?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

For disclaimers and author's note see Chrysalis Part I.

 

Butterflies: Chapter 10


The infirmary room was quiet; the only sound the soft beeping of the monitor as it kept track of Sam’s vitals. She had been back at the SGC and unconscious for almost forty-eight hours. There was no physical reason. Carolyn had suggested it might have had something to do with Orlin’s oblique statement that Jack would have to bring her the rest of the way back but Jack had no idea what he’d meant. Neither had Daniel whose own memory of being ascended was admittedly vague and patchy. Everybody else was equally at a loss.

Jack shifted in his chair and looked at Sam. He rubbed his eyes tiredly.

‘Any change, sir?’ Mitchell asked from the doorway.

Jack looked over at him and shook his head.

Mitchell cleared his throat. ‘Bra’tac has arrived and you’re needed in the briefing room, sir.’

Jack frowned but shoved his chair back and got to his feet. His job leading the SGC precluded his past habit of staying with an injured team-mate for hours at a time. He had only managed to sit with her sporadically. Usually Daniel or Teal’c, who had accompanied them back, took over. He glanced at Mitchell.

‘I’ll sit with her, sir.’ Mitchell confirmed. He figured the General wasn’t in the mood to give him another rule but it seemed not letting a team-mate wake up alone in the infirmary was one of them.

Jack gave a sharp nod and left to make his way to the briefing room. SG12 had come back that morning with the science team. Doctor Lee had reluctantly handed the disconnected power source over to the Jaffa but had come back babbling about sub-space and inter-dimensional power differences. Bra’tac had probably come back for Teal’c, Jack thought. No doubt with the shifting political tide back in favour of the pro-Tau’ri groups, Bra’tac wanted Teal’c back on Dakara.

Jack sighed. It had been good to have Teal’c around the last couple of days. Sam needed him; Daniel needed him; heck, who was he trying to kid; he needed him. Jack shook his head as he walked into the briefing room. Bra’tac, Teal’c and Daniel sat waiting, along with two other Jaffa that Jack had never met. On the table in front of them was a crate with an odd looking ZPM in it; it had a faint green glow instead of the usual orange colour.

‘Gentlemen.’ Jack said taking his seat at the head of the table. ‘Sorry to keep you waiting.’

‘O’Neill, I’d like to introduce Council members Byn’c and Gerek.’ Bra’tac waved a hand on the two Jaffa sat with him.

Jack nodded politely. ‘Nice to meet you folks.’

‘We have brought news from Dakara.’ Bra’tac began.

‘Excellent.’ Jack said forcing himself to pay attention.

‘We have buried the one known as Orlin in the sacred ground at Dakara. A monument will be erected so all know we were in the presence of a Great One.’

Jack nodded with mixed emotions. He still didn’t know how he felt about Orlin’s sacrifice. With Sam unconscious, he somehow felt he had failed to live up to his part of the deal. ‘That’s a nice thought.’ He managed when he realised Bra’tac was waiting for him to speak.

Bra’tac nodded. ‘We have also brought this ZPM as a gift to the Tau’ri.’ He gestured at the crate. ‘It is of no use to us.’

‘Are you sure about this, Bra’tac?’ Daniel asked.

‘Daniel.’ Jack warned the archaeologist.

‘Jack.’

‘It’s rude to refuse a gift.’ Jack pointed out in a friendly tone.

‘We don’t even know if it’ll work here.’ Daniel said.

‘Then we’ll find out.’ Jack replied.

‘Bra’tac,’ Daniel said firmly turning to the Jaffa, ‘this device could power the Ancient systems in the buried city. Are you sure you want to give that up?’

‘According to your Doctor Lee, the power is almost gone.’ Bra’tac said.

‘And I’m sure he’s right but if you kept the power on, we could access the information in the systems using the consoles in the chair room,’ Daniel said excitedly, ‘what we could learn could be incredible.’

‘I can’t believe I’m saying this,’ Jack said, ‘but Daniel has a point.’

‘I do?’

‘You do.’ Jack agreed. ‘The information in the Ancient systems on Dakara probably has more combined value to both our people than Earth possibly being able to use this ZPM to power our defences for a short period.’

