Sam looked at the letterhead in front of her, Stars and Stripes Magazine. "Congratulations, you have been chosen to be one of the lucky women to be featured in the annual "Women in Uniform Calendar." Thousands of women sent in applications, yada, yada, yada…"
She still couldn't believe Cassie had sent her picture and application in six months ago. She had sent in a picture of Sam from their last vacation. Sam was wearing a bikini and matching sarong. She had to admit it wasn't a bad picture. The thought of posing like that for a calendar, where thousands of people would see it…. she was petrified.
The calendar was famous. Every year it raised millions of dollars for the D.A.V. and the Air Force Children's Hospital. Each January after its release, there was then a huge fund raiser where each of the women in the calendar was "auctioned" off for a fancy evening out. All proceeds going to the charities. Between the calendar profit and the auction, a new wing had been added to the hospital and the D.A.V. received enough funding to build another rec-center.
Sam knew it was for a good cause, but she just couldn't accept. She typed out a very polite rejection letter explaining that she was not the one who sent in her application, just a very well meaning god-daughter. She placed it in an envelope and stuffed it in her jacket to mail out later.
While deep in thought she was interrupted by General O'Neill. "You ready?" He asked as he poked his head into her lab.
"Yah, I just have to go get changed. I'll meet you all topside." She replied not really paying him any attention.
They all sat in O'Malley's Pub laughing over dinner and beers. O'Neill was making fun of Daniel for being so boring. Daniel had been discussing some new ancient language he had just mastered, language number 26 and still counting. O'Neill couldn't resist, he was relentless.
Sam decided to join in. "I think we all know more about ancient things than we ever thought we would." She said with a laugh.
O'Neill suddenly chimed back in. "You should talk Carter," he said with a smirk "you have probably never done anything remotely exciting."
"Excuse me, Sir" said Sam, a bit surprised at what she was hearing.
"You heard me," said Jack "name one thing exciting or spontaneous you have done…. outside of work."
Sam was stumped. She couldn't. There was her bike, but that was nothing unusual, a lot of people rode Harley's. She guessed she did so much off world that she liked her "boring life."
"Well," she tried to reply.
"See," said Jack "I am the only one around here who leads a somewhat exciting life outside of work."
Sam thought about the envelope in her pocket. She didn't have to mail it.
She could just imagine their jaws dropping when they opened up next years' calendar; she knew they all bought it.
She then made a mental note. I will show him I can be spontaneous and exciting.
Three months later Sam sat in her trailer/dressing room completely regretting her decision. Cassie was with her for support. She was the one who got her into this mess to begin with.
They had told the General that they were going on a cruise for a mini-vacation.
"You look fantastic!" gushed Cassie. Sam was getting her hair and make-up done. The crew was working feverishly, plucking, waxing, curling and painting every inch of Sam's body. A few places she couldn't even imagine needing to be done.
Then there were her three outfits. It wasn't decided which month she would be so they were going to shoot her as several different ones, July, September and December.
Her least favorite was July, a red, white and blue bikini. At least the others were outfits. December was an evening gown and September was a pair of overall shorts and cropped Air Force tank top.
Cassie had a great time at Sam's expense. She was in hysterics the entire time. First Sam was posed in the evening gown on a veranda. Fake snow was being blown onto her as she gazed upon a beautiful Christmas tree. I can handle this, she thought to herself.
Next she was dressed in the overalls and was perched with a pitchfork on a bale of hay at some dusty old barn. Horses milled in the background and chickens were pecking at her feet. Cassie said she looked like Daisy Duke. Sam was none too pleased. Her overalls were a bit on the short side, and the tank top a bit on the snug side. She looked into the mirror at her own shocking reflection. Who was this woman? Long legs and an ample figure now seemed very pronounced compared to the baggy BDU's she was accustomed to seeing herself in. She felt like she was blushing from head to toe.
Finally came July, Sam was now at the beach in the infamous bikini complete with a stars and stripes surfboard. This, of course, was the one that Cassie liked the best. All Sam could think about was how cold it seemed. Couldn't she change back into the overalls? They didn't seem quite so short right now.
