Story Notes: By My Side Series 02: Author's Notes: Thanks for all the positive feedback! I really appreciate it.:) There is plenty more to come!

The experience of being Nirrti's prisoner had been quite an ordeal. After Sam had been cleared by Fraiser, and given a clean bill of health, Sam had returned to her lab (despite advice to go home and rest). Before long, the phone rang, and she found herself summoned to Hammond's office, for some unknown reason. Not really sure why, Sam found herself feeling rather nervous.

"Come", General Hammond called out as Sam knocked on the door of his office.

Sam entered, and found herself looking at a very thoughtful Hammond.

"Major, please sit down. There's something I'd like to talk to you about. Off the record, so to speak."

Sam gulped, "Yes, sir. What is it about?"

"Sam, Colonel O'Neill and yourself have had a close working relationship for the past few years, haven't you?"

"Oh, yes, but so have myself and Teal'c, Daniel and..." replied Sam, desperately trying to avoid where his line of questioning was leading.

"Okay, let me phrase it another way... would you say that Colonel O'Neill and yourself have... personal feelings for each other?"

Sam thought she was going to pass out. Okay, she felt certain that Hammond had had some sort of inkling, but for him to blatantly address it was freaking her out. "Um, that might be possible, sir." Sam replied, trying to remain neutral, but wondering who the hell had been tattling on them!

Hammond continued, "And that there has been some sort of 'action' taken on these 'feelings'."

Okay, now she knew Jack had to have spoken to him, "Well, I wouldn't put it quite like that, sir. But we have talked about it and agreed to wait until a future time, when regulations won't be an issue."

"Okay, I can accept that. However, Jack has come forward, appearing to be unhappy with the status quo. I wanted to hear your thoughts on the matter.", Hammond stated.

Sam felt decidedly uncomfortable, "I know that the regulations exist for a reason, and I would never wish to flaunt them, but I honestly care for the Colonel... Jack. Besides, if anything were to develop then I doubt that would compromise our work. It's a unique command, and both the Colonel and I have been aware of our feelings for some time." 'Crap, did I just say that? He'll go nuts, for sure!'

The general relaxed and smiled "Good, that's what I wanted to hear. This will make my job much easier now that I have heard from both of you make an admission. This should help with my recommendation."

"Your recommendation?" Sam could hardly believe her ears!

Hammond grinned like the cat who had caught the mouse, "As I explained, Colonel O'Neill came and spoke to me upon your return. He had apparently made some promise to himself, that if you were successful in surviving the mission, then he, quote "would do anything in his power to do something about the regulations". Now I am willing to try and see what I can do - after all, you are my star unit, and as you said, this is a unique command. But first someone had to have the initiative to do something, and I had to be completely certain of you feelings towards each other."

"Wow." was all Sam could say. "Really?"

"Yes, however, you do realise that if this doesn't work, however a much a slim possibility it is, you could quite possibly be split-up and re-assigned. Are you prepared for that risk?" Hammond warned.

"Yes, sir!" declared Sam.

"Alright. When I have a decision, I'll let you know. Dismissed." said Hammond, as he concluded their 'talk'.

"Yes, sir. Thank-you sir." Replied Sam, in a daze, as she left Hammond's office. Just wait until she talked to Jack! She was going to kick his ass for not telling her first!


After her encounter with Hammond, Sam thought she would take up the earlier advice to go home and rest, since she didn't think she's be able to get any work done under the circumstances. So, after clearing it, she left the base, and drove home.

Sam, after a restess night, woke up feeling tired. Her sleep had been full of "what if's". She didn't know what she would do if Hammond's request were denied. 'To come this close to being able to pursue a relationship, would be devastating', Sam thought restlessly. Not knowing what else to do, she showered, and fixed herself some breakfast, ready to see what might be on the TV that morning. 'Maybe it will help me to take my mind off things', Sam mused.

After settling herself down to watch a 'the Simpsons' marathon, ('I really have been hanging around Jack too long'), she finally started to relax... until the phone rang.

