Author: SelDear PM
When another Carter comes through the Stargate, Sam must come to grips with this other version of herself, and deal with her faults, her doubts, and her concerns before they wreck her standing in the SGC and her personal relationships.[COMPLETED 24.06.06]Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Drama/Adventure - S. Carter - Chapters: 12 - Words: 51,038 - Reviews: 223 - Favs: 50 - Follows: 46 - Updated: 06-23-06 - Published: 06-04-06 - id: 2973995
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
NOTES: This story was written for the fanzine 'Revelations III', released in 2005 by Apocalyptic Press (run by the Sam/Jack Horsewomen and friends). It features SG-1 stories with a leaning towards het and gen fic. In 2006, 'Revelations IV' was published, along with 'Taking Flight: Tales from the Pegasus Galaxy' - both featuring het and gen fic from Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis. They're available at "www (dot) sjhw (dot) net (slash) zine" if you're interested in buying it.
She got her bed - in the infirmary, where Doc Warner arched a brow at her bruises, grimaced at Teal'c's description of the fight, and ran an assortment of reflex tests and body scans.
Everything seemed okay.
"I'd like to study this weapon if possible," he said as Sam got off the examination gurney wincing a little as her muscles protested. "You don't seem to have sustained any physical damage, but I'd like you to stay under surveillance tonight - just to be sure." He regarded her with the wry expression of a practitioner who knew perfectly well that his patients were just as liable to disregard any requests he made of them in the course of their duties. "Will that be a problem?"
"It will not," Teal'c said as Sam opened her mouth. Warner didn't even try to hide his smile.
"Thank's Teal'c," she said dryly, shrugging on the long-sleeve jacket over her t-shirt. "Anything else you'd like to organise for me at this moment?"
"I believe that a statesroom has been commissioned for your rest," the big Jaffa said serenely. "General Hammond is more than willing to give you the remainder of the day off due to your experience this morning."
Sam was distinctly put out at the cool takeover of her life. Not that she felt capable of much else other than lying down at this moment.
"I'll let the duty staff know to expect you in the evening, then, Colonel," Doc Warner said with a slight smile as he turned away. "Get some rest."
Sam didn't roll her eyes at him, for which she was quite proud. However, she did glare at Teal'c, who was unperturbed by her irritation as he trailed out of the infirmary after her.
"Samuel Carter is held in custody," Teal'c said, foreseeing her next question. "Sergeant Davis is examining the systems to which Samuel Carter had access during his time at the SGC. Sergeant Siler is scheduling a diagnostic of the control room and Gateroom's electrical systems to determine how Samuel Carter effected his voice-activated program. There are things that must be done later, but they do not require your presence, and you will be better served resting."
"I'm glad someone has it all organised then," Sam commented as she made her way down the corridor towards the elevator lobby.
Teal'c made no comment as he followed her, but she could sense his smile behind her back.
They'd just reached the elevators when the doors opened to Daniel, who nearly ran into her, and just sidestepped in time to avoid a collision. "Oh, there you are, guys! General Hammond sent me to find you. Some people from Samuel's world dialled in a few minutes ago."
"Dialled in?" Sam frowned. "The iris override shouldn't have worked this time..." She'd done all the reprogramming of the system, and was sure of her work. Nobody should have been able to get through.
Daniel met that concern with reassurance. "They didn't use the iris override, just connected the wormhole and radioed through. Said they were looking for a Samuel Carter of the SGC."
"A Samuel Carter?" Teal'c asked, questioning Daniel's phrasing.
"That's what they said. We sent a MALP to the co-ordinates they specified, and General Hammond has authorised them to come through for a face-to-face."
Sam frowned. "It's a bit coincidental that they should come through now, just when we've dealt with Samuel."
"Well, it gets better," Daniel said. "Turns out that Samuel's a fugitive on his own world - for technology theft." She winced as he grinned. "And you'll never guess who the commander of the SG-team is!"
