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Fanfiction: Divided Union - Part II

For disclaimers and author's note see Part I.

 

Divided Union

United They Stand


Jacob looked at the relieved faces of the assembled group in front of him and frowned. This doesn’t look good, he thought to his symbiote.

No, agreed Selmak.

He focused on his old friend first. ‘George.’ He shook hands quickly.

‘Jake.’ Hammond nodded at him. ‘It’s good to see you.’

‘Anise filled me in.’ Jacob explained. ‘Where’s Sam?’

Jack and Hammond exchanged a look of concern. Jacob glanced around. Everyone was wearing identical looks of worry.

Even Per’sus looks worried, Selmak noted.

Jacob felt his blood freeze; something was wrong with Sam, badly wrong. He felt a wave of support from Selmak and was grateful for it.

‘We should brief you.’ Hammond said.

‘George…’ Jacob said tersely.

‘Please, Jake.’ Hammond motioned for Jacob to follow him

Jacob made his legs move and he fell into step beside Hammond. He waited impatiently as they all took seats around the briefing room table.

‘So, what’s this about?’ Jacob asked briskly.

‘Anise has informed you about what happened today?’ Hammond replied, clasping his hands on the table top.

Jacob’s eyes slid to Jack. ‘She told me that both Colonel O’Neill and Sam had been retested and cleared as za’tarcs although she didn’t go into any detail.’

Jack nodded briefly but his eyes were on the table top. Jacob had an uncomfortable feeling that the detail was something he didn’t want to know.

‘Obviously, she told me about Martouf.’ Jacob continued. His dark eyes saddened. ‘It’s a great loss to the Tok’ra.’ He shifted. ‘She also told me it was Sam who killed him to prevent him from destroying himself. Now if it’s no trouble I’d like to know where my daughter is.’

‘After the incident with Martouf,’ Hammond began gently, ‘Sam collapsed, Jacob.’

‘She’s in the infirmary.’ Daniel confirmed.

Jacob pushed away from the table, getting to his feet. He needed to go to his daughter.

‘There’s more.’ Jack said capturing Jacob’s attention. The younger man held Jacob’s eyes firmly. ‘You’ll want to hear this before you see her.’

Jacob sat down slowly. ‘What’s going on?’

The Colonel gestured at his team-mate and Daniel leaned forward. ‘Sam thinks she’s Jolinar.’

‘What?’ Jacob’s eyes widened on the archaeologist’s pale face and he couldn’t help but slide his eyes to the Colonel sitting next to him for verification.

Jack nodded at him.

‘The doctors believe that the trauma of what happened today combined with using the memory device during the za’tarc testing has caused some kind of psychotic break.’ Hammond explained, drawing Jacob’s attention.

That’s possible, Selmak mused.

‘So she thinks she’s Jolinar?’ Jacob clarified.

‘Her last memory seems to be of the Ashrak attack.’ Daniel said. ‘We don’t know if she can actually remember anything else. She seemed unable or unwilling to remember the last couple of years.’

‘I have offered Jeric to help reintegrate Samantha’s mind.’ Per’sus spoke for the first time. He waved at Jacob. ‘As you know a blending would enable the symbiote to re-establish the boundaries between the various memories.’

Jacob frowned. ‘You want Sam to be implanted?’

‘I believe it is the only way to help her.’ Per’sus said authoritatively.

‘Fraiser and Mackenzie think some psycho-therapy may help.’ Jack offered the alternative quickly.

‘But it would take time.’ Perseus pointed out. ‘Nor can they guarantee its success.’

‘Obviously, the Major can’t make the decision herself at present.’ Hammond said.

Let me speak, Selmak said.

Jacob’s head dipped a little as he mentally stepped aside for his symbiote.

‘There may be another way to help Samantha.’ Selmak said. She folded Jacob’s hands neatly over his stomach.

‘Selmak, I am not aware of any other method.’ Per’sus said with a frown.

‘It is an ancient technique.’ She hesitated before turning to Hammond. ‘There is a risk to Samantha involved.’

‘What is it?’ Jack asked bluntly.

Selmak gave way to Jacob.

Jacob sighed. ‘It involves using the hand device.’

