If This is Pool, How Come I Can't Go in the Deep End?

Title: Bits and Pieces: If This is Pool, How Come I Can't Go in the Deep End?
Author: Pink Rabbit Productions
Archive: The Pink Rabbit Consortium (www.altfic.com) only. Please ask before linking directly to any stories.
Feedback: Always appreciated at
Season: One -- set immediately after Emancipation
Spoilers: A few for Emancipation, but nothing major.
Disclaimer: It all belongs to assorted other folks (MGM, Gekko, Double Secret, Showtime, and possibly Santa Claus for all I know), or at least the characters, settings, situations, et al. The actual arrangement of words is mine own, though God knows, if any of those entities were to opt to sue, I'd disavow them all in a New York second. Hmmm, normally, this is where I'd include a warning about female/female romantic type activities, but since there aren't any to be found in this particular story, I guess I'll just babble for the moment.
Author's Notes: This is part of an oddball little Idea for a series of stories -- some short, some a little longer, but none monstrously huge -- that allow things to develop between the characters over the course of the series as a way of exploring a growing relationship. One of the things that's hard to do in fanfic is build a believable relationship over time because it's just too slow and massive, so I'm futzing about and playing with ways to incorporate little scenes and shorter ideas that have fluttered through my brain over the years. It may be an absolutely awful idea, so we'll just see how it works out.
Special Thanks: to the most cheerful of caffeine driven minions around for the beta reading efforts.
Additional Author's Note: Silly me didn't notice that the order for first season eps listed on assorted webpages doesn't quite mesh with what's on the box my DVD set came in, sooooo, though I don't think it ever matters too much, in case anyone cares, I'm using the order on the DVD set. The following link leads to an overview in outline form and contains spoilers for the first two seasons of the TV series, as well as for accompanying stories through most of the first season and will be updated as I'm writing (it also contains links to all the stories in the series currently posted on the site).


| Part 1 | Part 2 |



"Well, Carter, how long you think it'll be before the women of P3X-593 are burning their bras and giving up men?" Jack O'Neill asked as he set a pitcher of beer on the table, his tone its usual half step between joking and sarcastic that often left listeners uncertain of his intent. He slid into the booth and began pouring glasses all around. They were just back from P3X-593, or Anti-Steinem World as he'd mentally dubbed the Mongolianesque planet when Carter had been kidapped and nearly added to the local harem population. He was actually rather proud of the way she'd managed to kick ass and get a few of the laws changed. Give it a few years, and the women would probably be starting their own local chapter of NOW. Which maybe wasn't such a good thing after all now that he thought about it. A modern male he wasn't.

Not that long before, Sam would have gotten angry at a question like that, but she was learning to deal with the man, so she only shrugged. "All things considered, probably not nearly soon enough, sir." She'd found it worked best if she simply gave as good as she got with O'Neill.

Daniel snickered, choking on a mouthful of beer, while Teal'c simply sat back and watched, content to study these strange new Tau'ri customs.

They were in a bar -- a dive named Mike's Place to be precise -- just a few miles down the road from the SGC. O'Neill and Teal'c on one side of the booth, Carter and Jackson on the other. Having been released from the post mission debriefing, they'd all felt the need for a bit of relaxation. Except for Teal'c of course. He was simply eager for another opportunity to study this new culture he'd found himself in.

"Well, that's probably true," Jack allowed, his tone conversational, "but I can't help but think we probably ruined the place."

"Why am I not surprised?" Sam fired back, her tone drawing a wry smile from her superior.

"Ah, come on, Carter, you've gotta admit, it had a certain charm." He was openly looking to get a rise now. The whole thing had scared the hell out of him and he dealt with his fear best by stirring the nearest ant hill a bit. It was just Carter's luck to be the nearest ant.

The blond snorted and took a long swallow of her beer. "If you were male, I guess," she jeered. "Unfortunately, if you were female, it pretty thoroughly sucked." Her look challenged him to say anything to counter that comment.

Jack lifted an eyebrow and considered several responses, all of which were likely to get him hit.

"Don't do it, Jack," Daniel warned under his breath.

Carter abruptly realized the softball she'd thrown him and her knuckles whitened as she gripped her beer mug more tightly. If he said it, she might just have to belt him.

