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Sep. 10th, 2004 @ 04:55 pm ask and you shall receive
feels: calmcalm
hums: "mary had a little lamb" - piano lessons underneath my room
lyssie wanted babbling to read at work, aj reminded me about how pants!verse is "unfettered squeee" and therefore I can turn off the quality-o-meter in my brain, and I've been thinking about how we never seem to do pants!verse from Jack's POV...

Early on in pants!ness.


The weekly X-Files marathon has been over for nearly an hour and neither of them have moved.

Her excuse is easy -- she's asleep. This isn't a surprise. She's been killing herself for two weeks over this ridiculous enhanced-output-naquadah-reactor thing they're developing with technology SG-5 dug up somewhere. He would have felt bad about reminding her of their standard X-Files watching plans when she was so obviously in dire need of sleep if he wasn't totally sure that she would have spent the night in an SGC lab rather than her own bed otherwise. She has been nodding off all evening and finally dozed off for real around 1 a.m.

He doesn't really have an excuse not to have ended the evening yet. He's tired too, and that's part of it. The remote is buried somewhere underneath her, and though he's not at all interested in purchasing whatever home exercise equipment is being currently pimped on his television, this means it will take effort to get up and turn the thing off. He's comfortable where he is.

He doesn't really want to wake her, either. She needs the rest, badly, and he doesn't trust her not to head right back to work if he wakes her up and sends her off.

This is nice. She breathes in a way that's not quite a sigh when his fingers brush through her hair and if her head isn't quite in his lap she's still curled up pretty close. He's watched her sleep off-world for years, of course, but this is different. She's out like a light with none of the tense readiness to wake and spring into action should anything be amiss. She sleeps on his couch with his hand in her hair like she's in her own bed, miles (light-years) from any conceivable danger.

This should worry him more than it does. It does -- he worries about propriety and how this might affect her future, and also a little about her mental health because she doesn't seem to be worrying about it. He doesn't worry about it enough to stop this. He is yet to find a way through her rational, Carter-like arguments that they are not doing anything wrong.

Of course, he doesn't want to.

He likes this. She's fun to be around in a way he both already knew and didn't quite expect. He likes seeing her relaxed and a few miles away from where she has the weight of the world on her brain every single day. He has known her favourite pizza toppings for years, but he likes learning all the other things about her that come up in the course of their take-out-and-X-Files evenings.

She picks fights about how the plot of an episode will resolve during commercial breaks, and only sometimes catches that he's just yanking her chain when he argues back with completely nonsensical answers. She doesn't blink during chase scenes or romantic moments, unless either one is poorly done (in which case she provides a running commentary on exactly how poor it is). Her whole body gets tense when fictional children are put in danger and she is surprisingly squeamish about people getting eaten (which makes him wonder why she watches a show like this) until he cracks a joke to distract her.

Her hair is soft and smells exotic. She kisses his shoulder sometimes when leaning against him and holds her breath whenever he breaks down and kisses her forehead.

They really shouldn't be doing that, but the lapses are small and usually infrequent and they would be doing so much worse if they didn't respect each other so much as colleagues and friends. It's not an excuse, but it feels like one.

She's getting more and more comfortable here in his house and around him, and every time she puts her feet on his coffee table, or helps herself to stuff in his kitchen without asking, or rests against his shoulder while they watch TV he feels a hint of something he hasn't felt in a long time.

She shifts under his hand, snuggling deeper into the couch. Her eyes flutter open for a moment before she sighs and drifts off again.

She smiles in her sleep. He loves that.

He's used to relying on her rationale. He's not compromising her, or himself, by sharing an interest in a television show or enjoying her company as a fellow human being. They haven't really talked about it yet in the sit-down-to-have-this-conversation sort of sense. Doing that would mean that there is something to talk about, which is still sort of up in the air, but she has scattered her logic into commercial breaks so he thinks he knows where she stands. Even if she's probably talking herself into it as much as anything... it makes sense. They've been doing this for months, this friends thing. Nothing has blown up that wasn't supposed to. Carter leaves the mountain. He has a reason to keep his kitchen stocked with things that can actually be eaten and are not (just) beer.

They're both enjoying themselves a little in between galactic disasters.

Even though he's just reminded himself that they're not doing anything wrong, it's still getting on 3 a.m. She shouldn't wake up in the morning to see him still looking down at her and playing with her hair and really, he's pretty sure he could keep doing this at least that long.

"Carter."

She turns her head a little but doesn't wake up. If he infuses a little more of his command tone into his voice she'll snap awake like he'd just fired a shot, but that doesn't seem like playing fair.

He traces her ear with one finger and smirks when she twitches. "Carter..."

