Page 17

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Sam had carefully walked towards the Colonel, trying to keep the force from dragging her, but found herself in a staring contest with the inside of his lung anyways.
She sighed in disgust and looked around.
Teal'c had closed the door behind Daniel, obviously wanting a word alone with the Colonel.
He looks so hurt.
How could I have ever called that face unexpressive?
I confused lack of words with lack of emotion, but his eyes betray everything.
Sam watched Jack straighten his shoulders at the simple question.
Almost military attention quality.
"It wasn't deliberate."
"I see. I was just, as you say, 'not in the right place at the right time'?
Sam looked from one to another, trying to decipher what in the world they were talking about.
Jack smiled a bit.
"Not even bothering to mess it up deliberately just so I'll correct you?"
"There is no need. I do not always do it deliberately as you well know."
"Yeah, I know. Sorry. That's pretty much it. I know it doesn't help."
"No, it does not."
Okay...Sam got the reference to the metaphor.
She'd always suspected Teal'c caught on faster than he'd appeared to, but she still didn't have a clue what the problem was.
"Perhaps I should accompany you to all locations until the situation has been resolved."
Jack winced.
"Not taking any more chances, huh?"
Sam was beginning to get an inkling.
"She was my friend, too."
Yup, Teal'c was upset because he hadn't been told what was going on by Daniel, Jack, or Janet.
"I know. It won't happen again. I won't let it happen again."
"Thank you."
"I don't know about you, but I'm not anxious to watch anyone else die and I'm due for a shower anyways."
The silence around the two soldiers relaxed and Sam realized they probably thought she'd gone with Daniel.
Uh oh.
Jack wiggled his eyebrows at Teal'c.
"Join me?"
Amusement washed away the last of the hurt in Teal'c's expression.
"You are flirting with me, O'Neill."
Jack grinned.
"Just curious how far you're gonna take this shadow position."
"I will await you outside the shower room."
"Aww...shucks, Teal'c."
Jack winked at him.
Teal'c began retrieving the papers Daniel had slid into an open box before he'd left.
"I wish to read the conversation between Capt. Carter and DanielJackson."
Jack stepped over and read over Teal'c shoulder.
Sam just stood there, her jaw sitting on the ground.
She was in shock.
Not at the Colonel's teasing.
The homophobia in the military would be enough to keep any man straight, so it wasn't that.
It was the mental picture that had flashed in her head of what Hammond's face would've looked like had he overheard the Colonel teasing Teal'c.
She pictured his jaw hitting the ground.
Then, she looked down and saw her jaw sitting there.
No blood, just a detached body part.
Her hand slowly raised and felt nothing but air where her lower jaw was supposed to be.
The shock left as terror rampaged through her.
What if she was starting to fall apart?
This was worse than desolidifying.
At least Daniel wasn't here to see this.
She was going to give the poor man nightmares.
Then, another voice made itself heard.
A voice from inside her, but not hers.
*Foolish Tau'ri! Pick the jaw up and picture it attached to you like it was before it fell.*
It was a strong, but very feminine voice.
When she had first heard it inside her head, trying to assure her repeatedly, she'd assumed it was a female voice simply because she was a female host.
Now, from Martouf, she knew better.
*You're here. I mean, you're really here. That wasn't a memory of another conversation you had. How many people dropped their jaws in front of you?*
Jolinar groaned.
*I have been here the whole time. The Ashrak destroyed my body, but not my mind. You are much stronger, mentally, than you know, Samantha. You instinctively locked me into a small mental box. I fought the prison, but only bits of me were able to escape. Mostly just memories. Sometimes I was able to get a sentence through the walls, but you were so strong.*
Sam gently picked up the jaw and studied it from different angles while allowing Jolinar's bitter comments to penetrate.
*So now that I'm dead, you're free?*
Jolinar gave a curt laugh.
*Free. How free am I? I am tied to you for eternity. I just wish that I had been able to talk to Lantash one more time.You are nothing like Rosha.*
Sam's eyes narrowed.
