Disclaimer: They're not mine. They're not earning me any money. (And why aren't they earning me any money, come to think of it?)(I suppose someone could tell me the answer to that question, but then they would have to shoot me. Life sucks, ya know?)
The early morning sun was beating down on the empty outside shooting range at the edge of Colorado Springs. The towering majesty of the surrounding Rocky Mountains were still shrouded in clouds and the mist of morning, as it was so early... barely 6:00 by most watches.
But it was 0600, military time. At 0601, Captain Samantha Carter's classic Mustang appeared at a slow crawl as she entered the confines of the shooting range parking lot and looked around. The gravel of the lot pinged harmlessly off the bottom of her car as she finally decided to pull up to the sidewalk leading to and around the fifty yard shooting range.
Captain Carter slowly climbed from her car and looked around again as the slight morning wind scoured her hair back from her forehead.
It appeared that she was the first person to get to the shooting range that morning for the Colonel's first weekly firing practice. SG-1 was scheduled to use the SGC indoor range on a fairly regular rotating basis, trading off with the other four SG teams that had so far been formed. But Colonel O'Neill felt that since SG-1's missions were mostly not going to take place in the cozy and windless confines of the indoors, SG-1 would benefit from shooting in the outdoors, too. To that end, Captain Carter had agreed to meet with the rest of her team members for this rather unorthodox firearm lesson. But she had only the wind, the sun, the birds, and the morning dew to keep her company.
Mindful of the passing time, Sam crossed to her trunk, opened it, and retrieved the handgun that she had been 'permanently' loaned by the base armory, as well as safety glasses, ear protection, a weapons cleaning kit, and a box full of ammo. Opening the box lid, she checked the amount of ammunition still in the box, and idly noted that the level was getting low, and she would soon have to find a gun shop in the vicinity that would replenish her supply.
She was just wondering if the Air Force would 'buck up' for the price of that ammo that she would use in their service, or if she would need to pay for it herself when Daniel Jackson's older car turned into the lot behind her. She watched Daniel slowly circle the range parking lot before coming to a stop next to her.
She was busy wondering if she should ask the Colonel what she could expect from the Air Force regarding who would be paying for her munitions requirements when the Colonel's truck pulled into the lot not far behind Daniel's car. Because the Colonel was driving so slowly, Sam had a clear view of Teal'c in the front passenger seat, excitedly pointing at the many different shooting length possibilities that this outside range offered compared to the relative close confines of the indoor base range. More wind flung Sam's blonde hair back from her cheeks as the Colonel pulled the truck to a stop on the other side of Daniel's car.
Colonel O'Neill climbed out of the driver's side as Teal'c cautiously slid from the passenger side. He glared distrustfully at the safety belt for a second, as if it had 'captured' him and he still didn't quite believe that it wouldn't continue to 'capture' him, but he slammed the truck door a moment later. It stood to reason that if the Colonel had swung by the base to pick up Teal'c, they would end up being a minute or two late arriving for this mandatory shooting lesson that the Colonel had called.
Howdy, campers! Colonel O'Neill hollered to Daniel
and the Captain the minute he was sure they would be able to hear
Fine morning for shooting, huh? Yep, a fine
Jack, Daniel's whiny voice broke through the bird
song and insect noise at the range.
Was it really necessary
to schedule this session so early in the morning? His mouth
cracked open as a huge yawn abruptly stole his breath. When it
was completed, he reached for the cup of coffee that he had
poured in a travel mug, and brought with him.
Some of us need
our beauty sleep, ya know.
'Beauty sleep. Teal'c's flat voice echoed Daniel as
the big alien took on a bewildered expression.
How is extra
sleep helpful in creating beauty? His expression of
And why have I not already witnessed
the benefits of this 'beauty sleep?'
Sam snorted behind her hand as she realized that the Jaffa-turned-good-guy was secretly commenting on Daniel's general lack of... alertness... this early in the morning. Even the coffee the archaeologist kept at his side wasn't really helping in waking the man up to the others around him.
Colonel O'Neill wasn't as good as Captain Carter at hiding
his snort of laughter at the alien's comment. He looked at
Daniel, then said,
I think Teal'c's saying that you aren't
much to look at this early in the morning, Daniel.
Daniel shot them both a sour look.
Yes, and just why
are we here so early? he asked a second time. His
sour expression deepened.