A very tense moment passed.

"Oh relax, kiddies," Jack grumbled at last, "I'm not a complete jackass."

Daniel looked doubtful and O'Neill felt the need to glare at the younger man.

"I'm just joking. Sheez. I'm not for keeping women as sexual playtoys for men." That comment earned him three doubtful looks. "Well, I'm not," Jack insisted defensively.

A moment of total silence followed, then Teal'c looked somewhere past Carter's shoulder, his brow drawing into a frown. "What is Doctor Fraiser doing with that...stick?" he questioned after a beat.

Sam twisted in the booth, following the direction of the Jaffa's gaze.

Jack frowned as he looked through the sparse crowd. Just his luck if the doc was there. Just what he needed, Stalin in drag, nagging him about his health and telling him what he could and couldn't do. She'd probably take one look at his beer, decide he was an alcoholic and take him off duty for another month. "I don't see her," he muttered.

Sam smiled, forcing down a laugh. "It's not a stick, Teal'c, it's a pool cue. You use the cue to hit the cue ball -- that's the white one -- and knock other balls around on a table ... hopefully into pockets at the corners and on the two long sides of the table."

The Jaffa's brows rose, his expression politely disbelieving. "I see," he murmured, his tone noncommittal.

It suddenly occurred to Sam just how silly it sounded explained that way, so she tried to clarify. "I know it probably sounds dumb, but it's actually a very challenging game ... uses a lot of geometry and understanding of mechanical energy."

Teal'c's expression remained doubtful. "I see," he said again.

Jack eyed the several pool tables on the opposite end of the room, not seeing the doctor, just a cute redhead in tight jeans playing pool with a beefy, marine who was way too busy leering at her to be playing much of a game. The woman in question bent over to make her shot and Jack couldn't resist a smile at the view presented. "You two are both nuts," he said, still watching the redhead's shapely derriere. "Fraiser's not there. Just the redhead with the nice backside." He resisted the urge to snicker as Sam stiffened in outrage.

Daniel winced. "Uh ... Jack..." he said gently. "Unless I'm mistaken, that's Doctor Fraiser."

Teal'c turned to peer at O'Neill. "Indeed," he murmured, his tone blandly disapproving.

"Fraiser ... that can't be Fraiser. That woman is...."

The redhead finished her shot and turned so her face was visible.

"Fraiser," Jack finished, sounding vaguely ill. He still wasn't completely over the fact that she'd taken him off duty for just over a week for something as silly as a sprained knee. His mental image of the woman was a chest high, ogre-like figure stuffing her finger in his chest and growling. The woman at the pool table was anything but ogre-like.

Sam smirked. "Sir, I hope you're more polite to her face. Wouldn't want any medication mixups or anything like that."

"Yeah, Jack," Daniel added with a snicker, then addressed a mocking question to Carter. "Isn't there a sort of reverse Viagra they can give criminals to ... ah ... control their libidos?"

"Very funny," Jack muttered before Sam could say anything, his tone acid.

Sam looked at her CO, then at her teammates, then back at the colonel and concluded maybe she should back off. The colonel had been doing a lot better moodwise of late, but she had a funny feeling it still wasn't a good time for getting that snarky with him. It went against her training as an officer ... and, besides, Daniel was so much better at it. Time for a tactical retreat. She slid out of the booth. "If you'll just excuse me, I think I'll go say hi." She hurried away before anyone could say anything.

Feeling his remaining teammate's eyes on him, Jack took a long draft from his beer.

Daniel cleared his throat pointedly and nodded toward the woman in question.

Jack felt a flush crawl over his skin. "Well, how was I to know she looked like that under her labcoat," he said as though that explained everything.

"I still do not understand this game of pool," Teal'c added unhelpfully.

Jack just rolled his eyes.

* * * * * * *

Sam reached the pool table just as Fraiser finished beating her opponent ... though judging by the marine's scowl, annihilating might have been a better term. She stayed back unnoticed as he grumbled several impolite invectives under his breath and handed over a folded bill, which the doctor tucked in her breast pocket.

"And don't forget you have a physical on Monday," she added cheerfully which only deepened his angry glower.

