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Fanfiction: Always

Fandom: Stargate SG1
Summary:
Teal'c delivers a card to Sam from Jack.
Rating: PG-13
Author's Notes: Major spoilers for S10's finale 'Unending'. Sam/Jack with a little bit of Daniel/Vala.
Disclaimer: No copyright infringement intended. Written for entertainment purposes only.

Always

Teal’c paused uncertainly outside the newly designated quarters of Samantha Carter. Two days before, the Lieutenant Colonel had made the decision to move her quarters away from the rest of the team aboard the trapped-in-time-bubble Odyssey to the opposite side of the ship. She had claimed it was to ensure she didn’t disturb them with her cello practice and her habit of working to early hours of the morning trying to find a solution to their predicament. Teal’c sensed she was slowly withdrawing from them and it concerned him greatly. He glanced down at the envelope he carried before he straightened imperceptibly and knocked firmly on the door.

‘Come in.’

Sam’s call to enter had him nudging the door inward and taking a step inside. In the six months, they had been aboard the Odyssey, Sam had mastered the Asgard matter converter and the results were evident in her quarters. The standard issue bed had been replaced with a large wooden version that dominated the space to the right. It was made up in fine cotton sheets, throw cushions and a quilt that gleamed ruby red. Colourful prints lined the walls adding a homely touch. Sam sat staring out into space through a small porthole.

‘Colonel Carter.’ His greeting had Sam turning towards him with surprise as though she had forgotten she had given him permission to enter.

‘Teal’c…’ Sam took a breath and regrouped. She crossed her arms over her sweater; she had eschewed the Air Force uniform for casual clothes long before and the only sign of her military status was the dog tags she still wore around her neck. ‘What can I do for you?’

‘I wished to give you this.’ Teal’c handed her the envelope.

‘Teal’c…’ Sam stared at it with uncertainty recognising the scrawl of her name on the outside as belonging to Jack O’Neill.

‘O’Neill requested I give this to you when we entered Earth’s orbit on our return.’ Teal’c explained, clasping his hands behind his back. ‘I had intended to wait until that day arrived but as today marks the anniversary of your marriage to O’Neill, I believed now was an appropriate occasion to give this to you.’ He bowed his head slightly and turned to leave.

‘Stay.’ Sam said impulsively.

He stopped but remained standing.

Her eyes gave away her nervousness as she sat on the edge of the bed. She carefully undid the seal and slid the card from the envelope. She smiled at the picture of a cupid fishing into a heart-shaped pond on the front. Valentine’s Day. They had been scheduled to arrive back on Valentine’s Day. Her hand skimmed over it. Jack and fishing. It was perfect. She opened it up.

In the hope Thor doesn’t beam you away on an inter-stellar emergency, want to go fishing, Mrs O’Neill? Always, Jack.’

The words blurred in front of her eyes as the tears started to fall. The first drop splattered against the card and she protectively clasped it against her stomach. Sam felt the sobs tear through her; the tears coming so thick and fast, she couldn’t see, couldn’t breathe through the pain. And then Teal’c’s arms were around her and she leaned into the solid mass of him gratefully.

‘I miss him so much.’ Sam mumbled as she clung to him, crying, her tears soaking into the black t-shirt she wore. ‘I just miss him so much.’

Teal’c held her tightly and let her cry. He heard a movement by the door and looked over to see a concerned Daniel Jackson standing in the doorway. Teal’c made only the slightest nod and the younger man hurried inside.

Daniel sat down on the opposite side of Sam and placed a hand on her shoulder, rubbing it gently to soothe her. His blue eyes glanced off the Valentine’s card and he winced in sudden understanding.

Eventually, Sam cried herself out. She shifted away from Teal’c and Daniel slid his arm more fully around her.

‘Hey.’ He said gently.

‘Hey.’ Sam swiped at her wet face. ‘Sorry, guys.’

‘You have no need to apologise, Colonel Carter.’ Teal’c said solemnly. ‘I too miss O’Neill.’

‘We all miss, Jack.’ Daniel commented as he handed her a tissue.

‘Indeed.’ Teal’c murmured. ‘It is most unusual to be in a temporal anomaly without him.’

Sam’s lips lifted in a rueful smile. ‘I just…I wish I could figure out how to get us out of this. Get us all home.’

‘You will.’ Daniel reassured her.

‘I agree with Daniel Jackson.’ Teal’c said firmly.

‘I don’t know, guys. Everything I’ve tried doesn’t seem to work in the simulations.’ Sam sighed and rubbed her nose.

‘You’ve been working non-stop for the last six months, Sam.’ Daniel pointed out. ‘Maybe you ought to take a break.’

‘Maybe.’ Sam allowed. ‘I just don’t want us stuck in this time dilation field any longer than we have to be.’

‘I think we can all survive for another day so you can get some rest.’ Daniel said firmly.

‘Daniel! There you are. Do you know how long I’ve been waiting for you?’ Vala swept into the room, her silk dressing gown left open to reveal the clinging satin nightdress underneath. She stopped at the sight of the three friends. ‘Sam?’ She hurried forward and swept the blonde air force officer into a tight hug. ‘What’s the matter?’

Sam patted Vala’s back and gave a rueful smile. ‘I’m just having a moment. I’ll be fine.’

Vala nodded understandingly and swept her black hair over her shoulder as she pulled away.

Sam took in Vala’s outfit and the way the other woman was directing a questioning look at Daniel who was trying to surreptitiously shake his head. ‘Really. It was just a moment. I’m fine now.’ Her voice was even steady, she thought proudly.

‘Well, if you’re sure?’ Daniel asked getting to his feet.