What could early morning possibly
have to do with how well we shoot? Then he added,
my case, not shoot?
Colonel O'Neill was still smirking, and not hiding it, as he
It has nothing to do with how well you shoot,
Daniel's sour expression turned to one of thunder.
why are we..?
The Colonel cut him off, explaining,
We're here, oh
sleepy-head-Dr-Jackson, because this is one of the few times that
I was fairly certain that this firing range would be empty.
The light of understanding was just beginning to creep across
Daniel's eyes as the Colonel went on.
After all, I didn't
want you to shoot anybody if I could help it.
Daniel's look again turned thunderous.
Ha ha, very
funny, Jack. So far, he was the only one on the team who
dared to call Colonel O'Neill by his first name. It came out as
a natural sound from the archaeologist's mouth.
'Jack' slammed the door of his truck, then slapped his hands
together, choosing to ignore Daniel's sarcasm in favor of delving
into the bed of his green Ford truck.
Well, kids, let's get
started, shall we? We don't want to keep Daniel away from his
sudden coffee fixation any longer than we have to.
Daniel took the good-natured ribbing about as well as he
took anything else before his 'coffee fixation' had been appeased
by at least three cups of the dark liquid.
You'd have a
coffee thing, too, if you had just gone a year without getting
anything more caffeinated than ulga juice, Jack. He
proceeded to yank out his firearm, a Beretta 9mm pistol, from the
back seat of his car.
From her vantage point beside her own car, Sam could see that Daniel's personal firearm was unholstered, and the safety wasn't properly engaged. She gave an involuntary shudder, and hoped that the weapon that Daniel was now waving around with abandon wasn't loaded. She moved to put her car more in between her and Daniel anyway, just to be on the safe side.
Colonel O'Neill noticed Sam's sudden move away from Daniel
and his weapon, but didn't comment. Instead, he said,
think I want to know what 'ulga juice' is. He pulled from
his truck the same shooting equipment that Sam had earlier pulled
from her trunk, plus a base med kit. He shook the kit, then
opened it up to quickly peruse the contents before closing it
with a satisfied snap. Then he said to Daniel,
And no, I
don't want any of your 'extra caffeinated coffee.' either. Maybe
you can introduce that to us all on our next mission. He
smirked again at the murderous look in Daniel's eyes, but
For now, let's concentrate on the shooting part of
that upcoming mission, and not the coffee part.
Daniel sighed, visibly reigned in his temper, then shrugged.
Whatever you say, mon Colonel, he joked in a flippant
I just want you to know - before we get started here -
that I've never had to shoot a gun before in my life. He
gave them all a thoughtful expression.
I don't even think
I've actually held a gun before now.
Uh-oh, Sam thought. A novice. And she moved even further behind her car.
But all Colonel O'Neill did was give Daniel a knowing look.
Yeah, well, that's obvious, Daniel. And he walked up to
Daniel's side and slid on the gun's safety in the proper manner.
This is the safety, he informed in his best teacher voice.
It will be your best friend, 'cause it will keep you from
shooting yourself in the foot.
Sam actually did laugh aloud this time as she imagined Daniel hopping around on the one foot that he hadn't just shot off. Daniel heard her, and threw another murderous look her way.
Oh, and I suppose that you did much better than me the
first time you were given a gun, huh? he said to Sam.
Sam's laughing continued, but she gamely replied,
first time I was given a gun, I was twelve years old, and I was
given the gun, but had to earn the money to buy ammunition for
it. My dad had the twisted idea that this was amusing. He said
that I needed the time to 'learn to properly respect' my firearm
before I could shoot it.
The Colonel narrowed his eyes in her direction. Squinting
against the rising sun, he inquired,
But if he didn't want you
to shoot it, how did he expect you to learn about it?
Sam smirked again, and explained,
He expected me to have
to ask his colleagues to teach me how to shoot so that he
wouldn't have to. But instead, I went to the library and checked
out every single book on weapons that I could find; guns,
grenades, swords, claymores, tanks, and nuclear missiles
included. He expected his men to teach me the rudiments of
firearms, and instead got a two hour lecture on the history and
make of every weapon on the planet.
The Colonel laughed a belly laugh that echoed in the valley.
I bet that was unexpected, he said.
Did you finally
earn your ammo then? he asked.
Sam gave a grimace.
Yes and no, she told them.