That was all the warning Sam got when she followed Daniel up the stairs, along the corridor past General Hammond's office, and into the briefing room, and found Robert Makepeace sitting at the briefing room table.
To say Sam was stunned was putting it lightly.
Her shocked expression took in not only the one-time Colonel, but also the two members of his team - both men Sam recognised. General Hammond had turned in her chair, and the brief moment of sympathy in his glance indicated he understood her response.
"Colonel Makepeace." It had been over...four years since Sam had last seen him. After he'd been implicated as part of the Stargate smuggling ring, he'd faced trial along with the rest of the rogues. The last Sam had heard, the remainder of the rogues had been quietly executed two years ago.
"Ma'am," he inclined his head to her in the stiff respect she recalled from four years ago. "I'm afraid I don't recognise you."
She could see enough of Daniel's expression as he moved around the table to know that they hadn't explained that Samuel's counterpart here was very different to Samuel. "Lieutenant Colonel Sam Carter," she said lightly. "SG-1."
"Holy sh--" One of the men - Major Terry Vadim - swallowed his exclamation with a quick look at the General. "Carter?"
"That's Colonel Carter to you, Vadim," said a new voice, wafting up to them as Jack climbed the stairs from the control room.
Now the men stood. "General O'Neill."
"Retired, actually," Jack said, waving them down. He glanced at Sam and jerked his head with the slightest of smiles, indicating that she, Daniel, and Teal'c should all take a seat.
Sam was glad to take a seat. This was the longest period she'd had standing unassisted since Samuel had shot her with the weapon earlier that day. Her head was beginning to twinge a little, signalling that it might be a good time to sit down soon.
As she moved around to an empty place at the table, she was pleased to discover that, whatever the consequences of last night and this morning, she was still able to keep her head around him. It was reassuring to know that her sense of professionalism was firmly in place. No flushing, no blushing, and just a brief smile - his usual affection towards any of his team in professional settings.
She didn't expect more - not in the SGC.
"Long time no see, Makepeace. You never write."
Makepeace grinned. "Can't say the same, sir. You'll have to excuse the formality - don't particularly care to start addressing our General too casually on duty."
"Excused," Jack said, then looked over at Hammond. "Sir?"
"We were just about to discuss Colonel Samuel Carter," the General said as Sam took her seat next to Daniel and opposite Jack. "His story about the Alpha site being overrun was incorrect."
"General Hammond has given us the basic details of what he told you," Makepeace was saying calmly. "Needless to say, it seems he'd been telling you more than a few lies."
"So it seems," Jack said.
"He also injured thirty-seven people as he was trying to make his way out of the base through the Stargate this morning," General Hammond said, and there was a note of grimness in his voice. "And tortured one of my officers on the process." His glance at Sam was noted by the alternate SG-3 and, as one, they turned their heads towards her.
Sam kept an easy expression on her face. Sitting down had helped a bit - slowed down the twinges - but they'd be back eventually. She just hoped this meeting would be over before she really felt the need to lie down again.
"You don't look tortured," Vadim observed.
"Looks can be deceiving, Major," she returned with just a little bite. It was also the slightest of warnings that he shouldn't underestimate her.
"Colonel Carter has already disposed of one gentleman who became an irritation this morning," Teal'c said with deadly calm. "It would be inadvisable to again try her patience today."
By which Teal'c meant that the alternate officers shouldn't try his patience when it came to mistrusting her. She saw the quick peek Vadim took, first at Hammond, then at Jack and SG-1. Evidently, he decided not to try his luck.
Makepeace nodded at her. "So I've been given to understand. We're here to take Samuel Carter off your hands, Colonel. And although it's somewhat pointless to apologise for his actions, we regret losing track of him long eough that he was able to cause trouble for you."
"Yeah," Daniel said, lifting his chin a little. "You might like to explain how that happened again."
"The discoveries of technology theft were recent," Makepeace explained. "He'd hidden his tracks well. And, with no offence to you, ma'am, I have advised the General as to what we've found on his account so far. He'll be doing checks on your systems."