‘You mean the one that the Goa’uld use to fry people’s brains.’ Jack checked sceptically.

‘The mental connection established when a subject is in the grip of the beam can also be used to affect the subject’s psychological condition.’ Jacob explained. ‘The Goa’uld have used it for brain washing, as a form of mental torture but Selmak believes it could also be used to help Sam.’

‘I have never heard of this.’ Per’sus said leaning back in his chair.

Daniel raised his hand. ‘Uh, we have. My late wife, Sha’re used the connection to give me a message when Ammonet had me in the grip of one of those things.’

‘Ammonet was trying to kill you.’ Jack pointed out.

Per’sus stared at Jacob. ‘And this could kill Samantha.’

Are you sure about this? Jacob asked Selmak within their shared mind.

His worry and concern flooded them both. She gently eased the panic away with a wave of reassurance. Trust me, Selmak said confidently.

Jacob nodded at Per’sus. ‘Selmak thinks it’s worth a try and I agree.’

Hammond shook his head a little. ‘I’m not sure I can agree to this, Jake.’

‘I know my daughter, George.’ Jacob said passionately. ‘Sam would want to do this.’

There was a tense silence.

‘Sir, I think we should give Jacob’s suggestion a try.’ Jack said eventually.

Hammond tapped the top of the table and nodded. ‘OK.’ He raised his thin eyebrows as though he was surprised at what he was going to say. ‘Let’s do it.’

o-O-o

Sam felt the chafe of the restraints on her wrists. She sniffed. She desperately wanted to wipe her face but she couldn’t move her hands. Her throat felt sore; her eyes felt raw. She had cried for what seemed like an eternity at the news of Martouf’s death. She still couldn’t believe it; she couldn’t believe what she had been told.

Jolinar died two years ago. You are Samantha Carter.’

She could only remember being Jolinar. Yet she knew Samantha Carter. She remembered the moment of shocked blending. She shifted uncomfortable with her memory. She had taken an unwilling host. Samantha Carter hadn’t wanted a symbiote; she’d only wanted to save a man’s life and Jolinar had ruthlessly taken her to avoid the Ashrak. She grimaced. She could remember Samantha Carter; could remember the host’s anger and fear; she could remember the memories she had accessed during her possession of her yet the rest of the memories of her host – those remained beyond her reach, like a dream she knew she’d had but couldn’t quite recall.

The gentle touch of a damp cloth against her skin startled her and her head turned quizzically. Teal’c wiped a damp cloth over her cheeks again, washing away the sticky stains of her tears and soothing the soreness.

‘Thank you, Teal’c.’ Sam said softly.

He inclined his bald head, the harsh infirmary lights bouncing off his dark skin. He reached for a towel and dried her with the same gentle attention with which he had washed her. His actions made her ache; they were the actions of a friend taking care of someone he loved.

‘I can’t believe Martouf…’ her voice trailed away. Her eyes gleamed brightly with new tears. ‘If I am Samantha Carter, why can’t I remember?’

Teal’c looked at her solemnly. ‘Only you know the answer to that question, Major Carter.’

‘I’ve tried.’ Sam admitted. ‘I can’t remember. All I remember is being Jolinar and Martouf,’ her voice broke, ‘Martouf being alive.’

‘He was a great warrior.’ Teal’c said quietly.

‘You knew him?’ Sam asked.

‘Indeed.’ Teal’c said. ‘He was one of the first Tok’ra we met.’ His dark eyes met hers. ‘We have lost an ally and a friend in the fight against the Goa’uld this day.’

Sam nodded. She missed Martouf; she wanted him so badly to walk through the door and tell her it was all a bad dream. A tear ran down her face. Teal’c carefully wiped it away.

‘What will happen to me?’ Sam wondered out loud.

‘I do not know.’ Teal’c admitted. ‘But I know this; we will be by your side until you are well, Major Carter.’ His hand moved to encase hers and their fingers tangled.

‘Thank you.’ Sam said.

Footsteps had them turning to look at the group entering the infirmary room.

Sam’s eyes caught on the balding man at the front of the group, dressed in Tok’ra clothing. She frowned. There was something familiar about him. His dark eyes flashed with the presence of a symbiote.

‘Who are you?’ Sam asked shakily.