‘What do you propose?’ Byn’c asked.

Jack looked at Daniel. ‘What am I proposing Daniel?’

‘A joint study, Jaffa and Tau’ri, for as long as the power lasts. With the data gathered shared completely between our two peoples for the benefit of both.’ Daniel said quickly.

Jack gestured. ‘What do you think?’

‘I believe this is acceptable.’ Byn’c said.

‘I concur.’ Gerek said.

‘As do I.’ Teal’c agreed.

‘Then we are agreed.’ Bra’tac smiled. ‘We have something else to ask of you.’

‘Oh?’ Jack leaned forward over the table.

Byn’c cleared his throat. ‘The Council would like to request the return of Major Davis and his team to assist us with the reconstruction plans for our new government and a new treaty to be drafted between the Free Jaffa and the Tau’ri which would be the first item confirmed by the new government.’

‘Making it clear to all,’ Gerek said forcefully, ‘that our alliance is strong and cannot be broken by those with poison in their hearts.’

‘I don’t see a problem with Major Davis and SG7 returning to Dakara.’ Jack said. ‘I’ll make the arrangements.’

‘And there is one last item of business.’ Bra’tac said. ‘The Council has discussed how we allowed Cral’k and others to achieve a position where they may have irrevocably harmed our alliance.’

Byn’c folded his hands on the table. ‘There is an old Jaffa saying that trust is earned over time and lost in a blink of an eye.’

‘We have something similar here on Earth.’ Daniel chipped in.

‘We cannot allow those who have doubts to shake our trust in each other again.’ Gerek added.

‘Which is why we decided to create a new position, one that we are all agreed will continue into the new government.’ Bra’tac said. His eyes came to rest on his former student. ‘It is an Ambassadorial position between the Free Jaffa and the Tau’ri, one where the Jaffa warrior who holds the post will live amongst the Tau’ri and fight at your side as part of your command.’

Jack glanced across at Teal’c who had stilled into total motionless.

‘Teal’c,’ Bra’tac said softly, ‘the Council would like to offer you the position,’ his eyes flickered to Jack, ‘if the Tau’ri are agreed to the proposal.’

‘I’m agreed.’ Jack replied quickly. ‘Daniel?’

‘I’m agreed.’ Daniel added.

‘We’re agreed.’ Jack gestured.

‘Well, my friend?’ Bra’tac said his eyes returning to Teal’c. ‘I’m afraid you will have to relinquish any ambitions to leading our new nation.’

‘We realise you have strong support, Teal’c,’ Gerek said, ‘and would make a fine leader…’

‘But with no fear that you wish power for its own sake, all our people will listen to you more.’ Byn’ac added.

‘And your place as a trusted advisor is assured.’ Bra’tac added. ‘The position will be yours for as long as you wish it to be. We are agreed that this is how you can best serve our people.’

‘The Council affords me great honour in offering me the position.’ Teal’c replied, inclining his head at the three Jaffa across the table. ‘I accept,’ his dark, solemn eyes caught Jack’s, ‘and I pledge my allegiance to you once again, O’Neill.’

‘Happy to have you back, Teal’c.’ Jack gave his first genuine smile since Daniel had walked down the ramp and told him Sam was missing.

Daniel slapped Teal’c’s shoulder eliciting a raised eyebrow from his Jaffa friend.

The meeting ran for a while longer before the Tau’ri and their new ambassador watched the three older Jaffa enter the wormhole back to Dakara.

Jack rocked back on his heels. ‘Are you sure you don’t want to go with them and get your stuff, Teal’c?’

‘I will return to Dakara once Colonel Carter has awakened.’ Teal’c said firmly.

Jack nodded.

‘Has there been any change?’ Daniel asked folding his arms tightly.

Jack shook his head. ‘She was still out when I was with her.’

‘I don’t understand. I mean, Orlin did heal her, right?’ Daniel checked.

‘Don’t ask me, Daniel.’ Jack sighed turning and starting the walk back to his office. ‘I don’t understand half of what went on.’

‘What exactly did Orlin say to you?’ Daniel asked as they started up the stairs.

‘You heard him.’ Jack said.

‘I heard him say ‘you’ll have to bring her the rest of the way.’’ Daniel said.