Another moment of gently tickling the soft skin of her cheek and he's got her. "What?" Her eyes are bleary and confused and she takes another second to finish untangling her hand from the blanket she's covered with to swat his fingers away.

Eventually, she realizes that he's actually trying to wake her and not just being an annoyance. She rolls over onto her back to look up at him, and the half-lidded curiosity in her relaxed eyes shoots right to his stomach.

This is okay, he reminds himself. She's attractive. He cares about her. He's not going to do anything about it, so it's okay.

"Show's over," he tells her, not specifying how long it has been over.

She smiles and reaches up a hand to rub at her eyes. "Did I miss anything?" Her words are slurred with sleep. He realizes the backs of his fingers are still moving over her forehead, brushing her bangs out of the way and then letting them fall back into place.

"Oh, yeah. They beat all the aliens and Scully ran off with the cigarette guy into the sunset."

She rolls her eyes, more awake now, but still doesn't move to sit up. She's watching him with an open affection that would be dangerous if they weren't just friends.

"I think Teal'c has a crush on Scully," she reveals.

"Come on, who doesn't?" Jack's aware that they're stalling. They shouldn't start conversations at three in the morning. She has been here as late as five before, talking about nothing and eating way too much microwaved popcorn while watching bad movies on late-night television. When they work jobs that have a tendency of calling them in at six in the morning on their days off, that isn't a good thing.

"He said he'd lend us the first-season DVDs if we want to catch up."

They started this ritual in the middle of a syndication loop on a cable station. He mostly ignores the episodes that require a knowledge of continuity and so doesn't really mind that they're watching everything out of order. He's not big on science-fiction anyway, on the whole, but Teal'c got him hooked and he was reeled in by the opportunity a few months ago to use this as an excuse to check up on Sam after that whole kidnapping fiasco.

He doesn't know if she fell for his innocent reasons to suddenly call her up every few nights to bother her with demands for explanations during commercial breaks. It was partly for her -- she was understandably on edge there for a while -- but also because he felt responsible for making sure she was there. He's not about to let her ever go another 48 hours in shackles in an abandoned hospital without him even knowing she's missing. He's not sure if she caught on to all of that from his strange "Scully's talking about photons, explain," conversation-starters. He does know that it only took two weeks for her to agree that it would just be more efficient if she came over and watched the episode with him rather than having to mentally reconstruct the action over the phone.

And he doesn't hate the show. It's entertaining and occasionally gory and twisted enough to satisfy the part of him that plucked wings off flies as a kid. "First season, huh?"

"Saturday?" she asks.

"I'll stock up on popcorn."

She smiles and her eyes start to slip closed again. He watches her for a few minutes, caught up in his own exhaustion, before he reminds her, "It's late."

The smile disappears. "I know."

He wants to ask her what she's thinking, but it's probably better that he doesn't know. "Are you going to be okay to drive?"

She struggles up to sitting. Her hair is wild and adorable and he smoothes down the back of her shirt for her. "I'm good," she assures him, but then, he's never known Sam Carter to willingly admit to frailty unless -- and often not even then -- she is obviously losing blood.

"Stay here," he offers.

Her head snaps towards him, and he focuses on the touch of alarm in her eyes to keep from noticing anything else.

"Not..." he sighs, runs a hand over his eyes. He really is tired. "I'm not coming on to you, Carter. It'll only take me a few minutes to find sheets for the guest bed."

She hesitates. "You're sure I won't be putting you out?"

Like any sane man is going to be really upset about waking up with Carter in his house. He'll probably be the one putting her out, since he has nothing but instant coffee and pop-tarts by way of breakfast food in his kitchen at the moment. No wonder Fraiser keeps squawking about nutrition and an early grave. "I'm not going to let you kill yourself on the drive home." Maybe to try and make this normal, maybe to remind them, he adds, "It'd be hell to break in another scientist."

She nods. The smile is back. "It's not like I planned to stay here," she justifies, and it's decided.

Carter still looks like she's about to drop dead on her feet despite the nervous edge to her motions as she helps him make up the guest bed.

"Flowers?" she asks as she smoothes down the printed sheet.

He should just say "Sara" as an explanation, because it's the truth. He inherited a lot of things from their old house in Winter Park when she sold it a few years ago and he helped her clean it out. Carter shouldn't have a reason to mind sleeping on sheets picked out by his ex-wife, but he still doesn't say it. "What, just because I'm impressively manly I'm not allowed to appreciate flowers?" He eyes the sheets. "Pink flowers?"

Carter laughs and shakes her head like she knows him too well. "Good night, Colonel."

"You need something to wear?"

"I'm all right like this," she promises, but hesitates just enough to make him argue,

"Don't trust me to keep anything clean in the house?"