‘I am Selmak.’ Selmak responded. ‘My host is Jacob Carter; your father.’

Sam frowned. ‘What of Saroosh?’

‘She died almost two years ago.’ Selmak said crisply. ‘Jacob has been my host since.’

‘I am…surprised.’ Sam admitted.

‘If you truly believe you are Jolinar I can understand why.’ Selmak said strongly.

‘You do not approve of my taking an unwilling host.’ Sam turned away from her.

Selmak cocked an eyebrow. ‘It is against our deepest beliefs.’

‘I was trying to survive.’ Sam shot back.

‘Perhaps we should move on to the current issue?’ Hammond suggested diplomatically stepping up to the bed.

Sam nodded sharply.

‘There is a technique we can try to recall Samantha’s memories and bury Jolinar’s.’ Selmak explained.

‘A symbiote?’ Sam asked suspiciously.

‘No,’ Daniel assured her, moving into her field of vision, ‘this wouldn’t require…that.’ He shook his head.

‘I propose to use the hand device.’ Selmak stated, regaining her attention. ‘When your mind is held in its grip I will use the connection to reinstate the barriers between your conscious and subconscious mind.’

‘You could kill me.’ Sam realised. She tugged on her restraints.

‘We could try a symbiote.’ Per’sus said.

‘No.’ Sam shook her head, bile rising in her throat at the thought. She grimaced. She only remembered her host’s pain too much, she assured herself. It wasn’t how she felt. ‘Is there no other way?’

‘We could try psycho-therapy.’ Janet offered. ‘But it would take time and it may not be successful.’

‘Doing this thing with the hand device? It’s a risk, Carter.’ Jack spoke for the first time. Her head turned to look at him. ‘But we think this is the way.’ His brown eyes looked at her solemnly and Sam felt a frisson of recognition.

A curl of desire to regain what she had lost rippled through her. She nodded slowly. ‘I will do it.’

Selmak nodded.

Hammond gestured and an Airman stepped up with the hand device.

Selmak attached the finger holds and settled the amber stone at the heart of the device in a palm. ‘Everyone should move back.’

Hammond took Janet’s arm and moved her away a few steps. Per’sus moved to stand next to the General. SG1 stayed where they were.

Selmak looked at Jack who stared resolutely back; his intent was clear; he was going nowhere. She looked at Daniel who crossed his arms protectively across his chest; his intelligent face held the same stubborn look as his military CO. Teal’c looked completely impassive; immoveable as a rock.

‘Are you ready?’ Selmak asked Sam.

Sam nodded, her mouth dry with anticipation.

Selmak raised her hand; the amber stone lit up and a beam shot forward onto Sam’s forehead.

The young Major cried out, her back arching from the bed and her fingers turning white as they gripped the sheet below her and dug into the mattress.

Flashes shot into her head. Memory after memory.

The Ashrak and the excruciating pain of Jolinar’s death.

Martouf rising out of the sand; in the tunnels looking at her curiously.

Her father and Saroosh.

‘Ah!’ Sam grimaced as the pain in her head got worse.

Daniel lying next to Sha’re…

Teal’c with Sho’nac…

Martouf’s kind eyes as he told her he cared for her and not only because of Jolinar…

Samantha!’

Her finger on the trigger…Martouf’s face as she took his life.

Sam screamed and her body arched upwards again.

Jack’s hand shot out and grabbed hers. Her eyes flew to his.

Jack.

Jack walking away from her as she begged him not to leave…

Jack staying with her; his eyes filled with love with as he stared back at her from behind the flickering force-shield that separated them…

Because I’d rather die than lose Carter.’

Confessions that couldn’t mean anything because that would mean the end of their working together; the end of SG1…and the mission was too important to risk on a personal relationship, on something that might not work…no matter how much they might care for each other.

Her fingers tightened on his.

No! Please, Jack! Don’t leave me!’

The beam suddenly stopped and Sam’s world went black.

o-O-o

There was total silence in the room.

Jack’s heart was in his mouth. His brown eyes flew to Sam’s father. ‘Jacob?’

Jacob lowered his hand and stared at his daughter. He wet his lips as he looked at her worriedly. ‘Is she?’ He couldn’t finish the sentence.

