The Working Hour
By:afg – www.ofnoconsequence.com
Category: Pre-Emancipation. Action/Adventure Sam/Teal’c friendship. Whumpage and a non-graphic description of attempted sexual assault.
Disclaimer: Not mine and no money is being made.
Thanks: To the lovely </font>majorsamfan for making this story readable.
Summary: A fledgling friendship.
Summary: A fledgling friendship.
Teal’c tried very hard not to lean too much on the young woman, but his leg would not take any weight at all. So he had to hop on his good leg while putting his arm over the woman’s shoulders. The going was slow because they had to weave through the dense foliage and climb over fallen trees. The air felt heavy and wet. Sweat poured off them both, stinging their eyes and making their clothes stick to their bodies.
In the distance he could hear their pursuers crashing through the Trees. They were making no attempt to be stealthy; they hunted for sport, their objective, to intimidate and terrify their prey. Teal’c understood the tactic, having done the same on many occasions and having even enjoyed it sometimes. Now he was the quarry. It occurred to him that perhaps it was divine justice. His heart was heavy at the thought that his companion would die with him. He knew what they would do with her once they caught them, and at the slow pace they were going, that would be inevitable.
It saddened him that his time with the Tau’ri would be so short. He liked them; they were reckless and often foolhardy but he admired their courage. They were puny creatures easily injured or killed; they could not heal themselves without their machines and healers in their white coats, yet they flung themselves into battle all the same. Yes, there was much to admire and to learn; he would be sorry to leave them.
“Teal’c, come on! Try and focus. Those Jaffa are getting closer.”
He realized that he’d started to drift off and that Captain Carter was almost dragging him. He could hear the strain in her voice, and he felt her muscles trembling with fatigue. He thought the Tau’ri foolish to send their women into battle. The men were physically inferior as it was; the women even more so.
“I am sorry, Captain Carter.” Teal’c tried to move a little faster, but he’d lost a great deal of blood. He needed to Kel’no’reem before his symbiote could begin to heal him.
“Don’t apologise, just keep moving.”
He felt her adjust her grip on him. Her hand held his wrist, keeping his arm on her shoulder. Her other hand gripped his utility vest, trying to balance his weight. They both heard the sound of the Jaffa’s hunting horn; they were running out of time.
“Captain Carter, you must leave me. Perhaps they will not look for you once they have me.” Teal’c almost pitched forward to the damp earth, as Captain Carter suddenly stopped.
“No way. I’m not leaving you, so don’t waste your breath.”
She sounded almost angry. She started to move again, but he stopped her.
“We cannot escape. They will capture us and then I will be sent to Apophis and you will be left to the mercy of the Jaffa. Do you know what they will do with you?”
“I have a vague idea, but they’re not going to find us. Come on, Teal’c. We’ve got to keep moving.” She tightened her grip on him.
“They will torture you for information. Then, when they have finished and if you are still alive, you will be given to the warriors as a plaything.”
“Thanks, Teal’c. You certainly know how to cheer a girl up. Now move!”
Teal’c couldn’t understand her stubbornness. This was not proper tactical procedure.
Teal’c held his ground, supporting himself on his Staff weapon as she tried to drag him forwards. “You are being foolish. You have a chance to escape if you leave me.”
“I don’t know how you Jaffa do things, but we don’t leave our people behind. Seeing as you’re one of us, then you don’t get left. Now, come on!”
He had no choice but to move as she heaved him forward. He could hear the pursuing Jaffa calling to each other. It would not be long now.
As they struggled through a particularly bushy area, Captain Carter suddenly stopped again. She looked around as if trying to decide something.
‘Okay, Teal’c, you have a point. We’re not going to make it at this pace.”
Teal’c was relieved to see that she had come to her senses.
She nodded her head towards a thick clump of bushes off to the side of the track “Okay, crawl under that thicket over there; you’ll be completely hidden from any passing traffic. I’ll cover up your tracks and then lead them off.”
