Disclaimer Stargate Sg-1 and its characters are the property of Stargate (II) Productions, Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions. This story is for entertainment purposes only and no money exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. The original characters, situations, and story are the property of the author. This story may not be posted elsewhere without the consent of the author.
I shouldn't be doing this. I mean, technically it's not against the rules or anything. I can look, but I can't interfere. It's just that I know I don't have the most self control in the universe. That's one reason I've done my best to stay away from my friends, not because I don't care, I do. But because I know that if I hang around them too much, I'll be tempted to do something I'll regret. Besides they seem to be getting along pretty well without me.
Even Jonas seems to be fitting in, which I'm glad to see. I know how hard it can be to leave your home with nothing more than the clothes on your back and try to start over. He seems to be doing a pretty good job. At least he doesn't have to grind his own flour. As much as he eats it'd be a full time job.
The figure in the bed stirs and I turn my attention back to her. She's sleeping peacefully, burrowed under the fluffy down comforter. It amazes me how she can sleep like that, wrapped up like a baby. She even opens the window a bit to let in the cool night air, so it'll be warmer in the bed and more comfortable for her to snuggle. More than once off-world we used to joke, quietly of course, about how she'd nestle down in her sleeping bag until the top of her head was just barely visible, like a caterpillar in a cocoon.
She seems to really need her sleep this time; I've been watching her for hours. It was sort of fun when she talked Janet into letting her go. I hadn't seen Sam be that persuasive for years, since the last time she saw some piece of alien tech and finagled Jack into staying for an extra day just so she could study it. Janet hadn't wanted to let her go, she'd wanted Sam to spend the night in the infirmary, but she eventually caved in the end. Persuasive is Sam's middle name.
I know why. Sam hates the infirmary, with a passion. She would rather bleed in the hall than spend a night under Janet's care. It's not that she doesn't like Janet; they're the best of friends. I think it's because it reminds her a lot of all she went through with Jolinar, both the first time, then later with Conrad and his doctors in Seattle.
That little incident shook her up more than she ever admitted to any of us. I could see it in the too bright smile she pasted on her face, the way she'd jump a bit if someone snuck up behind her, the slightly panicked look on her face during the first few post mission physicals after she went back to duty. More than once I remember driving by her house, seeing the lights on all night, knowing that no matter how unafraid of the dark she was, she still took comfort in the light.
Then there was that whole business with Jack. I know Sam still blames herself, even though she shouldn't. She did what she had to do. Jack's not ready to die yet. I know it, Hammond knows it, and deep down inside, Jack knows it too. That's why Hammond got Sam to ask him. Jack will do anything for her, like I said, persuasive is her middle name.
I wish I'd have been there on Nirti's planet. That had to have been horrible for them, especially Sam. I know she hates being sick. And it had to have been hard on Jack as well. There's nothing he hates more than to be helpless and to watch someone he cares about in pain.
Thank God it all worked out.
A light snaps on in the hall, spilling through the partially open door. What the hell? A burglar? I'd been paying so much attention to her that I hadn't really noticed what else was going on in the house.
I look at Sam; she's still sleeping peacefully. She needs to wake up, get her gun and call the police.
I glide down towards her as I hear the footsteps coming closer. A shape blocks the light from the hall as it enters the room, slowly pushing the door open, obviously trying to sneak in.
Sam, come on. You need to wake up. Get out of bed and kick this bozo's ass. Sam?
I'm ready to say to hell with the non-interference rules when I stop. Wait a minute. This can't be. He looks familiar. I know that walk.
I watch him shuck his clothes, stripping down to just his boxers, laying the clothes on a chair in the corner. You ornery son of a bitch, I think as he crawls into bed, taking care not to wake her.
"You're late," she mutters, rolling over to face him. Guess his sneaky skills have gotten rusty.
"Paperwork," he excuses, wrapping his left arm around her shoulders and pulling the covers back up with his right. "How are you feeling?" he asks, touching her face with his free hand. He's using that tone of voice that I don't hear from him very often, the one he seems to save for the kids or when he used to talk about Sara. That soft voice that's so far removed from his normal smart ass veneer that I almost think he's two different people in one body.
"Better now," she answers, snuggling into his side, settling her head on his shoulder. They look like an old married couple. There's no discomfort in their movements, no hesitation or unease. This isn't new to them.
I stay there and watch until they both fall asleep, then I leave them, still not quite believing what I just saw. So they finally did it, finally stopped making excuses and just accepted the inevitable. It's about time.
As I leave them and zoom through the universe I feel a weight leave me, a sense of relief that I haven't known for years. For so long, it'd just been me. I'd been free. I didn't have anyone else to worry about, anyone else to be responsible for, until I joined the SGC and found my new family.
It'd been hard at first, having to remember to care, remember to allow people in, remembering that there was someone out there that gave a damn if I didn't come home or forgot to sleep. Someone to buy me Christmas presents or to eat my lunch with.
In the beginning, I'd chafed under the scrutiny, feeling confined and closed in. Until I realized that they weren't trying to hold me back or tie me down, they just cared.
I hadn't wanted to leave them, hadn't wanted to move on. It was scary to give up my whole world for a fourth time, to start over, especially when I could barely comprehend what I was starting over as.
But it had been time. I know that now. It was time for me to move on. More than once, I worried about the people I left behind. Worried if they were going to be ok, afraid that they'd get hurt because I wasn't there to help. Afraid that they'd feel that I'd let them down or abandoned them. I remember what it feels like to be abandoned, and I wouldn't wish that upon anyone, especially people that I loved.
But I think that it's going to be ok. I don't think I have to worry any more.