Janet rushed forward. Her fingers went to Sam’s neck. ‘She has a pulse.’ She reached for stethoscope and checked Sam’s heartbeat; her breathing. She removed it and pushed it into one of the deep pockets of her white medical coat, reaching instead for her small penlight. She shone it into Sam’s eyes checking for a reaction; checking the pupils looked even. She stepped back. ‘I think she’s coming round.’

Jacob took an unsteady step toward the bed. ‘Sam?’

She didn’t stir.

‘Carter?’ Jack said insistently.

Sam’s eyes opened sluggishly. She blinked at him and frowned. ‘Sir?’

Jack breathed out slowly. ‘Hey.’

Daniel stepped up to Jack’s side, capturing her attention. ‘Hey, Sam.’

‘Major Carter.’ Teal’c’s eyes gleamed at her warmly.

‘What do you remember?’ Jack asked gently.

‘I…I was in the corridor after…’ her throat closed up on the memory. ‘After Martouf.’

Jack squeezed her hand and he belatedly realised he was still holding it. He couldn’t bring himself to release it. ‘You collapsed.’ He explained, seeing the question in her eyes. His eyes flickered across the bed and he nodded in Jacob’s direction.

Sam’s head turned and her eyes widened in surprise as she saw Jacob. ‘Dad?’

‘Hey, kiddo.’ Jacob picked up her free hand and held it.

Jack gestured at the restraints. ‘I think we can take these off.’ He gently let go of her hand and freed her as Jacob took care of the opposite side. Sam rubbed her reddened wrists.

‘We’ll get some lotion on those.’ Janet promised.

‘Per’sus, I believe we have some final formalities to take care of?’ Hammond stepped in gently.

‘Of course.’ Per’sus said, allowing Hammond to lead him from the room.

Jack took a step away from the bed. ‘We’ll give you and Dad some time alone.’ He offered.

She hesitated as though she was about to protest but finally, she nodded.

Jack gave Jacob a brief salute of acknowledgement and walked out before anyone could say anything else. He had no idea where he was headed; he only knew he had to get out of the infirmary before he lost it completely.

It was only when he found himself outside Sam’s lab that his feet slowed. He entered the dark space and switched the lights on. He blinked at the sudden brightness. He walked around the central workbench and sat down on a stool. He covered his face with his hands. His racing heartbeat finally started to slow.

‘Jack.’

He gave a sigh and dropped his hands. He looked at the archaeologist in the doorway. ‘Daniel.’

Daniel walked in and pulled up a stool beside Jack.

‘I don’t want to talk about it.’ Jack said swiftly.

‘OK.’ Daniel agreed easily.

‘Good.’ Jack said. ‘That’s good.’

Silence descended.

‘I can’t talk about it.’ Jack said, looking up at the ceiling.

‘Jack,’ Daniel began.

Jack frowned. ‘We’re not talking about it.’

‘Right.’ Daniel agreed again. He folded his arms over his chest.

‘Besides, we have a mission.’ Jack muttered, rubbing the back of his neck. ‘And nothing can interfere with that. Not personal…stuff.’ He gestured vaguely into the air. ‘Fraiser has to report what happened to Hammond.’

‘Really?’ Daniel looked at him shocked. ‘Won’t that mean, you know, talking about it?’

Jack shrugged. ‘I don’t know.’ He sighed. ‘I thought I’d go see Hammond.’

‘Maybe it’s for the best.’ Daniel said. ‘I mean, maybe it means you guys a chance to explore this, whatever this is.’ He waggled his eyebrows at Jack.

‘Daniel.’ Jack glared at him.

‘I know, I know.’ Daniel held up a hand. ‘We’re not talking about it.’

Another silence filled the room.

‘Just talking about it could hurt her career.’ Jack said eventually. He looked at the floor. ‘She deserves better.’

Daniel stared at him. ‘Jack…’

‘Daniel.’ Jack stood up. He honestly believed that as much as part of him wanted to believe otherwise. Sam had been right to suggest leaving it in a room; it was for the best.

Daniel caught his arm as he went to leave. ‘Jack, I know we’re not talking about this but if you ever do want to talk,’ he held the other man’s eyes, ‘I’m not military and neither is Teal’c.’

