“Colonel, you are free to go,” Doctor Janet Frasier announced to the man
lying in Bay 5, who was looking very relaxed and glad to be home.
How is Carter?” He asked.
“Physically…a bit bruised and bumped, nothing very serious, apart from
her back. It's particularly bad…very bruised already. I've signed her off
for a couple of days. She'll be fine for your next mission. But I know
Sam, she's in the gym for an hour every morning, working in the lab past
5, sometimes up to 7 or 8. I don't want her to over do it,” the small
“Physically?” Jack frowned. “What about mentally? And emotionally? They
a different story?”
“She doesn't seem quite right sir. I'm not surprised, after the last
few days and all you've been through…all she's been through…but…” Janet
paused, glancing over at her patient, who was curled up on the gurney
reading a book. She was pale and very dark around the eyes.
“Don't worry, I'll talk to her. I was going to anyway. Although if
anything I don't know about took place I think she'd be more likely to
tell you, being a woman and all,” he shrugged. He didn't know Carter that
well yet, but he liked her. He hadn't at first, but he'd changed his mind
very quickly. She had been defensive, because she had to be. He knew there
were a lot of officers didn't like women in the Air Force, especially if
they were Generals Daughters. She came off strangely because she had to,
to get anywhere. Or that's what she thought anyway.
“Glad you noticed sir. And yeah, I think you're right. Just talk to
her. She might talk to you, being her CO. Order her,” Janet suggested. She
smiled and walked off. “She can go now. She needed a bit of patching up.
Doctor Jackson is home already, and Teal'C is in his quarters. Night sir.”
“Night…thanks doc,” He nodded, heading over to Carter's bedside. He
took a seat and waited for her to put the book down. “Hi.”
“Hi sir,” She smiled.
“Lose the fake cheer. It takes too much energy when you're as warn out
as you must be,” Jack told her.
“Right. What's up?” She asked, after a short silence.
“You needed a ride didn't you?” He recalled.
“Yeah, but if it's too much trouble I can stay here…” She began. She
thought he had forgotten. “I get my car back tomorrow.”
“It's no trouble. You ready to get going?” He asked, picking up her
book and handing it back to her.
“Yes sir,” She nodded, standing up. “I'll meet you in ten? Top side?”
“Yeah, fine. Civvies. Yes!” Jack exclaimed. “My uniform got kind of
Sam smiled and then headed off to the Women's Locker Room. A couple of
minutes later, Jack was strolling past, en route to the Bathroom when he
heard very feint crying. He knew it must be Carter.
Exactly ten minutes after she had left the infirmary, Samantha Carter
arrived top side, where Jack was waiting for her. She was clad in dark
blue jeans and a sleeveless black t shirt. Her hair was cleaner, and she
had cleaned up pretty well, she looked nice, although still quite ill.
“Let's go,” He nodded, leading her over to his precious black jeep. He
put her bag in the boot and they started off to her house. It wasn't a
long journey, around fifteen minutes from the base, and his was about
twenty. His radio came on automatically, and he switched it off. “I hate
that pop music.”
“Me too. Rock any day,” Carter nodded, shifting about and wincing.
“Yeah…Carter?” He began, pausing, wondering what exactly to say.
“Umm, are you…all right?” He asked. He knew her back was giving her
trouble, and she had been crying. He couldn't help but think she'd left
some details out.
“Stiff, but yeah,” She said, looking out of the window.
“Are you sure? Because you don't strike me as the type of person who
cries over being stiff,” He continued, trying to be careful of what came
out of his mouth.
“I…I wasn't…” She mumbled, before looking at him, and sighing. “Yes, I
was. It's just been a tough few days. I mean, I was abducted and sold to a
complete bastard who kept threatening me. And I really hated those
dresses…” She added, jokingly. But he could see through it.
“Are you leaving anything out Captain?” He finally asked.
“Uh, not really,” She replied, her gaze turning back to the outside
“Then look me in the eye and tell me everything is fine,” He
challenged. He put the radio back on and shook his head. 'Well handled
Jack. Call her a liar why don't you.'