Teal’c was starting to become extremely frustrated. He had thought this woman to be intelligent; she certainly had much knowledge of the workings of the Chappa’ai. However, as a warrior it was apparent that she was most unskilled. “That is not a good idea; it would be best if the Jaffa thought I was alone. They will capture you if you run.”
She urged him towards the thicket. “I only have to keep them busy for a while, just until Colonel O’Neill gets back.”
“O’Neill will not be able to return through the Stargate. The Jaffa will be waiting. He and Doctor Jackson were extremely fortunate to have made it through before being captured.” Once more he resisted her attempts to move him. “We are alone, Captain Carter; we have no hope of rescue. You must leave me, it is the only way.” He watched as she let out an exasperated sigh.
“Look, Teal’c. I know you’ve commanded great armies and fought many battles but under Air Force regulations, in the absence of Colonel O’Neill, I am in command. That means you get to do what I say. Now get yourself under that bush and start meditating or whatever it is you do to start healing that leg, because I might well need you to save my ass.”
Teal’c thought she looked a little flushed as she finished speaking. He was not used to taking orders from young women, especially those whom he suspected might be addle brained. “This is a foolish endeavour, Captain Carter.”
“Yes, I’m sure it is, but we’ll argue about it later.” She pushed the bushes to one side so he could ease himself in. “I’m going to leave my pack with you.” He wriggled his bulk as far back into the foliage as he could manage as she rummaged around the pack and pulled out some claymores and plastic explosive. She shoved detonators and fuses into the pockets of her vest. “I have an idea to give the Colonel a hand getting back through the Gate.”
She grinned at him her teeth flashing in the forest gloom. Teal’c was now convinced she was slightly unhinged. He felt her hand on his good leg, and she looked at him intently.
“He will be back, Teal’c; be quite sure of that. He’ll come through that gate with SG-3 and we’ll be home in time for dinner.”
He felt her squeeze his thigh. He wondered if she was trying to reassure herself as much as him. The sound of the horn, much closer now, broke the moment.
“Get as comfortable as you can and do your meditating. I’m going to cover you up now. Okay?”
It was difficult for him to relinquish control of his fate to another, but he knew that he must. He had promised to fight with these people and follow their commands. Teal’c was a man of his word. He watched her crawl back out of the bushes.
“Good fortune, Captain Carter.”
She stuck her head back in and smiled. “You too, Teal’c.”
Then she was gone. He could hear her covering their footprints then the dull thud of her boots hitting the earth as she ran off.
The forest fell strangely silent. Teal’c thought it seemed as if it was waiting for something. He knew he had to start his meditation, but it was difficult to quiet his mind. The thought of Captain Carter out there alone made him deeply uncomfortable.
He held himself still as he heard the clanking of armour very close now. Then, there they were. He counted seven warriors as they passed his position with not a second glance. Captain Carter had been correct; he was completely concealed from the keen-eyed Jaffa. He heard them talking in low voices, pointing out the Captain’s footprints and the broken branches of small bushes. One of them laughed as another made a comment about the lack of stealth of their prey. Then they were gone, leaving the forest quiet once again.
He settled his wounded leg into a more comfortable position. He thought of his quarters back in Cheyenne Mountain. He envisioned himself lighting his candles, imagining the smell of the wax and the sweet fragrance of jasmine and sandalwood. He felt the world melt away as he slipped into Kel’no’reem.
From the hoots of hunting birds, the scurry of small nocturnal creatures, and other night sounds of the forest, Teal’c surmised that several hours had passed while his symbiote healed him. He looked down at his leg; the blood on his fatigues had dried leaving the fabric uncomfortably stiff. The wound itself had closed, and a thin line of puffy flesh marked where it had been. He carefully flexed the muscle. It felt sore, but it was as nothing to the searing agony that it had been. The soul-sapping weakness that he had felt was gone, replaced by the stiffness that came with sitting in one position for too long. The sound of a woman’s scream had him out of the bush with his staff weapon primed. He’d never heard Captain Carter scream before, but he had no doubt that it was she.
