After grabbing the last turkey sandwich from the commissary, Carter makes her way back to her lab while sputtering about the near miss. But she probably shouldn't be so picky when she at long last pushes herself away from her work and gets lunch at 2:45 in the afternoon.
Can anyone blame her? She's officially got the coolest job in the world, hands down. The last 6 months have been the best time she can remember having in a long time. Even with the alien diseases that turn a person into a caveman.
She finds Teal'c waiting for her in her lab and is about to ask what is wrong when he presents her with something.
It's a big red heart cut out of construction paper, an arrow drawn through it, and a poem written across it. She's confused for a second, until she remembers that today is Valentine's Day. Right. Someone must have explained things to their new resident alien. She's guessing it was Daniel.
"This is for you, Captain Carter."
"Thanks, Teal'c." She takes the handmade Valentine from him, hoping that Daniel forgot to explain the part about love being involved. She really can't imagine that Teal'c has genuine romantic feelings for her, and besides, he's married. Then again, he's a little hard to read sometimes.
"I understand that today is a particular holiday in your culture, and I wanted to observe it properly."
She glances down at the poem he has composed:
Of the place in Colorado
Where majestic pines grow
She is noble and fair
She tries not to laugh, because in his own way, this has significant meaning. Plus, it's kind of sweet.
"Carter?" She hears her CO calling from the hallway just before making the turn into her lab.
"Did you…" he trails off when he sees Teal'c standing next to her and the red heart in her hand. "Ah. I see you got one too."
"Well that's a relief." He's got one of his own in his hands, presumably left in the colonel's office by Teal'c earlier.
"Did you not like the Valentine that I made for you, O'Neill?"
Carter holds back a smile as she adds, "Mine has a poem," and watches Colonel O'Neill squirm a little more.
"Teal'c, buddy, we need to explain to you about men giving other men Valentines."
"Daniel Jackson stated that it is a way to honor the people that you hold dear."
"Yeah, that's… See, the thing is… What Daniel failed to mention…"
"Sir," Carter cuts him off. It's not something she's usually comfortable doing to her superiors, but she's already learning that Colonel O'Neill doesn't appear to care all that much. And sometimes is a little relieved when she saves him.
"I think what the colonel is trying to say, Teal'c, is that these are very nice Valentines, and thank you."
"That's not exactly what I was trying—"
"Yes, you were." After a beat, she realizes what she's done and tacks on the necessary, "Sir."
"This is not at all pathetic," Daniel says under his breath.
"What?" Sam glances away from the movie screen to catch his expression.
He can't believe that she could be so oblivious; that's usually his area of expertise. He gestures around them, where various couples seated nearby in the theater—mostly teenagers—are making out instead of watching the film.
To their credit, it was Valentine 's Day, and that fact had failed to dawn on either Daniel or Sam before they arrived at the theater. Sam was looking to take a break for the evening and wanted to see a movie that came out the week before. She convinced Daniel to put aside the translation he was working on for a couple of hours and go with her. It wasn't until they arrived to find long lines on what would've normally been a random Wednesday night that it occurred to them why.
"Yeah," Daniel whispers back to Sam. They are both single, sitting in a movie theater together on Valentine's night, surrounded by people who are all getting lucky tonight. "We're pathetic."
"I think I'm offended by that."
"For all they know, you and I could be a couple, out on a date together."
He looks at Sam for a moment, and her face holds a serious expression. Up until it collapses into a grin and she cracks up.
The idea of them together? He laughs too.
"Right." Vala squints at Daniel, trying to read something in those all-too-honest big blue eyes of his. "So let me get this straight… you celebrate by giving flowers to the person you admire, which will die in a few days time, and chocolates to help them get fat."
"That's not exactly—"
"I would say this is one of your more confusing Earth traditions."
"They're symbols, Vala, traditional tokens of affection."
She frequently has trouble determining if he's teasing her. He doesn't do it often, which makes it a bit sneaky when he does. She squints again. "So tell me, when is the holiday where you buy the person you love larger pants? In order to accommodate all that chocolate going to one's hips?"