Again with the grin. He can almost see her internal rationalization in her head -- they didn't plan this, there's nothing improper about it, they're just friends. "Okay."

He locates and hands over the least ragged t-shirt-and-sweatpants ensemble he can locate and doesn't think about how she'll look drowning in his clothes.

"G'night, Carter. Yell if you need anything."

"I'll be fine. Thank you." She's all but leaning against the doorframe in her attempt to stay standing long enough to see him out of the guest room. For a second he's really going to kiss her, but he bargains himself out of it and just touches a hand to her cheek.

Her eyes meet his as she brushes his hand with hers, and that's it. It feels good. He loves how easy it is to be friends with her. "Good night," she says again, and this time, he actually leaves.

He can hear her rustling in the flowered sheets through his bedroom wall, but it's a lot easier to fall asleep with someone else in his house than he expected it would be.

He trusts them both. They can handle this.

He really has nothing to worry about.

***


-- Little Red, who is all about saving the pants!verse squeee...
vital statistics
sga - sparktober
mylittleredgirl:
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From:splash_the_cat
Date:September 10th, 2004 02:25 pm (UTC)
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nd she is surprisingly squeamish about people getting eaten

That just cracked me up.

but she has scattered her logic into commercial breaks

Wow. Love that line.
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From:mylittleredgirl
Date:September 11th, 2004 01:06 pm (UTC)
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That just cracked me up.

Hee. I think Sam's brain is nicely compartmentalized so that she can be all hardasnails and asskicky at work and then wrinkle up her nose and go "EWWW!" at sci-fi TV at home... and not see any contradiction at all.

And Jack just lets most of this stuff about her go under the "it's Carter and she's... Carter" mental rationalization.
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From:sakuracorr
Date:September 10th, 2004 02:43 pm (UTC)
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I loved it, but my wireless mouse hated it. It gave out three times. I stand corrected. It gave out four times. (And geez I have realized I need to lay off the smut).
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From:mylittleredgirl
Date:September 11th, 2004 01:08 pm (UTC)
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Um... sorry I broke your computer?

*squeees at your icon* They so did. Mulder and Scully are the fucking industry standard of 'ship. My sister and I caught an early-season episode of X-Files and she was all "THAT! THAT is sexual tension!" After they just got into a car and started driving all talking about a case totally professionally.

I think my sister just made that point to illustrate how crazy she thinks I am for squeaking madly at even the most grasping-at-straws Sam/Jack moments and hyperventilating whenever Sheppard and Weir are in the same screen shot together... but, it's STILL TRUE! Mulder and Scully rock.
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From:sakuracorr
Date:September 11th, 2004 02:23 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, Mulder and Scully bring back the most shippy memories. They kept trying to sell us on the whole platonic relationship stuff, but we shippers out waited them. Even when you got the books out by completely different authors, it was determined you couldn't write Mulder and Scully without the shippy. It was just a part of them. Period. (Realizing she is babbling)

I'm wondering my beta hasn't gone crazy from me watching Stargate SG-1 with her on AIM. I tell her about all the shippy because I have no one else to tell (this is why I need to stop having HP friends all over). Sorry I just like started typing and it got long...
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From:mylittleredgirl
Date:September 11th, 2004 02:47 pm (UTC)
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*at icon* EMILY!!!

*sniffle*

Damn. You know what? It really sucks to be a kid on The X-Files. It's just bad news.

But I digress.

And TOTALLY! about Mulder and Scully being inseparable from cute shippiness. The X-Files was SO wonderful at the UST because (and while) TPTB fought it every step of the way.

The SG-1 moments of 'shippy is, oddly (since it's kind of canon), much more inferred. "Oh my God that could be 'ship if he means it like this and if she looks that way for THAT reason!" Which totally doesn't mean it's any less cool, just that it requires more work on our parts to see it ;). Mulder and Scully just... were. It's all:

Mulder: "So, Scully, I have this completely professional thing to tell you about this guy who got murdered and is all dead."
Scully: "So I should do an autopsy?"
Mulder: "Yep."
Everyone Watching The Show: "SQUEEEE!"

-- Little Red, who thinks squeee, like any other skill, is something that must be practiced often
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From:liminalliz
Date:September 10th, 2004 02:44 pm (UTC)
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Oh my god. I'm totally ... oh jeez. That was perfect. I angst with them, oh! OH! oh. Lovely.



"Oh, yeah. They beat all the aliens and Scully ran off with the cigarette guy into the sunset."
...
"I think Teal'c has a crush on Scully," she reveals.

*DIES OF LAUGHTER*


He's not sure if she caught on to all of that from his strange "Scully's talking about photons, explain," conversation-starters. He does know that it only took two weeks for her to agree that it would just be more efficient if she came over and watched the episode with him rather than having to mentally reconstruct the action over the phone.
I am so in love with that!!

