Disclaimer: Nope... Own nothing... Got no money for writing this fic...

A/N This story was roughly inspired by the 1981 song 'Centerfold' by the J. Geils Band, and the Stargate SG-1 fanfiction story called 'My Angel Is A Centerfold' by Matt, found at the SJD Internet website. Thanks go to both, though I first heard the song, and read the story looooong before this story was even a germ of an idea in my somewhat diseased brain.

Centerfold

by Linda Bindner

Colonel O'Neill pushed his way through the double doors into the Commissary, whistling a jaunty tune the entire time. He was in a darned good mood... His paperwork... which he had been putting off for a week... had gone much faster than he'd anticipated. He had time to visit the Commissary before SG-1's briefing scheduled at 1500... Also, SG-1 was scheduled for one week of downtime after that very briefing in the near future... And when he looked, there was exactly one piece of cake left in the Commissary dessert carousel...

He pulled it out, grinning, and grabbed a fork and a cup of coffee on his way to an empty table near one side of the room. He sighed happily as he sat down in one of the chairs, and pulled it up to the table. He took a bite of the chocolate cake smeared with cream cheese frosting, then sighed again, this time in ecstasy as the icing filtered over he edges of his teeth. Ah... Sugar high! He appreciatively smiled, then slowly chewed the bite of cake he'd taken, his face as relaxed as he was feeling.

Eventually, the normal chatter of the Commissary wormed its way into his consciousness, and he could hardly help but overhear the conversation of the two Marines sitting at the table nearest to the one he'd chosen. They were both grouped around something that one of them held in his hand, and they both had huge grins on their faces as their perusal continued. Jack went on eating his cake, and listened while trying not to look like he was listening. But it was hard to miss what the two men were saying. They certainly weren't staying quiet.

Yeah, that's what I'm talking about! one of the men loudly proclaimed as he gazed appreciatively at whatever he was holding.

Let me see! demanded his companion.

The first man thrust whatever it was open in front of the other man. It appeared to be some kind of calendar... Jack surreptitiously tried to spy the title of the calendar as the second man avidly looked at whatever Jack was busy peering at.

Babes of the SGC.

What kind of title was that? Jack asked himself. Babes? As in, girls? As in females? As in, female soldiers? Did that mean that..? Or was he getting paranoid again? Jack sweated as the Marines went on enjoying the... whatever it was.

Where did you get this? the second Marine asked his friend as he turned a page.

I signed up to get one after promising to give ten dollars to some charity that the group who's behind this calendar were supporting.., the first answered.

Does Patty know?

The first man gave a start. Hell no! he responded with a snort. This calendar's for a good cause, for sure, but I'm not gonna take it home so that my wife can see it! What do you think I am, Dave? Stupid?

So where's it gonna hang? the aforementioned Dave asked. Your office?

I might leave it in here so that it can be... um... enjoyed, the first man said, and grinned. I know that I'm sure enjoying it!

Dave sighed as if he were in heaven. Girls dressed in bikinis and swimsuits, playing sand volleyball... I don't think it gets much better, I admit...

The one holding the calendar snorted again. And all this time I thought you went for the girls with the guns...

Dave snickered back at him. No, that's you, Tom.

Tom rubbed his chin in concentration. I won't tell Captain Baker if you don't...

Mum's the word, Dave promised. She won't hear anything from me... Hey, he suddenly grabbed the calendar from his friend. Is she in here, do ya think?

Tom grabbed the calendar back. Well, even if she is, she sure as hell ain't the centerfold of this thing.

Dave cackled. She'll be in one of the pictures of a girl holding a big gun...

Scary, Tom remarked then.

Jack glanced down until he seemed to be far more interested in the cake still on his plate than in what had captured the Marines' attention. Idly, a stray thought slipped across his mind, picturing what Carter might look like in a bikini, playing sand volleyball... Except that she would never wear something so dumb as a bikini while playing volleyball, he admitted to himself. Her stubborn character streak made her too determined to win something like a volleyball game to wear anything as useless as a bikini while playing it. Jack grinned, enjoying his thoughts even as he realized how silly he was being. He liked Carter just the way she was... Big guns notwithstanding...

