The Battle's Never Really Over - Part 1
Home | FoD | NCIS | CSI | Voyager | Stargate | Funnies | Atlantis | Other Stuff

Mature People Only!

Title: The Battle’s never really over
Author: Venom_69
Author’s notes: I’ve wanted to write a sequel to AOOLB for a while now, and after a few more people requested one, I decided to write it. This fic was nicknamed, fondly by some, not so much from me “The epic” simply because it’s taken me so long to get around to finishing it. If they are any inconsistencies in this story, then I sincerely apologize, also, I am not a doctor, so medical facts may not be accurate. A lot of it was written after several Vodka’s.
Feedback: Hell yeah! Don’t make me beg, hit reply and stroke my ego please.
Date finished: 29-9-2003
Copyright © to Venom, 2003


They weren’t touching again.

It had been weeks since he’d even shown any interest in her and Sam was beginning to wonder what had happened to the loving husband that she’d always known. He’d been so caring, adoring, when they’d married, but the only time he could seem to stand to be around her these days was when they were with their children and they had to keep up the pretense of being the happy parents that the twins had always known.

Maybe he was bored, she mused, wide-awake in the dead of night. Maybe he didn’t love her anymore, maybe he wanted to go back to Sara…..but she was married with a child herself now, he wouldn’t do that to the other woman and Sam doubted that Sara would take him back even if he did ask.

There were too many damn ‘maybes’ in their situation.

Had she done something wrong? Was she no longer what he wanted in a wife? She just wished that he’d talk to her, tell her what was wrong. If she knew, maybe she could fix it, get them back to the ‘happy place’ that they’d been in.

Sighing, Sam turned and buried her face in the pillow.

They’d been happy once, completely in love. Even after the twins were born, they’d never lost the passion and romance that had inhabited their lives before their birth…..and what Sam wouldn’t give to get that feeling back.

Naturally they’d had their fair share of arguments before, but the biggest fight that they’d ever had was when he’d found out that Sam had lied to him about the paternity of the twins, and even that fight had barely lasted a few hours.

It seemed only in the last three or so months that he had lost interest in her, and she retaliated in the only way she knew how, by fighting back. Their arguments were frequent and loud, and she wondered how long they could keep their children out of the mess that had become their marriage.

His quite snoring was the only way that she even knew he was in the bed with her. If Jack was any closer to the edge, then she feared that he’d be sleeping on the floor, not that he didn’t deserve it.

If he still loved her, then he had a damn funny way of showing it.

She should have been sleeping, SG-1 was due to ‘Gate back to Edorra tomorrow for their secondary contact mission and she wanted to be rested so that she could test the Naquadah in their soils with a clear head, even if she did feel like she was completely alone in the bed.


Ooh, it’s so typical
Love leads
To isolation

Phil Collins, Separate lives.


Sam opened her eyes slowly, the pounding in her head hadn’t subsided and ever since the previous week when she’d lifted a heavy box in her lab and strained her back even further, getting out of bed was a real challenge.

She sighed, loathe to leave the warm spot that she’d found and created throughout the night, but she needed to move if she was going to ever get the kids to school on time.

Smiling at the thought of her beautiful little children, Sam listened to the sound of them fighting over who got to watch their cartoons for the morning.

Heidi and Jay- two Jack’s had become too confusing and calling him ‘Little Jack’ for the rest of his life was too demeaning in her opinion- didn’t always get along, and they certainly weren’t perfect, but they were her children and she loved them unconditionally.

When they’d started kindergarten almost six weeks before, Sam had been naturally worried that they wouldn’t be able to settle in. As it turned out, she shouldn’t have been concerned. They were both good in school and they loved it, even if they were stuck in the same class together.

Deciding that she really should get moving Sam rolled over to face the window, her arm searching the ground for her robe when she noticed the time.

“Shit,” She cursed under her breath, jumping out of bed. She had to leave in just over ten minute’s if she were to follow her morning routine of getting the kids to school and being at the base in time for the briefing.

She looked towards the other side of the bed, surprised to find that her husband was already up, and she reached over to feel the cold sheets, apparently he had been for a while.

She didn’t even have time for a shower, barely enough time for coffee she realized with a groan, walking out of the bedroom to see Jack, sitting at the table, showered and dressed, reading the paper while the kids were continuing their argument in the living room over the television.

“You didn’t wake me.” She grumbled, pouring herself some coffee.

Jack barely looked up from the article that he was reading to acknowledge her. “Good morning to you too.” He mumbled. “Thought you might like to sleep.”

“I don’t have the time Jack, you know we’re going to Edora today!” She snapped.

“Mommy, what’s Adora?” Heidi asked, munching on a piece of jam covered toast.

Sam bent down to kiss her daughter’s head. “Remember I told you that your father and I were going away for a few days? Well, were going to a place called Edora. It’s a little village, but we don’t have time to talk about that now. You need to get your school bag, Daddy can drive you.”

“Okay!” She sighed happily.

At the very least, Jack had the sense to wait until Heidi had left the room before he said anything. “Does ‘Daddy’ get a say in this?”

“If you’d woken me up, or at the very least left my alarm on then I would have time to do it.” She returned.

“I have paperwork to get done before we leave!”

Their voices were raising, Sam could feel her cheeks flaming with anger and she knew that it was only a matter of time before the children would be able to hear them. She hated it when the fought like this, mainly because she knew that the twins would no doubt be effected by their uncomfortable home life. 

“I’m sorry that your children impose on your life so much!”

Jack shut the paper with anger. “Damn it Sam, how can you say that? You know how much I love those kids!”

Sam took several calming breaths before rinsing out her empty mug in the sink. “Did you at least pick up the clothes from the dry cleaners?” She asked.

“I didn’t have time.”

“God Jack I ask you to do *one* thing around this place and you can’t even get that right!” She snapped.

What the hell was she supposed to wear to work now?

“I’m sorry oh perfect one…..” Jack’s tirade was interrupted by the sound of a little voice speaking up from the lounge room.

“Dad? Why are you yelling at Mom?” Jay asked, his eyes wide with fright.

“We’re just disagreeing sport, nothin’ to worry about.” Jack smiled and stood, slipping his arms around Sam. They were both tense in the embrace, but Jay seemed to accept it.

“Honey, have you got your stuff ready for school?” Sam asked, trying to look relaxed in her husband’s arms.

Thinking for a moment, Jay shook his head. “I’ll go get my bag.” He told them, leaving the room. The second he was out of their sight, Sam and Jack were out of each other’s arms like they had been burned.

Was this how it was going to be between them forever, she wondered?


Sam winced as Janet pressed into her back.

Maybe it was a Doctor thing, Sam mused, but they all seemed to have the ability to pinpoint that one spot in her back that would send agony shooting through her. Even though she didn’t go to physiotherapy anymore, Tony had been able to find that certain spot with out even looking at her back.

“Sorry honey,” Janet soothed. “You know I have to do this.”

She grit her teeth against the exclamation of pain that threatened to escape. “I know….it just hurts. A lot.”

“I know, I still have a bruise from the last time.” Janet grumbled. The previous time she’d had to do this to her best friend, Sam had unconsciously whipped around and hit her on the arm, quite hard.

Sam couldn’t help but smile a little at the memory. “You know I didn’t mean it.”

“I know. I’m sorry that you had to miss the follow-up mission to Edora, I know you wanted to go.” Janet told her.

“Yeah, well, Jack though it was best…..I mean, just because I couldn’t even get my pack on without screaming doesn’t mean I should be excluded from the mission, right?” She laughed a little, frustrated with the situation.

