Categories: Ship, Het, Parody, Fluff, Humor, Romance
Characters: Jack O'Neill (primary), Sam Carter (primary), Kerry Johnson, Pete Shanahan
Spoilers: Mild spoilers through season eight. Set before Threads.
A/N: Parody, with fluff. After reading a few ill conceived fanfics dealing with The Pete Shanahan Thing, something snapped, and this happened. I blame Anne Rose for daring me. The word parody must be stressed here. It excuses nothing, of course, but it must be stressed.
Credits: In addition to blame, Anne Rose also receives beta credit, as do Lizzy and Q. Thank you all.
Disclaimer: MGM has much better sense than this.
Historical Note: These aren't quite the characters we all know and love. These ones have had their common sense surgically removed.
A Four Letter Word For Untimely
A long weekend would be just the thing. Clear out the cobwebs. Let someone else worry about the safety of the planet. Have a life. That sort of thing. General Jack O'Neill loaded his suitcase into the trunk of Pete Shanahan's car. "We ready?"
"One more thing, sir."
He took the six pack Carter handed him. His brand, he noted. Not surprising. He and Shanahan clearly had the same tastes. A shame, really, or he might have liked the guy. He wondered if they'd packed enough snacks. "Carter?"
The effort of wedging the beer in between two suitcases occupied his full attention. He pushed harder, determined to fit the square carton into the round hole he'd discovered between two duffles.
"Carter, I'm on vacation. Don't call me General on vacation."
"Sorry, sir." She grinned. "I'll try to keep that in mind, sir."
He loved that grin. Dang Air Force regs. There were some rules that a guy couldn't help but break, and liking Carter's smile was definitely at the top of that list. A guy would have to be dead not to like Carter's smile, and even then --
"I think we're ready," Pete said.
Damn Air Force regs. O'Neill slammed the trunk a little harder than was strictly necessary and climbed into the back seat.
Sam reached for the door handle on the passenger's side, but O'Neill's date, Kerry Johnson, laid claim to it first.
"Do you mind, Colonel? I'll get carsick if I ride in the back."
Carsick? Sam blinked at her. Wasn't this woman a high-ranking CIA agent? Shouldn't a spy have a little more fortitude? Carsick? "Be my guest."
She slid in beside General O'Neill, who smiled at her. It would be nice to spend some time with him this weekend. They didn't necessarily see each other every day any more, and she missed him. It was just too bad that Daniel and Teal'c weren't coming as well. Sharing some down time as a team would have been great.
"Guess you're stuck back here with me," he said. "So much for having the advantage at license plate bingo, huh?"
"You'd probably have beaten me anyway, sir."
"I hope no one will think I'm rude if I get a little sleep?" Kerry pulled out a pillow and slipped on a black satin sleep mask without waiting for an answer.
Sam glanced at O'Neill, who said nothing, but said it very clearly.
"So," Pete said. "How 'bout them Broncos?"
Kerry lifted her head from the pillow. "If you don't mind . . . "
Everyone stared at Kerry, but her self imposed blindness prevented her from noticing. It seemed that small talk wasn't an option, at least not for poor Pete, stranded in the front seat with the carsick spy.
Sam couldn't help but shoot O'Neill a silent question of disbelief.
He shrugged. "Well, you know."
She did know, and before she could stop herself, her eyes darted to the back of Pete's head. For a moment, she felt distinctly guilty.
"Sounds great." She scooted closer as he unfolded the newspaper on his lap.
"Ah ha," he said. "I know one already. Seven down is Cleveland."
She grinned at him. "I don't think so, sir."
"It doesn't fit."
"I'll write small."
Only Jack O'Neill could keep a straight face while defending such a ludicrous wrong answer on a crossword puzzle, and she knew his little performance was entirely for her benefit. No one could make her smile like he did. She touched his arm, stopping him from writing. "I think it's Rome, sir."
"Rome? Really?" He pretended to carefully consider her answer. "We could call Daniel."
She played along, feigning injured pride. "Don't you trust me?"
His eyes met hers, and for a moment the teasing stopped. "With my life, Carter."
He gave her one of those looks, one of their special looks that felt almost as good as an embrace. Then he held up one finger and waved it in the air. "Ah, but this, this is a crossword puzzle. We'd better call Daniel."
"Or we could see if it fits. It is a crossword puzzle."
"Ah, I see your point." He lifted the paper. "Five across . . . heck, I can't even pronounce that."
"Jack?" Kerry lifted her head, but didn't bother to turn around. Not that there was much point as long as she wore that mask. "Could you keep it down? I'm trying to sleep."
The look Kerry received probably would have ended the relationship if she'd seen it. As it was, Sam estimated the relationship's life expectancy to be less than a weekend, and scolded herself for the relief that calculation inspired.
"So," he whispered. "Five across?"
She leaned closer. She felt his breath tickle her neck, and suddenly she knew, just knew, that she couldn't marry Pete.
That they'd have to find a way around Air Force regs. That she had to kiss her commanding officer immediately.
