As she finished packing for the trip Sam recalled the conversation she had with her father the night before he returned to the Tokra base. Jacob Carter had approached his daughter, the concern he felt clearly visible on his face.
Jacob began to speak. "Sam, I overheard you and Jack discussing your visit to his cabin, and I have to say something."
Sam flushed with embarrassment. She had wanted her vacation plans to remain secret, especially from her father. Violating the anti-fraternization regulations was a serious breach of military discipline, and she knew her father would disapprove.
"Sam, listen to me, you know I like Jack personally, I'd trust him with my life, but I simply don't think he's worth you throwing away your career for. Look honey, I didn't say anything to you about Jonas, but I always regretted that. I'm not going to watch you throw your life away. Is he really worth giving up everything you've ever dreamed about?" Jacob said.
"Dad, I care about him, and this trip to Minnesota is the first chance we've had to be alone".
"Are you sure that you do have romantic feelings for him? I know that with the work you do you have a hard time meeting people and you can't build a relationship based on lies and secrecy. Are you sure that your feelings aren't based on loneliness? You and Jack have been through some pretty intense situations together, don't tell me that hasn't affected your feelings, but how will you do in the real world?" Jacob continued.
"If we're so incompatible, then why are we together in those Alternate Universes?" she asked.
"Those are just that, `Alternate Universes' Sam, they aren't your reality. I just don't want to see you make a mistake" Jacob replied.
"What objections could you possible have?" Sam countered. Trembling with indignation, she remembered Jacob's next words. "Well aside from the fact that you're 12 years younger, 10 times brighter, have absolutely nothing in common and you could both go to Leavenworth over this, nothing. Not to mention he's already had one failed marriage, and I also think you two would drive each other crazy in a week. Sam, I'm just trying to get you to see things clearly."
"I am seeing things clearly." Sam had responded angrily. "I'm perfectly capable of making up my own mind. We're going to Minnesota together tomorrow and I don't care what anyone thinks!"
"Don't be so stubborn!" he retorted.
"I'm sorry you feel that way Dad, but my mind is made up" she replied. Sam hated parting on that note, but she saw no other choice.
Somewhere outside of Colorado Springs:
"Jacob didn't want us to go together?" Jack asked, feeling slightly annoyed.
"It's just that Dad thinks our feelings for each other aren't real, that they're just a byproduct of working together so closely. He even said that outside of work we have nothing to talk about." Sam answered.
We have plenty to talk about. Jack thought rebelliously. "All right then, we'll prove him wrong, we won't mention anything remotely connected to work, that includes aliens, archaeologists, Jaffa, Tokra, Nintendoes, snakes, yadda, yadda, yadda." Jack proclaimed.
Sam smiled, "right Sir, I mean Jack" she said. They settled into the car, and began their journey.
After several minutes they looked at each other, This is ridiculous Sam thought, the Colonel, I mean Jack, and I have so much in common. I talk to him every day. She gazed at Jack, suddenly at a loss for words.
Jack looked back at her, he started to speak, then stopped, remaining silent. Oh, for crying out loud. Jack thought, I can think of plenty of things to say to Carter, I mean Sam. Nothing came to mind. Jacob jinxed me. Sweet.
Searching for a conversational topic Sam began explaining the engine size to mileage ratio of every vehicle they saw. "Carter, I mean Sam, engines come under the heading of Work!" Can't she just act like a women once in her life for crying out loud
They drove on, an awkward silence descending.
50 miles later Jack tune managed to tune in a baseball game on the radio. Listening happily, he was oblivious to Sam's increasing boredom. A ray of light from the late afternoon sun entered the car, highlighting the gray in Jack's hair. Sam looked closely at Jack, God, he's starting to look old. I remember when he had brown hair. It occurred to Sam that was only three years ago. Holy Hannah, at this rate, what will he look like in ten years?
Without warning an SUV swerved into their lane. "For crying out loud! Didn't that jerk take driver's ed?" Jack complained loudly.
If I hear him say `For crying out loud, sweet, peachy or Ya think' again, I'll scream. "Not everyone has your driving skills" she said diplomatically. "Ya think?" Jack answered sarcastically. OK, everyone has irritating habits, it doesn't mean Dad's right. she thought to herself, somewhat desperately.
The baseball game eventually faded out. Sam breathed a sigh of relief, glad to be rid of the annoyance. Jack began fiddling with the radio, constantly changing stations in a vain attempt to find another game, unaware how much this grated on Sam's nerves. "I hope Ferretti remembered to tape the playoffs for me" Jack said. "And there's that Curling match I wanted to see."
"Curling, I never heard of it" Sam said.
"It's a great game, Sam" Jack responded. "It involves men sweeping brooms across the ice to . . ."