"Keeping in mind that Samuel Carter had nearly unlimited access to our systems for seven days," Daniel added.
"Unlimited access?" Makepeace turned to look at General Hammond, but Sam was the one who could answer his question.
"He knows all my passwords and userids," Sam said. "And I have complete access to the system."
Makepeace nodded, accepting that, but Vadim gave her a look that was considerably more frank in regard. She returned his gaze with cool assurance. Her relationship with Terry Vadim - their Vadim - had always been slightly adversarial: one part aggression, one part stubbornness, and one part personality bite. It seemed that thigns were more or less the same in Samuel's world.
More or less. Except for Samuel stealing technology.
Her head twinged again, and Sam hid a wince. They were getting worse.
"So we basically have no idea what stuff he's left in our systems?" Jack inquired of Hammond.
"We've had the technical staff looking at the accesses," the General replied. "However they've been unable to find anything yet."
Daniel looked about. "Well, he did have three weeks to sneak his stuff in."
"And Carter will have months to try to get it all out."
"If it's any help, Colonel," the third man spoke then. "I know a little about what Carter - sorry, our Colonel Carter - did to our systems. If you wish, I can list them down for yours."
Sam did wish. It would make things a lot easier. Assuming that these men were trustworthy.
Okay, Sam. That way lies madness. Trust had to start somewhere.
"That would be extremely helpful, Captain Gretton," Hammond said as Sam handed over notepaper and a pen. She resisted the urge to crane her neck and watch as he began writing things down in a quick, scrawling hand.
For one, her neck wouldn't take it. For two, the headache was getting bad. Still, she was just a little bit curious.
"Daniel said that he was caught in technology theft."
"A small operation, run these last couple of years," Makepeace said, meeting her gaze without a trace of irony. "He was the contact within the SGC - in place to pick things up and move them through. One of the first personnel assigned to the SGC, the Stargate expert - nobody suspected him."
"Until someone did, I presume," Daniel said dryly.
"More a case of items going missing, excuses not adding up, that sort of thing. In the end, he vanished."
And General Hammond brought up the point that was nagging Sam. "So how did you find him, Colonel? He claimed he came through the mirror..."
"He did, sir." Gretton looked up from his paper, and then reached down to what was probably his pack on the floor to produce the controller. A moment later, he laid a device next to it on the briefing room table. It was small and cylindrical and had notch markings around it. "If you know about the mirror, then you know about the controller. But in one of our explorations, we found this device here, attached to a mirror. It's like a 'history' of the last universes reached from this mirror."
Sam blinked, suddenly interested in this. They'd never had a controller that they got to keep. "Does it use the resonances of the most recent universes to locate the matching universe?"
"Carter," Jack warned her, and she glanced down at him and smile ruefully.
He turned back to them. "So, you're going to take your guy off our hands? You owe us the cost of feeding and keep, you know."
The snort from Makepeace was purest amusement. "Kennelling and stabling? Well, Gretton's telling you where to find all the traps he has set up through the system, so that's a kind of payment, isn't it?"
Jack made a 'huh' sound as Gretton pushed the notepad over towards Sam. "That's the list of ones we found in our systems. There were a round dozen of them."
Sam glanced over the list and nodded, then blinked a little as the world around her flashed white for the briefest of seconds. She concentrated on the paper, ignoring the throbbing which was now reaching migrane status. The notations were somewhat cryptic to someone with no knowledge of the Stargate systems, but it seemed that Captain Gretton had paid attention in Control Room 101 classes - which was more than could be said for a lot of people around the base.
"I've ordered Colonel Samuel Carter brought up here for you to return to your world," the General said. "I'll also be sending an SG-team to escort you through to the mirror before we bring it back here."
There was the sound of footsteps behind them, and Samuel Carter was led in, handsome face neutral as he faced the four men from his own reality. "I see I got the three stooges for company on the way home," he said dryly. "Lovely."
