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07 August 2007 @ 07:56 am
SG-1 Fic: Aftermath  
Since this was the last year for SG-1, I decided to take on many challenges mainly in the form of ficathons (yay my last one), including pairings that historically I have not enjoyed. For me, Sam/Jack is a very hard challenge, right up there with Daniel/Vala. I have to write so I can believe it can work and that is where the fun lies. On top of of it being a difficult pairing, I also chose the prompt with an episode that is mostly Jack and Danielf focused. The trick with this fic was to write something uniquely Sam and Jack without betraying the Jack and Daniel specialness of the episode. I feel like I suceeded. I hope so ;)

Title: Aftermath
Author: moonshayde
Recipient: deltachild
Season: Six
Category: Angst
Spoilers: Abyss
Pairing/Character: Sam/Jack
Summary: Sam lends support as Jack struggles with the aftermath of his time with Ba'al.
Warnings: none
Word Count: 1156
Rating: PG-13

Prompt: Kanan and Jolinar, both important parts of Jack and Sam, but not really mentioned now. Angst, hand-devices, Ba'al, a special place to Jack that isn't the cabin.

Thanks to rolleson, aurora_novarum, and mysticalweather for the beta work. Thanks to tricabyrne1978 for looking it over and anr for running the sjficathon

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


--------------------------------------------


He knew she'd eventually find him here.

Jack kept silent as he stared ahead into the park despite hearing Carter's footfalls on the broken cement trail that led to the bleachers. The upkeep on the ball field just wasn't what it used to be: busted lights, patchy grass, and rusted fences showcased the worn and faded kids' park. Yet, he could still hear the faint echo of the one-time cheers that had once filled the stands.

They stung just like all the other memories.

From the corner of his eye, he saw her stop and stand just a few feet away from him. He could tell she was uneasy, waiting for him to greet her or make some kind of move, but he kept quiet, listening to the flies buzz over the puddles left on the field from last night's rain.

"Sir?" she finally called.

He kept staring ahead, but paused to pick up a nearby stone.

"Colonel, I—"

"Does the concept of privacy mean anything to you?" Jack asked, tossing the stone onto the muddy field.

He caught her wince.

Carter stepped closer and eased herself by his side, causing Jack to immediately tense. While he appreciated her coming out to see him, the last thing he needed was for her presence to complicate things.

"Janet told me that you had been discharged."

"Yeah."

"I thought you might like some company."

Jack fought the urge to scoff. Company was the last thing he wanted. While he'd been imprisoned by Ba'al, all he'd begged for was companionship. Help. Anything. Now that he was free all he wanted was to be alone.

Funny.

He scanned the ground for another rock, still refusing to look at Carter. He knew why she was here. He wasn't sure how she knew he'd be here, but leave it to Carter to figure it out. Either she or Daniel—

He coughed and swallowed down a painful lump.

"The Tok'ra are offering any kind of assistance necessary to help you recover," Carter said.

"They've helped me enough, thanks," he muttered.

"Think of the benefits," she said, going on like they were having a perfectly normal conversation. "When I was host to Jolinar, we didn't have any of these resources. They're willing to interview you to see if you have retained any of Kanan's memories. They're also willing to run some tests to see if you acquired any naquadah in your blood stream." From the corner of his eye, he thought he saw her face brighten. "I could even show you how to use the hand device or—"

"Carter!" He finally turned to her, keeping his voice firm while trying to avoid the expectations in her eyes. "Can we not talk about this?"

"Okay," she said, drawing out the word as she rubbed her hands against her thighs. She held her breath for a moment and he could just see the computer in her head just ticking away. "Do kids still play here?" she finally asked.

"Let's not talk about that either."

She squirmed on the bleacher seat. "Sorry," she said with a sheepish grin. "I'm not the best at this."

Jack sighed and looked at the ground. He knew what she was trying to do. He was grateful for it, but his capture wasn't something he could talk about openly. He didn't even want to be reminded of it, whether through Carter's innocent babbling or through the images that kept assaulting his mind. Rumors had already started circulating about his torture, about the sarcophagus and his state of mind, about everything. Hell, he still had the nightmares and the occasional hallucinations that haunted him during those restless periods between waking and sleep. But he couldn't talk about it. He couldn't talk about what he'd seen or what he'd felt. He couldn't talk about Daniel. They'd all think he was crazy.

She'd think he was crazy. And at this point, Jack wasn't even so sure he wasn't insane.

He saw Carter start to squirm again. "Sir, if only I hadn't suggested—"

"Not your fault," he reminded her. They both damn well knew that it had been his decision in the end to accept that snake. "Never mind," he said, rubbing his face. "Why don't you just get back to the base?"

She quieted, leading Jack to tilt his head to check on her. Not surprisingly, he saw the pain sinking into the corners of her mouth, deep with the self-guilt she'd perfected. But to her credit, she didn't back down, the frown fighting to straighten.

"When I was taken as a host I felt powerless, too," she said quietly.