Still grumbling under his breath, he stormed off, leaving Fraiser chuckling in his wake. "I really shouldn't have enjoyed that so much," she murmured to herself.

"Not just a doctor, but a pool hustler?" Sam drawled and Janet jumped, nearly leaping out of her skin. She managed to spin all the way around before coming down again.

"Captain Carter," she gasped. Fraiser looked a little embarrassed. "Not normally," she insisted defensively, then shrugged a little helplessly. "He was being obnoxious ... mouthing off about how men are better at pool because they have a better sense of spatial relationships and a natural affinity for geometry--"

Standing there with several degrees that ranged from astrophysics to theoretical mathematics, Sam ground her teeth in annoyance. "Ah." She understood all too well. It was an attitude she'd run into more than once in the military.

"I thought he needed a little lesson in gender politics," the doctor added, a puckish grin quirking her lips. "Taking his money was just an added incentive." She flinched when Carter didn't immediately respond, suddenly worried that maybe the captain wouldn't find it quite so funny after all. The marine was a combat type after all, one of the boys who lugged the big guns through the gate and faced all sorts of alien terrors. So was Carter. Now there was the sort of bond that might just trump gender.

"I guess hustling for a good cause is okay," Carter allowed after a beat, a grin sneaking through.

"I like to think so," Fraiser sighed on a note of relief, "since it's so much fun." They shared a conspiratorial laugh, then the doctor nodded back toward the booth where the guys were still sitting, Daniel and the colonel trading one liners, while Teal'c looked on in silent fascination. "Looks like Colonel O'Neill is faring a little better," she commented as she began retrieving the balls and reracking them.

Sam glanced back and nodded. "Yeah ... I think we're all adjusting to everything." She shrugged and took a swallow from her mug.

Dark eyes watched Carter speculatively. "I gather P3X-593 got pretty exciting," she commented, her tone idle, though her gaze was anything but.

Sam shrugged again, noting the sharp perusal with a raised brow. "It was definitely interesting," she allowed, her tone noncommittal. Even when the Goa'uld weren't involved, gate travel was no game, something too many people on the mission forgot at times -- herself included.

Fraiser's expression became serious. "You okay?" She'd overseen their post-mission physicals -- though she hadn't been in on the official debriefing -- and knew perfectly well Carter was fine physically, but that wasn't what she was asking about.

Sam straightened, suddenly realizing she'd fallen into her own thoughts for a moment. "Oh yeah," she sighed thoughtfully. "Just wondering if we really know what the hell we're doing out there." She was surprised when Fraiser snorted softly.

The doctor straightened and shook her head. "Of course we don't," she said as though it was obvious. "We're entering the unknown...." She shrugged, looking down as she centered the cue ball, then looked up again, intelligent gaze meeting Carter's. "Shit's going to hit the fan and god only knows what will happen--"

"Cheerful philosophy," Sam muttered uncomfortably. She didn't like to consider the possible ramifications of what they were doing. It was too nerve wracking.

"No, a practical one," Janet corrected. She retrieved her cue stick, chalking the tip as she nodded to the table. "I'm good at this game because it's predictable. If you know the angles and understand how much force to use, it'll pretty much do what you want ... except there'll be an occasional variable ... a slight flaw in a ball or the table ... or my hand will shake just enough to throw my shot it off ... then the conditions change ... and predictability is no longer so predictable...." She looked at the ceiling, though she was indicating the space far beyond its limitations. "Out there, there are a lot more variables ... and a lot less certainty about which way the ball will bounce." She suddenly realized Sam was staring at her oddly and flushed. "And I'm a medical doctor standing here explaining probabilities to an astrophysicist." A small, embarrassed smile curved her lips. "I'll shut up now."

"No, it's okay," Sam said quickly, a tiny sigh escaping her lips. "You're right," she admitted, one shoulder dipping in a shrug. "When I started on this, all I was looking at was the hard science ... the technology, the numbers, the objective things ... it's a lot more than that." She ran a hand over her hair. "Sometimes it's a little scary." A blush stained her cheekbones on the last admission. Admitting fear wasn't exactly the military way.

Which is why she was caught by surprise when the doctor muttered, "Good."

Sam looked up, a frown creasing her brow. "Excuse me?"