He set off in the direction of the sound. Teal’c realised that he would need to get off the track to avoid Jaffa patrols. Rising up from the trees was an escarpment that ran along the edge of the forest. He headed towards it. Obviously Captain Carter had been unsuccessful in devising a way to aid Colonel O’Neill back through the Stargate. He was not surprised, as he wasn’t sure what she could have done on her own.
After a long and difficult climb with his sore leg, Teal’c finally heaved himself over the top of the rock wall. More of the same dark forest stretched into the distance. It was excellent cover to survey the valley below. He quietly made his way along the ridge; alert for possible Jaffa patrols. The more he walked the looser his muscles became. His strength was returning. If he was to die today, he was grateful Captain Carter had given him the opportunity to do it standing on two strong legs. They would not send him back to Apophis. He’d seen Jaffa condemn their own children under torture. Teal’c was not arrogant enough to think that he was immune to such weakness. He had too many people to betray.
The flames of a campfire flickered through the trees below. Teal’c could hear the sound of voices drifting through the night air. He found a good place to climb back down into the valley. He needed to get close to do the most damage. As he approached the campsite he heard Captain Carter cry out. He steeled his heart. Rushing in would be unwise. He crept up behind one of the Jaffa guarding the perimeter. He placed his staff weapon quietly on the ground and approached stealthily. The man made no sound at all as Teal’c slit his throat, severing his vocal chords at the same time.
Teal’c moved on, wiping his bloodied hand on his pant leg. Two other Jaffa were dispatched in the same way. With the last one he removed the armour and put it on himself; surprised at how much he hated the feel of it. He had done terrible things wearing this armour; the memories contained within each joint and plate held a weight all of their own. With a sick feeling he activated the helmet, which folded over his head like a metal shroud. He took up a position where he could see clear across the camp and got his first view of Captain Carter.
She kneeled before the troop leader. Her hands were bound behind her back and Teal’c noticed that the bone in her left arm jutted out at an odd angle. Three other Jaffa stood behind her. Teal’c gripped his staff weapon hard as he watched the troop leader ask her something. Captain Carter must not have given him the answer he wanted because one of the Jaffa behind her kicked her between the shoulder blades, sending her sprawling on her face. Teal’c saw the firelight catch the dark slick of blood that matted her light hair and ran down the side of her face and neck. She obviously had not been captured without a struggle. Another Jaffa kicked her solidly in the ribs, making her curl up into a ball. He saw the troop leader gesture to the others to pick her up. Two of the Jaffa reached down and grabbed her elbows and hauled her to her feet. Teal’c heard Captain Carter cry out and realised that her left elbow had been dislocated which was why her arm appeared misshapen.
The troop leader grabbed her chin and said something very quietly to her. There was a brief pause while they stared at each other. Teal’c gritted his teeth in fierce pride as he watched her spit in the Jaffa’s face. The woman may be foolish, but Teal’c did not question her bravery. He held himself in check, as the Jaffa wiped the saliva off his cheek and then punched her in the stomach. She bent forward and violently threw up over the troop leader’s boots. Teal’c heard the irate Jaffa shout loudly at Captain Carter, calling her a “Tau’ri whore.” He gestured toward a tent on the other side of the campfire. Teal’c saw wide grins appear on the faces of the three Jaffa behind Captain Carter.They dragged her away towards the tent, and manhandled her through the canvas flap. Now at last he could act.
Quickly, he skirted around the perimeter of the camp. He could hear Captain Carter cursing her captors with some particularly colorful expletives; Teal’c had never heard her use vulgar language before. The fact that the words were coated with a patina of sheer panic, had not escaped his notice. He approached the tent from the rear and carefully slit the canvas. The Jaffa inside were too busy trying to subdue their prisoner to hear his approach.