‘Don’t you think,’ Jack said spinning back around and almost causing Daniel to go flying, ‘that if I knew what that meant I would have done something already?’ He continued up.

‘Maybe he put it into your brain,’ Daniel said, ‘when he enveloped the two of you.’

‘There’s nothing there, Daniel.’ Jack called over his shoulder as he crossed the briefing room.

‘Have you tried, Jack?’ Daniel asked as they followed him into his office.

‘What the hell do you think? It’s Carter, Daniel, of course I’ve tried!’ It was almost a yell. Jack took a deep breath and picked up his pen.

Teal’c quickly closed the door. The rest of the SGC didn’t need to hear the conversation.

Daniel folded his arms around himself. ‘I’m sorry, Jack.’

‘Maybe you’re right.’ Jack said wearily. ‘Maybe I’m just too dumb to recognise that he left it in my head.’ He couldn’t look at his friends. ‘If he did leave something he didn’t exactly label it.’ He sat down. ‘Carolyn says she’s fine. Everything works; she’s breathing, her heart’s beating, her brain’s functioning…’

‘So maybe Orlin could only heal her physically. Maybe he couldn’t touch her on the spiritual, emotional plane because he made himself mortal and was no longer Ascended.’ Daniel mused.

‘That would make sense, Daniel Jackson.’ Teal’c said standing with his hands behind his back.

‘Well, the last time I looked I’m not an Ascended being either,’ Jack said gesturing with the pen. ‘How am I supposed to do that?’

‘Orlin obviously thought you could.’ Daniel murmured.

‘Orlin was obviously wrong.’ Jack said avoiding Daniel’s eyes. ‘Look, I have a stack of paperwork to do, not to mention I need to brief Hammond, Landry and the President on the new Jaffa stuff so…’

‘We will leave you to complete your work, O’Neill.’ Teal’c said solemnly putting a hand on Daniel’s shoulder to ensure the younger man came with him.

Daniel didn’t move. ‘Jack.’

‘Daniel.’ Jack said with exaggerated patience not looking up.

‘We’re going to figure this out.’

Jack peeked at his friend finally and met Daniel’s compassionate eyes. ‘I know.’ He gestured at them. ‘You might want to relieve Mitchell from watching Sam. Let the kid know Teal’c’s back on the team. I’ll be by later.’

Daniel nodded.

Jack bent his head and started his work as they left the office. He heard the soft click of the door as it shut behind them. It stopped him writing and he threw his pen down, stuffed the heels of his hands in his eyes. ‘Damn you, Orlin.’ He muttered. ‘You really stuffed up.’ He lowered his hands.

Perhaps he was only able to heal her physically. Maybe he couldn’t touch her on the spiritual, emotional plane because he made himself mortal and was no longer Ascended.’

His friend’s words haunted him. Had Daniel and Teal’c realised yet, he wondered. If Orlin had taken Jack’s life and not his own, Orlin would have been able to save Sam completely. Instead, the other man had given his life and Sam was left with Jack to help her. Dumb, useless Jack who was screwing it up, he thought bitterly.

‘You really should have taken me, Orlin.’ He murmured.

Butterflies: Chapter 11

A knock at the door brought Jack out of his thoughts and he reached for the pen again as he called for the person to enter. His eyes fell on the IOA Overseer.

‘Woolsey.’ He said curtly. ‘What do you want?’

Woolsey frowned at the tone but entered and placed a stack of folders on Jack’s desk. ‘I thought you might like to know that the IOA has approved all of the new procedures, staffing levels and restructuring plans.’

Jack blinked at him. ‘They have?’

‘They have.’ Woolsey’s dark eyes glimmered behind his glasses. ‘They were very impressed.’

‘Well, good.’ Jack said unsure what else he could say. ‘Thank you.’

‘I thought you would want to know straight away and I’ve taken the liberty of informing the President earlier.’ Woolsey said.

‘Thank you.’ Jack said again. He waited.

There was a silence and Woolsey continued to hover.

‘Was there something else?’ Jack asked.

