The Battle's Never Really Over - Part 2
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Daniel walked towards Sam’s lab.

He was worried about her, she’d just stood in the ‘Gate room and saluted her husband as he’d walked through the Stargate and back to Edora……what an ass, he thought with a shake of his head. Jack had been constantly saying for the last two months that all he wanted to do was go back to Sam, and at the first chance, he jumps through the ‘Gate and back to Laira.

The bastard.

Jack didn’t seem to realize what kind of effect his leaving could have on his soon-to-be ex-wife. Daniel half expected to find her in tears, or throwing things.

He rounded the corner and saw her typing away at her laptop. “You okay?”

“Sure, you?” She asked, cheerfully.

“Sam… don’t have to pretend with me.” He told her, placing a gentle hand on her shoulder.

“I’m not pretending Daniel, I’m fine.” She smiled.

He nodded and pulled her spare stool over to sit next to her. “I heard you had dinner with Jack the other night.”

“Janet tells you everything, doesn’t she?” Sam smiled. She was happy, if not slightly envious, that Daniel and Janet had such a solid marriage. And little Megan loved her parents so much. She was such a beautiful little girl.

“She’s my wife, she’d better.”  Sam laughed as he tried to act macho.

“You’re so funny.” She returned, rolling her eyes.

Daniel reached over and touched the smile on her mouth. “It’s good to see you smile again, Sam.”

“Yeah.” She agreed.

“What’re you going to do now?” He asked.

She gave a little shrug before replying. “Well, since ‘the ass’ isn’t here anymore, there’s no reason to keep paying my lawyer obscene amounts of money for a divorce.”

“He won’t stay there Sam.”

Sam gave him a skeptical look. “You think?”

“He loves you.”

“But he happily screwed her? Some love that is…..”

“Didn’t he tell you?”

She regarded him curiously. “Tell me what?”

“That he was drunk, that he though he was with you?”

She nodded. “Yes, he told me. Do you expect me to believe that he was drunk? He was perfectly sober when he spoke to me.”

“You didn’t hear him emptying his stomach.”

“He was vomiting?” She asked, shocked, he hadn’t told her that. Not that she’d really given him much of a chance.

“Yeah. Whatever he was drinking, it must have been strong.” Daniel commented, shivering a little at the thought. He wasn’t a fan of alcohol, and it wasn’t a fan of him.

“I didn’t know that he was sick from it.” She admitted.

“Well, he was booked by the police for DUI.”

“When?” She demanded.

Daniel took a deep breath. “When he came back to the SGC and left to see you. He was booked a few streets from your home. They said that his blood alcohol lever was three times the legal limit.”

“How’d he get home then?”

“One of the officers drove him, apparently. He told me the day after he saw you.”

“Did he tell you what happened that night?” She asked. Sam was pretty certain that Jack would have told his best friend, and even if he hadn’t, Janet would’ve.

“Yes.” He didn’t say anything else, he wasn’t sure what he could say.

“Jack says it wasn’t a mistake.”

“What do you think?”

Sam looked away, ashamed to feel tears sting her eyes again. “I don’t think it helped the situation.” She said quietly.

Daniel pulled her into his arms and hugged her as she slowly began to let go of the tears that had been in her eyes. “Sam…you know that if you ever need anything, I’m here for you, right?”

She nodded, and continued to sob into his chest.


I’m pointing my feet in the right direction
Just give me a reason
And I’ll come running
Give me a reason
And I’ll be there

John Farnham, Give me a reason


He was back.

And sitting in her living room.

She knew that he was there, of course, she’d heard the kid’s excited squeals when the door had opened, and as much as she wanted to go out there and have it out with him, she was too reluctant to leave the bliss of her bubble bath.

She had her hair pinned up, a relaxing CD on, some candle’s lit and nothing, not even him, could get her out of that bath.

“Sam?” Jack called through the bathroom door.

He’d been sitting on the couch, watching TV with the kids for well over an hour. And after he’d sent the sitter home, he’d hoped that she’d come out so that he could at least talk to her. Not being the most patient of men, he’d finally given up waiting and decided to interrupt her bath anyway.

“What?” She yelled back.

“Can we talk?”

“I’m in the bath!”

He didn’t say anything and she assumed that he’d gone back to spend time with the kids, but the bathroom door opened and suddenly he was standing in the dimly lit room with her. “Do you mind?” She snapped.

“Come on Sam, it’s not like I haven’t seen it all before.”

“That’s not the point and you know it.”

“Well, you wouldn’t come out, so I came in.”

She sighed and closed her eyes. “What do you want?”

He sat down on the washing basket and lent forward to look her in the eye. “To talk… left the mountain before I had a chance to explain my behavior over the last few days.”

She shrugged nonchalantly. “You don’t have to explain, I know about the mole. I read the report that Hammond wrote.”

“But do you see why I did it?”

“Yes, I’d have done the same…..but if the shoe was on the other foot, then I’d have told you what was going on.” 

“I was going to…..that night when we went to dinner, I was going to tell you then. But you started talking about Jay getting in trouble for trying to eat glue and suddenly, everything was normal again.”

Sam remembered that night.

She’d met him at the restaurant, and they’d had a drink before their table was ready. She hadn’t meant for the conversation to turn to them, but she’d been recounting the tale of her meeting with Jay’s teacher about his glue fetish and suddenly they were talking about the kids, and eventually, the old days.

They hadn’t, however, discussed the divorce, or their separation, or Laira, but it had been nice. She’d gone home feeling a lot happier than she had in months after that night. It had been a special night for her.

“So you asked me to dinner so that you could tell me about your little black ops mission?”

“Originally, yes. But you looked so good, and we started talking……”

She nodded. “I understand.”

“I didn’t see her again, if that’s what you’re thinking.” Jack told her after a moment of silence between them.

“Didn’t see who?”

“Laira. After I ‘Gated to Edora, I turned around and went straight to the base.” He told her.

“I believe you.”

“But it doesn’t change anything, does it?” He summarized.

Sam shook her head. “No, it doesn’t.”


His hotel room was cold and empty when Jack finally returned.

He hadn’t stuck around long after his little chat with Sam in the bathroom, there didn’t seem to be much point too. He flicked the television on, but he wasn’t watching it. He hadn’t thought about getting his own apartment, but he and Sam had been separated for over a month now, and it was obvious that she didn’t want to change it.

While the hotel room may have been ideal for the short term, he could tell that it wasn’t something that he could handle on a permanent basis. It didn’t help that the walls were so thin, and he could hear everything that went on in the adjacent rooms.

Jack sighed as he reached up to massage his pulsating temples.

Sam was so good a head massages, he thought suddenly, longing for the familiar caress of his wife. But, with the way things were going now, he’d be lucky if she stayed civil to him.


Sam slid into the empty seat at the table in the back of the café. “Sorry I’m late, the kids weren’t cooperating.”

Sara grinned sympathetically. “I can understand, Jason never wants to do what he’s told.”

“He’s started walking now, hasn’t he?”

The older woman blew out a long breath. “Oh yeah.” She and Sam shared a knowing smile.

“How’s Frank doing?”

“Good. Can you believe that we’ve almost been married three years? And still completely in love.” Sara had a dreamy look on her face and Sam couldn’t suppress the wave of envy that ran through her. “What about you? I haven’t seen you in months, where have you been?” Sara asked, signaling for the waitress to come over.

“Latte, please.” Sam told the waitress, waiting for Sara to place her order before turning back to their conversation. “I’ve been busy.”

“Obviously. How are you and Jack doing? It was your five year anniversary a few weeks ago, wasn’t it?”

Had everyone but her remembered their anniversary, Sam wondered. “Actually, Jack and I are separated. I’m filing for divorce.”

“What? Why?”

Sam sighed and looked at the tabletop for a moment before replying. “Jack went MIA for a while, and when we found him he was…..otherwise occupied.”

“Otherwise occupied?”

“I walked in on him and another woman.” She admitted.

Sara’s hand flew to her mouth. “Oh God! Are we talking about the same man here? The Jack that I know wouldn’t do that to you.”

“Well, he did.”

Sara’s mouth hung slack. The Jack O’Neill that she had known and loved for over ten years wasn’t at all like the man that Sam was describing.

“We were having problems,” Sam continued in a soft, sad voice. “I had a miscarriage late last year and I was, and am, in so much pain that I stopped letting anyone touch me. It just hurt too damn much.”