She’d had her accident almost seven years ago and her back still wasn’t, and probably never would be, back to anything remotely resembling normal.

“How are things between the two of you?” Janet asked, aware that they had been having problems for a while. She shook her head in dismay, Sam and Jack were perfect for each other but it seemed that they were just drifting further and further apart.

“Not so good.” Sam admitted with a sigh. “Jay heard us fighting this morning and we hugged to make it look like thing’s were okay…..I swear to god Janet I would have rather hugged a Goa’uld than my own husband at that moment. What the hell is wrong with us?” She cried, frustration lacing her tone.

Janet continued the subtle massage on Sam’s back in an effort to relax her tense muscles as she talked. “Have you talked to him lately?”

Sam cocked her head in confusion. “What do you mean? We talk everyday.”

“But I mean *really* talk. You and Jack need to communicate a lot better, if you ask my opinion, which you did. You’re out of sync with each other and it will tear you apart if you let it.” She told her friend gently.

“You bill as a masseuse or a therapist?” Sam asked with a grin.

Janet laughed delightedly. “For you? Mate’s rates.”

“We haven’t touched each other in months….we haven’t kissed in so long….” Sam’s voice had taken on a wistful tone and Janet had to wonder if her friend missed her usual companionship and compatibility with her husband, or just the physical side of their relationship.

“It’s your five year anniversary in a few months,” Janet reminded her, and Sam was too ashamed to admit that she’d forgotten all about it. “Why don’t you seduce him?” She asked with an evil tone lacing her voice.

“Seduce him?” Sam repeated. “I don’t think he’d want me even if I did.” She admitted with a sigh.

“Sam, Jack loves you, no matter how your relationship may be at the moment. Don’t worry, as it gets closer, you and I will go lingerie shopping and on the night I’ll look after the twins. You know they love sleepover’s with Megan.” Janet grinned.

“Okay,” Sam had to admit that the plan had potential.

Even if their relationship was in trouble, he was still a man, and wouldn’t be stupid enough to refuse her in little or no clothing.

She hoped.


Daniel looked across at his friend, worried by what he saw.

Jack was openly flirting with Laira, and basking in her attentions.

Daniel couldn’t help but wonder what the hell his friend was doing. He had a beautiful wife and two adorable children at home and he was risking it all to….what? Feel more wanted? Feel more loved? Get a few kicks while the missus was at home with the kids, looking after the house? He hoped that Jack’s flirting was just innocent, but from what he could see, he doubted it.

Daniel was well aware that his best friends were having problems, both Jack and Sam had individually confided in him, but to see this was beyond a joke. He knew that they still loved one another, they had both told him so, and just because things were a little rough at home, he couldn't believe that Jack was willing to risk it all for a quick roll in the hay.

“That’s it.” He muttered in frustration, storming towards Jack in anger.

The large, Black, Hand suddenly appeared on his chest prevented him from moving anywhere. “I do not believe that you are considering a wise course of action.”

“I’m not.” He agreed. “Now get out of my way Teal’c.”

“We should not interfere. He is merely talking to the native woman in an attempt to gain their friendship.” Teal’c replied.

Daniel laughed ironically. “Oh yeah? Look at him.”

Teal’c turned his head to see Jack’s hand resting on Laira’s arm, and he was smiling broadly at her as she blushed, obviously having just been paid a compliment. “I will dismember him on behalf of Samantha.” The Jaffa growled.

“Maybe we shouldn’t.” Daniel told him and Teal'c turned to look sharply at the archeologist. “Maybe we should try a less direct approach.”

“I believe you may be correct.” The big man agreed. “O’Neill!” He called and waited until Jack excused himself from Laira’s company to walk over to them.

“What’s up guys?” He asked, grinning happily.

Teal’c stood tall, demanding more than asking the question. “I wish to know what you are doing with the native woman.”

“Who? Laira? Oh, we’re just talking.” Jack told them, waving a dismissive hand in their direction.

“You mean flirting.” Daniel amended, scowling at his friend.

“Flirting? No way.” Jack grinned.

“I believe it would be wise to stop your involvement with her now O’Neill, I do not wish to hurt you on behalf of Samantha.” Teal’c warned, a serious look in his eyes.

“Guys! I’m just talking!” He defended, arms raised.

“Well, if you’re just talking, then I suggest you start thinking about Sam while you do that. Remember her? Your wife?” Daniel growled.

“Okay, first off all, I’m not doing anything wrong, if anything then I’m following orders to establish a treaty with these people. Second of all, you know what the situation between Sam and me is at the moment.” Jack reminded him.

“I know what the situation between you two is, yes,” Daniel agreed. “But you told me yourself that you want to salvage your marriage before it falls apart, just remember that when you look at Laira. And if you can’t remember your wife, then think about your children Jack.” Daniel told him before he and Teal’c left, heading towards the villagers that they had been talking to.


It was dark outside, but Sam had been underground in the SGC for the past three nights in a row, so she barely noticed. The kids were staying with their grandmother while Sam tried to find a way to bring her husband home….and reunite the natives with their people.

The Edorans that had fled to Earth during the meteor strike were being kept on level 18 in a well-designed refugee camp until the duration of their stay became apparent.

Sam had been working non-stop on a way to get the Stargate to engage and allow matter to be sent through for the past three days straight. She’d had a grand total of three hours sleep and she hadn’t seen the surface in almost a week.

“Sam?” Daniel asked, coming into her lab.

“Hey. What are you doing up?” She asked gently, it was after three in the morning.

“I couldn’t sleep and Janet has the night shift. How are you doing?” He asked gently, placing a hand on her arm.

By mutual agreement, he and Teal’c had decided not to share their concerns about Laira with Sam, knowing it would upset her already fragile state, and she didn’t need to be worrying about how faithful her husband was being at the moment.

“I’m okay….I just don’t know what to do.” She admitted. “The scientific part of my brain wants to stay up day in and day out to figure this thing out, but the wife and mother in me knows that I need to be with my children. They can’t be abandoned by both of their parents in the space of a week.”

Daniel smiled gently. “They need their Mom.” He agreed. “But they need her to be the mom that they know and love, not a spaced out woman who has bags under her eyes.” He told her, touching the aforementioned bags gently.

“I still love him Daniel, even though we’ve barely spoken or touched in months, I still love him more than anything.” She admitted, a few lone tears slipping past her eyes.

His heart broke at the sight of his strong friend like this and Daniel pulled her into his arms and rocked her gently. “He knows, Sam, he knows.”

Daniel really hoped that his friend did know, before he did anything stupid.


You’ll deny the truth
Believe a lie
There’ll be times when you believe
That you could really fly
But your lonely nights
Have just begun
When you love someone.

Bryan Adams, When you love someone


He’d fought when the General had put them back on the mission list, they weren’t ready to move on yet. Sam wasn’t accompanying them on any missions for a while, so that she could work on a way of retrieving her husband, but he and Teal’c had been ordered to continue with their normal duties.

They’d been on P3R-233 with Captains Miller and Gilles for almost three hours now, and he wasn’t seeing anything of interest. There was small room off-set form the rest of the complex that they’d been exploring, and Daniel pulled Teal’c in with him, his eyes automatically going to the mirror by the far wall.

“Have you ever seen anything like this?”

“Indeed I have not.”

“Wonder what it does…..” He’d reached out to touch the unreflective surface before Teal’c could stop him, only managing to place a hand on his arm before they both felt the electric shock that ran through their bodies.

Daniel shuddered, feeling the small, underlying current still flowing through him. “What was that?”

