Sam's skirts swirl around her ankles as she strides towards the gateroom with the rest of her team; they're hindering her movement more than she feels comfortable with given that she's about to go offworld to a potentially hostile planet. She's not a fan of the puffy sleeves of her linen blouse either, or the red leather jerkin strapped tight to her torso.
There are bright points to the mission though; the leather pants that her boys - as she affectionately thinks of them, though she's never (yet) said it to their faces - are wearing are doing wonders for her mood. Judging by the look on her face, Vala's enjoying the view as well.
Vala leans across to her. "You know, we really should make this the official uniform for this team."
"No argument here." Sam grins. She finds her eyes repeatedly drawn to Cam, she can't help it. The curve of his leather-covered ass, strong thighs, long legs, biceps exposed by his vest and that sexy smile; she finds him attractive in BDUs, god help her; their current attire isn't helping.
Cam groans. "They're staring again, aren't they?"
Daniel nods. "Yes."
"And you're sure this is what the locals wear?"
"So I have to wear this?"
The banter stops when they reach the gateroom, Walter dials up and they go through.
P6T-59Y is a planet recently visited by the Ori, the inhabitants of which have yet to either proclaim their allegiance to the path of origin or reject the teachings. Majors Coburn and Nicholls have been in the town for two days reporting on the progress of the Ori occupation; having heard rumours about an underground movement they made contact, they had managed to set up a clandestine meeting between Daniel, Vala and the cell leaders. SG-1 are posing as a group of merchants visiting the town in order to assess trading prospects.
It's a short walk to the town and for a while, everything goes according to plan. Daniel and Vala make contact with their contact, Sam finds a watch-point at the end of an alley that gives her a great view of both the door that Daniel and Vala disappeared through and the market square, and Cam and Teal'c make contact with Coburn and Nicholls and get an update on the situation.
Sam reflects briefly on how nice it is to have an uncomplicated mission for once. She immediately curses herself for the thought and tries to unthink it, but it's too late.
Less than ten minutes later, she's arrested by a short, weedy little man with a high, nasal voice and cold, clammy hands who binds her wrists with rope. She learns that his name is Reddick, but he refuses to give her any more information, including what she's being charged with, until she's at whatever passes for a police station in this place.
She sees Cam a short distance away as she's escorted through the market square and she kicks up a fuss until she draws his attention. He does nothing immediately, but she can see him shadowing her progress, darting down the first line of stalls, and when he moves his hand to his ear, she guesses he's talking to Teal'c.
When they get to the guard station, Reddick opens the door to his office and pushes her inside.
Sam stumbles across the threshold. "What am I being charged with?" she asks for the fifth time since her arrest.
"Don't play dumb with me, young lady, it won't work," the man declares. It's obvious he likes his position of power. It's also obvious that he doesn't have as much power as he would like or would give her to believe.
Sam rolls her eyes. "I've done nothing wrong! What am I being charged with?" When he doesn't answer again, she tries a different tack. "I demand to speak to your superior."
That gets him talking. "Prostitution is illegal."
Sam gasps. "Prostitution? I'm not... I never..."
Her protests fall on deaf ears. She's herded into a back room where there are four holding cells laced with metal bars. There's a girl leaning against the front of the first, her arms dangling out through the bars. She reaches out for Reddick and whispers a "Hi, honey," as they pass. And there's a shadowy figure passed out in the end cell, she guesses he's drunk or possibly dead.
The second cell along becomes Sam's new home. She's pushed inside and only once the door is locked does Reddick remove the rope binding her wrists.
She keeps shouting at him that she's innocent and that there's been some misunderstanding until the door to the office slams shut and the lock slides into place with a click that echoes through the room.
Sam takes a seat on the metal slat fixed to the back wall. The metal is cold and harsh underneath her, her skirts not providing enough padding or warmth to keep the chill at bay, and the stone is rough and just as cold against her back.