“Even Jack?” Sara guessed, sipping her coffee. Sam nodded sadly, her eyes downcast in shame. “Honey, you and I both know what a tactile person Jack is. If he can’t talk with his hands, then he doesn’t really communicate.”

Sam bit her lip as tears formed in her eyes once again. “We just reached a point where we weren’t communicating at all. It was several months ago when we stopped touching. I just couldn’t stand the pain when he touched me.” She admitted quietly.

“Did you tell him how much it hurt? He was there after the accident, he knew that you were in pain, but did you tell him that it still bothers you?”

A few lone tears slipped down her cheeks and Sara immediately noticed the catch in her friend’s voice. “No…..and I realize now that I should have.”

“What happened?” Sara asked again, resting a comforting hand on Sam’s trembling one.

“Jack got…..lost and he was MIA for three months.” Sara nodded, she had been a military wife long enough to know the abbreviation and what it meant. “He didn’t think that he would get home. When we finally got to him, I walked in on him and another woman.”

Briefly, Sara wondered where on Earth he could have possibly been, but she dismissed the thought, instinctively knowing that the answer would be ‘classified.’ She had no idea what she could say to her friend. Should she offer weak platitudes to Sam when it would mean nothing? No, she decided, their friendship was about honesty. “I know that this is a dumb question, but are you okay? You look pale and exhausted.”

“I am.” Sam nodded. “I actually fainted in my office a few weeks ago…..Jack was there, he carried me to the infirmary on base.”

“If I know Jack,” Sara began, wondering if she really did know him at all. “Then he would have stayed by your bedside the entire time.”

“He did.” Sam confirmed.

“He loves you Sam, he has since the night that you and I met.” The older woman’s eyes held no hostility and Sam was, once again, amazed at her generosity.

“I know that he loves me,” Sam agreed. “But I don’t know if I trust him.”

And that, Sara realized, was their problem.


The General had called him into his office again.

Jack noticed that this was getting to be a regular occurrence and he could only pray that there wasn’t another ‘off the record’ kind of mission involved.

“Sir?” He asked, knocking lightly on the doorframe before entering and closing the door behind him.

“Have a seat Jack.”

“Yes sir. You wanted to see me?”

George nodded. “How are things between yourself and Doctor Carter?” He asked, having heard about her decision to revert to her maiden name.

“Not so good sir.” Jack admitted with a sigh.

“I gather that the divorce is still on the cards?” He asked sadly.

They were his two finest officers, and he was closer to them than his own children, which made it even harder for him to watch them go through this.

Jack nodded, his shoulders once again slumped. “Sam told me to contact a lawyer, so I’d say so.”

“Do you want her removed from SG-1?”

“I don’t have a death wish, sir.”

Hammond couldn’t help but smile, it was the first joke that Jack had cracked since long before the Edora incident. “I had to check. SG-1 is due to be placed back on the mission list, but if you feel that yourself and Doctor Carter are unable to work together, then we can remove her form your team.”

“Sir, Sam and I will be professional.”

“I though so, but you understand that I had to check.”

“Yes sir.”

The General dismissed him and Jack went to her lab to tell her about their next mission, which would be later in the week.

“Doctor Carter?” He called.

Jack hated calling his own wife that, it was like she was really trying to cut off all ties to him, which made their divorce seem all the more real. Receiving no answer, Jack tried again.

“Sam?” Still no answer.

He knew that she’d be annoyed at the use of her nickname, but at least he’d get a response. “Sammie?”

He saw her lying over her computers, her face on the keyboard. She was asleep again, and Jack was starting to get very concerned about her health.

Walking over to her, he gently shook her shoulder. “’M awake.” She mumbled.

“Come on, get up.” He ordered, his voice soft in the quiet lab.

“I’m not feeling too good.” She muttered, turning her head to empty the contents of her stomach on the lab’s floor.

He rubbed her back in soothing motions as she continued to dry heave. “Come on, infirmary.” He told her.

“I don’t think I can get up.” She mumbled into her sleeve, wiping her mouth.

Despite knowing that she’d be pissed at him for it, he picked her up in his arms, surprised when she relaxed in his embrace, weaving her arms around his neck and burying her face in his chest.

He carried her to the elevator, down the three floors to the infirmary and laid her on the first gurney that he could find. “Janet?” He called.

The doctor came into the room, carrying Sam’s chart with her. “What’s wrong?” She asked.

Jack pointed to his once again sleeping wife. “I found Sam asleep in her lab again, and she’s just been sick.”

“I’ll run some more tests, but I doubt that we’ll find anything.” Janet promised, ushering him out of her infirmary so that she could perform the tests on Sam.

Her friend woke up halfway through the tests, disorientated and confused. She remembered being in her lab, but how did she end up in the infirmary? Then she remembered Jack being there while she was sick. “Janet?”

The doctor smiled encouragingly. “I’m just running some tests, honey.”

“Exhaustion?” Sam asked, suppressing the yawn that threatened to escape her mouth.

Janet shook her head. “I don’t think so.”

Sam’s blue eyes, clouded with tiredness, showed her confusion. “Then what?”

Quickly scanning her file, Janet turned back to face her worried friend. “Sam……honey, when was your last period?”

“My last period? God, just before Jack came home from…..oh no!” She shook her head worriedly. “No, Janet you can’t possibly think……”

Janet couldn’t help but have tears form in her eyes, knowing what this could mean for her friends. “Honey I’m sorry but the signs are there.”

“But you ran tests before and they showed up nothing!” Sam protested.

The last thing that she needed now on top of everything else was another baby. Could she raise three kids on her own? What if she had twins again? Jack’s family had a history of twins, what if it happened again? A single mother of four? It was hard enough being a single mother of two, even with Jack taking the kids every chance he got, she couldn’t handle anything else at the moment.

“The Naquadah in your blood could have been concealing it…..Sam, I don’t know anything for sure yet, but you need to be prepared for the possibility.”

“You think I’m pregnant?” Sam asked quietly.

“I think that it’s a real possibility, yes. The timing would match, and you’ve had all the signs. Morning sickness kicked in about three and a half months into your pregnancy with the twins, didn’t it?”

Sam continued to shake her head, refusing to even accept the possibility. “Yes….but it was only a little. And I didn’t know what it was at the time! I thought I had a stomach bug.”

“Honey, I know that you really don’t need this now, but you need to face the fact that there is a chance.”

“You’re right Jan, I don’t need this now…..I can’t handle this right now.” She was ashamed to feel tears prick her eyes again. She couldn’t count how many hours she had spent crying over the last few months. “What happens if I am?”

“That’s your decision Sam.”

“If I was….then I’d be about four months along, wouldn’t I?” Sam asked, trying to do the mental calculations herself.

Janet nodded in confirmation. “Almost four months, yes.”

“But, I thought you said that after my experience with Jolinar, I wouldn’t be able to have any more children? I had the miscarriage at three months, why hasn’t it happened this time?”

“I said that it was a real possibility, yes, but we didn’t know for sure. Your miscarriage could have been an isolated incident. It happens to one in four women throughout their life, maybe you were just unlucky that time.” Janet shrugged, wishing that she had the answer for her dismayed friend.

Sam scrubbed her hands over her face, unwilling, or unable, to believe that after everything that had been thrown at her in the last year, this had to happen to. “How big is the chance of me being pregnant?” She finally asked.

“Pretty big.” Janet admitted. “I ran a blood test after you fainted, but it came back with nothing, probably because of the Naquadah. Have you noticed your clothes starting to get too small? Breast tenderness? Dizziness? Any water retention?”

“I know the damn signs!” She snapped, instantly regretting it. “Jan, I’m sorry, it’s just that…..I know the signs, and as you’re saying them, I’m realizing that I have them”

Janet shook her head. “Honey, it’s okay. I know that this is a shock, and we don’t know for sure…..”

“I do know.” 

“What are you going to do?”

“Well, it’s too late to get rid of it…..not that I could.”

Janet had expected that. Sam loved her children, and both she and Jack had been equally devastated when she’d had her miscarriage. They’d both said that they wanted more children, but that had been before their marriage had turned so sour. “Are you going to tell Jack?”

Sam’s face took on a panicked expression. “Oh God…..I don’t know.”

“Let me do a test and see what it comes back with. It may just be stress.”

Sam nodded. “Do the test, but I’m pretty sure that it’s not a false alarm.”