Listening to Jack's detailed explanation of Curling, Sam started to comprehend the extent of Jack's obsession with sports. I wonder how Sara stood it all those years she wondered.
Giving up on finding a game, Jack managed to tune in a classic rock station. Music, now there was something they could both enjoy, he thought. Halfway through the extended version of "Dixie Chicken" Sam turned the radio off.
"Don't you like Little Feat" he asked.
"I'm not a big fan of geezer rock" Sam answered somewhat peevishly.
"Well, what kind of music do you like?" he asked, irritated.
"I'm really more of a Michael Bolton fan" Sam replied.
Michael Bolton, Jesus Christ, do I have to start listening to Michael Bolton from now on. Jack shuddered at the prospect. Unable to agree on a style, the radio stayed off.
After several more hours of failed conversational attempts Sam began to discuss her favorite subject, physics. This time it was Jack's turn to be completely bored. After five minutes he started fidgeting, remembering exactly why he disliked scientists. Sam continued "and then Enrico Fermi ...".
Twenty minutes later Jack was hoping Thor would beam him up to the Asgaard ship, immediately. Please Thor, now he silently prayed. Anything would be better than this torture. I'd rather hear Daniel blather on about rocks, at least I can tease him. How can such a beautiful woman be so dull? Surprised at his thoughts Jack shifted uneasily in his seat. Where did that idea come from? he wondered. Sure, Carter can ramble on a bit, but I don't find her boring. Jack contemplated the prospect of a week and a half of listening to Carter's scientific explanations. Geez, ten more days of listening to this crap. Peachy. I really got myself into it this time. What the hell was I thinking.
Sam's physics lecture ended at last. Intense relief washed over Jack. He decided Sam just needed to get it out of her system. Now that was accomplished they would enjoy each other's company and the natural beauty of Minnesota. Jack's career forced him to live in a highly technological environment. As a result, he greatly enjoyed `getting away from it all', and was looking forward to spending time away from modern technology. Jack's earlier doubts had disappeared, his mood rapidly improved.
"I brought my laptop, the cabin has a telephone jack, doesn't it" Sam asked, brightly. "I can get some research done while you fish."
Dismayed, Jack's good spirits vanished. Face it, she's a science nerd with a pretty face and she'll never change. If she were ugly I'd have left her on the median strip 100 miles ago he thought to himself. If she were ugly I never would have imaged I was in love with her in the first place. Shocked at his thoughts, Jack finally admitted to himself that he was not in love with Sam. He would trust Sam with his life, but he did not want to spend it with her. I am so not in love with Sam. What the hell am I going to do? How do I get rid of her without hurting her feelings? I have to figure a way out of this without either hurting Sam or destroying the team. I have to make her think its her idea to dump me. Now what would piss Sam off the most? Jack wondered. Using his tactical skills Jack devised a plan.
They reached the cabin late that night, exhausted and hungry. The place was filthy, Jack looked around at the mess, grinned at Sam and said "all this place needs is a woman's touch. Why don't you get started while I sort my fishing lures."
Sam nearly choked, "You don't mean for me to clean this place up while you relax" she spluttered.
"Sure, women's work. It's traditional." Jack said, smirking.
Choking on her barely suppressed rage, Sam turned away from Jack. I will make this work she insisted to herself. I will not give Dad the satisfaction. "Ok, I'll get started" she said through clenched teeth. Sam made a half-hearted attempt to clean the mess, but gave up after an hour.
Not exactly Martha Stewart, are you? he joked to himself, looking at the inept job Sam had done. However, despite her obvious fury Sam was refusing to give up on him. Damn, she was more tenacious than he expected. Time to play hardball. Finding an old black and white television in a closet, he jury-rigged an antennae using an old coat hanger. To his joy, he was able to tune in "Hockey Night in Canada". Immediately becoming engrossed in the game, Jack happily settled on the couch in front of the TV. Deciding to really irritate her, he yelled "Hey, Carter, you can start cleaning the bathroom when you're done with the kitchen, and get me a beer, willya."
Sam clenched her teeth, I will not give up she thought, I don't care how much of a Neanderthal he acts.
"We need some firewood too" he announced, putting his feet up. "There's an ax in the woodshed, if we're out. I'll have scrambled eggs for breakfast, don't make them too runny, I hate that."
If he orders me around once more I'll beat his brains in with his own hockey stick. No jury would convict me. Sam fumed.
"Hurry up on that beer."
I could do it. Sam mused, eyeing the hockey stick, no one would find the body.
Shocked at the turn her thoughts had taken Sam decided to try to make sense of her emotions. Unwanted thoughts filled her mind. What the hell am I doing here, Dad's right, the General's right, Janet's right, we have absolutely nothing in common. All right, Dad doesn't think any man is good enough for me and I suspected Janet had designs on Jack herself . Well, she's welcome to him! I'd be better off with Major Davis, at least he isn't obsessed with sports.
