Story Notes: Thank you: My beta- Steph, thanks for getting my brain in gear, hope I didn't make it too far from what you'd envisioned. Walter's next, I promise.

AN: Needed a little something light after finishing Wind Through the Trees. Nothing about the words of a certain monarch from a certain European country.

Dedication: This one's for the Bobs at SJ fun.

Waking up to birdsong isn't as great as it sounds, literally. At first, I couldn't remember where I was, or anything really other than the fact that my head was pounding... and that the hot, humid air was making a decent attempt at suffocating me.

I opened my eyes, taking in the ornately decorated ceiling above my head and figured I wasn't on Earth; It was about the time this not-so-stunning realisation dawned that I noticed the weather wasn't the only thing overheating me- there was someone on top of me, and guessing from the warm, sweaty feeling between us, neither of us were wearing any clothes.

Honestly, I just wanted to keep facing straight forward, or whatever the term for straight up at the ceiling is. I wasn't really interested in knowing who belonged to the, admittedly nice shaped, body. There were some things I'd been working on, and my relations with alien women were one of them.

So, I dissected the alien ceiling above my head- yes, those *were* nice *things* up there, okay, so I'm no art critic. The person using my body as a pillow started to stir, and I began to steel myself for my usual speech before leaving as quickly as possible.

The woman gave a soft moan as she arched her back and reached her right hand to massage a very uncomfortable portion of my anatomy. I was still looking at the ceiling, they were definitely gilded dogs, dancing with what appeared to be gilded cats- but that didn't make any sense.

Suddenly, I heard a gasp and felt all contact with the woman leave me. "Oh god, Colonel." She said, my vision snapping to her, all of my memories came flooding back to me, and I knew I was in trouble.

3 Days Earlier

As usual, SG-1 was on a mission, doing what could have been anyone's guess, but they were doing it and by all accounts they were doing it well.

The team was finally starting to work together but, thought Body Swapping Entities Number 852 and 709, there was something missing, and that was fun. Sure, they realised as Jonas Quinn's combat boot came into contact with the tuft of grass they'd decided to spend the day in, there were happy things in each of their lives, but there was too much loss.

Their nice spot of grass now squashed, BSE 709 and BSE 852 went into a couple of birds to better facilitate their viewing of the interesting specimens.

The more they watched, the more excited the pair became about the opportunity to play with these strangers that didn't even belong on their world. They knew they'd get in trouble for it, they weren't supposed to meddle in the affairs of so called 'sentient' beings, but they decided for all the fun it would be, getting in a little trouble would definitely be worth it.

Now, all they had to decide on was which members of the team presented the most opportunities to have fun. They observed all day, finally seizing the opportunity to visit each person's body in turn as they slept, taking in all of their thoughts, memories, and most interesting to 852 and 709, their desires.

"Are you thinking what I'm thinking?" 709 squeaked, as the pair entered a couple of field mice.

"Jonas Quinn is too happy for his own good?"

"Well, besides that, about who to choose?"

852's beady little eyes lit up as the thought of how they could have the most fun ever came into its mind. "I'll take O'Neill, you get Carter."

If Teal'c, who was on guard duty that night, heard the field mice giggling strangely it wasn't mentioned in his report. Teal'c didn't really think much of it when O'Neill woke up a bit later and relieved him of duty, allowing the Jaffa time to Kel-no-reem. 852 on the other hand found it exhilarating, this was only the second sentient it had occupied, the first having been a willing participant a few months earlier when school had still been in session.

"852?" The Colonel's ears picked up the sound of 709 making *her* way toward *him* in the darkness.

"That's Colonel O'Neill to you." He said, as he got a better hold on his character.

"Yes Sir." 709 giggled.

"You're not doing her voice right."

"And how would you know?" 709 asked, as the two quickly and quietly set off for their city.

"He," 852 motioned to his body. "loves to hear her speak. You're making her voice too high, and remember above all else that she's a scientist. At least *try* and make her sound intelligent." 709 scrunched up her nose, not liking what 852 was implying.

"So what are we going to do?"

"What does Major Carter want more than anything else?"

"Her father to be safe and her family to be happy?"

"Other than that, what does she physically want?"

"Her cat back?" 852 groaned, exasperated. "Okay, she wants Colonel O'Neill."

"Right, and I'll give you one guess what this guy wants."


"Well her, but yeah, for all intents and purposes at the moment."

"So, are we going to give them what they've wanted?"

"Of course we are. Come on, they can stay at my place, my parents are out of town."

852 and 709 spent two days in Carter and O'Neill's bodies, doing everything they could think of that the couple might possibly do or say to one another, and with each other, despite not really understanding what most of the phrases meant, especially one about 'screwing' something called 'regs'. To 852 and 709 'screws' were small metal objects used to adhere one thing to another, and neither could wrap their mind around what a 'reg' might be, but it sounded mean.

