IT WAS A MISTAKE
DISCLAIMERS: I am (not) proud to own my mistakes. Unbeated.
Copyright © Anakin David 2004
Samantha Carter was nervous as she changed from civvies to her uniform in the locker room. She took off the ring Pete had given her and put it in the velvet box back into her locker: she doubted wearing a diamond ring on duty was appropriate.
She sighed and closed her locker, thoughtfully. She had an appointment with the general at 0800. Primarily it was to discuss the next roll of exploratory missions for SG1, but she knew the ending of that meeting would be far more personal than just that.
She took a deep breath and exited the locker room heading for her lab. Several minutes in her sanctuary – she hoped – would provide her the extra dose of courage she would need before the meeting.
“… So SG1 is on for two diplomatic missions with the Jaffa rebellion and the Zalustans, and one scientific reckon for suspected presence of Naquada on PF2-547?” Jack closed the last of the folders in front of him.
“Yes, Sir. There shouldn’t be any problem with them, and SG5 is accompanying us on the exploratory one.”
“Sometimes I love my job,” he mused, smiling.
She looked at him, intrigued.
“What about paperwork?”
“Oh, that is definitely a con, but when I see that you’re going on such thrilling missions, Carter, I remember how much I hated those!” he chuckled and checked his watch.
“Coffee? I have about fifteen minutes before my next briefing,” he stood up and came around his desk.
“Actually, sir, since you’re not in a hurry, I’d like to talk,” ‘there’, she thought, ‘take the plunge, Sam!’
“Sure, Carter!” he said, raising his eyebrows and stopping in his tracks. “What do you wanna talk about?”
He was at arms length; she took a deep breath and looked him straight in the eyes.
“I’m getting married, Sir,” she said in a breath.
For a too brief instant, she saw a flash of raw pain in his eyes, but it disappeared very quickly and his usual barriers came back.
He smiled faintly, although it didn’t reach his eyes. He stepped closer and put his hands on her shoulders.
“If it makes you happy, Carter, then I’m happy for you,” he said in a soft voice. “Congratulations,” he leant to kiss her cheek, but as he was reaching her cheek with his mouth, she turned her head slightly and instead of her cheek his lips encountered hers. He jerked back as if stung, but she reached for his neck and drew his head back to hers, pressing her lips against his, her tongue forcing his mouth to open. He gave in and enclosed her shoulders in a fierce embrace, kissing her back.
Then the kiss stopped as suddenly as it had started, and they drew apart, both realizing with shock what had just happened.
“I’m sorry, sir! I-- I shouldn’t have done this!” she stammered.
“My God, What am I doing!” she continued as if she hadn’t heard him.
“I’ve got to go!” she exclaimed, trying to organize her thoughts, stumbling to the door.
Before he had time to realize she was gone, the door of his office slammed shut and he was left alone in his monitored office… ‘monitored! You DAMN idiot!’
He passed a shaking hand in his unruly hair, then went to sit back in his chair behind his desk and opened his laptop.
He started typing furiously, clicked on the ‘print’ button and retrieved promptly the sheet from the printer.
Then he put it in an envelope and picked up the red phone.
Jack took a long swig. It was very late; he had been sitting on his couch, not watching the TV for he couldn’t remember how long, probably since he got home from the base.
A sound roused him from his stupor, it was his door bell.
He took a breath in and stood up slowly.
The bell rang again.
“I’m coming!” he shouted in an aggravated tone.
He opened his door sharply, only to close it back.
The moment the bolt clicked shut, the bell rang again, this time in earnest.
His mood somber, he reopened it and let her in reluctantly.
“What are you doing here?”
She looked him straight in the eyes.
“It was a mistake,” she said in a soft voice.
“Yeah, I know that,” he replied flatly.
“I should have known better, I--”
“Well now the deed is done, Carter,” he cut her sarcastically. “The question is how the hell am I going to fix it?”
She looked at him nonplussed.
He sighed lightly, and let his shoulders fall in defeat as he eventually padded down to his living room. Sam followed him in a mute agreement.
He sat heavily on his couch and picked his half drunken beer from the floor.
He took a swig before looking her in the eyes.
“The president won’t accept my resignation,” he stated blankly.
“Your what?” she asked with bewildered eyes.
