Jackfic Archive Story


Weirder and Weirder

by Flatkatsi

Disclaimer: Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions. I have written this story for entertainment purposes only and no money whatsoever has exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. The original characters, situations, and story are the property of the author(s).

Sheriff Jack Carter lifted his feet, rested them on the top of his desk, and leaned back; pushing the chair he was sitting in to enough of an angle to let him relax further into it. He had to balance it just right to achieve this, but several days of inactivity had allowed him to perfect the technique. One final move and he would be set for the afternoon.

Raising both his arms, he carefully hooked his hands behind his head.

Ah - perfect!

He shut his eyes.

"Ahem ..."

The chair tipped backwards, and the sudden falling sensation brought Carter back to reality with frightening speed. He barely had time to react when he was plucked from certain disaster, hands grabbing him and holding tight as the chair crashed to the floor.

"You okay there?"

Carter nodded, staring into the face of the man who still held him. "Fine, thanks ...um ..." He wiggled a little, the slightly embarrassing position he was in finally registering.

"Good." The other man let go and stepped back, his thin lipped mouth twitching a little as if restraining a smile. "Sorry, I didn't mean to startle you."

Come to think of it, Carter was surprised the man had managed to come up on him like that. It didn't matter how relaxed he was, he should have heard the office door open and footsteps approach. Hell, he hadn't even gotten off to sleep! Casting a surreptitious look at the small bell above the door to confirm it was still in place, he bent to pick up the fallen chair.

"That's okay, nothing damaged," he answered, turning back to offer the man a smile.

His visitor was grey haired, probably in his early fifties, and a few inches taller than the sheriff, making him over six feet. He was lean, rangy even, with a tanned face and very dark brown eyes. Eyes that were fixed on him with an intensity Jack found somewhat uncomfortable.

"I'm Sheriff Carter, was there something I could help you with, mister ...?" He left the sentence open ended and waited.

"O'Neill, Jack O'Neill. No, not really. I heard there was a new sheriff in town and thought I'd come introduce myself."

Giving a silent thanks that the man's presence didn't seem to herald yet another strange phenomenon in this oh so crazy town, Carter nodded pleasantly. "You live around here?"

"Nope." O'Neill propped his hip on the edge of Jo's desk, pushing the perfectly aligned folders slightly askew in the process. Carter couldn't help wincing. "But I pass through fairly often."

That in itself was unusual. People didn't just 'pass through' Eureka, and certainly not often. Even though he'd only been sheriff for a few weeks he'd worked that much out.

"Nice town. Interesting people," O'Neill continued. "You enjoying it so far?"

Despite 'enjoying' hardly being the description he would chose, Carter nodded again, taking up a matching position on the corner of his own desk. "Yep, great little town. Quiet."

At that the other man raised an eyebrow. "Quiet?" He seemed to consider it for a moment, then continued, "I suppose it could be considered quiet, in comparison to other places." For a moment his face darkened, leaving Carter with the impression his thoughts were far from pleasant. The effect was startling, changing him in one second from an average looking man to someone far harder and more dangerous.

The sound of the door opening broke the sudden tension and Carter twisted his head, seeing his deputy, Jo Lupo, walking in with her usual almost feline grace. At the sight of the man still lounging casually against her desk, she came to an abrupt halt.

Carter waited, watching, like someone knowing a train wreck was about to happen and unable to stop it.

Deputy Lupo came to attention and snapped out "Sir!" in a tone of voice the sheriff had never heard before. She almost quivered on the spot, her eyes fixed ahead.

"Hey, Jo. Good to see you." This time the smile was unmistakable and very, very scary. O'Neill stood and came forward, circling behind the frozen woman. O'Neill was strength and power, overshadowing the deputy's more visible menace with an ease that was frightening to witness. Before Carter had time to react, the man was back facing Jo, standing close in, almost touching.

"Lose the sir, Jo. You're not in the Rangers now."

At his words, the deputy relaxed, her feet separating as she fell into the classic 'at ease' pose.

What happened next had Sheriff Carter even more stunned. O'Neill reached out and Jo collapsed into his arms, their mouths meeting in a kiss that should have seared the paint off the bars of the nearby cell. Jo dipped gradually backwards, O'Neill bent over her, his hands gripping either side of her face, then they came upright just as slowly, ending the kiss with a lingering tenderness that had Carter blushing and wishing he was somewhere else entirely.

"Are you staying long?" Lupo still had a hand resting on the man's shirt front. Carter could almost see the steaming heat rising from them both.

"Nope, just a flying visit. I'm heading back to Washington tomorrow." O'Neill stepped back and glanced at his watch. "I've got a meeting with Doctor Stark and Allison Blake in twenty, got to make sure Stark stays focussed, then another with some of the Section Five scientists. A visit to Section Five in the morning and I'm out of here."

"Where are you staying tonight? At Beverley's?"

"Nah." His mouth creased into grin. "I'm not that stupid. Can you suggest somewhere?"

"Oh, yes." Carter had never heard Jo's voice sound quite that sexy before, the words drawled out and the implication clear.

"Cool!" O'Neill's grin grew wider. He turned to the still stunned Carter. "Walk with me, Sheriff."

Jack felt no need to disobey the obvious order, so he fell in behind the other man as he headed out onto the main street.

"We'll talk more next time I'm in town, Sheriff. Just thought I'd touch base, see if your appointment was some sort of bizarre joke." Jack opened his mouth to protest, but was interrupted. "It's the name - Jack Carter. I couldn't quite believe it when I read the report. Nothing personal, you understand."

"No, not really." Somehow the conversation, in fact the whole last fifteen minutes seemed to have gotten completely away from him. He focussed on the one point he could articulate in the myriad of conflicting thoughts, thinking of Jo calling the man 'sir'. "You're military?"

"Oh, sorry, I didn't exactly have time to introduce myself." Another pleasant smile and a little cock of the head had Carter feeling he had completely wrongly evaluated the obviously genial man. "Major General Jack O'Neill, Homeworld Security. Eureka is one of my areas of responsibility, so you'll probably see me around."

Jack blinked as he tried to reconcile the casual clothes and easy manner with the clearly important military position and came up blank.

There was a pause as they approached the large black government sedan parked at the curb. Stopping at the vehicle's door, the general pressed his thumb against a small spot near the handle. With a soft beep, the door opened.

Instead of getting in, he turned, stretching out his hand. "Some advice. Don't worry too much, Sheriff, this isn't your typical small town. Go with the flow."

Carter returned the handshake, wondering just how much the general understood about what went on in Eureka. A career probably spent serving in various US bases around the globe didn't exactly qualify him to appreciate the strangeness Carter lived with every day.

And come to think of it - he did have one more question, one that might help him better understand his co-worker, something of an enigma to him.

"I didn't think women were allowed to serve in Special Forces, sir?"

General O'Neill smiled again, tossing the answer over his shoulder as he slid behind the wheel of the car. "That's correct, Sheriff Carter."

"But ..."

The door closed and Jack watched the vehicle move slowly down the street, picking up speed as it passed the end of the first block.

If women weren't allowed to serve in Special Forces, but Jo Lupo had been an Army Ranger, a fact O'Neill had confirmed...

And O'Neill and Jo seemed to have history...

Nah! He didn't want to go there!

This was sure one strange, screwed up town.

The End

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