Janet silently agreed with her.


It was Jack’s turn to have the kids.

He’d gotten a small place not far from her house, said that he could be there in five if she ever needed him. Not that she planned to ask if she could help it. Heidi and Jay had been constantly nagging at her to see their father, so the first weekend that he had off, she virtually dumped the kids on his doorstep with their bags and told him that it was ‘his turn.’

The house was quiet, and it was a rarity with two kids normally running around.  She’d taken care of all the mundane chores earlier in the day, and now Sam had the next forty-eight hours to herself.

Now, if she could keep her head out of the toilet long enough to enjoy it, she’d be fine.

Janet said that the early morning sickness was probably due to stress, since she had hardly had any sickness when she was carrying the twins. She’d confirmed the pregnancy a week ago, and ever since had been asking when she was going to tell Jack.

She didn’t think she had the courage.


Jack had to admit that it was pretty sad when your six-year-old son could wipe the floor with you at a game of Mario.

Heidi looked up from the picture that she was drawing to watch her father and brother battle against each other on their play-station. “Daddy? What does death mean?”

Turning his attention away from the split-screen display on his television that was telling him that he’d just crashed his Mario cart and Jay had won, Jack turned his attention to his daughter. “What makes you ask that?”

“I wanna know.” She told him, forgetting the crayon’s she was using and moving to sit on his lap. “What does death mean?”

Jack swallowed hard. He and Sam had agreed that they would tell the kids what death meant, but they had planned to wait a while before springing it on them. “Honey, you don’t need to worry about that at the moment.”

Heidi’s blue eyes looked up at him, wide with confusion. “Mike at school says that his Daddy died and he never came back.”

Jack smiled in what he hoped was a reassuring manner at his daughter. “Well, I’m not going anywhere, so you don’t need to worry.”

She shook her head, unaware that her pigtails were hitting him in the face. “Not you, mommy.”

“Mommy’s not going to die, honey.”

Jay finally left the clutches of Mario and the television and came to sit next to Jack. “But she’s sick.”

“Guys, you’re Mom isn’t sick.” At least, he hoped not. Briefly, Jack wondered if Sam would tell him if she were sick. He liked to think that she would, but with things the way they were at the moment, he just wasn’t sure.

Heidi had that confused look that Jack suspected she got from him on her face again. “But she has a bad tummy.”

Jack recognized Heidi’s way of saying that her mother had been vomiting recently and he had to wonder what was wrong with her. Did she have a virus? Something more serious, perhaps? He hoped not. “Maybe something she ate didn’t like her.” He offered.

“But she’s doing it a lot Dad.” Jay protested.

“How long?” Jack asked. He hated having to pump his children for information about his wife, but he suspected that it was the only way he’d ever find out.

“A week.”

A week? God, she must feel awful. No wonder she’d been so eager for him to have the kids all weekend, Jack mused. When he’d asked her about the possibility of him having the kids overnight, he’d honestly expected Sam to say no. Heidi and Jay hadn’t spent a night away from her since their separation

But when she’d readily agreed to the prospect, he had been too happy to even consider her reasoning. He’d only broached the subject with her the other day, and as soon as she’d learned that he had the weekend off, the kids had been on his doorstep.

Jack smiled at the twins. “Don’t worry, I’m sure she’ll be fine.”

He hoped.


When the doorbell rang, Sam was reluctant to move.

It couldn’t be Jack. Heidi and Jay weren’t coming home until Sunday evening, and it had only just gone ten. It shouldn’t be the base, it was Saturday, after ten in the evening, and she’d told them to call her *only* if it was an emergency. Janet had backed her up, telling her to get some rest.

Finally deciding that if it was a door-to-door salesman, she’d shoot him, Sam moved to the door, surprised to see Teal’c standing on the other side, a bunch of flowers in his large hand.

“Teal'c?” She asked in surprise. Of all the people that she had expected to be at her doorstep, he hadn’t been one of them.

He inclined his head in her direction. “Samantha, may I have permission to enter you residence?”

She smiled, even using her first name, Teal’c was still so proper. “Sure, come in. I was going to make some coffee,” Actually, she was going to cry herself to sleep, but he didn’t need to know that. “Would you like something?”

“Yes, thank you.” He nodded, handing her the flowers.

Sam stepped back to allow Teal’c into the house. “Is coffee alright?” She asked, scanning the room for a vase.

“Coffee would be most acceptable.”

Following him into the kitchen, Sam turned the kettle on and pulled a vase form the cupboard. “Thank you for the flowers Teal’c, they’re lovely.”

“You are most welcome. I spoke to Doctor Fraiser and she suggested that if I were to visit you that I should bring you a gift. She said that it was a custom to give a female a gift when she is unhappy. Do my flowers prove to be sufficient in the task of making you happy?” He was so serious that Sam couldn’t help but giggle a little.

She smiled, her giggles dying down slightly. “Yes, they do. Thank you Teal’c. It was sweet of you, but you didn’t have to do it.”

“Doctor Fraiser also told me that you would say that.”

Sam smiled, Janet certainly knew her too well. “Do you want cream in your coffee?” She asked.

“No thank you.”

She rolled her eyes and nodded. “Right. Black. You’ve been spending too much time with Daniel.”

Teal’c cocked his head, confused. “Daniel Jackson is a part of SG-1, as am I, how would it be possible to spend less time with him?”

Sam nodded and poured out their coffee. “So….not that it isn’t nice to see you or anything, but why are you here?”

“I was concerned for your welfare. I wished to ascertain that you were well. You seem to be distracted at the SGC.”

“I’m fine Teal’c, really.” She smiled, but even she felt that it was forced.

“You and O’Neill remain apart?” He asked, ever tactful.

She pursed her lips together and took a long sip of her coffee. “Yes Teal’c. We’re still separated. We’re getting a divorce, remember?”

“I must be truthful and tell you that I did not expect you and O’Neill to remain apart for such a lengthy period of time.” His admission was softly spoken and his voice was gentle.

She shook her head, pointedly ignored the tears in her eyes as she spoke. “I can’t forgive him Teal’c. I know that everyone expects me to, but I just can’t. It’s too hard.”

“You feel betrayed.”

Sam nodded sadly. “Yes. Among other things.”

“You feel that no one understands you pain?”

She had to admit, he had a point. “Yes.”

“If you remember correctly Samantha, my wife married another when she returned to Chulak, I also know your pain.”

Sam hadn’t forgotten the mission where they’d gone back to Chulak, only to find that his wife had married another man, his best friend to be exact. She hadn’t known what to say to him after that, but Teal’c, being Teal’c had simply moved on in silence.

“I didn’t think…..Teal’c, I’m sorry.”

Teal’c shook his head. “You have no reason to apologize to me Samantha, I am merely pointing out that I know your pain. I learnt to forgive Drey’ac, surely you could learn to forgive O’Neill.”

“But I don’t know if I *want* to forgive him Teal'c, that’s part of my problem.”

“Even though your are with child?”

Sam blinked, stared at the man sitting across the breakfast bar from her, blinked again, took a sip of her coffee and blinked again. “I…… did you…..?”

Teal’c looked at her, his head tilted to the side in a curious fashion as she fought for words. “My larvae can sense the Naquadah within your growing child.”

“Oh…..” She hadn’t thought about that. “Will it effect the baby?”

“It will not harm the child of a Jaffa. Perhaps you should have Doctor Fraiser examine you to ensure that the Naquadah shall do your child no harm.”

She hadn’t thought about that either. “I will. Teal’c… know that you can’t tell anyone about the baby, right? I don’t want anyone to know.”

His head tilted to the side again. “Will it not soon become apparent as your abdomen begins to swell?” He asked bluntly.

Sam sighed heavily, his logic could be annoying sometimes. “Yes…..But I don’t want people to know yet.”

“I believe that you mean you do not wish for O’Neill to know of his child? Am I correct?”

She looked down, ashamed. “Yes….”

“For what reason do you wish to hide the truth from him? Did you not tell me that you regretted hiding the paternity of Heidi and Jay? Why would you wish to repeat the same course of action?”

“Because if I tell him, then he’s just going to try harder to get our marriage back on track. I don’t want that Teal’c. I just want to move on from this.” Sam sighed and took another sip of her coffee.

It was cold.

The coffee that she had given Teal’c was probably cold too, but he continued to drink it anyway. “But should he not still be informed?”

