Story Notes: Choices We Make_02: AUTHOR'S NOTES: Thanks be to Suds as per usual and Jo!!!...and this one is also to all the people out there who have lost loved ones or who are kept away from them for various reasons. I feel for you...seriously. And for Mrs. Courtenay's Mom. We're with you...always. XOXOXO

At The Beginning Performed by Richard Marx and Donna Lewis (Used without permission. Great song, great movie [talking about Anastasia here])

We were strangers
starting out on a journey
Never dreaming
What we'd have to go through


Jack rubbed his eyes as he gazed up at the heavens. He was actually feeling envious of that stupid archeologist/linguist who got to stay on Abydos. If he'd stayed on Abydos then he'd have Skaara. Instead, he'd come home to try and reason with Sarah about Charlie and only ended up making matters worse, if that was possible.

"Colonel?" A voice reached him, sounding disgustingly hollow in his mind.

"Retired." He shot back, not even bother to hide the irritation in his voice.

"Right." A youngish looking man appeared at the top of his ladder. "'re needed back at NORAD." The man said bluntly.

"Who are you?"

"Lieutenant Colonel Samuels." Samuels felt slightly irritated with this harsh, battle scarred soldier's tone.

"You should get yourself to NASA. That's where all the action's gonna be in a few years, up in the stars." Jack said half to himself, half to Samuels.

"With all due respect, Sir, you're really needed back at the SGC."

"SGC?" Jack turned a surprised glance at this man. "That's shut down, long ago."

"No Sir, it's not." Samuels shook his head negative. "As I've said before, Sir, you're needed there."

"Okay." Jack stood up slowly, taking his time to study the heavens again. "Just make sure they have a donut waiting for me. I'm hungry." He explained, following Samuels down the ladder.


Now here we are
And I'm suddenly standing
At the beginning with you


Sam glanced in the mirror, checking her appearance for the last time. Ruffling her short hair, she grimaced. Two years and her hair was only a few centimetres long. Sighing, she narrowed her eyes. It didn't look that bad, actually, it was just that she was *used* to it being long.

Just like she had been used to Jonas beating her, used to always giving in to her dad, used to letting people order her around without grounds. No more. New hair style, new Samantha Carter. Maybe that car- crash had been a godsend after all, who knows?

"Captain Carter." The airman at the entrance checked her pass and then saluted her.

"At ease, Airman." She smiled at him, joy bubbling up and escaping through her bright blue eyes. Finally, she was going to go through the Stargate! The airman smiled back at her, understanding her joy as she disappeared down the hallway.

Finding her way through the maze of passages and corridors was a little tricky, but she found the infirmary pretty quickly anyway.

"Excuse me," She tapped a nurse on the shoulder. "I'm looking for a Dr. Janet Fraiser." She read the name off her slip of paper.

"Over there." The nurse pointed her in the direction of a petite brunette hastily setting up a cupboard of supplies.

"Uh...hi." Sam stepped forward, earning a welcoming smile from the doctor.

"Won't be a minute. You're Captain Carter, I take it?" Dr. Fraiser waved a hand in greeting before turning to properly face the tall blond woman.

"The one and only." Sam nodded her head, already warming to this woman and her slightly brusque manner.

"Great. Well, General Hammond said to make this quick, you're due for a debriefing in half an hour." Dr. Fraiser led the way over to a small room that had been set up for physical examinations. "So, how are you feeling?"

"Great." Sam said honestly.

"That's good." Fraiser flashed a torch into Sam's eyes. "I read about your accident...nasty." She commented, studying the Captain's reaction.

"Yeah, it was." Sam agreed, not really remembering details. The last thing she remembered was hanging up on Jonas.

"You're pretty lucky, you do realise." Fraiser continued, aimlessly chattering as she examined Sam.

"I know." Sam nodded her head. "It's strange, thinking that two weeks passed without me even knowing about it." She admitted.

"Well, it's surprising how quickly you've recovered, considering how long you were in that coma for."

"That's what I've been told." Sam grinned at her. "But I missed out on this opportunity once before, this time I'm definately going."

"Well, unless something drastic happens in the next twelve hours, you're all clear." Fraiser stood back and allowed Sam to get dressed again. "I must say, you look different than your photo..." She added, grinning impishly.

"One crack about the hair and..." Sam smiled in return, remembering the photo of her with her long hair that had been on all her documents. "No, I've decided that I'm keeping it short." She added running her hand through it absently.

"Smart." Fraiser smiled.

"Well, thanks Dr..."

"Call me Janet." Janet offered.

"Sam." Sam returned the favour.