She had to admit it; in the end she had a lot of fun. Everyone was super nice to her and Cassie. She even felt really good about her appearance. They did all the things she normally never had time to do or even think about. She wondered if anyone on base would notice.
Wouldn't you know it? The next month Sam received a letter congratulating her for being named "Miss July!" She was sent copies of the other pictures, but the July shots would remain unreleased until after the calendar was published.
The next months passed uneventful - besides the usual world-saving stuff. Then it came, her preview copy.
She flipped through it looking at the other months. It was tastefully done. There were no cheesy half-naked poses. Each woman was dressed in a season appropriate ensemble. February was red and pink, March in green, etc. etc. No one was sprawled over a sports car.
Then she came to July.
There she was standing on the beach, the waves breaking at her feet. She was holding the surfboard and was slightly leaning against it. Her hair was a bit wild and wind blown, she even looked very tan, thanks to the bronzer they had slathered her with. The bikini did not look as tiny as she remembered. She liked it, she actually liked the photo.
The next month it hit the stores. When the day arrived that she knew it was going to start being circulated on base she got ready for work very early, nervous as a cat.
She arrived on base around 0500, to beat morning rush, she convinced herself. A few hours later in her lab she looked into the mirror. "Well, this is it girl, it's now or never." No matter how much she wanted to she couldn't hide there forever, at least not without coffee.
She walked into the cafeteria for breakfast with her head held high. A few of the men looked at her in slight awe, blushing as she passed. She just smiled, nodded and walked by.
Sam decided to stay in her lab as much as she could for the rest of the day.
At lunch it was the same. Lots of glances and smiles. Lt. Simmons couldn't even look at her. He turned scarlet red and darted out of the room.
She didn't have to worry about Daniel or General O'Neill because they were in D.C. until tomorrow.
Teal'c just raised his eyebrow at her and smiled with brotherly affection. Sam could tell he was a bit shocked, but still proud that she had done something so out of her character.
This certainly had to have something to do with O'Neill, thought Teal'c.
Jack sat on his sofa and opened his beer. He took the calendar out of its wrapper and opened it. Daniel had handed it to him and said with a big goofy smile "It's going to be a hot July."
Jack scanned each month. It amazed him that each of these women were in the military. He couldn't remember anyone looking this good in boot-camp.
January was a pilot. February was a computer technician. Each month featured a beautiful woman in some kind of outfit. On the very bottom of each month was a picture of her in full uniform and a short bio.
Then he turned the page. Man was she hot! Curvy, great legs… then he looked a bit closer. "WHAT THE HELL!" he yelled out loud as he dropped the calendar and his beer.
It couldn't be. He picked up the calendar and flipped back to July. He closed his eyes as if to avoid seeing it again. Slowly he opened them and looked. No, no, no, not Sam, not his Colonel Carter. He quickly looked down at the uniformed photo and bio.
Lieutenant Colonel Samantha Carter
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Deep Space Radar Telemetry
He stared at her uniformed picture. Not yet daring to look back at the bikini clad Colonel holding the surfboard. Every impure thought he had ever had about her was finding its way back into his head. He tried so hard to keep them suppressed. They would always creep their way back to the surface anytime she would lean too close or brush up against him, the smell of her perfume, her special smile he knew was reserved just for him.
Shit, he had to sit down. First he would get another beer, or maybe something a bit stronger.
He downed the new beer then opened another, swiping the cold bottle against his forehead to help him cool down. Why? He thought to himself.
Then he got angry – no not angry, he realized – jealous!
All he could think of were the countless men looking at her, seeing her in "that way." Doing god knows what! They were now seeing what he had only dreamed of seeing.
How was he going to look at her in the eye tomorrow without all of his thoughts jumping out of his head and his big-mouth? He wished he had a job where he could call in sick.
The next day Sam ran into Daniel at breakfast.
"Samantha, you sly thing you" he said as he sat down across from her.
"What ever could you mean Daniel" she replied with a smile.
"Miss July" he said waggling his eyebrows at her.
"Cassie sent in the application and I had every intention of rejecting the offer" she stated very flatly.
"Then?" he asked.
