Spoilers: Everything up to season six.
Notes: Episode insert for Revelations (with references to Meridian). There's... one moment, where Sam looks really pissed at Jack. And there's never a time when it's resolved. Hence... This. The title is from Garbage's "Stupid Girl". My playlist is out to 'ship me.

What Drives You On by Ana Lyssie Cotton

Teal'c had helped. He'd admitted she wasn't the only one upset. But it wasn't enough. Major Samantha Carter needed to feel she'd accomplished something in some way. Needed to feel that the guilt under her skin had been flailed there. That she HAD been hurt for a reason. That it wasn't all some pointless meditation because her best friend had left her behind.

So she finally broke her own internal promise, and cornered the Colonel. Jack O'Neill was calmly going over their supplies in preperation for the upcoming rescue. They had no idea what they were getting into, but it could be anything from a fire fight to a full-out cut and run.


He didn't even glance up at her, merely continued to repack the explosives he had.

So methodical. And it pissed her off. All of this did. He wouldn't talk to her, before. Wouldn't let her say anything. Just cut her off. And it had been him who'd made Daniel die. Who'd let him go. A harsh sound grated across her nerves and she realized she had laughed.


"You're so calm."

He looked up, this time, and blinked at her. "Ye-es."

"Daniel is dead, and you take it so calmly."

"Carter, now is not the time--"

"Oh, it isn't?" She snapped, cutting him off viciously. "Then when is the time, SIR? When do we get to talk about how much this hurts? When--"

"Carter!" He stood and stepped towards her. "That is enough."

"No. It's not. Sir." And it hit, then. All of the guilt that had been clawing at her. "I couldn't save him, sir. I let him die. I made it worse!"

"It's not your fault."

"How is it not my fault?" It had to be her fault. Because she needed to hurt for this, needed the guilt or there's nothing left but the anger at a world that took her friend from her. And the anger at a friend who left her behind.

"You tried. Daniel didn't want to stay here anymore."

"Oh, so I'm supposed to just stop caring? Like you have?"

"No!" He sounded surprised. "You have to forgive yourself."

"This from the man who still blames himself for the death of his son!" She was shaken by the sudden loathing that let that out. And she wanted to take it back, retrieve those hurtful words from the air. But she couldn't. Because he'd finally reacted, stepped back from her.

"We are not going there!"

"Oh, so you're going to lock this away, too? God, now I know how Sara felt!"

"Carter--SAM! This is different."

"You're right. This was Daniel. And you don't want to talk about it. Teal'c doesn't want to talk about it. Hammond doesn't want to talk about it. So where the fuck does that leave me?"


Too far, she had gone too far. But she couldn't stop now. And it felt like a trainwreck on an interstate. "I'll tell you, Jack. It leaves me nowhere."

He threw up his hands. "Carter."

"You have no idea what to say to me, do you." Calm again, aching and weary. Because he doesn't. He's not a man of words, he has no idea what she needs to hear, to feel.

"For cryin' out loud, Sam, I--"

"Shut up, Jack."

They stand there, staring at each other, and her weariness changed, became something else. The tears begin. And she staggered into him, clinging desparately even if he didn't want anything to do with her. "I'm sorry." Her voice was cracked and choked. And she turned her misery into his shoulder. "I'm so very sorry..."

He heaved a sigh and carefully, as if she's suddenly made of glass--or he simply doesn't want to be reminded of human frailty--he wrapped his arms around her. "It's not your fault, Carter. It never was."

"I'm angry." She whispered into his soaked shirt.

"Well, yeah, I kinda noticed that."

"At Daniel. For leaving us."

He was quiet for a time, hands unconsciously soothing her, one stroking her head as if she were an upset puppy. "It was what he wanted."

"It still doesn't make it right."

No more words, then. Because they've said everything they can. And, really, there's nothing to be said anymore. Instead, they stand there until Teal'c calls to them calmly with the information that they are nearly at their destination.

Sam carefully pulled herself from the Colonel's arms and wiped at her eyes. "I apologise, sir, I--"

"Who's flyin' this spaceship, Carter?"

"I am, sir."

"Then get back to it."

"Yes. Sir." She shot him a fleeting grin, then did as she was told. It wasn't all right. It might never be all right. But for the moment, they had a mission.