"Hopefully when I see you again it will only to be give you the all clear, and not treating some hideous injury of some descript." Janet walked her to the door.

"I certainly hope so." Sam sobered as she remembered the pictures of the soldiers who'd been killed. They hadn't been pretty, to say the least.

"Find her, okay? And bring her back safely." Janet ordered, her eyes misting as she thought about her missing friend.

"I'll do that." Sam nodded her head firmly and marched off in the direction that she assumed the briefing room would be in.

* * *

"Where will he be transferring from?" Sam heard a voice question the statement.

"She's transferring from the Pentagon." She said bluntly, marching pointedly into the room. There was a silence as a room full of males all turned and gawked at her, surprised by the fact that she was a woman, and a strikingly attractive one at that.

"Captain Carter has been working at the Pentagon for nearly the last two years now, as well as before that. It's thanks to her that this program is a reality. She's going to be accompanying you as your Stargate Expert. She has a PhD."

"General, with all due respect, Sir, I'd like to pick my own team."

"I assure you gentleman, I won't be playing with my dolls, not on this mission." Sam shot at them, challenging them.

"Let me guess, G.I.Joe?" A man asked her, obviously taking his CO's attitude towards her.

"No. Major Matt Mason actually." She shot right back.

"You mean that little astronaught one? The one with the really cool little back pack and rocket packs?" Another man asked her, acceptance showing on his face as he joked with her.

"That's the one."

"Children, if we've quite finished..."

Sam narrowed her eyes. Colonel O'Neill. So this was the famous man who did as he pleased without too much trouble? "Colonel, with all due respect Sir, I was supposed to go on that first mission. I'm not missing out on this one." She inserted, determined not to be cheated

An uneasy silence filled the room. "General..." O'Neill started out, complaining.

"Colonel, just because I don't carry my reproductive organs on the outside and let testosterone control the way I think, doesn't mean I can't hold my own. I clocked over 200 hours in enemy airspace during the gulf..." Sam nearly blushed at her comments. How on earth had she just said that? She was sure a courtmarshall was coming up. "That tough enough for you, or are we going to have to arm wrestle?"

"It's not women that I have a problem with," O'Neill stated truthfully. "I *like* women, a lot. It's scientists I have a little problem with." He said bluntly.

"Colonel O'Neill, Captain Carter *will* be accompanying you and your team through the Stargate to Abydos within the hour." General Hammond stepped in, glaring at his 2IC. Jack sighed and sat back in his chair, glaring at the blond woman opposite him. She returned his glares with her own, those blue eyes, that had been surprisingly intelligent and guarded for a blond, frying him on the spot. Oh, this was not good.


No one told me
I was going to find you
What you did to my heart


Daniel gently stood up and disengaged Sha're's arms from his neck.

"I'll be back soon, I promise." He told her softly, kissing her cheek.

"Dan-yel?" She blinked, confused again.

"I've got to wait for my friends. For Jack." Daniel explained gently, tucking a dark strand of hair behind her ear. He studied her face carefully. The love he felt for her threatening to drown him again.

She smiled her understanding and consent at him, and then stood up as well to start preparations for the feast they both knew would follow the arrival of Jack and his team.

Skaara greeted Daniel with a slap on the back as he caught sight of the 'stranger' amongst them entering the room.

"Dan-yel..." He started talking, but was cut off by the sudden sound of the Stargate activating. Hurriedly all the Abydonians hid behind the pillars and watched as the wormhole locked into place. About five figures stepped through, one after the other. Instantly the Abydonians had them covered, pointing their weapons threateningly at the unprepared team.

"Whoa!" Jack held his hands up, cursing himself for being so stupid. Carter, meanwhile, was nearly being sick behind him. He stifled a grin. About time the good Captain was shown up.

"Jack!" Daniel's voice assailed his ears. He turned and caught sight of a slightly different Daniel Jackson approaching him hurriedly. The blue eyes were still just as alert as ever, but they were happy now, at peace with himself.

"Daniel. Good to see you!" Jack realised, with a start, that it was true. He'd only really known Jackson for that one mission, and hadn't even gotten on with him, but the courage the young argeologist had displayed had earned him a grudging respect and friendship in Jack's heart.

Daniel looked in surprise as Jack approached him with open arms, a huge grin on his face. Jack then veered to the left and immediately engulfed Skaara with a huge bear hug, the grin never leaving his face. Skaara looked just as happy as Jack.

Daniel took the opportunity to study the other members of the team that had accompanied Jack. He recognised Kowalsky's crooked grin and Ferretti's cheeky smile. A few others also looked familiar...and there was a woman!