"Remember that night at O'Malley's when the General was harassing us about being dull? Well, I had the rejection letter in my pocket and I tore it up that night. The rest as they say is history" she said.
"Have you seen Jack yet?" asked Daniel.
"No, why" she asked "do you think he's seen it?"
"Oh, I know he has" said Daniel "I gave it to him."
"You what" said Sam as she reached over and playfully, but still meaning it, smacked Daniel on the arm.
"I couldn't resist," said Daniel with a big smile and now rubbing his sore arm. "After I saw it, I just knew Jack had to have a copy for himself. Hey, it's not like he doesn't buy it every year anyway. I just wanted to be extra sure."
Sam gave a half-hearted grin and looked down at her coffee cup. Suddenly she was not feeling so confident in her decision.
She didn't see the General that entire day. He kept himself busy as much as possible, meeting after meeting, out to lunch with General Hammond then straight home. He was just grateful no mission briefings were scheduled.
The next morning Sam was still getting looks from people. A few of the women were still a bit cold to her but she was used to that. Being the highest ranking woman on base and the commander of SG1 had its difficulties, though it was only a select few that bothered her.
She had already signed autographs, bowed to standing ovations and disappointed some when she let them know that she was not going to auction off the "bikini and surfboard" for charity. What were those men thinking of, she thought to herself. It was probably better not dwell on it. Yuck!
General O'Neill was still nowhere to be found. By late afternoon Sam actually had to go looking for him. She needed him to review and sign a budget request.
She found him in his office buried in paperwork.
Sam knocked on the door. "Sir," she asked "do you have a minute?"
O'Neill looked up surprised to see her. He then surprised himself, he could feel himself blushing. His next thoughts were; did I really just blush, oh, shit!
"Uh, sure Carter what is it?" Jack stammered with a little bit of a squeak in his voice, barely regaining composure.
Jack sat there cursing himself as every impure thought he had ever had about her yet again raced through his head. Did I just blush again? he thought. Oh shit, shit, shit!
Sam continued, "I need a signature on this budget request."
"Sure," he said, "is this the one for that new electro micro-scope thingy?"
"Yes," she said with a laugh "the new electro micro-scope thingy."
Sam thought for a minute then plunged ahead.
"Listen, Sir" she continued. "I am sure you are aware of my latest "non-boring, exciting, spontaneous escapade."
So that was it, he thought, remembering their conversation at O'Malley's. She was very offended by his remark that she was boring. She must have done this to prove him wrong. Sweet!
"Yes, Carter, I am well aware of the calendar." Said Jack in the most serious tone he could muster. "Did you really think it was wise? Do you know what men do with that calendar?"
"No, Sir, what do they do?" She had him now.
"THINGS!" he shouted.
"What things?" She said innocently, she loved to see him squirm.
"YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN!" he shouted.
"Sir, I haven't the slightest idea what you could be talking about. Cassie sent in my picture and application without my knowing. When I was chosen, from thousands of applications mind you, I decided I would do it for the good of the charities."
"CARTER, YOUR BEAUTY IS NOT IN QUESTION HERE. WHAT ABOUT THE AUCTION?" He continued to shout. The idea of her being bid on was too much for him to handle.
So he thinks I'm beautiful, Sam thought to herself before responding to his question. "What about the auction?" She asked, beginning to get angry herself. "I will also be going away a few weekends for personal appearances."
"SO YOUR GOING TO BE A MODEL NOW!" he continued to shout.
"NO, I am not going to take up modeling as a career" steamed Sam, "it's all a part of being Miss July, morale for the troops and all that."
"Yes, I know," he said "it's obvious by all of your adoring fans. I thought Simmons was going to have a stroke."
So he noticed, she thought to herself.
"I promise you, Sir" said Sam "this will not interfere with my duties at the SGC."
"THAT IS NOT THE POINT!" he continued to shout.
"THEN WHAT IS THE POINT?" she shouted back. She knew where this was going. It wasn't anything to do with the SGC. It was the fact that men were now looking at her, men besides the gawky Simmons.
Sam continued to yell, "YOU CAN'T ACCEPT THE FACT THAT OTHER MEN THINK I'M ATTRACTIVE!"