Then a dissatisfied cry suddenly carried over to Jack. That's the centerfold? Tom yelped.

Dave grabbed the calendar again, but by the look of disappointment that crossed his face, he agreed with his friend. Huh. There isn't even any sand...

Tom grabbed the calendar. Gimme that! Then he hit his friend in the shoulder. You dolt! Of course there's no sand! Sand and motorcycles don't mix!

Jack perked up at the word 'motorcycle.' Carter owned a motorcycle, and even though that fact probably had nothing to do with this Babes of the SGC calendar, he couldn't help his morbid thoughts running rampant as the two men continued to look at the publication.

Actually, the idea of making a calendar of the female employees of the SGC rather repulsed the staid Colonel. He saw it as a juvenile appeal to the male soldiers' more basic instincts. But he also couldn't quite squash his curiosity about it, either.

Dave sniggered once more. I like the helmet, he said as he perused the picture.

Who is it? Tom inquired. You keep moving the picture... He made a grab for the calendar edge closest to him, and held the corner of the calendar with a steadying hand. Is it Baker?

Dave shook his head. No, it's the brain... You know... That Carter person...

Tom looked more closely. Major Carter? he incredulously asked. That one that everyone salivates over?

I'm not salivating over her! Dave denied.

Yeah, right! Tom exclaimed with a snort of disbelief. You follow her around like a damn puppy!

Dave looked offended. Well, at least I'm not staring at her guns when I do! Not like you do!

Tom critically eyed the calendar's centerfold. She ain't got any guns! he scoffed.

Dave squinted. Says here that she's a crack shot, though. Part of SG-1. Goes off world every week.

Isn't that Colonel O'Neill's command, or somethin'? Tom asked.

I thought SG-1 was a five guy team...

Tom snorted again. Well... It says here that the bike is a... What?

Restored Indian, you..! Dave clobbered Tom on his shoulder this time, then kept reading the paragraph of personal details that had been included with the picture. Says here that she enjoys cats, working in her lab, her team, her bike, and firing weapons at moving targets... Hey, Tom, big guns... The girl for you!

Another snort came from Tom's nose. No way! That big guy on her team would kill me if I even looked at her wrong! I don't wanna die or nothin'!

Jack grimaced to himself while he looked down at his now empty plate, picturing an image of Teal'c growling at these tough sounding guys, scaring them to death while in the men's locker room. The image was strangely satisfying even as it was disturbing... Did Carter need Teal'c to look after her like that? Was there something going on that he didn't know about?

Suddenly Tom snapped the calendar closed. I think we should just leave it here...

But we ain't done lookin' at it, yet! Dave protested.

Tom stood up, his chair scraping on the linoleum floor. I've seen enough...

Tom...

Tom stopped, and turned to gaze at his friend. Come on Dave, he said, disgust clear in his voice. She ain't even wearing a swimsuit, to say nothin' of a bikini...

Dave continued to thumb through the calendar for a moment. Yeah, and there's sure no guns. He laughed at the expression on Tom's face.

Cut it out! Tom shot back. Puppy!

Ruff, ruff! Dave barked at him. He dropped the calendar to the table top to follow his friend towards the door.

Come on, let's get outa here, Tom said as they headed for the way into the corridor. We've got a briefing in twenty, anyway. The two men left.

Jack watched them go from the corners of his eyes. When he was sure they had disappeared into the corridor, he counted to ten to make sure they weren't coming back for some obscure reason. Then, moving slowly, trying not to attract any attention with the movement, he first grabbed an unattended newspaper lying on a far table, then stealthily picked up the calendar as well on his way back to his chair. He calmly resumed his seat, and forced himself to at least glance at the headlines on the front page of the newspaper before he allowed himself to look at the calendar.

The cover showed a woman he didn't know, dressed very inappropriately in a swimsuit and a black combat vest, leaning casually against the ramp leading to the Stargate in the 'Gate Room. He couldn't keep his eyes from rolling, or shaking his head at the picture in front of him. Of all the silly poses...

He carefully flipped the pages, then, and the calendar fell open at its center seemingly of its own volition. He was interested in who was in the image despite trying to look as uninterested as possible.