"Save the sarcasm for your trial, Carter," Vadim retorted.
"Gee, you might have saved yourself the trouble," Samuel muttered.
"Well, we could always put a gun in Carter's hand and let her shoot you," Jack said, narrow-eyed. "Saves not only the trial, but cost of upkeep and imprisonment, etcetera."
Samuel's gaze fixed on Sam, and she returned his gaze with something like pity, even through the headache. "She wouldn't."
"Do you know that?" Jack countered with a smirk.
Sam was more than a little relieved that, if a number of the men through the base were giving her sidewise looks - possibly wondering if they'd find her fist in their balls if they offended her anytime soon - Jack seemed to be amused by it all.
She supposed he could afford to be after last night.
An airman had come up the stairs from the control room and was murmuring something in Hammond's ear. The general turned and stood and the officers rose with him. "Colonel Makepeace, SG-11 is downstairs, ready to escort you to P5C-906."
"Thank you, General Hammond." Makepeace inclined his head at the rest of SG-1, and took the handcuffed Samuel by the shoulders. "Let's move it, Carter."
General Hammond and Daniel followed them, and Jack glanced at her, then went over to the window looking out over the gateroom to watch them leave.
Sam stayed at the table, holding herself up by her fingertips. She ignored Teal'c's gaze and listened to the Stargate dial, watched the men go through.
The last Sam saw of Samuel Carter was him being manhandled through the Stargate. He glanced up at the briefing room windows, caught her gaze for a moment, quirked a grin, and winked at her.
She didn't smile back.
As the event horizon of the Stargate vanished, so did the world around her.
Her mind tended to wake up before her body did. It was a habit, the awareness of her surroundings, of where she was and whom she was with.
As her consciousness rose out of the darkness to which it had retreated, Sam became very much aware that there was a man lying in the bed beside her. Although, more correctly, it could be said that there was a man lying on the bed beside her, resting on top of the quilt where she lay under it.
Not that this was necessarily a bad thing. Mostly, it depended on who the man lying on the bed beside her was.
Of course, there was a very small pool of candidates for that option, and as she raised her eyelids, she was pleased to find that it was the only man she really wanted in the bed beside her.
"Hey," she murmured, shifting a little as her body gradually roused itself to wakefulness.
"Hey," Jack said. He was lying on his side, with his head propped up on one hand, and the other resting on the quilted coverlet. He looked comfortable and easy where he lay, just as he had earlier today - today? Before she could ask about the time, he reached out his resting hand to caress her cheek. "How're you feeling?"
"Like I could spend a week in bed," she confessed, leaning in to the warm touch.
"Mm," he murmured, the dark eyes taking on a softer, sensuous gleam, "I like the sound of that."
She laughed. She couldn't help it. "Even if I slept the whole way through?"
"You wouldn't sleep for a whole week, Carter," he said, smiling, and his thumb traced across her lip. "I'd make sure of it." The smile continued a moment more, then eased back. "You gave us a bit of a shock after the briefing."
"Not my intention," she admitted, and gained enough energy to shuffle over in the bed so she was closer to him. "Besides, I had a busy morning." Sam paused and looked up at him with a smile. "And a late night."
"Yeah," he murmured. "I think I remember that part."
Sam leaned back, miming offence. "You only think you remember it?"
His mouth curved and his eyes gleamed with good humour. "I'm getting old. The memory's the first to go. You'll need to remind me how it all goes, pretty soon."
Oh, she could just imagine he'd love that! "And very often?"
A little tendril of pique unfurled within her soul as she said, "Well, we'll see."
By now, Jack was quite completely into the lazy, shit-eating grin that Sam loved seeing on him - and could now watch without having to veil her appreciation.
Still, that didn't mean she could just watch him all day - much as she would like to. There were things she had to attend to, things she had to fix in the wake of Samuel's betrayal and departure.
"Have the techs found--"
"Sam." The use of her name stopped that line of inquiry almost immediately, so gentle and chiding on his lips.