Woolsey cleared his throat. ‘I was wondering if Colonel Carter’s condition had improved.’ He had come to have an appreciation for the brilliant scientist in the last month, not least her ability to resolve the debates between Doctor Jackson and the General. In his opinion she was quite possibly the only sane one of the three.

Jack gestured. ‘There’s been no change.’

‘I see.’ Woolsey nodded. ‘Well, I’ll leave you to it.’ He didn’t move.

Jack raised an eyebrow.

‘I was wondering if it was appropriate to send some flowers?’ Woolsey said. ‘On behalf of the IOA, I mean, not from me personally, you understand but…’

‘I’m sure Colonel Carter will appreciate flowers, Woolsey.’ Jack said.

‘Thank you, General.’ Woolsey started to back out of the room. The door closed firmly behind him.

Jack shook his head and reached for the abandoned work; the sooner he got through it, the sooner he could go sit with Sam.

It took him almost four hours to clear his desk. He was beat when he finally took the elevator to the infirmary level. He probably should eat something, he thought even though he had no appetite. Walter had brought him a sandwich but he had left it uneaten. He headed to her room, nodding absently at the occasional Airman or medical staff member who passed him. His heart stopped as he rounded the corner and saw Daniel and Teal’c leaning against the wall outside Sam’s room; their backs to him.

He walked, half-jogged to them. ‘What’s happened? Has…’ He stopped when Daniel gestured for him to. ‘What?’ His mouth was dry with anticipation.

‘Carolyn’s just giving her the regular check.’ Daniel said hurriedly. ‘She threw Teal’c and me out. That’s all.’

Jack slumped against the wall and closed his eyes. He felt Daniel’s hand on his shoulder although it was his other team-mate who spoke.

‘Are you alright, O’Neill?’ Teal’c asked quietly.

‘No, Teal’c.’ Jack admitted. ‘I’m very definitely not alright.’ He opened his eyes. ‘I think I’m losing it.’ His tone was conversational; the look in his eyes was deadly serious.

Daniel’s hand squeezed gently and searched for something to divert the other man. ‘You’ll never guess who brought Sam flowers.’

Jack sighed. ‘I bet I will.’

Daniel smiled confidently. ‘No you won’t.’

‘OK, then. Ten bucks.’ Jack said.

‘Deal.’ Daniel wasn’t averse to taking Jack’s money.

They shook hands.

‘Woolsey.’ Jack said with preamble.

Daniel opened his mouth in shock. ‘How’d you know?’

‘He asked me for permission, Daniel.’ Jack said.

‘He asked you for permission?’ Daniel scowled. ‘That can’t be right.’

‘I am the SGC commander.’ Jack pointed out.

‘No, you taking the bet when he asked you for permission.’ Daniel said. ‘That’s just wrong.’

‘It was a cunning strategy.’ Teal’c said.

‘So how did Mitchell take the news about you being back on the team?’ Jack asked swiftly changing the subject.

‘I believe he was very excited.’ Teal’c said. ‘He used the word ‘cool’ many times.’

Jack looked at Daniel who looked back at him with an amused smile.

Very excited. Kept muttering it was like having the band back together.’ Daniel noted.

They all turned as the door to Sam’s room opened and a nurse left carrying more blood samples. Carolyn came to the doorway and motioned them all back inside. She shut the door.

‘I’m guessing you all want to know the latest about her condition?’ She asked.

Daniel and Jack nodded in unison.

‘So…’ Jack gestured for her to get on with it.

‘Her physical vitals remain strong. The latest MRI shows her brain is functioning as normal. There’s still nothing in her blood work to suggest a bacterial or viral cause of her unconscious state.’ Carolyn sighed. ‘I’ve taken more blood but…honestly, at this point I’m stumped. She should be conscious.’

‘Carolyn, we were talking earlier and we think Orlin healed her physically but perhaps not spiritually.’ Daniel said.

She nodded slowly. ‘That’s a possibility. As you know a lot of Eastern medicine philosophies are based on the premise that you treat the mind, body and spirit as one entity. It’s possible that Orlin only healed her partially in that respect.’

‘OK,’ Daniel said, ‘so if she’s healed physically, how do we heal her spiritually?’

‘That I don’t know.’ Carolyn said. ‘Normally, the person is conscious…there are some alternative approaches we could try. Let me go and check it out.’