"Hello, Sam Carter speaking" she answered the phone.

"Hey Carter, whatcha doin'?" Came the cheeky response.

She grinned, "Do I even want to be talking to you at the moment?"

"I'm crushed." Jack stated, in mock despair.

"Well, after my unexpected 'chat' with Hammond yesterday..." replied Sam.

"Yeah, I'm sorry about that. Hammond wouldn't let me mention anything, I swear! Do you forgive me?"

"Maybe..." Sam slowly replied, her cheeks just about breaking from the huge smile she had on her face.

"So what are you doing today?" enquired Jack.

"Trying to occupy myself. Unsuccessfully, I might add!"

"Yeah," then sounding as if he were talking to somebody off the phone he said, "Alright, enough already!" Then talking to her, he said "Sorry about that. I haveta go now, Siler and his crew wanna do some maintenance here. Apparently they are having a lot of trouble working around the rest of the base. I'll see you in a couple of days, okay?"

"Yep, bye." Said Sam, feeling down, once again.

---early the next morning---

Ring, ring, went the phone shrilly.

Sam groaned. What time was it anyway? She checked the clock radio, which read 06:00 hours. 'Aren't I supposed to be having a break?' groused Sam.

It was Hammond on the phone. "Major, I want you to report to my office at 07:00 hours sharp."

"Yes, sir." said Sam fearing the worst. And with that she hung up, and got up to face to the music.


Sam knocked on Hammond's door, and upon entering, was surprised to see Jack there, already waiting.

She acknowledged them both, "Sirs."

Jack nodded a reply, and Hammond asked for her to be seated.

"I have called both of you here today to deliver the news of your request. Now, as I said, I was willing to see what I could do for you, regarding a relationship." He drawled, "Now, I have made that request for not only you two, but for the whole of the SGC to the President and the Joints Chiefs. Now, they feel as I do, that the SGC is very different from any sort of command that the Airforce has ever previously run. On that note, effective immediately, the fraternisation rules have been suspended for the SGC."

Sam and Jack sat there in shock. Were they hearing right?

Hammond continued, "But first of all, there will be some guidelines out into place about conduct between officers on duty. Firstly, as such a relationship could be taken advantage of by the Goa'uld or some other alien hostiles, you are to conduct yourself with the utmost propriety, and are not to reveal the nature of your relationship, while off-world. Unless, of course, such information is necessary to save either or both of your lives. Secondly, while on base, although it will not necessarily be secret, the same professional behaviour is expected. Thirdly, if any such relationship does not 'work out', as unlikely as that may be in your particular case, it should not cause any degradation in your work. There will be no re-assignments, because you feel 'uncomfortable'. We are a military operation, not a soap opera. And lastly," said Hammond, his face softening, "my advice to you is to make the most of this special chance you've been given."

Huge smiles slowly lit up both of Sam and Jack's faces.

"It's not April Fools Day, is it sir?" questioned Jack.

Hammond chuckled, "Oh, and by the way... the SGC is on stand down for two weeks, as certain maintenance will be done. Besides the maintenance crew, only defence teams will be on duty, in case of unforeseen aggressors. Dismissed."

Sam and Jack leapt out of their seats, "Yes, sir!" And left Hammond's office.

Sam's eyes were shining, "Can you believe that?"

"Looks like we have a wedding to plan." quipped Jack.

"Wow, we do, we'll have -" She was cut-off by Jack's lips on hers. When they stopped for air, Jack commented, "Well, I did tell you I'd find a way to get you to Minnesota with me!"

Sam shook her head, "Actually, I promised Mark I'd go and visit him in San Diego for my next leave."

Seeing Jack's dejected face, she added, "Although I was wondering if you'd like to join me."

"Sweet!" Jack exclaimed, "We don't go yet, though, do we?"

"No, we can go in a couple of days. Give me an opportunity to get organised, and to book the plane tickets. It'll be great. Besides, I think we'd better go before we're busted by Hammond for breaking one of the rules of the agreement!"

They both grinned and went to change into their civvies. It was vacation time!

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