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19 May 2012 @ 05:24 pm
Fic: Five Times Jack Met Sam in Alternate Universes (1/5) [SG-1]  
Title: Career Day
Word Count: 1020
Rating: Teen and Up
Original/Fandom: Stargate: SG-1
Characters/Pairings: Jack, Sam
Warnings: references to battlefield deaths
Summary: Captain Jack O'Neill represents the Air Force at a high school Career Day
Notes: written for writerverse Table of Doom Five Times prompt. A five times story in which each 'time' is a story of at least 1000 words.

Career Day

Sam Carter sped into the parking lot, executing a precision parking maneuver into one of the few remaining open spaces. She grabbed her bag and hopped out of the car, hurrying toward the school, increasing her pace as she heard the first bell ring. She was fuming as she jogged down the corridors, scurrying along with the rest of the latecomers, not a position she was used to finding herself in.

She mentally cursed her brother, Mark, for his drunken 3 AM visit. Her father had changed the locks after their last fight, so Mark had had to resort to pounding on the door, yelling to be let in. To keep the peace with the neighbors, Sam had gotten up and let him in, trying vainly to calm him as he railed belligerently at their absent father, who was once again sleeping in his office on base. She had called Mark’s roommate to come get him. It was 4:30 before she got back to bed for what was supposed to be a quick nap before school. And of course, she overslept.

She entered homeroom just as the tardy bell rang and tried to ignore Mrs. Whitesed’s surprised look as she took her seat. The teacher had already started distributing papers to each student.

“Here are your schedules for Career Day.” Sam groaned inwardly as she accepted hers. She had completely forgotten this was coming up; what a way to make an already unbearable day worse. “We have recommended potential career paths based on the aptitude tests you took last month and have noted the booths that should be of greatest interest to you.”

She continued talking as Sam looked down at her schedule, barely resisting the urge to rip it in two when she saw that nearly every branch of the military was highlighted, alongside several high-tech labs and defense contractors. She wondered disgustedly if her father had paid the principal to rig her results.

~ ) O ( ~

Jack O’Neill felt old as he stood behind the table loaded with Air Force publicity materials and watched the high school kids mill around aimlessly. It wasn’t his age; he was still on the right side of 30, at least for another couple of years. No, not age, he mused; it was everything he had seen, everything he had done. He could be 21 and he’d still feel ancient compared to them.

Old and bored, he thought. This was not his idea of a good use of his time, but being stuck on light duty following his latest injury led to crap like this: trying to sell the Air Force to a bunch of kids whose primary goal today was to stay out of class for as long as possible. He’d fielded questions from flirty girls who liked the uniform, jocks looking for bloody war stories, and, surprisingly, one kid who actually had some substantive inquiries.

For the most part though, they all thought it was about fast planes and trick flying. They didn’t realize that one day they’d be holding their CO, their buddy, as he bleeds out on a mission gone FUBAR. And a week after that, they’d be holding his wife as she collapses at his graveside. He winced, trying to rein in his wandering thoughts. It had been a long two years; he thought he’d gotten past it. But then the nightmares started again the night after Sara had said yes.

Bells rang and the next round of students headed in. He idly watched as they came through the doorway. He could almost feel when the tall blonde entered more than see it. Everyone she passed smiled at her, said hi, wanted her to notice them. And she did, free with smiles and kind words. She was definitely someone to be reckoned with in this school.

Christ, he needed to get back into the field; he was threat assessing high school social structures. It was, at best, a little creepy. All the same, he noticed the instant that she threw up a facade.  Her behavior and expression stayed the same, but she lost her awareness, started acting by rote. She pulled into herself and emanated a very subtle stay away vibe; people probably didn’t even notice as they unconsciously allowed her more room. He watched her move blindly toward his corner of the room. She picked up a pamphlet and stared at it.

Sam took a deep breath. This was the last of these little jaunts she had to endure for the day and she could get through without losing it. Then she could go hide in the library for a couple of hours. It was all just so overwhelming, trying to pick a future. One year ago, 366 days to be precise, she and her mom were making plans for a mother/daughter summer trip, visiting schools, researching internships, laughing and excited about all the possibilities lying ahead.

And now, she had to do it all by herself. Mark was living the college life, a little too hard if this morning’s escapade was any indication, and her dad had thrown himself even further into his job. The desk job (and promotion) he had taken “to be closer to his family” had not made him any more present in their lives, physically or emotionally. Sam could go days without seeing either of them.

“Can I help you, Miss?” A kind voice broke into her thoughts and she looked up quickly, seeing only the dress blues, instead of the concern in the warm eyes.

Jack offered a friendly smile, but received only a cold stare in return.

“No, thank you, Captain.”

He nodded, impressed. “You know your ranks.”

“It’s not that hard,” she replied contemptuously.

Jack bit back his knee-jerk response to her attitude. He nodded toward the brochure still in her hand. “You interested in the Air Force? I’d be happy to answer any questions you have.”

She threw the brochure back down. “I know enough to know that I will never go military.”

Jack watched her turn and stalk away, feeling like he had just missed some opportunity there. He just wasn’t sure what it was.

Continue to #2: Proven Wrong

Ami Ven: Team Proseami_ven on June 2nd, 2012 11:27 pm (UTC)
Very nice! Poor Sam and poor Jack--I'm off to read part #2 right now...
magickmoons: classic teammagickmoons on June 3rd, 2012 01:54 am (UTC)
Thanks :)
Kate: J/S_D&Csupplyship on June 7th, 2012 06:26 pm (UTC)
Christ, he needed to get back into the field; he was threat assessing high school social structures. LOL!

I like this - interesting to think about what would happen if they met earlier in life.

magickmoons: sarcastic jackmagickmoons on June 7th, 2012 08:45 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I got a chuckle out of that line myself. It was fun to take them out and play with them in other situations...
Vash: Teslen 1vash26 on June 10th, 2012 09:37 pm (UTC)
That line really stood out for me as well, it's just priceless.
magickmoons: jackmagickmoons on June 10th, 2012 11:43 pm (UTC)