“I will tell him…..I just don’t know when…..” She looked at her friend. “You’re not going to say anything, are you?”

He looked at her long and hard. “It is not my place to say anything to O’Neill, however I do not agree with your decision.”

“I know Teal’c. And I’m sorry that you’re in this position. You weren’t supposed to know. I wanted to get the divorce out of the way, and then tell people.” She shook her head as the tears finally fell. Damn hormones. “God, everything is so screwed up.”

Teal’c pulled her into a hug as she sobbed into his chest. “Samantha Carter, I did not wish to make you upset. It was not my intention. However, as I obviously have, I believe that it is my responsibility to make you feel happiness again. Should I purchase more flowers?”

She giggled. “Thanks for the offer.”

“My proposal was sincere.”

“I know.”

“Perhaps you should rest.”

She nodded, stifling a yawn at the mention of sleep. “Thanks Teal'c. Do you want to stay on the couch?”

“I will Kel’no’reem outside of your bedroom to ensure your safety.”

Sam thought about telling him that she would be okay, but decided that the thought of someone keeping an eye on her was appealing so she nodded. “You know where everything is, help yourself.”

Teal'c nodded and Sam left him to crawl in to bed, safe in the knowledge that her friend was looking out for her.


He couldn’t sleep.

Jack had been lying in bed for the past three hours, the light breathing of his children floating into his room from across the hall, and all he could do was stare at the ceiling, counting the cracks in the paint work.

There were 53.

Ever since Heidi and Jay had mentioned Sam being sick, all his brain was doing was coming up with the worst case scenarios about what could be wrong with her.

What he should have done was called her when it wasn’t after midnight and asked her what the hell was wrong. Chances are, she would have said ‘nothing’ and hung up on him, but at least maybe then he would have been able to get some sleep.


Jack sat up to see Jay standing in the doorway, clutching his beloved teddy bear in his arms. “What’s up sport?”

Jay walked over and climbed up onto the queen bed that Jack had brought to sleep in. “I can’t sleep.”

“Why not?”

“I don’t wanna go back to Mommy.” He admitted in a small voice.

“Sport? Why don’t you want to go back to your mom?” Jack asked, shocked. Jay loved his mom, what had brought this on?

Jay shrugged. “I want to live with you Daddy. Can’t I stay with you?”

Jack shook his head. Yes, he did want to be with his children, but he wouldn’t be responsible for taking them away from Sam. “Jay… doesn’t work like that. Your mom loves you, she’d be sad if you left her and Heidi alone.”

“But I miss you Dad! Why can’t you live with us?”

Scrubbing his hands over his face, Jack sighed. “Jay, we’ve had this discussion before. Your mom and I aren’t together anymore, so we’re not living together.”

“It’s not fair!”

“I know sport, but that’s the way it is.”

Jay cuddled up to his father, yawning. “Can’t I just stay with you?”

“Go to sleep Jay, we’ll talk about this later.”

Closing his son’s example, Jack closed his eyes and tried to get to sleep.


The kids would be home soon, the house was a mess, there was her uneaten lunch still sitting on the coffee table but she was too nauseous to go near it, she was still wearing her pajama’s, her hair was a mess and she needed to rinse her mouth out before she was sick again from the residual taste of the last time.


Teal’c had stayed for breakfast but he’d had to return to the base, so she’d been pottering around the house in between sporadic bursts of vomiting and dry heaving. God, she thought that her pregnancy with the Twins had been hard, and she hadn’t had morning sickness then.

Jack was going to be there shortly, and she really didn’t want to answer the door looking like an absolute mess and then have to explain it to him…..

“Sam you home?”

Oh wasn’t his timing *perfect*?

“Hang on!” She called, desperately scrambling for some clothes. She threw her lunch, plate included, into the bin, grabbed a mint and tugged on some jeans and a shirt. It was some five-minute’s later when she finally got to the door. “Sorry, I was in the middle of something.” She smiled, hoping that the mint had taken effect.

He smiled gently. “No, s’ok.”

Heidi ran towards her mother and hugged her legs excitedly but Sam didn’t fail to notice Jay’s reluctance to leave his father’s side. “Jay?” Sam asked. She noticed the small push that Jack gave him that made him step towards her and into her arms.

She looked at Jack questionably but he just smiled encouragingly at her. She accepted his smile and hugged her children.

“Is your tummy better?” Heidi asked and Sam inwardly groaned.

Sam didn’t look at Jack as she spoke, worried about what he would say, what he must think. “Um…yeah, honey. I’m feeling better now.”

Heidi continued, ignorant to Sam’s discomfort. “Daddy said that you’re food didn’t like you. Why didn’t it like your tummy?” 

“I don’t know honey. Sometimes food just doesn’t like you.” Heidi nodded, accepting the answer. “Why don’t you and Jay go and put your bags in your room while I talk to daddy?” She asked, nodding them towards their bedrooms.

The kids left the doorway and Sam ushered Jack inside to the living room. He sat down next to her on the lounge and she turned to face him. “You feeling okay?” He asked quietly.

She smiled lightly. “Yeah, like you told the kids, I think something just didn’t agree with me.”

“You want me to take the kids again tonight?” He offered.

“Thanks for the offer, but I’m feeling better now, we should be okay.” Actually, the smell of his after-shave, the one she’d brought him, was making her want to be sick again, but she wasn’t about to tell him that.

“If your sure.”

Sam nodded. “Um, I didn’t get the chance to tell you the other morning, but we have our arbitration on Tuesday after noon.”

“Arbitration?” He asked.

Sam wanted to groan. Did he really not know the procedure or was he just trying to get her to talk about the divorce? “Legally, you have to have a one year separation before you can get divorced.”

“Really? Sara and I didn’t.”

“You would have. You and Sara had been separated for a year before you signed the papers.” She pointed out and he nodded. “Well, because we’ve only been separated for four months, we have to have an arbitration. Basically, we’ll have our lawyers and a judge in the room. They ask question, we answer and then we sign the papers.” She felt more than a little uncomfortable being so blaze about their impending divorce, but she was trying to keep what little food she had left in her stomach down.

Jack sighed, and for the first time, Sam noticed how defeated he looked. “What time?”

“One. The kids will still be in school then, so I won’t have to worry about picking them up.”

Jack nodded just as the kids re-entered the room. “Sure. I’ll be there. With bells on any everything.”

He still had the ability to make her smile, even after everything that had happened. She was glad that some things never really change. “Okay.” Sam nodded and turned to face the kids. “Did you put your stuff away?” Heidi nodded, proud. “Jay?” Sam asked her suspiciously quiet son.

“I wanna go with Dad.” He told her.

“Jay?” Sam repeated, shocked.

He looked at the carpet, his voice quiet. “I want to stay with daddy. Why won’t you let him stay here?”

Sam looked accusingly at Jack, but he shook his head. “Jay….honey, we’ve already talked about this.”

“But I don’t want him to go!” The little boy protested angrily. “Why are you sending daddy away?”

“Jay, don’t speak to your mom like that!” Jack snapped.

“No, Jack, it’s fine.” She lied, ignoring the tears, “You can stay with your father if you want to Jay.”


“It’s fine. Heidi, do you want to go to?” Sam asked, turning her attention to her silent daughter.

The little girl looked petrified to answer. “Um…..”

“It’s okay Heidi, you can go if you want to.”

She looked back and forth between her parents for a long minute, confused. “I want to stay with mommy and daddy.”

“Honey, it doesn’t work like that. You can stay here with me or you can go with Jay and your dad.” God, Sam felt like a monster making her daughter choose between her parents, but she didn’t know what else to do.

“Can I go with daddy?” She asked in a small voice.

Sam smiled despite the tear that was slowly slipping down her cheek. “Sure honey, go and pack your bags, okay?”

The kids ran, happily to their room.


“Don’t Jack, just take them and go.” She snapped, fleeing to the bathroom to empty her stomach again.


Sam sat nervously fiddling with her hands as she waited for the judge to arrive. Today, of all days, she was desperately hoping that she could keep her stomach in check. She had purposely not eaten since yesterday morning to avoid having to make an undignified exit during the arbitration.

After Jack had taken the kids back to his place on Sunday, Sam had done nothing but cry for two solid hours. The kids had come home the previous night because Jack had needed to catch up on some paperwork, but Jay had barely spoken to her and Heidi had been so quiet and confused.

