[personal profile] babylil
Title: Spontaneous Actions
Author: Lin (hylomorph@gmail.com)
Rating: PG
Written for: [livejournal.com profile] daygloparker
Disclaimer: None of this is mine. It belongs partially to MGM etc., and partly to JJ Abrams.

Summary: "We've been tracking a woman called Anna Espinosa, formerly with a terrorist group known as K Directorate, but now gone freelance. She travelled from Colorado to Cairo on a private plane on Tuesday night, with a woman she appears to have abducted against her will. We're pretty sure the woman is Colonel Carter."

Author's Notes: For Tahlia, for the Sam/Jack Ficathon. Enormous beta-worship to [livejournal.com profile] mandysbitch, who saved this fic from utter disaster. Needless to say the good parts are due to her beta, and the bad entirely my own doing. Finally, props to Ness, who set this whole thing up. Italics indicate flashback.


When Sam awakes she doesn't know where she is. The last thing she remembers is leaving the General's house, embarrassed and distressed. There was somebody waiting by her car. They must have hit her, or drugged her. The stone surface beneath her is rough, and chilled. She opens her eyes, head still fuzzy from whatever was used to knock her out, and looks around. The room is small; no windows, one door, no furniture, no other prisoners, and is weakly lit by a single bare light bulb. Her hands are tied behind her back, and a tug on the ropes prove the knots are secure. Her feet are also bound, but she is not gagged.

She's almost struggled into a seated position when the door swings open, and a tall Latin American woman with a waterfall of thick dark hair flowing down her back enters, along with two burly men Sam presumes to be guards. She gestures to the men to leave them alone and they close the door behind them as they leave.

It isn't until the woman walks right up beside Sam that she notices the bottle of water she is holding. She opens it and holds it out towards Sam, and then smiles as if suddenly realising why Sam isn't holding out her hand to accept it. The woman tips it towards Sam's lips and Sam drinks, water running down her chin.

"Now you will talk." There's a faint hint of Russian in the woman's accent. "Do you know why you are here?"

Sam ignores the question as she shifts on the floor to bring her back towards the woman. "If you want to talk, tell me your name," Sam gestures her bindings towards her captor, "and untie my hands."

"You would like to try and negotiate with me?" The woman laughs. Sam remains silent. "My name is Anna Espinosa, and I will untie your hands when you've demonstrated a desire to co-operate with me."

"With what, exactly, do you want me to co-operate?"

Anna reaches into a linen bag at her hip, withdrawing a metal item adorned with jewels. A Goa'uld hand device. "We are reliably informed that you are the only person on Earth who is able to operate this device. We're going to change that. You're going to teach us how it works."


Sam stood on Jack's porch for five minutes gathering the courage to knock on his door. She had almost made up her mind to go home when Jack opened the door, taking the decision out of her hands. He almost walked right into her before looking up with a start and dropping the trash bag he had been carrying.

"Uh, hey, Carter..."

"Hey, Sir." Sam hoped it was dark enough to hide the blush that stained her cheeks. "Um, nice night, isn't it? Unusually warm for this time of year."

"Sure, it's just peachy." Jack motioned her aside, picked up the bag and tossed it into the trash can by the stairs. "If I'd noticed earlier I might've been hovering around my porch too."

"About that, Sir," Sam said, nervously, determined to get the entire scene over with so she could go home and drown herself in chocolate. "There's something I wanted to..."

Jack turned to go back into the house and gestured for Sam to follow him, taking her jacket and hanging it in the hall, and then turning back to face her. "You were saying something...?"

At that moment Sam lost the ability to verbalise the speech she had been rehearsing all the way over in the car, and so she did the only think she could think of. She took two strides towards Jack and kissed him.


Jack finds out over the phone that Sam is missing, and has been for three days. The call is from somebody Jack hasn't spoken to in almost twelve years. When this mess is behind them and he has time to breathe, Jack expects to feel pretty bad about that.