Jack glanced up at the field. In the late afternoon, the field always attracted gnats. He remembered how he and the other parents would get eaten alive as they watched the kids play. But then, no one cared. They wore their welts like medals; he could still remember the sting and the itch as he ran through them, pushing his way through the field to celebrate Charlie's first homerun.

Today would be no different. He saw the flies continue to increase in number, hovering over the swollen clumps of grass only to eventually make their way to the stands. Occasionally, one or two would lose its rhythm and dip, landing in the gritty mud. Jack watched silently as one struggled to break free.

"I felt trapped," Carter continued, bringing him back from his memories. "I felt like I was in a fog. I know it's confusing."

"I don't remember anything," he mumbled. "I don't care."

He didn't care. He didn't give a damn for the Tok'ra. As far as he was concerned, they'd been doing just fine without them. All that talk about sharing meant squat. Kanan had used him. That snake had thrown him to the wolves. Kanan hadn't given a damn about anyone but himself, just like Jolinar hadn't cared for Carter.

He ignored the tiny voice in his head that reminded him Carter wouldn't be here right now if Jolinar hadn't saved her.

"Sometimes I couldn't tell what was me and what was Jolinar," she continued. "All the images, the thoughts, the memories."

Jack rubbed at his face again "Carter—"

"But it's different this time," she said quickly.

"How's that?"

Carter paused, reached over, and grabbed his hand. "I didn't have someone who could understand."

And something about those words, the way she said them, and the softness to her touch helped ease that ache inside. He might never know if Daniel had really come to save him or not. He might never know what Kanan really wanted. He might never know how things could have been different. Jack didn't want to know. But at least this was a step in the right direction.

Without another word, Jack squeezed her hand and watched as the fly broke from the mud and pushed its way up toward the sky.
 
 
Current Mood: soresore
 
 
 
(Deleted comment)
Working for the Mandroid: breathemoonshayde on August 7th, 2007 10:03 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I'm glad that you thought so :)
knightshade: SG - All That You Can't Leave Behinddknightshade on August 7th, 2007 01:07 pm (UTC)
Beautifully written. It has a lovely but sad tone. So very Jack, being unwilling to talk about things and so very Carter, wanting to get him to try.
Working for the Mandroid: Her Gazemoonshayde on August 7th, 2007 10:05 pm (UTC)
Thanks. That is what I was really trying to show so I'm glad it worked :)
beanpotbeanpot on August 7th, 2007 01:14 pm (UTC)
This was really great - very much in character and plausible.

Working for the Mandroid: Strengthmoonshayde on August 7th, 2007 10:06 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I'm glad I managed to keep them in character. It's very important to me.
(Deleted comment)
Working for the Mandroid: Corporalmoonshayde on August 7th, 2007 10:09 pm (UTC)
That actually means a lot to me. I'm not one of those that wants to see Sam/Jack on the show and I rarely, if ever, read fic for the pairing. I just wanted to prove to myself I could write them and still keep them in character. I try to do that with Jack/Daniel. Jakc and Daniel are my faves out of my faves, but my main goal ever is to make sure the characters stay true to themselves. So it's hard. With yourself as someone that isn't normally into Sam/Jack, that makes me happy. I feel like I've accomplished something.
holdouttrout: sam_jackholdouttrout on August 7th, 2007 04:57 pm (UTC)
This is one of those things that is never explored enough in canon. Very lovely.
Working for the Mandroid: Toughmoonshayde on August 7th, 2007 10:11 pm (UTC)
I know! I kept waiting in S6 for them to go deeper into it and...no. :(

I love the topic though. Kudos to my person for such an excellent prompt. I doubt I gave her what she had in mind, but I tried. At least I had fun doing it.
Gunhildagunhilda on August 7th, 2007 04:58 pm (UTC)
Well done.
Working for the Mandroid: Steadfastmoonshayde on August 7th, 2007 10:12 pm (UTC)
Yay! Thanks!
ridin' the star mile: sam-walk away from thisstargazercmc on August 7th, 2007 06:21 pm (UTC)
Oh, man. So nice. Perfect characterizations, wonderful references to Daniel... I love this, so very much.

And yep, I have to say you managed that line perfectly.
Working for the Mandroidmoonshayde on August 7th, 2007 10:16 pm (UTC)
I'm really glad. Abyss is a very important episode to me. It really sums up how much I love Jack and Daniel's friendship. It's strange, it's powerful and deep, it's full of anger but love. They are there for each other, no matter what. And it's their friendship that resonates so strongly for me. I didn't want to take that, rob them of such a strong episode for them, and hand it to other characters. That would be like making Changling all about Jonas or something.

But as far as I'm concerned, Sam and Jack can have a deep, powerful experience of their own without "stealing" Jack and Daniel's thunder, so to speak. All the characters have their own special relatioships. So my goal was to keep Sam and Jack as in character as possible and give them their own moment that would be unique to them while still being true to the episode.