First he made me go to a range with him and grilled me for
three hours on the use and safety of all those weapons that I had
mentioned... except the tanks and nuclear missiles. It was to
get back at me for lecturing him. And Sam grimaced again at
Once I could discuss everything to his
satisfaction, then I got the money to buy ammo.
Three hours at a shooting range? Daniel questioned in
an incredulous voice.
And he didn't let you fire a single
That's my dad - give em the proper
equipment, except one crucial piece, then see what they'll come
up with on their own. She sighed a dramatic sigh.
next lecture lasted four hours, and was held while the family ate
supper... several times. She smirked again.
That was the
last time he ever tried anything like that with me. With my
brother, he had more success because Mark isn't as curious as I
am. He just wants to get in, and get out, doing whatever he has
to do to meet Dad's 'requirements.'
Teal'c tilted his head at Sam, looking curious as the
Colonel led them all to the 25 yard shooting range.
of you, CaptainCarter? he asked, running the two names of her
title together, as if he was in a race with someone to name her,
and he was losing.
Did you not follow in your brother's
He means 'footsteps,' Sam realized, following
behind even now as she responded,
I'm a bit different, Teal'c,
and if Dad had bothered to think about that for one minute, he
would have realized it. Memories of her childhood suddenly
barraged her, mostly thoughts about how her father had often
brushed what he knew about her aside simply because of her
gender. She hadn't been amused when she figured that out!
The next time he tried doing that, I assembled the gun he'd
given to me from scratch right in front of him and his men, then
fired it better than most of them could fire a weapon. She
grinned a disarming grin at this particular memory.
thoroughly embarrassed, and never tried to 'teach me a lesson'
But instead of reacting to her story, the Colonel stared at
How accurate were you? he asked again,
looking at her for more clarification.
Sam wondered what this had to do with anything, but she
I had practiced for a year and a half with a
Nerf gun in my room until I was ninety-eight percent accurate to
the target I had painted on my wall.
The Colonel actually blanched.
Ninety-eight percent, you
Sam gave a halfhearted shrug of her shoulders.
But I hadn't taken into account that real guns loaded with real
bullets weigh so much more than Nerf guns. Another shrug.
So I was only about eighty percent accurate the first time I
shot for my dad. But, yeah, I was at ninety-eight percent in my
bedroom. Then she gave a laugh.
That is, until Dad
discovered the target I had painted on my wall. She guffawed
He made me write 'I shall not draw on walls' a
thousand times, then repaint my whole bedroom by myself.
And how old did you say you were? the Colonel asked
Sam thought about the event in question to make certain that
she was ascribing it to the right year.
Yeah, I was right
before - twelve, going on thirteen.
In that instant, Sam saw a look go streaking across the Colonel's eyes - it was a look that Sam knew well. She'd seen it with every male Commanding Officer that she'd ever had in the Air Force. He doesn't believe me, she thought to herself, her heart strangely falling to her toes, even though, if she thought about it, she realized that she should have anticipated this reaction to this particular story. Many people, men especially, hadn't believed her when she told it in the past. She was almost used to it. So why did it seem so much worse to her now?
Unbidden, memories of the most disbelieving man of them all, Jonas Hansen, flew into her consciousness. She immediately stifled them, refusing to allow them to take over with their promise of unpleasantness. She refused to give Jonas, even an absent Jonas, the satisfaction of knowing that he could still affect her. She vowed once again to never let a man have that much control over her well being again. She would just have to stay away from sharing such a romantic relationship as she'd shared with Jonas with any man she met in the future.
Thinking that that wouldn't be too hard, she again trained her eyes on the Colonel - the wind was blowing his hair around enough to make him look far younger than his years. Sam felt her toes give a tingle at that thought.
It was clear that the Colonel didn't know what to do with the information that she had given him a moment before. He was flummoxed at the idea of a woman shooting so well, she figured.
Finally Colonel O'Neill settled on saying,
Be that as it
may, Captain, a refresher course on guns and shooting safety
isn't out of order right now. He laid out the many handguns
that he had brought with him for a bout of 'show and tell.' He
acted like he was planning to launch into a demonstration of
each, but spoke to her under his breath.
You might encourage Daniel to shoot his foot off if he
tries to do the ninety percent thing.