“I do not know. I believe that it would be wise to return to the SGC so that Doctor Fraiser may examine us.”

Nodding, Daniel wondered what kind of lecture his wife would have in store for him this time. “Let’s go.” He agreed.

They left the small room, and only now noticed the absence of Mills and Gilles. Daniel clicked his radio to life and tried to reach them, but when he had no luck, decided that they may have returned to the SGC for help.

“I hate it when that happens.” He muttered as he dialed Earth and sent the GDO signal.

“You dislike ‘it’ when what happens Daniel Jackson?” Teal’c asked, following him up the stairs to the open wormhole.

“When we get left behind.”

He and Teal'c stepped through the wormhole together and when they exited, they were met with several heavily armed SF’s with their weapons all raised in their direction.

“What the…..?”

Daniel noticed General Hammond, who was in the control room, lean over to speak into the microphone. “Who are you?”

“Ah….Doctor Daniel Jackson and Teal’c, SG-1.” He replied slowly, confused.

The tall figure of Jack O’Neill walked into the ‘Gate room, with Sam a few feet behind him. “I hate to tell you this but Danny and Teal’c are already on base.”

He ignored Jack’s words and turned his attention to Sam. “What on Earth happened to your hair?” He asked, eyeing the military style cut with disgust.

She reached up to finger the delicate strands carefully. “My hair?” She repeated.

“Yeah…..this morning it was at your shoulders and now…..” He looked at her whole body, noticing how slim her hips were. The Sam that he’d spoken to this morning still had slightly wider hips from her pregnancy. “Sam do you have any kids?”

“Kids!” She squeaked, eyes wide.

“That’s a no, right?” Daniel groaned. “Teal’c, we’re in an alternate reality.”

“I believe that you may be correct.”

Jack groaned this time. “*Another* one?”

“I take it that you’ve encountered alternate realities before?” Daniel asked.

Jack signaled for the guards to lower their weapons before turning back to Daniel. “Yep, what is it now Carter, two? Three?”

“Two sir.” She replied promptly.

“Carter? Sir?”

Both of them turned to look at him in confusion. “What?”

“You aren’t married?” They shook their heads. “Engaged?” Another shake. “Together at all?”

Sam shook her head again. “No, the frat regs, Daniel.”

“You’re a Major!” He exclaimed, noticing the name on her breast pocket.

She automatically looked down at herself self-consciously. “Yes…..isn’t your Sam?”

Daniel shook his head. “No, she was but she got kicked out of the air force for fraternizing with Jonas. She’s a Doctor of astrophysics, married to Jack, they have twins.”

“*Another* one?” Jack repeated.

Both Daniel and Teal’c missed the meaning, but Sam grinned wryly and turned away from him. “So… did you get here?” She asked and Daniel saw the General enter the control room.

Daniel looked at the floor with embarrassment. Jack was always telling him not to touch strange objects. “We touched a mirror on P3R-233.”

The General looked at him closely, confused. “233? How long has your Stargate program been running for? Our Doctor Jackson discovered that mirror in our first year of operation.”

“Um….about seven years now.”

“So you fought and beat Anubis?”

Teal’c spoke up for the first time, tilting his head to the side. “Anubis has been exiled from the Goa’uld for many hundreds of years General Hammond.”

“Not in this world son.” The General replied. “We’re currently fighting against him in a battle that we may very well loose.”

Daniel blinked back his surprise. “Wow. I’ll ask the Tok’ra about him when I get home, and after we find a way to rescue Jack.”

“Rescue me? Where am I in your world? Stuck on that damn moon with Maybourne, right?”

“Maybourne?” Daniel repeated. “Why would he be in the SGC? He doesn’t know anything about the Stargate program.”

“He doesn’t? Trust me, don’t tell him!” Jack warned. “So, then where am I?”

“Stuck on Edora, we think that a meteor may have impacted the Stargate before you could get through. We can’t think of a way to get you home.”

Sam’s featured fell and she made a small ‘oh’ with her mouth and Daniel felt his fears about Laira and his Jack resurfacing. “I think that I may be able to help you out with that one.”


It had almost been three months since the last time she’d seen her husband, since her children had seen their father. Telling them that their daddy may never be coming home was one of the hardest things that Sam had ever had to do, and it had killed her to see their faces, their eyes fill with tears as she broke their hearts.

Janet, Teal'c, Daniel and to a lesser extent Hammond had been her rocks. They had been there, constantly for her and the children whenever she, or Heidi and Jay, had needed them.

Sam knew, however, that the person that she and her children needed most was on the other side of the galaxy. She often found herself wondering what he was doing, if he was happy, building a life for himself. She wondered what he was doing to occupy his days with. Jack wouldn’t sit still for long, he was probably rebuilding the town, or teaching them hockey. Maybe he was fishing.

It was their wedding anniversary in a few hours.

“Sam!” Daniel cried, coming flying into her lab, holding a strange looking device in his hands.

“Daniel.” She smiled softly. “Where have you been?” She asked, in a motherly voice.

He and Teal’c had been on a mission with Captain Mills and Captain Gilles when they’d been reported missing. Their mission to P3R-233 had been going well until they had lost contact with the SGC and no one had heard or seen from them since, only hearing of their sudden ‘disappearance’ when Mills and Gills had returned to the SGC, befuddled. Even though it had only been two days since they were over-due, with his tendency to get into trouble, she’d been worried about him.

“An alternate reality.” He admitted with a sheepish grin.

“Again?” She asked. Daniel was legendarily known among the SGC personnel for his ability to find alternate realities, he’d been to three in the last year alone. “What did you bring back?” She asked.

“It’s called a particle beam accelerator and it may just be the device that saves Jack.” He told her and then proceeded to explain it’s functions, and what the other Sam had done to create it.

“She got the idea from a device the Goa’uld Sokar used on their SGC?” Sam asked, surprised. Sokar was a Goa’uld that the Tok’ra had taken out several months ago, they had never even heard of him until that news was relayed to them through her father.

“Yep. General Hammond has authorized it’s use and we’re just waiting on you. Apparently, if this works, then Teal’c will go through and dig his way to the surface with about six hours worth of oxygen strapped to his back in a tank because, as we know, the Stargate is horizontal on Edorra.”

Sam grinned, her eyes alight with hope.

She was going to get Jack back in time for their wedding anniversary.


Walking along the familiar path that led to the Edoran village, Sam had to fight the urge to run ahead of all the returning refugees and into the arms of her husband. She couldn’t see him at the moment, but he had to be somewhere in the throng of people.

“Sam, one of the locals said that Jack is staying in that house over there.” Daniel told her, pointing to Laira’s house, hoping that whatever Sam found, it was something platonic.

She smiled her thanks and ran towards the house he had pointed out, her long hair blowing in the wind. She reached the house and was suddenly filled with fear, what if he’d been hurt badly when the meteor had struck the ground?

No, she told herself firmly. It was their five-year anniversary and she had brought a special negligee to use in her seduction, he was going to be alive and that was it.

Sam opened the door to the hut and gasped.

Jack was most certainly alive and well…and currently thrusting into another woman on the bed in the house.

Despite the fact that she had once been a Major in the USAF, and the fact that she was a Carter and a mother, Sam screamed for all she was worth, and then she just stopped and simply stared as the two occupants on the bed slowly turned to face her.

Hearing the piercing wail, Jack’s drunken mind forced him to turn away from his wife to see….his wife?

His alcohol induced haze wouldn’t allow for his brain to function, but it told him well enough that if Sam was standing at the door, tears in her strangely calm eyes then the woman that he had been making love to was not his wife.