He hadn't realised she was a woman, until she'd taken her hat off and revealed an incredible mop of touseled blond hair accompanied by large blue eyes that were just sparkling with curiousity and awe.

"Uh...hi." Daniel nodded at her.

"Dr. Jackson, I presume?" She asked him, her eyes laughing silently as he glanced down at himself.

"But of course." He responded in kind, giving her a wide grin.

"Jackson, this is Captain Carter." Jack jerked his head back at the female. "She's a scientist, just like you. I'm sure you will have lots to talk about!" For some reason, Jack found himself anxious that the two of them got along. Why, he didn't know, it just seemed important to him.

"Nice to meet you." Daniel nodded politely.

"Call me Sam." The woman instructed, shaking his hand firmly.

"Daniel." He told her just as calmly.

"So, Daniel, where's your lovely wife?" Jack looked around, not seeing Sha're.

"She's busy cooking..." Daniel blushed slightly.

"What? No kiddies yet?" Kowalsky joked, causing Daniel to turn even redder.

"You're married?" Sam was startled, studying the man who she judged to be a bit younger than herself.

"Yeah." Daniel smiled, thinking about Sha're.

" she is!" Jack smiled at Sha're who silently smiled back and came and stood next to Daniel. Everyone noticed as his arm dropped around her waist in a very relaxed, comfortable manner. Jack felt a pang shoot through him. Jackson was happy here, but now Jack was going to ruin it for him.

"So Jack, what brings you here after all this time?" Daniel asked as they made their way to the feasting room.

"Well, a few days ago, we had some visitors." Jack started off, slipping into his role as narrator with ease. "They were very familiar, if you know what I mean. Eyes glowed, had staff
weapons...that sort of thing."


"So? Where did they come from?" Jack waited for an answer.

"I don't know." Daniel looked surprised.

"Here..." Skaara interupted suddenly, presenting Jack with a bowl of some discript. Jack sniffed it curiously and then glanced suspiciously at Daniel.

"Moonshine? You've been teaching them how to make moonshine?" He asked incredulously. "Daniel, what have you done to my kids?" He demanded.

"They're all grown up now, Colonel!" Kowalsky smile fondly at a boy. "Go on, try it!" He goaded his CO.

Glaring at Kowalsky, Jack sniffed the liquid again. Smiling warily at Skaara he took a gulp and nearly spat it all out again, choking in the process.

"!" He blinked, forcing the tears away and wishing his voice didn't sound so croaky. Carter, sitting next to him, was highly amused by the whole thing and that annoying, very appealing smile was going at full voltage. "Smooth. Very smooth."

"Anyway, Jack, you were saying that some aliens came to earth?" Daniel prodded, realising that this was important.

"Yeah...they kidnapped a female officer, shot the place up and then left."

"Well, it wasn't Ra." Daniel pointed out. "He's in a million little pieces right now..."

"Then who was it and where did they come from?" Ferretti interjected.

"Come on, I've got to show you something!" Daniel jumped up suddenly, excitement on his face. Sam started in surprise at the man's sudden, erratic movements, but everyone else took it calmly, used to his sudden bursts of excitement.

Sha're stood up along with everyone else, and then purposefully kissed Daniel long and hard in front of everyone else. "Bye." She whispered, kissing his cheek softly.

"Bye." Daniel gulped, grinning widely as he led the way to his find.

"They do that everytime?" Jack asked Skaara as he left, a look of disbelief on his face.

"Everytime." Skaara agreed, a look of disgust on his handsome young face. Sam fought hard to keep her own laughter hidden.

* * *

"This is incredible!" Sam breathed, gazing around the room with large eyes. She would never, ever have imagined this as a possibility.

"So what exactly have we decided then?" O'Neill interupted, sending her a glance that said, 'english, please'.

"Those aliens could have come from anywhere, Sir." Carter responded instantly. "All of these are destinations, and I can work out a program to account for the planetary shift which means that the Stargates not only link between two planets, they link us to millions of planets!" Her eyes glowed a luminious colour with excitement, O'Neill realised, slightly disconcerted that he noticed this.

"Let's get back to the SGC and tell Hammond about our findings." O'Neill ordered, dragging the two scientists and the other people out of the room.

"Oh God!" Sam's mouth dropped open in horror as she surveyed the scene in front of her.

"Captain?" O'Neill barked, questioning her for her opinion.

"The aliens." She said simply, turning and catching sight of Ferretti lying on the ground. "Hold on." She told him as his eyes slipped closed in unconsciousness.

