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Death Becomes Her Part 1
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Title: Death becomes her
Author: Venom_69
Category: CD, A/A, H/C, Romance, maybe humor.
Pairing: Sam/Jack
Rating: M.
Summary: If she's dead, why does he still see her?
Spoilers: Meridian, Abyss, Ascension…..nothing too major
Season/sequel: None, set after Daniel comes back, but that's not
really mentioned.
Disclaimer: Don't own them, never will. Promise to put them back in the state I found them. Title of this fic is blatantly plagiarized
from a movie, no infringement is or was intended.
Author's notes: Writing extremely strange fic's seems to be my forte. This one is no different, but I do hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. As a side not, my deepest apologies go to Suz, who commandment states that thou must never use Celine Dion in a fic. I did.
Dedication: As always, for LEW.
Date: Started in July 2001, completed on 7-7-2003
Copyright to Venom, 2003

~*+*~

In the night I hear you speak
Turn around, you're in my sleep
With your hands inside my soul,
Holding on and you won't let go

Steel bars, Michael Boltin.

~*+*~

He still sees her.

Although she probably isn't even actually *there,* she is to him.
Which is all that really matters in his twisted and pathetic
existence that he now calls his life.

His friends have stopped coming to visit him; they don't understand
what it's like. What it's like to *see* her and *know* that she's
there without her really being there at all.

They all gave up on him.

They figured that he was crazy. He wonders that himself sometimes.
Maybe he *is* crazy? Maybe grief really is too strong for his old
body and battered heart to handle again. Maybe……but then again, maybe
he just needs to see her.

And they don't get that.

Even Jonas, the eternal optimist, gave up on him. Which is strange in
itself. What he doesn't get, is that when Daniel…..`died'…..for want
of a better term, they all believed him when he told them about Ba'al
and how he saw Daniel there, how he talked to his supposedly `dead'
friend.

Maybe they see ascension as being too different from what happened to
her to actually make is plausible that he can see her, touch her,
*feel* her.

He's not crazy, he knows.

He was once, through the help of the bugs that they found in the
Linviris' chamber, he got to experience what it was like to actually
be certifiably `nuts.' Daniel went further than he did on the crazy
scale during that experience, and he saw what his friend went
through.

He knows what it looks, and feels like, to be crazy

And he's not there yet.

Even if they don't believe him.

~*+*~

Most people I know,
Think that I'm crazy
And I know at times
I act a little hazy
But, If that's my way
And you should know it is
In every way, help to show it.

Billy Thorpe (And the Aztecs) Most people I know.

~*+*~

He went to her house, which was now technically his. And he walked
through each of the rooms.

She had given him a key a few years ago, and this was the first time
he had used it. And as he looked at everything in the house, all the
memories of her, he realised that it would also be the last time that
he used it.

He felt the silent tears run down his face as he saw the picture of
the original SG-1 on the table by the hall. It dawned on him that
this didn't feel right. He shouldn't be here without her.

Jack quickly locked the house and left, throwing the key she had
given him into the bin.

He shouldn't have come here.

~*+*~

I, walked down through the hall
Into your room
Where I could smell you
And I
Shouldn't be here
Without permission.
I shouldn't be here

Untitled, Alanis Morissette.

~*+*~

His house was too cold for him.

He had to get out of there.

Without any conscious thought, Jack jumped in her car and turned the
key, feeling the smooth rumbling of her Volvo as it sprang to life.
It was the one thing he actually *wanted* to inherit from her.

He'd always loved that car…..always wanted to drive it.

She knew that, she always had done.

No, that wasn't right. He'd always wanted to drive it with her in the
passenger seat, telling him to be gentle on the brakes. She would've
been telling him that burning rubber was not her idea of how to drive
a classic.

She was a shocking backseat driver.

It was another one of the things that he had always loved about her.