“What the hell….?” He slurred, looking from one woman back to the other. He didn’t even seem to notice that Laira was remaining strangely silent.

“Happy anniversary Jack.” Sam whispered, and ironic smile on her face. “If you’re quite finished, Hammond is expecting you at the SGC.” She told him, turning away and leaving the house.

Jack slipped easily out of Laira and pulled on the first pair of pants he could find before running out into the cool night air and after his wife, stumbling as he tried to exit the hut. He may have been drunk, but even an idiot could work out that he should go after her.

“Sam!” He called.

She heard him call her name and picked up her speed from a brisk walk to an all out run, ignoring Daniel’s worried look and heading for anywhere she could get to before her back gave way and it wasn’t near him.

She’d hoped that she could make it as far as the Stargate, but at this pace the strain on her already tender muscles sent a shooting pain through her leg before she could react.

Sam cried out as she hit the ground, but she fought him for all she was worth when he tried to put his arms around her.

Jesus, she could *smell* the other woman on him.

“Don’t touch me!” She screamed and he le her go, but he didn’t move away completely.

Jack let her go reluctantly, but didn’t move far. “Sam….”

“No. Don’t. It’s over Jack.” She told him, finding herself in some sort of serene stupor.

“It’s not over,” He protested. “Can’t we even talk about this?” He begged, tears forming in his own eyes at her implication.

“No, we can’t. You haven’t wanted to touch me in months and on our anniversary I come here to see this. We can’t talk about it *Sir* because I want a divorce.” She screamed the last words at him and ignoring the pain rose to her feet and walked the rest of the way back to the Stargate.

Screw the natives, the others could deal with it, she decided.

Tears were pouring down her face as she dialed Earth and sent her GDO through, throwing the device to the dirt ground so that Daniel and Teal’c had a way home before quickly wiping her eyes stepping into the event horizon, leaving Jack with his own tears, staring after her.


I wish I could just make you turn around
Turn around and see me cry
There’s so much I need to say to you
So many reasons why
You’re the only one who really knew me at all

Phil Collins, Against all odds


She was thankful that, at the very least, she had made it to the elevator before breaking down. No one had questioned her early return from the 'rescue’ mission, Hammond had merely looked at her, shook his head sadly and told her to go to the infirmary.

She’d handed her weapon to the nearest airman and the headed towards the elevator. She was the poster girl for composure but as soon as the elevator’s doors had closed, she’d walked to the nearest wall and slowly slid down it until she’d hit the ground and started sobbing.

The ride to the infirmary was taking too long, Sam realized through her tears, only to groan as the doors opened one level early and three very surprised airmen looked at her.

She shot them a warning glance, wondering how effective it was with red, puffy eyes and tears falling down her face. “Don’t even think about it.” She warned, and they hurriedly stepped back to allow the doors to close again.

By the time the elevator doors opened again on the infirmary level, Janet was waiting there with her arms open. It took all of three seconds for Sam to life herself up off the ground and fall into Janet’s comforting embrace.

“Oh honey…..” Janet murmured at Sam’s broken sobs, stroking her friend’s back in a comforting caress. “What happened?”

“He was with someone else.” Sam whispered through her tears, punctuating each word with a sob.

“Bastard.” Janet returned and Sam couldn’t stop herself smiling a little.

Sam pulled back a little to look at the Doctor. “I missed him so much Jan, and when I got there…..he was….” She didn’t even have to finish her sentence for Janet to understand walked in on.

“Come on,” Janet pulled her back into the elevator and hit the button for the surface. “We are going to go and get a few bottle’s of wine, and then we’re going to get trashed.” She told her, adamant.

“With chocolate?” Sam sniffled.

“So much chocolate that by the time the night’s over, you’ll never want to see the stuff again.” Janet agreed and Sam nodded, resting her head on her friend’s shoulder as she cried her way to the surface.


“I believe that I previously stated that I would dismember O’Neill for doing this to Samantha.” Teal’c told his friend, head cocked to the side as he watched Jack vomiting the alcohol from his system in a nearby bush.

“Teal’c?” Daniel asked, looking from Jack to his friend. “Was that an ‘I told you so’ by any chance?” He asked.

Teal’c continued to watch as Jack hauled himself up and headed back over to them. “I believe it was.”

“Stop lookin’ at me like that Daniel.” Jack snapped, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand.

“Looking at you like what? Like you’re a betraying asshole? Like you’re a lousy husband and father? Or like you’re pathetic?” Daniel asked seriously, with amazingly no trace of animosity in his voice.

“I don’t need this from you at the moment Daniel.” Jack warned.

Daniel sighed and looked at the ground. “Fine, Teal’c and I are going to set up camp near the Stargate. You can come if you want, or you can go back to her. It’s your choice.”

“Is it? If I go back to Laira, and yes she does have a name, then you’re going to tell Sam, aren’t you?”

The younger man shook his head sadly. “I don’t need to tell Sam anything at all Jack, she saw everything she needed to.”

With that, Daniel and Teal’c left their commanding officer and headed back to the Stargate where they set up camp and got a fire going.

Daniel wasn’t really sure if he was expecting Jack to come back or not, or if he even wanted him to, but forty-five minute’s later, the older man walked shamefully into their camp and sat down at the fire across from Daniel, a dark and haunted look displayed on his features.

“I though I was with Sam.” Jack admitted quietly.

“You weren’t.” Daniel reminded him just as quietly.

Jack took a deep breath, his voice remaining low as he spoke. “There was a party, some of the local women had just found out that they were pregnant and it meant that the Eddoran civilization could survive even if they never got the others back. They were doing shots, something lethal. I remember having about five before I was suddenly at home with Sam. I remember us being near the bed, and everything was okay again. We weren’t fighting, she wasn’t flinching every time I touched her. It was the way I remember us being, happy, in love. We were together. I remember her asking me for another child….god, after the miscarriage last year, it was like hearing something wonderful.” Jack sighed.

Janet had told them that Sam may never have any more kids, after her blending with Jolinar and the subsequent Naquadah in her blood. Their marriage had started to go sour not long after her miscarriage.

Daniel regarded his friend closely. “You really thought you were with Sam?”

“Of course I did!” Jack snapped. “Do you really think that I’d sleep with Laira while I’m married, and in love, with Sam?”

“I don’t know. You yourself told me that you and Sam were having problems before you got stranded.” Daniel shrugged.

Jack nodded slightly, prodding the fire with a branch. “We were. We are. But she’s the woman of my dreams Daniel, I never wanted to hurt her. Ever.”

“But you did, more than you know.”

The pair lapsed into silence, each lost in though until Jack spoke a few moments later, his eyes portraying a sadness that Daniel had only seen once before, when Sam had been infested with Jolinar.

“She’s not going to forgive me, is she?” He asked with a sad resignation.

“I can’t answer that Jack, you know I can’t. But you need to talk to her, tell her what you told me, and you need to do it soon.”

Jack nodded and stood. “Thanks Danny. I think I’m gonna head back to Earth now.”

“Okay. Teal’c and I are going to spend the night here and make sure that the Edoran’s are going to be alright.” Daniel smiled. “Talk to her Jack, and for once, be honest.”

Smiling his thanks, Jack headed back to the Stargate. He dialed Earth slowly, wondering what kind of reception he’d get when he got there. He had to wonder what Hammond had been told the reasons behind Sam’s impromptu return.

Sending his GDO code through, Jack stepped into the wormhole and instinctively closed his eyes as the stars rushed by him. The ‘Gate room was virtually deserted when he came through, only a few technicians in the control room and a few of the marines guarding the Stargate.

