GateWorld FanFic Presents
Shades of Grey: The Aftermath (Chapters 1-10)
by MandySg1

Rating: Teens
Category: Action/Adventure, Mystery, Angst, Hurt/Comfort, Crossover
Season: SG-1 Season Three
Related SG-1 Episode(s): 202 In the Line of Duty, 317 A Hundred Days, 318 Shades of Grey
Featured Character(s): Jack ONeill, Samantha Carter
Summary: Someone is planning to get one member of SG1. Can anyone at the SGC be trusted? Or is it up to a lawyer to figure it out.

Author Notes: This is a Crossover with Jag, but you don't have to know the series to read this story. Warning some language and a lot of violence. Minor character death. Can also be found at fanfiction.net in chapter form.


Chapter 1

He hated this dreary place. The off-white coloured walls, the little amount of sun that shone through the small barred windows, worst of all the numerous cells that held the men that used to be this country is finest. Yes, he hated that these people who vowed to serve their country would so easily break their word. He hated it, but it was part of his job. He had to make sure these men got their due process, that their rights were protected. Sometimes it was difficult to be a lawyer.

He was called early this morning, told that a marine colonel who had been charged with treason had important information that he was willing to trade for a lesser charge. It was up to him to investigate the importance of his information, to see if it was worth taking the death penalty off the table.

"Commander Rabb, we're ready to take you to see the prisoner."

"Thank-you Sergeant." Rabb said as he followed the young guard to the holding room.

The cell door made a loud noise as it slid open, allowing Rabb in; he moved to the table where the prisoner sat, pulled out a chair across from him, sat down and set his briefcase in front of him. "So Colonel Makepeace I hear you want to make a deal."

"You bet your ass I do. There is no way I betrayed my county; but the dimwits higher up have their own rules. There's no way I should be put to death for trying to save my planet!"

"I've read the files; I know what happened." Rabb couldn't believe what he was reading the first time he was given the file. It was marked `Top Secret', and at first, he thought it was a joke, until he talked to the Admiral. Now here he was dealing with a crime not only against the country, but also against the allies of the planet. He still had a hard time believing that we had allies from other planets! That aliens actually did exist; not just the one's that snuck across the border. However now he had to concentrate on the job at hand, dealing with one soon to be ex-marine colonel.

"So what do you think you have, that will change the out come of this case. Seeing it's top-secret you know it will never see the light of day."

"Well Commander, what if I told you I had information that affects the security of the SGC and the well-being of one of its most important officers."

"I'd say you'd better be more forthcoming if you plan on having the death penalty vacated to life in prison."

"Yea, it doesn't sound like much of a deal, does it? But I'll be damned if I'll give my life up for one of those aliens! Shit, they won't even help us when we need it! What good are they?" Makepeace said slamming his fist on the table.

"Well Makepeace if all you're going to do is rant I might as well pack up and get going." Rabb was reaching for his briefcase, and starting to get up.

"Okay, okay, hold your horses; I just want to make sure that after what I tell you, you'll honour the deal. I'll plead guilty, and you agree to life."

"We'll have a deal once I hear the information, and ascertain its value."

"Okay, listen carefully, and make sure you check with General Hammond, he'll tell you its worth my life."

********* "Okay Makepeace I'll look into this, but if what you're telling is the truth, I don't think it will be safe to use the phones. I'll have to make the trip to Colorado Springs myself." With that, Rabb got up, collected his brief case and called for the guard. A few minutes later, he was let out of the cell; he turned and looked back at Makepeace. "You better hope that you didn't hold on to this information too long, because if it's too late for that Officer, than the deal's off."

Rabb felt the urgency to get out of that prison, and head to Cheyenne Mountain. He pulled out his cell phone, and dialled. "Yes Admiral, I spoke with him. I'm going to need an emergency flight out to Colorado Springs...Yes it's very important Sir. Due to the nature of the case, I don't feel it's safe to talk about this over the phone. Yes Sir, I'll fill you in as soon as I'm able. Thank you Sir."

Chapter 2

"Hey Sam."

"Hi Daniel, what can I do for you?" Sam said looking up from her computer, on her paper-ridden bench. She thought that once she invented the particle beam generator and got Colonel O'Neill back, the work would be done. `Fat chance' she thought to herself, now there was the paper work to go along with it. It felt like the paper work would take as long as inventing the `doohickey' as the colonel liked to call her gadgets.

"Ah, have you seen Jack?" Daniel asked looking over her shoulder at the computer screen.

"No, sorry Daniel, I haven't seen him since this mornings meeting. Did you try his office?"

Daniel looked at her raising an eyebrow, (Teal'c would be proud); "You're kidding right?"

Sam looked up and thought about what she said. "Sorry Daniel, I didn't realize what I said. Did you try the cafeteria, the gym or Teal'c's quarters?"

"Yes I have, I even checked the infirmary."

This time it was Sam's turn to look at Daniel with a puzzled look. "Well I thought maybe he might have overdosed on chocolate cake or pie. He's been eating an awful lot of it since he got back from Edora."

"Really, I hadn't noticed." Sam said looking back down to her computer. The truth was she hadn't seen much of O'Neill since his return. She wasn't sure, if she was avoiding him, or if he was avoiding her. Sam let out a sigh.

"Gee Sam I'm sorry, I know your busy, but you look really tired. Have you gotten any rest since your major breakthrough in particle physics?" Daniel had moved closer to Sam and put his hand on her shoulder, giving her a gentle comforting squeeze.

"I've gotten some, but you know how I am when I have a project to do." She said pointing to the mounds of paper on her workbench.

"You need a break." Daniel said turning her chair around so she was facing away from the work. He reached over and pressed a few buttons on her computer to save the work. "There, you can now leave your lab, come on let's get something to eat."

"I thought you were looking for the colonel?"

"Well we can always check the cafeteria again; you know how he gravitates there." Daniel was now gently grabbing Sam's arms and pulling her to a standing position. He then went behind and guided her out of the room.

When they got off the elevator, they ran into Teal'c. "Hey Teal'c, have you seen Jack?"

"I have not Daniel Jackson. If it is of importance that you need to see him, I will endeavour to find him."

"Ah, no Teal'c it's not important. I just wanted to talk to him about something."

"Very well then."

"Where are you headed Teal'c?" Sam asked.

"I was on my way to get some sustenance from the cafeteria."

"That's where we were headed, why don't you join us?" Daniel offered.

"I would be happy to." Teal'c said bowing his head as the three headed off.

***********

"General Hammond, there's a Commander Rabb from JAG here to see you. His security clearance checked out." Sergeant Harriman informed the General.

"Very well, send him in." The sergeant nodded and left the room. Moments later a tall brown haired man wearing a tan naval commander's uniform walked in and saluted.

The general returned his salute, "At ease Commander, what can I do for you?" Hammond gestured for Rabb to take a seat.

"Sir, I've just come form a meeting with Colonel Makepeace and he had some very disturbing news concerning the SGC and one of your officers."

The General leaned back in his chair giving the commander all of his attention, he knew he wasn't going to like this, and he was right.

************ Harriman saw the door to the general's office swing open and a very red-faced irate Hammond come out. "GET SG1 UP HERE NOW!" Hammond yelled.

Chapter 3

"SG1 to the briefing room. SG1 to the briefing room." Was announced over the loud speaker. Hammond was getting anxious waiting for the arrival of his number one team. He hoped he would be able to hold it together; the last thing he wanted was for everyone to see his emotions get the better of him.

A few moments later Daniel and Teal'c walked into the room. They nodded to the general, took their seats and noticed another man in the room.

"Dr. Jackson, Teal'c do you know where Major Carter and Colonel O'Neill are?" Hammond was definitely feeling anxious now.

"Um we were having some dinner with Sam earlier..."

"Daniel Jackson advised Major Carter to go home and get some rest." Teal'c said bowing his head, while keeping an eye on the stranger.

"What about Colonel O'Neill?"

"I was looking for him earlier, but I never found him." Daniel was now getting worried now.

"Did I hear my name being mentioned?" Jack said as he strolled into the briefing room.

"Jack, where have you been? I've been looking for you for hours." Daniel informed his friend.

"I was in the locker room."

"All that time, what were you doing?" Daniel realized he might not want to know the answer to that question.

"Well if you must know, I was soaking in the hot tub. After all that hard work I was doing on Edora, the Doc suggested I soak my knees." Jack was getting a little annoyed at the third degree he was getting from Daniel.

"Where's Carter?" O'Neill asked puzzled that only of his team were here.

"I convinced Sam to go home after all that hard work..."

"That's why were here gentlemen. This is Commander Rabb of JAG." Hammond interrupted Daniel.

"What Carter needs a lawyer? Why, didn't return the books to the library?" Jack said half joking, half concerned.

Hammond shot O'Neill a look, before continuing. "Commander Rabb has uncovered a plot to kidnap Major Carter."

"What! Why?" Jack said jumping up staring at the unfamiliar man.

"I had a meeting with Colonel Makepeace, he informed me that the people he was working with had planned this for a while; but were unable to carry it out because it seemed like the Major hasn't left base in quite some time."

"Yes Major Carter was working on a very important project for the past three months or so, spending all the time on the base." Hammond said looking at Jack.

"Do you know why?" Daniel asked.

"All Makepeace could tell me was that Colonel Maybourne was interested in the Majors unique abilities; he didn't say anything else about it. He also mentioned that Maybourne still had ears and eyes on the base, and to trust no one." Rabb said looking at each of the men in the room with suspicion.

"Well he couldn't have meant us!" Jack said fuming at the look, they were all getting.

"Major Carter has been a member of this team for the past three years, there is no way anyone on this team would let any harm come to Major Carter." Teal'c explained.

General Hammond once again took control of the situation. "Dr. Jackson, how long ago did the Major leave the base?"

"I'd say it was about twenty minutes before we were paged Sir." Daniel was now looking anxious, the concern evident on his face.

"We've got to go after Carter, Sir." O'Neill said as he and the rest of the team stood up.

"I'm afraid I can't allow that." This time Rabb stood and faced the three angry men.

"WHAT!" O'Neill yelled at the man.

"For the Major's safety I can't trust any of you, let alone let all of you go after Major Carter." Rabb said standing his ground.

"General, you can't go along with this. You of all people know us." O'Neill said almost pleading with the general.

"I'm afraid I'm going to have to Colonel; however, I can make one exception, which is you Colonel will accompany Commander Rabb in the retrieval of Major Carter. However, I am putting the commander in charge. He is to be armed, but I'm afraid you won't be allowed to Colonel."

"What if we run into trouble Sir? I may need a weapon." O'Neill was getting angrier at the situation, while he was arguing; Carter's life was in danger.

"I'm sorry Colonel; you're going to have to trust the commander to watch your back."

"But he's a lawyer Sir! What's he going to do, throw legal briefs at them?"

"I am quite able to defend you and the major Colonel O'Neill. I am also a pilot, and have been in combat situations." Rabb said in a calm voice.

"We're wasting time here Sir, we need to get to Carter before it's too late." O'Neill's concern was plastered all over his face. Rabb was beginning to think that he could trust this man. That he did indeed care about what happened to this major.

"Sergeant, get Commander Rabb equipped with a pistol, and make it quick. I want you two on the road ASAP." The general ordered.

"Yes Sir, but I'm driving since I know where I'm going." O'Neill said as he saluted the general.

"Fine with me." Rabb said as he stuck the gun in his waistband. Then the two men hurried to the elevators, Rabb following O'Neill, since he couldn't remember his way.

Chapter 4

Sam was tired, she didn't remember ever being this tired; Daniel was right in suggesting she go home to rest. The only problem was trying to stay awake during the long drive home. When she finally made it to her street, she didn't notice the black van parked across from her house. She turned down the bend that would take her to the alley behind her house to her driveway. `Finally' she thought turning off the ignition and grabbing her keys. `Boy I don't know how long it's been since I've been home, I hate to think of what's growing in my fridge' she said as she headed for her back door.

Sam fidgeted with the key, trying to find the lock in the dark. Finally opening the door, she stepped in and reached for the light switch, only to have nothing happen. "Damn, that's all I need. I know I paid the electricity bill." Sam was suddenly startled by a hand that covered her mouth, and another that grabbed her around the waste. Instinctively she thrust her head back making a loud noise as she came in contact with the face of her attacker. She then slammed her elbow into his ribs causing him to release her and bend over in pain. She turned around grabbed his head and got ready to drive her knee into his face; when she was grabbed forcibly by the shoulder and turned around quickly having her face encounter a fist. She stumbled back slightly with the contact; but adrenaline had kicked in and she was acting on instinct. She blocked the next few blows then lifted her leg and kicked him in the stomach. The first attacker had regained his composure took out his gun and hit Sam in the back of the head. She went down hard, landing on her side. The first attacker wasn't done though; he was angry with her for breaking his nose and took it out on her by kicking her in the side. "That's enough Stan, they want her alive." The second guy said pulling Stan away from Sam. "Come on we have to get her out of here."

********

O'Neill and Rabb were in O'Neill's truck racing down the streets of Colorado Springs. "How much farther O'Neill?"

"We're just about there." Jack said swerving around the corner of Sam's street. He came up to the house, drove the truck over the sidewalk, and parked it on Sam's lawn. "There aren't any lights on; Carter might have already gone to bed."

Their attention was brought to the front window; they could see a flashlight shining in the house. "That looks kind of odd." Rabb said.

"Ya think" O'Neill answered, opening the door to exit the truck. Rabb followed as the two men quietly made their way to the front door. Rabb had his gun out and ready, while O'Neill looked through the window.

"Do you see anything?" Rabb whispered, trying to see in the small window of the door.

"Just the flashlight moving around, I can't tell anything from here."

"Did you hear that?" Rabb said after hearing loud noises coming from within.

O'Neill put his hand up to silence Rabb, and then gave a few more hand signals. The two men stood on either side of the door, waiting anxiously. The door slowly opened and they could hear two men talking.

"Sling an arm over your shoulder and let's go; we should've been out of here long ago." The second assailant said angrily.

"It's not my fault, geez my nose is broken you know." Stan said grunting, while slinging one of Sam's arms over his shoulder.

"Stop whining and let's go." They approached the now open door hauling Sam between them. As soon as Stan stepped out the door, he was pulled violently by the arm causing him to release Sam, turn around and came in contact with a fist, the blow so powerful it didn't take long for the blackness to overtake him.

Rabb seeing O'Neill take care of one of the guys lifted and pointed his gun at the second; causing him to raise his hands and drop Sam. "Step outside the door, keep your hands up." Rabb said in a steely voice. He had seen the figure they were carrying fall, but had to take care of this situation first.