Fraiser shrugged, her tone still practical. "It's the ones that aren't scared that worry me." She saw them now and then, the all too eager soldiers who gave no thought to the possible ramifications of their actions. She'd seen the side effects of that sort of mindless bravado on previous missions and knew how ugly it could get. As far as she was concerned, a little fear was a good thing. It made people careful.

Sam absorbed the comment quietly, then nodded. "You have a point," she admitted. She retrieved a cue from the rack, testing the balance, then nodded toward the table. "So, are you up for a game, or do you only hustle marines?" she asked, pointedly changing the subject.

Before the doctor could answer, a deep voice broke into the conversation. "Hey, Doc, I hear you're quite a pool shark."

Both women spun to find Colonel Makepeace and two other marines -- one of them the beefy lieutenant Fraiser had already beaten -- standing a short distance away, arms folded across their chests, game faces on. Out to defend the honor of their unit and prove some macho point, Sam diagnosed from past experience.

Fraiser eyed the three men, her gaze speculative. "Oh, not so's you'd notice," she dismissed, concluding it wasn't worth the fight. They'd all had more than was wise to drink and were spoiling for some kind of a confrontation. Best to just let it alone.

"Really, Doc," Makepeace murmured, then nodded toward the grim-faced lieutenant. "According to Danziger, you played quite a game." A patronizing smile touched his mouth. "And I haven't had a good game of pool in ages."

Sam had heard the marine colonel bragging about his skills at the table only a few days before. Clearly, he thought he was looking at an easy match. Having seen some of the game against the lieutenant, Sam had her doubts. Fraiser had an eye for the angles and good hands, whereas she had a hard time envisioning Makepeace as anything but ham-handed. She wondered if it was the fact that Fraiser was a woman or that she was Air Force that bothered the marines so much. Probably a combination of the two, she decided. She glanced over and realized the colonel had noted the arrival of the marines and was headed their way -- Teal'c and Daniel in tow -- and couldn't help but wonder if it was too late to run for cover. Nothing good ever seemed to come of it when O'Neill and Makepeace were anywhere in the same general zip code.

"We all get lucky now and then," Janet said quickly, eager to get out of the middle of what had every promise of turning into a pissing match. She glanced rather pointedly at her watch. "However, since I have an early meeting with the engineers, I need to be going."

"Just like the Air Force to cut and run," Makepeace taunted.

The doctor's shoulders stiffened, her eyes narrowing, while Sam straightened, folding her arms across her chest and glaring at the marines, her own temper getting the better of her for a brief moment. Personal insults rarely bothered her much, but go after the service and she reacted. "Hey, Makepeace," she said before Fraiser could deflect his challenge. "How does somebody get in on that action?"

The marine colonel looked over at her, a smirk twisting his mouth. He figured she was even easier pickings than the doctor. Eyes that innocent hadn't spent much time in any pool halls. "Well, Captain, if you'd like, Lonnie and I," he gestured to the marine who hadn't already lost to the doctor, "will be happy to beat the pants off of you and the doc." A hint of a leer in his gaze, he added, "More than happy."

A low chuckle drew all eyes to O'Neill where he now leaned against the low dividing wall, his beer in hand, Teal'c and Daniel flanking him on either side.

"You looking for a game, O'Neill?" Makepeace asked Jack, quite happy to beat him instead. The two men didn't like each other in the least, and he'd enjoy an opportunity to publicly humiliate the Air Force colonel.

"Nah," Jack said dismissively. "Just making sure you play nice. I'm lousy at pool." A taunting smile curved his mouth and he nodded to the women. "Besides I'd rather watch them beat you." That would be so much more fun.

"Care to make a little wager on that?" Makepeace shot back.

Sam flashed a mildly panicked look the colonel's way, shaking her head ever so slightly. No way did she want that on her shoulders.

O'Neill completely ignored her as he grinned at Makepeace. "I thought you'd never ask."

"This isn't good," Sam whispered in an aside to Janet as Makepeace and O'Neill worked out their bet. "What are we gonna do?"

Unexpectedly, Fraiser laughed softly, her eyes gleaming with humor. "Beat the marines?" she said, chuckling softly. Then she suddenly looked at Sam as though an awful thought had occurred to her. "You are good at the game, aren't you?" She had a hard time believing that Carter would have stepped into the middle of things if she wasn't ... but then again, stranger things had happened.

