Disclaimers and other info in part 1.
Okay. This was awkward.
Mac studied the intricate piece of technology on the table. She didn't dare touch it. It looked very... explosive.
"So what do you think the general meant by 'get to know each other a little better'?" Mac asked.
Sam, her head bent over schematics on her desk, replied, "I have no idea. You want to go first?" She looked up, and Mac saw that mischievous look again.
She smiled and shrugged. "Why not?" She was silent. "Uh... where should I start?"
"Begin at the beginning."
"Okay. Um... well, I spent most of my life in the southeastern US. My father was an NCO in the Corps, so we moved around a lot."
"I know all about that, believe me," Sam interjected. "My father was an Air Force officer."
"Well... my father wasn't a very nice man." Understatement was one of her stronger points. "He abused my mother. She abandoned us when I was fifteen."
"I'm sorry, Colonel." She looked truly sorrowful.
"Call me Mac. If I'm telling you all the deep, dark secrets of my life, I'd rather not be called by my rank."
"Same here. Call me Sam."
"Sam it is."
"You know, it's odd," Sam reflected. "My mother died when I was fifteen."
The situations were different, but the similarities were... "Weird."
"I'd say." Sam studied Mac. "So what made you join the Marine Corps?"
A pained look crossed over Mac's face. "I'd... rather not get into all that. Let's just say... I made some bad decisions, but I was fortunate to have family who did care about me." Sam nodded, not pressing for details, which, strangely, made Mac want to tell her more. Maybe that was why the therapy sessions hadn't worked.
"After Mom left, I started drinking. A lot. I started skipping school, stealing cars, and hanging out with bad company. I managed to graduate. However, my best friend died in a car accident on graduation night." Sam took a deep breath in shock. "I was in the car with him."
Odd, how easy it was to talk to this woman. "My uncle Matt found me in the hospital. He took me up to Red Rock Mesa and dried me out."
"The place where we found you?"
"Yeah. That was probably the hardest time of my life. Harder than Parris Island, even," Mac chuckled weakly. "But I made it. I joined the Corps, worked my way through law school, and here I am. A lieutenant colonel, the former JAG's chief of staff, childless, alone, and deadly."
"Deadly?" Sam raised an eyebrow. It was oddly reminiscent of Teal'c.
She let out a harsh laugh. "Like a black widow. Nearly everyone associated with me is dead--or have had their lives destroyed."
Sam's lips twisted into a bitter smile. "Believe me, I know how that feels, as well."
"My boyfriend was shot by my stalker."
"My ex-fiance was killed by a tribe who thought he was their god."
"My ex-lover--also my ex-CO, by the way--had his career destroyed when our affair was discovered."
"My symbiote's mate was killed by my own hand."
"Okay. I killed my husband when he tried to shoot said ex-lover and CO."
"A man who loved me had his planet invaded by the Goa'uld."
"I'll give you points for exoticism." Mac smirked. "My ex-fiance left me after my best friend crashed in the Atlantic the night before our wedding, and I refused to reschedule until I knew he was all right." Sam winced. "Oh, and the latest--my boyfriend drowned in a classified location before search-and-rescue could locate him."
Sam stared at her, then blurted, "Holy Hannah. We're dangerous women."
They laughed together, easing the tension that had been building in the room. Mac asked, "So what made you join the Air Force?"
"Like I said, my father was Air Force. And I always wanted to go into space, and the first step for a lot of astronauts was the Air Force."
"Looks like you got your wish."
Sam sighed. "And nearly lost my father in the process."
"What do you mean?" Mac asked.
"Dad had arranged for me to get into the training program at NASA. At that point, I couldn't tell him about the Stargate program. And he didn't tell me that he was dying from cancer until it was almost too late." Sam rubbed her eyes. "Fortunately, we had just met the Tok'ra, and Dad agreed to become a host. Selmak saved his life."
Mac was silent. "Your dad almost died of cancer?"
"My dad died of cancer five years ago." They looked at each other.
"Okay. This is officially creeping me out," Sam declared.
"Really? It's depressing me," Mac replied.
"You know what we need?"
"Chocolate. Lots and lots of it."
The two women laughed and headed for the commissary.