"What?" he asked suddenly not yelling anymore. "That's ridiculous."
"No it's not" said Sam. "You were fine when no one dared to take notice of me. I was always the untouchable Carter. Even if they did, you had every man on this base scared to death. The infamous unwritten rule; they knew that you would assign them to some god forsaken planet at the end of the universe if they even looked at me twice. You could have me all to yourself and at the same time keep me at a safe distance. Jack's little china doll, kept safe up on its shelf."
Sam continued, taking in deep breaths to control the sobs. "Now it's different, you are not the only one who can look at me that way. I guess this thing finally made that statement. Well, get used to it Jack, because unless you plan on doing something about it, I just might accept a few of the offers that have come my way recently."
With that she turned on her heel and stormed away.
Jack sat with his mouth gaping. My God was it that obvious? She called me Jack, she never calls me Jack.
He stayed clear of her for the rest of the day. He had to sort some things out first.
That evening while driving home he found himself driving straight to Carters. When he got up to the front door he heard music blaring. He knocked and knocked… no answer. He was getting worried. He looked inside and saw a mess of books across the hallway floor. He tried the door – no good – he slammed all of his weight into it and broke the lock.
He looked around and couldn't find her. He got out his gun and checked throughout her first floor. No Carter. He opened the door to her basement and crept slowly down the stairs. The music was growing louder. He heard a noise that sounded like someone breathing heavy and struggling.
He turned the corner with his gun pointing forward….
"AHHHH!" Sam screamed.
"WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING!" she yelled at him. She was running full speed on her treadmill, music blaring in the background.
Jack lowered his gun and holstered it on his back.
"ME! WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?" he yelled back at her.
"Working out, what does it look like? Why did you come down here with your gun out?" she asked.
Before he could answer she ran upstairs. She had on a pair of running shorts and a cropped Lycra running tank. She was glistening with sweat and very flushed.
Jack was trying to keep his head straight and stop himself from obviously staring at her.
He tried to think of anything else… Hammond Naked… Ah, that did it.
He ran up after her. When he reached the top, she was examining her busted door.
"Why the hell did you bust my door?" she scolded him.
"I saw the books and …. YOU DIDN'T ANSWER YOU DOOR!" he shouted.
"DO YOU BREAK DOWN EVERYONE'S DOOR WHO DOEN'T ANSWER IT?" she continued to yell "YOU HAVE A KEY YOU IDIOT!"
"I forgot about my key. Listen, I didn't come here to fight with you." he said.
"Then what the hell did you come here for?" said Sam.
"I want to apologize" said Jack, now not so much yelling but trying to calm things down.
"What, for being a self-absorbed, selfish ass. Fine, thank you for coming by – good bye," said Sam as she held her now broken door open for him to leave.
Jack was starting to see red again. "Hey, I'm not the one who posed half-naked for a pin-up calendar."
"What is that supposed to mean! Was I supposed to ask your permission?" she yelled. Since when do you dictate what I can and cannot do in my private life! Last time I checked there were no rings on our fingers. Oh, yah, I forgot, you are just so well known for following regulations. Let's not add yet another black mark on your foot thick file with the pentagon."
"Hey, just because I didn't want every other man on earth to see….." he started.
She cut him off, "What, to see me as a woman? Too late Jack, the secret is out. I am flesh and blood with feelings and everything."
Jack was getting so frustrated. He was trying to explain. She wouldn't let him get a word in edgewise.
He looked at her, her chest was heaving from yelling. He couldn't resist it any longer. He had to shut her up and he knew just the way to do it.
Jack slammed the door that she was holding open. He then reached out and pulled her up into an amazing kiss.
She was startled but did not hesitate to kiss him back.
He could feel her pulling him back into the house and down the hallway. He knew where she was headed and it was the exact same place he wanted to go.
He knew it was a serious cliché but he did it anyway. He bent down and picked her up carrying her the rest of the way. Still kissing her, he literally dropped down on top of her onto the bed.
She had her own ideas. She flipped him over and straddled him, devouring him in another kiss.
There were no calendars, no regulations and no SG1. Only the moment mattered and how long they had both wanted this very thing.