"They've got Skaara and Sha're." Daniel appeared from behind her, worry on his face and fear in his eyes.

"Let's get back to the SGC. Ferretti might have seen the co- ordinates." Sam suggested.

"I'm not leaving!" Daniel declared stubbornly.

"You have to, Daniel. We'll go to earth and see if we can find them. We'll look for them, I promise you!" Jack said firmly.

Daniel studied Jack and saw the grief and concern for Skaara present there. He felt a surge of hope in him. If anyone could bring Sha're and Skaara back, it was Jack O'Neill.

No one said anything as Daniel started talking in the Egyptian language he'd learnt during his stay. They watched silently as the people all came up to him, touching his skin and ruffling his hair, showing that they still loved him. Sam forced herself not to cry as she heard Daniel's voice crack and he switched to english.

"One year. I'll come back in one year, and then you unbury the gate and I'll come and see you. I'll bring them back, I promise. One year!" He told them, wiping his eyes.

"Dial us home, Captain." O'Neill said softly, watching as Sam slowly made her way over to the DHD and dialed earth.


When I lost hope
You were there to remind me
This is the start


"Come on." Jack nodded his head, indicating for Jackson to follow him down the corridors. There was silence as they got into Jack's car and he started the drive home.

"So this is your house." Daniel glanced around, slightly surprised. It was a very comfortable, tidy house. Not the kind of house he pictured Jack O'Neill having.

"So it is." Jack agreed, heading over to the small fridge he kept stocked with beer for just this purpose. "How you doing?" He asked softly, knowing and able to comprehend the pain Daniel was going through.

"Fine." Daniel lied, staring down at his beer. "You know, I love her." He said softly.

"I know. It's kind of obvious." Jack smiled slightly, studying his own beer.

"I was shocked as hell when I realised Kasuf had given her to me....but now I can't believe I managed to live without her for so long." Daniel sighed, closing his eyes.

"We'll find her, Daniel. Both of them. We'll bring them home." Jack said firmly.

"I know, but I miss her. I worry, Jack." Daniel opened his eyes and took a swig of the bitter liquid. "I never thought I'd hear myself saying I missed beer." He grinning ruefully.

"I can't believe you taught those kids how to make moonshine!" Jack snorted, taking a long drink.

"Homesickness, I guess." Daniel sighed again, his thoughts elsewhere. "So how about you?" He asked curiously.

"Pardon?" Jack was startled.

"How are you? Last time I saw you, you were feeling pretty suicidal." Daniel said bluntly. Jack gaped at the man. No one was allowed to talk to him that way, and here was this scrawny excuse for an 'archeologist' mouthing him!

"And don't try and deny it either." Daniel said firmly.

Jack closed his mouth and took another swig.

"So?" Daniel pushed.

"I should have stayed on Abydos too." Jack said eventually.

"You wouldn't have coped. No beer." Daniel pointed.

"Skaara was there though."

"You really care about him, don't you?" Daniel pursed his lips, forcing himself not to think about Sha're.

"Yes, I do." Jack agreed, debating whether or not to tell Daniel. "Reminds me of my own kid."

"You have a kid?" Daniel looked mildly surprised.

"Yeah." Jack smiled bitterly, glancing involuntarily at the picture of Sara and Charlie still gracing his mantel.

"Where is he?" Daniel asked.

"With Sara." Jack was growing tired of this conversation. "She left me, won't let me see him."


"Damnit Jackson, I'm not good enough for them. Sara is right, Charlie deserves better than a part time father." He stood up, angrily casting his empty bottle at the rubbish bin. "The guest room is up the hall. There's a new toothbrush in the right hand drawer as well as some spare P.J.'s in the cupboard." Jack tossed over his shoulder before stalking off angrily and slamming his door behind him.

Daniel stood up slowly and examined the picture. He purposefully picked up Jack's empty bottle and placed it in the bin along with his, before searching out the spareroom.

Jack glared up at the ceiling, mad as hell with Jackson. He had no right to come in here asking personal question like that. And why the hell had he answered them? Fuming, Jack turned onto his side and thought about Sara. He missed her, he realised, a lot. She'd always been there for him, and now they were both gone. Her and Charlie.

He managed to screw a lot of peoples lives up.


And life is a road and I want to keep going
Love is a river I want to keep flowing
Life is a road
Now and forever
Wonderful journey

I'll be there when the world stops turning
I'll be there when the storm is through
In the end I want to be standing
At the beginning with you.


Sam glanced around the room somewhat bleary eyed. Daniel and the Colonel had shown up ten minutes ago, both silent and not even acknowledging the other. She hoped no one would notice her own inattentiveness. Pulling an all-nighter like that to work out a wasn't reccomended.