He pulled the car into first gear, dropped the clutch and hit the
accelerator, smoking the tires as he pulled away from the curve. Jack
checked the rear-vision mirror and almost laughed gleefully at the
skid marks he'd left on the tar outside of his house.

Memorabilia.

One day, he knows, he'll look at those streaks of black and remember
the first time he drove her car…..and the first time that he saw her.

"Please don't hurt my car."

"I won't."

"Easy on the clutch."

He sighed. "I know."

"This car is a classic…..watch the brakes!"

"Will you relax?"

"Not with you behind the wheel of my baby." She smiled at him, and
Jack felt his heart melt. "Take a left up here." She ordered, and he
did so without question.

Jack followed her directions, and drove along a dirt road until they
reached the plateau of a small cliff, with a view of the Colorado
River beneath them. The sun was setting and Jack thought that it
looked like the front of a postcard. He could almost see `Wish you
were here' written in the mauve sky, just above the setting sun.

He got out of the car carefully and slowly, almost afraid that the
smallest of disruptions could shatter this picturesque view.

She followed merely seconds later, stepping out of the car to come
and sit on the bonnet of her `baby.'

"You can sit on it, but I can't smoke the tires a little?" He asked
her, amusement and contentment playing across his face.

"I own him."

"Him?" Jack repeated, his eyebrows skyrocketing.

"I suppose you see it as a her, right?"

"Well…..yes, but if you think that she…..he should be a him, then
that's what your car is."

"Why are we arguing about the gender of an inanimate object?" she
asked, smiling despite her words.

"But it's your baby. He argued.

She nodded and smiled at her own defeat. "You win."

"I know." He smiled, joining her on the car.

They sat in silence, words weren't necessary…..come to think of it,
they never really had been between them. Jack tried to think back to
the point in time when she had learned to read him with nothing more
than a glance.

It had been a few years ago, six at the very least. They had served
together for almost seven years, and she had learned his habits well
in that time.

Suddenly it came to him.

Antarctica.

It had to have been when they'd been stuck in Antarctica together,
that's when she'd learned to interpret everything he did. It was
usually a good thing, when they went into battle together, all he had
to do was look at her and she knew what he would do next, and what he
wanted her to do.

Silent communication between them was a very good thing at times like
that.

Of course it wasn't such a good thing when she could look at him and
just *know* that he was checking her out.

"You used to do that a lot."

"What?"

"Check me out."

"Is it *my* fault that you're gorgeous?"

Normally, he would never have even *dreamed* of saying that to her.
Okay, maybe just one of two dreams late at night. But something about
this situation, and the serenity that it invoked in him, made it
easier to say.

"Why are you here Carter?"

"Because you need me."

~*+*~

Even you face the night,
Afraid and alone
That's why I'll be there.

Celine Dion, if that's what it takes.

~*+*~

He'd looked at her long and hard.

She looked exactly as he imagined, and remembered, her. Beautiful as
always, shining hair, sparkling eyes.

It was just…..her.

Part of him, a rather large part if he was honest, wanted to reach
out and touch her, to feel her smooth skin under his callused hands
and know that she was actually *there* and not just a hallucination
that he had taken directions from to bring him to this ethereal spot.

Then again, if she was a hallucination, wouldn't she have tried to
push him off the cliff by now?

That's what his hallucinations usually did.

They tried to kill him, hurt him, either physically or emotionally.

When he saw Charlie, which didn't happen very often these days, his
son usually tried to help him grieve but only succeeded in making him
hurt all the more. When he saw the *other* type of hallucinations,
they generally tried to kill him……Ba'al, the Iraqi sons of bitches
that had held him in that prison for three damn months, Apophis,
Klorel…..the list was far too long for his liking.

But she wasn't really doing anything, just being…..her.

And being her, she knew exactly when he was ready to talk and exactly
when she was supposed to keep her mouth shut.

Like now, for instance.

It was obvious that he was thinking, and disturbing that was never a
good idea. She'd sit and wait for him to finish his thoughts before
she tried to engage him in any more inconsequential conversation.