Get a grip, she told herself. She tried to focus on the puzzle, and reached to angle it so that she could read it more easily. Her hand brushed his, sending a jolt of electricity through her. Hopefully her lunch had been free of alien contaminates, but the concern rose in her mind, because usually she could touch him without every single cell in her entire body turning to Jell-O.
Then again, usually when she touched him she had enough on her mind that the familiar urge to kiss him failed to claim top billing. Either they had a planet to save, or they were very busy escaping certain death, or she was a little tired from having just very nearly died. His touch offered comfort when it was needed, but while they didn't exactly go out of their way to avoid contact under more pedestrian circumstances, they didn't seek it out, either. Although she tried not to think about it, when they did touch, this exact feeling resulted more often than not.
"Carter, what're we doing?"
Her eyes focused and she realized she'd been stroking his thumb with her own. "Sorry, sir. I was . . . thinking."
"I like the way you think." The words were out before he thought, and before he had time to properly regret them, he found himself enjoying the slight color they caused to rise in Carter's cheeks. At least he hadn't said them loudly enough to wake up his date.
"So," she said. "Five across. Supernumerary."
He frowned. "That doesn't fit."
"That's the clue, sir."
"Oh." He tapped the paper with his pen. "So what's the answer?"
"I don't know."
"You don't know?" He drew out the last word and stared at her.
It worked. She smiled.
"Guess that means we call Daniel? I mean, unless you happened to bring a dictionary?"
"I know what supernumerary means, sir, I just don't know a four letter word that fits."
"What's it mean?"
"Redundant. Excess. Extra."
"Extra fits," he said. "X - T - R - A. Guess you were right about Rome."
"Sir . . ."
"See." He filled in the boxes. "Fits." He loved how her eyes sparkled when she laughed at him.
"So what's five down then?"
He glanced down at it. "Makes amends."
She leaned into him, apparently oblivious to the effect that the warm press of her body had on his heartrate, and stared at the puzzle. "Oh my God you're right."
"Well I can read, Carter."
"No, I mean about extra. It fits."
"Yes. We knew that."
"Maybe you did, sir. I was less than convinced."
"But now you are?"
"I think five down must be expiates, because eighteen across is poor and twenty nine across is Tate."
"Your brain is a natural resource, Carter."
She stared up at him with those blue eyes, and she was so close, and warm, and she smelled so good, and this became one of those times when it physically hurt to not kiss her.
He swallowed hard.
"You've said that before," she said softly.
"Have I?" He knew he had. Often, quite probably, but she seemed to be thinking of something specific. Then he remembered. "Ah. That."
There wasn't much to say about that. They'd saved the planet. He'd almost died. Then she'd almost died and they'd saved an entirely different planet. Business as usual. "Yeah."
Her thumb was rubbing the back of his hand again. He saw no particular reason to put a stop to it. Without really thinking, he tipped his head forward until their foreheads touched.
"Yeah," he said. "Five down."
They both turned back to the puzzle.
"Expiates," she said.
"Yup." He made no move to fill in the answer. Her hand had curled around his where he held the paper, and he liked it. Lots.
She clearly knew it. She was Carter, after all. She knew everything. Her thumb resumed its steady rhythm and her head came to rest on his shoulder. None of this qualified as new territory, except they lacked any sort of excuse at all and also they were in the back seat of Pete Shanahan's car.
Jack glanced at the front seat. Kerry was asleep, and they weren't going to work out anyhow. He wasn't about to marry someone who would wear a sleep mask on a road trip. Not that any woman could compare to Carter, so that pretty much put a kaibosh on marrying anyone at all.
Shanahan could probably see them, if he happened to look in the mirror. He tried to care about that. He wanted Carter to be happy, and if that meant losing her to Shanahan so that she could have something of a normal life, he needed to accept it. Wouldn't do to have Shanahan catch a glimpse of this.
But damn, it felt nice, and for once they weren't in a goa'uld prison waiting their turn to be tortured. For once he could enjoy it. Shouldn't. But could.
Too bad about their military ranks. He would have really enjoyed slipping his arm around her about now. In his fantasy, they lacked ranks entirely, and could work on this puzzle in bed. Or maybe, since this fantasy didn't seem to have any rules, they would skip the puzzle. Probably better not to think about that right now, though.
"Carter," he said. "How do you spell that?"
"Spell what, sir?"
She spelled it for him, and he slipped his hand out from under hers so he could fill in the squares. "Eighteen across is poor," she added. "And . . . twenty nine across is Tate."
"We're doing pretty well," he said. "Six down: Baker's specialties." He thought for a moment. "Donuts!"
Carter chuckled, her breath tickling his neck very pleasantly, and Kerry proved her consciousness by shushing them loudly. Jack growled under his breath. Carter laughed harder, but quieter. Shanahan just kept driving.
He moved his pen to write 'donuts' in the appropriate boxes, but frowned at the T that blocked his way, right where the D belonged. "Uh oh."
Then he felt Carter's hand come to rest on his thigh, and 'uh oh' seemed damn inadequate.
"We need to talk," she whispered.
Uh oh. He stared at his thigh, watching as Carter slowly dragged her finger back and forth, just above his knee. He'd never seen anything so fascinating in his life, and he'd been aboard alien spaceships.