Jack nodded slowly and patted Daniel’s shoulder. He left the lab and headed to the gym. An hour of pounding on a punching bag made him feel a little better. He showered and went to find Hammond.

The General was in his office. Jack peeked through the internal window to check his CO was alone before he rapped on the door.

‘Come.’ Hammond barked.

Jack entered and closed the door behind him. He took an ‘at ease’ position in front of Hammond’s desk.

‘Colonel, what can I do for you?’ Hammond asked, looking up from the report he was reading.

‘Sir, I need to inform you about the za’tarc testing.’ Jack began awkwardly.

‘I’ve already spoken with Doctor Fraiser.’ Hammond said quickly. He motioned with his pen across the desk at the blue folder sitting atop the pile. ‘Her report states that you and Major Carter left out minor details about the mission in your first tests which led to your initial results. That these details aren’t usually considered relevant according to our own reporting criteria which was the reason for their omission as they didn’t impede the completion of the mission or the smooth running of SG1 as a team.’ He held Jack’s gaze. ‘Unless you have something to add, I already know everything I need to know.’

Jack got the message; Hammond suspected the content of the details especially given the way Fraiser had phrased her comments but the General had no intention of talking about it. ‘No, sir. I guess I have nothing to add.’

Hammond nodded. ‘Good.’ He looked down at his folder. ‘By the way, the Tok’ra left a short while ago; Jacob went with them.’

‘Thank you, sir.’ Jack gestured behind him. ‘With your permission?’

‘Dismissed.’ Hammond confirmed. Jack was absurdly grateful that he didn’t look up again.

Jack made his way back to the infirmary. He slowed as he approached Sam’s infirmary room. Just a CO checking in on his team-mate, Jack assured himself. He wandered in quietly not wanting to disturb her if she was asleep. He frowned at the sight of Sam alone, curled up in a ball on the bed. She suddenly seemed to sense him and she looked back over her shoulder. Jack froze before he shook himself and continued walking. His breath caught at the sight of her wet cheeks. She was crying.

‘Sorry, sir.’ Sam sat up and swiped at her face.

Jack shrugged. ‘It’s OK, Carter. You don’t have to apologise.’ He spotted a box of tissues and passed it to her.

She took one and blew her nose.

‘How are you feeling?’ He asked.

‘Headache.’ Sam said. ‘But I’m OK.’ She grimaced. ‘My Dad told me what happened with my memory. About the whole Jolinar thing.’ She looked down at the tissue she held.

‘You did the right thing today.’ Jack assured her. ‘Marty would tell you that.’

She pulled a face. ‘I just…it’s just such a mess.’

Jack nodded understandingly and rocked back on his heels.

Sam peeked up at him. ‘What about you?’

‘I’m OK.’ Jack said quickly. He held her gaze. ‘We’re OK.’

Sam nodded; she took a deep breath. ‘Sir, about…’

‘Hey.’

Daniel’s voice had them both turning to the door. The archaeologist walked in with Teal’c beside him. ‘How’re you doing?’ Daniel asked as they came to a stop.

‘OK.’ Sam said. ‘Thanks. Just tired.’ Her hand crept to her forehead and she rubbed surreptitiously at the ache there.

Jack watched her with concern. ‘We should leave you to rest.’ He gestured at their team-mates.

Disappointment flickered across her features before she could regroup.

‘We could stay awhile.’ Jack offered.

‘That’s OK, sir. I’ll be fine.’ Sam said bravely.

Jack exchanged a knowing look with Daniel and Teal’c. They all pulled up chairs, making the decision for her.

‘Get some rest, Carter.’ Jack ordered. He watched as she huddled back under the blankets and fell asleep. He wondered what she had been about to say before they had been interrupted. It didn’t matter, he realised. All their reasons for leaving it in the room hadn’t changed. Losing Martouf…the whole za’tarc thing…the treaty with the Tok’ra. All of it proved there were more important things to consider than themselves. He looked around the room at their team; at Daniel and Teal’c, and back to Sam. They had each other as team-mates, friends. They would always be there for each other, and that was enough, Jack thought tiredly.

It had to be enough because it was all they had.

fin.

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