And it was that inconsequential conversation with her that he had
missed the most.

No talking about the Goa'uld, the SGC, their family or friends, how
Daniel was fitting back into life as a flesh and bone being. Though
secretly, Jack half suspected that if anything happened to him, then
he'd go all glowy again anyway, so he tended not to worry as much as
he did before Daniel……ascended.

"I didn't do that." She told him suddenly.

"Didn't do what?"

"Ascend."

"I wasn't thinking that."

"You would have, eventually. You would've wondered if I had ascended
like Daniel did. I just wanted to get in first and tell you that I
didn't."

"Then what did you do?"

He waited for her to answer, but the slightly realistic part of him
knew that she wouldn't.

Not yet.

In time, maybe, but he suspected that now wasn't the right time.

She didn't saying anything for a few long moments, just sat there,
her eyes flicking alternatively between the view and him.

"It beautiful here."

"It is." He agreed. "How did you find this place?"

"I scattered my mothers ashes over that cliff top with dad a few
years ago. I come up here sometimes to think, or…..whatever."

Jack knew what that `whatever' meant.

It meant that she cried up here. He was almost disgusted to feel
moisture pricking at his own eyes as he watched her.

She didn't look any different to him.

"That's because I'm not any different." She told him, reading either
his thoughts or his facial expression.

After all that had happened, he had to wonder: How could she not be
any different?

~*+*~

Where does it end?
There's too much for me to take
There's no peace, you close your eyes
I'm all out of truth, I'm all on alibi's
Where does it end?
There's too much for me to take

One by One, Cher

~*+*~

Jack knew that eventually he would have to go home, back to the
emptiness of his own house.

But he couldn't do it yet.

Faced with the choice of leaving her and going to a cold house, or
staying here with here on this cliff top, Jack realised that he would
sit up here until he starved to death before he left her.

"I'll come with you, you know."

"I know."

She chewed her bottom lip, before looking at him with an intense
gaze. "We could go to my house."

"You don't look like you're carrying any keys, and I don't think your
neighbors would appreciate me breaking a window."

"I did give you a key at one stage." She reminded him gently.

Jack sighed, and looked down at his hands. "I know, but I couldn't
keep it. Didn't feel right." He admitted, with a small shrug.

"There's a spare key."

He nodded and they both seemed to reach the same decision, and he
once again saw just how unnecessary words really were between them.

Sliding off the car, they both walked to their respective sides and
got in. Jack started the car with care, and slowly backed away from
the cliff, only now realizing how dangerously close they had been to
the edge.

"I wouldn't have let you fall." She told him as they turned back onto
the main road.

"I didn't doubt that."

The rest of their journey was made in silence, and the radio played
softly in the background. Jack recognized the Choirboy's `Run to
paradise' playing on the nameless station, and he thought the song
was oddly appropriate, but decided not to break their mutually agreed
upon silence.

When they reached her house, he shut off the engine and they got out
and walked silently to the front door. Jack looked at her expectantly.

"Flower pot." She told him, and he nodded and reached into the dirt
and pulled out the key.

Inserting it into the lock, he felt it jam half way, refusing to go
any further. He turned back to her, and noticed that she was smiling
at him.

"It doesn't fit." He told her, stating the obvious.

"I know."

"Then how do we get in?"

"That's the key to the back door."

"And the key to the front door would be…..?"

"In a flower pot out the back."

Jack grinned, typical of Carter to do that. She'd turned something so
easy around and made it just complicated enough that any burglars
would be confused.

He walked around the back of her house and reached into the identical
flower pot to the one that had been out the front and pulled the key
out, before walking back to her and opening the front door.

Bending over he went to replace the key in it's place.

"Don't." She told him suddenly, stopping his hand, mid-burial of the
key.

"Why not?"

"You should keep them."

He understood what she was offering, and gripped the keys tightly,
touched. "You sure?"