Everyone stood up when the General entered, and then sat down when he nodded.

"Captain Carter?" He glanced at her, waiting for her report.

"Ah..yes Sir." Sam cleared her throat. "I managed to work out the program that should calculate and compromise for planetary shift." She started off, glancing around the room quickly. "The computer should spit out about one or two new destinations each month." She started off.

"General." Janet Fraiser suddenly appeared. "Ferretti is awake, Sir, he's pointed out the co-ordinates for the planet the Jaffa escaped too." She started out.

"Thank you Dr." Janet left the room just as quietly as she'd entered it.

"Well, based on what you've just told us Captain, the President's plan is a go." He said, looking around.

"What plan?" Jack spoke up, confused.

"As off today, the SGC is going to be operating as a military operation. There will be a set of teams formed, each one going on missions to other planets for exploration and reconnaisance." Hammond started out. "Colonel, you get the Alpha team, SG-1. Accompanying you will be Captain Carter and..."

"Me, Sir." Daniel interjected, adding the Sir somewhat bewilderdly.

"I beg your pardon?" General Hammond started out.

"I'd like to be on SG-1, General. No, I have to be on SG-1." Daniel said stubbornly, and Jack nearly grinned. Daniel was probably the most stubborn person he knew, if somewhat flaky.

"I'm sorry son, but you're too valuable a member with too much knowledge to put you in the front lines..."

"General, Sir, I don't think you understand. I'm going to find my wife, and Jack's going to help me." Daniel glared at the General.

"Dr. Jackson..."

"With all due respect, Sir, I'd like Daniel on my team." Jack spoke up.

"You would?"

"Yes." Jack nodded.

"Okay." General Hammond gave in gracefully, causing Jack to narrow his eyes. Had that been the plan all along? To have Daniel on SG-1?

"What about the rest of my team?"

"For now it will just be yourself, Captain Carter and Dr. Jackson. When we get more recruits in we'll add a fourth member. Major Kowalsky, SG-2 will be yours. Our Colonel here has been chewing my ear for long enough now, saying you need a command of your own." Hammond smiled at the joyous look lighting up Kowalsky's face and the grin that crossed between him and O'Neill.

"So, what's our first mission?" Jack asked, getting to the point.

"The planet that Ferretti has the co-ordinates for." Hammond said seriously.


We were strangers
On a crazy adventure
Never dreaming
How our dreams would come true


Teal'C glanced disdainfully around the room, closing off the cries his conscience was sending him. Laying eyes on the dark haired woman from Abydos, he immediately knew that this would be the one Amounet would choose. Why get more people killed just to prolong the infesting of one single person?

He purposefully walked in front of her so he wouldn't see her struggles or look at the fear in his eyes. Her fire and spirit reminded him of Dray'C, and he was relieved that Jaffa could not
become hosts.

* * *

"Kill the rest." Apophis ordered his first prime, the yellow eyes glowing before he theatrically spun around and made his departure, followed by his new queen.

Teal'C glanced around at his fellow Jaffa. They were all steadily approaching the prisoners, waiting for his word. His eyes then landed on the strange people with the odd technologies. The tall man, the leader, he was yelling something.

"I can save these people! Help me!" He begged, his eyes hopeful. Teal'C looked around again, seeing the determined expressions on the faces of the man's companions.

"Many have said that." He started out, charging his staff weapon. "But you are the first I have believed." He spun around, taking out Yashk'l on his right. He felt the guilt when he realised that Yashk'l's wife would now be husbandless, but fought on anyway. Two more of his fellow Jaffa fell after he threw his weapon to the man he was helping.

In no time at all the Jaffa were all dead or dying, their threat extinguished.

"Stand back!" The man ordered, and the people parted. Firing once at the walls, he created a hole. The blond woman was the first out, and soon all the prisoners were being encouraged to escape. Teal'C watched them all leave, hundreds of emotions running through him.

He had just thrown away his family, for these people. Dray'C, Ry'C, their lives were in danger now because of his rebellion.

"Well, come on then." The man was waiting for him.

"I have no where to go." Teal'C realised, shocked and shamed to realised he was on the verge of tears.

"Come on, you can come and crash at my place." The man offered. Teal'C struggled to understand the strange speech and meaning, but realised this man was offering his help and friendship.

"I am Teal'C." He said, stepping into the sunlight.

"Well, Teal'C, nice to meet you. I'm Jack O'Neill." The man stated.

Teal'C dipped his head in the customary greeting, before taking off after Jack as the became aware of the danger they were in.