On their last night, 852 lay with his arms around 709 as they waited for sleep to claim their borrowed bodies. As soon as the Colonel and Major were asleep they'd be going back to their own bodies, laying in a comatose-appearing state in 852's bedroom.

"He kissed her once ya know." 852 stated.

"He did?" 709 searched her memory but couldn't think of a time when *he'd* kissed *her*.

"Yup, when he and the Jaffa were in that time loop, he took one off just to resign and kiss her."

"That's nice." She kissed him one last time before falling asleep and returning to her own body, now came the really fun part, watching them wake up.

"Oh god." Carter was saying. "Colonel! You kissed me!"

"It wasn't me! And besides do you really think *kissing* is our biggest problem right now?" I took in her extreme nudity before averting my eyes as she jumped back into the bed and under the covers, but as far from me as possible.

"That wasn't what I meant. What you told me when you weren't you and I wasn't me- he, you said that during the time loops you kissed me."

"Yeah, and?"

"And you should have told me!" Why do awkward moments seem to follow me around? As if having both Carter and myself naked in the same bed with the memories to go along with what our bodies did wasn't bad enough, I had said Naked Carter yelling at me for one little kiss two years ago.

"For cryin' out loud Carter, I couldn't tell you and you know that, it would have jeopardized our relationship. It would be too hard for both of us to have those memories, it's something we can't have, I had enough of a problem when it was just me, but at least then I could pass it off as just a dream considering no one else who was around remembered it."

"What do you mean 'no one else'? Who else was there?" She asked, and I could see this conversation was really going to get me into a lot of trouble.

"General Hammond, a couple technicians, an SF or five... no one really."

"Colonel! What would you have done if that had been the last loop, if it had all just stopped?"

"Well I'd just resigned, so I'd have probably stayed that way."

"What are we going to do? I mean, as soon as they find out we were taken over by alien entities they're going to have us examined inside and out, and it's not going to take very much searching to find out what I've been doing for the last couple days." The pained look on her face had me immediately concerned.

"Are you all right?"

"Yes Sir, it's just... it's been a while."

"What? Oh... Ooh." The gravity of our situation was starting to weigh on me, either that or I was starting to wake up and notice more things, or remember more things. I'd, okay well maybe not *me* but my voice and body, had told Sam that I loved her, and then made love with her, which was all well and good and wonderful, until you came to the fact that we had to live with those memories. "I wonder where they are now."


"Them... the ones who took us for a ride." I regretted my words immediately. "The ones who took over our bodies."

"They're probably around here somewhere... we were taken over by teenagers weren't we?" She asked grimly.

"I think so, a pair of practical joking, body swapping, teenagers." I rolled myself over to the very edge of the bed, looking for my or Carter's clothes. "And it appears that they've stolen our clothes."

"Could this day get any worse?" I quickly rolled back to face her, my movements pulling the sheet to give me a tantalising view of her breasts.

"Don't ask that, what ever you do, don't ask *that*."

She modestly covered herself back up. "Sorry, but all that's missing from this whole experience is General Hammond and the rest of the SGC jumping out and yelling 'gotcha!'."

I stood up quickly, and attempted to ignore her piercing gaze as I thoroughly searched the room for something we could wear. Feeling like a naked maid, I did manage one of our packs and a pair of combat boots, mine incidentally. The pack turned out to be mine too, which was good because it meant clean clothes for me, but it left me trying to remember exactly how I'd ended up with my clothes off before my pack and boots.

"I think I know where your things are." I said, once she noticed I was watching her watch me. "We, uh they, you know, out there, first." I couldn't say 'had sex' to her, especially in regards to *our* actions, or at least the actions of our bodies. I was getting an even worse headache from the confusion alone. I dressed quickly, she watched, whether on purpose or not I wasn't about to ask. "I'll be right back."

The main room was just as ornate as the bedroom we'd woken up in, maybe even more so. More memories hit me as I gathered up our clothing, memories that would make working with Carter impossible, and I didn't like them. I always thought of the day of finally being able to be with Carter as some strange occurrence that would only happen once we killed all of the Goa'uld, and so I never really envisioned it happening.

Going back to the bedroom, I handed Sam her clothes and then quickly retreated again to try and call Teal'c and Jonas over our radios.

I got a hold of the guys, seemed they'd been searching for us for two days, but despite the fact that our bodies had not been ours during the time, our radios were conveniently turned off, I'm sure they were just trying to conserve the batteries.

"O'Neill, do you know your location?" Teal'c was asking.

"No," Sam appeared behind me, looking her calm, normal self, I only hoped I looked half as collected as she did. "We were just about to go outside."

I don't know what I was expecting to happen once we walked out the front door of that house, but whatever it was, it didn't come. There was no one around, and there were also no helpful signs saying 'Stargate 5 Miles' or anything like that. "Teal'c?"