"I want you to have them."

He nodded and held the door open and she walked past him and into her
house.

Sam stopped in the hallway, standing in front of the full-length
antique mirror that had belonged to her grandmother-then her mother,
then her and now him, since he had inherited all of her stuff- and
she looked at herself properly.

"What?" He asked, noticing her critical scrutiny of herself.

"This is what I was wearing when it happened."

"When what happened?"

"When I…..you know."

He did know, and he also noticed that she couldn't say the words, but
he didn't want to bring it up. Not now, at least.

"You look good." He told her, honestly.

And it was the truth.

She wasn't wearing anything spectacular, black jeans, a blue silk
shirt that she had brought using a gift voucher he'd given her for
Christmas. She also had on the silver ring that SG-1 had given her to
celebrate her promotion.

"I guess I should get used to it."

"Why do you say that?"

She had tears in her eyes as she looked at his reflection in the
mirror. "Because I'm going to be wearing it for eternity."

~*+*~

You with the sad eyes
Don't be discouraged
Though I realise
It's hard to take courage
In a world full of people
You can loose sight of it
And the darkness inside you
Can make you feel so small.

Cindy Lauper, true colours.

~*+*~

They sat together on her lounge, watching her television while he
drank her beer. She hadn't said anything else to him all night, and
they'd been there for almost three hours.

Jack turned to her. "Can I touch you?"

Her own head spun to face him, shocked at his words. "What?"

"Can I touch you?" He repeated.

"What do you mean?"

"Well, since you're…..you know." She nodded, she did know. "I was
wondering if I could touch you, or if my hand would pass through you."

She stood up and looked at him expectantly, waiting for him to do the
same.

Slowly, ever so slowly, she took small steps towards him, almost
afraid of what might happen if they did touch, or worse, if they
didn't.

And slowly she reached him.

And their bodies came into contact and he could actually *feel* her.

In that moment, he knew that he'd do anything for her.

Anything for love.

~*+*~

Will you make me some magic with your own two hands?
Can you build an emerald city with these grains of sand?
Can you give me something I can take home?
I can do that.
Will you cater to every fantasy I've got?
Will you hose me down in holy water if I get too hot?
Will you take me to places I've never known?
I can do that.

Meatloaf, I would do anything for love. (But I won't do that.)

~*+*~

So now he spends his days with her, talking to her, being with her.

They've never discussed what happened, but he knows that it's only a
matter of time before she says something about it, and they are faced
with the reality of what's changed.

And so much has changed now.

His friends abandoned him after he talked about his downtime with her
non-stop for a week. They saw him as losing it, thinking that his
grief had finally consumed him. In a way, he supposed that they were
right.

After all, he was having a relationship with someone who had…..'You
know.'

One day they had cornered him about it, forced him to tell them
everything about his new relationship with her.

And he had, willingly; he'd talked with them for over two hours.

Telling them how magical it was to be with her, even though they
hadn't made love yet, and he told them about their conversations,
picnic's, everything.

Then they sent him to Mackenzie.

And, eventually he too had given up on him.

And then Jack had been declared mentally and emotionally unfit for
active duty. His friends had tried everything to get him back to
his `normal self' as they called it.

They had sent Fraiser after him (And as scary as her needles were, he
wouldn't give up Sam.) They'd sent Jacob Carter after him, and that
had only made Jack feel worse that he could see the man's daughter,
when he was clearly grieving.

Finally, in what must have been their last act of desperation, they'd
used the red phone.

And then he'd got a call on his cell from the President.

As in, of the United States of America.

The President had begged-actually *begged*- him to take it all back.
All he had to do was say that he was suffering from post traumatic
stress syndrome and then they would take him back, no questions would
be asked.

Jack had thought long and hard about it…..for all of three point
seven seconds and he'd looked at Sam who was obliviously watching and
old re-run of Buffy.

And he realized that he couldn't give her up.

