DISCLAIMER: Not mine, no money, just some fluffy fun.....
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SEQUEL: To Midnight
"Yes Ma'am?" The poor kid had been locked at Attention ever since his sentence had been announced. Did it make Mac an evil Marine to not think to order him to stand easy?
"Colonel Carter is going to ask you some questions - please remember she will know if you're lying and that what happens to you next will be dependant on your answers."
"Ma'am?" The kid was confused, but at least still respectful in his confusion.
"What Colonel Mackenzie means is that you're now under my Command Private," explained Sam kindly, smiling at the tense Marine, "...and you can decide, based on how you answer my questions, what your future career will be. At ease Marine..." she added, almost as an afterthought.
"Did you act alone?"
"Did you share your discoveries with anyone off Base?"
"No Ma'am." So far, Sam's questions were ones that Mac had asked him when he was on the stand.
"Do you believe place faith in a God beyond your scientific knowledge?" It was an oddly framed question, but one that served its purpose, as the kid blinked twice before answering.
"No Ma'am, I read the Bible but agree with Darwin and Hawking Ma'am," explained the Marine, hoping he wasn't sweating too profusely and hoping that, whatever the 'right' answers were, he was giving them.
"Ever wanted to be an astronaut?" It was a casual question, but one that provoked an interesting response - Mac didn't think she'd ever seen a Marine look as green as that before, at least, not without being in some sort of vehicle whilst under attack.
"I don't like to leave the ground Ma'am," came the quiet admission, although, with hindsight, it made perfect sense for a Marine - most of the time, they stayed firmly on the ground.
"Right answer Marine...Packson?" called out Sam, knowing that the two Marines Jack had sent out from the SGC were lurking at the back of the improvised court room.
"He's in...pack him up and ship him out?"
"That's it Ma'am?"
"That's it Private Mikes, you're working for me now."
"Yes Ma'am, thank you Ma'am."
"What time's transport Steve?" asked Sam, turning to the Marine Sergeant she knew quite well from the SGC gym.
"1400 Ma'am, we need to get a move on."
"Understood. Oh, could you give the General this please?" asked Sam, passing an envelop to him.
"Don't look so worried Steve, it's just my leave request form."
"I'll see you at NORAD on Friday Mikes, in the mean time, Steve will look after you."
"Yes Ma'am, thank you Ma'am..." If he was doing the equivalent of 'Grunt Gushing' he didn't care - he was still alive.
"You didn't want him wanting to be an astronaut?" asked Mac curiously as they walked across the base towards their quarters, their vacation officially starting in 57 minutes.
"Not especially," admitted Sam, returning a salute from an Air Force officer.
"But you wanted to be an astronaut."
"Mikes is going to work in a lab, running simulations, making projections, analysing data...I'd prefer it if he had no desire to go further a field."
"You've got more questions now, haven't you?" asked Sam insightfully, wishing she could switch her briefcase to her other hand, but needing to keep an arm free for saluting.
"How could you tell?"
"Your brain is making noises."
"It is not!"
"Actually, no, you're right...it's your stomach," teased Sam, turning to grin at Mac before continuing seriously, "...how about you interrogate me this afternoon?"
"I don't interrogate!"
"Cross Examine then..."
"You've sorted everything?" asked Mac, wondering how Sam had managed to organise everything before the case had started at 0900.
"Yup...seaplane, food, beach hut...you sort your leave?"
"I'm not due back in Washington until Tuesday," explained Mac, taking a salute from a Marine Captain and his men.
"You can fly the seaplane then?"
"Depends - they do lessons so the instructor's going to ride co-pilot with me whilst I go on a short flight - if I pass I can fly it, otherwise he'll drop us off."
"How did you fix that?" asked Mac intrigued, but also glad they were at the entrance to their quarters. It was irritating being the highest ranking officers on base during lunch time - she didn't remember saluting as many times in a 400 yard walk since she'd left Boot Camp.
"Zoomie code - the instructor served under my Father."
"Ah, he was a General," admitted Sam shyly, trying not to let Mac dwell on it - she really didn't like to mention her family connections unless forced to, at least, not unless they were dealing with the Tok'ra.
"Still is, sort of..." hedged Sam, remembering how much paperwork had to be done to return her father to the 'active but never posted anywhere' section of the USAF posting lists - if anyone tried to look too closely for him, he probably had a 'desk' somewhere in a shadowy bit of the Pentagon...but so far, no one had looked that hard.
"Sort of?" Mac wasn't easily distracted.
"Add it to your interrogation."
"I don't interrogate!" protested Mac, stopping outside her door.
"You want to meet out front in 30 minutes?" suggested Sam, thankful of the opportunity to transfer her briefcase to her other hand - she'd had to bring a lot of paperwork 'just in case', although privately, she thought a Zat would have been easier.
"Sounds like a plan." There was an awkward pause, which, had their dress and location been civilian and discrete, would have been filled with a delicate kiss. As much as it frustrated Mac not to be able to follow through on the idea, she did at least derive some satisfaction and warmth from seeing exactly the same thought and frustration flash through Sam's blue eyes as she came to the same conclusion.
"29 minutes Colonel."
"Yes Ma'am." And, winking at the Marine, Sam executed a swift 'about face' on the heel of her regulation dress shoes and entered her room across the hall, an action mirrored by Mac...their vacation began in 28 minutes...and 27 of them couldn't pass quickly enough.
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