"Yes O'Neill?"

"Could you do us a favour and fire you staff straight up?"

"Yes O'Neill." We heard the blast, and then finally after turning in circles several times we were able to pick it out among the trees, we started walking in that direction.

"Colonel," Carter said, once we were out of the city. "what are we going to tell them?"

"The truth Carter, there's nothing else we can tell them. I think that it might be a good idea if we don't admit that we have all of the memories of what happened though." Her face was almost comical, so I felt compelled to continue. "We'll leave it on the planet, worked before, right?"

Her face seemed to show that she was as sceptical of the idea working as I was. "Yes Sir."

We walked for hours, keeping up intermittent contact with Teal'c and Jonas, and ignoring each other for the most part. I guess that, considering our bodies had just had two days of constant sex with each other, we didn't really have much we could have said to one another without getting in trouble.

We finally joined up with the rest of our team as the sun was setting.

"Colonel O'Neill, Major Carter! We were worried about you." Jonas was the first to see us.

"Nothing to worry about Jonas, just the usual aliens taking over our bodies stuff." I tried to sound light hearted, it may not have worked, but at least I tried.

"We should return to the SGC immediately so that Dr. Fraiser may examine you." Teal'c ordered.

Our arrival at the SGC was surprisingly calm, seemed that despite the fact that we'd been reported missing, we'd still come back okay, which just meant the usual comings and goings of SG-1. Carter and I didn't speak, we didn't even look at one another from the time we met up with the rest of our team until we'd made our way to the infirmary, and were each shoved into our own cubicle. I caught her on her way into hers, once Jonas and Teal'c had the medical staff occupied. "Major--"

She cut me off before I could even get started. "We don't remember anything Sir, we just woke up in some strange room to find an abandoned city and absolutely no memories."

"Right, that's exactly how I remember not remembering it." Sam smiled grimly at me before heading behind her curtain. I liked it better when we were laying naked in bed yelling at one another.

It wasn't too long before I was out and done, my doctor had been some new guy who had no idea what he was getting himself into with an assignment to the SGC. I did find though, that I was the last member of SG-1 to be finished with, so I went to the locker room to shower.

I could smell Sam Carter all over myself, even my clean BDUs seemed to smell like her, and it was somewhat disconcerting considering all the people I'd come into contact with since getting back to Earth.

I allowed the hot water to beat down on my overworked muscles for a while, I was *so* never lending my body out to a set of inexperienced teenagers again. All I wanted to do was go home and sleep, but no, I knew that if I gave Carter too much time to dwell on the issue there'd be no possibility of ever getting SG-1 to work together without our new awkwardness.

Getting dressed the second time that day was probably the easiest thing I'd done. Finding my truck and actually driving to Sam's house was a completely different story. There were two ways I could go with this, and neither was about my choice of route.

I knew I could tell Sam she was the best second in command I've ever had, which she is, and that for the sake of the team we're both part of we need to find a way to put our memories behind ourselves. Or, I could tell her the completely real truth in that I wanted to make those memories all over again, only this time I wanted it to just be the two of us. Choice number one seemed to be the only viable option, the only thing she'd ever accept.

Locking my doors, I decided to bite the bullet and headed up the path to Carter's front door. I knocked three times, worried that, despite seeing her car in front of mine, she might not be home. When she did finally answer the door I knew something was wrong. It wasn't just the tear tracks and red eyes that tipped me off to this, it was the fact that I could tell it wasn't her.

852 wasn't expecting Colonel O'Neill to come to Major Carter's house. It had been one of the reasons he had allowed 709 to talk him into following SG-1 back through the Stargate as a couple of ants in their packs.

852 and 709 had watched as Sam and Jack had woken up and immediately started fighting with one another. They hadn't intended for them to fight, they'd hoped their memories of their three days together might actually pull them together. But no, he'd let 709 talk him into this whole harebrained scheme to somehow make the two of them get along. They'd been observing Major Carter lay on her couch and cry when all of the sudden she'd perked up, stood up, and disappeared. Major Carter had returned a little while later clutching a bottle of something called "Raid" which, once she'd sprayed them, had ceased all neural activity in 852's borrowed body. This presented a problem for 852, seeing as how he only had a couple of seconds before he too would die, he made the decision to occupy Major Carter. The moment he'd gotten his bearings in the woman he'd only occupied for a couple of minutes before settling on O'Neill, there was a knock on the door.

Out of the corner of his... her eye, 852 saw 709 scurry under a potted plant, he hoped she would be all right until she could find another body.

He knew Major Carter had to answer her door, her vehicle was in front of her home, which was brightly illuminated... no one would question whether she was there or not.

852 opened the door optimistically, he just assumed it to be some random passer-by, which would have been common practise on his planet, but somewhat freaky on Earth.

Colonel O'Neill looked immediately concerned as 852 welcomed him into her home with a "Colonel".