When Walter tells him there's an Agent Dixon on line two, Jack asks Walter to get rid of him. When Walter stresses that the call is urgent, Jack takes it. Even given the surname in advance the voice on the telephone is the last Jack expects to hear.

"Jack, it's Marcus Dixon. I'm with the CIA now, but we worked together in-"

Jack cuts him off. "I remember. Not to be rude, but how the hell did you get this number?"

"Never mind how I got the number, you should be more interested in why I'm choosing to call it right now. When was the last time you spoke to Colonel Samantha Carter?"

Jack is immediately alert at the mention of Sam's name. When he replies his voice is low and tense. "Around three days ago. What's going on?"

"We've got some intel which I absolutely should not be sharing with you, but I've been following your work a little. I know how important Colonel Carter is. We've been tracking a woman called Anna Espinosa, formerly with a terrorist group known as K Directorate, but now gone freelance. She travelled from Colorado to Cairo on a private plane on Tuesday night, with a woman she appears to have abducted against her will. We're pretty sure the woman is Colonel Carter."

"Do you know who this woman's working for now?"

"Not yet," Dixon says. "All we can say for certain is that last month Espinosa stole an item from the Egyptian government which now also appears to be with her in Cairo. Some kind of top secret artifact, which we believe to have a connection with your facility."

"You think she's stolen a weapon, and she wants Carter to work it for her," Jack says. It isn't a question.


Jack took a step backwards, held Sam at arm's length and stared at her. Her lips were parted, eyes wide. She tried to step towards him, but he kept his arms straight.

"What are you doing, Carter?"

Sam looked confused as she shrugged out of Jack's grip, this time making no move to get closer. "I would have thought that was obvious..." Jack could see the confidence she had felt in the first few moments of the kiss rapidly draining away.

"What about Shanahan? Dammit, Carter, you're engaged!"

"Not anymore."


"Where did you get that device?" Sam asks. If somebody had stolen a hand device from the SGC undetected they must have impressive stealth skills.

Anna smiles a slow, sly smile as she walks over to Sam. "Let's say that it was borrowed from the Egyptian government. Sadly, they lacked the foresight to anticipate its usefulness, and we were forced to, ah, liberate it." Jerking Sam to her feet, Anna pushes her towards the door. Sam's feet are bound loosely enough to prevent her from falling. Anna shouts to the guards in Russian, and when the door opens, Anna pushes Sam towards the larger of the two guards. He half-leads, half-drags her along the dim stone corridor and pushes her before him into another room. The walls are covered from floor to ceiling in glyphs. Sam recognises them: Goa'uld.

Anna walks past Sam to the far wall and points to a section. "These are like nothing we have seen before. I have experts in Ancient Egyptian heiroglyphics, and none of them are able to decipher these passages."

"What makes you think I can read them?" Sam asks. "I'm a physicist, not an archaeologist."

Anna moves to another area of glyphs. She motions to the guard, who pushes Sam closer. Anna points to a glyph that clearly represents the hand device. "We know that this passage concerns the device we have acquired." She points again, this time to different glyph. "We believe this section refers to those who created the device. Tell me what you know about this symbol." The glyph shows a Goa'uld mothership.

"I've never seen it before. I'm a scientist," Sam says. "I can't read any of this. I can't help you!"

"You can operate the device though. You haven't denied it." Anna steps closer to Sam. "Tell me how to make it work, and I'll let you go."

Sam shakes her head. She tries to step away from Anna, but the guard behind her blocks her way. "I can't tell you that."

"It's for healing, isn't it?" Sam looks up, surprised, and Anna's triumphant smile shows that Sam's reaction has proved her right. "I told you I had experts here. They aren't entirely useless."

Anna grabs suddenly for Sam's bound arms, and catches her around the wrist. Pulling Sam closer to her, she traces each of Sam's fingers with her own, appearing to contemplate each one individually until she reaches a decision and jerks Sam's littlest finger backwards violently. Sam hears the crack, and then feels the pain. She cries out, and Anna lets go of her wrist. Sam doubles over and cradles her hand against her stomach.

