Proper Care and Feeding of Samtastic Manual

Spike stared at his computer screen as many thoughts rolled through his mind. Their teammate was difficult to read … his stoic masks and military training was nothing like anything he ever encountered. Heck, none of them ever came across anyone like Sam before. Unable to focus his thoughts, Spike decided to just start typing and see what came out … he could put it in some semblance of order later.

He typed a title … Proper Care and Feeding of Samtastic Manual … and grinned.

Spike stopped, hit return, bit his lower lip, chewed it for several minutes then began typing.

Things we know about Sam:

He is a protector. He will safeguard others before himself.

Much to Ed's chagrin, Sam is the best-darned sniper any of us have ever seen. He never misses ... much to Sam's dismay ... one shot he wishes with his whole heart and soul he missed. The shot which brought him to our team.

Ladies ogle him … yeah, he's beautiful if you like the blond, blue-eyed, ruggedly handsome sort of guy who also possesses a WOW smile with pearly white teeth. Always carry extra power bars for those times when to achieve said smile, Sam forgets to eat.

Raised in a strict military household, Sam follows orders … which is the only way Ed can keep him from taking unnecessary risks. Yeah, I'm in Ed's camp on this one. Though I can also see Sam's point of view on occasion.

He's as fast as the Roadrunner, but as injury prone as Wile E. Coyote. I know … weird, huh?

Don't give him narcotics unless you want to have some fun watching him hallucinate. Examples: believed his blanket was warm, dry snow and defended Ed's home from rabid raccoons with a broomstick rifle on his roof.

Scratch the previous … DO NOT GIVE SAM NARCOTICS, unless they have been vetted by Jim Shea and Dr. Fraser … Sam almost fell off Ed's roof.

Fine actually means FUCKED UP, INSECURE, NERVOUS, and EMOTIONAL. If Sam says he's fine, believe him and make sure you move him somewhere safe, preferably with Wordy close by ... and place a call to Blaze or Dr. Tansy.

Regardless of what Sam says on scene, make sure he is checked by EMS if …

- he falls or jumps … he will hide sprains and strains that are sometimes fractures

- there is gunfire … um, he doesn't always realize he is shot or grazed

- you see blood on him … check above, seriously, his adrenaline and high pain tolerance covers many injuries

- unicycles are involved … yeah, one weird day which almost cost him his life

- he jumps on another damned concussion grenade … can you say delayed concussion symptoms … yep, maybe why they are called concussion grenades

- a subject is wielding a knife when Sam takes him down … did I mention adrenaline? Well, it applies to minor knife wounds which require over twenty stitches to close … yeah, Sam's definition of minor is a little skewed.

- Ah, hell … too many things to list … better to have Sam checked out after every damned hot call.

Spike halted, his fingers drummed on the desk as he sighed. He didn't know the medical jargon, and so he pulled up his email program to send a message to Jim.

Hey Jim,

I'm trying to write out that Proper Care and Feeding of Samtastic manual we joked about. I figured it might come in handy some day. Sam isn't like anyone else in this world, and well, we might not be around or available when it would come in handy. Could you work with Dr. Fraser to document all the dos and don'ts from a medical perspective? Like what meds he can take and what ones give him problems. I know he doesn't have a spleen, so there is that whole not able to fight off infections thing. God, I still can't believe he almost lost his leg from a simple cut or how fast the infection spread on our ski trip from hell … scared the crap out of me. Anyway, if you could type something up in any format, I'll copy and paste it into the manual.

Thanks, Spike.

Returning to his document, Spike started a new section.

How to help Sam:

NO NEEDLES. Never ever show him a needle. Use nitrous oxide to relax him, then shield his vision from wherever a needle must be used. Last resort, sedate him … see appropriate meds in another section.

NEVER SHOW PITY … unless you want to risk your life. Not going to explain why, but you've been warned.

NEVER STARTLE HIM AWAKE … ex-Special Forces Badass soldier … enough said.

ALWAYS ensure everyone on the team carries their pressure bandages ... refer to the fact Sam is Wile E. Coyote ... be prepared.