Jack raised his hand and waved, moving towards the exit when one of the airmen stopped him. “General Hammond ordered that you report to the infirmary upon your return, sir.”

Thinking it over for a moment, Jack nodded. “Okay.” He agreed, heading towards the locker room.

He showered very briefly and changed into a pair of jeans and a sweater before heading to the elevator and then the surface. It was probably stupid, but his truck was still in the parking lot and his keys had been in his locker, where he’d left them.

There was a light still burning through the material of their curtains when he pulled up in the driveway. Jack thanked his escort and headed slowly up the familiar path, hoping that Sam was still awake.

Naturally, he knew that the welcoming he got would be much less then pleasant, but if he didn’t try and talk to her now, then he probably never would, and that would be the end of their marriage.

Which was something he wanted desperately to avoid.

Inserting his key into the lock, Jack stepped in and noticed immediately that there were several bottles of wine, numerous packets of chocolate and what looked like melted ice cream on the living room table. The stereo was playing quietly, Meatloaf if he was correct. She was definitely upset.

“Sammie?” He called quietly, hoping that if the kids were asleep, or if they were even here, that he didn’t wake them. They didn’t need to see this, and he only hoped that Sam kept that in mind when they confronted each other.

“Don’t call me that!” A slurred voice snapped from behind him, and Jack turned to see his wife slumped on the ground behind the door, hugging her knees to her chest.

He bent down to her level, ignoring his protesting knees. “Sam….can we talk?”

“Talk? You want to talk?” She repeated incredulously.

Jack wasn’t sure exactly what he could say at the moment that wouldn’t be offensive to her, or make this any harder than it already was, so he said the first thing that he felt. “I love you.”

“Sure you do.”


“I told you not to call me that!” She snapped, rising to her feet.

Jack mirrored her stance, and looked into her hurt blue eyes, not failing to notice the tears in them. “We have to talk…..”

“No, we don’t.” She whispered brokenly. “ I’m not going to make this hard on you Jack. I won’t stop you going back to her.”

Jack shook his head. “I don’t want to go back to her, I want to stay here with my family. With my *wife* and our beautiful children.”

“They don’t know you’re back.” She admitted, not looking at him.

“Where are they?” He asked.

“With Megan, at the sitter’s.”

She was too calm, he realized.

The Sam that he knew and loved was a very passionate woman, who felt things deeply even if she didn’t always show it, and the woman in front of him may as well have been discussing hockey scores for all the passion and emotion she was showing.

If she hid behind a mask of indifference, then they would never get this sorted out. He knew very well that their problems had been their long before Edora, but that planet, and Laira, had been the catalyst. Maybe they’d be able to sort through what was going on between them, Jack wondered.

“Tell me what you’re feeling.”

She looked at him then, anger in her eyes. “What I’m feeling? How about hurt? Or angry? Or betrayed? Used? Discarded? Unwanted?”

“Unwanted?” He repeated, confused.

“Yes Jack, unwanted. You haven’t wanted to touch me for well over six months, and you were with this woman for five minute’s before you were in bed with her. How do you *think* that would make me feel!”

“Haven’t wanted…..? Sam, I’ve always wanted you. You didn’t want me near you!” he exclaimed. “You wouldn’t *let* me touch you without flinching!”

“I’m in *pain* Jack, don’t you understand that? God….you were there for me when I had that stupid accident, and it was years ago. You know what I went through, what I *still* go through.” She crossed her arms over her chest, cuddling herself protectively.

“You never *told* me! How was I supposed to know that you were in pain if you didn’t tell me?” He asked, his voice raising.

“You think I don’t want you anymore so you jump in the sack with another woman first chance you get?” Sam snorted. “What a great husband. We obviously don’t have much of a marriage if that’s they way you play the game. No wonder Sara left you.”

“Sara left me because she knew that I was in love with you!” He cried.

“But you’re not anymore, and that’s the problem.” Sam whispered, tears once again starting to fall.

“When I was with Laira, I thought that I was with you.” He admitted, waiting for her reaction.

He certainly got one.

Sam hit him then, putting all of the force she could muster behind the blow. He was knocked back by her first connecting with his jaw, but he came back to stand before her, closer this time.

Sam she didn’t stop with one hit. She continued to hit him, the blows weakening as her tears continued to fall at a rapid rate.

“Sam…..don’t do this.” Jack pleaded, not trying to stop her fists as they connected with his chest.

How could he stop her when he knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that he deserved everything she wanted to throw at him? 

“I hate you.” She growled, hitting him with more force as her military training came back to her. “You are such a bastard, how could you do this! What about our children! Did you even think of them? Of me?” She cried.

Jack grabbed her by the arms, pulling her to him. “You’re all I thought about.” He whispered into her hair, relishing in the contact.

Even though she knew it was pointless, Sam continued to fight him in the embrace until every ounce of her strength was gone, and then she was sobbing in his arms, and hating herself for it. “I want you out of my house.” She whispered brokenly.

He pulled her back a little to look into her eyes. “Sammie,” He whispered, wiping her tears away with his thumbs. “I love you so much.” He told her, and then he kissed her for the first time in months.

Sam knew that she’d hate herself for it when she was sober, and hell, she hated her weakness for it and her weakness at his proximity now, but she kissed him back, and maneuvered him towards the couch.

The whole time wishing that she didn’t need him as much as she did.


You walk in
And my strength
Walks out the door
Say my name
And I can’t fight it anymore
Oh I know
I should go
But I need your touch
Just too damn much

Leann Rimes, Right kind of wrong


Janet groaned as she opened her eyes, certain that it was too early to be awake, even though the sun was up. She clutched at her head, wondering why she always got the worst hangovers and why she continued to drink when she knew that she got the worst hangovers. “Re-hydrate” she told herself, her medical training coming in to play.

Half getting out, half-falling out of the bed, she looked around the room, surprised that Sam wasn’t with her. She definitely remembered retreating to the master bedroom with her friend last night, but that was where her memory ended.

Continuing to rub her pulsating temples, Janet straightened out her clothes and headed towards the kitchen in search of some water to quench her suddenly monstrous thirst.

She grabbed a glass and filled it, downing it in one go before refilling it and going in search of Sam. It didn’t take long to find her. Her friend was sleeping peacefully on the couch, with Jack curled tightly around her, their arms and legs wrapped firmly in a tangle of limbs.

Janet groaned. It was obvious what they had been up to, and it really didn’t help the situation at all. If anything, Sam and Jack having sex before they resolved their issues had only escalated their problems.

As if sensing that they weren’t alone, Sam opened her eyes and Janet could still see the effects of their previously consumed alcohol clutching her friend. “What the hell?” She muttered, feeling the naked body behind her.

She tried, unsuccessfully, to move out of Jack’s embrace, but his sleep-fogged brain refused to let her out of his grasp. “Sammie,” He whispered, nuzzling her neck with a tenderness that made Sam sick.

“Let me go!” She snapped and he opened his eyes immediately.

“Sam?” He asked, reaching out for her as she moved away from him, clutching the afghan to her.

She shook her head violently, instantly regretting the movement as her hangover started to creep in. “Don’t touch me!”

“Sam…..we have to talk.”

“No.” She said firmly, surprising even herself at the strength in her voice. “Look at what happened the last time we tried to talk.”

“What happened last night wasn’t a mistake.” He told her.

“Yes it was. It didn’t help things at all. And it hasn’t changed anything, I want you out of my house and I want a divorce.” She told him, clutching the afghan tighter, leaving Jack to conceal his modesty with a cushion.

