Authors Notes: This story is set 10 years after Season 8's "New Order" (2004). For the purposes of the story I am going with Sam having been born in 1968 and Jack in 1952. Therefore in 2014, Sam would be 46 and in 2004 Jack would have been 52.
I'd like to thank Fems for her help, advice and encouragement. I don't have a beta therefore any mistakes (of which I'm sure there are many) are my own.
Disclaimer: I own nothing. All characters belong to their copyright franchise. Written for pleasure, not profit.
Rating: T – (for possible language)
I'm Right Here
"I'll take Jake to school then, shall I?" an irritated Pete Shanahan, shouted through the bathroom door.
"Ah, thanks, Pete. Yeah… I'm running late."
"You don't say," Pete muttered sarcastically under his breath, he wasn't sure why he thought it would be any different today. After all, it was Tuesday. Every Tuesday (give or take) for the last ten years, things had been the same.
"Shall I pick us up something for dinner on the way home?" he tried once again to connect with his wife.
"Sam," he finally barked, any remaining patience quickly slipping away when she didn't reply. "Am I wasting my breath here?"
The bathroom door swung open and there in what could only be described as a flustered state, stood Samantha Carter.
"Sorry… did you say something?" Sam replied as she fiddled with the buttons on her dress blues, never once making eye contact with him.
"Forget it," Pete sighed. "I'll see you later." He didn't even bother to attempt a kiss, or ask her why she was all dressed up. He knew he was wasting his time. Tuesdays were a no go. He was so way down the pecking order when it came to importance on a Tuesday. Hell, it seemed like he was less than significant any day of the week where she was concerned.
Finally, Sam looked down at her 8-year-old son and stooped to place a kiss on the top of his head. Stroking his cheek, she winked at the young boy, "See you later, flyboy. Have a good day at school."
Without a further word, Pete hastily ushered his son out of the front door and into their car. Sam heard the engine start up and as soon as the car swept out of the drive she sighed with relief, a huge weight lifting from her shoulders. She took several deep breaths as the suffocating feeling that she battled with daily, began to dissipate.
Checking her watch, she was shocked to see that it was later than she expected it to be. After snatching a quick glance in the mirror to straighten her collar, she shut the door behind her and slid into her car. Starting the engine, she set off, knowing that she could make this journey in her sleep.
An unexpected meeting that had been arranged for her at the last minute, meant that she would be delayed in carrying out her usual Tuesday schedule. It had been preying on her mind all morning whilst she'd been getting ready and she knew that Pete had been irritated by her behaviour.
There had once been a time when she would have felt guilty about the hurt she was causing her husband, but that time had long since gone. She no longer tried to fool herself about her relationship with Pete. He had caught her at a vulnerable time when he had proposed to her. She had lost the two most important men in her life in a relatively short period of time and whilst she hadn't immediately agreed to marry Pete, she had done reluctantly, a few years later.
In the early days of their marriage, Pete had been a source of comfort but in the last few years they had grown further and further apart. Sam's heart still belonged to another, a fact that Pete was painfully aware of.
She'd only missed her regular Tuesday visit a handful of times, usually when there had been some dire emergency and she was called back to the SGC to save the world once again.
She laughed bitterly to herself, she could save the world and had done so on numerous occasions, but she hadn't been able to save the one thing that she had come to realise, meant even more to her than the world itself. Her eyes began to sting as the salty tears welled. She swiped at her face as her vision became obscured.
A piercing screech dragged her from her reverie and she twisted the steering wheel wildly, only avoiding a major collision by the skin of her teeth.
She shook her head to try and snap herself out of it. She was all he had. The last thing he needed, was for her to get herself killed. He would have very few visitors if she wasn't around. Sure, Daniel would come when he could, but it wasn't all that easy anymore.
After completing the journey without further incident, she parked her car in the parking lot at the Groom Lake Facility. She made her way inside and up to her lab on the third floor. The room bustled as her technicians worked on their allocated projects.
Sam had been relocated to Area 51 several years earlier.
After being promoted to Lieutenant Colonel by General Landry, she had taken charge of SG1. When she fell pregnant everyone, including herself, had been forced to reconsider her position on a front-line team. The powers that be had been trying to coax her to the Research and Development Project at Area 51 for longer than she could remember. For reasons involving more than just her pregnancy, the timing seemed right and having convinced Pete that a move to Nevada would be the best thing for their family, they had done so, and he had secured a transfer to the Nevada police department relatively quickly.
Her meeting was scheduled for 9.00am, so she had just enough time to make it down to the canteen to grab some breakfast if she sorted out her files now. She rifled through her drawer trying to locate the correctly labelled buff coloured folder, which contained the report on the latest piece of alien technology that they had successfully managed to incorporate into their weapons systems.
As she pulled the folder from her drawer, a small rectangular photograph dropped to the floor underneath her desk. Grasping it tentatively she placed it on top of the folder. There in the photograph were Colonel O'Neill, herself and a very smug looking Daniel holding the alien device.