“Resignation, Carter. I compromised your future in the Air Force when I--”
“I was the one who initiated it, Jack,” she cut him sharply.
He started at the use of his name.
“Carter!” he warned.
“You said yourself time and time again that you’re not good at talking, so just listen,” she resumed, her tone bearing no argument.
He gave her a quizzical look.
She took a deep breath in.
“When I said ‘it was a mistake’ I didn’t mean the kiss we shared,” she said, looking him in the eyes.
His eyebrows shot up but her raised hand prevented him from saying anything.
“What happened in your office only served in revealing that I couldn’t go on with it. I couldn’t marry Pete and move on. I fooled myself into believing it for an instant, and it was nice while it lasted. Pete is a good guy, but it would not have been fair to him.”
“That doesn’t change anything, Carter,” he said softly.
“On the contrary, it changed everything.”
Jack drained his beer.
“You wouldn’t happen to have one?” she asked designating his now empty bottle with her chin.
“Not wise, you’re driving,” he smirked.
“I don’t intend on leaving anytime soon,” she said sharply, once again looking him in the eyes.
He sighed and stood up to go to his kitchen, coming back with two bottles of Guiness. He resumed his position on the couch and invited her to continue with a slight movement of his eyebrows as he gave her her beer.
She took a swig and resumed.
“Pete understood. I was a bit surprised, but he understood. ‘Something to do with how we looked when you and I were together. So we parted friends, and that’s nice, I hated myself enough for putting him through this.”
“Carter, I’m thrilled that your love life is going so well but once again, it doesn’t change that I, Brigadier General Jack O’Neill kissed you in front of the security cameras, that I am your superior officer, that it is a court-martialable offence, and that neither President Hayes nor Lieutenant General George Hammond accepted my resignation!” he said, anger rising.
“And I’m telling you, Jack O’Neill to sit down and listen! For once in your life, listen to what my mouth has to say!” she said firmly, her eyes ablaze. “President Hayes refused your resignation for a very good reason, you are essential to the program!”
“And you’re not?” he snorted.
“I don’t need to be Air Force to be.”
“Except that it’s your career you’re so lightly tossing out the window!”
“When did it become your business?”
“When you set foot in that briefing room about eight years ago and I became your Commanding Officer!”
“Well I’ve got news for you, General: I have other interests in my life now,” she said calmly.
“Last time we had that conversation you got engaged!” he said sarcastically.
“To the wrong guy,” she replied as calmly as before.
That sobered him.
“Carter…” he said in a tired voice.
“Why did you interrupted me on the ship?” she asked softly.
“Huh? He asked frowning.
“When we were trying to find the Lost City, I started saying what I had wanted to tell you at your house the day before, you interrupted me saying that you knew, why?”
He sighed and once again pulled at his beer.
“I was dying, Carter, I didn’t want you to live with regrets of what might have been. You were better off with Shanahan,” he replied honestly.
“And if you had died, I would have had the regret of never telling you,” she said softly. “What about now?” she looked at him.
“Now? Uncle Sam, ring any bell?” he said sarcastically.
“That’s not an issue anymore,” she said calmly.
“What do you mean?” he asked, his face serious.
“There was something more I was going to tell you today, along with the fact I was getting married.”
He looked at her questioningly.
“As of today, you may call me Dr. Samantha Carter.”
To say he was shocked was an understatement.
“Are you nuts?!”
“No, on the contrary, it was a very sound decision to make.”
“How in the Name of God did your resignation proceed without me being informed?” he raged.
“Calm down, Jack. My resignation went through General Hammond, I’m sorry I didn’t follow the normal procedures, but I knew your reaction would be so. My resignation has nothing to do with what happened in your office today, but very much to do with Pete’s proposal. I had decided to step back, keeping my position as a scientist at SGC. General Hammond understood and left me with telling you in person, which I was about to do after I announced I was getting married, and that’s probably why the President as well as him refused your resignation.”
Jack was silent for a moment, then he looked at her warily.
“You know that doesn’t change the problem, do you? There are regulations between civilians and military personnel too…”
“Not in this case, Jack. The president,” she fumbled with her purse and extracted a large manila envelope she gave him “has authorized the creation of a civilian scientific department independent from the military, although working with them in complete transparence. I am to be the head of that department, at the same administrative level as the commander of the base, Brigadier General Jack O’Neill.”