"You feeling all right Carter? You're acting kind of out of it." O'Neill asked, as the two of them sat down on Carter's couch.

"I'm perfectly fine Sir," 852 thought he had her voice down pretty good, if he did say so himself. "Why wouldn't I be?" 852 was surprised a few seconds later to find himself stuck in Major Carter's body, which just happened to be stuck under Colonel O'Neill.

"All right, who are you?" O'Neill asked him. "Did you never leave her?"

"I wasn't her." 852 rasped out, his voice sounding much more like a teenage male than a grown woman. "I was you, I mean, for the last few days I've been occupying you, not her, this was just necessary, she killed my other body."

"She killed you? I'm sure she had a pretty good reason."

"I was a roach, we didn't know they were unwelcome creatures on this planet."

"What do you mean 'we'?" O'Neill eased a small amount of the pressure he was holding 852 down with off.

"My friend and I came together, we wanted to make you happy, but you weren't." Just so he didn't have to see Major Carter's face contort like a child's, Jack renewed some of the pressure.

"Of course we weren't! What you did to us goes against everything. Where is your friend?"

"I think she went under that plant over there?"

"'She'?" O'Neill asked, getting up off of 852, crossing over to one of Carter's favourite potted plants.

"Her body on our planet is female, as mine is male."

"You have bodies?" He lifted the plant and found nothing.

"Of course we do, on our planet we move like this for fun and exploration... a different way of seeing the world."

"Weird." He looked under the couch, found nothing, and sat back. "Where is she?"

"I don't know. Her body was dying, she may not have been able to find a body."

"What types of bodies can you go into? I've seen you do bugs and humans, anything else?"

"Plants, grass is very cool." Jack turned to glance at the potted planet he'd just picked up.

"She's not there, I don't know why, but we can't jump into indoor plants."

"Oh, good." A knock at the door interrupted their thoughts on where else she could possibly be.

"I'll get it."

"Wouldn't that look bad... Colonel?" 852 tried.

"No, it'd look worse if you got it, you barely even look like her." He pulled open the door... to a complete stranger. "I'm sorry, Major Carter's busy right now."

"Major Carter's not who I'm here for." 709 pushed past Jack, heading to where she knew she'd find her friend.

A strange young woman with purple hair and Nike shoes pushed her way into Carter's home... and I let her. I could have stopped her, really, but I assumed, rightly so it appeared once I went back to find Carter's body talking softly with her, that she was the missing teenage alien that was in serious trouble.

"Okay guys, what do I have to do to send you home?"

"Open the Stargate to our planet, we'll do the rest."

"What about her? Isn't she going to have memories of this?"

"No, I won't let her remember. I'll put her to sleep before I leave and you can take her somewhere before she wakes up." The one with the purple hair answered.

"All right, come on, we're going back to the SCG." I pushed the kids outside, shoving both of them into the backseat of my truck, I was really glad the one inside Carter wasn't using her against me to get his way, after all she's been through I don't think I could handle it. "All right guys," I said, looking at them in my rear-view mirror as I started for the mountain. "what's up? Why are you so willing to give up whatever it is you're doing here and go home?"

"Our parents will kill us if we don't get home before they do." Carter's body confessed.

We made it to Cheyenne Mountain without any problems, and even through NORAD without too many questions. "Major Carter" wasn't a problem, it was Purple Hair Girl, we didn't even know her name, or the entity within her wasn't confessing anything. In the end, all it took was one call to Hammond before we were able to proceed to the control room.

"Colonel? What's this all about?"

"General Sir, I'd like to introduce you to the two *things* who took over Carter and me on that planet... P8 something."

"How exactly did they get back here?"

"As ants, Sir, and then roaches, and then, apparently, Carter sprayed them with 'Raid'. I think we should just send them home... seems this was all some sort of high school prank." Thankfully, the two alien entities kept their borrowed mouths shut as Hammond studied them closely.

"Our parents are going to kill us if we don't get home soon." Carter's body reiterated.

"All right," He turned back to me. "Colonel, can you assure Major Carter and this civilian's safety?"

"From what they've explained, all they have to do is get close to the wormhole. After that they will leave the civilian asleep with no memories, and Major Carter perfectly normal."

"And you expect me to just believe them and let them go?"

"Yes Sir, they're just kids, I think they've learned their lesson."

It took surprisingly little convincing on my part to get Hammond to allow the two aliens to go home.

Soon we were all standing in the Gateroom as Walter Davis dialled the planet we'd returned from only a few hours earlier. Doc Fraiser had the girl with the purple hair laying on a stretcher as the entity, the *real* female of the pair, slowly put her to sleep.

Once the 'gate was active and the wormhole stabilised, the entity inside Carter turned to me.

"I've been inside you, and I've been inside her, and I know that whether you guys know it or not, you both want the same things. Allow yourselves to be happy." He said quietly, assuring I was the only one to hear.