O'Neill heard an engine start up, and tires squeal, he had just enough time to pull Rabb into the house, before shots were being fired at them. They had to step over Sam's prone body; Jack pulled her away while Rabb slammed the door shut. Jack ran to Sam's kitchen and went to retrieve her gun from its hiding place. He then returned to the front room with Rabb. "We have to get out of here, before they get reinforcements." O'Neill said cocking the pistol. Rabb gave him an accusing look. "What? There shooting at us, what do you want me to do, throw rocks at them?"

"How do you suggest we get out of here?" Rabb said, realizing O'Neill was right, and dropped the subject for now.

"You grab Carter and head for the truck, I'll cover you." Jack said throwing the keys to Rabb.

Rabb caught the keys, "I hope you're a good shot." He said heading towards Carter.

"The best." Jack said, as he watched Rabb head towards Sam. He was impressed Rabb caught the keys, seeing that is was almost pitch black in the house.

Rabb was kneeling beside Sam, "Major, can you hear me?" He was sure Carter was still unconscious, but it was worth a try. Receiving no answer, he proceeded to turn the major over. "Oh my God!" Rabb said startled.

"What! What's wrong with Carter?" Jack said anxiously.

"Ah, what, no...I was just surprised. No one mentioned Major Carter was a woman." Rabb was truly stunned at this discovery.

"Well at least I know you can tell the difference. Does it really matter at the moment?"

Rabb was snapped out of his shock, by the situation. He checked for a pulse and was relieved when he found one. He then lifted Sam up into a fireman's carrying position, then nodded to O'Neill that he was ready.

Jack opened the door, noticed that one of the goons was still unconscious on the porch, but the second one was gone. He made his way out on the porch behind one of the pillars. Bullets started whizzing by him, he noted where they were coming from, and started to return fire, "Go!" he shouted to Rabb, as he watched him carry Sam to the truck. He waited until they were both situated and Rabb had the engine running before he started his dash for the truck, shooting as he ran. As soon as he jumped in the open door, Rabb floored it and took off with wheels screeching.

Rabb was driving extremely fast, taking curves at breakneck speeds causing the occupants to bounce from one side to the other. Luckily, Sam was in the middle and didn't hit the doors like Rabb and O'Neill did. O'Neill kept a protective grip on Sam, so she wouldn't end up hitting the dashboard. "Which way?" Rabb called out.

"Take the next left and a right two streets after that. We can't go back to the SGC right now; they could be waiting for us on the route. We'll have to lie low, until I can figure something out." Jack said, as he watched to see if they were being tailed. After a few more instructions and a few more miles, they found themselves in front of a small house on a secluded street. "Wait here, I'll just be a minute; keep the engine running."

Rabb watched as O'Neill headed to the front door, it took him a few moments before he was opening the door and heading in. Next thing he noticed was the garage door opening and O'Neill waving him in. Rabb parked the truck, and O'Neill closed the garage door behind them. He let out a sigh of relief as he turned the ignition off. He now took the time to have a closer look at the unconscious woman leaning against him. She had short blonde hair with a patch of dried blood on the back; she was also dressed like O'Neill in the drab olive green BDU's. He had to admit she was beautiful, and wondered how O'Neill managed to work so closely with her; but then he had the same problem with Mac, only they were the same rank, and he wasn't her CO. His attention was brought to O'Neill as he opened the truck door.

"Okay, let's get her into the house." Jack said reaching for Sam's shoulders.

"Careful, she's got a head wound; I don't know how serious it is." Rabb said as he helped O'Neill shift her position.

"Well it's a little late to worry about that now, after you slung her over your shoulders." Jack said, now he had Carter out of the truck and had one of her arms draped over his shoulder.

Rabb got out of the truck and rushed over to them, and quickly picked Sam up in his arms. "Lead the way Colonel." Rabb saw the look O'Neill was giving him. "What, you looked like you could use a hand." After all, he was younger and looked stronger than O'Neill, and Carter certainly wasn't heavy to lift. O'Neill should appreciate the help.

Jack shook his head and led Rabb into the house and to the living room; the lights had already been turned on when they entered. "Put her on the couch, I'll be back in a minute."

Rabb watched O'Neill head to one of the other rooms after he laid Carter down. He looked at her face and noticed a bruise forming on her cheek. He then reached behind her head and felt a large lump where he saw the blood earlier.

O'Neill returned carrying a first aid kit; he turned on the table lamp next to the couch. "Ok let's see what we've got." He said as he sat on the coffee table in front of Sam.

"Looks like she got hit hard over the head, there's a lump that's already formed, and some dried blood. I also noticed a bruise forming on her face, looks like she took a punch." Rabb said as he moved out of the way to let O'Neill tend to his teammate.

"Go get some ice, for an icepack." O'Neill ordered, he was now in colonel mode, and didn't have time for emotions. He felt the back of her head and winced when he felt the lump, `definite concussion' he thought. He continued by feeling the back of her neck, everything felt normal, he only hoped he was right. He saw Rabb return with the ice pack, "Give me a hand to turn her on her side." He wanted to be very careful to make sure he didn't cause any more damage by moving her. When she was lying on her side, he checked the back of her head closer; there was a definite open cut by the lump but it had stopped bleeding, so for now he placed the ice pack on the back of her head. "Stay here while I check out the surroundings." Jack said as he got up and checked his gun, and then he headed out the back door.

Rabb was adjusting the ice pack when he heard Carter moan; he sat on the table and waited for her to wake up.

Chapter 5

Sam's senses started to return to her; she seemed to hurt all over, but her head was just pounding. She knew she should try to open her eyes, but it seemed to be a difficult task at the moment. She tried to bite back the pain, but couldn't help releasing a moan. `This is going to be more difficult than she thought.' As she slowly remembered the events that happened, her eyes opened suddenly with alarm.

"I'm glad to see you're awake Major Carter." Sam saw a dark haired man looking over her; a feeling of panic overcame her, she had to get away from this man NOW. She took in the surroundings and noticed she was lying on a couch, and the stranger who was in some sort of uniform was sitting across from her and had a gun in the waistband of his pants. She tried a distraction and let out another louder moan.

"Are you alright major?" Rabb said leaning a little closer to her.

When he leaned closer, Sam took the opportunity and launched a punch that contacted his jaw. When he recoiled backwards, she went for his gun.

Rabb was stunned when she hit him in the face, and more shocked when she reached for his gun. He automatically tried to stop her actions by grabbing her hands, now they both had a hold of the gun; Sam's hands were on the gun and Rabb's hands were on hers. He couldn't believe how strong this woman was, he could see the sheer determination in her eyes. "Let go of the gun Major, I'm here to help you." The gun was facing the couch but their hands were between them. Then to his shock, he felt her teeth sink into his hand. "Ah, what the hell! " Rabb yelled out in pain. Still keeping his grip on the gun, Rabb used all of his body's weight and muscles to pull back, hoping to release her grip on the gun. Unfortunately, for him, they both ended up flying off the couch and landing on the floor. Rabb on the floor with Sam on top of him, neither one of them was releasing their grip. "Major Carter, let go before one of us gets hurt!"

"Well I'm not going to tell you anything, so I have nothing to lose!" Sam said gasping.

O'Neill couldn't believe what he was seeing when he walked into the room. Carter, who had been unconscious on the couch, was now lying on top of Rabb, both on the floor. Then he noticed the gun between them. "Oh Shit," he said as he ran towards them, he landed on the floor next to Sam putting his arms around her he reached down grasping her wrists, "Carter It's me, Colonel O'Neill, let go of the gun." He said as calmly as he could manage. He felt the muscles in her arms relax as she loosened her grip and looked over her shoulder at him. He then saw Rabb gain control of the gun and moved it so it was on the floor above his head.

"As much as I love having a beautiful woman on top of me, don't you think you'd be more comfortable on the couch?" Rabb asked Sam, who was still lying on top of him out of breath.

"Probably but I don't think I can move right now." Sam said feeling all the pain set back in as the adrenaline rush subsided.

"Here let me help you." Jack said, as he moved the table over making more room. He knelt down beside the duo, took a hold of Carter's shoulders, and moved her so she rolled off of Rabb and landed on her back on the floor next to him. "There's how's that?" He asked, but received no answer; then noticed that she had passed out again.

After O'Neill had moved Carter off of him, Rabb retrieved his gun and moved to kneel beside her. He also noticed that she had passed out.

"What the hell happened here Rabb? You only had to watch over her, not get into a wresting match!" Jack said letting all of his anger show.

"Sorry Colonel, but the Major woke up and tried to get my gun; she must have thought I was one of the people trying to abduct her." Rabb said rubbing his jaw where Carter had punched him. "Should we get her back on the couch?"

"I think we should check for injuries, its not often Carter gives into pain; and she did say she had difficulty moving." Jack said looking at Rabb, who gave him the signal to go ahead. Jack was having a feeling of dj vu, as he went to undo the buttons of Sam's fatigue jacket. `That's the easy part' he thought knowing she had a t-shirt on underneath. The jacket now laid open and Jack reached for the bottom of her t-shirt and started pulling it up from her trousers. He pulled it up to just under her bra.

"Gees that doesn't look good." Rabb breathed out taking in the sight. Carter's right side was all bruised, he could see the bruises start just a few inches from her navel, continued up to where the t-shirt had been pulled up and seemed to continue around her back.

Jack placed one hand on Sam's stomach and probed the area; he didn't feel any signs of internal bleeding and felt a huge wave of relief. However, he did notice that Sam was thinner than normal, `a little too thin' he thought to himself; but he'd have to find out about that later. "Let's turn her over." O'Neill sighed out in disgust at what he was seeing. He and Rabb gently rolled Sam onto her left side, Jack moved the long material of the jacket out of the way, and lifted her t-shirt up. The bruising that had started on her abdomen continued to cover most of her ribs and lower back. What was most disturbing to him was that one of the more defined bruises was shaped like part of a boot. Jack shook his head disgust, and swallowed back the bile that was rising in his throat.

Rabb was also disgusted with what he was seeing and feeling guilty for taking so long to get to the major. He reached out and gently touched the area over her bruised ribs. He saw the look O'Neill was giving him. "I'm just checking for broken ribs." He wondered why O'Neill hadn't done so himself. He started by feeling her spine, before moving to trace each rib from back to front. He finally looked up at O'Neill, "I don't feel any definite breaks, but I'm not sure about this area here." He said pointing out the area to O'Neill.

Jack reached out and felt the area himself. As he pressed down a little more firmly he heard Carter moan. "Sorry Carter." he said, as he continued to assess the injury.

"Ah what the ..." Sam said as she slowly once again came to, trying to swat away the offending hand.

"Take it easy Carter; I'm just checking you out."

"What?" Sam said tensely and heard another strange voice chuckle.

"Oh hell, you know what I mean, looks like you've got some bad bruising from your stomach to your back; but were not sure if this is broken." Jack said regaining his composure after his faux pas.

"Well stop trying to break it yourself...Sir," Sam said through gritted teeth. Once again, she heard a strange chuckle.

"Ah Carter, I noticed that you've lost weight, quite a bit of weight at that. Is there something going on I should know about?"

Sam was still groggy, but still managed to feel the anger rise in her. How dare he ask her that, he's been back for weeks, and he only notices her now? He didn't even bother to find out what she went through trying to rescue his sorry ass, so why should he bother trying now. "With all due respect SIR, it's none of your business." Sam was gritting her teeth and once again trying to swat O'Neill's hands away from her.

Rabb was a little puzzled by the exchange going on between the two officers. "Ah, do you two want to be alone?"

"What?"

"No!" Sam and Jack said at the same time.

Sam turned her head to look at the stranger. "Who the hell are you anyway?"

"Ah that would be, who the hell are you Sir." Jack informed Carter.

"I'm Commander Rabb, Harm to my friends." He said giving Sam one of his most endearing boyish smiles.

"He's from JAG." O'Neill added.

"In trouble again Sir?"

"What? No."

"Parking tickets?" Sam was having too much fun with this one, seeing O'Neill squirm.

"No, and that's enough Major." O'Neill said emphasizing the major.

"Actually Major Carter I'm here because of you."

Now Sam was truly puzzled. "With all due respect...Sir, I don't need a lawyer right now, on the other hand if you were a doctor that might come in handy." Sam took a deep breath and tried to haul herself up from the floor, only managing to lift herself onto one elbow. "So would you mind filling me in on what the hell is going on?"

"Why don't I fill you in after we get you situated in a more comfortable position." Jack said seeing that Carter was having difficulty getting up. He motioned to Rabb with his head, and they both helped Sam to stand. As soon as she was on her two feet, Sam cried out in pain, and would have fallen to the floor, if it weren't for two sets of strong hands keeping her up. They quickly moved her over to the couch and sat her down.

"What's wrong?" Jack asked very concerned, looking down at a very pale Sam Carter.

"Don't know Sir." Sam said panting, "I couldn't put any weight on my knee, it felt like a sharp spike going through."

"Oh boy do I know that feeling." Jack said, "Do you know how it got injured?"

Now both Sam and Rabb were looking at him dumbfounded. "Not really Sir, I don't remember how my ribs got injured either. I was kinda out of it."

Now it was Rabb's turn to be disgusted, those bastards did this to her while she was unconscious and unable to protect herself. "Ah can you move it?"

Sam slowly started to move her leg, she would straighten and flex it; it did hurt but not as much as standing on it. "Yea I can move it, no problem."

O'Neill looked at her and shook his head; somehow, he didn't believe her completely. "Well then it's probably just a strain, we should wrap it and put some ice on it." He looked at her leg and realized the BDU pant leg probably wouldn't go up far enough, and if he knew Carter, she wouldn't take the suggestion of taking her pants off too well. "I'm just going to go check on something, be back in a minute."

"So Commander, would you mind filling me in on what the hell is going on?" Sam said taking in the man standing at the end of the couch. She had to admit he was good-looking, tall, dark hair, nice blue eyes; (she had noticed them when they were wrestling, oh yea and a nice hard body), and a killer smile. `Get your mind back to the problem, Sam,' she thought to herself.

"Well first of all Major why don't you call me Harm, I feel like I've gotten to know you in these past few hours." `Oh yea Harm, make her remember you've seen a lot more of her than most women you know.' He cleared his throat and shook his head at that remark.

Sam started to blush, knowing what he meant and unknowingly started to pull her t-shirt down making sure she was covered.

Just then, Jack returned to the room carrying something in his hands. "Carter, I'm going to have to wrap your knee, and I don't think the BDU's are going to work." He then held up what he was holding in his hand. "I found some shorts you can change into, I know there going to be too big, but they do have a drawstring, which should work. Rabb and I will go and wait in the kitchen."