Her heart lifted at his joke. It was almost as if they were
sharing an inside commentary on the situation. Good humor
restored, Sam replied,
That would be bad, wouldn't it,
Jack gave a lopsided smirk that he tried to contain. Again,
it was only for her.
If he shoots his foot off, that will
lead to replacing him, endless paperwork, everything in
triplicate... His voice trailed off as he shook his head,
his brown hair glinting enticingly in the sunshine.
Yep, that would be bad, Sam proclaimed, attempting to
ignore the way her stomach gave a sudden twinge of pleasure at
the way his hair was sparking in the sun. What was wrong with
I'll try to contain my know-how, this once, for Daniel's
Thanks for the help, Captain. Colonel O'Neill winked
before whirling back to face Daniel and Teal'c.
what we're going to do.
Sam listened to the instructions about gun safety that were so familiar to her with half an ear. She was contemplating the strange twinge her stomach had made just now with the other half of her attention. Was it possible that, despite the oddly disappointing way Colonel O'Neill had received news about her shooting skills, she was developing a case of hero worship about him?
Her gaze sharp, Sam looked in the direction of the three men, finally settling on the Colonel as he talked about the finer points of 'not shooting your foot off' to his three team members.
And this is how you load a magazine, he was saying,
the wind carrying his voice straight to her as she continued
When had these feelings started? Sam now wondered. Had it been during the Abydos mission? In the Briefing Room? As she stared at picture of Colonel O'Neill in his file while doing her last months' reading assignments?
Sam had to admit that looking at his picture and reading his past mission reports had filled several of her evenings in DC before her transfer had been finalized. She had hardly noticed when her actual transfer to the SGC was going to take place. Her interest had doubled when she discovered that the Colonel was currently estranged from his wife. But she had neglected to wonder just why her interest existed in the first place.
'Magazine' and not 'clip?' Daniel was asking.
is that distinction important?
Teal'c chose that moment to ask,
And why is it required
that I learn of your weapons, O'Neill? I will be using my own
staff weapon much of the time.
Colonel O'Neill slipped a magazine into the Ruger 22 he was
currently demonstrating, and clicked it in place as he said,
And what happens, Teal'c, if there ever comes a time when you
don't have a staff weapon, or can't reach one, but have a sidearm
like this Beretta? He held up the gun in question as Teal'c
looked on, but his rhetorical question caught Teal'c off guard.
I don't want you to have to someday rely on one of us to
defend you - we might all be dead, and the mission going
waaaaaaay South. I want you to at least know how these handguns
work even if you never have cause to fire one.
Good point, Jack, Daniel said in appreciation.
Colonel O'Neill glanced up from the gun in his hands.
You sound surprised, Daniel, he commented.
this a lot of thought, you know. He replaced the 9mm on the
towel he'd brought along to protect the finish on the guns, then
gestured to the two men and one woman.
Now, I want you three
to load your weapons... and don't shoot them! Daniel, where's
the safety? Show me first, then you can start loading.
Daniel gave a loud sigh, as if aggravated, but did as he was
It's here, Jack. Then you flip this thing, and then I
can... 'load,' is that what you called it?
Colonel O'Neill also gave an aggravated sigh.
Daniel, that's what...
Done. Sam usually didn't interrupt a superior
officer, but the Colonel wasn't saying anything too important, so
she didn't feel that she was overriding relevant information when
The Colonel reared back a little.
What? Already? he
Teal'c and Daniel were both fumbling with the unfamiliar
ammunition, but Sam's gun sat fully loaded before them.
Sir, she answered, in full military mode now. Then she
realized that it sounded as if she was using her fast reloading
skills to show off to the three men, and nothing could be farther
from the truth. She was just so familiar with these jobs that
she hadn't thought first.
Now she offered to the Colonel,
You can check it if you
want, Sir. And she gestured to her own 9mm resting on the
towel before them.
The Colonel picked up the gun she had just loaded, noted
that the safety was properly engaged before releasing the
magazine into his hand, and checking that the chamber was empty.
Inspecting it all, he vaguely said,
Yeah, looks good. His
sharp gaze then turned straight on her.
But can you shoot it?
That's the question.
I already explained that I... Sam began to say.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, Colonel O'Neill interrupted her.
He looked part aggravated, and part amused by her attempt at a
So you say, Captain. But I'm... almost... from
Missouri - you have to show me. He spoke in a not unkind
voice, but definitely in what sounded like the familiar
prove-it,-you're-a-girl tone that Sam had heard so often that she
was honestly looking to hear it now.