‘I’m sure.’ Sam said firmly.

‘OK, then.’ He reached out for Vala’s hand and the brunette quickly grasped it as they left.

Sam watched them with a strange mix of envy and disbelief. She shook her head. ‘You know I never thought they would…’

‘I concur.’ Teal’c interjected before she could complete the sentence.

‘They’re happy though.’ Sam said thoughtfully. ‘At least, something good’s come out of this.’

‘It would appear so.’ Teal’c murmured.

Sam got up and set the card on her bedside table, next to the group photo she always carried of the team. It was a rare picture of all of SG1, past and present with General Hammond and General Landry. She and Jack stood in the centre and although there was nothing to suggest in the picture that they were anything other than team-mates, she knew exactly where Jack’s right hand had rested during the shot and the way he had kissed her when the photographer was done. The memory made her turn to Teal’c with a smile. ‘Cake, Teal’c?’

‘An excellent suggestion, Colonel Carter.’ Teal’c nodded, pleased at the return of a spark in her blue eyes; the way they had lost most of their sadness, at least for the time being. There would be other days such as these, he thought, as they headed for the mess. Days when the loneliness would be too much and the grief at losing the ones they loved hard to bear. But they would be there for one another when those days happened; of that he was certain.

o-O-o

Teal’c strode with confidence through the Odyssey, knowing exactly where he would find Colonel Carter. She was busy fixing the engine room following the damage caused by the Ori. For the rest of his team-mates, this was the first day of the rest of their lives again. Sam had done the impossible and reversed time back to the moment of the Ori attack. Teal’c had volunteered to be the one to go back, older and wiser, to ensure they didn’t repeat the mistakes of the past and it had worked. They had escaped the Ori and within moments would be orbiting Earth.

‘Teal’c.’ Sam looked up at the Jaffa curiously as he came to a halt by the console she was working on. She was still a little disconcerted by the streak of grey through his hair, the additional lines that marked his face and denoted his aged demeanour.

‘O’Neill once entrusted me to give you this, Colonel Carter.’ Teal’c said solemnly. He brought the card from behind his back.

Sam stared at with delight before she carefully took it from him, her eyes lighting up with pleasure at the picture on the front. ‘How did you manage to bring it with you?’

‘I made room within a pocket for its inclusion.’ Teal’c inclined his head. ‘I promised O’Neill that I would deliver it to you today.’

Sam opened the fragile card and read Jack’s words eagerly. Her lips twisted a little at the mention of Thor, so newly departed, but at the rest she laughed out loud; a bright, cheerful sound that washed over Teal’c and lifted his spirits. She looked up at her friend warmly. ‘Thanks, Teal’c.’

There was a faint hint of a smile on Teal’c’s face as made to leave.

‘Teal’c…’

He stopped and turned back to her.

She hesitated over asking her question; did she really want to know if she had ever given up on her and Jack…fifty years was a long time and Vala had been theorising about who had hooked up with who since Teal’c had debriefed them.

Teal’c’s expression smoothed as he saw the internal conflict play out in her head. He had promised his future team-mates that he would not speak of the lives they had lived out on the ship. It would only affect the current team dynamic and the thought had been very much to allow their past relationships to progress as they would have done naturally without any interference.

Sam glanced down at the card again as she wrestled with her need to know. She bit her lip and her eyes caught on the aged and faded card; at the way the crease was almost worn away, the faded lettering of Jack’s script as though her fingers had touched it often, tracing the words. She took in the water stains with a frown; tears, she realised. Hers. The decision settled in her heart like a whisper and a content calm smoothed her delicate features. ‘It’s OK, Teal’c.’ Sam said, smiling. ‘I think I already know the answer.’

Teal’c inclined his head. ‘Indeed.’

o-O-o

Sam sighed in contentment as Jack’s hands alighted on her shoulders. She smiled as his lips nuzzled her neck. She let go of the fishing rod, turned around and kissed him deeply, her arms sliding around his neck, her hands burrowing into his grey, messy hair.

Jack raised his head and dropped another kiss on her lips before he settled in the chair next to hers on the small wooden dock of the cabin. He cast out and balanced his fishing rod on a tackle box. His brown eyes caught on the card Sam was using as a bookmark in the novel she was reading. ‘I can’t believe T delivered it to you twice.’ He commented, his tone giving away some of his disbelief.

‘He made you a promise.’ Sam pointed out.

‘Yeah.’ Jack agreed contentedly. His hand reached out and snagged hers, intertwining their fingers. ‘Has Teal’c said anything to you about the time you guys lived on the ship?’

‘Nothing.’ Sam said dryly.

‘Not even to explain the hair?’ Jack quipped.

Sam laughed. ‘No. He really was the perfect choice as the one to stay old.’ She admitted ruefully.

Jack cleared his throat. ‘You know fifty years is a long time…’

Sam reached across and placed a finger over his lips. She held his gaze firmly. ‘I don’t need Teal’c to tell me that I loved you every single moment of every one of those years.’

‘Ya think?’ he said softly, his eyes never leaving hers.

‘I know.’ Sam replied. Her smile was a little wobbly with the depth of her emotion but as incandescent as ever. ‘After all, fifty years isn’t anywhere close to always.’

Jack was smiling when he kissed her.

fin.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
julimond1402
Feb. 27th, 2010 04:48 pm (UTC)
Oh man, thanks for writing this! Made me cry. It fills in nicely the lack of Sam/Jack ship (or even mention of Jack!!) in Unending. Very nice, thanks!
rachel500
Feb. 27th, 2010 10:43 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the comment! Glad you enjoyed it. :)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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