Sam took the shorts, with a look of relief, and tried to reach for her boots as O'Neill got up. "Why don't I give you a hand with the boots before I go? O'Neill said, not giving Sam a chance to answer before he started to untie the laces and slipped the boots off. "There" He said as he went to leave the room, dragging Rabb with him.

Sam had to smile and wonder to herself why O'Neill seemed to be so caring all of a sudden, after all he didn't seem to care that he had been rescued from that planet, he seemed sad that he had to go home, and she felt he blamed her for it. She put her musings aside as she struggled to change into the shorts. O'Neill was right, they were too big, but she managed to tie the drawstring around her waist before giving the all clear.

O'Neill and Rabb returned to living room, this time carrying two ice packs. Jack sat down next to Carter and took in the appearance of her knee, trying not to stare at her long legs, `oh yea this is going to be difficult', he thought to himself; just keep your mind on the problem at hand. He placed both of his hands on her injured knee and felt her jolt at the touch. He tried not to grin as he felt the knee for injury. "Well it doesn't feel like it's been dislocated, thank God."

"So Commander, are you going to finish the explanation you started." Sam said as she grimaced when O'Neill moved her knee to wrap it up.

"Sure Major, it seems you're a wanted woman."

Sam looked up at him puzzled and shocked. "What?"

"I learned today from Colonel Makepeace that the people he worked for have been planning to kidnap you for a while, it was only today that they managed to act on it; apparently you've been staying on base for an extended period of time and they were unable to get at you." Rabb said looking into her eyes as he talked to her.

"Makepeace? It can't be. He was my CO for a short time, I helped save his ass; how could he? Where's the loyalty?" Sam was truly shocked by this news; she couldn't understand it.

"Well Carter, I was shocked too when we had to arrest him. I also wondered about his loyalty, apparently it's the first to go when you turn on your country." Jack said laying his hand on her now covered knee.

Sam just shook her head in disbelief, "What else?" Sam said quietly looking up into Rabb's eyes.

Harm took a seat on the coffee table, sitting in front of Sam. "It seems Colonel Maybourne had plans to get his hands on you, apparently he wants information that only you can give him."

"But that doesn't make sense, he's a wanted man; he'd be more worried about getting away than trying to get me. There has to be something, someone else behind this." Sam was looking down at her hands, trying to take in that she was the object of an elaborate kidnapping scheme. "So those two goons at my house...weren't just robbers."

"I'm afraid not Carter. When Rabb informed us of the plan, he said he didn't know who at the SGC could be trusted. Hammond agreed to let only me accompany Rabb."

"And I'm sorry Major it took us too long to get to you..."

"Well I'm just glad, you got there in time, or I could have woken up somewhere totally different...Oh and I'm sorry I attacked you Commander."

Harm had to chuckle at that. "Well the colonel here forgot to mention how dangerous you could be, and besides it's understandable given the situation."

"So no court-martial then?" Jack said smirking.

"No not this time." Harm answered smiling at Sam. "Here you might want this." He said handing Sam an ice pack.

"Thanks but I'm not sure where to use it." Sam said taking it and putting it on her knee.

"So where exactly are we Sir?" Sam asked O'Neill as she leaned against the back of the couch.

"Were at a friend of mine's, he's away for a few months, so we shouldn't be bothered." He said while manoeuvring another ice pack behind Sam's head. "You know you should elevate your knee, to get the swelling down. I'll get some pillows from the other room." Jack said as he got up to leave the room.

"Why don't I give you a hand to get more comfortable, after all it was my fault you ended up on the floor." He smiled at Sam again and then moved to put his arm behind her shoulder and helped to move her so her head was resting on a pillow against the armrest of the couch. He then lifted her legs, (which were now bare) onto the couch. `Nice' he thought to himself.

Sam was feeling a little uncomfortable, but then again she was safe now, so she could put up with two rather good-looking men taking care of her.

"Here we go Carter." O'Neill said as he brought a couple of pillows and arranged them under her knee. He also brought a blanket and covered her with it. "So we should rest now and figure out a way out of this in the morning. Carter you should try to get some sleep, but we'll have to wake you every two hours, because of the concussion."

"Thank you Sir, I appreciate everything you and the Commander have done for me tonight." Sam was truly grateful to both of them, she hated to think what would have happened if they didn't get to her on time.

"Here Major, you might need these," Harm said handing her two aspirin and a glass of water. "By the way, since I'm not your CO, why don't you call me Harm."

"Okay Harm, as long as you call me Sam." She couldn't help but notice those dimples when he smiled.

"So Sam, why don't you try and get some sleep, hopefully we'll try and find some answers tomorrow." He saw the despair in her eyes, despair he was sure hadn't been there too long. He only hoped they would be able to help her, he wanted to have a chance to see a sparkle in those blue eyes.

Chapter 6

General Hammond was worried and it showed. He kept staring at his phone, hoping for word from O'Neill. It had been several hours since he and Commander Rabb went rushing out of the base, and no one had heard from them since. He looked up from his desk to see Dr. Jackson and Teal'c entering the briefing room; he anxiously got up to meet them. "Any word gentlemen?"

"I'm afraid not Sir." Daniel said sadly shaking his head.

"I too am worried about Colonel O'Neill and Major Carter." Teal'c said, but you wouldn't be able to tell by the look on his face.

Their attention was brought to Sgt. Harriman who was wheeling a potable TV into the briefing room. "General Sir, I think there's something you should see." He then turned the TV on and stepped back.

They all watched intently as the screen came into view. It was the local news station; showing a picture of a house that had been surrounded by yellow police tape. "As we have just mentioned, we are at the scene of a local suburban house where reports of gun shots have been made. Witnesses state that they heard the shots and had seen the occupant of the house being carried away. They didn't know if the single female living at this house was dead or alive when they saw her being carted off. They saw a large dark truck speed off with the female occupant inside, and then were followed by a dark van. We do not have the identity of the female occupant of the house; it is being held back for notification of family. Once again reports..."

"Turn it off, I've seen enough." Hammond ordered.

"Sir, that's Sam's house!" Daniel said anxiously.

"The description sounds like O'Neill's vehicle." Teal'c added.

"Yes, I know gentlemen; I only hope it was the colonel, and that Major Carter is alright. However, right now I have to attend to other matters. Sergeant get the local police on the phone, we have to take over the investigation at the major's home. I want you two to accompany a forensics team to keep an eye on them. Like Rabb said he's not sure who can be trusted on base, but I'm damn sure I can trust the two of you." Hammond said to Daniel and Teal'c

"Thank you General, we will do our best." Teal'c said bowing his head.

"I have Police Chief Reynolds on the phone Sir." Harriman told the general.

"You two meet the team up top, Sergeant arrange a team." Hammond said as he disappeared into his office.

***********

It was quiet in the small house, only a small lamp illuminated the living room, just enough light to let O'Neill keep an eye on Carter. He relieved Rabb a little while ago, so he could get some sleep. Now in the dim light and quiet he had time to reflect. He wondered why Carter was angry with him; she didn't seem like her normal easygoing self, that he had come to know. She now seemed withdrawn and short with him, ever since he got back from Edora. Jack's attention was brought to Carter as he heard her mumble in her sleep.

"No Daniel...have to keep working. No time...no one...left behind." O'Neill's eyes widened as he heard the words coming from Carter. Not only was she talking in her sleep, but she was starting to thrash about.

"Have to get him back....Not leaving him behind." Now O'Neill was beginning to understand what Carter must have gone through when he was stuck on that planet. He hadn't realized how hard she must have worked to find a way to get him back, or how it had affected her. He remembered Daniel telling him that she had to invent that machine they used to open the gate. That she worked hard on it, but he didn't realize how hard until now. Now he had an idea as to why she had lost so much weight, her sheer determination, sometimes gave way to her not taking care of herself; especially when someone else's life hung in the balance. He thought she was just being the normal brilliant Carter, doing what the general wanted so the other inhabitants of Edora could go home; but now his words were coming from her lips. `No one gets left behind.' Now he knew what he had instilled in his 2IC, and how true her loyalty was. If only he could live up to her example.

"Come on Carter wake up, you're having a bad dream." Jack shook her lightly on the shoulder, he didn't want to surprise her, and have her attack him as she did Rabb. He had to admit though the sight of the two of them on the floor was kind of funny; up until the time she passed out. Now he had to wake her to make sure she was okay. He had a panicked feeling, of not knowing what to do if she really needed a doctor, or hospital. "Come on Carter wake up." This time he said it a little more firmly, and shook her a little harder.

"Ow...I'm awake, I'm awake." She said groggily grabbing onto her side from the sudden jarring.

"Sorry Carter, I tried a gentler approach, but you didn't wake up; and you know how serious head wounds can be." Jack said apologetically, feeling guilty for having hurt her.

"That's okay Sir, I understand. You ah wouldn't happen to have some pain killers would you?" Sam hated taking pills, but right now, she could do with something a little stronger than an aspirin. While sleeping on the couch her muscles had all stiffened up, and now her right side was even more painful than before. What she wouldn't give to be able to soak in a hot tub right now; but didn't think she'd be able to get into or out of it by herself. She had to smirk at the thought of how Colonel O'Neill would react to her asking him to help her out of the bathtub. `Well a girl could dream couldn't she?' Or what about Harm, now that could be very interesting.

"Just some run of the mill ibuprofen, nothing stronger I'm afraid." Then Jack noticed the look on Carter's face. "Ah Carter what are you smirking at?"

"Ah nothing Colonel, just thinking how funny it is that I for once wished I was in Janet's infirmary." `Good one Sam, he should believe that one.'

"Yea that is the last place any of us want to be. I'll just go get you some water for the pills, it's better than nothing I hope." Jack said as he headed for the kitchen.

`Come on Sam you've got to stop thinking about him; no good will come of it; after all you know he doesn't have feeling for you. Not after seeing him with Laira.' Sam thought to herself.

O'Neill went back to her side and handed her the pills and water. "Here you go Carter, now maybe you should try to get some more rest, it will be morning soon, and we're going to have our work cut out for us." He watched as she painfully eased herself back down and closed her eyes. He had to think of a plan soon, Carter needed him now, more than ever; and he couldn't bring himself to let her down.

******

Daniel and Teal'c had been at Sam's house for a while now; the initial shock of the sight was wearing off. When they had stepped into Sam's house, Daniel couldn't believe the mess, he could tell there had been an altercation, and by the looks of the place, Sam had put up one hell of a fight. What shocked him the most was the sight of the blood on the floor. He only wished that it wasn't all Sam's. He had made sure to watch the forensics team gather evidence, before the clean up team took over to get rid of the blood. Now he had to make sure to get all the evidence the police had collected. If it was Sam's blood, they had to make sure to get it back so no tests could be run on it. How ironic it was, worrying about the health of his friend, and having to be so controlled about collecting her blood. He wondered how people were able to do this all the time. Now came the hardest part; reporting to the general.

"Yes General, Daniel here. Teal'c and I have done what you asked. There were signs of a struggle, and quite a bit of blood on the floor...The clean up team is about to start, and I have to go to the police station to get all the evidence they collected."

"I'll make a few calls to make sure you won't have a problem. Look Dr. Jackson, I know how difficult this must be on you, but we can't give up hope. We'll just have to wait until someone makes contact and lets us know what's going on."

"Thank you General and I'll keep my fingers crossed." Daniel said before he hung up the phone. Then he noticed Teal'c's puzzled look.

"It's just an expression Teal'c; it means we well hope for the best."

"Than I too shall keep my fingers crossed Daniel Jackson."

`Boy this was one hell of a long night.' Daniel thought, as he got ready to go to the police station.

*****

The house was now filled with the morning light waking up Sam. She started to stretch, then decided against it at the first twinge of pain. She looked over and saw the Colonel resting on the chair, his eyes were shut, but somehow she doubted he was asleep; not when it was his watch, but then again, they were on earth, and not really on a mission; so it was possible he nodded off.

Then that familiar urge came over her; yes, she had to go to the bathroom. She thought she would try to get up and make it to the bathroom on her own; after all she rested her knee all night, it should be better now. With that thought and will, she slowly moved herself into a sitting position trying to be as quiet as possible so she didn't wake up the colonel. `One down, now the next.' Sam thought as she tried to stand for the first time unassisted. She was standing, albeit on her good leg, she waited a few moments to make sure she wouldn't get dizzy. Then she decided to take her jacket off here it would be easier since she was standing.

The next step was to put weight on her right leg. Slowly she started to increase the amount of weight on her leg. `Not so bad' she thought. Then she tried to take a step; it was painful but nothing she couldn't handle. So she slowly made her way across the living room, using whatever furniture she could to put her weight on. It was taking her longer than expected to cross the room, and the knee was becoming more painful. She was about to make it to the wall when the door in front of her opened with Harm coming out quickly. The two knocked into each other and Sam would have ended up on the floor if Harm's quick reflexes hadn't grabbed and picked her up. She ended up in his arms with her head against his chest as she tried to muffle a cry of pain. Harm being caught off guard was forced to step backwards and knocked into the wall with a loud thump.

O'Neill heard the commotion and was up within seconds pulling his gun out.

At that very moment their attention was brought to the front door as it swung open, and a gun was pointed at Harm and Sam, and then at O'Neill.

Chapter 7

"DON'T SHOOT! DON'T SHOOT!" Harm yelled, he quickly put Sam down, a little harder than he meant to, holding his arms out in a stopping motion to O'Neill and the intruder.

"What the hell is going on Rabb, and who is this!" O'Neill yelled still keeping his gun aimed at the person at the door, who also had their gun still drawn.

"Just put the guns down, both of you." Rabb was using a calming voice to keep things from escalating. "Colonel O'Neill this is my partner Lt. Colonel Sara Mackenzie of the USMC, Mac this is Colonel Jack O'Neill of the USAF." The two looked at each other and hesitantly put their guns down.

"You called in the marines?" O'Neill said, still not knowing where this person came from.

"Mac is my partner back at JAG." Harm said relaxed, now the situation had been resolved.

"You sent for another lawyer? I said I needed a doctor, not a lawyer." Sam said through gritted teeth leaning heavily against the wall with one arm, while the other was occupied trying to keep the shorts from falling down. (Apparently, the drawstring had loosened over night, and Harm sweeping her up loosened the knot even more.)

"Oh sorry Sam, are you alright? I didn't hurt you did I?" Harm said moving over to Sam, wrapping a supportive arm around her waist.