"Got you as well, hey?" The girl in the neighbouring cell comes to stand at the bars between them, leaning her elbows on the horizontal bar that runs around the cage at a little above waist height.
Sam has to credit Major Coburn's advice as to the best choice of outfit for this planet; the girl's full brown skirts are dirty and in tatters at the bottom, her once-white linen blouse shows signs of repeating mending and her red leather jerkin is lower cut and, thanks to a few missing buttons on her blouse, shows off an ample cleavage. Ignoring the small details though, they are remarkably similarly attired.
Sam simply nods in reply.
Sam smiles. "Sam."
"Disgusting innit? How's a girl supposed to make a living around here any more. I don't want nothing to do with no Ori; they aint done nothing but make it hard on us girls. If they aint gonna give me some other work to do then I wish they'd just leave me alone to get on with me life."
"How long have you been in here?"
"Six days. That Reddick, he's a two-faced little toad." She spits in the direction of the door. "Used to be one of me regulars, called me his little flower, he did. Backstabbing bastard made an appointment with me as usual and when he turned up he arrested me right on the spot. So high and mighty now." She pulls a face like she'd eaten something unpleasant. "How'd they get you?"
"They picked me up off the street. But they made a mistake: I, uh, I don't work." Sam tries to put it as tactfully as possible.
Raylaa rolls her eyes. "Good luck with that defence, love. No one's gonna believe you, least not with those clothes."
Sam looks down at her jerkin, blouse and skirt. The skirts fall to her ankles, the blouse buttons all the way to her neck and the sleeves reach her wrists; she is showing very little skin and she's not provocatively dressed. "These clothes?"
"Yeah, love." Sam's confusion must show on her face because Raylaa continues. "You really have no idea, do you? Where you from?"
"Out of town, we came here to investigate the trading possibilities in the area." Raylaa says nothing, clearly expecting Sam to continue, but Sam refuses to be drawn to any further explanation.
Eventually Raylaa shrugs and speaks again. "It's the red jerkin, love. Worn by working girls everywhere, or used to be; way of telling those of us who was looking for work from those who wasn't."
The proverbial light bulb switches on in Sam's mind. That certainly explains a lot.
"It protected them that didn't want the work and made sure that those of us who did were easily found. Worked right good too, until that fancy prior came here through the big ring and told us that what we did was wrong. What does he know about this planet anyway? Who is he to judge?"
Sam is saved any reply she might have made by the sound of a bell ringing in the main office; she and Raylaa listen to the sound of footsteps, a door slamming closed and then voices arguing. The walls are too thick to make words distinguishable, however hard she tries; all that can be heard is the low murmur of conversation. Reddick's high, weedy voice is easy to spot, and Sam's willing to bet a lot that the other voice she can hear was Cam's. Then she hears a third voice chime in, instantly recognisable as Teal'c, both from the deep tone and the rarity of comments.
After a while, she hears keys rattling in the outer door. She gets to her feet and moves to the front of her small cage. Muffled voices on the other side gain clarity and volume as the door swings open.
"... in here. She put up a mighty fuss, let me tell you." Reddick enters first, followed by a very familiar figure.
"Oh thank god, Sammy." Cam is in front of her in an instant, picking up her hands where they rest on the bars of the cage and wrapping them tenderly in his own. "I was so worried."
It's a sign of how truly odd her life is that Sam registers only mild confusion at his strange behaviour and smoothly hides any signs of it from her face. His eyes, reflecting concern for her well-being and a relief that she had been found, plead with her to follow his rather unconventional lead.
She presses a small kiss to his knuckles. "I'm fine," she whispers against his hand, hoping that the guy standing at the door isn't able to see her lips, or lip-read if he can. "What's going on?" She keeps her voice even and falsely bright.
Cam looks uncomfortable and there is a faint flush of pink in his cheeks. "We're, uh, married," he says. "I told the guy that you'd dressed up as a... uh... to uh... please me." He doesn't sound entirely convinced that she isn't going to hit him for that. "It was Teal'c's idea." He can't get the words out fast enough.