Like any sane man is going to be really upset about waking up with Carter in his house.
See, I wanna know what happens when he DOES wake up with carter in the house...

Fantastic!
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From:lyssie
Date:September 10th, 2004 02:48 pm (UTC)
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See, I wanna know what happens when he DOES wake up with carter in the house...

Me, too.

*pokes LR*

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From:liminalliz
Date:September 10th, 2004 02:51 pm (UTC)
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Cuz it could be all like All Things with her in his bathroom thinking about deep stuff and hearing Moby in her head and him naked in his sheets and her looking longingly at him and stuff...

Yeah.
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From:mylittleredgirl
Date:September 11th, 2004 01:16 pm (UTC)
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... you know, I really need to watch that episode again. I really didn't like it the first time -- I think the minimalism of the ticking drove me bonkers and it seemed so... *not* real. I left to make a sandwich and missed whole chunks of it.

But now that it's somehow related to pants!verse...
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From:mylittleredgirl
Date:September 11th, 2004 01:12 pm (UTC)
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ME TOO! I'll bet it will involve touching.

So... yeah, I'll prolly have to write it at some point :)
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From:mylittleredgirl
Date:September 11th, 2004 01:12 pm (UTC)
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Hee! Yay!!

And, dammit, I made them do angst when I was really trying to make them do fluff. Arg. Stupid Sam and Jack. *kicks them* You people just can't enjoy X-Files and popcorn and physical contact without having ISSUES, can you!?

See, I wanna know what happens when he DOES wake up with carter in the house...

You made my muse go "Oooo! OOOOO!" I'm not sure whether to thank you or yell, though, because it's sort of like a traffic bottleneck in my brain -- so many half-formed thoughts that none of them get written... *eyes brain*
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From:lyssie
Date:September 10th, 2004 02:47 pm (UTC)
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*giggles manically*

I love this. I fucking adore this. Please write me more? *cuteeyes*
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From:mylittleredgirl
Date:September 11th, 2004 01:16 pm (UTC)
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*loves on pants!verse*

Hee! I totally will.
From:lavondyss
Date:September 10th, 2004 11:55 pm (UTC)
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*sigh*

Now that's angst.
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From:mylittleredgirl
Date:September 11th, 2004 01:17 pm (UTC)
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... you know, I love pants!verse for its potential for cute adorable squeee. And always set out to write harmless fluffiness. And it just doesn't work.

*kicks Sam and Jack* I AM OFFERING YOU HARMLESS CUTE!

Apparently, they really enjoy themselves angsty. *shrugs*

Thanks :)
From:lavondyss
Date:September 11th, 2004 01:27 pm (UTC)
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Yes, well we all know that their cool fluffiness is all superficial, that underneath it's all raging passion. They simply have to let go.
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From:mylittleredgirl
Date:September 11th, 2004 05:54 pm (UTC)
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Seriously. Explosive hotness.

And they'll totally get ripped to shreds by all sorts of other intense emotions, too, because it's impossible to feel one thing that strongly and not feel everything... but they'll come through and be awesome. And much saner people for it!

And we will squeee a lot when that happens yay :)
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From:lisayaeger
Date:September 11th, 2004 04:18 am (UTC)
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Wonderful, as you do so well :-)
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From:mylittleredgirl
Date:September 11th, 2004 02:39 pm (UTC)
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*beams*

You make me happy, babe :) Thank you!
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From:mylittleredgirl
Date:September 11th, 2004 05:57 pm (UTC)
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*grins insanely*

pants!verse is AWESOME!! It's is perma-squeee, with all the not-dating and the hope for a nicely balanced nonscrewedup relationship when they get the chance :)

Welcome! I'm glad you're enjoying our shared madness...
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From:woodface
Date:February 7th, 2005 09:38 pm (UTC)
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Awwwwwwwww, this is cute. I love the ease and homely feeling they having going. And yet, who are they kidding?

She picks fights about how the plot of an episode will resolve during commercial breaks, and only sometimes catches that he's just yanking her chain when he argues back with completely nonsensical answers. She doesn't blink during chase scenes or romantic moments, unless either one is poorly done (in which case she provides a running commentary on exactly how poor it is). Her whole body gets tense when fictional children are put in danger and she is surprisingly squeamish about people getting eaten (which makes him wonder why she watches a show like this) until he cracks a joke to distract her.

Her hair is soft and smells exotic. She kisses his shoulder sometimes when leaning against him and holds her breath whenever he breaks down and kisses her forehead.


See, cute! Love those details. Love this entire fic, the small touches and sentimental moments they're stealing from each other. Did I mention that they're kidding themselves?

*shippy sigh*