And then he was gone. I knew my Carter was back the second he left. I quickly put a hand out to steady her as she got her bearings.

"Colonel," Dr. Fraiser bumped me out of my intense scrutiny of Sam Carter. "She's asleep, in an almost coma-like state, just like she said she would be. But I don't know how long it will last." She was asking permission to take her patient on up to the surface, to the waiting ambulance that would take her to a local hospital where she would be told only that someone had found her passed out in the park she'd been running in.

"Go on, get her out of here." I looked back to Carter, who was blinking rapidly now. "Are you all right?"

"They did it again." She stated, and I briefly wondered if theoretical astrophysicists were supposed to go around stating the obvious like that or if my second in command was just uniquely talented.

I realised my hand was still on her and quickly retracted it, given the events of the last few days and the fact that she was in her bed clothes. While I'd been on top of her... him, earlier, I hadn't noticed her attire. Grey kitty-cat slippers, hot-pink sweat pants, and most surprisingly of all- a grey "Navy" t-shirt, we were going to have a talk about that sometime, when we'd put everything else behind us.

Noticing my looking her up and down, Carter jerked a bit, turned bright red, and started making excuses. "I was planning on going straight to bed Sir... I didn't expect *this*."

Uh huh Sam, I thought, that's why you looked like your dog had died. But I left those personal matters for us to discuss when we weren't surrounded by curious onlookers.

I pushed Carter toward the infirmary, despite her protests, to be inspected by one of the resident residents.

I followed her into her little curtained cubicle, watching as she gently pulled herself up onto the provided stretcher.

"Muscles hurting you, Major?" I asked, pushing what had caused my own muscle tightness and strain to the back of my mind.

"Yes Sir, I think having one of them come back and then leave me again exacerbated the problem." I gave her my best 'huh?' look. "What I mean is that I'd been ignoring the pain and then all of a sudden I go away and come back, only 'wham!' the mental block I had on the pain is gone."

"Oh... sorry." I said and looked around for something else to talk about, finally, I settled on her footwear. "So, where'd you get the slippers?"

She seemed surprised. "Oh, a couple of years ago Cassandra and I were shopping and she insisted we get them." She seemed to be studying the small grey cats with little pink noses and fake white whiskers that she wore on her feet.

"Ah. They're cute, you should wear them to work more often." She smiled slightly, the first hint of a smile she'd given me since we'd gotten back from that godforsaken planet.

After that we waited for a bit before Carter broke the silence.

"Colonel?" I looked up and met her eyes, showing her she had my full attention. "Could you do me a favour, please?"

"Yeah, sure, what do you need?"

"Could you please go to our gear-up room and get me some clothes, fatigues, whatever's there. This is kind of embarrassing." She said, looking down at herself.

"It's the shirt isn't it? I'm telling you Carter, given the branch of the military you work *for* and the facility you work *in*, 'Air Force' would probably have been a better choice."

"It's a long story, Sir."

"I'm sure it is."

I left her then... getting the feeling that she really was uncomfortable about her attire. It didn't hit me until I had made it all the way to our gear-up room that I was going to have to go through Carter's stuff.

Amazingly enough, I lived. I grabbed a pair of neatly folded jeans and one of her standard-issue black t-shirts, all the while managing to avoid all of her underclothing, whatever she had on should have been fine... if she wasn't wearing any, I *so* shouldn't be thinking about that. I finally found a pair of tennis shoes and some socks before getting back to the infirmary as fast as I could.

When I arrived at Sam's end of the room, I found the curtain pulled and heard voices talking in hushed tones.

"Sorry I didn't get the chance to examine you earlier this afternoon. As you may have heard, right before you came through the 'gate SG-16 arrived under heavy fire. Lieutenant Basker needed some minor surgery on his thigh." Doctor Fraiser, Carter's friend, said.

"It's all right Janet, I was fine... I am fine, no harm done, just the usual alien invasion stuff."

"Right... that's why you're all hunched over like you're about to pass out from the pain. You look like you could use a good muscle relaxer."

"It's just that the Colonel pressed me... that *thing*, while it was in me, to the floor for a while." I flinched when she said my name, bringing me into the conversation and implying that I'd hurt her.

"I thought you said you didn't have any memories of what happened when the entities were in your bodies?" She didn't answer, I wanted her to, I did, I wanted her to come back with some reason why she would remember one thing and not another, but she didn't. So Fraiser continued. "Be honest with me Sam, you know just as well as I do that the amount of muscle pain you're in doesn't happen an hour or so after the fact, it's one to two days. Now, during that time you were under the control of the alien entity, do you remember what the entity did to make you feel this way?" Her voice was what I would imagine it to sound like as she questioned Cassandra.

"Well, Janet, we--"

"Colonel O'Neill!" I cringed as Jonas' voice suddenly sounded behind me.