Teal’c eased the canvas to one side and looked in. Captain Carter lay on her stomach. One of the Jaffa stood over her, his boot on the back of her neck, holding her down. Another sat astride her legs, a knife at the waistband of her fatigues, preparing to slice them off. The third watched the other two while giving helpful advice and removing his armour. Captain Carter struggled mightily, but with her hands still bound there was little she could do except shout. Teal’c tried very hard not to remember the times he had participated in the rape of female prisoners; he could see in his mind’s eye the women’s faces blank with shock or even worse the violated corpses of those who hadn’t survived the experience
Teal’c stepped into the tent, making the Jaffa undressing look up. Teal’c brought the butt-end of his staff weapon across the man’s head. The blow was delivered with the force of decades of shame. The Jaffa dropped like a stone. Teal’c turned to meet the Jaffa who had been holding Captain Carter down with his boot. The man rushed at him, but Teal’c was quick. The staff weapon hit him straight in the face, breaking his nose with enough force to push cartilage and bone up into his brain. With a bright spray of crimson he fell to the floor.
He turned at Captain Carter’s shout. The Jaffa with the knife was getting to his feet; Teal’c was too close to swing his staff weapon and the man ducked under his arm to strike at his pouch. Teal’c braced himself for the blow but it never came. The Jaffa's face turned a sickly green that quickly morphed into clammy grey. Teal’c watched as the stricken Jaffa clutched his groin and sank gracelessly to his knees before toppling over and lying still.
“That felt really good.”
Teal’c looked down at Captain Carter, surprised to see a fierce grin on her bruised and bloodied face.
He gratefully retracted his helmet feeling the musty air of the tent hit his face. “Thank you, Captain Carter.”
“You’re more than welcome.” She gave the fallen Jaffa a quick glance. She began to shiver as reaction set in. “Get my wrists untied will you?”
Teal’c quickly knelt beside her and cut through the bindings on her wrists. Captain Carter groaned as her arms were released. Her faced paled even more, and Teal’c watched as she bit her lip in an attempt not to scream.
“You’re elbow is dislocated?”
“Yeah…Teal’c, you’re going to have to get it back in its socket or I’m going to be no use to you.”
Teal’c knew she was avoiding talking about her near rape. He could see it in her eyes as they almost pleaded with him not to mention it.
Teal’c understood what it was to be made so helpless and nodded his head in acknowledgment. He gently took a hold of her injured arm. Then, before she could tense up, firmly gripped her wrist and twisted while, with his other hand, he manipulated the elbow joint back into place. It snapped back in with an audible click.
Teal’c lifted his gaze to Captain Carter’s face. He’d seen better color on a three-day-old corpse. Her eyes were wide and glassy as she looked up at him; her whole body trembled.
“You were supposed to wait for a count of three.” Her voice was girlish with surprised indignation.
“It is best to be relaxed for such a procedure. I though it wise to catch you unawares.”
“Next time we do the counting ‘kay?”
“As you wish, Captain Carter.” He smiled at her. “It might be prudent to make our escape now, before others come to investigate.”
“Yeah. Help me up.”
She held out her good arm. He grasped her hand, and pulled her to her feet. She swayed drunkenly and if it was possible her face paled even more.
“Do you wish me to carry you?”
“No…no. I’m okay, just give me a second.”
He watched as she took some deep shaky breaths. He noticed that her head wound was still bleeding. She must have been hit very hard. “Are you certain, Captain Carter?”
“Yeah, I’m sure.” She took another wobbly breath. “My weapon and vest are in here someplace. We need to find them.”
Teal’c looked around the tent. He quickly spotted the Captain’s gear. He brought it over to her and helped her put the vest on.
Captain Carter clipped her weapon onto the vest. “Thanks. Okay, Teal’c, lets go home.”
“The situation has not altered, Captain Carter. The Jaffa still hold the Gate. We will have to conceal ourselves as best as we can in the forest.”
Carter smiled at him. “I was busy after I left you. I think you’ll like what I’ve done.”