So he basically told everyone to go jump.

She'd beamed at him when he got off the phone. She jumped up and
hugged him for all of her worth.

"I knew that you wouldn't let me go through this alone." She'd
whispered.

"What do you mean?"

"Um…..nothing Jack, nothing at all." She'd smiled.

And then they'd made love.

~*+*~

Look at this face,
I know the years are showing
Look at this life
I still don't know where its going
I don't know much,
But I know I love you
And that may be all I need to know.

I don't know much, (And *I* can't remember the artist. Grr.)

~*+*~

Jack couldn't shake the feeling that there was something wrong with
her.

Well, he didn't really have any evidence of that fact, but she
was…..weird. While still being the same Samantha Carter that he had
always known and loved, she was different.

Then again, he supposed that…..`you know'…..could do that to a person.

She doesn't have to eat or drink-but she does, to be sociable with
him-, or go to the toilet, but…..`you know' *will* do that to a
person. She showers, but only with him.

And they never seem to end up getting around to the soap part anyway.

She watches television, but never turns it on herself. Actually, when
he thinks about it, the only thing that she ever touches is her car
and him.

Not that he minds, of course.

Who would?

They have a Friday ritual.

They wake up-in her bed, he moved out of his house months ago and all
of his stuff is at her place, now *their* place- they make love and
then shower. Then they pack a picnic basket and head to their cliff
where they have lunch, make love again and talk until darkness falls.

Today is Friday.

Jack is lying on their blanket and she is sprawled across him, dozing
lightly until she gets up and sits cross-legged in front of him,
waiting for him to mimic the action, which he does immediately.

"We never talked about it."

"What?" Jack looked at her, confused.

"You know."

"Say it."

"Why?"

"Because Sammie, we've been together for the last eight months, and
you've haven't been able to say it."

"Fine! We haven't talked about when I died. Happy?"

"No. But I thought it might help you."

"Since when did you start taking notes from Mackenzie?" She snapped,
angry at him for making her say it. Angry at him for making her admit
it and, shamefully, she was angry at him for being alive while she
wasn't.

"Sam….."

"I know, I'm sorry."

"What did you want to talk about?"

She goes silent for a moment, and Jack thinks that maybe he pushed
her too far, too soon. Eventually she turns back from her study of
the setting sun to look at him thoughtfully.

"How did you find out that I died?" She asks.

"The hospital called me. I was on your list of people to call in
cases of emergency."

"I thought that may have been how. What did they say?"

"Sammie…..do you really want to be hearing this?"

She laughed grimly. "I know that it seems like morbid curiosity, but
I don't remember anything from that…..experience. And I want to know
what you were told, and what happened."

"You don't remember what happened?"

"I remember that I'm dead, I know that I'm dead but.…." Her voice was
strange as she said it, he noted, not like her at all. "I don't know
how I died."

"I was on my way to the SGC when I got the call. The hospital
wouldn't tell me what was wrong over the phone, just that I should
get there immediately and contact any relatives or friends. They said
that we'd have to say goodbye. I swung the car around and got pulled
over by two different RBT units. They all thought I was drunk with
the way I was driving, and I had my cell in my hand, trying to tell
Daniel what I knew in between breathing into the breath testing unit
and telling the cops that I was sober, so that didn't help matters."
Jack sighed and looked at his hand, the memories washing over him.

"What happened when you got to the hospital?" She asked softly,
placing a hand on his arm.

"They said that your heart had failed, and they didn't know why. You
flat-lined twice and they revived you the first time but there was no
hope after that."

"What was wrong with my heart?" She asked, feeling her eyes well up
with the tears that were mirrored in Jack's.

"They didn't know. The doctor's wanted to do an autopsy to find out
but….."

Sam shivered and shook her head vehemently. "I wouldn't have wanted
that."

"That's what I told them."

Sam chewed her bottom lip thoughtfully. "So, you really don't know
exactly why I died?"