God, what if the kids didn’t want to stay with her at all?

“Relax Sam.” Mark, her lawyer, whispered.

She nodded and smiled. “Sure. Easier said than done.” She lightly touched her slightly swollen abdomen. It wasn’t noticeable yet, but she knew that it wouldn’t be long now and she wanted the divorce over and done with before it became obvious.

Jack and his lawyer were already inside the room, waiting for the judge like they were, but Sam didn’t think she could sit in there with him with their lawyers screening everything that they said.

Mark turned his attention back to her. “When this is over, would you like to got and get a celebratory drink?”

Her lawyer was *hitting* on her? On the day of her divorce? And when had he gotten that close? “Uh…..thanks, but no thanks.”

“Well then, what are you going to do afterwards?”

He was *leering* now? God….”I’m going to pick up my twins from school, go home and cook them dinner before I vomit. Yes, morning sickness is a bitch, ain’t it?”

“You’re pregnant?” He looked positively repulsed at the idea.

She gave him a patronizing look. “Yes, which you already knew, remember? Look, I’m going to the bathroom, why don’t you read over my file and familiarize yourself with this case before I get back?”

Sam left before he had the chance to reply, and spent a little extra time in the bathroom, hoping that her idiot lawyer would be slightly more intelligent when she got back, but she doubted it.

By the time she did get back he was, however, once again up to speed on her love-life and ready to go into the arbitration room where the judge was waiting.

“I’m sorry we’re late,” Mark apologized, holding out her chair as she sat opposite Jack, turning to face the judge.

The judge nodded. “It’s quite alright.”

“Shall we begin?” Jack’s lawyer, Sam thought his name was Peter, but she wasn’t sure, asked.

“Certainly.” The judge agreed. “Now, as I understand it, we’re here for this arbitration because Miss Carter and Mr. O’Neill haven’t been separated for twelve months, is that correct?”

Sam nodded. “Yes, your Honor.”

“Might I ask why?”

She briefly looked at Jack, who gestured for her to answer before turning back to the judge. “I, we, wanted to get this over and done with as soon as possible.”

The judge nodded and scribbled that information on his notepad. “What is you reasoning?”

“Irreconcilable differences.” Sam answered automatically.

The judges sighed and Sam swallowed hard when he directed his attention to her. “Miss Carter, I don’t know if you are aware or not, but you can’t file for divorce under ‘Irreconcilable differences’ unless you’ve had the twelve month separation. Now, if you’d like to come back in eight months, you can file for divorce under that claim, otherwise, you need to change your reasoning. ”

“Infidelity.” Sam answered automatically.

“You had an affair?” The judge asked her.

“No your honor, I did.” Jack answered and Sam was surprised to hear him say it.

“I see.”

“My client, Miss Carter would like this to be as quick and painless as possible. They have twins together.” Mark spoke up, and Sam was surprised to see a professional replacing the man that had been staring at her cleavage not five minute’s beforehand.

“Who is filling for custody of the children?” The judge asked, looking at first Jack and then Sam

Jack spoke up, not once faulting as he did. “Sam will have the kids mainly, but I’ll have access to them.”

“You have a private agreement worked out?”

Jack’s lawyer nodded. “Yes your honor, My client and Miss Carter have previously discussed it and have reached an agreement concerning their children.”

The judge turned to Sam. “Okay. Miss Carter, I assume that since you are the one filling for this divorce, that you wish to proceed?”

She breathed a sigh of relief, it’s almost over, she told herself. “Yes your honor.”

“And Mr. O’Neill? Do you wish to proceed also?”

Jack shook his head. “No your honor.”


He shook his head sadly. “I’m sorry Sam, but you know that I don’t want this. You know that I want to be with you and the kids and that I want to make our marriage work. I’m not going to lie to the judge about it.”

“Jack….we talked about this!”

“No, you talked. What do you want me to do Sam? Give up on us? I love you, you know that, but I won’t lie so that you can get your divorce. I won’t give up.”

“You gave up when you screwed Laira, Jack.” She snapped, angry at herself for letting this come out now, and angry at him for putting her in this position. Damn it, she’d done nothing wrong.

So why did she feel like the traitor?

Jack’s reply, however colourful it may have been, was cut off by Mark speaking. “Mr. O’Neill are you aware that Miss Carter is pregnant?” he asked, ignoring Sam’s gasp of horror.

Oh God….he wasn’t supposed to find out like this! “Sammie…..?” Jack asked, turning to face her, his eyes wide with hope.

“Are you also aware that you aren’t the father of her child?” Mark continued and Sam saw the hope drain from his eyes to be replaced with a heartbreaking sorrow.

“No,” Jack replied, his voice hoarse and thick with emotion and the tears in his eyes. “I wasn’t aware of that.”

“Miss Carter?” The judge asked.

“Yes your honor, I’m pregnant.” She replied, her eyes low. She could feel Jack’s gaze burning into her, but she couldn’t find the strength or the will to meet it.

“Who’s the father?” Jack asked quietly.

“Me.” Mark grinned proudly and Sam had to fight the wave of nausea that threatened to overcome her. “So, as you can tell, she obviously wants to be with the father of her child. I believe that we can wrap this up then.” Mark grinned, clasping his hands together happily.


Mark tried to grab her had but she tugged it away. “Excuse me? Sammie?” he lent closer to her and whispered in her ear. “If you want this over with quickly then I suggest you play along.”

“No.” She stood up, gasping as she felt the world spin.

Before she knew anyone had moved, Jack was by her side in an instant, holding her upright as she lent into him. “Sammie?” He whispered.

She managed to whisper “Yours Jack” Before slipping into a peaceful oblivion.


Janet sat down in her office chair, happy to have moment of peace. She spared a brief though to Sam and Jack, who would still be in the arbitration, but her mind was quickly full with thoughts of her aching feet.


The exhausted doctor looked up to see her husband leaning against the frame of her office door. “I was just thinking that I could use one of your foot rubs.” She smiled.

Nodding, Daniel came to kneel at her feet, pulling them out of the uncomfortable shoes that she wore. “Tough day?” He murmured, beginning a slow caress on the soles of her

“Long day,” She amended. “SG-3 got into a firefight with a battalion of Jaffa, and I spent six hours in the operating theater trying to save Lt. Johnson’s leg.”

“Will be okay?”

“Yes… looks good for now.” She smiled appreciatively as his talented fingers continued to ease the ache of her feet. “He should make a full recovery. And with some intense physiotherapy, he should be fully functional within months.”

Daniel nodded. “That’s good.” He sighed a little and Janet looked down at him in concern.

“Danny? What’s wrong?”

He smiled up at her. “Nothing really, I was just thinking about Sam and Jack.” He admitted.

“Their arbitration?” Janet guessed and Daniel nodded. “Yeah, I was thinking about that too.”

“I have to admit, I didn’t really think that Sam would go this far. I mean, I know that he betrayed her, but she’s told me on more than one occasion that she still loves him. I guess I was hoping that they’d work out their problems.” He admitted.

“You romantic!” She teased.

“Don’t tell anyone,” He told her, his tone urgent.

Janet laughed delightedly. “In all seriousness, I think that the only thing we can do is let them deal with it and just be there for them.”

“I know, but it’s just so hard to see, especially with Heidi and Jay involved,” He looked at his wife who had her eyes closed in pleasure at his ministrations. “And with another baby on the way, it complicates things further.”

His caressing hands were forgotten as Janet’s eyes snapped open. “What?”

Daniel smiled gently at her shocked expression. “Honey, I know the signs. Sam’s got all the same symptoms that you had when you were pregnant with Megan.” He reminded her.

“When did you figure it out?” She asked.

He shrugged a little. “I guessed a few days ago, but I was waiting for you to confirm or deny.”

Janet sighed, she’d wanted to tell her husband, she hated keeping secrets from him, but that would only have made Sam more stressed, and she didn’t need that at the moment. “I couldn’t Dan! I wanted to tell you, but I can’t breech Doctor patient confidentiality, you know that.”

“Honey, it’s okay, I understand.” He smiled at her.

Janet’s reply was cut off as her phone rang, and praying that it wasn’t another emergency, she sighed and picked up the receiver. “Doctor Fraiser speaking. Yes? Put him through.”

Daniel looked at his wife with concern. “Who is it?”

“Jack.” She replied.


“Yeah, it’s me Jack, what’s wrong?” She asked.

