Sam sat on the bed in her temporary quarters, staring at the bedspread. Her eyes traced the repeating patterns of swirls and flowers, interconnecting vines branching out in every direction.
“Sam, god, I don’t want to do this over the phone, but...”
Two months out here and she still hadn’t found time to find her own place; hadn’t found time for a lot of things.
“... says it was quick...”
She stood and walked over to examine the picture hanging on the wall. With a finger, she traced the woman’s silhouette, her eyes drawn to the blurred edge between dark and light. She stared at the bright blank area in the drawing, wondering what the artist was thinking.
*The feel of his slightly stubbly cheek against hers, as he hugged her goodbye in the sunshine. Teal’c and Daniel were waiting by the car as he said softly, “Why don’t you see if you can get some time off and come see me in DC once I’m settled? Just you and me.”
A brush of his lips against hers and a quick smile and wave.*
She looked at her suitcase, laying packed and open on the luggage rack, her boarding pass on top. She picked up the paper, shut the suitcase and zipped it up.
Daniel’s voice breaking, Teal’c’s quiet voice coming over the line. “President Hayes has offered to host a private reception after the service at Arlington.”
An insistent knock on the door made her jump. A voice called through. “Colonel Carter! You have a phone call. It’s General Hammond.”
She stared at the door. Why hadn’t he called her directly? She looked at the bed again where her phone lay, still connected. She could faintly hear Daniel’s frantic voice. The pounding started again. “Colonel, you have to open this door.”
She picked up her phone, hearing more clearly the repeated pleas of “Sam, answer me!” as she walked to the door. Opening it, she looked at the young sergeant outside the door. “Please tell the general I’ll call him back in a few minutes.” Her voice was steady.
The young man looked aghast at the idea of someone refusing a general’s call, or maybe just that he’d have to convey the message. She might have smiled at the comical look once. “He’ll understand, Sergeant.”
She watched the young man walk away, then widened her gaze to the rest of the corridor. People walking up and down, impossibly going about their normal routines, somehow ignorant of the fact that the universe had just come to a screeching halt. She wanted to scream at them to stop walking, stop talking, stop breathing. It all had to stop because...
She retreated into her room, closing the door firmly against that world and clicking the lock. She raised the phone back to her ear. “Daniel?”
“Oh thank god, Sam. She’s back,” she heard him say to someone else, probably Teal’c. “I shouldn’t have done this on the phone. We should’ve just come out there to get you.”
“I’ll call you back.” She closed the phone and dropped it back on the bed.
She ran her hand over the cool wood top of her desk and saw that she was shaking. Her laptop sat open and running in the center, a half-composed email in an open window. The subject line was an endless line of Re:’s; they had never bothered to start new emails, just kept replying to the last one.
Another knock on the door and the sergeant’s voice, more subdued now, came through again. “The General has arranged for a plane to take you to Andrews, stopping to pick up Dr. Jackson and Teal’c en route. They are fueling now and should be ready to go in 30 minutes.”
She looked down at her jeans and tank top then to her suitcase. Arlington. She grabbed her Class A’s from the closet and draped them over the case. She slipped her phone, ringing again, into her purse. Moving over to her laptop, she started to shut the applications down, her eyes drawn to the email displayed on-screen.
Knowing as I do how infrequently you check your email, I feel fairly confident in saying that my plane has already landed by the time you are reading this. Surprise! You’ve got a weekend guest.
I can’t wait to see you. We’ve waited too long to
The program prompted her:
This email has not been sent. Save message as draft?
She stood looking for a moment at the mouse, wondering at its similarity to the Asgard stones. They were smoother and heavier, but had the same shape and feel under her palm.
“...a car accident... early this morning.”
She put the laptop in her carrying bag and hefted it onto her shoulder along with her purse. Grabbing her suitcase and garment bag, she stared at the door. On the other side of that door, outside of this carefully preserved vacuum of time/space, was a world without Jack O’Neill.
“...nothing they could do.”
Her hand unsteady on the knob, she unlocked and slowly opened the door. She took a deep breath and stepped across the threshold.
When I come to terms to terms with this
When I come to terms with this
When I come to terms to terms with this
My world will change for me
I haven't moved since the call came
Since the call came I haven't moved
I stare at the wall knowing on the other side
The storm that waits for me
Parasol, Tori Amos