Almost Lost

Comfort. Human contact. Sometimes a person just needs those things. As soon as I saw her, I knew she needed to feel something besides the emptiness of the last few days. I know how hard being injured and on the run can be. It's not so much the physical effort- we're trained to deal with that. It's the mental strain that gets to a person. I've done it myself a few times and survived. It's not the nicest thing to have to do though. In fact, I'd say it's one of the threats that makes our job so tough.

It helps to have someone to go home to, even if you can't talk about what happened to you. There's no-one waiting at home for her. Then again, these days, there's no-body waiting at home for me. We lead empty lives outside of the SGC. The odd hours are hard on a family. They're made even harder when you can't explain where and what you've been doing for the time you were away.

I watch as she limps away from the medics and looks for somewhere to sit. I beckon her over, shuffling along the bench to make room for her. She sits next to me, close but not touching. The gap between us is mere millimeters, but it could be a mile. Have we really distanced ourselves that much? It's hard to believe.

"Everything okay?" I ask, trying for causal and failing. She nods rather than speaking, looking as if she could use someone to lean on.

The last three days have been hard on all of us- but it's been hardest for Sam. Exhaustion has etched dark circles under her eyes. She sighs and runs a hand through her short hair. She's the one who was hunted through knee- deep mud for two and a half days by the resident psycho of the charming planet wed visited. Somehow, against all the odds, she's managed to survive all by herself on an unfamiliar planet. She had also managed to lead said psycho into our crude but effective trap. It was a job well done on her part. We mostly spent our time with local hunting parties, searching for her.

I'd like to say he was dead, but the natives of P5M-KL8 had decided that his life should be spared. They had taken him away and not one of my team has seen him since. I can't say I care what happens to him. He deserves whatever punishment they give him. We didn't stay on the planet long enough to find out what the punishment would be. SG-7 is taking over from SG-1 on the planet. The soil there contains minerals that had sent the scientists into spasms of joy.

Sam is still sitting next to me on the bench in a SGC hallway. I'm waiting to have my post op check up. Sam's already had hers. Really, there's no reason for her to stay. A nurse sticks her head out of the door and calls me. Before I stand up to take my turn in the torture chamber, I rest my hand on top of Sam's. She looks at me, eyes wide with surprise. A small smile has crept onto her face.

I smile back and say "You did well Sam."

"Thank you," she says, hesitating before adding, "Jack."

"Anytime," I say "Anytime."