Sam looked down at the smaller woman, an answering smile curving her own mouth despite herself. "I certainly hope so," she said dryly. "Because if we don't win, the colonel's going to be hell to live with."

"Eight ball ... best three of five," Makepeace said without waiting for either of the women to agree as he turned away from O'Neill. "We toss for the break." He pulled a coin from his pocket.

Makepeace won the toss and the right to break.

It was the last piece of good luck his side had for entire first game. He made the break, then on his second shot the cue ball skipped and proceeded to avoid every other ball on the table like they contained identically charged magnets. Carter shot first for the women ... and she was good ... very good. A native instinct for geometry, coupled with excellent hand-eye coordination, and a very precise knowledge of just how much force to apply made her utterly deadly with a pool cue. The fact that she had a chance to put the marines in their places probably didn't hurt either. With every passing shot, the marine colonel turned a little greyer. This one wasn't going to be fun to live down -- he glanced at O'Neill, noting the other man's steadily broadening grin -- not fun at all. By the time he got to shoot again, they were well into game two and he'd discovered that, if anything, Fraiser was even better than Carter. If it weren't so totally unmanly, he would have whimpered.

Already distracted, Makepeace leaned down, cue resting on the hand he settled on the table, eyes narrowing fractionally as he lined up his shot. They were down, but they could still pull it out and win. He took a deep breath, settling his nerves, then tensed and readied to shoot.

"Hey, isn't that Wilkerson?" O'Neill's startled question interrupted the shot and made his nemesis jump.

Molars grinding together, Makepeace cursed under his breath as he pulled the cue back without shooting and glared over his shoulder at Jack. "Trying to foil my shot, O'Neill?" he grumbled unhappily. "You'll do anything to make sure they win," he added, conveniently forgetting how far behind his side was.

Jack reared back, looking startled. "No," he snapped, then waved a hand in the direction of the bar. "I just--"

"Actually, I think he's right," Daniel murmured, looking over his shoulder at the blocky figure standing stiffly at the bar. "That does look like Wilkerson."

"Can't be," Fraiser disagreed without looking up from the pool table. She was leaning lightly on her cue and studying the layout of the table carefully, already plotting her shot based on what she expected to happen when Makepeace missed -- which, judging by his aim, she was comfortably certain he was likely to do. "He's still in post op." The young lieutenant had taken a bad fall while moving equipment in the gateroom, breaking his wrist and forearm so badly Warner had to pin it back together. No way had the surgeon released him this soon.

Concluding the discussion was over, Makepeace realigned his shot and was almost ready to shoot when O'Neill spoke again. "I really think that's him," he mused out loud.

Makepeace barely contained an angry growl as he had to yank his shot yet again to avoid scratching. "Y'know, O'Neill--" he began, but Carter broke in, a frown creasing her brow as she followed the line of her superior's gaze.

"I think you're right, sir." Her head canted to one side. "That is Wilkerson."

Fraiser made a small, annoyed sound in the back of her throat. "Look, it can't possibly..." she began as she spun, following the line of Carter's gaze, "... be ...him...." She fell silent as her eyes fell on the stocky figure standing at the bar, his right arm stiff at his side. As they watched, the bartender poured a shot glass full of something amber, then started to turn away. The man at the bar caught the bottle before the bartender could go, pulling it out of the man's hand. The bartender seemed about to argue, only to change his mind. As she watched, her jaw hanging slack, he tossed back the first shot glass, then poured another. "Is he insane?" she breathed at last. There had been a few rumors that Wilkerson had an alcohol problem, but nothing on the scale required to get the man out of a hospital bed less than twenty-four hours after surgery. Pool was suddenly the last thing on her mind. "I need to get him back to the infirmary ... and hope he hasn't done any real damage." She set her cue aside and started forward, her attention completely focused on her patient.

Trading an uneasy look with Carter, O'Neill straightened away from where he was leaning against the low wall that surrounded the pool tables. He started to suggest Fraiser wait, but she was already weaving through the tables on the way to the bar.

Makepeace straightened away from the table, nodding to his men as he watched the woman make her way toward her patient.