"Not really." He admitted.

"Where am I buried?" She asked suddenly, something that surprised
Jack.

He didn't even pause to think about answering her. "Next to Charlie."

They lapsed back into silence and watched as the last rays of the sun
fell behind the mountain and their cliff was left bathed in only the
very last few colours of the daytime sky.

"It'll be dark soon." She told him, and he nodded his head. "Jack,"

"What?"

"I have to go away for a while."

Jack's eyes widened in shock. "What? Why?"

"It's just something that I need to do." She replied cryptically.

"Why do you want to leave me?" He asked, hurt.

"I don't want to leave you Jack, but I have to go away for a while.
I'll be back, and I know that if I don't come back then you'll find
me."

"How will I know where to look for you?"

"You'll know." She smiled, kissed him sweetly and then disappeared as
if she were never there.

As Jack stood up to leave, he heard a whisper in the winds that
sounded suspiciously like Sam's voice.

"I love you, Goodbye."

~*+*~

I don't really want to go,
But deep in my heart I know.
This is the kindest thing to do.

Celine Dion, I love you, Goodbye

~*+*~

Jack went home to their empty house and he felt her loss immediately.
He was almost tempted to throw away his new set of keys and leave
forever, but something stopped him.

He looked around the house with a careful eye, there was something
different about it. The place that he had easily come to think of as
home didn't feel like it had in the morning, and Jack noticed the
envelope sitting on the breakfast bar, with his name on it, and he
knew that was it.

It was Sam's writing, he could definitely see that, but he was almost
too shocked to pick it up. He'd lived with her for eight months and
this was the first time that she had touched something other than
himself or her car.

Picking up the letter with shaky hands and opened the envelope,
pulling out the piece of paper, he stared at the contents, confused.

Jack, 16 12 5 1 19 5 6 9 14 4 13 5 1 12 12 9 19 14 15 20 1 19 9 20 19
5 5 13 19 Love always, Sam. 16, 27, 8, 32, 21, 3, 1

Jack had never been any good at codes, apart from the Worldwide
recognized alphabet and Morse code, and he had no idea what this
could mean.

So he went to the only person he could think of that might know.

He had to find out what Sam wanted to tell him.

~*+*~

See me, as if you never knew
Hold me, so you can't let go
Just believe in me,
I will make you see
All the things that
You're heart needs to know
I'll be waiting for you
Here inside my heart.

Celine Dion, To love you more

~*+*~

Getting in had been a lot easier that he'd had anticipated. Although
Jack suspected that the General had made it that way in case he ever
decided to come back unannounced.

Walking through the halls of the SGC didn't even phase Jack, they
were just walls after all.

He headed towards Daniels office-assuming that he hadn't moved to
somewhere else- and was relieved to see his friend bent over an
archeology book.

Jack was glad that some things really never did change.

"Daniel."

Daniel jumped, not having heard anyone approaching. "Jack! What are
you doing here?"

"Can't I just drop by to say `hi'?"

"You haven't done that for eight months, you haven't even wanted
contact with us since Sam died."

Daniel saw Jack visibly flinch as he said the words, but Jack shook
it off. "I need your help actually." He admitted.

"With what?"

"How good are you at codes?"

"What?"

"I have a letter here, from a friend but it's written in code, and I
can't figure it out. I was hoping you could."

Daniel eyed his friend suspiciously. "Is this coded letter from Sam?"

"Yes." Jack didn't see any reason to hide it, after all, the letter
had `love always, Sam' written on it so denial was pointless.

"Did she write it before she died?" Daniel asked.

"If you're asking do I still see her, then the answer is no." Not
technically, his mind supplied. "I just want to know if you can see
some sort of…..pattern or something in this or not."

He handed Daniel the letter and waited while his friend looked at it
thoughtfully. "The alphabet." Daniel said simply, handing the letter
back to him.

Jack took the letter back. "Care to elaborate?"