He was obviously on his cell phone, she could tell by the fading static. “Sam collapsed in the arbitration!”

“What? Where are you?”

“We’re in the ambulance, on the way to Colorado Medical. Can you meet us there, you know Sam’s medical health better than anyone else.” He asked.

Janet nodded, even though she knew that he couldn’t see the action. “Of course. What did the paramedic’s say?” She asked, pulling on her shoes and fumbling for her keys.

She heard Jack sigh. “They said that she’s having regular contractions and they need to stop the labor…..Jan, why didn’t you tell me?”

“You know I couldn’t Jack.”

Jack sighed again and Janet felt even guiltier for not persuading Sam to tell her husband about the baby sooner. “Yeah I know….it’s just so hard to see her go through this again.”

“I know Jack. Look, I’ll be there in twenty, okay? Warn her Doctors not to give her any medication until I get there.”

“No medication?” Jack asked, shocked.

“Jack, Jolinar really screwed her up, if they give her the wrong antibiotics then it could be fatal to both her and the baby.”

“Understood. See you there.”

Janet hung the phone up and grabbed her coat. “Sam’s gone into early labor, I have to get to the hospital. Tell the General and meet me there.” She ordered, running out of the room before he had the opportunity to reply.


Sam lay limply on the bed, exhausted.

Her contractions were coming every minute and Doctor Windsor said that she was beginning to dilate. There was a cool washer on her forehead, and she assumed that Jack had put it there.

He’d been with her since she’d woken up in the ambulance, whispering comforting, nonsensical words to her. She could feel his hand holding hers, but her eyes refused to open to look at him.

Gasping in pain as another contraction hit, Sam groaned.

Jack stroked her abdomen lightly, the pressure enough to ease some of her pain. “It’s okay baby,” He murmured and Sam told herself to focus on the sound of his voice. “It’s going to be okay.”

“Jack…..” She moaned, feeling the beads of sweat falling from her forehead. “I’m….” Her words were cut off as she gasped again.

“It’s all right Sammie, don’t try to talk.”

“No. I’m sorry.” She whispered.

“We’ll talk about it later.” He told her.


He turned to see Janet running into the room, Doctor Windsor behind her. “Have you given her anything?” Janet asked, checking over Sam’s vitals.

Doctor Windsor stood behind her, watching her work. “No, Mr. O’Neill told us not too because of a chemical spill she was involved in a few years ago.”

Janet nodded and began to throw a list of compatible drugs for her friend at the other Doctor. Sam’s moan of pain interrupted their discussion and Janet turned to the frightened woman on the bed. “It’s okay Honey, everything is going to be fine.” She smiled reassuringly and Doctor Windsor left the room to get the drug that he and Janet had agreed on.

“Braxton Hicks?” Sam asked.

Tears formed in Janet’s eyes as she shook her head. “I’m afraid not sweetie. You’ve gone into a very premature labor, and we’re going to give you something to try and stop it. You need to relax though, okay?”

Sam nodded, biting her lip in pain. “The baby?”

“We’ll do our best, I promise.”

“I need to organize someone to pick up the twins from school.” Jack told them, his brow creased with worry.

Janet shook her head reassuringly. “Don’t worry Jack, I called the sitter from my car.”

He nodded, turning his attention back to his distraught wife. “You’re gonna be okay Sammie,” He whispered quietly. “You’re gonna be okay.”

Janet hoped that his words were true.


She’d been there for three days.

Jack had left her side only to use the bathroom, call a nurse or pick up the kids to come and see her. Despite Sam’s best intentions, she and Jack hadn’t spoken about their situation at all.

Sam had wanted to, and she tried. But each time she had broached the subject, Jack had hushed her and told her not to worry.

How was she supposed to do that? She was barely awake long enough for anyone to tell her anything, she didn’t know if her baby was okay or not and she had to tell her husband how much he meant to her.

But, she told herself firmly, he was going to have a long talk to her today, whether he liked it or not. If they didn’t sort this out now, when things were steady between them, then when she got out of hospital, everything would go back to the way it was.

She’d been awake for a little over half an hour earlier, and she remembered Janet telling her that she’d be okay. And that she would be able to go home soon. Home…..without Jack, she wasn’t sure where that was anymore.


Opening her heavy eyelids, Sam watched as Jack placed the large bouquet of flowers by her bedside. She already had three there, one from Janet and Daniel, another from Teal’c and the blue tinged roses that Jack had brought her, just like the ones that she’d had for the wedding.

“Mmm?” She murmured.

“These are from The General. He told me to tell you that he’s called Dad and he’ll be here tomorrow.”


“Yeah, he’s moving at the moment, but he’ll come over home tomorrow to see you. He sends his love.”

“Home?” She asked but could barely keep her eyes open, let alone form more than one-word sentences.

“Janet says that you can come home tomorrow.” He told her. She didn’t missed the fact that he said ‘come home’ but she was too tired to ask. “She wants to keep you on whatever medication you’re on, and as long as you rest, then she says it’s okay for you to be at home.”

She nodded, even that small action proving to be tiring. “Okay.”

“She also said that she didn’t want you left along, and Megan’s been a little unwell lately so she can’t stay…..”


Jack nodded, unable to stop from grinning. “Okay.”


“She’s got a stomach bug. She’ll be okay, but she just needs to rest.” He smiled reassuringly and sat on the bed next to her, one hand going to grasp hers, the other resting lightly on her abdomen.


Jack sighed with relief. “The baby’s okay Sam. It was touch and go there for a bit, but if you keep taking the medication, then everything should be okay.”

She could feel her eyes beginning to close again, but she needed to know something before she allowed herself the pleasure of slumber again. “My fault?”

He shook his head adamantly. “No Sammie, don’t even think that! It’s not your fault. Janet says that it may have been the Naquadah in your body from the chemical spill. We don’t know why it happened, but I do know that it’s not your fault, so don’t you even think it, okay?”

She nodded accepting his answer. “Love you.”

Jack felt tears of happiness prick his eyes at her words. God, he’d longed to hear her say that for almost a year. “I love you too Sammie.”

Drifting off into a more peaceful sleep, Sam smiled.

They were going to be okay.


He’d got a wheelchair for her to get her to his truck and he’d refused to let her get herself into the passenger seat. He’d also carried her into the house and straight into bed. He was looking after her, and while it was sweet, fluffing her pillows was a bit much.

At the moment, he was re-arranging her bedside table so that he could fit tissues, his flowers, a cup of tea, her medication and some toast on it.

“Jack! Stop!”

He looked up at her from his study of her medication. “What?”

She sighed at his hurt look. “I know that you’re only trying to help but stop fussing over me and sit down, we need to talk before the sitter drops Heidi and Jay home.”

Sam noticed that when he perched on the edge of the bed, he didn’t touch her. “Okay, what would you like to talk about?”

“Jack….we have to talk about this.”

“This?” He repeated.

“Yes. This. Us.” She sighed and looked away from him. “Jack, we need to work something out for the kids.”

“And the baby.” He nodded. “Whatever you want Sam, it’s your call. Just tell me what you want and I’ll do it.”

God, he could be impossible! Why did it have to be her call? She was having a hard enough time trying to decided what she wanted on her toast, let alone what she wanted to do with her marriage. Did she love him? Yes. Did she miss him? Yes. Did she trust him? No.

And that was the problem.

“Look., we both love the kids, that’s a given, but they don’t want to be away from either of us. And,” She admitted, somewhat ruefully, “I’m going to need help around the house so why don’t you just move back in.”


He looked so happy…..”Yes, the fourth room won’t be needed as a nursery yet, so I don’t see why not.”

She may as well have kicked him in the stomach. “Sure Sam, whatever you want.”


Despite his hurt at her proposal to move back into the house and into the spare room, Jack had done so the next day. The first night, he’d slept next to her. They hadn’t touched apart from his hand that was resting on their growing baby, but Jack had gotten the best night sleep that he’d had in a year.

After that night, however, she had made it plainly clear that she didn’t want him in her bed again. Even if she had woken up that morning with a lazy smile gracing her beautiful features. So he’d spent the last three weeks sleeping in an uncomfortable bed, knowing that his wife was just across the hall.

It was worse than when he had been living in the hotel, or his apartment. At both of those places, there had been no temptation to sneak into her, their, room and watch her sleep.