Her finger skimmed the edge of the photo where Jack was pictured, his hands tightly grasping his P90, alert and on the look out as he always was. She remembered the mission to P4S- 537 well and she recalled exactly why the Colonel was so twitchy. Teal'c had been the one chosen to take the photograph and he took what seemed like an eternity to get the best angle for the picture. More often than not, she recognised the artefacts and technologies that she worked on and it gave her a great satisfaction to study pieces that she knew SG1 had procured. It was her link back to the SGC and a time that she could easily say had been the happiest of her life.
The creak of the lab door brought Sam back to the present and she slipped the photograph securely back under it's clip and shut the cover of the file. Strangely, she no longer felt hungry, but she knew that if she was going to make it through what had all the potential of being a particularly onerous meeting, especially when she really wanted to be elsewhere, then she needed to eat at least something to give her the necessary stamina.
Five hours after setting foot in the briefing room, Sam emerged jaded and despondent. Her team had failed to secure the agreement they needed to commence testing the new weapon. The Joint Chiefs needed assurances as to the safety and cost of further developing the weapon and had agreed to review the project again in a further two months.
Sam pulled at her skirt which had already started to annoy her. She would have been much more comfortable in her BDU's and the urge to change was strong, but she knew that her time was limited and she sure as hell wasn't going to miss her visit.
After grabbing lunch on the hoof, Sam headed towards the medical centre of Area 51. She swiped herself through several security doors before approaching the reception desk.
"Good Morning, Colonel Carter," the blonde-haired nurse behind reception chirped cheerily.
"Morning, Monica. How's our patient today?"
"No significant changes, I'm afraid. Although…" the pretty nurse hesitated not knowing if she should be giving Sam any false hope.
"Yes?" Sam asked eagerly.
"Well… Dr Martinez did note that there had been some increased brain activity, but it was short-lived and I'm afraid Colonel O'Neill remains unresponsive."
"Well, baby steps I suppose," Sam tried to sound positive as she saw the look of sympathy in the woman's eyes.
"I'll buzz you through." The nurse reached below the desk and a green light flashed on the adjacent door.
The room was white in colour and unusually devoid of medical equipment apart from the bare basics. There were no external monitors apart from those incorporated in the stasis unit. It had bothered her at first, how clinical and cold the environment was but she soon realised that it wouldn't matter what the surroundings were like, she would still feel complete when she was near him.
Standing as close to the unit as possible, Sam placed her hand on top of the clear glass top. She looked down at the perfectly peaceful expression on the face of its occupier. She had lost him ten years ago and although it was, in reality, such a long time that she had been doing this, in some ways it was as if it were only yesterday. He looked no different than he had done ten years ago.
"Hello, Sir. I'm sorry I'm late. You wouldn't believe the meeting I've just had to sit through." Pulling a nearby chair beneath her, Sam settled herself, her hand still resting on the top of his stasis unit.
"So, Monica tells me that they've actually found some activity in that brain of yours. I always told you that you couldn't fool us forever."
He didn't reply, she hadn't expected him to. For the last ten years, Sam Carter had spent as many Tuesday afternoons as she could with the man that she would always consider to be her Commanding officer. He was a man that she had looked up to and admired more than any other military officer she had known. He was also a man that, in his own words, she had cared about, far more than she was supposed to.
Their conversations were always one sided but if there was even the slightest chance that he could hear her, then she would continue to talk to him and tell him about the latest piece of alien technology that she had been working on and she had, over the years had to break the distressing news of those that had been lost to them.
The hours that she spent with Colonel O'Neill were amongst the most precious to her. Like the time she spent with her son. She knew that there were those who believed that she should have moved on with her life. Daniel was one of them. Even though she had to the outside world moved on. She had a husband and a family but those that really knew her, knew that she could not leave him behind. He would never have left any of his team behind and whilst there was any glimmer of hope, she would never give up on him.
For that reason, she had lost touch with a lot of her old friends and comrades from the SGC. So much had changed in the last ten years but to all intents and purposes she was living in the past.
She spent the remainder of the afternoon telling him about the latest hockey results and against her better judgement she talked about Pete and how things weren't going so well for them. She really had no one else to talk to. After Janet and her Dad had died she had looked to Daniel and sometimes Teal'c to confide in but once she moved to Nevada it seemed that it wasn't so easy to keep in touch. Talking to Mark about Pete was not somewhere she wanted to go and so, every Tuesday, Jack became the unknowing recipient of her problems.
"So, I guess I should go," Sam glanced at her watch and saw for the second time that day that it was later than she expected.
"Shit. Pete's going to kill me. I think he was getting a take away on the way home. He's probably given it to the dog by now," she laughed weakly.
After returning the chair to its place by the wall, Sam stood beside the unit once again. She placed her hand on the glass where Jack's chest lay and leaning over she whispered, "God, Sir, I miss you so much."
It was all she could do to tear herself away. It was becoming harder and harder to leave him, but she had to, and she quickly headed back to her lab to finish up.
Back in the medical suite, Jack O'Neill's eyes flickered as the monitor attached to the stasis unit once again recorded a sharp increase in brain activity.
So, this is my first foray into SG1 fanfic. I will apologise now for any inconsistencies or anything that isn't feasible (like Jack surviving for ten years in a stasis pod!) Anyway, I hope it is at least readable and that some of you might want to read the next chapter. As always, I will be eternally grateful if you have the time to leave a review. Thank you