Story Notes: E-Mail:

Category: Humor/Romance

Pairings: Sam/Jack

Spoilers: None

Season: Future Season

Content Warnings: None

Archive: S/J Archive, Yes. Everybody else just ask me please

Sam sensed his presence before anything else.

Her eyes darted up quickly to confirm her suspicion before lifting her wrist to check the time, 24 hundred hours.

Glancing up again, unable to prevent a steadily raising eyebrow, she addressed her late night visitor, "Sir?"

He did not reply, instead he just stood there, leaning against the doorframe with his arm crossed and staring at her with a deep piercing gaze.

"Sir?" She asked again, frowning slightly this time.

Something was wrong.

She could not put a finger on it, but after years of working close to someone you develop something like a six sense. That six sense was telling her now that there was something seriously amiss with the man in front of her. He was observing her in utter silence from the dark shadows of the doorway.

Pushing her latest experiment to a safe corner on her lab table she stretched and stood up slowly, suddenly feeling all of her muscles starting to protest in response. The last few hours of sitting quietly, bent over a piece of technology in deep concentration, had definitely taken its toll on her body, after all she was not yesterday's child anymore.

When she finally started to regain a bit more feeling in her body she moved her shoulders a little bit before turning her full attention to her Superior Officer again.

That feeling of dread started to creep up on her once more.

She hesitated at first, glanced over his shoulder quickly before bringing down her tone of voice an octave and nearly whispered, "Jack, what's wrong?"

There. She said his name. A few years ago she would not have dared, but times have changed. It was becoming easier and easier to fall into a strange familiarity with him when nobody was around.

Raking a hand through his short crop hair he took a deep breath, his dark brown eyes playing window to the whirlwind of emotions tearing through him, before turning around, closing and locking the door behind him.

"Ok-ay, now I'm officially spooked," she commented with a false smile, taking an involuntary step backwards. It was her poor attempt to lighten what was fast becoming a heavy, smothering atmosphere.

He took another deep breath, the side of his mouth twisted slightly before crossing some of the distance between them in a few swift movements.

"Carter...uh," he appeared umcomfortable, refusing to meet her eyes steadfastly.

She bit on her bottom lip, never before had she seen him act that way, "What?" That one word barely managed to made its way off her tong. It sounded more like a cross between a cough and a husky attempt at talking.

"Maybe you should sit down." His hand landed softly on her shoulder. She could have sworn that she saw something glittering at the corner of his eye.

"What?" she asked again, suddenly all too aware that maybe she should start consider varying her choice of words. The smallest of warnings started nagging at the back of her mind, warning her that the only reason that he would act that way was if…


Surely not.

"What happened?" Right, maybe it did not came out quite the variation of words that she had hoped on, but still it was better than saying, "Who died?"

He just shook his head, sadness spread like a sickness across his face, and murmured softly, "I'm so sorry."

'I'm so sorry - I'm so sorry - I'm so sorry - I'm so sorry.' That sentence would repeat in her head for many years to come, it became so bad that she eventually came to hate that combination of three little words.

"M-my…" she struggled to conclude the sentence but knew it had to be done. He cocked his head to one side, his eyes encouraging her to continue, to finish the sentence, to let the truth reveal itself. At the same time they were also telling her that no matter what happens in the future he would be there for her. His hand increased its strenght on her shoulder.

She opened her mouth, close it again, bit on her bottom lip, shook her head - a small single tear started rolling down her cheek.

"It's my father," it came out as a statement, not a question.

He turned his eyes away from her for a second and then replied in a soft voice, "Sam, I'm so sorry."



What is it with him and the word, 'sorry.'

"What is it with you and the word, 'sorry'." The bitter words suddenly left her lips before she could do anything to prevent it - she was not even sure as to whether she wanted to. Surely someone should pay for the excrusiating pain that had slowly, but steadily, started to consume her soul.

"Excuse me?" His face portrayed the confusion he felt.

"Ah come on JACK," she accented his name with venom, "I know you are slow sometimes, but surely you must understand English. Last time I checked it was your mother tongue."