Teal’c gave her a look of indulgence. He knew how head wounds could confuse a person’s mind. “We should leave the way I came in, the trees will give us good cover.”
They squeezed through the ripped canvas and silently slipped in to the forest. Teal’c kept a steadying hand on the Captain’s good arm. She was weaving and unsteady on her feet.
“We need to head north towards the Gate.”
“Captain Carter, remember the Gate is guarded?” Teal’c was not sure how he was going to get through to her.
“Not for much longer.” She stopped and looked up at him. “Trust me, Teal’c.”
Despite her distinctly unfocused gaze he suddenly realized that he did trust this woman. He almost smiled at the thought that he’d spent so many years unable to trust anyone except his mentor Master Bra’tac. He hadn’t been able to trust his own wife completely. Yet this fragile Tau’ri had risked her life for a man who, until very recently, would have treated her no better than the Jaffa who had just tortured and attempted to violate her.
Teal’c pointed towards a worn trail. “North is in this direction.”
She patted his arm then set off unsteadily in the direction he had indicated. Teal’c followed.
The Gate appeared through the trees. The walk had been difficult. Captain Carter had fallen many times and vomited on more than one occasion. They were leaving a trail a child could follow, but so far they had not heard any indication that they were being pursued.
“We should find cover.” Captain Carter whispered. Her voice trembled with fatigue
Teal’c nodded and led her over to a large boulder surrounded by thick bushes. “We should be able to conceal ourselves and still be able to see the Gate.”
They quietly eased themselves into the foliage.
“General Hammond has been dialling the Gate every thirty eight minutes on the dot. The Jaffa haven’t been quick enough on the DHD. I kept a watch on it for three hours before I was captured. The MALP is still transmitting.” Captain Carter reached into one of her vest pockets and pulled out a small black box.” We’re going to give them something to see other that a lot of Jaffa.” She gave him a shaky smile. “Cover your ears.”
Teal’c watched as, with trembling fingers, she flicked a switch on the box. The world exploded.
The noise was incredible. Teal’c got a glimpse of a wall of rock descending upon the Jaffa; then he had to duck to avoid flying rocks and debris. He covered Captain Carter’s body with is own as the explosions and rumblings continued. It seemed an age before the noise stopped. He looked up; the Jaffa had gone. He could see a few half buried bodies amongst the river of rocks that had flowed down from the escarpment above.
He felt Captain Carter’s body shaking. and he eased his weight off her. “They are all dead, Captain Carter. “He looked down at her, surprised to see tears running down her face.
“I’m sorry, Teal’c.” Her bravado of earlier had disappeared
He shook his head, not understanding her distress.
“Some of those Jaffa would have been your friends. I’m sorry but I couldn’t think of any other way.”
Teal’c thought he would never understand these people. “Captain Carter, I have chosen my path. Those Jaffa, friend or not, would have tortured me and sent me back to Apophis. You have already experienced what they would have done to you. They would not have shown you any mercy. You should not shed any tears for them or for me.”
She gave a little nod but didn’t look at all convinced. “We need to get to the Gate before the Jaffa from the camp come.”
He helped her up and they made there way across the rubble. The MALP had been destroyed.
They took cover behind the DHD, which was still intact, much to Captain Carter’s relief.
Teal’c realised that she was near collapse. Her head lolled, and she could barely keep hers eyes open. “They will come through the gate very soon, Captain Carter.”
“Yeah…won’t be long.”
They both heard the sound of a Jaffa hunting horn.
“Captain Carter, we are now kin.”
She gave him a confused smile. “How’s that?”
You have saved my life, and I have saved yours. On my world that makes us blood kin.”
Carter gave the forest behind them a worried glance. “I could do with a bit more family. “
“You have none?”
The sound of clanking armour floated through the air.
“My Dad, but we’re not close and a brother who won’t speak to me.”
“Then it is good you have some more.”
She looked at him and patted his arm. “Yes...yes it is.”
A companionable silence fell as they sat. Dawn was breaking and over the sound of approaching Jaffa they could hear the forest birds singing to welcome the new day.
