Title: What's Left Unsaid
Spoilers: Quest Pt 2, Line in the Sand
Summary: Sam visits Jack to say one last goodbye before she goes to battle the Ori.
Word Count: 814
A/N: My first "real" attempt at this pairing. X-posted a few places. Sorry for the spamming. Friends locked here for now so I don't cause the apocolypse on my flist ;)
Disclaimer: Stargate, Stargate SG-1 and all of its characters, titles, names, and back-story are the property of MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, Gekko Productions, SciFi Channel, and Showtime/Viacom. All other characters, the story idea and the story itself are the sole property of the author. This story cannot be printed anywhere without the sole permission of the author. Realize this is for entertainment purposes only; no financial gain or profit has been gained from this fiction. This story is not meant to be an infringement on the rights of the above-mentioned establishments
She knew she shouldn't have come.
Sam stood in front of the apartment door, wringing her hands as she contemplated what she would say and what she would do. Part of her had the urge to just walk away, like all the previous times she'd come, leave everything unsaid, leave everything safe. But there was that other part of her, that part of her that knew all too well just how dangerous her job was and that she might never have this chance again.
She was lucky to have this chance at all.
Taking a deep breath, Sam steeled herself and knocked on the door.
A loud crash resounded throughout the apartment, accompanied by a string of curses. Sam found herself smiling despite the situation, her thoughts turning to fond memories of the SGC before the Ori, before all the changes. She cleared her throat and shook the thoughts away, focusing on the doorknob as it turned.
O'Neill threw the door open and blinked. "Carter."
She forced a smile. "Sir."
"This is a surprise."
"I was in the neighborhood."
O'Neill arched his eyebrows. "In Washington D.C.?"
Inwardly, she cringed, wondering why she just couldn't be straightforward in situations like these. "General Landry sent me to D.C. to speak before the Appropriations Committee to argue for more funding on the phase technology we're currently developing."
"Ah," he said with a nod. Then, he grew quiet. "That's Daniel's usual gig."
Sam gave a slight nod, biting back the pain that surfaced at the mention of his name. It had been nearly two weeks, and they still hadn't heard anything. Every time she let her mind slow, she was assaulted with image after image of what they could be doing to Daniel. She should have stayed. They should have dragged him through the Gate.
But she just couldn't let those thoughts continue to throw her. She had to keep focused.
"In fact," she said, struggling to box away her anxiety, "that is one of the reasons I came by to see you. We believe mastering Merlin's device will give us a distinct advantage over the Ori. If they feel threatened, they may show their hand and we'll have a better shot at finding Daniel."
"Well, that's good news." He paused. "Right?"
She nodded. "Yes, it is."
His eyes narrowed with suspicion. "Then why do I sense this is goodbye?"
"The phase technology is unstable. We already –" She swallowed down the lump in her throat. "As you know, the test on P9C-882 was unsuccessful."
"You got it to work in the end," he said simply, though she didn't miss the pain in his eyes.
"The IOA is behind this one-hundred percent," Sam said. "But there are still risks. If this works, we'll be going into the heart of the Ori controlled sectors to retrieve Daniel."
"You don't know where he is."
"Teal'c has new leads every day from the Jaffa. Vala Mal Doran is pulling some strings with her old contacts. Colonel Mitchell is coordinating reconnaissance efforts with Colonel Reynolds." She held her chin a little higher. "No matter what, we're determined to succeed."
"I have no doubt," he said quietly.
There was a flash of regret in his eyes. Sam knew that he wanted to be at the SGC with them, helping them, and wanted more than anything to go through the Stargate to eliminate the Ori and to find Daniel. She knew that feeling more than anyone. But she also knew he had more important duties here. General O'Neill could do more here.
And he knew that as well.
Sam sighed again, finding it difficult to look into his eyes. The truth was that over the next few months no one knew what would happen. Daniel could be dead. The Ori could continue to advance through the galaxy. And there were the new wounds that were still fresh: Teal'c had become increasing restless with the state of the Jaffa; she nearly hadn't made it off P9C-882.
Finally, she brought her gaze back to O'Neill. "I just wanted to say –"
She nodded. Refusing to break down in front of him, Sam took a step back to leave, but he took an equal step to meet her. With the wave of his hand, he urged her forward and opened his arms. Sam stepped into his arms and exhaled, calmed by the familiarity of his embrace.
"Maybe someday things can be different," Sam said, holding onto him tight.
"They will," he told her. "Besides, I expect you to come back for the rest."
She laughed as she squeezed him tight. With just those few words, she felt more confident and more at ease. While she knew that the dangers were real and that they might not all make it out of this war, this moment was enough.
And that was all she needed.