Sam decides that it's best not to think about this too hard, but just play along and get the hell out of dodge. Then she can dwell on Teal'c's (Teal'c's!) idea and bust Cam's ass. That thought brings visions of Cam's leather-covered ass to mind and she decides that she'll especially enjoy busting Cam's ass.
"I told you it was a bad idea, didn't I? Didn't I tell you?" Sam speaks in a stage whisper so that Reddick can overhear their 'private conversation'.
"I know, honey, and I'm sorry, I am." Cam looks repentant.
"That's easy for you to say, you're not the one behind bars." She shakes her hands free from his and takes a couple of steps back.
Cam reaches for her through the bars. "Come on, Sam, don't get mad. We'll get you outta here." He turns to Reddick. "Can you let her outta here?"
Reddick stands as tall as he can - which is remarkably shorter than Cam, and Teal'c who is standing not far behind him - clearly aiming for important, but only just pulling off full-of-shit. "This is highly irregular."
Sam folds her arms across her chest and glares at Cam. "Yeah, that's what I said."
"You said it could be fun!"
"Right before I said it might not be a great idea. And this? This is not fun."
"Are you sure they're married?" Reddick throws over his shoulder at Teal'c as they bicker.
Teal'c cocks his head. "Do you believe that they would argue if they were not but wished for you to believe that they were?"
Reddick frowns as works through Teal'c's words. "Hmmmm. I suppose you're right."
Teal'c raises an eyebrow, Jaffa-style. "Indeed."
Reddick thinks for a minute, and then seems to make a decision. "Very well." He bustles forward, looking very self-important, and unlocks the cage.
The moment Sam is out, she slaps Cam's face, pulling back just before contact so as not to hurt him but not so much that it doesn't look real.
Cam reacts as if it had she'd put her full force behind it. "Fuck! Sam!" His hand comes up to hold his cheek. "That hurt." He's good, she has to admire that.
"It was meant to," she says. Right before she kisses him.
Cam freezes for a fraction of a second then he starts to kiss her back. It really shouldn't feel so good, but it does. It really does. He's her CO - not that he out-ranks her, or ever really throws his weight around; it's not necessary - they have to work together. And he's her friend.
But there's nothing friendly about this kiss. His lips are warm against hers, his tongue soft as he licks inside her mouth, his hands hot on her back as he holds her to him, his body firm where it's pressed against hers. It's a delicious spiral of heat and need that goes far beyond the point they're trying to prove. It makes promises for a future they never dared hope for, and holds the excitement of discovery that they're on the same page.
Finally Cam pulls back, sucking in deeps breaths and looking slightly wild-eyed, like he can't believe what just happened. Sam suspects that she looks the same way; suddenly the attraction she's been fighting is unfettered and mutual. She can't resist; she pulls him close again and dives straight back in. The first time started as part of the job, doing what needed to be done. This time though, she's going in with purely selfish motives. She wants to feel Cam's lips on hers again, needs to taste him again, feel his body underneath her hands.
He responds instantly, and god, this kiss is even hotter than the first; waves of feeling sweep through her body as his tongue delves into her mouth, and desire coils bright and hot in her belly.
She's vaguely aware of Teal'c speaking, something about filling out the necessary paper work, and then Reddick replies. He tells them that they'll be in the main office when they're "quite finished" but the words don't register and the voices sound like they're coming from a distant place.
If a kiss can make her feel this good, she wonders briefly what sex would be like and wishes she hadn't. She's always had a quick mind and vivid imagination, and now all she can see is herself and Cam gloriously naked, bodies covered in a thin sheen of sweat as they move against each other. She wants to get inside his clothes, to feel more skin; she wants to push him up against the wall and make his knees buckle; she wants to feel him inside her. But this isn't the time or the place. She pulls back with a soft moan.
His eyes are dark and full of passion that he's trying to hide; it steals her breath away just as well as his kiss.
