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).
Agent Malcolm Barrett left General Landry's office whistling. Not only did the meeting with the newest leader of the SGC go better than expected, but there was a lab containing one blonde (and now notably fiance-less) astrophysicist just a few levels above. He stepped onto the elevator and nodded to the airman onboard.
True, last time he had spoken to Lieutenant Colonel Samantha Carter he had asked if she were single. He had been not glad exactly but not sorry either to hear she had called it quits with her cop. Also true, she had said "Not exactly" in response. But Barrett spent time in the following months mulling over that particular exchange. The more he thought about it the more dissatisfied he became with "not exactly" as an answer. After all that could mean any number of things. It was on this note that the door slid open bringing him face to face with the Colonel herself.
He looked up startled to see her eyes taking on a slightly amused glint.
"Are we planning on moving anytime today?" She asked as her lips curved upward.
Barrett gave himself an imperceptible shake and shot her a grin. "Actually I was on my way to see you, Sam."
Her eyebrow arched slowly. "Oh?"
He stepped from the elevator, blocking her path as the doors slid shut. "I was wondering, if, since I was in town we could get together and catch up? I haven't seen you lately and I'd like to hear about what you're doing." Seeing her open her mouth to speak, he quickly cut her off and raised his hands defensively. "Only the stuff you won't have to shoot me for."
She smiled and choked down a laugh. "Well, hrm. I'm uh having some people over tonight. The usual suspects. If they don't scare you you're more than welcome to drop by." He smiled brightly and took down the address, once again whistling tunelessly as he punched the button and waited with Sam for the elevator to arrive.
****Sam's place, 1900 hrs.****
Malcolm pulled up in his rental car looking at the cars crammed in the driveway. He shrugged and grabbed the bottle of wine he had brought and made his way to the door. He could hear voices and laughter floating from the backyard as he punched the bell.
Major General Jack O'Neill swung the door open bellowing "T!! Spacemonkey!!! It's about ti...." He stopped short and looked decidedly confused. Way back in his liquid brown eyes there lurked a hint of suspicion. "Agent Barrett."
Malcolm shifted nervously. "Oh, uhm, General. Sam invited me to drop by." Then he stopped and said "Wait...what the heck is a spacemonkey?!" //What the hell is O'Neill doing here?//
O'Neill shrugged and waved him in. "Can I get you a beer? I have Guinness...and...diet (Jack made a face) coke...and...Guinness..."
With beer in hand he made is way out to the deck where the small group was lounging. Sam looked up and caught his eye. "Barrett! Glad you could make it."
Barrett grinned, "Maybe you should work on that welcoming committee. Your houseboy is a bit intimidating."
Sam threw an amused glance back at Jack. "What can I say. He's a fixture."
Barrett looked a bit bemused. "So what have you been up too?"
Sam laughed. "Oh this and that. The usual Telemetry shenanigans. You know how it goes." They stood in silence a moment sipping their drinks and enjoying the night.
"So rumor is you might be available." He internally winced as the words left his lips. //Ugh! What am I 16?!//
Sam started in surprise. She knew the he had a slight crush on her. She also knew she had told him she was not single, though she did recognize that her reply could have been misconstrued. It was a bit ambiguous. She thought a moment choosing her words carefully.
However just as she opened her mouth, Jack swooped in with his usual impeccable timing. "Barrett." He nodded slightly.
Malcolm was torn. On the one hand he wanted to tell O'Neill to take a hike. He'd always found him a bit intimidating. Unfriendly. Rude and oh so unabashedly sarcastic. This however was not about his faults. He was a Major General running the entirety of the Homeworld Security. Good pals with the Prez. Big time hero. The great man himself. "O'Neill." He nodded back. //Damn Damn Damn!!// He really just wanted to talk to Sam, but swallowed his impatience and disappointment in the face of small talk.
He was saved when Daniel and Teal'c arrived noisily as everyone shouted a greeting. Jack wandered over to greet them and began a conversation with Teal'c. Just as Malcolm turned back to Sam, Daniel wandered over slinging his arm easily around Sam's shoulders. She shot Barrett an apologetic glance. "Hey Daniel!" Sam looked pleased to see him.
Daniel smiled rather wickedly. "Jack seems unusually cheerful..." Sam blushed and lightly smacked Daniel. Barrett felt the stirrings of bewilderment. //What the heck is going on..?// Suddenly O'Neill was back. Not only was he back but he was brushing Sam's hair from her face affectionately as she leaned into him. Sam, to his consternation (and disappointment), seemed to glow brighter with each gentle touch. That same glow was also mirrored on O`Neill`s usually impassive mug. He saw a glint and noticed for the first time a ring on O'Neill's finger. With a sinking heart he turned to see its mate resting snuggly on Sam's hand.
O'Neill looked at him oddly, and Barrett, instead of the expected warning, saw a compassionate light emanating from his expressive brown eyes. It surprised him. Floored him really if he were honest with himself. He suddenly realized he may have judged this man too harshly. It also made him realize what he didn't want to admit. He had known about the General. He had always known where Sam's affections lay.
His admiration stepped up a notch when he realized that, O'Neill, instead of freaking out about how he had obviously almost made a play on his wife had instead offered a silent sympathy. He didn't know if he could be so generous were he in Jack's shoes. A slight prick of envy whispered through him in the face of O'Neill's total confidence in their love. Then again it was strangely heartening to know that that sort of thing really did exist. Living proof.
Malcolm bore up and grinned. To his great surprise it was a very genuine and large smile, one that reached his eyes. "Congratulations!!!! You guys deserve all the happiness in the galaxy."
Sam smiled warmly. "Thank you, Malcolm."
He sighed softly. "When?"
Jack looked at Sam and replied "We did it just before I was transferred to the Pentagon, while Sam was still R&D. No regs, no shackles, no question." He smirked as Sam sighed. Barrett offered a grin. "I'm so happy for you."
He reluctantly looked back at Jack who had on an almost unreadable expression. Barrett however was sure he saw a grudging respect there. For some reason beyond his comprehension he suddenly felt renewed. A bridge had been mended. He had to hand it to O'Neill. He was one lucky sonofabitch.
Maybe, just maybe, he'd be a lucky sonofabitch too one day.
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