The first time the Hammond cruises back into Earth orbit, when she sees the blue and white sphere of home swelling marbled and welcoming in the window, there's a moment when Sam swears she can feel the wind in her hair, taste the salt on her tongue.
Her mother had been a Wentworth, one of a long and legendary naval line. Sam only remembers a few of those stories now, words of romance and fairytale associated with the warm stroke of her mother's hand. Her brother probably remembers more; has probably told them to his own three in the dim glow of a nightlight while their breathing lengthens towards sleep, but Sam had packed them away long ago when she'd chosen to follow in her father's footsteps. They surface from time to time, though, like the scent of dried, fragile flowers, stirring nostalgia: and this is one such moment.
There's no port here, no anchor to lower, no ropes to tie off at the dock. No sails to furl, no endless transitional busywork to buffer the ship's captain between her time at sea and her time ashore. She simply pulls into orbit; and in a moment, she'll beam down to the Mountain. But for all that, she feels more akin now to her grandfathers, to the many Captains Wentworth with sun-chapped cheeks and fingers callused from encounters with rope and wave, than she does to the late General Carter.
For all she's still Air Force, it isn't her father's wake Sam sails in now as Captain of one of Earth's precious BC-304s. And though she'll always miss him, it isn't her father's home she left behind to take this cruise: the one she looks forward to seeing again as much as the long-ago Frederick must have, separated by only a few moments from the native soil where his Anne waited for him.
She grins wryly to herself. It hadn't been as simple as her ancestors' story, of course; they'd been divided by more than mere years apart, by layers of history and obligations and duty more significant than familial expectations. They'd come together much older and more worn than when they'd first met, set in their ways and mired in the habits of restraint and secrecy: he no longer the wiry, energetic colonel still re-connecting to the world, she no longer the driven captain announcing to all and sundry that her ovaries made her no less a soldier. They both still belong to professions that make those friends in the know temper shared happiness with prudent concern. But for all of that--
"I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it."
It's been a long and difficult journey-- but it's only made the equilibrium they've reached all the sweeter.
Sam smiles as Major Marks touches the radio in his ear, reporting that she's cleared to beam down.
There's a star to ev'ry wandering bark; and hers is named Jack O'Neill.