An unwelcome realization dawned on Sam. The hostility between her and Colonel O'Neill during their enforced stay on the Goa'uld pleasure world hadn't been due to the withdrawal. During the last four years their lives had consisted of one life-threatening situation after another. Those three weeks had been the only prolonged period they had spent together as themselves without being in imminent danger. And, we didn't get along any better then, than we are now she thought unhappily. We've never been alone before, there was always someone else present, Daniel, Janet, Cassie or even Teal'c. I thought our problems were caused by the residual aftereffects from addiction, but I was wrong. The truth is, we simply rub each other the wrong way. "My god", she muttered to herself, "what am I doing here with him?" But we're together in those other universes an inner voice protested. Those other Sam Carters weren't me, and the other Jacks weren't him either. she decided. Just because they got together doesn't mean the two of us are meant to be. I have to deal with my reality, not theirs, even if it does break his heart.
Sam decided she needed some fresh air, "I'm taking a walk" she called out. Jack, never taking his eyes off the screen, mumbled something that might have been "don't let the door hit you on the ass on your way out".
That's it, I'm outta here.
The next morning Jack dropped Sam off at the airport, and as she boarded the plane both thought, with great relief, what a narrow escape. During the flight, while gazing out the airplane window, a sudden suspicion crossed Sam's mind. It's almost as if he were deliberately trying to get rid of me. No, don't be ridiculous, the Colonel's not that devious.
Later that day, as Jack contemplated spending the next nine days alone, he had an idea.
Teal'c was in a good mood, he had just finished Kel-no-reem, he had defeated several Marines in the boxing ring at Cheyenne Mountain earlier that day, and best of all, Major Carter, not he, was currently in Minnesota, vacationing with O'Neill. While basking in the glow of such happy thoughts, the telephone rang.
"Hey Teal'c, whatcha doing?" Teal'c sensed a threat, the memories of his last visit to O'Neill's cabin were still fresh in his memory. Teal'c had seen many strange things in his long life, but the Tauri ritual of voluntarily going to a place infested with stinging insects, only to sit for many hours by a lifeless body of water completely baffled him. Sometimes he thought he would never understand these people. "O'Neill" he said, "I have many urgent matters I must attend to". "Aw come on" Jack whined, "You'll have fun." "That is what you informed on the previous occasion. I did not." Teal'c responded.
"I think not O'Neill."
"What's Daniel doing?" Sensing an opportunity for escape, Teal'c ruthlessly decided to sacrifice Daniel. After all, he and Major Carter had both endured O'Neill's company on a "fun trip" to the cabin. It was only fair that Daniel Jackson should partake in the suffering of his teammates.
Unfortunately for Daniel, he chose that moment to enter the room. Teal'c immediately informed Jack that "Daniel Jackson is now present." Daniel shook his head no, then tried to escape. Teal'c grabbed Daniel's collar, his great strength effortlessly pulling the smaller man into the room. He shoved the telephone into Daniel's hand and said "you will speak to O'Neill" then promptly disappeared.
"What are you doing?" An expression of panic immediately crossed Daniel's face. He had heard about the infamous cabin from Teal'c. "Uh, well, I, uh". At times like this Daniel cursed his inability to lie convincingly. "Want to come to Minnesota?" No A sudden sense of doom descended on Daniel. How can I get out of this without hurting Jack's feelings. "What happened to Sam?" Daniel said, desperately. "Oh, Carter had some other things she wanted to do." Jack responded. Carter, huh, not `Sam', I wonder what really went on. Daniel thought.
"What would I do in Minnesota?" he asked Jack in a last ditch attempt to avoid the inevitable.
"I found some ruins."
"You did?" Daniel asked, somewhat incredulously.
"Yeah, it looks like an old Indian campsite."
"That's nice, Jack. You are aware I'm an Egyptologist aren't you."
I know damn well you're an Egyptologist, Dr. Smartalec. "I just thought you might be interested." Jack said, somewhat peevishly.
"It's not really my area of expertise." Daniel tried one last futile attempt at escape.
"Well I could dig it up myself, I have a shovel in the truck."
"No!" Daniel responded, panic in his voice. The mental image of Jack merrily digging away, destroying priceless artifacts, horrified his archaeologist's soul.
"If that's how you feel, maybe you should come up and look at it." Jack said.
"Yes, yes, I'll be there as soon as I can. Please, please, please, don't touch anything until I arrive." Daniel begged.
Jack smiled, he knew that the prospect of handling old rocks would be irresistible to Daniel. Perhaps his vacation wouldn't be such a bust after all.
|Genres:||Angst, Drama, Romance|
|Summary:||Sam and Jack finally take that trip to his cabin.|
Author's Chapter Notes:
Not a shipper fic.