She kept silent while he went through the contents of the file she had just given him.
After a while, the ghost of a smile appeared on his lips.
“You are a tease, Carter, you know that?” he said, looking at her with a sparkle in his eyes. “You so want to keep me in check you have to bring paperwork at my home?”
She smiled, then looked at him seriously.
“Are we okay?”
He smiled fully then, and it reached his eyes.
“We’re okay, Carter,” he said waving his beer towards hers as if to toast, and bringing the neck to his lips.
She imitated him and drained the contents rather quickly.
He watched her, amused, as she discreetly concealed a burp, then stared at her.
She looked at him with a twinkle of mischief in her eyes.
“I’m all dizzy now, Jack, it wouldn’t be wise driving…” she said innocently, emphasizing his name when she spoke it.
“There’s always the couch,” he replied smugly.
“I’m not sure your knees would like it,” she said not batting an eye.
He rose from his sitting position suddenly, reaching underneath her and sweeping her off her feet.
“I’ll have you know my knees are fine!” he said carrying her through the corridor to his bedroom. “As are a lot of other things you’re going to know about pretty soon!” he concluded, dropping her unceremoniously on the bedspread.
He quickly shed his top garments, as she fumbled with the buttons of her shirt.
The speed at which things were happening was too fast, but neither one of them cared, and soon they were moving together in the age old rhythm of love, their breaths coming in short pangs. Sam cried his name just before he did hers, and they collapsed sated and content. They remained motionless for a while until Sam started giggling.
“What?” he asked in a quizzical tone.
She giggled more until it became a hearty laugh.
“All right, now I’m offended, what?” he asked.
“It has nothing to do with you, Jack,” she said between two fits of laughter, then calmed down, running her fingers on his chest lightly.
He waited patiently until she had totally calmed down.
“Shower?” he asked when her hiccups subsided.
“Lead the way,” she replied, kissing his breast gently.
“No naughty games I’m afraid, Sam, I’m spent,” he said smiling and extending his arm as a means of invitation.
“I’ll grant you a little reprieve then,” she answered smiling broadly.
They were lying in bed after the shower, both awake, and both enjoying the proximity of the other, and the intimacy of the moment.
“So? Are you gonna tell me what you were laughing about?” he asked softly.
She snuggled closer and sighed of contentment.
“That it’s good finally to be free to love you,” she answered.
“You do?” he asked as if it was the biggest surprise on the face of Earth.
“With all my heart,” she said simply.
He squeezed he shoulder and brought her body on top of his so he could look her in the eyes.
“Well that’s good,” he started, “because I love you too.”
She smiled her megawatt smile and kissed him lightly before resting her head underneath his chin, listening to the steady beat of his heart.
“I’m sorry I didn’t realize sooner how deep those feelings were, Jack,” she said with a trace of regret.
He forced her to look at him.
“Hey!” he said gently, “it was something you had to go through, Sam. I loved you enough to wait patiently in my corner, it was your lead all the way. You only had to say the word. And I loved you enough to be able see you with some other guy if it made you happy, but I swear if he had hurt you in any way I don’t know what I would have done…”
“I know, Jack, thanks for waiting for me.”
“Well what can I say? There was nothing else I could do anyway,” he joked, then went back to serious. “Sam, several times I was on the verge of doing something irreparable, I’m as human as any other guy, and I had some difficult times coping with my feelings for you. I won’t say I wasn’t hurt when I realized you were moving on, but like I said, if it made you happy then I was happy.”
“I never pegged you for the talkative one in this relationship.”
“You have that effect on me, Carter.”
She sighed and smiled, crossing her wrists underneath her chin and looking him in the eyes.
“You’re the only one who can call me by my surname and make it such a turn on, you know that?”
He smiled smugly.
“Likewise, Carter” he said, rolling her name in his mouth as if it were a fine wine.
She chuckled, then frowned.
“I feel it, Jack…” she said lightly.
He looked at her with an innocent look.
“I have no idea what you’re talking about, Carter.”
He swiftly rolled her over and began attacking her mouth with a vengeance.
“You have that effect on me, Carter!”