One glance, and he knew without a doubt that he was staring at Carter... She was in her lab, sitting sideways on her restored Indian motorcycle, helmet under one crooked elbow, that in turn supported her chin with her fist. She was dressed in black leather pants, black boots with two inch high heels... Hence the reason for such a tall woman to be sitting down while wearing such high healed boots... A hot, red tank top adorned her torso.

Unbidden, Jack recalled his comment to her years before about liking the tank top she had worn during that Neanderthal plague fiasco when she had kissed him in the locker room, and he instinctively knew that her skimpy shirt was meant just for him. One leg braced against the floor as she sat on her motorcycle, and a black leather coat was negligently flung across the bike's engine, as if she'd just been wearing it for a ride, and was resting it on the bike while she cooled off. Her other leg was bent at the knee and propped on one of the cycle's foot rests. She had a knowing, dreamy look in her eye as she stared at the camera. The smile on her face was inviting, mischievous, and the twinkle in her eyes... Jack grinned, appreciating the expression on her face as well as the blueness of her gaze...

It was the damned sexiest picture that Jack had ever seen taken of Samantha Carter. The irony in the fact that she was fully clothed, making the photograph perfectly decent, even though it was the centerfold of the calendar, wasn't lost on Jack, either. Fully dressed as she was, even he had to admit that this was one hot picture taken of his usually scientific-minded Major. He soaked in the image of this 'sexy babe' like it was more cake.

Though he wasn't certain that he liked the idea of everybody staring at her. He liked the second idea to come to his mind much more; that the photo had been meant specifically for him, and hadn't just been meant for the calendar and a good cause.

After several moments had passed, Jack snapped the calendar closed, but couldn't help but wonder what Sam had been thinking about as the camera had snapped her picture. It was quite obvious that she had been looking beyond the camera, or had been thinking about something that the casual observer couldn't see... The dreamy 'come-hither' expression on her face was part of the picture's natural appeal, after all, and was what made it, and her, so successfully... irresistible.

Jack stuck the calendar under the newspaper he had swiped, then stood, and, after depositing his empty plate on the kitchen tray return, casually left the Commissary, his hands stuck in his pockets. He was aiming for the nonchalant look as he strolled down the corridor outside the Commissary, but was just as suddenly so nervous that he had to wonder how well he was pulling off the careless attitude.

As he walked, looking calm and carefree on the outside, Jack's mind was actually in turmoil. He had enjoyed looking at the picture, no doubt, and wouldn't mind doing so again. But, was it possible that whoever had taken that picture of Sam knew about his and Carter's relationship as it now stood? The professional relationship that they had always openly shared illustrated the respect and loyalty they had felt for each other since the beginning of the Stargate Program. But, since then, it had subtly mutated into a far more personal relationship that was as great a joy to Jack as it was a secret kept from those in the very Program that they played a part in on a daily basis. There was always the risk of discovery for them, and he had always found that neither of them could ever be too careful in any given situation.

So it was with a little fear in his heart that he slowly traversed the SGC corridors until, unannounced, he casually strolled into Carter's lab. She gave a start and a jerk of her head when he called out to her, Hey, Carter, whatyadoin'?

When she had discerned who had startled her, and her heartbeat had calmed itself, she looked up and smiled. For the benefit of anyone passing by in the corridor outside her lab, she launched into a scientific diatribe that made no sense, but was a bunch of technological mumbo jumbo all strung together, detailing the afternoon she'd had. In reality, she was taking the opportunity the diatribe offered her to cautiously slide a small piece of paper and a wallet sized photo out from under her computer resting on her workbench. She pushed both towards him, inserted the words, 'For you,' into her speech, then went on with her mumbo jumbo like she hadn't said anything that actually made sense, and didn't look at him. But she couldn't quite suppress the slight grin that crossed her face as she continued to gaze at her computer screen.

Jack raised his eyebrows at her when she finally slipped into silence. He had covertly covered the small paper and picture on her desk with his hand. He palmed them, then scooped them up, hidden by his wide fingers. Then, he slipped his hand inside his trouser pocket, hidden from view, blinked, and said, Since I understood only a few words of what you just said, I'll leave you to whatever... He gestured at the device spread out in front of her, then went on, Whatever it is that you're doing. He slowly backed out of the room. It looked like he was trying to escape the lab, and her presence, after so much scientific talk. He gave both her computer and the alien technology occupying her lab suspicious glances as he went. Don't get too caught up in whatever you're doing and forget about that briefing we have in a few minutes...

