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Smaller Victories

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All three tumbled out of the Stargate and down the rough hewn stairs. Even Teal'c was unable to keep his feet. As he landed at the bottom, Jack rubbed his head and muttered, "Stairs...why'd you have to pick a 'gate with stairs?"

They stood up slowly, checking for broken bones and looking around to ensure that none of the Replicators had managed to make the trip with them. Jack looked at his team. "Everyone okay?"

Teal'c was the first to respond. "I am uninjured, O'Neill."

"I'm okay, too. You, sir?" asked Sam.

"Uh," he patted his frame. "Yep, I'm good. Well, that was fun, kids. Glad we made it here in one piece." Jack turned around in a circle, taking in the familiar landscape of trees - lots of trees - and not much else. "Um, Teal'c, where is here, again?"


When Jack just stared at him, Sam jumped in. "This is one of the planets we considered as a potential Alpha Site."

"Ah. And dare I ask why we didn't choose it? Restless natives? Rupturing volcanoes?"

"No, sir. There's nothing problematic here at all, sir. Actually, this planet was almost selected. Ultimately, though, we decided it was too remote."

"All righty, then. Nice call, T."

"Thank you, O'Neill. However, should we not dial an inhabited planet and attempt to contact one of our allies?"

"Yeah, speaking of allies, how's Thor?"

Sam walked over to the stasis pod and checked the controls. "He's stable for now, sir, but I'm not sure how much longer he can last without medical attention."

At that precise moment, there was a flash of light and then the stasis pod was gone. Jack waited a moment and looked up at the sky. "Hey! What about us?" When nothing happened, Jack looked at his Second. "Carter?"

Sam shrugged. "I don't know, sir. Maybe the pod automatically sent him to the nearest ship within range."

"Well, aren't they forgetting something?"

"They may not know we're here or where here is, for that matter. Then again, they could be on their way."

Jack blew out a breath and rubbed his hands through his hair, causing it to stand up on end. He looked at Sam. "How long do you think it will take to get the second Stargate up and running back on Earth?"

She thought for a minute. "Well, assuming everything goes smoothly, I would think they could get it operational within three or four days."

"Okay. Then I say we stay here until then." When Sam started to protest, Jack held up his hands. "Look, if the Asgard are on their way, I don't want to miss them. If they haven't shown up after four days, and we still can't dial home, then we can visit some of our other friends."

"But, sir, we don't have any supplies."

Jack just smiled at her. "Carter. Look around. It's beautiful, temperate, and we have everything we need right here. We can live off the land." He clapped his hands together. "It'll be like a vacation!"

Sam looked at Teal'c who simply raised a single eyebrow in reply.

They set out scouting the area and quickly found a large rocky outcropping on the edge of the forest that would provide adequate shelter from the elements. It was also strategically located just within sight of the Stargate and near a spring fed stream that, much to Jack's delight, was filled with fish.

Though neither Sam nor Teal'c were equipped with much other than their weapons and some spare ammo, Jack had a flint, a deck of cards, and some fishing line and lures stashed in his pockets. When he pulled out the last items, he looked at Sam, gave her big smile, and said, "See. Everything we need."

As Jack wandered off to look for a suitable stick for his line, Sam turned to Teal'c and whispered, "I'm starting to think the Colonel actually wants to stay here."

"Indeed," was his only reply.

Nevertheless, within a few hours, the team was sitting around a decent sized fire, eating fresh caught fish, and playing poker. When she was finished eating, Sam sat back, looked out at the starry sky, and murmured contentedly, "Maybe this isn't so bad after all."

Jack's eyes were sparkling as he licked the last of his fish from his fingers. "I told ya."

She closed her eyes and immediately fell asleep.

The next few days passed without incident, and the three teammates quickly fell into a pattern borne of long experience in the field together. In the morning, they would attempt to dial Earth, then catch and prepare their breakfast. During the midday, they would each take a turn washing in the stream, while the others looked for food and generally attempted to make their camp more livable. The evenings were spent around a campfire, playing cards.

By the end of the fourth night on the planet, they had all tired of the routine. Fortunately, earlier that day, Sam had shot a goat-like animal, which meant meat for dinner. In addition, Teal'c had found some berries, and after trying several, he deemed them fit to eat.

That evening, thankful to have something other than fish, they gorged themselves on goat meat and berries and discussed which planet they would dial the following day in the event they could not contact Earth. After much debate, they finally agreed on Cimmeria, since they might be able to contact the Asgard there even if they couldn't reach Earth.

Once that was decided, the conversation turned to how to spend their last evening on P3X-234.

Sam polished off a handful of berries and sighed. "I really don't want to play cards tonight."

"I, too, grow weary of this activity," added Teal'c.