Teal’c primed his staff, and he heard Captain Carter release the safety on her own weapon. They turned to face the forest.
“Sorry we’re late guys but Daniel wanted to finish reading his book.”
They both turned at the sound of Colonel O’Neill’s voice.
“My, it’s good to know your powers of recognition are still working well.”
Teal’c watched as Daniel Jackson and SG-3 emerged through the Gate.
“Hey. Sorry we’re late. There was a bit of an argument about sending another MALP through first.” Daniel smiled.
The bolt from a staff weapon had them all ducking for cover.
“I see we’re just in time. Teal’c, you want to dial up the Gate and go home?”
“I would be most pleased, O’Neill.”
SG-3 put down suppressing fire while Teal’c punched in the symbols on the DHD. He watched as the Gate whooshed open. He bent down to help Captain Carter to her feet.
“Shall we go, Captain Carter?”
Teal’c realized that O’Neill had joined them and was about to take a hold of her injured elbow.
“Take care O’Neill, that arm is injured.” He watched as his friend took good look at his Captain. He saw him wince as he saw her still bleeding head and bruised face
“You okay, Carter?”
“I could do with a bath, sir.”
“I’ll bet you could. Can you walk?”
Teal’c heard the slur in her voice but saw the determination in her eyes.
They managed to get her up on wobbly legs as they all retreated back through the gate
Teal’c heard O’Neill shout, “Close the Iris,” as the last man came through. The change in noise level and air pressure made his ears pop.
A small woman in a white coat rushed up to them. Teal’c remembered her as being the new Chief Medical Officer that had just joined the SGC. They’d been introduced briefly as she’d been given a tour through the Mountain.
“Mr. Teal’c. Are you injured?” She was looking at the large bloodstains on the legs of his pants.
“No, my Goa’uld larvae repaired the damage.”
The small woman looked at him, her mouth slightly open. “Of course it did.” She turned her attention to Captain Carter. “Captain, come on, let’s get you on a gurney.” She motioned the medics, who brought the gurney up the ramp.
“I’m fine.” Captain Carter tried to shrug off the arms holding her upright.
“Well seeing as I’m the Doctor, I’ll decide that. Now, get on the gurney and no arguing.”
O’Neill helped her aboard. “Come on Captain. I wouldn’t argue with the new CMO if I were you. She’s the one that’s going to be sticking a whole bunch of needles in your butt.”
“Can’t wait, sir.” The Captain grinned and then promptly passed out.
“Okay, let’s get her to the infirmary ASAP.” The doctor began issuing instructions to her team and the gurney was whisked away.
.Teal’c watched it disappear out of the Gateroom. He felt a hand on his shoulder.
“Yes, O’Neill, it was most taxing, especially for Captain Carter.”
“That was one hell of an explosion.”
“Indeed. Captain Carter was most thorough in her attempt to secure the Stargate.”
“Is that how she got injured?”
“She was captured by the Jaffa. They were not kind.”
Teal’c thought O’Neill must have seen something in his eyes. “Do I need to inform the Doctor about anything?”
“No, I was able to get there in time.”
“Still, I ought to let her know.”
Teal’c put his hand on O’Neill’s arm. “Do not, O’Neill. Captain Carter will wish to deal with this matter in her own way.”
General Hammond walked up the ramp. “Captain Carter will want to deal with what, Teal’c.”
Before Teal’c could dissemble, O’Neill stepped in.
“She’s worried that she left her pack back on the planet.”
General Hammond looked at them both for a long moment. “That won’t be a problem as long as we have you back in one piece. Although the Captain will have to fill in a few forms. ”
“Captain Carter lives for paperwork. That and big honkin’ explosions. Isn’t that right Teal’c? “
“Get yourselves down to the infirmary and we’ll debrief in one hour.” The General ushered them off the ramp.”