And life is a road and I want to keep going
Love is a river I wanna keep flowing
Life is a road
Now and forever
Wonderful journey

I'll be there when the world stops turning
I'll be there when the storm is through
In the end I wanna keep standing
At the beginning
With you.


Daniel stood, stunned in the gateroom.

"Daniel?" Sam's gentle voice broke through his thoughts. "We'll find her Daniel, we'll get her back for you." She said softly, giving him a quick hug.

He managed a small smile and turned to look at the large ring of stone.

"Funny how this thing gave me the best time of my life, and then also took it away." He whispered.

"It's not gone, Daniel, just missing for a while." Sam put and arm around his shoulders and gently guided him out of the gate. "Let's go get cleaned up and debrief, okay?"


* * *

"I'm telling you General, He saved our backsides on that planet. If he hadn't helped us we wouldn't be here having this conversation. The only conversations we would be having right now is with either God or the other guy." Jack yelled.

"Jack, as much as I believe you, there's nothing I can do."

"General, I want him on SG-1. He's a good man." Jack insisted.

"How can you be sure?"

"How can you be sure I'm a good man?" Jack counter-acted. "I'm not." He added as an after thought, realising he'd just effectively put both feet literally and completely into the hole he'd dug for himself.

"Colonel...this isn't a decision that can be made lightly." Hammond said eventually.

"I know that, Sir." Jack nodded his head.

"I'll think about it." Hammond stood up.

* * *

Jack glared irritably at the message light beeping on his answering machine.

"Make yourselves at home...won't be long." He yelled to his team. SG-1. He liked the sound of that.

"What is this, Daniel Jackson?" He heard Teal'C asking and hid a smile.

"It's a television, Teal'C." Daniel started explaining as Jack chuckled.

"Oh! Wait! I love this show!" He heard Carter insert suddenly as he pushed the button.

"Colonel O'Neill, this is Senior Sergeant Mills from the Colorado Police Department. We would appreciate it very much if you got in contact with us ASAP." The message ended abruptly. Curious, Jack picked up the phone and dialed the Police Station.

"Yeah, this is Jack O'Neill. I had a message from a Senior Sergeant Mills to ring him back ASAP....yes...thanks." He waited.

"Who is it?" Daniel appeared around the corner.

"No idea." Jack said, somewhat truthfully, turning around when he realised the archeologist wasn't getting the hint that he wanted to be left alone. Sighing he waited for the man to talk to him.

"Colonel O'Neill?" The man sounded slightly hesitant. Instantly Jack was alert.

"Uh, yeah?" He snapped sarcastically.

"I don't know if you're aware...but two days ago there was a shoot out at the school..."

"Charlie!" Jack hissed into the phone.

"No...Charlie's okay, Colonel. He's scared a little bit confused, but he's okay. Unfortuneately your wife..."

"Ex." Jack inserted automatically.

"Sorry, your ex-wife wasn't so lucky. She was...uh...shot during the incident and died instantly...."

Daniel watched in amazement as Jack's already pale face suddenly drained of colour.

"She's gone?" He whispered brokenly.

"I'm sorry Colonel."

"Where's Charlie?"

"He's at the local on fifth..."

"I'll be there." Jack hung up and turned around, his face deathly white.

"What's wrong?" Daniel asked him gently.

"Sara is...was...I've got to get Charlie." Jack stuttered, his lips going numb for some absurd reason.

"Colonel...." Carter's voice startled him. For just a minute he could image her features a little older and more homely, her hair a little more on the brown side...and then he'd have Sara in front of him.

"What's wrong with Sara, Jack?"

"She uh...she was shot." He looked bewildered, Sam realised. Completely and utterly confused. "She didn't make it." He added as an after thought. "I've got to go pick Charlie up."

"Charlie?" Sam questioned. Who was Sara? And who was Charlie?

"My son." O'Neill said the words strangely.

"You're in no condition to drive, Colonel." Sam said firmly. "Daniel, you take Teal'C back to base seeing as you're staying there anyway. I'll take the Colonel and we'll pick up Charlie." She organised.

"No." Jack said suddenly.

"Why not?" Sam demanded, annoyed with his tone.

"Because what would he think if he saw me with another woman right after his mother died?" Jack nearly laughed bitterly.

"I'll put on some fatigues." Sam shrugged. "You're not driving yourself, Colonel."

"Is that an order, *Captain*?" Jack demanded tiredly.

"Yes Sir." She stared him down, completely unfazed.

"Okay." He relented, his head pounding with sudden fear.