Mac was taking in the scene; she had just come to the door when she heard what sounded like a scuffle, she quickly picked the lock and came through the door with her gun drawn. She was shocked to see Harm holding a blonde in his arms, (no doubt another one of his bimbos,) and it looked like they were headed to the bedroom. Then she noticed another man holding a gun and turned her aim on him. She thanked God; Harm was able to settle the situation and began to calm her frayed nerves. Now she saw Harm with his arm around the tall blonde bim... woman. "Harm, mind telling me what's going on?"

"Ah sure Mac, this is Major Samantha Carter also of the USAF, we're here because Sam needs our protection. Why don't we all sit down, so we can talk." Harm said nervously, not liking the angry tone in Mac's voice.

"Carter what the hell are you doing up?" O'Neill asked concerned and pissed.

"Sorry Sir, I was just trying to make a pit stop." Sam said nervously, feeling a little embarrassed at how the situation must look, while still trying to hold up her shorts.

"You walked on that knee! Why didn't you just ask for help?" O'Neill said walking over to Sam.

"Because Sir, it's something I prefer doing on my own." Her anger was starting to show now, all she wanted to do was get to the bathroom and be left alone.

"Here Sam, why don't I help you?" Harm said sympathetically.

"No, no I think I should help Carter." O'Neill said, not wanting this navy playboy anywhere near Carter, (after all most navy pilots had reputations as playboys.)

"Gentlemen please, I'll help the major, and then we can sit down and fill each other in." Mac said annoyed, she couldn't believe these two men and their behaviour, acting like two teenage boys fighting over the same girl.

"Thank you Colonel Mackenzie, I'd appreciate that." Sam was still in a lot of pain, but was doing her best to play it down.

Mac made her way over to Carter, moved to swing Carter's arm over her shoulder and hold onto her waste, so she could walk the woman to the bathroom. However, she wasn't expecting Carter to yell out in pain when she grabbed her.

"Watch out for her right side!' Both men yelled out as they heard Carter's cry, and saw her face pale.

"What...what's wrong?" Mac said surprised.

Harm and Jack were by Sam's side in an instant. Jack moving Mac out of the way trying to support Sam gently. "Are you alright Carter?"

"Yea, fine Sir." Sam said trying to catch her breath, "just got a little surprised."

"Someone mind filling me in?" Mac said now very curious as to their reactions.

"Well Mac, last night Sam was attacked and unfortunately was injured." Harm said, looking at Mac, then he lifted the right side of Sam's t-shirt a little so Mac could see a bit of the injury.

Mac's eyes widened with shock, she couldn't believe the extent of the bruising she saw; now realizing why the two men had been acting the way they did. "I'm sorry Major Carter; I didn't realize...I hope I didn't hurt you...ah too much."

"No you didn't Mam, I'm fine." Carter said, now breathing a little easier, and feeling awkward being the centre of attention.

Mac decided it was time to take charge of the situation. "Harm would you go out to my car and retrieve the bags, I have some things in there the Major can change into. Shall we try this again Major?"

Sam simply nodded her head, and let Mac help her to the washroom. "I'll just be outside if you need anything." Mac said and left the room.

"So Rabb you want to explain how Lt. Colonel Mackenzie happened our way?" O'Neill said rather angrily.

"I called Mac last night, while you and Sam were asleep. I told her I needed her help and to bring a few things along." Harm said pointing to the luggage bags.

"You realize were dealing with top secret issues here, and you brought in someone with no clearance?" Jack said very annoyed.

"Don't worry Colonel, I didn't tell Mac anything of a classified nature, we needed some assistance and I trust Colonel Mackenzie with my life."

"You may trust her with your life, but I don't know if I trust her with Carter's life; after all that's why we're here in the first place. Or did you forget that little detail?"

"No Sir, I did not forget, but we needed backup and your base has been compromised."

"Maybe we should wait for Carter, before we continue this conversation." O'Neill said, looking at the closed door, wondering if Carter was all right.

"Why don't I go check on the Major?" Mac said seeing the look on O'Neill's face. She grabbed a change of clothing and headed for the door. Mack knocked on the door. "Major, its Mac, I have a change of clothes for you, can I come in?"

"Yea sure." Sam said, she had been trying to wash up, but was having trouble getting rid of the dried blood she felt in her hair and on her neck.

Mac stepped in, and saw the predicament Sam was in. She hadn't noticed the blood on the back of Carter's head before this and cringed when she saw it. 'Boy someone did a job on her.' Mac thought to herself. "I brought you some sweats; I think they may be the easiest to change into. Major, why don't you sit down and let me have a look at your head." Mac put the lid down and helped Sam sit down.

"That looks rather ah..."

"Painful." Sam added

"Yea, very painful." Mac said sympathetically, she reached out for the washcloth and started to clean the blood away from the wound, and from her hair. Noting Carter grimacing slightly. "Sorry."

"That's okay, can't be helped; thanks for the help by the way." Sam said awkwardly, she really hated having to rely on others for help.

"So Major, do you need some help changing out of your t-shirt?"

"Unfortunately, I think I do Colonel." Sam had tried to lift the shirt but was finding it too difficult.

Mac helped her ease the shirt off, and was appalled when she saw the full extent of the bruising. "Oh my God, what the hell happened to you?"

O'Neill noticed the door open and saw Mackenzie exiting with a look of shock on her face. "Is Cater okay?"

"Well Sir it looks really bad, I was wondering if her ribs should be bound?"

"I don't really have enough bandages to do the job." O'Neill said sadly.

"Actually I packed quite a few medical supplies, Commander Rabb made the request."

"Well then I think it's a good idea, do you have any experience binding ribs?"

"Not actually Sir, but how difficult can it be?"

O'Neill was nervous with that answer.

"I can do it for her." Rabb jumped in on the conversation.

"Ah, that's okay Rabb; I've got quite a lot of experience handling this type of injury." Jack was getting aggravated with this lawyer always trying to help Carter, not to mention he didn't want HIM seeing Carter like that, that was his job! "Just tell me when you're ready for me Mackenzie." Jack didn't want to go rushing in in case Carter wasn't ready.

A few minutes later Mac came out shutting the door behind her. "She finally agreed to it Sir, you can go in now."

Jack slowly got up and headed to bathroom carrying a supply of bandages. He knocked on the door before entering. "Okay Carter, I hear you're ready." When Jack entered the room, he saw Carter with her back towards him, wearing grey sweat pants and only a black bra. He saw the bruising on her right side had become worse, the boot mark was now blurred, and the bruising went from the waistband to above her bra strap. `This is going to painful,' he thought.

"So let's get this over with, the quicker its done the sooner the pain will be over." Jack said moving up next to Sam. He gently put his hands on her shoulders to turn her around. "Sorry Carter, but you're going to have to turn around." Jack tried to sound as serious as possible, trying not to make his 2IC feel embarrassed. As she turned around, he saw that she was holding a t-shirt against her chest. He had to smile to himself at her attempt at modesty. This was going to be more difficult than he thought.

"Ah Carter, I won't be able to wrap your ribs with your arm like that. You're going to have to hold them away from your...ah body."

Sam took a gulp and a deep breath, then slowly moved her arm away from her chest, keeping one against the wall for support and her eyes on the ceiling.

`Oh yea this was going to be harder than he thought. No, more difficult, yea that's the word.' He thought as he got a look at her ample breast. `No time for that O'Neill,' he moved to crouch down in front of her, and started to wrap the bandages around her, coming closer as he reached around her back. `Keep your mind on the job O'Neill!' He finished securing the bandage and stood back up. "So, how does that feel, not too tight?"

"No Sir, its fine." Sam said wanting this moment to end, all she wanted to do was get her top on, and forget this situation.

O'Neill grabbed the top from Sam's hand, "Here let me help you with this."

Before she could say anything or react, he had put the top over her head and was holding it out so she could put her arm in the sleeve; she put her hand on his shoulder for balance so she could put her arm in the other sleeve.

"Okay, I think we're ready." Jack said as he helped Sam adjust her arm around his shoulder and helped her walk out of the bathroom.

Harm noticed the door open and saw O'Neill helping Sam walk out. He had to admit, she looked a little better now, the clothes fit her better and the she looked good in the matching grey sweat pants and t-shirt, it went so well with her blonde hair and blue eyes.

Mac couldn't believe how Harm was looking at Sam; the woman looked half-dead and was still able to turn his head.

O'Neill helped ease Carter to the couch and once again positioned pillows under her knee. "Okay, now let's get back to our discussion." O'Neill said as he took a seat in the chair next to the couch.

"As I was saying Sir, your base has been compromised, and if we go there for help, we may risk putting Major Carter back in the hands of those who tried to abduct her." Harm informed O'Neill.

"Look I know some of this is top secret, but is there anything you can tell me?" Mac hated being left out of the loop; but there had to be some things they could tell her.

Harm looked at O'Neill, and was given a nod to go ahead. "Well Mac, yesterday I had a meeting with a prisoner who worked at Cheyenne Mountain with O'Neill and Carter. He told me of a plot to kidnap the Major. Needless to say, I made my way to the base and had a meeting with the General. He called in Sam's team, but we learned that she had already left. The general put me in charge of getting the major back to the base, and allowed the Colonel to accompany me. Unfortunately, we were a bit too late when we got there; there were two men dragging the unconscious major out of her house. As you can tell we managed to get Sam back; we were being followed, so we had to shake them and ended up here.'

"So Major, what happened back at your house, if you don't mind my asking?"

"No it's okay, I don't really remember much; I came home, when I got into my house I tried to turn the light on in the kitchen but nothing happened. Then..." Sam took a few calming breaths before she continued. "I was grabbed from behind, I managed to fight him off; hell I think I broke his nose. I was getting the upper hand on him, when I was attacked by another guy, I tried fighting him off, but then everything went black." Sam was looking down at her hands, and her voice was low as she talked about the attack.

"So when did you receive most of your injuries?" Mac was a little puzzled by her account.

"I got punched in the face, and remember blocking a few blows, but that's all I remember." Sam was nervous, trying to figure out she ended up with the injuries.

Jack could tell Carter was thinking, and sensed her frustration. "Ah Carter, when we were checking your injuries....we saw what looked like a bruise shaped like a boot."

"What?" Sam was totally shocked by this.

"Are you saying they kicked her while she was unconscious?" Mac couldn't believe this; her marine values wouldn't want anyone to be attacked when they were down.

"Yeah, I'm afraid so, Carter has a way of pissing people off." Jack said trying to lighten the mood for Carter's sake.

"So do you know why they wanted Major Carter?" Mac asked.

"The major and I work at a very highly classified base." O'Neill offered.

"Yes Sir, but you're her CO, why would they go after the major specifically and not you?" Mac was really fascinated.

"Well you see, I'm just your run of the mill colonel. Major Carter on the other hand is also Dr. Carter a theoretical astrophysicist "

"Wow, I'm impressed Sir." Sam said with a smirk.

"What? Why?" O'Neill said confused.

"Well um..." Now Sam was a little nervous as how to put this.

"Come on Carter, spit it out."

"Well Sir, you usually don't do so well with...uh scientific terms." `Whew, close one, I hope he buys it.' Sam thought to herself.

"Carter is that any way to talk about your CO? I think that's on the brink of insubordination." Jack knew how to get back at her for that one; it was fun to watch her squirm a little.

"Sorry sir, but I think I may have to consult with a lawyer on that one." Sam said giving Harm a slight smile.

"Sorry Sir, that's not even close enough to be insubordination." Harm said smirking at Sam.

Mac didn't like the little interaction going on between Harm and Sam, and tried to get the conversation back on topic. "So you're a scientist Major, do you think the kidnap attempt has anything to do with what you're working on at the moment?"

"It's possible, but if they're that well connected, I can't see why they couldn't steal copies of my reports."

"Ah could you two excuse us for a few minutes; we have some uh secret stuff to discuss." Jack said looking at the two lawyers.

"Yes Sir." Mac and Harm said getting up and heading for the kitchen.

"Sir?" Carter asked puzzled.

"Look Carter, do you think this could have anything to do with the fact that...ah, you're a little different from the rest of us now?"

"You mean Jolinar?"

"Yeah, I'm afraid so."

"I'd hate to think that was it Sir, I may never be safe here on earth again." the enormity of the situation was beginning to set in, Sam didn't know what she would do if she had to always be looking over her shoulder, afraid of some secret organization was after her.

Jack's heart was breaking, he'd never seen Carter so vulnerable and depressed; he could understand her despair, the one place in the universe they were supposed to be safe was at home here on earth. "Look Carter, we'll figure a way out of this, but right now I want you to rest some more, while we try to find some food. I don't know about you but I'm starving."

"Sounds like a plan Sir." Sam said as she tried to relax and closed her eyes, though she knew she probably wouldn't be able to sleep.

Jack made his way to the kitchen, taking a look a Carter as he left.

"Colonel?" Harm said as O'Neill entered the kitchen.

"Sorry about that, but we had a few things to discuss, and I'm afraid it could be worse than we first thought." O'Neill said quietly shaking his head.

"I don't know how, but we have to come up with a way to find the people behind this. Sooner than later."

"How is she doing?" Mac asked, grasping the seriousness of the situation.

"I told her to rest, but if I know Carter, her brain is working a mile a minute. So for now how about we figure out where to get some food; then we can work on the harder plans."

Chapter 8

The four officers were in the living room, three sitting and one lying down; they had finished the food that Mac had gotten from a nearby fast food restaurant. O'Neill had taken charge of trying to come up with a plan to find those behind the kidnap attempt, even though technically the General had put Rabb in charge.

"We need to get in touch with some of my people." O'Neill said not liking the looks he was getting from the two new additions to his so-called team.

"Look Colonel, I know you want to rely on your people, but we can't trust anyone from the base." Rabb reminded O'Neill.

"I know that's what you believe Rabb, but there are three people who can be trusted without any doubt, the general, Daniel and Teal'c." Jack was trying to hide the disgust in his voice but was failing miserably.

"Teal'c? That's an odd name." Mac said a little puzzled.

"Yes it's a foreign name, he's a civilian consultant." O'Neill tried to explain, hoping it would wash; at least he had Rabb to back him up on this point, since he knew who Teal'c was.

"Excuse me Sir, but if he's a foreigner how can you be sure he hasn't turned on you?"

This time Sam spoke up, feeling the need to defend her friend. "Teal'c is the most trustworthy person I know. I trust him with my life, and he has saved my life many times."

"Saved your life, what kind of work goes on in that mountain?" Mac said before she could stop herself. She knew women weren't allowed in combat situations, so why would this Major's life need saving.