They fell asleep from sheer exhaustion waking around 3:00 am, dying of thirst and starving.
They raided Sam's fridge and cupboards.
Sitting at the table, Jack in his Bart Simpson boxers and Sam in his t-shirt, they smiled at each other over tall glasses of ice-cold milk and a pie that they were both attacking with their forks – no plates necessary.
"I love pie," said Jack with a big grin.
"Me to Sir," said Sam.
"Uh, Sam" said Jack, stretching his back trying to regain some of its elasticity. "I don't think after what just happened in that bedroom," Sam just smiled coyly at him, "the living room, and the kitchen. Well, I really think we should be on a first name basis."
Sam laughed as she reached for another fork full of pie "sorry, force of habit."
"So," Jack added "I guess I should bring my checkbook to the auction next month."
Jacob and his friend crept silently through the house. As gently as he could he turned the doorknob to his fathers study and they snuck inside. He quickly closed the door and switched on the light.
"Quick, over here" he whispered to his best friend Chris. Jacob opened the cabinet at the bottom of the entertainment center. Inside it revealed his fathers prized "The Simpson's" DVD collection.
"Here put this one in," Chris whispered to Jacob. "I can't believe your mom won't let us watch these." said Chris. "They're just cartoons."
"Yah, I know. When my parents were first married my dad made my mom watch these all the time. She got so sick of them that she banned them to his study and he's only allowed to watch them in here or when she's not home. We watch them all the time together, but she freaks-out about it. She's always saying what a bad influence he is over me. She says I have his warped sense of humor" said Jacob.
"Yah, your dad is so cool" said Chris.
"Mom's a little on the extreme side, but she can be o.k. most of the time, especially when dad is around. She can never stay mad at him for too long" said Jacob. "My little sister is just like her, absolutely no sense of humor."
"Hey what's this?" asked Chris pointing to a calendar on the wall next to the desk.
"Oh, man why did you have to go and find that" complained Jacob.
"What, she's hot! Hey this calendar is 14 years old" said Chris. "Hey wait," he said, reading the caption below, "is that your mom?"
"Yah, my dad hasn't moved that calendar off July since he got it" said Jacob.
"SHUT UP!" said Chris as he sucker punched his friend in the arm.
"Yuck, you can imagine how much I hate seeing that thing every time I come in here!" said Jacob with a sour look on his face.
"Hey, if my mom ever looked like that I wouldn't mind my friends seeing it" said Chris with a weird smile on his face.
"Don't make me have to hurt you" said Jacob.
Suddenly, Jacob heard his mom yelling for him.
"Jacob Daniel-Teal'c O'Neill, if I find you in your fathers study watching the Simpson's again, so help me God you'll be doing extra physics homework for a month!" yelled Sam from the second floor landing.
Quickly the boys ran out of the room. "No Mom, I was just up here showing Chris Dad's old service medals" yelled Jacob.
"Likely story, hurry up and get washed up for dinner, your Dad and Lizzie will be home soon from Lizzie's swim meet" said Sam. "Christopher, would you like to stay for dinner? Mr. O'Neill will be cooking out on the grill."
The boys were now at the top of the staircase. "Sure thing Mrs. O'Neill" said Chris who was now blushing and looking at Sam with a big grin on his face.
When Jack and Lizzie arrived Sam was in the kitchen getting things ready for dinner. "How did my little dolphin do today?" she asked as she went over and gave her daughter a big hug and a kiss.
"I bested my last timing for the freestyle, but am still a bit slow on my butterfly" said Lizzie as she dumped her gear and ran upstairs to go call one of her friends. "Call me when Dad's finished burning dinner" she said as she was halfway up the stairs.
"Hey, I do not burn dinner!" Jack yelled back at the kitchen door.
"Yes, you do." said Sam as she came over and gave her husband a kiss hello. "Hey, could you PLEASE take down that silly calendar in your study, it's been up for years and I am sick of Jacob's friends seeing it every time they sneak in there to watch your Simpson's DVD's."
"Hey, I am damn proud to be married to a pin-up girl" said Jack as he pulled his wife down onto his lap and passionately kissed her.