“What about the kids?” He asked, throwing his only chance at staying in her face. Sam knew that their children needed, and wanted, their father.

“I’ll sort it out later.” She snapped. “Right now, I want you out of my house.”

Jack nodded. “I’ll go,” He relented, pulling on his pants, “But I’ll be back.” He kissed her cheek before leaving and Janet watched silently as Sam kept herself together long enough to see him out the front door before she began to sob again.

Placing the water on the coffee table, Janet pulled her friend into her arms again. “Don’t worry honey, it’s gonna be….”

“Okay?” Sam finished for her. “It won’t be okay Janet, it never will be!” She snapped, angry at the fake platitudes her friend had been offering.

“I was going to say that it will be hard, but things will get better.” Janet told her and watched as Sam only cried harder.

“You know what the worst thing is?” Sam sniffled.

“What?” Janet asked quietly, stroking her back lightly.

“I enjoyed last night.” She admitted, and then she laughed. It wasn’t a happy sound. “I’m so disgusted with myself for letting things go the way they did, but after the amount of time that we’ve spent apart, even when he was here, I couldn’t help myself. I wanted him….and he knew it.”

“He took advantage of you.” Janet guessed.

“No, I took advantage of him.”

“Sam…you’re not the one who had an affair, he is. You haven’t done anything wrong here.” Janet told her firmly.

Sam looked up at her friend, tears still evident in her eyes even if they weren’t on her cheeks. “What do I do now?”

“I don’t know honey, I honestly don’t know.” Janet admitted.


Pulling in to the motel car park, Sam took several deep breaths before she could convince herself to get out of the car.

She hadn’t seen Jack in just over two weeks. The last time she had seen him, he’d been clutching a cushion to his groin and pleading with her to talk to him. She knew that he’d been back to their house at least once to get some clothes, but he had timed it so that she’d been out at the time.

Heidi and Jay knew that their father was back, but they hadn’t seen him either, and they’d been driving her crazy asking when Daddy was coming home, which was part of the reason that she was standing outside of his motel door.

She knocked hesitantly, and when he opened the door she had to fight the urge to take a step back.

His eyes were red and bloodshot, his face was gaunt looking and unshaven, and he looked utterly exhausted and she wondered if he’d been sleeping at all. The part of her, the rather large part, that still loved him wanted to take him into her arms are nurse him back to health, but the part of her that remembered seeing him with the other woman refused to let her give in to the will.

“Sam.” He greeted, stepping back to allow her entrance to the room.

She could smell the whiskey still lingering in the small room. The single bed was unmade and there were magazine’s strewn across the table. There weren’t any chairs that she could see, so Sam perched herself on the edge of the bed.

Jack didn’t sit down next to her, figuring that it would be pushing his luck. Hell, he considered himself lucky that she hadn’t freaked out when he’d closed the door.

Instead, he closed the door and turned to face her, leaning he weight on the wall behind him. “How are you?” He asked, unsure of what to say. She was his wife for God’s sake and he couldn’t even think of anything to say to her.

“Fine.” She nodded. “You?”

He rolled his eyes a little. “Great.”

They lapsed into a tense, uncomfortable silence. It seemed to stretch on forever until Sam spoke again. “We need to work something out here.” She told him.

Jack’s heart did a little flip at the thought. Did she want him to come home? Did she want to talk? Was she reconsidering the divorce that she seemed so adamant on getting? “We do?” He asked, keeping his response neutral.

“The kids want to see you…..and you have a right to see them.” Sam explained.

“How are they?” He asked, his eyes filling with love at the mention of their children.

“They miss their father.” She admitted reluctantly.

Jack looked her straight in the eye as he spoke. “What about their mother?”

He gaze flickered away form his almost immediately. “I’m not here to talk about you and I, I’m here to talk about Heidi and Jay.”

Nodding, Jack moved a pile of his clothes to reveal a chair, and he sat down, tossing the clothes to the floor. “So….then when are we going to talk about us?” He asked, briefly wondering if she ever planned to discuss their marriage.

“When I can do it calmly. Look, maybe I should have just called…” She muttered, standing and moving towards the door.

Jack was out of his chair and by her side in an instant, his presence enough to quicken her heartbeat. Even when they’d been fighting, she’d continued to feel the rush of feelings at his proximity. It seemed some thing’s never really changed. “We have to talk eventually.” He told her.

“I know, but not now. We need to figure out what we’re going to do about the kids, I mean, I assume that you want to see them.”

Jack nodded wholeheartedly. “Sam, you and the kids are the only things that I’ve thought of in the last few weeks. I miss all of you and I want to come home.”

“I’m not ready to have you home Jack, don’t you understand that?” She whispered, ashamed to feel more tears pricking at her eyes. She’d cried enough over the last few weeks.

“I’m going to wait for you Sam, you have to know that.” She nodded and he let he subject drop. “When does it suit you for me to see them?”

“This weekend?” She offered.

“Sounds great. Do you want me to come over, or should I take them out?” He asked, feeling sick at the thought of needing permission to enter his own home.

“I think that it would be best if you took them out.” Sam replied, feeling like a monster for not even allowing him access to his own home. ‘He cheated on you’ that little voice reminded her, and suddenly she didn’t feel so bad.

“I’ll be over about ten. Is that okay?”

“Sounds great. I won’t tell them in case there’s an emergency at the base and you can’t make it.” It was part of the job, but Sam knew that if he disappointed the kids, she wouldn’t forgive him.

“I’ll be there.” He promised, and that was that.

“Okay. I need to go.” She told him, opening the door. “Goodbye.” She muttered, closing the door behind her as she fled to her car.

Jack watched her through the window as she drove off, and he had to wonder if this was how it was always going to be between them.


True to his word, Jack had arrived at his home at ten to be greeted by two children screaming for their father.

He’d opened the door and barely stepped in before Heidi and Jay and hurled themselves at him. “Daddy!” Heidi squealed excitedly, clutching her teddy bear in her hand.

Jack couldn't help but smile, Heidi had loved the bear that he’d brought her when Sam was pregnant, and she still refused to go anywhere without it.

“Hey sweetie.” He grinned, unable to stop the tears that formed in his eyes.

Sam watched from the entrance to the kitchen as Jack hugged the twin’s tightly against him. Watching him now, without his usual veil of sarcasm, was heartbreaking. It made her feel like the wicked witch of the west for insisting on the divorce.

“How you doing sport?” Jack asked Jay, giving him a lopsided grin that the boy matched easily.

Jay sighed loudly. “Okay….why haven’t you been home?”

Swallowing the lump in her throat, Sam waiting for Jack to come up with a plausible answer to quell the curiosity of their six-year-old.

Jack sighed. “It’s hard to explain buddy.”

“But you’re gonna stay at home now, aren’t you daddy?” Heidi asked, wrapping her arms tighter around her father.

Sam looked up to see Jack staring at her, his eyes asking her what he should say. She shrugged, unsure herself. Thus far, she’d managed to avoid having this conversation with her children, but she hadn’t been stupid enough to know that she could avoid it forever.

Eventually, Jack shook his head sadly. “No honey, I’m not.”

“Why not?”

“Heidi, Daddy is going to find his own place to live.” Sam smiled reassuringly, walking over to where her children and soon-to-be ex-husband were sitting.

Heidi turned to face her mother, tears forming in her brown eyes. “But why? Why can’t daddy live with us? Doesn’t daddy love us anymore? Don’t you love us daddy?”

Jack smiled sadly at his daughter. “Of course I love you Heidi!”