He realized she'd been saying something. "Sorry, Carter, but . . . " He nodded towards his own knee.
Her soft laughter tickled his neck again. "I realized something," she said, her voice pitched so low he had to strain to hear her. "The timing's strange, I know, but I have to tell you. If I don't -- I just have to."
"I'm sorry I gave up, sir."
"Oh. That." He laid his hand over hers. "You were right to try."
"I wasn't, sir. It's not fair. To any of us."
"I want you to be happy, Carter. That is what's important."
"I want to be happy," she said. "But not . . . "
He watched her eyes as she nodded towards Shanahan. "Carter -- "
She laid a finger over his lips. "I tried to give up because I realized that something was missing from my life, and I thought that was what I needed to do to find it. But I was wrong, because that thing that was missing, well, it's still missing."
His lips tingled, because she hadn't moved her finger away yet, and his heart felt like it might burst from his chest. He lifted the hand holding the crossword puzzle, hopefully blocking Shanahan's view if he happened to glance in the rear view mirror.
They were now so close that anyone who looked their way would get, well, exactly the right idea.
He felt like he should say something, but he didn't have the foggiest idea what, and besides, her finger was still pressed against his lips, and his lips rather hoped it would stay put. He lifted the hand not holding the newspaper shield and touched her cheek.
Carter turned her head and kissed the inside of his wrist. That wrist had definitely never been happier. The other wrist was probably jealous, and rightfully so.
"It might have to stay missing for a while yet," she said. "But I'm not ready to give it up entirely. I don't think I ever want to be ready to do that. It just doesn't feel right."
His thumb stroked her lower lip. "I'll retire."
"I'll retire," he repeated. "If that's what it takes."
"Sir, with all due respect, it's not that simple. The goa'uld are out there, Anubis is out there, and there's no one more qualified to run the SGC than you. You're needed."
"Well then that should give me some leverage, shouldn't it?" He really needed to kiss her. Not that stroking her cheek wasn't really, really pleasant. She had a really nice cheek, and he'd thought about it many times over the years. The other one, too, come to think of it.
She scooted closer, something he hadn't guessed possible just a moment before, and her hot breath tickled his ear. "I like the way you think."
Holy Hannah that was her hand trailing up his thigh, and stopping it meant he had to either put down the newspaper, which clearly wasn't a option, or stop playing with her hair, which also quite clearly was not an option. He really wanted to kiss her. He'd waited eight years to kiss her, and that was a pretty long time to wait. Okay, so he'd cheated a bit, but still.
Covert ops training had left out the bit about how to kiss the woman you loved while sitting four feet behind her fiance. Soon to be ex-fiance, he amended, but that didn't help much at the moment. He had visions of Shanahan whipping his head around, losing control of the car, and driving head-on into a semi.
That would be bad.
Carter's hand slipped inside his jacket and all practical concerns disappeared. Something crinkled. It sounded like tin foil. And then Carter's lips found his, and he didn't give a damn if they drove straight off the mountain, because at least he'd die happy.
Sam assigned the task of crinkling the protein bar wrapper to the part of her brain that usually spent its time dealing with wormhole physics. She wasn't quite sure it was up to the task, truth be told, because in a moment the rest of her brain would be very distracted kissing the man she'd wanted to kiss for nearly eight years now.
The circumstances, however, made auditory camouflage a necessity, and the protein bar wrapper she'd retrieved from Jack's pocket lacked the ability to crinkle itself. Failure was not an option.
If he could keep holding that newspaper up at that ridiculous angle without his shoulder going numb, she could crinkle a wrapper for a few minutes.
Her lips found his.
This, this is what she'd been missing for all these years. Her whole body melted into him and she had to fight not to groan out loud. Crinkle. Must crinkle.
He returned the kiss, his hand in her hair, and the moment one kiss ended another followed.
Crinkle, crinkle, and crinkle some more.
Oxygen became an issue, and she knew the crinkling could never cover the sound of actual panting. She forced herself to draw back just a bit, her forehead pressed to his, while they tried to breathe without giving away their position.
His hand left her hair and began doing things that made catching her breath rather more challenging than she usually found it.
"Sir . . . "
"Carter, I really don't want you calling me that right now."
"Six down," she said. "What was the clue again?"
He stared at her.
She raised her eyebrows and nodded slightly in the direction of the front seat.
"Ah. Right." His hand retreated. Slowly.
She shivered. "Six down."
"Donuts doesn't fit." He sounded genuinely disappointed about that.
God she loved this man. She glanced at the puzzle. "It's tortes, sir."
"Jack." Kerry's voice interrupted from the front seat. "Unless you plan on sleeping in the hotel lobby I'd suggest you find a way to keep it down back there."
In all the years she'd known him, Sam had never heard Jack O'Neill laugh quite like that.
This transformative work constitutes a fair use of any copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. Stargate™©, Stargate SG-1™©, and related properties are Registered Trademarks of MGM Studios. No copyright infringement intended. No profits made here. © Spiletta42, November 2005.