G. Gen, Sam/Jack friendship. Post-Nemesis. For the Jack/Sam Friendship Ficathon, to the prompt “fishing.” It was actually poohmusings’ prompt. We traded. Sort of. Thanks: aurora_novarum and poohmusings.
Disclaimer: These people do not belong to me and I am not making any money off them.
The first day, they’re so exhausted from fighting the replicators and destroying Thor’s ship that they don’t even move from the DHD. It’s dark already, but still warm. They’ve been here before, and so have SG-6 and SG-7: no large predators have evolved to replace the human population that was removed by the Goa’uld centuries ago. So they share what little water they have and a couple powerbars — one for Teal’c, half each for Jack and Carter — and go straight to sleep, or into kel-no-reem.
The second day starts too early. The nights here are short anyway, and their watches tell them dawn is only four hours after they ran through the gate. They try dialing home, unsurprised when it doesn’t connect; Carter says it will probably take at least five days to get the other gate up and running at the SGC. Then they walk the half-mile to the river for water and drink it with iodine tablets, grimacing even though the taste is familiar. After that, they make a small shelter and a fire pit, eat some more powerbars, and collect a fruit they know is close enough to apricots to be safe.
In the afternoon, they take turns bathing in the river. Jack squeezes water through his shorts and his t-shirt, scrubs them on rocks well-smoothed by the current, remembers he lost his favorite leather jacket to the replicators. When he returns to camp he finds that Teal’c has gone hunting with a zat, and Carter has dug a hole and knotted a space blanket from the first-aid kit into a bladder for boiling water. She takes it with her to the river, so Jack puts some rocks in the fire, eats what he decides to call a not-cot, and starts whittling sticks to cook whatever Teal’c brings back.
On the third day, they’re awakened by rain before sunrise, and Jack declares that it’s a fine day for fishing. Teal’c begs off, saying he’ll improve the shelter while the others do battle with insects and small waterborne creatures.
Water sluices off the bill of Jack’s cap. He eyes Teal’c with suspicion, sure he’s being mocked, but Teal’c gives nothing away.
“Looks like it’s just you and me, Carter.”
Carter swallows her bite of not-cot and says, “Yes, sir.”
The rain isn’t too cold, and they have their tac vests for insulation. Teal’c made a good choice with this planet, Jack thinks.
Jack and Carter check the stargate on their way. At the river, they turn upstream and walk until they find a small pool with silvery shadows weaving through the water. Jack sits with a boulder at his back and a tree above his head, and Carter joins him.
He unspools the fishing line and gets out a couple hooks, intending to give one to Carter, before he notices she has her own emergency fishing kit and is already tying on a small rock for a weight. So Jack goes back to his own and within moments he’s put together a weight, a hook, a grub they found under a log during their walk, and a long branch he brought from camp. He casts out, slouching against the boulder and stretching his legs. Might as well get comfortable.
It takes him a few moments to realize Carter’s still busy. When Jack looks her way to see what kind of physics she’s applied to the simple job of getting a hook in the water, he’s appalled.
“Carter! You can’t fish like that!”
She looks up a little dreamily, like he’s just interrupted her in full-on concentration mode in her lab. “What?”
“Five hooks? Five?” And she’s tied them all at the same precise distance apart, above the weight.
“It’s the most efficient way, sir.” She goes back to tying her line to her branch.
“I don’t think that’s the word you’re looking for, Colonel.”
Jack watches in horror as she stands to cast her line. “Fishing is not about efficiency, Carter! It’s about fishing.”
“Fishing,” she says as she plants her pole into the ground, “is about catching fish.” She sits back down, cross-legged, watching her line intently.
“I don’t believe this,” Jack says. “This is insubordination. A watched test tube never boils, you know.”
Carter puffs out a little laugh, but says nothing. The rain begins to taper off.
Fifteen minutes later, the sun is coming out and Carter’s already caught three six-inch fish. Jack’s caught one, but somehow he doesn’t feel vindicated.
When she reels in the next two, Jack grabs her hand before she can cast again. “We’ve got all day, Carter.”
Carter looks at Jack, at the path to their camp, up at the clearing sky, and back at Jack again. Then she unplants her pole and takes off the line, winding it carefully around a stick to save for later. She starts another line with just one hook.
Jack grins and covers his eyes with his cap. The sun is already starting to warm him up. “Hey, Carter?”
“Hmmm?” He hears her casting the line, senses her leaning back against the rock next to him.
“I did order you not to come after me, you know.”
She says, “Anytime, sir,” and Jack can hear a smile in her voice.