She sat for a minute, with her head down. She finally looked in to his
eyes. “I regret to inform you that I did leave details from my verbal
report to you. I also regret to inform you that I will leave details from
my written report.”
“If you believe they're unnecessary then fine, leave them out of the
report. But you should tell someone what really happened. Did Abu hurt
you? Or that 'complete Bastard?'” Jack asked. This was the most serious
she'd seen this guy, who normally provided much entertainment in extreme
situations. He didn't seem to ever lose his cool, or get stressed, or be
even remotely serious, so when he did get serious, it was because he was
“No. Aside from kidnapping and trading me, Abu was a complete
gentleman. Never raised a hand to me,” She replied. He could tell she was
telling the truth.
“And Turban? Turghan…” He corrected himself. He noticed her shudder as
he said it. “Did he…” He did not want to ask her this. He really didn't.
Because it would be his fault. And he liked this young woman. And she
would be affected for years, if not the rest of her life. And he could not
cope with the thought.
“Uh…if you're asking what I think you are, then not really…”
“Can you define not really?” He was wincing now. This was
uncomfortable. “Or, not really.”
“Not really meaning sort of, sir. Thanks to Nya, that is. She managed
to interrupt.” Samantha answered reluctantly, once more staring down at
“I see,” Jack shook his head and sighed angrily. “That how you got the
bruises on your back?”
“No. I displeased him, and he was going to punish Nya's mother because
she was responsible for me. So I took her beating. It was mine. It was my
fault, not hers. I took my beating. It was all my fault, really,”
she said shakily. He could tell she was stopping herself from crying. But
she was close.
“How?” He asked.
“How was it your fault? You happened to stumble across the one planet
that treats women like dirt. I leave you by yourself on a planet I know
full well is like that. And you get kidnapped and traded because they
think you're hot. How is that your fault? Everything that happened…it's
not your fault. Not your fault you're a woman, not your fault you're hot,
not you're fault you were kidnapped. I don't see how it's your fault,” He
reminded her, speaking in a softer tone than usual. But the anger in his
voice was still very clear.
“I disagree sir. But I know you're blaming yourself and that's
definitely not right,” She reminded him.
“Turghan is a Grade A Bastard. But he's a zillion miles away. It's his
fault, and you're never going to see him again. And after the way you
whooped his ass, I don't think he'd ever mess with you again,” He stopped,
waiting for the traffic light to change, and lifted her head up, turning
her to face him. “It. Isn't. Your. Fault. It can't be your fault, can it?
I mean, logically.”
“Are you going to make me tell Janet and General Hammond?” She sniffed.
“No. It's personal, and I know what happened. Or rather what kind of
didn't happen. You don't need to tell Hammy, I understand that would not
be a fun experience. But I think you should tell Janet. She can help
you…if you need help.”
“I wasn't actually…”
“Sort of is bad enough.”
“I'll think about it. Right now, I just want to crash, with a beer and
a pizza,” She smiled.
“Sounds good. Mind if I invite myself? You should have company.” Jack
did actually fancy some pizza right about now. And several cases of beer.
“Nope. That's fine sir.” She looked him in the eye again and nodded.
“Will you be okay by yourself tonight?” He checked.
“I haven't been afraid of the dark since I was two. I'm not going to
start now, not at 26. I'm going to be fine. Still doubting me?” She asked,
repeating some of what she'd said on the mission.
“No, I'm not. You've proved yourself to me. Which you never should have
had to do. I was unfair on you. It's just…you're a…a…scientist!” He
grinned. He had a beautiful smile, she really loved her smile. The kind of
smile you fell in love with.
“Besides, I have my cat at home,”
“Cat? I'm a dog person. So what's he called?” Jack asked, knowing that
it was not a good idea to start talking about the job again. That and he
was actually interested in this woman's life, his team mate and friend's
“She is called Daisy, after the girl that gave her to me,” Sam had
cheered up a bit now, she obviously liked talking about her cat, and
things beside work right now. That was enough for concern, that she was
eager to change the subject.
“That's nice, I had a dog called Mac, but he passed away last month,
and I have a very old dog called Ezra, and he is still soldiering on. He's
going to live for a very long time yet……”