I knew there was somebody somewhere
Like me alone in the dark
Now I know my dream will live on
I've been waiting so long
Nothing's gonna tear us apart


The fatigues that O'Neill had thrown somewhat hurriedly at Sam were much to big for her, so she just slipped them on over the top of her civvies. Daniel and Teal'C followed them to the door. Silently the four people split up, Daniel and Teal'C in one car and Sam and Jack in the other.

"Do you want me to come with you?" Sam asked softly as she turned the car off, turning sympathetic blue eyes towards her CO of three months.

"Why?" Jack asked her dully, anger shooting in his eyes. It wasn't fair that his Sara had died and this blond smart-ass was trying to comfort him.

"I just thought that maybe you needed..." Sam said softly, hurt when she realised what he was thinking. He hated her, she realised.

"I don't need anything from *you*." He said harshly, flinging the door open and storming into the building.

"Colonel O'Neill?" The man at the desk looked up at him, his eyes sympathetic.

"Yeah. Where's Charlie?" Jack demanded.

"He's in the back. One of the officers looked after him last night because we couldn't get a hold of anyone else..." The man trailed off, leading the way through the department.

"Daddy!" Charlie jumped up and ran to Jack, wrapping his strong little arms tightly around Jack's neck, his hot tears running down both of their cheeks.

"Where's Mommy?" Charlie sniffed, shaking.

"She's...she's in heaven, Charlie." Jack whispered, kissing his forhead gently.

"Why don't I see you anymore?" Charlie sobbed, refusing to let go of Jack.

"You will now Charlie, you will. You're coming to live with me now." He picked Charlie up, holding him close.

"And Mommy?"

"No Charlie...she's living with the angels now." Jack glared at the officer holding up paperwork. Seeming to understand, the man smiled slightly and put the sheets of paper down, letting Jack walk out into the cold night air, carrying his son.

* * *

Sam watched as Jack approached, carrying a small body that must be his son. Quickly she hopped out of the car and opened the back door for him before he had to do it himself. Silently O'Neill nodded his head and gently placed his exhausted son on the backseat, already sleeping.

"I'll get you guys home." Sam said softly, her heart going to out to the poor young boy on the backseat.

"Thanks." Jack said gruffly. He watched as she efficiently got back into her seat and started the car, her hair glinting in the streetlight. He'd been to quick to judge her, too harsh on her because she reminded him so much of Sara.


God, I'm sorry Sara.

* * *

"Daddy?" Sam paused as she heard the little boy's sleepy voice.

"I'm here, Charlie." O'Neill dropped a gentle kiss on the small boy's head. She was surprised at how gentle he was with his son, how quick and practiced he was at taking care of him.

"I'm thirsty." Charlie said.

"I'll go make him a drink. Want a hot chocolate?" Sam asked him, earning his attention for the first time.

"Yeah." Charlie nodded, his eyes tearing up as he glanced from his Dad to Sam. "Are you Daddy's girlfriend?"

"No." Sam smiled slightly, amused. "I work with your Daddy. I'm Sam." She said, drawing attention to 'her' fatigues.

"Oh." Charlie looked a little happier.

"I'll go make you that hot chocolate. Colonel, you do have hot chocolate, right?"

"Yeah. In the cupboard next to the sink. All my munchies are there." Jack told her, not sparing her a glance as he dug around in the cupboard, searching for some spare blankets.

Sam made the drinks, two of them, and then gingerly carried them back up to the room where she knew Charlie was going to be sleeping.

"Hey Charlie, where's the Colonel?" She looked around the empty room after catching sight of Charlie lying in the bed, a small, miserable little bundle.

"He had to go bathroom." Charlie murmered, sniffing again. Glancing around helplessly, Sam decided that she couldn't just leave the poor kid lying there alone.

"How you doing?" She asked, approaching and placing the mugs of chocolate on the bedside table and helping him to sit up.

"Okay." Charlie accepted the mug she gave him and took a long sip.

"Is it good?" She smiled at him hopefully.

" my Mom's..." He started sniffing again, the mug wobbling precariously.

Sam gently took it from him and enveloped him in a warm hug, holding his shuddering body close to hers.

"It's'll be okay." She soothed him, stroking his hair as he cried against her shoulder, feeling his pain as if it was her own.

Jack appeared around the corner just in time to see her hugging his son. An unfair burst of anger rose up in him. Why was this woman here, holding his son and comforting him? It should be his mother. It should be Sara.

"She's gone, Sam." Charlie hiccuped against her, his little arms holding her tightly.

Jack clenched his fists, unable to make his presence known so that he could comfort his son because the pain was still too knew and too raw for himself to deal with.