Do you know what it's all about? she asked, looking curious now.

O'Neill puffed out a breath, and paused at the door to her lab. Something about the Tok'ra needing our help, or experimenting on us again, or something like that.

Carter smiled at him. I'm sure you'll assure them that they'll have every bit of our cooperation, right, Sir?

Jack had to grin back at her. Oh, you know me and the Tok'ra, we're such good pals that we squeak.

Sam laughed when she heard that comment. Right, Sir. See you there.

Jack nodded before heading now for the privacy of the unobserved men's locker room, where he waited until it emptied, then carefully drew out the picture and the paper that Carter had given to him. The picture was a small replica of the calendar centerfold that he had been gazing at only moments earlier. But this was one was meant just for him. She must have ordered this wallet sized photo when the calendar picture was originally taken, with the express desire that he have a copy of it.

The paper was equally as tiny, with Carter's scrawling handwriting on one side of it. She had written 'No one knows a thing... Stop worrying' on the paper. Jack had to laugh when he read her words... Did she know him darned well, or what?

Then, he quickly stuffed the scrap of paper under his foot, where no one was sure to find it, even if he was ordered to empty his pockets. He replaced and retied his combat boot. The paper had now so thoroughly disappeared, it was if it had never existed in the first place.

Then Jack pulled out the picture. As he was busy placing it between two credit cards in his wallet, he saw that on the back, she had cryptically written the words, 'What a ride! Always, Carter' The words would be considered completely innocuous by anybody else, given the motorcycle in the picture. The fact that she could be speaking of his and her secret relationship could only be known by him. He was the single only person in the entire base who knew of those words' double meaning.

Jack was still slightly concerned that someone might be onto his and Carter's more covert behavior. He couldn't help worrying, just a little... But he was also just a bit thrilled to have such a good looking reminder of what his private life now consisted of.

Careful of not crinkling the edges of the small picture, he slipped it in between his two credit cards, which he slipped into his wallet, which he shoved into his back right pants pocket. He pretended to be rearranging something in his locker when three male members of the just returned SG-12 sauntered in. They were quick to strip, and towels wrapped firmly around their waists, they moved in the direction of the showers.

Jack closed his locker door, prepared to leave the locker room, when he was arrested by the voices of two more men entering the room.

Think I can get a transfer to that SG-1? asked one of the men, SFs by the looks of them. He went on, Then I could stare at that Major Carter all the time!

For cryin' out loud! Jack thought. Had everyone seen that damned calendar with a centerfold of 'his Major?'

Dream on! hooted his companion as both men opened lockers that were side by side. They rummaged around, and eventually took out shaving equipment. But the second one added, That big guy on the team would rip your arms off if he even thought you were staring at her. No, it's much safer just to dream from afar, my friend.

Teal'c would rip your arms off after I order him to do it, Jack thought to himself with a slight smile and shake of his head as he started to exit the room.

That's if the other two guys on her team don't shoot ya first, came the comment of the second man just as Jack pulled open the locker room door. At the same time, he heard the man continue, Either way, you end up being dead meat, and even when a woman looks that good in leather, she ain't worth it. Not if you ask me.

Not asking, Jack thought, but was pleased that he had the reputation for being a good shot as well as being a rather fanatical protector of his team members.

Yeah, those men on SG-1... Scary, agreed the first man, and smiled. But do you think she might wear that red top if I asked her to?

The question only got him a friendly club to the back of his head from his companion.

But Jack was captured by the last suggestion the man had made, that of asking Carter to wear that red top again. What a good idea, Jack said to himself, and determined that maybe another visit to Carter in her lab... to collect her for the briefing, of course... wasn't undue action. And while he was there, if he just happened to make a request that she keep that red tank top at his house...

Yeah, this was a very damn good day, if you asked him. And things were looking even better all the time.

As he walked cheerfully down the hall in the direction of Carter's lab, he smiled.

The End


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