"What are you doing here?" We asked at the same time.

"I was just coming to see if anybody here wanted to go get a snack with me in the commissary. I'm hungry." Thankfully Jonas felt compelled to answer first.

"Ah. I was bringing Major Carter some clothes... that is, she's being examined and she asked me to grab something else for her to wear."

"What's wrong with Sam?" Our young Mr. Quinn sounded worried, but that was the least of my problems.

"Sam?" I asked him, and not the woman by that name who was undoubtedly listening to our conversation from the other side of the curtain in an amazingly odd twist of fate.

"That is her name, isn't it?"

"Um, yeah, yes, of course that's her name."

"Am I not supposed to use it?"

"It's just that not many people do, it sounds weird... coming from you."

"Well, I've heard that on this planet, variety's the spice of life." He clapped me on the shoulder before walking towards a clump of nurses I'm sure were probably standing there the entire time I was eavesdropping on Carter and Fraiser.

Turning back to the ominous white curtain, I took a deep breath before speaking. "Carter, I'm back, got some fresh clothes for ya."

After one of the longest pauses I've ever experienced, in which I'm sure many wordy looks were exchanged between the Doc and Carter, she finally responded. "Okay Sir, thank you, we'll be done in just a minute."

"All right." I responded, walking to a chair, using it to give my knees and extremely tired muscles a break. The only sounds that came from behind the curtain were softly murmured, generic health questions.

A short time later, Fraiser pulled back the curtain and, with one more meaningful glance cast at a now hospital gown clad Carter, took her leave of the two of us.

"What was that?" I asked, once she was out of earshot.

"What? Oh, that was her 'we'll talk later' look." She explained, taking her clothes out of my arms and inspecting what I'd found. "I take it you heard what she said?"

"Most of it, the really juicy bits at the least."

"Thankfully Jonas decided to eat." She spared me not only a quip, but a smile to go with it. "I had no idea what to say to her."

"How about the aliens were big triathlon runners? They had to practise a lot while they were inside us... and our bodies, not being used to that kind of strain, have decided they need a nap."

"Good, Sir, but somehow I don't think they'd buy it. Why wouldn't we have told them something that simple, and somewhat stupid, earlier instead of lying about it?"


"Sorry Sir. It's a good explanation... just not very plausible." She said apologetically, putting the socks on her now bare feet.

"Well it looks like we've been granted a reprieve at least until morning." I said, glancing to Fraiser's closed office door. "Look, Carter, are you... you know, all right? I mean, Fraiser didn't find anything wrong did she? I'm sorry, I hadn't realised how much I was holding *it* down earlier, and given how much the aliens *used* our bodies while we were on their planet..."

"I'm fine Sir, really. Things just hurt a little... nothing I won't be able to get over."

"All right then, I'll let you get dressed. Want a ride home?"

She spared me a thoughtful smile. "Yes, thank you, I'd really appreciate it."

I pulled the curtain and retook my seat, allowing her to get dressed in private for the second time that day.

She was finished quickly, pulling back the curtain to reveal that my choices from her clothing were good ones.

"Ready?" I asked, standing.

"Yes." I noticed she had the clothes she'd been wearing earlier tucked firmly under her arm.

We managed to get out without any of Doctor Fraiser's evil minions grabbing us and pulling us back into her lair. Sam and I both kept quiet on the way to my truck, but in the elevator the silence got to be too much for me.

"Carter, we've gotta talk."

"Colonel," Her eyes snapped up to mine. "can we wait until we're not *here* to have this conversation, please?"

"Sure, whatever you say."

Carter didn't protest when I opened her door for her, and she even allowed me to help her into my truck, which served as a dead giveaway to me that there was something major on the Major's mind.

"You ready to talk yet?" I asked, once we were far enough away from the base where I felt confident enough that she wouldn't hop right out of the moving vehicle at the question.

"About what, Sir?"

"About what? Come on Carter! You're the smartest person I've ever met, how could you *not* know?" I quickly glanced over at her, realising how little the dash and headlights managed to light up the interior of the cab as we drove down an otherwise pitch black road. I couldn't see her face very well, but her 'I really want out' face was there in full force. "Look Sam," I tried again. "we're going to have to try and get through this somehow. Talking isn't usually my way out of anything, you know that, but I think this time it might be the best thing for us. Come on, don't make me feel like I'm talking to an empty car."

She shifted, crossed and uncrossed her arms before speaking. "I'm embarrassed." That took me by surprise.

"Abut what?"

"The fact that they were able to do what they did. That they came in so easily and were able to do what we've..."

"Always wanted." I supplied when she was too apprehensive of my response to carry on.