An eerie frisson of unease crawled down Sam's spine. "Why do I suddenly have a bad feeling about this?" she whispered.

"You 'n' me both," O'Neill murmured and saw Makepeace nod his agreement. They might not like each other personally, but both men were smart enough to respect each other professionally. "Carter ... Teal'c," he said softly, gesturing for them to follow him as he started forward. Fraiser had nearly reached Wilkerson where he stood at the bar. It was probably nothing ... just a kid acting bone-headed, but.... He watched the doctor, uncertain whether to hurry after her or let her handle it on her own. If the lieutenant had just snuck out to go on a bender, she might be able to handle it more smoothly than a bunch of senior officers the kid felt the need to impress. On the other hand, things involving the SGC were seldom that simple in his experience....

Janet slowed as she drew closer to Wilkerson's broad back, suddenly aware of just how much larger than her he was. He tossed back another shot-glass of alcohol, then she saw a ripple of tension move through his shoulders and abruptly realized he was staring at her in the mirror over the bar. No backing out now. "Lieutenant Wilkerson." She lifted her chin, staring back at him in the mirror with her best command look, hoping to intimidate him into simply going along. Despite dealing with men who often towered over her, she'd found that a confident look and tone often cowed them when outright threats would only have triggered resentment and blind resistance.

Still watching her in the mirror, Wilkerson tossed back another shot of bourbon, then pivoted, pale eyes running assessingly over her. "Doctor Fraiser."

Something about his tone sent a shiver down Janet's spine and she had to tamp down hard on a sudden impulse to back up rapidly. "Lieutenant, shouldn't you be in the infirmary?" Her eyes fell on his right forearm, noting the bulk of the cast beneath his cammie shirt.

A smile flickered across his mouth. Despite his size, he'd always struck her as painfully young, but the way he looked at her now was anything but youthful. "Should I?"

Janet swallowed hard, reminding herself that alcohol often did strange things to young men. "Since I find it very hard to believe that Dr. Warner released you already ... yes, I'd guess you should be."

His gaze shifted to a point somewhere past her left shoulder, the assessing expression becoming sullen. He pushed away from the bar, his eyes swinging back to her while a grim smile twisted his mouth. "You're probably right, Doc." Again his eyes flicked past her. "But then again...." He stretched out his right arm, then worked his hand back and forth, shredding the fiberglass cast with raw strength in a way that shouldn't have been possible even had he not had badly broken bones. For a moment, Janet couldn't take her eyes off the sight, though she was distantly aware of the shouts of warning that suddenly sounded behind her. Her gaze swept up just as Wilkerson's eyes began to glow vividly. "Maybe I'll just kill you all instead," the lieutenant drawled -- except he wasn't the lieutenant anymore she realized in one sickening moment of total clarity. Careless of the way his arm was still wrapped in the remains of the cast, he thrust his hand forward.

Janet threw her arms up protectively and backpedaled in a bid to escape, but it was already too late. Pain flared through her chest as his palm struck right over the base of her sternum and then she was airborne, flailing helplessly for a brief second before she hit something. As arms flung around her from behind, she was amazed to feel the yielding softness of a body intercepting her wild flight instead of a back breaking impact with a wall or table. She heard her would-be rescuer's grunt and felt the arms wrapped around her tighten, cushioning some of the pain of impact as momentum sent them both crashing through the haphazard rows of tables and chairs in the center of the room. They tumbled and rolled across the rough cement floor before finally skidding to a halt in a semi-open spot.

Janet was still trying to get her bearings when a hand curved to her shoulder and a shadow towered over her as her would-be rescuer pushed to one knee. "Y'okay?" Sam Carter gasped with a quick downward glance.

A quick nod and Janet rolled, pushing to her knees just as the first marine she'd beat at pool went flying by on brutal trajectory that sent him crashing into the glittering jukebox that sat in one corner of the bar. Shards of colored glass flew everywhere, more than a few of them edged in blood as he tumbled, unmoving, to the floor.

"Humans are so frail," the thing inhabiting Wilkerson taunted the men. "So, which one of you wants to be next?"