"You know that's classified Mackenzie." O'Neill reminded her. "Anyway, if we can get word to Daniel I'm sure he can talk to Hammond and we can have an escort to the mountain."

"I'm sure that would work Sir, but I don't think I'd like taking up residence on the base." Sam said with concern.

"Yes but wouldn't you like to be in old doc Fraiser's infirmary right now? You know she has those oh so uncomfortable beds in there." O'Neill said raising his eyebrows.

Mac was really wondering now, this base had an infirmary and doctor, when there was the air force academy hospital in the same city.

"I don't know Sir; you don't enjoy Janet's care anymore than I do."

"And I thought she was your best friend Carter, what will she say when she hears about this?"

"Ah need to know Sir, and Janet definitely doesn't need to know. Anyway Sir I'm feeling much better now."

"I know I know your fine, right Carter?"

"Ah yes Sir." Sam said smiling a little.

"Right, but what about walking Carter? You're having quite a bit of a problem there." O'Neill said, wanting only to get Sam somewhere safe.

"A few pain meds and I should be walking just fine Sir." Sam said really wanting to get to the bottom of this.

"Let me be the judge of that." Jack said moving over to sit on the edge of the couch by Sam's feet. Sam just sighed in resignation, as O'Neill started pushing the leg of her sweat pants above her knee. He then started to unwrap it, noting the swelling had gone down some. "Okay Carter, can you move it around?"

Sam tried moving her knee around and bending and stretching it. It did hurt a bit, "It's a little sore Sir, but nothing I can't handle." Then she noticed she had the attention of the whole room, with Harm staring at her knee intently. She wondered if he was just staring at the knee with concern, of if he was staring at her leg. She couldn't help but grin slightly at that thought.

"Okay, keep resting it today, and we'll reassess it in the morning." O'Neill said as he rewrapped the knee.

"Do you think its wise Sir to stay in one place for so long?" Harm asked truly concerned.

"Well it should be okay for one more day and Colonel Mackenzie does take out so well."

"Why thank you Sir, I try my best." Mac said feeling a little more at ease.

"So what do you think Carter, should we contact Daniel? Have him do some digging around." Jack suggested.

"You know Sir, if I could get my hands on a computer, I could do a lot of digging around myself." Sam said with a gleam in her eye, which had been missing since this whole ordeal had started.

"I brought a laptop Major it's in one of my bags, if that will help?" Mac said finally feeling the situation was starting to look up.

"Yea that would be great Ma'am." Sam said as she shifted higher on the couch.

Mac got her laptop and took it over to Sam.

"So where do we plug this thing in?" O'Neill asked.

"It's wireless Sir." Mac answered.

"Yea, so where do we plug it in?" `What didn't they hear me the first time?' O'Neill thought.

"Ah Sir, a wireless laptop, doesn't require any wires, like plugs or phone lines." Carter said trying to keep a straight face.

"Oh." Jack said with an impish grin.

Mac looked at Sam after O'Neill's answer and also tried to stifle a laugh.

"I think I may be able to get in touch with Daniel, without anyone knowing I'm contacting him." Sam informed O'Neill.

"What about the security protocols?" Jack asked.

"Well Sir...I can get in through a back door." Sam said nervously.

"Isn't that illegal Major?" Mac asked, knowing full well it was.

"Ah, I guess it depends on how you look at it." Sam said looking at O'Neill for some backup in the matter.

"Well seeing as how you are trying to find a mole, and plug a security problem, with your CO's permission; I can see how it could be construed as legal." Harm said, hoping to make the matter, something that wouldn't come back and bite them in the ass.

"How are you able to breach the computers of a high level top secret base anyway Major?" Mac said, finding being left out in the dark very frustrating.

"Ah the major is also a computer genius, we're just lucky she works for our side." O'Neill smiled, realizing just how much his 2IC was able to do, and how lucky he was to have her. "Any way, go ahead and try to contact Danny, if you're sure you won't be detected. Oh and that's an order." Jack said grinning; he was making sure to cover all the bases, so Carter wouldn't get in trouble for this little incursion.

As they waited for Sam to do her magic with the computer, Jack thought he might as well make himself useful and put on some coffee. They didn't have any fresh milk or cream, but at least his friend had some coffee whitener in the house. Jack looked around at the house, realizing they had messed it up a bit, not to mention some bloodstains; he just hoped his buddy wouldn't mind too much. After all what's a few blood stains between friends, when someone's life depended on it.

Sam had furiously been working at the computer that she didn't notice O'Neill handing her a cup of coffee.

"Carrrter." He said in a singing type of voice trying to get her attention. He saw the surprised look on her face when she finally looked up.

"Oh, thank you Sir." She said as she reached out for the cup, causing her to take a sharp intake of breath.

"Okay, I think its time for more pain pills Carter." O'Neill said taking the cup and placing it on the coffee table that he had moved closer to her. He then went to the kitchen to get the pills and some water.

"So how is it going Major?" Mac asked, while trying to seem like she wasn't trying to get any classified information.

"I should be through anytime now Ma'am."

"Ah this little endeavour won't be traced back to my computer, will it?" Mac was a little concerned that she could be in trouble if this ever got back to her.

"No Ma'am. I routed the connection through different servers, and crisscrossed it over the globe, there's no way anyone will be able to trace it back to you."

"That's a relief." Mac said as she moved away to give O'Neill access to Carter.

"Here's your meds Carter, I want you to take them all." He knew Sam hated taking pills, and would prefer to take only the minimum, but with her blood chemistry for them to work, she had to take more than the recommended amount.

Harm and Mac both noticed the amount of pills, Mac was about to say something, but Harm stopped her by putting his hand on her arm. "Ah Mac would you join me in the kitchen?" He was tugging on her arm, not giving her a chance to refuse.

"What?" She said angrily.

"Look Mac, leave it alone, they know what they're doing; or haven't you figured that out yet?" Harm said whispering to Mac, so not to be overheard.

"But Harm, he just gave her twice the dose of ibuprofen, don't you think that's strange?"

"Well if he were trying to kill her, he's taking a rather slow method of doing so." Harm said taking a breath, he did think it was odd, but so was what went on in that mountain, he just figured it had to do with the things they did there. "Ah Mac what's with the majors and ma'ams, why don't you just drop the ranks like I have, its not like she's in your command."

"Yes I noticed, and how soon after meeting the major, did you drop your...ranks?' Mac said the part purposefully to get the double entendre across.

"And what the hell is that supposed to mean?" Harm said still whispering, but his anger showing.

"Oh I think you know. Ever since I got here, it's been like you two have been flirting blatantly. I just wonder if O'Neill wasn't here how long would it be before you were in her pants." Mac was also letting her anger show.

"Oh yea Mac, I always try to jump the bones of women who have been beaten senseless, and can't run away from me. Is that what you think of me, really?"

Mac thought about what he said, and remembered how Carter looked in the bathroom. It was true there was no way he would take advantage of a woman in that condition. "I'm sorry Harm, I don't know what came over me; I know your right, there's no way you'd go after her." Mac's anger had gone, and was now exchanged for shame.

"So do you think you can cut her some slack and drop the ranks? I think she deserves it, after all she's done I think we're the inferior officers."

"You know I wish you could tell me more about what they do, and then maybe I could make sense of all of this." Mac's curiosity was getting the best of her; she knew things were classified, and she didn't have the clearance, but damn it why did Harm?

"Yea I know Mac, I wish I could tell you also, just trust me when I say what they do is very important and can be very dangerous." Harm was now more sympathetic now that his anger was gone.

"I've made it through Sir." Sam said with a grin on her face.

"So what, you're hooked into Daniel's computer?" Jack was a little relieved now he could contact his friends. "So how can you tell if someone's looking over his shoulder reading his computer?"

"There's no way to tell Sir. If we could write in a different language, then Daniel would be the only one who could read it. So know any foreign languages Sir?"

"I'm afraid most of what I do know, wouldn't be of any help. Doesn`t that genius brain of yours cover languages?" Jack said grinning slightly.

"If it did Sir, then we wouldn't need Daniel would we?" Sam was feeling inadequate at the moment

"Ah, I speak Russian and Arabic." Mac chimed in, maybe now she could be of some help.

Sam and O'Neill looked at her with surprise. "Can you write in both languages Ma'am?"

"Yes I can, and why don't we drop the ma'am, just call me Mac." Mac said looking at Harm who gave her a nod and a slight smile.

Sam looked at Mac, not knowing what to think about the sudden change in the Lt. Colonel. `Why thank you...Mac, and please call me Sam."

"Okay ladies, now that the niceties are taken care of, can we get back to the matter at hand? So Carter which language should we use?"

"Arabic would be the best, it would look like his normal translations." Sam said not wanting to give too much away.

Mac took the computer that Sam had handed to her, "So what would you like to say Sir?"

"Let's see, now we can't use names that will stand out. Space monkey, it's your best friend, are you alone? What do you think Carter?"

"Sounds good, once we know he's alone we can talk a bit more openly." Sam answered trying not to laugh at Daniel's much-hated nickname.

"Space monkey?" Mac said with a puzzled look.

"It's a nickname I gave him, he just loves it so much."

Mac just shook her head and typed the message. "He say's he's alone Sir."

"Okay, tell him we're using an interpreter, so be careful with your answers." Jack said shrugging his shoulders at Mac.

"He wants to know what's going on, and how Sam is."

"Tell him everyone's fine, but we are unable to talk securely this way. Tell him to go to the place I took him, when he first got back home and wait for my phone call, tomorrow at two. Don't tell anyone we've contacted you until we talk."

They waited a few moments for a reply. "He says okay, be careful and take good care of Sam, then he writes... if my translation is correct, burro?" Mac couldn't help but look puzzled at the last part

Sam just shook her head and laughed.

"What, why would he say burro?" Jack asked looking baffled.

"Think about it Sir, burro is another word for donkey; or a jack..." Sam was quickly interrupted.

"Okay Carter! I get it." He then noticed Carter was holding back a laugh.

"Remember what I said about giggling Major." Jack said in his most stern voice, oh he was going to have get Danny back for that one.

"So what now Sir?" Mac asked trying to hide a grin herself.

"I guess we give the computer back to Carter and see if she can dig up anything." O'Neill said looking at Carter still seeing the smile on her face. `Geez its good to see her smiling for a change.' he thought to himself.

As soon as Sam was handed the computer, she was back at work, quickly typing away.

"Well I think Carter will be busy a while, why don't we go get some food."

****** The afternoon sun was shining through the small basement window. It was a large room, with bare grey walls and two concrete support columns, at the front of the room was a wooden table with a black phone on it. The phone was being used by a large burly man with short dark hair with his back turned to the door. "Yea okay, we'll be waiting for word."

"What's going on?" said a much thinner man with short dirty blonde hair walking in the room.

"Looks like we'll be moving out sometime tomorrow." The first man said turning around.

"Geez Stan, every time I see your face it looks worse. She really did a job on you." The second guy said laughing, putting his hand on Stan's shoulder.

"Yea well thanks to you Frank, I didn't get my revenge."

"Are you kidding? If I didn't pull you off her, you would have killed her; then we'd be in a lot of trouble. You know they want her alive, and able to answer questions."

"Well they didn't say what shape they wanted her in, just as long as she can answer." Stan said getting an evil look on his face. Nobody broke his nose and gave him two black eyes without getting some payback; and it looked like he'd get his chance tomorrow, as soon as they got word.

***** "So Carter, find anything?" O'Neill said as he handed her a bag with a burger and fries.

Sam looked up at him and took the bag, setting it down beside her. "Actually Sir, I think I've found out some interesting things."

"Why don't you take a break, and eat something." O'Neill took it upon himself to make sure she would eat. He did not like how thin she had become, remembering how she looked when he first checked her out.

"That's okay Sir, I'm not really hungry."

"Ah ah, Carter, eat now; work later." O'Neill said reaching for the computer, so she would have room to eat her lunch.

"Okay, what ever you say Sir." Sam sighed, and picked up her bag.

A while later after everyone had finished eating and cleaned up, they all gathered around in the living room waiting for Sam's report on what she found. "Well Sir when I was looking around Colonel Maybourne's records I found some things that were not on his official records. In fact they were not to be found anywhere in the ..." She looked at O'Neill worriedly not sure, if she should continue with a room full of JAG lawyers. It was one thing to be hacking into the base's computers with permission of her CO; but another to breaking into the NID's computers.

Harm noticed Sam's reluctance to continue; "its okay Sam, what ever you say will be confidential, consider it client lawyer confidentiality."

"For both of you Sir?" Sam said not knowing what Mac would do with this information.

"Yes Sam, for both of us. Don't worry about illegalities right now." Boy this woman was smarter than most people she knew, worrying about illegalities at a time like this, Mac thought.

"I found a few places that Maybourne had control of, that weren't found anywhere on the NID's database of holdings."

"So you think the people behind this could be using Maybourne's hiding places?" O'Neill asked.

"Well Sir, I'm sure Maybourne didn't buy these places himself, and who ever is taking over for him will most likely use them for themselves." Sam speculated.

"Waste not want not right major? After all it is the military way." Mac added.

"Why don't I copy these places down on paper, so we can have easy access to them if needed." Sam offered.

O'Neill left for the den, and a few moments later returned with a pad of paper handing it to Carter. Once she had finished, he took the copy from her and looked it over. Most of the places were out of the state, but a couple were right here in Colorado Springs. "Well at least now we have a couple of places to start. I can get Daniel and Teal'c to check them out tomorrow when I make contact."

"Are you really sure that's a good idea Colonel? We still don't know who we can trust." Harm reminded O'Neill.

"Well tomorrow we have to move to another hiding place, we can't stay in one place too long, while we're moving, Daniel and Teal'c can check the places out. Believe me they know what they're doing. I trained them myself." Jack said smiling.

"Well if you trained them anything like Sam, I'm sure they'll be a force to recon with." Harm said with a slight chuckle.

Mac looked puzzled at that remark, "How do you know how well Sam is trained?"

"That would be from when Carter attacked the commander." Jack said laughing.

"Why on earth would Sam attack Harm?" Mac said bewildered.

"It has more to do with not waking a sleeping major." Harm said rubbing the slight bruise on his face.

"Yea I think Rabb learned not to startle a well trained soldier when they are waking up."

Sam was listening to the conversation, turning slightly red with embarrassment, and looking down.

O'Neill noticed Carter's reaction and thought he'd like to see just how red she could turn. "Well Rabb, you did mention that you didn't mind having a beautiful woman on top of you?" Oh yeah O'Neil good one, he chuckled to himself.

"Yes, very true Sir." Harm said smiling at a now beet red Sam, who was shaking her head in disbelief at the conversation.