"Right." Did she sound a little bit relieved? "It's not fair that they were able to prey on us for kicks. They got into our heads, searched our memories for anything they thought was entertaining, and then they used our bodies for their own enjoyment." I wish she hadn't of said that, it caused the memories of the last three days to plough vividly to the surface. "They took that away from us Colonel... Sir... Jack," She finally settled on my name, hesitating to see if I'd reprimand her for it. "we can never go back to not knowing what it's like to be together, we'll never get to make that final decision because *they* did it for us."

"Takes all the fun out of breaking the rules, doesn't it?" I could feel her glare, even if I couldn't see it. "They may have done some pretty important stuff, but they didn't take all of the decisions out of our hands. We sent them home, only we can decide what happens between us from now on."

It was then that I felt it, and 'it' nearly made me swerve off the road. Her hand was now resting lightly on my knee... and oh lord, it was moving up. Samantha Carter's hand was innocently inching its way up my thigh and all I could do was stare straight ahead at the road and hope she knew what she was doing.

Through an amazing feat of my, somewhat distracted, driving I managed to get us safely to Sam's house before her hand had managed to get past my upper thigh.

"You're home Carter, safe and sound as promised." Putting the car in park, I looked over at her house, it was still brightly lit, we hadn't turned any lights off earlier. She could have retracted her hand, gotten out of my truck, and gone inside, no harm done. I was honestly hoping she would've done just that, but she didn't, no, instead of making my life a whole lot easier, she sped her hand up, rushing quickly up and over the evidence of my interest in her actions, coming to rest on my chest. She leaned over and brought her other hand to the nape of my neck.

"Come inside." She invited. I opened my mouth to protest, but she covered it quickly with her own. "No," She breathed against me. "I don't want all of my memories to be of him. We need to make our own, you said it yourself, we're in control of what we do from now on. I want this, I want *you*." She kissed me again, and this time I had enough time to respond, enough time to wrap my arms around her and pull her in front of me to rest against the steering wheel.

My hands were in places under her usual black t-shirt they'd only dreamed of being before as our mouths consumed each other hungrily. We only pulled back when we were hit by the headlights and honking horn of a passing vehicle, we were still sitting in my truck, which was on the street in front of her house.

"Oh wow." She said, and it wasn't a good 'oh wow, that was the best time I've ever had making out' oh wow, no it was more the 'oh wow, I can't believe we just did that' oh wow. "I can't believe we just did that." She added, making my supposition complete.

"I'm sorry, I know I just complicated an already difficult situation." I rambled.

"You're sorry? I kissed you first and you're sorry? You didn't even do anything."

"I kissed you back, I mean, look where my hands are." I drew her attention away from my eyes, I knew that I should definitely not be thinking about where my hands were located on her warm body, one under her t-shirt, cupping the smooth fabric of her bra, and the other one firmly pressing her hip against me, but I had to make sure she understood how close we were to crossing that line without any alien influence.

"Jack," she used my name again, this time making it sound like the most natural thing in the world. "Remember that *I'm* the one who invited *you* in, and I'd still like you to, we've got a lot to clear up."

Another honk was all the further initiative I needed to take her up on that offer; she was after all still straddling me on the driver's side of my truck, I'd never be able to drive it again, too many memories of three minutes with Carter if I didn't go inside.

It didn't take very long for us to walk quickly up the path, both of us attempting to maintain some sort of dignified air considering the symphony of honking that had probably woken up half her neighbours. The door was unlocked, as I'd left it when the annoying body swappers had paid another visit.

Once we were both inside, one of us slammed the door, and leaning against the wall our lips crashed together once again. Tongues explored the recesses of each other's mouths as our hands pulled at any clothes, belonging to her or me, that they could get a hold of.

Pulling my shirt over my head, I came eye to eye with General Jacob Carter, or a picture of him at least, in full Air Force dress uniform. I quickly averted my eyes only to meet Jacob and what appeared to be a young Sam. In my mind it felt like there were hundreds of Jacob Carters watching me as I did things with his daughter that I was sure he wouldn't approve of.

"Um Carter, as much as I'm enjoying this, could we please move it somewhere *he's* not?"

Pulling off her second tennis shoe, she followed my gaze to above her head. "Sorry, he is a little intimidating, isn't he? Come on." She pulled me behind her through her house until we came to her bedroom, which upon closer inspection I found to be thankfully devoid of any images of Jacob Carter. "Better?"

"Much." I answered, meaning not only the lack of photographs, but also the fact that there happened to be a bed less than three feet away.

Our mouths and hands sought out and explored each other. With every article of clothing lost and new skin exposed for our consumption, I could feel the alien's memories of her body being overwritten with my own, more enjoyable, experiences.

We were soon tangled completely on the bed, our bodies becoming one as we finally allowed our feelings to take control over us.

"It's better this way." Sam managed to articulate from beneath me.


"Just us, no one lying, no one being someone they're not." I didn't know what she was on about, it was definitely the longest sentence I'd ever heard uttered during sex, but trust Carter to be able to pull it off. Her brain must have been doing double time, even for it, seeing as how her attention to her words was in no way detracting from *other* things she was involved in.