“You are not focused O’Neill.” Teal’c told him and Jack ducked just in time to miss the right hook that came his way.

“You’re right. Want to take a break?” He asked and Teal’c nodded. The two men sat down in the corner of the gym, and Jack took a sip of his water bottle.

Teal’c broke the silence after they settled their breathing. “I have observed that your boxing has not been up to standard today.”

“You saying that I sucked?”

“I believe that I am.”

He chuckled lightly. “Thanks buddy. I know, I can’t keep my mind on anything today.”

“You are concerned for Samantha.” It was more of a statement than a question.

Jack nodded. “Yeah. She’s been home for three weeks and today’s the first time that I’ve left her on her own, I can’t help but worry.”

“I was under the impression that Doctor Fraiser was spending the day with her?”

“Well….she is, but I want to be there in case something happens.” He admitted.

“Are you and Samantha once again together?”

“Kind of. I’m back at home, but I’m sleeping in the spare room.”

Teal’c nodded slightly and seemed to mull over the information for a moment before replying. “Would it not be best to approach this situation slowly and cautiously?” He asked.

Jack sighed. He knew that his friend was right, but…. “I know Teal’c, but it doesn’t seem like things will ever get back to normal.”

“You have betrayed Samantha, things will never again be, as you say ‘normal.’”  He pointed out and Jack nodded in reluctant admission.

“It’s hard.”

“I expect it would be.”

“Why did you forgive you wife for getting with Fro’tar?” Jack asked suddenly.

“She is the mother of my child and I feel much love for her. It did take time, O’Neill, but I learnt to forgive her.”

“Sam says she still loves me… why can’t she forgive me?

Teal’c thought about that, deciding on the best response before he answered. “I suspect that it is different for females.”

Jack couldn’t argue with that.



Sam sighed. Janet had just left, Jack would be home within the hour and Jay just would not be quiet for ten minute’s.

“Yes?” She asked, forcing herself to quell the anger that swelled within her.

“When is daddy coming home?”

“Soon.” She snapped.

Jay looked at his mother, tears in his little brown eyes. Why was she so mad? “Did you send him away again?” He asked in a small voice.

Sam knelt, with some difficulty, down on her knees to face her son and pulled him into her embrace. “No honey, I didn’t send him away again.”

“Are you going to?” Heidi asked, joining the conversation.

Opening her other arm, Sam waited for Heidi to join their hug. “No, I’m not. Daddy is home now, and he’s going to stay, so don’t you worry.”

“Mommy why is your tummy hitting me?” Heidi asked.

Her hand automatically went to her swollen abdomen and she felt her baby- God, let it only be one! She prayed. At five months pregnant, Sam hadn’t even thought that their baby would begin to kick yet. Admittedly, her thoughts had been elsewhere, but she felt ashamed that she hadn’t been more excited.

“There’s a baby in there.” She explained. “You guys are going to have a little brother or sister to play with soon.”

“There’s a baby in your tummy?” Heidi repeated.

“There definitely is.” Sam grinned.

Heidi pulled up the front of her mother’s shirt to inspect her stomach. “It’s a small baby.”

Sam laughed. “It will get bigger, honey.”

“Mom? Can I have a brother?” Jay asked.

Ceasing her laughter, Sam looked at the serious features of her son. “I don’t know, I have to wait until the baby comes before I know if it’s a boy or girl.”

“I’d really like a brother.” He told her.

“I’ll see what I can do. Now, go and pack your things.”

“Where are we going mommy?” Heidi asked.

“How about going to stay with Megan now that she’s feeling better?” She asked, a plan forming in her mind.


The twins ran off to grab their clothes and toys and Sam picked up the phone and speed-dialed Daniel and Janet’s number.


“Janet, it’s me.”

“Sam! Is everything okay?” Her friend asked worriedly.

Sam nodded, even though it was pointless. “Everything is fine. I was just wondering if you could take Heidi and Jay tonight?”

“Sure! Megan would love to see them. Is there something wrong? Or do you just want a break?” Janet asked, concerned.

“I just want some time with my husband.” Sam replied.

Janet squealed and Sam laughed at the sound. “Sam I’m so happy for you!”

“Thanks. I’ll call you tomorrow, okay? Late tomorrow, more than likely.”

“Definitely. Dan says he’ll pick the kids up in ten. Be good honey, and have fun. Love you.”

“Love you too Jan. Thanks.”

Sam hung up the phone, a smile on her face.


Jack walked up the path to his front steps, weary. Boxing with Teal’c wasn’t a smart idea on a good day and he certainly wasn’t at his best at the moment.

Inserting his key into the lock, Jack opened the door and stepped inside. “Guys! I’m home!” He called, dumping his coat on the rack by the door.

He waited for a reply, the squeal of his excited children, but none was forthcoming. He turned around, concerned and gasped at Sam standing before him.

The midnight blue teddy that she wore only just stretched over her swollen abdomen, and with the plunging neckline, it left very little to his suddenly over-active imagination. “Oh sweet Jesus.”

“Hi Jack.” She smiled seductively, stepping up to press herself flush against his lean body. Grasping his head, she pulled him down and kissed him thoroughly, leaving no room for interpretation of her plans for the evening.

When she finally pulled back, some several moments later, Jack was well and truly breathless. “What was that?” He asked, his breath coming in pants, she hadn’t kissed him like that in a long time, too long.

“That was hello.”

”*That* was hello?” He repeated, stunned.

“Yes.” She nodded, grasping him by the collar of his shirt and dragging him in the direction of their room. “Just wait until you see what welcome home entails.”

“I can’t wait…..” He mumbled, happily following her.


He was still breathless by the time any form of coherent thought came back to him. That had to have been two of the best hours that he had ever spent with his wife. And while it was nice, very *very* nice, he had to ask. “What brought that on?”

Sam’s breathing was as labored as his was and there was a fine sheen of sweat covering her body as she basked in the after glow. “I felt our baby move today.” She admitted sleepily. Snuggling further into his welcoming embrace. Jack stayed silent as she continued to talk, the sound vibrating across his chest. “This doesn’t mean that everything is normal between us, it just means that things are getting better.”

Jack nodded slightly, he’d expected her to say something along those lines. “I don’t expect things to go back to normal, and I don’t want them to.”

Sleep instantly forgotten, Sam looked up at him. “You don’t?” She asked quietly. Did her husband, whom she was beginning to forgive, not love her or want to be with her anymore?

“No. Think about it Sammie, things were bad between us. They had been for a while. I don’t want us to go back to that. Ever.”

Sam nodded, reluctantly agreeing with his description of their marriage before the situation had happened with Edora. “How did it get so bad?” She asked sadly.

Jack stroked his hand up and down her back, tracing the line of her delicate spine, wondering the same thing. “I don’t know. All I do know is that I love you and I want to be with you and make this marriage work again.”

“I want that too.” She whispered.


Every time you speak
Every time you say the things you say
All the pain you put me through starts to melt away
And you say forgive me
And you say you want me back
Keep talking, I’m listening.
Tell me from the heart
Keep talking,
The words may lead you
Back into my heart.

John Farnham, Keep talking I’m listening.


Janet slid into the seat opposite Sam and studied her friend for a moment. She was grinning, actually *grinning* and her pregnancy glow had finally kicked in and she looked positively radiant.

“How are you?” Janet asked, despite the fact that she had pretty much guessed the answer.

Sam smiled. “Good.”

“Last night went well?” She guessed.

“Yes. Very well.” A blush had crept up through her cheeks and Sam lowered her head to hide her grin. “Did the twins behave?”

“Always. But, tell me about last night!” Janet demanded.

“It was……nice.”

Janet winced. “Nice? Ouch.”

She shook her head. “Not nice as in it was bad, nice as in it was….nice. I don’t know what to say, really.”

Janet nodded. “Are you guys back together now?”

“I don’t know Jan.” Sam scrubbed a hand over her face in dismay. “Do I miss him? Yes. Do I want him to be part of the baby’s life? Yes. But do I trust him not to hurt me again? I don’t know.”

Reaching across the table, Janet placed a comforting hand over Sam’s. “Honey, you have to do what you think is best for you.”

“I have three children to think about Janet.” She reminded.

“Yes, I know, but honey, you have to do whatever makes you happy too.”

Sam just wished that she knew what that was.


He was cooking dinner when she got home.

