Coping

by indie

EMAIL: indiefic@hotmail.com
DISTRIBUTION: Ask first.
RATING: PG
SPOILERS: Everything through Season 7.
TIMELINE: Set during the Season 7 episode "Chimera".
SUMMARY:

Sam: You know how it is. Usually you don't let it bother you because you know that they couldn't cope with the truth anyway.

Jack: Usually.

Sam: I think he could have.

DISCLAIMER: The Stargate SG-1 universe is property of MGM, World Gekko Corp, SciFi Channel and Double Secret productions. No copyright infringement intended. No profit is gained from this work.

***

The chirping sound woke him immediately and he raised his head off the pillow, vision darting around the dimly lit room. The sound trilled again and he realized that it was her cell phone. He looked down at Sam's sleeping face, knowing there was no way she was going to wake up. Reaching across her, he grabbed the phone off her night stand. He knew he shouldn't, but the curiosity was eating at him. He answered. "Hello?"

"Uh ... " The voice was male, groggy. "I, uh ... " There was a pause, a deep breath and then a frustrated, "Is Sam there?"

"Who may I ask is calling?"

She took a deep breath, stretching as she reached for the phone. Blinking quickly, she tried to clear her vision as she wrapped her hand around the cell and gently pulled it from his grasp. She quickly looked at the caller ID display before pressing it to her ear. "Hey," she murmured, "any progress on the tablet?" There were a few more grunts and grumbles that apparently passed for communication before she yawned, "Bye."

"Emergency in the world of deep space telemetry?" Pete asked, trying to mask his minor irritation with bemusement.

"No," she said, smiling softly. "No emergency. Just gimme a second." He watched as she rubbed her eye with one fist while holding and dialing the cell with the other hand.

"It's six in the morning," Pete said, smiling uncomfortably as he nudged her in the shoulder in a manner he hoped came off as playful and not petulant.

"Only take a sec," she replied, bringing the phone up to her ear. She yawned again while waiting for someone on the other end to answer. Right about the time he was certain it should be clicking over to voice mail, Sam asked, "You awake?"

She waited a moment, then another before rolling her eyes. "Grunt once for yes, twice for need backup." She smiled. "You too, sir. By the way, I'm two hundred points ahead of you in the crossword pool." With that she snapped the phone shut and turned to face him, looking all soft and sleep rumpled.

His brow furrowed and once again, he tried to be cool about everything. He knew she couldn't tell him about her job, but still it seemed exceptionally odd at times. "You call your commanding officer at six o'clock on a Saturday morning?" he asked.

She shrugged, rolling onto her side, pulling the sheet with her and tucking it under her chin. "Whole team calls each other," she explained gently." We take turns. This week it's Daniel's turn to call me and my turn to call Colonel O'Neill." She frowned down at the phone. "Guess I forgot to turn the ringer back up," she said. "Sleeping through that call would have been really ... inconvenient."

He propped himself up on one elbow, looking down at her. He had the strangest premonition that if she had missed the call that the house would soon be swarming with Air Force personnel. "What do you do in that mountain?" he asked.

More awake now, the expression on her face was quickly becoming uncomfortable. "The team's been together a really long time," she explained. "Over the years we've learned that it's just best to check in."

He knew there was a wealth of information she wasn't sharing. He didn't know what she did, but he knew it damn sure wasn't anything as mundane as studying radar telemetry. She saw field action, a lot of it. He'd stake his badge on that. And if her team had learned the hard way that they needed to keep that close of tabs on each other, it meant that somewhere in the past, things had gone very, very wrong. He shook his head. "You're a very complex woman, Samantha Carter," he said.

END

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