So she could think, two could play that game, we could both think.

"He didn't lie, everything he said was true." My words may not have been as clear as hers, given the fact that I half whispered, half grunted them into her ear, but she seemed to get the message if her actions were anything to go by.

It wasn't too long before the sun had risen and our truncated night together was over. It was hard for me to believe that less than 24 hours earlier we'd woken up on an alien planet in much the same position we were laying in on Sam's bed.

This time was different though, if the fact that she was awake and not jumping out of the bed was anything to go on. She let out a contented sigh and I felt what seemed to be her lips brush against my chest as we just lay contented in the rising light of the sun.

I tightened my arms around her and kissed the crown of her head. "Are you going to tell me what you were so upset about last night when I got here?" At her sharp intake of breath, I knew I had completely spoiled the relaxed mood. She pulled away from me and I let her go. Sam sat up, for the first time not trying to hide her nudity from me.

"I love you."

"I love you too." I answered, confused.

"That's what I was upset about."

"What?" I sat up too, matching her face to face.

"I was upset because I love you and I know that I'm not supposed to. I couldn't handle three days of memories of you and your voice in my head telling me things I knew couldn't be true."

"But they are true, everything. I love you more than life itself." I said, pulling her into my arms. She gripped me tightly and buried her head in my shoulder. "And nothing will stop me from loving you. Carter, having a little trouble breathing here."

"Sorry Sir." She leaned back a bit, and just stared at me, which made me incredibly uncomfortable, but that soon changed as she brought her hands to my face and slowly closed the distance between us until our lips were touching.

"Don't ever be sorry, for anything." I murmured against her lips as we shifted to a more comfortable prone position with her on top.

"What about for us not doing this sooner?" Sam questioned, and I could feel the saucy smile on her lips.

"Okay, so we can both be sorry for that. Guess we're going to have to spend a bit of time making up for it."

It came later, just about the time Carter and I were getting to sleep. Somewhere inside we both knew it would come eventually, just probably not expecting it in the form it came in. "It" was Sam's telephone, and "it" began to ring incessantly. In her, by now, brightly lit bedroom, I reached over and grabbed the offending object and, without thinking, I responded to the obnoxious ringing.

"Yes, what?" I'm fairly certain the exasperation came through in my voice quite well.

"Colonel O'Neill?"


"What are you doing at Major Carter's house?" Ignoring Jonas' question, I asked one of my own.

"Who taught you how to use a phone?"

"Major Carter did, actually."

"Oh she did, did she?" Not only had Sam opened her eyes, but she was making some very interesting facial expressions.

"Is Sam around by any chance?"

"No, she's busy right now, was there something you wanted me to tell her?" I got a nip on my chest for my trouble.

"No, I just had a question, that's all."

"Well, all right then, see you later."

"Tell her I called!" He said, as I hung the phone back up.

"That was --"

"Stupid, I know." I supplied for her.

"That wasn't the word I was going to use, but if it works for you, Colonel."

"Nice to see the command structure isn't shot."

"I'll follow your orders anywhere in the universe, except here." She added, self consciously, before wrapping her arms around me and laying her head back on my chest. "We should sleep now, we've gotta be back on base by 1900."

We got up sometime in the early afternoon, just taking the time to enjoy one another's body as well as each other's cooking, which came off surprisingly well from both of us.

Neither one of us spoiled it by mentioning the fact that we'd flushed our careers down the toilet. Nor did we even think about it really, all we knew was that at seven O'clock we were going to have some serious questions asked of us, but seven was still a few hours away.

Around 1600, just as we were finishing off the last of our culinary collaborations, an interesting batch of bright green chocolate chip cookies we'd dubbed "Thor's Cookies", Sam turned to me with a question.

"How are you at massages?"


"Yes, as in working the muscles to make them feel better."

"I used to give them all the time, you know, for hockey and boxing injuries."

"I feel that having someone's knee in your back entitles you to a good massage once you reclaim your body."

"All right, lay down." She did, and I proceeded to give the best massage of *my* life, which quickly escalated to something way beyond what I would ever do to another guy in a locker room.


"That was--."

"Great." Sam interrupted me this time, scooting across the bed to give me a quick kiss. "Thank you. Come on, shower now, I feel a million times better." I watched her go, who knew where we'd go from here, it was out of our hands after we'd made the final decision, everything would all rest on whether or not Hammond would ask the right, or the wrong, questions. No matter what though, I knew we wouldn't give up what we'd gained through our experience, we'd gained each other, we'd gained honesty, and most of all we'd gained some pretty interesting stories to tell later in life when we were senile and no one would believe us anyway. As I said, nothing much mattered to me other than the fact that I was happy, she was happy, and I had a shower to get to.


End Notes: 21 September 2002

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