Teal’c had not seen Captain Carter since his post mission check-up. He’d enjoyed a hot shower and a change of clothes and met with General Hammond and the uninjured members of SG-1 for the debriefing.
The commissary had prepared meatloaf for dinner, which happened to be one of Teal’c’s favourites. On the way out he’d snagged a cup of blue jello. He had noticed that Captain Carter favoured this particular dessert.
The corridors of the SGC were quiet as he made his way to the infirmary. He entered, almost bumping in to Dr. Frasier.
“Hello Mr. Teal’c. I take it you’ve come to visit Captain Carter?”
“Yes. I have brought jello.” He held up the cup. “How is Captain Carter?”
“She’ll be fine. She needs some rest and quiet. She has a nasty concussion. One of her ribs is fractured, and she’ll be very sore for a while. She’s been knocked about a bit.” Dr. Frasier patted his arm. “You both had a pretty rough time out there, I gather.”
“Yes, it was not pleasant.”
She nodded and pointed to a curtained of bed in the far corner. She’s
over there. I’m sure she’ll be very pleased to see you. Just don’t let her talk you in to fetching her laptop. She’s not up to anything like that for a little while.”
Teal’c walked over to the curtains and pulled one aside. “Captain Carter?”
He watched as she tried to sit up a little. “Do you require assistance?”
Yeah, just sit me up a bit would you? I’ve gotten stiff.”
He put the jello on the bedside table and bolstered her up with some pillows.
“Thanks.” She looked at the jello. “Is that for me?”
“It is. I have observed that you often choose it.”
“You are welcome.”
They lapsed into silence, as she slowly ate her jello. Teal’c thought she looked far too pale still. Her bruises stood out starkly on her face. Her hair had been washed but a strip had been shaved off; he could see a line of black stitches above her ear. Her hands shook slightly, and both her wrists had gauze bandages hiding the raw, bloody flesh beneath.
“I suppose you think I’m pretty weak.”
Teal’c looked up and realized she been watching him watching her. He shook his head. “No. I do not think you are weak. You have a warrior’s heart and a quick brain. You fought well, and you prevailed. That is not weak.”
She nodded and dropped her eyes from his.
Teal’c suddenly understood that Captain Carter was uncertain of her abilities. She had seemed so confident back on the planet.
“Captain Carter. I must apologise for my attitude while we attempted to escape pursuit. I was uncooperative and cast aspersions on your leadership. I made a grave error. I must ask for your forgiveness.”
She gave him a look of surprise. “Uhm, no apologies necessary. We’re just learning each other. You had no reason to trust my judgment. It’s a credit to you that you did. You saved my life back there, Teal’c. I’ve nothing to forgive.”
“I was merely returning the favour.” Teal’c gave her a gentle smile.
She put her jello back on the bedside table and began to pull at a loose thread on the thin cotton sheet. “Teal’c, about what nearly happened back on the planet…”
“I have told no one.”
She held his gaze, though her cheeks flushed with embarrassment. “I just don’t want them all to know what almost happened.” She shrugged her shoulders and winced as the movement pulled on her ribs. “I know you think it’s stupid, but I’ve worked so hard to get here. I don’t want something like this to jeopardise it, and it so easily could.”
“I understand, Captain Carter. Although I believe that Colonel O’Neill may suspect something, I am certain he will not mention it.”
He nodded and noticed how tired she looked. “I will leave you now to rest.” He made to leave.
“Oh, Teal’c. You couldn’t just pop by my lab and bring me my laptop?”
Teal’c almost laughed at the forced casualness of the request. She had obviously tried this on a number of people with no success.
“Dr. Frasier gave instructions that you should not be brought that piece of equipment. You do need to rest.”
She looked a little crestfallen; he took pity on her. “Perhaps tomorrow when you have had a good night’s sleep. I will return with your laptop.”
She gave him a tired smile. “Thank you. I’d really appreciate it.”
“It is of no consequence. Is that not what family are for?”
“Yes, I guess it is.”
“Goodnight, Captain Carter.”