’

She stood up and went into the small adjoining bathroom. She ran some water into the sink and washed her face. She stared into the mirror as she patted her skin dry. It had hurt so much that no-one had believed her once the cameras had failed to pick up Orlin’s presence. Even the Colonel had encouraged her to take the psych evaluation as though he had believed that she was cracking under the pressure.

Orlin had only showed up again when the cameras had gone or at least the cameras they had known about had gone. The spirit sharing had been incredible. She had felt his warm compassion, his good heart, his fierce intellect, his power – and she had known him for who he was – an energy being like Oma Desala, the alien who protected the Harcesis child, Shifu. She had been torn on what to do. The prospect of learning from him had been incredibly tempting but she knew he would disappear again if she reported him and it would just make her look even crazier.

Sam stuffed the towel back on the rack and headed back to the bed. She climbed onto it and rested her back against the pillows, drawing her knees up to her chest and wrapping her arms around them. In one way, she understood why everyone hadn’t believed her. She had been through a lot and she had collapsed with what everyone had thought was exhaustion and as the Colonel had rightly pointed out, no-one else was seeing what she saw but…but she had still expected after everything they had been through that he would believe her – that all her team-mates would believe her. Not that she had really discussed any of it with Daniel and Teal’c. They’d been busy during her week of leave and when she’d returned she had assumed they believed the alien had been a figment of her imagination like everyone else. Maybe she should have talked to them but…she couldn’t have borne it if they had dismissed her as crazy too. The Colonel’s sharp confirmation that he didn’t believe her because no-one was seeing what she saw had hurt too much; she thought he had trusted her more than that.

She rested her chin on her knees. He had practically run away from her when she had asked him about her plan to continue gathering intel on Orlin rather than report her encounter officially again. Maybe he had just desperately needed the bathroom but it had stung. Maybe that was the reason why she had so eagerly jumped on his teasing that she had a date when he’d shown up at her door with Teal’c, a pizza and a movie. In hindsight, she could see that it had been a sweet gesture, that maybe he’d been trying to reach out after their earlier conversation.

And she had thrown it back in his face agreeing to his assertion that she had a date. She had seen his shock and she’d been so tempted to take it back but then he’d made some encouraging remark and that had hurt more and…Sam groaned. She closed her eyes and rested her forehead on her knees. She was pathetic. Fair enough that she had panicked when someone had appeared at the door but once she knew it was the Colonel and Teal’c, she should have just invited them inside and introduced them to Orlin. That’s what she should have done. Instead, she had ended up hiding an alien because she’d been unwilling to admit to her CO that she didn’t have a date. The Colonel had been right that they needed to get some distance and move on. She had allowed her feelings for him to interfere with her judgement like some schoolgirl.

Sam sighed. If that explained why she hidden Orlin that first night he had been human it didn’t explain why she had hidden him the night after that, and the one after that. As much as she wanted to pretend it was because she had wanted to gather more information or because Orlin had not agreed to talk to General Hammond, she knew deep down that the reason was more personal. She had hidden Orlin and continued to hide him because it had been nice to have someone to come home to every night; someone who made her feel special and loved.

Tears sprang to her eyes again and she closed them hurriedly. She had thought she had been doing the right thing but she had been wrong. All of her decisions had simply led to a humiliating meeting with General Hammond and the Colonel, and worse, Orlin had paid the price. He had returned to Velona to stop the test she had made possible and he had given his life for her. She hugged her knees tighter and finally let herself grieve for him.

Continued in Part II.




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