AN: Left field...didn't see it coming, conked me on the head so I'm chucking it out into the field. Catch it if you can! Unedited one-shot.

Summary: Carter returns to the SGC after setting her father's affairs in order. A little lonely given that her friends have been pushed to get on with things without her she is restless. Unwittingly she awaits word from the one person she knows will cheer her up. Jack/Sam Hurt/Comfort Friendship (possible pre-ship). One-shot. Maudlin Carter fic. K rated.


Carter knew that when she came back from having had some personal time to set her father's affairs in order that things would be quiet around the SGC. She knew that Daniel would have already headed off on his pre-lim to Atlantis and that Teal'c was going to be gone assisting the Jaffa for the foreseeable future but what she had not realised was that Jack would be gone too.

The General had departed for Washington two days before she reported back on duty. He was only scheduled to be gone for a week but now two had gone by and Carter was really beginning to feel like she was alone. She had thought that being back at work would have helped with the grieving process, that having something to do would ease her unrest and her hurt over the events of the month or so gone past but the truth was that without the guys around to distract her work was just mundane. That and she was not sleeping properly.

Diagnostics needed analysed, telemetry needed sorted through and new technology needed catalogued. Even when the gate had malfunctioned and put the base on auto-lockdown Sam had not found herself as enthused as she normally would have been by the challenge of figuring it all out.

The bottom line was that she missed her father, she missed her friends and that in turn made her think about how much she missed the other important person in her life who was also gone, Janet. Boy how she could use her best friend right now. 'The General will be back soon.' she reminded herself, thinking about the only other person she felt she could truly confide in. Jack was due back on Monday and that was in two days time, until then she would just have to make do.

Feeling tired, she left early that evening, for the third day in a row...well early by her standards that was...she was walking in the door of her now completely Pete free home at 19:34 and thinking about making something to eat (more because she had to than she wanted to) when her house phone rang.

She heeled the door shut and walked the short distance over to it. "Hello?" she enquired as she dumped her duffle on the arm chair beside her phone stand.

"Hey Carter, there you are. I've been trying your lab for a while now. What ya doin' home so early?"

"Sir! How are you?" She could not help grinning at the sound of his voice on the other end of the line.

"I'm good, you?" Jack asked casually.

"I'm fine, just a little...well...bored I suppose."

"You bored? Well that's...odd, to use exactly the right word."

Sam completely missed the humour filled reference to the first time they stood on the ramp together and answered him sincerely. "Yeah I guess it is but it's been pretty quiet around here what with Daniel and Teal'c being off-world and all." There was a slight pause while Carter bit her lip but she found she was unable to stop the flow of words that followed. "When are you coming back Sir, I though you were due back at the end of last week?" It was a tentative question and by rights none of her business. Highly aware of that fact, and perhaps slightly afraid of his response, she twisted the phone cord around her fingers.

"Miss me that much, huh?" Jack teased, knowing it would distract her from the emotionally loaded question.

"No." Sam blurted automatically.

"No!" he parroted, sounding as incredulous as possible.

"I mean yes, of course I miss you Sir, but that's not what I meant. I was just wondering when you would be back at the SGC, it's not the same when someone else is in charge." Sam grimaced slightly, that had came out a little more discontented that she had expected.

Jack's voice paused for a bit on the other end of the line, then he continued in much the same vein as he had been. "Colonel Reynolds not doing it for ya huh?"

"No, no, Colonel Reynolds is just fine in charge it just...well..." She sighed deeply. "It's just that I..."

Hearing the building stress in her voice he cut her off. "I know Carter, I know what you are saying." He had teased her enough, he didn't want to upset her. Sam was clearly still feeling fragile after losing her father. No matter how she tried to hide it, her grief was more than evident in her voice.

Holding back a brief sigh his stomach clenched at the realisation that he had been right to still be worried about her. It was one of the reasons why he had called in the first place. He had wanted to ring earlier, or even last week but he had been so busy with the President that it just had not be possible...not at a godly hour that was for sure and he had not wanted to disturb what little rest she might be able to get. "I know what it's like to be the only one of SG-1 left behind in the SGC." he continued, slightly evading the truth of the subject. Sam was still skittish about talking about her feelings and he knew it. He offered her a consolation prize. "It isn't all that much fun really is it?"

Sam shook her head and somehow her negative travelled down the line and Jack took his cue to change the subject. "But that's not why I called. I called to answer your earlier question." he told her, hoping it would push her out of the evident rut she had just fallen into.

"Sir?" Sam was not able to follow that one. Suddenly aware of her fingers in the cable and the fact that her legs were barely holding her up she disentangled her hand and dropped down onto the cold, hard arm of the chair. "Which question?" she breathed, she had asked him a lot of stuff over the past few weeks...before he went away...and maybe even tonight, she could not really remember now, she was still so tired.

"I'm back Carter. Back in Colorado. I flew in a few hours ago and I was wondering if you have eaten yet?"

Well if Sam had smiled before her expression now broke out into a grin twice that of what it was. "Your back?" she chirped, surprising even herself by her reaction.

"Yeah, I Have. You. Eaten. Yet?" Jack enuciated slowly.

"Ah, no...not yet. I was just about to-"

"Good. Come on over then. I have a chicken piccatta in the oven and am just about to open a bottle of white and stick on some rice. Some company would be good, it's been a long two weeks."

Sam immediately bounced to her feet and glanced about the room as if trying to figure out what to do next. "I'll be over in twenty minutes, Sir, I just need to change first. If...if you're sure that's alright?" Suddenly she was hesitant. He had only just gotten back and he was bound to be exhausted. The IOA and the Pentagon were tough to deal with and she herself was not exactly good comapny at the moment.

Her worries evaporated instantly upon hearing the no so subtle tones of delight in Jack's voice, it was there almost even before he spoke. "Well that's just great, Carter." he told her genuinely. "See ya real soon. Drive safe."

He was grinning and so was she. "I will Sir. Bye for now."

"For now." he agreed and hung up the line.

Sam sighed deeply, already she was feeling much more elated than she had done in a long time. She was feeling comforted and loved, she was feeling like everything might just be okay after all. She was feeling...well, she was feeling like she was about to depart and spend an evening in the company of Jack O' Neill.


AN: Hmm...slight wavering away from the intended starting point but ... I think it's close to passing muster. Hope Sam feels better soon :)