"Tell me how to work this," Anna reaches into the linen bag once again and withdraws the hand device. "I'll heal your hand, and you can leave."

Sam stays silent. Her hand is throbbing, but she's felt worse pain before and probably will again. She won't give anything away. Anna stares at her for several long moments, and then motions for the guard to take her away.


"Carter," Jack's voice was dangerously quiet. He turned away from her suddenly and went over to the cabinet to pour a drink. He swallowed half the whiskey in his glass before he turned back to her. "What the hell do you mean you're not engaged anymore?"

"Exactly what I said. I broke off the engagement this evening. I came straight over to..."

"Screw me to make yourself feel better?"

"Tell you," Sam finished, weakly. She moved over to where Jack had sunk down on the couch, but didn't dare to sit down beside him. She perched on the arm at the opposite end and waited for him to speak.

Jack swallowed the last of his whiskey and sat the glass on the floor. He looked over at Sam, sitting silently watching him. "What were you looking for here, Carter? Comfort? A rebound relationship to bury yourself in?"

"Sir, that's not why I came over. This isn't how I thought you would react."

"Perhaps you should just go home, Carter."

Sam didn't know what to say. She picked up her purse, shrugged into her denim jacket and walked to the hallway. She turned back just before stepping through the door. Jack was pouring another drink with his back to her. She waited, but he didn't turn around.


The time between Agent Dixon calling Jack to say the CIA had located Anna's exact position and SG-1 actually landing at Cairo West Air Force Base feels more like thirty-six days than thirty-six hours. Jack is still trying to get his head around the fact that Anna seems to be holding Sam in a pyramid. Of all the morbid places to shut somebody up, Anna had to choose a gigantic tomb. Jack refrains from remarking to Daniel that he hopes they took the dead guy out first.

SG-6 are along as back-up, and neither team takes much time getting kitted up and ready to move out. The pyramid Anna has taken over as her base is not among the famous cluster frequented by tourists, but in a more out of the way area, reached by way of an uncomfortable trip in two humvees. They stop in some vegetation and walked the last half mile, watching the stone structure get larger and larger as they approached until it looms over them, casting an ominous shadow.

A perimeter check shows only one entrance, surrounded by several burly guards. Luckily they're clearly not expecting visitors, because they're lounging around, leaning against the wall, chatting and smoking. Jack, Teal'c, and SG-6 take them out in minutes, and brake through the wooden door. They split up to check the rooms off the tiny winding corridors as quickly as possible.


Sam doesn't struggle as the smaller of the two guards manhandles her into another room, unties her hands, and straps her into a chair. There is no point; either guard could take her out with one hand, combat training aside. She doesn't stand a chance against two of them. Brute force isn't going to get her out of the room, and yet it takes all her self-control to stay still as Anna approaches, still carrying the hand device.

"It's such a shame," Anna says. "That you didn't want to help us." She puts the hand device down on the table and rests her hand on the strap holding Sam's wrist to the chair. "We could have avoided all of this." Anna takes hold of the finger next to the one she has already broken. "Are you sure you wouldn't like to tell me what I want to know?"

"I can't tell you how it works!" Sam says. "Even if I wanted to tell you, I couldn't!"

Anna lets go of Sam's finger and stands back. Sam realises even before Anna speaks that her answer has given away too much. "You don't know how it works, do you? You can work it yourself, but you don't know why." Anna grabs the hand device from the table and thrusts its loops onto the fingers of Sam's uninjured hand. "Do it."


Anna takes hold of Sam's finger again. "Do it."

Sam stares back definantly. Anna yanks back, breaking Sam's second finger. This time Sam is expecting it. She grits her teeth and barely grunts at the pain.

Anna is clearly growing frustrated. She unbuckles the strap holding Sam's injured hand to the chair and grips Sam's forearm tightly, her fingernails digging into Sam's skin. "Do it." Anna says, once again.

"Break all the bones you like." Sam says. "I'm not going to help you." Anna's patience gives way. She twists Sam's arm violently until Sam feels something in her elbow crack. Sam screams, and Anna lets her arm fall back to the chair.