“Then why don’t you live with us anymore?” She asked, confused. Jack looked to Sam for this one, he couldn’t think of anything to say to Heidi that would make her see that it wasn’t her fault.

“It’s hard to explain sweetie.” Sam told her, kneeling down to face her daughter who immediately turned away from her.

“Don’t be like that Heidi, it isn’t your Mom’s fault.” Jack told her, rubbing her back in soothing motions.

“You’re sending dad away?” Jay asked in a small voice.

Sam felt tears prick her own eyes at the implication. She hadn’t really thought that her children would see it that way, but in effect, she *was* essentially sending their father away…..they couldn’t understand why, and she wouldn’t try and explain it to them at this age, but she had to tell them something. “I don’t want to honey…..”

“Then don’t!” The little boy pleaded.

Biting her bottom lip as a few lone tears slipped down her cheeks, Sam shook her head sadly. “It’s not that simple.”

“Yes it is!” He yelled.

Jack’s eyes softened as he saw the tears falling from his wife’s eyes. “Jay, don’t yell at your mom, this isn’t her fault. You shouldn’t blame her for this. ”

Jay shook his head stubbornly, much like his father. “Yes it is! You don’t wanna go, but she’s sending you away.”

“Do you want to go daddy?” Heidi asked.

Jack sighed deeply. “Of course not honey.”

“Mommy?” she asked, finally turning back to face her mother. “Do you want daddy to go?”

Since when did her daughter become a marriage counselor? “I…..yes.” She admitted, not looking at Jack.

“Why? Don’t you love daddy anymore?” She asked.

Sam knew that the question was asked in all innocence, but she honestly wasn’t sure how to answer her daughter. She knew that she still loved her husband, and probably always would, but if he knew that then he’s see it as a possibility for reconciliation….and that wasn’t going to happen, not after what she’d seen.

Out of the mouth’s of babe’s indeed.

“We’ll talk about this later.” She told them. “Go out and enjoy the day. Daddy’s taking you to the park for a while.”

Neither of the children looked convinced, and Jack finally intervened. “C’mon. Grab your bags, we’ll go and have some fun.” He smiled, showing a happiness that he really didn’t feel. Scrambling off Jack’s knees, Heidi and Jay headed down to their rooms.

Jack waited until the kids were out of earshot before he spoke to his wife. “You okay?”

“Of course I am Jack. My children blame me because you screwed another woman, I’m perfect.” She hissed.

“Sam…don’t be like that.” Jack sighed. “We can talk about this….can’t we?”

She shook her head. “No, we can’t. I told you that before Jack……I want a divorce, that’s all there is to say.”

“Mommy, what’s a divorce?” Heidi asked, walking with her brother back into the room and over to their father.

“Never mind sweetie, you guys have fun today.” She told them, bending down to kiss both of her children on the cheek.

“What about daddy?” Heidi asked, her eyes wide. “Aren’t you gonna kiss him goodbye too?”

Jack shrugged and Sam lent over and kissed his cheek. Before she could react, he’d pulled her fully into his embrace and wrapped his arms around her. “Don’t do this Sammie.” He whispered, his voice low to avoid the inquisitive ears of the twins’.

Despite herself, Sam couldn’t help but breathe in his familiar and once comforting and calming scent. “Let me go now, before I hurt you.” She whispered back and he released her reluctantly, hurt shining clearly in his eyes.

“Now daddy can stay with us!” The little girl exclaimed happily, clapping her hands.

Sam shook her head, ignoring the slightly hopeful look on Jack’s face. “Heidi… doesn’t work like that.”

“Why not?”

“I said we’d talk about this later.” She snapped and Jack took that as his cue to get the kids out of there before he and Sam ended up in a screaming match.

Jack grabbed the kid’s hands and led them out of the house.


There was a picture of her on his desk.

Jack had been sitting in his office, writing his report for almost an hour and he’d only just noticed the picture. He’d known it was there, naturally, he’d put it there, but for some reason it only really occurred to him today. It was a good photo, he decided. She was smiling, an indication that it had been taken at least nine months ago, and she was standing by the lake at their cabin.

They’d taken the kids up there the previous winter to teach them how to skate on the frozen lake. He’d had so much fun during their stay. The kids had taken to skating like ducks to water, and he and Sam had spent more time on the ground. She wasn’t a good skater at all, had no talent for it. He liked to joke that it was the one thing that she wasn’t good at.

If he said that now, she’d probably hit him, he mused.

The report wasn’t going to write itself, and he’d been staring at the empty Microsoft document for an hour now, so Jack decided to go in search of some coffee.

He reached the elevator and was on his way to the commissary when he realized that he’d pressed the level for her lab. He was well on his way to her door when he realized that it probably wasn’t a wise idea. But he was standing before her quizzical features before he realized that it was too late to turn back.

“Can I help you?” She asked formally, her tone cool.

He stuttered for a bit before finding a reasonable explanation for his presence. “I….I need your last mission report, please.”

“You could have send an airman for that.” She pointed out, walking to her filing cabinet nonetheless.

“I thought it would be better to do it in person.” He shrugged.

Sam didn’t look at him as she spoke, her head buried in the drawer that she was searching. “Colonel, I think it would be better if you sent someone else in the future.”

If she’d look, which she didn’t, then she would have seen the confusion and hurt on his face. “Sam…..I’m not trying to talk about us, why can’t I see you?”

“I think it would be more appropriate if you don’t call me Sam at work.” She told him, holding out the file marked ‘Edora.’

Jack sighed, why did she insist on acting like this? “Fine, Doctor O’Neill-“

“Doctor Carter.” She corrected, unblinking.

The words hit him almost like a physical blow would, and it was only now that he noticed that she wasn’t wearing her wedding or engagement rings. He grasped her hand, despite her attempts to pull it away. “You took them off.”

“Yes.” She nodded.


Her gaze never slipped from his, even though she wished that she could look away as she broke his heart. “It was no longer appropriate for me to wear them”

“You said you’d never take them off.” He whispered.

“You said you’d never hurt me, I guess we were both wrong.” She returned, pulling her hand from his grasp. His closeness still affected her, it probably always would, and she felt the waves of desire, or possibly nausea, wash over her.

“Sam?” Jack asked, watching her sway slightly.

“I’m okay.” She muttered.

He watched as her eyes rolled into the back of her head as her body made the descent towards the ground. Instinctively reaching out, Jack caught her before her body connected with the floor.


Janet had run tests, she’s poked and prodded her, but she still couldn’t find an explanation as to why her best friend had fainted almost three hours ago. Sam hadn’t woken yet, which led Janet to believe that it was probably exhaustion that had finally claimed her, but Jack hadn’t left her side.

“You really miss her, don’t you?” She asked, checking Sam’s vitals again. She’d hooked her up to an IV for some extra fluids, but apart from making her comfortable, that was about all she could do.

“She and the kids are my life, Janet, of course I miss her.” He replied, his shoulders slumped.

“You hurt her.”

He nodded sadly. “I know.”

“Do you expect her to forgive you?”

He gave her an almost crooked smile. “I have hope.”

Janet glanced around, seeing the infirmary virtually empty for a change and lowered her voice.  “Jack, don’t push her. If you do, you’re just going to push her away.”

“What am I supposed to do Jan? Sit by while she file’s for divorce?”

“I know it’s hard…..”

“Do you?” he snapped, angry. Everyone else seemed to know, or think that they knew, more about their relationship than he did.

“Hey, I’m on my second marriage here too, you know.” She returned.

Jack lowered his head in shame. He did know. He’d known Janet when she was still married to Robert, and although he hadn’t known it at the time, he did know what Robert used to do to her. “I’m sorry…..It’s just, what am I supposed to do?”