"He was my twin." The SGC had trusted Samuel because of her - that meant she had a certain responsibility to make right what he'd messed up.
"Your evil twin," Jack pointed out. "Horribly cliché as it may be."
He's not me; I'm not him. The mantra with which she'd spent the last few weeks reassuring herself echoed in her head, now imbued with an even more significant meaning.
"You can't take all his wrongs and make them right, Sam."
Her mouth quirked at his practicality. "I can try."
"Don't strain yourself trying." His hand was now tracing back through her hair and she managed to roll over on her side so she was facing him.
He bent in and touched his lips to hers. "Retired, Sam."
Her skin tingled where his mouth brushed, and Sam opened her mouth to him, pleased when he deepened the kiss. In spite of the day's stresses and aches, right now, she wanted nothing more than to pull him under the covers, strip off his clothes and make love to him until he set his teeth in her shoulder as he came.
A pang at her shoulder made her break from the kiss and she rolled onto her back, gasping as the shoulder 'wound' Samuel had inflicted reasserted itself. It was nothing more than a shadow of remembered pain, but it was enough to take her attention and drain what little energy she had.
She turned her head enough to see and reassure him. "Fine." Jack opened his mouth to protest, and she headed him off with his name and a question. "Any idea when I can get out of here?"
"Teal'c mentioned that you were under surveillance tonight," he reminded her. "Maybe tomorrow? Ask the Doc."
Sam sighed as she stared up at the ceiling. She'd almost forgotten about that.
"I'm sure they'll let you out for the weekend, though," he said with a sly note in his voice.
It was hard not to laugh at his angling, even if she was hoping for precisely the same thing: a weekend uninterrupted by crises. "We can hope," Sam said. Then yawned as her body began making demands on her consciousness. "Sorry," she murmured as she shut her eyes and began settling back into the mattress. Much as she wanted to stay awake and talk to him, her body had other ideas. "Getting tired again."
"So sleep," he murmured, and she felt the weight of him briefly press against her as he leaned over and rubbed his cheek against hers. She could feel the not-quite-bristles of his five o'clock shadow against her skin and smiled lazily at the tactile sensation.
Sam loved this man. She'd like nothing better than to wake up with him again. But that would have to wait for a few days. At the least, it would have to wait until she got off the base. She opened one eye, fighting the sudden bout of exhaustion that washed over her. "Be here when I wake?"
He lifted his head and didn't quite smile, but his expression was full of all the tenderness he'd never been able to show her in the years they'd worked together. "You need to ask?"
And as she slipped into sleep again, she felt him kiss her temple, felt the vibration of his voice against her skull, in her heart, in her soul.
- fin -
-- -- -- oOo -- -- --
NOTES: And we're done! This is one of the last stories I'll be writing in the Stargate SG-1 Sam/Jack fandom. I'm presently writing what I've decided will be the last, but for any future stories that are requested for the Revelations or Taking Flight zines.
Thank you to the people who've followed this story through from go to whoa. Reviews are lovely, please leave them at the "beep"!
Also, thank you to those who've been reading and reviewing the other fics I've been posting in the meantime. So many people claim that 'good writing is good writing, no matter the pairing or genre' but I find that very few readers really live by that credo - and the ones that do are infinitely precious to me. As I said, I'm unlikely to be writing much more SG-1 fanfic, so fans who like my writing and not just my show or pairing are important. So, extra-special thank yous go out to those who've supported my work, no matter what fandom I'm in, or pairing I'm writing.
(I'd offer to write a fic for reviewers who left a note on the previous five fics I posted between chapters 11 and 12 - SGA fics - but I'm doing too many things at once right now and can't guarantee it would get done. Still, if you left a review for those fics before the final chapter of 'Reflections' was posted, I have your name on a list. Send me a PM with a fandom - SG1, SGA, BSG, and Firefly - and a prompt, and I'll see what I can do in the coming months.)
cheers and thanks,