"Show me how it works!" Anna shouts. Suddenly she whirls to face the guard in the far corner of the room. She pulls a handgun from a holster on her belt and shoots him. The guard falls to the ground, bleeding from the wound in the right side of his chest. Sam gasps, horrified.

"Are you going to show me how it works?" Anna asks, holstering her gun. "Or are you going to let him die?"


When Jack bursts through the door, Sam is bent over the body of the guard, holding the hand device over his chest with one hand, the other hanging limply by her side. She tries frantically to make it work, but the pain and the panic gets in the way of her concentration.

Anna looks up as Jack arrives, rushing towards him as he yells to the rest of his team, "She's in here!" She swings her fist at his jaw, and connects. Jack staggers backwards, regaining his balance just as Anna delivers a swift roundhouse kick to his stomach. Jack doubles over, winded, and when he looks up again Anna has run for the door. He doesn't follow her, instead moving to where Sam kneels by the guard.

"Carter," he says, touching her shoulder gently. She doesn't even turn, still desperately working on saving the guard. Jack reaches past her to feel for a pulse. "Carter, he's dead."

"No, I can make it work!" Tears streak Sam's dirt-smudged face as it contorts in pain and frustration. "Dammit!"

"Carter," Jack takes hold of Sam's good shoulder and turns her gently to face him. "It's too late. He's already dead."

Sam shakes her head, but doesn't move back to the body. She allows Jack to remove the hand device, and help her to her feet. By the time Daniel and Teal'c arrive she has wiped the tears from her face.

Daniel rushes to Sam's side. "Sam, are you okay?" Sam nods a little in response.

"What happened?" Daniel reaches a hand towards her injured arm but stops short of touching it. "Sorry, Jack." Daniel says. "Espinosa got away. We followed her to begin with but she knows these corridors too well. We couldn't keep up."

"Don't worry about it," Jack replies. "Leave her for the CIA." He touches his hand to the small of Sam's back and leads her towards the door. "Let's just get out of here and go home."


Jack pulls his truck into Sam's driveway, turns off the engine and sits for a moment. Eventually he goes to the door and knocks. After twenty-four hours in the infirmary Sam's home. This is Jack's first chance to talk to her alone.

"Hey," he says, when she comes to the door. "How're you doing?" Sam shrugs and moves her good hand involuntarily to touch the cast that encases her left arm from her wrist to just above her elbow.

"I'm fine. You want to come in?" Jack nods and follows her to the living room. Sam gestures to the couch as she hovers by the kitchen door. "I'll make coffee." Jack doesn't sit, but follows Sam to the kitchen.

"You're not really all right, are you?" Sam spins around, then slumps back against the counter with a sigh. She looks down at her fingers and a shudder runs through her body. "Sam?"

"What's going on with you?"

"What do you mean?"

"Since when do you use my first name?" Sam hugs her injured arm against her chest. "And if I'm pretending to be fine, since when do you call me on it?"

"If I say 'since you dumped the dumbass cop', will you kick my ass?"

Sam raised an eyebrow. "I'll wonder why you're saying that now when last week you were throwing me out of your house."

Leaning forward, Jack strokes a finger along her Sam's cast. "Are you going to, ah, speak to anybody about what went on in Egypt?"

"You mean MacKenzie?" Sam says. "I wasn't planning on it."

Jack avoids Sam's eyes, focusing on the wall behind her head. "Do you want to tell me about it?"

Sam looks confused. "Sir, I'm not sure what's going on here."

Jack takes a step forward and reaches for her arm. "Sam, I've had a week, including five days spent wondering if you were dead, to think about this." He leans over and presses his lips against hers in a replica of the kiss they had shared a week earlier.

"We need to talk about this," Sam says, but with a smile.

"We need to talk about a lot of things, including the regulations we're not going to break and what we're going to do about that, but I thought it was a good idea to make sure I was still allowed to do that before I started talking."

"You're still allowed, despite being an ass." She grinned. "Sir."

"Great, so let's get started on the talking."


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