“Give her space.”

“If I walk away, she’ll think that I don’t want to be with her. Giving her space could be as bad as hanging around like a bad smell.”

“You have to Jack. She’ll never want to see you again if you invade her life like that. Just, walk away. Take a step back and be a little objective here.”

Jack shook his head adamantly. “There’s a bigger chance of getting water from the moon than me ever leaving her again.”


What do I gotta do?
Do I gotta get water from the moon
To make you love me
Make you love me.

Celine Dion, Water from the moon.


Jack knocked tentatively on Hammond’s door. The General had paged him to come and see him, and Jack couldn’t quell the nausea that rose in his stomach.

“Enter!” The older man barked.

Jack sighed. It was late, he was tired, and he really didn’t want to deal with an irate General at this hour of the night. He opened the door and stepped in, closing it behind him. “You wanted to see me sir?”

George looked up from the request that he’d been reading. “Jack, come in.” He smiled, but both of them knew it was forced.

“Was there something wrong sir?”

The General nodded, but his words contradicted the action. “No, no of course not. I thought that you and I could go to O’Malley’s for a steak.” He offered.

Jack nodded, confused by the older man’s actions and twenty five minute’s later he found himself sitting in a booth at the back of O’Malley’s, steak and beer in front of him.

“What’s this about sir?” He asked, curiosity piqued. The general had been scanning their surroundings since they’d sat down, and he looked anything but relaxed.

“Jack….” The older man sighed and scrubbed his hands over his face. “We have a problem at home.” He admitted. Nodding, Jack let him continue. “There’s a rouge group in our office, and they’ve been stealing technology from some of our friends.”

“Thor?” Jack whispered.

They’d met the Asguard several years ago, when Jack’s memory had been pushed aside after an alien language had been downloaded in his brain. Jay still used the word ‘kosars’ to describe his legs, much to the annoyance of his teacher.

“Among others.” George admitted. “We need someone to go undercover, make the mole think that this person is one of them.” In a hushed voice, the General told Jack all of the information that he had, and what their current plan was. “We need to nip this in the bud now.”

“Agreed.” Jack nodded. “Who do you plan to do……no.” He shook his head at the General’s look. “Sir! I can’t.”

“Jack, I know that you and Sam are having problems-“

“Doesn’t everyone.” Jack muttered rhetorically.

George chose to ignore the statement and continued. “But we need to do this.”

“Why me?”

“Because I was ordered to find someone that I know for sure wouldn’t already be working for the other side. And as much as I hate having to suspect our own people, I know it wouldn’t be you.”

“Damn straight it wouldn’t…..but sir, if I go through with this what do you think it would do to what’s left of my marriage?”

George knew that this wouldn’t help their situation any, but they had to do this. “Jack, Sam would understand. She was a solider, remember? She knows what goes on in the world of black ops, and she is anything but stupid.”

Jack shook his head. “Sir, I know that she’d understand, but I’ve got enough groveling to do as it is. If I go ahead with this mission, I think it would be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.”

“That’s a cliché.”

“I know, and you know how I feel about those.”

“We have to do this Jack, and I really don’t want to make it an order.”

“Let me tell Sam.”

“We can’t.”

“Sir, you said that you picked me because you trusted me. Sam hasn’t got a deceitful bone in her body, I can guarantee you with a hundred per cent certainty that she isn’t part of this. I’ll do it, but you have to let me tell Sam what’s going on.”

George sighed, he could understand why Jack wanted her in on it, but he was sure that nothing good could come of Sam’s involvement. He was ordered to get one person involved, and one person only. “Okay.” He relented. “But don’t tell her on the base. Take her out somewhere, somewhere safe.”

Jack got the message, the General thought that the base could be bugged. Which meant, more than likely, so were their homes. Great, even more people knew about the shambles of his marriage. “Thank you.”

“How are things with Sam?” George asked, and Jack realized that this conversation was closed for now.

“Not so good.” He admitted, reluctantly.

“I’m sure that things will get better.” The General comforted, but he knew that his words meant nothing.

Jack shoulders slumped again, a posture that the General was seeing a little too often on his 2IC. “I doubt that sir, I really doubt that.”


“Are you sure you want to do this?” Janet asked.

Sam clutched the phone tighter to her ear as she searched her closet in the quest to find something to wear.

Jack had asked her to have dinner with him, and while she was reluctant to go, there was something about the way that he had asked her, something about his tone of voice, that had made her curious.

While she didn’t want to talk about them, or their situation, maybe having dinner would make the divorce easier. Sam sighed, she was only kidding herself. She missed him and she wanted to see him again. Was that so bad?

Shrugging herself out of her musings, Sam picked out a red top that Jack had brought her over a year ago. “I think it might help Janet.”

“Do you want to get back together?” Janet asked, while she was still stuck on the base minding an injured SG-12, she’d wanted to call Sam and find out why she was going to dinner with a man she was that angry with.

San shook her head, even though she knew that Janet couldn’t see the action. “No, I’ve already spoken to my lawyer, we’re meeting tomorrow afternoon to discuss the divorce.”

Janet didn’t want to play devil’s advocate, but she knew very well that Sam was still in love with her husband, and she couldn’t help but think she was rushing things. “Honey, why don’t you wait a while, see how things turn out?”

“I won’t forgive him Janet, I can’t. It’s better if I just do it now so that the kids and I can move on with our lives.”

“If you say so.”

“I do. “

“How are you feeling now?” Janet asked. Sam had woken up after being in the infirmary for over eight hours.

“Still a little tired,” She admitted. “But I think that sleep really did me some good. I must have been more tired than I thought. I have to go, the sitter will be here soon, and I still need to get ready.”

“Okay honey, take care and call me when you get home, I’ll still be on base.”

“Will do. Bye.” She hung up the phone and pulled out her black jeans, hoping that she’d look decent enough for wherever he was taking her.


She was walking down the corridor when she saw him.

He was with Teal'c, being escorted to the General’s office no doubt. She couldn’t believe what an ass he had been…..stealing alien technology? What had happened to the man that she’d loved? Surely the situation that they were in with their personal life couldn’t have pushed him so far over the edge that he’d crack?

“Sir?” She asked.

He stopped and paused before he turned around, his posture showing indifference an annoyance at being spoken to. “Carter?”

She stepped closer to him, and Teal’c took a respective step back and started talking to a passing technician to allow them some privacy. “Jack?”

He scratched his neck, obviously bored. “Sam?”

“Are you alright?” She asked, concerned.

“Fine, why?”

“You’re not acting like yourself.” She told him, eyeing him closely. He looked all right, Janet must’ve cleared him.

Jack rolled his eyes. “I haven’t been acting like myself since I met you, now I’m acting like himself.”

“Jack?” Normally, she would’ve taken the first part of his statement as a compliment, but his tone left no room for interpretation.

He threw her earlier words back at her. “I think it would be more appropriate if you don’t call me Jack at work.”

“Fine, *Sir* are you coming to see the kids tomorrow?” She asked, her tone curt.

“Maybe, I dunno.” He shrugged.

She grit her teeth to stop from yelling at him. “Yes or no? I’m not going to tell them that you’ll be there if you want, it’s not fair.”

“Then no, I won’t. I have plans.”

“More important than our children?”

Jack almost reacted to that. It was the first time that Sam had referred to the kids as “theirs” since this whole thing started. Instead of replying, he simply shrugged.

“You’re being an ass, Jack.”

“Whatever.” He didn’t seem to care, or notice that she had tears in her eyes as he walked away.