"Vala." He speaks with an exhausted sigh, always a good sign, and she can't help but smile.
"Do you know something, Daniel?" She leans over and pecks him on the cheek. "You're cute when you're flustered."
She hops off the stool and heads out of his lab, adding over her shoulder, "And if you wanted to tell me that you like me, you could have just done so, without the 30-minute lecture on the history of Valentine's Day."
She's halfway down the corridor, but she thinks she hears something like "You're the one who asked!" being shouted after her. She isn't exactly sure.
The SGC had been hosting a treaty conference the last couple of days involving three planets first visited by SG-1 long before Cam's time as a member of the team. It wouldn't be any big deal as a rule, but one of the planets was basically filled with women who… OK, look, he's only a guy. Can he help it if their women have really great racks? As in supermodel, awesome, impressive—
"Huh?" he replies. Sam looks like she knows that she's caught him. Which she has, and Cam has to pull his eyes away from the alien woman across the room from them. "What?"
Dr. Lam isn't helping either; she raises an eyebrow. Well, damn it, he's a red-blooded guy! He can't help these things!
He glances between his two work colleagues. The ones he respects very much, even though they happen to be females as well. Not that he tries to notice. "I'm not going to get out of this with any kind of dignity, am I?"
"Nope." Sam shakes her head.
"Even if I promise to buy them dinner first? And chocolates and flowers?"
Sam leans in a little. "Not even if it were Valentine's Day and I felt sorry for you."
Dr. Lam adds, "Besides, who knows what kind of sexually transmitted diseases they might have on their planet."
"Oh, come on!" Cam sighs heavily. "Did you really have to go and ruin the image with that?"
It's not until Jack returns from the longest session with members of Congress that he's ever had the pleasure of sitting through that he sees it. He's pretty sure it's been on his desk all day, but he's having the kind of day where he doesn't notice the chocolate right under his nose. In this case, little kisses wrapped in red foil.
He peeks his head out of the doorway and observes his administrative assistant, Carol. Carol is very good at pretty much everything, and that scares him a little. He once asked if she had any Carters in her family.
"Yes, General O'Neill, is there something I can help you with?"
"Just remind me, what is today's date?"
"February 13, sir."
"And that makes tomorrow…?"
"The 14th, sir."
These sorts of out-of-the-blue and enigmatic questions never seem to faze Carol.
"Right," he says, returning to his office to eye the candy on his desk. He could probably just ask her who left it, but that would be too easy.
His phone rings, and he's poking the candy around on the desktop with a pen as he answers. "O'Neill."
"Hey," Carter says, and that's all it takes for his day to be made.
"So, I'm heading out to the airport in a few minutes. You're sure that you'll be there to pick me up? Because I can call a car service to—"
"I'll be there," he cuts her off. There is no way he's wasting a single second of being in her presence during her week home from Atlantis. She's been debriefing at the SGC, but tonight she's going to be home with him and nothing is getting in the way of that. Even the minutes spent together in DC traffic are precious. That's how bad he's got it for this woman.
"Good." He hears relief in her voice.
"So," he says, "turns out that tomorrow is Valentine's Day." It's been a lot of years since that has meant anything to Jack. But now he's wondering if it means he'll get to see Carter dressed in some kind of fancy red lingerie.
"Hmm. You wouldn't have happened to think of that because there's candy on your desk in front of you right now?"
He sits up straighter. "It was you!"
"Of course it was me, Jack. Unless you've got a couple of other blondes on the side that I don't know about."
"I was worried because I saw General Kevin Dirkson giving me some looks across the conference room table last week."
"Right," she chuckles.
"Wait, how did you…" It's now occurring to him that she's in Colorado and he's in DC and how did the chocolate get here unless she had help?
"Oh no," she replies. "A girl has to keep some secrets."
"Secrets that involve transport beams?"
"Something like that."
"And do you also have a Victoria's Secret kind of secret planned too?"
She laughs. "We'll see."
After another minute or so of discussion about their plans he hangs up the phone. Ever so quietly, so as not to let Carol hear it, he sings, "Happy Valentine's Day to me. Happy Valentine's day to me…."