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Brothers In Arms

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Can be read as a non-ship fic, but you know me- I’m a shipper to the end. Pick a season, any season.

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Her back is to the wall. Literally. A small, half destroyed, stone wall that once belonged to a vast array of other walls, which in their prime, formed a temple. A beautiful temple, just down the road and around the bend from the Stargate. And she’s leaning with her back against the wall, crouched down so her hair doesn’t show over the jagged line where the wall has crumbled over time. Her P90 is raised and she’s listening.

She hears the rustle of the trees in the wind.

She hears a flock of birds take off somewhere in the distance.

The air on this planet tastes sweet in the back of her throat, like a field of yellow flowers, with a mix of green in there. The forest is dense, full of shrubs and bushes and ferns and trees that seem to grow forever. She can smell the foliage as she breaths deep and tries to get her bearings. Her skin hums, just slightly, like a feather tickling the hairs on her arms, so she knows there’s naquadah in this soil.

They didn’t come this deep into the wood, the four of them. They got separated on the path much closer to the Stargate, just as night was falling, and she’s been hiding in a gully ever since, waiting out the dead of night before moving on towards what must be a village or mining town of some kind. There are people in this forest; she just needs to find them. And if necessary, shoot them, which will, of course, be entirely dependent on how well he’s been kept.

A twig snaps.

She ducks lower, her gun cocked just a fraction higher. She listens again. She thinks she hears another rustle of the branches, but she can’t be sure. Her mouth gets suddenly dry as she stops breathing, her ears straining.

She hears a foot fall.

She counts to three in her head and readies the muscles in her legs for a quick lunge.

The face staring back at her is not a jaffa. She lowers her P90 from where it’s held steady, just a few inches from his nose, and silently apologises with a nod of her head, her back losing some of its rigidity. He gives her a look, but before she can figure out its meaning, he hops over the top of her small hide out and ducks, wordlessly taking the gun strapped to her thigh when she settles next to him, automatically checking that it’s loaded and fit for action.

Now they are both crouched with their backs to the wall.

He looks around the side of the hide out, checking the path back to the Stargate while she watches the expanse of trees behind them and prays they stay motionless. When his head spins back around he gestures with his chin that she should look too, just to make sure. He smells like manure and grime, and it’s possible- in fact probable- that he hasn’t slept in two days, so he doesn’t completely trust his own weary eyes. Not that she’s much better. She peaks around the stone, and when she looks back to him and nods, he fires off a quick succession of hand movements.

She nods again.

She’s halfway through movement number three- go through those bushes over there and rendezvous with me on the path, just past where it bends- when she finds herself flat on her back, a staff weapon opening in her face.

She’s never felt like this before. That’s all she can think; she’s never felt like this before. Even after all her close calls, this one still feels fresh, but different somehow. Her heart is calm, her eyes focused. As she stands on the edge of her life, she wonders if he got back to the Stargate okay and if he remembered to dial the Alpha site instead of home because he doesn’t have his GDO. He doesn’t have anything on him except her handgun. She considers just how lucky he is that he got out of that rusty old jail cell, because there was no way she would have been able to get him out by herself, and there was no way she was leaving the planet for even a minute to go back to Earth and get reinforcements.

A part of her hopes he’s coming back for her, because that’s what they do for each other, but she knows there’s a fifty/fifty chance of that, what with them having been separated. Still, it’s a miracle she’s witnessed before, so she keeps hoping, knowing that getting him home safe is at least meaningful.

She prays not to die.

God, she prays that this is not it for her.

Someone up there must like her.

Wide-eyed, her heart now starting to beat furiously in her ears, she clasps the hand held out to her and uses it to haul to her feet. He slaps her shoulder, his hand lingering, a concerned frown the only sign that he was as worried as she was. She wipes the dirt off her ass as he takes one last look at the man now dead on the ground where she, only a moment ago, was about to find out what the cornfield meant in that damn movie.

He gives her another look over, nods once, then jerks his head in the direction of the Stargate and starts running towards it.

She runs after him, and doesn’t stop until her feet hit the metal grates.

She gets her ass reamed on the other side for not following protocol and coming home first, but she can’t bring herself to care, because when they step through that wormhole, her smelly, dirty, tired CO is standing right beside her.

After yelling at them for a little while, their General only smiles. It’s what they do, he says, understanding.

She can’t disagree.