"Just one part of her's gone Charlie." Sam said softly, holding him tightly. "But she's not all gone. She's still there, watching you and wishing you weren't hurting so much."

"How do you know?" Charlie sniffled, sounding slightly hopeful.

Sam hesitated, and even from this distance and the dimness of the light, Jack could see the pain etched deeply on her features as she fought for control.

"I was about your age when my Mom died." Sam admitted, closing her eyes. "There was a car - accident, and she was hurt really badly. She bumped her head too hard and just didn't wake up." Sam felt angry that after all this time, thinking about it still brought tears to her eyes and she felt them trickling down her cheeks.

"The doctors said my mommy didn't even feel it." Charlie whispered.

"That's good then, she wasn't hurting." Sam told him.

"I saw her...him shoot...there was blood." Charlie admitted as if it was a crime, scared to death of saying it out loud.

"Oh, sweety." Sam kissed his forhead gently, holding him while he cried again. "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry." She hugged him tightly.

"Sam?" Charlie's voice was muffled against her shirt. "Where's my Daddy?"

"I'm here, Charlie." Jack stepped into the room, blinking his own tears away, gazing with slight admiration at this woman who'd managed to get his son to open up in such a short amount of time.

"I'm scared, Daddy." Charlie cried, grabbing hold of Jack's arm with one hand but still holding firmly onto Sam. "What if those bad men come and shoot you or Sam?" Charlie cried, "I don't want them too!"

"They won't Charlie, they won't. I promise." Jack rubbed his son's back, gazing helplessly at Sam. "Come on, sport, you can sleep with me tonight, huh?" He waited.

"And Sam?"

"Charlie...I don't think Sam wants too...she's got her own home and..."

"Please?" Charlie begged, "I don't want them to shoot her."

"They won't." Jack sighed, hugging Charlie close.

"Sam? Don't go!" Charlie panicked as she stood up.

" much as this pains me..." Jack said softly, his embarrassment showing.. "Would you stay the night?"

"Okay." Sam agreed softly, unable to just leave the poor child in this state.

"Thanks." Jack stood up, holding Charlie in his arms.

"Where's Sam?" Charlie panicked.

"Don't you think it will be too squashy for all of us on the bed..?" Jack asked.

"No." Charlie looked around, his eyes fastening on Sam.

"Do you mind?" Jack turned to look at Sam, defeated.

Sam allowed herself a small, mental smile as she saw how that kid had Jack wrapped around his little finger. "No." She shrugged.

"Come on then." Jack sighed, leading the way to his room.

Sam glanced around nervously, suddenly panicky about this. What if they got the wrong idea? What was she going to sleep in?

"Here." Jack threw her a large hockey jumper and his night gown. "It's all I've got. Sorry." He smiled slightly.

"No problem." She lied, taking the jumper and looking around.

"The bathroom's just through there. You can go get changed, I'll stay with Charlie." He offered. "Toothbrush in the bottom drawer...I always keep spares." He added somewhat absently, turning his attention back to Charlie.

"Thanks." Sam disappeared into the room.

She emerged a few minutes later, the hockey jumper nearly reaching her knees and not even bothering with the night gown. O'Neill glanced at her once before turning his attention back to Charlie.

He pretended not to noticed as she crawled into the bed next to Charlie, convinced that he was just being stupid. She reminded him too much of Sara...way too much. But this was Sam Carter...Captain Sam Carter, his 2IC and one difficult woman.

Funny that, he pursed his lips as he entered his bathroom silently, he was the only person that seemed to find her annoying and too self confident for her own good. Eveyone else loved her, including Jackson and Teal'C, not to mention Hammond. There was just something about her that managed to get his hackles up the wrong way.

His breath caught in his throat when he re-entered the bedroom. Charlie was lying in Sam's arms, sleeping. Her eyes were closed in slumber as well. Sara. She looked so much like Sara. But she was so different to Sara. Forcing the pain away from him, he crawled as gingerly as he could into the bed, determined not to wake them up. Carefully he positioned himself next to Charlie, loathing the fact that he couldn't hold his son now because his 2IC was. Closing his eyes he turned the light off and let the darkness swallow them up.


And life is a road and I want to keep going
Love is a river I wanna keep flowing
Life is a road
Now and forever
Wonderful journey

I'll be there when the world stops turning
I'll be there when the storm is through
In the end I wanna keep standing
At the beginning
With you.



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End Notes: (For those of you that don't get it, the 'boom boom boom' is like a drum beat in the background! It means I'd like feedback please.)

Part Three: I will come to you

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