Right, that was low. Very low. Not only was he one of the most intelligent, brave, courageous men she ever had the fortune to know but on top of that he WAS 'Jack O'Neill' - the one man in her life that did not deserve to receive that type of words.

She wanted to apologise but the words did not come. The sorrow in her heart was just too much too bear alone.

"Sam…" he pulled his hand away from her shoulder with one quick movement, almost like it was on fire. She could see shock and disbelief fighting for dominance on his face.

"I…" she shook her head, suddenly feeling very tired. Her eyes pleaded for forgiveness, for relief, for escape, anything to undo the reality of the moment.

"How did he…did he…" her hand made a movement through the air, concluding the lingering question, a barely detectable sob was entwined in her words.

The pain was still in his eyes but there was something additional - realization that she spoke the words in a moment of intense pain and fear of the unknown, fear that only a daughter could feel at the fact that her father would no longer be part of her life.

"Their base camp was attacked by Ba'al. Your father…he," his one hand scratched across the forearm of his other arm before both hands disappeared into the secure hiding places of his pants' pockets. In a corner of her mind, the part that was normally reserved for abstract logic, she recognised it as his sign for being uncomfortable, unsure of himself.

He slightly rocked on his heels before continueing, "There was some very important data that the he…that the Tok'ra couldn't afford to let Ba'al get his hands on. I was told your father died protecting that information…"

"Selmak? What about Selmak?" The question was asked full of hope. Maybe, just maybe, a small part of her father could have survived that way. Was she not told years ago that a symbiont and its host feel as one?

His only answer was to slightly shake his head.

"I see," she answered softly. She could feel her whole body turning cold, shivers started competing for the right to run down her spine. Her arms crossed across her chest, her hands moved up and down her arms to try and prevent the last bit of heat from abadoning her.

"Sam?" He took a step closer and stopped when her dull blue eyes darted up to him. "Sam," he whispered and stepped even closer until he was able to stand directly in front of her.

She swallowed, her eyes narrowed a bit, but she did not say or do anything, neither did she advert her gaze from him. She tried to be strong, she wanted to be strong - the tough warrior, but suddenly everything became too much for her. She felt herself starting to loose all self-control, tears burned down her cheek, her body started to shake slightly.

"Ss-am," he reached out his hand again.

She shook her head and took a step backwards. "I…I'm fine…I just need to…I think what I…Maybe I should…" She knew she was stuttering, she knew she was not making a lot of sense, she knew that she felt totally empty at that very moment and lastly she was all too aware of the fact that she had no idea how (maybe, even when) to take the next step foreward in the twisted thing called life.

Jack sensed her pain.

His eyes narrowed.

His tongue flickered slightly over his bottom lip.

Then finally he made up his mind.


Just that one simple word and somehow it said so much more. With one five digit word he had managed to let her know the following -

I am your superior officer

I am your colleague

I am your protector

I am your friend

I am there for you

Your pain is my pain

I care for you much more than what I'm supposed to.

He would never be able to say that much but somehow with one word he still managed to portray all of that emotions and more.

She caved in and walked into his warm, welcome embrace.

His arms encircled around her, his hands met at her back to enfold her in a solid, yet gentle grip, his chin nestled into the fold of her neck, warm breath caressing some exposed skin.

"I…Jack…I don't…how am…how am I suppose to continue?" she cried, her head resting on his shoulder.

"Shhh, I don't know, but whatever happens you won't go through it alone."

"The pain…it's umbearable. It's worse…worse that when my mom died. I -" a loud sob tore through her body, "always assumed…I think somehow I always thought that due to Selmak he…that my dad were invincible …that he would get…that he would get to live long after I was gone."

Her hands moved up to his shoulderblades, the tip of her fingers pressed deep into his back. "How am I suppose to live, knowing I'll never see him again?"

"By taking each day as it comes, by knowing you're with people that care for you," he replied softly, his mouth close to her ear.

Not one more word was uttered after that. Nothing was needed. Sam knew that no matter what happened from there on Jack would always be there for her.

She was not alone.


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