They get too good at packing up for Daniel. After the first couple times of him not really being dead, SG-1 takes turns paying his rent and utilities. Jack won't pack anything up after the first time, doesn't believe Daniel is really gone, despite time passing and passing. Sam spends her days off cleaning out his kitchen, putting his books in small boxes, folding his clothes into large, black plastic bags meant to haul off to a donation center. She wraps his coffee mugs in newspaper and waters his plants. She orders wooden packing crates online to pack up the valuable artifacts. There's room at the SGC for them until someone can appraise them and decide which museum should get them.
When Daniel comes home, they unpack everything together. He sees the care she took, and the time. He puts his arms around her and she breathes him in as deep as she can; promises to never forget the smell of him.
Teal'c doesn't know anything about Earth, about living in such a complex society, about surviving in a way that does not require carrying a weapon. Sam asks the general for permission to falsify some documents and then, when Teal'c gets permission to go topside, takes him into town. Together they open a bank account. She has to co-sign with him, but that's just fine. He'll get a debit card and a checkbook. On the computer, she shows him how she set his paychecks to directly deposit and how he can always see what his balance is.
She shows him how to order things online and have them delivered to her address. She'll happily bring them to him on base.
She shows him football, hockey, explains the finer points of baseball in the spring. She takes him to a pet store and lets him stroke the velvety soft ears of a new puppy. They go to a department store that carries big and tall clothes and get him a few things that aren't so military. On a Sunday night, they drive to the saltier part of town and order tacos from a truck and eat them together in the parking lot, grease dripping down their hands and off their chins.
Six months after his defection, when General Hammond gives him a standard evaluation and asks, "How are you settling into life on Earth?" he can truthfully answer, "Very well."
He looks through the large glass window, down into the gate room where she is working. His heart beats steady and strong. When he lays eyes on her, he feels like home.
Sam struggles to clearly remember the time after the accident. She knows that mostly, Mark stopped coming home which felt like abandonment all over again. The first thing she really remembers is sitting at the kitchen table doing her calculus homework and her dad asking what Sam thought about him bringing a friend over for her to meet - a woman.
Sam had been angry, hot-blooded and ferociously sad. Her mother only a year in the ground. So she'd answered him, "I think I'll never love you again."
Jacob had never brought anyone home.
Now, in the cargo ship, she isn’t sure what reminded her of that hurtful exchange, but she feels a blossom of guilt bloom in her chest. She reaches over to touch her father’s arm. He looks over and for a moment, it isn’t him. She starts to pull back, but then Selmak fades and his face melts into a smile.
“What is it, Sam?” he asks.
“Nothing,” she says. “Just glad you’re here, daddy.”
He chuckles, gives her a sideways glance.
“You haven’t called me daddy since before your mother died.”
“I know,” she says.
They hold hands for awhile; Selmak stays respectfully dormant for the duration.
It’s awfully surreal to watch Cam go through experiencing gate travel when they’re all such old hats. At the beginning, Sam finds herself turning to share a laugh with Jack at Cam’s expense, but of course, Jack is not there.
Still, Sam is glad for Cam. Though it is hard to admit, she likes the shake up and thinks it’s good for her and especially good for Daniel. They’ve been relying on familiarity for too long. And Cam’s enthusiasm is infectious, as is his good nature. She finds herself seeking out his company on base, too. Sharing meals and working out - things she can do perfectly well alone but finds she doesn’t want to, anymore.
When Teal’c hooks up an X-Box in his quarters, she discovers she and Cam like to do that together, too.
So when Cam gets stranded off-world for the first time, Sam is glad she is there to see it. She’s worried, of course - Daniel hijacked by less-than-reputable weapons dealers and Teal’c late to rendez-vous from his latest Jaffa peace summit, but she and Cam had made it off the warring planet and on to an uninhabited one, and so while she is worried, she isn’t terrified.
Cam is terrified.
“Daniel’ll come get us,” she says, sitting down on a large, flat rock warmed by the sun. She feels a little fragile and a lot sore. Their escape pods had not landed gently.
“Daniel could be dead,” Cam says.
Sam rolls her eyes; gives him a look that informs him that what he’d just said was completely ridiculous.
“We have our packs,” she says. “Some rations, some water. It’ll be okay, Cameron.”
“Stranded often?” he asks.
She decides he’ll feel better if she doesn’t tell him the exact count. When the sun goes down, the wind picks up and it gets cold. They secure the tent as best they can and sit inside together. He pulls her against him and wraps his limbs around her to keep them warm.
“We’ll be okay, right, Sam?” he asks. She thinks he’s only half joking.
“I’ll keep us safe,” she promises.
Two days later, Daniel lands a ship by their escape pods. Cam gives her a high-five.
For as brilliant as Jonas is, he is fascinated by some of the most simple things. When she makes a tornado out of some plastic bottles and a little food coloring and water, he claps delightedly.
“What else can you do with these bottles?” he asks. So they go to the store, drink a lot of soda, and do science experiments. They make bottle rockets and launch them topside. They drop a Mentos into half a bottle of Diet Coke and watch the resulting explosion with glee.
She goes to the nursery and they make a terrarium out of a bottle cut in half. He’s so good at keeping the little plants alive.
When they exhaust their supply, she goes to the hobby store and buys a real rocket they can build and launch together. He doesn’t exactly need her help, but she does soup it up a little when he says he’s finished and Siler, who is surprisingly artistic, paints flames on the side.
When they go up to launch, word has spread and about fifteen people, including Jack and Teal’c, come up to watch.
“Careful,” she reminds him when he stoops over to light the fuse. “It’s got naquadah.” The most minuscule amount, but still.
He grins, sets the fuse aflame, and stands back.
“This is so exciting,” he exclaims. The rocket ignites, lifts off, and soars. Everyone claps. She follows the trajectory, watching the rocket rise, a spot of black and orange in a perfect arc against a pale blue sky.
“What a ride,” Jonas says.
“What a ride,” she agrees.