‘Great. Thanks.’ Daniel said.

Carolyn nodded and left the room, leaving the door ajar.

Daniel adjusted his glasses and pulled up a chair. Teal’c leaned against the wall by the door. They had both left the chair closest to the bed for Jack and he sank into it appreciatively. His eyes fell on an enormous arrangement of flowers on the bedside table.

‘Those are from Woolsey?’ Jack checked his eyes widening.

‘Those are them.’ Daniel confirmed.

Jack shook his head. They were a beautiful arrangement but he knew Sam liked things simpler, like the pot of violets in her lab. Only one week and two days now, he thought, and then he could buy her all the flowers she wanted himself. One week and two days. He sighed as his eyes ran over her face and wished he had the same freedom to speak to her as he had when Orlin had given them the chance to say goodbye on Dakara. He froze.

‘Daniel.’

‘Jack.’

Jack swallowed hard and looked over at his curious friend. ‘Do you remember when you decided to ascend you kinda snatched me from the infirmary and took me to a version of the gate room?’

‘Vaguely.’ Daniel said.

‘Was that on the spiritual plane?’ Jack asked.

Daniel sat up straighter. ‘Sam took you somewhere in the same way, didn’t she?’ He frowned as he remembered back to Dakara. ‘When Orlin appeared you told everyone to lower their weapons. You already knew who he was.’

Jack nodded. ‘So how do I get back there?’

‘I don’t know.’ Daniel said frustrated. There was still a lot of his time as an Ascended being he couldn’t remember.

‘Are you sure you need to go back, O’Neill?’ Teal’c asked. ‘Perhaps Orlin said something to you there that would provide an answer to Colonel Carter’s unconsciousness.’

‘Teal’c’s right.’ Daniel said. He shoved his glasses up his nose. ‘After Orlin said you would need to complete healing Sam, you asked him why and he said ‘because she’ll say yes’, what did that mean? He had to be referring to something that you had spoken about before.’

Jack felt his heart pounding. It couldn’t be that simple could it? Orlin had given up his own life because he had believed Sam would say yes to Jack’s proposal. Maybe he didn’t need to go back; maybe he just needed to reach her by triggering her memory of being there with him.

He wet his dry lips. ‘I have an idea.’ He looked at Teal’c. ‘Close the door.’

Teal’c complied.

Daniel looked at him worriedly. ‘Jack, what are you doing?’

‘Something that will get Sam and I court-martialled if anyone else hears or sees this.’ Jack muttered. He glanced around. There was no security camera in this room. Good. He didn’t want to explain shutting one off.

‘We could wait outside.’ Daniel offered as he joined Teal’c by the closed door.

He gestured at his two friends. ‘Just keep watch.’

Teal’c and Daniel both turned to face the door and Jack appreciated the gesture of giving him and Sam privacy. Some privacy. He cleared his throat and silently prayed it worked.

He leaned over the bed; one hand on her cheek, one hand stroking through her hair. He moved closer, his cheek against her cheek. ‘Sam,’ he whispered gently, ‘you have to come back now. There’s only one week and four days to go before I tell you that I love you…’ he continued as he quietly repeated his words to her, ‘…and hope you say yes…’

She stirred and he shifted back to look in her eyes as they opened sleepily. ‘Sir?’

Daniel and Teal’c spun around at the sound of her voice and Jack eased back to sit in the chair. ‘Hey.’ His hand was still in her hair and he could see the confusion on her face. He gently removed it. ‘How’re you doing, Carter?’

She frowned and suddenly seemed aware of her surroundings.

Daniel reached down and gently brushed her hand. ‘Good to have you back, Sam.’

Jack nodded. ‘Daniel, go get Carolyn.’

‘Mitchell?’ Sam asked tiredly. ‘He was down.’

‘He’s OK. Bump on the head. Nothing serious.’ Jack reassured her. He jerked his head at the door and Daniel left.

‘It was Cral’k,’ Sam began to explain.

‘We know, Carter.’ Jack said. ‘We know.’

‘He is dead, Colonel Carter.’ Teal’c reassured her. ‘He was an agent of Ba’al working to destroy the trust between the Tau’ri and the Jaffa.’

