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Stargate Sg-1 fic: Playing the Game: Rules Are Meant to be Broken

Ahhh, the last fic I have to post today.  For day 6 of theme week at [info]stargateland .  And to think I used to HATE writing from prompts.  There’s still a bunch I would love to use but I have a bunch of other stuff to write.  I jotted down my favorites though in case I’m ever in need of a story idea.  The prompt for this one was: 13- SG1, Jack & or / Samantha Carter, visiting Atlantis.  So it’s kind of an SGA crossover although the only people in it are Jack and Sam.

Playing the Game: Rules Are Meant to be Broken
by jennickels (aka Jen Connelly)
Stargate SG-1/Atlantis
1551 words
rating: PG

Jack visits Sam on Atlantis after she takes command. (With the premise that they didn’t get together after Threads.)

don’t own… wish I did, but I don’t. No infringement intended.

“So what do you think, sir?” Sam watched his expression as she guided him through the labyrinth-like corridors of Atlantis. She’d been the expedition commander for six months now and this was his first visit while she was in charge. She felt a nervous flutter of her stomach and wondered why. She’d felt less nervous going up for her first promotion review. This was General O’Neill after all.

After a moment he turned to her, his hands clasped behind his back. “Looks good, Colonel. Any problems since you’ve taken over.”

Relief swelled in her and she shook away the cobwebs of doubt that invaded her head. “Not really. Just your typical disgruntled personnel.”

“There’s always a few that don’t adapt well to a regime change.”

She snorted. “I’d hardly call it a regime change, sir.”

“Going from a civilian command to military is a lot to take. Especially with a science expedition like this.”

“It hasn’t been that bad. And I think things have smoothed out rather nicely.”

He must have noticed her defensiveness because his expression softened and he pressed a smile to his face. “I’m sure it has, Carter. I wasn’t trying to imply otherwise. I just know it’s… hard. Being in charge.”

She regarded him for several beats but found his words sincere. He knew from experience. She nodded in agreement. “It’s different here, though. We’re so far from home that we rely on each other a great amount so we’re all kind of like-”


She smiled up at him. “Yeah, family.”

“That’s good, Carter. You deserve to have family close.”

They turned a corner and she noticed he had gotten very quiet. Sam knew him well enough to judge his moods by his demeanor. Most people wouldn’t notice the subtle shift in his manner or inflections of his voice. She watched him from the corner of her eyes the whole length of the hall but he said nothing else. His gaze was fixed on the polished floor, the clicks of his shoes the only sound.

“Was there something else, sir? Something bothering you?”

He shook his head and looked up at her with a lost expression. She almost laughed out loud at it. How many times had he given her that same look after not paying attention in a briefing or zoned out while she explained something complicated on a mission. She sighed softly then, realizing where they were, motioned for him to take a right and lead him down another hall, stopping in front of a nondescript door. He looked confused, his brows knit together.

She opened the door and gestured for him to come inside. His mouth opened to ask where they were but it shut just as quickly. It was pretty obvious. He looked around with curious eyes, his earlier confusion and pensiveness forgotten.

“Nice digs, Carter.”

“Surprisingly comfortable,” she agreed. “The ancients really knew how to build ’em.”

She waited for his amused snort in reply and wasn’t disappointed. He found his way over to the bookcase along one wall of the sitting area and examining her collection. “Interesting,” he mumbled, holding up a copy of a rather racy romance novel.

Sam blushed. “One of the nurses gave me that. I, uh, haven’t even opened it yet.” She grabbed the book and tossed it onto the basket of unwashed laundry in the corner. The general just smiled at her—that intensely wicked smile he used when he tried to refrain from saying something he’d regret later. Or was up to no good. Sam always found it kind of charming. Not that she’d ever let him know that.

He turned away and picked up one of the framed pictures. Sam felt her ears turning from pink to red as he examined the familiar snapshot of himself decked out in full tactical gear before a mission. He shot her a warm look and put the frame back down with a snort. But he didn’t say anything. Sam was sure she saw his face flush and bit into her lips to keep from smiling.