If Sam is injured and you need the straight scoop from him … contact Jim Shea or Scott Braddock … Sam is always truthful with them.

Jules can get Sam to take meds without ordering him. Not exactly sure how she does it, but Sam will accept her help in that department.

Wordy or Blaze can help Sam when he starts to shut down emotionally … yeah, hard to tell, but some signs include …

- a zombie-like appearance with dark circles under his eyes … indicates lack of sleep and potential nightmares

- lost weight … yeah, he tends to forget to eat and lives on caffeine when something is bothering him. Get cookies from Jarmal if you want him to eat without thinking about it … or any form of oatmeal raisin cookies.

- excessive coffee and yawning … goes with the zombie above … don't try to substitute decaf 'cause Sam will know and likely spew the 'bilge water' out

- beating the crap out of the heavy bag … best to get Ed involved here so he can order him to stop

Sometimes Sam needs help just breathing. Ed is a master of this, but it is real simple … count it out for him like this … Inhale. Hold, two, three, four. Exhale. Repeat as long as Sam needs.

Never press Sam to talk about something … he will stonewall you. Just let him know if and when he wants to talk, you will be there to listen without judgment.

If Sam tears up … DO NOT REACT … allow him the dignity to get his emotions under control. Old habits die hard, and he still believes it is a sign of weakness for a man to cry … yeah, its bullshit and Sam knows it, but it is hard to change ingrained thoughts.

Music helps Sam sort out his feeling and deal with crap. Contact Spike for Beauty (Sam's music player with playlists Sam's brother Matt created for him).

Don't put him in the truck unless you have no other choice ... it'll drive him batty and well, just not a good idea if you want him to stay safe and focused. Paperwork is a good way to punish him though ... works like a charm.

Spike halted again. His mind went in a different direction, and he began another list.

Sam likes:



Beer … he doesn't usually drink hard alcohol

Fruit and granola power bar - not the chocolate covered ones, thinks they are messy

Green jello

Cherry cobbler

Oatmeal Raisin Walnut cookies … with extra raisins and walnuts

Five Alarm Burgers from the Fire Stick Grill

Pepperoni Pizza

Ma's bread

A cool breeze in his face … after bad hot calls he likes to go to the roof

High places … hence the roof

Bike riding


Sam hates:

NEEDLES! Can't stress this one enough. NO NEEDLES!

HOSPITALS … he will sign out AMA if he can crawl … not kidding.

Hospital food … would rather starve … bring him food if he has to stay in a hospital more than a day.

Taking meds … Jules or a direct order works if he refuses

Talking about his feelings

Soft rock … if you want to tick him off, play Muskrat Love … hehehe

Spike leaned back in his chair with a grin as he recalled pranking Sam by rigging the gym's radio to a digital music player and no matter what channel Sam selected Muskrat Love started playing. Their sniper got so frustrated he almost threw the radio across the room. Wordy handed Sam the TV remote and low and behold when Sam turned it on … not planned by Spike, a commercial for an oldies compilation came on, and the song was Muskrat Love. Sam about blew his top as he stormed out of the gym to grab his personal music player from the locker room. They had never laughed so hard.

Typing Spike added,

Sam is fun to prank, but you have to work hard to get him … oh, and if he finds out it is you … watch out. Ask anyone about the Seven Swan's Sinking … and the Pants Prank he and Jules pulled on me.

His mind shifting, Spike smiled broadly as he thought about the name he gave Sam on the first day he joined them, then typed.

Why Sam Braddock is called Samtastic …

He is the best friend, brother, and teammate anyone could wish for

His heart is golden … he truly cares about making a difference in people lives

Sam will go above and beyond for family, friends, and strangers … he is willing to give his life to protect yours (and Team One is willing to do the same for him)

Although he has seen and endured many horrific things in his life, he is not jaded … Sam believes in the beauty of life

Oh, and his hair is Samtastic 😊


AN: Writing the actual Proper Care and Feeding of Samtastic Manual would be quite difficult. This is my one-shot to do so at the request of dancergrl1. Wish I could've formatted this with the bullet points I used when writing it, but alas, FF doesn't allow bullets or indents like Word does, so I hope this is still readable in the format presented.