Sam focused on the Jaffa. ‘Teal’c, you’re here.’

‘I have returned to the Tau’ri, Colonel Carter.’ Teal’c’s dark eyes gleamed happily at her. ‘And with your permission I will rejoin you in SG1.’

‘Love to have you back, Teal’c.’ Sam said smiling.

Carolyn raced into the room and looked at her patient with shock. ‘What happened?’

‘We were…’ Jack gestured and looked at Daniel.

‘Talking. Just talking.’ Daniel said.

‘And she woke up.’ Jack finished.

Carolyn looked at them sceptically and chased them back into the hall as she and the nurse began to examine Sam again, remove the machines and tubes she no longer needed.

All three of them paced anxiously outside until they were allowed back in.

‘You have five minutes and then I need you all to leave her to rest.’ Carolyn instructed. ‘I mean it.’

‘I feel fine.’ Sam said. ‘Better than fine.’

‘Five minutes.’ Carolyn reiterated before leaving them.

‘So is anyone going to tell me how you guys managed to find me?’ Sam said when she was alone with them.

The three men looked at each other before Jack gestured at Daniel.

‘Ahh…Orlin kinda helped.’ Daniel said.

‘Orlin?’ Sam’s fingers worried at her sheet. ‘My Orlin? The one from Velona?’

‘That would be the one.’ Jack confirmed. ‘Carter, he…’ he sat back down and took her hand.

‘Sir?’ Sam asked worriedly.

‘Orlin’s dead.’ Jack said.

She looked him uncertainly. ‘Well, he’s Ascended, right? So…’

‘No, Carter. You were dying.’ Jack explained. ‘Orlin healed you but after…he died saving your life and he wanted you to know he loved you very much.’

Flashes of memory came back to her suddenly and one lodged in her mind…

She was back in the room in Dakara. Not the real room, she understood that on some level. She was in the chair and she was alone. What had happened to Jack? He’d been here with her, holding her, talking to her…she had wanted to tell him so much but she was so weak…

Sam.’

Her eyes fluttered up and she saw Orlin.

Where’s Jack?’

He smiled at her question sadly. ‘He’s with you. On the physical plane.’ Orlin said. ‘Sam, he asked you a question before…’

She remembered. ‘I wanted to tell him I would have said yes.’

Orlin stroked her hair away from her face. ‘And you will. Wait here. When you hear him, go to him.’ He cupped her cheek in the palm of his hand. ‘I have to leave now but I will give you all I can to help you in the coming days.’

Where are you going?’ She wondered at his sadness.

Goodbye, Sam.’

His hand turned to energy and a bright, white light filled her vision and a warm, healing wave washed away her pain…

‘Sam?’ Daniel’s quiet prompt wrenched her back from her memory.

‘He said goodbye to me.’ Sam said. ‘I remember. He said goodbye to me.’ She shook her head, filled with sadness.

Jack squeezed her hand. ‘The Jaffa have buried him on Dakara.’

‘I’d like to go back and see.’ Sam said.

‘When you’re up to it.’ Jack agreed. ‘You’ll have to go back anyway. Daniel talked you guys into a joint study with the Jaffa on the Ancient systems…’

‘Really?’ Her sad face brightened.

‘And I will need to collect my belongings.’ Teal’c noted.

‘Team day out then.’ Jack noted. ‘We should leave before Carolyn comes back and kicks us out.’ He gestured at the others.

Daniel leaned down to kiss her cheek before he left the room. Teal’c clasped her hand gently and followed him.

Jack squeezed the hand he held again and stood up. ‘Get some rest.’ He ordered.

‘Yes sir. And sir?’

He was at the door when he turned back to look at her snuggling back into the pillows and a small smile playing on her lips.

‘One week and four days?’ Sam asked.

He flushed as he realised she remembered. He fought the urge to deny everything and, instead, he smiled jauntily. ‘Actually, Carter, it’s now one week and two days.’ His eyes met hers. ‘Count them.’ He smiled as he closed the door behind him.

End of Butterflies - Continued in Storms Part I
 

Profile

NewRachel500
rachel500
rachel500

Fiction

Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Tiffany Chow