"I think maybe we need to have a little chat when we get home." He's just as breathless as she is and his voice sounds a little too even, like he's trying very hard to make it a casual suggestion.
She can't help the slightly goofy smile that comes to her face. "I'd like that. A lot."
He grins with relief and presses a small kiss to her forehead. Then he takes her hand in his and they follow Teal'c and Reddick outside. Sam offers Raylaa a small smile as she leaves, and Raylaa wiggles her eyebrows and grins in return.
Teal'c and Reddick are standing on opposite sides of the desk, with sheets of paper scattered between them. Reddick seems a bit afraid of Teal'c as he stands there, looking tall and muscled and unyielding, his eyes watch the big Jaffa warily and he looks ready to dive beneath the desk. With a look, they decide to stand somewhere out of the way and let Teal'c deal with the bureaucracy, because, besides Daniel, he's always had the most patience for that sort of thing.
Cam's still holding her hand, his palm is warm and callused from a life spent in service, she's got a matching set from her P-90. His thumb rubs lazy circles on the back of her hand, and this feels good too. It's been a while since she's had a man in her life and she's missed the simple things like this.
She remembers that they've still got a job to do here, and decides to take advantage of the opportunity to have a hushed exchange of information, "Care to fill me in?"
"They think you're..." His whisper becomes even quieter and trails off.
Sam takes pity on him and fills in the blanks. "In a different kind of trade? Yes. It's the red leather."
Cam has a light bulb moment of his own. "Suddenly a conversation I had earlier with a local girl makes a lot more sense."
Sam regards him with amusement.
She raises an eyebrow.
"She was subtle! Probably thought it was obvious, with the red and all...."
Sam bites her lip to suppress her smile.
"Oh shut up,"
Sam tries to look innocent, "I didn't say a word."
"You didn't have to." He sounds amused though, and she gets a quick kiss on the lips too, so she guesses he's not too mad.
She never thought it would be this easy.
She squeezes his hand. "So what's the plan?"
"I followed you straight away when you were arrested and sat outside talking with some locals trying to learn something about the police service and security facilities they have here, which is how I found out that they thought you were a prostitute. Teal'c spoke to Coburn and Nicholls to make sure they were watching Daniel and Vala and then met me here. I had a great plan that involved guns and fistfights and possibly some C4, then I was going to slay the dragon with my sword-"
Sam smiles. "My hero."
"Ok, not so much that last part. But Teal'c pointed out that we didn't want to draw too much attention to ourselves or we risked endangering Vala and Daniel."
"So the next obvious solution was that we're married?" Sam's lips quirk.
"Apparently. The whole marriage thing - that was Teal'c's idea. Who knows how that Jaffa-brain of his works. It built on our cover story; we were finished with our trade negotiations, had heard that prostitution was legal here and decided to have some fun. Only it's not, thanks to our dear and special friends, so you were caught. Before we were allowed to see you, Reddick explained what would happen now. Plan is that we're going to be taken back to the gate while Teal'c heads back to the square to wait for the rest of our... trade team."
"And we can't go back to the square with him?"
Cam shakes his head. "Reddick was quite insistent."
"Yeah, but Daniel said he thought it would only take three hours or so, and we're coming up on three hours now so they should be through soon." He raises his voice and shouts across the room. "You nearly done, T?"
Teal'c inclines his head slowly. "The papers are now complete, Colonel Mitchell."
They're escorted back to the gate, with Reddick still eyeing them suspiciously, and he gestures grandly to the DHD, so they can't even wait for the rest of the team but have to dial up and go through instead. Cam offers Sam a gentlemanly arm and she takes it, putting her right arm through his left, and they walk through the gate.
Landry's waiting for them on the other side. He looks at their linked arms in surprised, and his expression grows concerned when the rest of SG-1 fail to appear behind them.
He grabs the microphone and leans down to speak. "Colonel?"
Cam looks at Sam and smiles almost imperceptibly before they disentangle their arms and move apart as they walk down the ramp. "It's a long story, General."
This was going to take some explaining.