She followed him around the room giving little tidbits of information she’d learned about Atlantis in the time she’d been there and offering her opinion on other matters. Finally they rounded back to the main sitting room. He turned and eyed her with a look of concern mingled with a little apprehension.

“So, you’re doing okay?”

“Of course. Things are running smoothly and the wraith-”

“That’s not what I meant.”

She looked away. She knew what he meant but this dance was too familiar to learn new steps just yet. When she didn’t answer he took a step closer and asked again.

“Are you okay?”

Sam nodded slightly. Was she okay? Really? After losing her spot on SG-1 and being shipped to another galaxy without a choice? That was the military she tried to tell herself but it still sucked. Really sucked sometimes. And part of her was angry and resentful. And maybe a little selfish in thinking that she might deserve a little more consideration considering how many times she had saved the planet. She nodded again, no less firmly. He stepped closer.


“I’m fine. Just a little… lonely.”

“You just said the whole expedition was like family.”

“Not my family,” she said softly. “Not… I didn’t mean…”

“I know what you meant.” And before she knew what was happening he had crossed the last few feet between them and pulled her into a tight embrace. Her breath caught in her chest at the sudden contact—just like it always had. Ten years and the man still had that affect on her. And he seemed to know it because she felt a chuckle rumble in his chest.

“I miss you,” she whispered, almost hoping he wouldn’t hear. They had played this game for so long she wasn’t sure she’d ever figure out the rules or if there was a way to win. But it was familiar and she didn’t want to stop playing. But maybe a change of rules would be okay.

He tightened his grip, swallowing hard. “I miss you, too.” She could feel his Adam’s apple really working as he fought to maintain control. “A lot.”

Sam pulled back to look him in the face. She didn’t know what to say to his confession so she just smiled at him. After a few moments he closed his eyes and took a steadying breath.

“You know this wasn’t my idea, right? I wanted to keep you at the SGC. At home. Safe.” Close to me. She could have sworn she heard him say the words.

“I know. I’m okay, really.”

“I just worry about you.”

“I can take care of myself.”

He grunted. “Of that I have no doubt. I was thinking more about the personal side. Being so far from your friends. I mean, you might get so lonely one of these geeks out here could give you a little look and BAM…” His voice trailed off. She rolled her eyes—typical O’Neill deflection.

“Never’ll happen.”



“How come? You telling me you’ve taken a vow of celibacy or something?”

Sam giggled and shook her head against his chest. “God no.”

He laughed at that. Then made that questioning sound in his throat that used to make her head spin—sometimes with amusement and sometimes with agitation.

“I’m not interested in the geeks here.”

“They’d be perfect for you. Might even understand a quarter of what you’re talking about.”

A vision of Rodney bloomed inside her head but she quickly pushed it out with an internal shiver. “Never.”

He pulled back slightly and looked at her with a nervous expression. Well, to anyone else it would look positively blasé but Sam knew him so much better than that. “How come,” he asked, his voice very quiet.”

Sam licked her lips, debating what to say. The rules of the game demanded she change the subject, crack a joke, make a sarcastic remark. Anything except the truth. But rules were made to be broken and games could get tedious if repeated for long lengths of time. Anyone that ever played a never-ending round of Monopoly knew that. She took a deep breath and leaned her head against his shoulder again. “Because I’m already in love with someone else.”

He was very still for a long while. Sam waited, chewing on her bottom lip. Then his hand slid up her back to rest on her neck and she realized he had been holding his breath when his chest suddenly deflated as he let out a long, shaky breath. He took two more breaths then said, with a rather steady voice, “anybody I know?”

Sam shook her head, tears pressing at the corners of her eyes. She didn’t know what she would do with him. Or without him in her life. She didn’t even want to contemplate that. So instead she just tightened her grip and let her lips slide across the soft skin just above his uniform collar. Letting him know exactly who she was talking about. His only response was a full body shiver. Sam smiled into the crook of his neck suddenly wondering why she never thought to bend the rules a little sooner.


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