"Each number represents a letter of the alphabet. A is 1 and so on
and so forth."

"You figured that out just by looking at it for a few seconds?" Jack
asked, slightly annoyed that he hadn't seen that for himself.

"Sam and I use…..used to use that code when we e-mailed each other
about stuff that we would rather people didn't understand." Daniel
winced as he referred to her in present tenses.

Old habits die hard, he thought wryly.

"What does it say?" Jack asked, looking down at the letter in his
hands.

"I didn't read it Jack, it was addressed to you. If Sam wrote that
before she died, then I can guess what it was about, but I'm not
invading her privacy. Or yours for that matter."

"What do you mean `you can guess'?"

"Sam was in love with you Jack, you knew that. Maybe this letter was
something that she wrote in case anything ever happened to her."

"Maybe….."

"Where did you find it?"

"In her house." Jack mumbled, not willing to say anything more until
he had read her letter. "Thank you for your help Daniel, I appreciate
it."

He smiled and left the lab.

~*+*~

Jack headed for the commissary, hoping to get a chance to decode the
letter. He'd just learned that Colonel Franks, the new CO of SG-1,
had taken his office, and the mess was the only place that Jack could
think of where he could get some reasonable level of privacy.

After all, everyone thought he was nuts, why would they want to
socialize with him?

Finding an empty table and chair at the back of the room, Jack
grabbed a glass of blue Jell-O-Despite red being far superior-and sat
down, the letter, a pen and a notepad next to him.

Three hours, four cups of coffee, two glasses of blue Jell-O and
three slices of pie later, and Jack had finally translated the latter.

What was:

Jack, 16 12 5 1 19 5 6 9 14 4 13 5. 1 12 12 9 19 14 15 20 1 19 9 20
19 5 5 13 19 Love always, Sam. 16, 27, 8, 32, 21, 3, 1

Translated to:

Jack, PLEASE FIND ME. ALL IS NOT AS IT SEEMS, love always, Sam. P?H?
VCA

He sort of understood the first part of the letter but P?H?VCA had
him thoroughly confused. Just as he was about to bang his head
against the table, he saw Daniel enter the room and waved the other
man over.

"Did you figure out the letter?"

"Kind of."

"What do you mean `kind of'?"

"Do you know what P?H?VCA could mean?"

"Ah…..what are the question marks supposed to represent?" Daniel
asked, looking at the letters that Jack had scribbled down for him.

"They're the numbers that were over twenty six, and therefore
couldn't be part of the alphabet code."

"Well, they aren't letters then, and there are seven numbers, the
last number is one….." Daniel waited for Jack to figure it out.

"A Stargate address?"

"That would have been my guess, though why Sam would put a `Gate
address in a love letter is beyond me." Daniel grinned, typical Sam.

She'd probably done it just to confuse Jack.

"Thanks Danny…..I gotta go see the General." Jack mumbled, gathering
his things together before running to the general's office, suddenly
a little more optimistic about his situation.

~*+*~

There are mountains in our way
But we climb a step every day

Joe Cocker, Love lift us up

~*+*~

George Hammond was, quite frankly, bored.

Now that it was a bad thing, not really.

All of his teams were safe, and the three that were off world were
all on secondary contact missions, so he felt no big need to worry.
Tessa and Kayla were on school holidays and having fun with their
mother.

So, essentially, he had nothing to worry about…..which was odd in
itself.

"Still working hard I see."

Hammond looked up at the man leaning against his doorframe. "Always."
He smiled, the first genuine smile that he'd shown in a while. "It's
good to see you Jack.

"You too sir." Jack returned, sitting down. "I need a favor."

"Just name it."

Jack handed the General a piece of paper with six Stargate symbols on
it. "I need to go through the Stargate to that address."

"Where does it lead?"

"I don't know." He answered honestly.

"Why do you want to go there then?"

"Because I think that Sam may be there."