I'm so happy it worked for you :)
help, i'm alive ;;: sam & jack - alwaysodakota_rose on August 7th, 2007 07:04 pm (UTC)
Hey, I think you did really well with this, I loved it.
It was painful and they were both kind of broken but it was real, and you could feel a lot from it. Great job =)
Working for the Mandroid: Flowersmoonshayde on August 7th, 2007 10:16 pm (UTC)
Oh thank you! I am glad that you enjoyed it :)
damietta on August 8th, 2007 12:56 am (UTC)
I never read S/J but because it's you, I did.

Carter's "I didn't have anyone to talk to about it" was really very good. I never thought of her that way.

Jack prickliness was well, so Jack, and sitting at Charlie's playing field was just so sad. He'd lost a lot in S6 and before and the small solace of holding Sam's hand was beautiful.

While I still don't see them in a shippy way, as very good colleagues and friends, I can buy that!
Working for the Mandroid: SG1moonshayde on August 8th, 2007 11:17 am (UTC)
Thanks! I'm really glad the characters came out the way they did. That is what I was hoping for. And I still think that while you can see it as shippy, one can chose not to if they want. But it was a fun and a challenge to write.

Thanks for giving it a try!
colej55colej55 on August 8th, 2007 03:50 am (UTC)
You most definitely succeeded - so beautifully written, vividly expressing the deep emotional pain that surely would have resulted from Jack's experiences and Sam's need to help him through it in a way that he would accept. I loved your use of metaphor (the fly breaking free from the mud). Definitely up to your usual high standards!!!
Working for the Mandroid: unbreakablemoonshayde on August 8th, 2007 11:14 am (UTC)
Oh wow, thanks. I'm glad that I succeeded! It was tricky and I wanted to make sure I stayed true to character. Thanks :)
intergalactic super geek: sam/jackphantmgreeneyes on August 8th, 2007 05:04 am (UTC)
So sad. True to canon, though. Painfully well written.
Working for the Mandroid: War Storiesmoonshayde on August 8th, 2007 11:10 am (UTC)
Thank you so much :)
Dulce et decorum: sam/jackabbs34 on August 8th, 2007 07:46 pm (UTC)
awww that's like....awww!
Working for the Mandroid: Figure Outmoonshayde on August 8th, 2007 09:12 pm (UTC)
Thanks :)
Emma: SG - Gravitydeltachild on August 8th, 2007 10:07 pm (UTC)
You may not enjoy Sam/jAck but you have written one of the most perfect representations I think I have ever read.

You've captured Jack so well, from going back to his days with Charlie to how he must have felt after Kanan.

This is exactly what I wanted to read, it really is. The issues were something I thought should have been dealt with and yet they were glossed over or not mentioned. Your fic would be a brilliant addition to the end of the episode, a good way of showing that Jack could have found a way to heal.

Argh, I'm sorry, it's been a hard day and it's late now so I'm not too coherent. Wish I could leave a proper review. I love this fic, I really do.
Working for the Mandroid: Flowersmoonshayde on August 8th, 2007 10:42 pm (UTC)
Wow, thank you SO much. I was really concerned this fic wouldn't fly with you. It's not overtly shippy and I didn't know how the very understated and subtle feelings between them would go over with you.

See, I am very GEN for the show. Just the way I am. So anything shippy with me has to be something I can feel would work in within my views of canon. For something angsty like Abyss, I didn't want to step on Jack and Daniel's awesome friendship scenes, but at the same time I wanted to write something that would be unique to Sam and Jack and still show their feelings. So I'm glad that you enjoyed this so much.

This is a very new pairing for me to explore in fandom so I get nervous. I feel like I've done right by you. Thanks so much!
(no subject) - deltachild on September 1st, 2007 02:53 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Rigelrigel_7 on August 18th, 2007 02:24 pm (UTC)
And there we go - the scene that I always wanted, but canon denied.

I think you captured the brittle fragility of Jack post-Abyss quite perfectly here - the fact that he returns to a place that can only bring more sad memories speaks a lot for that.

I also love the fact that you haven't romanticised Jolinar, that as much as it was a good thing in the end, the experience still holds some very grey areas that still aren't quite resolved.

Lovely, lovely fic!
Working for the Mandroidmoonshayde on August 18th, 2007 03:48 pm (UTC)
I see Jack as the type of person that tends to cling to his misery and wallows in it. I don't mean he's always gloom and doom. He obviously copes and gets on with his life. But in that vunerable spot right after something has happened, I can see him just sinking into it for awhile. Alone. Then he eventually brings himself out of it and moves on, mostly.

I love the episode Abyss. And the Tok'ra (in all their gray area) fascinate me.

And yay that you liked it. That makes me very happy :)
anr: sam allmytimeanr on October 12th, 2007 10:31 am (UTC)
Wonderful follow up to the episode, and answer to the prompts. Well done! :)
Working for the Mandroid: Patternsmoonshayde on October 12th, 2007 11:54 am (UTC)
Thank you! :)