His tone irritated Sam to no end.
Sir, she noted in
My gender has nothing to do with how well I
Brow furrowed, the Colonel stopped her with his
What does your gender have to do with it?
he asked, cutting her off once again. Obviously he had no
trouble with interrupting a subordinate. His voice was now that
of a confused person.
I was referring to the fact that you
claim to be a scientist, and in my experience, scientists don't
know much about guns.
Daniel raised his hand.
Yep, one scientist here who's
about to shoot his foot off.
The Colonel gave her a vindicated look.
notwithstanding... it's your 'shooting soldier' versus your
'scientific background' that has me a bit baffled, Captain. It's
not every day that I meet a scientist/soldier/shooter all rolled
up in one person. Give poor Daniel's brain a chance to get used
to this idea of a shooting scientist before you start 'jumping
the gun,' as they say, ok, Captain?
Scientist. Not because she was a woman. Sam's face fairly
burst into flame as a blush ate across her fair skin.
sorry, Sir, I just...
But Teal'c cut into her apology.
What is this 'jumping
the gun,' O'Neill? CaptainCarter did not 'jump' anything. Does
this have something to do with loading this weapon?
The Colonel sent one last smile Sam's way before turning to Teal'c in order to explain the saying, and to inspect his weapon.
In the meantime, a mortified Sam berated herself, Stupid! Don't assume that just because you've been sidelined before because you're a woman that it's going to happen now!
Her eyes closed to help control her mortification. Because
of the way she was watching the red and yellow of the sun from
behind her eyelids, Sam didn't see the Colonel turn back to her,
but she sensed his movement, and opened her eyes just before he
Everything alright, Captain? Any 'weapons lectures'
that we still need?
Lectures... As if Sam thought she knew better than a Colonel...
Shame blossomed inside her at his words to sit next to her sense of mortification, and her blush deepened. How could this have gotten so bad in such a short time? Next he would be transferring her off his team for her way of displaying a shitty attitude, and she wouldn't blame him. Thus, she was doubly surprised when his softer voice reached her ear.
Cut me some slack, Sam, he suggested.
been military for a long time, and now that I've been recalled,
I'm a bit nervous. I don't want to screw this up - the next
thing we know, Daniel will probably shoot his foot off, followed
by Teal'c doing the same thing, and Hammond will want my head on
a platter. So use that big, scientific brain of yours, and help
me out, here.
Had she heard correctly? He was asking her to...? And he thought she had a big brain? He wasn't scared of it, like most other COs would be, but actually asking her to..? Did she dare say it? A man... a military man... asking for her... help?
Half convinced that she had misunderstood him, and that he instead wanted her to leave that huge feminine chip on her shoulder at home next time they did 'man' things, like shooting, she stared at him, her eyes wide, but was too surprised to say anything to his speech.
What? he inquired as to her wide-eyed look of
You've never had a CO ask for your help
Sam blinked, and gave her head a violent shake.
no, Sir, she squeaked.
This is a first.
Colonel O'Neill gave a bark of incredulous laughter that
gave the indication that he was as astounded as she was.
Never? he asked as if he truly didn't believe her this
The whole concept of a male CO asking for her help was
completely foreign to Sam. She didn't know how to respond.
Uh... no, she truthfully said again.
Most of the time,
they give me orders not to spill their coffee all over their
uniforms. Sir, she belatedly added, a hint of respect now in
her tone. How funny - she had never truly respected a CO... a
male CO... before - she'd never had reason to.
Her answer seemed to incense Colonel O'Neill.
he barked, his loud voice making her give a jump back.
didn't even ask you to... I don't know... do your magic science
thing, and save their butts?
A ghost of a smile suddenly wormed across Sam's face -
'butts'... no CO ever spoke that way... so... irreverently. Sam
immediately liked it. No matter how she was used to being
treated by other men, or how other officers spoke, this
man was certainly far more unpredictable - in a good way.
Only in extreme situations, Sir, she slowly told him.
I found that doing what I was told, not making waves, and
trying to be invisible is the best way to go as a woman in the
Air Force... Sir.
The Colonel's expression grew to show pensive revulsion.