Hammond sighed. "Jack…..I know how much she meant to you, she meant a
lot to all of us. But you need to accept the fact that she's gone."

"Sir, with respect, I disagree. I know that you all think I'm nuts….."

"We don't think you're nuts Jack." Hammond cut in.

"Then you think that I've lost a few brain cells because I miss her
so much, and you're right, I do miss her, but I don't think she's
dead."

Scrubbing his hands over his face, Hammond looked at his former
second in command with worry. "Why not Jack? You were at the funeral,
you gave a eulogy, and you saw her being lowered into the ground,
like we all did. Why can't you accept this?"

"Off the record sir?"

Hammond nodded slowly, wondering where this was going. "Alright."

"I saw her."

"Jack….."

"No sir, you don't understand. For the last eight months, I've been
living with her, at her house. Now, I know that you think I'm making
this up, but I *felt* her, talked to her, and she was the same
Samantha Carter that I knew and….."

"Loved?" Hammond supplied, he wasn't as blind as some people liked to
believe.

Jack nodded wearily, his eyes downcast. "Yes sir, love. But not in
the past tense because I think that something happened to her, and I
think that the address you have in your hands might hold some of the
answers."

"Jack…..I don't want to believe that she's dead any more than you do,
but I can't authorize you to go through the Stargate. I have no
official reason to send you."

"You don't believe me." Jack realized suddenly.

"I want to Jack, God knows I want to."

"Sir, *please.* I'm not asking you to dedicate any of the SGC's
resources. I only want the chance to see what's on this planet."

"Where did you get the address?"

Jack just *knew* that this wasn't going to go over well. "Sam gave it
to me. Yesterday she told me that she had to go away for a while, and
that I'd know where to find her if she didn't come back. I got home
and found a letter from her, in code, and it had the address in it."

"Do you have the letter?"

Reaching into his pocket, Jack pulled out the translated version of
the letter and waited while Hammond read it.

"Officially, I can't do anything." Hammond told him slowly. "But I
can make you an unofficial deal."

Suddenly, Jack got a lot more interested in this conversation. "I
understand you're in a difficult position sir."

"I can't let you go through the Stargate to this address…..but,"
Hammond had the sinking feeling that he was about to throw his good
record out of the window. "What would happen if you suddenly told
everyone what they're waiting to hear?"

"That it was all in my head?"

"Exactly. You got the call from the President, all you have to do is
say that you were suffering from PTSD and we'll take you back. Then,
after a mineral survey or two, what's to stop you from going to this
planet from somewhere else?"

"Are you saying what I think you're saying sir?"

"What do you think I'm saying?"

"That you'll take me back and then I can, unofficially, go through
the Stargate from another planet and check this place out?" Jack
asked, his mind chewing over the possibilities.

"That's what I'm saying. But, if you don't find anything, then I want
you to promise me that will be it."

"Sir, if this planet turns up with nothing then I'll give up. I
promise that you won't hear me mention Sam in present terms again.
And I'll stay at the SGC just to keep you on your toes." He grinned,
and Hammond saw some of the old Jack O'Neill in that grin.

"Okay. As of five minute's from now-when this conversation goes back
on the record-you'll be reinstated into the SGC as my second in
command. I'll put you back on SG-1 and you and the other three
members of your team will go on two mineral surveys to get you back
into the swing of things. Then, next Tuesday you, Doctor Jackson, Mr.
Quinn and Teal'c will go on a mission to P4N 629 which will be a four
day, three night mission."

"And then I can go to this planet and search for Sam?"

Hammond was sure, his career was definitely over if anyone found out
about this. "If you can't find her, then you are to return to your
team and come back to Earth together. Understood?"

"Yes sir."

"Good, now Colonel, I believe that you have to go and see your team
and tell them what's going on."

"Thank you sir." Jack smiled and headed towards the door.

"Jack…..how are you going to find her?"

Jack turned back to face his superior. "Love."

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