"Well, we get crappy reception out here," replied the Colonel, "so TV's out. Any other ideas?" He threw a berry up in the air and caught it in his mouth.

"We could play truth or dare," Sam offered.

Teal'c arched an eyebrow. "I do not know this game."

Sam wasn't exactly sure where the idea came from, but she decided to go with it. She turned to the Jaffa. "It's easy, Teal'c. We take each take a turn asking someone else in the group whether they choose truth or dare. If the choice is truth, then the person can ask any question they like, and the other person has to give a truthful answer. If the choice is dare, then the person gives them some task to perform, usually something embarrassing or dangerous. In any case, if the other person refuses to answer or do the task, then the person who's asking wins. And vice versa."

"I do not understand the purpose of this game."

"It's fun. Here, I'll go first." She turned to Jack. "Colonel, truth or dare?"

He shrugged and popped another berry in his mouth. "Uh, truth, I guess."

"Okay." Sam thought for a moment. "How many people have you slept with?" She really didn't know where that came from but was surprised to realize that she was very interested in the answer.

He looked at her with narrowed eyes. "A little personal, don't ya think, Carter?"

"That's the point, sir. You could always refuse to answer." She flashed him a mischievous smile. "But then I'll win."

"Fine. Four."


"You got a problem with that?"

"No, sir. I guess I just, um...really, only four?"

"Look, I married my high school sweetheart and was faithful to her throughout our marriage. So, yes, only four. Plus, some would say it's about quality, Carter, not quantity."

Teal'c, who had picked up the heart of the goat and was currently poking at it, spoke up. "On Chulak, it is likewise common to have few lovers throughout one's lifetime."

Jack gestured toward Teal'c and turned to face Sam. "There. See? I'm in good company. So how many people have you slept with?"

Sam flushed. Surprisingly, she had not seen that coming. "Um, it's not my turn."

Jack, sensing that retribution was imminent, decided to pursue the issue. "Yeah, well, it is my turn. And now I'm asking you, Carter, how many people have you slept with?"

Panic was starting to set in. "You have to ask me if I want truth or dare."

"Just answer the question, Major."

She decided to change tactics. "Well, I never really kept count."

"Ballpark it for me," Jack said, his voice low and slow.

"Uh, okay." She thought for a moment and then looked at her commanding officer and winced. "Maybe 25?"

"25! Jeez, Carter." Jack was genuinely shocked. He would have been less surprised to find out she was a virgin.

"I may have been a little wild in college," she replied, attempting to maintain some dignity.

"A little?" Jack's voice cracked on the word. "Last time I checked, college only lasts four years."

"I went to grad school, too," she said defensively.

Teal'c interrupted. "Major Carter, do you still believe this game to be fun?"

"Maybe we should play a different game," she replied, looking down. She was starting to feel a little woozy.

Jack, however, was watching his Jaffa teammate, who was smearing the goat's blood in stripes on his cheeks and forehead. "Teal'c, what the hell are you doing to your face?"

"I am honoring the animal that gave its life so we could sustain our own."

"Uh…okay," Jack replied, drawing out the last word.

Sam looked at her commanding officer. "You're mean," she said out of the blue.

"Mean? I'm not mean. I'm a teddy bear. Teal'c, I'm a teddy bear, aren't I?"

"You are not, O'Neill." Teal'c was now smearing goat's blood down his arms.

Jack completely ignored him, his attention fully on his Second, who was starting to look kind of fuzzy. "Well, maybe, if you didn't have such a stick up your ass, I'd show you how nice I can be."

"I do not have a stick up my ass!…um, sir." Sam attempted to sit up and straighten her shirt and almost fell over in the process.

Jack leered toward his Second. He was starting to slur his words. "When did you get so uptight, anyway? Sounds like you were a lot of fun in college."

"Aha! That proves it." She was trying to point at her commanding officer but was having trouble as she was seeing at least two of him. "You're mean. You're just a…big… meanie!" She hiccupped.

"Am not. Teal'c whadda you think?"

"I believe you could resolve your differences, O'Neill, if you would kiss Major Carter, and, as they say on your planet, 'just get it over with.'"

They both stared at the Jaffa in shock. Several seconds passed before anyone said anything. Then Jack started grinning. "Damn, Teal'c. Did you know you ended that sentence with a preposition?"

At that, Sam burst out laughing, which got Jack chuckling as well. She turned to her commanding officer, her eyes half-lidded. "You want to kiss me, don't you?" she asked in a low, sultry voice.

"That depends," he replied equally low, though not quite as sultry, "will you still think I'm mean?"

"Well, let's find out, shall we?" And with that she leaned toward Jack and immediately fell into his lap, having passed out.

Jack looked up at Teal'c with a silly grin on his face. "Think I should still kiss her?" But no sooner were the words out of his mouth when he fell backwards, snoring before his head hit the ground.