The morons, he announced under his breath. But as if he
inherently understood what she was saying, and understanding the
possible situations that would make her say something like this,
he shook his head to illustrate his own disbelief.
you ever have a good idea, let me know about it, even if you have
to beat me over the head to get me to listen... not because
you're a woman, but because I think all my work with explosives
has made me hard-of-hearing.
He wanted her to... share? As in, her ideas? Whoa! This
was something waaaaaay out of Sam's personal Air Force
Sir? she doubtfully questioned, not knowing
what else to do with an order like his last one. Was he,
The Colonel gave her a long-suffering sigh, doing things to
her knees that she didn't want to contemplate just then. He
Captain, you out-degree me by about twenty or
thirty degrees - we're going to constantly come up against 'the
universe works this way, and you're too stupid to know it,
O'Neill,' but I know that I don't have to know everything,
because you already know it for me. Just... And he cast a
glance at the big Jaffa standing behind them with Daniel
discussing the finer points of staff weapons versus firearms.
They weren't listening to a thing she and the Colonel were saying
to each other. So the Colonel went on,
Just... remind me with
a kick to the head if I ever get too big for my britches out
there. And he glanced up at the sky.
Like Hammond said,
you're way smarter than I am - I know that. And you should
expect me to remember it. Then he smiled, a full blown
smile, and Sam felt her insides explode into mush.
And if I
don't remember it, you can plaster me at our next paint ball
This was nuts... she wasn't hearing him right. Had he just offered to let her nail him to the wall... paint wise... if he showed that he didn't automatically respect each and every one of her degrees? He wasn't automatically intimidated by them? Intimidated all the way to Abydos and back?
With as much suddenness as he had shown her, Sam also smiled
a full smile, something she hadn't done for someone not related
to her for at least a decade.
You're on, Sir, she
promised. And if she thought about it too deeply, she would vow
other things to him as well.
Which was odd. Typically, she spent months evaluating new people she met in her work. She always had to decide how best to deal with them. Well, if she were honest with herself, she usually had to decide how best to deal with their chauvinism. But now she found herself willing to trust this Colonel without so much as a 'by your leave.' It was... weird.
But trust him she did. Already. And it was a deep, abiding trust, not an anemic trust at all. And it had happened over a very short time period, especially for her, the most untrusting soul where men were concerned in the entire world.
But they weren't going to be dealing with their own world, she reminded herself. And she should expect the people in her new 'universe' to be completely different than those she had previously known.
Well, this was a surprise.
After her vow, Colonel O'Neill gave her a little head bob.
Now, let's go show these silly civilians how it's
I heard that! Daniel remarked so fast that Sam again
laughed, appropriate or not. He went on to add,
Teal'c's feelings if you call him a civilian again.
Sam ignored Daniel's commentary, and smiling the entire time
at the Colonel, said,
I'd be delighted to, Sir.
Huh. A CO who wasn't automatically put on edge just because she was a woman. What a new experience!
And when she beat him at target practice at seventy-five yards, he promised to buy breakfast for her and the team as a reward.
Not once did she ever suspect that he was fooling with her, 'yanking her chain,' as the saying goes. But then, she didn't have to be on her guard - she suspected that not only was Jack O'Neill big enough to not 'let' her win, but man enough as well to admit that she was just a slightly better marksman than he was when she outshot him all on her own merit.
By the end of the shooting lesson, it was official - Sam Carter would bend over backwards for Jack O'Neill, just because he had listened to her - for the first time among many times.
The fact that one smile from him was all it took to turn her insides to Jell-O was beside the point.
Later she decided during breakfast that this was the most well deserved case of hero worship the she had ever had. At the table in the Colonel's favorite diner, Sam's gaze was caught by something the Colonel did while speaking to Daniel. He caught her glance, and smiled at her. Despite its sarcastic demeanor, it was still a grin of epic proportions.
Sam couldn't help herself - she smiled back, and she knew that her eyes twinkled when she did.
Yep, the biggest case of 'worshiping an older man' that she had ever had.
When her insides started doing a little dance every time he so much as grinned at her, she thought to suddenly question herself: at least, she thought this was a case of hero worship.
Suddenly, her eyes widened - what if what she was feeling was more? Was that it? Was she feeling... more... than just hero worship?
Sam spent a moment on deep introspection, searching her mind, scanning, evaluating. It was what she did best.
Abruptly, she gasped.
God, Sam, why don't you just shoot yourself in the foot!
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