"Get bent," O'Neill growled, gesturing for the others to spread out as they moved in on their target. Danziger had rushed in too quickly and they couldn't afford to make that mistake again. "Nobody else moves on him alone." The only chance they had against the creature in front of them was a concentrated attack from all sides. If it could split them up and get them to attack one at a time, they didn't have a prayer.

Both women hit their feet and Sam grabbed Janet's shoulder, shoving her toward the front door. "Get out of here and get word to the SGC," she ordered brusquely.

At the bar, punches were being thrown as men hurled themselves at their possessed colleague, but they were no match for the alien parasite's strength. The thing controlling Wilkerson couldn't fight that many men off with ease, but he struck back hard while showing little effect from their blows. He might well win before it was over.

"But--" Janet started to argue, loathe to run when things looked so desperate.

Using a chair as a makeshift weapon, Teal'c hammered a hard blow into their nemesis' side, drawing a roar of rage and earning a brutal backhanded blow that hurled him backwards. He rolled quickly and regained his feet, but not even the Jaffa could take many hits that hard.

"If we can't stop him, the SGC needs to know what happened," Carter snapped without bothering to explain. Under the circumstances, Fraiser was the obvious choice; she didn't have the combat experience or raw strength to add much to a knock-down, drag-out with a Goa'uld, but she understood what was happening. Implicit in the command was the harsh reality that the rest of them might not survive the fight and Hammond would need as much information about the situation as possible if a Goa'uld had escaped the base. "Now go!" She didn't wait for any argument, just darted around Fraiser to dive into the fray.

Despite the desire to do whatever she could to help, Janet spun, knowing Carter was right. Breaking into a run, she dodged between tables, eyes locked on the narrow steel door that led to the outside world and was the only way out of the nondescript, grey brick building.

"Leaving already, Doctor?" The voice was deep, seeming to echo from an inhuman chest. "I think you should stay." She glanced back and saw the Goa'uld stalking forward, careless of the soldiers flinging blows at him. His eyes glowed bright and Janet realized he knew exactly why she was running from the fight. He couldn't afford to have her escape and he flung O'Neill aside with brutal efficiency as he lunged forward. Dodging around the haphazard arrangement of tables, Janet somehow found another burst of speed, knowing she had to get out before he could find a way to stop her.

She was still at least ten feet from the door when one of the heavy round bar tables came hurtling at her. Catching sight of it out of the corner of her eye, Janet threw up an arm and dove, trying to duck the impact. She almost made it, but a solid wood edge clipped her shoulder, the momentum more than enough to send her tumbling into a nearby table. And then suddenly, tables and chairs were upending and crashing into each other on all sides as she landed in the middle of the chaos. Despite her best efforts to avoid the worst of the heavy wood and metal that came raining down on her, a solid steel table base caught her temple and she went down hard.

Sam's head whipped around as she glimpsed the doctor's collapse out of the corner of one eye, but with her own survival in serious doubt, there was little she could do for the other woman except hope she was still alive.

"I guess she won't be going for help," the Goa'uld sneered.

"Bastard," Sam hissed and swung the first thing she could get her hands on, a wooden barstool. Swung with anger and fear driven strength, it shattered as it crashed into the side of his head, leaving her holding a pair of unevenly broken wooden spears that were all that remained of the legs. She saw his hand headed her way and knew she wouldn't be able to duck the blow and might not survive it. She knew how much strength lay in Goa'uld enforced muscles. With less than a second left and no way to avoid the blow headed her way, she did the only thing she could think of and stabbed with one of the chair legs, jamming the sharp end into his midsection even as she hacked the other into the side of his face, opening a brutal gash along his cheekbone.

A murderous roar of rage and then the vicious backhand caught Sam along one side of her face, the force behind the blow hard enough to send her flying. She was still airborne when she caught a glimpse of Teal'c and Makepeace of all people attacking the Goa'uld from both sides, the marine hitting in a wild tackle, moving surprisingly quickly for a man so large, while the Jaffa had the metal base from one of the broken tables and was swinging it low in an arc aimed for their assailant's legs. Sam's last thought as she saw the heavy base smash into Wilkerson's lower leg was that she hadn't seen a break like that since Joe Theisman's Greatest Hits ... then she crashed into a table, tumbling on over and toppling it on top of herself. And then Samantha Carter lay perfectly still.

Continue to Part 2

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