`Wait a minute! Did the colonel just call me beautiful?' Sam thought to herself. "Ah could we change the subject please?"

"Wow Carter, nice shade of red." Jack said smugly.

Sam just ignored the comment and hoped her cheeks would stop burning soon. "Ah hem, so where are we moving to Sir?"

"Oh I have a few more friends that wouldn't mind putting us up for a while." Jack said grinning at the lack of information, he was giving out.

"You realize Sir, we can't involve outsiders." Mac said concerned with the lack of Intel she was receiving.

"Oh come on Mackenzie where's your sense of adventure?"

"I'm afraid it's far behind my sense of self-preservation Sir." Mac said half smiling.

"Don't worry about it, I know for a fact no one will be home for a while." Jack said smirking.

Sam noticed the look on his face, "What aren't you telling us Sir?"

"Nothing Carter, nothing." Jack said shrugging his shoulders.

"How come I don't really believe you Sir?" Sam said smirking at him.

"Ah well don't sweat it Carter. So anymore surfing to be done?" O'Neill said pointing to the computer that was still on her lap.

"Well I haven't come up with anything new for a while, but who knows how much is buried out there." Sam said shaking her head.

"Well I think you've done enough for today Carter, you really need to rest up for tomorrow." Jack said looking at her.

"I can still put in a few more hours Sir, its no problem." Sam said, she was feeling tired and sore but didn't want to show any signs of weakness.

"Yea well, I think it looks like you could use the rest; you can always get back to it tomorrow after we get settled again. Hopefully it won't be too much longer before you can go home again." Jack said as he held out a hand for the computer. He saw Sam look up at him giving him a slight grin as she pressed a few more keys before handing the computer over to him.

"That's good Carter, now why don't I get you some more pills so you can rest more comfortably." He noticed the scowl on her face as he said this.

Harm and Mac were still seated in the living room and watched again as O'Neill handed Sam a large dose of pills. They made eye contact and Harm just shook his head for Mac to leave it alone.

"So I think we should set up three watches tonight, Mackenzie you get the first, Rabb second and I'll take the third." Rank had its privileges he thought as he gave Rabb the worst watch.

"Okay then I think I'll hit the hay, Mac you can take my bed on my watch; he said giving her one of his boyish grins.

"Yea yea, just go to bed Harm." Mac answered him shaking her head. She watched as both Harm and O'Neill left the room.

"That's one dangerous smile he's got there." Sam said smiling.

"You got that right; he's one hell of a charmer." Mac said smiling at the thought.

"So do you...find it difficult working so closely together?" Sam felt a little uneasy asking the question, but they were alone.

"Sometimes more than others, I don't know it can get strange some times. What about you, do you find it difficult working so closely with O'Neill?"

Sam looked down at her hands and thought before answering. "Well he is my CO, so there can't be anything between us besides friendship; and sometimes I wonder about that even."

"What do you mean? He obviously cares about you, even I can see that."

"Really?" Sam said looking truly puzzled.

"You should have seen how worried he look this morning when he was waiting for you, and then when Harm offered to go in and wrap your ribs." Mac started to laugh, "I thought he was going to blow a gasket."

"Really?" Sam couldn't believe what she was hearing; did the Colonel really care about her?

The two talked a little while longer, until Mac noticed Sam was starting to fall asleep. She got up and went to the kitchen allowing her new friend to get her much needed sleep.

Chapter 9

Sam was having trouble sleeping, she couldn't believe lying around could cause so much pain. Not only was her injured right side hurting, but her upper back and shoulders were aching also. She tried shifting around to a more comfortable position, but found that almost impossible.

"Are you alright?"

"Ah yea, just having a little trouble getting comfortable." Sam said as she tried shifting once again letting the pain show on her face.

"Why don't you let me help you?" He said as he approached the couch.

"Oh that's okay, I'll be fine." She said letting out the breath, she was holding.

"Why don't you sit up and I'll help you move down the couch." As Sam sat up, he gave her a steadying arm and helped her scoot down the couch, and eased her leg on to the coffee table. "Comfortable?"

"Not really, but I don't think any position will help at this point in time." Sam was a little surprised when she felt the couch shift, as he sat down behind her.

"Here, use this to lean against." He said as he handed her the large pillow, which she held up against her (almost hugging it and letting her head fall forward to rest against it.)

"That's a little better." She said as she tried to roll her shoulders to get the kinks out. Then she was surprised as she felt his hands on her shoulders.

"Just relax, this should help." He said as he started to massage her shoulders, he had one hand on either side of her neck, as his thumbs worked their way up her spine to her neck. He could feel the tight knots as his hands moved around her upper shoulders and neck.

`Wow, this feels sooo good.' Sam thought, as she relaxed at his touch.

"You know this would work better on bare skin." He could feel her muscles tense up at that remark and had to chuckle to himself. "Don't worry, I'm just going to lift the back of your shirt, so I can get to your shoulders, I don't want to accidentally touch any bruised area."

"Um, okay." Sam said with a gulp, she wasn't sure if she should be letting him do this but it did feel good, she thought as she buried her head deeper into the pillow.

He reached for the bottom of her shirt, and manoeuvred it up over her shoulders and over her head when she lifted it from the pillow. He saw how red her back had become from laying down in one position for so long. He gently started again to massage her shoulders, this time starting on the left one first, kneading and using his thumbs to get at the knots and also moved over her shoulder to include her upper arm. He could feel the tension release and he moved over to her right shoulder. This time he had to be more careful not to get too close to the bruised area. He could hear the small moans as he hit the right spots.

`Oh boy did he have magic fingers.' Sam thought as she enjoyed the sensations he was causing. In no time she was totally relaxed, she was feeling a lot better than she had for a while. She was almost disappointed when his hands stopped moving; but soon enough they were on her neck again moving up to her hair line and down again.

He could feel her shiver as he massaged her neck and moved his hands through her hair over her scalp. He could see, even in the dim light, the bump on her head had gone down some and the cut looked to be healing. He moved his hands back down her neck and gently over her back again; this time instead of a deep massage, he gently rubbed his hands across her upper back. He could tell that she had finally relaxed, and wondered if she had fallen asleep, which only made him chuckle to himself.

He was suddenly startled, by the lights turning on, as he heard the yelling. "What the hell is on going on here?"

Sam jolted upright in surprise causing her to wince with the movement and found herself staring at an irate Colonel Jack O'Neill. "Ah what's wrong Colonel?" Sam said still hugging the pillow.

"Oh I don't know Carter; I come out here and find this scene." O'Neill said, wondering why his genius 2IC seemed so dense at the moment, wondering what was wrong.

"Ah Colonel O'Neill I was just helping Sam out." Rabb said, not showing any type of emotion as he looked at O'Neill.

`Out of what, her clothes?' he thought, but knew better than to say it out loud. "Is this how you spend your watch?"

A sleepy Mac came bounding out of her room with her gun drawn. "What's wrong?" She said as she looked around the room. Looking at the couch, she guessed at why the colonel was yelling. She had to admit this did look awkward, but she was sure there was nothing going on, given the look on Harm's face.

While the Colonel was talking, Sam had managed to get her top over her head and it slid down to cover her back. There was no way she was going to feel embarrassed about this after all nothing really happened, and O'Neill had no right to over react the way he was. "Look Colonel, I woke up and was in a lot of pain; Harm offered to help and I agreed, and I'm glad I did, for the first time since this all happened I'm actually feeling a little better."

"Well...I was just a little surprised when I came out here and..."

"Saw me giving Sam a back massage? Look Sir, Sam has been lying in the same position for a long time now, and because of it she was in a lot of pain, not just her injured area, but the rest of her back too."

O'Neill was feeling a little uncomfortable at his outburst, he should have realized that Carter wouldn't be doing anything wrong, especially in her condition; but he couldn't bring himself to trust Rabb in this situation. "Look Carter, I'm sorry for my outburst."

"It's okay Sir, really." Sam could see how uneasy O'Neill was feeling, and didn't want to make things worse; the best they could do was to let the incident drop and try to forget about it.

"How are you doing Sam?" Mac asked.

"A little better." She said, and then felt the couch shifting as Harm got up. "Thank you Harm, I really appreciate what you did."

"Anytime Sam." Harm said with a little smile moving towards the kitchen, he glanced at his watch, then looked at O'Neill. "I guess it's your watch now Sir."

"Yea I guess it is." O'Neill said, knowing the reason he got up in the first place was to take his turn on watch.

"Well good night everyone." Harm said as he headed for the now empty bedroom O'Neill had vacated.

"Yea, good night Harm." Mac said as she headed back to her bedroom. This left O'Neill alone in the living room looking at Sam. He slowly made his way to the chair next to the couch.

"Look Carter, I'm really sorry about my earlier reaction, it's just that ...I don't really trust that guy."

Sam found it difficult to have a conversation with the colonel with her back turned towards him. She slowly tried to scoot backwards on the couch, and then moved her right leg so it was resting on the floor. She was now sitting on the couch with both feet on the ground facing the colonel. She was still using the pillow to rest against as she was leaning forward.

O'Neill watched as Carter positioned herself on the couch, he could tell that it was causing her pain but somehow he knew that she wanted to do this on her own. She was now facing him when she started to talk. "Look Sir, I know it takes you a long time before you learn to trust a person; but I'm quite positive Harm can be trusted...I trust him." She said looking him in the eyes.

"Yea, well Carter, sometimes you can be too trusting." O'Neill said looking down at the floor.

"What's that supposed to mean Sir?" She was finding it hard to believe that the colonel just said that.

"Well, you know, you trust the Tok'ra and that Martouf guy. You know what I say; you can never trust a Goa'uld."

"You realize your also talking about my father Sir." Sam said a little angrily.

"Yea well he's the one exception to the rule; after all he used to be one of us." He could tell she was getting angrier with him, and thought the best thing was to change the subject.

"So Carter, need anymore pills or anything?"

"No Sir, I'm fine."

He looked at her suspiciously, taking in her posture and not believing the `fine' part. "Are you sure Carter, I could always give you a back rub."

Sam rolled her eyes at that comment, "is that supposed to be funny, Sir?"

"Yea, a little." He said with a smart-ass grin on his face.

"Well its not...Sir." She was feeling annoyed at the fun he was now having at her expense, and buried her face in the pillow. She was wondering if throwing a pillow at your CO could be construed as attacking a superior officer.

"You know Carter, its going to be morning soon; maybe you should try and get as much rest as you can now, before we have to start moving out."

"I've been resting so much Sir, my back started to ache, I don't think I can lie down any more."

"Geez, it was that bad eh?" He said looking down feeling guilty for his previous reaction.

"Ah, yes Sir, it was."

"Then why don't you take the pills?"

"Because I thought I'd wait until we started moving out before I took them, that way they won't be wearing off at the wrong time."

"Well that makes sense. How about a cup of coffee or tea?"

"Tea would be nice, thank you Sir."

******

Morning came quickly, with Mac rising right on time, when she emerged from her room she found O'Neill and Sam sitting in the kitchen. "Wow, its good to see you up Sam."

"I'll second that." Harm said as he came out from his room.

"Well I thought the couch needed a rest." Sam said smiling over her coffee mug.

"Well the coffee's on, so why don't we have a cup then get ready to head out." O'Neill said, he was already washed and dressed, (in clothes he borrowed from his friend.)

Mac went to pour herself a cup of coffee, "Sam I still have some extra clothes if you want to change."

"Thanks Mac, I'd appreciate that." Sam got up slowly and waved off the helping hands from the colonel and Harm. "Thanks but I can do it on my own." She said as she took a small step, after all if she was going to be of any help, she had to prove that she could walk on her own. After a few steps and slight limp, she made it to the bathroom. Mac had already brought her the clothes and deposited them on the counter.

A while later Sam came out of the washroom looking a little refreshed. She limped her way to the kitchen, and before she could say anything, Harm had bounded into the bathroom beating Mac there. Mac could only smile at Harm's childish antics.

"Ah Carter, I hate to ask this but...do you still have the bandages on your ribs?" O'Neill asked.

Sam brought her hand forward from behind her back, and placed the rolled up bandages on the table. "Ah taking them off was easier than putting them on Sir." She said awkwardly.

"I'll take that as my cue." Jack said as he picked up the roll.

"Ah here Sir?" Sam said looking around the open kitchen.

"Well it's only Mac and myself here, I think Rabb will be a little while in the bathroom; and this way you don't have to walk around too much." Jack said as he moved to stand behind her. He knew she didn't like the next step,' but it had to be done' he told himself. Sam stood next to the counter that divided the living room and kitchen, with one hand on the counter to help keep her balance, and held out her other arm. He took a deep breath, then reached for the hem of her now black t-shirt and lifted it over her head.

Sam lifted the bottom of the front part of her shirt and tucked it into the top part. At least she got to keep part of her shirt on this time.

Jack took a chair and sat down in front of Sam, instead of crouching like last time. "Ah Mackenzie, you might want to take a few notes, in case you find your self having to do this in the future." He saw Mac move in behind him. "Now you start here, and try not to wrap it too tight, we don't want to cut of circulation. Try to keep it even and the tension equal. Then you just fasten it, and you're all done. How's that Carter?"

"Fine Sir."

"Not too tight?"

"No Sir."

"Not too loose?" Jack was now laughing to himself, knowing he was pissing Carter off.

"No Sir, its fine Sir." Sam said trying to hold her temper, as she fixed her top.

"Thank you for the lesson Sir." Mac said, she couldn't help but smirk at the situation, these two officers really knew how to irritate each other. Not unlike someone else who knew how to irritate her.

Just then, the door to the bathroom opened, and Harm stepped out. "All yours Mac." He said grinning at her. "So Colonel, when do you want to move out?"

"As soon as everyone's ready." Jack said looking at Carter.

"What?" She asked at his look, `do I have spinach in my teeth or something'.

"Ah is it time for your meds?"

"Yea, I guess now would be a good time, Sir." She watched as O'Neill got up to get the bottle of pills and tossed them to her. Then he proceeded to get her a glass of water.

"You should keep them with you." He said as she poured out the pills.

Sam looked at what she was wearing, and didn't think the bottle would fit in the pockets of the jeans she was wearing. "Ah do you know where my jacket is Sir?"

"I'll get it for you Sam." Harm said as went to retrieve the jacket. He returned to her side and helped her into the BDU jacket. He then saw her put the pills in one of the large pockets.

"So are we taking your truck too Sir?" Sam asked.

"No I think my truck will be easily spotted, we'll all go in Mackenzie's car. I know where to get our hands on another car later." As O'Neill said this, Mac had stepped out of the bathroom, dressed similar to Carter, in blue jeans and a black t-shirt.