*You weren't like this when you entered me. I mean, you were a bit rude, but I understand now why you did what you did. Surely that's ground for current understanding.*
Jolinar projected as much sarcastic emotion as she could for a moment.
*I am going to rest. If you find a way back to the living, let me know.*
Sam felt the connection close.
Well wasn't that just a lovely surprise.
Eternity with the ghost of a bitter slug.
Sam looked at the picture of the team Daniel kept on the middle shelf of his bookcase.
Staring carefully at herself in it, she held her jaw in place and actually felt it connect back.
She shivered at the strange sensations.
When she was sure everything was back where it was supposed to be, she turned toward Jack and Teal'c.
They were rather thoroughly absorbed in her conversation with Daniel.
It's not like there was anything embarrassing in it.
They'd simply been arguing over who to tell, what to do, etc...
Finally, Jack stepped away.
Teal'c turned to him expectantly.
Jack smiled and walked out of the room, Sam hurrying a bit to match his unusually quick strides down the corridor.
Her eyes widened as she realized the shower part of his teasing hadn't been faked.
He really was on his way past the lockers now and into the shower room.
How in the world was she going to handle this?
Why didn't she listen and attach herself to Teal'c when she had the chance?
Even if she'd sometimes entertained a thought or two about how extremely good-looking her commanding officer was, it was highly inappropriate to see him in this way.
What to do....what to do.
Okay...unless you try to move to someone else, you're just dragged around with whoever you're with. Yes? Yes.
So maybe if you close your eyes and keep them closed, no matter what, until you're sure the Colonel's dressed again, all you'll get out of this is a bucket full of nausea and not an eyeful of flesh.
Sam looked around the room, noting that the Colonel wasn't the only man heading to the shower and prepared herself for a wild ride.
Taking a deep breath as the Colonel removed his shirt, she closed her eyes.
For a few moments, nothing happened.
Then, she felt the warning tug flowing around her.
An instant later, her feet left the floor and she was soaring.
It took all her willpower not to open her eyes.
She heard a few words spoken, but the whoosh of the air flying past her ears blocked most other sound.
The force died down a bit and water cascaded through her.
Her eyes opened of their own volition and she realized she was near the floor of the communal shower.
She knew that because one eye was looking at the drain, and the other was definitely seeing foot guts.
She shifted a bit, hoping that the Colonel...she assumed it was the Colonel's feet since she certainly wasn't looking up to see for sure...wouldn't move too much and step into her head or something.
Now that she could hear, she listened to the chatting.
It wasn't anything like what she was used to.
The women chatted, but they didn't constantly dare each other to do stupid things involving towels, soap, hanging from light fixtures, or sticking around to moon the first unlucky female co-worker when the locker room changed gender.
She was laughing like crazy and felt Jolinar's exasperated amusement, too, even though the Tok'ra really was trying to rest.
It couldn't have been more than 10 minutes later when the water shut off.
She closed her eyes and was promptly dragged in what felt like a zigzaggy pattern.
As soon as the force died down, she heard typical locker room talk, so she kept her eyes closed until she heard Teal'c talking to the Colonel.
Her eyes popped open before she could stop them and she realized she had no clue where she was.
She was looking in Daniel's locker.
At least, she assumed it was Daniel's locker since it had the brush she'd bought Daniel on PF4-765 a couple months before.
Okay...since my head's in his locker, I must be at least partly through the floor.
She cautiously stuck her head out of the locker and into the wall.
*Oh. how intelligent.*
Pulling back in quickly, she ignored Jolinar's taunting and after turning around, walked out the front of the locker...right into the Colonel.
Gritting her teeth, she walked right on through him and turned around, immediately grateful he was dressed except for his socks and shoes.
"You do that. Teal'c, I'm gonna go check on Danny. Coming?"
Teal'c simply nodded and followed the Colonel out of the room.
Averting her eyes from the men in the room, Sam let out a gusty sigh of relief as soon as they were out of the locker room.
That was not an experience she wanted to repeat.

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