After having lunch with Janet and giving her all of the information about the previous night, Sam had gone to the base to pick up her laptop. General Hammond had insisted that she take a few days off to relax, and if she had to do that, then she needed some mental stimulation for that duration.

“I’m home!” She called out, dropping her bags by the door.

Jack walked back into the kitchen with an apron tied firmly around his waist. “Hey Dinner will be ready soon.” He told her.

She kissed him on the cheek, a little nervous. “What are we having?”

“Just a stir fry. Will the kids be home for dinner?”

Sam shook her head, unlacing her shoes as she spoke. “Janet said that she’d have them again tonight so that we could have a chance to sort out a few things…..she actually made a suggestion today that I think we should talk about.” Jack raised his eyebrows and Sam continued. “How would you feel about marriage counseling?” She asked nervously.

“Marriage counseling?” He repeated and she nodded. “Do you think it will help us?”

She licked her lips. “I think it will, yes. Jack, we need to get our marriage back on track and I don’t think it’ll happen on our own. We need help.”

Her last words were admitted as nothing more than a whisper. She was ashamed to admit that she needed help, he realized. Sam had always been the strong one in her family, and admitting that she needed help, to her, was like admitting that she had a weakness. And he knew how she felt about admitting that she had weaknesses.

“We do.” He agreed. “When can we make an appointment?”

Sam smiled, glad that he was willing to try this option. “I called the doctors office this morning, they have an appointment free for tomorrow at one and the receptionist is leaving it open for us.”

“Take it.” Jack nodded. “But….what do we tell the doctor? How do we address our problem?”

Sam understood his meaning immediately. “She has clearance Jack. She worked at the AFAH and she knows about the Stargate program.”

“Makes our job a bit easier then.” He grinned.

It took a few moments for the thought to register, but Sam got it eventually. “You’re happy about this.” She realized.

“Of course I am Sam. My wife, whom I thought would never look at me kindly again offers to go to counseling to get our marriage back on track, I'm absolutely thrilled about it.”

She smiled, they were going to be okay.


“I’m sorry that I’m late.”

Sam smiled. “It’s alright.” They’d been in the Doctor’s office waiting for almost half an hour for the appearance of Doctor Katherine ‘Kat’ Hudson. 

“I’m not usually this late, I assure you, but there was an emergency with one of my other patients. Now, Janet tells me that you’re having some problems?” She asked, pulling out her notepad.

Sam inched a little closer next to Jack as she spoke. “Yes. We were separated, on the verge of divorce, and we want to get our marriage back on track.”

Kat nodded. “Well, it’s a good start that you admit that you’re having problems and that you want to get back to normal. Can you tell me when the problems first started?”

“At least a year ago?” Jack looked to Sam for confirmation and she nodded. “Yeah. At least a year ago, maybe more.”

Scribbling the information down on her notepad, Kat nodded. “Do you know why?”

Jack risked a glance at his wife, who smiled encouragingly. “Several years ago, Sam was in a car accident. She’s been left with Chronic Back pain among other things ever since, and it causes her great pain. Sam doesn’t tell me when she’s hurting.”

“Excuse me for interrupting, but why don’t you say anything Sam?”

Sam glanced around nervously. “I just…..don’t. I was brought up to believe that complaining won’t help the situation, and I guess that I’ve unconsciously lived with that mentality all of my life.”

“Thank you. Sorry Jack, you were saying?” Kat smiled.

“Ah….yeah. so, since she didn’t tell me, I didn’t know, and I guess that I wasn’t very sympathetic to her situation. We just stopped touching, then we stopped communicating, then we started fighting, then…..:” He trailed off, looking down at his hand, which was entwined with Sam’s.  “And then I had an affair.”

“I see. And this was the catalyst I assume?”

“Pretty much.” Jack admitted sadly.

Kat continued to scribble down notes as she talked. “Sam, how did you find out about the affair?”

“I walked in on him and Laira, from Edora, having sex.” She replied bluntly.

Kat smiled sympathetically. “Yes, Janet gave me the mission file to read before you came so that I'd be up to date with your situation. Doctor Carter, can you tell me what you were feeling when you found your husband in bed with another woman?”

She nodded. “I guess…..betrayed, hurt, angry. I felt like he didn’t want me anymore. Didn’t want to be with me anymore.”

“And Colonel O’Neill? What about you?”

“How did I feel with Laira?” He asked. Kat nodded. “I felt drunk. I thought that she was Sam. Things had been so bad between us, that when I was on Edora, after the party that the locals had, it was just like being at home with Sam, back when things were good again.”

“Have you both discussed your feelings over what happened on Edora?”

“Yes,” Sam nodded.

Continuing her writings, Kat nodded. “Okay then, why don’t we jump ahead to when you got home? Sam, can you tell me what happened when you returned to your house?”

Swallowing, Sam squeezed Jack’s hand as she began to speak. “Janet came with me. She had the babysitter come and pick the twins up and then we started work on a few bottles of wine. We drank and ate chocolate and came up with some pretty inventive things to do to Jack. Janet went to sleep about eleven while I stayed up for a while longer and then Jack came home.”

“What happened next?”

“Jack and I yelled at each other a bit, and then we ended up having sex on the couch. It wasn’t the best possible thing for us to have done, but look what we ended up with.” She smiled, touching a hand to her swollen abdomen.

“Yes, I heard about the pregnancy. And I have to ask, is your unborn child the only reason that you want to get back together?” Kat studied both of them carefully, watching their reactions with interest.

They shared a quick glance and smiled, their eyes locked as they answered. “No.”


She was sleeping when he saw her later that day, snuggled up on the couch with their afghan covering her. Her features were relaxed as she dreamt, and she looked truly peaceful for the first time in months.

Jack knew, without a doubt, that things would never go back to normal with them. Which, considering what normal had been, was probably a good thing. 

He’d been having lunch with his mother, who hadn’t heard about their divorce, or the baby. Naturally, being his mother, Rose had offered her advice and promised to visit Sam when things were a little more settled.

Leaving the still sleeping Sam on the couch, he gently brushed a kiss to her temple before walking in the direction of Jay’s room. Opening the door, he saw his son sleeping peacefully, clutching his teddy tightly to him.

Closing the door again, he stepped to the next room and repeated the action, looking in on his daughter. Heidi had a tendency to kick the blankets off during the night, so Jack moved further into the room and pulled her comforter back up.

A small hand came out from under the blankets to rub at her eyes. “Daddy?”

“Shh, go to sleep sweetie.”

Heidi yawned and snuggled into her bed, her eyes closing. “Are you and mommy happy now?”

They were, he realized suddenly. Things weren’t back to normal, they still had issues that they’d work through with Kat, and they still had to sort out their own feelings, but they were happy.  “Yes.” He nodded.

Jack left Heidi’s room after he was sure that she was asleep. Sam hadn’t moved at all when he returned to the living room. After making sure that all of the doors and windows were locked, Jack picked up his sleeping wife and carried her back to their room.

Sam lazily opened her eyes to watch surreptitiously as her husband stripped her of her clothes. He pulled out the shirt the she slept in, and paused before pulling it over her head.

His hand rested lightly on her growing abdomen, his fingers stroking gently. Leaning over so that his head rested on her stomach, Jack kissed the spot where their baby was, his actions tender.

Giving up the pretense of sleep, Sam’s hands came up to caress his hair, running her fingers through it in the way she knew he liked.

Jack turned his head to look at her, still resting on her abdomen. “I didn’t mean to wake you.”

“You didn’t.” She assured, smiling. “It’s amazing, isn’t it?” She asked.

He quirked an eyebrow at her. “What is?”

“That there’s a baby there.” She replied, nodding in the general direction of her stomach and his head.

“No. You’re amazing.”

Sam giggled slightly and shook her head. “I love you.”

“And I you.” He replied, using a forgotten line. Moving to lay beside her nude form, Jack pulled her to him, hugging her close as he looked at her intently. “Sam? You know that I can’t give you roses and sunsets and Tuscan vacations… I going to be able to give you what you need?”

She snuggled further into his embrace. “You couldn’t stop giving me what I needed if you tried, Jack.”

Jack nodded, relieved, and tensed as he felt the pressure on his side. “What the….?”

Sam smiled contentedly. “I think the baby want’s to have his or her say in the matter.”

Placing his hand over the place that their baby was kicking, Jack closed his eyes and surrendered himself to slumber as he held his wife close.


The end. (Finally!)