"Well now I think we can we move out...ah Carter here, wear this." Jack said tossing her a ball cap.

"The Blue Jays Sir? I didn't think they were your kind of team." Sam said grinning slightly, taking in the logo on the cap.

"You're right there Carter, but since it's not my house, I didn't have much of a selection. Just put it on, so you won't be as recognizable." He knew how her blonde hair had always garnered her attention, both on and off world. Now Mackenzie, she had dark hair but with that, body would gain a lot of attention herself. `Boy O'Neill how did you manage to get yourself between two gorgeous women. No not between, amongst, yea that's the word, don't think of being between those two, you can always think of that later. Right now keep your mind where it belongs.'

"Ah is everything alright Sir?" Sam asked noticing the odd look on the colonel's face.

"What?...Yea fine, I was just...thinking." Jack answered, having his attention pulled away from his previous thoughts.

"Well I hope it wasn't too hard." Carter said innocently.

"What!" O'Neill said surprised at the comment.

"You were thinking of a plan, right Sir? I hope it wasn't too hard coming up with one." Sam said not knowing why O'Neill needed an explanation.

"No Carter, not difficult at all." Jack said, whishing for once, he had the linguistic skills of Daniel. "So everyone ready to head out?"

"Yes Sir." came a chorus, from the other three people.

"Mackenzie I'll drive, you take shot gun. Carter you're behind Mackenzie, Rabb behind me."

"Yes Sir." was heard once again.

Three of the four officers checked their guns before putting them in their waistbands. Carter watched and felt empty handed. "Sorry Carter, I don't have an extra right now."

"That's okay Sir." She said trying to make him feel at ease.

O'Neill checked the door and out side before giving the sign to move out. Mac carried the bags to the trunk, while Harm helped Sam into the car. Getting into the car had been a little bit more difficult that Sam thought it would be. The rest took their spots in the car, keeping their eyes open, as O'Neill navigated the streets.

Jack had been driving for a while; he wanted to make sure he wasn't being followed, before heading to the new hiding place. He finally pulled into the driveway of another small one level ranch style house. "Mackenzie, take over the wheel, while I check it out. Rabb stay with Carter."

They watched as O'Neill got out of the car, and headed to the house. Mac slid over to the drivers' seat and waited at the ready. A few minutes later, O' Neill waved them to come in. Harm got out first and went around the car to help Sam out. Mac went to the trunk and retrieved their bags, before heading into the house.

The drive over seemed like an eternity to Sam, she felt cramped in the back seat, and her muscles had started to ache, not to mention her knee. She looked at her watch and knew it was too soon to take the pills, and only hoped that she would feel better if she could stretch out, and try to relax. She gladly accepted Harm's assistance exiting the car. Her knee had seemed to cramp up, and now she was limping even more. Harm noticed her discomfort and had her put her arm around his shoulder as he helped her walk to the house.

They entered the living room, which was small, but had a blue couch, two matching chairs and a TV with some pictures on it. Harm helped Sam to the couch, and helped ease her down. "Do you want to put your leg up?" He asked looking at her concerned. He guessed being cramped up in the back seat of the car hadn't helped matters.

"Yea, I think that would help." Sam told him, as he gently lifted her leg on to the couch, placing one of the throw pillows under her knee for support.

"Where do want the bags Sir?" Mac asked.

"Just put them by them wall, while I take stock of we have." O'Neill answered.

"Well the good news is; we have plenty of canned food."

"And the bad news Sir?" Sam asked.

"No electricity to turn the stove on."

"No electricity? Just whose house is this?" Harm asked, truly puzzled as to why O'Neill's friend wouldn't have any power.

Mac had gone to the TV and retrieved a picture, taking it over to Harm and Sam. Sam gasped when she saw the picture. "I can't believe you brought us here, Sir."

Jack just grinned, "Yea good idea wasn't it? No one would ever think of looking for us here."

Mac saw Harm also grinning. "So want to let me in on whose house this is?" She was a little upset at yet once again, everyone knowing something she didn't.

"It's Colonel Makepeace's house." Sam informed her.

"One of the people behind all of this?" Mac said with concern.

"Yes Mackenzie, it is." Jack said truly proud of himself for his brilliance. No one would expect them to be hiding out in the enemy's camp. "Speaking of Makepeace, wait here a second."

They watched as O'Neill left the room and made his way down a hallway. When he returned he was grinning and walked next to Sam.

"Here Carter, I thought you might need this." He said handing her a pistol.

"Why thank you Sir. How did you know where to find it?" She didn't think that O'Neill and Makepeace were friends by the way they behaved on base.

"Oh you know Carter; marines always tend to have extra weapons lying around." Jack said then smiled apologetically to Mac.

"Well maybe not all marines Sir." Mac said smiling at O'Neill.

"I don't know Mac; don't you have an extra gun hidden in your apartment?" Harm asked with a big ass grin on his face.

"I plead the fifth on that one." Mac said looking at harm a little irritated for telling them her secrets.

"Well now that you're armed Carter, I feel better about leaving for my meeting."

"You're not going alone are you Sir?" Sam asked with concern.

"Ah yea, that's how I was planning it."

"You can't Sir! You need to take back up." Sam said getting agitated.

"Relax, Carter I'm a big boy, I can take care of myself." He said trying to calm her down.

"Look Sir, I could back you up." Mac offered

"I don't like splitting us up Mackenzie."

"I'll be fine here Sir, I have a gun and Harm to back me up; you should take Mac's offer Sir and let her back you up.' Sam said trying her most forceful voice.

"Sam's right Sir, I can stay with her, and Mac can back you up." Harm tried to convince O'Neill.

"Yea well okay, as long as you stop nagging me; and Mackenzie you stay in the car and back me up from there. Understood." He said sternly.

"Very well Sir." Mac said with a grimace.

"Okay then, and Carter don't forget to take your meds, looks like you could use them."

"Yes Sir, when its time." Sam said patting her pocket.

"Okay then, ah Mackenzie why don't you leave the car keys with Rabb, and I'll get the car that's in the garage started.

Mac tossed the keys to Harm, who went out to move the car so O'Neill could move the other one out of the garage. Mac was already seated in the car when O'Neill opened the door.

With a final salute from Rabb, the two headed out.

Chapter 10

O'Neill and Mackenzie arrived at their destination; they were both wearing ball caps and sunglasses. O'Neill parked the car down the street from the restaurant so he could get a good view of those coming and going. He pulled out his cell phone and dialled the restaurant. "Yea is there a Danny Jackson there?" He had to grin thinking about Daniel's reaction to his page. A few moments later, there was a voice on the phone.

"Ah Jackson here."

"Hey Daniel."

"Jack! What the hell is going on?" Daniel was talking quietly, but he did emphasize Jack's name.

"We'll get to that later, were you followed?"

"Ah no."

"You sure?"

"Yes, now do you mind telling me what's going on?"

"All in good time Danny-boy. Now I want you to leave the restaurant, walk up the street to the newspaper stand, wait a few minutes, and then go into the coffee shop across the street. Got it?"

"Yes Jack I got it. Don't you think you're being a little paranoid?"

"No Daniel, just cautious; now get moving." Jack ordered Daniel this time.

"Okay Jack." Daniel said, then headed out the restaurant and did as instructed.

Jack and Mac watched Daniel as he left the restaurant and started walking. They kept an eye out for any signs that Daniel was being followed. He finally made it to the coffee shop, "That's my cue, keep your eyes open Mackenzie." Jack said as he got out of the car and headed for the coffee shop.

Daniel sat in a booth in the corner of the coffee shop; he was sipping his coffee waiting impatiently for Jack to show up. Then he saw him enter wearing dark sunglasses and a baseball cap. He watched as Jack went to the counter and ordered a coffee before coming to sit down at the booth. "Nice of you to show up Jack, now what...the...hell...is...going...on?" Daniels' anger and desperation was clearly showing.

"Nice to see you too Daniel."

"Jaaaack."

"Okay, for starters Carter's alright. She got beaten pretty badly, and has a concussion but she's doing better now."

"Geez Jack I was so worried, when I saw all that blood..." Daniel was looking down shaking his head.

"Yea Daniel I know. You know head wounds bleed a lot, plus Carter thinks she broke the nose of one of the attackers."

Daniel had to smile at that, "That's our Sam, quite the fighter."

"That she is Daniel." Jack said with a grin, and pride in his voice. "Anyway Daniel, we can't bring her in until we find out whose behind this. Carter says she'll never be safe at home and doesn't really want to take up residence at the base. Not that I can blame her."

"So what can I do to help?" Daniel was hoping he could be useful; after all, he did love Sam, she was family. Their bond had grown over the years they had worked together, and being the scientists, they felt a kindred spirit.

Jack reached into his pocket and pulled out a piece of paper. "Carter did some digging and came up with these places in the area; we think they were used by Maybourne and his secret NID operation. I need you and Teal'c to check them out, covertly. Do you think you can handle that?"

"What about General Hammond?"

"Report to him, but make sure it's his ears only, let him know what's going on. Carter's going to try to do some more digging."

"Ah Jack, where did Sam get a computer?"

"Oh yea, it seems our illustrious Commander Rabb called in his partner from JAG, a Lt. Col. Sara Mackenzie, who brought some supplies along with her including a computer."

"Wow that's handy, but another lawyer, what about me or Teal'c, we'd give out lives to help Sam." Daniel was now letting his anger show.

"Yea I know Daniel, it wasn't my idea to bring her in; but seeing as she's here now, we put her to use. Actually she's in the car watching my back."

"Oh really?" Daniel was shocked that Jack would let someone he didn't know, watch his back.

"So you get going, when I want to talk to you next time, we'll get in touch on the computer again, when we do, go to the little coffee shop on Baker St. and wait, I'll get in touch with you."

"Okay Jack, I'll get right on it."

*****

It was a hot summer day in Colorado Springs; Mac had been sitting in the car with the windows open for a while now watching the coffee shop entrance and surrounding area. She saw a few people go in, but didn't see anything suspicious. `Why do I always get the boring jobs?' Mac thought to herself. She watched a young mother pushing a stroller down the street; she could hear the baby crying and saw the woman leaning over the stroller trying to calm the baby down. Mac thought about how she'd like to be in that position some day, and grinned remembering the pact she and Harm had made. "In five years, if we're not with anyone, how about you and I have a baby." `Yea I wouldn't mind having a baby with Harm.' Mac thought, but now is not the time to be thinking of that.

Mac continued to watch the coffee shop, and noticed that the young mother was coming her way. She hoped nothing would happen; she didn't want the woman and her baby to be in any danger. Then she noticed the woman reach into the stroller, pull out a gun and fire it her way. At the sight of the gun, Mac instinctively took cover lying down in the car. The first shot missed her, but the second didn't, she saw that she was actually shot by a dart, before her world went black. Moments later a white van pulled up beside the car, two men dressed in black and wearing masks grabbed Mac put her in the van and quickly sped away. The woman with the `baby' had already jumped into the passenger's seat of the van, when it sped away.

*********

Sam was laying on the couch working on the computer, grateful that the pills and finally taken affect. "Would you like something to drink? Since there's no power, I think the best I can offer is some nice cold water from the tap." Harm asked with a smile.

"Yea thanks, water would be good. Too bad the powers off, air conditioning would be nice about now." Sam said pulled the sweaty t-shirt away from her neck, the long sleeve jacket having been discarded long ago.

Harm brought her the water, and went back to checking around the house. It would be nice to open some windows in this heat, but he wouldn't take the chance until the others came back. He was checking the windows in the back bedroom, when he heard a noise coming from the basement. He drew his gun and headed for the basement door. "Sam, I think I heard something, keep your guard up." He called out.

Sam heard Harm's warning and grabbed the gun that was beside her and slid the laptop under the couch so just an edge was showing, while keeping a watch on the windows and door of the living room. Since the couch was up against a wall, she didn't have to worry about someone sneaking up on her. Then she heard a noise coming from the bedroom area. "Harm is that you?" She called out but not too loudly. When she didn't hear a reply, she dropped herself to the floor laying flat between the couch and coffee table; hopefully she would be hard to spot. Then she heard what sounded like a scuffle coming from the basement. She was scared and worried, but her soldier mode kicked in quickly calming her down, readying her for a fight.

Harm silently crept down the basement stairs ready to shoot anything that moved. His eyes had to adjust to the dim light, he scanned the area, and saw nothing at first, then he noticed a broken window, he turned quickly only to come in contact with an intruder who had skilfully grabbed hold of his gun, and started fighting with him. It didn't last long as a second man shot him, Harm's eyes widened with shock just before he passed out.

Sam was listening intently, for any clues of what was happening; maybe the colonel was right about splitting up, but at least Mac wasn't here, she should be safe with the colonel. Then she heard footsteps approaching, if it was Harm, he knew to acknowledge himself; who ever it was, was going to be sorry. She watched the entrance to the hallway waiting for any sign; then she saw a shadow. Her heart was pounding as she readied to shoot.

The next few moments happened quickly. Sam fired at the shadowy figure, as a gas canister was thrown into the room, landing not far from her spewing smoke. The room quickly filled with smoke, as the front door busted open, she shot at the figure entering the house, only to feel the impact of something hitting her in the arm. She saw that she had been pierced with a dart; she continued firing, this time at the figures at the doorway to the hall, only to be shot again with another dart hitting her in the back, her vision was starting to blur, but she would not give up, she kept firing in both directions hoping to hit her marks. The smoke was obscuring her vision and now causing her to cough and the two darts were fighting with her adrenaline making her drowsy, but she wasn't going to give up, not with out a fight. After the third dart hit her, her battle was over as she finally lost consciousness.

The four intruders all clad in black, with ski masks hiding their faces, made their way cautiously into the living room; two from the front door, two from the hallway. "Shit, I can't believe it took three darts to put her out. Is everyone okay?"

"I got clipped in the arm, but I'll be alright." One guy said, holding his arm.

"It's a good thing we're wearing vests." Another man said.

"Let's get her out of here, before the gas fumes get to us." As this was said two other assailants went and picked up Sam dragging her out of the smoke filled room, out to the garage and into a waiting white van.

********

O'Neill came out of the coffee shop, grateful that he had been wearing his sunglasses, as the glare of the sun hit him right in the face. He held his hand to his forehead and looked for the car. He noticed a baby stroller next to the car, but no one was around. He got very concerned and scanned the area even more; he noticed the car was empty. `Damn it, where did she go,' he thought as he made his way to the car. What he saw next made his face go pale. The car was empty except for a single dart with a red tail sticking in the seat where Mac had been sitting. He quickly pulled out his cell phone and called Rabb's number. He waited impatiently for Rabb to pick up, but he never did. O'Neill put his phone away, and sped off to their hiding place.

*******

Stan was on the phone, nervously talking to his boss. "Yes Sir, we're hitting both places at the same, we should have Major Carter in our care today." Stan hung up the phone, and only hoped for his sake that the plan to capture Carter would work.

********

Jack drove up to the house, and to his horror, he saw the front door had been kicked in. He pulled out his gun and slowly and cautiously entered the house. He saw the empty gas canister, and more darts all over the room. He took a calming breath, and proceeded to check the other rooms on the main floor; after finding nothing he started to go down the stairs to the basement. He cautiously made his way down, and saw Rabb lying on the floor face down with a dart in his back. Jack checked out the rest of the basement before going over to Rabb.

"Rabb, can you hear me?" Jack said pulling the dart out and shaking Rabb vigorously. "Come on Rabb, wake up." Jack said even louder, but was getting no response. Jack turned Rabb over checked his pulse and found it to be strong and steady. Next, he took out his phone and dialled Daniel. "Daniel, everything's shot to hell, looks like they got Sam and Mackenzie, inform the General, then get Teal'c and get over here." Jack told Daniel the address and waited patiently for them to arrive, and for Rabb to wake up.

********

Mac was carried into the large basement room, where Stan had been waiting impatiently. She was dropped unceremoniously on the floor. Stan stepped over to her, bent his head to the side as he looked at her face. He then turned to the two men and woman and asked. "Why the hell did you bring her here?"

One of the men spoke up, "Ah you wanted her here." He said puzzled.

Stan knelt down beside Mac and pulled the cap off her head. "Does this look like Major Carter?" He yelled.

This time the woman spoke up. "She was with O'Neill and with the hat on we couldn't tell it wasn't her."

"That's a sorry excuse! Let's just hope things are going better with the second team. Lock her in the storage room down the hall for now." Stan was angry, and couldn't believe things were going so wrong.

********

Jack saw Rabb start to stir, "Rabb, come on wake up." Jack was once again shaking Rabb's shoulder.

"Wha...what?" Rabb said as he brought his hand to rub his forehead. "What's going on?" He said sounding confused.

"That's what I'd like to know, what happened to Carter?" Jack's anguish for Sam was growing by the second; he needed answers and needed them now.

Harm was now sitting up with some help from O'Neill. "I heard some noises, warned Sam then went to check it out. I remember fighting with one guy all dressed in black and wearing a ski mask." Harm looked around the room, "that's all I remember, I must have been knocked out."

"Yea well they were using a dart gun, from the effects it has on you, it must be some pretty strong stuff."

Harm once again looked around the room noticing that someone was missing. "Where's Mac?" He asked looking O'Neill in the eyes.

***** Mac was coming around, she'd never felt this groggy before, she started to rub her eyes to try and focus better. She had a nagging pain in her arm and when she went to rub it, she found something stuck in her arm. She instinctively pulled it out, then remembered she had been shot with a tranquilliser dart. Realization hit her, she had been taken by the people after Sam; they must have thought she was Sam. Fear started to set in, she knew they wanted Sam alive, but what about her. Her attention was brought to the noises she heard outside the door.

"Hurry up; you know how impatient Stan can be."

"I know but you're not the one carrying the load. I'm going as fast as I can"

"Well it's about time!" Stan yelled as he saw the four men entering the room, one carrying a body that at least looked like Major Carter from where he was standing.

"Where do you want her?" The man carrying Sam asked.

"Just drop her on the floor, I don't care where." Stan said, not believing how stupid these people could be. He saw Carter being dropped to the floor, then moved closer to assess her condition. First, he nudged her with his foot, but there was no response. He tried again, but this time he kicked her hard in the right side; still no response.

"Shit what the hell's wrong with her?" Stan yelled at the others, he was worried that if she were dead, it would be his head on the chopping block.

"We had to shoot her...three times."

"What the hell are you talking about Frank; three of those darts can kill a person!"

Frank knelt down beside Sam and checked if she was breathing, and then checked her pulse. "Well she's still alive, but her pulse is weak and breathing shallow. Maybe all she needs is to sleep it off."

"You better hope so, because if she dies, it our heads. Put her in the storage room with the other one, hopefully she'll wake up soon so we can get on with the plan." Stan told them.

Frank motioned for one of the other guys to help him, and they dragged her out of the room.

Mac heard voices again in the hall, then she heard the doorknob being moved. She got up and waited beside the door.

The door swung open, and Mac was ready to throw her elbow towards the first person she saw, unfortunately there were four people surrounding the door, two of whom were holding on to an unconscious Major Carter under the arms. "Get back in the room Col. Mackenzie." Frank said, still holding Carter just outside of the door.

"How do you know my name?" Mac said, then looked down; "and what did you do to Major Carter?"

"We know a lot of things Colonel, and the Major put up more of a fight than she should have been able to, unfortunately she ended up with three darts."

Mac looked shocked at the news, she knew how she felt waking up after just one dart, what the hell would three do. "I think she'll need a doctor." Mac said as she crouched down next to Sam, who was now inside the room with her. Mac felt for a pulse, and was relieved to find one, it was faint, but it was there.

"That's not an option Colonel." Frank said as he slammed the door shut and locked it.

Mac was extremely worried, she knew that the darts had some kind of tranquillizer in them, and Sam had received three doses. She hoped Sam would survive the overdose and not die on her. For now all Mac could do was watch to make sure Sam kept breathing, and had a hart beat. Mac rolled Sam on her side, so she wouldn't choke in case she vomited while unconscious.

"It's all up to you now Sam." Mac said to the woman, who had slowly grown on her, and now thought of as a friend

*******

Jack and Harm had now been joined by Daniel and Teal'c. Harm was now up and pacing around the living room. "I can't believe you let them get Mac." He said angrily at O'Neill.

"Well I don't see Carter anywhere around here either!" O'Neill spat out.

"Look you two, this isn't helping." Daniel said speaking up.

"I want to know how they found us?" Harm said looking at Daniel.

Daniel furrowed his brow, and didn't like the innuendo. "I don't know Commander how did they find you?"

"Look we were fine until O'Neill contacted you." Harm said in his most steely voice.

"Commander Rabb, Daniel Jackson had nothing to do with the enemy finding Major Carter and Colonel Mackenzie." Teal'c informed him, showing no emotion as usual.

"Okay that's enough everyone, right now we have to figure out where they took them." Jack said taking command of the situation. "You know Rabb, now that Carter's been kidnapped, there's really no reason for you to stick around. We can handle this ourselves."

"You've got to be kidding. There's no way in hell I'm leaving now, or have you forgotten Mac's also been kidnapped. I'm not going anywhere until both women are found and back with us." Harm said his face turning slightly red with anger.

"Okay okay, Daniel you still have those addresses I gave you?" Jack asked.

"Yes Jack." Daniel said exasperated.

"Teal'c you and Daniel check out the first address, Rabb and I will check out the second. Try and stay out of sight, if you find anything give me a call and we'll be right there."

"We will do as you say O'Neill, as I hope you will call us if you find Major Carter and Colonel Mackenzie." Teal'c said bowing his head.

"Daniel did you bring the extra fire power?" Jack asked

"Sure did, it's in the car." Daniel said as he lead Jack and Harm to his car, where he opened the trunk and allowed Jack to grab two P90"s and two zats.

"Rabb, this weapon is top secret, so make sure no one sees it." Jack told Rabb and then showed him how to arm and fire it. "Just remember, one shot stuns, two shots kill. It's quieter than a gun, so we should be able to sneak in to the place."

"Understood." Rabb said as he took the weapons from O'Neill.

"Everyone ready to go?" O'Neill asked.

Jack heard two yeses and one indeed, then proceeded to getting into the car with Rabb and sped off. He saw Daniel and Teal'c take off in the opposite direction. `They have to be in one of these places, I hope.'

*****

Mac checked Sam's pulse for the umpteenth time; she wasn't sure but she thought it was getting stronger, and her breathing didn't seem to be as shallow. `Good signs' she thought to herself. Then she heard the doorknob rattle again, before it opened.

This time there were three people, two men holding guns and a woman. "Go stand over there." one of the men, said pointing to the wall across from Sam. Mac got up and slowly moved to the wall. The woman came in, knelt beside Sam, turned her on her back and straightened her arm. She then pull out a large syringe and proceeded to take a blood sample.

"That should do it." The woman said as she put a cotton ball on the injection site, then got up to leave with the others. "You might want to put some pressure on that." She told Mac as she left the room, and the door was locked once again.

Mac went back to Sam's side and did as the woman suggested; putting pressure on the injection site to stop the bleeding. `What do they want from you Sam?' She thought to herself. Then she felt Sam start to stir. "Sam, Sam can you hear me?" Mac said gently shaking Sam's shoulder.

Sam couldn't believe how tired she was feeling, she could swear she heard someone calling her name. She was trying to open her eyes, but finding it very difficult.

Mac noticed Sam's eyes fluttering, and tried again to pull her into consciousness. "Come on Sam, wake up." Mac was using a more forceful voice and now lightly slapping Sam's face.

"What the hell." Sam mumbled.

Mac let out a slight laugh, "That's it Sam, come on wake up." She said while shaking her shoulder again.

"Ow." Sam said as she slowly started to wake up. She could feel someone shaking her shoulder, and for some reason it hurt.

"S-stop, sh-aking me."

"Only if you wake up Sam." Mac said feeling thankful to be getting a response.

"I'm a-wake." Sam slurred.

"I'll believe you when you open your eyes."

"..kay." Sam said while trying to open her heavy eyelids. Finally, she was able to open them slightly, regretting it when the light hit her. "Oh, I feel sick."

Mac helped turn Sam back onto her side, just in case and noticed her try to jerk away when Mac touched her side. "Your side still giving you a lot of problems?"

"Actually I thought it was getting a little better when I was lying on the couch, but now it hurts like a son of a bitch." Sam said as she reached to touch the area.

"Maybe it got injured more during your capture."

`Capture?' Now it was coming back to Sam, how they had come back for her, the darts and firing her gun. "I thought they wanted me, what are you doing here?"

"I think they got us mixed up, and took me by accident." Mac said, now sitting on the floor with her knees bent.

"That's odd, we don't look alike."

"Well I was wearing a baseball cap, while waiting for O'Neill in the car."

"Just like I was wearing a baseball cap on the drive to the house. They must have been following us." Sam realized. "I'm sorry Mac; it's my fault you're here."

"No it's not your fault, it's theirs." Mac said trying to dissuade her guilt.

Sam was trying to sit up, and was grateful for the assistance Mac provided. They managed to get Sam so she was leaning against a wall, with her head resting on her folded arms against her knees. "I hate to have to tell you this Mac, but I won't give them any information, no matter what they do."

"Do you think they might try to use me to get you to talk?" Mac said nervously, she knew she was expendable and didn't like the consequences that might occur.

"Yea, I'm afraid so. The best thing to do is not to show any emotion, no matter what you hear or see. I may have to say some pretty nasty stuff; just don't take it personally." Sam sighed, not liking that Mac was now stuck in this position with her.

"Don't worry about me Sam, you do what you have to, I understand." Sometime being a soldier really sucked, having to put on a brave face when you wished you could be anywhere but here.

"Mac if you get the chance to escape, take it. Don't look back; just run." Sam could see the indecision in Mac's eyes, but hoped she would follow the instructions.

"Hey, who's the ranking officer here? I'm the one supposed to give the orders." Mac said jokingly.

"Yea well I'm the one with more experience." Sam said matter of factly.

Mac could tell from the look on Sam's face that she was dead serious about having the experience, which peaked Mac's curiosity even more.

Their conversation ended abruptly, when they heard the doorknob rattle. The door opened with the same four men standing outside that had brought Sam there. One man stepped in pointing a gun at Sam. "Good to see you're awake, now come with us."

Sam looked up at the man; he was tall with a thin build and sandy blonde hair. "I don't think I can move yet."

"Well you better try." Frank said.

"She just woke up a few minutes ago, I had to help sit up." Mac said, trying to convince him.

"Then you can help her now; stand her up. Now." Frank said in a commanding voice.

Mac shook her head, but moved over to Sam, after a bit of a struggle the managed to get to their feet with Sam leaning heavily on Mac.

"Okay you two this way." Frank said pointing the way with his gun.

They were now walking down the dark dank hallway, Mac figured they must be a basement, but had no idea where. "Any idea where we are?" Mac whispered so only Sam could hear. She saw Sam shake her head no, and just sighed. They were lead into a larger room, with one small window that looked like it was eight feet above.

"Ah welcome Colonel Mackenzie, nice of you to drop by; and Major Carter how nice it is to see you again." Stan said with a sneer.

Sam looked at Stan's face and noticed the bruising; she figured out he's the one whose nose she broke. "Well I see I gave you something to remember me by." Sam said weakly, still being held up by Mac.

Stan stepped closer to the two women, put his hand under Sam's chin and lifted her face so she was looking him in the face. "I also remember something from our previous encounter." He said smiling as he punched her in the stomach.

The force of the blow made Sam lose what grip she had on Mac, causing her to fall to the floor gasping for air. Mac tried hard to keep Sam up on her feet but was unable to do so when the blow came. She watched as Sam fought to get her breath. "What the hell was that for?" Mac said clearly letting her anger show.

"Ah Colonel, why don't you have a seat, you might learn something." Stan said motioning to the others. Two men grabbed Mac and forced her to sit in a chair, tying her hands to arm rests and her feet to the legs of the chair.

"Now that you're comfortable Colonel, its time to make the Major more comfortable. I had a special place prepared just for her." Stan motioned to the same two men, who moved over to Sam. They tied her hands together in front of her, than hauled her to her feet and dragged her to the support column. A metal hook had been nailed into the concrete high above her head. Frank went over to help; he lifted her up while the other two manoeuvred her arms so they hung from the hook. As they let go of Sam, her knees buckled under her, and now was only being held up by the ropes tied to her hands.

"You can't do this!" Mac called out, she couldn't believe the situation she was in, that she was actually going to witness someone being tortured. That someone being Sam Carter.


DISCLAIMER: "Stargate SG-1," "Stargate Atlantis," and its characters are the property of MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, Gekko Film Corp., Showtime/Viacom and USA Networks, Inc. This story is for entertainment purposes only and no money has exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. The original characters, situations and story are the property of the author(s), and may not be republished or archived elsewhere without the author's permission.

Archived on March 13, 2006

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